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14-Day Iberian Gems & France

 
 
14-Day Iberian Gems & France
Starting from $5,799*

Monte Carlo, Monaco to Dover (London), England, UK


Ship: Seabourn Quest


Departure Date :

Optional tours are available from most ports for an additional charge.

 

Itinerary

 
Day Monte Carlo, Monaco
Departs 05:00 PM
"The tiny and wealthy principality of Monaco, ruled by Prince Albert II, is dominated by the attractions in the resort quarter, Monte Carlo, with its casino, internationally acclaimed Opera House and the Triangle d’Or shopping area. The cliffs of Le Rocher de Monaco rise above the Mediterranean, the strategic stronghold of the Grimaldi family of Genoa who assumed power of this unstable region in 1297. The principality was a quiet backwater until the 1850s when trains put the sun-soaked destination within easy reach of affluent French and British travelers looking for an escape and relaxing things to do. Prince Charles III quickly understood what it would take to seduce the new tourists, and created a Belle Epoque resort featuring the mythic Casino de Monte-Carlo. Sitting on the coast like a precious gemstone, Monte Carlo and Monaco still draw an international jet-set crowd. The Palace commands from Monaco-ville, called Le Rocher by locals, and high-rises make the most of precious land with public elevators in lieu of sidewalks in this steep country. Superyachts fill the port, ultraluxury cars dominate the road and outrageous jewels sparkle under the night sky in an eternal promise that in some places, fairy tales really do come true."
Monte Carlo, Monaco
 
 
Day At Sea

 
 
Day Cartagena, Spain
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM
"There are more than two millennia of history to embrace in this port city in Spain's southeastern Murcia region. While Cartagena is famously home to the second-largest Roman amphitheater on the Iberian Peninsula, the city is much more than just spectacular ancient ruins. In addition to Cartagena’s architecture—along with that amphitheater, there are striking Art Nouveau buildings, neoclassical churches and ultramodern edifices throughout the city—you’ll find many opportunities to shop for local and regional artisan wares. In the city, investigate the restored medieval fortress looking out on the bay from the city’s highest point. Or take a short trip by car or bus to the historic Agrupa Vicenta Mines, the remarkable palm forest at Elche and the holy city of Caravaca. "
Cartagena, Spain
 
 
Day Malaga, Spain
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 11:00 PM
While Málaga was long considered just a stopover on the way to southern Spain’s Costa del Sol beach resorts, in recent years a buzz has developed around the Andalucian city. There is a brand-new $100 million port promenade filled with restaurants and a bold new branch of Paris’s Centre Pompidou built in the form of a colorful glass cube. A handful of other major new museums include one devoted to one of the city’s most famous sons, Pablo Picasso—it’s also the hometown of another famous Spanish export, actor Antonio Banderas. Where once many buildings were dilapidated, an entire swath of the historic center is now pedestrianized and filled with shoppers, diners and street musicians. Tapas bars with outdoor tables line the old town’s Calle Strachan, while all over Málaga a boom in fine dining is taking place. The city makes a fine base for day trips to many of Andalucía’s most famous sites. Unlike many southern Spanish cities, Málaga doesn’t really shut down over the hot summer months; its waterfront location helps keep temperatures from soaring to uncomfortable heights. The 10-day summer Feria is becoming more popular each year, drawing visitors with its calendar of bullfights as well as dancing and drinking—activities the city’s residents enjoy before and after the Feria too.
Malaga, Spain
 
 
Day At Sea

 
 
Day Lisbon, Portugal
Arrives 07:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM
"Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a wealth of sights, tastes and sounds. An ensemble of neighborhoods both old and new, it’s a city full of history, culture and tradition. After the devastating earthquake that struck in 1755, reconstruction began and the rebuilt Baixa area quickly became one of the city's busiest districts. From there, you can glance up at São Jorge Castle on one hill while in another direction you'll find Chiado, one of the trendiest and most elegant neighborhoods. The spirit of Lisbon can be encapsulated by the soulful musical genre, fado, which can best be enjoyed in the Alfama, the city's oldest neighborhood. Enter one of the area's old-school taverns and listen to passionate renditions of Fado Vadio, sung by amateurs, often after a round of aguardiente, an anise-flavored liquor."
Lisbon, Portugal
 
 
Day Leixoes (Porto), Portugal
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM
"Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal, is sometimes dismissed as Lisbon’s business-minded sibling. But underneath its commercial and industrial surface, there flourishes a lively scene for the arts, food and music amidst Art Deco buildings and a UNESCO World Heritage-designated historic core. Take time to visit the port wine cellars where the city’s famous export is blended and stored. Then explore a turn-of-the-century bookstore, the neoclassical Stock Exchange Palace or the sprawling arts complex. Tumbling from the newer sections of the city down to the banks of the Douro, Porto’s oldest quarter, Ribeira, can feel contemporary one minute with starkly modern galleries and chic bistros and ancient the next with narrow alleyways strung with laundry lines and worn stone stairways connecting the cobblestone streets. Wander the neighborhood, from more commercial strips to residential back streets where old ladies chat and children bobble soccer balls. Down by the Douro at Ribeira Square, the streets open up, the sky is blue and cafés set their tables and chairs out on the plaza, eager to serve you. This is no stern, humorless, all-business city. Porto knows how to relax and enjoy life. "
Leixoes (Porto), Portugal
 
