Sicily and Crete – Mediterranean Jewels

Sicily and Crete – Mediterranean Jewels

From AUD $6,960

Description

From the island of Malta to Athens, PONANT invites you on an exceptional voyage with two ports of call in Sicily and four in Greece.

Le Ponant will leave Valletta, the capital of Malta and former stronghold of the Knights of the Order of Malta, for a 9-day brand-new cruise on seas that are brimming with history.

After calling at beautiful Catania whose Late Baroque style monuments spread to the foot of Mount Etna, we will set sail for Syracuse, one of the most prestigious Sicilian cities, whose monuments are listed as a Unesco World Heritage.

You will then leave the Sicilian coast to reach the town of Gytheio in Greece. From there, you will be able to visit the Byzantine town of Mystras, in the heart of a beautiful landscape.

Further south, it will be time to discover some Cretan wonders, notably with a stop in Chania, whose old town and Venetian harbour proudly bear the heritage of a past with multiple influences, and in Heraklion, not far from the sublime site of Knossos, home of the famous Minoan palace in which the Minotaur is said to have been born.

We will then head to the charming town of Nafplion, the departure point for visiting the famous Epidaurus Theatre and the Mycenae site, listed as World Heritage by UNESCO.

Trip Name
Sicily and Crete - Mediterranean Jewels
Days
9
Overview
Vessel Type: Motor Yacht Length: 88 metres Passenger Capacity: 64 Built: 1991 Experience the privilege of a relaxing cruise aboard Le Ponant, crafted to respect the tradition of famous sailing yachts. Following in the nautical tradition of three-masted sailing ships, Le Ponant will take you on a voyage of discovery.  The ship capacity is limited to 64 passengers, providing intimacy and convivial atmosphere to the cruise.  The refined life on board, the welcoming charm to your cabin, the lounges and the restaurants setting are as many invitations to relax. Under full sail, gliding over the sea with the wind, you will fall under Le Ponant's spell.

Itinerary



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. Among the city’s countless monuments, you can visit Saint-John’s cathedral, the Grandmasters palace decorated with coats of arms and frescoes, not to mention the ramparts which have guarded the city since the 16th century. Arranged in terraces, the Barrakka Gardens will punctuate your promenade with a green and floral experience.
Day 2 - Day 2 CATANIA, SICILY
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 …
Day 3 - Day 3 SYRACUSE, SICILY
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.
Day 4 - Day 4 AT SEA ABOARD LE PONANT
During your day at sea on board Le Ponant, make the most of your free time and the comfort of your ship for a moment of rest or conviviality. If the weather is right, let yourself be tempted by a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to do some shopping in the boutique and share the highlights of your cruise with the other passengers. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining relaxation, sharing and the pleasure of sailing on a yacht.
Day 5 - Day 5 GYTHIO
Located in the south of the Peloponnese, on the Mani Peninsula, Gytheio was the main port and naval base of ancient Sparta, located around fifty kilometres inland. In Roman times, the port experienced significant expansion thanks to trading in imperial dye; in fact, the region had an abundance of murex, the rock snails from which this dye, loved by the Romans, was extracted. The town is nestled against Mount Koumaros and dominated by a citadel. Take a stroll and fall under the charm of the calm that reigns over the stairways bordered by small neoclassic houses with steps overrun with wild flowers.
Day 6 - Day 6 CHANIA, CRETE
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Day 7 - Day 7 HERAKLION, CRETE
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Day 8 - Day 8 NAFPLION
The engaging town of Nafplion is staggered up green hillsides of the Argolic Gulf, to the east of the Peloponnese. Don’t be surprised by its extremely varied cultural heritage. For instance, you’ll see the ancient agora on the plateau of Akronafplia, Italianate arcades in Syntagma square as well as the baroque fortress of Palamidi on a hillside of the same name. At the top of the hill, views of the gulf and the surrounding mountains are simply awesome. If you want to chill out by the water’s edge, walk along the Arvanitia promenade to a beautiful creek in the shade of cedars and cypresses.
Day 9 - Day 9 ATHENS
The Greek capital city is located on the edge of the Saronic gulf, in the east of the country. It bears a plural name in reference to the first villages that surround the Acropolis. You will be enchanted by the rocky plateau presided by its monuments listed as UNESCO World Heritage. In the city below, you can visit some of the liveliest districts in Athens: Plaka, with its maze of colourful streets, and where, in the evenings the drifting aroma of moussaka and garlic prawns will tickle your taste buds. Don’t miss anything of the city’s cultural past. Pay a visit to the National Archaeological museum, or the Cycladic Art Museum.
Day 10 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
11-11-201919-11-2019AUD $6,960Marie Galante Cabin
11-11-201919-11-2019AUD $8,100Marie Galante Premium Cabin
11-11-201919-11-2019AUD $8,100Antigua Cabin

Inclusions

    • A cruise from Italy to Greece to discover exceptional archaeological sites and historic landmarks.
    • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the historic centre of Valletta (embarkation port), the fabulous ancient Arab-Norman and Baroque heritage of Catania, Syracuse, the Byzantine city of Mystras (from Gythio), the Mycenae ruins and the Epidaurus theatre (from Napflion), the Acropolis from the disembarkation port in Athens.
    • The visit of Syracuse, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    • Discovering the baroque architecture of Catania.
    • New stop in Chania to discover the Venetian harbour, the old town and monuments with a Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman influence.
    • Before your cruise, the possibility of discovering Valletta, capital of Malta.
    • Possibility to visit Athens after your cruise.

Map