From the heart of Andalusia, sail the routes of ancient mariners to explore the great cities of the Moors on this remarkable cruise aboard the classically elegant Aegean Odyssey.

Starting at: $4,545 Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Ancient Moorish fortress of the Alhambra, Granada, Spain  Mausoleum of Mohammed V, Rabat  Waterfront of Cadiz  Roman bridge at Cordoba  Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca   The Hassan Tower, Rabat  Seascape view from Tangier  Guadalquivir River and Oro Tower, Seville  Plaza Espana, Seville  View of the historic city of Granada  Ruins of the ancient necropolis of Kellah (Chellah), Rabat  The gardens of the Generalife at the Alhambra, Granada  The gardens of the Generalife at the Alhambra, Grenada  The arts of Morocco  The Mezquita of Cordoba, a cathedral and former mosque, situated in the Andalusian city of Codoba  The old Medina of Marrakesh   Old town of Rabat

Passage of the Moors

13 days from $4,545

From the heart of Andalusia, sail the routes of ancient mariners to explore the great cities of the Moors on this remarkable cruise aboard the classically elegant Aegean Odyssey.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. View Special Air Rates/Services to learn more.

During this popular cruise, discover the cultural riches, varied architectural styles, and many World Heritage sites of Moorish Spain and Morocco. Hotel stays in Seville, Marrakech, and Fez add depth and insight to your journey.

Highlights Include:

  • Seville, Cordoba, Jerez de la Frontera: Admire Seville’s 15th-century cathedral, the third largest church in Europe; tour the sublime Alcazar (royal palace), portions of which are still used by Spain’s royal family; and stroll through the labyrinthine Old Jewish Quarter of Santa Cruz. In Cordoba, admire the famous Great Mosque, which was converted in 1236 into a Catholic church. Learn about the world-famous fortified wines from Jerez as you savor fine sherry at a historic wine cellar.
  • Marrakech: Imbibe in the city’s legendary exoticism in its colorful souks where artisans practice time-honored trades. Admire the 14th-century Ben Youssef Madrassa, noted for its intricate latticework. Watch the renowned Djemma el Fna Square come alive with peddlers, snake charmers, and performers.
  • El Jadida, Casablanca, Rabat, Meknes, Volubilis: Tour evocative World Heritage sites ranging from mosques and palaces to kasbahs, medinas, and citadels. Discover the exceptionally well-preserved remains of Roman Morocco at Volubilis, with its fine buildings, triumphal arch, and exquisite mosaic floors.
  • Fez and Tangier: Walk through the old medina of Fez, a walled city that lies at the heart of Moroccan cultural life. Later, stop in Tangier, which boasts a bustling kasbah and vibrant marketplaces.
  • Granada: Drive through the beautiful landscapes of Andalusia to Granada and the magnificent and enduring symbol of Spain’s Moorish heritage, the Alhambra. Learn how this fortress and home to the last Nasrid Sultans in Iberia grew to encompass so many exquisite buildings, serene courtyards, and elaborate fountains and gardens. 

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S.

Travelers depart for an overnight flight to Malaga, Spain.

Day 2 — Seville

Upon arrival in Malaga transfer to Seville and the first class Hotel Fernando III. Located in the heart of the city, the Barrio Santa Cruz, it’s just a short walk to many of Seville’s historic highlights. There’s time to get settled and relax then enjoy an evening at leisure exploring on your own.

Day 3 — Seville

Romanticized in Bizet’s opera Carmen, Seville is a showcase of remarkable architecture, ranging from Moorish to Gothic to the Baroque. See the 14th-century Alcázar Palace, a jewel box of patios and vaulted halls and a World Heritage Site. Step inside the magnificent Giralda Cathedral, the world’s largest Gothic building. Explore the colorful Barrio de Santa Cruz with its bougainvillea-draped balconies, cool, sparkling fountains and shaded medieval lanes. The remainder of the day is at leisure to follow your own path in this historic city. You’re invited to join fellow this evening for a Welcome Reception at the hotel. (B)

During the cruise a Smithsonian Journeys Expert will offer engaging lectures. Smithsonian Travelers will get together at private gatherings in the Traveler’s Corner during the cruise to exchange experiences and lively conversation.

