Explore the historical legacies and dynamic cultures of coastal Portugal, Spain, France and England, and commemorate the 75th anniversary of the historic D-Day landings. Cruise for eight nights aboard the newly launched, exclusively chartered, Five-Star Le Champlain, featuring private balconies for all accommodations. Enjoy a memorable cruise up the River Thames to London’s Tower Bridge. Special guest speaker Dwight D. Eisenhower II accompanies you to the hallowed beaches of Normandy. Explore Oporto in Portugal’s renowned wine country, walk in the footsteps of ancient pilgrims in Santiago de Compostela and visit the Guggenheim Museum and Mont‑St-Michel. Lisbon Pre-Cruise and London Post-Cruise Options
Complementary alcoholic & nonalcoholic beverages & Wi-Fi are included throughout the cruise!
Barbara Horlbeck, M.A., is an arts and culture professional with extensive global experience. She has traveled in more than 35 countries on five continents. As a passionate traveler herself, Barbara loves helping travelers develop an understanding of the world’s rich artistic and cultural legacy. In her work as an adjunct professor of art history, she has created and taught courses on a wide range of subjects, including ancient, medieval and contemporary arts of Europe, Asia and the Islamic world. Barbara looks forward to putting the artistic and architectural works of art on our itinerary into their historic context.
Saturday, April 20
Depart the U.S.
Sunday, April 21
Arrive in Lisbon, Portugal’s coastal capital city, replete with pastel-flushed buildings and world-class architecture, and embark the Five‑Star Le Champlain. Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner this evening. (r,d)
Leixões for Oporto
Monday, April 22
Dock in Leixões and transfer to Oporto, a former Roman outpost and the center of the port wine
trade since the 13th century. The city is indelibly influenced by the Moorish period, Greek and
Roman heritages, along with a coelescence of faiths, created a culture of tolerance in which
the disciplines of mathematics, medicine, optics, horticulture, art and architecture flourished.
Oporto’s historic city center, Ribeira, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a picturesque neighborhood of medieval streets lined with colorful houses. Visit the Gothic Church of São Francisco, renowned for its elaborate gold‑plated Baroque interior, and the neoclassical
Stock Exchange, where the intricately gilded Arabian Hall, inspired by the famous
Moorish Alhambra Palace, is characterized by its astonishingly ornate detailing. (b,l,d)
A Coruña for Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Tuesday, April 23
Travel into the oak- and pine‑forested hills of Galicia, one of Spain’s self‑governed communities.
Golden‑hued granite buildings grace its well‑preserved capital, Santiago de Compostela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where medieval pedestrian stone streets lead to the expansive Plaza del Obradoiro and the grand Romanesque cathedral. A pilgrimage site since the Middle Ages, the cathedral enshrines the tomb of St. James and is recognized for its Baroque façade, original medieval portico and glittering Churrigueresque altar. (b,l,d)
Santander for Bilbao
Wednesday, April 24
From Santander, transfer to dynamic and sophisticated Bilbao, encircled by the verdant Basque Mountains. The city is home to the Guggenheim Museum; built along the Nervión River and designed by architect Frank Gehry to echo a swell of undulating titanium waves, this structural feat is touted as a remarkable example of groundbreaking 20th‑century architecture. Enjoy a guided tour of the museum’s renowned collection of modern and contemporary art. Explore the
city’s historic old quarter and the promenade of El Arenal, a popular route for Bilbaínos’ evening leisurely strolls. (b,l,d)
Cruising the French Coast
Thursday, April 25
While cruising the dramatic west coast of France, attend an exclusive lecture on
board by David Eisenhower. (b,l,d)
St. Malo for Mont-St-Michel, France
Friday, April 26
Rising from a tidal plain seemingly suspended above the sea, UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Mont‑St‑Michel is a majestic sight of soaring spires isolated beyond a stretch of saltwater marsh.
The seat of its namesake Benedictine monastery since the early eighth century, this fortified
village began as a humble oratory and continued to grow in influence to become a renowned
medieval center of learning. Narrow cobblestone streets weave through the village, culminating
in the Abbaye du Mont‑St‑Michel, a three‑story Gothic masterpiece. Admire the monastery’s
tranquil cloisters, refectory and stained‑glass windows. (b,l,d)
Caen for Normandy Beaches
Saturday, April 27
Dock in Caen and travel to the historic Normandy beaches. In the company of Professor Eisenhower, walk where Allied forces landed on D-Day.
At Pointe du Hoc, envision the heroic U.S. Army Second Ranger Battalion scaling this cliff promontory, and survey the serene English Channel. Then, contemplate the solemn
commemorative crosses and Stars of David in the American Military Cemetery at Colleville‑sur-Mer. Following lunch, continue to Arromanches to see the remnants of Mulberry Harbor, constructed by the British to support Allied landings on the Normandy beaches. View a wraparound short film documenting the D-Day campaign at the Arromanches 360 Circular Cinema, or choose to see the famous 230-foot‑long Bayeux Tapestry, a visual chronicle of
the Norman Conquest of 1066. (b,l,d)
Cruising the English Channel/River Thames
Sunday, April 28
Sail the Strait of Dover and the English Channel, where the naval forces of Queen Elizabeth I
delivered a fatal blow to the Spanish Armada in 1588. Cruise up the River Thames this morning, a
memorable passage possible only by small ship. Pass the towering skyline of the Canary Wharf and historic maritime Greenwich. Dock in view of the Tower Bridge and attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception this evening. (b,l,d)
Monday, April 29
This morning, disembark and continue on London’s Enduring History Post‑Cruise Option or transfer to the airport for your flight home. (b)
Grande Lisboa Pre‑Cruise Option
Resplendent palaces, magnificent churches and pastel-hued houses stand in testament to Lisbon’s rich cultural heritage and quintessential charm. A historic gateway for world exploration and Portugal’s intimate, welcoming capital, Lisbon is the ideal prelude to your cruise. Visit the
UNESCO World Heritage Sites of 16th-century Jerónimos Monastery and the nearby forested
village of Sintra, where the former Moorish fort is Portugal’s last remaining medieval royal palace.
Accommodations are for two nights in the deluxe Dom Pedro Palace Hotel.
London’s Enduring History Post‑Cruise Option
Experience stately London, where tradition and modernity meet with living history to make each successive visit more enjoyable than the last. Visit the medieval Tower of London and the magnificent Westminster Abbey, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites; then tour the underground cabinet war rooms of Winston Churchill. Spend two nights in the elegant InterContinental Park Lane Hotel, steps away from storied Hyde Park. See stately Parliament and the iconic Big Ben on the London’s Enduring History Post‑Program Option.
The Pre- and Post-Cruise Options are available at additional cost. Details will be provided with your confirmation.