Learn more about our Book with Confidence and Travel Updates.

NEW!

Riches of the Mediterranean: Greece to Portugal - 2021

Athens • 24-night small ship cruise to Nafplion, Monemvasia, Gythion, Pylos, Katakolon, Giardini Naxos/Taormina, Lipari, Castellammare/Pompeii, Porto Vecchio, Monte Carlo, Marseille, Sète, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Cartagena, Almería/Motril, Málaga, Puerto Banús, Gibraltar, Seville, Portimão • Lisbon
  • DISCOVER EUROPE AND THE MEDITERRANEAN ON THE INAUGURAL SEASON OF THE OCEAN EXPLORER, VANTAGE'S FIRST SMALL SHIP OCEAN CRUISING EXPEDITION VESSEL
  • EXPLORE OLYMPIA AND LEARN HOW THE SACREDNESS OF THIS SITE TO THE ANCIENT GREEKS PREDATED THE FIRST OLYMPIC GAMES
  • MARVEL AT VIEWS OF MOUNT ETNA ON AN EXCURSION TO SICILY AND ITS HISTORIC RESORT TOWN, TAORMINA
  • LAVENDER FIELDS ARE JUST THE BEGINNING WHEN YOU ENJOY YOUR CHOICE OF TOURS IN PROVENCE 
  • FALL IN LOVE WITH THE BREATHTAKING ALGARVE REGION, PORTUGAL'S UNDER-THE-RADAR COASTAL GEM
DATES & PRICES
STARTING FROM
$18,599
  • $641
    PER DAY
  • 29
    DAYS
  • 58
    TOURS
TRIP WITH AIR
30 DAYS FROM $18,599
Luxury
Extend Your journey (2 available)
Istanbul, Turkey

4 DAYS FROM $1,699

Madeira, Portugal

4 DAYS FROM $899

Fly for Free!
Save up to $3198 per couple with FREE international airfare on select dates — limited availability!
Leader in Solo Travel
Reduced Single Supplements on every departure, limited availability — reserve now!
SAVE AN ADDITIONAL 10%
Save 10% with SmartPay when you reserve by 8/31.
 

Join the inaugural season of the new 5-star Ocean Explorer and make the glamorous Mediterranean your playground on this sweeping 29-day journey from Athens to Lisbon. On an expedition combining Mediterranean Delights: Greece, Italy, France, Monaco, and Spain and Spain & the Portuguese Coast: A Cruise Around Iberia, you’ll discover six nations, savor the freshest seafood and some of the most renowned cuisine in the world — including the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet — and go inside the fascinating and flamboyant cultures of Greece, Italy, and Spain. 

You’ll cruise on the Ocean Explorer, an agile and state-of-the-art expedition vessel that can navigate to the most intimate ports, including those along the Iberian and Peloponnese Peninsulas, the Aeolian Islands, Corsica, and the glitzy outpost of the stars: Monte Carlo.

On board the Ocean Explorer, you’ll enjoy the most intimate experience at sea. Relax by the poolside, lapping up the Mediterranean sunshine at the cusp of summer; explore a city on one of the ship’s complimentary bicycles; rejuvenate during a day at sea with a visit to the onboard spa; and utilize our complimentary worldwide Concierge Service to plan restaurant reservations, additional excursions, longer stays, and more.

We’ve curated this cultural expedition with expert resident lecturers and gourmet dining experiences that will highlight the regional flavors of every destination. From the Algarve’s cliffs to Italy’s olive groves, the natural beauty of southern Europe will dazzle you — and with 58 included excursions and Cultural Discoveries rounding out this journey, plus free international airfare, you’re in store for one unforgettable Mediterranean quest.

Athens to Lisbon

Pre-Trip Extension

Istanbul, Turkey

FROM: $1699 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $425 PER DAY
Close All

DAY 1:

Board an overnight flight to Athens, Greece

Today you’ll board an overnight flight to Athens. Or, depart earlier for your pre-trip extension in Istanbul, Turkey.

