An experience that combines some of the loveliest destinations in the Mediterranean with a series of private recitals by classical musicians: that is what we offer on this voyage from Athens to Rome. From Classical Greece to Imperial Rome, we have the opportunity to discover important sites everywhere along our way – sacred Patmos, where John the Evangelist recorded his visions of the apocalypse; the Apollo’s Oracle at Delphi, where men came to learn their fate; Olympia’s Sanctuary of Zeus, home to the Panhellenic Games; the Greek theater in Taormina overlooking Mount Etna; Pompeii, the Roman resort and spa both destroyed and preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D.
To witness these iconic sites is in itself an extraordinary experience. To do so in the company of world-class performing artists is an irresistible proposition. The artists—violinist Kristin Lee, cellist Nicholas Canellakis, pianist Michael Brown, and flutist Jasmine Choi—were personally invited by the artistic director of this special voyage, Michael Parloff, who chose these four not just for their superb talent, but also for their affable personalities.
QUINTESSENTIAL MUSIC THEME
A combination of extraordinary sightseeing with private recitals by classical musicians: that is what we offer on this Quintessential Music Themed voyage. A signature of these voyages is that the artists do not simply perform and then retreat to their staterooms; they participate fully in excursions and in life aboard ship. Travelers can expect to share their company over drinks or dinner and in informal conversation. The intimacy of concerts aboard ship and ashore—designed especially for this voyage—and the quality of the performing artists provide a truly unparalleled experience.
Enjoy a series of exclusively-designed, private concerts aboard ship by a collection of world-class chamber musicians.
Explore Athens’ Acropolis during a pre-cruise sightseeing tour.
A private concert in the Duomo, Cathedral of Taormina, featuring our accompanying musicians.
Optional excursions to iconic sites in the Mediterranean including: The Monastery of St. John on Patmos; The Oracle of Apollo at Delphi; The Greek Temple at Taormina; Olympia; and Pompeii.
Thursday, September 19
You will be met at the airport and transferred to your 5-star hotel (Grand Bretagne, Royal Olympic, or similar) located in central Athens.
The afternoon is free to rest or to explore Athens on your own. In the evening, gather with fellow travelers for a Welcome Cocktail Reception, where Michael Parloff, our musicians, and your Tour Manager will introduce the program ahead.
Friday, September 20
Begins with included breakfast at the hotel. After check out, join an excursion to the Acropolis, where we explore the stunning architectural marvel of the Parthenon, built in the 5th-century b.c. as a temple to the city’s protector, the goddess Athena. Tour the Acropolis Museum, an award winning collection of artifacts from excavations of the Acropolis, housed in a modern state-of-the-art building specially designed for the purpose. In the afternoon, transfer to the pier in Piraeus to embark Le Bougainville.
Wednesday, September 25
Our call in Taormina begins with a tour of the Greek theatre – offering dramatic views of Mt. Etna and of the Bay of Naxos – and time to amble among Taormina’s quaint streets and gardens. The highlight of our visit, however, will be a private concert at Taormina’s medieval Cathedral, featuring a selection of Sicilianos from composers including Bach and Fauré.
You will be staying in one of Athens’ centrally located, premiere hotels – Grand Bretagne, King George, Royal Olympic, or similar.
All accommodations, meals, and excursion described above
Transfers and luggage handling from the Athens airport to the hotel and from hotel to the ship
Gratuities to guides and drivers on included excursions
Comprehensive 7-night cruise aboard the deluxe Le Bougainville with all the amenities for which Ponant ships are famous.
Transfer from the ship to airport in Rome at the end of the cruise.
Meals and beverages other than those specified above
Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, Internet, etc.)