Sicilian Food and Wine Experience

9 days / 8 nights
    Quintessential Collection
    Special package
    Sicilian Food and Wine Experience
    Quintessential Collection included cruise package

    Cruise The Mediterranean

    from 28 June 2019 to 6 July 2019
    9 days / 8 nights

    Departure Port : Valletta
    Arrival Port : Valletta

    Ship : LE BOUGAINVILLE

    • Ref : VV7745 - G280619

    Expressly for Americans.  

    In partnership with Wine Spectator magazine.

    On this circumnavigation of Sicily, we will see the temples of the ancient Greeks at Agrigento, Segesta, Taormina and Syracuse. We will discover Sicily’s inviting medieval towns, including Erice, Monreale and Palermo. And we begin and end in Malta, itself another crossroads of cultures, where we will encounter the prehistoric temples of Gozo as well as the great monuments of Valletta. But our real focus will be culinary – an extensive survey of foods and wines. We will have many chances to sample Sicily’s eclectic cuisine, with Greek, Spanish, French, and Arabic influences, as we enjoy the arancini of Agrigento, discover the famous street food of Palermo, and experience the pasta and sardines and eggplant of the eastern region. Taking advantage of rich volcanic soil, white wines are produced virtually everywhere on Sicily, while the best reds come from the hill towns above Syracuse.  We will have the opportunity to taste many of them.  Along our way, lectures and discussions with chefs and historians will look beyond food as sustenance to explore its economic, social and cultural import, exploring how the cultivation, preparation, and consumption of food is at the center of so much human activity and how the experience of dining – food, drink, and dialogue – shapes our sense of self and of community.

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    Highlights

    Ponant Quintessential Food and Wine Theme voyages blend the expertise of chefs with lectures and discussions with experts on the social and cultural aspects of cuisine. We combine sampling of local foods and wines with an appreciation of the importance of food and drink beyond mere sustenance, exploring how the cultivation, preparation, and consumption of food is at the center of so much human activity and how the experience of dining – food, drink, and dialogue – shapes our sense of self and of community.

     

    Highlights of this voyage:

    • Series of lectures and discussions with experts on food and wine, including Mary Taylor Simeti

    • In partnership with Wine Spectator magazine, an onboard Wine School with Marco Scapagnini, local wine ambassador and educator teaching about local vintages

    • Included pre-cruise in Valletta to explore the Palace of the Grand Masters and the Co-Cathedral of St. John.

    • An exclusive “farmers’ market” of local produce, arranged by Mary Simeti

    • Optional excursions to iconic archaeological sites

    • Optional excursions to agriturismo sites and wineries

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    • program-7414723
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    • program-7414725

    Staterooms & Suites

    • Deluxe Stateroom
      $10,575
      $6,200
      Not Available
    • Prestige Deck 4
      $11,775
      $6,850
      Not Available
    • Prestige Deck 5
      $12,335
      $7,150
      Not Available
    • Prestige Deck 6
      $12,905
      $7,460
      Not Available
    • Deluxe Suite Deck 5
      $17,825
      $10,120
      Not Available
    • Deluxe Suite Deck 3
      $17,825
      $10,120
      Not Available
    • Deluxe Suite Deck 4
      $17,825
      $10,120
      Not Available
    • Deluxe Suite Deck 6
      $17,825
      $10,120
      Not Available
    • Prestige Deck 5 Suite
      $24,045
      $13,480
      Not Available
    • Prestige Deck 6 Suite
      $25,205
      $14,110
      Not Available
    • Privilege Suite Deck 6
      $26,445
      $14,780
      Not Available
    • Privilege Suite Deck 5
      $26,445
      $14,780
      Not Available
    • Grand Deluxe Suite Deck 6
      $29,015
      $16,170
      Not Available
    • Grand Deluxe Suite Deck 5
      $29,015
      $16,170
      Not Available
    • Owner's Suite
      $32,795
      $16,940
      Not Available
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    There are no staterooms available for booking. Please contact our cruise advisors.

