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Porto Cityscape, Portugal

Cruising Europe's Western Shores – with Smithsonian Journeys

Example 9 Day Cruise aboard Le Champlain
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sail with PONANT aboard Le Champlain for a 9-day cruise along the coasts of Portugal, Spain, and France. Your voyage begins in Lisbon, Portugal’s capital. Enjoy strolling through the narrow streets of this “city of seven hills,” or hop aboard one of the city’s famous yellow street trams to navigate its slopes. continue to Galicia and the city of Cee in Spain. Not far from here, Santiago de Compostela awaits you for an extraordinary visit on Easter Sunday. Le Champlain will then sail to Santander for an excursion to the capital of the Spanish Basque Country, Bilbao. Your ship then continues along the English Channel, through the Strait of Dover, and up the River Thames before ending in London, England, the cosmopolitan capital of the United Kingdom, where you will disembark.

This cruise is part of a collection of PONANT voyages that are specially tailored for English-speaking travelers who want to engage with the world. In alliance with Smithsonian Journeys.
The stunning shores of PortugalThe beautiful sunsets of the Mediterranean SeaVisit the famous Guggenheim Museum in BilbaoSaint MaloSaint MaloPorto Cityscape, Portugal
Highlights
  • Explore Historic Centre of Oporto, Santiago de Compostela, Tower of Hercules, and Mont-Saint-Michel
  • Visit to the magnificent Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
  • Explore Christian pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela on Easter Sunday
  • A chance to savor of the famed wines of Porto
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Lisbon | Embark

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 of 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.

Day 2: 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, its richly decorated Baroque churches and its national Soares dos Reis museum. The São Bento station is also interesting for its typically Portuguese decoration, using Azulejos, blue square ceramic tiles decorated with geometric patterns or figurative scenes.

Day 3: Cee

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cee is located at the end of a bay on the north-western Spanish coast. A stone’s throw from the marina, the maritime promenade is a great place to stroll alongside one of the town's beaches or luxuriant gardens. The center can be reached by a pleasant walk down quaint streets bordered by pines and palms. These streets lead you to the market square with its shops offering a profusion of all kinds of delicious food. You’ll want to dally under the arcades and perhaps be tempted by a slice of bica gallega, a regional cake that’s both moist and crunchy.  Try it with a cortado or a machado, two delectable espresso drinks.

Day 4: Santander

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Facing the Bay of Biscay, its backdrop a natural setting that combines sea and mountain, Santander rolls out along a huge bay on the northern coast of the peninsula. A city of maritime tradition, it has a century-old touristic vocation. It is home to two treasures that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites: a part of the Way of Saint James and the Cave of Altamira. Its Prehistory and Archaeology Museum houses one of the most valuable Palaeolithic collections in Europe and the Maritime Museum of Cantabria is one of the most comprehensive museums in Spain dedicated to the sea. Its beaches with peaceful waters, protected from the wind, offer one of the most beautiful seafronts with a succession of Belle Époque buildings.

Day 5: 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 center. 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 6: Saint-Malo

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The mere mention of Saint-Malo’s name is enough to plunge us 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 we drop anchor 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 7: Caen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located in the heart of Normandy, Caen is the city that William the Conqueror built. Caen Castle, one of the largest walled fortifications in Europe, as well as a Men's Abbey and a Women's Abbey — all, were built in the late 11th century by William and his wife, Queen Mathilde of Flanders, both of whom are buried here. Caen is also the site of the first successful action of Allied operations on D-Day, June 6, 1944, when British Airborne forces secured two bridges between Caen and the English Channel. Though the city was badly damaged during WWII, it has now been restored and serves as a monument of French resilience.

Day 8: 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 center. 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 9: London | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
The main residence of the British monarch, financial hub and seat of the British government, London is the economic and cultural heart of the country. A city of contrasts, attached to its traditions while buzzing with modernity, the capital of the United Kingdom has countless historic districts and notable sites to explore. From Hyde Park to the City through Westminster and Trafalgar Square, get ready to take on Londonメs frenetic tempo. In between a visit to the National Gallery, a stroll through Covent Garden and a trip to Tower Bridge, you can take a quiet breather in one of Londonメs many beautiful parks and gardens.

Ship/Hotel

Le Champlain

Le Champlain Pool
Le Champlain Observatory
Ponant Sauna

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$5,300
Cabin
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Deluxe Stateroom
Area: 19 m². 4m² private balcony with French window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
Cabin
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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.
Cabin
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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.
Cabin
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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.

Notes

*Rates are capacity controlled and are subject to change without notice.

Included Features:
  • Transfer and luggage handling from the airport in Lisbon to the ship on the day of embarkation
  • Comprehensive 8-night cruise aboard the deluxe Le Champlain, with all the amenities for which PONANT ships are famous
  • One included shore excursion in each port of call (see “Itinerary” for more information and choice of excursions, if applicable)
  • Transfer from the ship to the airport in London at the end of the cruise on the morning of disembarkation
 
Not included:
  • Independent meals and beverages ashore
  • Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, etc.)
 
Notes:
  • This voyage is offered on a space-available basis
  • Program is subject to change without notice

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