Day 4 — Seville and Cordoba

The ancient city of Cordoba is born of Roman, Moorish, Jewish and Christian ancestry and was one of medieval Europe’s richest cities and is today a World Heritage Site. See its Mezquita or Mosque dating from the 10th century. It is a unique mosque-cathedral considered to be an architectural masterpiece and the crowning symbol of this crossroad of civilizations. Explore the delightful Juderia or Jewish Quarter. There’s free time for lunch and to relax or take a walk before the drive to the port in Seville and embarkation aboard the Aegean Odyssey. This evening the Captain of ship will host all passengers at a Welcome Reception. (B,D)

Day 5 — Seville, Cruising, Cadiz

This morning the ship sails from Seville. Admire the passing scenery as the ship sails on the Rio Guadalquivir past wheat fields and olive groves to the Atlantic and the port of Cadiz. The river is one of the longest navigable waterways in Spain. Early this evening, the Aegean Odyssey will dock in Cadiz, the historic port from which Christopher Columbus set sail. There will be time this evening to explore the city so follow your own path. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Cadiz and Jerez de la Frontera

This morning there is a choice of one of the following shore excursions

Highlights of Cadiz

Enjoy a picturesque drive through the seaport and make your way to the old section of the city. Start exploring with a drive by the Tobacco Factory built in1741, that now serves as the Congress building. See Santo Domingo Church, and the old Royal Prison. Continue to the ancient Phoenician port of La Caleta, and the Santa Catalina Fortress part of a series of fortifications designed to protect Cadiz from the English. Tour of the Old Town to see the Cathedral of Cadiz and the Diocesan Museum. It took 116 years to complete this 18th century Baroque and neo-classical Cathedral. You then head to the picturesque Plaza Flores, and the Plaza de Espana with its massive monument commemorating the meeting of the Cortes, Spain’s first representative national assembly.

Cadiz, Jerez and Sherry Tasting

Drive from the port to see the Plaza Espana and the famous monument of Las Cortes. Continue to the Moorish-style Alameda de Apodaca Gardens. The Cadiz Cathedral with its famous towering golden domes acts as a landmark against the Cadiz skyline. Drive to the town of Jerez de la Frontera. Jerez is home to a multitude of sherry companies. A visit will be made to the Bodega Gonzalez Byass, which produces some of the best sherry in the world. The ageless process of blending is explained and you will be invited to sample various types of the fortified wine in the unique atmosphere of its cellars.

This evening join fellow Smithsonian Travelers for a pre-dinner Reception. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Casablanca and Marrakesh

Upon the ship’s arrival in the Atlantic port of Casablanca disembark and motor to Marrakesh a city Winston Churchill described as “the nicest place on Earth to spend an afternoon.” Explore the bustling souks where craftsmen can be seen working at traditional trades. Continue to the Bahia Palace where you’ll marvel at a lush Moorish garden and beautifully decorated rooms. After walking through a maze of shaded, narrow lanes you will arrive in the iconic Djemma el-Fna Square that has been a center of entertainment, celebrations, gossip and business for centuries. Stop at the foot of the famous Koutoubia Minaret, one of the masterpieces of Moroccan architecture. One of the highlights of the tour is a visit to the Marjorelle Garden, a botanical garden in the heart of Marrakesh and designed in the ‘20s and ‘30s. Visit the Museum, housing ceramics, jewelry, and paintings by the founder, Jacques Marjorelle.

Overnight hotel accommodations have been reserved at the Sofitel Palais Imperial in Marrakesh. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Marrakesh, El Jadida and Casablanca

After a comfortable overnight, depart Marrakesh and drive to El Jadida designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Explore the town with its Portuguese fortress of Mazagan that became El Jadida or “The New City” in the early 19th century when the Portuguese built this important trading center on the site. See the Portuguese Medina and a 16th-century Gothic Cistern. Built by the Portuguese, the cistern may have served as an arsenal before being used for water storage during military sieges. Rediscovered in 1916 the long-forgotten cistern was used as a movie set for the Orson Welles’ 1954 version of Othello. Return to Casablanca. Before dinner this evening join Smithsonian Travelers for an exclusive Reception. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Casablanca

Today you’ll have a choice of one of the following tours ashore.

