25% Ponant Bonus
In partnership with RADIO CLASSIQUE and with the exceptional presence of Alain Duault.
RADIO CLASSIQUE and PONANT invite you on their third lyrical festival at sea. Enjoy eight timeless days aboard L’Austral, between discoveries of Mediterranean wonders and intimate concerts on board the ship.
Malaga, a sun-kissed city on the Costa del Sol and the birthplace of famous painter Pablo Picasso, marks the start of your Mediterranean musical odyssey.
Andalusia soon makes way for Murcia. You will arrive in Cartagena, a former Roman colony where there is still a majestic amphitheatre. As you roam the city, you will discover the many monuments reflecting its numerous influences and rich history.
You will leave the Iberian Peninsula for the African shores of the Mediterranean. You will follow in the footsteps of the Andalusian sailors who, in 902, crossed the Mediterranean to found Oran. “The radiant”, as it is dubbed, will be your gateway to Algeria, its secrets and its elusive poetry.
Algiers shines in the distance. From its legendary bay, the houses of its Casbah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, seem to leap onto the Haussmann-style buildings of the sea front. The architectural styles mingle, the different eras find harmony, and the energy of the metropolis is captivating.
L’Austral resumes its journey to head for the Tunisian shores and capital, Tunis. Rome’s great rival, Ancient Carthage, is yours to discover as you visit its ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Sicily, jewel of the Mediterranean, is the last port of call of this musical journey. Trapani and its ancient past welcome you for a dive into the heritage of the Mediterranean’s largest island.
Your cruise will come to an end in Valletta, capital of the island of Malta and former stronghold of the Knights of the Order of Malta.
A musical cruise in partnership with RADIO CLASSIQUE, in the presence of Alain Duault and an exceptional musical line-up. A brand-new cruise in the Mediterranean, from Andalusia to the Maltese shores via the...
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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
Subject to withdrawal in case of force majeure
Important trip details
Boarding conditions and passenger travel abilities
We invite you to read our boarding conditions and passenger travel abilities by clicking here.
Any new reservation implies the acceptance of these conditions.
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.
Ideal clothes for life on board:
During the days spent on board, you are advised to wear comfortable clothes or casual outfits. The entire ship is air-conditioned, so a light sweater, a light jacket or a shawl may be necessary. When moving about in the public areas of the ship and the decks, light but comfortable shoes are recommended.
In the evening, you are advised to wear smart-casual attire, especially when dining in our restaurants where wearing shorts and tee-shirts is not allowed.
For all cruises longer than 8 nights, an Officer’s Evening with a white dress code may be organized. Therefore, we encourage you to bring a stylish white outfit for the occasion (otherwise black and white).
During the cruise, two gala evenings will be organised on board. Thus, we recommend that you bring one or two formal outfits.
A small shop is available on board offering a wide range of outfits, jewellery, leather goods and many accessories.
A laundry service (washing/ironing) is available on board, but unfortunately there are no dry cleaning services. For safety reasons, your cabin is not equipped with an iron.
OUTFITS ON BOARD:
In your hand luggage, remember to bring any medicines that you need, and possibly a small spare bag of toiletries (in case of delay in the delivery of your baggage by the airline). Remember to always have your travel documents with you in case you need them: hotel vouchers, cruise vouchers, return flight tickets... Never leave them in your hold luggage.
All our cabins have a safe. We recommend not to go ashore with valuable jewellery.
Every day RADIO CLASSIQUE attracts over a million listeners with a promise to celebrate the best works in the classical repertoire by top performers, and bring classical music into the hearts of the greatest number of people in a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. Radio Classique achieves this by employing well-known personalities with a passion for music, offering a varied play list from symphonies to film music, as well as interactive programmes and numerous live concert broadcasts.
It is these values which set Radio Classique apart, as an accessible, elegant radio station which is much appreciated by epicurean and discerning listeners ; values that are perfectly in tune with what PONANT’s musical cruises have to offer, under the artistic direction of Alain Duault. A truly unforgettable musical experience awaits passengers in the company of outstanding artists in an intimate and privileged setting.
Subject to withdrawal in case of force majeure
Embarkation 2/5/2024 From 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Departure 2/5/2024 at 6:00 pm
A historical and festive town, Malaga is located in Andalusia, on the Costa del Sol. Between the marina and the beaches, the seaside promenade of La Farola offers an ideal setting for strolling and relaxing. Set slightly further back, the Malagueta bullring is one of the emblematic sites of the city. From the hill overlooking the old town, one can see Gibralfaro castle and the Alcazaba, two fortified ensembles rising out from the cypresses and maritime pines. To visit Pablo Picasso’s birthplace, you will go first to the courtly plaza de la Merced. A few streets back from here, you can explore the museum dedicated to the artist, in the Buenavista palace.
