Discover a PONANT itinerary in the heart of the Mediterranean: join us aboard Le Bougainville for an unforgettable 8-day cruise between France, Italy and Malta. Succumb to the charms of the Mediterranean and its breathtaking islands.
Setting sail from Nice, your ship will make way to the island of Elba for a first stop in Portoferraio, a small corner of paradise on the island of Elba, where Napoleon spent many days in exile.
You will then sail towards the Isle of Beauty to Porto-Vecchio. Overlooked by its 16th-century Genovese citadel, this charming port in southern Corsica will enchant you with its rich history and the idyllic beaches that surround it.
Le Bougainville will then arrive in Cagliari, capital of Sardinia and one of the largest natural harbours in the Mediterranean; its historic centre is full of charm, with shaded stairs, small squares inundated with light and remains conjuring up its medieval grandeur.
Your exploration of the Mediterranean islands will continue as you discover magnificent Sicily. You will first make a stop in Palermo, its capital, you will be able to visit emblematic landmarks such as the 12th century cathedral and Teatro Massimo, one of the largest theatres in Europe.
After calling at beautiful Catania whose Late Baroque style monuments spread to the foot of Mount Etna, you will take the sea once again to discover Syracuse, one of the most prestigious Sicilian cities, whose monuments are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage.
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.
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*Price is per person, double occupancy, is based on availability, and subject to change at any time. The category of cabin to which this price applies may no longer be available.
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Prestige Deck 4
Prestige Deck 5
Prestige Deck 6
Prestige Deck 5 Suite
Prestige Deck 6 Suite
Privilege Suite Deck 5
Privilege Suite Deck 6
Important trip details
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 evolving COVID-19 health formalities are available in real time by clicking here.
Given the particularly changing international sanitary context, this itinerary as well as the land programmes and shore excursions may have to evolve according to port authorisations and governmental regulations in force at the time of your trip.
Therefore, for even greater peace of mind, we strongly recommend that you book your land programmes before and after your cruise with PONANT.
Health formalities related to COVID-19 will be confirmed to you before your departure.
In this exceptional context, your safety remains our first priority. The effectiveness of our procedures, our cutting-edge medical equipment and the smaller scale of our ships means we can offer maximum safety so that you can relax and enjoy your cruise. The revised passenger circuit and our enhanced hygiene measures can be found on this page: https://au.ponant.com/sail-with-confidence.
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.
Depending on the itinerary and the program of your cruise, 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.
Children aged 4 to 17 can take part in age-appropriate activities organised aboard the ship by the PONANT Kid’s Club activity leader: manual, physical or cultural activities, board games, DVD evenings.
These activities are held in the mornings, afternoons and evenings until 9.30 pm (10.30 pm on gala evenings). The times can fit in with your cruise schedule: please check with the activity leaders beforehand.
Each day, the Kid’s Club programme will be added to the standard daily programme to inform you of the details and times of activities planned for the young seafarers the next day!
The activities on offer will depend on the number children signed up, their respective ages, and the weather conditions.
During the landings with the kids aged 6 and over, the younger children will not be able to attend the Kid’s Club aboard the ship.
Parents or accompanying adults must read the “General information about the PONANT Kid’s Club” document and sign a permission slip authorising the child/children in their care to be looked after by the Kid’s Club on board and during outings.
24 August 2021 Nice
Embarkation 24/8/2021 from 15h30 to 16h30
Departure 24/8/2021 at 17h30
Capital of the Cote d’Azur, Nice is surrounded by an amphitheatre of hills and mountains that protects it from the wind. You will probably want to explore the Promenade des Anglais, where you can sit on one of the famous blue chairs laid out opposite the baie des Anges. The Château hill is also a very pleasent place to walk. This is the entrance to the old city, with its bustling markets and regional products along the main street, the Cours Saleya.