    LE BOUGAINVILLE

    • LE BOUGAINVILLE
    • LE BOUGAINVILLE
    • LE BOUGAINVILLE
    • LE BOUGAINVILLE
    • LE BOUGAINVILLE
    • LE BOUGAINVILLE
    • LE BOUGAINVILLE
    • LE BOUGAINVILLE
    • LE BOUGAINVILLE
    • LE BOUGAINVILLE
    • LE BOUGAINVILLE
    • LE BOUGAINVILLE

    LE BOUGAINVILLE

    Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed staterooms, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience.

    As the third ship in a new series that remains true to the Ponant spirit, Le Bougainville will embody the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort.

    Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service.

    Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel.

    Port of call & excursions

    28 June 2019 – Porto Empedocle, Sicily

    Valletta

    Embarkation 28/06/2019 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 28/06/2019 at 20H00 .

    The whole of the Maltese capital Valletta is UNESCO World Heritage listed and occupies a peninsula in the north-east of the island. From the fountain of Tritons to Saint-Elme fort, there are as many majestic streets as there are narrow staircase vennels to explore. The painted loggia and carved corbels on the tall houses will accompany you in your explorations, and you’ll rarely be bothered by traffic. Among the city’s countless monuments, you can visit Saint-John’s cathedral, the Grandmasters palace decorated with coats of arms and frescoes, not to mention the ramparts which have guarded the city since the 16th century. Arranged in terraces, the Barrakka Gardens will punctuate your promenade with a green and floral experience.

    29 June 2019 – Porto Empedocle, Sicily

    29 June 2019 – Porto Empedocle, Sicily

    Arrival 29/06/2019 midday. Departure 29/06/2019 late afternoon.

    Huddled on the south-western coast of Sicily, Porto Empedocles bears the name of the philosopher Empedocles, who lived in the region in the 5th century BC. An age-old city offered up to sun and sea, this is your doorway to the exceptional archaeological site of Temple Valley, a high place of Greek civilisation listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. You can admire the remains of many temples dedicated to Zeus, his wife Hera and Hephaestus. Make sure you take in the magnificent Italian countryside, with its olive orchards that cover the hillsides.

    30 June 2019 – Trapani, Sicily

    30 June 2019 – Trapani, Sicily

    Arrival 30/06/2019 early morning. Departure 30/06/2019 evening.

    Bathed in the cobalt waters of the Tyrrhenian sea, Trapani is the former port of the Greek city of Erice, boasting a privileged natural position in western Sicily. As you wander through its little streets, you will discover a secular cultural heritage, bearing witness to the many influences of civilisations that came here: San Lorenzo Cathedral, Maria Santissima Annunziata sanctuary, the fountain of Triton. On the shaded restaurant terraces, savour some fresh fish from the morning’s catch. Or else you can opt for a seafood couscous, a culinary legacy from their Arab neighbours.

    1 July 2019 – Palermo, Sicily

    1 July 2019 – Palermo, Sicily

    Arrival 01/07/2019 early morning. Departure 01/07/2019.

    Palermo is the guardian of the Sicilian soul. Many have been attracted to this city, the largest capital of the Italian islands. Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans... Palermo is a rich culmination of so many cultural influences as seen in the Moorish designs on the cathedral, and the Byzantine mosaics of the Palatine chapel, which is itself housed within the precincts of the Norman palace. You will fall under the spell of the palaces, baroque splendours that grace the town with their obsolete beauty. It is thrilling to stumble upon one of those fabulous markets, high in colour, and headily picturesque.

    2 July 2019 – Palermo, Sicily

    2 July 2019 – Palermo, Sicily

    Arrival 02/07/2019. Departure 02/07/2019 late afternoon.

    Palermo is the guardian of the Sicilian soul. Many have been attracted to this city, the largest capital of the Italian islands. Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans... Palermo is a rich culmination of so many cultural influences as seen in the Moorish designs on the cathedral, and the Byzantine mosaics of the Palatine chapel, which is itself housed within the precincts of the Norman palace. You will fall under the spell of the palaces, baroque splendours that grace the town with their obsolete beauty. It is thrilling to stumble upon one of those fabulous markets, high in colour, and headily picturesque.

    3 July 2019 – Taormina, Sicily

    3 July 2019 – Taormina, Sicily

    Arrival 03/07/2019 early morning. Departure 03/07/2019 early evening.

