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Explore ruins in Sicily

Cruising the Mediterranean: Sicily, Sardinia, and Mallorca – with Smithsonian Journeys

Valletta - Tarragona - Example 8 Day Cruise aboard L'Austral
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Set sail on an unforgettable 8-day Mediterranean journey aboard L'Austral. Begin your cruise in Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its majestic streets and historic landmarks. From the Grandmaster's palace to Saint John’s cathedral, immerse yourself in the rich history of Malta's capital. In Trapani, Sicily, savor fresh seafood and explore ancient sites like the San Lorenzo Cathedral. Palermo beckons with its Moorish designs and vibrant markets, offering a glimpse into Sicily's diverse heritage. Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia, boasts ancient ramparts and stunning beaches along its picturesque coastline. Enjoy a day at sea, indulging in onboard activities and relaxation. Mahon welcomes you with its colorful streets and historic churches, while Palma de Mallorca enchants with idyllic coves and majestic cliffs. Conclude your journey in Tarragona, where Roman ruins and medieval charm await. Discover the Mediterranean's allure on this unique cruise experience.
View of VallettaRuins of GreeceEnjoy the brilliant blue water of the MediterraneanThe towering cathedral of Palma de MallorcaVisit famous sites of historical importanceExplore ruins in Sicily
Highlights
  • Visit UNESCO charm in Valletta, Malta's historic capital city
  • Explore Tarragona's Roman ruins and ancient amphitheater
  • Indulge in Sicilian seafood delights in Trapani, surrounded by history
  • Stroll Mahon's colorful streets, lined with charming Mediterranean architecture
Places Visited
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

The whole of the Maltese capital Valletta is UNESCO World Heritage listed and occupies a peninsula in the north-east of the island. From the fountain of Tritons to Saint-Elme fort, there are as many majestic streets as there are 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 Grandmasters 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: Trapani, Sicily

Bathed in the cobalt waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Trapani is the former port of the Greek city of Erice, boasting a privileged natural position in western Sicily. As you wander through its little streets, you will discover a secular cultural heritage bearing witness to the many influences of civilizations that came here: San Lorenzo Cathedral, Maria Santissima Annunziata sanctuary, and the fountain of Triton. On the shaded restaurant terraces, savour some fresh fish from the morning’s catch. Or else you can opt for seafood couscous, a culinary legacy from their Arab neighbors.

Day 3: Palermo, Sicily

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, baroque splendours that grace the town with their obsolete beauty. It is thrilling to stumble upon one of those fabulous markets, high in colour, and headily picturesque.

Day 4: Cagliari, Sardinia

The capital of Sardinia, Cagliari, like Rome, is built on seven hills. Its Sardinian name means “castle”, in reference to the citadel, its historic centre, which dominates the city. The old ramparts are now pleasant panoramic terraces bordering picturesque streets. The city hosted the Nuragic, Phoenician, Roman and Byzantine civilisations before the rein 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 sea front, Art Nouveau-style public monuments give way to the Poetto beach, a magnificent stretch of sand that is 8 kilometres long.

Day 5: At Sea

During your journey at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to 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 journey without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, depending on the activities offered, do some shopping in the boutique, or 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. It is an enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest, and entertainment.

Day 6: Mahon, Balearic Islands

You will be welcomed by the colorful houses of Mahon, its narrow streets, and the pretty squares that appear as you stroll around this richly contrasting city. Mahon reveals its neighborhoods, alternating between monuments, villas, and white buildings. Discover the Santa Maria church, a building of neo-gothic inspiration, rebuilt in the 18th Century. It is worth a visit to see its monumental organ with more than 3,000 pipes and four keyboards. Around the Carmen church you will find a local market, full of stands selling avarcas, typical Menorcan sandals originally made by peasants. Let yourself fall under the spell of this Mediterranean treasure.

Day 7: Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands

Palma de Mallorca will reveal its many treasures: idyllic coves, majestic limestone cliffs that plunge into the clear sapphire- and turquoise-colored waters of the Mediterranean, and vast plains planted with almond trees, olive trees, and vineyards. When your ship calls at the capital of the Balearic Islands, take a walk to discover its emblematic monuments, such as its famous cathedral, and amble through its old streets. Like a painting, the island’s historical heritage forms a backdrop to the Mediterranean's lively and warm cosmopolitan atmosphere.  

Day 8: Tarragona | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Tarragona is situated on the Costa Dorada, in the south of Spain’s Catalonia region. Known as Tarraco in Roman times, the city boasts very important archaeological and architectural vestiges that are magnificently well preserved. These earned it a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2000. Do not miss this opportunity to visit the Roman amphitheatre, which is located on a beautiful natural site by the sea and is exceptionally well preserved. A stroll through the streets of the old medieval town to the cathedral, which was completed in the 14th century, is a wonderful way to end your visit to this welcoming city.

Ship/Hotel

L'Austral

Enjoy a gourmet meal at the Gastronomic Restaurant.
Stunning views from the bar and lounge
Relax on the sun deck.

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$5,340 2-3 travelers
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
Superior Stateroom
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Superior Stateroom
8 cabins, 226 sq ft, located on Le Champollion Deck. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area and private bath.
Deluxe Stateroom
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Deluxe Stateroom
28 cabins, 200 sq ft with private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Deluxe Suite
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Deluxe Suite
3 suites, 290 sq ft with 54 sq ft private balcony, located on the Le France Deck. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, desk, minibar, private bath.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite - Deck 5
398 sq ft with 86 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living area, private bath.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite - Deck 6
398 sq ft with 86 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living area, private bath.
Owner's Suite
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Owners Suite
484 sq ft with 97 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living, dining areas, private bath with large tub and shower, minibar, 2 flat screen TVs, DVD, CD, and IPOD, Video on demand, Satellite phone

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 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
  • One included activity 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.
  • Transfer from the ship to the airport in Barcelona at the end of the cruise on the morning of disembarkation
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

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