European Coastal Cruise: Portugal, Spain & France (2023)

Embark on a comprehensive western European adventure and enjoy rare experiences, such as a hike on Spain’s ancient Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route and exploration of the French epicurean region of Bordeaux.

Journey Overview

Embark on a comprehensive western European adventure and enjoy rare experiences, such as a hike on Spain’s ancient Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route and exploration of the French epicurean region of Bordeaux. You also visit Bilbao’s modern Guggenheim, UNESCO-designated Mont-Saint-Michel and historic Brittany, before sailing under the Tower Bridge on the River Thames for a London finale.

Journey Highlights

  • Cruise for eight nights on an exclusively chartered, all-inclusive A&K expedition featuring treasures of Portugal, Spain and France
  • Experience the benefits of luxury small-ship expedition featuring no more than 148 guests and access to ports seldom visited by cruise ships, including Bordeaux and the coast of Brittany
  • Enjoy a choice of included A&K-led excursions in every port designed for a range of activity levels and interests, including everything from the epicurean to art and architecture to natural wonders
  • Savour wine tastings amid Europe’s most famed vineyards, including UNESCO-designated Porto and Bordeaux
  • Experience a rare opportunity to retrace an ancient pilgrimage route and visit Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, where you also enjoy tapas, and folkloric music and dance
  • Visit Basque Country and Bilbao’s stunning Guggenheim museum as well as its remarkable Palaeolithic art Cave
  • Step back in time when you explore the magnificent fortress of the Mont Saint-Michel

Featured Experts

Lord Chartres

Lord Chartres, History & Cultural Lecturer

Distinguished scholar Lord Chartres is known for his fascinating lectures on history and the environment. He is a life peer in the House of Lords and has served as Bishop of London and Dean of Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal.

Paul Carter

Paul Carter, Cruise Director
Beloved for his warmth and charming British wit, Paul has served as an officer in the U.K. and Caribbean and an assistant purser and cruise director. He has travelled to more than 120 countries and counting.

Take 10 with an A&K Expert to Hear More About This Journey

Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

Apr 27: Arrive Lisbon, Portugal

Arrive in Lisbon and transfer to your luxurious small ship this afternoon. Join fellow guests for an onboard welcome reception this evening.

‘Le Dumont d’Urville’ | Meals: D

Apr 28: Porto | Opulent City on the Rio Douro

This morning, make your way to Porto, the second largest city in Portugal and a charming-yet-edgy star of the Iberian Peninsula. Join your Expedition Team for a morning lecture before setting off on your choice of curated excursions led by expert local guides. Choose to explore vibrant Cais da Ribeira, discovering its authentic old town and iconic monuments from the Stock Exchange Palace to St Francis Church, followed by a port wine tasting at a famous riverside lodge, lunch and time at leisure. Foodies should opt for a culinary tour led by a local expert to experience Porto’s central market and beloved backstreet taverns as well as tastings of artisan cheese and port wine. Alternatively, visit the enchanting Douro Valley for a winery tour, tasting and lunch at Quinta da Pacheca, one of the region’s best wine estates; or UNESCO-designated Braga, home of the picturesque Baroque Bom Jesus de Braga Sanctuary with lunch at a local restaurant. You may also visit historic Guimarães and its medieval castle, birthplace of the country’s first king, followed by lunch at a pousada (inn) and a cable car ride to spectacular Penha. Later, return to your ship to unwind and enjoy dinner.

‘Le Dumont d’Urville’ | Meals: BLD

Apr 29: Cee & A Coruña, Spain | Camino de Santiago

Today, explore the province of A Coruña, a gem along Spain’s golden Galician coast. Enjoy another full day of curated excursions led by expert local guides and joined by your Expedition Team. The highlight in this destination is the city of Santiago de Compostela, the terminus of an ancient network of pilgrimage routes known as the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James), which dates back to the 9th century. Choose to explore the city’s cathedral and UNESCO-designated Old Town followed by lunch with a Galician folklore dance performance. Alternatively, choose a rare opportunity to hike the Camino de Santiago via the English Way, starting in A Coruña, where you also visit Hercules Tower, a UNESCO-listed lighthouse built by the Romans in the 1st century. Or opt for shorter walk to a lighthouse from Finisterre (Land’s End), another famed stop on the Camino de Santiago, followed by a visit to Vimianzo and its incredible medieval castle and lunch at a local restaurant in Santiago. Alternatively, focus your discovery entirely on Santiago with a foodie tour featuring its buzzy food market, restaurants and tastings of everything from tapas and empanadas to cheeses and wine. Return to your luxury ship for dinner.

