25% Ponant Bonus
Set sail to discover the cultural and artistic jewels of the Ionian and Adriatic Seas with PONANT. During this 9-day cruise, L’Austral will take you to Greece, Montenegro, Croatia and Italy.
Your ship will leave Valletta, the capital of Malta and former stronghold of the Knights of the Order of Malta and set sail towards Sicily. Then, you will set sail for Syracuse, one of the most prestigious Sicilian cities, whose monuments are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage.
Next, you will visit the stunning Puglia region in Italy when the ship calls at Otranto. Do not miss a visit to Lecce: Its lavish baroque monuments have earned it the nickname “Florence of the South of Italy”.
Your ship will then set sail towards Montenegro, for an unforgettable cruise in the Bay of Kotor. This impressive gap between two mountain ranges is home to a veritable inland lake with a magical atmosphere; the medieval city of Kotor and its many historical monuments are its jewels.
You will then head to the aptly named “Pearl of the Adriatic”, Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Surrounded by medieval ramparts, its terracotta-tiled roofs, its palaces, cloisters and fountains are bound to impress you and will plunge you into the heart of Croatian history.
You will first stop in Hvar, the most famous and attractive of the Adriatic islands. Ringed by ramparts, the town has many remarkable monuments including its elegant cathedral, old arsenal and aristocratic palaces.
The Slovenian shores await you in Piran, a medieval town extending out into the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic. Its architecture, influenced by five centuries under the rule of the Republic of Venice, affords it a singular charm.
As a grand finale, your voyage will draw an end in Venice the Serenissima and its lagoon. Piazza San Marco, the Doge’s Palace, the Grand Canal and the palaces along the canals will be your last stops on an unforgettable cruise.
An amazing cruise through the cultural treasures of four countries: Malta, Montenegro, Croatia and Italy. UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the historic centre of Valletta (embarkation port), the old towns of...
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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.
Embarkation 29/5/2024 From 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Departure 29/5/2024 at 10:30 pm
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.
Arrival 30/5/2024 early morning
Departure 30/5/2024 late afternoon
Its undulating rocky coastline, the endless sandy beaches, the menacing form of Mount Etna which surveys its island like a patriarch, the flowery gardens on the hillside... Sicily lays out its varied landscapes like a shopkeeper displays his wares. Described by Cicero as “the most beautiful city in the world”, Syracuse was one of the most prestigious cities in Sicily and at her height was even a rival for Athens. A central city of Ancient Greece, it was home to a succession of civilisations, each of which has left their mark. The blend of Arabic, Roman, Norman, Byzantine and Spanish cultures makes Syracuse a town that is extraordinarily rich in fragrances, colours and flavours.
Arrival 31/5/2024 midday
Departure 31/5/2024 early evening
Located in the Apulia region, Otrante is the easternmost transalpine town. Behind its medieval ramparts, you will taste the sweetlife of Salento, the “heel on Italy’s boot”. Inhabited since Antiquity, Otrante has today become a very pleasant seaside town. Yet its history is still visible as you meander through the little streets of its old centre. With its magnificent 12th century ornamental mosaic tiling, the Cathedral is one of its most beautiful treasures. During a stroll along the ramparts, you can sit and relax at a café terrace.
Arrival 1/6/2024 early morning
Departure 1/6/2024 early afternoon
Situated in one of Montenegro’s most beautiful bays, the medieval city of Kotor is a small town full of charm, truly imbued with the traditions and stories of another time. Built between the 12th and 14th centuries, this village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has preserved many historical monuments from this epoch. During your stop, be sure to admire the impressive castle that dominates the town, and let yourself fall under the charm of its maze of small streets and intimate squares on which folk festivals featuring magnificent colourful costumes are often organised.
Arrival 1/6/2024 evening
Departure 2/6/2024 early evening
Emblem of the Dalmatian coast, Dubrovnik is magnificently positioned on a rocky spur. History is sovereign here, in this ancient city, now a listed UNESCO World Heritage site. You will perhaps be surprised by the proportions of La Placa, the central drag through the city. The sheer width of it can be explained by the fact that it straddles a former lagoon. The elegant houses along La Placa are built in the legendary travertine stone. At Pile gate, you will be greeted by the statue of the patron saint of Dubrovnik, and you can admire the coastline as you walk along the ramparts. But what’s inside Fort Saint John, adjoining the outer walls? A maritime museum and an aquarium featuring rare fish from the Adriatic.
Arrival 3/6/2024 early morning
Departure 3/6/2024 midday
Off the coast of Split, Hvar will surprise you by its traditions that have not changed since Antiquity. The country’s oldest town, Stari Grad, is here on this Dalmatian Island. The town nestles by a cove on the north-west coast, surrounded by dry stone wall structures on the Stari Grad plains. These have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site because they were built in the time of the Ancient Greeks. From these parcels of land come wines and olive oil manufactured manually. In the upper part of town, it is possible to discover hams and cheeses made by local producers.
Arrival 4/6/2024 early morning
Departure 4/6/2024 midday
On the Slovenian coast, the picturesque town of Piran stands on a tongue of land bathed by the Adriatic. Its old town, girded by fortifications, provides a medieval atmosphere embossed with Venetian nuances. From Tartini square, you can explore a whole interweave of mysterious streets located on the hillside, leading you to Saint George’s church, built on a hillock overlooking the shoreline. After admiring the view, don’t miss a good look at the nave, and its rich decorations of frescoes and panelling. You will also see that the tower built behind the church reproduces the famous bell-tower of Saint Mark’s square. During your peregrinations, make sure you try a borek, a sort of pasty which can be sweet or savoury, filled with meat or fruit.
Arrival 4/6/2024 early evening
Disembarkation 6/6/2024 at 8:00 am
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.
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.