A new cruise offering from Smithsonian Journeys and PONANT 

On an 8-day voyage from Casablanca to Spain’s southern coast, delve into the historic medinas of Rabat and Tangier and discover a palpable undercurrent of Moorish culture in the vivacious cities of Andalusia. 

Starting at: $4,530 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The Alhambra of Granada  A courtyard in the Alcazar, or Royal Palace, in Seville  Archways in Palacio de Generalife at Granada's Alhambra  Belem Tower, Lisbon  Monument to the Discoveries in Lisbon  The immense Gothic cathedral of Seville  The main plaza in Seville  A plaza in charming Ronda  Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca  Vintage tram on the street in Lisbon

Cruising Morocco and Spain’s Andalusian Coast

From Casablanca to Lisbon on the 184-guest Le Dumont-d'Urville

8 days from $4,530

A new cruise offering from Smithsonian Journeys and PONANT 

On an 8-day voyage from Casablanca to Spain’s southern coast, delve into the historic medinas of Rabat and Tangier and discover a palpable undercurrent of Moorish culture in the vivacious cities of Andalusia. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Trace the legacy of the Moors from the ancient cities of Morocco to the shores of Andalusia. Explore historic medinas and admire stunning architecture from Rabat to Tangier. Then sail through the Strait of Gibraltar to Spain’s southern shores, and discover how Moorish influence lingers in great cities like Granada, Ronda, and Seville. Along the way, visit numerous World Heritage sites and soak up the vibrant, intertwined cultures of Morocco and Andalusia.  

The Smithsonian Journeys / PONANTExperience: Each cruise will be accompanied by two Smithsonian Journeys Experts. An excursion or activity is included in each port of call. You may have a choice of excursions in many ports, so that you can delve more deeply into subjects that interest you.

Highlights Include

  • Casablanca or Rabat, Morocco: Visit the impressive Hassan II mosque to learn about Islamic rituals, and examine the exquisite details of Moroccan architecture up close. Or explore the World Heritage sites of Rabat, including the Royal Palace and the Oudayas Kasbah. 
  • Tangier: In the cultural mecca of Tangier, visit two of its excellent museums. Or venture into the World Heritage-listed medina of Tetouan, built largely by Andalusian refugees centuries ago. 
  • Granada: Spend a day in splendid Granada, where the Moors left a priceless architectural legacy: the magnificent Alhambra. On a walking tour of the city, see the cathedral where King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella are buried. After dinner in a lovely setting, take a private evening tour of the Alhambra and the beautifully landscaped Generalife Palace and Gardens. 
  • Marbella or Ronda: Cross the Strait of Gibraltar on the way to Málaga on Spain’s Costa del Sol. Explore this sunny city, the birthplace of Picasso. Visit the Roman ruins and whitewashed old town of charming Marbella, or enjoy a walking tour of Ronda. 
  • Seville: Admire Mudéjar architecture on a tour of the 14th-century Alcázar, once the residence of Seville’s Moorish and Spanish rulers. Visit the Gothic cathedral, Europe’s second largest Christian house of worship, enjoy a lunch of Andalusian tapas, then stroll through the charming Jewish quarter.  

Itinerary

Day 1 — Casablanca, Morocco

Arrive in Casablanca, Morocco’s main port city. Settle into your cabin and meet your fellow travelers at a welcome dinner tonight. (D)

Day 2 — Casablanca

Set out to explore the sites of Casablanca, a relatively new city that has evolved into Morocco’s economic capital. Visit the Hassan II Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world—and one of the few that allow non-Muslims to enter. Built in the 1990s, the mosque is a stunning tribute to traditional Moorish architecture, with exquisite mosaics and carved stucco as well as remarkable technological innovations. Then see the work of a world-renowned stained-glass artist at Notre Dame de Lourdes Church and explore the “new medina,” or Habous district, built by the French in the early 20th century. Drive along the seaside Corniche to Rick’s Café, inspired by the film Casablanca, for a leisurely lunch. Alternatively, spend the day in the World Heritage site of Rabat. Take a guided tour of this coastal capital city, including the Royal Palace, the Chellah Necropolis, the Mohamed V Mausoleum, and Hassan Tower. Venture into the picturesque Kasbah of the Oudayas and wander its maze of narrow lanes and whitewashed houses. (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Tangier

