Coastal Treasures of France, Spain & Portugal - 2020

London • 11-night small ship cruise with Poole, Honfleur, Saint-Malo, Brest, Belle-Île, La Rochelle, San Sebastián, Bilbao, Gijón, Santiago de Compostela, Porto • Lisbon
  • EMBARK ON A GUIDED WALKING TOUR OF PICTURESQUE HONFLEUR, A FAVORITE OF MONET AND COURBET
  • YOUR PANORAMIC TOUR OF LISBON INCLUDES BELÉM TOWER
  • ENJOY 4-STAR LUXURY ABOARD THE MY VARIETY VOYAGER
  • MARVEL AT TOWERING MONT SAINT-MICHEL’S BENEDICTINE ABBEY
  • DISCOVER THE GLITTERING BEACHES OF SAN SEBASTIAN
DATES & PRICES
STARTING FROM
$8,299
  • $592
    PER DAY
  • 14
    DAYS
  • 16
    TOURS
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15 DAYS FROM $8,299
Moderate Deluxe
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London, England

4 DAYS FROM $1,049

Madeira, Portugal

4 DAYS FROM $699

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We've loved sailing the m/y Variety Voyager along the gorgeous coastline of France, Spain, and Portugal. However, 2020 is the final year of this voyage with Vantage. Join us on this final journey!

Spain, France, and Portugal are some of Western Europe’s most iconic destinations, and this enriching and glamorous small ship cruisetour will introduce you to discoveries outside of their cultural capitals while unveiling each country’s iconic coastal delights — from fresh, locally harvested oysters in Honfleur to the Spanish resort town of San Sebastián.

Journey with us aboard the 36-cabin Variety Voyager to expand your breadth of knowledge and understanding of ancient cultures and customs in Stonehenge and Santiago de Compostela. Marvel at how the modern melds with the medieval in the walled city of Saint-Malo. Discover Basque country and its buzzing hub Bilbao. Along the way, you’ll visit a whopping 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the historic center of Porto, famous for its signature wine. It’s no wonder this unforgettable journey has sold out two years in a row — don’t miss your chance for this cruise of a lifetime in 2020!

London to Lisbon

Pre-Trip Extension

London, England

FROM: $1049 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $262 PER DAY
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DAY 1:

Depart home for London, England

Board an overnight flight to London, England.

DAY 2:

Land in the U.K.’s capital

Land this morning in London. If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a Vantage representative will meet you and arrange transfer to your centrally located hotel. Enjoy a short orientation walk near your hotel, then enjoy a Welcome Dinner and briefing.

Included Meals:

Dinner

DAY 3:

Stonehenge, a pub lunch, and jumping into Poole

From the bustling heart of London we’ll head southwest to the open Salisbury Plain and the great circle of standing stones known as Stonehenge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ancient ritual site — part of vast complex of prehistoric burial mounds, earthworks, and avenues — attracts modern-day druids for summer and winter solstice celebrations. Embracing British history and culture, we’ll enjoy lunch at a pub in Salisbury, before continuing our journey to the port of Poole on the sweeping Dorset coast. Many of the troopships involved in the D-Day landings launched from Poole for their rendezvous with history. After embarking the my Variety Voyager, later this afternoon, join the Captain and crew for an onboard Welcome Briefing, followed by your first dinner aboard ship.

Included Feature:

  • Visit Stonehenge
Cultural Connection:
  • British pub lunch in Salisbury

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4:

Discover the sights — and flavors — of coastal Honfleur, France

Wake up in France this morning! After breakfast, set off on a guided walking tour of picturesque Honfleur — birthplace of the early Impressionist painter Eugene Boudin and a favorite of Monet, Courbet, and other artists who maintained studios near the harbor. Here, you’ll be treated to a delightful oyster tasting session, immersing yourself in local culture and commerce. Lunch is back onboard before an afternoon at leisure in Honfleur.

