Vantage celebrates its 40th anniversary this year!
Join Vantage Deluxe World Travel on a comprehensive small ship luxury cruise across the Western Mediterranean. Beginning in Lisbon, this sweeping voyage will visit incredible ports throughout Portugal, Spain, Morocco, and the Canary Islands. From UNESCO World Heritage Sites and historical highlights to tasty traditional cuisine and engaging guided tours, you'll enjoy 13 included features and Cultural Discoveries throughout your 5-star small ship voyage.
Board the 5-star Ocean Odyssey and explore famed monuments in Lisbon, visit medieval towns in Portimão, see the treasures of Seville, discover Tangier's labyrinthine medina, delve into the history of Casablanca. Treat your tastebuds to traditional fare, such as Portuguese pastéis de Belém and Moroccan tagine. In addition to Vantage's included activities, you'll have ample free time to further explore many of these destinations at your leisure. Plus, you'll enjoy extended hotel stays in Portugal and the Canary Islands.
All throughout your memorable Mediterranean cruise, you'll enjoy the luxury amenities and 5-star service for which Vantage is known. Treat yourself to an indulgent spa treatment, soak in the top-deck hot tubs, work up a sweat at the fitness center, try your hand at hot rock-cooking at the ship's specialty restaurant, or simply relax with a cocktail while taking in the views from the panoramic Observation Lounge. After a day of shoreside exploration, retreat to your sumptuous stateroom, an oasis at sea. Our small passenger-to-crew ratio and top-of-the-line personalized service ensures an incomparable, world-class journey for all our guests.
Board an overnight flight to Portugal
Board an overnight flight to Portugal today. Or, depart earlier for your pre-trip extension to Madeira.
Arrive in Lisbon, Portugal
Welcome to Lisbon! If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you at the airport to assist with transfers to your hotel.
Later, enjoy an included panoramic and walking tour of the Portuguese capital. You’ll explore the city’s famed monuments, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery. The latter is inextricably tied to the country’s history of exploration, and it’s said that Vasco da Gama spent his last night here before sailing to the Far East (his tomb is in the monastery). Your tour culminates in a stop at the towering Monument to the Discoveries: a massive white-stone tribute to some of the world’s most intrepid sailors and explorers. While on your tour, sample pastéis de Belém, a traditional Portuguese custard pastry.
Lisbon at your leisure
You’ll have a full day at leisure to explore more of Lisbon on your own.
Visit the Arco da Rua Augusta, a triumphal arch made entirely of stone, and walk up to the top for unparalleled views of Commerce Square. Standing over 100 feet tall, it was constructed in the late 18th century to commemorate Lisbon’s reconstruction after the entire city was demolished by an earthquake in 1755. Perhaps you’ll make time to visit the Abbey of Alcobaça. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was founded in AD 1153 and is one of the greatest examples of early Portuguese Gothic architecture.
Lisbon is also a paradise for foodies. From traditional tascas to exceptional eateries, there is sure to be something to delight every palate. Fresh seafood is abundant here, from classic bacalhau (salted cod) — a Portuguese favorite — to octopus à lagareiro. Whether it’s a casual eatery or a Michelin-starred restaurant, there is no shortage of dining establishments in Lisbon. Your onboard Destination Manager can help with suggestions and reservations.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Enjoy a full-day tour of UNESCO-listed Sintra and the resort town of Cascais. Learn more
Embark on a coastal trek that begins at Lisbon’s ornate Queluz National Palace before exploring the town of Sintra, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its wealth of 19th-century Romantic architectural monuments. Your tour continues with a scenic drive along the coastline to the quiet fishing village of Cascais. Following a short walk, you can enjoy lunch on your own at one of the town’s many restaurants, all offering fresh regional specialties. Enjoy the picture-perfect scenery on your drive back to Lisbon.
Due to high call volume, we recommend you visit MyPortfolio to book this Destination Enhancement. Don’t wait — these optional experiences are limited to a select number of guests and are selling out fast!
