Cruising the Dalmatian Coast and the Ionian Sea

from$ 7560 AUD

Note: Current p/p indicative rate. Final price may change due to currency fluctuations.

Le Lyrial
Athens to Venice

Specials expires 2025-01-01
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Up to 30% Off - Ponant Bonus

Up to 30% Off - Ponant Bonus




In alliance with Smithsonian Journeys. This cruise is part of a collection of PONANT voyages that are specially-tailored for English-speaking travellers who want to engage with the world. In addition to the usual elements of the PONANT experience, the listed price for these voyages includes transfers to and from the ship, talks and discussions aboard ship by world class experts, and a shore excursion or activity in each port of call that encourages guests to embrace the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the local environment and culture. The eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea – the Dalmatian Coast – is rich in the culture and art of ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque worlds and home to some of the most charming and welcoming towns and villages to be found anywhere. Your voyage begins when you depart Athens, transit the Corinth Canal, and arrive in the small port town of Itea the following morning. You may choose to visit Delphi, home of the oracle of Apollo, whose massive ruins dominate an entire hillside. Or travel to St. Lucas Monastery, which, like Delphi, is a UNESCO World Heritage site—one of the most important monuments of Middle Byzantine art and architecture in the world. A cruise along the shores of the Ionian Sea brings you to the Albanian port of Sarandë, from which you may travel to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Butrint, whose ruins span 2,500 years and include the remains of a Greek acropolis, Roman theater, and 19th-century fortress. Be on deck as Le Lyrial sails into the deep, fjord-like Bay of Kotor to reach the port town of the same name, also a UNESCO World Heritage site, located at the head of the bay beneath towering mountains. This delightful town is the pride of Montenegro, and you will have a full day to explore its richly varied history. Set on a rocky peninsula jutting into the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik, despite a devastating earthquake in 1667 and the ravages of many wars, is one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities and a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. Discover Dubrovnik's old city on a guided tour or visit the surrounding countryside before enjoying time at leisure to explore this marvelous city on your own in the evening. The port of Ploče serves as your gateway to the Bosnian city of Mostar, which under the Ottoman Turks became a thriving administrative and cultural center. Severely damaged in the military conflict of the 1990s, the town was declared a World Heritage site and now showcases what the restoration work of UNESCO can accomplish. During your time on the island of Hvar, tour the island’s charming principal town. Or you may choose to visit a lavender farm in the countryside and enjoy some of the most beautiful views available along the Croatian coast. Your journey comes to an end as your ship sails into Venice's famous lagoon.


  • 8 Days
  • Le Lyrial

Cruise Itinerary

  • Athens (Greece)
  • Venice (Italy)
  • Adriatic


Note: Current p/p indicative rate. Final price may change due to currency fluctuations.

Cruise Itinerary

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

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

An historical harbour town on the south-west coast of Albania, Saranda is built on a lush green spur. Its streets lined with palms and maritime pines border the beaches of the Ionian sea at the mouth of Corfu Strait. This very ancient town has archaeological ruins dating from Antiquity, which you can visit as you walk along the waterfront.

Emblem of the Dalmatian coast, Dubrovnik is magnificently positioned on a rocky spur. History is sovereign here, in this ancient city, now a listed UNESCO World Heritage site. You will perhaps be surprised by the proportions of La Placa, the central drag through the city. The sheer width of it can be explained by the fact that it straddles a former lagoon. The elegant houses along La Placa are built in the legendary travertine stone. At Pile gate, you will be greeted by the statue of the patron saint of Dubrovnik, and you can admire the coastline as you walk along the ramparts. But what’s inside Fort Saint John, adjoining the outer walls? A maritime museum and an aquarium featuring rare fish from the Adriatic.

Ploče is a port that shares with nearby Makarska a reputation for great beaches, upscale seafront promenades, and a vibrant nightlife. Ploče's Rupe Ethnographic Museum and Markaska's intriguing Shell Museum are both worth a visit. Ploče also serves as a gateway to the Bosnian city of Mostar, which under the Ottoman Turks became a thriving administrative and cultural center. Severely damaged in the military conflict of the 1990s, the town was declared a World Heritage site and now showcases the graceful Stari Most (“Old Bridge”), originally built in 1566, and the early 17th-century Turkish Tabacica Mosque, both carefully restored with help from UNESCO.

Off the coast of Split, Hvar will surprise you by its traditions that have not changed since Antiquity. The country’s oldest town, Stari Grad, is here on this Dalmatian Island. The town nestles by a cove on the north-west coast, surrounded by dry stone wall structures on the Stari Grad plains. These have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site because they were built in the time of the Ancient Greeks. From these parcels of land come wines and olive oil manufactured manually. In the upper part of town, it is possible to discover hams and cheeses made by local producers.

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

Itineraries are subject to change.

Le Lyrial

Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship Length: 142 metres Passenger Capacity: 224 Launched: 2015 A sleek silhouette, a welcoming intimate atmosphere, discover aboard this new ship the philosophy that has made our sisterships such a success: the spirit of Yacht Cruises. Sailing under the French flag, this magnificent yacht of only 122 staterooms and Suites, with balconies, will join our fleet in April 2015. You will be enchanted by the contemporary decor inspired by the our destinations and the blue light of the Vega star in the Lyra constellation. The result is 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 A refined ambiance is enhanced by the quality of the workmanship and materials: white Corian counters in the lobby contrast with the warmth of leather to recall a boat’s hull, while the central sculpture of enamelled pieces takes its inspiration from the sea. In the loungebar, the carpet picks up a tennis stripe theme symbolising a certain idea of cruising, one synonymous with French elegance and a chic seaside spirit.


• A voyage specially-tailored for English-speaking travellers including discussions with experts, transfers before and after your cruise, and an included excursion in each port of call. • Engaging discussions onboard with two Smithsonian Journeys Experts. • Discover six Mediterranean countries: Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia and Italy. • Explore as many as six UNESCO World Heritage sites, spanning the millennia from the mythic past (Delphi) to the 20th century (Mostar). • Combine visits of historic cities with forays into the idyllic countryside. • Sample local wines in Albania and Croatia. • Experience the nightlife of Ploče and Dubrovnik. • Engage with the contemporary culture of these cities, towns, and villages as you discover their past.