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Sheep walking on the road in the British countryside.

North Atlantic: Portsmouth to Bilbao

Example 10 Day Cruise aboard Sea Cloud II
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Start this wonderful 10-day sailing adventure in the important Royal Navy city of Portsmouth, situated on the peaceful west coast of Portsea Island where historic ships with grandiose names proclaim the city's glorious past and several museums are devoted to the navy and seafaring. Across green hills, rocky cliffs on the sea's edge, spectacular crags, bays, and sandy beaches make your way to Bilbao, an important port and industrial city with an attractive, distinctive look. Cross the futuristic Calatrava Bridge to reach the old town, where you can take a delightful stroll around the lanes and enjoy the art of Basque cuisine.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Portsmouth, United Kingdom | Embark
Day 2 : Honfleur, France
Day 3 : St. Peter Port, Guernsey, UK
Day 4 : St. Malo, France
Day 5 : At Sea
Day 6 : Lorient, France
Day 7 : Le Palais, Belle-Île-en-Mer
Day 8 : At Sea
Day 9 : Pasajes, San Sebastian, Spain
Day 10 : Bilbao, Spain | Disembark

Highlights

  • Explore Honfleur, one of the most charming places in Normandy
  • Discover St. Malo, the start or end point for many famous sailing regattas
  • Enjoy the spectacular island of Belle-Île-en-Mer
  • Admire the futuristic Calatrava Bridge on the way to Bilbao's old town

Ship

Sea Cloud II

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Sheep walking on the road in the British countryside. Idyllic islands line the coast of the Mediterranean Enjoying gelato with friends Boats on the Mediterranean The colorful streets of Spain

Day 1 Portsmouth, United Kingdom | Embark

This coastal strip in southern Hampshire, blessed by the Gulf Stream, has always been an easily defensible natural harbor. Indeed Henry VII made it his Royal Dockyard at the end of the 15th century. Still an important Royal Navy base, the vast port of Portsmouth is situated on the peaceful west coast of Portsea Island, a spit of land that stretches far out to sea. In the old harbor, historic ships with grandiose names proclaim the city's glorious past and several museums are devoted to the navy and seafaring. Where once adventurers and admirals set sail to re-write the English history books, countless yachts now rock gently in numerous marinas. The lavishly renovated quayside with its looming, futuristic Spinnaker Tower, and the long seafront at Southsea are now the beating heart of modern life in the city.

Day 2 Honfleur, France

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Many famous impressionists caught the quaint atmosphere of this town at the mouth of the Seine on canvas in the 19th century. This small town in Calvados is still one of the most charming places in Normandy. Tall and narrow slate-clad buildings crowd around the quayside, the exquisite Vieux Bassin, and the old 17th-century dock. Honfleur honors its famous sons, painter Eugène Boudin and composer Eric Satie, in a museum. East of Honfleur, the breathtaking Pont de Normandie spans the Seine estuary and links Honfleur with Le Havre, an engineering masterpiece and one of the longest bridges in Europe.

Day 3 St. Peter Port, Guernsey, UK

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
'A piece of France fallen into the sea and grabbed up by the English' is how Victor Hugo described his place of exile in the Bay of St. Malo, which is closer to the northern coast of France than the south coast of England. Guernsey, the second largest British Channel Island, later inspired Auguste Renoir to produce a whole series of paintings. Narrow, meandering roads bordered by hedges and embankments wind through the interior of the island, which boasts luscious vegetation courtesy of the mild Gulf Stream climate, while in the south, green hills give way to rocky cliffs on the sea's edge. Here, spectacular crags, bays and sandy beaches have been shaped by the vast tidal range pummeling the rock. The pretty island capital of St. Peter Port overlooking the large sheltered harbor and castle boasts a fascinating mixture of styles in a tangle of terraces and stepped gardens.

Day 4 St. Malo, France

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This former 'corsaire' town in northern Brittany has always had a close relationship with the sea. Although the buccaneers have left, St. Malo is now the start or end point for many famous sailing regattas. Behind the legendary town defenses lies the historic center, which is surrounded by water on three sides and has always been impregnable. On one side of the town walls you can see the narrow alleyways and tall houses of the old town which bear testament to the prosperity of past traders and sailors. The other side offers exquisite views of the emerald sea, dazzling white sandy beaches, harbor, and forts. Tidal variations in the Bay of Saint-Malo provide an impressive natural spectacle with twelve meters difference between high and low tides.

