Antiquities of the Southern Mediterranean

Program Overview

Sicily and Malta have possessed an almost mythical appeal since Homer and Virgil first extolled their virtues. From the classical perfection of Agrigento’s Roman relics to the ancient cliffside village of Taormina, this carefully curated, 7-night itinerary explores resplendent shores and prized remnants of bygone civilizations. Bask in sun-dappled islands at the crossroads of the Mediterranean and explore coastal cities that date back more than 7,000 years. Cruise along two of Europe’s most dramatic coastlines through the fabled Strait of Messina to the Tyrrhenian and Mediterranean seas. Journey from the island of Malta to the ancient Valley of the Temples in Agrigento and to the souk (marketplace) of Tunis, Tunisia. Enjoy calls at Taormina, Trapani, and Palermo on the island of Sicily before cruising to Syracuse. Enhance your tour with the Malta Pre-Program Option.


Program Details

May 7 to 15, 2024 (Le Bougainville)
From $4,995 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • Uniquely designed 9-day, 7-night cruise aboard the 5-star small ship Le Bougainville round-trip Valletta, Malta, featuring Tunisia, Sicily.
  • Visit 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Sicily’s ancient Greco-Roman sites in Taormina, Siracusa and Agrigento, and Carthage in Tunisia.
  • Cruise to centuries-old cities, medieval ports and scenic landscapes—once coveted by the world’s most powerful empires.
  • Enjoy views of Sicily’s imposing Mt. Etna, Europe’s highest volcano.
  • Cruise past the island of Stromboli, the “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean.”
  • Malta Pre-Program Option.

Day 1 - Depart Home City

Day 2 - Valletta, Malta / Embark Le Bougainville

Day 3 - Reggio Calabria, Italy / Naxos for Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Day 4 - Palermo

Day 5 - Trapani

Day 6 - Tunis, Tunisia for Carthage

Day 7 - Porto Empedocle for Agrigento, Sicily

Day 8 - Syracuse

Day 9 - Valletta, Malta / Disembark ship / Return to home city

View detailed program itinerary >

Le Bougainville

Exclusively Chartered, 5-Star Luxury Small Ship

Join us aboard the exclusively chartered, 5-star Le Bougainville, where distinctive French sophistication meets innovative nautical design. All accommodations feature private balconies. The ship’s efficient electrical propulsion system and custom stabilizers provide an exceptionally smooth, quiet and comfortable  voyage. The small size of the ship allows for navigation into more remote locations than larger vessels.

Learn more about the Le Bougainville>

Malta Pre-Program Option

Enhance your Mediterranean cruise experience with a 2-night immersion on the island of Malta, considered one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world. Walk the medieval streets of the beautifully preserved, UNESCO-inscribed town of Valletta, built by the Knights of the Order of St. John in the late 16th century. Visit the Lower Barrakka Gardens for a breathtaking panorama of the Grand Harbor and the Grandmaster’s Palace. Explore the stunning 16th century Casa Rocca Piccola, home of the Marquis De Piro family. This private visit will be led by one of the family members. Accommodations are in the 5-star Grand Hotel Excelsior Malta.

The Pre-Program Option is available at an additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.


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Program Itinerary

Day 1 and 2 Depart Home City / Valletta, Malta

Your trip will begin by departing the U.S. or Canada.

Arrive in Malta and transfer to Valletta. Early arrivals can enjoy the use of hospitality rooms. In the afternoon, embark the 5-star Le Bougainville.

Day 3 Reggio Calabria, Italy / Naxos for Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Cruise through the Strait of Messina before arriving in Reggio Calabria, to visit the National Archaeological Museum, which houses the Riace Bronzes, a pair of ancient, life-size Greek statues. After lunch, arrive in Giardini Naxos and then visit Taormina, an ancient village on the top of a cliff above the Ionic Sea. Visit the Greco-Roman Theater and the Cathedral, and see the Corvaia Palace.

Day 4 Palermo

Visit Palermo’s traditional Sicilian Old Quarter, Quattro Canti, baroque square, and 12th-century Duomo. At the Capo market, see and taste famous Palermo street food and admire colorful stalls displaying an abundance of produce, seafood, and meats. This afternoon, drive up the hillside and visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the remarkable Cathedral of Monreale.

Day 5 Trapani

Drive through the Sea Salt Pans of Trapani to Segesta and see the ancient Doric Temple. Visit the medieval town of Erice, set atop a hill and accessible via cable car. Enjoy panoramic views and marvel at the Norman Venus Castle.

Day 6 Tunis, Tunisia for Carthage

Explore Tunis' Old Town, a labyrinth of narrow alleyways, small shops, majestic mosques, palaces, and colorful markets. Visit the Bardo Museum, home to a collection of Roman mosaics and ancient statues. Continue to the UNESCO World Heritage Roman Site of Carthage to visit the Baths of Antonino, the ancient theater, and the Punic ports where Carthaginian fleets once took shelter.

Day 7 Porto Empedocle for Agrigento, Sicily

Visit Agrigento’s UNESCO World Heritage-designated Valley of the Temples. Here, see eight Doric shrines dating from the 5th century B.C. including the Temple of Juno, and the Temple of Concordia.

Day 8 Syracuse

In Syracuse, visit the Altar of Hieron II, a monument dedicated to Zeus; Dyonisios’ Ear; the Roman Amphitheater; and the Greek Theater. Transfer to the island of Ortygia, Syracuse’s maritime heart, where the Temple of Apollo stands in the remains of Piazza Pancali. See the city’s Baroque cathedral incorporating the ruins of a 5th-century B.C. temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. At the Piazza Archimede, view the Baroque-style Fountain of Diana. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure. Tonight see a folklore show on deck and attend the Captain's Farewell Reception and dinner.

Day 9 Valletta, Malta / Return to Home City

After breakfast, disembark in Valletta and transfer to the Malta International Airport for your return flight home.