PONANT AND SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS ANNOUNCE 2025 SMALL SHIP EXPLORATIONS

February 22nd, 2024

New itineraries will whisk guests to Tunisia, the Canary Islands and Mallorca while spotlighting the expertise of Smithsonian Journeys Experts, including scholars and museum curators


PONANT, a designer of inspiring voyages onboard small exploration ships, announces its 2025 sailings in collaboration with Smithsonian Journeys, the travel program of the Smithsonian Institution. Drawing on Smithsonian’s rich history as the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, the 30 itineraries—the most ever offered in one year, due to growing interest and demand— will feature notable experts and experiences that embrace local cultures and dive deeper into a destination’s history, cuisine, language, environment, and wildlife. PONANT and Smithsonian Journeys are rooted in common values, with the goal of further inspiring guests to become global citizens through travel. This is the fourth year PONANT and Smithsonian Journeys will offer co-branded sailings.

Several new itineraries include a two-week voyage from Lisbon to the Canary Islands (October 26-November 8, 2025); and a Mediterranean sailing encompassing Sicily, Sardinia, and Mallorca (October 3-10, 2025); while a newly enhanced itinerary features a circumnavigation of Sicily with a new stop in Tunisia for the archaeological site of Carthage (June 2-10; August 29-September 6, 2025).  All will provide opportunities to engage with a variety of Smithsonian Journeys Experts, ranging from geologists to museum curators and archaeologists, bringing guests even closer to the spirit of these alluring destinations.

PONANT and Smithsonian Journeys will also bring back voyage-favorites from 2024 including a seven-night itinerary from Panama to Costa Rica, with an exclusive visit to the open-air Punta Culebra Nature Center of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (January 6-13, 2025); an eight-day exploration of the Greek Islands in the Southern Aegean, with ports of call at a different island each day (July 6-13; October 12-19, 2025); and a Mediterranean Island Voyage spanning Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and Elba (May 26-June 2,2025).

Highlights of the 2025 voyages include:

New: Lisbon to the Canary Islands by Sea: Spain, Morocco, and Atlantic Isles, Le Bellot

On this voyage along the southern shores of Iberia to the isles of the eastern Atlantic, guests will encounter a fascinating range of cultures, histories, and landscapes—from the ochre cliffs of Portugal’s Algarve Coast to the lush valleys of Madeira and the volcanic craters of the Canary Islands (guests will visit La Palma, Tenerife, Lanzarote, and the lesser-visited La Gomera). Cultural riches will come into view during tours of the World Heritage sites of Seville, Spain and Rabat, Morocco. Other highlights include medina visits, a tour of Madeira’s Botanical Gardens, and the insights of onboard Smithsonian Journey Expert Allen Fromherz, a professor of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern history.

Departure on October 26-November 8, 2025 // 14 days

Starting from $9,020 per person

Newly Enhanced: A Circumnavigation of Sicily, Le Bougainville

This epic voyage begins as Le Bougainville pulls out of Valletta, Malta—one of the world’s most photogenic harbors—then docks on Sicily’s southern coast for a visit to the World Heritage site of Agrigento. But hold your breath for what’s next: on day three, guests will sail to Tunis, the vibrant, colorful capital of Tunisia, to discover the ancient ruins of Carthage, a city founded by the Phoenicians in the 9th century; meander along the blue-and-white lanes of Sidi Bou Said, a coastal town perched on a promontory overlooking the Mediterranean; and gaze upon stunning Roman mosaics at the Bardo Museum. Next up is Trapani, where guests can choose from three excursions, one of which involves viewing the iconic high-altitude castles in the medieval city of Erice. From there, it’s off to Palermo, Taormina, Syracuse, and the Aeolian Islands of Lipari and Stromboli, where volcano vistas, winery visits, and slopeside lunches are among the offerings.

Departures from June 2-10, and August 29-September 6, 2025 // 9 days

Starting from $7,420 per person

New: Cruising the Mediterranean: Sicily, Sardinia, and Mallorca, L’Austral

Starting in Valletta, Malta and ending in Tarragona, this eight-day voyage whisks around the Mediterranean, sailing from Sicily and Sardinia to the Balearic Islands of Menorca and Mallorca. Among the highlights are delving into Palermo’s centuries-old markets and encountering the city’s World Heritage-listed Arab-Norman architecture; discovering the cultural riches of Cagliari, Sardinia, which is known for its baroque palazzi, hilltop fortress, and archaeological ruins; and stepping back into history as you discover the Bronze Age ruins of Menorca and tour the magnificent Palma de Mallorca Cathedral, built on the site of a former mosque and rebuilt by Antoni Gaudí in the early 20th century.

Departure from October 3-10, 2025 // 8 days

Starting from $5,340 per person

Panama and Costa Rica by Sea, Le Bellot

Calling all environmentalists, intrepid outdoor explorers, and aspiring marine scientists: this eight-day itinerary from Panama to Costa Rica promises to immerse guests in some of the world’s most spectacular ecosystems—from mangrove forests and white-sand beaches to flora- and fauna-rich national parks—while offering rare insight into the critical work of nature conservation (expect an exclusive tour of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s Punta Culebra Nature Center). The voyage will also bring travelers close to local Indigenous communities on the San Blas Islands and in the World Heritage Site of Darién National Park and Playa Muerto, a small coastal village inhabited by the Emberá people. The onboard Expert is Hugh Neighbour, a former diplomat and U.S. Navy Officer with expertise in history, culture, and current affairs.

Departure from January 6-13, 2025 // 8 days

Starting from $6,054 per person

Cruising the Greek Islands of the Southern Aegean, Le Dumont-d’Urville

Looking to cross off a half-a-dozen Greek islands in one go? This 8-day itinerary, which begins and ends in Athens, is your ticket to discovering the gem-like isles of the Dodecanese and Cyclades archipelagos, plus the lesser-visited Peloponnese peninsula. Explore the jewels of Patmos, Amorgos, and Delos, where activities include touring World Heritage Sites, meeting monks at an 11th century monastery, and visiting a typical Cycladic home to learn the age-old practice of distilling essential oils.  Sanjaya Thakur—an expert in Greek and Roman history —will help guests better understand the islands’ overlapping cultures and archeological riches on the July departure.

