Cruise news / History, Culture and Cuisine: Princess Cruises’ Epic New 14-Night Easter Sailing Has it All
In April 2022, Princess Cruises is offering a 14-day voyage, taking in eight ports of call for a Spain, France and Portugal cruise that brings style and sophistication
Sailing on Sky Princess from the UK port of Southampton, this epic Easter voyage – prices start from £1,299 per person – will take you into the heart of historic cities and offer one-of-a-kind excursions, all on a resort-style ship that has everything you need to sail in absolute comfort.
You will visit La Rochelle in France, before sailing on to Bilbao. Then there’s the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, as well as Gibraltar, Seville (Cádiz), Málaga, Cartagena and Vigo (for Santiago de Compostela).
The seaside city of La Rochelle is best explored on foot, and a three-hour walking tour provides a glimpse into this 2,000-year-old city’s historic past, as you follow in the footsteps of Celts, Romans, the Knights Templar and other adventurers.
You can amble along the cobbled streets and see Porte de la Grosse Horloge, originally constructed as the gate to the once-walled city, which is now a historical monument. From here, it’s a short walk to Rue du Palais, a haven of chic shops, cafés, art galleries and the 18th-century Hotel de la Bourse.
Find out more about Princess’ 14-night ‘Spain, France & Portugal cruise’ HERE.
Walking shoes recommended
The seaside city of La Rochelle is best explored on foot, and a three-hour walking tour provides a glimpse into the past of this 2,000-year-old city, as you follow in the footsteps of Celts, Romans, the Knights Templar and other adventurers.
As part of Princess’ in-depth walking tour of the city, you can amble along the cobbled streets and see Porte de la Grosse Horloge, originally constructed as the gate to the once-walled city, which is now an historical monument.
Gateway to Basque country
Bilbao – regarded as the gateway to the Basque country – has a charming Old Quarter, which with Princess Cruises can be explored on foot. Here, St Nicolas Church is a great spot for filling up your photo albums, before enjoying tapas and drinks at Plaza Nueva Square.
During your stopover, you will also see the 14th-century Gothic cathedral, a stop for pilgrims travelling to Santiago de Compostela, as well as the Arriaga Theatre, the Plaza Nueva, and the Bilbao Ria, which separates the old and the new city.
Make sure not to miss the amazing architecture on display at the Guggenheim Museum, designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry.
Aside from the scenic elements of Bilbao, the cuisine is undoubtedly the star attraction. Treat yourself to a four-hour gourmet tour courtesy of Princess Cruises, including a visit to Zortziko, one of the city’s finest Michelin-starred restaurants, where you can learn the tricks of the trade from acclaimed chef Daniel Garcia.
Portugal’s historic capital
Lisbon, the heart of Portugal and a renowned European city, fuses Neoclassical buildings and wide plazas. Step onto the narrow streets of the Alfama, Lisbon’s old Moorish Quarter, and see the Lisbon Cathedral, also called the Se, the oldest church in the city, constructed back in 1147.
In the Baixa, the city’s main shopping district, you’ll have the opportunity to ride the funicular, or ‘Elevador da Gloria’ railway – a perfect way to soak up the city’s sights. Alternatively, you can take a day trip to Fatima, to view the grandeur of the world-famous Our Lady of Fátima Basilica, a group of Catholic religious buildings and structures.
Exploring the Rock and Andalusia
Next on the itinerary is Gibraltar, where the mighty Rock stands tall and proud. Do not miss out on the opportunity to explore this magnificent natural structure.
With Princess Cruises, you can discover the underground, limestone caves and tunnels located in the Upper Rock Nature Reserve of Gibraltar; the Great Siege Tunnels, an underground fortress built to protect Gibraltar during World War Two, and also see the Barbary apes roam freely here.
Sailing into Cádiz, for Seville and Andalusia, one highlight is the Alcazar fortress, modelled on the Alhambra Palace of Granada. Then there’s the cathedral, a 15th-century Gothic masterwork featuring a Moorish patio, fountain and minaret. Seville is also famously the home of Rossini’s Barber of Seville.
Málaga and the ancient port city of Cartagena
Málaga – known as Malaka to the Phoenicians, an ancient civilisation – is one of Spain’s oldest cities and unsurprisingly history is everywhere you turn.
Enjoy the splendour of Málaga Cathedral before travelling to Alcazaba, the fortress palace with picture-perfect gardens and patios. You also won’t want to miss the house where Pablo Picasso was born, which includes a collection of the artist’s original pieces.
The penultima stop is the ancient port city of Cartagena, where the Carthaginian general Hannibal set up his headquarters during the second Punic War against the forces of the Roman Republic. Historic war shelters can be seen, including those used during the Spanish civil war.
Your 14-day adventure concludes in Vigo (for Santiago de Compostela). The Spanish city has a strong medieval heritage, best witnessed in the fishermen’s quarter, while Santiago de Compostela is a sight to behold.
This famous pilgrimage site drew people from across the globe during the Middle Ages. Time has not diluted its significance, as today thousands of people continue to visit and many more still make the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage route. You can follow in the footsteps of the pilgrims on Princess’ very own tour of Santiago De Compostela.
Guests will enjoy a guided walking tour around the majestic squares of Platerías and Obradoiro, the focal point for pilgrims arriving in Santiago, before taking in the beautiful St James Cathedral – the shrine of St James the Apostle, Spain’s patron saint. The final stop of the popular ‘Way of St. James’, the temple is considered a masterpiece of religious architecture.
Sailing on Sky Princess
Sky Princess, the newest addition to the Princess fleet, elevates the distinctive, contemporary design and luxurious attractions for which the cruise line is known.
On board, you’ll be treated to first-class entertainment venues, new dining choices and elegant staterooms to relax in after a hard day of exploring (or chilling by the pool).
You’ll also have access to OceanMedallion, the revolutionary technology that transforms your holiday into a highly personalised and touch-free experience. Expect touch-less stateroom entry, the best Wi-Fi at sea thanks to MedallionNet, on-demand food and drink, and much more.
Visit princess.com for more information.