25 August 2021 Portoferraio, Elba
Arrival 25/8/2021 early morning
Departure 25/8/2021 late afternoon
In the elbow of a creek on the northern coastline of Elba Island, a small corner of paradise awaits in the form of Portoferraio. As you approach its coastlines, you will make out the powerful and majestic contours of its Medici fortresses. Napoleon Bonaparte spent many of his 300 days in exile here. The Palazzina dei Mulini, his first imperial residence, whose gardens offer outstanding views of the sea, is a must-see. Historical treasures are followed by another kind of treasure, namely white sand beaches, and equally tempting local specialities including gurguglione and rice with cuttlefish ink.
26 August 2021 Porto-Vecchio, Corsica
Arrival 26/8/2021 early morning
Departure 26/8/2021 early afternoon
Sitting in the curve of a very popular gulfin the south-west of Corsica, Porto Vecchio is a small city where the air is salty and infused with woody notes. The upper town stands within the walls of a 16th century Genoese citadel, a symbol of the resistance to the barbarian invasions and to malaria.
From marshland to salt pans, the city, which has been rebuilt many times, became the “city of salt”. Under the Mediterranean sun, the idyllic beaches nearby reveal their finery: Palombaggia, a glistening bay lined with immaculate white sand, or lagoon-coloured Santa Giulia, surrounded by pine trees. The magnificent Ospedale mountain offers breathtaking views of the bay and a refreshing pause.
27 August 2021 Cagliari, Sardinia
Arrival 27/8/2021 early morning
Departure 27/8/2021 early afternoon
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.
28 August 2021 Palermo, Sicily
Arrival 28/8/2021 early morning
Departure 28/8/2021 late afternoon
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.
29 August 2021 Catania, Sicily
Arrival 29/8/2021 early morning
Departure 29/8/2021 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 August 2021 Syracuse, Sicily
Arrival 30/8/2021 early morning
Departure 30/8/2021 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.
31 August 2021 Valletta
Arrival 31/8/2021 early morning
Disembarkation 31/8/2021 at 07h00
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.
From the pier, board your coach for the short drive to Bonifacio. Upon arrival, embark your local boat for a cruise along the coast of Bonifacio to enjoy a panoramic view of the citadel and upper town. The buildings atop the sheer limestone cliffs look as though they are about to topple into the sea.
You will start your exploration with the marine caves which are home to numerous birds including falcons, puffins and swifts. Exiting the harbour via the inlet, you will discover the ramparts which encircle the old city.
After passing the limestone cliffs, you will reach the Sdragonatu marine cave (dragon's cave). Its roof is pierced by a fissure in the shape of a map of Corsica.
Then, continue to the Lavezzi Islands, a marine wildlife and plants sanctuary which make up one of Corsica's two marine reserves. These uninhabited barren islands of granite rock lie seven miles south-east of Bonifacio, seemingly adrift on a turquoise-emerald sea, whose colour varies with the sky.
You will enjoy one hour of free time to swim, to relax on the beach or to walk around. This island houses also numerous paths to discover different islets and coves. The island is home to several rare species of wild flowers, including the yellow horned poppy and white sea daffodil, and was declared a nature reserve in 1982.
On the way back, you will pass Cavallo Island and Pointe de Sperone, before cruising along the calanques and cliffs to the Bonifacio marina. Here, re-board your coach for the drive back to Porto Vecchio.
Total : 120.00€
From the pier, board your coach for a short drive to the salt marshes. Porto-Vecchio, also named « city of salt », known twenty years of the great expansion of salt marshes between 1795 and 1815. The salines of Porto-Vecchio are the only ones existing in Corsica since that time. Prospering under the First Empire, the salt marshes produced up to 1,000 tonnes of salt per year, so 1/5 of the total consumption in Corsica. Salt marshes have not been in operation since the 2000s. Upon arrival, enjoy a guided tour to discover a little more about the history of Porto Vecchio and its salt trade. Then, continue to Domaine Torraccia. Christian Imbert planted, more than 40 years ago, on granitic arenite oriented towards the South East, 43 hectares of vines, exclusively on noble plants with the aim to create a vineyard producing only great quality wine. Far from the trend of the moment, he planted typical varieties of Corsica, and began the battle for the recognition of Corsica AOC. He also created the UVA Corse (in 1972), gathering the best wine bottlers. Discover the domaine with your guide and enjoy a wine tasting of Torraccia production. Finally, re-board your coach for the drive back to Porto Vecchio.