    Located on Sicily’s eastern coast, in the province of Messina, the seaside town of Taormina is Sicily’s Saint-Tropez, boasting heritage sites, secluded beaches and luxury shopping. You can visit its medieval centre, suspended 300 metres above sea level, where terraces offer a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea. Another vestige from its past are the ruins of the Greco-Roman theatre. This extremely well-preserved site attracts visitors who are fascinated by the natural beauty of the area which overlooks a turquoise bay.

    4 July 2019 – Syracuse, Sicily

    4 July 2019 – Syracuse, Sicily

    Arrival 04/07/2019 early morning. Departure 04/07/2019 early evening.

    Its undulating rocky coastline, the endless sandy beaches, the menacing form of Mount Etna which surveys its island like a patriarch, the flowery gardens on the hillside... Sicily lays out its varied landscapes like a shopkeeper displays his wares. Described by Cicero as “the most beautiful city in the world”, Syracuse was one of the most prestigious cities in Sicily and at her height was even a rival for Athens. A central city of Ancient Greece, it was home to a succession of civilisations, each of which has left their mark. The blend of Arabic, Roman, Norman, Byzantine and Spanish cultures makes Syracuse a town that is extraordinarily rich in fragrances, colours and flavours.

    5 July 2019 – Mgarr, Gozo Island

    5 July 2019 – Mgarr, Gozo Island

    Arrival 05/07/2019 early morning. Departure 05/07/2019 midday.

    Located to the north of Malta, a lot less urbanised than its larger sibling and protected from mass tourism, the small island of Gozo has managed to remain natural and authentic. Lush hills and valleys alternate with a mosaic of cultivated fields. The buildings, some of which are medieval, are built from honey-coloured limestone and blend in perfectly with the surrounding scenery. Gozo also boasts a unique historic site that is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the megalithic temples of Ggantija near the town of Xaghra. An archaeological museum adjoining the site presents a number of objects that were found there. Red-sand beaches and a crystal-clear sea add to the calm and serenity of Gozo.

    5 July 2019 – Valletta

    5 July 2019 – Valletta

    Arrival 05/07/2019 early afternoon. Departure 05/07/2019.

    The whole of the Maltese capital Valletta is UNESCO World Heritage listed and occupies a peninsula in the north-east of the island. From the fountain of Tritons to Saint-Elme fort, there are as many majestic streets as there are narrow staircase vennels to explore. The painted loggia and carved corbels on the tall houses will accompany you in your explorations, and you’ll rarely be bothered by traffic. Among the city’s countless monuments, you can visit Saint-John’s cathedral, the Grandmasters palace decorated with coats of arms and frescoes, not to mention the ramparts which have guarded the city since the 16th century. Arranged in terraces, the Barrakka Gardens will punctuate your promenade with a green and floral experience.

    6 July 2019▸5 July 2019 – Valletta

    Valletta

    Disembarkation 06/07/2019 at 00H00 .

    The whole of the Maltese capital Valletta is UNESCO World Heritage listed and occupies a peninsula in the north-east of the island. From the fountain of Tritons to Saint-Elme fort, there are as many majestic streets as there are narrow staircase vennels to explore. The painted loggia and carved corbels on the tall houses will accompany you in your explorations, and you’ll rarely be bothered by traffic. Among the city’s countless monuments, you can visit Saint-John’s cathedral, the Grandmasters palace decorated with coats of arms and frescoes, not to mention the ramparts which have guarded the city since the 16th century. Arranged in terraces, the Barrakka Gardens will punctuate your promenade with a green and floral experience.

    Formalities

    • The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.

    • Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, PONANT will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.

    • Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.

    In partnership with Wine Spectator magazine

    In partnership with Wine Spectator magazine

    PONANT has teamed up with Wine Spectator magazine to feature an exclusive Wine School & Food Pairing experience aboard Le Bougainville, expressly for this cruise. Leveraging Wine Spectator’s expertise and methodology, this unique wine tasting experience will allow guests to delve deeply into the local wines of Sicily. Le Bougainville’s Chef will create a menu of individual dishes with which guests will sample two wines—carefully chosen by Wine Spectator—all under the guidance of local wine ambassador and educator Marco Scapagnini. Guests will vote on their favorite wine pairing after Mr. Scapagnini’s presentation. Participants in this special event will also receive two months complimentary access to Wine Spectator’s online Wine School.

