Seasoned travelers regard France as a capital of culture, cuisine, and sophistication. For this reason, it makes perfect sense that Ponant—France’s lavish homegrown cruise line—brings its high points to the high seas, and on to important cultural hubs on every continent.
Two Ponant cruises scheduled for 2017 go beyond being tailormade for connoisseurs of architecture, art, wine, and cuisine. They epitomize Ponant’s extraordinary approach to the cruise experience. Itineraries on and off the ship are not so much planned as they are curated, with attention to detail concerning the immersive activities and service.
Vineyards and Grands Crus, scheduled for April 1524, 2017, aboard the Le Soléal, focuses on the wineries and vineyards, and their place in Northern European history. As Ponant worked in collaboration with French wine estate Château Latour, travelers will go beyond tasting the products of the legendary vineyards of Pauillac and Bordeaux. The stop in Pauillac includes an exclusive tour of Château Latour, one of the oldest vineyards of the Médoc region. The visit to Bordeaux offers a choice of destinations providing unique perspectives on France’s rich oenological traditions, from the recently opened “La Cité du Vin” to the medieval town of Saint-Emilion or the castle of Château Siaurac. The cruise as a whole is a feast for the senses, from the boarding at the Portuguese port of Leixoes in Lisbon to a stop in Porto (the “city of granite” known for its wine and UNESCO-designated historic town center), to the cruise’s conclusion in Portsmouth, England.
The art and architecture of Southern Europe’s reaches are celebrated aboard Le Lyrial, from June 2027, 2017. Mediterranean Masterpieces in the Adriatic is a journey through time that starts in Venice, Italy, concludes in Athens, Greece, and hits several less familiar European UNESCO World Heritage Site destinations just waiting to be explored. The first stop is Split, Croatia, described as “a living museum.” It is home to Diocletian’s Palace, where ancient Egypt, ancient Rome, and the Renaissance coexist in a magical fashion. Dubrovnik, referred to as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” is lined with palaces, elegant buildings, cloisters, and fountains. Kotor, a fortified town flanked by the ruins of impressive fortifications on nearby mountains, is another treat for history buffs. Parga, located on Greece’s west coast in a secluded bay opening onto the Ionian Sea, is known for its magnificent beaches and relaxed ambiance.
/ Le Soléal begins at $6,000 per person (double occupancy, not including air travel), while Le Lyrial begins at $4,650 per person (double occupancy, not including air travel). ponant.com