From the pier, board your coach for a short drive to the salt marshes.
Porto-Vecchio, also named « city of salt », known twenty years of the great expansion of salt marshes between 1795 and 1815. The salines of Porto-Vecchio are the only ones existing in Corsica since that time. Prospering under the First Empire, the salt marshes produced up to 1,000 tonnes of salt per year, so 1/5 of the total consumption in Corsica. Salt marshes have not been in operation since the 2000s. Upon arrival, enjoy a guided tour to discover a little more about the history of Porto Vecchio and its salt trade.
Then, continue to Domaine Torraccia. Christian Imbert planted, more than 40 years ago, on granitic arenite oriented towards the South East, 43 hectares of vines, exclusively on noble plants with the aim to create a vineyard producing only great quality wine. Far from the trend of the moment, he planted typical varieties of Corsica, and began the battle for the recognition of Corsica AOC. He also created the UVA Corse (in 1972), gathering the best wine bottlers. Discover the domaine with your guide and enjoy a wine tasting of Torraccia production.
Finally, re-board your coach for the drive back to Porto Vecchio.
Total : 90.00€
From the pier, board your coach and start a panoramic tour of Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia and the most important business city located on the south coast of the island, before reaching Nora.
The main gateway to Sardinia's beautiful coasts - the Costa Rei, Costa del Sud and Costa Smeralda, Cagliari boasts ornate Baroque architecture, a bustling shopping area and a mighty fort, the Bastione di San Remy, offering superb views from the battlements over the old town. Then, you will proceed to the panoramic point of Monte Urpino. From there, you will admire the beach of Poetto and Cagliari located on the opposite side.
Continue to the archaeological area of Nora, a one-hour drive. Nora lies on a promontory overlooked by a 16th century tower that stood against Saracen invaders.
You can admire the remains of the town; this was a commercial port founded by the Phoenicians with a double harbour, one side sheltered from the western wind and the other from the Mistral (northern wind). First a Carthaginian and then a Roman town, Nora declined and disappeared around the 3rd century apparently as the result of a disaster. Of the old town, you can still see remains of the Carthaginians warehouses, Roman buildings from the time of the Republic, a Carthaginian-Roman temple, large baths with splendid mosaics and a theatre, almost intact, dating back to the time of the Empire.
The system of water supply and drainage is particularly interesting, with large underwater pipes; the mosaics with very fine tesserae illustrate geometric and ornate designs. The sea around Nora still covers part of the town which sunk during an earthquake.
Finally, board your coach for the 45-minute drive to Cagliari.
Total : 55.00€
From the pier, you will board your coach and start your 1-hour and 15 minutes panoramic drive to Acireale.
You will drive along the Ionian Sea on the famous “Cyclops Riviera” with the “Faraglioni” rocks and pass by the village of Aci Castello with its Norman Castle of black lava, and the small fishing village of Aci Trezza.
After a brief photo stop, you will return towards Catania and enjoy a short sightseeing tour of the city centre: Piazza Verga, Via Etnea, Villa Bellini, Piazza Stesicoro.
Stop near the Cathedral square and start the walking tour of the city centre: Piazza del Duomo, the central square with the elephant’s fountain and the Cathedral (outside visit) originally built by the Normans with its finely made choir stalls.
Following your short walking tour, you will enjoy some free time to browse the shops at your leisure before re-boarding your coach for the return drive to the pier.
Total : 50.00€
From the pier, you will be transferred by coach to the ancient Greek town of Taormina, a 1-hour drive.
Called Tauromenium in ancient times, Taormina clings to the side of Mount Tauro and offers superb views, splashed with the vibrant colours of bougainvillea and oleanders, of the Mediterranean Sea, Isola Bella and a snow-capped Etna in the background.