Departures from July 6-13 and October 12-19, 2025 // 8 days

Starting from $5,940 per person

For more information, visit https://us.ponant.com/cruises/themes/smithsonian-journeys.

Please find a selection of hi-res images linked HERE.

ABOUT PONANT

PONANT’s “Explore to Inspire” mission is centered around exploration to better understand, learn, share and protect. For 35 years, PONANT has been committed to more responsible tourism and voyages of exploration which have meaning. The French-flagged fleet comprises 13 small capacity ships equipped with state of the art environmentally friendly equipment. With PONANT, exploration is refined, authentic and a source of inspiration. The company sails to the Arctic and the Antarctic as well as in the Atlantic and North Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, Asia, Oceania and South Pacific, the Caribbean, North, Central and South America. For more information, visit  https://us.ponant.com or call 1-833-889-0800 or contact your travel advisor.

About the Smithsonian

Since its founding in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution has been committed to inspiring generations through knowledge and discovery. It is the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, consisting of 21 museums, the National Zoological Park, education centers, research facilities, cultural centers, and libraries.  Two of the 21 museums – the National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum – are in the early planning stages. The total number of objects, works of art, and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 155 million, of which nearly 146 million are scientific specimens at the National Museum of Natural History.

About Smithsonian Journeys

Smithsonian Journeys is part of Smithsonian Enterprises, a division of the Smithsonian which oversees the institution’s commercial activities, including the Smithsonian Channel, which is available in over 55 million households globally; the retail operation, which includes 35 museum and airport stores, food concessions; an E-commerce business, Smithsonianstore.com, and Smithsonian magazine, which reaches more than 8 million monthly readers, consumer and education licensing, and books. Smithsonian Journeys is a global leader in cultural travel for diverse audiences, offering unique, expert-led trips on all seven continents. In addition to ocean cruises with PONANT, Smithsonian Journeys offers small-group land journeys, river cruises, active journeys, cultural stays, private jet trips, tailor-made journeys for the independent traveler, and student travel programs.

PONANT ANNOUNCES NEW 2024-2025 WINTER DEPARTURES

December 8th, 2023

Among PONANT’s 40 sailings on offer for the 2024-2025 winter season, six new itineraries have been unveiled. There’s something for everyone— island-hopping in Southeast Asia to a rare discovery of Guinea-Bissaus’s Bissagos archipelago, and so much more. Here’s what’s on the horizon:

Polynesia Expedition

Discover the nature treasures and ancient history of French Polynesia on this brand-new, 14-night expedition cruise around the archipelagos of Society Islands, the Tuamotus, and the Marquesas. Zodiac outings and myriad adventures—from diving and horseback riding to hiking—will immerse travelers in the region’s most spectacular landscapes, like the UNESCO-listed Fakarava Biosphere Reserve, the world’s second-largest lagoon.

Dates: 10/8/2024 to 10/22/2024

Rates start at $11,900 per person

Islands, Cities, and Volcanoes of Indonesia

The world’s largest archipelagic state is a vibrant tapestry of ancient temples, modern cities, majestic volcanoes, historic towns, and idyllic islands. Experience it all on this 14-night sailing beginning in Bali and ending in Singapore, with visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Borobudur, Ujung Kulon National Park, and the historic city of Malacca—plus an excursion to the majestic Mount Bromo volcano.

Dates:

-10/31/2024 to 11/13/2024

-12/28/2024 to 1/11/2025

Rates start at $10,010 per person

Curious Islands from the Seychelles to Madagascar

Experience the islands and atolls of the Seychelles and Madagascar in all their splendor on this 10-night sailing aboard Le Dumont-d’Urville. Travelers will discover iconic sights such as the Anse Source d’Argent beach on Seychelles as well as lesser-known gems such as Madagascar’s Diego Suarez—a brand-new port of call—which is known for its deserted beaches, preserved coral reefs, and idyllic marine parks with vivid underwater life.

Dates: 11/28/2024 to 12/8/2024

Rates start at $7,640 per person

Multicultural Discoveries from Malaysia to Thailand

Set sail from Singapore on this eight-night itinerary through Southeast Asia. Guests will develop an appreciation for the region’s rich fusion of Asian, Portuguese, and Dutch influences in the vibrant cities of Penang and Malacca. Rounding out the trip are plenty of opportunities to relax in nature—think: the powdery beaches of Thailand’s Ko Rok Nok Island or the jungle scenery of Malaysia’s Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve.

Dates: 12/20/2024 to 12/28/2024

Rates start at $5,850 per person

Mythical Sites & Islands of Southeast Asia

Explore Southeast Asia in all its diversity on this 15-night sailing along the coasts of Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. Staggering natural landmarks like the Mount Bromo volcano and the Langkawi Island will contrast with the dazzling metropolises of Malacca (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Singapore, and the cosmopolitan city of Semarang, which blends Chinese, Indo-Arabic and European influences.

Dates: 2/10/2025 to 2/25/2025

Rates start at $11,350 per person

Adventure in Bissagos

Spanning some 88 islands and islets off the coast of Guinea Bissau, the Bissagos archipelago—a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve—is one of the world’s best-preserved natural paradises. This 8-night journey aboard Le Lyrial will offer the rare chance to travel into the heart of 10 of the archipelago’s islands to discover traditional villages, meet the Bissagos people and take part in traditional ceremonies and explore lush, biodiverse landscapes home to vervet monkeys, turtles, dolphins, and other exotic creatures.

Dates: 4/7/2025 to 4/15/2025

Rates start at $5,820 per person

ABOUT PONANT

PONANT’s “Explore to Inspire” mission is centered around exploration to better understand, learn, share and protect. For more than 35 years, PONANT has been committed to more responsible tourism and voyages of exploration which have meaning. The French-flagged fleet comprises 13 small capacity ships equipped with state of the art environmentally friendly equipment. With PONANT, exploration is refined, authentic and a source of inspiration. The company sails to the Arctic and the Antarctic as well as in the Atlantic and North Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, Asia, Oceania and South Pacific, the Caribbean, North, Central and South America. For more information, visit  https://us.ponant.com or call 1-844-747-2873 or contact your travel advisor.