‘Le Dumont d’Urville’ | Meals: BLD

Apr 30: Santander & Bilbao | Shimmering Art in Basque Country

Arrive at the shores of Spain’s north coast and the lively port of Santander, capital city of the Cantabria region and gateway to the Basque countryside. After a relaxing morning on your ship, join your Expedition team ashore for a choice of curated, expert-led excursions and a local lunch. Venture to Bilbao, venerated for its stunning landscapes, Basque cuisine and staggering architecture — none of which figures more prominently than Frank Gehry’s captivating Guggenheim museum — on two excursions. Start by enjoying a walking tour of Santander with its royal Palacio de la Magdalena and Catedral de Santander followed by a panoramic tour of Bilbao. Or devote your time entirely to Bilbao, exploring the billowing titanium enclave of the modern Guggenheim and neighbouring contemporary art galleries, with time to wander the city at leisure. Alternatively, choose to pair a panoramic tour of Bilbao with deeper dive into the Basque countryside. Your options include a hike and a visit to El Castillo Cave, which houses the most ancient Palaeolithic art in the world, or a drive through the biologically diverse Santoña, Victoria and Joyel Marshes Natural Park before visiting the fishing port of Santoña and the old village of historic Laredo. Fully satiated on your adventures, return to your luxury ship this evening for a relaxing dinner, continued conversations with your Expedition Team and fellow guests, and live entertainment.

‘Le Dumont d’Urville’ | Meals: BLD

May 1: Bordeaux, France | Intoxicating French Art de Vivre

A best-kept secret seldom visited by cruise ships, Bordeaux conjures up an exciting mix of turret-adorned castles and vineyards of the namesake wine alongside urban street life and a UNESCO-listed treasure chest of art and architecture. Set off on curated excursions that reveal the best of this exquisite French gem while also enjoying locally curated lunch breaks ashore. Discover the historic city on foot with an expert guide, visiting the Old Town and 13th-century Cathedral of St André, exploring along the Garonne River — perhaps crossing the Pont de Pierre bridge to stroll a new botanical garden — and visiting the Bassins de Lumières, an immersive digital art exhibition. Alternatively, set out for an exclusive Bordeaux wine estate tour, discovering its renowned terroir and iconic châteaux while enjoying wine tastings as well as privileged access to areas closed to the public. Lovers of the sea may choose a visit to the seaside resort town of Arcachon, where golden beaches, a Belle Époque (beautiful era) atmosphere, and excursions on the water with an oysterman, who plucks oysters straight from the sea for tastings. Or choose a nature walk in coastal Landes, the largest forest in Europe, traversing between lakes and endless groves of maritime pines. Re-join your ship this evening, perhaps with time to enjoy a cocktail on your private balcony before an evening recap with your Expedition Team and another beautiful dinner at sea.

‘Le Dumont d’Urville’ | Meals: BLD

May 2: At Sea | Sailing Toward the Brittany Coast

Unwind and enjoy a day at sea, perhaps with time at the pool or spa or on your private balcony. Relish a day of relaxation, enjoying the amenities of your ship and more engaging presentations by our experts.

‘Le Dumont d’Urville’ | Meals: BLD

May 3: Saint-Malo | Gateway to Le Mont Saint-Michel

This morning, take in the view of the Brittany coast and the ancient fortified port of Saint-Malo, from which launch another day of exploration in France. Saint-Malo has a rich history and is renowned not just for its walled fortification but also its idyllic beaches and regional gastronomy. Join your local guide and Expedition Team for a stroll through the city’s market and amid its 15th-century buildings, visit the Vauban-built Fort National and a traditional Breton biscuit maker in Cancale, and enjoy a seafood lunch. Saint-Malo is also the gateway to Le Mont Saint-Michel, considered among the most striking and romantic landmarks in France. You may alternatively visit this stunning village perched atop a tidal island and accessible only at low tide; explore its steep cobblestone streets and shops, and climb over 350 steps to reach its famed abbey, an outstanding architectural achievement boasting a spire more than 500 feet high. For an moving experience back in time, travel to the Normandy coast to witness Omaha Beach, a poignant D-Day Landing site; you also visit the US Military Cemetery and Interpretation Centre at Colleville-sur-Mer, the final resting place of over 9,300 U.S. soldiers. For an adventure to another coast, choose to visit the town of Dinan and its 14th-century castle, enjoying walks along an estuary, a guided oyster farm experience and special tasting, and a visit to Jacques Cartier Museum, devoted to one of the most famous European explorers of the 16th century. Alternatively, visit medieval Rennes, capital of Brittany, to explore its turbulent history via its authentic Old Town, impressive Parliament building and gardens, followed by a traditional Breton lunch of crepes.

