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Cruise Description

8 Night Cruise sailing from Southampton roundtrip aboard Braemar.

The highlights of four stunning destinations in France and Spain are made easier to uncover thanks to Braemar’s ability to dock closer to the heart of each city on this incredible itinerary. Fine wine, wonderful architecture, ancient art and much more awaits; take advantage of chances to simply step ashore, explore and discover it all.

Cruising directly into the French city of Bordeaux via the gorgeous Gironde and Garonne rivers in daylight will be an experience to remember, passing by scenes of beautiful countryside and charming historic towns en route. Once docked in Bordeaux, your exploration of the ‘Pearl of Aquitane’ begins at the end of the gangway, courtesy of your ship’s smaller size. Wander into the UNESCO-listed city centre – the largest urban World Heritage Site – and a wealth of highlights will be revealed; Calihau Gate, the Cathédrale Saint-André, the Grand Théâtre and Place de La Bourse are not-to-be-missed. Your overnight stay in Bordeaux is not complete without sampling the city’s world-famous wine culture too. Visit the Cité du Vin Museum for an immersive insight into the history of French food and wine; or perhaps opt for a tour the Medoc region vineyards, where some of the world’s best wines are expertly crafted.

In Spain, you’ll enjoy three days of discovery in the country’s picturesque northern regions. Scenic Santander boasts miles of glorious coastline and inviting beaches. The Cantabrian capital is also your gateway to the breathtaking Picos de Europa Mountains and the Altamira Caves, which are renowned for their remarkably well preserved prehistoric paintings. In Asturias, the pretty city of Avilés awaits. Here you could visit the world-renowned Óscar Niemeyer International Centre, which your ship will dock alongside; explore the fascinating Old Town; and even sample traditional Asturian cider at a rural cider house. Finally, it’s on to the Galician city of La Coruña. A plethora of impressive landmarks, including the Baroque-style Cornide Palace and ancient Torre de Hercules, are within easy reach here, with Braemar docking just 400 metres from the city centre. Further afield, you could head to Santiago de Compostela – one of Christendom’s three global spiritual capitals – on a tour to marvel at the at the city’s simply spectacular cathedral.

Highlights of this cruise:

Bordeaux, France
Widely regarded as the world’s wine capital, the graceful French city of Bordeaux offers far more than just vineyards and claret. Having rid itself of a rather sleepy image over the last decade, Bordeaux is now among one of France's most exciting and dynamic cities. While a sizeable number of its visitors still visit the city to get a taste of what makes this wine-rich region so special, Bordeaux has many other surprising secrets.

Stretched along the banks of the Garonne River, this City of Art and History is home to 362 historic monuments, with some buildings dating back to Roman times. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 2007, Bordeaux’s Gothic Cathédrale Saint-André, 18th century mansions and popular art museums, such as the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux, are rare treats to discover. This urban and architectural ensemble includes public gardens that line the curving river quays, and the imposing Place de la Bourse, which overlooks the reflecting pool, Miroir d’Eau.

The Place des Quinconces, one of the largest squares in Europe, is a fine space to while away some hours. Alternatively, other distractions include barista-run coffee shops, delicious food trucks, and exceptional restaurants and, of course, more fine wine than can ever be possibly drunk.

Santander, Spain
Located between Gijon and Bilbao on Spain’s north coast, Santander is an elegant city with impressive buildings set against a natural backdrop of sea and mountains. The belle-époque elegance of Estadio El Sardinero underlines the engaging qualities of Cantabria’s capital.

The Palacio de la Magdalena, once the royal summer residence, sits on the rocky peninsula, while the city centre is home to the octagonal cupola and Gothic cloisters of the Catedral de Santander. Inside is the tomb of Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo, a work by the sculptor Victorio Macho, and under the main chapel lies the crypt of El Cristo, a vaulted chamber with artefacts from the Roman era.

Nearby, the Paseo de Pereda promenade runs along one side of the Jardines de Pereda gardens; the houses with their miradors (balconies) are a favourite feature of this lively boulevard. The beaches in Santander are protected from the wind by the bay, resulting in wonderful, calm waters. Also worth seeing are the Altamira Caves, situated a few miles from the city, which contain some of the most important cave paintings of Quaternary art.

For seafood lovers, the local fried squid or breaded whitebait are a treat, while the popular cocido montañés (stew made of beans, meat and cabbage) is symbolic of this region of Spain.

La Coruña, Spain
The city of La Coruña is the capital of the province and a busy seaport situated in the Galicia region of northwest Spain. Most famous for its Roman lighthouse, the diverse architectural styles of La Coruña make the city an absolute delight for sightseeing.

La Coruña 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 sweeping coastal views from the top of its 60 metre high tower. The Paseo Marítimo, a lovely 13km walkway and bike path, runs from the port, around the peninsula, and along the ocean beaches.

The compact Ciudad Vieja – La Coruña’s old quarter – is a must-visit area. Often referred to as “the city” by the locals, the medieval centre contains remains of the centuries-old Roman wall that once protected it. The arcaded Plaza de María Pita, surrounded by narrow pedestrianized lanes, is a popular spot, and features the Estatua de María Pita, a statue of a 16th century woman who warned the town of an invasion by Sir Francis Drake. The medieval Church of Santiago, the Museum of Sacred Art and the Military Museum are all fine places of interest.

Beyond the historic city is a proud, modern metropolis, which boasts a superb food scene and a buzzing nightlife. The world’s best picnic food, empanadas, and the locally produced beer, Estrella, both demand trying.

Cruise Itinerary

Date Activity Arrive Depart
23/07 Southampton, England Late PM
24/07 At sea - -
25/07 Bordeaux, France Early PM
26/07 Bordeaux, France Early PM
27/07 Santander, Spain Early AM Late Night
28/07 Aviles, Spain Early AM Late PM
29/07 La Coruna, Spain Early AM Early PM
30/07 At sea - -
31/07 Southampton, England Early AM
Itinerary may vary by sailing date and itineraries may be changed at the cruise lines discretion. Please check itinerary details at time of booking and before booking other travel services such as airline tickets.

Available Sailing Dates