Splendours of the Western Mediterranean

8 days / 7 nights
    Splendours of the Western Mediterranean

    Cruise The Mediterranean

    from 28 September 2018 to 5 October 2018
    8 days / 7 nights

    Departure Port : Valletta
    Arrival Port : Athens


    • Ref : R280918

    From the island of Malta to AthensPONANT invites you on an exceptional voyage with two ports of call in Sicily and four in Greece.  

    Le Lapérouse will leave Valletta, the capital of Malta and former stronghold of the Knights of the Order of Malta, for an 8-day cruise on seas that are brimming with history.  

    After calling at beautiful Catania whose Late Baroque style monuments spread to the foot of Mount Etna, we will set sail for Taormina.  

    In Taormina, the streets will lead you to the impressive ancient theatre, where the quality of the acoustics is exceptional. And as a constant backdrop: the majestic Mount Etna!

    Le Lapérouse will then cross the Ionian Sea towards Katakolon, its first Greek point of call. From the port, you will be able to head to Olympia, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, whose ruins testify to its former grandeur. On the following day, from Itea, another exceptional site awaits: Delphi.

    Your ship will then sail along the astonishing Corinth Canal, a famous sea channel dug out by men in the 19th century, and arrive in Nafplion. From Nafplion you will able to visit two ancient jewels: the Epidaurus Theatre and Mycenae, the royal city of House of Atreus.

    The cruise will then enable you to discover Hydra, a small island of old-worldly charm where motorised traffic is banned.

    This wonderful journey will end in Athens.


    • Before your cruise, the possibility of discovering Valletta, capital of Malta, voted European Capital of Culture for 2018;
    • Unesco World Heritage Site: the historic centre of Valletta (disembarkation port), the fabulous ancient Arab-Norman and Baroque heritage of Catania, Mount Etna from Taormina and its Greek Theatre, Delphi from Itea, the Acropolis from the disembarkation port in Athens;
    • Sicily and its treasures with Catania and Taormina;
    • An unforgettable crossing of the Corinth Canal.

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    Staterooms & Suites


      There are no staterooms available for booking. Please contact our cruise advisors.




      Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed staterooms, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience.

      As the first ship in a new series that remains true to the Ponant spirit, Le Lapérouse will embody the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort.

      Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service.

      Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel.

      Port of call & excursions

      28 September 2018 – Catania, Sicily


      Embarkation 28/09/2018 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 28/09/2018 at 18H00 .

      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.

      29 September 2018 – Catania, Sicily

      29 September 2018 – Catania, Sicily

      Arrival 29/09/2018 midday. Departure 29/09/2018 early evening.

      Sicily’s second city Catania is dominated by the majestic silhouette of Mount Etna. Nourishing and devastating at the same time, this giant crowned with smoke rings brought about the destruction of the city at the end of the 17th century. Catania was then rebuilt in the late Baroque style, and the many monuments of this epoch have earned its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The baroque churches of the harmonious Via dei Crociferi perfectly illustrate the riches of this architectural heritage. During your stop, be sure to visit Saint Agatha Cathedral with its apses made of lava stones, and its square decorated with a fountain of the Elephant, the animal which allegedly has the power to calm the fury of Mount Etna …

      30 September 2018 – Taormina, Sicily

      30 September 2018 – Taormina, Sicily

      Arrival 30/09/2018 early morning. Departure 30/09/2018 midday.

      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 centre, suspended 300 metres above sea level, where terraces offer a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea. Another vestige from its past are 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.

      1 October 2018 – Katakolon

      1 October 2018 – Katakolon

      Arrival 01/10/2018 early afternoon. Departure 01/10/2018 early evening.

      This picturesque village stretches along the Ionian sea in the west of the Peloponnese. Its main harbour offers a vast panorama of the coastline’s wooded hillsides. Dazzling white, the church of Saint-Nicolas houses a selection of sumptuous icons. You can also pay a visit the archaeological site of Olympus on the slopes of Mount Kronos.

      2 October 2018 – Itea

      2 October 2018 – Itea

      Arrival 02/10/2018 early morning. Departure 02/10/2018 midday.

      Tucked away in the Gulf of Corinth, this little port is situated in continental Greece, north-west of Athens. Take an easy stroll along the old cobblestone quays, while gazing at the summits encircling the Bay of Itea. We wouldn’t be surprised if you are tempted by a visit to the Delphi Sanctuary. The sanctuary is located on a plateau on the slope of Mount Parnassus, just ten kilometres from Itea. A listed UNESCO World Heritage site, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The ancient ruins are surrounded by steep mountains, and their Archaeological Museum is chock-full of cultural delights.

      2 October 2018 – Crossing the Corinth Canal

      2 October 2018 – Crossing the Corinth Canal

      Arrival 02/10/2018. Departure 02/10/2018.

      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 kilometres long and enables merchant vessels and passenger to avoid a long 400-km detour around the peninsula. The two sides of the canal reach a height of approximately fifty metres. 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!

      3 October 2018 – Nafplion

      3 October 2018 – Nafplion

      Arrival 03/10/2018 early morning. Departure 03/10/2018 late evening.