DAY 2:

Arrive in Athens

Welcome to Athens, the fabled Cradle of Civilization. If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you at the airport and assist with your hotel transfer. This evening, enjoy a Welcome Briefing and Dinner at the hotel, getting to know your fellow expeditioners.

Included Meals:

Dinner

DAY 3:

Behold the classical wonders of Athens

This morning, enjoy a panoramic tour of Athens, the sophisticated capital of Greece. Mythology and ancient history come alive here, as you’ll see at the iconic Acropolis. It was here that Poseidon and Athena were said to have fought to determine who would be patron of the city. This was the architectural pinnacle of Athens, crowned by its breathtaking Parthenon. You’ll also visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Parliament House on Constitution Square, the Pan Athenian Stadium, and the Presidential Palace. Along the famed Panepistimiou Avenue, pass the Catholic Cathedral, Academy of Athens, the University of Athens, and the National Library. Enjoy lunch on your own, perhaps dining in the charming Plaka district, nestled at the foot of Acropolis Hill.

Enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Athens. Dinner is on your own tonight, and you're in luck. Athens restaurants are world-class, but so is its street food — at a fraction of the cost. Don't miss souvlaki, fava purée and pita, a classic Greek salad, or anything with feta cheese.

Included Feature:

  • Athens panoramic walking tour, including the Acropolis

Included Meals:

Breakfast

DAY 4:

Explore Athens on your own, then embark the Ocean Explorer

You have the day at leisure to set out into the Cradle of Civilization to uncover some of its less-explored paths. If you’re looking to shop for a deal, head over to the Monastiraki flea market, the atmospheric agora of secondhand treasures.

Later, continue to Piraeus to embark the Ocean Explorer. Get settled in your cabin, taking time to explore its amenities, including the onboard boutique, spa, pool, and gym. Stop by the Concierge desk to reserve a spa appointment. Later, join the first of your daily port talks to learn about tomorrow’s exciting destination. Tonight, the ship sets sail for Nafplion.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 5:

Encounter the ancient sites of Epidaurus and Mycenae

Your first morning on the Ocean Explorer begins with a delicious breakfast as the ship arrives in Nafplion. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Arcadian Mountains, this ancient city enjoys a sheltered location below a rocky headland. Admire its impressive Venetian castle as you approach. Then, set out to discover two of Greece’s most renowned ancient sites.

First, explore the ancient healing center of Epidaurus. UNESCO has described its Sanctuary of Asklepios as “one of the purest masterpieces of Greek architecture.” The sanctuary was dedicated to the god of medicine. You will also view its remarkably preserved amphitheater built into a mountain slope, still celebrated for its excellent acoustics. After, continue to the ruins of Mycenae, the Bronze Age capital of one of the first great empires of the ancient Mediterranean and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Look for the massive archway with the carved lions, the symbol of the ancient city-state.

After lunch on board, discover more of coastal Greece with an afternoon at leisure in Nafplion. Do some shopping in Plateia Syntagma, the port's main square, or head to a wine shop to pick up some refreshing local wines.

Our onboard lecture today provides insight into the ancient Greeks. In the dining room, savor a Captain’s Welcome Dinner.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Epidaurus and Mycenae tour

Cultural Discovery:
  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6:

Discover the Rock of Monemvasia and go wine tasting

The small island of Monemvasia will simply take your breath away. The small size of our ship allows us to dock on its shores so you can explore this seldom-visited enclave. Called “The Rock" for its massive dominating rock, it is a thrilling slice of the Aegean. Walk the charming narrow streets of its fortress, passing Byzantine churches and old houses with graceful archways. Visit the 13th-century Church of Christ Elkomenos, home to impressive old Byzantine icons.

Continue to the Liotrivi Mansion, surrounded by vineyards whose grapes produce the famed Malvasia wine. The Byzantine-era setting provides the ideal atmosphere for a wine tasting. You are welcomed by the vintner, who leads you on a tour of the centuries-old property before popping open a bottle or two for your sampling.