A maze of narrow streets, stairs and tiny squares, Taormina has attracted many civilisations over the centuries. It is home to theatres and a gymnasium from the Greek period, an Odeon and baths from Roman times, buildings blending Arab and Norman cultures, traces of Byzantine, and villas belonging to European aristocracy in the 18th and 19th centuries.
You start your excursion with a visit on foot to the historic centre. You will cross the famous Corso Umberto to discover numerous monuments from several eras, and admire Porta Catania, the Cathedral, Piazza IX Aprile and Palazzo Corvaja.
You then arrive at Teatro Antico, a theatre built by the Greeks in the 3rd century BC, and almost completely rebuilt by the Romans who created a gladiatorial arena. The theatre is the second largest in Sicily after the one in Syracuse. Due to its size and acoustic quality the theatre is still used to host festivals and concerts. Seated on the stone terraces, the audience can enjoy the concert while admiring a breath-taking panoramic view of the sea, Mount Tauro and Etna.
Total : 65.00€
Depart the pier by coach and drive to the archaeological area, which you will reach after a short drive.
Visit the Roman Amphitheatre of Augustus, used for fights between gladiators and wild beasts, the Altar of Hieron, constructed in the 2nd century BC to celebrate the “Eleutherian Feast”, the Latomie of Paradise, huge caverns once used as prisons, the Ear of Dionysius, an enormous grotto with extraordinary echo and the Greek Theatre, one of the largest in the Hellenic World, constructed in the 5th century BC and successively enlarged.
Upon completion of the visit, re-board your coach for the short drive to Ortygia, which you will visit on foot. On Ortygia Island discover the Piazza Pancali (the ruins of the Temple of Apollo of the 6th century BC), Corso Matteotti, Archimede’s Place, Piazza Duomo. Visit the Cathedral in Baroque style, erected over the remains of the Doric Temple of Minerva: in the interiors, see the undamaged twelve Doric columns. Then visit the fountain of Arethusa, the nymph praised by Pindar and Virgilio in one of the most touching and fine myths. Several nobility palaces – majority of them originating in the 15th and 16th centuries – will be seen from outside during the walking tour.
Then, return to the port and your ship.
Total : 60.00€
Your guide will meet you on the pier and guide you on this walking tour.
On Ortygia Island discover the Piazza Pancali (the ruins of the Temple of Apollo of the 6th century BC), Corso Matteotti, Archimede’s Place, Piazza Duomo. Several nobility palaces – majority of them originating in the 15th and 16th centuries – will be seen from outside during the walking tour.
Visit the Cathedral in Baroque style, erected over the remains of the Doric Temple of Minerva: in the interiors, see the undamaged twelve Doric columns and one precious painting of Antonello da Messina. Then visit the fountain of Arethusa, the nymph praised by Pindar and Virgilio in one of the most touching and fine myths.
At the end of your tour, walk back to the port and your ship.
Total : 35.00€
Depart by coach from the port through the countryside, passing through villages and almond groves as you make your way to Noto, the second largest town in Syracuse province and the best example of Sicilian Baroque architecture on the island.
You will cross on foot the Public Gardens, where it is possible to admire the busts of the artists who contributed to Noto’s urban culture and style.
Besides the 18th century Cathedral, currently under restoration after damage suffered during 1990 earthquake, other impressive buildings are the Churches of St Domenico and of St Charles (del Colleggio), the “Ducezio” Palace and “Villadorata” Palace.
Noto has been declared a Heritage site by UNESCO, who also provides financial support for the reconstruction of monuments destroyed during 1990 earthquake.
Enjoy some free time to browse around before commencing the return drive to Syracuse.
Total : 50.00€
Welcome, little sailors! Thanks to the PONANT Kids Club, children aged 4 and up can enjoy activities designed and organised by a team of activity leaders on board, including craft, board games, DVD evenings, discovering the occupations on board, or supervised outings and shore excursions for those over the age of six. Savour the magic of your destination with total peace of mind thanks to a range of activities specially designed for your children and announced each day in the daily programme.
Aboard your ship, 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, the stories involving famous personalities and those of major historical significance. During on-board lectures or your shore visits, this expert will be there to share his precious knowledge with you throughout your PONANT cruise.