Ponant aligns with Paris Opera Ballet

One-off L'Austral sailing to feature prima ballerinas onboard and onshore

Opera National de Paris (supplied)

PONANT and the Paris Opera (Opéra national de Paris) have joined forces in an unprecedented partnership for an outstanding voyage in 2024. Six dancers from the Opera’s ballet company including prima ballerinas Valentine Colasante and Mathieu Ganio will be invited onboard to promote dance beyond theatreland for the delight of guests.

Taking place from 1 to 8 August 2024 on a voyage from Athens to Venice via Corfu and Dubrovnik, six globally acclaimed dancers will be on board L’Austral offering performances at sea and ashore, themed lectures and introductory ballet classes, enlightening fans of classical dance or the newly converted so all can enjoy the experience in their own way.

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“What the Paris Opera Ballet and PONANT have in common is that both are driven by an all-consuming desire to share, to be open to others and the world. Through this partnership, they are offering travellers an opportunity to discover the Opera’s classical and contemporary dance treasures and to exchange views,” said Alexandre Neef, Director General of the Paris Opera. “It is an odyssey that I know in my heart will inspire the six dancers as they perform against a backdrop of theatrical Greek and Croatian landscapes.”

The new PONANT partnership further reinforces an enrichment program of unrivalled quality on the market.

“We are delighted and proud of the confidence and trust placed in us by the Paris Opera in forging this partnership,” remarked Hervé Gastinel, CEO of PONANT. “Dance has the power to unite, transport and invite people to share. It is the essence of PONANT’s Explore to Inspire philosophy. It is also in the spirit of the new collection of themes, Travel is an Art, for voyages ever richer in meaning and inspiration; and truly unforgettable moments.”


The Paris Opera has worked closely with PONANT in designing this one-of-a-kind program. Aboard L’Austral, the prima ballerinas and dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet will take part in two privileged meetings with guests, where they reflect on their careers and what drives them. There will also be two screenings of performances and excerpts from documentaries on dance, followed by a discussion.

PONANT and the Paris Opera Ballet have also developed two “danced lectures” involving rehearsing the pas de deux in front of an audience, an invitation to learn what goes on behind the scenes when preparing a ballet. To complete this immersive experience, travellers also have the opportunity to take part in an introductory classical ballet class with a dance teacher from the Paris Opera.

Completing the itinerary are activities during ports of call with the dancers holding two exceptional performances with extracts of the great classical and contemporary ballets at the Municipality Theatre of Corfu on 3 August 2024 and the Dubrovnik Theatre Marin Držić on 5 August 2024.

Suite Armateur, L’Austral | Credit: PONANT/TamarSarkissian

Ponant’s ‘From the City of the Gods to the City of the Doges with the Paris Opera Ballet’ itinerary from Athens to Venice is priced from AU$6,240 per person, plus up to 30% Ponant Bonus Savings*.

For more information on this one-off sailing, click here.

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