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Iberia & Atlantic Harbors

11th June 2022 FOR 21 NIGHTS | Seabourn Ovation

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WHY WE RECOMMEND Iberian Peninsula CRUISES

See Iberian Peninsula Cruises

The Iberian Peninsula – commonly referred to as Iberia – is located in south-western Europe and is the third largest of the European peninsulas, encompassing Spain, Portugal and Andorra alongside the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar and parts of southern France. The region is well-known for its warm Mediterranean climate and boasts a number of famous coastal cities including Barcelona, Porto, Lisbon, Seville and Valencia, all of which are regularly featured on voyages to the region.

Large parts of the Iberian Peninsula are situated within Europe’s Mediterranean region, and as such, Iberian destinations are often included within Mediterranean itineraries.

Iberia has a long and fascinating history, which can be observed at a multitude of historical sites across the region. Visitors can also delve into the local culture of each new port and sample some sumptuous Spanish cuisine or purchase traditional gifts and souvenirs from an abundance of shops and markets found in the vast majority of the peninsula’s ports.

A number of different cruises travel to the Iberian Peninsula throughout the year, usually as part of a Mediterranean voyage, and guests are rewarded with a beautiful climate, stunning scenery and intriguing culture across the region.

There are many luxury Iberian Peninsula cruises available to book right now at SixStarCruises.co.uk with the world's most popular luxury cruise lines, so take a look at what's on offer now and secure your place on-board for the holiday of a lifetime.

With a huge variety of Iberian voyages available year round, we specialise in providing luxury experiences and some of the best cruises to the Iberian Peninsula. Simply call our award-winning Cruise Concierge team to find out how we can tailor your perfect luxury cruise.

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itinerary

1

Barcelona00:00 - 17:00

The infinite variety of street life, the nooks and crannies of the medieval Barri Gòtic, the ceramic tile and stained glass of Art Nouveau facades, the art and music, the throb of street life, the food (ah, the food!)—one way or another, Barcelona will find a way to get your full attention. The capital of Catalonia is a banquet for the senses, with its beguiling mix of ancient and modern architecture, tempting cafés and markets, and sun-drenched Mediterranean beaches. A stroll along La Rambla and through waterfront Barceloneta, as well as a tour of Gaudí's majestic Sagrada Famíliaand his other unique creations, are part of a visit to Spain's second-largest city. Modern art museums and chic shops call for attention, too. Barcelona's vibe stays lively well into the night, when you can linger over regional wine and cuisine at buzzing tapas bars.

11 Jun 2022

2

Valencia08:00 - 18:00

Valencia, Spain's third-largest municipality, is a proud city with a thriving nightlife and restaurant scene, quality museums, and spectacular contemporary architecture, juxtaposed with a thoroughly charming historic quarter, making it a popular destination year in year out. During the Civil War, it was the last seat of the Republican Loyalist government (1935–36), holding out against Franco’s National forces until the country fell to 40 years of dictatorship. Today it represents the essence of contemporary Spain—daring design and architecture along with experimental cuisine—but remains deeply conservative and proud of its traditions. Though it faces the Mediterranean, Valencia's history and geography have been defined most significantly by the River Turia and the fertile huerta that surrounds it.The city has been fiercely contested ever since it was founded by the Greeks. El Cid captured Valencia from the Moors in 1094 and won his strangest victory here in 1099: he died in the battle, but his corpse was strapped into his saddle and so frightened the besieging Moors that it caused their complete defeat. In 1102 his widow, Jimena, was forced to return the city to Moorish rule; Jaume I finally drove them out in 1238. Modern Valencia was best known for its frequent disastrous floods until the River Turia was diverted to the south in the late 1950s. Since then the city has been on a steady course of urban beautification. The lovely bridges that once spanned the Turia look equally graceful spanning a wandering municipal park, and the spectacularly futuristic Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències (City of Arts and Sciences), most of it designed by Valencia-born architect Santiago Calatrava, has at last created an exciting architectural link between this river town and the Mediterranean. If you're in Valencia, an excursion to Albufera Nature Park is a worthwhile day trip.

