Smithsonian Journeys - the travel program of the Smithsonian Institution (world's largest museum, education, and research complex) commenced voyages in collaboration with the French ultra premium travel company Ponant Cruises.
Lynn Cutter (SVP of Travel at Smithsonian Journeys) said that with Ponant, they had been able to create unique vacation experiences that were superior to what they could do on their own.
“They’re leaders in high-quality adventure travel and best in class. We provide enriching educational experiences.”
The companies joined together to offer a total of 19 voyages in 2023, with Ponant’s top-luxury ships carrying anywhere between 184-264 passengers. Ponant was founded in 1988, using ships that manage to combine “exploration” and “luxury” with a French flair.
The year 2023 will be the second one Ponant and Smithsonian will offer co-branded cruises.
Smithsonian’s experts are well-respected academics and scientists. As for the activities, they go beyond the usual sightseeing and are quite rarified. In this partnership, they include meeting Lech Walesa (former Polish President) in Gdansk-Gdynia on a Baltic voyage, a behind-the-scenes visit to a Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (on Naos Island, one of Panama's Causeway Islands by the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal) and sailing with Keith Alan Lockhart (American conductor) on a Quebec Canada cruise.
The Ponant-Smithsonian voyages visit destinations in Greece, Norway, Iceland, Antarctica, Australia, the Caribbean.
Ponant-Smithsonian Journeys schedule 2022
LE CHAMPLAIN (7-night "Southern Spain and Portugal" from Barcelona to Lisbon/Aug 10) - prices started from EUR 3810 pp
LE BOUGAINVILLE (7-night "Greek Islands" roundtrip from Piraeus-Athens/Sept 1) - prices started from EUR 4870 pp
LE BELLOT (7-night "Great Lakes" from Toronto to Milwaukee WI USA/Sept 18) - prices started from EUR 6320 pp
LE PAUL GAUGUIN (8-night "French Polynesia: Tahiti, Bora Bora, and the Tuamotus" roundtrip from Papeete Tahiti/Sept 7) - prices started from EUR 4950 pp
Ponant-Smithsonian Journeys schedule 2023
LE BOUGAINVILLE (8-night "Arabian Coast" from Dubai to Muscat/January 6) from EUR 6610 pp
LE BELLOT (7-night "Panama and Costa Rica by Sea: The Natural Wonders of Central America" from Colon to Puerto Caldera/February 11) from EUR 4920 pp
LE LYRIAL (10-night "Antarctica: The White Continent" roundtrip from Ushuaia, with included overnight hotel in Buenos Aires and two roundtrip flights Buenos Aires-Ushuaia-Buenos Aires/February 20) from EUR 10920 pp
LE DUMONT-D'URVILLE (8-night "Caribbean's Windward Islands" from Vieux Fort to Bridgetown/Saint Lucia to Barbados/Feb 25) from EUR 4420 pp
LE DUMONT-D'URVILLE (7-night "Morocco to Spain’s Andalusian Coast" from Casablanca to Lisbon/April 20) from EUR 4580 pp
LE BOUGAINVILLE (7-night "Circumnavigation of Sicily" roundtrip from Valletta Malta/May 4) from EUR 5360 pp
LE DUMONT-D'URVILLE (8-night "Celtic Voyage: The Hebrides and the Irish Sea" from London to Glasgow/May 5) from EUR 4910 pp
L'AUSTRAL (7-night "Arctic Norway: Glaciers, Ice Floes, and Polar Bears" roundtrip from Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen Island/inclusive of roundtrip flights Paris-Longyearbyen-Paris/June 4) from EUR 8940 pp
LE DUMONT-D'URVILLE (7-night "Scottish Isles and Norwegian Fjords Voyage" from Bergen to Glasgow/June 17) from EUR 5900 pp
LE JACQUES-CARTIER (7-night "Greek Islands of the Southern Aegean" roundtrip from Piraeus-Athens/July 12) from EUR 4370 pp
LE CHAMPLAIN (8-night "Historic Cities of the Baltic Sea" from Stockholm to Copenhagen/August 10) from EUR 6960 pp
LE BELLOT (7-night "Iceland Voyage: Land of Fire and Ice" roundtrip from Reykjavík/August 13) from EUR 6870 pp
LE DUMONT-D'URVILLE (7-night "Voyage Along the Great Lakes" from Toronto to Milwaukee WI USA/August 28 & September 10) from EUR 6100 pp
LE LYRIAL (7-night "Dalmatian Coast and the Ionian Sea" from Athens to Venice/September 17) from EUR 4090 pp
LE CHAMPLAIN (8-night "Southern France and the Italian Riviera by Sea" from Barcelona to Civitavecchia-Rome/September 8) from EUR 4780 pp
LE BELLOT (14-night "Symphony on St Lawrence: From Québec to the Canadian Maritimes" from Toronto to Gloucester MA USA/October 16) from EUR 10760 pp
LE CHAMPLAIN (7-night "Greek Islands of the Southern Aegean" roundtrip from Athens/October 22) from EUR 5220 pp