Expedition Overview

Expedition Overview

  • Sample fine port wines on a tour of their birthplace, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Porto.
  • Watch local fishermen harvest mussels in Galicia or hear local music on a visit to Santiago de Compostela.
  • Explore Bilbao’s famous architecture—from Frank Gehry’s iconic Guggenheim Museum to a stunning footbridge by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.
  • Learn to make pintxos, or Basque tapas, during a cooking demonstration, taste Basque wines, and hear the chords of a traditional instrument called the trikitixa.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Set sail from Lisbon, tracing the Iberian coast to the Bay of Biscay and exploring historic cities and age-old cultures along the way. Meet the port-makers of Porto and discover the gems of this historic city. In Galicia, meet fishermen and musicians and soak up the tranquil beauty of the landscape. Encounter the fabulous architecture that has transformed the port city of Bilbao. Then head deep into Basque country in both France and Spain, exploring markets, villages, music, and cuisine.

This trip is operated in collaboration with Lindblad Expeditions.

Days 1-2: US / LISBON, PORTUGAL

Depart on an overnight flight to Lisbon and set out on a tour of this “city of seven hills.” Learn about Portugal’s seafaring history as you see monuments from the Age of Exploration, such as the 16th-century Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery. This afternoon, embark the National Geographic Resolution and settle into life on board as we set a course for Porto.

Meals Included:Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: PORTO

Arrive in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Porto in the early morning. The birthplace of port wine, Porto is a 2000-year-old city set on the steep banks of the Douro River and filled with architecture that tells the story of its evolution. Visit the city’s highlights today, including impressive displays of Portugal’s famous azulejo tiles, and take in the views from the Ponte Dom Luís I, an iron bridge built by a student of Gustav Eiffel. Learn the secrets of port-making during a tasting at a riverside port lodge.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: VILAGARCIA DE AROUSA, SPAIN/A CORUNA

Anchor in Vilagarcía de Arousa and take a day trip to explore Galicia. Visit a winery, watch how mussel farmers cultivate some of Spain’s best shellfish from floating rafts, and enjoy scenic views of the rolling Galician countryside. Alternatively, travel to Santiago de Compostela, and visit the cathedral that has welcomed millions of pilgrims over the centuries. Enjoy a typical Galician musical performance and a tapas lunch at the adjacent Hostal dos Reis Católicos.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: BILBAO

After cruising along Spain’s northern coast, arrive in Bilbao early this morning. Spend the day discovering this hub of Basque culture, known for its contemporary architectural feats as well as its cuisine. Admire the titanium curves of the iconic Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, designed by Frank Gehry, and learn how it has transformed the city. Take a guided tour of the interior in small groups. Then wander through the cobbled streets of Bilbao’s old quarter or learn how to make pintxos—the Basque take on tapas—during a cooking demonstration.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: SAINT JEAN-DE-LUZ, FRANCE/ SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN

Get acquainted with the traditions of both the French and the Spanish Basques today. Choose a market excursion in the village of Saint Jean-de-Luz to for an introduction to French Basque culture and cuisine, or journey to the French Basque countryside for a wine and pintxos tasting. In Spain’s Basque capital of San Sebastián, discover the region’s ties to the ancient Celts and hear the bouncing rhythms of a trikitixa, a traditional accordion.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7: BORDEAUX, FRANCE

After breakfast, disembark in Bordeaux and depart for the airport for your flight home.

Meals Included:Breakfast