From Lisbon to London aboard the Ocean Adventurer

Overview

From mighty seafaring capitals to sleepy fishing villages, trace the coast of Western Europe on this sweeping journey that highlights the region’s great art, fine food, and important historic sites. Browse local markets for a taste of daily life and stroll along scenic waterfronts that echo with centuries of maritime history. Raise a glass and soak in the charm and atmosphere of the celebrated wine towns of Porto and Bordeaux. Nature hikes on bucolic islands reveal terraced gardens, peaceful pastures, and wild, windswept coastlines. A team of experts and local guides will provide rich insights to deepen your understanding of these fascinating ports and their rich history.

Itinerary

Days 1-2, April 28-29, 2018
Lisbon

Fly to Lisbon, arriving on Day 2, and transfer to the hotel. Spend the day at leisure, with dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 3, April 30
Lisbon / Embark

Tour Lisbon’s architectural highlights, including the Sao Roque Church; the Gothic Jeronimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and St. George’s Castle. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before embarking the Ocean Adventurer in the afternoon.

Day 4, May 1
Porto

Porto’s historic center was awarded World Heritage status for its varied architecture—from Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance to Baroque, neoclassical, and modern. Stroll through the old town and visit the São Benito Train Station. Sample port in its birthplace at a special tasting. A cruise along the Douro River offers a unique view of the colorful houses of Porto stacked on the surrounding hills.

Days 5-6, May 2-3
Vilagarcia, Spain / Santiago de Compostela / La Coruña / At Sea

Disembark in Vilagarcia and depart overland to Santiago de Compostela, a World Heritage Site with a mélange of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque buildings. The splendid St. James Cathedral is the conclusion of the pilgrimage road that begins in Paris and winds its way through France and across Northern Spain. Enjoy a traditional Spanish lunch, then continue to La Coruña, Galicia’s commercial center, where you will make a stop at the Tower of Hercules, the world’s oldest working lighthouse. The following day is at sea, during which lecturers recap your experiences on the Iberian Peninsula and prepare you for what’s to come.

Day 7, May 4
Bordeaux, France

World famous for exquisite wines, Bordeaux also boasts more Monuments Historiques than any French city except Paris. Enjoy a tour of the 18th-century urban area, the largest square in all of Europe, and St. Andre Cathedral. Or, choose to visit the hilltop town of Saint-Emilion. Stroll ancient streets lined with limestone houses and take a tour of its mysterious subterranean church, the largest in Europe. Both tours include lunch at a local restaurant and an afternoon winery tour to sample some local vintages. A third option includes a full-day birding tour at La Teich Bird Reserve to search for white storks, black-winged stilts, nightingales, and Cetti’s warblers.

Day 8, May 5
La Rochelle

Known as La Ville Blanche (the White City), La Rochelle’s luminous limestone façades glow in the bright coastal sunlight. Stroll past three 14th-century stone towers and visit the neoclassical cathedral with a magnificent Baroque interior, the always colorful food market, and make a stop at the Cognac House for a tasting. Or, visit the Poitevin Marsh, and board flat-bottomed punts for a cruise through a labyrinth of man-made channels to search for a variety of waterfowl.

Day 9, May 6
Brest

Brest has a long history as a military harbor and is the port where thousands of American soldiers landed from 1917-1918. Take a stroll along the Crozon Peninsula, famous for its dramatic, craggy coastline, or choose to visit the fascinating Maritime Museum and explore a botanical garden. Brest is famed for its crepes, and you'll learn about the region’s food culture and sample local delicacies.

Day 10, May 7
St. Malo / Mont Saint-Michel

Disembark in St. Malo, a lovely walled city fronted by broad beaches. A scenic drive through rolling countryside brings you to medieval Mont Saint-Michel, which inspired Henry Adams and influenced the Gothic revival. Ascend the Mont through twisting alleys and narrow stairways to reach the monastery, where you are rewarded with grand views over the bay and marshes far below.

Day 11, May 8
Jersey, Channel Islands

Nature enthusiasts take a walk through wetlands to search for the ducks, geese, and waders that breed here, as well as warblers and buntings. Those with an interest in history take a tour of several WWII bunkers and the German Occupation Museum. In the afternoon, visit the wide-ranging Jersey Museum that explains the history, traditions, and culture of the island, and the award-winning Maritime Museum.

Day 12, May 9
Sark / Guernsey

With no cars—only tractors, bikes, and horse-drawn carriages—Sark is leisurely and relaxed. Join a local for a guided tour of the stunning cliffs and peaceful fields. Continue to La Seigneurie Gardens for a tranquil contrast to the windswept wildness of the rugged coast.

After lunch on board, step ashore on Guernsey. An English outpost located off the coast of France, this island is a fascinating mosaic of fishing villages, greenhouses, and fields dotted with the island’s eponymous dairy cows. See remnants of the German occupation during World War II, visit the lovely Candie Gardens, and take a stroll through the photogenic harbor of St. Peter Port, where Victor Hugo lived in exile while he wrote Les Misérables.

Day 13, May 10
Normandy

Your tour of historic Normandy begins in the town of Sainte-Mere-Eglise, the first French city to be liberated by the Allies.Take a drive along the coast, making stops at Arromanches-les-Bains, the site of a temporary harbor established by the Allies immediately after D-Day, as well as Omaha Beach. View exhibits chronicling the campaign at the D-Day Museum, visit the British and American cemeteries, and view the amazing Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England.

Day 14, May 11
Portsmouth, England / Disembark / London / USA

Disembark this morning and travel overland to London for your independent homeward flight, arriving in the USA the same day.

Highlights

Highlights

Explore two fascinating medieval UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Santiago de Compostela in Spain and France’s Mont Saint-Michel
Enjoy a wine tasting and vineyard tour in Bordeaux, the world’s wine industry capital
Visit three of the Channel Islands—Guernsey, Sark, and Jersey—to observe the interesting mix of French and British influences
Immerse yourself in World War II history with time in both Brest and Normandy
Search for resident and migrant birds in a variety of coastal habitats

Details

Length: 14 days
Cost From: $9980  
Arrive: Lisbon, Portugal
Depart: London, England
Lodging: 13 nights aboard 132-passenger expedition vessel, 1 night hotel, 1 travel day
Meals: All meals included aboard ship and with the group ashore, including house wine, beer or soft drinks with lunch and dinner onboard
Activity: Archaeology, Cultural Adventures, Small Ship Cruising
Trip Level:

12-day cruise, cultural exploration, walking tours
Cruise collection 2018 brochure

2018 Cruise Collection

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