The Louvre Museum Takes Up Residence on Luxury Cruise Ship

Philip Plisson/Courtesy Ponant

Learn from museum directors about what inspired the collections.

Visiting the Musée du Louvre in Paris is a bucket list item for many travelers. But what if the museum could come to you in the middle of the ocean? That’s what luxury cruise line PONANT is doing starting this summer by having department directors from the Louvre lead two new sailings. 

Nicolas Matheus/Courtesy Ponant

Departing in August and November 2020, The Cultural Jewels of the Adriatic and The Treasures of the Persian Gulf itineraries mark the first cruise partnership with Le Louvre. The sailings will take place in the Adriatic and Persian Gulf with onboard programming carefully designed by curators and directors from the famed art museum. Guests will learn from these experts about the ancient lands that have inspired the museum’s collections as they sail past.

“The genesis of this partnership is founded in that PONANT’s DNA is rooted in offering cultural cruises in classic yachting destinations,” Navin Sawhney, CEO of the Americas, told Departures. “The Louvre is the perfect partner to further this focus given its reach, given its globalization, and given its excellence in so many cultural departments around the globe.”

For the Adriatic trip, Ludovic Laugier, Curator in the Department of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities, and Jannic Durand, Director of the Department of Decorative Arts, will host lectures and lead discussions around the visited destinations and cultural sights from the day. You will travel from Athens to Venice over 10 days. 

The Persian Gulf sailing will go from Muscat (Oman) to Dubai with ports of call in Qatar and Abu Dhabi. Yannick Lintz, Director of the Department of Islamic Art at the Musée du Louvre, will lead a series of talks and conferences over nine days sharing her expertise on antiquities

“Travelers can visit the Louvre in Paris and the one in Abu Dhabi,” said Sawhney. “But the new PONANT sailings will allow passengers time with these experts in the destinations that have inspired those very exhibitions.”

This marks one of the many new itineraries PONANT is unveiling in 2020. The company will launch Le Bellot in April 2020 and Le Jacques Cartier in July 2020. Both vessels will feature an innovative Blue Eye lounge located eight feet beneath the waterline. This is an industry that lets guests experience the subaquatic world in a novel way.