Silverseas Lisbon To Southampton Cruise with business class flights
Teaming with culture and countryside
Teaming with culture and countryside, this coastal voyage from Lisbon to Southampton is fantastic. Ten different ports in four stunning countries. Leaving the brightly tiled shores of Portugal’s capital, sail north to France, stopping off for some sightseeing in Spain’s lovely Bilbao. A breakfast stroll in St. Jean de Luz will have you eating croissants a la francaise, before you get back on board headed for Bordeaux. A day in Saint Malo and a night in Rouen will finish your trip in style.
12 Days from £7,470pp
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• Private Executive Transfers (between home and airport)
• Business Class Air Roundtrip
• Transfers (between airport and ship)
• 1 Shore Excursion per port, per day
• Butler service in every suite
• Multiple restaurants, diverse cuisine, open-seating dining
• Spectacular sunrises and sunsets
• Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship, including champagne, select wines and spirits
• Onboard entertainment
• Complimentar transportation into town in most ports
A glorious mosaic of beauty, freedom and authenticity, Portugal’s capital is a stirring artwork of a city. Known for the seven hills it spreads across, and its stirring fado music, Lisbon is a pastel-coloured blend of houses and beautiful tile artworks – and this creative city strikes a perfect harmony between natural and manmade beauty. Stroll along Alfama’s steep, cobbled streets as you explore one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods – where each house and door could be its own photograph. Look for the decorative tiles, with the distinctive blues and whites of Azulejo ceramics, and visit the dedicated museum to learn more. Afterwards, wind up to São Jorge Castle, where views out across Lisbon’s red rooftops unravel. Just one of many majestic viewpoints, you can also seek out Miradouro da Graça for perhaps Lisbon’s finest panorama, with the copper-coloured suspension bridge stretching over sparkling water beyond the sea of buildings. The elegant Tower of Belém rises in the Tagus estuary and is a historic defender of these shores. The grand, carved cloisters of Jerónimos Monastery spread out close by, and there’s another UNESCO recognised location close by at Sintra, where a colourful town is set amid thick gardens and towering mountains – capped by the royal Pena Palace. Later, relax and take a quick break to drink Ginjinha, a cherry liqueur made from chocolate cups instead of coffee. Lisboetas have a sweet tooth, and the famous Pastel de Nata’s crumbling pastry and caramelised-custard topping is the essential accompaniment to any coffee stop.
Steep, stacked banks of evocative buildings and cobbled streets perch scenically over the River Duoro, in this authentic, atmospheric Portuguese city. Famed for its wine and bright azulejo tiles – which turn streets into art galleries – Oporto is a charming taste of the real Portugal. Wander the uneven paths of the country’s second-largest city, which are soaked with history, tradition and eye-catching details. Start in the gorgeous, historic Ribeira neighbourhood at the River Douro, and walk up through tiny alleys and narrow streets lined with restaurants and cafes. Catch your breath with a coffee, and be sure to try the famous pastel de nata pastry as a sweet accompaniment. Enjoy views of the colourful city from the skeletal Ponte de Dom Luis I bridge. Its design might ring a bell – the structure was created by a student of Gustav Eiffel, and has a similar aesthetic to his famous tower creation. Porto Cathedral sits on a rise of steps, towering above the city and offering spectacular views down. The cloisters are a highlight – with beautiful mosaics of the renowned blue and white tiles gleaming. If you’re hungry, the indulgent Francesinha sandwich will fill you up for days. A Portuguese take on French toast – it’s packed full of ham and slathered in cheese, egg and sauce. Or settle in for a feast on some of Portugal’s ubiquitous salted cod, Bacalhau. The climate nurtures the revered vineyards, which surround the city, helping to produce harvests of perfect grapes. Head out to landscapes coated in vineyards from the Douro Valley to try some of the finest local wines.
Revolving around its golden urban beaches, La Coruna is a bustling, historic city, which luxuriates along the twisted Galician coastline. One of Spain’s most undiscovered, under-the-radar destinations, La Coruna boasts juicy seafood and unbridled relaxation beside the Mediterranean’s rustling waves, and is set amid a surprisingly lush and vibrant green landscape. A pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella’s cultural wonders is also easily within your reach from these shores. The narrow streets of the historic centre open out to the vast Plaza de Maria Pita, which is crowned by the triple domes of the City Hall. Cafes and restaurants spill out around the square, perfect for hunkering down for coffee or a glass of refreshing white Albariño wine. Head to Calle Estrella, to taste the fruits of the Atlantic and La Coruna’s seafood – grilled octopus is a particular speciality. If you’re in a hurry, grab some empanada pastries, filled with minced beef, or head to the City Market, which is packed with Galician flavours and intrigues. Back at the seafront, the peninsula tempts with strolls out to one of the most storied lighthouses in Spain. Still watching the waves after almost 2,000 years, the Tower of Hercules was built by the Romans in the 2nd century, and this UNESCO World Heritage Site rises 55 metres above the Atlantic – making it Spain’s second tallest. The winding Paseo Marítimo coastal path skirts beaches and the city’s endless waterfront, and is dotted with colourful artworks.