Embark the Ocean Odyssey
Today, you’ll proceed to the pier and step aboard the Ocean Odyssey to begin your small ship cruise. Get settled into your cabin and take time to explore the onboard amenities, including the boutique, spa, and fitness center. Stop by the Destination Manager’s desk to make a spa appointment or organize a group dinner with your travel companions. Later, join the first of your daily port talks to learn about tomorrow’s exciting destination. Tonight, enjoy a Welcome Dinner on board.
Portimão, gateway to the vistas and villages of The Algarve
Cruise along Portugal’s scenic Algarve region this morning before mooring in Portimão, a former center of fishing and shipbuilding. From here, you’ll head northeast to the medieval town of Silves, where you will enjoy a guided walking tour of this historic destination.
Situated along the banks of the Rio Arade, Silves is a charming destination full of winding streets, whitewashed buildings with red terracotta roofs, and groves of orange and lemon trees. Your first stop will be the Castelo de Silves, an impressive red-brick castle, believed to have been occupied by a Lithuanian castro until 201 BC, when the Romans conquered Silves, where they ruled over the next five centuries. The city was later conquered by the Umayyad Caliphate, who reinforced and expanded the structure, resulting in the castle seen today, and making it one of the most well-preserved Moorish fortifications in Portugal.
Next, you’ll visit the 13th-century Silves Cathedral, classified as a Portuguese national monument in 1922. Originally built as a mosque during Portugal’s Moorish occupation, it was converted into a Catholic cathedral during the Reconquista period of the Iberian Peninsula under the reign of King Afonso III. Although the style of the cathedral is mostly Gothic, it does contain some Baroque elements. You’ll also have time to peruse the fascinating exhibits of the Silves Municipal Archaeological Museum before continuing to the market town of Monchique. Set among the pine and eucalyptus forests of the Serra de Monchique mountain range, this delightful mountain enclave of cobbled streets and artisan workshops is a charming contrast to Algarve’s beach resorts.
Uncover the treasures of Seville
Today, you’ll enjoy a sightseeing tour of Seville, the storied capital of Andalusia. Stop at the 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. Founded in 1551, the university is one of Spain’s leading institutions of higher learning.
Next, you’ll see the Plaza de España, inarguably the most well-known public square in Seville. Constructed for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition, this is where you’ll find the famed Spanish Steps, as well as elegant fountains and tiled mosaics. Continuing on, you’ll view the exterior façade of the Plaza de Toros, Seville’s famed 18th-century bullring. You may also have an opportunity to step inside the Seville Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site most notable as the final resting place of King Ferdinand III of Castile and Christopher Columbus.
At the conclusion of your tour, you’ll have the remainder of the afternoon to continue exploring Seville at your leisure.
Get a taste of Britain at the tip of Spain
Gibraltar, also known as The Rock of Gibraltar, is steeped in history dating back approximately 100,000 years when the earliest humans inhabited its limestone caves. However, it remained mostly unsettled until AD 711 when the first Moors of Ṭāriq ibn Ziyād arrived. In fact, “Gibraltar” is a Spanish derivation of the Arabic Jabal Ṭāriq, which translates to “mountain of Ṭāriq.” Gibraltar’s position at the entrance to the Mediterranean made it a prized sight, and its people were subjected to many sieges from France, Spain, and Britain throughout the centuries that followed. It was finally captured by the British in the early 18th century and ceded to them under the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht. Today, Gibraltar’s multicultural society makes it one of the most unique and interesting places to visit in the Mediterranean. During today’s walking tour not only will you be able to visit some of Gibraltar’s most interesting highlights, you’ll also enjoy sweeping views of both the Strait of Gibraltar over Africa and the Bay of Algeciras. Keep your eyes peeled and cameras ready in case you catch a glimpse of the famed Barbary apes that live on the rock.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Join us this evening for a hosted Gibraltar pub crawl — a true British delight! Learn more
Pubs — or public houses — are as much a part of traditional British life as Premiere League Football. Aside from being a place to drink, English pubs served an important social function as a place for the community to meet, converse, and play games. British-flavored Gibraltar is a great spot for pub-hopping! From the palest blonde ales and hoppy IPAs to rich malty porters and dark creamy stouts, you'll have an opportunity to sample different brews and find new — or old — favorites.