12 Jun 2022

3

Cartagena08:00 - 18:00

A Mediterranean city and naval station located in the Region of Murcia, southeastern Spain, Cartagena’s sheltered bay has attracted sailors for centuries. The Carthaginians founded the city in 223BC and named it Cartago Nova; it later became a prosperous Roman colony, and a Byzantine trading centre. The city has been the main Spanish Mediterranean naval base since the reign of King Philip II, and is still surrounded by walls built during this period. Cartagena’s importance grew with the arrival of the Spanish Bourbons in the 18th century, when the Navidad Fortress was constructed to protect the harbour. In recent years, traces of the city’s fascinating past have been brought to light: a well-preserved Roman Theatre was discovered in 1988, and this has now been restored and opened to the public. During your free time, you may like to take a mini-cruise around Cartagena's historic harbour: these operate several times a day, take approximately 40 minutes and do not need to be booked in advance. Full details will be available at the port.

13 Jun 2022

4

Melilla08:00 - 18:00

The autonomous city of Melilla is a Spanish enclave located on the Mediterranean Rif coast of North Africa, bordering Morocco. Its chequered past embraced periods of Phoenician, Punic, Roman and Byzantine rule before it was conquered by Spain in 1497. The latter part of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century saw hostilities between Rif berbers and the Spanish, with the latter finally reinstating their control in 1927. The city was used by General Franco as one of the staging points for the rebellion of 1936. As part of the Spanish protectorate, Melilla developed the architectural style of 'Modernisme', the Catalan version of Art Nouveau, and boasts the second most important concentration of Modernist works in Spain, after Barcelona.

14 Jun 2022

5

Tangier08:00 - 17:00

Tangier can trace its origins back to the Phoenicians and ancient Greeks. It was named after Tinge, the mother of Hercules’ son, and its beginnings are embedded in mythology. It was subsequently a Roman province, and after Vandal and Byzantine influences, was occupied by the Arabs with Spain, Portugal, France and England also playing a part in the city’s history. With such a diverse past it is perhaps not surprising that Tangier is such an individual city. Overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar, the city lies on a bay between two promontories. With its old Kasbah, panoramic views, elegant buildings, squares and places of interest, there is much to discover in both the new and old parts of the city.

15 Jun 2022

6

Casablanca07:00 - 23:00

The original settlement formed on the site of Casablanca by the Berbers became the kingdom of Anfa, and during the 15th century harboured pirates who raided the Portuguese coast. In retaliation for the attacks, the Portuguese destroyed Anfa and founded the town they called Casa Branca (white house). They remained here until an earthquake in 1755 and the town was subsequently rebuilt by Mohammed ben Abdallah, whose legacy of mosques and houses can still be seen in the old Medina. Casablanca acquired its present-day name when the Spanish obtained special port privileges in 1781. The French landed here in 1907, later establishing a protectorate and modelling the town on the port of Marseilles. Today Casablanca is Morocco’s largest city, its most significant port and the centre of commerce and industry. The city is a vibrant fusion of European, African and Arabian influences and its French colonial architecture and art deco buildings seamlessly blend in with the busy, colourful markets. Please note that vendors in the souks can be very persistent and eager to make a sale.

16 Jun 2022

7

At Sea

17 Jun 2022

8

Lisbon07:00 - 17:00

Set on seven hills on the banks of the River Tagus, Lisbon has been the capital of Portugal since the 13th century. It is a city famous for its majestic architecture, old wooden trams, Moorish features and more than twenty centuries of history. Following disastrous earthquakes in the 18th century, Lisbon was rebuilt by the Marques de Pombal who created an elegant city with wide boulevards and a great riverfront and square, Praça do Comércio. Today there are distinct modern and ancient sections, combining great shopping with culture and sightseeing in the Old Town, built on the city's terraced hillsides. The distance between the ship and your tour vehicle may vary. This distance is not included in the excursion grades.

