European Coastal Civilizations Aboard Le Champlain

European Coastal Civilizations Aboard Le Champlain

ALL TOURS
diamond-gold

DETAILS

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
$5,995

Reserve early & SAVE up to $2,000 per cabin!

Trip Type
Group Travel Tour, International Ocean & Sea Voyages
Departure Dates
May 20, 2023 - May 29, 2023

EDUCATIONAL EXPERTS

  • Elihu Rubin

    Elihu Rubin

    Elihu Rubin is Associate Professor of Architecture, Urbanism, and American Studies at Yale. He received a doctorate in architecture and a master’s in city planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor of arts from Yale. His first book, Insuring the City: The Prudential Center and the Postwar Urban Landscape (Yale Univ. Press, 2012) was awarded the Kenneth T. Jackson Prize from the Urban History Association and the Lewis Mumford Award from the Society of American City & Regional Planning History. Mr. Rubin’s work focuses on the   making and meaning of the built environment; architectural preservation and the politics of “heritage planning.” An enthusiastic lecturer, Elihu has also made documentary videos relating to urban history, the politics of public spaces, urban redevelopment, architectural modernism, and street life.

TERMS & CONDITIONS

 

 

TOUR MAP

ECC map

ITINERARY

  • day 1

    Depart the U.S.

  • day 2

    Lisbon, Portugal/Embark Le Champlain

    Arrive the next day in Lisbon, Portugal’s enigmatic capital city, replete with pastel‑flushed buildings and world-class architecture, and embark the Five‑Star Le Champlain

  • day 3

    Leixões for Oporto

    Dock in Leixões and transfer to Oporto, a former Celtic hamlet, then Roman outpost and center of the port wine trade since the 13th century. The cultural legacy of the Moors—who occupied Spain and Portugal from A.D. 711 to 1492—finds expression in Oporto’s rich architectural details, including famed azulejos 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 historical 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 Palácio da Bolsa, where the swirling arabesques and ornate stained glass of the gilded Arabian Hall were inspired by the Alhambra in Granada. Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner this evening.

  • day 4

    A Coruña, Spain, for Santiago de Compostela

    Travel into the oak- and pine‑forested hills of Galicia, one of the 17 autonomous communities of Spain. 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 Praza do Obradoiro flanked by the glorious Romanesque cathedral. A pilgrimage site since the Middle Ages and the final stop on the Camino de Santiago, the cathedral enshrines the tomb of Saint James and is recognized for its intricately carved Baroque façade, original medieval portico and glittering Churrigueresque altar.

  • day 5

    Santander/Bilbao

    From Santander, transfer to dynamic and exuberant 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 Philippe 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 historical Casco Viejo and walk along the Paseo del Arenal, a promenade for Bilbaínos’ leisurely evening strolls.

  • day 6

    Cruising the Bay of Biscay

    Enjoy exclusive lectures on board the ship while cruising the Bay of Biscay.

  • day 7

    St. Malo for Mont-St-Michel, France

    Rising from a tidal plain that appears to be suspended above the sea, UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Mont‑Saint‑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‑Saint‑Michel, a three‑story Gothic masterpiece. Admire the serene cloisters, barrel-roofed réfectoire and Gothic Salle des Hôtes of the 13th‑century La Merveille and the magnificent Église Abbatiale with a transept that rests on solid rock.

  • day 8

    Caen for Normandy Beaches

    Dock in Caen and make the solemn pilgrimage to the historic Normandy beaches, site of the largest seaborne 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 the temporary Mulberry “A” harbor that was 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 9

    Cruising the English Channel/River Thames/ London, England (Tower Bridge)

    This morning, attend an insightful lecture from Professor Eisenhower on board the ship. Cruise the English Channel across the Strait of Dover and continue up the River Thames, a memorable passage possible only by small ship. See Britain’s history 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 Gherkin and Renzo Piano’s sky‑piercing Shard. Dock alongside 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 10

    London/Disembark ship/ Return to the U.S.

    Following breakfast, disembark and continue on the London’s Enduring History Post‑Program Option or transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

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