 
Day At Sea

 
 
Day Brest, France
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM
Brest is Brittany’s second largest administrative centre, and has a great deal to offer. Although it was heavily bombed in 1944, this is by no means the town’s most interesting feature: it has rebuilt itself around a vision of the future, with incredible constructions like the Pont de l'Iroise bridge, which crosses the river Elorn. An amazing feat of architecture, this magnificent cable-stayed bridge was opened in 1994. Admire it from Albert Louppe bridge, which is for pedestrians and cyclists only. It’s a great place to take a walk and enjoy the view of the famous Brest harbour, the ‘Rade de Brest’, a sheltered area of the sea big enough for great ships to lie at anchor.
Brest, France
 
 
Day Falmouth, England, United Kingdom
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM
Falmouth has a fine natural harbor, but has lost its earlier importance as a seaport and now caters mainly to yachts and boating for holidaymakers. Falmouth has the mildest winter climate in England.
Falmouth, England, United Kingdom
 
 
Day Cowes, Isle of Wight, England, UK
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM
The Georgian harbor town of Cowes, situated on the Isle of Wight, has been the home of international yacht racing since 1815. It is famous for Cowes Week, the largest and longest-running sailing regatta on earth. The Isle of Whyte was once a favored retreat of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Osborne House still retains a large collection of their royal possessions, photography and art.
Cowes, Isle of Wight, England, UK
 
 
Day Scenic cruising Seine River / Rouen (Paris), France
Cruising Only / Arrives 11:00 AM
Scenic cruising Seine River / Rouen (Paris), France

Rouen (Paris), France

The capital of upper Normandy and fifth largest port in France, picturesque and historic Rouen is renowned as a treasury of medieval architecture. With a large part of the city destroyed during World War II resulting in massive postwar reconstruction, Rouen today appears as an interesting blend of ancient and modern. Fortunately, it has kept its medieval character with still-inhabited houses dating from the 15th century, which line its narrow cobblestone streets. Among the city's most noteworthy attractions are the magnificent Cathedrale Notre-Dame built during the 13th century, and the famous Gros-Horloge, a giant Renaissance clock looming over the renowned pedestrian street of the same name. Two blocks away is the Place du Vieux Marche, or old market square, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431. She is publicly commemorated at the site on the last Sunday of each May. The "City of a Hundred Spires" as Rouen is known, was an inspiration for Monet's impressionistic cathedral paintings. Rouen also makes an excellent point of departure for a visit to Paris, the "City of Light."
Scenic cruising Seine River / Rouen (Paris), France
 
 
Day Rouen (Paris), France
Departs 06:00 PM
The capital of upper Normandy and fifth largest port in France, picturesque and historic Rouen is renowned as a treasury of medieval architecture. With a large part of the city destroyed during World War II resulting in massive postwar reconstruction, Rouen today appears as an interesting blend of ancient and modern. Fortunately, it has kept its medieval character with still-inhabited houses dating from the 15th century, which line its narrow cobblestone streets. Among the city's most noteworthy attractions are the magnificent Cathedrale Notre-Dame built during the 13th century, and the famous Gros-Horloge, a giant Renaissance clock looming over the renowned pedestrian street of the same name. Two blocks away is the Place du Vieux Marche, or old market square, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431. She is publicly commemorated at the site on the last Sunday of each May. The "City of a Hundred Spires" as Rouen is known, was an inspiration for Monet's impressionistic cathedral paintings. Rouen also makes an excellent point of departure for a visit to Paris, the "City of Light."
Rouen (Paris), France
 
 
Day Cherbourg (Normandy), France
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM
"In the 20th century, Cherbourg’s biggest claim to fame was perhaps that it had been a vital port during the Allied forces’ D-Day invasion, which landed to the southeast and traveled overland to capture the well-defended city from the Germans. However, in recent years, Cherbourg has undergone a revitalization that makes it a great place to sample local delicacies in the Place de Gaulle Market and calvados (apple brandy) from nearby orchards, plus visit the historic sites in and near town. Can’t-miss attractions include the wonderful Cité de la Mer maritime museum, as well as the Roule Fort where the Americans ousted the Germans, now home to the Museum of the Liberation. Cherbourg is also a perfect jumping off point for exploring the sights of Normandy, like the D-Day landing locations on Utah and Omaha Beaches, the historic town of Bayeux—the base of William the Conqueror before he invaded England—and the stunning scenery and sea cliffs of the Cape of La Hague. "
Cherbourg (Normandy), France
 
 
Day Dover (London), England, UK
Arrives 07:00 AM
As Britain's historic gateway to Europe, Dover and its famous white chalk cliffs have been the last glimpse of England seen by many a sea traveler over the centuries. When the Romans arrived, they erected a lighthouse to mark the coastline. One of the mightiest medieval castles built in Europe still stands atop those cliffs. Utilized by the British High Command to direct the evacuation from Dunkirk in 1940, the tunnels remained a military secret until recently. Dover is a convenient starting point for touring England's scenic southeastern region.
Dover (London), England, UK