Ponant will continue its Quintessential Collection sailings in 2020 with a series of new themed cruises. Itineraries will include onboard speakers and tailored shore excursions that highlight local cultures and dive deeper into the history of the destinations.
An Exploration in Nature in Costa Rica & The Panama Canal (January 6-16, 2020)
The 10-night itinerary hosted by Edie Rodriguez, America’s Brand Chairman for Ponant, will have discussions and talks by ecologist Paul Donahue. Guests will travel to Corcovado National Park and UNESCO World Heritage site Darien Jungle. Passengers who book now will receive a $2,000 flight credit per couple, while travel advisors earn a $250 gift card and 5 percent bonus commission on all bookings made by November 30, 2019.
An Immersion in Japanese Culture (May 30-June 7, 2020)
Highlights of the itinerary include a 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 experts will join the cruise: 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)
This sailing is hosted by the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO 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 along the Baltic Sea, including two days with hosted accommodations in St. Petersburg, Russia. Ports of call include Helsinki, Finland, and Tallinn, Estonia; 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)
Celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday and the 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 onboard concert during the transit of the Kiel Canal and a private performance in the historic 17th-century Westerkerk in Amsterdam. Passengers will also have access to some of the top museums in the world, including the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, with works by Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso.
Epicurean Delights of Southern Italy & Sicily (October 18-25, 2020)
Sail through Italy with two 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. Guests will enjoy plenty of Sicily and Southern Italy’s regional cuisines (think: pastas in Syracuse; wines of Mt. Etna; artisanal meats and cheese in Calabria; mozzarella from Agropoli; and pizza from Naples), while learning about the role food and wine plays in relation to physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing.
Celebrate American Composers with Keith Lockhart, Conductor of the Boston Pops (October 19-27, 2020)
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.