Ponant, a pioneer in destination immersion and discovery, and Smithsonian Journeys, the travel program of the Smithsonian Institution, are embarking on a new frontier together: a collection of unique travel experiences focused on culture, history, and the natural world that will launch in 2022. These curated, all-inclusive itineraries feature Smithsonian Journeys experts and included excursions that celebrate our instinct to explore. Guests can look forward to such events as exclusive hosted visits to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama City; a private, nighttime visit to Alhambra in Granada; watching beluga whales breech at a special Icelandic sanctuary; and marvelling at the rich inheritance left to us in the form of glaciers and ice floe in Antarctica and the Arctic.
Every journey will include services of a Ponant travel director and two Smithsonian Journeys Experts, guided excursions in every port, transfers between the airport and the ship, “a night at the Smithsonian” theme nights/dinners, trivia nights, signature cocktails, lapel pins, documentaries shown in the theatre and so much more….all this in addition to Ponant’s already all-inclusive luxury experience aboard yachts featuring refined design and carrying no more than 264 guests on board.
Nineteen departures in 2022 exploring Antarctica, Japan, Iceland, the Mediterranean, British Isles, Great Lakes, and Norwegian fjords just to name a few will provide guests with opportunities to engage with a variety of Smithsonian Journeys expert guides that have traversed the globe and are top experts in their fields, ranging from archaeologists and scientists to anthropologists and historians.
Some of the available 2022 Ponant & Smithsonian Journeys:
Highlights of this journey include outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides, hiking opportunities, visiting research stations and former whaling stations, viewing a multitude of drifting icebergs, ice floes, imposing glaciers and tall, snow-covered mountains, humpback whales, Gentoo penguins, Adelie penguins, chinstrap penguins, leopard seals, crabeater seals, Weddell seals, and numerous sea birds.
Highlights include the opportunity to swim and snorkel in beautiful Holandes Cayes, one of the magnificent islets of the San Blas Islands; daytime crossing of the Panama Canal, a true masterpiece of civil engineering; the UNESCO World Heritage Darién National Park and its magnificent rainforest; a visit to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama City; an exploration of the region’s rich and myriad tropical flora and fauna in Carara National Park and encounters with the local indigenous Kuna & Emberá communities.
Treasures of Japan by Sea
Highlights include visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites of Hiroshima Peace Memorial, Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution, Gyeongju historic areas, BulguksaTemple, and Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (as an optional pre-cruise program); visits to two remarkable, traditional Japanese gardens –Korakuen and Ritsurin; a remembrance of those who perished during the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945; an opportunity to make –and eat –traditional Japanese udon noodles, and a chance to sample sake in a traditional sake-making village.
Highlights include visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites of Oporto, Santiago de Compostela, Tower of Hercules and Mont-Saint-Michel; a chance to savour the famed wines of Porto; an exploration of the Christian pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela on Easter Sunday; a visit to the magnificent Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao; an opportunity for remembrance at the historic Omaha Beach and the World War II Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.
A cruise to discover the landscapes, architecture, and rich cultural history of Portugal and Spain, visits to the UNESCO World Heritage sites of the Alcázarin Seville (from Cádiz), the Alhambra in Granada (from Malaga), and La Lonjade la Seda in Valencia; an exclusive, night-time, private tour of the Alhambra in Granada; a discovery of the Balearic Islands with a stop in Palma de Mallorca, their capital.
Highlights include visiting the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Saint Petersburg and its many monuments, and the old town of Tallinn; discovering four European capitals on the same cruise - Stockholm (Sweden), Helsinki (Finland), Tallinn (Estonia) and Copenhagen (Denmark); a three day visit to the colourful and opulent city of Saint Petersburg, where the atmosphere is still rich with the splendour of the Tsars and the traces of the Russian Enlightenment.
Highlights include a visit to Reykjavik, capital of Iceland; Golden Circle excursion featuring the 3 most emblematic sites in Iceland; landscapes showcasing vast glaciers, breathtaking fjords, volcanic rock, basalt pillars, jagged cliffs and geysers; wildlife sighting of the Atlantic puffins, Northern gannets, Arctic terns, Minke whales, humpback whales, Icelandic horses; and a visit to the Beluga Whale Sanctuary on Heimaey.
Highlights include visits to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Bryggen, Heart of Neolithic Orkney; a sailing through the spectacular fjords of Norway, with two stops to visit a glacier and embark on a train journey on the famed Flåm Railway; a discovery of two archipelagos in the north of Scotland –Shetland and Orkney –to delve into the Neolithic and Viking history that abounds there; an opportunity to visit Eilean Donan castle on the Isle of Skye and to sail the waters of storied Loch Ness; a chance to tour a distillery and sample the region’s famous scotch whiskey.
Highlights include outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides & hiking opportunities; sailing in the Hinlopen Strait between Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet; beautiful landscapes showcasing ice floes, jagged mountains, icebergs, ice caps, steep-sided valleys, sheer cliffs, huge glaciers; discover Europe's largest ice cap in Nordaustlandet; view Arctic wildlife -polar bears, walruses, Arctic foxes, Svalbard reindeer, cetaceans and sea birds.
An exceptional itinerary to discover the Celtic lands of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, and Wales; visits to the UNESCO World Heritage sites enroute: Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast, Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd; an opportunity to visit Eilean Donan castle and the Isle of Skye; an overland exploration of the Hebrides, from the Isle of Mull to Iona; a visit to Dublin, a UNESCO Literature City, and a chance to view the Book of Kells; an optional pre-cruise program in Edinburgh.
A cruise between the Adriatic and the Ionian Seas, discovering four Mediterranean countries of Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, and Greece; visits to numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Venice and its lagoon (your embarkation port), the plain of Stari Grad on the island of Hvar, the old towns of Dubrovnik, Kotor and Corfu, the sanctuary of Delphi (from Itea), the Acropolis of Athens (your disembarkation port); breathtaking panoramas of the Croatian islands of Rovinj and Hvar; sailing in the Bay of Kotor; crossing the Corinth Canal which connects the Ionian Sea with the Aegean Sea.
A cruise in the Aegean Sea to discover the Greek Islands; visits to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Acropolis in Athens (embarkation port), Delos, the Monastery of Saint John and the Cave of the Apocalypse in Patmos.; discovering the pearls of the Cyclades: Amorgos, the Santorini Caldera, Folegandros, Delos, Mykonos and their ancient ruins, typical landscapes and beaches; an exceptional sailing in the Santorini caldera and many swimming opportunities.
Sailing in the heart of the Norwegian fjords; discovering extraordinary landscapes of steep cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and lush vegetation; visits to the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Bryggen, a former Hanseatic port of Bergen (your cruise embarkation port), and the deep blue Geirangerfjord, surrounded by majestic, snow-covered mountain peaks;a possibility of a walk at the foot of one of the most beautiful glaciers in Europe, the Briksdal Glacier; sailing in the Lysefjord, meaning the “fjord of light”, flanked by granite cliffs that are several hundred meters high; discovering colourful Norwegian villages, Hellesylt and Alesund, full of picturesque charm.
A cruise with the opportunity to explore the five Great Lakes of North America; sailing along the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Georgian Bay; an itinerary combining nature and culture: picturesque landscapes and geological curiosities, the history of indigenous Americans inhabiting the region before European colonisation, and the charming villages along the way; an excursion to Niagara Falls; a visit to charming Mackinac Island, with its preserved Victorian architecture and horse drawn carriages.
Book early to take advantage of savings up to 30% and when you reserve before June 30, 2021 your cruise is protected by Ponant's ultra-flexible booking conditions, available on all departures.