The Vienna State Opera at Sea
* Subject to availability.
• A cruise featuring music, culture and history, around the Italian "boot" via Malta and Sicily;
• In partnership with RADIO CLASSIQUE and Alain Duault, with the exceptional presence on board of artists from the Vienna Opera;
• UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Malta (named European Capital of Culture for 2018), Catania and Mount Etna, Venice, Rome;
• Two new ports of call: Catania, at the foot of Mount Etna, for its ancient ruins and baroque churches, and Ancona, where the painter Raphael lived.
- Staterooms & Suites
- LE LYRIAL
- Port of call & excursions
- The Vienna State Opera at sea
- Guest(s) Lecturer(s)
- Pre/Post & Overlands
Staterooms & Suites
There are no staterooms available for booking. Please contact our cruise advisors.
Fourth ship in this superb series loyal to the PONANT spirit, Le Lyrial like her sisterships embodies the subtle alliance between luxury, intimacy and wellbeing which is PONANT’s signature. The elegance of her exterior and interior lines and her intimate size (only 122 staterooms and suites) make this a rare and innovative yacht on the cruise market.
We have been inspired by the destinations we visit and decided to create a subtle variation around a palette of blues. Ranging from the luminous delicate grey-blue of the Polar ice to splashes of the vivid turquoise blue found in Mediterranean coves, it also includes the blue light of the future pole star.
Port of call & excursions
VeniceEmbarkation 20/09/2018 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 20/09/2018 at 18H00 .
Proud and eternal, Venice has reigned on its lagoon ever since the 6th century. You may think you know this city before even setting foot here. You will inevitably fall in love with the charm of the innumerable treasures of the Serenissima: Saint Mark’s square, the basilica, Doges palace, the Grand Canal and the gondolas. Yet, secret Venice is also waiting for you to explore its little interlacing streets and canals, to ramble through its squares and to push open the doors of its churches. The city’s extraordinary heritage shouldn’t stop you from enjoying a glass of Spritz and a few tramezzini.
21 September 2018 – AnconaArrival 21/09/2018 midday. Departure 21/09/2018 late afternoon.
Situated on the promontory of Monte Conero, Ancona, the capital of the Marche region, offers visitors all the charm of a typical Italian historical city. Founded by the Greeks in 390 BC and conquered by Julius Caesar in 49 BC, Ancona has a long history that was very much shaped by its harbour, a hub attracting different populations and cultures. When your ship calls here, take the time to discover the city’s many buildings, such as the cathedral dedicated to Judas Cyriacus and its façade made of white and pink marble, the Arch of Trajan, which is considered to be the port’s main embellishment, or the 15th century mansion where the painter Raphael was born and raised.
22 September 2018 – BariArrival 22/09/2018 midday. Departure 22/09/2018 late afternoon.
Extending out along a fertile plain facing the Adriatic Sea amid infinite landscapes sculpted by the water and wind, Bari bears the traces of the peoples which, over the centuries, have conquered it, settled it, or simply visited it fleetingly before making their way to faraway lands. Though its exact origins are lost among the mysteries of archaeology, the many sites here provide evidence of the town’s rich past. The Saracens, Byzantines, Normans and Swabians have left a trace here, each bringing their own cultural baggage. During your stop here, stroll along the minuscule streets in Bari Vecchia, the historic centre, where you will find small churches and monuments from bygone eras.
23 September 2018 – At seaArrival 23/09/2018. Departure 23/09/2018.
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 centre. 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.
24 September 2018 – VallettaArrival 24/09/2018 early morning. Departure 24/09/2018 late afternoon.
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.
25 September 2018 – Catania, SicilyArrival 25/09/2018 early morning. Departure 25/09/2018 early afternoon.
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 …
26 September 2018 – SalernoArrival 26/09/2018 early morning. Departure 26/09/2018 late afternoon.
Generating a veritable explosion of intense emotions, the province of Salerno fascinates and enchants travellers. Its fascinating history will lead you to the extraordinary archaeological site of Pompeii, whose sprawling ruins provide a grandiose and moving vision of what a Roman city looked like in Imperial times. The city which was frozen in time under the ashes from the eruption of Mont Vesuvius offers you its peerless historical and cultural wealth, as well as the unique beauty of its location, which has earned it classification as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Civitavecchia (Rome)Disembarkation 27/09/2018 at 07H30 .
Built on an Etruscan site, between the Tyrrhenian sea and the Monti della Tolfa, Civitavecchia respires the dolce vita. This very modern and easy going town combines art and history with panache. You can also visit superb historical sites like Fort Michelangelo or the Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi. Just 80 kilometres from Rome, the town is a beautiful first step to the Italian capital.
