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Relax with a stunning view of Lisbon

Fortified cities of the Atlantic and the Iberian Peninsula

Honfleur - Lisbon - Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Le Champlain
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On this 12-day voyage from Honfleur to Lisbon onboard Le Champlain, take in the breathtaking views of the French, Spanish, and Portuguese Atlantic coastlines. Your voyage begins in Cherbourg, the city with the largest artificial port in Europe. Your next destination is Saint-Malo, renowned for the famed Route du Rhum yacht race. After appreciating the beauty of Talmont-sur-Gironde, proceed to Galicia and the city of Vigo. Close to this city is Santiago de Compostela, a pilgrimage site with Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque architecture.
Visit the beautiful Belle-Ile-en-MerCharming timber houses of HonfleurCitadel of BlayePlace de la Bourse, BordeauxVisit the famous Guggenheim Museum in BilbaoLisbon, PortugalRelax with a stunning view of Lisbon
Highlights
  • Come across the remarkable Merchers caves that loom over Gironde estuary
  • Discover the historic center of Porto from Leixoes, a UNESCO world heritage
  • Explore the Atlantic coastlines of France, Spain, and Portugal
  • Visit the South of Brittany, Belle-Île-en-Mer
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Honfleur | Embark

A treasure of the Cote Fleurie, Honfleur is located on the edge of la Crique de Rouen in Normandy. You will no doubt admire the historical ships moored in its old port. With its tall, slate-covered houses, the quays provide a great setting for a very nice walk. In the streets behind the harbor, you will see many timber houses. These picturesque places were the cradle of several pre-impressionist painters. You can see their works in the Eugene Boudin Museum. Exhibited works represent scenes of medieval streets and the coastline as it used to be, as illustrated by the Butin beach and its lush green hillsides.

Day 2: Cherbourg

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Lying at the tip of the Cotentin peninsula, between the Channel and the bocage, Cherbourg is the figurehead of a wild and secret region, dear to the heart of Jacques Prevert. The installation of La Cite de la Mer maritime museum in 2002, within the former transatlantic terminal, rejuvenated the maritime and military port. You’ll enjoy the ambiance of this charming town, with its shale façades, which were celebrated by Jacques Demy in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Your exploration will also bring you to the foot of the Château de Vauville, famed for its extraordinary Botanical Gardens. Like an oasis, this small southern paradise is home to more than 1,000 tropical species collected by the family of Éric Pellerin, botanist, and perfumer since 1948.

Day 3: Saint-Malo

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The mere mention of Saint-Malo’s name is enough to plunge you back into the richness of its past. The fortifications stand as testimony to the Malouins’ determination to defend their citadel, fought over by France and Britain in turn. When the anchor drop here, immerse yourself in the diversity of its heritage: the time when privateers sailed the oceans in search of trade and victories; the legendary yacht races the port city is still famous for, such as the Route du Rhum; and the final resting place of the French writer François-René de Chateaubriand, who was born here and chose to be buried here anonymously.

Day 4: Belle-ile-en-mer

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Lying to the South of Brittany, Belle-ile is very aptly named. The largest of the Ponant islands, it owes its glowing reputation to its exceptional environment and generous natural attributes: pristine moors and dunes, headlands and cliffs cut into granite points, rocky inlets, and sheltered bays with sandy or pebble beaches. Aboard your ship, let the wild coastline of Belle-île-en-Mer surprise you, this little speck of land lying on the ocean, sparkling with colors in the morning light.

Day 5: Talmont-sur-Gironde

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
You will sail along the coast to discover the remarkable Meschers caves, and natural cavities carved into the chalk cliffs that loom over the Gironde estuary. Enlarged by man in the 19th century, they became troglodyte dwellings, some of which are still inhabited today. Punctuating the coastline of the Charente region with their poetic presence, the carrelets, fragile-looking huts on stilts fitted with a square fishing net, can be seen along the Saintonge coastline. The beautiful town of Talmont-sur-Gironde is to be found at the heart of the fortified city founded by Edward I, King of England and Duke of Aquitaine. The Sainte-Radegonde church, a jewel of Romanesque art, dating from the 12th century, looms majestically over the estuary.

