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PONANT will continue its Quintessential Collection themed sailings in 2020, featuring a series of new themed cruises with notable onboard speakers and tailored shore excursions that embrace local cultures and dive deeper into the history of the destinations. These sailings include:

An Exploration in Nature in Costa Rica & The Panama CanalJanuary 6-16, 2020, Le Dumont-d’Urville

A new 10-night itinerary hosted by Edie Rodriguez, America’s brand chairman for PONANT features discussions and talks by ecologist Paul Donahue who has explored all of the sites on the itinerary during his nearly 50 years working with birds and mammals in Central America. Guests will travel to Corcovado National Park, described as one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth, and UNESCO World Heritage site Darien Jungle for treks through the wilderness. A $2,000 flight credit per couple is available by booking now and travel advisors will earn a $250 gift card and 5% bonus commission on all bookings made by November 30, 2019.

An Immersion in Japanese Culture, May 30-June 7, 2020, Le Soléal

Explore the juxtaposition between the fast-forward modernity of Japan and its timeless traditions. Highlights of the itinerary include an exclusive, private meeting with the Abbot of Kofukuji Temple in Nagasaki, the oldest temple in the city and the birthplace of the Obaku school of Zen Buddhism, and a cooking class on how to cut and plate the deadly puffer fish. Three noted experts will join the cruise to add depth and insight to exploration both in port and on-board the ship: Timon Screech, professor of the History of Art at the School of Oriental & African Studies at the University of London; Holly H. Shimizu, former executive director of the U.S. Botanic Garden; and Osama Shimizu, an expert in both historic and contemporary Japanese gardens.

World Affairs in the Baltic SeaAugust 5-13, 2020, Le Dumont-d’Urville

This new sailing is hosted by the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Admiral James Stavridis, the former ambassador to Russia and current President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, William Burns, and American foreign affairs analyst and journalist Robin Wright. The cruise will begin in Stockholm and end in Copenhagen, visiting the cities that edge the Baltic Sea including two days with hosted accommodations in St. Petersburg, Russia. Passengers will discover the comingling of cosmopolitan life with centuries of rich history dating back to the Vikings. Ports of call include Helsinki, internationally recognized for its striking modern architecture, and Tallinn, Estonia, one of the best-preserved medieval towns in all of Europe. The ship will also stop in Szczecin, a city in Poland nearly destroyed during World War II that has since been completely rebuilt.

Celebrate Beethoven’s 250th Birthday in Northern Europe, September 8-17, 2020, Le Dumont-d’Urville

Celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday and the rich cultural heritage of northern Europe aboard Le Dumont-d’Urville. Days at sea will be filled with music by world-class chamber musicians performing an all-Beethoven repertoire curated by Michael Parloff, former principal flutist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for over 30 years. There will be an exciting onboard concert during the transit of the Kiel Canal and a private performance in the historic 17th-century Westerkerk in Amsterdam. Along the way, passengers will also have access to some of the best museums in the world, including the acclaimed Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, featuring works by Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso.

Epicurean Delights of Southern Italy & Sicily, October 18-25, 2020, Le Jacques Cartier

Sail through Italy with two noted food and wine experts, Eric Asimov, chief wine critic at The New York Times and Arthur Schwartz, author of Naples at Table: Cooking in Campania, largely considered the definitive book on Naples’ cuisine. Guests will immerse themselves in the bounty of Sicily and Southern Italy’s regional cuisines and the role food and wine plays in relation to physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing.

Celebrate American Composers with Keith Lockhart, Conductor of the Boston Pops, October 19-27, 2020, Le Champlain

Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart will host the sailing along the waterways of eastern Canada and northern New England. A series of performances will take place onboard the ship, as well as in a private concert in Quebec’s Chapelle du Musée de l’Amérique française, the oldest museum in Canada. Passengers will also have the opportunity to mingle with the musicians during evening events on the ship and during excursions to the 18th century Fortress of Louisberg and to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Lunenburg in Nova Scotia.

For more information on the line’s worldwide itineraries to the Arctic, Antarctica as well as in the Atlantic and North Europe, Asia, Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, Eastern Asia, Oceania, Central and South America, visit www.ponant.com Further information can be found by clicking here and here.

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