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.

 

 

White Elephant Nantucket Will Unveil Complete Renovation for 2023 Season

March 20th, 2023

White Elephant has been an integral part of Nantucket’s history since the 1920s. Built as a series of rustic cottages, the harborfront landmark has evolved into the island’s most timeless resort, with a collection of chic accommodations showcasing the very best of the beloved destination. On May 5, 2023, in time with the White Elephant’s 100th anniversary, the resort will debut yet another metamorphosis, with a multi-million dollar restoration and renovation of its 54-room and -suite Harborside Hotel and 11 Cottages.

Elizabeth Lowrey, Principal at Elkus Manfredi Architects, the design firm who brought us the multi-award-winning White Elephant Palm Beach, has conceived of a bright, airy, residential-inspired refresh, drawing on the essence of Nantucket—its history, the quality of light, its natural landscapes, the colors, textures, and artistic legacy—to breathe new life into these historic accommodations. All materials and finishes will be replaced, from the carpets to the fixtures and the furnishings, with an emphasis on design details that are authentic to place and exude effortless sophistication. The patterns of the textiles will draw on the island’s rich history of basket weaving; exterior shiplights evoke Nantucket’s deep seafaring traditions; and a color palette of Labrador blues and seafoam greens are inspired by the coastal surroundings. The brand’s deep heritage will be woven throughout, with brass elephant knockers on doors, elephant door and drawer pulls, and elephant needlepoint pillows in rooms.

Ranging from 375- to 450-square-feet of living space, guestrooms will be awash in a coastal color palette, with rattan textiles, white oak desks, scalloped lampshades and headboards, and grass cloth wall coverings that evoke the island’s dune grasses. Of the 66 accommodations, 25 of the rooms and 25 of the suites provide direct access to the harborside lawn and the coastal surroundings.

Like the distinct patterns that make up an exquisite quilt, the 11 cottages—which span 400 to 900 square feet—will all be individually decorated and styled after plants indigenous to Nantucket: Bayberry, Hydrangea, Daylily, Beachplum, Honeysuckle, Holly, Arrowwood, Marigold, Rosa Rugosa, and Snapdragon. Each cottage will take a plant as inspiration, with color palettes and artworks that evoke the flora—tones of buttery yellow for the Honeysuckle room, pale lavender for Beachplum, and pale pink for Rose. The two-bedroom cottages feature decks with coastal views, while the one- and three-bedroom cottages are set in a newly landscaped verdant garden area complete with pathways that crisscross the central lawn.

The White Elephant will also debut a redesigned lobby, drawing in local elements like a basket weave carpet design that nods to the surroundings. The lobby has been reimagined with an expanded retail space and more approachable concierge and reception areas. A centerpiece of the new lobby is a large-scale commissioned artwork by Israeli painter Orit Fuchs (who created an acrylic artwork for sister property White Elephant Palm Beach), depicting a harborside scene of a woman (dressed in Nantucket reds) in a rowboat, floating by the White Elephant.

New original art will be installed throughout the rooms and corridors, resulting from the brand’s all-new Artist in Residency Program, launched in August 2022. New York based art consultant and curator Emily Santangeloworked closely with White Elephant’s owners, the Karp family, to create a residency made up of acclaimed artists from around the world. The artists spent two weeks exploring the island to gather inspiration for their works, venturing to some parts of the island only accessible by boat.

Among the featured artists include painter Mary Chandler, who created watercolors of the indigenous Nantucket flora for which the cottages are named; installation photographer Thomas Jackson, who shot a series of colorful beachside photographs,  the Maine-based landscape painter Greta van Campen, known for her contemporary hard-edged landscape scenes; Swedish artist Clara Hallencreutz and painter Renée Levin, who is best known for her depictions of coastal and natural objects.

Seasonal nightly rates start at $375 for a guestroom, $675 for a suite, $775 for a one-bedroom cottage, and $1,275 for two- and three-bedroom cottages.

For more information, visit https://www.whiteelephantresorts.com or call 1.800.475.2637.

