EXPEDITION CRUISE

Portugal, Spain, France – Bays and Islands of Western Europe (10 Days)

Cruise Line: Hurtigruten
Lisbon, Portugal to Amsterdam, Netherlands
Dates: 14 Apr 2019 - 23 Apr 2019

Track this Sailing

Please enter between 3 and 50 characters
DAY
PORT
ARRIVE DEPART
DAY 1
14 Apr 2019
Lisbon, Portugal

As one of the oldest cities in the world, Lisbon offers centuries of heritage and charm, and has been influenced by many different cultures over time. It was home to great explorers like Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan, and Prince Henry the Navigator. Take your time to explore this fascinating city before embarkation. Lisbon's historic districts feel like distinct villages as you stroll the charming streets. Visit the city's two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery. Lisbon has a network of quaint old-fashioned trams that lurch and screech around the narrow streets, and no visit is complete without taking a ride on one of these classic pre-war Remodelado trams. Discover the many hidden gems of Portugal's capital at your own pace.

DAY 2
15 Apr 2019
Leixoes, Portugal
Porto, Portugal
Leixoes, Portugal

From Leixões, it is a short and very interesting trip to one of the last undiscovered European cities: Oporto. This ancient port is steeped in history and tradition, but boasts a modern outlook with bold new architecture. See ornate Baroque churches with spectacular interiors as you stroll down the Avenida dos Aliados. Discover the historic centre, Ribeira, with colorful houses facing the river and its charming boats. A river cruise in a replica of the old Rabelo boats offers a perfect view over the historic city from the waterside. Oporto is also the home of Port wine, made exclusively in this area. Join a wine tour to visit a historic vineyard and taste this sweet and fortified wine before a delicious Portuguese meal. If you prefer a taste of wilderness, join an excursion to the only national park in Portugal: Gerês.

DAY 3
16 Apr 2019
Vigo, Spain

Sailing into the Vigo estuary, we pass the beautiful islands of Cíes, a national park. An optional excursion will be offered to visit this area, named by the Romans as "the islands of the gods". The beautiful clear water here is well known for producing fine seafood such as local mussels. Try some of this local bounty in the traditional tapas, perhaps with some octopus á feira, and wash it down with Albariño, Galicia's fresh aromatic white wine. Time to walk off your lunch? Why not wander through Parque del Castro's botanical gardens and Roman remains, crowned by a 17th-century fort with panoramic views. If all that is too energetic, Vigo has a plentiful supply of beaches a short taxi (or boat) ride from the town.

DAY 4
17 Apr 2019
A Coruña, Spain

La Coruña is a city rich with history. Phoenicians, Celts, and Romans ruled here, taking advantage of the fine sheltered harbor. We sail by the 180-foot-high Hercules Tower, the oldest Roman lighthouse in use today, on our way into the harbor. Take a walk through the historic city and to take in area's golden days of the 14th and 15th centuries, when it prospered as the port for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Today the tradition continues, as pilgrims from all over the world start their excursion to Santiago de Compostela in the harbor of La Coruña. Don't miss the famed Avenida Marina to see the iconic Galician buildings boasting elegant glass façades that have become an architectural symbol for La Coruña.

DAY 5
18 Apr 2019
Bilbao, Spain

Bilbao is the heart of the Basque Country, successfully mixing traditional culture with a new vision for the future. The city manages to be sophisticated and humming with action, and relaxed at the same time. And Bilbao is an absolute must for design and culture lovers, with the Guggenheim Museum created by Frank Gehry, a Metro system designed by Sir Norman Foster, and a community center designed by Philippe Starck as highlights, but the list goes on and on. Bilbao also boasts the Casco Viejo, an atmospheric old quarter, full of charming streets, old market, and plenty of distinctive independent shops. At the heart of the Casco are Bilbao's original seven streets, Las Siete Calles, which date from the 1400s. Explore this wonderful and diverse urban landscape, either on your own or with one of our many excursions.

DAY 6
19 Apr 2019
Day-at-Sea

On our way to France, we will sail the Bay of Biscay, site of countless ship wrecks in the days of square-riggers. Here the Atlantic swell can build up rapidly near the coast, and some of the fiercest weather conditions of the Atlantic can still be witnessed. We will sail safely far out to sea, out of sight of land. Enjoy the salt air, hopefully catch a glimpse of birds and sea mammals, and listen to the peaceful sound of the ocean. During the day, you can participate in the interesting lectures by the expedition team, and maybe hear about the many famous naval engagements that have taken place in the bay over the centuries.

DAY 7
20 Apr 2019
Belle Island, France

As its name suggests, Belle-Île is one of France's most beautiful islands. With stunning cliffs, quaint seaside hamlets, pastel houses, green countryside, and jagged rocky coastlines, Belle-Île's beauty has inspired adventure novelists such as Dumas, as well as Impressionist painters like Monet and Matisse. The island is a well-kept secret in France, and now it's your turn to discover it! The town of Le Palais is the "capital" of the island, situated around the Bassin de la Saline and overlooked by the massive Citadelle. Join one of our several hikes and outings with the expedition team, or discover this busting towns many markets, shops, and sights independently.