PONANT Launches Festive New Voyages in the Arctic Circle for the Winter 2024-25 Season

November 3rd, 2023

Winter is coming! In honor of the festive season, PONANT has designed seven unforgettable voyages in the snowglobe-like worlds of Lapland, the Gulf of Bothnia, and the Baltic Sea to launch during the Winter 2024-25 season. Activities will immerse guests in the frozen beauty of these northern landscapes while setting the festive mood: reindeer-pulled sleigh rides, ice-fishing, Scandinavian Christmas markets, and glimpses of the Northern Lights are among the highlights of these seasonal itineraries.

From the Northern Lights to the Polar Light

This all-new 12-day PONANT journey navigates along the jagged coastlines of Norway to the ice-covered reliefs of Spitsbergen in search of the exhilarating spectacle of the Northern Lights. In Lapland, guests will have the opportunity to meet people from the Sami nation, one of the last European Indigenous people. As travelers take photos of the dancing night skies, VIP guest Ian Dawson, a British Photo Ambassador, will share tips and tricks for getting the perfect shot.

One departure in 2024; from October 18-29. More on the voyage HERE.

Polar Lights: From North Cape to the Lofoten Islands

Dramatic fjords, dolomite cliffs, traditional fishing villages, boreal forests, snow-covered peaks, viewings of reindeer and seabirds — this and more is a part of the experience during this 10-day Polar Nights voyage starting in Lakselv and journeying all the way up to the North Cape, the northernmost point of Europe. VIP guest Ian Dawson, a British Photo Ambassador, will share his tips for getting the perfect shot of the frozen scenery and the Northern Lights. One departure in 2024; from October 29 to November 7. More on the voyage HERE.

Scandinavian Wonderland & Christmas Markets

This brand-new 10-day itinerary whisks guests to the most enchanting cities along the Baltic Sea, including Stockholm, Gotland, Gdansk, and Helsinki. It’s a magical time to visit, with snow-dusted scenery and the smells of mulled wine, cinnamon, and gingerbread drifting through Christmas markets. Other activities include marveling at gothic and baroque architecture, attending a private concert at the Polish Baltic F. Chopin Philharmonic, and exploring the old town of Riga, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Two departures in 2024; from December 2-11 and December 11-20. More on the voyage HERE.

Christmas Magic with Renaud Capuçon

On this nine-day trip itinerary, musician Renaud Capuçon and radio presenter Alain Duault will team up with Radio Classique to provide the soundtrack for a one-of-a-kind journey through

Scandinavian cities, little-known archipelagos, snow-capped peaks, and boreal forests in Finland, Stockholm, and the north of the Gulf of Bothnia. Activities might include dog sledding, ice fishing, Christmas markets, and a visit to the Santa Claus Village of Rovaniemi. One departure in 2024; from December 20-28. More on the voyage HERE.

Musical New Year in the Gulf of Bothnia

Also in partnership with Radio Classique, this nine-day New Year expedition will sail around the Gulf of Bothnia and the Scandinavian region, with visits to the fairytale towns of Rauma, the church-town of Gammelstad, and the neoclassical city of Oulu. A highlight is embarking to  the High Coast archipelago—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and an unforgettable journey among the skerries of the Stockholm archipelago, with an overnight stay opposite the bright lights of the old town. One departure in 2024; from December 28 to January 5, 2025. More on the voyage HERE.

 

ABOUT PONANT

PONANT’s “Explore to Inspire” mission is centered around exploration to better understand, learn, share and protect. For more than 35 years, PONANT has been committed to more responsible tourism and voyages of exploration which have meaning. The French-flagged fleet comprises 13 small capacity ships equipped with state of the art environmentally friendly equipment. With PONANT, exploration is refined, authentic and a source of inspiration. The company sails to the Arctic and the Antarctic as well as in the Atlantic and North Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, Asia, Oceania and South Pacific, the Caribbean, North, Central and South America. For more information, visit  https://us.ponant.com or call 1-844-747-2873 or contact your travel advisor.

PONANT Paves the Way Towards Zero Carbon Navigation with its Iconic Newbuild Ship

July 5th, 2023

Continuing to pioneer in maritime innovation, PONANT has committed to a uniquely designed transoceanic ship, supporting the evolution towards carbon neutrality.  The company’s R&D team have created a pioneering concept that combines six groundbreaking technologies that will redefine future navigation. The sailing ship, which will be ready by 2030, aims to be a catalyst for new energy solutions for PONANT and the broader industry.  Whilst PONANT has chosen to join forces once again with naval architecture Stirling Design International, discussions are ongoing to select the shipyard for the delivery of this vastly evolved and cutting-edge vessel.

A technological revolution that puts sustainability at the heart of the project

“By 2030, our future ship aims to have zero greenhouse gas emissions when sailing, maneuvering, in port or at anchor. Her carbon footprint will be reduced throughout her life cycle. Renewable energy supplied by the wind and sun will be combined with low-carbon non-fossil energy associated with fuel cells,” explains Hervé Gastinel, CEO of PONANT.

The next generation of eco-designed PONANT ships will be a key milestone in achieving a net zero emissions ambition.

With around 100 staterooms and an overall length of 181 meters, PONANT’s future sailing ship is paving the way to a new era for the maritime industry. In line with new European and international regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, PONANT is adopting an unprecedented eco-design approach. This is a major advancement in shipbuilding with selection of equipment and materials based on an analysis of their life cycle through to the recycling of waste.

PONANT heads up project with strong replicability potential to speed up decarbonization of the shipbuilding industry

Swap2Zero aims for zero CO2 eq* emissions in operation, with one month autonomy by being the first to combine six major decarbonization technology building blocks:

1. A sail power system and hull providing an average of 50% of the propulsion energy using the force of the wind;

2. A surface area totaling over 1,000m2 of photovoltaic panels, with new generation organic solar eco-designed devices integrated into the structures and sails;

3. A low temperature fuel cell operating on liquid hydrogen for propulsion, with the water and heat produced being recycled;

4. A high temperature fuel cell to meet the ship’s hotel load requirements, with the heat emitted being recovered and used to produce hot water;

5. On-board carbon capture technology, coupled with the high temperature fuel cell;

6. An innovative bespoke energy management system to control and distribute power without any generators being in service.

The Swap2Zero ship is also part of the PONANT SCIENCE program in line with the company’s commitment to scientists. She will host researchers involved in decarbonization technologies, a major challenge in the battle to control global warming.

