PONANT, the leader in luxury expeditions will continue the Quintessential Collection sailings in 2020, featuring a series of new themed cruises featuring notable onboard speakers and tailored shore excursions that embrace local cultures and dive deeper into the history of the destinations.
An Immersion in Japanese Culture, May 30-June 7, 2020, Le Soléal
Explore the juxtaposition between the fast-forward modernity of Japan with its cherished offerings and traditions. Highlights of the itinerary include an exclusive, private meeting with the Abbot of Kofukuji Temple in Nagasaki, the oldest temple in the city and the birthplace of the Obaku school of Zen Buddhism, and a cooking class on how to cut and plate the deadly puffer fish. Three noted experts will join the cruise to add depth and insight to exploration both in port and on-board the ship: Timon Screech, Professor of the History of Art at the School of Oriental & African Studies at the University of London; Holly H. Shimizu, Former Executive Director of the U.S. Botanic Garden; and Osama Shimizu, an expert in both historic and contemporary Japanese gardens.
World Affairs in the Baltic Sea, August 5-13, 2020, Le Dumont-d’UrvilleEmbark on a new sailing hosted by the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Admiral James Stavridis, the former ambassador to Russia and current President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace William Burns, and American foreign affairs analyst and journalist Robin Wright. The cruise will begin in Stockholm and end in Copenhagen, visiting the cities that edge the Baltic Sea including two days with hosted accommodations in St. Petersburg, Russia. Passengers will discover the comingling of cosmopolitan life with centuries of rich history dating back to the Vikings. Ports of call include Helsinki, internationally recognized for its striking modern architecture, and Tallinn, Estonia, one of the best-preserved medieval towns in all of Europe. The ship will also stop in Szczecin, a city in Poland nearly destroyed during World War II that has since been completely rebuilt.
Celebrate Beethoven’s 250th Birthday in Northern Europe, September 8-17, 2020, Le Dumont-d’Urville
Celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday and the rich cultural heritage of northern Europe aboard Le Dumont-d’Urville. Days at sea will be filled with music by world-class chamber musicians performing an all-Beethoven repertoire curated by Michael Parloff, former Principal Flutist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for over 30 years. There will be an exciting onboard concert during the transit of the Kiel Canal and a private performance in the historic 17th-century Westerkerk in Amsterdam. Along the way, passengers will also have access to some of the best museums in the world, including the acclaimed Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, featuring works by Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso.
Epicurean Delights of Southern Italy & Sicily, October 18-25, 2020, Le Jacques CartierSail through Italy with two noted food and wine experts, Eric Asimov, chief wine critic at The New York Times and Arthur Schwartz, author of Naples at Table: Cooking in Campania, largely considered the definitive book on Naples’ cuisine. Guests will immerse themselves in the bounty of Sicily and Southern Italy’s regional cuisines and the role food and wine plays in relation to physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Some of the delights will include the pastas of Syracuse and the wines of Mt. Etna, the artisanal meats and cheese of Calabria, mozzarella from Agropoli and pizza from Naples.
Celebrate American Composers with Keith Lockhart, Conductor of the Boston Pops, October 19-27, 2020, Le Champlain
Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart will host the sailing along the waterways of eastern Canada and northern New England. A series of performances will take place onboard the ship, as well as in a private concert in Quebec’s Chapelle du Musée de l’Amérique française, the oldest museum in Canada. Passengers will also have the opportunity to mingle with the musicians during evening events on the ship and during excursions to the 18th century Fortress of Louisberg and to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Lunenburg in Nova Scotia.
Created 30 years ago by a dozen officers from the French Merchant Navy, PONANT has made the bold move of proposing a new style of cruising, under the French flag, through a unique conception of sea travel. Accessing exceptional territories aboard yachts combining refined design with an intimate atmosphere, on which the art of living, discretion, attentive service and excellent cuisine take pride of place: such is the promise of a unique and authentic PONANT voyage.
Not only does PONANT take its profession and its commitment to promoting sustainable tourism seriously, it also wanted to further its efforts by creating, in 2018, a Foundation whose goal is to preserve the oceans and the polar regions and to encourage exchanges between peoples.
For more information on PONANT’s worldwide itineraries to the Arctic, Antarctica as well as in the Atlantic and North Europe, Asia, Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, Eastern Asia, Oceania, Central and South America.
Ultimate luxury experience will end on 2020-10-19