Ponant, a French-owned luxury cruise operator, has announced details of “Green and Gentle Lands, Exploring Gardens and Historic Sites,” the first in a series of Quintessential Collection cruises designed to inspire travelers to dig deeper into their destinations. Scheduled for May 12 – 22, 2019, the sailing will include programs and performances aboard ship, and excursions ashore that embrace the local culture and gardening theme.
During “Green and Gentle Lands,” guest speaker and retired Executive Director of the United States Botanic Garden Holly Shimizu will lead discussions on board Le Boreal. Shimuzu is a horticulturist with more than four decades of experience and is known for her appearances as a host and correspondent on The Victory Garden, the gardening series on PBS.
The cruise will sail from London into the North Sea, with stops to explore points of interest and notable gardens in the British Isles, Belgium and Norway. The highlight of the voyage will be the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh where lilacs, rhododendrons, and syringa tomentella from western China will be seen. An exclusive gala luncheon will be hosted on site by the Garden staff.
Before stepping foot on board the ship, guests can enjoy a day at Kew Gardens, London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage site with the most diverse collection of living plants in the world. Before transferring to Le Boreal, guests will also visit Chelsea Physic Garden, the oldest botanical garden in London. Then during the cruise, passengers will visit Kasteel van Oostkerke near Ostend to explore the garden designed by Mien Ruys. They will also visit Alnwick Castle and Herterton House in Newcastle and the gardens of Flor og Fjære in Stavanger, Norway.
“Green and Gentle Lands” starts at $4,690 per person based on double occupancy.