* CO2 eq = well to wheel CO2 equivalent emissions; takes into account CO2, Methane, N20 emissions

 

Discover Alaska with PONANT: 2024 Small Ship Expeditions

March 20th, 2023

Where else in the world can you watch black bears catch salmon in glacier-fed creeks, sail through ice-carved fjords, and learn about the local way of life in traditional fishermen settlements? Alaska is a state of wondrous beauty, with rich culture, spectacular wildlife, and astonishing natural landscapes. And now that PONANT is unveiling four itineraries and ten departures for 2024, travelers will get to discover the 49th state like never before.

With departures from Vancouver, Seward, and Sitka, the sailings will range from 7-11 nights, making it possible for guests to be acquainted with Alaska’s vast beauty and glimpses into Alaska’s history. All itineraries will feature a crew of naturalists specializing in geology, ornithology, glaciology, marine mammals, botany, and ethnology. For even more on-board discovery, travelers can opt for two co-branded expeditions in alliance with Smithsonian Journeys—the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex—providing a deep-dive on Alaska’s history, landscapes, and wildlife.

The seven- and eight-night sailings will explore the Inside Passage, with local boat landings and outings, humpback whale sightings, and tours of natural areas teaming with ancient conifer and resinous trees. With a focus on forests and fjords, travelers will enjoy close-up views of some of Alaska’s most extraordinary wildlife: black bears, orcas, bald eagles, sea lions, and more. As the ship navigates the narrow Endicott Arm fjord, views of the magnificent Dawes Glacier will unfold along with the 653,000-acre Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness nature preserve.

A 10-night sailing departing from Sitka — with its eclectic blend of Alaska, Russian and American history — to Vancouver will offer all the highlights of the shorter voyages, with more of an emphasis on community experiences, such as conversations with a local of Elfin Cove, who will speak to the local way of life in the quaint fisherman settlement. Off the west coast of British Columbia, guests will meet with the local Kwakwaka’wakw people—the original inhabitants of the Northern Vancouver Island area—to experience a traditional cultural dance in a log house. The 10-night sailing comes with more opportunity to discover British Columbia’s coastal landscapes, including the Johnstone Strait and the Pearse Islands.

Finally, the 11-night voyages (from Seward to Vancouver/Vancouver to Seward) offer a complete Alaska experience. Expect chatting with local fishermen in the “Little Norway of Alaska;” meeting the Tlingit peoples of Kake, home to one of the largest totem poles in Alaska; diving into the gold rush history in Skagway; glimpsing mighty peaks like Mount Saint Elias, the second-highest mountain in Canada and the United States; and cruising the Prince William Sound—the jewel in the crown of the Pacific Northwest—to spot orcas, grizzly bears and humpback whales and marvel at the Harvard and Bryn Mawr glaciers.

For more information, visit https://us.ponant.com/destinations/alaska

ABOUT PONANT

PONANT’s “Explore to Inspire” mission is centered around exploration to better understand, learn, share and protect. For 35 years, PONANT has been committed to more responsible tourism and voyages of exploration which have meaning. The French-flagged fleet comprises 13 small capacity ships equipped with state of the art environmentally friendly equipment. With PONANT, exploration is refined, authentic and a source of inspiration. The company sails to the Arctic and the Antarctic as well as in the Atlantic and North Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, Asia, Oceania and South Pacific, the Caribbean, North, Central and South America. For more information, visit  https://us.ponant.com or call 1-844-747-2873 or contact your travel advisor.

 

 

NEW SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS AND PONANT EXPEDITION: A ‘SYMPHONY ON THE ST. LAWRENCE’ FROM QUEBEC TO THE CANADIAN MARITIMES, OCTOBER 16-30, 2023 Featuring Keith Lockhart, Conductor of the Boston Pops

November 9th, 2022

Washington, D.C. (Nov. 2, 2022) ¾ Smithsonian Journeys is collaborating with PONANT on a series of co-branded sailings for 2023. Each of the 21 itineraries will be led by two Smithsonian Journeys Experts—whether an art historian, a solar astrophysicist, or an international relations expert—whose expertise and knowledge will shed new light on a destination and deepen travelers’ immersion in place.

Among the new sailings is the “Symphony on the St. Lawrence,” a 15-day journey from Quebec to the Canadian Maritimes aboard Le Bellot, featuring the Conductor of the Boston Pops, Keith Lockhart, and performances by internationally renowned musicians including pianist Jihye Chang, cellist Alistair MacRae, soprano Allison Pohl, violist Scott Rawls, and violinists Wendy Rawls and Benjamin Sung. Maritime historian Eric Roorda will also be on board to lead engaging discussions about the scenic St. Lawrence waterway and UNESCO-recognized landmarks like Lunenberg, Nova Scotia.

The journey begins in Toronto, Canada’s largest and most dynamic city, which sits on Lake Ontario — the smallest of the five Great Lakes of North America and a gateway to the Saint Lawrence River. The first of four calls in Quebec is Montreal, a cosmopolitan metropolis with a UNESCO-recognized Old Town, the largest outdoor market in North America, and the iconic hill of Mount Royal. From there, it’s on to the capital of the French-speaking province, Quebec City, where narrow cobblestone streets, impressive ramparts and fortifications, and one of Canada’s grandest hotels – the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac — set the scene for Old World romance. At the mouth of the Saguenay River is Tadoussac, the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in Canada and a prime destination for whale watching (including Humpbacks and Belugas). After a day at sea, Le Bellot will arrive at Percé, one of the most beautiful villages in Quebec, which sits at the top of the Gaspé Peninsula and is a gateway to the UNESCO Global Geopark of Bonaventure Island.

On the eighth day of the trip, guests will arrive at the colonial seaport of Charlottetown, on Prince Edward Island, home to the world-famous Anne of Green Gables House, the Prince Edward Island National Park, and the mighty Confederation Bridge, the world’s longest bridge spanning ice-covered water. The next stop in the Maritimes is Cap-aux-Meules, in the Magdalen Islands, which has rich Acadian history and traditions and stunning sandstone cliffs that rise above the Atlantic.