After lunch on board, you have the afternoon to stroll the atmospheric streets of Monemvasia on your own.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Monemvasia Castle and Liotrivi tour

Cultural Discoveries:
  • Wine tasting
  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7:

Enter Gythion, gateway to Byzantine Mystras

Arrive this morning in waterfront Gythion, the small port of Sparta with ties to the legendary Trojan War. From here, head inland on the Peloponnese Peninsula to Mystras, the last stronghold of the Byzantines. This stunning site atop Mount Taygetos was a Byzantine center of culture in the 14th and 15th centuries. Stroll the narrow lanes of the once-invincible fortress, viewing the stone-carved façades of the Cathedral of Agios Dimitrios, where Constantine XII was coronated. Along the pathway of the dead city, visit the Church of Agia Sophia, the sprawling Palace of the Despots, and the frescoed Monastery of Pantanassa.

This afternoon, enjoy an afternoon at leisure to enjoy Gythion or take advantage of your ship’s amenities, perhaps visiting the spa. A lecture on board will wrap up the day.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Mystras tour

Cultural Discovery:
  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8:

Visit the stunning preservations of Pylos

Uncover the rich Greek, Venetian and Ottoman past of the Peloponnese today during your visit to Pylos. A scenic drive takes you first to Methoni, an important port in the 13th century. Its stunning fortress, a stunning mix of military architecture, is surrounded by the sea on three sides.

Once back in the picturesque port of Pylos, explore the Ottoman castle of Neokastro, initially built by the Turks as a replenishing station in 1573. As one of Greece’s best-preserved castles, today it is home to the Center for Underwater Archaeological Studies.

Continue to the newly restored Mycenaean Palace of Nestor, a compound of four buildings and a circular throne room, complete with a clay bathtub and storage vessels.

After returning to Pylos, today’s onboard lecture reveals more about the sites of the storied Peloponnese Peninsula.

Included Features:

  • Scenic tour of Methoni
  • Tour of Neokastro and Palace of Nestor

Cultural Discovery:
  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 9:

Get to know Olympia and the Magna Grecia Olive Oil Farm

Arrive among the low forested hills of Katakolon to head inland to Ancient Olympia. Set in an idyllic valley, the Olympic games were first held here in 776 BC to honor Zeus. Nonetheless, ancient Greeks considered this site sacred far before the Stadium – which once seated 45,000 spectators – was constructed. Wander through the Gymnasium, the Palestra, Temple of Hera, and the Philippeion. The striking Temple of Zeus, which is notable for its gold-and-ivory statue of Zeus, is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. On a guided walking tour, visit the Museum of the Ancient Olympic Games, which illuminates this fascinating site with its collection of Olympian artefacts.

Continue for an enlightening visit to the Magna Grecia Olive Oil Farm. During the tour, learn how to properly savor olive oil and distinguish its flavors. Taste samples of the elixir with a delicious lunch and red wine while being regaled with cultural entertainment.

Back on board, sail into Ionian Sea, south of Zakynthos, enjoy another enriching lecture.

Included Feature:

  • Full-day Olympia & Magna Grecia Olive Oil Farm tour

Cultural Discoveries:
  • Tour of a local olive oil farm with lunch and entertainment
  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

Relax on board with a day at sea

Enjoy a day at sea as the Ocean Explorer enters the heart of the Mediterranean. Visit the spa, get in a workout at the gym, lounge in the swimming pool, or relax on the sun deck with a great book.

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 11:

Take in Taormina's history and breathtaking views

Arrive on the shores of Sicily, the breathtaking island at the tip of Italy’s toe. Head to Taormina, the historic, cliff-set city overlooking the Ionian Sea. This chic resort town offers a charming medieval ambience and splendid views of Mount Etna.