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.
The Vienna State Opera at sea
The Vienna State Opera at sea
A magical experience awaits you on this itinerary in the western Adriatic from Venice to Rome, via Ancona and Bari, with a detour to Malta then north again to the Tyrrhenian Sea via Sicily (Catania, Bellini’s birthplace) and Salerno, where a concert will be given in the wonderful Giuseppe Verdi City theatre. Taking in places that resonate for opera lovers, this voyage is an ideal way to learn more about one of the world’s most famous venues, the magnificent Vienna State Opera House. On board will be its director, Frenchman Dominique Meyer, with some of the singers who regularly perform in this major opera house.
He will be presenting the rich and varied history of this institution, including an analysis of what opera has become over the last 30 years in the light of his extensive experience. It is an opportunity to hear the best of the international opera scene that draws so many to the Vienna State Opera through its German, Italian, French, Russian, Czech and of course Mozart repertoires.
The artists Dominique Meyer has selected are the Ukrainian soprano Olga Bezsmertna, Ethiopian-Italian soprano Mariam Battistelli, American mezzo-soprano Stephanie Houtzeel, Austrian tenor Norbert Ernst and German baritone Samuel Hasselhorn. We are also delighted to welcome one of the great singers of our time, American mezzo Susan Graham, who has captivated audiences on all the big stages including of course the Vienna State Opera House.
Discover the delights of our cultural cruises where music takes centre stage, combining sumptuous scenery and exceptional artistic heritages.
A waterborne musical journey
Whether you are a fan of instrumental classical music or opera, or you prefer jazz or Celtic melodies, why not enjoy a different and very special experience aboard a PONANT ship? Set sail for a luxury cruise combining the charms of music and the sea.
These cultural cruises, where the tempo is set by concerts on land or at sea as well as a series of conferences, bring together music lovers and artists around a shared passion: music.
An exceptional selection of artists*
Aboard the ships, our guests of honour, all well-known artists, talented performers and brilliant virtuosos will share their knowledge and their passion in an accessible and intimate way.
According to the theme of each cruise, PONANT welcomes prestigious artists, be they pianists, violinists, singers and more.
Come and share alongside them the refined adventure of a PONANT musical cruise.
*See the list of guests of honour present during your cruise in the “Guests” tab.
The novelist, poet, journalist, musicologist and radio and television presenter Alain Duault has been sharing his passion for and knowledge of classical music for more than 30 years. Considered to be one of the greatest opera specialists in France he is now President of the Prix Pelléas jury, and has been made an Officier de la Légion d’Honneur and Commandeur des Arts et Lettres.
Alain Duault studied literature, philosophy and psycho-analysis in Paris, then musicology and piano. His first TV appearance was as a guest of Bernard Pivot for his book of poems, Colorature. This led to a number of radio programmes dedicated to classical music, notably on RTL, the radio station where Alain Duault would be “Mr Classical Music” for 22 years, before joining Radio Classique with daily slots until 2018. A role that he also took on for the France 3 television channel, presenting a number of exceptional programmes (masterclasses with Ruggero Raimondi in the Salle Gaveau, Musiques en fête at the Chorégies d’Orange festival…).
In 1999, he conceived and presented Intégrale Chopin (225 works, 60 pianists), broadcast on France 3. Then in 2001, he wrote and performed an ambitious and very popular show, Verdi, une passion, un destin (with Jean Piat and 250 musicians). In the wake of this success, he wrote and performed two other shows: Victor Hugo, la légende d’un siècle in 2002 and Rencontre avec George Sand (with Marie-Christine Barrault) in 2004 and 2005.
Alain Duault also puts his writing skills to the service of classical music. The author of a number of books, including Dans la peau de Maria Callas, (Le Passeur Éditeur, 2014, pocket edition, 2017), Dictionnaire amoureux illustré de l’Opéra (Plon Gründ, 2016), Ce léger rien des choses qui ont fui, poetry (Gallimard, 2017), he also writes editorials for Classica.
Language spoken: French
Photo credit: Laurent Rouvrais @Radio Classique
Dominique Meyer was born in Alsace, France, in 1955 and spent his childhood in France and Germany.
Between 1980 and 1984 Dominique Meyer worked as a commissioner at the French Ministry of Industry, where he was in charge of the departments of electronics and computer industries. From 1984 to 1986 he was an advisor in the cabinet of the Minister of Culture Jack Lang, where he was responsible for the film and cultural industries.
From 1986 to 1988 Dominique Meyer was an advisor to the presidents of the Paris Opéra.