Included Feature:

  • Walking tour of Honfleur with oyster tasting

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5:

Step back in time in Saint-Malo

You’ll be transported back to medieval times when you arrive in Saint-Malo, France, our first stop. This walled city has a long seafaring history and is the birthplace of Jacques Cartier, the first European man to discover Canada. Inside its walls, Saint-Malo’s streets overflow with cafés and restaurants — the modern mixing with the medieval.

While you’re here, you’ll get a chance to see a true gem of France: Mont Saint-Michel. This Benedictine abbey, dramatically situated on a hulking granite island surrounded by granite walls, is so iconic that UNESCO deemed it a World Heritage Site. We’ll learn about the history of this legendary place while wandering the tangle of lanes within. Afterward, seek out a classic French meal at a nearby brasserie with lunch money we provide you in the local currency for the greatest of ease.

Included Feature:

  • Tour of Mont Saint-Michel

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6:

Experience the best of Brest

Once destroyed by Allied air attacks in World War II, today’s rebuilt Brest is a major French hub, and the site of our explorations for the day. This morning, we’ll depart on a city tour via coach and walking, including a visit to the Château de Brest, a strategic military outpost and the oldest functioning castle in the world. After a lunch aboard ship, enjoy an afternoon at leisure in this town, perhaps touring its Musée des Beaux-Arts or the stunning Brest National Botanical Garden, which features one of the largest collections of endangered plant species in the world.

Cruising to Belle Ile tonight, you’ll dock beneath the towering Citadelle Vauban.

Included Feature:

  • Coach and walking tour of Brest, including a visit to the Château de Brest
Scenic Sailing:
  • Cruise to Belle-Île and dock beneath Citadelle Vauban

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7:

Discover what’s in a name in Belle-Île

Sandy and secluded, today, you’ll see just for yourself why this French gem is called the “beautiful island.” During an included morning walk, discover the stunning pastel-hued harbor, azure waters lapping the sun-drenched seaside, the star-shaped citadel in capital Le Palais, and villages where time seems to have stood still. The island commune of Sauzon was the muse for Monet, who spent several months here during the epoch of his career.  You’ll admire the landscapes and legends here before stopping for lunch at your leisure, with provided local currency to taste just what you prefer. Then enjoy the rest of the afternoon in Le Palais, and stroll its postcard-perfect winding streets.

Vantage Exclusive:

  • Scenic tour of Belle-Île

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8:

Wandering romantic La Rochelle

Continuing southward on the my Variety Voyager, we’ll begin our day in La Rochelle. This important coastal city is a hub for trade, but regional gastronomy also flourishes. Known as the “White City” for the gleaming facades of its buildings, this picturesque town has a fascinating history — from its time as a base for the Knights Templar to its place as a hub for German U-boats in World War II. You’ll set off on a walking tour, taking in all the impressive sights from Vieux Port (Old Harbor) and hearing what life was like during these separate eras in history.

Included Feature:

  • Walking tour of La Rochelle

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 9:

Discover magical San Sebastián, Spain

Discover San Sebastián today, one of Spain’s most alluring resort towns renowned for its beaches and its food. You'll enjoy a morning of scenic sailing, then enjoy historical gems during an afternoon city tour. You'll visit Parte Vieja (Old Town), the twin-towered Santa Maria Church, and Good Shepherd Cathedral, but merely strolling the streets of this coastal gem — or watching the waves break over La Concha beach — is a pleasure all its own. Enhance your walking tour discoveries when you give biking a try and cover more ground. Your Cruise Director can help you reserve two wheels and suggest a few enlightening paths.

Before dinner this evening, we’ll enjoy some local onboard entertainment before overnighting in San Sebastián, giving you the opportunity to further explore the offerings of this seaside haven — why not head out to a tapas bar after dinner to try another glass of delicious regional wine?