During your tour, admire the Moorish and Islamic influences in the exterior of the 15th-century Palazzo Carvaia. Continue to the fantastic Greek Theater, originally built by Romans in the 3rd century. Marvel at its coastal vistas before heading to the Public Gardens, boasting some 200 species of flora. Take time to sample a refreshing granita while at the pagoda, then enjoy lunch at an inviting spot of your choosing.

This evening, get into the rhythms of the Triskele Band, named for the three-legged triskelion symbol on the Sicilian flag.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day tour of Taormina

Cultural Discoveries:
  • Evening onboard entertainment: Triskele Band
  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 12:

Enter Lipari, heart of the Aeolian Islands

We’ll pause for a day to explore the Aeolian Islands, Italy’s archipelago northwest of Sicily. At every turn, you’ll encounter dramatic, soaring volcanic islands. Anchor off the shore of Lipari and tender to Marina Corta, walking along the Via Garibaldi with its boutiques and eateries.

Upon reaching the Rock of the Castle, set high on a promontory, peer deep into the island’s past. First dominated by Greeks in the 4th century B.C., this archaeological site contains excavated trenches and Bronze-aged huts. Visit the baroque Cathedral of Bartholomew, dedicated to the island’s patron saint.

Next, take a panoramic island tour, visiting the villages of Quattrocchi and Quattropani. As you explore, enjoy splendid views of other Aeolian Islands, including Stromboli with its ever-active volcano. You will also stop to take in the vistas of Lipari Beach and observe the ubiquitous pumice stone left by volcanic eruptions.

After lunch on board, enjoy leisure time in Lipari’s city center and sail out along the Aeolian Islands.

Included Features:

  • Half-day Lipari walking tour
  • Aeolian Volcanic Islands sailing with commentary

Cultural Discovery:
  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 13:

Uncover the mysteries of Pompeii

Arrive along the legendary Amalfi Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with an alluring landscape of seaside villages and dizzying cliffs. No visit here is complete without a tour of Pompeii, the ancient city buried by the ash of Vesuvius in 79 AD. A guided walking tour takes you back 2,000 years into a world of cobbled lanes worn by horse-drawn carriage wheels; colorful, mural-adorned villas; and Roman baths. The ruins of this dead city are deeply moving, still casting visitors into silence with Mount Vesuvius looming in the background.

This afternoon, we've coordinated a unique lunch visit to a local farm. After meeting your hosts for a tour, take a class to create the perfect pizza, the famed cuisine of nearby Naples.

Back on board, learn more about local history and culture during the evening’s lecture.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Pompeii tour

Cultural Discoveries:
  • Home-hosted lunch at a local farm
  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 14:

Absorb cliff-top Corsica’s rich coastal culture

Enjoy breakfast and an early lunch as the Ocean Explorer nears Corsica today. This mountainous Mediterranean outpost offers a fascinating glimpse of France in the middle of the Mediterranean. With its chalk-white coastal cliffs and rugged vistas, Porto Vecchio is one of the area’s most breathtaking islands — known to the French as “l’Île de Beauté.”

Arriving midday, set out to explore Bonifacio, with its castle and pastel-hued Old Town situated on a cliff edge. Explore its sole Gothic church and, if you wish, climb the 189 steps of the Roy d’Aragon. Its Bastion is the highest in France and offers unforgettably breathtaking views.

Embark a small boat for a thrilling expedition to the Lavezzi Islands, with their dramatic cliffs and sea caves carved by the surf over millennia.

Included Features:

  • Half-day Bonifacio city tour

Cultural Discovery:
  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 15:

Revel in Monte Carlo’s glitz and glamour

Arrive in Monte Carlo, capital of the tiny independent principality of Monaco. Playground to well-heeled Europeans, this sovereign nation has been ruled by the Grimaldis since the 13th century. Reach your destination via the world-famous Grand Prix track of Formula One fame.

