About This Cruise
Lisbon, Portugal; Portimao, Portugal; Cadiz for Seville, Spain; Cadiz for Jerez de la Frontera, Spain; Gibraltar; Porto Banus for Ronda, Spain; Motril for Granada, Spain; Malaga, Spain
- Seven nights accommodation in double or twin cabins with private bathroom with shower & air conditioning
- American buffet breakfast and one main meal daily
- Free coffee, tea, mineral water
- Tour leader services on board including historical and cultural information
- Take an additional $50 per person off the prices below when you book with Ventures.
While we have no specific air deals on this cruise, please call 1-888-868-6871 if you would like us to assist with your airfare.
- Drinks other than coffee, tea, mineral water. (Cash bar on board. All onboard charges are in euros.)
- Shore Excursions
- Port charges $415/pp
- Transfers to and from the embarkation/disembarkation port
- Travel Insurance
Itinerary is reversed on certain dates.
Day 1 (Saturday): Lisbon, Portugal
Embarkation 4 pm - Dinner on board. Overnight at sea to Portimao, Portugal.
Day 2 (Sunday): Portimao, Portugal
Our half day excursion will take us to Silves, largely destroyed by a 17th century earthquake. Marvel at the centuries-old Moorish castle complex with an underground water reservoir, a 13th Century Cathedral built by Alfonso X of Castile on the site of a former Mosque and a fine strong 15th century bridge over the Rio Arade. During your visit to Silves, you'll also have time to browse the historic exhibits at the Museu Arqueológico. We leave Silves visit and travel into the Serra de Monchique to reach the picturesque city of Monchique nested between two hills. The city retains its 16th century charm and you will walk through its cobbled streets with small doorways housing various artisan trades. There is a 17th Century Franciscan monastery overlooking the town and a 16th Century Parish Church decorated with hand-crafted blue ceramic tiles. We return to Portimao for a late lunch. Afternoon optional walking excursion in Portimao town or time free for shopping for bathing at the local beach. Afternoon sailing to Cadiz. Overnight at sea to Cadiz
Day 3 (Monday): Cadiz for Seville, Spain
This morning we leave port to drive in land for our full day optional excursion to Seville, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe , where Moorish and Spanish art and culture have left their mark. Our optional excursion will bring you to the Cathedral, the Alcazar Palace and its Andalusian gardens, the Maria Luisa Park and the quaint and elegant district of Santa Cruz. Late in the evening we return to Cadiz. Overnight in port.
Day 4 (Tuesday): Cadiz for Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
Morning optional full day excursion to Jerez de la Frontera, famous for its wines, horse breeding and flamenco Your tour will enable you to see the Alcazar, the cathedral and a “ganadería” where bulls are raised to take part in bull fighting, very much part of Spanish culture. Back on board for lunch followed by an optional guided tour of Cadiz and Sanlucar de Barrameda. We begin with a guided visit of Cadiz; with its white and blue buildings and its rich historic and cultural wealth. Later we will reach the area of Sanlucar de Barrameda and visit a wine cellar renowned for its production of “Manzanilla”. Late afternoon return to ship. Overnight at sea to Gibraltar.
