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From Italy to Greece, discover the most beautiful port of calls of Amalfi coast and Ancient Greece during a 8-days cruise on board Le Lyrial.
In a setting of vegetation and colourful tropical flowers, of bougainvilleas and oleanders, in the shadow of the snow-topped peak of Mount Etna, Taormina casts a spell over all its visitors. Dreams are made of this – the multi-coloured strata of rocky outcrops in the Cyclades emerge from the shimmering waters of the Aegean Sea. Discover some of those pristine islands; Mykonos, with its wonderful white houses, winding streets, windmills, blue domed churches and magnificent beaches or even Delos, the sacred island where legend has it that Apollo was born.
Day 1 CIVITAVECCHIA (ROME)
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.
Day 2 NAPLES
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.
Day 3 LIPARI, AEOLIAN ISLANDS
Of the seven Aeolian islands, this is the largest and the most populated. Lying off the north coast of Sicily, in the Tyrrhenian sea, Lipari is one of UNESCO’s marvellous World Heritage sites. Its lava stone quarries and obsidian flow of Rocce Rosse are indications of its volcanic nature. The town, the largest urban area in the whole archipelago, proudly houses its citadel and its castle, both rooted in Antiquity. If you head further into the centre, you’ll be surprised to come across a Norman cathedral, complete with a magnificent baroque façade.
Day 4 CATANIA, SICILY
Sicily’s second city Catania is dominated by the majestic silhouette of Mount Etna. Nourishing and devastating at the same time, this giant crowned with smoke rings brought about the destruction of the city at the end of the 17th century. Catania was then rebuilt in the late Baroque style, and the many monuments of this epoch have earned its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The baroque churches of the harmonious Via dei Crociferi perfectly illustrate the riches of this architectural heritage. During your stop, be sure to visit Saint Agatha Cathedral with its apses made of lava stones, and its square decorated with a fountain of the Elephant, the animal which allegedly has the power to calm the fury of Mount Etna…
Day 5 AT SEA
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.
Day 6 – KALAMATA
Capital of the Messenia region in the south Peloponnese, Kalamata is the idea port of call for combining aquatic pleasures and cultural discoveries. Edged by an immense 5 km beach, the town, which is famous for its silk scarves, is home to a rich historical heritage. Strolling through its charming streets, you will discover the magnificent neoclassical constructions and a number of religious buildings. To the north, the former fortress and its ramparts will offer you a unique perspective over the town. The highlight of your visit will undoubtedly be the archaeological remains of ancient Messene, located just a few kilometres from Kalamata, one of the major sites of Ancient Greece.
Day 7 – KAMARES, SIFNOS
Nestling in the Cyclades, the harmonious and much less crowded island of Sifnos is home to many treasures. Exploited since antiquity for its gold and silver mines, this little-known pearl boasts gentle landscapes and is a botanical paradise. The rich endemic flora can be admired along the island’s mountain paths that have been trodden for thousands of years. From the main port of Kamares, set off to discover the nearby sandy beach which runs along a lagoon and whose dunes are covered in sea daffodils. The picturesque fortified village of Kastro is another of the island’s wonders. Sitting atop a hill overlooking the Aegean Sea, this spot, where people have lived since prehistoric times, is very much an open-air museum.
Day 8 – ATHENS
The Greek capital city is located on the edge of the Saronic gulf, in the east of the country. It bears a plural name in reference to the first villages that surround the Acropolis. You will be enchanted by the rocky plateau presided by its monuments listed as UNESCO World Heritage. In the city below, you can visit some of the liveliest districts in Athens: Plaka, with its maze of colourful streets, and where, in the evenings the drifting aroma of moussaka and garlic prawns will tickle your taste buds. The National Archaeological museum and the Cycladic Art Museum are also some of the city’s key attractions and allow visitors to discover Athens’ cultural past.
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.
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