18 Jun 2022

9

At Sea

19 Jun 2022

10

Gijón08:00 - 18:00

The Campo Valdés baths, dating back to the 1st century AD, and other reminders of Gijón's time as an ancient Roman port remain visible downtown. Gijón was almost destroyed in a 14th-century struggle over the Castilian throne, but by the 19th century it was a thriving port and industrial city. The modern-day city is part fishing port, part summer resort, and part university town, packed with cafés, restaurants, and sidrerías.

20 Jun 2022

11

Bilbao08:00 - 18:00

Time in Bilbao (Bilbo, in Euskera) may be recorded as BG or AG (Before Guggenheim or After Guggenheim). Never has a single monument of art and architecture so radically changed a city. Frank Gehry's stunning museum, Norman Foster's sleek subway system, the Santiago Calatrava glass footbridge and airport, the leafy César Pelli Abandoibarra park and commercial complex next to the Guggenheim, and the Philippe Starck AlhóndigaBilbao cultural center have contributed to an unprecedented cultural revolution in what was once the industry capital of the Basque Country.Greater Bilbao contains almost 1 million inhabitants, nearly half the total population of the Basque Country. Founded in 1300 by Vizcayan noble Diego López de Haro, Bilbao became an industrial center in the mid-19th century, largely because of the abundance of minerals in the surrounding hills. An affluent industrial class grew up here, as did the working class in suburbs that line the Margen Izquierda (Left Bank) of the Nervión estuary.Bilbao's new attractions get more press, but the city's old treasures still quietly line the banks of the rust-color Nervión River. The Casco Viejo (Old Quarter)—also known as Siete Calles (Seven Streets)—is a charming jumble of shops, bars, and restaurants on the river's Right Bank, near the Puente del Arenal bridge. This elegant proto-Bilbao nucleus was carefully restored after devastating floods in 1983. Throughout the Casco Viejo are ancient mansions emblazoned with family coats of arms, wooden doors, and fine ironwork balconies. The most interesting square is the 64-arch Plaza Nueva, where an outdoor market is pitched every Sunday morning.Walking the banks of the Nervión is a satisfying jaunt. After all, this was how—while out on a morning jog—Guggenheim director Thomas Krens first discovered the perfect spot for his project, nearly opposite the right bank's Deusto University. From the Palacio de Euskalduna upstream to the colossal Mercado de la Ribera, parks and green zones line the river. César Pelli's Abandoibarra project fills in the half mile between the Guggenheim and the Euskalduna bridge with a series of parks, the Deusto University library, the Meliá Bilbao Hotel, and a major shopping center.On the left bank, the wide, late-19th-century boulevards of the Ensanche neighborhood, such as Gran Vía (the main shopping artery) and Alameda de Mazarredo, are the city's more formal face. Bilbao's cultural institutions include, along with the Guggenheim, a major museum of fine arts (the Museo de Bellas Artes) and an opera society (Asociación Bilbaína de Amigos de la Ópera, or ABAO) with 7,000 members from Spain and southern France. In addition, epicureans have long ranked Bilbao's culinary offerings among the best in Spain. Don't miss a chance to ride the trolley line, the Euskotram, for a trip along the river from Atxuri Station to Basurto's San Mamés soccer stadium, reverently dubbed "la Catedral del Fútbol" (the Cathedral of Football).

