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Explore historic Bonifacio atop the cliffs of Corsica

Mediterranean Island Voyage: Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and Elba – with Smithsonian Journeys

Valletta - Nice - Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Le Bougainville
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Embark on this 8-day Mediterranean Island Voyage with Smithsonian Journeys from Valletta to Nice on Le Bougainville where you can engage in discussions with two Smithsonian Journeys Experts onboard. Explore five Mediterranean islands on one itinerary, starting from Malta and moving on to Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and Elba. Along the way, witness the beauty of five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Palermo, Monreale, Taormina, Syracuse, and Noto. Explore ancient Greek and Roman ruins in Syracuse and Taormina, and Sardinia. Admire Byzantine-Arab mosaics in Palermo and Monreale. Visit the medieval town of Bonifacio with breathtaking views, and Napoleon's villa on Elba. Enjoy local wines and specialties in Noto, Taormina, Palermo, and Portoferraio. A well-balanced cruise with history, culture, and natural beauty.
View of VallettaCoast of Ortigia island at city of SyracuseExplore ruins in Taormina within view of volcanic Mount EtnaRelax in beautiful SicilySunset over PalermoRelax by the sea near colorful NiceExplore historic Bonifacio atop the cliffs of Corsica
Highlights
  • Explore five Mediterranean islands on one itinerary
  • Experience ancient ruins in Syracuse and Taormina, and Sardinia
  • Admire Byzantine-Arab mosaics in Palermo and Monreale
  • Discover the medieval town of Bonifacio and Napoleon's villa on Elba
  • Enjoy wines & specialties in Noto, Taormina, Palermo, and Portoferraio
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Valletta | Embark

The whole of the Maltese capital Valletta is UNESCO World Heritage listed and occupies a peninsula in the northeast of the island. From the fountain of Tritons to Saint-Elme Fort, there are as many majestic streets as there are narrow staircase venues to explore. The painted loggia and carved corbels on the tall houses will accompany you in your explorations, and you’ll rarely be bothered by traffic. You can visit the Grandmaster's palace decorated with coats of arms and frescoes. Saint John’s cathedral and the ramparts which have guarded the city since the 16th century are also among the most emblematic sites of the city. Arranged in terraces, the Barrakka Gardens will punctuate your promenade with a green and floral experience.

Day 2: Syracuse, Sicily

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Its undulating rocky coastline, the endless sandy beaches, the menacing form of Mount Etna which surveys its island like a patriarch, the flowery gardens on the hillside... Sicily lays out its varied landscapes like a shopkeeper displays his wares. Described by Cicero as “the most beautiful city in the world”, Syracuse was one of the most prestigious cities in Sicily and at her height was even a rival for Athens. A central city of Ancient Greece, it was home to a succession of civilizations, each of which has left its mark. The blend of Arabic, Roman, Norman, Byzantine and Spanish cultures makes Syracuse a town that is extraordinarily rich in fragrances, colors, and flavors.
 

Day 3: Taormina, Sicily

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located on Sicily’s eastern coast, in the province of Messina, the seaside town of Taormina is Sicily’s Saint-Tropez, boasting heritage sites, secluded beaches, and luxury shopping. You can visit its medieval center, suspended 300 meters above sea level, where terraces offer a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea. Another vestige from its past is the ruins of the Greco-Roman theatre. This extremely well-preserved site attracts visitors who are fascinated by the natural beauty of the area which overlooks a turquoise bay.

Day 4: Palermo, Sicily

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Palermo is the guardian of the Sicilian soul. Many have been attracted to this city, the largest capital of the Italian islands. Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans... Palermo is a rich culmination of so many cultural influences as seen in the Moorish designs on the cathedral, and the Byzantine mosaics of the Palatine chapel, which is itself housed within the precincts of the Norman palace. You will fall under the spell of the palaces, and baroque splendors that grace the town with their obsolete beauty. It is thrilling to stumble upon one of those fabulous markets, high in color, and headily picturesque.

