From Athens to Rome, cradles of Apollo
* Subject to availability.
- Staterooms & Suites
- LE LYRIAL
- Port of call & excursions
- Musical Cruise in partnership with Radio Classique
- Guest(s) Lecturer(s)
Staterooms & Suites
There are no staterooms available for booking. Please contact our cruise advisors.
Fourth ship in this superb series loyal to the PONANT spirit, Le Lyrial like her sisterships embodies the subtle alliance between luxury, intimacy and wellbeing which is PONANT’s signature. The elegance of her exterior and interior lines and her intimate size (only 122 staterooms and suites) make this a rare and innovative yacht on the cruise market.
We have been inspired by the destinations we visit and decided to create a subtle variation around a palette of blues. Ranging from the luminous delicate grey-blue of the Polar ice to splashes of the vivid turquoise blue found in Mediterranean coves, it also includes the blue light of the future pole star.
Port of call & excursions
AthensEmbarkation 04/10/2016 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 04/10/2016 at 18H00 .
The Greek capital city is located on the edge of the Saronic gulf, in the east of the country. It bears a plural name in reference to the first villages that surround the Acropolis. You will be enchanted by the rocky plateau presided by its monuments listed as UNESCO World Heritage. In the city below, you can visit some of the liveliest districts in Athens: Plaka, with its maze of colourful streets, and where, in the evenings the drifting aroma of moussaka and garlic prawns will tickle your taste buds. The National Archaeological museum and the Cycladic Art Museum are also some of the city’s key attractions and allow visitors to discover Athens’ cultural past.
5 October 2016 – ParosArrival 05/10/2016 midday. Departure 05/10/2016 late afternoon.
Famous for its white marble, the island of Paros is located in the Cyclades. Along the quays of Parikia, its main town, you’ll see Byzantine churches and neoclassical buildings. To make the most of the turquoise waters, you can stop over in Naoussa. This little fishing port is bounded by a very beautiful cove and offers more than one café to sit and unwind.
6 October 2016 – RhodesArrival 06/10/2016 early morning. Departure 06/10/2016 late afternoon.
With its particularly agreeable climate, the island of Rhodes invites you to walk its pathways and discover its immaculate villages and sumptuous medieval city, a UNESCO World Heritage site. At the centre of the island the mountains are covered in forest and on the western slopes we find vineyards and crops. Rhodes also owes much of its charm and its character to the Knights of St John who reigned over the island from 1310 to 1522 and built impressive defensive walls punctuated with majestic gateways. Do not miss this delightful island with its peaceful beaches, its large walkways and its lively nightlife, perpetuating the myth of the famous Colossus, the legendary statue that is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
7 October 2016 – Santorini (Thira)Arrival 07/10/2016 early morning. Departure 07/10/2016 late afternoon.
The spectacular volcanic island of Santorini stands out proud in the Cyclades. Its basalt cliffs offer particularly expansive views of the Aegean. To enjoy these views, you can head for the capital, Fira. Its floral belvederes of bougainvillea provide a bird’s-eye view of several thousand metres of coastline. Further away, the gorgeous village of Oia looks like a stairway of blue and white houses on the slopes of the volcano. In the south of the island, you will be able to visit the stunning ruins of Akrotiri, an ancient city destroyed by an eruption and covered with a thick layer of lava stone.
8 October 2016 – At seaArrival 08/10/2016. Departure 08/10/2016.
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
9 October 2016 – Taormina (Sicily)Arrival 09/10/2016 early morning. Departure 09/10/2016 early afternoon.
Located on Sicily’s eastern coast, in the province of Messina, the seaside town of Taormina is Sicily’s Saint-Tropez, boasting heritage sites, secluded beaches and luxury shopping. You can visit its medieval centre, suspended 300 metres above sea level, where terraces offer a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea. Another vestige from its past are the ruins of the Greco-Roman theatre. This extremely well-preserved site attracts visitors who are fascinated by the natural beauty of the area which overlooks a turquoise bay.
9 October 2016 – Sailing in front of StromboliArrival 09/10/2016. Departure 09/10/2016.
Like Ulysses during his Odyssey, you will have the opportunity to admire the Stromboli, the capricious volcano that looms over the Aeolian Islands. Its activity, uninterrupted for thousands of years, has earned it the nickname the “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean”.
