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From the City of Gods to the Canals of Venice

Embark on an unforgettable odyssey from the mythical city of Athens to the enchanting canals of Venice. Delve into ancient wonders, traverse scenic waterways, and immerse yourself in the beauty of coastal towns along this mesmerizing journey.

Cruise Only
8 nights from £4200pp

Small Ship Holiday
Split harbour

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From the City of Gods to the Canals of Venice Special Offer

Set sail to discover the cultural and artistic jewels of the Aegean, Adriatic and Ionian Seas with PONANT. During this 9-day cruise, L'Austral will take you to Greece, Italy, Croatia, and Slovenia.

Throughout your journey, you will benefit from an excursion included per person per port of call, to choose from a selection offered by PONANT. During this cruise, explore Lecce, known as the Florence of Southern Italy, from Otranto; discover Split and Diocletian's Palace; or enjoy a walking tour of the charming town of Piran. The diversity of experiences on offer promises you intense and varied moments.

The last rays of sunlight caress the mythical and emblematic ancient city of Athens. Its millennia-old sites and maze of picturesque streets grow distant as you set sail towards some of the treasures bordering the Aegean, Adriatic and Ionian Seas. After your mythical and remarkable crossing of the Corinth Canal, you will fall under the spell of the island of Itea, not far from the marvellous archaeological site of Delphi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Temple of Apollo stood here, constructed in the 4th century BC. In Epirus, you will be transported by your exploration of Parga, bathed by the Ionian Sea, with its fortress, built by the Normans in the 14th century, overlooking the pretty fishing port. Next, you will visit the stunning Puglia region in Italy when the ship calls at Otranto. Do not miss a visit to Lecce: Its lavish baroque monuments have earned it the nickname 'Florence of the South of Italy'.

A little further north, Vieste will welcome you from atop its limestone promontory. Its history with multiple influences and its architecture featuring whitewashed houses make this a special place with undeniable charm. Split will open its doors to you to discover its historic centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with treasures such as Diocletian's Palace or the Cathedral of Saint Domnius. Zadar will reveal the architectural treasures of the former fortified Roman town on the peninsula, from the monumental Land Gate. The Slovenian shores await you in Piran, a medieval town extending out into the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic. Its architecture, influenced by five centuries under the rule of the Republic of Venice, affords it a singular charm. As a grand finale, Venice the Serenissima, which is home, among other sites, to the mythical St Mark's Square or the sumptuous Doge's Palace, will mark the end of this enchanted moment.

CP1052 Operated by Ponant Luxury and Expedition


From the City of Gods to the Canals of Venice Itinerary

Day 1 - Athens

The Greek capital city is located on the edge of the Saronic gulf, in the east of the country. It bears a plural name in reference to the first villages that surround the Acropolis. You will be enchanted by the rocky plateau presided by its monuments listed as UNESCO World Heritage. In the city below, you can visit some of the liveliest districts in Athens: Plaka, with its maze of colourful streets, and where, in the evenings the drifting aroma of moussaka and garlic prawns will tickle your taste buds. The National Archaeological museum and the Cycladic Art Museum are also some of the city’s key attractions and allow visitors to discover Athens’ cultural past.

Day 2 - Crossing the Corinth Canal

The Corinth Canal cuts through the Isthmus of Corinth, turning the Peloponnese into an island as it separates the region from the Greek mainland. Inaugurated in 1893, the canal is a little over six kilometres long and enables merchant vessels and passenger to avoid a long 400-km detour around the peninsula. The two sides of the canal reach a height of approximately fifty metres. From the exterior decks, don’t miss this unique opportunity to watch the ship as it navigates along the narrow strip of water encased between tall, ochre cliffs. What an experience!

Day 2 - Itea

Tucked away in the Gulf of Corinth, this little port is situated in continental Greece, north-west of Athens. Take an easy stroll along the old cobblestone quays, while gazing at the summits encircling the Bay of Itea. We wouldn’t be surprised if you are tempted by a visit to the Delphi Sanctuary. The sanctuary is located on a plateau on the slope of Mount Parnassus, just ten kilometres from Itea. A listed UNESCO World Heritage site, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience whose ancient ruins are surrounded by steep mountains.

Day 3 - Parga

An ancient port in the Epirus region, picturesque Parga is located on the western coast of the Greek mainland. Ancient classical ruins and the Venetian citadel bear witness to the town's colourful history and the diverse influences that shaped it. Take the time to discover this ancient fishing village built like an amphitheatre, by strolling along the picturesque maze of pedestrian streets lined with small, typical Greek houses decorated with flowers and many lively taverns.

