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Discover the history and culture of Bordeaux

The Basque Country

Example 10 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Endeavour (AC)
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Along the western coasts of Spain and France, Euskal Herria - the Basque Country - awaits rediscovery. This diverse countryside, with its mountains, estuaries, forests and winding coastlines, is a pleasure that can indulged by all of the five senses. Yet it is the people of this land that are the most intriguing. Europe’s oldest nation, but never a country. An ancient language with no relation to any other language on earth. An enduring culture whose impact on the world stretches far beyond the stunning countryside nestled at the base of the Cantabrian Sea. To say that the Basque people have a strong sense of identity and belonging is an understatement. With this steadfast foundation, the Basques pushed boundaries during the age of exploration, were pioneers in trade and industry, and are known the world over as culinary innovators. The endurance of the great exteas (houses), and the strength and adaptability of the culture is worthy of celebration. Travel with an esteemed group of Basque hosts. Hike, bike, or simply wander and explore. Taste the wonders of the Basque Country on this 10-day journey by sea!

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Bilboa, Spain | Embark
Day 2 : Urdaivai Biosphere Reserve
Day 3 : Getaria
Day 4 : San Sebastian
Day 5 : Astigarraga
Day 6 : Iparralde
Day 7 : Bordeaux
Day 8 : Le Teich Ornithological Reserve
Day 9 : Belle-Île, Brittany
Day 10 : Brest | Disembark

Highlights

  • Appreciate Basque fishing, whaling, and seafaring traditions
  • Experience the joy of pintxos, the tapas-like snack at the heart of Basque cuisine
  • Learn about the rich tradition of bertsolaritza, Basque competitive poetry
  • Hike or bike in the region’s mountain and valley landscapes, including protected biospheres

Ship

Ocean Endeavour (AC)

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Discover the history and culture of Bordeaux Explore the historic cities and towns of the Bordeaux region Couple raising glasses with wine Saint Emilion views

Day 1 Bilboa, Spain | Embark

Arriving independently in Bilbao, we’ll meet our Adventure Canada group and staff for an afternoon guided walking tour of Bilbao’s Old Quarter which dates back to the 700s. Since 1979, the Old Quarter has been a pedestrian precinct, offering 240,000 square metres of shopping, architecture, and historical sites. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry is widely considered an architectural masterpiece.
In the afternoon, we’ll embark the Ocean Endeavour and begin our journey down the Bilbao River, headed for the Bay of Biscay!
Arriving independently in Bilbao, we’ll meet our Adventure Canada group and staff for an afternoon guided walking tour of Bilbao’s Old Quarter which dates back to the 700s. Since 1979, the Old Quarter has been a pedestrian precinct, offering 240,000 square metres of shopping, architecture, and historical sites. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry is widely considered an architectural masterpiece.
In the afternoon, we’ll embark the Ocean Endeavour and begin our journey down the Bilbao River, headed for the Bay of Biscay!

Day 2 Urdaivai Biosphere Reserve

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Urdaibai Estuary is home to a vast salt marsh, making it an important stopping place for migratory birds. More than 245 bird species have been sighted in the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, which is also home to hundreds of varieties of trees and plants, and numerous land animals. We’ll visit the marshland for birdwatching and sightseeing.

Day 3 Getaria

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The old fishing and whaling village of Getaria is considered one of the Basque Country’s most charming port towns. Maritime traditions run deep here in the hometown of Captain Juan Sebastian de Elcano, who completed the first world circumnavigation after Magellan’s death midway through, the voyage.
We will have the option to visit local archaeological sites or explore vineyards overlooking the village.

Day 4 San Sebastian

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The historic city of San Sebastian is framed by sandy beaches and a backdrop of green-clad mountains. Here you’ll find wonderful architecture and fabulous food. A tour of the Parte Vieja (Old Quarter) leads to an opportunity for pintxos, the tapas-like snacks that are the heart and soul of Basque food culture. We’ll also visit the Albaola Sea Factory Museum and the replica of the San Juan, a Basque whaling ship discovered sunk in the harbour of Red Bay, Labrador.

Day 5 Astigarraga

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Only a few kilometres up the Urumea River from San Sebastian, Astigarraga is famed for its cider. We’ll visit a family of cider-makers who have five centuries of experience producing cider in the region—and a special connection to Adventure Canada. The Astarbe family were cultural contributors on a Basque-focused tour of Newfoundland and Labrador. They are keen to host us and showcase their unique connection to the land and history of their region.

Day 6 Iparralde

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Just across the Bidasoa River from Spain, Iparralde (Northern Basque Country) offers a more intimate and rural experience than its urbane Spanish counterpart. We will visit the town of Espelette, famed throughout Europe for its peppers and its picturesque Basque architecture of whitewashed facades and red roofs. Sare, a tiny village at the base of the Pyrenees, offers an option to travel by rack railway to the summit of Larrun Mountain, a sacred place in Basque mythology standing square on the border of Spain and France. From there we cross the border back into Spain to Zugarramurdi, in the mountains of Navarre. Known as the site of the Basque witch trials, we’ll visit the prehistoric caves where the witches’ sabbaths were alleged to have taken place. This day provides excellent opportunities for hikers and cyclists.