In 1988 he joined the cabinet of the Minister of Culture and Communication with responsibility for film and television. From 1989 to 1990 he was general director of the Paris Opéra (Palais Garnier and Opéra Bastille). In 1991 he became a director in the cabinet of the Ministry of Communications and Media under Minister Catherine Tasca. From 1991 to 1993 he worked as an advisor in the cabinets of Prime Minister Edith Cresson and Pierre Bérégovoy with responsibility for the areas of cultural affairs and communications, youth affairs, education and sports. He subsequently held the position of general director of the Lausanne Opera from 1994 to 1999. From 1999 until the end of the 2009/2010 season he was general and artistic director of the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris.
Dominique Meyer was from 1991 to 2007 president of the Ballet Angelin Preljocaj and was appointed honorary president in 2007, then he was a member of the board of the Maurice Béjart Ballet in Lausanne as well as of the Prix de Lausanne dance competition.
He was president of the French Youth Orchestra from 2001 to 2010, since 2010 he has been the orchestra’s honorary president. From 1995 to 1999 he was a member of the board of directors of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra. He was artistic consultant to Riccardo Muti during the founding of the Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini in Piacenza. He is currently on the board of directors of the European Music Theatre Academy (EMA) of the University of Vienna as well as of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (CNSMDP).
He is the author and director of the documentary film Eclats de Voix – Schallende Stimmen (Resonant Voices) about Wagner’s Ring-tetralogy, with Pierre Boulez, Patrice Chéreau, Jeffrey Tate, etc.
In September 2010 he became Director of the Vienna State Opera.
Languages spoken: French, English, German
Photo credit: Wiener Staatsoper - Michael Pöhn
Susan Graham rose to the highest echelon of international performers within just a few years of her professional debut. Her operatic roles span four centuries, from Monteverdi’s Poppea to Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, which was written especially for her. This distinctly American artist has also been recognized throughout her career as one of the foremost exponents of French vocal music. Besides performing frequently at the Metropolitan Opera for over 25 years, she is a favorite at Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Covent Garden, Paris Opera, La Scala, Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival. Among the mezzo’s many honors are Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year, a Grammy Award and an Opera News Award. Gramophone magazine has dubbed her “America’s favorite mezzo.”
Language spoken: English
Photo credit: ARR
Photo credit: ARR
Olga Bezsmertna completed her studies at the Kiev Academy of Music in Ukraine in 2010. She was among the finalists of the Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Vienna in 2010 and 2011. During her debut singing competition in Germany in 2008, she was awarded the first prize as well as the Public prize and the Puccini prize.
In 2007 she had an engagement at the Oper Oder-Spree Festival. In 2006, she received an award at the International Rimsky-Korsakow Singing Competition in St. Petersburg. Furthermore, the soprano received the first prize at the international singing competition of the Bertelsmann Trust.
Her repertoire includes, among others, Contessa d’Almaviva, Pamina, Donna Elvira, Fiordiligi, Micaëla, Marguerite, Nedda, Marfa (Die Zarenbraut) and Tatjana. She is an ensemble member of the Wiener Staatsoper, where she gave her debut in 2012 and sang among others: Dame (Cardillac), Pamina, 3. Norn, Rusalka, Rachel, Contessa d’Almaviva, Donna Elvira and Rosalinde. Current performances include her debut at the Deutschen Oper Berlin and at the Salzburger Festpiele.
Language spoken: German, English
Photo credit: Iryna Buchegger
The Mezzosoprano Stephanie Houtzeel received her “Master of Music” from the Juilliard School in New York and is a prize-winner of several competitions. She has been in leading roles in the Opéra National de Paris, the Zurich Opera, the Semperoper, the Washington Kennedy Centre, the New York City Opera, the Theater an der Wien, the Opéra de Lyon, the Opéra National du Rhin, the Royal Danish Opera, the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, the New Israeli Opera, the Graz Opera and at the Salzburg Festival. Since the 2010/2011 season, she is an ensemble member of the Wiener Staatsoper, where she has been seen singing the roles of Komponist, Octavian, Dorabella, Siébel, Varvara, Nicklausse, Kreusa, Miranda, Orlofsky and Jenny Hill. Aside from the big Strauss and Mozart roles of her vocal range, her repertoire includes among others, Charlotte in Massenet's Werther, Gluck’s Orfeo, Händel’s Ariodante, Ottavia or Marguerite in La Damnation de Faust. Future performances are leading the Mezzosoprano among others to the Komische Oper Berlin (leading role Xerxes), the Opéra de Bastille (Octavian), the Bayreuth Festival and the Concertgebouw Amsterdam (Walküre with Valery Gergiev). In 2016, her new CD Nostalgia will be released.