Day 5 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 6 Lorient, France

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Breton harbor on the confluence of the river Scorff has always played an important role in the town's history. Its name is derived from the word 'orient' since Lorient was once home to the French East India Company and marked the center of a vast trading network. It is a passenger port, a bustling marina, France's second largest fishing port, a busy commercial port, and a naval base. In 2006, a state-of-the-art interactive sailing museum was built in honor of Éric Tabarly, the ocean yachtsman par excellence and trailblazing designer of regatta yachts. This modern town was completely rebuilt and is now considered to be a hub for 20th-century art and history.

Day 7 Le Palais, Belle-Île-en-Mer

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At 54 square miles, Belle-Île-en-Mer, south of Lorient is the largest of Brittany's islands. For a few weeks every summer, the storms and crashing waves subside and the island takes on a laid-back holiday atmosphere, with lots of bicycles, beach towels, and music. On the west coast, the waves break on the rocks causing white crests to dance on the water. Small, idyllic bays and beaches nestle in deep inlets in the rocky coastline, sometimes only accessible from the sea. The island's capital is the port of Le Palais with its imposing citadel and countless street cafés along the harbor and in the Place de la République. Claude Monet spent two and a half months on the island, producing 39 paintings of the wild Côte Sauvage.

Day 8 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 9 Pasajes, San Sebastian, Spain

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 10 Bilbao, Spain | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Bilbao has always been an important port and industrial city. In 1993, Bilbao was a pilgrimage destination for lovers of modern art and avant-garde architecture. The Guggenheim Museum, with its idiosyncratic and unique design by famous architect Frank O Gehry, showcases everything that is important within its 11,000 square meters (118,403 feet). Steel used to be manufactured in Bilbao and it now plays a major role here, since other renowned architects have also been inspired to give Bilbao an attractive, distinctive look. Cross the futuristic Calatrava Bridge to reach the old town, where you can take a delightful stroll around the lanes and enjoy the art of Basque cuisine. Disembark and return home individually.

Sea Cloud II

Deals

Save $390
Early Bird Savings - Book by December 1, 2017 and save $390.
Applies to Aug 12, 2018 departure
Per person starting at
$6,295
Category F cabin
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Category F
Two portholes, chair, table, TV with DVD player, mini-bar, dressing table, closet, safe, individually adjustable A/C.
Category E cabins
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Category E
Two portholes, sofa, table, TV with DVD player, mini-bar, dressing table, closet, safe, individually adjustable A/C.
Category D cabins
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Category D
Two portholes, two chairs, table, TV with DVD player, mini-bar, dressing table, closet, safe, individually adjustable A/C.
Category C cabins
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Category C
Panorama windows, two chairs, table, TV with DVD player, mini-bar, dressing table, closet, safe, individually adjustable A/C.
Category B cabins
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Category B
Panorama window, sofa, table, chair, decorative fireplace, console with TV/DVD and mini-bar, dressing table, walk-in closet, safe, individually adjustable A/C.
Category A cabins
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Category A
Panorama window, sofa, table, chair, desk, decorative fireplace, TV and DVD player, mini-bar, dressing table, four closets, safe, individually adjustable A/C.

Notes

Please note: Shore excursions are NOT included in this cruise-only rate. Contact us for details.

Rates Include:
  • Beautifully appointed cabin in selected category
  • Welcoming bottle of champagne in your cabin
  • All meals (six per day) from early-bird breakfast to the exquisite 4-course dinner menu with choice of main course
  • 5-course gala dinner during the cruise
  • Welcome and farewell cocktail with champagne
  • Selected wines and beers thoughtfully chosen to complement lunch and dinner
  • All soft drinks and juices throughout the cruise
  • All alcohol-free coffee and tea specialties
  • Bottled water on the excursions
  • Fresh fruit basket in your cabin, replenished daily
  • E-mails can be sent free of charge from the on-board laptop
  • English-speaking tour guide
  • Travel documents with detailed destination information
  • All port fees
  • Use of snorkeling and waterskiing equipment is free of charge
Rates Exclude:
  • Shore excursions. Contact us for pricing
  • Tips
  • Excess luggage (allowance is up to 40 kg per passenger)
  • Additional meals and beverages (so far as not expressly included)
  • Other personal expenses
  • Transfers

Included

  • 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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