PONANT provides yachtsmen holidays around the world
By Patti Pietschmann Travel Diva
Ever dream of sailing the world in a luxurious yacht? But alas owning one is beyond your budget? Well PONANT, a three-decades luxury cruise company, makes those fantasies come true.
The French flag luxury cruise operator offers a unique style of cruising aboard refined, intimate expedition yachts. And for 2020 it’s created what they tag, the “Quintessential Collection”. The new themed cruises feature onboard speakers and tailored shore excursions that embrace local cultures and dive deeper into the history of the destinations.
Here are five good choices
An Exploration in Nature in Costa Rica & The Panama Canal, January 6-16, 2020, Le Dumont-d’Urville
This 10-night itinerary is hosted by Edie Rodriguez, former president and CEO of Crystal Cruises currently America’s Brand Chairman for PONANT. She is accompanied by ecologist Paul Donahue, an expert on birds and mammals of Central America.
Highlights include trips to Corcovado National Park, one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth, and the UNESCO World Heritage site Darien Jungle..
An Immersion in Japanese Culture, May 30-June 7, 2020, Le Soléal
This is your chance to see the contrast between the fast-forward modernity of Japan with its cherished offerings and traditions. Highlights include an exclusive, 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.
The cruise also offers a cooking class where you learn how to cut and plate the deadly puffer fish. Three noted experts provide insight to exploration both in port and on-board the ship: 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.
Music for your ears
Celebrate Beethoven’s 250th Birthday in Northern Europe, September 8-17, 2020, Le Dumont-d’Urville
Classical music lovers can dig this celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday that takes place aboard Le Dumont-d’Urville.
Each sea days is awash in 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.
A special onboard concert takes place during the transit of the Kiel Canal. There is also a once-in-a-lifetime private performance in the historic 17th-century Westerkerk in Amsterdam.
Other features include admission to some of the best museums in the world, including the acclaimed Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, featuring works by Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso.
Epicurean Delights of Southern Italy & Sicily, October 18-25, 2020, Le Jacques Cartier
A foodie’s dream come true. The cruise navigates Italy with two noted food and wine experts. You’ll meet Eric Asimov, chief wine critic at The New York Times and Arthur Schwartz, author of Naples at Table: Cooking in Campania, considered the definitive book on Naples’ cuisine.
You will sample cuisines of Sicily and Southern Italy and see the role food and wine plays in relation to physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Some dinning delights include the pastas of Syracuse and the wines of Mt. Etna, the artisanal meats and cheese of Calabria, mozzarella from Agropoli and pizza from Naples.
Strike up the band
Celebrate American Composers with Keith Lockhart, Conductor of the Boston Pops, October 19-27, 2020, Le Champlain
Keyed to music lovers is this Canada cruise with Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart. The voyage takes you along the waterways of eastern Canada and northern New England.
Along the route there is a stop for a private concert in Quebec’s Chapelle du Musée de l’Amérique française, the oldest museum in Canada.