Embark on an exciting new voyage from the Atlantic coast of Africa in the Canary Islands, an autonomous region of Spain, to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. Encounter the legacy of medieval Moorish culture on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar, and experience the vibrant contemporary cultures of Morocco and southern Iberia. In the Canaries, discover UNESCO-listed historic towns and lush gardens, then spend a day on Portuguese-accented Madeira. Cruise east to Morocco to explore Casablanca and Rabat, and overnight in Fes for visits to Meknes and the Roman ruins of Volubilis. Continue to the British territory of Gibraltar, to ascend its legendary rock and see its famous tailless monkeys. In Spain, step ashore in Cádiz for an excursion to Seville or Córdoba. Pause in Faro, Portugal, before concluding in Lisbon, where we dock overnight. Our ship, the M.V. Sea Spirit, is an intimate expedition vessel that underwent a complete refurbishment in 2017.
Saturday, April 6 DEPART USA
Depart for Tenerife on an overnight flight.
Sunday, April 7 TENERIFE, CANARY ISLANDS, SPAIN
Arrive in Tenerife and visit the historic towns of La Laguna and Orotava, with their fine mansions. In the afternoon, transfer to the port and embark the awaiting Sea Spirit. D
Monday, April 8 GOMERA ISLAND
This morning we arrive on Gomera, one of the seven islands of the Canary Archipelago. Visit Garajonay National Park, a UNESCO Word Heritage Site. Tonight, attend the captain’s welcome reception and dinner. B,L,R,D
Tuesday, April 9 ARRECIFE
After a morning at sea, arrive in Arrecife. Pass red-tiled houses en route to the National Park of Timanfaya, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Depart Arrecife in the evening. B,L,D
Wednesday, April 10 AT SEA
Attend lectures and enjoy the amenities of Sea Spirit as she sails 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.
Drive inland to Eira do Serrado, offering panoramic views of the valley below, then continue to Cabo Girão for breathtaking vistas of the rugged coastline. Stop at the nearby fishing village of Câmara de Lobos, home to some of the oldest houses on the island. Enjoy a tasting of Madeira’s eponymous wine. Alternatively, visit the Museum of Sacred Art and the Botanical Gardens. Continue to the farmers’ market (Mercado dos Lavradores), featuring Madeira’s freshest fruits, vegetables, and flowers. B,L,D
Friday, April 12 AT SEA
Relax aboard of our fine ship as she cruises east to Morocco. Attend a special screening of Casablanca in the lounge! B,L,D
Saturday, April 13 CASABLANCA / FES, MOROCCO
Arrive in Casablanca to visit the vast Hassan II Mosque, built on a promontory facing the sea. Following lunch, depart for an overnight excursion to Fes, or remain on board as the ship sails to Tangier. Upon arrival in the ninthcentury imperial capital of Fes, pass through the Blue Gate (Bab Bou Jeloud) leading to the old medina. Discover craft guilds and souks; and view the Attarine Medersa, Karaouine Mosque, and Sanctuary of Moulay Idriss, tomb of the city’s patron saint. Visit the Nejjarine Museum of Wood Arts and Crafts before checking in at the Palais Faraj or the Palais Sahrai for an overnight stay. B,L,D
Sunday, April 14 VOLUBILIS / TANGIER
This morning tour the Roman ruins of Volubilis. Continue north to Tangier to visit the Old American Legation, a former palace given to the U.S. government in 1777 to house America’s first embassy (Morocco was the first overseas country to recognize the independent United States). Reboard the ship in Tangier. B,L,D
Monday, April 15 GIBRALTAR, UNITED KINGDOM
Be on deck this morning 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. B,L,D
Tuesday, April 16 CADIZ, SPAIN / SEVILLE or CORDOBA
From Cádiz travel to Seville whose varied heritage is reflected in its delightful Spanish-Moorish architecture. Visit the Gothic cathedral, erected over the site of a mosque and recognized by UNESCO. Ascend Giralda Tower for views of the countryside and Seville’s busy avenues. Continue to the Alcázar, the longtime palace of the Spanish kings. After lunch, enjoy time at leisure to explore the lively Santa Cruz neighborhood. Alternatively, visit Córdoba, for three centuries the heart of the western Moorish empire. Marvel at the eighth-century Mezquita, the largest mosque in Europe before its conversion into a Christian church in 1236. Also visit the Jewish quarter, where the philosopher and physician Maimonides was born. B,L,D
Wednesday, April 17 PORTIMAO / FARO, PORTUGAL
Step ashore this morning in Portimão and continue to nearby Faro for a tour of its historic center, surrounded by an ancient Moorish wall. Following lunch on board, return to Portimão for a guided tour of the Portimão Museum, with exhibits dating to prehistoric times. B,L,D
Thursday, April 18 MORNING AT SEA / LISBON, PORTUGAL
Spend a morning at sea before arriving in Lisbon. Explore the historic Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery. Alternatively, visit the Gulbenkian Museum, housing one of the finest art collections in Europe. The ship remains docked overnight to allow for exploration of the Alfama Quarter, the city’s oldest and most fascinating neighborhood. B,L,D
Friday, April 19 LISBON / DISEMBARK / USA
Disembark early this morning and transfer to the airport for flights home. B
Please note: All prices are estimated based on preliminary quotes provided by hotel and service providers, prevailing fuel prices, airfares and currency exchange rates in effect as of the date of this proposal and are subject to change.
Optional Postlude in Lisbon is offered from April 19–21, 2019.