About White Elephant Resorts

White Elephant Resorts is a collection of premier hotels and resorts on Nantucket, MA and in Palm Beach, FL that specialize in bringing their award-winning combination of service, design, and amenities to today’s discerning traveler. Properties include The Wauwinet, with access to both bay and ocean beaches and home to award-winning TOPPER’S restaurant; White Elephant, the iconic hotel located right on Nantucket Harbor with the Brant Point Grill; Jared Coffin House, a historic hotel in Nantucket Town and its restaurant, Tap Room; The Cottages at Nantucket Boat Basin, private waterfront cottages; and Nantucket Boat Basin, a 240-slip full-service award-winning marina. White Elephant Palm Beach debuted in November 2020 in Palm Beach, FL with Nantucket-favorite LoLa 41 restaurant. The Wauwinet was ranked in Travel + Leisure’s T+L 500 awards. In 2021, The Wauwinet was recognized by Travel + Leisure’s World Best Awards and both White Elephant and The Wauwinet were recipients of Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards. TOPPER’s is AAA’s only “Five Diamond” restaurant on Nantucket and has been a recipient of Wine Spectator’s “Grand Award” for 25 consecutive years. Following its debut, White Elephant Palm Beach has also been recognized as the  #1 Resort in Florida in Travel + Leisure’s 2022 World’s Best Awards.

 

Coronation Celebrations in London, Ireland, and Scotland

March 20th, 2023

From commemorative teas and Royal Warrant shopping guides to zero-waste cocktails

and princess experiences, here are seven hotels getting in on the excitement.

The Beaumont in Mayfair, which will see an extension by Thierry Despont later this year, will offer an in-room “coronation pack” for guests overnighting on Friday, May 5. The contents will include a map of the big day’s events, Union Jack flags, a Union Jack hat, and a commemorative mug. In addition, the afternoon tea for the entire month of May will give a nod to the extraordinary precious and semi-precious stones found in the Crown Jewels with gemstone-hued pastries (think rich ruby red and grassy green of emeralds) that are flavored with the scents of English spring gardens (such as red currants, rose, and elderflower).

L’oscar is housed within a Baroque-style, Grade-II listed former church in Bloomsbury. Taking inspiration from Oscar Wilde, Jacques Garcia (a Michel Reybier favorite who designed La Réserve in Paris and Geneva and is currently working with the brand’s property in Ramatuelle) restored the interiors with sumptuous fabrics and jewel tones while retaining some of the original touches, including two fireplaces with royal Doulton terracotta panels. This is the place for those who would like to be near the theater and shop like a royal. The property under the Michel Reybier Hospitality group (hotels in Paris, Geneva, Zurich, Zermatt, Interlaken) will provide a map of Royal Warrant Holders nearby.

To celebrate the coronation of King Charles, The Doyle Collection’s London properties will create a series of cocktails inspired by the two things about which he is most passionate: Sustainability and the ‘Best of British’ produce. The BloomsburyThe Marylebone, and The Kensington will each create one zero-waste cocktail using British spirits and sustainably sourced produce, channeling the English countryside. Think herbaceous Cornish gin, juicy British strawberries and fragrant local Elderflower…

In nearby Ireland, Dromoland Castle lets its youngest guests celebrate their owncoronation with their Princess Package. This entails a day of lessons in deportment, song, and traditional dance, a trip to the spa for hair and nails, and culminates with a coronation in the great Kincora Hall with a crown and certificate (and of course a royal afternoon tea!).

The Fife Arms in Braemar, in the heart of Royal Deeside, is the perfect location to mark the historic event. Royal Deeside has a rich and longstanding connection with the Royal family, stemming from the 1850s when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert built Balmoral Castle as a family home, just nine miles from the property. Over the coronation weekend, guests will enjoy a special Afternoon Tea including classic Victoria sponge and coronation chicken, picnic at the Highland Games Centre, as well as a Royal whisky tasting in Bertie’s Whisky Bar, featuring a flight of King Charles’ favorite drams.

 

We are now working with all of the Park Hyatt properties in Japan!

