13-day cruise itinerary highlighting cultural destinations in the UK, France, Spain and Portugal. Tauck’s “London, Bordeaux & Iberian Charms” journey will launch with three dates in September and October of 2020.
The itinerary begins in London with an included two-night hotel stay at guests’ choice of either the InterContinental London Park Lane or The Langham, London. While in London, Tauck guests will enjoy a full day of guided sightseeing, along with a tour and lunch inside the lavish 16th-century Hampton Court Palace the following day. Guests will then embark the Ponant ship Le Dumont d’Urville in Portsmouth for their itinerary’s centerpiece eight-night cruise. Arriving on the British island of Guernsey the next morning, guests will have a choice of shore excursions including a sightseeing drive across the island, a walking tour of Saint Peter Port, or a cliff-top hike from the coast to Moulin Huet Valley.
Following a day at sea, Le Dumont d’Urville arrives next in France where guests will enjoy walking tours and wine tastings in the classic wine producing towns of Saint Emilion and Bordeaux, including a tour, tasting and dinner at the renowned wine estate Chateau Kirwan. A subsequent port call in Bilbao, Spain includes a choice of afternoon activities, and the following morning, a visit to the city’s famed Guggenheim Museum.
After sailing overnight, guests will arrive in A Coruña, Spain before retracing the route of religious pilgrims along the Camino of St. James en route to the Cathedral of Santiago. Lunch at a restored 18th-century Franciscan convent and free time follow. Guests sail next to Portugal, where a full day exploring Porto and a choice of guided excursions await. After disembarking a final time in Lisbon, guests will be treated to an included two-night hotel stay at either the InterContinental Lisbon or the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon, highlighted by a choice of ways to experience the city.
EXPERIENCE WITH TAUCK
- Visit to a grand castle in Sintra or Muscatel wine and cheese making in the village of Azeitão
- Wine tasting in St. Émilion, exploration of Bordeaux and dinner at an acclaimed wine estate
- Discovering Guernsey on a choice of sightseeing including a clifftop hike
DAY 1 – Arrive London
Tour begins: 6:00 PM, InterContinental London/The Langham, London.
A transfer is included from Heathrow and Gatwick airports or London’s train stations to The InterContinental London or The Langham, London located in the heart of the city. Join us for a welcome dinner at your hotel.
DAY 2 – London Sights
A guided tour of England’s capital city takes you to see the Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Place, Hyde Park and more, giving you a good orientation of where you might want to spend your afternoon and evening at leisure.
DAY 3 – Hampton Court Palace and Embark Ship
Visit Tudor-style Hampton Court this morning. A tour and lunch at the 16th-century palace astounds with regal images of royalty, from its sophisticated redbrick façade to its impossibly perfect gardens with a 300-year-old maze and elegant art-filled interior. Drive to Portsmouth where your ship awaits your arrival. Dine onboard at your leisure and set sail for Guernsey.
DAY 4 – Gems of Guernsey
Located in the English Channel near the French coast, Guernsey is known for its beach resorts and scenic coastal cliffs, along with German fortifications, Victorian buildings and medieval architecture. A choice of included excursions here ranges from a sightseeing drive across the island ending with a visit to the Little Chapel in the center of Guernsey; a walking tour of Saint Peter Port that visits the gardens of Candie and its restored Victorian glasshouses; or an active clifftop hike* from the seafront to colorful Moulin Huet Valley, passing landscapes that inspired writings from The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and works by Victor Hugo who dearly loved this area.
DAY 5 – An Idyllic Day at Sea
Enjoy an entire day at sea as your ship cruises towards France, taking advantage of the ocean views and attending a lecture by your Tauck Director in the ship’s theatre. Onboard delights include two dining venues, a swimming pool and fitness center and an innovative underwater lounge that lets you see what’s happening in the deep blue sea!
DAY 6 – Wines in St. Émilion and Bonjour Bordeaux!
