Embark on this 11-day Mediterranean cruise and sail aboard Le Bougainville from Malta to the French Riviera, visiting stunning destinations like Gozo, Comino, Lipari, Porto Ercole, Giglio, Portofino, and Calvi. Conclude the journey in Nice, experiencing the beauty and authenticity of the region. Start the trip and explore the scenery of the unspoiled Gozo Island on foot, kayak, or bike. Next, witness the blue lagoon of the idyllic Comino, Malta’s smallest island, and sail in front of Stromboli, an active volcano whose crater regularly erupts with lava flows. Towards the North, discover the Aeolian islands in Lipari and then stop at Porto Ercole on the Monte Argentario peninsula. Visit Portofino after a port of call on Giglio and then set sail to Calvi before disembarking in Nice, the capital of the French Riviera.
Explore the unspoiled scenery of Gozo Island by foot, kayak, or bike
Witness the stunning blue lagoon of Comino, Malta's smallest island
Sail in front of the erupting volcano crater of Stromboli
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 narrow staircase vennels 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 that have guarded the city since the 16th century are also among the city's most emblematic sites. Arranged in terraces, the Barrakka Gardens will punctuate your promenade with a green and floral experience.
Located to the north of Malta, a lot less urbanized than its larger sibling and protected from mass tourism, the small island of Gozo has managed to remain natural and authentic. Lush hills and valleys alternate with a mosaic of cultivated fields. The buildings, some of which are medieval, are built from honey-colored limestone and blend in perfectly with the surrounding scenery. Gozo also boasts a unique historic site that is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the megalithic temples of Ggantija near the town of Xaghra. An archaeological museum adjoining the site presents a number of objects that were found there. Red-sand beaches and a crystal-clear sea add to the calm and serenity of Gozo.
In the turquoise waters of the Maltese Mediterranean, the small island of Comino is a real jewel that delights swimmers, divers, or just simply nature lovers. This natural reserve, measuring barely 35 square kilometers, allows no cars on its preserved territory and is perfect for walks in an enchanting setting. Wild thyme, fennel, and over 300 plant species perfume the island, although it is cumin that gives it its name. A pirate stronghold in the Middle Ages due to its many inlets which served as hiding places for corsairs, it was then used as a hunting ground by the Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem before becoming a place of exile and imprisonment between the 16th and 17th centuries. Today, it is renowned for its magnificent, cerulean-blue lagoon, an exceptional natural pool surrounded by two rocky islands.
Of the seven Aeolian islands, this is the largest and the most populated. Lying off the north coast of Sicily, in the Tyrrhenian sea, Lipari is one of UNESCO’s marvelous World Heritage sites. Its lava stone quarries and obsidian flow of Rocce Rosse are indications of its volcanic nature. The town, the largest urban area in the whole archipelago, proudly houses its citadel and its castle, both rooted in Antiquity. If you head further into the center, you’ll be surprised to come across a Norman cathedral, complete with a magnificent baroque façade.
Like Ulysses during his Odyssey, you will have the opportunity to admire the Stromboli, the capricious volcano that looms over the Aeolian Islands. Its activity, uninterrupted for thousands of years, has earned it the nickname the “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean”.
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique, or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest, and entertainment.
With its landscapes of undulating hills covered in lush meadows, narrow streets with colorful houses, and picturesque paths shaded by pines... Porto Ercole is a concentration of all of Tuscany’s beauty. And what would it be without a fascinating, mystery-filled history? Overlooked by its 16th-century fortress, this small village is renowned for having witnessed the final days of the famous painter Caravaggio, said to be buried there. On the Monte Argentario peninsula, you might have the chance to meet the fishermen of the Orbetello Lagoon, classed as a natural reserve, who perpetuate traditional fishing methods, or meet local wine, olive oil and cheese producers. For the sportier guests, the surrounding wild and pristine nature will provide the opportunity for a hike along the island’s heights to enjoy breathtaking views.
On the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the small island of Giglio is home to a concentration of all of Tuscany’s secrets and beauty. Fine sandy beaches and hidden coves compose a landscape in which the emerald sea serves as a setting for wild nature. This mountainous land is covered by garrigue on which pine forest and vineyards grow, a real paradise in the Mediterranean. A walk through the heart of this bucolic environment will also be the opportunity to discover rich history, as reflected in the medieval village of Giglio Castello.
Close to the Cinque Terre, Portofino is the jewel of the Ligurian Riviera. This "small village that stretches like a half moon around a silent basin", described by Guy de Maupassant, is today a pretty, lively little port that has managed to preserve the authenticity of its maritime traditions, which have been recognized since Ancient times. Built-in the hollow of a small natural cove sheltered by the pine forest, the village is at the heart of a protected maritime reserve. The shimmering colors of its house fronts and the exceptional location of this village have inspired many authors and artists. You will also see the Portofino lighthouse, immaculate in its green setting. Perched on the Punta del Capo, it watches over the peninsula and its postcard setting.
Nestled on a rocky spur in the northwest of Corsica, the port of Calvi offers its whiteness between two sapphire-colored bays. Capital of the Balagne region, the Genoese city benefits from an exceptional natural setting between the abrupt relief of the central chain, fertile hills and long sandy beaches. From the promontory of the Notre-Dame-de-la-Serra chapel, built in the 19th century on the ruins of a 15th century sanctuary, you will not miss the sublime panorama of the seaside, the mountains and the Calvi citadel. A little further west, you will have the opportunity to discover with the peninsula of Revelatta, a wilder and more preserved part of Corsica.
Day 11: Nice | Disembark
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. The 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.
For full cancellation policy details, please contact us for a quote.
10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners
10 Nights Accommodations
Accommodations as listed
Ground transportation as listed
Activities as listed
Meals as listed
Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
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)
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.
Flight costs (please request a quote)
Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
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
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
When to Go
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.