Rabat

Drive from Casablanca to Morocco’s fascinating capital city of Rabat originally built during the Merinid dynasty. A World Heritage Site, your visit will include the picturesque Kasbah of the Oudayas and the Oudaya Gate built during the Almohad dynasty, the well-preserved Hassan Tower and the Chellah, the Mohamed V Mausoleum the burial place of the present King’s father, and the Royal Palace and other historic buildings.

Casablanca

This shore tour of Casablanca showcases the port, the Old Medina, the Place Mohammed V, a busy shopping street lined by residences dating from the 1930s, United Nations Square, designed by French architect Joseph Marrast, and the League of Arab States Park. The tour also includes a visit to the impressive Hassan II Mosque. This is the second largest mosque in the world and boasts the tallest minaret worldwide.

The balance of the day is at leisure. (B,L,D)

Day 10 — Fez

Depart the ship and drive to the imperial city of Fez; a medieval marvel. The religious capital of Morocco, the city features the old Medina World Heritage Site then visit renowned religious schools or Madrasas. Your excursion makes stops at the imposing Bab Boujloud gate and the splendid fountain at Place Nejjarine, the ancient ramparts and the beautiful front entrance of the Royal Palace. After lunch, check-in at the Hotel Palais Medina Fez where overnight accommodations have been reserved. B,L,D)

Day 11 — Tangier

From Fez, drive to Tangier an important and remarkable Moroccan port city. Make a stop on the way to explore the ancient Roman city of Volubilis the capital of Roman Morocco and an important colony of the Roman Empire. See the Triumphal Arch, Basilica and mosaic floors. In Tangier, motor along the promenade to see Hercules’ Grotto, where legend has it Hercules rested after digging the Strait of Gibraltar. Continue to Cape Spartel Lighthouse that after more than a century continues to provide a warning beacon to ships sailing between the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Visit the Medina and Kasbah with its lively produce market. Tangier is separated from Spain by only 20 miles of the Strait of Gibraltar.  Later, back on the ship, gather with new friends and fellow travelers for a Farewell Reception. (B,L,D)

Day 12 — Malaga

Today you’ll have your choice of one of the following shore tours.

Granada and the Alhambra

Today’s excursion to Granada will depart the ship and take you through the beautiful countryside of Andalusia with its endless groves of olive trees and picturesque villages. Once you reach Granada you will see, rising above the town, the compelling Alhambra one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites and an iconic symbol of Spain’s Moorish heritage. It was a palace, a fortress, and the magnificent home to the Nasrid Sultans the last of the Nasrid Dynasty on the Iberian Peninsula. Visit the Alqala Hamra, or Red Castle, where you will visit the Nazaries Palaces. See intricately carved stucco walls, knotted ceilings and beautiful courtyards. Continue to the Serallo, the official residence of the sultan and the harem that surrounds the Patio de los Leones, a renowned fountain that feeds water through the mouths of 12 lions. Continue to the Generalife and visit the summer palace for the Sultans of Granada. Afterward, admire stunning views of the Sierra Nevada, Darro Valley before returning to Malaga.

Malaga and the Picasso Museum

Depart the port by coach for a panoramic tour of Malaga. See some of the finest examples of Moorish and Gothic architecture as well as its parks and gardens and its renowned bullring. Visit the Gibralfaro Castle that is perched high above the city. Built in 929 A.D. the castle offers remarkable views of the city and the Mediterranean. Continue to the Picasso Museum, located in the Buenavista Palace. This building is of architectural interest as it combines Renaissance and Mudejar or Moorish elements. The collection showcases paintings, sculpture, drawings, ceramic and graphic works of this iconic artist throughout his life.

Return to the ship in port for dinner and evening entertainment. (B,L,D)

Day 13 — Depart for the U.S.

Depart the ship this morning for the Malaga Airport and the return flights to your U.S. gateway city. (B)