Nova Scotia is next, offering three historical towns for discovery. Charming Baddeck on Cape Breton Island is the point of departure and arrival of the famous Cabot Trail as well as the home of the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, dedicated to the life of the inventor. Louisbourg boasts the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, a living museum that recreates 18th-century life through the reconstruction of the formerly thriving settlement. And Lunenburg, whose Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a colorful fishing village and a cradle of Maritime culture.

A day at sea brings Le Bellot to Eastport, Maine, a historic seaside town where guests can explore the Tides Institute & Museum of Art, representing the largest and most significant cultural collection along the eastern coast of Maine. The epic journey ends in Gloucester, Massachusetts, a postcard-perfect seaside town that’s long captivated artists including Rudyard Kipling and Edward Hopper.

Rates start at $13,160 per person, based on double occupancy

About the Smithsonian

Since its founding in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution has been committed to inspiring generations through knowledge and discovery. It is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, consisting of 21 museums, the National Zoological Park, education centers, research facilities, cultural centers, and libraries.  Two of the 21 museums – the National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum – are in the early planning stages. The total number of objects, works of art, and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 155 million, of which nearly 146 million are scientific specimens at the National Museum of Natural History. www.smithsonian.org

About Smithsonian Journeys

Smithsonian Journeys is part of Smithsonian Enterprises, a division of the Smithsonian which oversees the institution’s commercial activities, including the Smithsonian Channel, which is available in over 55 million households globally; the retail operation, which includes 35 museum and airport stores, food concessions; an E-commerce business, Smithsonianstore.com, and Smithsonian magazine, which reaches more than 8 million monthly readers, consumer and education licensing, and books. Smithsonian Journeys is a global leader in cultural travel for diverse audiences, offering unique, expert-led trips on all seven continents. In addition to ocean cruises with PONANT, Smithsonian Journeys offers small-group land journeys, river cruises, active journeys, cultural stays, private jet trips, tailor-made journeys for the independent traveler, and student travel programs. For more information visit www.SmithsonianJourneys.org or call 1-855-330-1542.

ABOUT PONANT

PONANT’s “Explore to Inspire” mission is centered around exploration to better understand, learn, share and protect. For more than 30 years, PONANT has been committed to more responsible tourism and voyages of exploration which have meaning. The French-flagged fleet comprises 13 small capacity ships equipped with state of the art environmentally friendly equipment. With PONANT, exploration is refined, authentic and a source of inspiration. The company sails to the Arctic and the Antarctic as well as in the Atlantic and North Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, Asia, Oceania and South Pacific, the Caribbean, North, Central and South America. For more information, visit  https://us.ponant.com  or call 1-844-747-2873 or contact your travel advisor.

 

NEW PONANT AND SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS EXPEDITION: A CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF SICILY, April 14-22, 2024

November 9th, 2022

PONANT is collaborating with Smithsonian Journeys on a series of co-branded sailings for 2023 and 2024. Each of the itineraries will be led by two Smithsonian Journeys Experts—whether an art historian, a solar astrophysicist, or an international relations expert—whose expertise and knowledge will shed new light on a destination and deepen travelers’ immersion in place.

Among the new sailings is a nine-day circumnavigation of Sicily on Le Champlain, April 14-22, 2024.  Departing from Valletta, the capital of Malta, the itinerary includes visits to well-preserved Greek ruins, impressive Norman cathedrals, active volcanoes, and a handful of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, giving travelers a sense of these country’s ancient civilizations and cultural riches. On-board discussions by Smithsonian Journeys Experts will complement the excursions, adding important context and illuminating perspectives.

Like Sicily, Malta has also been ruled by various civilizations throughout history, making the destination a fascinating jumping-off point. From Valletta, Le Champlain will make its way to the smaller Maltese island of Gozo to see the megalithic temples of Ġgantija and an adjoining archaeological museum, plus red-sand beaches and a crystal-clear sea. Then it’s on to the southwestern coast of Sicily, home to the seaside commune of Porto Empedocle and the UNESCO-recognized Temple Valley, an archaeological site with temples dedicated to Zeus and other mythological gods. Rounding the western tip of the island, the ship will arrive in Trapani for an excursion into the countryside, the ancient Doric temple of Segesta, and the medieval hilltop commune of Erice. From there, it’s on to Palermo, the capital of Sicily, and one of Europe’s most vibrant and up-and-coming cities, where Byzantine mosaics and baroque churches exist alongside chic artisan studios and trendy restaurants. There, activities range from a tour of the Capella Palatina, a Byzantine-Arab-Norman structure with dazzling mosaics and magnificent inlaid marble floors and walls, or a drive to nearby Monreale to explore its famed Norman cathedral.

Just north of Sicily is Lipari, the largest of the Aeolian islands, characterized by lava stone quarries, a dramatic coastline, and a castle within a fortified citadel. After a visit here, travelers will sail north to Stromboli, taking in panoramic vistas of the active volcano, before crossing through the Strait of Messina to arrive at Taormina, the so-called St. Tropez of Sicily. There, visit a winery on the slopes of Mount Etna — the largest active volcano in Europe— or tour Taormina town with its historic Greek Theater which looks out to the dazzling coastline.

The final port of call is Syracuse, colonized by the Greeks in the 8th century B.C. and one of the most powerful cities of the ancient world, where guests will visit the Roman Amphitheater of Augustus and the 15,000-seat Greek theater.

Rates start at $6,500 per person.

Image Link: https://we.tl/t-2iaiFlPZie

ABOUT PONANT

PONANT’s “Explore to Inspire” mission is centered around exploration to better understand, learn, share and protect. For more than 30 years, PONANT has been committed to more responsible tourism and voyages of exploration which have meaning. The French-flagged fleet comprises 13 small capacity ships equipped with state of the art environmentally friendly equipment. With PONANT, exploration is refined, authentic and a source of inspiration. The company sails to the Arctic and the Antarctic as well as in the Atlantic and North Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, Asia, Oceania and South Pacific, the Caribbean, North, Central and South America. For more information, visit  https://us.ponant.com or call 1-844-747-2873 or contact your travel advisor.

