Embrace the culture and history of Spain and Portugal on this 10-day small ship cruise. Begin in Sevilla, Spain, then transfer to Granada and sail West around the coast of Portugal and up to Northern Spain. Rich in history and culture, this cruise is sure to delight.
Explore the Old City, including the amazing Gothic cathedral, Giralda Tower, and Alcázar. In the late afternoon, drive through the scenic Andalusian countryside and arrive in Cádiz, where you embark on the National Geographic Explorer.
Arrive in Motril and drive from the port of Motril to the beautiful city of Granada and its breathtaking Alhambra Palace. Built in the 13th century on a hill above the city, the city reflects both the wealth and love of beauty of the Moors. Also visit Generalife, the summer palace of the Moorish rulers, which features a maze of grandly terraced gardens. After a typical Andalusian lunch at the exquisite Alhambra Palace Hotel, visit the Capilla Real, or Royal Chapel, where the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella are entombed.
Spend today in Gibraltar, one of the few places in the world where you can see two continents at once! Explore the rock fortress by minibus and spend some time with the famous Barbary Apes and Gibraltar macaques. Also visit the incredible St.Michael's Cave, where you may see magnificent stalagmites and stalactites formed from limestone. In the evening, pass between the Pillars of Hercules and through the Strait of Gibraltar as you exit the Mediterranean Sea.
Enjoy the day in the pastoral hills of the Algarve, where you find present-day farmlands and remnants of Moorish culture that once dominated the region. From Portimão, head North to Silves, one of the oldest villages on the Algarve. Here, visit the 12th-century sandstone castle and fortress that were by the Moors.
Connect with Portugal’s proud maritime traditions by arriving by sea, along the banks of the Tagus. Enter colorful Lisbon, known for its extraordinary architecture and the history of Portugal’s 15th- and 16th-century Age of Exploration. Columbus, Magellan, Vasco da Gama, Henry the Navigator each play a part in the city tour. Begin at the massive Monument to the Discoverers, the city’s symbol, and see the richness of Manueline architecture evident on visits to the Jeronimos Monastery and the Belém Tower, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Famous for its port wine, old town Oporto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site resounding in stately architecture: the 13th century Church of São Francisco with its dazzling Baroque interior and the 19th-century Neoclassical Stock Exchange. The scenic Douro was the main river for transporting the port wines from the highlands of northern Portugal aboard picturesque flat-bottomed wine boats. And of course, no visit would be complete without a visit to one of the colorful riverside port houses to sample the port wine which has made this region famous.
The most magnificent pilgrimage site of the Middle Ages is the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela, declared a UNESCO site. With its detailed façade and massive size, the cathedral is awe-inspiring. By special arrangement, witness the swinging of the extraordinary 125-pound silver incense burner called the botafumeiro. After exploring this architectural marvel, enjoy lunch in town at the Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos, which was built for pilgrims in the 16th century by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.
Day 9: At Sea / Bilbao, Spain
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A relaxing morning at sea gives you time to attend lectures on all you have seen. In the afternoon, lovers of art and architecture may appreciate Frank Gehry’s futuristic Bilbao Guggenheim Museum with its distinctive titanium wave. The finish of the 33,000 extremely thin titanium sheets gives an organic effect, changing color depending on weather and light conditions. It is possible to walk all the way around the Museum, admiring different configurations from each perspective of the structure Philip Johnson once called “the greatest building of our time.”
Day 10: Bilbao / Disembark
Disembark in Bilbao after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your continued independent journeys.
Veranda Deck Suite #101-102; Upper Deck Suite with Balcony #213.
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Upper Deck Suite with Balcony. #215, 219, 230.
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C Deck Solo - Cabins 309-312, 329-334. Single cabins with window.
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Upper and Veranda Decks with Window. #105-106, 203, 208.
*All meals and non-alcoholic beverages
*Cappuccinos, lattes & filtered water
*24-hour coffee, tea & soda on demand
*Hors d’oeuvres & snacks during Recap
*Fully stocked library
*Sightseeing & entrance fees
*Special access permits, park fees, port taxes
*Transfers to and from group flights
*Zodiac & kayak explorations
*Presentations and guest speakers in the lounge
*International and internal airfare
*Additional hotel nights
*Travel Protection Plan
*Passport, visa, and immigration fees
*Internet and phone
*Gift shop items and any other items of personal nature
We are so glad that we chose Adventure Life. The service is top-notch. Everything is well taken care of and we just have to print the documents and go. Franny even gave us timely updates on possible airport strike.