Soak up the rich history of the Iberian Peninsula as you follow in the wake of ancient Spanish and Portuguese mariners on this extraordinary voyage aboard Sea Cloud II.

Starting at: $8,990 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 <i>Sea Cloud II</i>  Sails on the <i>Sea Cloud II</i>  The Rock of Gibraltar  The Alhambra of Granada, Spain.   Intricate architectural design at the Alhambra, Granada  Rock of Gibraltar with Barbary macaque  The Plaza de Espana, Seville  The immense Gothic cathedral of Seville  A courtyard in the Alcazar, or Royal Palace, in Seville  The medieval Belém Tower in Lisbon  The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela  <i>Rabelo</i> boats in Porto  The city of Bilbao, with the Guggenheim Museum, set amid the Basque countryside  The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Sailing the Coast of Iberia

From Spain to Portugal aboard the 94-guest Sea Cloud II

14 days from $8,990

Soak up the rich history of the Iberian Peninsula as you follow in the wake of ancient Spanish and Portuguese mariners on this extraordinary voyage aboard Sea Cloud II.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Follow in the wake of ancient Spanish and Portuguese mariners on this extraordinary voyage aboard Sea Cloud II and soak up the rich history of the Iberian Peninsula. Learn about the strategic importance of its powerful cities, enjoy the rhythms of flamenco and fado, and sample outstanding wines and distinctive regional cuisines.

Highlights Include:

  • Spain: During a private evening opening, stroll through the incomparable Alhambra Palace and gardens when it is beautifully illuminated. View art work by native son Picasso in Málaga and enjoy the highlights of Seville. And later, experience the grandeur of the great pilgrimage cathedral at Santiago de Compostela and the cutting-edge design of Frank Gehry’s iconic Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
  • Gibraltar: Visit St. Michael’s Cave and the Great Siege Tunnels and enjoy views from the top of the Rock.
  • Portugal: In Lisbon, reflect on Portugal’s seafaring past at the Tower of Belém and Discoveries Monument, and visit Jeronimos Monastery and the superb art collections of the Gulbenkian Museum. Explore Porto during a walking tour of the charming Old Town.
  • Sea Cloud II: Embark on a sailing experience like no other on one of the most elegant and luxurious tall ships in service. With two full days at sea, enjoy the thrill of watching the skilled crew set its 23 sails to catch the winds. Space reserved for 20 Smithsonian Journeys guests.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S.

Depart home on an overnight flight to Granada.

Day 2 — Arrive in Granada, Spain

Upon arrival, transfer to the Hotel Alhambra Palace, with spectacular views of the Alhambra fortress and the historic center of Granada.

Enjoy a festive welcome reception at the hotel and meet your fellow travelers. (R)

Day 3 — Granada, Spain

This morning enjoy a walking tour of Old Granada, visiting the Capilla Real, the Royal Chapel, a lavish mausoleum built by Ferdinand and Isabel to commemorate their victory over the Moors, and the impressive Cathedral, one of only two Renaissance churches in Spain.

After dinner, enjoy a private evening visit to the Alhambra, one of the most remarkable fortresses ever built. Built by the Nasrid kings in the 14th-century, the Alhambra is a World Heritage site and Spain’s most visited attraction.

Explore the refined, elegant Nasrid Palaces surrounding the Courtyard of the Lions, and the splendid Generalife Gardens, one of the oldest surviving Moorish gardens. Its Court of the Water Channel, framed by flowerbeds, fountains, colonnades, and pavilions, is considered a superior example of a medieval Persian garden. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Malaga, Spain / Embark

Check out of the hotel and travel towards Malaga, the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, stopping for lunch along the way. Visit the Picasso Museum, where 285 of the artist’s works, donated by members of his family, are on display.

Afterward, embark the ship and settle into your cabin before dinner on board. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Gibraltar, UK

The iconic Rock of Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, is named after Umayyad general Tariq ibn-Ziyad. “Gibraltar” is the Spanish derivation of the Arabic name “Jebel Tariq." In the Gibraltar Nature Reserve atop the rock, enjoy views of the European and African coastlines, and the antics of the resident Barbary macaques, the only wild primate species in Europe.

Also within the reserve, explore St. Michael’s Cave, a network of limestone caves at a height of more than 980 feet above sea level. Visit the 18th-century Great Siege Tunnels, dug by the British soldiers during an attempt by France and Spain to capture Gibraltar during the American Revolution. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Seville, Spain

The Sea Cloud II docks this morning in Cadiz for a full-day excursion to Seville, capital of Andalucia and Spain’s fourth-largest city. First established as a Roman provincial capital, Seville flourished under the Moors during the Middle Ages and reached new heights of prosperity during the Age of Discovery.

Visit the lovely Reales Alcazares, a Mudejar palace, and gardens built on the site of a former Moorish fortress. Walk through the charming Santa Cruz Quarter, the Jewish Quarter in the Middle Ages, and visit the Cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and the burial site of Christopher Columbus. Enjoy a traditional tapas lunch and a private flamenco performance at a local tablao. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — At Sea

En route to Lisbon, enjoy a full day at sea with a lecture by your Smithsonian Journeys expert, and, weather permitting, an opportunity to experience the ship under sail. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Lisbon, Portugal

Built on seven low hills, Lisbon commands a view of its superb natural harbor at the mouth of the Tagus River. Our visit to this grand Old World city includes two World Heritage sites: the Belem Tower, an elegant 15th-century structure built to defend the city from attacks; and the Jeronimos Monastery, the jewel of Manueline architecture, where the renowned Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama is buried.

Enjoy a private performance of fado, Portugal’s poignant traditional music, and visit the superb Gulbenkian Museum, whose collections span every major epoch of Western art. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Porto, Portugal

After a morning of cruising, arrive in Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city and a thriving economic center with considerable charm. Enjoy a walking tour of Porto’s Old Town, a World Heritage site that includes the Palacio da Bolsa, a magnificent 19th-century palace that is now home to Porto’s stock exchange. As most of the world’s port wines are blended and aged in Vila Nova de Gaia, a suburb across the Douro River, a private port wine tasting is the perfect way to cap off a visit to Porto. (B,L,D)

Day 10 — Isla Cies, Spain

Take tenders ashore at Isla Cies National Park, an archipelago off the coast of Galicia in northwestern Spain. Once a pirates’ haunt, Cies today is uninhabited and pristine, with beautiful beaches, clear unpolluted water, and redolent pine forests. (B,L,D)

Day 11 — Santiago de Compostela, Spain

From the port of La Coruña, drive to the pilgrimage town of Santiago de Compostela, which for centuries has drawn pilgrims from all over the world. Here, according to legend, a 9th-century peasant led by the light of a shining star discovered the tomb of Saint James (Santiago) in a field.

In the beautiful medieval heart of the city, visit the enormous cathedral, begun in 1075 and expanded in the 16th and 18th centuries. Observe a specially arranged swinging of the famous botafumeiro or censer, and enjoy lunch in a Gothic-arched dining room in one of Spain’s most celebrated paradores. (B,L,D)

Day 12 — At Sea

During a final day at sea, partially under sail (weather permitting), relax before enjoying a festive farewell reception and dinner. (B,L,R,D)

Day 13 — Bilbao, Spain

Disembark and visit Bilbao’s crown jewel and award-winning architect Frank Gehry’s masterpiece, the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum. This icon of 20th-century architecture contains a collection of some of the most intriguing artworks of our age.

Enjoy a typical Basque lunch and an afternoon and evening free for independent exploration. (B,L)

Day 14 — Bilbao / Return to U.S.

Transfer to the airport for flights home. (B)

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