Gibraltar at your leisure
You’ll have a full day to explore more of Gibraltar at your own pace today. Perhaps you’ll head to Europa Point, where you’ll find the 19th-century Trinity Lighthouse, the Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Europa Catholic chapel; and the Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque, also known as the Mosque of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. Or maybe you’ll pay a visit to the stunning St. Michael's Cave, the largest of Gibraltar’s more than 150 caves. St. Michael's Cave is located almost 900 feet above sea level and is full of astounding stalactites and stalagmites. Another place worthy of a visit is the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens, also known as La Alameda Gardens. Located at the end of Main Street, this public garden, was commissioned in 1816 for the enjoyment of soldiers stationed here.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Set off on a full day tour of Gibraltar’s significant sites, with refreshments included. Learn more
With a history spanning several millennia, Gibraltar is one of the most culturally rich places in the world. On this optional excursion, you’ll have an opportunity to visit The Rock, Gibraltar’s dominant and most famous geographic feature. You’ll also visit the Tunnels of Gibraltar, a series of manmade tunnels constructed by the British Army during World War II, under the direction of then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Later, enjoy some tasty tapas (small plates) and drinks before returning to the ship.
Get to know Tangier, Morocco’s “City of Strangers”
Situated at the entrance of the Strait of Gibraltar on the northernmost tip of Morocco, Tangier has been settled by the Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, Arabs, Portuguese, British, French, and Spanish over thousands of years. It’s no wonder its nickname is the “City of Strangers”!
Today, you’ll set off on a walking tour of the medina, a maze of alleyways containing both businesses and private residences. Contained within the walls of Tangier’s 15th-century Portuguese fortress, the medina offers a glimpse into traditional daily life in this region.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Enjoy a two-hour guided tour of Tangier’s most notable sites, including the kasbah and the American Legation Museum. Learn more
Embark on an optional guided tour of Tangier, touching on many of the city’s incredible sites. Visit the tomb of Ibn Battuta, a 14th-century famous traveler who was born here; Teatro Cervantes; the Grand Socco; the Tangier American Legation Museum, with its Paul Bowles Wing dedicated to the writer and composer; and the elegant Kasbah Museum, which was the former Sultan's palace and today houses a collection of artifacts from the Phoenician to modern times. You’ll also visit Café Hafa, a local institution famed for its clifftop location that offers stunning views over the Bay of Tangier, as well as its celebrity patrons over the past century. Enjoy the scenery here along with a cup of refreshing mint tea.
Travel to Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city
You’ll venture to Casablanca today for a guided city tour, where you’ll visit the Hassan II Mosque. Built by over 6,000 Moroccan artisans, this is the largest functioning mosque in Africa and 7th largest in the world. Constructed of hand-carved stone and wood, intricate marble flooring, and mosaic tilework, it is a true testament to Moroccan artistry.
Later, you’ll get a true taste of Morocco with an included lunch of traditional tagine. Typically comprised of a rich mixture of spiced meat, poultry, or fish combined with vegetables or fruit, this savory stew has been a staple of North African cuisine for hundreds of years.
Following your tour, the remainder of the day is yours to spend at your leisure. The Ocean Odyssey will remain in port overnight.