Day 5 (Wednesday): Gibraltar
Morning arrival in Gibraltar. Optional half day excursion in the “ Rock” . We reach the Cable Car Base Station. which will take us to the Top Station perched on the summit of Gibraltar for a breathtaking view as you are suspended in mid-air. At the Top Station your guide will show you around the geography of this British colony. Then you will travel to the Middle Station and the sanctuary of Gibraltar’s older inhabitants, the Barbary Apes, roaming free around this station. Return to your coach for a 5-minute drive to Princess Caroline’s Battery and the entrance to the Great Siege Tunnels, a system of tunnels carved out of solid limestone. Proceed to the Gibraltar Museum with its enormous amount of artifacts on display. You will have the option to return to your yacht or stay in town and make your own arrangements for returning to the yacht. Overnight in port,
Day 6 (Thursday): Porto Banus for Ronda, Spain
Early morning sailing to Porto Banus, Spain. Arrival in Porto Banus. Our optional full day excursion to Ronda, 50 km inland a city which retains much of its historic charm, particularly its old town and the nearby 18th century Puente Nuevo. Ronda is also famous as the birthplace of modern bullfighting, today glimpsed once a year at the spectacular Feria Goyesca. Plaza de Toros is now a museum, and visitors can stroll out into the arena. Our full day optional excursion will include visits to the an elegant cloistered 16th century convent and old Ronda, La Ciudad, with its cobbled streets hemmed by handsome town mansions, some still occupied by Ronda's titled families such as the Casa de Don Bosco. We will walk to the leafy Plaza Duquesa de Parcent, which boasts a convent, two churches, including the toy town bell tower of the iglesia Santa Maria de Mayor. We return to port and there is time to visit trendy Marbella. Overnight at sea to Motril.
Day 7 (Friday): Motril for Granada, Spain
Morning arrival in Motril. Optional full day excursion to Granada, one of the most fascinating cities in Europe and the last Muslim city to fall to the Christians in 1492. We will visit one of the most brilliant jewels of universal architecture is the Alhambra, a series of palaces and gardens built under the Nazari Dynasty in the 14th C. We will also visit the Cathedral with its Royal Chapel where Isabel and Ferdinand lie buried, the Monastery of La Cartuja and many churches built by Moorish craftsmen after the Reconquest, in Granada's unique "mudéjar" style. In the afternoon we leave Grenada to return to Motril. Overnight at sea to Malaga.
Day 8 (Saturday): Malaga, Spain
Disembarkation 7am to 10am.
Excursions for the Glories of Spain & Portugal Cruise
Shore excursions are sold on board in Euros.
Our exclusive tours may change due to site restorations, weather or seasonal conditions. A minimum of 10 participants per tour is required. Most sites and museums are closed on Mondays and alternative visits shall be offered. Due to slippery sites we recommend comfortable shoes, hats, and water.
PORTIMAO – Silves & Monchique tour
Per Person € 70
On this tour you will experience the natural beauty of this region, with its fig trees, orange groves and almond trees in blossom. The
southern coastline consists of long stretch of fabulous sandy beaches, broken up by extraordinary rugged cliffs and impressive
grottoes. (Duration: approx. 4.5 hours, including an expert local guide, transportation).
Silves: The ancient ARAB capital of the Algarve.
Monchique: The GARDEN of the ALGARVE!!
Caldas de Monchique: Caldas de Monchique has been popular since Roman times for the treatment of rheumatism, dyspepsia and
At the height of its glory Moorish Silves rivaled Córdoba in fame, in learning and in culture. Now in ruins, the city's castle dates to the
centuries of Moorish rule while the 13th century Gothic cathedral occupies the site of an old mosque.
The Archaeological Museum - Built on the site of a 19th century residence, the museum's collections from various periods including
Roman, Moorish and the Portuguese period (through to the 17th century). Of particular interest are the Iron Age funeral monoliths
which are considered the earliest examples of writing from the region with their meaning remaining a mystery.
Silves - Much of the town was destroyed in the Great Earthquake of 1755. A brief guided walk explores the historic city center. View
the ruins of the Moorish castle complex. The 13th century Gothic cathedral was built by Alfonso X of Castile on the site of a former
mosque, though the church has been much amended over the course of seven centuries.
Drive from Silves on to MONCHIQUE. The Serra de Monchique is a volcanic block which rises more than 900m - 2 953ft above the
surrounding shale’s ridges, forming a barrier against the sea mist which condenses upon it; the resulting water flows down, not being
absorbed owing to the impermeable nature of rock. This humidity and the heat combine to produce lush and varied vegetation
including orange trees and maize on the cultivated terraces and arbutus trees, carobs and rhododendrons in the wild.
