In the late spring, join us aboard the MS Serenissima in the historic port of Lisbon as we prepare to journey on a 1500 mile coastal voyage that will take us along the Atlantic shores of Portugal, Spain and France. These are perfect sailing waters allowing us to visit some marvellously historic and scenic places. In the main we will give the large ports a wide berth, preferring to call into small islands and out of the way places.

We will enjoy many marvellous gardens in all their springtime glory, meander through the Galician and Basque countryside, step into the pilgrimage cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and wonder at the treasures of the Guggenheim Museum. Few itineraries in Europe can offer such a wide ranging and endlessly fascinating cultural experience. The contrasting architecture, the port Lodges of Porto, the fine wines of Bordeaux, the rich maritime history and the sheer beauty of the coastal landscapes. Everyone should undertake this journey once in their life to appreciate how much these Atlantic shores have contributed to the history and culture of Western Europe.

Highlights


• Enjoy a half day tour to some of the wonderful houses and gardens of the Galicia region.

• Drive to El Grove and board a catamaran for a journey along the estuary towards the bateas, the floating docks used for mussel farming. Learn about the local industry before enjoying some freshly caught mussels.

• Discover the charming town of San Sebastian.

• Drive through the enchanting countryside along the Medoc wine route also known as the ‘Route des Chateaux’.

• Take a short ferry ride to the charming Ile de Batz.