Marvel at the world-renowned Belle Époque Grand Casino, a vision of extravagance and wealth by the famous architect, Charles Garnier. Glimpse the lush gardens before viewing the Hôtel de Paris, a 19th-century grand dame. In the historic quarter of Le Rocher (The Rock), admire stunning sea views 200 feet below while strolling past the Prince’s Palace. We’ll pass by in time to see the Changing of the Guard.

Nearby, the Neo-Romanesque Monaco Cathedral is a pearly, white-stone vision. The Grimaldis, including Grace Kelly and the Princess of Monaco, are entombed here. After seeing the Justice Palace, your tour ends at the neoclassical Oceanographic Museum, created by Prince Albert I.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Monte Carlo tour

Cultural Discoveries:
  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 16:

Explore the magic of the south of France

Steeped in history and boasting a newly revived waterfront, Marseille provides a beguiling glimpse of medieval France. From here, delve into the celebrated south of France today in one of two ways: a full-day tour to romantic Provence or a full-day safari in Camargue National Park.

With the first, you’ll delve deeper into the heart of Provence. Begin at the Gordes Castle in its namesake town, a picture-postcard hilltop village adjacent to the Vaucluse plateau. Continue to the red cliffs and ochre quarries of Roussillon. The emerald pine trees and vivid blue Provençal sky create a stunning canvas. Have lunch – which is covered— at a restaurant of your choosing. After, enjoy a walking tour of Aix-en-Provence’s Old Town, strolling under the trees of Cours Mirabeau past elegant mansions. If you wish, visit Paul Cézanne’s atelier during your free time.

Your second tour option is decidedly wilder. Head into Camargue National Park to explore the vast Rhône River Delta, a pristine region of swamps, river tendrils and ponds. The waters are teeming with numerous bird species, including the pink flamingo. Throughout your safari, you will pause as opportunities arise to view the region’s wild Camargue horses and bulls grazing in manades, or free-roaming herds. You will visit a working farm to learn more about the horses and bulls and stop for lunch at a local restaurant.

Included Feature:

  • Full-day excursion to Provence or Camargue National Park

Cultural Discoveries:
  • Onboard lecture
  • Evening onboard entertainment: local song and dance performance

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 17:

Wander through the historic and cultural wonders of French Occitanie

The seaside resort of Sète is your introduction to two historic treasures. Once again today, you’ll select the tour that best suits your interest: A full-day tour of Carcassonne or a half-day tour to Montpellier and Château de Flaugergues.

With the first option, you'll journey to UNESCO-listed Carcassonne, the largest and best preserved fortified medieval town in Europe. Step back in time within its massive walls, exploring narrow, cobbled streets. Sites include the breathtaking St. Nazaire Basilica, an 11th-century Romanesque church, the 12th-century Château Comtal, and countless other Middle Ages treasures. After lunch at a local restaurant, tour the lovely Fontfroide Abbey, founded in 1093, with its hushed cloister and vaulted chapter house.

Alternately, visit the historically stylish city of Montpellier, capital of the Languedoc-Rousillon region. In the Old Town, admire elegant mansions and other stunning buildings that fuse classical and avant-garde architecture. In the Place de la Comèdie, admire the Three Graces fountain. You will also see the fortress-like Cathedral St. Pierre and the Arc de Triomphe. Later, stop for wine tasting and a tour at the 18th-century Château de Flaugergues. Romans were the first to cultivate grapes on these grounds 2,000 years ago. After the tasting, you'll return to the Ocean Explorer for lunch and a leisurely afternoon in Sète.

Included Feature:

  • Full-day tour of Carcassonne or Half-day tour of Montpellier and Château de Flaugergues

Cultural Discovery:
  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 18:

Let Barcelona, Catalonia’s vibrant cultural hub, capture your heart

Get to know the sophisticated capital of Catalonia during a panoramic tour. that includes the wildly successful revitalization project of Port Vell, the Olympic Village that hosted the 1992 Games. Then, ascend Montjuic for spectacular city views. Continue to Plaza de España, adorned with Venetian towers and a towering fountain. Next, you’ll see La Sagrada Família cathedral, Antoni Gaudí’s famous masterpiece and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Absorb the architectural treasures along the tree-lined Passieg de Gràcia — including surreal buildings by Gaudí — then take advantage of the city’s famous, pedestrian-only Las Ramblas and its shopping opportunities. The tour finishes at La Barceloneta Beach, where an included lunch awaits. Afterward, you may return to La Sagrada Família with individual tickets for entrance. Then, enjoy an afternoon at leisure on Las Ramblas, with dinner back onboard.

