Smithsonian’s New Alliance Will Launch Themed Educational Cruises Around the Globe

Consider us already on board

Ponant L'Austral

Courtesy of Ponant

The prestigious Smithsonian Institution is getting into the cruise game. The world’s largest museum, education, and research complex has announced that its travel leg, Smithsonian Journeys, has allied with Ponant, a luxury yacht expedition operator out of France, to launch themed educational and culturally immersive expeditions.

The partnership will kick off with 19 select sailings that will connect passengers with engaging itineraries in destinations worldwide, including Antarctica, Japan, Great Lakes, Norwegian fjords, British Isles, and more. A key aspect to the partnership? Voyages will have access to over 175-years-worth of resources from the Smithsonian Institute, as well as opportunities to interact with voyage-themed experts across several fields of study such as archaeology, history, and anthropology, to help gather a better understanding of the places and people they are visiting.

“Ponant has been a pioneer in immersing travelers in destinations in meaningful ways for more than 30 years. We are proud to launch a collaboration with Smithsonian Journeys, the enduring leader in cultural enrichment, to continue to deliver unparalleled experiences alongside guides that have traversed the globe for decades and top experts in their field,” said Navin Sawhney, Chief Executive Officer of the Americas, Ponant.

This is Smithsonian’s first alliance with an expedition company, and it seems like a natural fit. Both companies are rooted in similar core values of using travel to educate, spark curiosity and understanding, and as a way to inspire travelers to approach the act of travel from a more lens-widening point-of-view.

“We are thrilled to be teaming with Ponant to bring the Smithsonian experience to guests onboard Ponant’s state-of-the-art expedition ships,” said Lynn Cutter, the senior vice president of Smithsonian Travel, in a statement. “As travel begins to resume, we believe guests will be more interested than ever in meaningful and enriching experiences that help to better interpret and understand the places they’re exploring.”