21 Jun 2022

12

At Sea

22 Jun 2022

13

Saint-Malo08:00 - 17:00

Thrust out into the sea and bound to the mainland only by tenuous man-made causeways, romantic St-Malo has built a reputation as a breeding ground for phenomenal sailors. Many were fishermen, but others—most notably Jacques Cartier, who claimed Canada for Francis I in 1534—were New World explorers. Still others were corsairs, "sea dogs" paid by the French crown to harass the Limeys across the Channel: legendary ones like Robert Surcouf and Duguay-Trouin helped make St-Malo rich through their pillaging, in the process earning it the nickname "the pirates' city." The St-Malo you see today isn’t quite the one they called home because a weeklong fire in 1944, kindled by retreating Nazis, wiped out nearly all of the old buildings. Restoration work was more painstaking than brilliant, but the narrow streets and granite houses of the Vieille Ville were satisfactorily recreated, enabling St-Malo to regain its role as a busy fishing port, seaside resort, and tourist destination. The ramparts that help define this city figuratively and literally are authentic, and the flames also spared houses along Rue de Pelicot in the Vieille Ville. Battalions of tourists invade this quaint part of town in summer, so arrive off-season if you want to avoid crowds.

23 Jun 2022

14

Plymouth08:00 - 18:00

Best known as the port from which Sir Francis Drake and the port which the Pilgrim Fathers set sail from, Plymouth is awash with history. Walk down its cobbled streets, step back in time and discover the historical landmarks and sites.

24 Jun 2022

15

Cowes, Isle of Wight08:00 - 17:00

The 147-square-mile island with its pretty bays and thatched villages is like a miniature England. A well-preserved Victorian character dates from no other than Queen Victoria herself, who favored the island as her summer residence and made it her permanent home after the death of her husband, Prince Albert. Several other great names have close associations with the Isle of Wight, such as Tennyson, Dickens and Keats. The small port of Cowes at the northern tip of the island hosts every year in August Britain’s most prestigious sailing event – Cowes Week, often called “the yachtsman’s Ascot.”This is when the cozy and laid-back island bursts with visitors from all over, who fill the ranks of the island’s retired folk. Apart from being a haven for sailing craft, the world’s first hovercraft made its test runs here in the 1950s. For a place of relatively small size, the Isle of Wight packs a startling variety of landscapes and coastal scenery, ranging from a terrain of low-lying woodland and pasture to open chalky downland fringed by high cliffs. In addition, there are a number of historic buildings and a splendid array of well-preserved Victoriana. The town of Cowes is bisected by the Medina River, with West Cowes near the harbor being the old, pretty part, while East Cowes is more industrialized. Outside the suburbs stands Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s favorite residence. The grand mansion was largely designed by Albert, and the interior has been left very much as it was in the Queen’s lifetime. Around the island, some of the highlights include the Needles, three tall chalk stacks beneath the cliffs at the far west end of the island. The small village of Shanklin is known for its golden cliffs and a scenic steep ravine whose mossy, fern-filled woods have been embellished with tiny lights and thatched tea shops. The port of Yarmouth features an attractive fortress and quaint pubs in the main square. Pier Information The ship is scheduled to anchor off Cowes. Guests will be taken ashore via ship’s tender. Walking distance to the town center is approximately 5 minutes. Taxis are generally available for trips around the island. Shopping Shops in the town center of Cowes carry maritime items and yachting attire, local glassware and the famous Isle of Wight colored sand. Normal opening times are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The local currency is the pound. Cuisine Not surprisingly, seafood is a good choice as well as other popular English fare. If you fancy lunch ashore, you may want to give the Amadeus Restaurant in Cowes a try, or stop in one of the local pubs for a quick meal and a cold beer. Other Sites Most of the island’s sights are covered in the organized excursions. Additionally, at the far west end of the island is the site of The Needles, a cluster of three tall chalk stacks beneath steep cliffs. The drive there takes about 45 minutes each way. Nearby is Alum Bay. The oxidized sandstone cliffs are popular for their multicolored sands, which are collected and arranged in diverse glass bottles, making popular souvenirs. Private arrangements are not encouraged in this port.