DAY 8
21 Apr 2019
Day-at-Sea

We sail through the English Channel, which connects the North Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. This is the world's busiest seaway, with more than 500 ships passing every day. Our observation lounge or on deck are good places to watch vessels from all over the world on their way through this famed waterway. Relax and enjoy the experience of being at sea, share your experiences with fellow adventurers, and join in for fascinating lectures and talks.

DAY 9
22 Apr 2019
Dunkirk, France

Dunkirk is located on the sand dunes of the North Sea coast. "Dun" is Flemish for dunes, and "kirk" refers to the fine cathedral of Saint-Éloi. You might enjoy climbing the belfry steps of the church to be rewarded with a panoramic view over the town, harbor, and coast. During the Second World War, a third of a million British and allied soldiers were evacuated from the harbour and beaches in just a few days. The story is retold in the local museum and through a walking tour. If we are lucky with the weather, you can spend some time enjoying one of the fine local beaches of golden sand.

DAY 10
23 Apr 2019
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam grew from a small fishing village in the 13th century to become one of the most charming and culturally important cities in the world. The city became wealthy as a trading center with important connections to the Hanseatic League in the 17th century, creating Amsterdam's Golden Age. Today, you can see reminders of that time in the patrician houses in the famed Canal District, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These days, the city is well-known for its outstanding museums like the Rijksmuseum, the Rembrandt House, or the Van Gogh Museum.

Portugal, Spain, France – Bays and Islands of Western Europe map

About the Ship

South America landscape
MS Midnatsol (Midnight Sun)

The name Midnatsol (Midnight Sun) is something to live up to, and this ship is dedicated to the Norwegian summer.The interior's bright, colourful décor is inspired by the warm sunny climate, a motif also reflected in the many pieces of Norwegian modern art on display.

What's Included

Included

  • Cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis

  • Wind and water resistant jacket

  • Landings with Polarcirkel boats and activities onboard and ashore

  • Professional English speaking Expedition team

Not Included

  • International flights

  • Travel insurance

  • Luggage handling

  • Optional excursions and gratuities

About Us

Exploring since 1893, Hurtigruten operates premium exploration voyages to Norway, Antarctica, Iceland, Greenland, Spitsbergen, Europe, Africa, South/Central America and Arctic Canada. Our itineraries to these unique destinations focus on the stunning diversity of its wilderness, inhabitants, flora, and fauna. Hurtigruten’s unique heritage, combined with highly skilled crews and a diverse fleet of nimble, intimately-scaled expedition ships, enable us to offer guests unforgettable experiences in some of the most exciting corners of the world.

Insider Tip

Choose from a variety of cabin options ranging from Interior, Ocean View and Suite categories on any one of our 15 ships offering modern facilities carefully blended with true character.

Terms & Conditions

The terms and conditions of this contract apply to the sea passage as well as to all other products or services of any kind whatsoever provided for or arranged by Hurtigruten AS, their agents or independent contractors. These terms and conditions represent the entire agreement and a binding contract between Hurtigruten AS and the customer. These pro-visions supersede any oral or written representations. Any change in these provisions must be in writing signed by the president of Hurtigruten AS.The transports of passengers, baggage and vehicles is subject to the provisions of the Act no. 39 of 24 June 1994 Norwegian Maritime Code, as amended (‘Norwegian Maritime Code’), and package tours are subject to the provisions of the Act no. 57 of 25 August 1995 Relating to Package Tours (‘Package Tours Act’). Copies of the Norwegian Maritime Code and the Package Tours Acts, in Norwegian and in English, are on file with Hurtigruten AS and available upon request. The terms and conditions of this contract are drawn up in accord ance with the Norwegian Maritime Code, Package Tours Act, and the regulations laid down by the Norwegian Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion. However, in case of conflict between this contract and the Norwegian Maritime Code or Package Tours Act, this contract shall take precedence.

Click here to read more.



The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Add-Ons

Shore Excursions

Amsterdam, Netherlands - 23 Apr 2019

Offered by: European Connection
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Length: 4 hours
Meals: None
Recommended Ages: All Ages
Activity Level: Easy
Experience(s): Culture, History & Arts • Family Vacations • Sightseeing
Half-Day Amsterdam Walking Tour

Meet your local guide in the hotel lobby for your private 4 hours Amsterdam city walking tour, including a visit to Anne Frank Museum.


Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is a fascinating maritime city built on a network of canals. Its Rijksmuseum is world famous for its paintings by the great 17th-century Dutch Masters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer. The Van Gogh Museum contains many of Van Gogh's greatest paintings and the Stedelijk Museum has an extensive collection of modern works. Other important sights are Anne Frank's House, where she hid from the Nazis and wrote her famous diary, the baroque Koninklijk Paleis and Rembrandt's House. With its gabled canal houses, houseboats and specialized shops, the city is wonderful to explore on foot or bicycle. Amsterdam is famed for its tolerance of soft drugs and sex, but it also offers higher pursuits such as classical music in the renowned Concertgebouw, home of Amsterdam's orchestra.

Reviews and Recommendations for Hurtigruten

Virtuoso Verified Traveler

All reviews are from confirmed guests sharing exclusive insights

Sort reviews by