Classical Mediterranean Cruise

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 of 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 $4,945 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.
  • Malta Pre-Program Option.

Day 1 - Depart Home City

Day 2 - Valletta, Malta / Embark Le Bougainville

Day 3 - Giardini Naxos, Italy for Taormina, Sicily

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 two-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 tour the UNESCO World Heritage Site of St. John’s Co-Cathedral, including a viewing of Caravaggio’s masterpiece ‘The Beheading of St. John the Baptist.’. 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. At UNESCO-inscribed Hagar Qim, visit the Palace of the Inquisitor and the Tarxien Temples. 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 Depart home city

Depart your home city for an overnight flight.

Day 2 Valletta, Malta/Embark

Arrive in Valletta, Malta, and embark the intimate 5-star ship
Le Bougainville. Enjoy dinner on board later. 

Day 3 Giardini Naxos for Taormina

Arrive in Giardini Naxos after breakfast on the ship. Stroll through Taormina, an ancient village on the top of a cliff above the Ionian Sea. Visit the Greco‑Roman Theater, the Corvaia Palace, see Odeon, and visit the Corso Umberto. After enjoying lunch on board the ship, spend afternoon free time in the city once ruled by ancient Greeks before the Romans overtook it in 215 B.C. and later destroyed by the Arabs in
902 A.D. Later, join your fellow passengers for the Captain’s Welcome Reception and dinner on board afterwards.  

Day 4 Palermo

Visit Palermo’s traditional Sicilian Old Quarter, baroque square, and 12th‑century Duomo. At the Capo market, see and taste revered Palermo street food and admire colorful stalls displaying an abundance of produce, seafood, and meats. After lunch on the ship, you have the option of either taking part in a one-of-a-kind culinary experience with a local guide ending with a tasting at the Operà House Cafè, or driving up the hillside to visit the remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site Cathedral of Monreale—one of the greatest examples of Norman architecture and known for its magnificent Byzantine mosaics. 

Day 5 Trapani

Following breakfast on the ship, drive through the Sea Saltpans of Trapani and continue to Segesta. See the ancient and well‑preserved Doric Temple, with 36 gold limestone columns as well as an amphitheater still in use today. Visit the medieval town of Erice, set atop a hill surrounded by a lush park and accessible via cable car. Enjoy panoramic views of Erice’s charming old stone streets and medieval churches, and marvel at the Norman Venus Castle. 

Day 6 Tunis, Tunisia for Carthage

Arrive in Tunis, Tunisia, home to an exotic blend of African and Arab cultures and once considered one of the wealthiest cities in the Islamic world. The capital has a history dating back to 200 B.C. Transfer to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Carthage to visit the Baths of Antonino, the ancient Roman theater, and the Punic ports where Carthaginian fleets once took shelter. See Tunis’s historic center, the Arabic Medina or Old Town—also a UNESCO‑inscribed site with a labyrinth of narrow alleyways, small shops, mosques, and palaces. Enjoy afternoon free time in the souks (markets) after an included lunch at a local restaurant near Medina. 

Day 7 Porto Empedocle for Agrigento, Sicily

This afternoon, visit Agrigento’s UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Valley of the Temples to see eight Doric shrines dating from the fifth century B.C., including the Temple of Juno. Explore the Temple of Concordia, which is still in a perfect state of conservation and is considered one of the most important landmarks of the Greek world.

Day 8 Syracuse

Visit the Altar of Hieron II, a monument dedicated to Zeus, and Dionysius’ Ear in Syracuse. Also within the historically significant Syracuse Archaeological Park is the Roman Amphitheater and the Greek Theater. Transfer to the island of Ortygia—Syracuse’s maritime heart also known for its street food and markets—where the Temple of Apollo stands in the remains of Piazza Pancali. Stroll through the old city for a walking tour including a Baroque cathedral incorporating the ruins of a fifth‑century B.C. temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. At the Piazza Archimede, view the Baroque‑style Fountain of Diana. After lunch on the ship, enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Ortygia, Syracuse’s historical center where Greek goddess Leto was rumored to give birth to goddess Artemis. Tonight, attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception and dinner with your fellow passengers.

Day 9 Valletta, Malta/Return to home city

Enjoy breakfast on the ship and travel to the airport for your return flight home.