Day 4 - Otranto

Located in the Apulia region, Otrante is the easternmost transalpine town. Behind its medieval ramparts, you will taste the sweetlife of Salento, the “heel on Italy’s boot”. Inhabited since Antiquity, Otrante has today become a very pleasant seaside town. Yet its history is still visible as you meander through the little streets of its old centre. With its magnificent 12th century ornamental mosaic tiling, the Cathedral is one of its most beautiful treasures. During a stroll along the ramparts, you can sit and relax at a café terrace.

Day 5 - Vieste

You will be captivated by the charm of Vieste, the “pearl of the Gargano region”, in the heart of Puglia in Italy. This old fishing village clinging to chalk cliffs has unique views over the Adriatic Sea. Its archaeological treasures and its historic centre will delight history enthusiasts, while nature lovers will be able to admire the crystal clear waters of the surrounding coves and beaches, as well as its famous limestone monolith called the Pizzomunno. The village’s paved alleys and small squares come alive all day long, making Vieste the ultimate in romantic destinations.

Day 6 - Split

On the Dalmatian coast, the town of Split offers cultural visits in a seaside atmosphere. Close to the seafront shaded by palm trees, the historical centre listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasts a unique building: the Diocletian’s Palace. Here you will explore its galleries, courtyards with carved columns, as well as a former mausoleum converted into a church, namely Saint Domnius Cathedral. If you get peckish, stop off at a terrace in the Pjaca, the main square in the old town, where you can try a palacinka, a kind of pancake topped with melted cheese.

Day 7 - Zadar

The old fortified city of Zadar stands on peninsula in Northern Dalmatia. It has survived since Antiquity, as the ruins of a Roman forum illustrate. Beside these ruins, the architecture of the church of Saint Donat is Byzantine while the bell-tower of the Cathedral of Saint Anastasia is of Italian design. Your walks in the old town will be punctuated by diverse encounters with history. As you reach the shoreline, you’ll be brought back to modern day because this front is animated by two contemporary architectural creations. Maybe you will hear the sound of the “Sea Organ” music played by the surf and the “ Sun Salutations ” solar light installation reflecting its luminous rays.

Day 8 - Piran

On the Slovenian coast, the picturesque town of Piran stands on a tongue of land bathed by the Adriatic. Its old town, girded by fortifications, provides a medieval atmosphere embossed with Venetian nuances. From Tartini square, you can explore a whole interweave of mysterious streets located on the hillside, leading you to Saint George’s church, built on a hillock overlooking the shoreline. After admiring the view, don’t miss a good look at the nave, and its rich decorations of frescoes and panelling. You will also see that the tower built behind the church reproduces the famous bell-tower of Saint Mark’s square. During your peregrinations, make sure you try a borek, a sort of pasty which can be sweet or savoury, filled with meat or fruit.

Day 9 - Venice

Proud and eternal, Venice has reigned on its lagoon ever since the 6th century. You may think you know this city before even setting foot here. You will inevitably fall in love with the charm of the innumerable treasures of the Serenissima: Saint Mark’s square, the basilica, Doges palace, the Grand Canal and the gondolas. Yet, secret Venice is also waiting for you to explore its little interlacing streets and canals, to ramble through its squares and to push open the doors of its churches. The city’s extraordinary heritage shouldn’t stop you from enjoying a glass of Spritz and a few tramezzini.

Price Includes

  • 7-night all-inclusive cruise
  • Complimentary shore excursion in every port
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • Open bar with wine, beer and house champagne
  • 24 hour room service
  • Evening entertainments and events
  • Unlimited complimentary Wi-Fi on board

2025 Departures £ price per person based on 2 people sharing

  • May
    • May 24th - Athens to Venice - Sailing on: LAustral From: £4200
      Superior Stateroom Deluxe Stateroom Prestige Stateroom Deck 4 Prestige Stateroom Deck 5 Prestige Stateroom Deck 6 Deluxe Suite Prestige Suite Deck 5 Prestige Suite Deck 6
      Blue Water Price from: £4200 Blue Water Price from: £4430 Blue Water Price from: £4670 Blue Water Price from: £4890 Blue Water Price from: £5180 Blue Water Price from: £8350 Blue Water Price from: £9270 Blue Water Price from: £9500

Price Information

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