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Blue hour on the French coast

Western Europe: Bilbao to Honfleur

Example 9 Day Cruise aboard Sea Cloud Spirit
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Join the Sea Cloud Spirit for 9-days exploring the beauty of Normandy, Brittany, and the Basque country. After embarking in Bilbao, Spain sail to the picturesque old town of La Rochelle and visit patrician houses from the Renaissance. Enjoy spectacular views of the isle’s wild coast during the Belle-Île island tour. Visit the famous monument at Saint-Malo, France. Spend a day in Cherbourg. Finally, reach Honfleur, where you will disembark.
These unique buildings crowd the riverSunset over the tranquil Honfleur harborRelax on France's colorful coastCharming port cities line the coves of the French RivieraBoats at the docks of Honfleur, FranceBlue hour on the French coast
Highlights
  • Explore the bustling marina in Lorient
  • Visit old timber frame homes and walk the charming lanes of La Rochelle
  • Discover Belle-Île's timeless beauty
  • View the many famous sailing regattas in St Malo
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Bilbao, Spain | Embark

Arrive in Bilbao and embark on the Sea Cloud Spirit.

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 metres 118,403 foot). 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 round the lanes and enjoy the art of Basque cuisine.

Day 2: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 3: La Rochelle (La Pallice)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Vieux Port dock and the beautiful front, which teems with cafés, form the centre of the picturesque old town. Two imposing towers once served as lookout posts for the harbour and town, and are now the symbol of La Rochelle. The medieval town walls, town hall, churches and shipowners' offices bear testament to its former glory. Today, the Les Minimes marina is one of the largest examples of its kind in Europe. A bridge spans the 3km gap between the mainland and the Ile-de-Ré. With its enchanting beaches and dunes, little villages, cottages with green shutters and alleyways lined with hollyhocks, the 'White Isle' is a paradise for cyclists.

Day 4: 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 harbour 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 5: Lorient

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Breton harbour 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 centre 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 honour 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 6: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 7: St. Malo

  • 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 defences lies the historic centre, which is surrounded by water on three sides and has always been impregnable. On one side of the town walls you will 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, harbour and forts. Tidal variations in the Bay of Saint-Malo provide an impressive natural spectacle with twelve metres difference between high and low tides.

Day 8: Cherbourg

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 9: Honfleur, France | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
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 honours 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.

Ship/Hotel

Sea Cloud Spirit

Sea Cloud Spirit Fitness Area
Sea Cloud Spirit Fitness Area
Sea Cloud Spirit Lounge

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$6,880
Sea Cloud Spirit Superior Single Cabin
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Superior Single
Superior Single Cabins (approx. 13 and 14.5 m²/139 and 156 sq ft) are equipped with a single bed, a small sitting corner with a table and a chair, a dressing table and a wardrobe. The bathroom is equipped with a sink, shower and WC. These cabins have portholes and are located on the Cabin Deck.
Sea Cloud Spirit Superior Cabin
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Superior
Superior Cabins (approx. 16.5 to 19 m²/177 to 204 sq ft) are equipped with a double bed (two single beds), a small comfortable sitting corner with a chair or couch and a table as well as a dressing table, wardrobe and bureau. The spacious bathroom is equipped with a sink, shower and WC. These cabins have portholes and are located on the Cabin Deck.
Sea Cloud Spirit Deluxe Cabin
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Deluxe
Deluxe Cabins (approx. 20 m²/215 sq ft) are equipped with a double bed (two single beds), a small comfortable sitting corner with a chair or couch and a table as well as a dressing table, bureau and wardrobe. The spacious bathroom is equipped with a sink, shower and WC. These cabins have portholes and are located on the Cabin Deck.
Sea Cloud Spirit Deluxe Lido Cabin
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Deluxe Lido
Deluxe Lido Cabins (approx. 16.5 to 20 m²/177 to 215 sq ft) are equipped with a double bed (two single beds), a small comfortable sitting corner with a chair or couch and a table as well as a dressing table, bureau and wardrobe. The spacious bathroom is equipped with a sink, shower and WC. These cabins have portholes and are located on the Cabin Deck.
Junior suite
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Junior Suite
Junior Suites (approx. 26 to 30 m² /280 to 323 sq ft including balcony) are located on the Panorama Deck and offer a private balcony and panoramic windows. The cabins include a sitting corner with a couch and a table, two single beds (of 90 cm x 200 cm each), which can be placed separately or as a double bed, and a walk-in closet. The bathroom is equipped with a sink, WC and bathtub.
owner suite
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Owner's Suite
Owner's Suites are located on the Panorama Deck, and have a sitting area and panoramic windows as well as a private balcony. Each of the suites (approx. 36 to 39 m²/388 to 420 sq ft including balcony) is equipped with two single beds (of 95 cm x 200 cm each) that can be placed separately or as a large double bed, and a walk-in closet. The bathroom features sink and bathtub; the WC is separate.

Notes

Cruise Rates Include:
  • Cabin in the selected category
  • Gratuities
  • Welcoming bottle of champagne in your cabin
  • All meals 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
  • All soft drinks and juices throughout the cruise
  • Selected wines and beers thoughtfully chosen to complement lunch and dinner
  • 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
  • Free laundry service for cat. A+B cabin guests
  • Guided tour of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao in the evening
  • All shore excursions listed in the program
  • Open bar package
Rates Exclude:
  • Excess luggage (allowance is up to 40 kg per passenger)
  • Additional meals and beverages (so far as not expressly included)
  • Other personal expenses
  • Transfers

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Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.
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