Fly by scheduled flight. Arrive this afternoon and transfer to the MS Serenissima. Embark and sail this evening.
Arrive during lunch in the port of Leixoes, our base for our afternoon of activities around Oporto. This afternoon we have a choice of excursions on offer. Either choose to explore Oporto seeing the impressive St. Francis Church and the Ribeira, a riverside Quarter made up of narrow, twisting streets and shadowy arcade, before continuing to a local port wine cellar. Here you will be also able to learn all about these wines and how they are produced. Over the years, methods of maturing and blending were refined and continue today in the port lodges and our guide will explain before we enjoy a tasting. Alternatively the keen gardeners may prefer to drive to the 17th century Casa do Campo which has been with the Meireles Pereira Leite Teixeira Coelho family since its foundation and whose origins go back to the 12th century, where it started out as a part of a group of 29 farmhouses that established the Santo Andre de Molares Parish. The Baroque style garden was built around the 18th century and is crossed by a unique and graceful set of pathways of box-trees and trimmed camellias and through these alleyways we find stone tables, fountains and a pond surrounded by cylinders, rings, sunshades, arches and camellia cupulas making it one of the most artistic gardens in Portugal.
Arrive in Galicia this morning from where we have a choice of excursions. There will be a half day tour to some of the wonderful houses and gardens of the Galicia region. Visit the Pazo de Oca, a Baroque stately home known as the ‘Galician Versailles’ and ‘El Generalife of the north’ due to the beauty of its gardens, combining some of the oldest camellias in Europe with magnificent specimens of magnolias, maple trees, tulip trees, as well as a large avenue of lime trees. Continue to Pazo de Ribadulla dating from the 16th century and set in a beautiful location on the shores of the Ulla Valley. The garden was developed by the Armada family in the 1870s and is today renowned for its outstanding collection of camellia trees, giant magnolias, olive trees and Liriodendrons. Return to the vessel for lunch and an afternoon at leisure. Alternatively enjoy a full day discovery of ‘Rias Baixas’ which translates as low estuaries. Visit the 15th century Pazo de Rubianes where we find one of the three official lordships in Spain. Visit the 11 hectare garden with eucalyptus trees and the French style flowerbeds of sequoias and camphors. Continue to the cellar of Martin Codax where we will learn about local wine production and techniques and enjoy a tasting. After a tapas lunch we drive to El Grove and board a catamaran for a journey along the estuary towards the bateas, the floating docks used for mussel farming. Learn about the local industry before enjoying some freshly caught mussels on the way back to the vessel.
We arrive in La Coruna for our tour to Santiago de Compostela, the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia. The city’s cathedral is the destination of the important Medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St James (in Spanish the ‘Camino de Santiago’), which is still walked today. For those keen to walk some of the route there will be the chance to hike a short section towards Santiago. Otherwise transfer directly to the site where we will visit the Conventual de San Francisco, the Faculty of Medicine and the world-famous known Plaza del Obradoiro. Inside the cathedral, we will visit the Romanic crypt and see the facade of Platerias; the Quintana Plaza; House of Parra; facade of Azabachería; and the facade of San Martin Pinario. Enjoy lunch at a Parador and some free time before returning to the ship this afternoon and sailing.
Gijon is the largest city in Asturias and our base for a day of discovery in the region. Choose from a full day at the lakes of Covadonga nestled in the Picos de Europa Mountains. We will drive into the mountains where we will see the two glacial lakes of Covadonga: Lagos Enol and Lagos Ercina, the original centre of the Picos de Europa National Park. Marvel at the serene, mirror-like waters before we see the beautiful, pink-hued, twinspired Basilica of Santa Maria la Réal. Lunch will be served at the Parador of Cangas, followed by some free time to explore the village of Cangas de Onis before returning to Gijon. Alternatively enjoy a morning in Oviedo, the modern capital of the Asturias region. Oviedo is recognised as the most culturally significant and historically interesting city of the province and after a panoramic drive we begin a walking tour where we will see the San Salvador Gothic Cathedral before exploring the restored Old Town decorated with beautiful sculptures. Return to Gijon for lunch and enjoy a free afternoon to explore the city at your own pace.
Our last call in Spain will be the charming town of San Sebastian. You can choose to explore the nearby town of Hondarribia, one of the most beautiful towns in the Basque region. Spend the morning walking the broad boulevards by the harbour and climbing to the charming fortified enclave Casco Antigua, filled with Medieval mansions, cobbled streets and Baroque architecture. Return to San Sebastian via Monte Igledo from where there are wonderful views over the bay. We will enjoy lunch onboard before a free afternoon in the town to explore the old quarter at your own pace. Alternatively there will be a full day tour to Bilbao where we will visit the impressive Guggenheim Museum which includes an unparalleled collection of twentieth century art including Picasso, Cezanne, Kandinsky and Warhol. We will also enjoy some time in the old quarter, a labyrinth of stone lanes filled with bars and restaurants. After lunch of local pintxos we will return to San Sebastian stopping at Getaria an area famous for its Txacoli wines. We will visit a local vineyard, see the cellars and enjoy a tasting of the white wines.
After a relaxing morning at sea we arrive at the port of Le Verdon, our base for an afternoon in the Medoc vineyards. Despite its location close to the Atlantic the area was developed from the late 17th century as a wine centre and it is the quality of the soil, rather than the weather, which is thanked for providing the impressive wines from the region. From our berth we will drive through the enchanting countryside along the Medoc wine route also known as the ‘Route des Chateaux’. On our journey we will pass by a number of renowned vineyards which are based here such as Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Margaux and Pauillac and see their well-kept grounds buildings. Afterwards we will explore the expansive cellars at one of the Chateaux and discover the secret techniques used to produce the high quality wines of the region before enjoying a tasting.
Spend the morning on the traffic free Ile D’Aix which at just two kilometres long by 600 metres wide is easy to explore by either foot or maybe hire a bicycle. Once heavily fortified to protect the naval base at Rochefort today it is a much more peaceful place. Enjoy time to explore Fort Liedot, which was used as a prison during the French Revolution, see the house where Napoleon spent his last hours before his exile to St Helena or simply stroll the cobbled streets of the small village which showcases the authentic local architecture. Over lunch we sail to La Pallice where we have a choice of activities this afternoon. Maybe choose a tour to Ile de Re, where after a guided tour of the village there will be some time to explore at leisure or visit the lovely food market before we return to La Rochelle through the island’s southern villages and salt marshland. Alternatively drive inland and discover the splendid Chateau La Roche Courbon. Built in the 15th century, this fortified castle was transformed into a comfortable residence in the 17th century by Jean-Louis de Courbon. Inside the Chateau, there is a Louis XII room with painted beams, a kitchen typical of the local style and a guard’s room with vaulted roof and beautiful furniture. Outside, the double half turn stairs will lead you to the French styled gardens with terraces, flowerbeds, orchards, statues and an ornamental lake. Both tours will return to La Rochelle for some time at leisure to discover the old town and the harbour before we sail this evening.
Belle Ile is the largest of all Breton islands with a dramatic coastline comprising cliffs, creeks and beaches. We will spend the morning in Le Palais, the island’s capital which is dominated by a star shaped 16th century citadel. Enjoy time to explore the small town at your leisure, maybe visit the citadel known as the ‘Battleship of the Atlantic’ which was stormed by British troops in 1761 as they took control of the island for two years. Maybe visit the museum overlooking the harbour whilst from the Governor’s Bastion see the gardens and the view over the port and the islands beyond. Alternatively enjoy time to wander through the streets of the town or stop for a coffee before returning to the vessel for lunch and an afternoon at sea.
This morning we arrive in the Brittany port of Roscoff from where we take a short ferry ride to the nearby charming Ile de Batz. This small traffic free island, at only three square miles, is a perfect place to spend a morning. From the harbour you may wish to join us as we walk to the Jardin George Delaselle. This exotic garden was developed in 1897 and now contains more than 2500 different varieties of plants originating from as far afield as New Zealand and Chile as well as an excellent collection of palms. We will be shown around by the head gardener who will explain the cultivation processes. Return to the vessel for lunch and this afternoon we will explore the town and its environs. See the impressive Renaissance mansions, such as Maison de Marie Stuart, built by wealthy ship owners around the church and harbour. Continue to Saint Vougay and see the ‘Chateau de Kerjean’, one of the finest Renaissance buildings in Brittany with a fine collection of traditional Leon furniture. Built in the second part of the 16th century, the castle also has a park covering a total area of around 25 acres, completed with a Renaissance fountain.
Awake this morning at our anchorage in the River Dart. On a choice of excursions you may choose to visit ‘Greenway’, the wonderful historic house and garden that was once home to Agatha Christie. There will be time to explore many of its restored gardens, including the Camellia Garden, a wonderful place to sit and ponder on the history of the house and the notable residents and visitors that have included Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Francis Drake. Alternatively visit the 1920s country retreat of the D’Oyly Carte family at Coleton Fishacre. Lose yourself in the RHS accredited garden by the sea as we wander the paths through glades and past tranquil ponds. Meanwhile the house interior is imbued with 1920s elegance and art deco features, here we can glimpse life both upstairs and downstairs from the glamorous saloon to the servants’ rooms. Return to the vessel for lunch followed by an afternoon at leisure to explore Dartmouth independently.
Disembark this morning. Transfers will be provided to Portsmouth Harbour Railway station and our departure London airport at a fixed time.