Day 5: Cagliari, Sardinia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The capital of Sardinia, Cagliari, like Rome, is built on seven hills. Its Sardinian name means “castle”, in reference to the citadel, its historic center, which dominates the city. The old ramparts are now pleasant panoramic terraces bordering picturesque streets. The city hosted the Nuragic, Phoenician, Roman, and Byzantine civilizations before the reign of the Spanish Hapsburgs and the House of Savoy. The monuments of Cagliari bear the traces of these successive dominations, such as the Bastion of Saint-Rémy or the Sainte-Marie Cathedral. On the seafront, Art Nouveau-style public monuments give way to the Poetto beach, a magnificent stretch of sand that is 8 kilometers long.

Day 6: Bonifacio, Corsica

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The spectacular town of Bonifacio located on the very tip of southern Corsica, clings to a narrow promontory of white rock overhanging the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. You can admire its limestone cliffs hewn out by the wind, before setting off on a cultural tour of its cultural treasures. From the little paved streets in the ancient Haute Ville to the promenade on the open-air medieval chemin de ronde, this stunning town will take you on a journey back in time. Frequented or secluded, there are numerous beaches to choose from, all in keeping with the high standards of the “Île de Beauté”.

Day 7: Portoferraio, Elba

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the elbow of a creek on the northern coastline of Elba Island, a small corner of paradise awaits in the form of Portoferraio. As you approach its coastlines, you will make out the powerful and majestic contours of its Medici fortresses. Napoleon Bonaparte spent many of his 300 days in exile here. The Palazzina dei Mulini, his first imperial residence, whose gardens offer outstanding views of the sea, is a must-see. Historical treasures are followed by another kind of treasure, namely white sand beaches, and equally tempting local specialties including gurguglione and rice with cuttlefish ink.

Day 8: Nice | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Capital of the Cote d’Azur, Nice is surrounded by an amphitheater of hills and mountains that protects it from the wind. You will probably want to explore the Promenade des Anglais, where you can sit on one of the famous blue chairs laid out opposite the Baie des Anges. Château Hill is also a very pleasant place to walk. This is the entrance to the old city, with its bustling markets and regional products along the main street, the Cours Saleya.

Ship/Hotel

Le Bougainville

Le Bougainville Ship
Le Bougainville
Le Bouganville Restaurant

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$7,790
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
Cabin
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Deluxe Stateroom
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² Private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
Cabin
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
Cabin
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
Cabin
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
Cabin
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Deluxe Suite
Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 6m² private balcony
Cabin
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Prestige Suite Deck 5
Area: 38 m² 8m² private balcony King-size bed or twin beds
Cabin
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Prestige Suite Deck 6
Area: 38 m² 8m² private balcony King-size bed or twin beds
Cabin
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Privilege Suite
Area: 32 m² Capacity: up to 4 passengers per cabin 8m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
Cabin
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Grand Deluxe Suite
Area: 45 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 30m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
Cabin
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Owner's Suite
Area: 45 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 30m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds

Notes

Please note:
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may increase at any time as the ship sells out and are subject to change without notice.
Included
  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Port Fees
  • Unlimited Wifi
  • Onboard Entertainment 
  • Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and Gala Dinner
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • 24h Room Service (special selection)
  • English-Speaking Lecturer 
  • Highly experienced and bilingual (French-English) expedition staff
  • Park Entry Fees into Protected Areas
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite. 
  • A program of onboard enrichment provided by two Smithsonian Journeys Experts
  • Transfer from the ship to the airport at the end of the cruise on the morning of disembarkation.
  • One included shore excursion in each port of call (see “Itinerary” for more information and choice of excursions, if applicable)
  • Transfers and luggage handling from the airport to the ship on the day of embarkation.
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Visa Fees
  • Optional Excursions - Ponant allows you to pre-book your excursions approximately six to two months prior to the cruise* departure. Please note that this is subject to change. Please contact us for more details.
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned
  • Luggage Handling 
  • Laundry Services, Hair Salon, and à La Carte Spa Treatments
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions 
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned in inclusions
  • CDP recommends that every Traveler has full and adequate travel insurance covering the risks of cancellation, assistance being required, repatriation, damages to and loss of baggage, and medical expenses

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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