Day 7 Bordeaux

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The wine capital of the world, Bordeaux, France has so much to offer visitors: cuisine, wine, markets, architecture, museums and more. Passengers will have the opportunity for a guided tour of the Old City, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll be alongside overnight to allow passengers to savour food, drink, and nightlife in fabled Bordeaux!

Day 8 Le Teich Ornithological Reserve

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Ornithological Reserve at Arcachon Bay contains dunes, marshes, reed beds, and meadows, providing habitat for as many as 260 bird species year-round. The reserve is also an important migratory stopover and wintering ground for a wide variety of species. Both long and short walk options are available, with blinds and raised viewing platforms that offer excellent bird-watching opportunities for all.

Day 9 Belle-Île, Brittany

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Brittany’s largest island at 17 by 9 kilometres, Belle-Île is known for its plant life. The island’s flora includes eucalyptus, exotic gingko, mimosa, fig, and oleander.
There is excellent hiking and biking along coastal pathways and roads, many offering secluded beaches. Rock pyramids known from Claude Monet’s paintings form an intriguing geological attraction.

Day 10 Brest | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Heavily bombed during the Second World War and rebuilt in the fifties, Brest has been an important naval port for hundreds of years. The Maritime Museum here is in an 11th-century medieval castle remodelled by Vauban, who also oversaw the construction of the Citadelle at Belle-Île. Also, of interest is the Motte-Tanguy Tower, dating to the 1300s, which now houses the Museum of Old Brest.

This morning we bid farewell to the Ocean Endeavour and transfer to the airport, or passengers can independently stay to enjoy Brest and travel onward.

Ocean Endeavour (AC)

Per person starting at
$4,495
Ocean Endeavour - Cat 1 Quad
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Quadruple - Category 1
Deck four: Interior cabin, four lower berths, private bath (separate shower room and powder room) - approx. 240 sq. ft.
Ocean Endeavour - Cat 2 Triple
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Triple - Category 2
Deck four: Interior cabin, three lower berths, two private baths - approx. 200 sq. ft.
Interior Twin cabin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Interior Twin - Category 3
Deck five: Interior cabin, two lower berths, private bath - approx. 125 sq. ft. (twin)/110 sq. ft. (single)
Exterior Twin Cabin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Exterior Twin - Category 4
Deck four: Porthole window, unobstructed view, two lower berths, private bath - approx. 100 sq. ft. (twin)/90 sq. ft. (single)
Exterior Twin Cabin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Main Twin - Category 5
Deck five: Picture window, unobstructed view, two lower berths, private bath - approx. 115 sq. ft.
Comfort Twin cabin on board Ocean Endeavour
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Comfort Twin - Category 6
Deck four: Two portholes windows, unobstructed view, two lower berths - 175 sq.ft. Deck seven: picture window, partial view, two lower berths- 135 sq.ft. Deck eight: Picture windows, obstructed view, matrimonial bed, pvt. bath, fridge - 160 sq.ft.
Top Deck Twin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Select Twin - Category 7
Deck five. Picture windows, unobstructed view, two lower berths, approx. 190 sq. ft. Deck eight: oversize windows, partially obstruction view, matrimonial bed, private bath, refrigerator - approx. 145 sq. ft.
Superior Twin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Superior Twin - Category 8
Deck five. Two picture windows, unobstructed view, two lower berths, sitting area- 210 sq.ft. Deck seven: forward-facing windows with unobstructed view, matrimonial, private bath w/full tub- 180 sq.ft. Deck seven midship: picture windows, partially obstructed view, matrimonial, private bath, fridge - 190 sq.ft
Ocean Endeavour Cabin Category 9
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Junior Suite - Category 9
Deck five: Picture windows, unobstructed views, matrimonial bed, sitting area- approx. 270 sq. ft. Deck seven: forward-facing picture windows, views, matrimonial bed, private bath w/full tub, sitting area, private bath, refrigerator - approx. 290 sq. ft.
Ocean Endeavour Cabin Category 10
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Suite - Category 10
Deck seven. Forward-facing picture windows, unobstructed view, matrimonial bed, private bath with full tub, refrigerator - approx. 310 sq. ft.

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy. Request the Twin Share Program where you are matched with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if a cabin mate is not found for you, no single supplement will be charged.

- Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the double occupancy rate.

Expedition Costs Include:
  • Passage aboard the Ocean Endeavour
  • Applicable taxes and Credit card fees
  • Complimentary Expedition jacket
  • Contribution to Adventure Canada's Discovery Fund
  • Special access permits, entry and park fees
  • Team of expedition staff *Guided activities
  • Sightseeing and community visits
  • All Zodiac excursions
  • Port fees
  • Pre-departure materials
  • Educational program
  • Nikon Camera Trial Program
  • Interactive workshops
  • Evening entertainment
  • All shipboard meals
Expedition Cost Does Not Include:
  • Commercial & charter flights
  • Program Enhancements/optional excursions
  • Gratuities
  • Personal expenses
  • Mandatory medical evacuation insurance
  • Additional expenses in the event of delays or itinerary changes
  • Possible fuel surcharges
  • Pre- & post-trip hotel accommodation
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Travel Agents
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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
Karen Snider

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