    Theme

    QUINTESSENTIAL COLLECTION

    QUINTESSENTIAL COLLECTION

    PONANT Quintessential Collection™ voyages are designed for travelers who want to engage with the world in order to understand it. In addition to the usual elements of the PONANT experience, these voyages include a pre- or post-cruise stay with excursions relevant to the theme, lectures and performances aboard ship by world class experts and musicians, and one or two exceptional activities ashore that encourage guests to embrace the sights and sounds, tastes and smells of the local culture.

    Quintessential Collection included cruise package

    Your Quintessential Food and Wine Theme

    Thursday, June 27, you will be met at the airport and transferred to the Grand Hotel Excelsior, or similar, a premier destination among 5-star Valletta hotels, ideally located on the doorstep of a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the City of Valletta, with all its major attractions, culture, art treasures, and historical architectural gems.

    The afternoon is free to rest and enjoy the amenities of the hotel or to explore Valletta on your own. In the evening, gather with fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception at the hotel, where Mary Taylor Simeti and our Tour Manager will introduce you to the program ahead.

    Friday, June 28, begins with included breakfast at the hotel. After check out from the hotel, a walking tour explores the Palace of the Grand Masters and the Co-Cathedral of St. John, home to Caravaggio’s masterful The Beheading of St John the Baptist and St Jerome Writing. Embark Le Bougainville in the late afternoon.

    Tuesday, July 2. Enjoy a “farmers’ market” arranged for our travelers by Mary Taylor Simeti. The market will feature cheeses, meats, breads, oils and wines produced on Simeti’s own ranch and on the farms of her friends and neighbors. This event, specially designed and arranged exclusively for us, will be held in the award-winning International Marionette Museum.

    Your Hotel:
    Grand Hotel Excelsior, or similar, a premier destination among 5-star Valletta hotels, ideally located on the doorstep of a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the City of Valletta, with all its major attractions, culture, art treasures, and historical architectural gems

    Included features:
    • All accommodations, meals, and excursions as described above
    • Transfers and luggage handling from the Malta airport to the hotel and from hotel to the ship
    • Gratuities to guides and drivers on included excursions
    • Participation in the Wine Spectator Online Wine School™ tasting event aboard
    • Comprehensive 8-night cruise aboard the deluxe Le Bougainville, with all the amenities for which Ponant ships are famous.
    • Transfer from the ship to airport in Malta at the end of the cruise.

    Not included:
    • Meals and beverages other than those specified above
    • Optional excursions
    • Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, Internet, etc.)

    Notes:
    • This voyage is offered on a space available basis.
    • Program is subject to change without notice.

    Guest(s) Lecturer(s)

    Mary Taylor Simeti

    Mary Taylor Simeti

    Mary Taylor Simeti was born and brought up in New York City. In 1962, she went to Sicily to work as a volunteer in a community development center run by the writer and social reformer, Danilo Dolci. What was intended to be a one- or two-year interlude turned out to be a life: in 1964 she married Antonio Simeti, an agricultural economist who until his retirement taught at the University of Palermo. They have two children and four grandchildren.
    Simeti and her husband now help their daughter to run the family farm, where they produce organic wine, olive oil and produce. She is the author of On Persephone's, Island: A Sicilian Journal (Knopf, 1986), and of a history of Sicilian food entitled Pomp and Sustenance (Knopf 1989), and co-authored Bitter Almonds (Morrow 1994), the memoir of a pastry chef who learned her trade in a convent orphanage. Travels with a Medieval Queen (Farrar Straus Giroux) was published in 2001, and Sicilian Summer, An Adventure in Cooking with my Grandsons in 2017. In addition to writing on food for the Italian public, Simeti has written travel and food articles for various American and British publications and contributed frequently to the New York Times and to the London Financial Times.

    Languages spoken: English

    Possibility of withdrawal in case of force majeure.

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