March 20th, 2023

After many years of working with Park Hyatt Tokyo, we are thrilled to now be working with Park Hyatt Niseko and Park Hyatt Kyoto! Japan has had a bit of a spotlight on it this year since reopening post-Covid. Cherry blossom season is nearly here! This year, visitors can celebrate the fragrant blooms by booking a flower-filled escape to Japan. As part of the festivities, the Park Hyatt hotels in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Niseko are rolling out unique events and menus inspired by the season—from picnic baskets and art installations to zipline experiences!

Park Hyatt Tokyo

Park Hyatt Tokyo was put on the map by Sofia Coppola’s Lost In Translation, which will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in September!

Dining updates for spring:

  • To appreciate the Cherry Blossoms up close, guests can take a lunch box to go. The Sakura edition features pink-colored goodies like smoked salmon sushi and hazelnut financiers topped with Sakura green tea cream, while late spring treats include matcha-bread sandwiches and mini quiches prepared with green asparagus and smoked bacon.
  • The Girandole restaurant is launching a menu by chef Thibault Chaumont in collaboration with chef Kojiro Tsutsumi. Dishes will marry French techniques and seasonal Japanese ingredients, including spring clam and a colorful array of fresh vegetables. From Friday, March 24 to Wednesday, April 26.
  • KOZUE restaurant (known for its traditional Japanese fare) will also offer a special seasonal dinner, starring the prized Kano-gani crab, which is only available during winter and early spring.  Tables are available for two weeks only, with limited servings per day; From Monday, March 6 to Sunday, March 19.
  • The New York Grill’s “Spring Harvest” will focus on the award-winning Hakata Wagyu beef—the winner of the most recent Wagyu competition in Japan. From Tuesday, March 21 to Friday, June 9.

 

Park Hyatt Kyoto

Located close to the Kodai-ji Temple and boasting panoramic views of the multi-tiered Yasaka Pagoda and the city’s tiled roof skyline, Park Hyatt Kyoto is a magical escape no matter the time of year. But spring and summer are especially popular times to visit. Hotel guests enjoy VIP tickets to the annual Aoi Matsuri festival (May 15), where hundreds of participants don traditional clothing from the Heian period as two processions make their way to the Kamo Shrines. Guests also have preferred seating at the Gion Matsuri—Kyoto’s biggest annual festival—which takes over multiple days in July and features traditional float parades and the “Yoi-yama” street party events.

On property, guests can enjoy Japanese tea pairing at the exquisitely renovated Kyoyamato, a traditional Japanese restaurant run by a seventh-generation Kyoto family, complete with a Soyotei ­­teahouse from the Edo era. For wellness, guests may opt to go on a guided tour of the grounds led by a Shinto priest, or enjoy a seated Zazen meditation at nearby temples that are off-limits to the general public.

Park Hyatt Niseko

It may be a favorite wintertime destination (and is known for its excellent skiing), but come spring, the Park Hyatt Niseko entices guests with plenty of seasonal happenings. For the second year, the resort will activate the art installation “Mountain Lights” by acclaimed artist Bruce Munro. A spectacle of 180,000 shimmering fiber-optic plumes of light, the installation blankets the foot of Niseko Annupuri Mountain — visible from all 100 guestrooms.

The Hanazono Zip World—East Asia’s longest zipline—will also reopen for the season. Stretching 1.6 miles from the base of the resort halfway to the peak of the Niseko United ski mountain, the zipline allows guests to soar over the forested mountains at speeds exceeding 110 kilometers per hour on the Black Diamond Superfly.

Back at the hotel, guests may consider retreating to the award-winning spa to relax in the 80-foot heated indoor pool and hot spring onsen baths.

 

 

Black Friday + Cyber Monday Travel Offers 2022

November 22nd, 2022

Black Friday + Cyber Monday Travel Offers

DOMESTIC:

20% Off | Shou Sugi Ban House | Watermill, NY

Shou Sugi Ban House, the only comprehensive wellness program in the Hamptons, will offer early access and a 20% savings to Summer 2023 rates when booking a stay of three nights or more. When booking five nights or more, travelers will also have access to a personal driver during the entire stay.

