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Featuring year-round balmy weather and a trademark fortified wine, the Portuguese island of Madeira boasts a lush beauty that earned its label as the “Floating Garden of the Atlantic.” During your three-day stay in the lovely island capital of Funchal, you’ll enjoy a half-day city tour and immersion into local island life. Peruse the covered market at the edge of the Old Town and visit a local wine cellar where you’ll savor the island’s Madeira wine. Raise a glass to this oceanic outpost — the perfect complement to your Mediterranean cruise!
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Board an overnight flight to Funchal, Madeira
Today you’ll board an overnight flight to the lush Portuguese island of Madeira, arriving on Day 2.
Welcome to Funchal, historic capital of the lush “Garden Island” of Madeira, Portugal. If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you at the airport and assist with the transfer to your hotel. In the early 1400s, the discovery of the island 323 miles off the coast of Africa was a catalyst for the Age of Discovery. Join your Vantage City Host for a briefing and a short orientation walk of the city. During time at leisure, perhaps you’ll explore the highlights of this lovely town, including its 15th-century cathedral and the scenic Santa Caterina Park, and stop at a café to sip some of the island’s eponymous wine. Enjoy a Welcome Dinner at the hotel.
Tour Madeira’s marketplace and Old Town
Set out this morning for a half-day city tour. Browse the fragrant stands of the marketplace brimming with produce carted in from all over the fertile island and stroll the cobbled lanes of the Old Town. Then, ascend to the town of Monte, 1,800 feet above the sea. Splendid views greet you from here, but you might thrill more to the mode of transport you’ll use to return to Funchal: a traditional two-seater wicker toboggan or “basket sled.” A pair of pilots—skilled and expert Carreiros—guide you downhill for the steep mile-long journey. Back in the city, your afternoon is free. Perhaps you'll stop at one of Madeira's old wine cellars to sample a local vintage. This evening, join our lively optional tour, a traditional espetada evening of folklore music and dancing at a local restaurant, or experience more of Funchal on your own with a night at leisure.
Explore Madeira’s lushness on an optional tour
Today’s optional full-day tour provides an overview of this magnificent island’s interior. Admire the blooms at Madeira Botanical Garden and take in the panoramas from the 5,430-foot Pico do Arieiro. Visit a fascinating trout hatchery and the Laurel Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and see the old thatched houses of Santana. Or, craft your own itinerary with a day at leisure.
This day-long tour is a great opportunity to see several faces of Madeira! Your first stop will be at the Botanical Gardens, where you'll have the chance to see examples of the fantastic flora from Madeira (weather permitting). After, you'll climb to the peak of Pico do Arieiro to take in breathtaking views. Then, descend to Ribeiro Frio to visit the trout hatchery, located in a valley amongst lush greenery. Continue your descent to the interior of the island, where you'll enjoy a typical Portuguese lunch. Your tour concludes with visits to Madeira’s Laurisilva laurel forest (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the town of Santana, home to old thatched homes.
Fly to Lisbon
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Lisbon, where your main cruise tour begins. There’ll be time to explore this wondrous cultural capital on your own.
London's gems are as plentiful as those on the Crown Jewels and you’ll discover many of them when you enhance your base tour with extra time in the United Kingdom’s capital. Your deluxe hotel is just steps away from some of the world’s best shopping, dining, and museums, and you’ll enjoy an included visit to the renowned British Museum and the chance to visit the celebrated city of Oxford and the birthplace of Winston Churchill on an optional tour. From classic pubs to world-renowned neighborhoods like Notting Hill, see why London has something spectacular for everyone!
Enjoy a day at leisure in London to explore on your own. Visit a coterie of museums, head to the famous Harrods or Marks & Spencer for some shopping. Lunch and dinner are on your own — ask your Concierge for suggestions or do as the locals do and head to the nearby pub! If you wish, join a full-day optional tour to Oxford, home of the revered university, and tour the UNESCO-listed Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill. Harry Potter fans will recognize many of Oxford’s landmarks from the films!
A day of visual riches awaits on this all-day combination tour to Oxford, “the city of dreaming spires,” home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world, as well as stunning Blenheim Palace, ancestral home of the Dukes of Marlborough and birthplace of Winston Churchill. Starting in Oxford, take a tour through the medieval center and the university, including the Old Covered Market, the Radcliff Camera, the Bodlean Library, Christchurch Chapel, and the quad and interior of one of the colleges. (Note that interior visits to the college are dependent on their opening times, which are not published until a few days before.) Stop for lunch on your own and leisure time in Oxford. Then, just a short drive away is Blenheim Palace, set among some of the most famous gardens in England. Your visit includes a tour of the palace interior, the Winston Churchill Museum, the palace’s painting and tapestry collection, and more. You’ll also have time to stroll the grounds, with lakes, lawns, and gardens that are considered some of the finest works of Capability Brown, the English landscaping pioneer.
Leisure in London
Visit the British Museum, dedicated to much of human history, art, and culture. The first national public museum in the world houses an eye-opening 8 million artifacts spanning some six millennia. Enjoy a guided tour this morning, then take in more of London on your own before gathering for a Farewell Dinner this evening.
Transfer to London’s airport this morning for your return flight home.