World Affairs Cruise: A Voyage in the Ionian and Aegean Seas (almost full) October 9 - 18, 2019

The Mediterranean world is well known as the cradle of modern civilization-the source of our democratic values and tradition of scientific inquiry. We caught our first glimpse of the human spirit in the literature, art and music of the classical world. Here is where we first encountered the teachings of the three great monotheistic religions. Our voyage in the Ionian and Aegean seas resonates with this rich legacy. Here at this great crossroads of cultures-intersecting Europe, the Middle East and North Africa-is where we will assess the current state of Western civilization, examining challenges to its values and traditions and opportunities for a shared future.

For this special cruise aboard the deluxe Le Bougainville, the newest among Ponant's fleet of five-star small ships, we have assembled a team of speakers deeply involved in world affairs. CNN host Fareed Zakaria, former director of the CIA General Michael V. Hayden, and best-selling author Daniel Mendelsohn will come together for a series of conversations on the current state of international relations and prospects for the future.

Our voyage begins with a day and a night in Valletta on the island of Malta, where we'll visit the Megalithic Temples and the city's renowned Archaeological Museum. After boarding the 184-passenger Le Bougainville, we'll call at Catania on the island of Sicily for visits to the historic sites of Syracuse and Taormina. With several calls on the Greek mainland, we'll enjoy specially curated excursions to Olympia, Delphi, and, after traversing the Corinth Canal, Mycenae, the legendary palace of Agamemnon, and Epidaurus, one of the finest of theaters from the classical world.

Against this backdrop of our Western heritage, our distinguished travel companions, including select W&L expertise, will bring decades of experience to bear on the many global questions- economic, political, social, and environmental-so vital to the future of our civilization. This is elegant travel for inquiring minds.