About the Smithsonian

Since its founding in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution has been committed to inspiring generations through knowledge and discovery. It is the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, consisting of 21 museums, the National Zoological Park, education centers, research facilities, cultural centers, and libraries.  Two of the 21 museums – the National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum – are in the early planning stages. The total number of objects, works of art, and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 155 million, of which nearly 146 million are scientific specimens at the National Museum of Natural History. www.smithsonian.org

About Smithsonian Journeys

Smithsonian Journeys is part of Smithsonian Enterprises, a division of the Smithsonian which oversees the institution’s commercial activities, including the Smithsonian Channel, which is available in over 55 million households globally; the retail operation, which includes 35 museum and airport stores, food concessions; an E-commerce business, Smithsonianstore.com, and Smithsonian magazine, which reaches more than 8 million monthly readers, consumer and education licensing, and books. Smithsonian Journeys is a global leader in cultural travel for diverse audiences, offering unique, expert-led trips on all seven continents. In addition to ocean cruises with PONANT, Smithsonian Journeys offers small-group land journeys, river cruises, active journeys, cultural stays, private jet trips, tailor-made journeys for the independent traveler, and student travel programs. For more information visit www.SmithsonianJourneys.org or call 1-855-330-1542.

 

 

New Ponant and Smithsonian Journeys Expedition From Indonesia to Australia, Timed to Solar Eclipse April 9-24, 2023

August 16th, 2022

PONANT is collaborating with Smithsonian Journeys on a series of co-branded sailings for 2023. Each of the 21 itineraries will be led by two Smithsonian Journey Experts—whether an art historian, a solar astrophysicist, or an international relations expert—whose expertise and knowledge will shed new light on a destination and deepen travelers’ immersion in place.

Among the new sailings is a 16-day sailing to eastern Indonesia, East Timor, and the Kimberley region of Australia, timed to the total eclipse of the sun that will take place on April 20, 2023—one of only five total solar eclipses remaining worldwide this decade. Smithsonian Journey Experts, Associate Director of Science at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Alex Young and Australian-American historian Craig Benjamin, will guide guests’ viewing of this spectacular three-plus hour cosmic event and other trip programming. Rates start at $20,480 per person.

Setting sail from Bali, the trip begins with two days of swimming, snorkeling, and sightings of mythical Komodo dragons in Komodo National Park, followed by two days discovering the cultural and natural wonders of East Timor—from soaking up the Portuguese heritage and arts and crafts scene of the capital, Dili, to discovering the small villages that line the east coast of Baucau. A highlight is exploring the Coral Triangle and its abundant coral reefs.

After crossing the Timor Sea, guests will arrive in Wyndham, the northernmost township of Western Australia and the gateway to the Kimberley region. Often referred to as the “Antarctica of the tropics,” the Kimberley is a vast, remote region larger than 75 percent of the world’s countries, with rushing waterfalls, white sandy beaches, dense mangrove forests, rugged sandstone gorges, and the largest population of migrating humpback whales on the planet. Your first three days will include Zodiac tours of King George River (including the 260-foot-high King George Twin Falls) and viewings of aboriginal Wandjina and Gwion Gwion rock art of Swift Bay. Other options include cruising the Ord River, flying over the Bungle Bungle mountains, and exploring the El Questro outback station, one of the world’s last remaining frontiers.

From there, Le Lapérouse will sail back into the Timor Sea to stage herself in an advantageous position for viewing the solar eclipse, which will take place from late morning to early afternoon on April 20, with an approximate period of totality of just over one minute.

Following the spectacular cosmic event, the journey continues with three more days in the Kimberley region, beginning with the landscapes of Collier Bay, where tidal ranges exceeding 45 feet have created dramatic landscapes and natural phenomena, like the Montgomery Reef, the world’s largest in-shore reef system. At the southern end of the Bay is the world’s only “Horizontal Falls,” described by Sir David Attenborough as “one of the greatest wonders of the natural world,” where tidal movements create a waterfall effect between narrow gorges. On the second-to-last day, you’ll head to the Lacepede Islands, a rich breeding habitat for Green Turtles, Brown Boobies, Lesser Frigatebirds, and other species. Guided zodiac tours will offer close-up views of the wildlife and the four sand islands.  The trip concludes in Broome, on the far north coast of Western Australia.

About PONANT

PONANT’s “Explore to Inspire” mission is centered around exploration to better understand, learn, share and protect. For more than 30 years, PONANT has been committed to more responsible tourism and voyages of exploration which have meaning. The French-flagged fleet comprises 13 small capacity ships equipped with state of the art environmentally friendly equipment. With PONANT, exploration is refined, authentic and a source of inspiration. The company explores the Arctic and the Antarctic as well as in the Atlantic and North Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, Asia, Oceania and South Pacific, the Caribbean, North, Central and South America. For more information, visit  https://us.ponant.com or call 1-844-747-2873 or contact your travel advisor.

About the Smithsonian

Since its founding in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution has been committed to inspiring generations through knowledge and discovery. It is the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, consisting of 21 museums, the National Zoological Park, education centers, research facilities, cultural centers, and libraries.  Two of the 21 museums – the National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum – are in the early planning stages. The total number of objects, works of art, and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 155 million, of which nearly 146 million are scientific specimens at the National Museum of Natural History. www.smithsonian.org

About Smithsonian Journeys

Smithsonian Journeys is part of Smithsonian Enterprises, a division of the Smithsonian which oversees the institution’s commercial activities, including the Smithsonian Channel, which is available in over 55 million households globally; the retail operation, which includes 35 museum and airport stores, food concessions; an E-commerce business, Smithsonianstore.com, and Smithsonian magazine, which reaches more than 8 million monthly readers, consumer and education licensing, and books. Smithsonian Journeys is a global leader in cultural travel for diverse audiences, offering unique, expert-led trips on all seven continents. In addition to ocean cruises with PONANT, Smithsonian Journeys offers small-group land journeys, river cruises, active journeys, cultural stays, private jet trips, tailor-made journeys for the independent traveler, and student travel programs. For more information visit www.SmithsonianJourneys.org or call 1-855-330-1542.

 

New 2023 PONANT and Smithsonian Journeys Expedition in Panama and Costa Rica

August 9th, 2022

NEW PONANT AND SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS EXPEDITION IN PANAMA AND COSTA RICA, FEBRUARY 11-FEBRUARY 18, 2023

 

PONANT is collaborating with Smithsonian Journeys on a series of co-branded sailings for 2023. Each of the 21 itineraries will be led by two Smithsonian Journey Experts—whether an art historian, a solar astrophysicist, or an international relations expert—whose expertise and knowledge will shed new light on a destination and deepen travelers’ immersion in place.

