Ponant has announced two in-depth musical cruises for 2019 and 2020 that will be part of the Quintessential Collection, a series of themed itineraries that take a deep dive into a destination. The seven-night “A Musical Odyssey in the Mediterranean” aboard Le Bougainville from Athens to Rome is scheduled for September 20 -27, 2019, while the nine-night “A Musical Odyssey in Northern Europe,” celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birthday, aboard Le Dumont-d’Urville from Stockholm to Honfleur is scheduled for September 8 -17, 2020. The musical component of both cruises will be curated by Michael Parloff, former principal flutist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
A signature of these voyages will be the artists participating fully in excursions and life aboard ship, in addition to their performances. Travelers can expect to share their company over drinks or dinner and in informal conversation.
“A Musical Odyssey in the Mediterranean,” September 20-27, 2019, combines destinations in Greece and Italy with a series of private recitals by classical musicians. Potential excursions include visits to Patmos and Pompeii, while a stop in Taormina, Sicily offers the opportunity to tour the iconic Greek Theatre and enjoy a private concert in the ancient Duomo.
Meanwhile, “An Odyssey in Northern Europe,” September 8-17, 2020, will cover the cultural heritage of Northern Europe accompanied by world-class chamber musicians performing an all-Beethoven repertoire aboard Le Dumont-d’Urville, a new Explorer ship debuting in summer 2019. Along the way, passengers will have access to top museums. Days at sea will be filled with music from composer’s body of work, including an onboard concert during the transit of the Kiel Canal and a private performance in the historic 17th-century Westerkerk in Amsterdam.
Le Bougainville and Le Dumont-d’Urville are the third and fourth ships from the Ponant Explorer series. Both vessels will feature Blue Eye, the world’s first underwater passenger lounge. Both are small-capacity ships with just 92 staterooms and a crew of 110. They are certified Clean Ships and meet the highest environmental standards for energy conservation and resource management.