World Affairs Cruise Itinerary October 9 - 18, 2019

Dear W&L Alumni, Parents, and Friends,

I am pleased to invite you to join us on an unusual travel adventure, one that will provide expert insight into the issues that affect our lives. For this special cruise, we have assembled a team of speakers deeply involved in world affairs as commentators and critics. CNN host Fareed Zakaria, former director of the CIA General Michael V. Hayden, and best-selling author Daniel Mendelsohn will come together aboard Le Bougainville for a series of conversations on the current state of international relations and prospects for the future.

The itinerary could not be better for this inquiry. 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 itinerary 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.

In lectures and in thoughtful discussions with you and your travel companions, Zakaria, Hayden, and Mendelsohn will bring their decades of experience to bear on the many global questions—economic, political, social, and environmental—so vital to the future of Western civilization. Please join us.

Rob Fure, Ph.D.,
Director Office of Lifelong Learning

Featured Guest Lecturers

Host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, contributing editor at The Atlantic, and Washington Post columnist FAREED ZAKARIA is widely respected for his thoughtful analysis and ability to spot economic and political trends. Esquire magazine described him as “the most influential foreign policy adviser of his generation.” Zakaria’s international bestseller The Post-American World is about the “rise of the rest,” analyzing the growth of China, India, Brazil, among others, and what it means for the future. The New York Times called it “a relentlessly intelligent book,” while the Boston Sunday Globe wrote, “Zakaria...may have more intellectual range and insights than any other public thinker in the West.” His latest book, In Defense of a Liberal Education, debuted at #6 on The New York Times best-sellers list in April 2015.

GENERAL MICHAEL V. HAYDEN is Former Director, Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency and author of Playing to the Edge. As Director of the CIA, 2006-2009, General Hayden oversaw the collection of information concerning the plans, intentions, and capabilities of America’s adversaries; produced timely analysis for decision makers; and conducted covert operations to thwart terrorists and other enemies of the United States. Before becoming Director of the CIA, he served as the country’s first Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence—and was the highest-ranking intelligence officer in the armed forces. Currently, General Hayden serves as a principal at The Chertoff Group, a security and risk management advisory firm, and as a distinguished visiting professor at the George Mason University School of Policy, Government and International Affairs.

DANIEL MENDELSOHN is an internationally best-selling memoirist and award-winning critic and essayist. Hailed by the New York Times as “our most irresistible literary critic,” he is America’s best- known interpreter of Classical antiquity for mainstream audiences; his reviews and essays on books, movies, theater, and television appear frequently the New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. A professor of Humanities at Bard College, he is the author of seven books, including the international award-winner The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million. His latest book, An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic, recounts his travels around the Mediterranean with his late father, a scientist, while reading Homer’s Odyssey.


