A cruise offering from Smithsonian Journeys and PONANT

Follow the Iberian coast from Lisbon along the southern shores of Spain, exploring captivating cities and World Heritage-listed architecture in Seville, Granada, Palma de Mallorca, and Valencia. 

Starting at: $4,490 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The Alhambra of Granada  The Plaza de Espana, Seville  A courtyard in the Alcazar, or Royal Palace, in Seville  Gaudi's Parque Guell  The evocative garden area of the Generalife at the Alhambra, Granada  Intricate architectural design at the Alhambra, Granada  Cathedral in Palma de Mallorca  Port of Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands  Belem Tower, Lisbon

Cruising Southern Spain and Portugal

From Lisbon to Barcelona

8 days from $4,490

A cruise offering from Smithsonian Journeys and PONANT

Follow the Iberian coast from Lisbon along the southern shores of Spain, exploring captivating cities and World Heritage-listed architecture in Seville, Granada, Palma de Mallorca, and Valencia. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Pre-Cruise Program — 3 Days, 2 Nights

Catalonia enjoys one of the richest cultural heritages in Spain. This specially designed program introduces you to two very different elements of that heritage: the 12th-century Benedictine monastery on Montserrat and the modernist city of Barcelona.

Day 1 – Barcelona, Spain

Arrive in Barcelona, where you will be met and transferred to the Hotel Almanac Barcelona. Check-in time is 3:00PM. A local representative will be present at the hospitality desk in the afternoon to welcome you and to offer suggestions for dining and independent exploration. Join fellow travelers this evening for a welcome reception at the hotel. Dinner is on your own.

Day 2 – Barcelona | Montserrat

After breakfast, meet your guide for an excursion to the astonishing Monastery of Montserrat. A scenic drive through the countryside north of Barcelona brings you to a chain of serrated limestone mountains, where you board a cog railway for the steep climb up the mountain to the Benedictine monastery on a terrace near the summit. Your guided tour includes the ornate basilica, whose highlight is a wooden statue of the Virgin that has attracted pilgrims since the 12th century. You will also visit the museum, displaying pieces of art collected in the last century and containing important works of Monet, Rusiñol, Casas, and Picasso. Lunch will be served in the restaurant located in what were once the monastery's stables before you return to the hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure with time for independent exploration. Dinner is on your own.

Day 3 – Barcelona, Spain | Embark

After breakfast at the hotel, join an excursion to the monuments and neighborhoods that define the extraordinary personality and vitality of Barcelona. Begin in the heart of the city with a visit to Antoni Gaudí's iconic Sagrada Familia. Begun in 1884 and still unfinished, this monument of spirituality awes and inspires visitors from around the world. Your guided tour will introduce you to Gaudí's vision and to the ongoing effort to achieve it. A short drive brings you to the Block of Discord to view Gaudí’s Casa Batlló and Puig i Cadafalch’s Casa Amatller, icons of modernist Barcelona.  After enjoying lunch, a leisurely stroll along elegant Passeig de Gràcia brings you to Barrio Gótico, the oldest part of the city. Explore this enchanting neighborhood of narrow streets, home to Barcelona's great 14th-century Cathedral and Plaça Sant Jaume. End at the pier to embark your ship in the late afternoon.

Your hotel:

Hotel Almanac Barcelona, located on Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, is a new (opened in 2018) boutique hotel in Barcelona’s city center, featuring 91 rooms and suites. It is only a few steps from Passeig de Gràcia, where you can find stylish shopping, restaurants, bars, and museums. The hotel itself houses a restaurant and a rooftop bar, a wellness and fitness center, and a rooftop pool.

Your program includes:

  • 2 nights at the Hotel Almanac Barcelona (or similar).
  • Transfer and luggage handling from the airport to the hotel on the scheduled program arrival  day.
  • Transfer and luggage handling from the hotel to the ship on Day 3.
  • Welcome cocktail reception on Day 1.
  • Breakfast on Days 2 and 3.
  • Lunch on Days 2 and 3.
  • Sightseeing and programming as noted in the itinerary.
  • Local English-speaking guide.
  • Gratuities for the drivers and local guides.

Your program does not include:

  • Transfer from the airport to the hotel on any day other than the scheduled program arrival day
  • Personal expenses and other services and meals not mentioned as included in the program

Please note:

  • It is imperative that your flight arrival details are communicated at least 30 days prior to the beginning of your cruise in order to secure your transfer from the airport to the hotel.
  • Early check-in and/or late check-out are available depending on availability and at a supplement. An additional night is possible, upon request and depending on hotel availability. Please, contact reservations or your travel agent for further details.
  • The official currency is the Euro. Credit cards are largely accepted in hotels, shops, and restaurants.
  • This pre-cruise program is offered as a package. There will be no refunds for unused accommodations, meals, or excursions.
  • Program is offered on a space available basis.
  • Program is subject to change without notice.