Monchique: Amongst the beautiful houses on the slope stand the mother-church (Manuelina), Misericórdia Church (with a Baroque
retable) and the Senhor do Pé da Cruz Hermitage (17th century).
Monchique is a market town for the products grown or hand-made in the surrounding hills. Break in Monchique to admire the garden
and walk through the beautiful village.
Return to Portimão..
SEVILLE – Highlights
Per Person € 98
(Duration: approx. 4.5 hours, including an expert local guide, private bus, entrance fees).
Discover the historic and beautiful Andalusian city of Seville on this half day excursion.
During your visit, you will explore the magnificent interior with its 138-feet-high central nave, tomb of Christopher
Columbus and fine Gothic carvings that adorn one of the richest altarpieces in the world, followed by the Giralda, located
in the northeast corner of the cathedral. This 12th century bell tower was formerly a minaret from the old mosque and is
regarded as one of the city’s most beautiful buildings.
The Casa de Pilatos is the best Andalusian palace of Spain and an example of the 16th century Sevillian architecture. It is
also known as the Palacio de los Adelantados Mayores de Andalucía (Palace of the Governors of Andalusia). It was built
between the 15th and the 16th centuries and it is one of the biggest private residences of Seville. Located in the historical centre, its Gothic Mudejar style, wonderfully combined with Renaissance innovations, is one of the highlights of the
SEVILLE to CADIZ – Jerez de la Frontera & TIO PEPPE Wine Cellar
Per Person € 149
(Duration: approx. 10 hours, including an expert local guide, private coach, Lunch and Wine Tasting at the Cellar).
The tour will start with a scenic coach drive through the city of Seville, where your guide will point out the most important
monuments and sights, including the site of the 1929 World’s Fair, the Torre del Oro, the Maestranza Bullring and Triana
Bridge. After this paronamic drive, You will lead to Jerez de la Frontera. Inhabited since Palaeolithic times, the present-
day town is located in a part of Andalucia where Tartessian culture reached the peak of its development. The Phoenicians
called it Xera and the Romans, who also settled in the area, knew it as Ceret, a name modified to Xeritum by the Visigoths.
However, real urban development did not begin until Moslem times, particularly during the Almoravide and Almohade
periods. Mosques and palaces were built and the town centre was extended.
Whether it is sherry-fino, amontillado or oloroso, you’ll want to sample this fine fortified wine here in its hometown. One
of the famous ‘bodegas’ of Jerez opens its doors and invites you to see the blending process of this popular tipple. Your
visit is rounded off with a tasting session of three different varieties within the unique atmosphere of the cellar itself.
After your visit to Jerez Cathedral and Alcazar, we will continue to Cádiz, the oldest continuously inhabited city in Spain.
The historic town centre is still surrounded by fortifications, dating mainly from the 18thcentury, and inside the walls it
has changed little over the past 300 years: few buildings are more than three or four stories high, and the Cathedral dome
and the 17th-century Tavira Tower still dominate the city.
GIBRALTAR – The Rock and the WWII Tunnels
Per Person € 59
(Duration: approx. 3 hours, including an expert local guide, private coach, and entrance fees).
The Original Rock Tour commences at the port and takes you along Winston Churchill Avenue to the Spanish border and
then to the Eastside of the Rock, through the Dudley Ward Tunnel to Europa Point. Here you can see the magnificent views
over the Straits of Gibraltar. On a clear day the Northern coast of Africa is visible. After the photo stop the minibus will travel
to the Upper Rock / Nature Reserve to visit the spectacular St. Michael’s Cave where you will see amazing examples of
stalactites and stalagmites. Following the visit to the caves, you will travel to the Apes Den where the famous Barbary Apes
can be observed in their natural habitat – the only apes roaming wild in Europe. It has been said, since after the Second
World War, that Gibraltar will remain British as long as the apes inhabit the Rock.