Thu, Oct. 10 VALLETTA, MALTA Arrive in Valletta and transfer to the Grand Hotel Excelsior, where you meet with fellow travelers for a welcome reception. Overnight at the hotel. R
Fri, Oct. 11 VALLETTA | EMBARK The Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, later the Knights of Malta, established a base at Valetta in the 16th century, and the city owes much of its charm and character to this religious order. After breakfast at the hotel, we explore the National Museum of Archaeology. A short drive takes us to the remarkable Tarxien Temples, which date back to 2800 b.c., and then on to Hagar Qim, an even older temple that stands atop a hill on the southern edge of the island overlooking the sea. In late afternoon, we transfer to the pier to embark Le Bougainville and set sail for Sicily. B,D
Sat, Oct. 12 CATANIA, SICILY, ITALY | SYRACUSE | CATANIA Syracuse once rivaled Athens as the most important city of the ancient world. Our afternoon excursion includes a visit to the Archaeological Museum, Greek Theater, the Roman Amphitheater and the Latomia del Paradiso. B,L,D
Sun, Oct. 13 TAORMINA Clinging to the side of Mount Tauro, Taormina looks out to sea and the dramatic cone of Mount Etna. A Greek colony was founded here in 403 b.c. and prospered throughout the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Explore the Greek theater, which offers dramatic views of Etna and the Sicilian coastline, and amble among Taormina’s quaint streets and gardens. B,L,D
Mon, Oct. 14 KATAKALON, GREECE | OLYMPIA This afternoon’s excursion takes us to Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympics, and home to the ancient Sanctuary of Zeus—a vast expanse of well-preserved altars, temples and other ruins. Highlights of the site include the Temples of Hera and Zeus, the Council House and the Treasuries. The affiliated Archaeological Museum houses exquisite sculptures and other artifacts from the site. B,L,D
Tue, Oct. 15 ITEA | DELPHI | CROSSING THE CORINTH CANAL We begin this morning’s excursion with a drive through spectacular scenery to Delphi. Famous in antiquity as the home of the oracle of Apollo, Delphi continues to cast a spell as we marvel at the impressiveness of the site even in ruins. Before returning to our ship, we explore the marvelous on-site museum. This evening, we transit the Corinth Canal as we move from the Ionian to the Aegean Sea. B,L,D
Wed, Oct. 16 NAFPLION Our morning excursion is to Mycenae, center of the Mycenaean civilization, an extraordinary culture that flourished in the 2nd millennium b.c. Homer described Mycenae, the legendary home of Agamemnon, as “rich in gold.” A tour of the citadel includes the imposing Lion Gate, other remains of the acropolis, as well as the impressive beehive-shaped tombs set outside the walls. In the afternoon, we travel to Epidaurus, the ancient shrine of Asklepios, whose ruins are dominated by a 4th-century theater, one of the finest in Greece. B,L,D
Thu, Oct. 17 HYDRA Our afternoon excursion focuses first on the architecture of Hydra, as we tour the Lazaros Koundouriotis Mansion, a superb example of an 18th-century Hydriot house, exploring its opulent interior and heirlooms belonging to this wealthy ship owner and his family. Also devote some time to the Ecclesiastical and Byzantine Museum located next to Hydra’s Cathedral. The museum is housed in what was once a monk’s cell and exhibits religious objects and historic documents. B,L,D

Program Inclusions


  • 1 night at the Grand Hotel Excelsior including breakfast
  • Welcome cocktail reception at the hotel
  • Pre-cruise sightseeing tour in Malta
  • 7-night cruise aboard the deluxe Le Bougainville
  • Welcome and farewell cocktail receptions aboard ship
  • All meals aboard ship including early riser’s coffee & pastry, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner
  • Open bar aboard ship, including select wines with lunch and dinner
  • Complete program of tours and excursions as described in the itinerary
  • Lectures and discussions by featured guests Fareed Zakaria, General Michael V. Hayden and Daniel Mendelsohn
  • Physician aboard ship
  • Comprehensive pre-departure materials
  • Baggage handling and airport transfers abroad on the designated program arrival and departure dates
  • Port taxes and charges
  • Gratuities to shipboard personnel, porters, guides, and drivers

Not Included

  • Airfare;
  • airport taxes;
  • visa and passport fees (if applicable);
  • luggage, cancellation, and accident insurance;
  • personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls, internet, spa services and beverages other than those specified above


  • Opportunities to share meals and informal conversations with Fareed Zakaria, Daniel Mendelsohn, and General Michael Hayden throughout the voyage
  • Private excursion to the Megalithic sites and Archaeological Museum of Malta
  • Specially curated excursions to iconic ancient sites, including Olympia, Delphi, and Mycenae

Le Bougainville

The five-star Le Bougainville is one in a series of four new luxury vessels commissioned by PONANT, making her maiden voyage in 2019. The state-of-the- art ship is equipped with the latest environmental preservation technology and combines PONANT’s understated elegance with a spirit of adventure. In keeping with our company philosophy, Le Bougainville is a small-capacity ship—430 feet in length with just 92 staterooms and a crew of 110—and features Blue Eye, the world’s first multi- sensory underwater lounge.


All accommodations aboard Le Bougainville are outside staterooms and suites, and all feature a private balcony. All cabins include a bedroom with either two twin-size beds or a queen-size bed, mini-bar, safe, spacious closets, climate control, telephone, WiFi access, TV with movies on demand, iPod player, and private bathroom with fine amenities.