Hotel contact information:

Hotel Almanac Barcelona
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes 619-621
08007 Barcelona
Spain
Telephone: +34 93 018 7000

Post-Cruise Program — 2 Days, 1 Night

Lisbon, which in the 15th- and 16th-centuries led the way in Europe's discovery of sub-Saharan Africa, India, and East Asia, remains an important European capital and a fascinating place to visit. This specially designed program will introduce you to the cultural monuments that celebrate Portugal's glorious past.

Day 1 – Disembark | Lisbon, Portugal

After breakfast aboard and disembarkation, your tour of Lisbon begins with a visit to the Gulbenkian Museum, housing a unique private collection of art and objects from various cultures and historical periods. Enjoy a lunch including cod fish—a staple of Portuguese cuisine—and perhaps sample the famous custard tart, Pasteis de Belém. Following lunch, you will visit the imposing Jeronimos Monastery, where da Gama spent his last night before embarking on his voyage to India, and the finest extant example of the Portuguese architectural style known as Manueline. Enjoy some time at leisure in the Belém Quarter before a panoramic overview of the city, including the Monument of Discoveries, commemorating Portugal's crucial role in the Age of Discovery, and historic Belém Tower, the point from which many Portuguese explorers, including Vasco da Gama, set sail. End at your home for the tonight, the Hotel Altis Avenida. The balance of the day is at leisure with dinner on your own.

Day 2 – Lisbon

After breakfast at the hotel and check out, transfer to the airport for flights homeward.

Your hotel:

The Hotel Altis Avenida is a charming boutique hotel, with an extraordinary location in the center of Lisbon, in Praça dos Restauradores. The architecture and decoration are inspired by the 1940s and draw on the concept of "urban chic," where the past and the future meet, creating an atmosphere of charm and glamor. The hotel has 123 rooms, a Lobby Bar, and a fine dining restaurant on the top floor of the hotel that features the cuisine of chef João Rodrigues.

Your program includes:

  • 1 night at the Hotel Altis Avenida (or similar).
  • Transfer and luggage handling from the pier to the hotel on the scheduled program arrival day.
  • Transfer and luggage handling from the hotel to the airport on Day 2.
  • Lunch on Day 1 and breakfast on Day 2.
  • Sightseeing and programming as noted in the itinerary.
  • Local English-speaking guide.
  • Gratuities for the drivers and local guides.

Your program does not include:

  • Transfer from the hotel to the airport on any day other than the scheduled program departure day.
  • Personal expenses and other services and meals not mentioned as included in the program.

Please note:

  • It is imperative that your flight departure details are communicated at least 30 days prior to the beginning of your cruise in order to secure your transfer from the hotel to the airport.
  • Early check-in and/or late check-out are available depending on availability and at a supplement. An additional night is possible, upon request and depending on hotel availability. Please, contact reservations or your travel agent for further details.
  • The official currency is the Euro. Credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, shops, and restaurants.
  • This post-cruise program is offered as a package. There will be no refunds for unused accommodations, meals, or excursions.
  • Program is offered on a space available basis.
  • Program is subject to change without notice.

Hotel contact information:

Hotel Altis Avenida
Rua 1⁰ Dezembro, 120
1200-360 Lisbon
Portugal
Telephone: +351 210 440 000

May 2022 Itinerary - Lisbon to Barcelona

Day 1 — Lisbon, Portugal

Arrive in historic Lisbon, set on seven hills at the mouth of the Tagus River. Embark the ship this afternoon, and set sail past the Tower of Bélem and the Monument to the Discoveries, both reminders of Portugal’s power during the Age of Discovery. (D) 

Day 2 — At Sea

As we make our way along the southern 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 workout 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. Visit the ship’s upper deck to take in views of the open sea and perhaps spot seabirds or marine species. (B,L,D) 

Day 3 — Cadiz and Seville, Spain

Our first port of call in Spain is Cadiz, founded by the Phoenicians in 1100 BC and one of the oldest cities in Europe. From here, we’ll 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. Take a stroll through the charming Murillo Gardens on your way to the 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. The central nave rises 120 feet above the interior and the carved, gold-plated altarpiece is the largest in the world.  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, perched high above the gorge cut by the River Barbate. Take a walking tour of this charming town of whitewashed houses and cobblestoned streets, ending the the beautiful Plaza de España. Return to Cadiz for a thrilling performance of flamenco and meal of tapas. (B,L,D) 

Day 4 — Málaga and Granada

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. For centuries, Granada was the center of a civilization in which the three great monotheistic faiths worked side by side to build a society of tolerance, dialogue, and coexistence. 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. After lunch in a local restaurant, head to the Alhambra for an afternoon 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 — Cruising the Mediterranean Sea

