Authentic Andalusia

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Cruising with Fred. is without doubt the best way to uncover the cultures and traditions of Andalusia; so get set for fine art, sultry dancing, spectacular scenery and marvellous architectural wonders galore on this extensive exploration of one of Spain’s most beautiful and seductive regions aboard Balmoral. 

With an overnight stay in Malaga, you’ll have time to marvel at magnificent Moorish-style structures including the iconic Alcazaba Fortress; learn about the life and works of Picasso – a Malaga native – at the Picasso Museum; and join a tour to Granada to visit the striking Alhambra Palace before sailing on to Almeria. From here you can tour to ‘Oasys Mini Hollywood’ – the desert setting for spaghetti westerns such as For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

After exploring some of Andalusia’s finest cities, enjoy fantastic tax-free shopping in stores you recognise from home and ride a cable car to the top of iconic rock in Gibraltar – the Mediterranean’s ‘little bit of Britain’. Cruising onwards to Portugal, an abundance of scenic sights and cultural delights await discovery in Lisbon, including the Belém Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries; fascinating museums and galleries including the National Museum of Contemporary Art; and an array of fantastic cafes and restaurants. Be sure to sample delicious egg pastries at the famous Pasteis de Belém. Balmoral will then return to Spain where you can visit the UNESCO-listed Santiago de Compostela Cathedral on a tour from Vigo; and enjoy a scenic tour of La Coruna, home of the world’s oldest working lighthouse – the Tower of Hercules – before sailing home.

Inclusions

  • Flight from Dublin to Malaga, Spain
  • All Transfers airport / port
  • 9 nights accommodation aboard the Balmoral based on 2 sharing
  • Fine dining on a full board basis
  • All onboard entertainment
  • Flight from Newcastle, UK to Dublin
  • One check-in bag of 15kgs and one 10kgs carry-on per person
  • Taxes and charges of €130

Itinerary

Day 1 Malaga, Spain

Following a flight from Dublin to Malaga, you will be transferred to the port to board the Fred. Olsen Balmoral where you can settle in or explore the ship. The ship stays in Malaga overnight.

Day 2 Malaga, Spain

In the fabulous city of Malaga – the birthplace of Picasso – visit the Moorish Alcazaba Fortress, try authentic Spanish tapas or take a tour to Granada and the Alhambra Palace. This 14th-century structure is Spain’s finest expression of Moorish art.

This busy and cosmopolitan city rests on the golden shores of glorious Spanish coastline. Malaga’s skyline appears industrial and vast from a distance, but get into the thick of it and you will unravel its layers of charm and history.

Day 3 Almeria, Spain

A city steeped in history, Almeria is one of the most interesting destinations to visit in Andalusia. Once one of the Islamic Cordoba Caliphate’s major ports, the cityscape is dominated by the ancient Arab fortress of Alcazaba – from where wonderful views of the beautiful port and city centre are found – and the 16th century, renaissance style fortified Cathedral.

Within the city centre, there is plenty to enjoy, including several museums that contain historic artefacts from Prehistoric, Iberic, Roman and Greek times. There are also a number of bars and restaurants serving tapas and local meats, fish and delicious seafood. Away from the centre, you will find gorgeous beaches with dark sands and rocky coves, the perfect place to lie back, relax and soak up Almeria’s warm, soothing climate.

Day 4 Gibraltar

Dominated by ‘the Rock’, a towering 1,396 ft sentinel that guards the Straits, Gibraltar is a pretty, British-controlled territory with a distinctly familiar atmosphere. With helmeted policemen and British institutions such as Marks & Spencer, Gibraltar feels like a home from home, a little slice of Great Britain with a glorious Mediterranean climate.

Resolutely British for nearly 300 years, Gibraltar’s unique history and setting unites the oddly familiar – from the helmeted policemen to Marks & Spencer – with an extrovert Mediterranean mood. Take a trip to see the Barbary Apes, test the shops and pubs in Main Street and Irish Town, grab some duty-free shopping or board a cable-car to enjoy the grandstand views of nearby Spain and Africa.

Day 5 Lisbon, Portugal

Spread out over seven hills on the north of the River Tagus, Lisbon is a delightful mix of palaces, churches, art nouveau cafés, gardens, ancient castles and splendid bridges. These include the Ponte 25 de Abril – similar to the Golden Gate in San Francisco – and the Ponte Vasco da Gama, which includes over 11km of viaducts.

Lisbon has many fascinating museums, including the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Coach Museum and the Carmo Archaeological Museum. It’s also a shopper’s paradise, with the Centro Commercial Colombo – the biggest shopping mall on the Iberian peninsula – and the elegant Avenidas Novas, full of upmarket shops. Alternatively, search for bargains alongside the locals in the flea market at Campo de Santa Clara.

Day 6 Vigo, Spain

his Galician gem offers something for everyone. ‘Culture vultures’ will love exploring the pretty old quarter and admire the beautiful Neoclassical architecture; while sun-seekers will cherish the gorgeous golden-sand beaches which stretch along the city’s stunning Atlantic coastline.

Situated on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and home to one of the finest natural ports in the world, Vigo has been an important part of Spain’s maritime industry for centuries. Boasting an interesting historic quarter, modern marina and pretty centre, this city is packed full of attractions

Day 7 La Coruna, Spain

The diverse architectural styles of La Coruna make this city an absolute delight for sightseeing. From the incredible medieval buildings and monuments to the stylish modernist houses that line the waterfront, La Coruna has something for everyone. The city also boasts an impressive seafront promenade, beautiful beaches and a host of attractions such as the Domus museum, the Casa del Hombre and Torre De Hercules – said to be the only Roman lighthouse in existence – which offers stunning views from the top of its 60-metre high tower.

Day 8-9 At Sea

Cruising

Day 10 Newcastle, UK

Once you have disembarked the Balmoral and finished your wonderful adventure we will have you transferred to the airport to get your flight back to Dublin.

Accommodation

9 Nights accommodation aboard the Balmoral, operated by Fred. Olsen Cruise Line.

Balmoral is the largest and newest cruise ship, named after the Scottish home of the Royal Family. Still smaller than most cruise ships today, there are 710 cabins and suites and generous public space for the 1,300 guests on board.

The main restaurant is Ballindalloch (named after the Speyside village and castle), while the two other formal restaurants – Avon and Spey – are also in keeping with the Scottish theme and are named after two of Scotland’s most beautiful salmon rivers.

There’s a comfy pub with occasional live music or comedy, cabaret and shows in the Neptune Lounge, or drift away with a cool drink and spectacular seascapes in the Observatory Lounge.

Extra Information

Booking remarks

  • Inclusive of taxes and service charges as indicated
  • Non-refundable deposit of 15% due on confirmation of booking
  • 2% surcharge if balance is paid by credit card
  • Optional Insurance available (call for details)
  • Drinks packages available to prebook – only €18 per person per night
  • Gratuities from €5 per person per night payable at the end of your cruise onboard M.S. Balmoral
  • These prices are guidelines only and are subject to change and availability. Pricing will be confirmed at time of booking.

  Cost per person: €1,389pp
  Number of nights: 9

07 July 2017 Inside €1,389
07 July 2017 Oceanview  €1,559
07 July 2017 Superior Oceanview €1,819
07 July 2017 Single Inside  €2,029 

Tour supplied in Partnership with:

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  Call:  (01) 294 1000