A new cruise offering from Smithsonian Journeys and PONANT
Set sail on the Aegean Sea, exploring important World Heritage sites from Patmos to Delos and visiting gem-like isles in three different island groups: the Dodecanese, the Cyclades, and the Saronics.  

Starting at: $4,520 Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Village atop the cliffs of Santorini  The Acropolis of Athens  The Parthenon, on the Acropolis   The caryatids on the Temple of Erechtheion on the Acropolis   Ancient lion statue on Delos  The lions of Delos  The port area on Mykonos  Traditional houses on Mykonos  Santorini, Greece.  Credit: Zachary Duffy  The view from the cliff-top on Santorini  View from the village of Fira on Santorini.  Credit: KJ DiLuigi

Cruising the Greek Islands of the Southern Aegean

Round-trip from Athens Aboard the 184-guest Le Jacques Cartier or Le Bougainville

8 days from $4,520

A new cruise offering from Smithsonian Journeys and PONANT
Set sail on the Aegean Sea, exploring important World Heritage sites from Patmos to Delos and visiting gem-like isles in three different island groups: the Dodecanese, the Cyclades, and the Saronics.  

or Call 855-330-1542

Activity Level

Activity Level 3:  Moderate / Active


Ocean-going cruise that may pull into a pier for embarkation and shore excursions and may use tenders at some ports. Excursions will be at a moderately active pace during the morning or afternoon. Some days will require early morning departures (8:00 or 8:30 a.m.). Daily activities of two to three hours each day. Most touring is done on foot and include standing and walking for periods of time (up to two or three hours) during outdoor activities and tours, city tours, and museum visits. Walking two to three miles will be over sometimes difficult terrain, such as cobblestones in towns, steps at monasteries, and some archaeological sites.   

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

Ship

Le Bougainville

Launched in 2019, Le Bougainville is among a new fleet of luxury expedition ships launched by PONANT, along with sister ship Le Dumont d'Urville. These ships combine revolutionary design and a new standard of luxury.

Spacious, Ocean-view Suites and Staterooms
Each of the 92 elegant suites and staterooms features a private balcony, while Grand Deluxe Suites have a bay window and spacious private terrace. The deluxe, air-conditioned staterooms and suites (up to 484 square feet) have two twin beds that convert to one queen-size bed. Each cabin has a private bathroom with shower (bathtub in a limited number of staterooms) and the luxurious amenities of a fine hotel, including individual climate control, satellite flat-screen television, wireless Internet access, safe, minibar, full-length closet, writing desk/dressing table, and plush robes.

Chic and Casual Dining
International and regional cuisine is served in the stylish, spacious indoor-outdoor restaurant in a single, unassigned seating; at the casual pool deck grill; or from 24-hour room service. Continental and buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea, and a four-course dinner are served daily. Wine is served at your table during lunch and dinner and complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are included throughout the cruise.

Spacious Public Areas, Intimate Atmosphere, and World-Class Service
The warm and inviting public areas accommodate all passengers comfortably. Enjoy sweeping views from the Observation Lounge and Main Lounge, both of which open to the outdoors, and lectures, cultural performances, or film screenings in the state-of-the-art theater. For your convenience, Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship.

The ship also features the first luxury underwater observatory, the Blue Eye, a multisensory underwater observation lounge that incorporates decor and technology to immerse you in the beauty of the ocean's ecosystem. Here, you can observe fascinating marine life through the large subaquatic windows while digital screens and the specially designed global listening system relay the sights and sounds beneath the ocean surface. 

Other amenities aboard ship are a Sun Deck, swimming pool, beauty salon, spa and sauna, fitness room, and two elevators. In addition, there is a three-level marina platform with complimentary kayaking and snorkeling equipment, as well as 10 easily accessible Zodiacs. 

The highly trained, English-speaking international crew are personable and attentive, and the ship has an infirmary staffed with a doctor and nurse.

Respect for the Environment
The newest additions to a fleet that has been awarded the prestigious "Clean Ship" designation, a rarity among ocean-cruising vessels, these expedition ships are designed with energy efficient, advanced eco-friendly features that protect fragile marine ecosystems while providing a safe and comfortable voyage. 

Le Jacques Cartier

Le Jacques Cartier, launched in 2020 by PONANT, ushers in a new generation of five-star small ships, combining revolutionary design and a new standard of luxury for unparalleled cruising. Dock in smaller ports inaccessible to larger ships and where authentic cultural experiences and majestic scenery await you.

Respect for the Environment

The newest addition to the Ponant “clean ship” fleet, a prestigious certification among ocean‑cruising vessels, Le Jacques Cartier is energy efficient and eco‑friendly, protecting fragile marine ecosystems while providing a safe and comfortable voyage.

Chic and Casual Dining

Dine indoors or alfresco on international and regional cuisine served in the stylish, spacious indoor‑outdoor restaurant, at the casual pool deck grill or from 24‑hour room service. Daily meals include continental and buffet breakfasts, buffet lunch, afternoon tea, and four‑course dinner.

92 Elegant Suites and Staterooms, 100% with Private Balconies

Each five‑star stateroom and suite (up to 484 square feet) features a private balcony. Grand Deluxe Suites have a bay window and spacious private terrace. Accommodations offer two twin beds or one queen bed, private bathroom with shower, individual climate control, and luxurious hotel amenities.

Life on Board

Enjoy sweeping views from the lounges, which open to the outdoors, and lectures, cultural performances, or film screenings in the state‑of‑the‑art theater. Relax in the spa and sauna or the Sun Deck’s infinity‑style swimming pool. There is a beauty salon, fitness room, and three elevators. Complimentary Wi‑Fi is available throughout the ship.