The tour will then continue passing by the Second World War Evacuation Monument, and then, following the 18th/19th
Century British Defense Wall made of white Portland Limestone we will see the King’s Bastion. This was where General
Elliott defended Gibraltar during the last Great Siege. The British Defense wall visibly changes to the Spanish built wall in
the 1500’s – called the King Charles V Wall. The first stop is the 100 Ton Gun, a 17.17 inch 100 ton rifled muzzle loader,
the ‘supergun’ of the Victoria era. Only 4 guns of this type were built in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England. The tour then leads
up the winding roads to the summit of Gibraltar – 426m above sea level where you will see the site of O’Hara’s Battery. This
Battery affords a 360º view of Gibraltar, Spain and – on a clear day – the coast of Africa.
In 1940, Britain was at war with Germany and Italy, and the future looked very bleak for Gibraltar as it was surrounded by
the enemy. Winston Churchill and the British Military leaders believed that an attack on Gibraltar was imminent. The answer
was to construct a massive network of tunnels, to build a fortress, or a city within a city, and the tunnels were excavated
during 1939 – 1944 by the Royal Engineers and Canadian Engineers. In May 2005 these World War II Tunnels were opened
to the public, and now you will be able to see the amazing testament to the soldiers and civilians who worked inside the
Rock during the darkest days of the war. Finally the tour continues past the Tower of Homage, part of the Moorish Castle
built in 1333, the oldest free standing building in Gibraltar.
You will have an opportunity to finish the tour in Main Street for shopping, or go back to the Port.
PUERTO BANUS – Ronda Full Day
Per Person € 124
(Duration: approx. 6 hours, including an expert local guide,private coach).
One of Spain’s oldest cities, located in the Andalusian Mountains and 750 meters above sea level, Ronda stills displays
aspects of its ancient Roman origins. This historical town has been a much loved destination for many painters, architects
and creative artists; including Orson Welles and Ernest Hemingway.
The best way to explore Ronda is on foot and throughout your guided walking tour you will pass several of the city’s
highlights; including the ‘Puente Nuevo’ (New Bridge), which alongside the bull ring is said to symbolize the soul of the
city. An interior visit will be made to the ‘Plaza de Toros’, known to be the oldest bull ring in Spain and the site where the
tradition of bull fighting originated.
Visit the Santa Maria Church and the modernist palace of San Juan Bosco. As you stroll through the city, follow the curves
of the Arab Walls and meander through the City Gates whilst imagining the atmosphere of the bustling Medina, situated
within the Old Quarter centuries ago.
Enjoy lunch in a traditional restaurant before coming back to Puerto Banus.
On the Portimao to Malaga Route, the tour is in the afternoon. At the end of the tour in Ronda you will have some free
time before you meet with the guide for the walk back to the bus and transfer to Malaga.
MALAGA – The Magnificent Alhambra
Per Person €182
Duration Approx: 9hrs. - Included Private bus, English speaking guide, Lunch, Entrance Fee. (Important: The Alhambra Palace visit
is subject to ticket availability).
Discover the Alhambra - dramatic highlight of historic Granada on this unforgettable land adventure. The city is beautiful
in its own right, but nothing in all of Spain compares to the wealth of architectural art to be found in the city's Muslim -
Hispano complex - the 14th-century Alhambra. This breathtaking example of Moslem architecture is completely encircled
by walls and towers - palaces, military buildings, a fortress and the administrative centers of a bygone era all lie protected
within. Explore this remarkable structure on foot and marvel at the detailed mosaics, prism-style cupolas, and stone-cast
latticework that speak to a surprising grace and sophistication. The nearby Generalife, surrounded by water gardens, was
the residence of Kings in need of refuge, and in direct contrast, the stunning El Vino Gate commissioned by Carlos V is built
in the purest Renaissance style of the 16th-century. Enjoy buffet lunch in a local restaurant before coming back to Malaga.