Spain and Portugal
Day 1 - Southampton The city center is a charming mix of old city walls and a large modern shopping centre. With multiple restaurants, museums, cinemas and theatres there is plenty to be explored. Time spent at embarkation and disembarkation ports may be limited which may restrict availability of shore excursions.
Day 2 - At Sea
Day 3 - At Sea
Day 4 - Vigo Spains busiest fishing port, Vigo sits on the rugged west coast of the province of Galicia. Over the centuries, this charming town and its resilient residents have been the target for many naval attacks including a couple from Sir Francis Drake. In these more peaceful days, you will still find the best view of Vigo is from the fort (Castillo del Castro) built to defend it from the hill overlooking the harbour. From here, your Vigo cruise tour will lead you through the steep, narrow streets of the atmospheric old town (Barrio del Berbes) to see (and smell...) the daily fish market. Try one of the oysters which are fresh from beds in Vigos 'ria' - one of the sunken sea-filled valleys for which Galicias coastline is renowned. And our Vigo cruises are also a chance to visit nearby Santiago de Compostela, the subject of pilgrimages since the Middle Ages.
Day 5 - At Sea
Day 6 - Gibraltar Britons love cruising to 'home from home' Mediterranean cruise port Gibraltar - and not just because it has some excellent pubs and tax free shops (good buys include glassware, china, leather goods, alcohol, perfume, silk and cashmere garments). Gibraltar also offers wonderful views of the Bay of Gibraltar and the Moroccan mountains from the Rock Restaurant, served by cable car from the Grand Parade. Birdwatchers can spot more than 230 species and there are clearly marked nature trails you can follow to discover the country's flora and fauna. The most famous 'fauna' of course, are Gibraltar's Barbary apes - get off the cable car at the halfway station to see these, then proceed to the top and hire an audio tape charting the Rock's fascinating history. Alternatively spend a day at the beach - Catalan Bay is the prettiest, with its colourful fishing boats and excellent seafood restaurants.
Day 7 - Alicante Built around a natural harbour, the main city and cruise port on Spain's Costa Blanca, Alicante, is also a top beach resort in its own right. It has a sophisticated Mediterranean feel with its restored old town adding to its charm and the attraction of its sandy beaches. Dubbed the 'City of Light' when founded by the Romans, Alicante is still a relaxing place to walk around. Down from the impressive Castillo de Santa Barbara fortress, which offers impressive views across the city, most activity centres in the streets around the Ayuntamiento, a plaza area buzzing with restaurants and tapas bars. There are also many cafes along the seafront. Works by artists including Dali, Miro and Picasso are on show at the Museo de Arte Siglo and there is also an archaeological museum.
Day 8 - Barcelona Explore Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, and you'll discover the ornately wrought works of Antonio Gaudi. A local architect, whose works culminate in the surrealistic spires of the yet to be finished Sagrada Familia. Take a stroll down the colourful Ramblas. Explore the Gothic Quarter. Ride a cable car to the summit of Montjuic. Or sample local wines and authentic tapas as you watch the hustle and bustle of daily life pass you by.
Day 9 - Valencia Vibrant Valencia, Spain's third-largest city is a popular and picturesque resort known for its pavement cafes, parties (Las Fallas) and paella. Amongst art and architecture you can see plazas, palaces, churches and cathedrals, before heading to one of the city's white sandy beaches to cool off.
Day 10 - At Sea
Day 11 - Cadiz You cruise right into the heart of historic Cadiz as immediately across the busy Avenida del Puerto from the Spanish port is the main square and shopping area. From there, it is easy to find your own way around this compact city. Behind is the 18th century cathedral (El Nueva) and the view from the top is worth the long climb up its internal stairs. The narrow streets of the old town below are lined by tall Moorish-style houses with flower-decked balconies mixed in amongst some small shops and tapas bars. Cadiz dates back to the 12th century BC so is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the western world but sultry Seville has long since outgrown its neighbour. La Giralda (the bell-tower next to its Gothic cathedral), is in Sevilles historic Jewish quarter which also has the whitewashed houses and exquisitely coloured bougainvillea that everyone associates with this lovely city.
Day 12 - Lisbon Some of the best views of the Portuguese capital come as your ship cruises along the Tagus River. You pass the Belem Tower and the impressive Monument to the Discoveries with its statue of Henry the Navigator before arriving at the Lisbon cruise terminal. Although small for a European capital, this city does sprawl a little so you would do best to concentrate on three districts - Baixa, Bairro Alto and Alfama, each with its own distinctive style, making Lisbon cruises a must see. Baixa has busy streets of inviting shops, cafes and restaurants while Alfama is the atmospheric old town with narrow cobblestone streets, medieval and Moorish-style buildings, wrought-iron balconies with trailing flowers and a mix of small shops and bars. Bairro Alto is another historic district with narrow streets and is a steep climb from Baixa so look out for the 100-year-old lift (Elevador do Carmo) near Rossio Square. With such a variety of destinations to explore, cruises to Lisbon bring to your holiday a balance of both modern and historical grounds.
Day 13 - At Sea
Day 14 - At Sea
Day 15 - Southampton The city center is a charming mix of old city walls and a large modern shopping centre. With multiple restaurants, museums, cinemas and theatres there is plenty to be explored. Time spent at embarkation and disembarkation ports may be limited which may restrict availability of shore excursions.
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