  • Booking Dates: November 25 – December 31, 2022
  • Travel Dates: June 1 – August 31, 2023
  • Starting Prices: $2,700 pre-discount
  • Link: https://shousugibanhouse.com/

20% Off | White Elephant Resorts | Nantucket, Massachusetts + Palm Beach, Florida

The White Elephant Resorts portfolio, including Jared Coffin House, The Cottages, The Wauwinet, White Elephant, and the Boat Basin in Nantucket, and White Elephant Palm Beach in Florida, will offer 20% off the best available rate.

  • Booking Dates: November 28 – December 3, 2022
  • Travel dates for White Elephant Resorts on Nantucket: Based on availability, minimum stays may apply, black-out dates include all weekends in July and August, some holiday and festival weekends. Cannot be applied to groups.
  • Travel dates for White Elephant Palm Beach: Valid on stays between December 1, 2022, and October 31, 2023. Based on availability, minimum stays may apply, black-out dates include December 23, 2022 to January 1, 2023, February 17 – 19, 2023, March 24 – April 1, 2023
  • Starting Prices (before discount):
    • White Elephant Nantucket: $325
    • Jared Coffin House: $145
    • The Wauwinet: $325
    • The Cottages: $180
    • White Elephant Palm Beach: $595
  • Link: https://www.whiteelephantresorts.com/
  • Booking code: CYBER

 

Third Night Free I Carneros Resort and Spa| Napa Valley, California

Surrounded by grapevines, the stand-alone airy rooms offer a luxe countryside vibe, each with its own fireplace and private patios. Enjoy your third night free!

  • Booking Dates: Now – November 29, 2022
  • Travel Dates: Now – March 31, 2023
  • Starting Price: $609
  • Link: www.carnerosresort.com or (877) 497-7060
  • Booking Code: CYBER22

 

30% Off I Meritage Resort| Napa Valley, California

Dash away to Napa with Black Friday savings that are sure to bring you and yours holiday cheer. Enjoy 30% off stays through June 2023, plus receive a $30 daily resort credit. The offer is available for new reservations only; it cannot be combined with any other offers. Not available for group bookings. Non-refundable. Resort credit is non-cumulative. Blackout dates apply

 

INTERNATIONAL:

$1,000 Discount | andBeyond | Africa + South America

andBeyond, the award-winning luxury experiential travel company with 29 luxury lodges and camps, will offer a $1,000 discount by purchasing one of a limited number of Cyber Monday $4,000 travel vouchers for just $3,000. The $4,000 vouchers can be redeemed on any new 2023 bookings.

  • Booking Dates: The vouchers are only for sale for one day (on Cyber Monday). Payment will be processed by the 30th of November.
  • Voucher Terms and Conditions:
    • The vouchers are redeemable for travel for up to three years.
    • They would only be able to be applied to new andBeyond lodge accommodation bookings in Africa & South America where a minimum of four nights at any combination of andBeyond lodge or camp are booked.
    • The voucher is a payment method that can be used on a booking containing any of andBeyond’s other offers.
    • There are a limited number of 50 vouchers available for sale. A maximum of one Cyber Monday voucher redeemed per booking, and sales are limited to one voucher per person.
  • Link: https://www.andbeyond.com/cyber-monday/

 

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.

 

 

Ian Fleming’s GoldenEye Announces New Package in Celebration of 60 Years of James Bond

October 7th, 2022

Ian Fleming’s GoldenEye Announces New Package in Celebration of 60 Years of James Bond

2022 marks the 60th year of Bond—James Bond. What better place to celebrate than GoldenEye, the lush Jamaican hideaway where Ian Fleming wrote all fourteen 007 novels? Travelers who book a minimum four-night stay from September 28-December 19 will unlock 30 percent off accommodations, among other perks. Go to the source of Fleming’s literary inspiration by booking the five-bedroom villa that the author built and resided in as he penned classics like Casino Royale and Live and Let Die.