‘Le Dumont d’Urville’ | Meals: BLD

May 4: At Sea | Cruising the English Channel

As your ship sails the historic English Channel, enjoy more lectures led by your experts as well as time at leisure with the new friends you’ve made.

‘Le Dumont d’Urville’ | Meals: BLD

May 5: Depart London, England

Your ship arrives in Great Britain at the mouth of the Thames River, the second largest in Europe. Cruise this storied waterway, passing under London's iconic Tower Bridge in the early morning before bidding farewell to your Expedition Team. Disembark and continue on your post tour extension to the picture-perfect Cotswolds or transfer to the airport for your return flight.

Meals: B

Journey Details:

This journey contains active elements, including walks over uneven terrain.

Note: Itinerary is for guidance purposes only and may be adjusted due to unforeseen circumstances including weather, wildlife, ice, medical emergencies and other conditions beyond A&K’s control at the sole discretion of the Captain.

Minimum age is 7 years.

Categories 4–8 include butler service aboard the ship.

First group event: embarkation at 4:00 p.m. on Apr 27.

Last group event: disembarkation by 9:00 a.m. on May 5.

Note: Proof of full vaccination for COVID-19 is required for this journey, including a booster shot if vaccination was received more than four months prior to departure (two months for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).

Included with this Luxury Expedition Cruise

  • An Exclusively Chartered, All-Inclusive Voyage Led by A&K’s Expedition Team and Local Guides
  • Airport Meet and Greet and Transfers
  • Private Balcony with Every Onboard Accommodation and Butler Service with Every Suite
  • Maximum Personnel-to-Guest Ratio of 1 to 1.3 and ship occupancy limited to 80 percent
  • Culinary Program Featuring French-Inspired Cuisine, Including House Drinks, Afternoon Tea and Pastries
  • 24-Hour Room Service and Breakfast in Bed on board
  • Choice of Curated, All-Inclusive Shore Excursions
  • Enrichment program, lectures and presentations
  • Traveller’s Valet Laundry Service on board
  • All Gratuities, Port Charges and Taxes
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on Board and in Hotels
  • Onboard Service from an English-Speaking Staff, Including an Accredited Physician
  • 24/7 A&K On-Call Support
Show Full Itinerary
Preferred Accommodation

Preferred Accommodation

This journey features the following Preferred Accommodations:

Le Dumont d'Urville

European Coastal Cruise: Portugal, Spain & France (2023)

Launched in 2019, a luxury expedition ship exclusively charted by A&K and featuring all-balcony accommodations.Ship De... Read more

Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Apr 27, 2023 - May 5, 2023 Special Special Special Special Special Special Special Special
Cabin Class Le Dumont d'Urville: Classic Stateroom - Category 1 Price AU$14,075pp was AU$15,485 Single Supplement AU$11,615 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Enquire
Cabin Class Le Dumont d'Urville: Deluxe Stateroom - Category 2 Price AU$17,595pp was AU$19,005 Single Supplement AU$14,260 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Enquire
Cabin Class Le Dumont d'Urville: Prestige Stateroom - Category 3 Price AU$20,415pp was AU$21,825 Single Supplement AU$16,375 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Limited Availability Enquire
Cabin Class Le Dumont d'Urville: Deluxe Suite - Category 4 Price AU$28,160pp was AU$29,570 Single Supplement AU$26,755 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Call for Availability Enquire
Cabin Class Le Dumont d'Urville: Privilege Suite - Category 5 Price AU$30,275pp was AU$31,685 Single Supplement AU$28,770 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Call for Availability Enquire
Cabin Class Le Dumont d'Urville: Prestige Two-Room Suite - Category 6 Price AU$38,725pp was AU$40,135 Single Supplement AU$36,795 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Enquire
Cabin Class Le Dumont d'Urville: Grand Deluxe Suite - Category 7 Price AU$47,880pp was AU$49,290 Single Supplement AU$45,485 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Call for Availability Enquire
Cabin Class Le Dumont d'Urville: Owner's Suite - Category 8 Price AU$52,105pp was AU$53,515 Single Supplement AU$49,500 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Limited Availability Enquire
Related Extensions

Related Extensions

4 days, from AU$4,220pp
Lisbon Pre-Tour Extension (2023)

4 days, from AU$4,220pp
4 days, from AU$5,345pp
Brochures

Related Brochures

  • Luxury Expedition Cruises 2023-24

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