Included Feature:

  • Full-day Barcelona tour

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 19:

Bask in Mallorca: Jewel of Spain’s Balearic Islands

Arrive in Palma de Mallorca this morning, perhaps catching the sunrise from the Ocean Explorer's observation deck before savoring a delicious breakfast.

Ringed by pristine crescent beaches and cloaked in lush green forest, Mallorca is an island paradise for the Spanish and visitors alike. On a panoramic city tour, you'll explore the stunning circular Bellver Castle, built in the 14th century for the Kings of Mallorca. Later, step inside the massive Gothic La Seu Cathedral. This honey-colored masterpiece, with its 144-foot-high nave, encloses a cavernous interior designed by Antoni Gaudí.

Return to the ship for lunch before an afternoon at leisure in Palma de Mallorca. Before dinner this evening, enjoy another lecture highlighting the history of the Mallorca.

Included Feature:

  • Palma de Mallorca highlights tour

Cultural Discovery:
  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 20:

Explore Cartagena's Roman flourishes

After breakfast on board, you’ll arrive in the natural harbor of Cartagena. Established as a major naval center by the Carthaginians in 227 BC, this port has been in use ever since. Get acquainted with its history at La Concepción Castle, Here, you’ll overlook the old Roman Theatre, the second largest in Iberia. Walking down the Calle Mayor, witness some of Cartagena’s countless noteworthy art nouveau buildings. These include the Cervantes House’s gleaming white façade and the elegant Grand Hotel, where you have time to explore on your own.

After returning to ship for lunch, your afternoon is free. Perhaps you’ll relax by the infinity pool or take in some Spanish sunshine on deck. Before another gourmet dinner on the Ocean Explorer, yet another lecture illuminates more about this culturally layered region.

Included Feature:

  • Walking tour of Cartagena's historic center

Cultural Discovery:
  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 21:

Discover Granada’s storied city

From our berth in Almería, you’ll set out on a full-day excursion to fabled 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. On a guided tour, you'll see its most famous attractions, including the renowned fountains and gardens of Generalife.

Enjoy lunch in a typical Spanish restaurant. Learn more about Andalusia during our onboard lecture as you set sail for Málaga in the moonlight.

Included Feature:

  • Full-day Granada Excursion, with entrance to Alhambra and Generalife (upon availability)

Cultural Discovery:
  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 22:

Soak in seaside Málaga’s beauty and history

Wake up in Málaga, the provincial capital and birthplace of Pablo Picasso. Just recently, it renovated itself into a popular cultural hub with its restored historic center. Your city tour reveals Málaga's wide boulevards lined with turn-of-the-century apartments. Along the way, you’ll encounter the Gothic Cathedral and Gibralfaro Castle, an 11th-century Moorish fortification; and the adjacent Alcazaba, the old Moorish palace. You’ll also visit the Picasso Museum, home to almost 300 of his spellbinding works.

After lunch on board, the afternoon is yours to relax on the spacious sun deck or explore Málaga on your own. Perhaps you’ll sample tapas — Spain’s famous, bite-sized delicacies — in some of Málaga’s liveliest bars. Another option is visiting the Museo del Vidrio, a lovely 16th century home, renowned for its collection of antique and ancient glassware.

This evening, enjoy another informative lecture before another sumptuous dinner on the Ocean Explorer. You'll stay overnight in Málaga to fully experience all this town has to offer.