As a guest of GoldenEye, you’ll celebrate 60 years of Bond in killer style. A complimentary arrival cocktail will set the tone, followed by a bottle of Bollinger Champagne and a flask of Blackwell rum in the room. When you’re not lounging on the golden sounds or strolling the gardens where Fleming sought inspiration, enjoy complimentary use of the tennis court, non-motorized water sports, and the fitness course. Starting from $575 per night; booking is subject to availability, blackout dates apply (November 24-28, December 20-January 3, 2023); services and tax not included; valid for new bookings only, not combinable with other promotions.

The 60th Anniversary package is one of GoldenEye’s many offers for this year. Others include License to Chill, an exclusive promotion that gives guests US$500 to put toward dining during five-night minimum stays. Booking is subject to availability; blackout dates apply (April 13-18, July 1-4, November 24-28, 2022); travel window: January 4, 2022 to December 19, 2022; Booking window: now to December 14, 2022.

There’s also the Hut Life offer, where you can reserve four nights for the price of three (or seven nights for the price of five) in a  Beach Hut—owner Chris Blackwell’s preferred accommodation—some of which have private verandas, outdoor showers, and claw foot tubs set amid lush gardens. Booking is subject to availability; blackout dates apply (April 13-18, July 1-4, November 24-28, 2022); Travel window: January 4, 2022 to December 19, 2022; Booking window: now to December 15, 2022; Valid in Beach Hut category.

To experience the diversity of Jamaica, consider the Two-Post Outpost package, which includes three-night minimum stays at both GoldenEye and Strawberry Hill, another property in the Island Outpost portfolio, set in the heart of Jamaica’s Blue Mountains. At GoldenEye, enjoy a guided coral reef snorkeling excursion and a rum and brown sugar scrub included. During the 2.5-hour drive to Strawberry Hill, you’ll motor through Jurassic Park-like scenery and steep roads with bends tighter than a hairpin, passing jerk shacks with names like “Pon di Road Nyammings” that cling tightly to the mountainside. Once you’ve arrived at the 12-room cottage hotel, unwind with a signature in-room spa treatment, complete with views over the city of Kingston and beyond. Minimum length of stay: 3 nights per property for Goldeneye & Strawberry Hill, 6 nights in total. Subject to blackout dates (April 13-18, July 1-4, November 24-28, 2022); Cannot be combined with any other promotion; Travel window: January 4, 2022 to December 19, 2022; Booking window: now to December 13, 2022

About GoldenEye

Once the Jamaica home of renowned author Ian Fleming, GoldenEye was developed by Island Records founder, Chris Blackwell, and opened as a resort in 2011.  GoldenEye is home to private beaches, secret coves, a seawater lagoon and The Fleming Villa (where all 14 James Bond books were written). There are four dining options (The Gazebo, Bizot Bar, Shabeen and the Bamboo Bar), a newly expanded FieldSpa and accommodations that include Beach and Lagoon Villas, Lagoon Cottages, Beach Huts and an ocean front villa. GoldenEye is located 20 minutes east of Ocho Rios. It’s 90-minutes by car from Montego Bay Airport and an eight-minute drive from Ian Fleming International (private aviation only).

EYOS Announces New Heli-skiing Expedition with U.S. Olympian Bode Miller

October 6th, 2022

No longer is heli-skiing offered exclusively at prominent ski resorts and backcountry lodges. Now, EYOS is elevating the thrilling sport to new heights by offering heli-skiing expeditions to the farthest reaches of the polar regions—from the towering fjords of Greenland, the unclimbed summits of Antarctica, and the mountains in Crete, Greece.

On April 23-30, 2023, US Olympic alpine ski racer Bode Miller will join EYOS on a “slope-to-sea” heli-skiing adventure in Greenland aboard the MV Nansen Explorer (seven nights €60,000 per cabin / per week all inclusive). Travelers can book individual cabins on the yacht, making the exclusive voyage more accessible than ever before.

Miller is the most decorated male alpine skier in U.S. history, and the only skier with five or more victories in four different disciplines: giant slalom, combined, super-G, and downhill. He will be joined by ski guide and two-time World Extreme Skiing Champion Chris Davenport and polar guide Doug Stoup, who’s skied the seven continents, been to the South Pole 18 times, and pioneered skiing in Antarctica.