Whether it’s the flow of its boundary pushing architecture, delights of its finger food tapas, or sweeps of gorgeous shoreline nearby, Bilbao is a city that places a premium on aesthetics. The relentless drive to all things beautiful may be a reaction to the city’s industrial past, but it has led this Basque city to emerge as a new beacon of artistry. American architect Frank Gehry’s masterpiece of flowing metal is the shining standout here, a perfect harmony of smooth titanium and glass, and a thrilling piece in itself. Inside the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, world-class exhibitions are exhibited in the bright, expansive interior – which practically begs you to explore more. The city has gorgeous historical presence too. Casco Viejo – the medieval area – is its historic core, and home to the original seven streets and cathedral, dating back to the 14thcentury. Tall banks of coloured buildings rise either side as you walk, dwarfed by a tide of pretty facades, overflowing flower boxes, and intricate rail balconies. Plaza Nueva is Bilbao’s neoclassical square, with a procession of arches all around you. Morning flea markets regularly overtake it, offering opportunities to pick through piles of coins, dusty books and rusted antiques on the hunt for bargains, in this most elegant setting. The titanic Mercado de la Ribera market looms tall by the river. Explore to eat your way through an endless pile of Basque pintxos – the local take on tapas. Cocktail sticks will quickly stack up as you gorge on plump olives, organic cheeses, and feather thin slices of curled hams, while orbiting Europe’s largest covered market. Described as a perfect blend of beauty and function by UNESCO, the Vizcaya Bridge is an unusual but spectacular piece of industrial architecture. The world’s oldest, gigantic transporter crane is still in use today, swinging cars and passengers from one side of the gaping Nervion River’s mouth to the other.
Bask in the quintessentially Basque culture of St. Jean de Luz. Found on the west coast of France, just 23 kilometres from the bigger, brasher, Biarritz, St. Jean de Luz is often overlooked by holidaymakers. But their loss is our gain, as St. Jean has maintained its atmospheric ambience of French chic and Spanish folklore. The town is famous for seafaring past, and the port still maintains a sizable fishing fleet, with sardines and anchovies being the most important catches of the day. It was here that that Louis XIV married Maria-Theresa of Austria in 1660 and the city still holds onto vestiges of its aristocratic past. Architectural marvels such as the 17th-century Maison de l’Infanta, where the bride to be stayed before the marriage, and the Eglise St Jean with huge carved Baroque altarpiece both still stand in the old town around the port. This golden age has given the town an undeniably wealthy heritage – skip a taxi tour and stroll the wide streets flanked by tall red and white house at your leisure. St. Jean one of the seven Basque country communes on the Franco-Spanish border and you’ll find that the political frontier means nothing to locals. While the two halves of the Basque Country are intriguingly different, the red, white and green flag flies proudly almost everywhere, far more popular than the traditional French tricolor, or the red and yellow of Spain’s rojigualda. The Basque language, known as Euskera is not only the oldest living language in Europe but is still widely spoken today.
The name alone conjures images of sun-ripened grapes, splashes of refined flavour, and the joy of clinking glasses. Bordeaux is synonymous with quality and prestige, and the promise of endless opportunities to sample the city’s famous, full-bodied red wines makes a visit to this elegant French port city one to truly savour. Sprinkled with scenic, turret-adorned mansion castles, which stand above soil softened by the Atlantic and winding flow of the Garonne River, the vineyards of Bordeaux consistently produce revered wines, enjoyed right across the globe. Explore France’s largest wine region, walking through vineyards where dusty clumps of grapes hang, before descending into cellars to see the painstaking processes that make this region a global wine centre. The acclaimed, sensory experience of Cité du Vin wine museum lets you put your own nose to the test, learning more about the craft involved in producing world class vintages. Brush up on your wine knowledge, with our blog [insert You’ll Fall in Love with Wine in Bordeaux]. Bordeaux itself is an intoxicating blend of old and new – a fact perfectly illustrated by the Water Mirror. This living art installation has reinvigorated one of the city’s most important historical sites, and it feels as though you’re walking on water, as you step through the cooling mist of Place De La Bourse. The moisture generates a glorious mirrored composition of the 300-year-old elegant palatial architecture in front of you. Water also flows freely from the magnificent Monument aux Girondins statue, where horses rear up to extol the values of the Girondin revolutionaries. Marche des Quais – the city’s lively fish market – is the spot to try this wine capital’s freshest lemon-drizzled oysters and juicy prawns.
