L’Austral. Picture Ponant

Sights set on a European jaunt? Journey in style on one of Ponant’s Grand Voyages

As summer draws to a close we’re finding ourselves dreaming of journeys to far-flung places, filling our calendars with holiday bookings to quell any post-summer blues. As always, Europe beckons, but instead of making for the usual metropolises we’re eager to explore lesser-known locales, seeking a vacation outside of the ordinary.

As well as scouting for destinations to explore anew, we’re considering our mode of transport, so as to maximise vacation time, and there’s a certain type of travel that sees a trip become as much about the journey as the destination. Yes, we’re talking about seafaring, and we’ve got our sights firmly set on the intimate luxury and exceptional itineraries of Ponant’s Grand Voyages. Ponant, the elevated French cruising company founded by a group of professional sailors in 1988, has been perfecting the art of sea exploration since its inception, and now, the 13-fleet company specialising in small vessel cruising has expanded their offering with the addition of their incredible Grand Voyages through Europe. 

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Sauna on Le Lapérouse. Picture Ponant
Left: photo credit Nick Rains for Ponant. Right: Dining Room on Le Lapérouse, Picture Ponant

Ponant’s ships are yacht-like in style, hosting between 32 — 264 guests per voyage, which, when combined with quiet, comfortable spaces, hospitality excellence, and luxurious offerings encompassing spas & salons, entertainment areas, shopping and more, makes for an experience akin to sailing on a private yacht of your very own.

When it comes to the voyages themselves, few do it better than Ponant. Their experts know travel better than most and take immense pride in not only creating incredible onboard offerings, but mapping out exceptional itineraries that offer guests insight into the authentic beauty of the world — featuring visits to iconic ports, as well as exotic destinations that are off the beaten path.

Underwater Blue Eye Lounge on LE LAPÉROUSE. photo credit Vutheara Kham for Ponant

For an in-depth exploration of the Mediterranean, look to the all-encompassing Lisbon to Antalya route — a 29-day voyage traversing seven countries and calling at 28 ports. Here, you’ll discover the major cities of the Iberian Peninsula; explore UNESCO world heritage sites — from the Silk Exchange in Valencia to the tower of Belém, the Acropolis in Athens, and more; discover the captivating beauty of the Balearic; dive into the azure waters of Sardinia and Sicily; journey between Malta, Italy, Greece and Turkey, discovering some of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful antique sites in early spring; and much, much more. This is a truly magical, once in a lifetime exploration of Europe not to be missed.

Prestige Stateroom on Deck 4 aboard Ponant Explorer, Le Lapérouse. Picture Ponant

Or, perhaps it’s the intrigue of Finland, Estonia, Sweden, Lithuania, Poland, and Denmark on the Helsinki to Lisbon route that will prove your ideal voyage. On this 12-country, 24-port journey, tailored to curious and discerning travellers, you’ll be met with not only an incredibly well-curated exploration across 26 days (with excursions in major cities and lesser-known locations — from Amsterdam, Antwerp and Stockholm to the charming coastal town of Scheveningen and the Hanseatic Town of Visby), but incredible insight into the destinations, too, with onboard Smithsonian Journeys experts and an exclusive discussion with former President of Poland and Nobel Peace Prize-laureate, Lech Wałęsa, while in Gdansk.

However, if it’s an exploration of the ancient sites of Greece, Croatia, Italy, Slovenia and Turkey that you seek, look no further than the Antalya to Venice voyage. Spanning five countries and 16 ports across just over two weeks, this varied cruise journeys through lively cities, historic sites and charming beaches — from the pearls of the Cyclades (Santorini, Delos, and Mykonos) to the striking landscapes of Puglia, The Acropolis of Athens, the sacred island of Delos and more, this trip aboard Ponant’s sleek, refined L’Austral ship is a guaranteed journey to remember.

Santorini Greece. Photo credit Nath Michel for Ponant

Whether an incredible journey to your next destination or an unforgettable holiday in its own right, Ponant’s 2025 Grand Voyages are a sublime way to explore the wonders of the world. Secure your spot on one of the intimate luxury cruises for the 2025 season now, and sail into the sunset in unmatched style.



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