Cruise
Balmoral
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
Balmoral, France Spain & Portugal ex Newcastle Return
Ship: Balmoral
Selected Sailing Date: 28 Aug 2019
Available Sailing Dates

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Prices displayed are retail per person, twin share, to the Australian Travel Trade. Consumers please contact your local cruise agent to request this Cruise Abroad package. At time of booking please check current cruise fare and any inclusions. Prices are indicative only, subject to currency fluctuations and may change at any time without notice.

Itinerary
Cruise Itinerary
Itinerary may vary by sailing date and itineraries may be changed at the cruise lines discretion. Please check itinerary details at time of booking and before booking other travel services such as airline tickets.
Cruise Description

11 Night Cruise sailing from Newcastle roundtrip aboard Balmoral.

An immersive Iberian adventure, this 11-night cruise takes in four culture-rich cities in Spain and Portugal for an array of diverse experiences. You’ll have chances to immerse yourself in centuries of fascinating history, marvel at impressive architecture, sample traditional flavours and much more; each destination on your itinerary is packed with highlights.

Two days of your Iberian exploration will be spent in the gorgeous Galicia region of northwest Spain, where La Coruña and Vigo await. Stylish La Coruña is perfect for indulging in a few hours of enlightening sightseeing; attractions such as Maria Pita Square, the beautiful seafront promenade, the compact Ciudad Vieja old quarter and ancient Tower of Hercules are all well-worth seeking out on foot. The city is also ideally located for tours to Santiago de Compostela, home to one of the world’s most spectacular cathedrals. Vigo, with its historic sites and picturesque backdrop, is a delight to explore in the soothing Spanish sunshine too; a wonderful Old City and picturesque bay – overlooked by a 17th century castle – are among the many highlights of Galicia’s largest city. Don’t miss the views on offer from atop La Guia Hill and the tempting treats on offer at Vigo’s traditional tapas bars.

The Portuguese leg of your cruise will then present you with plenty of memorable experiences, with calls at Lisbon and Leixoes offering opportunities to uncover the treasures of Portugal’s vibrant capital and charming second city. Spread out over seven hills on the banks of the River Tagus, Lisbon is a jumble of adorable districts and architectural gems including the Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery, which offer a glimpse into the city’s maritime heritage. See the city’s sights on foot, via the tram, or even take a ride on a Tuk Tuk for a unique experience. Then, UNESCO-listed Oporto will be within reach from the port of Leixoes. Taking the short trip to Oporto is highly recommended; you can enjoy a glass or two of delicious port at the city’s world-famous wine cellars; explore the historic Ribeira District; and visit the impressive fortress-like cathedral. After four days in Spain and Portugal, Balmoral will also take you to Lorient – where top landmarks include the remarkable Keroman Submarine Base from World War Two – for a French-flavoured end to your holiday.

Highlights of this cruise:

La Coruña, Spain
The city of La Coruña is the capital of the province and a busy seaport situated in the Galicia region of northwest Spain. Most famous for its Roman lighthouse, the diverse architectural styles of La Coruña make the city an absolute delight for sightseeing.

La Coruña boasts an impressive seafront promenade, beautiful beaches and a host of attractions such as the Domus Museum, the Casa del Hombre and Torre De Hercules – said to be the only Roman lighthouse in existence – which offers sweeping coastal views from the top of its 60 metre high tower. The Paseo Marítimo, a lovely 13km walkway and bike path, runs from the port, around the peninsula, and along the ocean beaches.

The compact Ciudad Vieja – La Coruña’s old quarter – is a must-visit area. Often referred to as “the city” by the locals, the medieval centre contains remains of the centuries-old Roman wall that once protected it. The arcaded Plaza de María Pita, surrounded by narrow pedestrianized lanes, is a popular spot, and features the Estatua de María Pita, a statue of a 16th century woman who warned the town of an invasion by Sir Francis Drake. The medieval Church of Santiago, the Museum of Sacred Art and the Military Museum are all fine places of interest.

Beyond the historic city is a proud, modern metropolis, which boasts a superb food scene and a buzzing nightlife. The world’s best picnic food, empanadas, and the locally produced beer, Estrella, both demand trying.

Vigo, Spain
Situated on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, and with one of the world’s finest natural ports, the Galician gem of Vigo has been an important part of Spain’s maritime industry for centuries. Boasting a wonderful historic quarter, modern marina and pretty centre, this city is alive with attractions.

The historic old quarter – like many of Vigo’s other attractions – is a great example of the influence the sea has had on the city. Located around the port, the Cidade Vella has narrow streets lined with old fishing houses and large markets selling locally caught seafood. The Collegiate Church of Santa Maria is a neoclassical cathedral built on the site of a grand gothic church that was burnt down by Francis Drake.

In the newer part of town, La Colegiata de la Santa Maria la Mayor is a fine 16th century church with an authentic Renaissance façade. The Pazo de Castrelos, dating from the 17th century, is home to the Quiñones de León Municipal Museum and contains a vast collection of paintings and artefacts that demand discovery. Elsewhere, the Castro de Vigo archaeological site has reconstructed ancient dwellings.

Vigo is a firm favourite with many visitors. Its mild climate, renowned estuary and golden beaches of the Rías Baixas, fine mariscada (seafood platter) cuisine and expansive culture all add up to something very special.

Lorient, France
The Brittany town of Lorient is a fusion of heritage and landscapes. Its houses, beaches and quays point to the conquest of India and the East Indies, deep-sea fishing, the Second World War and the restored pride of the Celtic nations

A former German U-Boat base, Lorient played a huge role in the Second World War and was a primary target for Allied bombing raids. Today’s rebuilt city is awash with post 1950's architecture and a number of museums and galleries to explore.

Close to Lorient harbour, the Cité de la Voile (City of Sailing), is a modern interactive exhibition with giant audio-visual presentations that highlight the city’s importance in shipbuilding, fishing and, now, ocean racing. With its proud Celtic connections, a glorious mix of kilts, Breton bagpipes, Irish fiddles and Galician pipes, come together at the annual Festival Interceltique.

Away from Lorient, a trip across the water to Port Louis offers up the National Maritime Museum and French East Indies Company Museum. Housed in 16th century military buildings, these museums are rare examples of Lorient’s original architecture and are must-visit sites.

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