Disembark this morning for a drive to the alluring medieval village of Saint Émilion where a guided walking tour introduces you to its legends and limestone landmarks, highlighted by a taste of its full bodied wines at an acclaimed wine estate. This afternoon bask in the beauty of Bordeaux on a classic walking tour or sightseeing drive. Dinner tonight is at a country wine château that is magnifique in every way, enticing with a walk through the wine cellars that finishes with a glass of Cremant de Bordeaux on the lawn, weather permitting. Your ship sails for Spain late tonight.
DAY 7 – A Day in Bilbao or a Taste of San Sebastián
Welcome to Basque country in northern Spain for an afternoon of sightseeing pleasures. Dock in Bilbao where you may wish to join a local guide for a guided walking tour that features the architectural gems of this port city and includes a visit to Bilbao’s Bellas Artes Museum. Or learn about the city’s transformation to a sought-after multi-faceted cosmopolitan destination from a local expert who shares secrets you won’t get from a guidebook, including where to find the best pintxos in the city, with tastings at every stop! Nearby the seaside resort of San Sebastián entices with surfing, medieval streets and culinary treats renowned the world over. Your third choice takes you to San Sebastián for a tasting tour of its famous Basque cuisine – and pinxtos!
DAY 8 – The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
Designed by American architect Frank Gehry, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is one of modern architecture’s most iconic buildings. Besides sparking the attention of travelers from around the world, it put the city in the international tourism spotlight. View its head-turning architectural details, flowing canopies, cliffs, promontories, ship shapes, towers and flying fins, before venturing inside the museum to see its collection of contemporary art. Return to your ship for an afternoon cruise and dinner.
DAY 9 – A Pilgrimage to Santiago
Wake up in A Coruña, Spain for a drive to the famous pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela, burial place of the apostle St. James, and the third-most-holy city of the Christian world after Rome and Jerusalem. Discover the sights your way, taking a walking tour back in time along flagstone streets to churches and shrines, listening to entertaining insights from your local guide, or following the “Little Way” on a pilgrimage walk on the Camino of St. James that ends at the Cathedral of Santiago. Everyone meets up for a private lunch at a restored 18th-century Franciscan convent hotel before time at leisure in town. Your ship charts a course towards Portugal tonight.
DAY 10 – Pretty Porto As You Choose
Arrive in the port of Leixoes for the excursion of your choice in oceanfront Porto; its historic center is designated a UNSECO World Heritage Site, with stunning Art Deco architecture, churches and a train station impeccably dressed iconic blue tiles. You may decide to join a local guide for a classic tour of the city, riding a private cable car up to the historic heart of the city for a walking tour or you may choose to explore the city by private cable car, with a water taxi to Gaia across the Douro and a cable car to the top of Luiz I Bridge for inspiring views. For a more active look at the city, join our local guide for a bicycle tour* that follows the river before hopping off for a walking tour of historic downtown Porto.
DAY 11 – Disembark Lisbon/Sintra or Cheese Making
Disembark ship in Lisbon for a choice of excursions today. Drive outside of the city to the village of Sintra where fairytale palaces, scenic landscapes and a visit to the grand 20th-century Quinta da Regaleira make your morning magic. Or satisfy your appetite with a taste of local specialties in the village of Azeitão, including a visit to a wine cellar famous for its Muscatel wine and a cheese making demonstration with samples, of course. Return to Lisbon for time at leisure and check into your hotel, the InterContinental Lisbon or the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon, located atop one of the city’s seven hills close to must-see sights.
DAY 12 – Landmarks of Lisbon, Your Way
Explore Lisbon as you like today choosing from a sightseeing drive through the city that includes the Parque da Nações, the Baixa, Lisbon’s historic heart, and Avenue da Liberdade reminiscent of Parisian boulevards, to the Parque Eduardo VII stunning with views or a walking tour that takes you through the steep lanes of the Alfama neighborhood up to terraced sights and rooftops at Portas do Sol, the Mosterio São Vincente de Fora and the Triumphal Arch of Rua Agusta for rewarding panoramic views, ending with a rooftop cocktail at a charming hotel. Spend the afternoon at leisure before joining us for a farewell reception and dinner.
Tour Ends: Lisbon. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included to Lisbon Airport or train station from the InterContinental Lisbon or the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon. Allow a minimum of three hours for flight check-in at the airport.