25 Jun 2022

16

Zeebrugge10:00 - 23:00

In 1895 work began to construct a new seaport and harbour next to the tiny village of Zeebrugge, situated on the North Sea coast. Today the fast-expanding port of Zeebrugge is one of the busiest in Europe and its marina is Belgium’s most important fishing port. Many attempts were made to destroy this important port during both World Wars. Zeebrugge is ideally located for discovering the historic city of Bruges, and delightful seaside resorts with long sandy beaches can be visited by using the trams that run the whole length of the Belgian coast. Please note that no food may be taken ashore in Belgium. We shall not be offering shuttle buses to Bruges, but you may visit the city on an optional excursion: those visiting Bruges should note that there may be quite a long walk from the coach to the town centre.

26 Jun 2022

17

Antwerp08:00 - 23:00

Explore Antwerp, Belgium's second city. Known for its diamond cutting industry, fashion and the many great artists that lived in its vicinity, Antwerp is a city focused on art and culture.

27 Jun 2022

18

At Sea

28 Jun 2022

19

Esbjerg07:00 - 17:00

Esbjerg is a seaport town and seat of Esbjerg Municipality on the west coast of the Jutland peninsula in southwest Denmark. By road, it is 71 kilometres west of Kolding and 164 kilometres southwest of Aarhus. With an urban population of 72,037 it is the fifth-largest city in Denmark, and the largest in West Jutland.

29 Jun 2022

20

Kristiansand08:00 - 18:00

Nicknamed "Sommerbyen" ("Summer City"), Norway's fifth-largest city has 78,000 inhabitants. Norwegians come here for its sun-soaked beaches and beautiful harbor. Kristiansand has also become known internationally for the outdoor Quart Festival, which hosts local and international rock bands every July. According to legend, in 1641 King Christian IV marked the four corners of Kristiansand with his walking stick, and within that framework the grid of wide streets was laid down. The center of town, called the Kvadraturen, still retains the grid, even after numerous fires. In the northeast corner is Posebyen, one of northern Europe's largest collections of low, connected wooden house settlements, and there's a market here every Saturday in summer. Kristiansand's Fisketorvet (fish market) is near the south corner of the town's grid, right on the sea.

30 Jun 2022

21

Gothenburg08:00 - 18:00

Don't tell the residents of Göteborg that they live in Sweden's "second city," but not because they will get upset (people here are known for their amiability and good humor). They just may not understand what you are talking about. People who call Göteborg (pronounced YOO-teh-bor; most visitors stick with the simpler "Gothenburg") home seem to forget that the city is diminutive in size and status compared to Stockholm.Spend a couple of days here and you'll forget, too. You'll find it's easier to ask what Göteborg hasn't got to offer rather than what it has. Culturally it is superb, boasting a fine opera house and theater, one of the country's best art museums, as well as a fantastic applied-arts museum. There's plenty of history to soak up, from the ancient port that gave the city its start to the 19th-century factory buildings and workers' houses that helped put it on the commercial map. For those looking for nature, the wild-west coast and tame green fields are both within striking distance. And don't forget the food. Since its inception in 1983, more than half of the "Swedish Chef of the Year" competition winners were cooking in Göteborg.

01 Jul 2022

22

Copenhagen

By the 11th century, Copenhagen was already an important trading and fishing centre and today you will find an attractive city which, although the largest in Scandinavia, has managed to retain its low-level skyline. Discover some of the famous attractions including Gefion Fountain and Amalienborg Palace, perhaps cruise the city’s waterways, visit Rosenborg Castle or explore the medieval fishing village of Dragoer. Once the home of Hans Christian Andersen, Copenhagen features many reminders of its fairytale heritage and lives up to the reputation immortalised in the famous song ‘Wonderful Copenhagen’.

02 Jul 2022

(This holiday is generally suitable for persons with reduced mobility. For customers with reduced mobility or any medical condition that may require special assistance or arrangements to be made, please notify your Cruise Concierge at the time of your enquiry, so that we can provide specific information as to the suitability of the holiday, as well as make suitable arrangements with the Holiday Provider on your behalf).

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