Day 1: SEVILLE
Passengers are welcome to board our ship starting at 5:00 p.m. After comfortably settling into your cabins, we’ll introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail. We’ll then have dinner onboard. Enjoy some free time in Seville this evening. We’ll remain in port overnight.
Day 2: SEVILLE - CADIZ
Hiking program: Urban trek through the attractive district of Santa Cruz in Seville. At the heart of the city, you’ll fall in love with the charming streets, flowered patios and picturesque whitewashed homes. We’ll walk through the Maria Luisa Park, named after princess María Luisa d'Orleans who donated the grounds of the San Telmo Palace to the city in 1893. The park was designed between 1911 and 1914 by the French landscape architect Jean-Claude Forestier. The star attraction of the park is the Plaza de España, a majestic crescent-shaped complex arranged around a central square. (Approx. 4 hours - 5 miles - no altitude difference)
Non-hiking program: Guided tour of Seville. Discover the cathedral, Alcazar palace (closed on Mondays) and its Andalusian gardens, Maria Luisa Park, and the attractive district of Santa Cruz.
We’ll return to the boat at the beginning of the afternoon. Then, we’ll cast off and begin our cruise along the great river. The river's name comes from a classical Arab phrase meaning "great valley" and reminds us of the times when the Moors reigned over Al-Andalus. We’ll arrive in Cádiz this evening. After dinner, join our host/hostess for a nighttime stroll through the city. We’ll remain in port overnight.
Day 3: CADIZ - EL PUERTO DE SANTA MARIA
Hiking program: Day hike to the “Pinsapar”, one of the most beautiful landscapes in the National Park of Sierra de Grazalema (bag lunch included). The major attraction here is the Spanish fir - at first thin, they spread out into dense and magical leafy forest. Sierra de Grazalema was declared the first natural park in Andalusia in 1984 and is famous for its spectacularly rugged limestone landscape of cliffs, gullies, caves and gorges. The park was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1977. (Approx. 10 hours including transport - 6.5 miles - 2,600 ft. altitude difference)
Non-hiking program: We’ll enjoy a guided tour of Cádiz on foot which will surprise you with its cultural and historic richness. We’ll then cruise to El Puerto de Santa Maria, arriving in the early afternoon. We’ll visit Jerez, the Andalusian capital of wine and horses. Our panoramic tour will take you to the cathedral and the Alcazar palace. Our tour will continue with a visit to a “ganadería” (a property where bulls are raised) and the chance to learn about this living symbol of Spanish culture.
We’ll return on board in the late afternoon. Tonight, we’ll enjoy a Spanish-themed dinner and evening of entertainment. We’ll remain in port overnight.
Day 4: EL PUERTO DE SANTA MARIA - ISLA MINIMA
Hiking program: We’ll spend the day hiking in the Doñana National Park (bag lunch included). We’ll take a coach to the trail in the park (approx. 3 hours driving time). This seaside hike on the only part accessible on foot will bring you along Matalascanas Beach and its spectacular dunes. (Approx. 10 hours including transport - 7.7 miles - no altitude difference)
Non-hiking program: We’ll visit the Osborne bodega and taste the local wines.
We’ll then cruise to Isla Minima, a genuine Andalusian hacienda located on the banks of the Guadalquivir. After dinner, you’ll discover the hacienda’s beautiful architecture with its impressive Andalusian patio and watch a horse show in its private arena. We’ll remain in port overnight.
Day 5: ISLA MINIMA - SEVILLE
Hiking program: Trek in the Cañada de los Pájaros Natural Park, an old gravel pit which was converted into a wet area with a wide and varied selection of flora and fauna. It’s a great place to observe white storks along with more than 150 other bird species. Afterwards, we’ll take a hike through the Dehesa de Abajo National Park.
Non-hiking program: We’ll depart by coach for an excursion to a nature reserve and a tour with a forest guide. This is a total immersion visit to an unspoiled natural area, which has managed to preserve its very specific character. We’ll then move on to a bird-watching site, where you will get the chance to discover an amazing variety of bird species: shorebirds, gulls, ducks, etc.
After our tour, we’ll return on board and cruise to Seville. The ship will arrive in the late afternoon. Enjoy some free time in Seville. Its location astride Europe and Africa gives it an undeniable advantage. It’s also an authentic melting pot of Muslim, Catholic and Jewish cultures. Enjoy dinner on board, and take advantage of a free evening.
Day 6: SEVILLE - GRENADA - SEVILLE
We’ll leave for a guided visit of Grenada. Ringed by the imposing mountainous barrier of the Sierra Nevada, Grenada - famous for its lively atmosphere - is built on three hills: the Albaicin, the Sacromonte and the Alhambra. This grandiose and verdant site also owes its prestige to its Moorish monuments, especially the Alhambra: a palace straight out of A Thousand and One Nights. We’ll also discover the Generalife, a pleasure palace with attached romantic gardens, remarkable for both its location and layout, as well as for the diversity of its flowers, plants and fountains. We’ll have lunch in a local restaurant. Enjoy some free time in the early afternoon in Grenada before returning to Seville. Flamenco show on board.
Day 7: SEVILLE - CORDOBA - SEVILLE
We’ll spend the entire day touring Córdoba. We'll leave by coach in the morning to head for Córdoba, once part of the Caliphate of Cordoba. During the guided visit of the town, you will discover the mosque-cathedral with its “forest” of no less than 856 interior columns, each covered in precious jasper, granite and marble - as well as the Judería, or old Jewish Quarter, with its fascinating network of alleyways lined with white buildings and flowers, and typical traditional houses opening onto beautiful patios. We’ll enjoy a “tapas” lunch in a local restaurant. Spend some free time visiting the city before returning to our ship. Tonight, we’ll enjoy our gala dinner followed by an evening of dancing.
Day 8: SEVILLE
Enjoy one last buffet breakfast on board before disembarking at 9:00 a.m. End of our services.