Day 1 - Southampton (London) The south of England boasts a dramatic coastline that encloses some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain. The landscape of hills and heaths, downs and forests, valleys and dales, is without rival. Southampton serves as your gateway to the countryside - and to a wide variety of historic sites, national landmarks and charming. And of course, London is a two-hour drive by modern highway. The United Kingdom's premier passenger ship port, Southampton was home for many years to the great transatlantic liners of yesteryear.
Day 2 - At Sea
Day 3 - At Sea
Day 4 - At Sea
Day 5 - Gran Canaria (Las Palmas) The Canary archipelago was sculpted by a period of intense volcanic activity; its islands possess a stark, near lunar beauty. Gran Canaria is the third-largest island in the group and is often described as the 'Round Island' for its near-circular shape. Las Palmas, its capital, is also the largest city in the Canaries numbering some 500,000 inhabitants. Despite the seemingly inhospitable landscape, farmers in Gran Canaria's Angostura Valley cultivate abundant crops of tomatoes, onions, melons, and figs. Moreover the island's climates, lack of rainfall, and fine beaches have long drawn Europeans seeking the winter sun.
Day 6 - Santa Cruz de Tenerife Tenerife is the largest island in the Canary Archipelago. Like its brethren, Tenerife was formed by fierce volcanic activity. Its landscape remains dotted with volcanic cones and areas of intense geothermal activity. Towering over the island is Mt Teide, an extinct volcano that, at 12,200 feet above sea level, is the highest peak in Spanish territory. Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the island's capital and your port of call. Tenerife's north shore is separated from the south by rugged mountains, creating a rain shadow. The majority of the islands most recent resorts are found in the sere and parched south shore.
Day 7 - Madeira (Funchal) The capital of Madeira is named after the fennel (funcha) that once flowered there in profusion. The largest island in the Madeira Archipelago was discovered in 1419 by Portuguese explorers venturing south into the Atlantic. The island is nearly equidistant from Lisbon and the African coast, and its unique geographical position allowed Madeira to play a pivotal role in European discovery. Seamen such as Christopher Columbus gained knowledge and experience plying the routes of the island's sugar trade. When sugar declined, the island's famed wines continued to provide a robust trade. By the late 18th century, Madeira's mild climate, rocky peaks, and lush valleys provided a winter haven to Europe's aristocrats. Visitors still flock to the island today, drawn by its scenery and its weather. Funchal is noted for its superb hand-embroidery and wicker ware, both Madeira specialties. The island, of course, is also noted for its superb wines: they are perhaps the world's most complex and long lasting wines.
Day 8 - At Sea
Day 9 - Vigo Vigo clings to the slope of Monte del Castro, overlooking a namesake bay so vast, it could shelter an entire fleet. The city's medieval heritage is seen in the narrow streets and granite houses of the Ribera del Berbes, the old fishermen's quarter. Vigo is also the gateway to Santiago de Compostela, the most venerated shrine in all Europe during the Middle Ages. Pilgrims from the four corners of Christendom flocked to the magnificent cathedral, built between the 11th and 13th centuries. The cathedral still draws thousands of daily visitors today. An important fishing and commercial port, Vigo was first settled by Celts 300 BC. The Celtic legacy lingers on in the province's old legends - and in the bagpipes played on festive occasions.
Day 10 - At Sea
Day 11 - Southampton (London) The south of England boasts a dramatic coastline that encloses some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain. The landscape of hills and heaths, downs and forests, valleys and dales, is without rival. Southampton serves as your gateway to the countryside - and to a wide variety of historic sites, national landmarks and charming. And of course, London is a two-hour drive by modern highway. The United Kingdom's premier passenger ship port, Southampton was home for many years to the great transatlantic liners of yesteryear.
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