We spent a week on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean Sea, from Malta to Sicily to Greece.

Thus concludes our cruise of the Mediterranean from Malta to Sicily and on to Greece and Athens.    We were incredibly lucky with the weather – blue-sky sunshine every day, unusually warm for October, and perfectly calm seas. On board our ship Le Bougainville, which is only five months old, the staff was friendly, the accommodations comfortable, and the food fabulous.  (French chef; need I say more?)

The highlight of our time on-board, though, was a series of lectures and panel discussions on the topic of “World Affairs”, organized by Washington & Lee University’s office of lifelong learning.  (Although we were part of the W&L group, we comprised only half of the passengers; they were also welcome at the events.)   The speakers included Fareed Zakaria from CNN, John McLaughlin retired from CIA, Daniel Mendelsohn from Bard College, and Provost Marc Conner from Washington & Lee.  Every lecture and panel was a fascinating reflection on world affairs from the time of the ancient Greeks and Persians to the dramatic news of this week (notably, involving Washington, Ukraine, and Syria).

See the photo gallery for a few photos of the ship, the gallery of “favorite photos” for the entire cruise, and the blog posting from each stop on our cruise:



A two-night visit to the historic capital of Malta, a tiny island nation in the middle of the Mediterranean.

We began a week-long World Affairs cruise of the Mediterranean with a short flight to the small island country of Malta, which sits in a historically strategic location in the Mediterranean sea.  This tiny island country has been inhabited for over 5,000 years, and has been settled by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Spanish, French, and British, not to mention the pre-historic communities who left behind the world’s oldest free-standing stone structures.  Malta’s culture and language are thus a unique mixture of many influences.

Read on and check out the photo gallery.

Map of the Ponant Cruise
Route of W&L’s “World Affairs” cruise on Ponant’s “Le Bougainville”

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