Enjoy another leisurely morning in Casablanca
Following breakfast on board, you’ll enjoy another leisurely morning in Casablanca. Perhaps you’ll pop into one of the markets for unique last-minute souvenirs. Or simply relax on board and take in the views from the panoramic sundeck.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Join us for a morning tour of Casablanca, including a photo stop at the magnificent Hassan II Mosque. Learn more
From experiencing modern Morocco to discovering the city's ancient heritage, there are plenty of things to see and do in Casablanca. Head out on an optional guided morning tour of the city, stopping at some of its best highlights. Make sure to have your camera on hand as you'll be making a photo stop at the incredible Hassan II Mosque, the third-largest Mosque outside of Mecca. Continue on to Mohammed V Square, site of Casablanca's important administrative buildings, many reflecting the resplendent Mauresque and Art Deco architecture popularized during the French colonial period. Finally, you'll visit Habous, one of the city's oldest neighborhoods. Dating back to 1916, this area serves as center for culture and religion in Casablanca, hosting the Moroccan Ministry of Islamic Affairs.
Sea and sun in Agadir
Today we’ll arrive in Agadir. Located in the foothills of the Anti-Atlas Mountains, along the southern Atlantic coast of Morocco, this resort destination is known as much for its seaside promenade and numerous golf courses as it is for its maze-like souks and traditional hammams. With over 300 sunny days per year, and countless cafés and restaurants offering both traditional and trendy specialties, Agadir is a favorite destination for sun-seekers and foodies alike. Following a leisurely morning and lunch on board, you’ll head out to explore this delightful seaside city for yourself during a guided tour.
Delight in your ship’s amenities during a day at sea
One of the true pleasures of a luxurious, small ship cruise is the onboard experience as you sail from one incredible destination to another. From indulgent spa treatments and soothing hot tubs to elegant dining and engaging onboard lectures, you’ll find everything you need to feel relaxed, pampered, and entertained today.
Onboard Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional onboard experience. Enhance your time on board with one of our Vantage-exclusive activities, including wine and whiskey tastings, a multicourse Chef’s Table Dinner, or an exclusive wine-pairing dinner. Learn more
Uncover the magnificent wonders of Arrecife
Arrecife, the quiet capital of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, is a beautiful port city filled with historic buildings and interesting venues. On today’s guided tour, you’ll be able to visit a few of these sites for yourself.
Your first stop will be Jameos del Agua. Originally conceived as a performance hall, this auditorium space is carved into the basalt rock of a volcanic tunnel. Completed in 1977, the auditorium offers fantastic acoustics with a stage set inside a section of the volcanic tunnel and terraced seating that follows the natural slope of the terrain.
Next, you’ll visit Cueva de los Verdes, a lava tube found within the Monumento Natural del Malpaís de La Corona, a protected area of the Canary Islands. Created over 3 millennia ago from the lava flows of nearby Monte Corona, the cave system extends for over three-and-a-half miles above the sea, and almost one mile below sea level.
Your final stop will be the cliffs of La Graciosa, a volcanic Island located across the Strait of El Rio. Created by the Canarian hotspot — a volcanically active region of the Canary Islands, just off the coast of northwest Africa — and with a year-round population of just under 1,000 residents, this island is a popular travel destination due to its tempered climate and sandy beaches.
Disembark the Ocean Odyssey in Las Palmas
Say goodbye to the Ocean Odyssey today as the cruise portion of your journey comes to a close. You will board a private transfer to your hotel in Las Palmas, with the remainder of the day at your leisure. Lunch and dinner today are on your own.
Las Palmas walking tour
Founded in 1478 by Juan Rejón, an Aragonese captain serving in the Castilian navy, the Spanish city of Las Palmas is the capital of Gran Canaria and the 9th-largest city in Spain. With its North African flavor and mixture of Modernist, Bauhaus, and Spanish colonial architecture, this underrated destination is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the Mediterranean. Its expansive beaches, boasting soft sand and calm waters, are perfect for those seeking a relaxing spot to soak up the sun. The blend of Modernist structures in the Triana district and the charming colonial architecture of Vegueta’s Old Quarter make this one of the most interesting places to photograph in Europe. Today’s guided walking tour will acquaint you with some of the unique and special sites to be found in this enchanting city.
Return home today
Today, you will head to the airport and board your return flight home.
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. 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.