A new cruise offering from Smithsonian Journeys and PONANT 

Set sail from Malta to voyage all the way around Sicily, encountering captivating towns from Palermo to Taormina, simmering volcanoes, and important Greco-Roman archaeological sites from Agrigento to Syracuse.

Starting at: $5,610 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The Greek temple of Segesta  Valletta harbor, Malta  Harbor scene in Valletta, Malta  Temple of Concord, Valley of the Temples, Agrigento  View from Erice  Church in Erice  Church interior, Erice  Palermo's Cathedral  The World Heritage site of Stromboli, among the Aeolian Islands  The Greco-Roman Theater at Syracuse  View of the bay and Mt. Etna from Taormina  Belvedere of Taormina and San Giuseppe church on the square Piazza IX Aprile in Taormina  The Greek theater of Taormina with Mt. Etna in the background

A Circumnavigation of Sicily

Round-trip from Malta on the 184-guest Le Bougainville

8 days from $5,610

A new cruise offering from Smithsonian Journeys and PONANT 

Set sail from Malta to voyage all the way around Sicily, encountering captivating towns from Palermo to Taormina, simmering volcanoes, and important Greco-Roman archaeological sites from Agrigento to Syracuse.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Activity Level 3:  Moderate / Active

Ocean-going cruise that will involve embarkation and disembarkation at piers for shore excursions as well as boarding tenders and other landing craft for some activities. Days can be full, with activities starting as early as 8:00 am and lasting four or more hours. Many activities, such as walking tours, museum visits, and site visits, necessitate standing and walking for extended periods of time (two or more hours). Participants should be prepared to walk up to two miles per day, sometimes on uneven terrain, such as cobblestones in towns, ancient ruins, and unpaved trails; and to climb or descend stairs with or without handrails, as elevators will not always be available.   

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, lead active lives, are comfortable participating in long days of activities, and expect some physical exertion. 

Itinerary

Day 1 — Valletta, Malta

Arrive in Valletta, and enjoy a chance to see its baroque architecture on your own before boarding the ship. Settle into your cabin and find a spot on deck to photograph the golden-hued city as Le Bougainville cruises out of one of Europe’s loveliest harbors. (D)

Day 2 — Agrigento, Sicily, Italy

Your first stop in Sicily is Porto Empedocle on the southern coast. From here, travel inland to the World Heritage site of Agrigento, where seven ancient temples line a ridge in the Valley of the Temples. Step back into the 5th and 6th centuries B.C. as you tour the evocative site, which was once one of the most powerful cities in the Mediterranean. (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Segesta and Erice

Anchor in Trapani and continue to the ancient city of Segesta to see its magnificent Doric temple, standing alone amid grassy slopes. Then journey into the hills to the beautiful village of Erice. Meander its medieval streets, taking in views that can reach as far as the North African coast on a clear day. Visit some of Erice’s many churches and see its two iconic castles. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Palermo

Spend today in Palermo, a city that still bears the vestiges of its many rulers, including the Carthagians, the Romans, the Arabs, and the Normans. Discover its unique Arab-Norman architecture, built at the height of the city’s prosperity in the 12th century and recognized as a World Heritage site. Admire the mosaics in the Norman cathedral, and visit the Capella Palatina in the sumptuous Norman Palace. Travel into the orchard-covered hills to see the spectacular Norman cathedral of Monreale. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Aeolian Islands

Just north of Sicily lie the Aeolian Islands, a volcanic archipelago where evidence of human habitation goes back to the Neolithic era. Go ashore on the main island of Lipari, and visit the Aeolian Archaeological Museum to see artifacts from many centuries found on the archipelago. In the evening, glide by the island of Stromboli where glowing lava can often be seen sliding down the slopes of an active volcano. (B,L,D) 

Day 6 — Taormina, Sicily

Poised on the Ionian Sea against a backdrop of craggy headlands, beautiful Taormina has long drawn writers and philosophers to its piazzas and winding lanes. Discover the town on a guided walking tour and visit the Greek Theater, where live performances still take place today. Or travel to Mount Etna, another World Heritage site, and enjoy a tasting of local wines while enjoying views from its rugged slopes to the coast. (B,L,D) 

Day 7 — Syracuse and Ortigia, Sicily

Your final stop is Syracuse, an ancient city once so powerful it rivaled Athens and Rome. Follow in the steps of Aeschylus and Archimedes as you explore the archaeological park, which includes a Greek theater and one of the world’s largest Roman amphitheaters. See the Ear of Dionysius cave and stroll amid stunning architecture on the island of Ortigia. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Depart from Valletta, Malta

After breakfast, disembark in Valletta and transfer to airport for your onward flight. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)