 

Among the new sailings is an eight-day cruise aboard Le Bellot to Panama and Costa Rica. The immersive journey will combine a crossing of the Panama Canal, snorkeling and swimming on the beautiful Holandes Cayes, excursions in the Darién and Manuel Antonio National Parks, and encounters with local Indigenous communities—plus a specially arranged visit to the Punta Culebra Nature Center at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), an open-air museum dedicated to tropical science and conservation. Back on the ship, expect inspiring talks and informative events led by two Smithsonian Journeys Experts, including climate leader Steve Paton, who has spent his career monitoring the climate and oceans of the tropics.

 

After setting off from Colón, Panama’s colorful port city, Le Bellot will journey to the San Blas archipelago, made up of more than 300 islands and home to approximately 40,000 members of the Kuna community, one of the most powerful Indigenous groups in the Western Hemisphere. From there, you’ll cross the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean via the Panama Canal, the world’s most important waterway, before exploring the capital’s atmospheric Old Quarter, the Frank Gehry-designed Biomuseo, and the Punta Culebra Nature Center at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). There, staff will share the latest research related to marine science and guests will observe rare species up close.

 

Next, you’ll sail to the Darién National Park, set in the wildest and most remote part of Panama. The UNESCO World Heritage site is a natural playground of sandy beaches, rocky coasts, mangroves, and tropical forests, as well as the home of the Emberá Amerindian community. Guests will visit their tropical village, admiring beautiful local crafts and enjoying traditional songs and dances.

 

The last stretch of the trip takes place in Costa Rica, starting in the spectacular Manuel Antonio National Park, a tropical reserve known for its variety of wildlife like sloths, howler monkeys, and toucans. Then Le Bellot will make her way to Puerto Caldera, the point of disembarkation, a gateway to the magnificent Arenal Volcano.

 

Rates start at $6,030 per person.

 

ABOUT PONANT

PONANT’s “Explore to Inspire” mission is centered around exploration to better understand, learn, share and protect. For more than 30 years, PONANT has been committed to more responsible tourism and voyages of exploration which have meaning. The French-flagged fleet comprises 13 small capacity ships equipped with state of the art environmentally friendly equipment. With PONANT, exploration is refined, authentic and a source of inspiration. The company sails to the Arctic and the Antarctic as well as in the Atlantic and North Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, Asia, Oceania and South Pacific, the Caribbean, North, Central and South America. For more information, visit  https://us.ponant.com or call 1-844-747-2873 or contact your travel advisor.

 

About the Smithsonian

Since its founding in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution has been committed to inspiring generations through knowledge and discovery. It is the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, consisting of 21 museums, the National Zoological Park, education centers, research facilities, cultural centers, and libraries.  Two of the 21 museums – the National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum – are in the early planning stages. The total number of objects, works of art, and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 155 million, of which nearly 146 million are scientific specimens at the National Museum of Natural History. www.smithsonian.org

 

About Smithsonian Journeys

Smithsonian Journeys is part of Smithsonian Enterprises, a division of the Smithsonian which oversees the institution’s commercial activities, including the Smithsonian Channel, which is available in over 55 million households globally; the retail operation, which includes 35 museum and airport stores, food concessions; an E-commerce business, Smithsonianstore.com, and Smithsonian magazine, which reaches more than 8 million monthly readers, consumer and education licensing, and books. Smithsonian Journeys is a global leader in cultural travel for diverse audiences, offering unique, expert-led trips on all seven continents. In addition to ocean cruises with PONANT, Smithsonian Journeys offers small-group land journeys, river cruises, active journeys, cultural stays, private jet trips, tailor-made journeys for the independent traveler, and student travel programs. For more information visit www.SmithsonianJourneys.org or call 1-855-330-1542.

 

Where to Learn About Sustainability While Traveling – Our Top 9 Picks

July 27th, 2022

There’s infinite wisdom to be gained from the world of travel. One area where travel can be particularly impactful is sustainability. By integrating travelers into communities, instilling a deep reverence toward natural landscapes, and opening minds through fun, educational programming, travel has the capacity to effect lasting change long after a trip has ended. Here are nine hotels, tour operators, and destinations that are combining impact and inspiration in game-changing ways.

 

andBeyond

When it comes to conservation tourism, andBeyond is in a league of its own. Since its founding in 1991, the brand has secured some of the tourism industry’s conservation firsts: the reintroduction of cheetah to andBeyond Phinda, the groundbreaking translocation of 19 guar at India’s Bandhavgarh National Park, and the Rhinos Without Borders initiative that saw the relocation of 100+ rhinos from the highest poaching zones in South Africa. By staying at andBeyond’s 33 lodges and camps and opting for its tailor made tours and small group journeys, travelers are not only supporting these crucial initiatives across three continents, but also making history. Participate in the pioneering Pangolin conservation experience in a region where the species has been locally extinct for decades. Listen to legendary conservation leaders like Les Carlisle tell you about his decades of experience rewilding destinations around the world. Inspire a younger generation of conservationists by enrolling young visitors in the WILDchild Eco-Guide Challenge, which might include learning bushman skills like catch-and-release fishing, animal tracking, and identifying species of plants and animals.

 

Le Commandant Charcot

PONANT’s latest addition to its fleet is the world’s first luxury hybrid electric polar exploration ship that’s powered by electric battery and liquified natural gas, a non-toxic source that has the best safety records of all fuel types. With eight departures for the summer 2022 and 2023 Arctic season, Le Commandant Charcot offers guests the chance to venture to the farthest reaches of the globe, where they can participate in citizen science experiments, learn about the conservation initiatives, and tour remote landscapes with a team of naturalist-guides. For example, on a 16-day itinerary to the Geographic North Pole, the most northern point of the Earth’s axis of rotation, one activity is setting up a research station on an ice floe and deploying an Argos transmitter (a satellite-based system that collects and disseminates environmental data). Meanwhile, in Antarctica, on the 30-day journey Unexplored Antarctica Between Two Continents—an all-new and unrivaled half-circumnavigation between the far south of the American continent to New Zealand—guests will deepen their knowledge of the world’s most remote locales through expert-led lectures and excursions guided by naturalists, like observing isolated colonies of emperor penguins on coastal areas along the Bellingshausen Sea. When in battery mode, Le Commandant Charcot can sail for up to eight hours at a time without producing any emissions and with very low noise levels, so as to not disrupt aquatic life.