World-Class Service

The highly trained, English‑speaking crew are personable and attentive, and the ship has a medical center staffed with a doctor and nurse.

Le Bougainville

Launched in 2019, Le Bougainville is among a new fleet of luxury expedition ships launched by PONANT, along with sister ship Le Dumont d'Urville. These ships combine revolutionary design and a new standard of luxury.

Spacious, Ocean-view Suites and Staterooms
Each of the 92 elegant suites and staterooms features a private balcony, while Grand Deluxe Suites have a bay window and spacious private terrace. The deluxe, air-conditioned staterooms and suites (up to 484 square feet) have two twin beds that convert to one queen-size bed. Each cabin has a private bathroom with shower (bathtub in a limited number of staterooms) and the luxurious amenities of a fine hotel, including individual climate control, satellite flat-screen television, wireless Internet access, safe, minibar, full-length closet, writing desk/dressing table, and plush robes.

Chic and Casual Dining
International and regional cuisine is served in the stylish, spacious indoor-outdoor restaurant in a single, unassigned seating; at the casual pool deck grill; or from 24-hour room service. Continental and buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea, and a four-course dinner are served daily. Wine is served at your table during lunch and dinner and complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are included throughout the cruise.

Spacious Public Areas, Intimate Atmosphere, and World-Class Service
The warm and inviting public areas accommodate all passengers comfortably. Enjoy sweeping views from the Observation Lounge and Main Lounge, both of which open to the outdoors, and lectures, cultural performances, or film screenings in the state-of-the-art theater. For your convenience, Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship.

The ship also features the first luxury underwater observatory, the Blue Eye, a multisensory underwater observation lounge that incorporates decor and technology to immerse you in the beauty of the ocean's ecosystem. Here, you can observe fascinating marine life through the large subaquatic windows while digital screens and the specially designed global listening system relay the sights and sounds beneath the ocean surface. 

Other amenities aboard ship are a Sun Deck, swimming pool, beauty salon, spa and sauna, fitness room, and two elevators. In addition, there is a three-level marina platform with complimentary kayaking and snorkeling equipment, as well as 10 easily accessible Zodiacs. 

The highly trained, English-speaking international crew are personable and attentive, and the ship has an infirmary staffed with a doctor and nurse.

Respect for the Environment
The newest additions to a fleet that has been awarded the prestigious "Clean Ship" designation, a rarity among ocean-cruising vessels, these expedition ships are designed with energy efficient, advanced eco-friendly features that protect fragile marine ecosystems while providing a safe and comfortable voyage. 

Le Jacques Cartier

Le Jacques Cartier, launched in 2020 by PONANT, ushers in a new generation of five-star small ships, combining revolutionary design and a new standard of luxury for unparalleled cruising. Dock in smaller ports inaccessible to larger ships and where authentic cultural experiences and majestic scenery await you.

Respect for the Environment

The newest addition to the Ponant “clean ship” fleet, a prestigious certification among ocean‑cruising vessels, Le Jacques Cartier is energy efficient and eco‑friendly, protecting fragile marine ecosystems while providing a safe and comfortable voyage.

Chic and Casual Dining

Dine indoors or alfresco on international and regional cuisine served in the stylish, spacious indoor‑outdoor restaurant, at the casual pool deck grill or from 24‑hour room service. Daily meals include continental and buffet breakfasts, buffet lunch, afternoon tea, and four‑course dinner.

92 Elegant Suites and Staterooms, 100% with Private Balconies

Each five‑star stateroom and suite (up to 484 square feet) features a private balcony. Grand Deluxe Suites have a bay window and spacious private terrace. Accommodations offer two twin beds or one queen bed, private bathroom with shower, individual climate control, and luxurious hotel amenities.

Life on Board

Enjoy sweeping views from the lounges, which open to the outdoors, and lectures, cultural performances, or film screenings in the state‑of‑the‑art theater. Relax in the spa and sauna or the Sun Deck’s infinity‑style swimming pool. There is a beauty salon, fitness room, and three elevators. Complimentary Wi‑Fi is available throughout the ship.

World-Class Service

The highly trained, English‑speaking crew are personable and attentive, and the ship has a medical center staffed with a doctor and nurse.

Reading List

Highly Recommended

Ancient Greece: Art, Architecture, and History (Getty Trust Publications: J. Paul Getty Museum)
By: Belozerskaya, Marina, Lapatin, Kenneth
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter (The Hinges of History)
By: Cahill, Thomas
DK Eyewitness The Greek Islands (Travel Guide)
By: DK Eyewitness
The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece
By: Morkot, Robert

Also Recommended

Lonely Planet Greek Phrasebook & Dictionary
By: Lonely Planet, Spilias, Thanasis
The Ancient Mediterranean
By: Grant, Michael
National Geographic The Greeks: An Illustrated History
By: Cline, Diane Harris
The World of Odysseus (New York Review Books Classics)
By: Finley, M. I.
Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation
By: Beaton, Roderick
Aegean Art and Architecture (Oxford History of Art)
By: Preziosi, Donald, Hitchcock, Louise A.
Dinner with Persephone: Travels in Greece
By: Storace, Patricia
No-Man's Lands: One Man's Odyssey Through The Odyssey
By: Huler, Scott
Reflections on a Marine Venus: A Companion to the Landscape of Rhodes
By: Durrell, Lawrence
Orexi!: Feasting at the modern Greek table
By: Michaels, Theo A.
The King Must Die: A Novel
By: Renault, Mary
Complete Mediterranean Wildlife: Photoguide
By: Sterry, Paul
The Parthenon
By: Mary Beard
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Laminated)