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Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Ship sails flutter in the breeze, at the natural port of Saint-Malo – a historic and resilient walled city, which watches out over golden sands and island fortresses. Strung tenuously to the mainland, Saint Malo was the historic home of a rowdy mix of skilled sailors and new world explorers – as well as the plunderers who earned the place its ‘Pirate City’ title. Some of history’s great voyages have launched from here – including Jacques Cartier’s, which led to the settlement of New France and modern-day Quebec. Founded by a Welsh monk, who made his way here in the 6th century, Saint Malo’s castle is forged from sheer granite, and its steep defensive ramparts arise defiantly. The atmospheric walled town turns its back to the mainland and gazes out longingly into the sea. Explore streets that breathe with maritime tales and medieval charm – restored from the intense damage sustained during the Second World War. Cathédrale de St Malo rises above the tight paths, offering views of the peppered islands and fortifications. Boatloads of fresh oysters and scallops are heaved ashore – savour them or grab savoury crepes galettes, stuffed with cheese and ham. Wash Saint Malo’s foods down with a Brittany cider, which challenges wine as the indulgence of choice in these parts. A highly tidal region, the pocket-sized islands of Petit Bé and Grand Bé join the mainland, and you can explore at leisure as the tide recedes. The incredible island of Mont Saint Michel also looms in the estuary of the Couesnon River nearby, hovering like a cinematic mirage above high tide’s waters. Elsewhere, Cap Fréhel’s lush green peninsula juts out from the emerald coast towards Jersey, tempting with rich coastal hiking trails.
Oh la la! Prepare yourself for a taste of living life a la Francaise in Rouen. Gothic architecture and history at every turn? Wide, leafy squares and timbered Norman houses? Enough French food that will keep your stomach full and tastebuds happy for hours? Yes, Rouen is all that and more. Set on the banks of the Seine and less than two hours from Paris, Rouen is about as French as you can get. The city’s roots go back to the 10th century, when Vikings and Romans laid claim to the city. If you think that the cathedral looks familiar that’s probably because Rouen’s most famous resident Claude Monet painted the city in his many canvases. But well before the impressionist painter immortalised Rouen with his beautiful brushwork, the city was host to many other famous faces. William the Conquerer, Richard the Lionheart, Joan of Arc… take your pick. While the others may have left their hearts metaphorically, Joan actually did leave hers – on a funeral pyre inn 1431. A museum to the Roman Catholic saint opened in 2015. Touring the city by foot is by far the best way to discover the riches of Rouen. The emblematic Gros Horlage (Big Clock) is by far the city’s number one must see but with gothic churches streets at every turn, every sight is a marvel. If you get bored of strolling the cobbled streets, head for the ceramic museum, in the Hôtel d’Hocqueville, for a wonderful collection of Sèvres porcelain. The elegant seaside resort of Deauville, as well as the D-Day beaches are just a short drive away.
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The crammed together, timber-framed houses of Honfleur’s delightful waterfront simply beg to be painted, and the waterfront beauty has been immortalised on the canvases of artists like Monet, and Honfleur’s celebrated son, Boudin. Located in scenic Normandy, where the Seine opens out into the Channel, this is one of France’s – and the world’s – most spectacular, historic harbours. Impossibly picturesque, the Vieux Bassin’s Norman harbour townhouses are an artist’s dream, reflecting out onto the still water, between bright wooden fishing boats. It may be gorgeous, but it’s also a historically important port, and Samuel de Champlain’s epic voyage – which resulted in the founding of Quebec – launched from these waters. Take a stroll back in time, as you wander cobbled streets where flowers spill down walls or sit to indulge in Calvados – brandy made from Normandy’s famous apples. A museum dedicated to Eugene Boudin, the town’s influential impressionist artist, displays visions of the harbour and region, as well as paintings of the town’s stunning wooden church. Wander to Eglise St Catherine itself, to see the twisting structure, which is France’s largest wooden chapel. Constructed from trees taken from nearby Touques Forest, it replaced the stone church that stood here previously, which was destroyed during the Hundred Years War. Out of Honfleur, The spectacular Pont de Normandie cable-stayed bridge loops up over the Seine’s estuary, bringing excursions to Le Havre even closer. The pensive, sombre beaches of the D-Day landings stretch out across Normandy’s coastline, while the Bayeux Tapestry unfurls within reach of Honfleur’s picturesque scenery.
Home of the ill-fated Titanic departure, Southampton has a long maritime history. Henry V’s fleet bound for the battle of Agincourt left from here, as did the Mayflower (not from Plymouth as many believe) and the great British ocean liners, Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Mary both departed on their maiden voyages from the port. So suffice to say, that Southampton is a seafearing place. Today Southampton is the cruise capital of Northern Europe, so expect a city that understands how to have fun. This comes in a variety of ways: a castellated old city that has lots of charm, some excellent museums (the most notable of which is the Sea City Museum) and extensive green spaces. Authentic Tudor remains provide a fascinating insight to 15th century living while other landmarks date back even further. A stroll around the city is generous in its attractions, so there is no better way to see Southampton than on foot. Culture wise, the city’s bustling Guildhall Square is the centre for art, education and food and drink. Southampton’s location of the south coast of England means just a short distance away lie some interesting spots. Pre-historic enigma Stonehenge is less than an hour away while the quintessentially English market town Salisbury is perfect for a bit of shopping. Both are well worth a visit. For those who prefer their entertainment crafted by Mother Nature, a short ride to the New Forest will give you peace; think idyllic glades, ancient woodland, open moors, heathland and cliff top walks.