Language spoken: English
Photo credit: ARR
Mats Knutsson was born in Gothenburg, Sweden. He trained in piano and conducting in Vienna, and studied with Sergiu Celibidache in Munich for two years. He also studied lieder interpretation with Ernst Häfliger, Hugues Cuenod and Geoffrey Parsons among others. Mats has often played in master classes with singers such as Nicolai Gedda and Birgit Nilsson. Between 1992 and 2000 he was a vocal coach and teacher at opera schools in Gothenburg and Copenhagen. From 2000 to 2009 he was a répétiteur and vocal coach at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen. And since 2009 he has been a répétiteur at the Vienna State Opera where he also serves as deputy head of music. Mats has also been part of the music staff in summer festivals such as Bayreuth, Ruhr-Triennale and Salzburg. He often performs at concerts with singers throughout Scandinavia, Austria and Japan
Languages spoken: Swedish, English
Photo credit: ARR
Young German baritone Samuel Hasselhorn studied at the conservatories of Hannover and Paris, and now works with voice teacher Patricia McCaffrey in New York. Recent awards include 1st Prize at the 2018 Queen Elisabeth Competition and SWR Jungen Opernstars competitions, and the 2017 Das Lied: International Song Competition; previous awards include prizes from the Wigmore Hall Song Competition, Hugo Wolf Competition, Young Concert Artists Auditions New York, Nadia and Lili Boulanger Competition Paris, and Bundeswettbewerb Gesang Berlin. He has appeared at Ravinia Music Festival, Marlboro Festival, Carnegie Hall, Notre Dame de Paris, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Philharmonie Gasteig Munich, Schubertiade Vilabertran and with Malcolm Martineau at the Bath Music Festival. opera highlights include Kaiser Overall in Viktor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis and Masetto in Don Giovanni for the Opéra de Lyon. He also made his debut at Leipzig Opera. His first CD “Nachtblicke” with Lieder by Schubert, Pfitzner, and Reimann was released in 2014.
Languages spoken: English, German
Photo credit: ARR
Born in Vienna, tenor Norbert Ernst is in high worldwide demand for his interpretations of opera roles in the german repertoire, especially in Wagner and Strauss. With his succesful interpretation of Loge, he celebrated his 10 year anniversary as a soloist at the Bayreuth Festival. He advanced his Wagnerian repertoire the following september with a sovereign role debut as Erik at the Wiener Staatsoper. Norbert Ernst studied vocal Pedagogy and singing with Gerd Fussi in Wiener Neustadt, Lied and Oratorio with Robert Holl and Charles Spencer and also masterclasses with Walter Berry and Kurt Equiluz. His first engagements led him in 2002-2005 to the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, where he could work on the central roles of his area. Guest appearences followed at the big european opera houses like the Bayerischen Staatsoper, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Liceu, the Grand Théâtre de Geneve, the Berliner Staatsoper, the Paris Opera, the Opéra de Monte Carlo and the Nederlandse Opera. Since 2010, he is an ensemble member of the Wiener Staatsoper, where he has established himself in german repertoire. Norbert Ernst is a guest at important festivals like the Cincinnati Opera, Ohio, the Opera festival in Savonlinna and the Salzburg festival.
Languages spoken: German, English
Photo credit: Michael Poehn
Mariam Battistelli is an Italian soprano who was born in Ethiopia. She studied at the Lucio Campiani Conservatory in Mantua. In 2010 she appeared as Paggio in Rigoletto a Mantova with Plácido Domingo and Ruggero Raimondi, conducted by Zubin Mehta and directed by Marco Bellocchio. In 2014 she won third prize at the 2nd International Maria Callas Verona Competition and in 2015 she won third prize at the 4th International Franca Mattiucci Competition. From June 2013 until July 2016, Mariam Battistelli joined the Centre de Perfeccionament Plácido Domingo in Valencia. During this period she made her debut in different roles such as Il Musico in Manon Lescaut (Puccini), Statira in L’Incoronazione di Dario (Vivaldi) and Juditha in Juditha Triumphans (Vivaldi). She sung in the Belcanto concert conducted by Gregory Kunde. In 2017 she was Euridice in the world premiere of The Opera! at the Royal Opera House Muscat. She also won 1st prize at the 16th Ottavio Ziino International Singing Competition in Rome. Since 2018 Mariam Battistelli has been an ensemble member of the Wiener Staatsoper and made her debut as Pamina in The magic flute for children. Mariam Battistelli is a Novomatic scholar.
Languages spoken: English, Italian
Photo credit: ARR
Possibility of withdrawal in case of force majeure.
Pre/Post & Overlands
Before your cruise
After your cruise
** Prices per person, based on double occupancy