10 October 2016 – NaplesArrival 10/10/2016 midday. Departure 10/10/2016 late afternoon.
More Italian than Italy itself, Naples is the capital of the beautiful region of Campania, and is an unusual city to say the least. Its gulf, dominated by Vesuvius, is one of the world’s marvels. Built by the Greeks and then occupied by the Romans, the city has retained the memory of antiquity, as Castell dell’Ovo illustrates. But Naples has another side to it with its hustle and bustle, narrow streets, clothes hung out to dry at windows, Caravaggio paintings on the walls of a church, and incessant rumour in an sleepless city. This is a head-spinning city to visit and savour: don’t forget to eat a slice of pizza Margherita.
Civitavecchia (Rome)Disembarkation 11/10/2016 at 06H30 .
Built on an Etruscan site, between the Tyrrhenian sea and the Monti della Tolfa, Civitavecchia respires the dolce vita. This very modern and easy going town combines art and history with panache. You can also visit superb historical sites like Fort Michelangelo or the Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi. Just 80 kilometres from Rome, the town is a beautiful first step to the Italian capital.
The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.
Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, PONANT will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.
Musical Cruise in partnership with Radio Classique
Musical Cruise in partnership with Radio Classique
From Athens to Rome, cradles of Apollo
Inva Mula , soprano, Stéphanie d’Oustrac, mezzo-soprano, Benjamin Bernheim, tenor,
Claire Désert, piano, Laure Favre-Kahn, piano, Anne Gastinel, cello, Nemanja Radulovic, violin ;
Xavier Darcos, French lecturer
This selection of performers will accompany you from port to port, supervised by Alain DUAULT, artistic director, French lecturer and famous French musicologist.
- Evening 1 : Musical presentation (all artists)
- Evening 2 : Lyric concert 1 (Inva /Stéphanie/Benjamin/ Laure/Claire) [Mozart, Rossini, Tchaïkovski, Strauss , etc.]
- Morning 3 : Musical lecture in French (Alain Duault)
- Evening 3 : Romantic instrumental concert (Anne/Claire+Nemanja/Laure ) [Schubert, Massenet, Fauré , Dvorak, Beethoven, etc.]
- Evening 4 : Lyric concert 2 (Inva /Stéphanie/Benjamin/ /Laure/Claire) [Verdi, Donizetti , Puccini, Bizet,Offenbach , Poulenc ,etc.]
- Morning 5 : Lecture in French on Ancient Rome (Xavier Darcos)
- Evening 5 : Instrumental virtuoso concert (Nemanja/Laure) [Chopin, Gottschalk, Monti, Paganini, Brahms , Sarasate , Kreisler, Wieniawski, Bizet, Khatchatourian, traditional dances , etc.]
- Evening 6 : Farewell concert (all artists, in solo, duet , trio)
Discover the delights of our cultural cruises where music takes centre stage, combining sumptuous scenery and exceptional artistic heritages.
A waterborne musical journey
Whether you are a fan of instrumental classical music or opera, or you prefer jazz or Celtic melodies, why not enjoy a different and very special experience aboard a PONANT ship? Set sail for a luxury cruise combining the charms of music and the sea.
These cultural cruises, where the tempo is set by concerts on land or at sea as well as a series of conferences, bring together music lovers and artists around a shared passion: music.
An exceptional selection of artists*
Aboard the ships, our guests of honour, all well-known artists, talented performers and brilliant virtuosos will share their knowledge and their passion in an accessible and intimate way.
According to the theme of each cruise, PONANT welcomes prestigious artists, be they pianists, violinists, singers and more.
Come and share alongside them the refined adventure of a PONANT musical cruise.
*See the list of guests of honour present during your cruise in the “Guests” tab.
The novelist, poet, journalist, musicologist and radio and television presenter Alain Duault has been sharing his passion for and knowledge of classical music for more than 30 years. Considered to be one of the greatest opera specialists in France he is now President of the Prix Pelléas jury, and has been made an Officier de la Légion d’Honneur and Commandeur des Arts et Lettres.
Alain Duault studied literature, philosophy and psycho-analysis in Paris, then musicology and piano. His first TV appearance was as a guest of Bernard Pivot for his book of poems, Colorature. This led to a number of radio programmes dedicated to classical music, notably on RTL, the radio station where Alain Duault would be “Mr Classical Music” for 22 years, before joining Radio Classique with daily slots until 2018. A role that he also took on for the France 3 television channel, presenting a number of exceptional programmes (masterclasses with Ruggero Raimondi in the Salle Gaveau, Musiques en fête at the Chorégies d’Orange festival…).
In 1999, he conceived and presented Intégrale Chopin (225 works, 60 pianists), broadcast on France 3. Then in 2001, he wrote and performed an ambitious and very popular show, Verdi, une passion, un destin (with Jean Piat and 250 musicians). In the wake of this success, he wrote and performed two other shows: Victor Hugo, la légende d’un siècle in 2002 and Rencontre avec George Sand (with Marie-Christine Barrault) in 2004 and 2005.
