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Iberian Peninsula Small Ship Cruise: Spain & Gibraltar - 2020

Lisbon • 11-night small ship cruise with Portimão, Seville, Cádiz, Gibraltar, Sotogrande, Málaga, Motril / Almería , Cartagena, Valencia, Tarragona • Barcelona
  • WITNESS THE STORIED MOORISH HISTORY OF MALAGA
  • TOUR THE IMPERIAL GLORY OF SEVILLE
  • DISCOVER THE JEWEL OF GRANADA, THE ALHAMBRA
  • MAKE AN EXCURSION TO MOUNTAIN-SET RONDA 
  • PANORAMIC CITY TOUR OF LISBON INCLUDING UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES SUCH AS THE BELÉM TOWER
DATES & PRICES
STARTING FROM
$8,299
  • $592
    PER DAY
  • 14
    DAYS
  • 20
    TOURS
TRIP WITH AIR
15 DAYS FROM $8,299
Moderate Deluxe
Extend Your journey (2 available)
Lisbon, Portugal

3 DAYS FROM $649

Barcelona, Spain

4 DAYS FROM $999

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For a limited time, enjoy FREE air + savings of up to $3,398 per couple.

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Few things are as colorful as Antoni Gaudí’s distinctive architecture — except, perhaps, the cultural patchwork of European, Roman, Arabic, Jewish and Phoenician traditions that make the Iberian peninsula one of the most indelible regions to cruise. Discover all of these cultures, their mouthwatering cuisine, folk traditions, art, and the soaring buildings like Gaudí’s unforgettable seven monuments in Catalonia’s capital that are collectively a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Myriad other glittering UNESCO jewels await, too, from the Moorish palace of Alhambra, described by poets as "a pearl set in emeralds" to the Tower of Belém in Lisbon, where generations of sailors set off for unknown shores during the Age of Discoveries. You’ll make your own groundbreaking explorations with just 72 guests aboard the deluxe motor yacht my Variety Voyager, with 12 included tours and 8 Cultural Connections. Cruise through three unforgettable countries on this journey that also includes opportunities to enrich your experiences in Barcelona and Portugal.

Barcelona to Lisbon

Pre-Trip Extension

Lisbon, Portugal

FROM: $649 PER PERSON | 3 DAYS | $216 PER DAY
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DAY 1:

Board an overnight flight to Barcelona, Spain

Your journey begins with an overnight flight to Barcelona, Spain.

DAY 2:

Arrive in cosmopolitan Barcelona

If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a Vantage representative will meet you and arrange transfer to your centrally located Barcelona hotel. This evening you’ll get better acquainted at a Welcome Briefing and Dinner at the hotel.

Included Meals:

Dinner

DAY 3:

Set off on a tour of enchanting Barcelona before embarking your ship

This morning we’ll enjoy a panoramic city tour that spotlights highlights such as the port and Olympic Village, the beaches of Barceloneta, the Plaza de España, and the Gran Vía. You’ll also see the exterior of the surreal La Sagrada Família basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the modernist masterpiece of Antoni Gaudí, the visionary architect responsible for much of Barcelona’s design profile. We continue overland to our ship in Tarragona, stopping along the way to enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. Upon arrival, we'll embark and have some time to relax on board. Tonight, join your fellow travelers for a delicious Captain’s Welcome Dinner.

Included Feature:

  • Panoramic City Tour of Barcelona

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4:

Discover the highlights of Valencia, including the UNESCO-named Lonja de la Sede de Valencia

Founded as a Roman colony, Spain’s third largest city now presides over the sparkling Mediterranean on the Costa del Azahar or “Orange Blossom Coast.” Your city tour of Valencia showcases important locations such as the Plaza de la Reina, Plaza de la Virgen, Plaza Redonda, Plaza del Ayuntamiento, the cathedral, and the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas. A highlight will be our visit to the late-Gothic Lonja de la Sede de Valencia, the old Silk Exchange and a UNESCO Word Heritage Site. You’ll return to your ship for a late lunch, and enjoy a restful afternoon and evening on board.

Included Feature:

  • Valencia sightseeing tour with entrance to Lonja de la Seda and Cathedral
Cultural Connection:
  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5:

Enjoy a city tour of historic Cartagena before an afternoon at leisure

After breakfast we arrive in Cartagena, then depart for a city tour. Cartagena is a major naval center that dates back to 227 BC, when it was founded by the Carthaginians. You’ll get acquainted with its history at La Concepción Castle, which overlooks the old Roman Theater. Walking down the Calle Mayor, you’ll also see some of the Cartagena’s noteworthy art nouveau buildings, including the Cervantes House and Grand Hotel. After returning to ship for a late lunch your afternoon is free. We set sail for Almería before dinner.

