Variety Cruises has announced it will launch its first season in Spain and Portugal with the new Glories of Spain & Portugal cruise, an eight day sailing aboard the 25-cabin Panorama II, in May 2017.
The sailings will depart on Saturdays between May 13 and October 21, 2017, traveling from Malaga, Spain to Lisbon, Portugal (or reversed), and include excursions in Grenada, Ronda, Gibraltar, Seville and Jerez de la Frontera. Passengers will have the opportunity to see UNESCO-classified monuments and architectural sites such as the Alhambra Palace, sample local sherry and experience the region's mix of Spanish, Moorish and Portuguese cultural heritage.
In Motril, travelers will explore Grenada, and in Porto Banus, a stop in the historic town of Ronda will give visitors the chance to experience the location known as the birthplace of modern bullfighting.
Continuing to Gibraltar, tour goers have the option of visiting the Rock, offering views overlooking the British colony. In Seville an optional excursion will take travelers to the Cathedral, the Alcazar Palace and its Andalusian gardens, the Maria Luisa Park and the district of Santa Cruz. Later, the group will visit Jerez de la Frontera, a town known for its wines, horse breeding and flamenco music.
A visit to Silves will travel through 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. Later, in the city of Monchique, travelers will walk through cobbled streets and see a 17th century Franciscan monastery overlooking the town. The group will sail to Lisbon the next day.
Rates for the Glories of Spain & Portugal cruise range from $2,290 - $3,390 per person, based on double occupancy and depending on cabin class. The price includes buffet breakfast and two meals daily, including a welcome cocktail hour and captain’s dinner, use of fishing and snorkeling equipment and an English-speaking cruise escort.