Says Ben Lyons, CEO of EYOS: “The opportunity now to have Bode, Chris, and Doug onboard makes for an unbelievable combination.”

Originally designed as an Arctic research vessel, the 12-guest MV Nansen Explorer is specifically equipped for polar waters, with an ice-strengthened hull and a commercially certified heli deck that makes for the ideal launch pad for heli-skiing adventures. Because of the vessel’s ice-breaking power, it’s possible to reach Greenland in time for early spring, weeks before other vessels.

“The highlight of our expeditions to Greenland is being in true wilderness so early in the season. The ice has just opened up, the landscape is still white. We’re the only yacht up here—and as well as the amazing skiing, snowboarding, and landscapes—we pretty much have the whole place to ourselves,” says Tim Soper, co-founder of EYOS.

The expedition will take adventure lovers to the island of Maniitsoq on the western coast of Greenland, widely considered one of the most remote places in the world to heli-ski, where it’s possible to ski from slope to sea. The ship will cover 150 miles beyond the Arctic Circle to Disko Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to some of the largest icebergs in the world. Days will be filled with deep powder runs—some stretching more than a mile—on the narrow fjords down to the water’s edge. Bode Miller, Chris Davenport, Doug Stoup and EYOS’ expert team of internationally certified mountain guides will guide guests as they navigate crevasses and knife-edge ridge tops, helping them find the best runs for their level.

When guests aren’t skiing the glaciated landscape—80 percent of which has never been skied before—they’ll have the chance to interact with the local Greenlanders and fishermen, as well as try their hand at sled dog excursions and visit colorful small towns.

About EYOS

Founded in 2008, EYOS is the world leader in private superyacht expeditions charters. Specializing in bespoke itineraries that take travelers to the most remote and culturally rich parts of the world, EYOS operates across all seven continents. They hold several world records and world ‘firsts,’ such as the furthest south that any vessel has ever reached in history, and the first commercial expedition to the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean seen by fewer humans than the International Space Station. In 2019, EYOS pioneered the first ever “single cabin” departures allowing travelers to book individual cabins on a superyacht. All journeys are guided by a team of experts with decades of experience.

EYOS: Winter 2023 Newsletter

October 5th, 2022

Updates from the World Leader in Super Yacht Expedition Charters

Summer may be coming to an end, but the world-class expedition team at EYOS is already looking ahead to upcoming adventures. On the horizon: “slope-to-sea” heli-skiing charters in Greenland, a “single cabin” photography expedition to Antarctica, and an unforgettable voyage through Arctic Svalbard complete with glacier hiking experiences. But first, our top tips for chartering a private yacht, below.

How to Charter a Yacht: Everything You Need to Know

Charting a yacht allows for unrivaled freedom, privacy, and flexibility — it’s no wonder it’s the preferred mode of travel among the world’s most discerning explorers. Before you set off on your high-seas vacation, however, it’s important to determine your needs, priorities, and expectations. One of the most critical decisions is choosing your yachting destination. Whether you’re interested in touring the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, Australia’s under-the-radar Kimberley region, or the magnificent Northwest Passage, EYOS Expedition Leaders will help you narrow your search based on what you’re looking to see, local weather conditions, and availability. (It’s for this reason that you’ll book far in advance, especially if you’re looking to travel over holiday periods like peak summer or Christmas and New Year.) If you’re particularly interested in a specific area of study or focus – say, geology, history, botany, or ornithology—you’ll want to make it known to the world-class expedition leaders at EYOS well ahead of time.  Not only does having an expert staff ensure your safety and peace of mind, it’s also an essential for expanding your knowledge of a destination and making the most of your trip.

