Lisbon to Barcelona on Crystal Serenity
DATES : August 10 - 17, 2014 (Days 7) CRUISE-ONLY FARES FROM : $2,830 Per Person
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Channel the spirit of Bergman and Bogart in Casablanca before heading to the island playground of Ibiza.
|Aug 10, Sunday||Lisbon, Portugal »||6 pm|
||Cosmopolitan Lisbon was the center of the world's last great colonial empire. Today the city nostalgically reveres its imperial past while adapting to Portugal's role as a member of the European Economic Community. Although located on the Atlantic coast, Lisbon has the soul of a Mediterranean city with Moorish castles, pastel and white buildings, orange-tiled roofs and luminous blue skies. Set amid the hills and valleys of the northern shore of the River Tagus, it is one of the loveliest capitals in the world.|
|Aug 11, Monday||Cádiz/Seville, Spain »||8 am||6 pm|
||On a low-lying peninsula extending into the crescent-shaped bay stands 3,000-year-old Cádiz, the Western world's oldest continuously inhabited city. Neat houses huddle within high walls, while the surrounding countryside is lush with olive groves. The Puertas de Tierra divides the city in two. Modern Cádiz lies on the isthmus, while the romantic, historical section is located on the other side. The old districts of El Pópulo and Santa Maria, adorned with narrow streets and ancient stone walls, are in sharp contrast to the parks, gardens, wide roads and plazas of the bustling commercial area.|
|Aug 12, Tuesday||Casablanca, Morocco »||7 am||6 pm|
||Centuries-old Casablanca, Morocco's largest city and principal port, lies on the Atlantic coast of North Africa. Awaiting your discovery is a timeless blend of Arabic culture and French sophistication, as seen by the imposing administrative buildings that recall years of colonial influence. Although the spirits of Bergman and Bogart still linger in the narrow alleyways of the old Medina, this gleaming white city has a firm grasp on the 21st century. Today, it encompasses broad palm-lined boulevards, attractive public parks and soaring high-rises. Bargain-filled souks are reminders of mysterious Africa and shopping aficionados will delight in scouring narrow alleyways for great buys in leatherwork, pottery, carved woodwork and Moroccan rugs.|
|Aug 13, Wednesday||Málaga, Spain »||12 noon||6 pm|
||Prosperous Málaga lies along the beautiful Costa del Sol, approximately 70 miles inside the Strait of Gibraltar. Its wealth of historical sites includes a 16th-century cathedral and the Moorish Alcazaba Fortress. This modern-looking provincial capital was founded by the Phoenicians and later became culturally and economically important as the port of Granada. Sightseeing opportunities abound from Málaga. The charming mountain village of Mijas and the impressive Alhambra are attractions you won't want to miss.|
|Aug 14, Thursday||Cartagena, Spain »||8 am||6 pm|
Thanks to its strategic position on the Mediterranean, Cartagena has long been one of the most important naval ports in Spain. Its maritime history can be appreciated with visits to the naval museum and naval buildings, including the Naval Headquarters, Dockyard Gate and Midshipman School.
Cartagena also boasts an interesting Roman history. The city's bullring sits atop a Roman amphitheater, and the Old Cathedral was built over the stalls of the Roman Theater. Discovered in 1987 and still being excavated, the theater dates to the first century BC.
While its landmarks from antiquity certainly are intriguing, Cartagena's lively streets and attractive squares reveal chapters from more recent centuries as well. The magnificent Concepción Castle, perched above the city in Torres Park, dates to the 14th century. Even closer to present day are the early 19th-century modernist buildings lining Calle Mayor, and beautiful City Hall, which was built in 1907.
|Aug 15, Friday||Ibiza, Spain »||8 am||6 pm|
Ibiza’s reputation as the birthplace of the rave and Christopher Columbus reveals its split personality. On the one hand, the island—located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Valencia—is the “Undisputed Party Capital of the World,” where DJs spin their newest mixes and young clubbers revel at parties that rock until the wee hours. But this island and its city Ibiza Town also have deep roots in Mediterranean history, as acknowledged by UNESCO with its designation of large portions of the island and various cultural icons as World Heritage Sites. The local government has demonstrated an interest in making this idyllic destination (indeed, the island is movie-quality photogenic) quieter and more family friendly by passing laws to raise hotel standards and require night clubs to close earlier—by a still eye-reddening 6 am.
|Aug 16, Saturday||Valencia, Spain »||8 am||6 pm|
One of the largest cities of Spain, Valencia is also one of the country's most dynamic. Its location on the Mediterranean offers a mild climate, bringing sun worshippers to Valencia's many beaches. Sports aficionados will find activities galore, including golf, diving, cycling and tennis. When the sun goes down, the tempo speeds up as locals and visitors gather in cafes and nightclubs.
Given that Valencia was founded by the Romans and has been a witness to, if not directly involved in, the history of the centuries, the city also is a showcase of art and architecture. Old Town boasts a cathedral that is mainly of early gothic style, with Romanesque and baroque additions. In the cathedral's museum are works of Goya and the paintings of the Valencia School, representing art of the 15th to the 17th centuries. Spanning the river are three old bridges, one of which has 15th-century towers that were part of Valencia's fortified walls. Then there is Spain's national hero, El Cid, whose famous battle against the Moors was waged here in Valencia.
|Aug 17, Sunday||Barcelona, Spain »||8 am|
||Barcelona, capital of Catalonia, is a celebration of history and heir to Greek, Phoenician, Roman, Carthaginian, Gothic and Arab cultural legacies. Since it is nearly as close to Rome, Geneva and Munich as it is to Madrid, Barcelona has long been the Spanish link to Western Europe. It was the home of Picasso, Miró, Dali, Casals and Gaudí and has been described as a Mediterranean Manhattan, a cosmopolitan experimental center for political ideas and artistic movements. In addition to its abundance of artistic and architectural treasures, Barcelona serves as the gateway to one of the world's most impressive mountainside enclaves at Montserrat. Discover the secret legends of the Black Virgin and the alluring chants of monastic life high atop the Catalonian plains. Barcelona's ancient city walls and the narrow crooked streets of the town's old section are laid out for your discovery. You will find that Barcelona has something for everybody.|