The fortunes and histories of the Iberian peninsula, Northern Africa, and the Canary Islands have been intertwined for centuries. On a sea expedition from the Canaries to Morocco, Spain, and Portugal, discover how these vastly different cultures have merged and diverged over centuries. Aboard the intimate Sea Spirit, explore fascinating locations and deepen your understanding of this complex and compelling region.
We are pleased to be joined by Patrick Bowe, Dublin-based horticulturist and author of Gardens of Portugal and Gardens of the Roman World, as well as many other books about gardens near and far. A longtime favorite of the National Trust, Patrick — known as “Paddy” — will enrich our voyage with his in-depth knowledge and delightful wit.
Mary Werner DeNadai, FAIA, is a nationally recognized architect and Trustee Emerita of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Her career spans four decades in the fields of historic preservation and classical architectural design and she has had personal involvement with projects that include the full spectrum of architectural styles, periods and building types. Mary has recently lectured on trips to the Rhine River, Cuba and the Canary Islands and Morocco. She has been acknowledged and awarded for her achievements by the American Institute of Architects, as well as by other National, State and Local organizations.
FRIDAY, APRIL 5: DEPARTURE
Depart on an overnight flight to Tenerife.
SATURDAY, APRIL 6: TENERIFE, CANARY ISLANDS, SPAIN
Arrive in Tenerife and visit the UNESCO-listed historic quarter of La Laguna, known for its perfectly preserved mansions, town hall, and cathedral. Later, check in at the Hotel Botánico. Our welcome dinner is at the hotel. D
SUNDAY, APRIL 7: TENERIFE, CANARY ISLANDS, SPAIN
Drive through pine forests to the foothills of the Teide National Park. Garden enthusiasts may visit the Botanical Garden and the Sitio Litre Orchid Garden, the oldest on the island. Or take a walking tour through the cobblestone streets of La Orotava, to admire its 17th-century heritage buildings and the Church of Our Lady of Conception, one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in the Canaries. Meet a local expert for a talk about the challenges of preserving these homes, then transfer to the port to embark the awaiting Sea Spirit. B,L,D
MONDAY, APRIL 8: LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA
Devote the day to the capital city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, famed as the last stop by Columbus before leaving for the Americas. On an architectural tour of the Old Town, see the eclectic Teatro Pérez Galdós on a private visit. We will also explore the Christopher Columbus Church and House Museum, the 19th-century Town Hall, and the landmark cathedral. Then drive to the Ciudad Jardin neighborhood to admire its Modernist and Bauhaus residences from the 1930s. Pending confirmation, we will be welcomed by the mayor. Enjoy a choral performance at the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium, dedicated to a native son who was one of the world’s great tenors. The captain’s welcome reception and dinner are tonight. B,L,R,D
TUESDAY, APRIL 9: ARRECIFE, LANZAROTE
Step ashore this morning in the port city of Arrecife and continue to the volcanic park of Timanfaya, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the southwestern part of the island. Admire the park’s raw lunar landscapes and dramatic panoramic vistas on a route originally defined by artist, architect, and environmental activist César Manrique, a local legend. See Manrique’s landscape projects and the impressive studio-home, garden, and extensive art collection at the César Manrique Foundation, built on an old lava flow. Lunch is near the island’s wineries at Casa Museo del Campesino, also designed by Manrique. Then visit Los Jameos del Agua, a series of lava caves containing an artists’ workshop and gallery. This evening, return to the ship and cruise to the port of Funchal. B,L,D
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10: AT SEA
Attend lectures and enjoy the amenities of Sea Spirit as she cruises to Madeira. B,L,D
THURSDAY, APRIL 11: FUNCHAL, MADEIRA, PORTUGAL
On a morning walking tour, discover the narrow streets of Funchal’s Old Town and the historic fortress of São Tiago. Visit the gardens at Quinta do Palheiro, an estate belonging to the Blandy family. These gardens are famous for their variety of plants growing in a beautiful setting in the hills east of Funchal. Continue to the Museum of Sacred Art, the Botanical Garden, and the farmers’ market (Mercado dos Lavradores), featuring Madeira’s freshest fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Before departing, enjoy a tasting of Madeira’s eponymous wine. B,L,D
FRIDAY, APRIL 12: AT SEA
Relax aboard Sea Spirit as she cruises east to Morocco. You may wish to enjoy a special screening of Casablanca in the lounge. B,L,D
SATURDAY, APRIL 13: SAFI / MARRAKESH, MOROCCO
From Safi, travel east to the “red city” of Marrakesh. Marvel at the Kutubiyya minaret in the medina, the old walled section of town, and take a special tour of the Dar El Bacha Museum, the former home of the last pasha of Marrakesh. Admire the gardens and interiors at Bahia Palace, former home of a 19th-century Grand Vizier, and visit the Museum of Moroccan Arts. Later, stroll in the colorful Majorelle Gardens, created in the 1920s by a French painter. Tour the newly opened YSL Museum and the famous Djemaa el-Fna Square before returning to the ship to sail for Casablanca. Alternatively, stay overnight in Marrakesh and on April 14, enjoy a morning tour before traveling overland to join the ship in Casablanca in the afternoon. B,L,D
SUNDAY, APRIL 14: CASABLANCA / RABAT
Arrive this morning in Casablanca and continue to the vast Hassan II Mosque to admire its dramatic architecture. Drive along the coast to Rabat, to choose a visit to the newly opened Mohammed VI Contemporary Art Museum or the Archaeological Museum, offering an overview of Morocco’s history. Later explore the Kasbah des Oudaïas, in the oldest part of the city, with sweeping views of the ocean. Before returning to the ship in Casablanca, visit the Jewish Museum and meet with the director. B,L,D
MONDAY, APRIL 15: GIBRALTAR, UNITED KINGDOM
Be on deck during lunch as the ship passes through the Strait of Gibraltar, known in antiquity as the Pillars of Hercules. At the top of the Rock of Gibraltar, visit Saint Michael’s Cave, the Upper Galleries, and the Gibraltar Museum. Other sites include Nelson’s Anchorage and the nature reserve, home to Gibraltar’s famed tailless monkeys, the Barbary macaques. Tonight Sea Spirit sails to Spain. B,L,D
TUESDAY, APRIL 16: CADIZ, SPAIN / SEVILLE
From Cádiz travel to Seville, whose varied heritage is reflected in its delightful Spanish-Moorish architecture. Visit the UNESCO-recognized Gothic cathedral and view Giralda Tower, formerly a minaret that was modeled on the Kutubiyya minaret in Marrakesh. Continue to the Alcázar, the longtime palace of the Spanish kings, and the nearby Murillo Garden. After lunch, enjoy time at leisure to explore the lively Santa Cruz neighborhood or opt to visit Casa de Pilatos and the Palacio de las Dueñas. Later drive to Jerez de la Frontera, a city known for its sherry production. Before returning to the ship in Cádiz, marvel at the frescoes by Francisco de Goya in the underground Oratorio de la Santa Cueva. B,L,D
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17: PORTIMAO / SAGRES / LAGOS, PORTUGAL
Step back in time to the 15th century, when Portugal launched the Age of Discoveries. From Portimão, drive to Sagres, home of Prince Henry the Navigator and the location of his famous school of navigation. Following lunch, continue to Lagos, the last port from which the caravelas set off for their voyages. Visit the Governor’s Castle, the Regional Museum, and the evocative Slaves’ Market before returning to the ship. B,L,D
THURSDAY, APRIL 18: LISBON, PORTUGAL / DISEMBARK
Disembark early this morning and transfer to the airport for flights home. B