Alain Duault also puts his writing skills to the service of classical music. The author of a number of books, including Dans la peau de Maria Callas, (Le Passeur Éditeur, 2014, pocket edition, 2017), Dictionnaire amoureux illustré de l’Opéra (Plon Gründ, 2016), Ce léger rien des choses qui ont fui, poetry (Gallimard, 2017), he also writes editorials for Classica.
Language spoken: French
Photo credit: Laurent Rouvrais @Radio Classique
Winner of the 2015 Echo Klassik Award for Newcomer of the Year, Serbian-French violinist Nemanja Radulović has taken the classical music world by storm with his thrilling virtuosity, depth of expression and adventurous programming, both in the recording studio and on the concert stage. An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, Nemanja’s most recent album, Baïka, features his evocative interpretations of Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto as well as Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade arranged for solo violin and chamber orchestra.
Recent highlights include Nemanja’s critically acclaimed residency with the Bournemouth Symphony [“Radulović had his audience spellbound for the entire concert…” Andy Martin, Bournemouth Echo]; his orchestral debut at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic; the opening of the Jeunesse Musicale series at the Vienna Konzerthaus; a play/direct performance with the Munich Chamber Orchestra (resulting in an immediate re-invitation to work with the ensemble); and a special new collaboration with clarinettist Andreas Ottensamer, accordionist Ksenija Sidorova, and pianist Laure Favre-Kahn, performing to audiences at Schleswig-Holstein, Gstaad, Périgord Noir, and Impérial Annecy festivals. Additional highlights include a very successful return to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Vasily Petrenko conducting, and a European tour with the I, CULTURE Orchestra and Kirill Karabits, featuring visits to the Radio France Festival in Montpellier and the Tivoli Concert Hall in Copenhagen.
Languages spoken: French, English
Photo credit: Bayram Tarakci
Conservatoire (CNSM). After being awarded her Premier Prix there in 1986, she went on to postgraduate studies at the Paris Conservatoire (CNSM). Her teachers there, Yo-Yo Ma, János Starker and Paul Tortelier, had a profound influence on her personal and musical development, and already recognized in her the maturity of an exceptional artist. She won numerous prizes in major international competitions (Scheveningen, Prague, Rostropovitch) and began to appear all over Europe, making a lasting impact on the general public in the 1990 Eurovision Competition.
Her career now takes her to the leading venues in Europe, as well as Japan, China, South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia, Canada, and the United States. She has appeared there with such great masters as Yehudi Menuhin, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Kurt Sanderling. During her travels she enjoys exchanging ideas and experiences with many distinguished musicians and composers, including Henri Dutilleux, Emmanuel Krivine, Josep Pons, Vladimir Spivakov, Pinchas Steinberg, Krzysztof Penderecki, Edmon Colomer, Michel Plasson, Yuri Bashmet, Tan Dun, and Michael Schønwandt. She also accords a generous place to friends of her own generation – Claire Désert, Éric Tanguy, Justin Brown, Marianne Thorsen, François-Frédéric Guy, Louis Langrée, Pedro Halffter, Philippe Cassard, David Grimal, Alain Altinoglu, Nelson Goerner, and many others.
For nearly fifteen years now, her recordings have received the highest distinctions. In 2006, Anne Gastinel was awarded the Victoire de la Musique in the category ‘Soloist of the Year’ (after ‘Young Talent’ & ‘Best Recording’). Unanimously recognised as the ambassador of the French cello school, she was selected to play for one year the legendary Matteo Gofriller cello that once belonged to Pablo Casals. She now performs her programmes on a Testore instrument of 1690, combining the standard repertoire with regular performances of new works.
Spoken language : French
Photo credit: Sandrine Expilly
Claire Désert seduces her audience with her graceful, profound and humble interpretations. She is in the line-up of prestigious international festivals and venues, and she regularly performs with important symphonic orchestras.
Claire Désert entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris when she just turned fourteen years old, where she studied with Vensislav Yankoff and Jean Hubeau and received "premiers prix" in piano and chamber music. After admission to the postgraduate cycle, she was granted a French government scholarship to study one year with Evgeny Malinin at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. Upon her return, she completed a second postgraduate year in chamber music with Roland Pidoux.