Sail north to Tangier, an ancient city whose strategic location on the Strait of Gibraltar has led to a tumultuous history under many different rulers—and for several decades, none at all. Today Tangier is an exciting hub of culture, home to great museums and revitalized neighborhoods. Take in views of the legendary strait from a hilltop fortress before heading into the city. Tour the wonderful Tangier American Legation Museum, a tribute to the long relationship between the U.S. and Morocco, the first country to recognize American independence in 1777. Then visit the Kasbah Museum of Mediterranean Cultures to learn of the many civilizations that have left their mark on the region. Alternatively, delve in Morocco’s tradition of religious tolerance on a walking tour to three historic houses of worship: the Kasbah Mosque, the Moshe Nahon Synagogue, and Saint Andrew’s Church. Admire their remarkable architecture and discover how the three faiths are interwoven in Tangiers. Instead of staying in Tangier, choose an excursion to Tetouan, set at the foot of the dramatic Rif mountains. Visit Dar Sanaa, a former palace where traditional Moroccan crafts are now taught, and explore Tetouan’s World Heritage-listed medina. Transit the Strait of Gibraltar this evening. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Málaga, Spain

Dock in Málaga, birthplace of Picasso, and spend the day in Granada, scenically located atop three hills and framed by the snow-clad Sierra Nevada mountains. From here, the monarchs of the Nasrid Dynasty ruled for 250 years over the last Moorish kingdom in Spain, leaving a priceless architectural legacy—the magnificent Alhambra, a World Heritage site. Our visit begins with a walk through city center to the Cathedral and Royal Chapel, final resting place of Ferdinand and Isabella, the Catholic monarchs who brought an end to Islamic rule in Iberia. Later, enjoy dinner in a beautiful setting before heading to the Alhambra for a private evening tour. Admire the exquisite architectural details of its palaces and courtyards, and continue with a visit to the beautifully landscaped Generalife Palace and Gardens, built as a summer residence for the Sultan. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Marbella or Ronda

Sail west to Marbella, and venture into its whitewashed old town on a walking tour. Discover the leafy squares and charming, boutique-lined lanes that made the town an elegant retreat in the 1950s and 1960s. Stroll the Patio de los Naranjos and see a collection of sculptures by Salvador Dalí on Avenida del Mar. Then drive into the hills to the charming village of Mijas to take in sweeping views of the Costa del Sol and enjoy a delicious Andalusian lunch featuring traditional flamenco music and dance. Or travel overland to Ronda, an ancient town built on a cliff above deep gorges. Examine layers of history as you tour the twisting streets of its Moorish-influenced center and learn about its Roman occupation. Visit the Plaza de Toros, Spain’s oldest bullfighting ring and one of its most architecturally beautiful, and tour the onsite museum. (B,L,D) 

Day 6 — Cadiz and Seville

Anchor in Cadiz, founded by the Phoenicians in 1100 BC and one of the oldest cities in Europe. Travel through olive and orange groves to Seville, the captivating capital of Andalusia.  Shaped by a succession of often-clashing civilizations—Roman, Moorish, Jewish, Christian—Seville is a vibrant melting pot of cultures with a fascinating history. Stroll through the Murillo Gardens on your way to the World Heritage site of Real Alcazar, the former residence of Seville’s Moorish and Spanish rulers. Continue to the World Heritage-listed Cathedral of Seville, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and the site of Christopher Columbus's tomb. La Giralda, built as a minaret for the city's chief mosque in the 12th century, now serves as the bell tower and a symbol of Seville. After a lunch of Andalusian tapas, enjoy a walking tour and time at leisure in the Barrio de Santa Cruz, the city’s former Jewish quarter. Alternatively, travel from Cadiz to the “white village” of Vejer de la Frontera, and take a walking tour of this charming town of whitewashed houses and cobblestoned streets. Drive south through thick forests to Cape Trafalgar to see the spot where Lord Nelson defeated Napoleon’s forces at the Battle of Trafalgar. Return to Cadiz for a thrilling performance of flamenco and a tapas lunch. (B,L,D) 

Day 7 — At Sea

As we make our way toward the Atlantic coast of Portugal, enjoy a day to relax at sea, taking advantage of the ship’s superb amenities. Opt for a treatment in the spa or get a work out at the fitness center. If the weather permits, go for a swim in the pool or read a book on the sundeck. Our Smithsonian Journeys experts will present lectures on the region, and PONANT photographers will be on hand to share photo editing techniques. Visit the ship’s upper deck to take in views of the open sea. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Lisbon, Portugal

Arrive in Lisbon and disembark after breakfast this morning. Extend your stay in this flourishing city upon seven hills, or transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)