Enjoy lectures by our experts and time at leisure as we round the coast of Spain and cross the sparkling seas toward the Balearic Islands. (B,L,D) 

Day 6 — Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Mallorca, where idyllic coves scallop the coast, soaring limestone cliffs plunge into turquoise waters, and almond orchards and vineyards blanket the plains. Step into history on a tour of Palma de Mallorca, the cosmopolitan capital of the Balearic Islands, discovering its emblematic monuments and centuries-old streets. Admire the Catalan Gothic architecture of the magnificent sandstone Palma Cathedral, constructed over 300 years beginning in 1230. (B,L,D) 

Day 7 — Valencia

A hub of contemporary architecture, Valencia is an avant-garde city with history and tradition at its heart. Our walking tour here begins in the heart of the Old Town at La Plaza de la Reina. Visit the 13th-century Cathedral, built on the site of a Roman temple that had been converted to a mosque. This Gothic structure is home to what is said to be the Holy Grail, as well as paintings by Goya and Maella. Continue to the World Heritage-listed La Lonja de la Seda, a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture that was originally used for silk trading.  End at the modernist Mercado Central, a gastronomic hub of seasonal produce, fresh fish, meats, cheeses, baked goods, olives, and wines. After a paella lunch, set off on a tour of the City of Arts and Sciences, a vast cultural complex designed by the Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava. Visit the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia to see how architecture, engineering, and state-of-the-art technology combine to make an unparalleled performance spaces.  

Day 8 — Barcelona/Return Home 

Arrive in Barcelona, a city filled with the artistic treasures of Antoni Gaudí, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dalí. Disembark the ship and extend your stay in this effervescent port city or transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B) 

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

October 2022 Itinerary - Barcelona to Lisbon

Map - Cruising Southern Spain and Portugal

Day 1 — Barcelona, Spain

Arrive in Barcelona, a city filled with the artistic treasures of Antoni Gaudí, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dalí. Embark the ship and enjoy dinner onboard this evening. (D) 

Day 2 — Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Mallorca, where idyllic coves scallop the coast, soaring limestone cliffs plunge into turquoise waters, and almond orchards and vineyards blanket the plains. Step into history on a tour of Palma de Mallorca, the cosmopolitan capital of the Balearic Islands, discovering its emblematic monuments and centuries-old streets. Admire the Catalan Gothic architecture of the magnificent sandstone Palma Cathedral, constructed over 300 years beginning in 1230. (B,L,D) 

Day 3 — Valencia

A hub of contemporary architecture, Valencia is an avant-garde city with history and tradition at its heart. Our walking tour here begins in the heart of the Old Town at La Plaza de la Reina. Visit the 13th-century Cathedral, built on the site of a Roman temple that had been converted to a mosque. This Gothic structure is home to what is said to be the Holy Grail, as well as paintings by Goya and Maella. Continue to the World Heritage-listed La Lonja de la Seda, a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture that was originally used for silk trading. End at the modernist Mercado Central, a gastronomic hub of seasonal produce, fresh fish, meats, cheeses, baked goods, olives, and wines. After a paella lunch, set off on a tour of the City of Arts and Sciences, a vast cultural complex designed by the Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava. Visit the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia to see how architecture, engineering, and state-of-the-art technology combine to make an unparalleled performance spaces.  (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Cruising the Mediterranean Sea

Enjoy lectures by our experts and time at leisure as we round the coast of Spain and cross the sparkling seas toward the Balearic Islands. (B,L,D) 

Day 5 — Málaga and Granada

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. For centuries, Granada was the center of a civilization in which the three great monotheistic faiths worked side by side to build a society of tolerance, dialogue, and coexistence. 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 6 — Cadiz and Seville

Cadiz was founded by the Phoenicians in 1100 BC and one of the oldest cities in Europe. From here, we’ll 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. Take a stroll through the charming Murillo Gardens on your way to the 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. The central nave rises 120 feet above the interior and the carved, gold-plated altarpiece is the largest in the world.  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 meal 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, perched high above the gorge cut by the River Barbate. Take a walking tour of this charming town of whitewashed houses and cobblestoned streets, ending the the beautiful Plaza de España. Return to Cadiz for a thrilling performance of flamenco and a meal of tapas. (B,L,D) 

Day 7 — At Sea

As we make our way along the southern 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 workout 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. Visit the ship’s upper deck to take in views of the open sea and perhaps spot seabirds or marine species. (B,L,D) 

Day 8 — Lisbon, Portugal/Return Home 

Arrive in historic Lisbon, Portugal, set on seven hills at the mouth of the Tagus River. Sail past the Tower of Bélem and the Monument to the Discoveries, both reminders of Portugal’s power during the Age of Discovery. Disembark the ship and extend your stay in this effervescent port city or transfer to the airport for your flight home.  (B) 

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