Day 6-7: Bordeaux

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Bordeaux stretches along the banks of the Garonne river, in South-West France. Its rich wine tradition makes it the world capital of wine. Let yourself be carried away by the history of the Port de la Lune, made a UNESCO World Heritage site for its prestigious classical architecture. On the famous Place de la Bourse, the past and the present unite: here you can observe the majestic old buildings reflected in the contemporary Miroir d’eau creation.

Day 8: Bilbao

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Bilbao, the capital of the Spanish Basque country, is one of the most avant-garde cities in Europe. Its architectural audacity as well as its ancient built heritage will take you on a journey between traditions and innovations. An unusual cable car will allow you to reach the magnificent Guggenheim Museum, a unique construction of stone, glass, and titanium, designed by the architect Frank Gehry and home to a collection of modern art and contemporary monumental sculpture.  The narrow streets of the old city and the unmissable Ensanche district are also worthy of a visit, as is the Vizcaya Bridge, the world’s first-ever transporter bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 9: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest, and entertainment.

Day 10: Vigo

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Nestling on the Atlantic coast, in the south of Galicia, the former fishing port of Vigo is now the region’s largest municipality. Its old town, more commonly known as O Berbés, will unveil its many historical monuments and the unusual architectural style of its homes. Off the coast, the Cíes Islands, declared a Nature Reserve and located in the Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park, offer truly splendid landscapes and exceptional biodiversity. Further north, make sure you visit Santiago de Compostela, which welcomes many pilgrims from all over the world every year. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its historical center has significant architectural heritage.

Day 11: Leixoes - Porto

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located at the mouth of the Douro River, the port of Leixões lies less than 10 kilometers from Porto. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the historic center of Porto is worth a visit for its famous Ribeira district, the metallic silhouette of the Dom-Luis bridge looming over its ancient houses, and its richly decorated Baroque churches and its national Soares dos Reis museum. The Sao Bento station is also interesting for its typically Portuguese decoration, using Azulejos, blue square ceramic tiles decorated with geometric patterns or figurative scenes.

Day 12: Lisbon | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Portugal’s capital city located on the banks of the Tagus, only a few kilometers from the Atlantic coast, is a city of exceptionally rich cultural diversity. At the mouth of the river harbor, impose two UNESCO World Heritage monuments, Jeronimos monastery, and Belem tower. The Alfama hillside is also worth visiting: known for its fado bars and its Moorish streets, this district is the oldest one in the city and one of the most typical. Not far from there, Chiado’s elegant streets are home to big fashion labels and are an invitation to a bit of luxury shopping.

Ship/Hotel

Le Champlain

Le Champlain Pool
Le Champlain Observatory
Ponant Sauna

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$5,060
Cabin
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Deluxe Stateroom
Area: 19 m². 4m² private balcony with French window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
Area: 19 m². 4m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
Area: 19 m². 4m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
Cabin
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
Area: 19 m². 4m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
Cabin
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Deluxe Suite
Area: 27 m². 6m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower. Up to 3 passengers per cabin.
Cabin
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Prestige Suite Deck 5
Area: 38 m². 8m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
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Prestige Suite Deck 6
Area: 38 m². 8m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
Cabin
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Privilege Suite
Area: 32 m². 8m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower. Up to 4 passengers per cabin.
Cabin
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Grand Deluxe Suite
Area: 45 m². 30m² private balcony with sliding bay windows. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower + bathtub.
Cabin
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Owner's Suite
Area: 45 m². 30m² private balcony with hot tub and sliding bay windows. King-size or twin beds and shower + bathtub.
Included
  • 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners
  • 11 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Port Fees
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • Onboard Entertainment 
  • Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and Gala Dinner
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • 24h Room Service (special selection)
  • English-Speaking Lecturer 
  • Highly experienced and bilingual (French-English) expedition staff
  • Park Entry Fees into Protected Areas
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite. 
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Visa Fees
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned
  • Luggage Handling 
  • Laundry Services, Hair Salon, and à La Carte Spa Treatments
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions 
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned in inclusions

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen
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