Included Feature:

  • Half-day tour of San Sebastián
Active Feature:
  • Biking around San Sebastián
Cultural Connection:
  • Evening onboard entertainment

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

Diving into Basque country and Bilbao

This morning, you'll wake up after overnighting in San Sebastian, then cruise along the Basque coastline. This afternoon, we arrive in the region’s buzzing hub: Bilbao. A city tour will introduce you to Bilbao’s historic Casco Viejo neighborhood, the Plaza Nueva, and the UNESCO-listed Vizcaya Bridge. You’ll feel the electric energy of this city’s artistic goings-on — and later in the afternoon, you’ll experience them up-close with a visit to the world-famous Guggenheim Museum. The crowning achievement of architect Frank Gehry’s illustrious career, the Guggenheim is a work of art in and of itself. Outside, you’ll marvel at the building’s improbably fluid lines, and inside you’ll get a guided tour of its wonderful collection of art. Enjoy the rest of your afternoon at leisure.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day tour of Bilbao, with visit to the Guggenheim Museum

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 11:

Gifts of Gijón and Oviedo

This morning, you'll visit Oviedo, the cosmopolitan capital of the region and home to some impressive churches including Cathedral de San Salvador, which is where the original Way of St. James began. In the ninth century, the saying went: “Who goes to Santiago but not to Salvador, visits the servant but not the Lord.” Soak in the Old World beauty of this town and its collectively listed UNESCO monuments before returning to the ship for lunch.

Later this afternoon, you'll experience Gijón, a city of beautiful beaches and a rich history situated on the shimmering Bay of Biscay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy free time here before heading back to the Voyager for dinner.

Included Feature:

  • Visit Oviedo Old Town and Cathedral de San Salvador

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 12:

All routes lead to Santiago de Compostela

We’ll wake up in Ferrol before traveling inland to a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most sacred places in the world for Christian pilgrims: Santiago de Compostela. It’s believed that Saint James was buried here in the first century, but the location was forgotten over the years. Then, a ninth-century hermit saw a shining light over a spot in a wooded field, and an investigation of the spot revealed what was believed to be the lost tomb of Saint James. A church was constructed, and it quickly became one of the most famous pilgrimage destinations of medieval times. It remains so today, with more than 200,000 people walking the nearly 500-mile path (called the Way of Saint James). You’ll get a chance to see both the church and the route that millions have taken to get there.

On our way back to Ferrol, we’ll stop in nearby Coruna to explore the Tower of Hercules — the world’s oldest working lighthouse and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Absorbing breathtaking vistas of the sea and the tower from a cliff-top overlook, we’ll get a feel for the local character of this port town from where many ships in the Spanish Armada once set sail.

Included Feature:

  • Tour Santiago de Compostela

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 13:

Inside Porto, the Unvanquished City

Today, you’ll transfer to Porto, known as the “Unvanquished City” because the Romans or Moors never overtook it. According to 15th-century legend, the people of Porto donated all their meat to a military fleet departing for battle — leaving themselves with nothing but offal (tripas). Considering the sacrifice an ancestral badge of honor, Porto residents still proudly call themselves tripeiros.

On a panoramic drive through Portugal’s second largest city, which includes its UNESCO-listed city center and a visit to a local market, you’ll get a feel for local culture and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. One can’t visit Porto without enjoying its eponymous wine, of course, so you’ll also stop by a picturesque port wine cellar for a taste of the city’s signature beverage. You’ll also visit one of the top bookstores in the world, Livraria Lello (which inspired J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter library), where you can peruse the shelves and admire the décor of this one-of-a-kind gem. Your afternoon is at leisure to delve deeper into Porto’s charms.

Included Feature:

  • Panoramic drive and city tour of Porto
Cultural Connection:
  • Port wine tasting at a local cellar

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 14:

Tour Lisbon’s famed monuments

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 travelers for a special Farewell Dinner.

Included Feature:

  • Panoramic tour of Lisbon
Cultural Connection:
  • Local Pastéis de Belém pastry tasting during your tour

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 15:

Return home

Today, fly home from Lisbon’s airport, or head to nearby Madeira on an optional post-trip extension.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Post-Trip Extension

Madeira, Portugal

FROM: $699 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $175 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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