Arrival 3/5/2024 midday
Departure 3/5/2024 early evening
Surrounded by hills, the natural site of the Bay of Carthagena presided over the fate of this former fortress which has been home to the greatest European civilisations. Today, these Phoenician, Roman, Carthaginian, Moorish and Christian influences form a rich architectural heritage. Its Roman theatre is one of the most significant and best conserved in Spain. You will also be able to cross the landscapes of vines and citrus groves stretching endlessly towards Murcia, to visit this dynamic regional capital.
Arrival 4/5/2024 early morning
Departure 4/5/2024 mid afternoon
While it is impossible to fully capture the energy that Oran exudes, the city was a source of inspiration for great novels such as Don Quixote by Cervantes, The Plague by Camus, and more recently What the Day Owes the Night by Yasmina Khadra. Andalusian sailors founded the city in 902 and it continued to develop until becoming Algeria’s second largest city today. Dubbed “the radiant”, the city reflects its multiple influences, a blend of Middle Eastern, African, Mediterranean, and of course French. As you stroll through its streets, you will discover the Fort of Santa Cruz, the Hassan Pasha Mosque, the Sacred Heart Cathedral, the Mediterranean garden, and the magnificent seafront. Not far from there, in Sidi Bel Abbes, you may have the opportunity to visit a modern “khaima”, a traditional tent used by the Bedouins in the desert, and to discover Oran’s traditions and customs.
Arrival 5/5/2024 early morning
Departure 5/5/2024 late afternoon
The beauty of the Bay of Algiers offers travellers arriving by sea an unforgettable view. The Casbah houses cascade down to the Haussmann-style buildings and the hustle and bustle of the Mediterranean city creates a unique atmosphere. Algiers the White proudly bears the traces of its history with its magnificent Casbah, listed as UNESCO World Heritage, its tropical garden called Jardin d’Essai, its Martyr’s Memorial, its imposing Basilica of Our Lady of Africa, and its lively city centre with its Grande Poste (main post office) and French quarter. Seventy kilometres (43 miles) away, you will have the possibility of visiting Tipaza, one of the most extraordinary archaeological complexes of the Maghreb, listed as World Heritage by UNESCO. Once a trading post of the Carthaginians and later the Romans, the ancient city is home to the Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania, a funerary monument providing precious evidence of what was once the Punic world.
During your journey 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 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, or 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.
Arrival 7/5/2024 early morning
Departure 7/5/2024 late afternoon
At the crossroads of civilisations, the capital of Tunisia is rich in cultural discoveries. The ruins of Ancient Carthage, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and particularly well preserved, testify to the splendour of this city that was once Rome’s great rival. The hill of Byrsa, the former fortified citadel of the Phoenician port and one of the presumed burial places of Saint Louis who died there during the Eighth Crusade, offers spectacular views over the Gulf of Tunis. In the Bardo National Museum, you will be able to admire one of the world’s finest Roman mosaic collections, including the magnificent portrait of the poet Virgil.
Arrival 8/5/2024 early morning
Departure 8/5/2024 early afternoon
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 civilisations that came here: San Lorenzo Cathedral, Maria Santissima Annunziata sanctuary, the fountain of Triton. On the shaded restaurant terraces, savour some fresh fish from the morning’s catch. Or else you can opt for a seafood couscous, a culinary legacy from their Arab neighbours.
Arrival 9/5/2024 early morning
Disembarkation 9/5/2024 at 8:00 am
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.
Set sail on a musical journey! If you have a passion for classical instrumental music or opera, if you love Celtic melodies or jazz, treat yourself to a different and exclusive experience aboard a PONANT ship. On board or ashore, our guests of honour, including renowned artists, talented musicians and brilliant virtuosos, share their knowledge and their passion in an intimate and accessible manner during concerts or talks.
Aboard your ship, an English-speaking lecturer will enlighten you about the culture and history of your destination to deepen your knowledge of the origins of local traditions, the history of emblematic sites, and stories involving famous personalities and those of major historical significance. During on-board lectures or on your shore visits, this expert will be there to share their precious knowledge with you throughout your PONANT cruise.