|Photo by Freeimages.com/Ruth Steele|
Variety Cruises has announced plans for a new Glories of Spain & Portugal itinerary to launch in May 2017.
The eight-day cruise onboard the 25-cabin Panorama II will sail Saturdays between May 13 and October 21, 2017, taking passengers between Malaga, Spain, and Lisbon, Portugal (or reverse), with stops in Grenada, Ronda, Gibraltar, Seville and Jerez de la Frontera. Along the way, travelers see UNESCO-classified monuments and sights like the Alhambra Palace, taste fine sherry and experience the region's rich mix of Spanish, Moorish and Portuguese cultural heritage. The cruise marks Variety Cruises' first season in Spain and Portugal.
In Motril, travelers have the option to visit Grenada, the last Muslim city to fall to the Christians in 1492. Here they visit the Alhambra, a series of palaces and gardens built under the Nazari Dynasty in the 14th century. Sailing to Porto Banus, travelers can visit Ronda, a city which retains much of its historic charm, particularly its old town and the nearby 18th century Puente Nuevo. Ronda is also famous as the birthplace of modern bullfighting, today witnessed once a year at the occasion of the Feria Goyesca.
Continuing to Gibraltar, tour goers have the option of visiting the Rock for a breathtaking view of this British colony. In Seville, the optional excursion takes travelers to the Cathedral, the Alcazar Palace and its Andalusian gardens, the Maria Luisa Park and the district of Santa Cruz. Later in the journey, the group visits Jerez de la Frontera, famous for its wines, horse breeding and flamenco music.
In Silves, largely destroyed by a 17th century earthquake, travelers will explore a centuries-old Moorish castle complex with an underground water reservoir, a 13th century cathedral built by Alfonso X of Castile on the site of a former mosque and a 15th century bridge over the Rio Arade. Next traveling to the city of Monchique, guests will walk through its cobbled streets with small doorways housing various artisan trades and see a 17th century Franciscan monastery overlooking the town. The group sets sail for Lisbon the next day.
Glories of Spain & Portugal will be available from $2,290 - $3,390 per person, based on double occupancy and depending on cabin class. Price includes buffet breakfast and two meals daily, including a welcome cocktail hour and Captain's dinner, use of fishing and snorkeling equipment and the services of an English-speaking cruise escort.