Witness the historical legacies and dynamic cultures of coastal Portugal, Spain, France and the United Kingdom. Call at Oporto on the Douro River in Portugal’s renowned wine country; walk in the footsteps of ancient pilgrims on the Way of St. James in Santiago de Compostela; visit the illustrious Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao; see Normandy’s impressive Mont-St-Michel and its hallowed beaches with special guest speaker Dwight D. Eisenhower II; and cruise up the storied River Thames to London’s Tower Bridge.
Complementary alcoholic & nonalcoholic beverages & Wi-Fi are included throughout the cruise!
- Pricing from
Reserve early & SAVE $2,000 per Couple! 2019 dates SOLD OUT!
- Trip Type
- Group Travel Tour, International Ocean & Sea Voyages
- Departure Dates
- May 8, 2020 - May 17, 2020
Mary Werner DeNadai
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.
- day May 8
Depart the U.S.
- day May 9
Lisbon, Portugal/Embark Le Boréal
Arrive in Lisbon, Portugal’s enigmatic capital city, replete with pastel‑flushed buildings and world-class architecture, and embark the Five-Star Le Boréal. Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner this evening.
- day May 10
Leixões for Oporto
Dock in Leixões and transfer to Oporto, a former Celtic hamlet (Cale) then Roman outpost and center of the port wine trade since the 13th century. The cultural legacy of El Andaluz—the huge swathe of Spain and Portugal occupied by the Moors from A.D. 711 to 1249—finds expression in Oporto’s rich architectural details, including famed azulejo tiles with Moorish geometric and floral motifs. The city is indelibly influenced by Greek and Roman heritages, the Moorish period and a coalescence of faiths, creating a culture of tolerance in which the disciplines of mathematics, medicine, optics, horticulture, art and architecture flourished. Fall under the spell of Ribeira, Oporto’s historic center, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its extraordinary architectural timeline and living history status; for 2,000 years the cultural and commercial growth of Portus Cale (so named by the Romans) has been inextricably linked to the sea. Experience daily rituals unfolding along a tangle of medieval alleyways where splendid spires, Baroque domes and neoclassical mansions form a timeless silhouette. Visit the Gothic Igreja de São Francisco, hailed for its lavish gold‑plated Baroque interior, and the neoclassical Palacio de Bolso (Stock Exchange), where the swirling arabesques and ornate stained glass of the gilded Arabian Hall were inspired by the Alhambra Palace in Granada. (b,l,d)
- day May 11
A Coruña, Spain, for Santiago de Compostela
Travel into the oak- and pine‑forested hills of Galicia, one of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities. Golden‑hued granite buildings and magnificent arcaded squares grace Santiago de Compostela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and arguably Spain’s most beautiful city. Stroll along medieval pedestrian stone streets to the expansive Plaza del Obradoiro flanked by the glorious Romanesque cathedral. A pilgrimage site since the Middle Ages and the final stop on the Camino de Santiago trail, the cathedral enshrines the tomb of St. James and is recognized for its intricately carved Baroque façade, original medieval portico and glittering Churrigueresque altar.
- day May 12
From Santander, transfer to dynamic and exhuberant Bilbao, encircled by the verdant Basque Mountains. The construction of Frank Gehry’s titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum in 1997 hailed the city’s cultural renaissance as modernist marvels from Santiago Calatrava and Philipe Starck redefined the post‑industrial skyline. Enjoy a guided tour of the Guggenheim’s renowned modern and contemporary art collection, explore the art nouveau and baroque jewels of Bilbao’s historic Casco Viejo and walk along the Paseo del Arenal, a promenade for Bilbaínos’ leisurely evening strolls.
- day May 13
Cruising the French Coast
While cruising the west coast of France, attend an exclusive lecture on board by David Eisenhower.
- day May 14
St. Malo for Mont-St-Michel
Rising from a tidal plain seemingly suspended above the sea, UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Mont‑St‑Michel is a 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 became 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 serene cloisters, barrel-roofed réfectoire (dining hall) and Gothic Salle des Hôtes (Guest Hall) of the 13th‑century La Merveille and the magnificent Église Abbatiale (abbey church) with a transept that rests on solid rock.
- day May 15
Caen for Normandy Beaches
Dock in Caen and make the solemn pilgrimage to the historic Normandy beaches, site of the largest seaborn invasion in history. 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 view the craters that remain from D-Day bombardments. Survey the serene English Channel and reflect on the 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, an artificial harbor taken across the English Channel to support Allied landings on the Normandy beaches. View a short documentary on the D-Day campaign or see the 230-foot‑long Bayeux Tapestry, which chronicles the Norman Conquest of 1066.
- day May 16
Cruising the English Channel/River Thames/ London, England (Tower Bridge)
Cruise the English Channel across the Strait of Dover and continue up the River Thames, a memorable passage possible only by small ship. Britain’s history is revealed as you pass the towering skyline of Canary Wharf and take in monumental views of Greenwich’s Observation Tower, the Tower of London, Norman Foster’s emerald‑hued Guerkin and Renzo Piano’s sky-piercing Shard. Dock alongside the HMS Belfast—whose guns fired some of the first shots on D-Day—in view of Tower Bridge. Attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception this evening.
- day May 17
London/Disembark ship/ Return to the U.S. or Canada
Following breakfast, disembark and continue on the London’s Enduring History Post‑Cruise Option or transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
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