 

Paradero

Hands-on sustainable farming tutorials. Cooking classes with ingredients grown in the garden. A hike through the UNESCO-protected biosphere reserves along the Baja California Peninsula. At Paradero Todos Santos, an 80 percent landscape project and hospitality concept developed by Mexican entrepreneurs Pablo Carmona and Josh Kremer, education has never been so fun—or scenic. The property is spread across five acres in the unspoiled La Mesa farming community, an agricultural area comprising 160 acres of family-owned farms, and located at the doorstop of five distinct ecosystems, including the Sierra de La Laguna Mountain range, and a 200-year-old cordon cacti forest. Every activity at Paradero is designed to immerse guests in these spectacular landscapes and promote a deeper, more authentic connection to the land and the local community. Ultimately, these skills will generate greater self-awareness—encouraging guests to embody the values of Paradero long after a trip has ended.

 

Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel, Cape Town

Situated at the base of Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain and spread across nine acres of lush gardens, Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel offers the rare experience of being amid nature in one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. The reverence toward the natural world is reflected in the property’s range of unique activities and experiences, like the Fynbos Sunset Walk, a hike that begins just steps from the hotel and winds through one of the most biologically diverse regions on earth with over 9,000 plant species, nearly 70 percent are native to the Western Cape. Belmond guests also enjoy private access to shark scientist Justin Blake for a private ocean boating and snorkeling expedition to explore the underwater world that surrounds Cape Town’s coast.  During the half-day excursion, swim through the Cape kelp forests, recently listed as a new Seven Wonder of the World, and the octopus gardens of Oscar-award winning documentary “My Octopus Teacher,” offering to gain a greater understanding of the importance of sharks in maintaining the delicately balanced marine ecosystems. Back on boat, dine on a sustainable seafood-inspired picnic created by Mount Nelson’s Chef Rudi Liebenberg, featuring delicacies sourced from ABALOBI, a South African-based social enterprise supporting small-scale fishing communities globally.

 

UXUA Casa Hotel

Built by local artisans over a two-year period using traditional building methods and reclaimed materials (nothing is sourced beyond a five-mile radius of Trancoso), UXUA Casa Hotel and Spa is literally built on a sustainable foundation. The property’s influence goes beyond the hotel’s walls, though. At VIDA Lab, the on-site nutritional laboratory and medical kitchen, medical director Dr. Jullian Hamamoto transforms local plants and botanicals—from the on-site garden, the nearby Itaporoca beach, and the 50-acre UXUA ROÇA farm—into healing elixirs and beautifying therapies. Guests can go foraging with Dr. Jullian to learn about the significance of these ingredients, many of which are sacred to Brazil’s Indigeous Pataxó people. At the on-site atelier, guests can interact with local craftspeople and give input into products they’d like made, like kaftans and kimonos made by local weavers. Another notable activity is a capoeira lesson by a professor at the local Capoeira Sul Da Bahia school, which is dedicated to the preservation and study of the centuries-old martial art. One hundred percent of the proceeds for each lesson is donated to the school, and guests can also join in public class sessions with local youth.

 

Napa Valley

Napa Valley is at the forefront of sustainability in wine—the region is home to 40 percent of all certified sustainable wineries in California. Established in 1976, the Land Trust of Napa County protects more than 55,000 acres, roughly 10 percent of Napa County, ensuring the preservation of the land. No other wine region in the world has something like it. Local vintners work with more than 20 industry and environmental stakeholder groups to promote responsible business development and environmental stewardship.  What this means for visitors? Plenty of wide-open vistas and sustainably made wine, for one. There’s also an extensive range of activities that promote deeper engagement with Napa’s landscapes. The Napa Valley Bike Trail, for example, is a walking/cycling trail system that will connect the entire region, offering 47 continuous miles of level, paved, dog-friendly trail. Another way to see the sights: motoring around the region with Green Dream Tours, a carbon-neutral business that whisks visitors to sustainable wineries in the region, like Starmont Wines in St. Helena, where they’ll learn about their sustainable processes and techniques.

 

Nayara Resorts

The five properties that make up Naya Resorts’ portfolio are each located in a spectacular corner of Latin American—from the green valley in the Atacama Desert; Easter Island, one of the most remote places on earth; and the three Costa Rican properties, which are spread over a mountainside facing the majestic Arenal Volcano. With these sublime natural locations comes ample opportunity to learn about these precious ecosystems and the wildlife therein. In Costa Rica, for example, where Nayara planted over 1,000 Cecropia trees—the sloth’s made food source—guests can visit the sloth sanctuary to watch and learn about these creatures and various conservation efforts. While in Atacama, guests can discover the Salar of Atacama with a naturalist guide, navigating its rock formations and watching flamingos fly across the open sky.

 

Gili Lankanfushi

​​Located in the Maldives’ North Malé Atoll, one of the world’s most spectacular and fragile natural environments, Gili Lankanfushi takes great strides to protect its rich marine diversity and safeguard its surroundings for generations to come. Later this year, the resort will unveil a new Marine Biology Center, with a cutting-edge research space and the expansion of the coral nursery. The resort’s primary marine research facility, the lab is where guests can learn from Gili’s team of marine biologists, participating in coral reef cleaning and collecting vital information that benefits organizations like the Marina Research Center. Guests can even help rehabilitate damaged coral by nursing coral on ropes (lines) and transplanting them onto degraded reef areas—an initiative that Gili launched way before it was popular in the Maldives.

 

La Samanna, A Belmond Hotel, St. Martin

While a beach vacation conjures up visions of sunbathing on velvety shores, guests of La Samanna, A Belmond Hotel can combine seaside bliss and sustainable education. The Escape to Tintamarre experience entails a boat ride to the uninhabited Tintamarre island, in the Saint Martin Nature Reserve, home to rare hawksbill turtles and stingrays. A local marine conservationist will educate guests about the rich marine fauna and local sustainability efforts. Or visitors can venture up the St. Martin’s tallest peaks with a local nature guide, pausing to soak up sweeping island views and admire colorful plants and animals.

 

 

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