Included Feature:

  • Cartagena Excursion with entrance to Roman Theatre

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6:

Explore the fortified complexes of storied Granada

From our berth in Almería we embark on a full-day excursion to storied Granada, the last stronghold of the Spanish Moors. Set in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada boasts one of the world’s most spectacular fortified palace complexes, the legendary Alhambra, the centerpiece of our tour here.

Included Feature:

  • Granada Excursion with entrance to Alhambra & Generalife
Cultural Connection:
  • Traditional Spanish lunch

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7:

Tour fabulous Málaga, one of Spain’s cultural hubs

Wake up in Málaga, a provincial capital that recently remade itself into a popular cultural hub with a restored historic center. Your city tour reveals Málaga's wide boulevards with turn-of-the-century apartments, the Gothic Cathedral, and Gibralfaro Castle, an 11th century Moorish fortification. Back on board you’ll have the afternoon to relax or explore on your own. You can also join an optional tapas tour that stops at some of Málaga’s liveliest bars where you can sample the famous bite-sized delicacies that are a national passion. This evening, following another delicious dinner on board, enjoy a flamboyant flamenco show at a local restaurant.

Included Feature:

  • Malaga morning sightseeing tour
Cultural Connection:
  • Flamenco show

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Optional Tour: Wine & Tapas

Wine & Tapas

  • Approximate Cost: $109 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 4 hours
  • Location: Málaga, Spain
  • When: Half-day tour

Perhaps the most inescapable element of Spanish dining is tapas. In fact, a day spent sampling these delectable little morsels is the ideal way to experience Spanish culture. Whether you’re in a bustling Spanish city or a quiet Spanish village, you’ll always find a bar or tavern (or sometimes an entire neighborhood!) specializing in tapas. Step off the beaten path and experience the Spanish way of life as you sit down with a local food and wine expert who will walk you through the cultural and gastronomic landmarks, share stories, and answer any questions. Then, you’ll visit a local bodega dedicated to Spanish wines, followed by two traditional tascas (restaurants) that will serve up delicious home-style food. Buen provecho!


DAY 8:

A day at leisure in Málaga or the option to visit UNESCO-named Córdoba

Enjoy a day at leisure, with another scintillating onboard lecture to provide historical context to your discoveries. Alternatively, you can join our full-day optional tour to Córdoba, a stage-set of history and beauty that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Cultural Connection:

  • Onboard lecture and demo about famous Spanish painters

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Optional Tour: Córdoba Full Day Tour

Córdoba Full Day Tour

  • Approximate Cost: $159 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 10 hours
  • Location: Córdoba, Spain
  • When: Full-day tour
From the 8th to the 11th centuries, when the rest of Europe languished in the Dark Ages, Córdoba was the largest and most sophisticated city in Europe, a center of learning and culture with lighted streets, universities, numerous palaces and more than 300 mosques — all of it built to rival Constantinople, Damascus, and Baghdad. Today, it is still a marvel to behold and its historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will be the focus of this tour.

The centerpiece will the Mezquita, the Grand Mosque that became a Cathedral during the Reconquista, and which still dazzles with its forest of red-and-white striped pillars. You will also explore the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (Castle of the Christian Monarchs) with its gardens and ramparts, and the old Córdoba syngagogue, built in 1315. Afterwards, you’ll have time to wander the Jewish Quarter and Islamic section, a medieval warren of picturesque cobbled streets, courtyards, monuments, and squares. Your tour includes private round-trip motorcoach transportation and lunch. A not-to-be-missed destination for anyone interested in the Moorish, Jewish, and Christian heritage of Spain.

DAY 9:

Arrive at Sotogrande for a bullfighting lesson in Ronda

Just before breakfast we drop anchor in Sotogrande, a luxury port on the Costa del Sol. From here, we head inland for an excursion to Ronda, set high in the sierras. Ronda was first settled by the Celts and has since seen a procession of Phoenicians, Arabs, Romans, Moors, Berbers, Visigoths, and other Europeans — all of whom left their cultural mark in the town’s white stuccoed neighborhoods. You’ll see the old Roman Bridge spanning the deep El Tajo Gorge below, the stately Casa de Don Bosco, and Mondragon Palace before we visit the Plaza de Toros — the oldest bullring in Spain. Here, a docent will provide an informative talk on the history of Spanish bullfighting before you enjoy lunch at a spot of your choosing, with lunch money provided. Return to ship for dinner on board as we set sail for Gibraltar, arriving late this evening and docking overnight.

Included Feature:

  • Excursion to Ronda
Cultural Connection:
  • Visit a bullfighting ring and lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

Step ashore on the Rock of Gibraltar

Step ashore on “The Rock,” and take in the expansive views of both Europe and Africa. Our tour includes a funicular ride to the Castle of Gibraltar. Keep your eyes peeled and cameras ready in case you catch a glimpse of the famed Barbary apes (macaques) that live here. British-flavored Gibraltar is a great spot for pub-hopping and duty-free shopping before we return to ship for lunch. This afternoon we depart for Seville, enjoying the rest of the day on board to relax.

