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Beautiful Taormina, Italy, with Mt. Etna in the background

Ancient Jewels of the Mediterranean

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Le Bougainville
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Embark on an enchanting 8-day Ancient Jewels of the Mediterranean cruise aboard Le Bougainville. Starting in Valetta, indulge in included excursions at each port. Meet a famed puppeteer in Syracuse, explore quaint villages in Paros, and visit the historic Rodolico shipyard. Discover the ancient charm of Southern Italy, stroll through the streets of Syracuse, and marvel at Mount Etna from Taormina's Greek theatre. Explore Gallipoli's Hellenic origins and unwind in the tranquility of Galaxidi. Sail to car-free Hydra, explore picturesque Paros, and conclude your journey in Athens, home to the iconic Acropolis. 
Explore the colorful city of VallettaCoast of Ortigia island at city of SyracuseRelax in beautiful SicilyStop in beautiful MaltaBeautiful Taormina, Italy, with Mt. Etna in the background
Highlights
  • Meet a famous puppeteer in Syracuse, unveiling artistic treasures
  • Immerse in Southern Italy's beauty with its historical remnants
  • Wander through the ancient streets of Ortygia in Syracuse
  • Visit the hilltop town of Taormina in Sicily
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Valletta | Embark

Valletta, the Maltese capital, is entirely UNESCO World Heritage-listed and sits on a peninsula in the northeast of the island. Its streets range from grand boulevards like the fountain-adorned Tritons to narrow staircase alleys that beckon exploration. Adorned with painted loggias and intricate corbels, the tall houses add charm to your wanderings, all while traffic remains minimal. Attractions like the Grandmasters Palace, with its ornate coats of arms and frescoes, and the historic Saint John’s Cathedral stand as testaments to the city’s rich history. The ancient ramparts, dating back to the 16th century, continue to guard the city, while the terraced Barrakka Gardens offer a tranquil green respite along your journey.

Day 2: Syracuse, Sicily

Sicily unfurls its diverse landscapes like a masterful display: from its rugged, undulating coastlines to the endless stretches of sandy beaches, and the commanding presence of Mount Etna, overseeing the island like a venerable guardian. Dotting its hillsides, lush gardens add a vibrant touch to the scenery. Once hailed by Cicero as "the most beautiful city in the world," Syracuse stood as a pinnacle of prestige in Sicily, even rivaling Athens at its zenith. As a focal point of Ancient Greece, it bore witness to the passage of various civilizations, each leaving an indelible mark. The fusion of Arabic, Roman, Norman, Byzantine, and Spanish influences renders Syracuse a tapestry of scents, hues, and tastes, an epitome of cultural richness.

Available excursions to this stopover:
Archaeological site & Ortigia
Noto, Baroque town

*According to availability, price per passenger

Day 3: Taormina, Sicily

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.

Available excursions to this stopover:
Taormina & Greek Theatre

*According to availability, price per passenger

Day 4: Gallipoli

Gallipoli, which comes from the Greek kalle polis, meaning beautiful town, is very aptly named. Located on the heel of the boot, the town known as “the pearl of Puglia” has many attractions. The whiteness of its façades recalls its Greek origins while its architecture echoes its multiple influences. Its old town, perched on a limestone island, concentrates the cultural heritage of this city with a thousand faces, alternately a Roman colony, then Byzantine, the property of the Popes, Norman, under the rule of Taranto… By itself, it tells the story of the different civilizations of the Mediterranean Sea. 

Available excursions to this stopover:
Walking tour of Gallipoli, Pearl of the Ionian Sea
Lecce, Florence of Southern Italy

*According to availability, price per passenger

Day 5: Galaxidi

Encircled by captivating arid mountains and a seafront of unrivaled beauty, picturesque Galaxidi stands proudly in the Gulf of Corinth, on the shores of Krisaikos Bay. You'll fall in love with the authentic character of this preserved and majestic town, with its paved little streets edged with former neo-classical residences, remnants of the naval era, and sumptuous religious buildings. Like one of the town’s symbols: the church of Agios Nikolaos (Saint Nicholas). The building with Byzantine architecture dominates the town and boasts two bell towers and a monumental dome.

Available excursions to this stopover:
Sacred site of Delphi
Monastery of Saint Lucas & Arachova

*According to availability, price per passenger

Day 6: Corinth Canal | Hydra

The Corinth Canal cuts through the Isthmus of Corinth, turning the Peloponnese into an island as it separates the region from the Greek mainland. Inaugurated in 1893, the canal is a little over six kilometers long and enables merchant vessels and passengers to avoid a long 400-km detour around the peninsula. The two sides of the canal reach a height of approximately fifty meters. From the exterior decks, don’t miss this unique opportunity to watch the ship as it navigates along the narrow strip of water encased between tall, ochre cliffs. What an experience!

This unusual gem belonging to the Saronic Islands is located to the east of the Peloponnese. There are no cars here. Named after the island, the harbor town is layered up the slopes of a mountainous bay. You may be surprised to see beautiful stone mansions. These are traditional here, as are the multi-colored caïques along the quays. Further along the shore, you'll discover the Historical Archives Museum. Collections from the Athens National History Museum are exhibited in the elegant villa Koundouriotis.

Available excursions to this stopover:
History of Hydra

*According to availability, price per passenger

Day 7: Paros

Famous for its white marble, the island of Paros is located in the Cyclades. Along the quays of Parikia, its main town, you’ll see Byzantine churches and neoclassical buildings. To make the most of the turquoise waters, you can stop over in Naoussa. This little fishing port is bounded by a very beautiful cove.

Available excursions to this stopover:
Panorama & Winery
Parikia & Naoussa

*According to availability, price per passenger

Day 8: Athens | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
The Greek capital city is located on the edge of the Saronic Gulf, in the east of the country. It bears a plural name in reference to the first villages that surround the Acropolis. You'll be enchanted by the rocky plateau presided by its monuments listed as UNESCO World Heritage. In the city below, you can visit some of the liveliest districts in Athens: Plaka, with its maze of colorful streets, and where, in the evenings the drifting aroma of moussaka and garlic prawns tickle your taste buds. The National Archaeological Museum and the Cycladic Art Museum are also some of the city’s key attractions and allow visitors to discover Athens’ cultural past.

Ship/Hotel

Le Bougainville

Le Bougainville Ship
Le Bougainville
Le Bouganville Restaurant

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$4,830 2-3 travelers
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
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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
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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
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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. 
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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