Experience sumptuous tastings of regionally produced wines – and also one of local olive oil – that range from biodynamic to traditional, take part in an authentic cookery class while in Amalfi, and spend time wandering the charming streets of towns we make stops in along the way.
This luxurious, privately-chartered yacht boasts a total of 32 staterooms, all with a porthole and stylish pastel interiors. Facilities on board include a stunning panoramic restaurant as well as several great lounges, in which we can relax after dinner and enjoy a sumptuous drink.
The locations visited on this cruise are reflected in the foods that we eat. Anticipate great Italian and French cuisine that represents the idiosyncrasies of the islands we explore. Taste regional delicacies and experience local gastronomy both on water and land.
Upon arrival in Valetta we are treated to a drinks reception, before boarding our luxurious private yacht, Le Ponant. In the evening, we will sit down to our first group dinner, which will be a delicious exploration of regional cuisine, paired with Maltese Gellewza and Ghirghentina.
Today begins with a sumptuous visit to De Bartoli winery and we will then visit Donnafugata winery, where we will enjoy lunch. Afterwards, there will be a little free time in the charming Italian town of Marsala to explore the streets, shops and local flavour. When we return to our yacht this evening, there will be a tasting of delicious Marsala wines along with dinner served on board.
Our visits today begin with a visit to Carlo Hauner, a winery that utilises the founder’s creativity and wine-making excellence to produce truly stunning vintages. Later, we return to the boat for lunch, where we will sit down to a glorious regional menu. In the afternoon, there will be time for a refreshing afternoon swim before paying a visit to a 15th century Lipari Fortress. This fabulous day will come to an end at the Tenuta di Castellaro wine estate with a memorable sunset tasting, and a light dinner will be served once we get back to our yacht.
We get a little hands-on this morning with an exclusive cookery class at Albergo Ristorante Bacco and once we have learned how to make some regional dishes, we will indulge in them for lunch. Later, we will visit Amalfi for some leisure time and then we will take the funicular to Capri, which we can also explore independently. Dinner tonight will be at the breathtaking Ristorante Terrazza Brunella.
A little slice of paradise awaits this morning at Ponza beach, which is accessible only by sea. After a swim in the azure water, there will be a special wine-tasting that is followed by lunch on board Le Ponant, where we will further explore the traditional foods of the area. Another unforgettable experience is just around the corner, as this afternoon we take a cruise around Palmarola, where a rock cathedral that contains mysterious grottoes can be explored by swimmers. Once we have worked up an appetite, we will head back to the yacht for a fantastic group meal.
Today we discover the hidden treasures of Corsica, starting with Domaine Pero Longo. This rustic estate boasts hectares of great vineyards and olive groves, and produces some great wines. When we return to our yacht for lunch, we will be presented with a Corsican menu and the hours that follow will be spent at leisure, taking in the charms of Bonifacio. Our evening wine-tasting will focus on Sardinian flavours and styles, and we will also enjoy another fantastic dinner on board Le Ponant.
Our final full day on this magnificent tour begins at Tenuta La Chiusa, a farm and wine estate that also produces renowned olive oil. During our visit here, we will be privileged to sample both before returning to the yacht for lunch, which includes a traditional Italian fish stew called Cacciucco. The afternoon will be spent at a very relaxed pace and we will be able to explore the charming harbour town of Portoferraio at leisure. Tonight, we will reconvene as a group for one final meal – the highly anticipated Captain’s Dinner.
In the morning we sail back to Nice in France, where we disembark and journey home.
Qualifying as a Master of Wine in 1996 and picking up a Villa Maria Viticulture Award along the way, Nicola has become a specialist not only in South African wine, but the classic French regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy, too.
It was her time in Italy during her twenties that ignited her passion for their wine (and language), resulting in her broad knowledge of both subjects. Having started her wine career in 1987 with Majestic Wine Warehouses, she then moved on to Corney & Barrow, moving up from helping to set up the broking department to becoming the company’s wine buyer. She has most recently set up Private Cellar,
where she buys wine. Nicola is a true specialist and asset to the Arblaster & Clarke brand.
Our accommodation for the week will be the magnificent Le Ponant. This luxurious, privately chartered yacht boasts a total of 32 staterooms, all with a porthole and pastel interiors. Facilities include a stunning panoramic restaurant and several great lounges in which we can relax and enjoy a drink.