Included Feature:

  • Málaga morning sightseeing with Picasso Museum visit

Cultural Discovery:
  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 23:

Discover posh Puerto Banús and the stunning Ronda gorge

After breakfast, we’ll drop anchor in Puerto Banús, a luxury marina on the Costa del Sol. Head inland to the heights of the sierras and Ronda, which was first settled by the Celts. A procession of Phoenicians, Arabs, Romans, Moors, Berbers, Visigoths, and other Europeans have since left their cultural mark in the town’s distinctive neighborhoods. Pass the old Roman Bridge spanning the deep El Tajo Gorge, the stately Casa de Don Bosco, and Mondragon Palace.

We’ll then visit the Plaza de Toros, Spain’s oldest bullring. A docent will provide an informative explanation of the history of Spanish bullfighting.

After lunch back on board, enjoy a dip off our ship’s swim deck, take a paddle in one of our kayaks, or roam the posh streets of Puerto Banús.

An onboard lecture further illuminates the region’s culture and history. After dinner, we’ll welcome local entertainers to the ship for a lively cultural performance.

Included Feature:

  • Ronda, with visit to Spain’s oldest Bull Fighting Arena and the Tajo del Ronda gorge

Cultural Discoveries:
  • Visit to a bull-fighting arena and discussion on this Spanish cultural pride
  • Onboard Entertainment
  • Onboard Lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 24:

Enjoy Britain at the tip of Spain

Step ashore in Gibraltar, known as “The Rock,” due to its most renowned, dominant geographic feature. Throughout the day, you will have expansive views of both Europe and Africa. Our tour includes a funicular ride to the Castle of Gibraltar. Keep watch for the famed Barbary apes, or macaques, that inhabit the rock. British-flavored Gibraltar is a great spot for pub-hopping and duty-free shopping; take advantage before we return to ship for lunch.

Your afternoon is free to wander Gibraltar’s streets, perhaps encountering a red Victorian post box or a fish-and-chips shop. Today’s lecture sheds light on your discoveries in Gibraltar. In the evening, sip a cocktail on the sun deck while admiring your last views of the magnificent Rock of Gibraltar.

Included Feature:

  • Gibraltar Excursion: The best of the Rock

Cultural Discovery:
  • Onboard Lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 25:

Give in to the seductions of Seville with a home-hosted dinner on a family-owned bull farm

After a sumptuous breakfast this morning, tour Andalusia’s storied capital, Seville. Destinations include the Real Alcázar, a monumental complex of fortifications, palaces, and gardens spanning the Arabic period through the 19th century. Stop at the old University of Seville, whose main building is housed in the former Royal Tobacco Factory. This is where Bizet set the famous opening scene of his opera Carmen.

At the Plaza de España, constructed for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, admire an elegant canvas of tiled fountains, bridges, and arcades. Step inside the Seville Cathedral — where Ferdinand, Isabella, and Christopher Columbus are entombed — and, if you wish, climb to the top of its soaring La Giralda Tower.

Enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Seville to shop and explore. Later, set out into the countryside to visit a local family’s bull farm. Enjoy a tour of the farm; a delicious, home-hosted Spanish dinner; and — above all — an unparalleled cultural exchange.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Seville Sightseeing tour

Cultural Discovery:
  • Home-hosted dinner at local family’s bull farm

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 26:

Uncover the treasures of Seville and sail the Guadalquivir River

This morning after breakfast, learn about the riches of Andalusia during a special lecture. The rest of the day is filled with possibilities! With the day at leisure, explore the Andalusian capital on your own.

If you remain in Seville, our included shuttle service will transfer you into town. Take in city views from atop the Metropol Parasol. This remarkable wooden structure of 100-foot pillars is topped by a wavy roof, traversed by a winding walkway. Another inimitable option is the excellent Fine Arts Museum.

