Cruising Southern Italy and Sicily – with Smithsonian Journeys in Luxury

Cruising Southern Italy and Sicily – with Smithsonian Journeys in Luxury

From AUD $10,380


In alliance with Smithsonian Journeys.
This cruise is part of a collection of PONANT voyages that are specially-tailored for English-speaking travelers who want to engage with the world. In addition to the usual elements of the PONANT experience, the listed price for these voyages includes transfers to and from the ship, talks and discussions aboard ship by world class experts, and a shore excursion or activity in each port of call that encourages guests to embrace the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the local environment and culture.
This 9-day voyage in Sicily and Southern Italy aboard Le Dumont-d’Urville visits some of the Mediterranean’s most compelling ancient, medieval, and Renaissance sites while also offering extensive opportunities to sample the foods and wines that have made this part of the world famous for its cuisine. Because there is so much to see and do, the itinerary is designed to allow for maximum time ashore.
From Valletta, Malta, your experience of Sicily begins in Syracuse, where you may choose to focus on Ortygia, the ancient center of this once-powerful Greek colony, and on the city’s extensive archaeological park; enjoy a tasting at a nearby winery; or join excursions that combine exploration of historical sites with samplings of Sicilian arancini, cheeses, salamis, breads, and desserts.
The beautiful resort town of Taormina, perched high on a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea, is home to a stunning Greek theater, an Odeon from Roman times, buildings blending Arab and Norman cultures, and villas built by European aristocracy in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is also your gateway to Mt. Etna and the vineyards that thrive in the rich volcanic soils of its slopes.
Reggio di Calabria, just across the Strait of Messina from Sicily, is home to the National Archaeological Museum of Magna Graecia and the world famous Riace Bronzes. The surrounding area, both along the coast and in the interior mountains, boasts a number of intriguing castles and many wineries. During your time here, you may visit the hilltop Norman Castle in Vibo Valentia, the Ruffo Castle overlooking the Messina Strait, or the Aragonese Castle in the village of Pizzo, enjoying a variety of local food specialties whichever excursion you choose, including the native citrus bergamot and the ice cream and fruit delight called tartufo.
From the port of Agropoli, about 30 miles south of the Amalfi peninsula, travel to Paestum, founded by Greeks in the 6th century BC and one of Italy’s most important archaeological sites, containing Doric temples that are among the best-preserved ancient monuments in the Mediterranean. The region around Agropoli is famous for the production of Campania mozzarella, and you will have the opportunity to see it being made and to sample the end product.
No visit to Naples is complete without the opportunity to explore Pompeii, destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD and frozen in time. No other site so acutely captures everyday life in the early Roman Empire. Other excursions include Herculaneum, which shared Pompeii’s fate, and a working farm near Sorrento, where you can make your own version of what is perhaps the region’s most famous food, Neapolitan style pizza.
Spend a full day in the Eternal City of Rome, where exploration of monuments like the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Vatican, and Villa Borghese competes for your attention with tastings of street food and making Rome’s version of pizza.
Your final full day of discovery from Livorno includes a full day excursion to Florence for an introduction to the heart of the Italian Renaissance. Or if you prefer, you may explore the Etruscan ruins and museum at nearby Volterra. Alternatively, spend the day exploring Romanesque Lucca, birthplace of Giacomo Puccini, and medieval Pisa, with its magnificent Duomo, Baptistry, and Leaning Tower.

Trip Name
Cruising Southern Italy and Sicily – with Smithsonian Journeys in Luxury
Vessel Type: Luxury Passenger Capacity: 92 cabins Built: 2017/2018 Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed cabins, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 cabins and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience. As the first ship in a new series that remains true to the Ponant spirit, Le Bougainville will embody the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort. Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service. Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel. RESTAURANTS As it is an essential part of French culture, gastronomy will naturally have pride of place aboard this new ship. Through its two restaurants, Le Bougainville will invite you on a journey to elegance and epicureanism. In a relaxed atmosphere, a first dining area located on Deck 3 and able to seat 70 will serve grilled meats daily, along with a variety of salads and desserts. To the back of Deck 4, you will find a 260 m² panoramic restaurant which can accommodate all of our passengers in a single sitting. Designed differently to that on our other ships, this dining area, which opens onto the outside, will have a buffet of salads, desserts and cheeses at your disposal. Our discreet and attentive crew will provide table service for hot meals. PUBLIC AREAS Like Le Boréal and its sisterships, Le Bougainville has many common areas that are designed and equipped to meet all of your needs while preserving the intimacy of each passenger. A 140 m² reception area includes: A reception/concierge desk, An excursions desk, The ship’s administrative services, The sales office, manned by our Guest Relations Officer, Our 50 m² boutique which sells clothing, jewellery, beauty products, postcards and various accessories, Toilets accessible to passengers with reduced mobility. A new hydraulic platform with adjustable height provides: Easier boarding than on any other cruise ship, Easier Zodiac embarkation and disembarkation for expeditions, Easier access to the sea for swimming and practising various water sports such as kayaking or paddle-boarding. A pool deck offering: A pool with a panoramic view, equipped with a counter-current swimming system, A pleasant solarium, An outdoor bar and lounge with armchairs and sofas. A 200 m² main lounge which can accommodate all of our passengers to share convivial moments and to host activities organised during the day or evening. Lastly, a theatre that seats 188, equipped with: The latest sound and lighting technology, A LED wall as the stage backdrop, for the projection of high-resolution images and videos.


