Cruise & Travel Lifestyles

Explore to Inspire with Ponant and Smithsonian Journeys

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Dive deeper into a destination with Ponant’s collection of Smithsonian Journeys, themed departures featuring enlightened talks by world class experts and immersive activities in each port of call, providing enrichment to every program and better understanding of places you visit. From the ice of Antarctica to the lagoons of the Pacific, from the Caribbean to Arabian shores, Ponant has been sailing all the seas of the world for over thirty five years, aboard ships that are designed to welcome aboard a limited number of guests (a maximum of 270). This philosophy, a far cry from the current industry trend towards gigantism, gives Ponant’s fleet of 12 ships a human dimension and an intimate country club style atmosphere on board. Furthermore, it allows them to access less-crowded ports of call and remote locations, and provides guests a genuine aura of exploration, together with Ponant’s attentive and personalized service on each specially curated voyage.

Established in 1988 by officers of the French Merchant Navy, Ponant created a new style of cruising through the unique conception of sea travel and a commitment to promoting sustainable tourism while sailing under the French flag. Together with Smithsonian Journeys, the travel program of the Smithsonian Institution which draws back on 175 years of Smithsonian resources, Ponant's Smithsonian Journeys embrace cultural immersion and discovery, with the goal of further inspiring guests to become global citizens through travel.

Smithsonian Journeys Experts, chosen for their expertise, charisma, and affability, accompany select Ponant departures, specially tailored for English-speaking travellers, and are the secret ingredient that can create unforgettable travel experiences no matter which destination you choose to cruise to. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and their experience brings depth, enrichment, and substance to the cruises they host. Let your next exploration begin with Ponant and Smithsonian Journeys.

Explore a small selection of Ponant’s 2024 Smithsonian Journeys with limited space still available.

Cultural and Natural Treasures of Japan (7-nights Maizuru to Hakodate aboard Le Soléal)
May 21 – May 28, 2024 

This voyage along Japan's northern coast offers a superb introduction to its traditions and customs through a wide variety of carefully curated shore excursions in each port of call—visit feudal castles, Buddhist temples, modern art, tea ceremonies, artisanal crafts, landscape gardens, and the wonders of nature.

Iceland Voyage: Land of Fire & Ice (7-nights Reykjavik Roundtrip aboard Le Bellot)
June 15 – June 22, 2024

On the edge of the Arctic, between vast glaciers, vertiginous fjords, volcanoes, and boiling geysers, Iceland offers a kaleidoscope of wild landscapes. Discover the most beautiful and rugged ones on the Icelandic west coast.

Cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage (8-nights Vancouver to Sitka aboard Le Soléal)
July 5 – July 13, 2024 

This voyage offers the very best of what Alaska's Inside Passage has to offer—myriad bays, coves, inlets and islands, teeming with whales, dolphins, bears, and sea birds. It also introduces you to the diverse cultural history of the area, from the Alaska Native Tsimshian and Tlingit tribes of Metlakatla and Kake, to the Scandinavian and Russian heritages of Petersburg and Sitka.

Cruising the Dalmatian Coast and the Ionian Sea (7-nights Venice to Athens aboard Le Bougainville)
July 16 – July 23, 2024 

The eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea – the Dalmatian Coast – is rich in the culture and art of ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque worlds and home to some of the most charming and welcoming towns and villages to be found anywhere.

A Voyage along the Great Lakes (7-nights Toronto to Milwaukee aboard Le Champlain)
August 28 – September 4, 2024 

Follow in the footsteps of the region’s indigenous Americans, first settlers, and trappers to discover the Great Lakes amidst the splendid colours of autumn. Sail the canal connecting lakes Ontario and Erie, discover the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Georgian Bay and enjoy Manitoulin, the world’s largest freshwater island. Transit the engineering marvel of the Soo Locks and foray into Lake Superior before continuing to Mackinac Island for an exploration of its Victorian past.

Ancient Wonders and Culinary Delights (7-nights Valletta to Livorno aboard Le Bougainville)
September 8 – September 15, 2024 

Visit some of the Mediterranean's most compelling ancient, medieval, and Renaissance sites while also enjoying extensive opportunities to sample the foods and wines that have made this part of the world famous for its cuisine.

Voyage Along the St. Lawrence (11-nights Toronto to Boston aboard Le Champlain)
October 18 – October 29, 2024  

Navigate the St. Lawrence Seaway, a network of lakes, canals and locks before visiting Montréal and Québec City and exploring the waterways of eastern Canada and northern New England, some of the loveliest in the world, where the rock-bound coast, soaring cliffs, and idyllic waterfront villages have drawn visitors for more than one hundred years.

Ponant / Smithsonian Journeys cruises include:
•    Two Smithsonian Journeys Experts to provide onboard and on land enrichment
•    Ponant travel director
•    Transfers between the airport and the ship on embarkation and disembarkation days
•    One included shore excursion or activity in each port of call
•    All meals aboard ship
•    Complimentary open bar including select wines served with lunch and dinner
•    Welcome and farewell cocktail receptions
•    Complimentary Wi-Fi aboard ship
•    Gratuities to shipboard personnel, porters, guides, and drivers
•    Port taxes and charges

Contact your travel professional for further details. Visit here for a complete list of Ponant’s 2024 & 2025 Smithsonian Journeys

Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.