We’ll depart Seville this afternoon and cruise along the historic Guadalquivir River through Doñana National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an important habitat for waterfowl. Commentary from the bridge will provide insight about this pristine wilderness. Animal lovers can take advantage of the provided binoculars to get a good look at some of the birds, including Thekla's lark and the western olivaceous warbler. If you've brought a telephoto lens for your camera, the deck may provide your best opportunity to capture some great images.

Included Feature:

  • Scenic sailing with commentary through Guadalquivir River and Doñana National Park

Cultural Discovery:
  • Onboard Lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 27:

Arrive in Portimão, the Algarve’s gateway to villages and vistas

This morning, cruise along Portugal’s scenic Algarve region before mooring in Portimão, a former fishing and shipbuilding center. Journey to the historic town of Silves, surrounded by orange and lemon groves. You’ll visit its red sandstone Moorish Castle and 13th-century cathedral, constructed by Alfonso X of Castile. Peruse the Archaeological Museum’s fascinating exhibits before continuing to the market town of Monchique. This delightful mountain enclave of cobbled streets is lined with small, decorative doorways that lead into artisan workshops. Here, folding wooden chairs are still handmade as they were in Roman times. Visit the 17th-century Franciscan monastery for splendid views of Old Town, admiring the traditional azulejo tiles adorning the 16th-century parish church.

We'll head back to the Ocean Explorer for a late lunch with an evening at leisure. Before dinner, don't miss the lecture elucidating the history and culture of the Algarve.

Included Feature:

  • Excursion to Silves and Monchique with a walking tour of Portimão

Cultural Discovery:
  • Onboard Lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 28:

Delve into Lisbon: A monumental city with an epic past

Arrive in Lisbon this morning to explore its historic highlights. First is the Belém Tower, the city’s iconic structure at the mouth of the Tagus River. Ships laden with treasures from Portugal’s far-flung empire would stop to be assessed here. Nearby, marvel at the ornate Hieronymites Monastery, an exquisite paradigm of Portugal’s Manueline architecture. Unique to Portugal, this baroque style blends religious and nautical symbols with fanciful interpretations of the New World’s flora, fauna, and people.

Enjoy lunch on your own with provided money. Enjoy a taste of Pastéis de Belém, a buttery custard confection based on ancient monks’ recipes. It’s not only Portugal’s favorite pastry, but a trendy treat for foodies around the world.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day tour of monumental Lisbon

Cultural Discovery:
  • Tasting of local Pastéis de Belém pastry

Included Meals:

Breakfast

DAY 29:

Discover Lisbon on your own

Immerse yourself even further today in the culture of Portugal’s atmospheric capital. Prepare for your day with a pastel de nata, the custard tart for which the city is known. Then, savor more culinary pleasures at the Mercado da Ribeira, sipping on a glass of vinho verde, Portugal’s signature wine. If you haven’t visited Lisbon museums, now is the time: The Museu Calouste Gulbenkian houses a private collection that includes works by Rembrandt and Monet. This evening, raise a glass to your expedition during a Farewell Dinner with your fellow travelers.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 30:

Return home

After breakfast, transfer to the Lisbon airport for your return flight home, or enjoy a longer stay in the city with our optional post-trip extension.


Included Meals:

Breakfast

Post-Trip Extension

Madeira, Portugal

FROM: $899 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $225 PER DAY

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

Please Note: Ocean cruising is not the same experience as river cruising; as such, you may experience fluctuating tides and weather patterns that may involve some rocking of your vessel. Itineraries will include all activities as planned except in extreme cases that can’t be controlled by your shipboard crew.

Contact Vantage

CALL 1-888-514-1845

View Journey Map

Be prepared for
your journey with our
cruising essentials
Shop Now

Riches of the Mediterranean: Greece to Portugal - 2021

Call us to reserve your next vacation:
1-888-514-1845
REFER FRIENDS. EARN CASH.
TRAVEL FOR FREE.

Earn up to $1,200 cash and
a FREE trip as a Vantage
Diplomat.
TOP
Chat with an Expert
Promo Code: WB50500
Please provide this promotion code to your Vantage call center agent.