Day 1 - Day 1 VALLETTA
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.
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.
Located on Sicily’s eastern coast, in the province of Messina, the seaside town of Taormina is Sicily’s Saint-Tropez, boasting heritage sites, secluded beaches and luxury shopping. You can visit its medieval centre, suspended 300 metres above sea level, where terraces offer a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea. Another vestige from its past are the ruins of the Greco-Roman theatre. This extremely well-preserved site attracts visitors who are fascinated by the natural beauty of the area which overlooks a turquoise bay.
At the southern tip of the Italian boot, Reggio de Calabre guards the eastern shore of the Strait of Messina. From the lungomare, the sea front promenade, there are magnificent views over Sicily, a little over 3 km away, and Etna. Rebuilt after the 1908 earthquake, Reggio is set out in a grid pattern and has Art Nouveau and Belle Époque architecture that add to its charm. And the fragrance of bergamot, the citrus fruit that dominates the region’s confectionery and perfumery. A visit to the National Archaeological Museum is a must. It is one of the most important in Italy and among its collections are the famous Riace Bronzes, the stunning Greek statues dating from the 5th century BC that were found off the coast in 1972.
Day 5 - Day 5 AGROPOLI
Located on the Cilento Coast along the Tyrrhenian Sea, Agropoli is an Italian town located in the province of Salerno in Campania. You will be seduced by the beauty of its coastline, its pristine nature and its fascinating history dating back to Antiquity. The Apennines (from the Celtic word “pen” meaning rocky summit) form the backbone of the Italian Peninsula and serve as a majestic background to a landscape composed of small bays and coves. Listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, the magnificent beaches of Trentova Bay contribute to making this small town a very popular seaside resort.
Day 6 - Day 6 NAPLES
More Italian than Italy itself, Naples is the capital of the beautiful region of Campania, and is an unusual city to say the least. Its gulf, dominated by Vesuvius, is one of the world’s marvels. Built by the Greeks and then occupied by the Romans, the city has retained the memory of antiquity, as Castell dell’Ovo illustrates. But Naples has another side to it with its hustle and bustle, narrow streets, clothes hung out to dry at windows, Caravaggio paintings on the walls of a church, and incessant rumour in an sleepless city. This is a head-spinning city to visit and savour: don’t forget to eat a slice of pizza Margherita.
Built on an Etruscan site, between the Tyrrhenian sea and the Monti della Tolfa, Civitavecchia respires the dolce vita. This very modern and easy going town combines art and history with panache. You can also visit superb historical sites like Fort Michelangelo or the Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi. Just 80 kilometres from Rome, the town is a beautiful first step to the Italian capital.
Day 8 - Days 8 - 9 LIVORNO
On the ligurian coast, Livorno invites us to Tuscany, a charming region offering archaeological vestiges, Renaissance treasures, undulating landscapes and a pleasant way of life. When the Medicis arrived in the 16th century they developed the city, which became one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean. Cosmopolitan and multireligious, Livorno has welcomed many immigrants and is a wonderful example of cultural diversity. Built during that period, Fortezza Vecchia and Fortezza Nuova attest to the city’s power. At the foot of the new fort, Nuova Venezzia is an enchanting district with small canals and streets to stroll along to discover a few architectural treasures, such as the magnificent Santa Caterina da Siena church in the Tuscan baroque style.
Day 9 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
08-09-202415-09-2024AUD $10,380Deluxe Stateroom
08-09-202415-09-2024AUD $11,370Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
08-09-202415-09-2024AUD $11,860Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
08-09-202415-09-2024AUD $12,460Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
08-09-202415-09-2024AUD $16,810Deluxe Suite
08-09-202415-09-2024AUD $22,250Prestige Suite Deck 5
08-09-202415-09-2024AUD $23,340Prestige Suite Deck 6
08-09-202415-09-2024AUD $24,420Privilege Suite
08-09-202415-09-2024AUD $26,700Grand Deluxe Suite
08-09-202415-09-2024AUD $27,990Owner's Suite
27-08-202504-09-2025AUD $13,380Deluxe Stateroom
27-08-202504-09-2025AUD $14,880Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
27-08-202504-09-2025AUD $15,630Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
27-08-202504-09-2025AUD $16,540Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
27-08-202504-09-2025AUD $23,200Deluxe Suite
27-08-202504-09-2025AUD $31,520Prestige Suite Deck 5
27-08-202504-09-2025AUD $33,170Prestige Suite Deck 6
27-08-202504-09-2025AUD $34,830Privilege Suite
27-08-202504-09-2025AUD $38,320Grand Deluxe Suite
27-08-202504-09-2025AUD $40,290Owner's Suite


    • A voyage specially-tailored for English-speaking travelers including discussions with experts, transfers before and after your cruise, and an included excursion in each port of call.
    • Engaging discussions onboard with two Smithsonian Journeys Experts.
    • Discover monuments from the Roman Empire in Syracuse, Taormina, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Rome.
    • Explore well-preserved Greek sites in Syracuse, Taormina, and Paestum.
    • Visit vineyards and sample the wines of Syracuse, Taormina, Reggio di Calabria, and Naples.
    • Experience the variety of foods in the diet of this region on the Mediterranean, including the arancini, salami, and cheeses of Sicily; the desserts of Calabria; the mozzarella of Campania; and the pizzas of Naples and Rome.