Fares per person, double occupancy
AccommodationCostSingle Cost

Terms and Conditions

Compagnie du PONANT, PONANT Group USA, LLC, and PONANT USA, LLC are hereinafter collectively referred to as “PONANT GROUP”. Please read carefully the following terms and conditions, which constitute the sole, legally enforceable agreements between the passenger and PONANT GROUP and the tour’s sponsoring organization.


In order to secure a booking, the guest is required to pay a 25% deposit. Final payment is due by July 13, 2019, 90 days prior to departure. Checks and credit cards are accepted.<?p>


All cancellations or modifications must be in writing. Any and all guests not reporting for departure or prevented from reporting for departure or waiving for any reason whatsoever the benefit of services included in the program cannot claim any refund. PONANT GROUP shall not be required to refund any monies to any guests who must leave the cruise prematurely for any reason, nor shall PONANT GROUP be held responsible for any costs, fees, damages or causes of action which result from the transportation expenses incurred by guest’s early departure.

For any deposited or fully paid booking, cancellation penalties will be assessed as noted below. These cancellation penalties are applicable on all services booked with PONANT GROUP.

  • For cancellations received up to 180 day prior to departure, by April 4, 2019, no cancellation penalty applies.
  • From April 5, 2019 up to 91 days prior departure: 10% of full fare
  • 90-61 days prior departure: 50% of full fare
  • Within 60 days prior to departure: 100% of full fare.


Passengers shall be responsible for subscribing to cancellation/luggage/assistance repatriation/medical insurance(s).


PONANT GROUP reserves the right to withdraw and/or cancel a sailing to make changes in the itinerary whenever, in its sole judgment, or in the judgment of the vessel owner or operator, conditions warrant it.


The passenger agrees that PONANT GROUP acts as agent and/or trustee for any person, ground and maritime agents and subcontractors, who provide any service forming, or in connection with, any part of the cruise. Transportation services to the port of departure, transfers to the ship, including, as applicable, hotel room and restaurant bookings or guided tours, are performed by independent suppliers who are not employees of PONANT GROUP. In this respect, PONANT GROUP acts only as an agent and shall not be held liable for said services or for the acts or omissions of sub-contractors or other contractors.

PONANT GROUP shall not be held liable for bodily injury to, or death of passengers, or for loss of, or damage to luggage or other personal belongings, unless it is proved that the carrier has infringed statutory obligations or that it or one of its employees or agents has committed gross negligence. However, in the event the liability of PONANT GROUP is incurred, such liability is limited (details available upon request).

PONANT GROUP shall in any case not be liable for failure of an improper performance when the same is due to or caused by the fault of the passenger; the unforeseeable or unavoidable fault of a third party unconnected with the provision of any services to be provided under the contract; unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond the control of PONANT GROUP; an event of “Force Majeure” such as a war, threat of war, riots, civil commotion, acts of God, terrorist activities, natural and nuclear disaster, fire, technical problems with transport, closure of ports, strikes and any industrial action, or any other event beyond the control of PONANT GROUP.


The prices given at the time of booking are based on economic conditions known on May 1, 2018 and are subject to change. These conditions are, amongst others, the cost of transport and fuel, relevant dues and taxes for the proposed operation (port taxes, embarkation and disembarkation taxes, entrance costs to tourist sites), currency exchange rates relevant to the pricing of these programs. PONANT GROUP reserves the right within the legal limits of applicable laws to vary the prices if necessary. All variation of the cost of transport, fuel, taxes, dues and visa costs will be passed on within the voyage cost. Additionally, any surcharge levied will be increased to include an amount to cover agent’s commission. Any change in fare cannot be imposed less than 60 days prior to departure. For the cruise-only rate, daily surcharge, if any, will be calculated based on:

S = fuel variation1* x daily consumption2



These terms & conditions are subject to and interpreted according to International regulations and concern the transportation of passengers and their luggage from the time of boarding the ship to the moment of disembarking, as well as at ports of departure, destination, or stopover. PONANT GROUP shall incur no liability outside this period of time. Without prejudice to required legal regulations, any actions related either to the interpretation, or execution of this agreement shall be brought before the competent courts of Marseille-France.

PONANT GROUP is not responsible for omissions, printing and/or presentation errors and reserves the right to make corrections as required.

1MGO FOB Rotterdam 0,1% in US$