In addition to numerous solo appearances at music festivals such as Radio France Montpellier, La Roque d’Anthéron, Piano aux Jacobins, “Folles Journées” in Bilbao, Lisbon, Tokyo… Claire Désert also frequently performs with a number of orchestras: Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National d’Ile-de-France, Philharmonique de Radio-France, Symphonique de Québec, Philharmonique de Strasbourg, National de Lille, or the Budapest Symphonic, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne…
As a world-class chamber musician, she regularly partners with such eminent artists as Anne Gastinel, Philippe Graffin, Nemanja Radulovic, Gérard Caussé, Tedi Papavrami as well as the Sine Nomine Quartet, and the Moraguès Quintet.
Her catalogue of recordings is impressive and the music press always notices her new releases. Her version of the Scriabin and Dvorak’s Piano Concertos with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg was awarded by the French "Victoire de la Musique" in 1997.
Claire Désert’s recordings have been released for Virgin (a Brahms programme for two pianos with Emmanuel Strosser), for Naïve (one dedicated to Schumann, and one to Schubert with Anne Gastinel), for Mirare (Schumann’s Davidbündlertänze, Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances with Emmanuel Strosser, Abendmusik - a solo CD dedicated to Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann and Brahms, warmly praised by the international press).
Her last recording with Anne Gastinel dedicated to the French repertoire released for Naïve in 2011 has been awarded by a "Choc" Classica and selected by the BBC Magazine "Chamber Music Choice."
Language spoken: French
Photo credit: Vincent Garnier
After studying piano at the Avignon Conservatoire, at the age of 17 Laure Favre-Kahn was unanimously awarded a Premier Prix at the Paris Conservatoire (CNSM).
At 20, she recorded her first album dedicated to Schumann’s works, followed a year later by a Chopin CD.
Since then, she has regularly performed in France and abroad as a soloist and chamber musician, in particular with violinist Nemanja Radulovic. Laure has participated at major festivals and as a guest with numerous orchestras, while continuing to make recordings.
She can be heard regularly on France Musique, Radio Classique and France Inter. In 2001 she won first prize at the International Pro Piano Competition in New York, returning to the city the following year to make a recording and do a recital in Carnegie Hall.
In 2013, Laure Favre-Kahn created her own show at the Avignon Festival called ‘Chopin Confidences’ where she pays tribute to the composer, alone on stage, with the voice of Charles Berling.
Her 12th album, Vers la flamme was released by Naive in 2017 to unanimous praise by the press.
Language spoken: French
Photo credit: Emmanuel DONNY
After her debut alongside William Christie when she was still a pupil at the CNSM music academy in Lyon, Stéphanie d’Oustrac worked on a Baroque repertoire with renowned conductors and producers. Following her success in the title roles in Médée and Armide she took on a wide range of female roles, performing in major venues in France and abroad. Among her most recent are Concepción (L’Heure Espagnole) in Rome, Orphée (Orfeo et Euridice) in Brussels, Lazuli (L’Etoile) in Amsterdam, Sesto (La Clemenza di Tito) in Paris and Strasburg, and the title role in Carmen at Glyndebourne.
She has also performed in concerts and recitals, mainly with pianist Pascal Jourdan with whom she has recorded an opus of French melodies. Future projects include reprising the roles of Médée in Zurich, Carmen at the Aix-en-Provence Festival and in Madrid, and Concepción in La Scala, Milan.
Language spoken: French
Born in Tirana, Albania, into a family of renowned artists, Inva Mula began her musical career very young, taking piano lessons with her mother at the age of five and competing in various festivals.
A graduate from the Tirana Arts Academy, Inva was 22 when she played Violetta in La Traviata. It was a defining role that would accompany her throughout her career. She has won numerous prizes in international competitions (Georges Enescu, Grand Prix Madame Butterfly in Barcelona, 1st prize in Placido Domingo’s competition in 1993) which launched her on an international career. It was how she came to perform a duo with Placido Domingo at the Bastille Opera, Munich and Brussels.
She has also been rapturously received in international concert halls and festivals such as New York, Moscow, St Petersburg, Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Ljubljana, Paris, Geneva and Tirana, and been directed by world-class conductors including Michel Plasson, George Prêtre, Jésus Lopes Cobos, Vladimir Spivakov, Zubin Mehta and Myung Chung.
An important moment in her career was a role in the film The Fifth Element where the Diva’s voice defies boundaries, taking opera outside the circle of opera fans.
Her most recent success was as Desdemona in Othello in Marseille alongside Vladimir Galouzine where she proved a triumph in the role which she was playing for the first time.
In 2006 Inva Mula’s career was honoured by the French government which presented her with the Chevalier insignia for the Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des lettres).