As you start planning your dream getaway, you’ll also need to decide on an exact head count – that way, you can start mapping out your budget and picking a vessel that suits your needs, size, and preferences. EYOS offers expeditions on 20+ vessels, of varying sizes, operational requirements, and cabin configurations. Whether a polar icebreaker, dive support vessel, luxurious yacht, or nimble sailing craft, the EYOS team will help you determine the best yacht for your purposes and preferred duration. Aquijo, for instance, has circumnavigated the globe as the largest high performance ketch in the world, seamlessly blending exploration with a “home-away-from-home” interior design and accommodations, including a private owner’s terrace with 270-degree views, a beach club and jacuzzi, and room for up to 12 guests. Meanwhile, the Hanse Explorer is a “go-anywhere” expedition yacht that is just as suited to exploring the remote corners of Papua New Guinea as pushing through Antarctic brash ice. Lastly,

Antarctica by Private Yacht: A New Way to Experience the Continent

As an increasing number of travelers venture to Antarctica, savvier explorers are choosing to discover the continent by private yacht. Doing so allows for a more personalized and intimate journey, with an emphasis placed on ticking off the sights and experiences that offer the greatest thrills and up-close-and-personal access—to the wildlife, the pristine landscapes, and the spectacular ice formations. Expeditions might take place aboard the newly refitted, seven-cabin MV Nansen Explorer. Bridging the gap between a super yacht and an expedition vessel, she’s outfitted with an Ice-1A class hall that enables her to venture deeper into the ice pack, to polar regions other yachts rarely reach, including south of the Antarctic Circle. Passengers also have access to kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, diving equipment, and two zodiacs for exploring the frost-bitten landscapes up close. Onboard, there is a fully equipped gym and a dining room where a rotating menu of Michelin-worthy cuisine is served, plus Scandinavian-style cabins with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to the scenery.

From February 6-17, 2023, a photography-themed expedition will take place aboard the MV Nansen Explorer, hosted by renowned polar photographers Daisy Gilardini (winner of BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Ambassador for Greenpeace) and Audun Lie Dahl (winner of the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year). Solo travelers can book single cabins on the yacht, making the exclusive voyage more accessible than ever before. The itinerary is designed to be longer than most other Peninsula sailings, giving ample opportunity to reach the Weddell Sea in the north and, weather permitting, Marguerite Bay, just south of the Antarctic Circle (and seldomly reached by ships). Throughout the journey, Gilardini and Dahl will give guests tips and tricks for making the polar landscapes come alive through their lenses. (Prices from €55,000 per cabin.)

Arctic Spring and Summer 2023 Update

Looking ahead to next spring, EYOS will launch dedicated heli-skiing charters in Greenland aboard the MV Nansen Explorer. Offered in late April and early May, the expedition will take adventure lovers to the island of Maniitsoq on the western coast of Greenland, widely considered one of the most remote places in the world to heli-ski, where it’s possible to ski from slope to sea. The ship will cover 150 miles beyond the Arctic Circle to Disko Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to some of the largest icebergs in the world. Days will be filled with deep powder runs—some stretching more than a mile—on the narrow fjords down to the water’s edge.  The MV Nansen Exploreris equipped with an expansive heli-deck allowing for easy exploration. (Seven nights €;295,000 per week all inclusive.)

Next summer, EYOS will relaunch itineraries in the Arctic on the recently redesigned Hanse Explorer. Fresh off a multimillion-dollar redesign, the seven-cabin vessel features a rugged, steel-hulled exterior with the highest commercial ice classification. Bespoke journeys in the region might include cruising through iceberg-covered fjords, hiking on glaciers, and cruising through pack ice in search of white whales, polar bears, and walruses. The long days of the Arctic summer are the ideal time to discover the region, bringing about intense wildlife activity and changing landscapes with beautiful colors and contrasts.

While the Arctic region is vast, the world-class expedition leaders and polar naturalists at EYOS can recommend a range of itineraries and activities. On a seven-night journey through Arctic Svalbard, for example, guests will spend five days cruising around Svalbard, the Norwegian archipelago just 600 miles from the North Pole, comprising nine main islands and home to around 3,000 animals. Activities depend on weather and sea-ice conditions but may include sailing through the narrow Hinlopen Strait; visiting a Dutch whaling station and other historical sites on Danskøya and Amsterdamøa Islands; and taking a Zodiac through the majestic Monaco Glacier, a favorite spot for polar bears (travelers may even go ashore for a hike on the glacier).

 

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