Included Feature:

  • Gibraltar excursion

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 11:

Tour the storied highlights of Seville

After breakfast you’ll tour Andalusia’s storied capital, Seville, including the Real Alcázar, a monumental complex of fortifications, palaces, and gardens spanning the Arabic period through the 19th century. Another stop is the old University of Seville, whose main building is housed in the former Royal Tobacco Factory where Bizet set the famous opening scene of his opera Carmen. At the Plaza de España, you’ll admire a series of tiled fountains, bridges, and arcades. Another UNESCO site featured today is the Archivo General de Indias, a Renaissance building housing priceless historic records of the Spanish Empire. You’ll also see Seville Cathedral and have the opportunity to climb to the top of its soaring La Giralda Tower.

In the afternoon, you're welcome to join an optional market visit and cooking class, where you'll learn how to create and pair the perfect paella and sangria from a professional Sevillano chef. This evening, look forward to some homemade Spanish fare and eye-opening cultural exchange during your home-hosted dinner with a local family that owns a bull farm. They’ll give you a tour and teach you a bit about this fascinating centuries-old tradition.

Included Feature:

  • Seville sightseeing tour
Cultural Connection:
  • Home-hosted dinner at local family bull farm

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Optional Tour: Seville Cooking Workshop and Lunch

Seville Cooking Workshop and Lunch

  • Approximate Cost: $89 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 3 hours
  • Location: Seville, Spain
  • When: Afternoon

Join a guided visit to the local market in Seville, where you can take a peek at some of the freshest tasty items available in the city. Use these ingredients and more in a hands-on cooking class led by a professional, bilingual Spanish chef. Two classic recipes are on the menu – paella, a saffron rice dish, and sangria, a lovely wine-based cocktail. Learn from the pros and cheers to your success by enjoying the fruits of your labor. Salud!


DAY 12:

Sail up the Guadalquivir River to romantic Cádiz

This morning we depart Seville and cruise along the historic Guadalquivir River through Doñana National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an important habitat for waterfowl. After lunch, enjoy an excursion to romantic Cádiz, one of Europe’s oldest ports with roots predating the Phoenician era. Your tour introduces you to some of the city’s most important landmarks, including the old Puertas de Tierra, the city gates that date to the 16th century; the baroque cathedral; and the Plaza San Juan de Dios with its City Hall. Stroll the gardens of Alameda Apodaca and Genovés Park, then enjoy some free time to further explore the city’s atmospheric cobbled alleys before reboarding our ship for dinner. Tonight you’ll enjoy some musical entertainment on board.

Included Features:

  • Sailing up the Guadalquivir River
  • Excursion to Cádiz
Cultural Connection:
  • Evening onboard music

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 13:

Vistas and villages of the Algarve

Journey to the historic town of Silves, surrounded by orange and lemon groves, to visit its red sandstone Moorish Castle and 13th-century cathedral constructed by Alfonso X of Castile. There’ll be time to peruse the fascinating exhibits of the Archaeological Museum before continuing to the market town of Monchique, a delightful mountain enclave of cobbled streets where small decorative doorways lead into artisan workshops where folding wooden chairs are still handmade as they were in Roman times. We'll head back to the Variety Voyager for a late lunch with an evening at leisure and the festive Captain’s Farewell Dinner.

Included Feature:

  • Morning Excursion to Silves and Monchique and walking tour of Portimão

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 14:

Disembark your ship for a tour of postcard-perfect Lisbon

Enjoy breakfast as your ship arrives in Lisbon. You’ll disembark the Variety Voyager before a morning panoramic and walking tour introduces you to Lisbon’s famed monuments, including the including UNESCO-listed Belém Tower, the Monument of the Discoveries, and the Monastery of Jerónimos, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During your city tour, you’ll sample a classic Portuguese pastry: Pastéis de Belém. One taste of this creamy egg custard wrapped in buttery, flaky crust, and you’ll see why this is Portugal’s favorite treat!

After lunch at a local restaurant, check into your hotel for an afternoon at leisure. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a Farewell Dinner in the hotel.

Included Feature:

  • Panoramic tour of Lisbon
Cultural Connection:
  • Pastry tasting of Pastéis de Belém

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 15:

Board a return flight home

After breakfast you’ll transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Post-Trip Extension

Barcelona, Spain

FROM: $999 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $250 PER DAY

Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Cruise Director or regional expert.

Please Note: Port-of-call orientation walking tours are subject to change based on port time and weather conditions

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Iberian Peninsula Small Ship Cruise: Spain & Gibraltar - 2020

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