      The engaging town of Nafplion is staggered up green hillsides of the Argolic Gulf, to the east of the Peloponnese. Don’t be surprised by its extremely varied cultural heritage. Some of the must-see visits are the ancient agora on the plateau of Akronafplia, Italianate arcades in Syntagma square as well as the baroque fortress of Palamidi on a hillside of the same name. At the top of the hill, views of the gulf and the surrounding mountains are simply awesome. If you want to chill out by the water’s edge, walk along the Arvanitia promenade to a beautiful creek in the shade of cedars and cypresses.

      4 October 2018 – Hydra

      4 October 2018 – Hydra

      Arrival 04/10/2018 late morning. Departure 04/10/2018 late afternoon.

      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 harbour 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-coloured caïques along the quays. Further along the shore, you will discover the Historical Archives Museum. Collections from Athens National History Museum are exhibited in the elegant villa Koundouriotis.

      5 October 2018▸4 October 2018 – Athens


      Disembarkation 05/10/2018 at 06H00 .

      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 will 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 colourful streets, and where, in the evenings the drifting aroma of moussaka and garlic prawns will 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.


      • The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.

      • Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, PONANT will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.

      • Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.


      Art and Literature

      Art and Literature

      Because we firmly believe that there are many different ways to travel, we are inviting you to join us on one of our Art cruises or Literature cruises and to enhance your trip with a rich cultural programme.

      Your cultural explorations on land

      Choosing a themed cruise with PONANT means setting sail on an itinerary punctuated by unique ports of call. Our Art cruises and Literature cruises combine the pleasures of travel by sea with the discovery of emblematic sites in cities famous for the richness of their architecture and heritage.

      During your different visits, you will enjoy special moments immersed in art and culture. Promising exclusive discoveries, personalised programmes and private performances, these cruises have special experiences in store for you in prestigious locations.

      Knowledge-sharing on board

      Aboard our luxurious, smaller-sized yachts, you will meet other travellers who share your passion. High-profile lecturers and artists will also be joining us on these cruises. As we sail across the oceans, you will be able to experience special moments between lecturers and enthusiasts.

      Throughout your Art or Literature cruise, our special guests will present unique lectures in keeping with the chosen theme. They will talk about different art-related themes, such as a period, a movement or famous artists, or topics relating to literature, such as politics, society, history etc.

      Guest(s) Lecturer(s)

      André Dussollier

      André Dussollier

      Born 1946 in Annecy, André Dussollier spent his childhood in Cruseilles, a small village nearby where his parents, tax collectors, moved.  Thanks to a teacher he very quickly acquired a taste for acting, and at the tender age of ten appeared on stage for a performance of L’Enfant et la Rivière.

      After his baccalaureate, while continuing in the theatre, he studied at Grenoble University where he obtained a degree in linguistics with a Master’s in modern literature in 1969. Still passionate about theatre he decided to go to Paris and become an actor. He took drama classes with Jean Périmony to prepare for the entrance exam to the Conservatoire. After two years of study, he left with three first prizes in classic, modern and foreign drama. He was hired by Comédie Française where he became a resident in 1972. That year, François Truffaut noticed him on stage and offered him his first major role in Une belle fille comme moi.

      Since then, André Dussolier has had roles in mainstream and art house movies, notably with Alain Resnais: L’amour à mort 1984, Mélo 1986, On connaît la chanson 1997 (César Best Actor Award), Cœurs 2006, Les Herbes folles 2009; but also with Coline Serreau: 3 hommes et un couffin; Eric Rohmer: Le Beau Mariage; Jean Becker: Les Enfants du Marais, Effroyables jardins, Un Crime au paradis; Claude Sautet: Un cœur en hiver (César Best Supporting Actor Award); François Dupeyron: La Chambre des officiers (César Best Supporting Actor Award); Jean-Pierre Jeunet: Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain; and Étienne Chatiliez: Tanguy.

      He has performed on stage: Monstres sacrés, sacrés monstres, (2001-2004; Prix Plaisir du Théâtre), Les Athlètes dans leur tête (2003-2007), Diplomatie by Cyril Gely (2010-2012), and more recently Novecento (2014-2017) for which he received the Molière Best Actor Award in 2015).


      Language spoken: French


      Photo credit: Patrick Swirc

      Possibility of withdrawal in case of force majeure.

      Pre/Post & Overlands

      1. Before your cruise

        28/09/2018 – The fortified city of Vittoriosa

        55.00 AU$ **

        More information

        27/09/2018 – Valletta, on your own (1 night)

        390.00 AU$ **

        More information

      Attention: the prices listed at the time of your reservation can be different from those listed in the brochure. These prices can evolve based on availability and the real time rates of the airline companies selected.
      Travellers are advised to check all the information with the authorities concerned prior to the departure date. Ponant advises Travellers to consult the country factsheets relating to the chosen destinations. Ponant specifically draws Travellers' attention to the fact that the information provided may change up until the departure date, and they are advised to consult that information up until the time of departure. CDP invites Travellers to adjust their behavior to the visited country, to exercise vigilance and to avoid carrying valuable objects during their travel.
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