Cruising the Arabian Coast – with Smithsonian Journeys

Cruising the Arabian Coast – with Smithsonian Journeys

From AUD $11,140


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 exploration of the southern Persian Gulf and the cities that dot its shores begins in Dubai, a small coastal hamlet fewer than 100 years ago that is now a world class center of commerce and finance. It is home to Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, as well as to fabulous spice and gold markets and the marvelous Dubai Museum.

Sail first to Doha. The pride of Qatar and the site of the 2022 World Cup, Doha is where you will find the shopping oasis of Souq Waqif – the heart of the city where literally everything is for sale – and the I. M. Pei-designed Museum of Islamic Arts, constructed on its own island and home to the largest collection of Islamic art in the world.

In Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, you may discover two stunning symbols of Arab and Islamic pride: the Louvre Abu Dhabi with a collection of art spanning millennia and originating from all corners of the globe; and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, arguably the pinnacle of modern Islamic architecture.

Your ship will then drop anchor in Khasab, Oman, a sleepy fishing village nestled among the fjords of the Musandam Peninsula, where you may explore these narrow inlets aboard local dhows, looking for the pods of dolphins that frequent these waters and admiring the majesty of the Hajar Mountains in the background.

Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, the final port of call before your voyage ends in Muscat, Oman, lies on the coast of the Gulf of Oman and serves as your gateway to the 16th-century Fujairah Fort and Museum and to Al Bidya Mosque, the second oldest mosque in the United Arab Emirates.

Trip Name
Cruising the Arabian Coast – with Smithsonian Journeys
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 - Days 1 - 2 DUBAI
Vertiginous, excessive, immoderate… Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, stands out for its architectural follies. Home to the world’s tallest skyscraper, the Burj Kahlifa, with a total height of 828 metres, almost three times that of the Eiffel Tower, the city is also famous for the gigantic scale of the Palm Islands, its artificial islands in the form of a palm tree. You can explore more traditional districts not far away, with visits of the souks of Deira or the Gold Souk. Or perhaps you would prefer to discover Dubai Museum: located in an 18th-century fort, it tells the city’s history from Antiquity to the present day.
Day 2 - Days 3 - 4 DOHA
On the banks of the Persian Gulf, discover Doha, the capital of Qatar. Rising out of the desert, the city has managed to maintain its traditions in spite of a frantic race for modernity. The cliff bordering Doha Bay has magnificent views over the city centre’s enormous constructions. The silhouette of the Museum of Islamic Art rises up near the quays, where the region’s typical sailboats, known as dhows, are docked. This “fortress”, designed by Ming Pei, the architect of the Louvre pyramid, is home to the finest collections of Islamic art in the world. Not far, the lively district of Souq Waqif and its colourful stalls are also an unmissable visit.
Day 3 - Day 5 ABU DHABI
The political capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi stands out thanks to its exceptional cultural offering. In the Saadiyat Island district, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by Jean Nouvel as a museum town inspired by traditional Arab architecture, creates a dialogue between objects and works from civilisations from all over the world around the great universal questions. A little further, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque boasts a sumptuous decor of marble, gold and glass. Abu Dhabi is also the gateway to the Al Ain oasis and its 150,000 date palms, a remarkable testimony to the settling of nomads in the region since Neolithic times, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 4 - Day 6 KHASAB
Located in the country’s north, on the Musandam Peninsula, Khasab is a city in the Sultanate of Oman. In the Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman, this small port built by the Portuguese in the 16th century and surrounded by a chain of rocky mountains was established at the mouth of Wadi Khasab. You will love its authentic scenery and particularly its fjords, which cut through the landscapes in a spectacular fashion and have earned it the moniker “Norway of Arabia”. In the city, Khasab Castle and its atypical architecture are well worth a visit to discover the history and culture of Oman.
Day 5 - Day 7 FUJAIRAH
The easternmost of the United Arab Emirates unfolds onto the Gulf of Oman. Unique to the region, the geography of Fujairah is composed of lush mountains and fertile plains, as well as the vast deserts that the Emirate shares with its neighbours. It is the majestic massif of the Al Hajar Mountains that brought rain to the territory, creating the oases that were vital to the development of agriculture. Fujairah also offers travellers the possibility of visiting its historic treasures such as its castle, an old fort dating back to the 16th century, or the Al Bidya Mosque, the oldest in the United Arab Emirates, which was built in 1446.
Day 6 - Day 8 MUSCAT
Unlike neighbouring metropolises, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman has chosen to ban towers and skyscrapers and to cultivate the peninsula’s traditional and refined architectural style: low houses, domes, moucharaby windows, and wooden balconies. This authenticity adds to the charm of this small former maritime city protected by mountains and the forts constructed by the Portuguese in the 16th century. There is no doubt that you will fall under the charm of the treasures of Omani craftsmanship: the souk in the old district of Mutrah is a perfect example of this, as is the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.
Day 7 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
16-01-202523-01-2025AUD $11,140Deluxe Stateroom
16-01-202523-01-2025AUD $12,320Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
16-01-202523-01-2025AUD $12,920Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
16-01-202523-01-2025AUD $13,640Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
16-01-202523-01-2025AUD $18,840Deluxe Suite
16-01-202523-01-2025AUD $25,350Prestige Suite Deck 5
16-01-202523-01-2025AUD $26,640Prestige Suite Deck 6
16-01-202523-01-2025AUD $27,940Privilege Suite
16-01-202523-01-2025AUD $30,680Grand Deluxe Suite
16-01-202523-01-2025AUD $32,210Owner'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.
    • An overnight in port in Dubai and Doha.
    • Experience the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building.
    • Visit I. M. Pei's Museum of Islamic Arts in Doha and the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
    • Explore the world-famous souks of Dubai and Doha.
    • Sail the fjords of the Musandam Peninsula.
    • Admire the iconic architecture of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.