Crossroads of Cultures Canary Islands, Morocco & Iberia Aboard Sea Spirit

Crossroads of Cultures Canary Islands, Morocco & Iberia Aboard Sea Spirit



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 Marrakesh, Casablanca, and Rabat. 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. Pause in Sagres and Lagos in Portugal, before concluding in Lisbon. Our ship, the M.V. Sea Spirit, is an intimate expedition vessel that underwent a complete refurbishment in 2017. Those with a special interest in horticulture may wish to choose additional visits to remarkable gardens along the way.

Pricing from
Trip Type
Group Travel Tour, International Ocean & Sea Voyages
Departure Dates
Apr 17, 2020 - Apr 30, 2020



An optional postlude in Lisbon is offered from April 30–May 2, 2020
During three days In Lisbon, visit historic Belém Tower, the Jerónimos Monastery, and the Gulbenkian Museum, home to one of the finest art collections in Europe. Travel outside the city for a full-day tour of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its 19th-century Romantic architecture. Evenings are spent exploring the Alfama Quarter, Lisbon’s oldest and most fascinating neighborhood. Accommodations for two nights are at the Pestana Palace Lisboa.


Canary Islands Crossroads of Culture map


  • day 1

    Friday, April 17 DEPART

    Depart on an overnight flight to Tenerife.

  • day 2

    Saturday, April 18 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

  • day 3

    Sunday, April 19 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

  • day 4

    Monday, April 20 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

  • day 5

    Tuesday, April 21 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

  • day 6

    Wednesday, April 22 At Sea

    Attend lectures and enjoy the amenities of Sea Spirit as she cruises to Madeira. B,L,D

  • day 7

    Thursday, April 23 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

  • day 8

    Friday, April 24 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

  • day 9

    Saturday, April 25 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

  • day 10

    Sunday, April 26 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

  • day 11

    Monday, April 27 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

  • day 12

    Tuesday, April 28 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

  • day 13

    Wednesday, April 29 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


  • day 14

    Thursday, April 30 Lisbon, Portugal / Disembark

    Disembark early this morning and transfer to the airport for flights home. B

Everything you need to know about the tour

Save this information for later by downloading the full tour brochure.

Be prepared with the National Trust Travel Plan

Since 1973, USI Affinity Travel Insurance Services has served travelers just like you, to help protect their travel plans