Inside single

£ 3695 GBP pp
Inside single
Inside single cabins range in size from 9.9 to 11.52 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Inside cabin

£ 3695 GBP pp
Inside cabin
The inside cabins are approx 10 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Single

£ 3995 GBP pp
Standard Single
The standard single cabins range in size from 7.1 to 12.7 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Stateroom

£ 4095 GBP pp
Standard Stateroom
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Stateroom Plus

£ 4395 GBP pp
Standard Stateroom Plus
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Superior Stateroom

£ 4595 GBP pp
Superior Stateroom
The superior staterooms range in size from 11 to 19.6 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Deluxe Stateroom

£ 4795 GBP pp
Deluxe Stateroom
The deluxe staterooms range in size from 15 to 25.4 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Junior Suite

£ 5195 GBP pp
Junior Suite
The junior suites range in size from 20.9 to 21.7 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Executive Suite

£ 5395 GBP pp
Executive Suite
The executive suites are 25 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Owners Suite

£ 5395 GBP pp
Owners Suite
The owner’s suites are 22.7 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Stateroom Sole

£ 6145 GBP pp
Standard Stateroom Sole
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Stateroom Plus Sole

£ 6595 GBP pp
Standard Stateroom Plus Sole
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Serenissima

Vessel Type: Small Ship

Length: 87 metres

Passenger Capacity: 107

Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013

Prior to her life as the MS Andrea she spent many years cruising the Norwegian coast as the Harald Jarl. The decision by the Norwegian owners, Hurtigruten to invest in much larger new vessels, presented an opportunity to the American company, Elegant Cruises to purchase the vessel in 2002. After a substantial refit of over $20 million in Sweden she began her new life of worldwide cruising.

Perhaps, one of the best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During the major refit in Sweden the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.

Accommodating just under 100 passengers, the 59 cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience and are fully air conditioned with a modern shower and toilet, telephone, flat screen televisions and other thoughtful appointments. There are eight different grades of cabin arranged over five decks and with the exception of the five inside cabins, all staterooms feature either windows or portholes.

The free seating Venice Restaurant accommodates all guests in one sitting. In addition there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. A new addition to the vessel is a Lido area on Deck 5 with a bar and Jacuzzi.

Other facilities on board include two lounges, a small library with two computers for internet access, a spacious observation deck, fitness area, massage and an elevator. The vessel is equipped with Zodiac craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible.

The European captain, officers, expedition staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation.

  

  

Cabin layout for Serenissima

PRE-CRUISE PORTUGAL EXTENSION

For those who would like to explore some of Portugal’s cities and towns before embarking the MS Serenissima we are offering a three night extension visiting Braga, Guimares, Coimbra and Tomar before joining the vessel in Lisbon.

Serenissima

SerenissimaSerenissima

Expedition Expedition

12 Days from
£ 3695 GBP pp

or call us on

NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

to help you make your reservation

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