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Intergenerational: Toros, Flamenco and Palaces on Spain’s Great River

Program Number: 20642RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/4/2013 - 7/14/2013; 7/16/2016 - 7/26/2016; 7/23/2016 - 8/2/2016; 8/16/2016 - 8/26/2016;
Duration: 10 nights
Location: Spain
Price starting at: $3,695.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; River Boats; Intergenerational
Meals: 24; 9 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 8 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Program intended for grandchildren from 11 - 15 years of age.

A river voyage on the Guadalquivir — “great river” in Arabic — is an amazing way for you and a grandchild to experience Andalusia, the colorful Spanish region known for its Flamenco dancers, fearsome bulls and Moorish fortresses. From life-size replicas of Columbus’s ships to a farm where bulls and horses are bred to the magnificent Alhambra, delve into the exciting history and culture of Spain together.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day; some stairs and uneven terrain.

This program is for grandchildren ages 11-15.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

Aboard MS Belle de Cadix, 7 nights; Granada, 2 nights.

Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.

Days 2-3: Arrival Seville (Spain) / embark MS Belle de Cadix:

Explore the Alcázar, a royal palace that was originally a Moorish fort, and the world’s largest Gothic cathedral. Aboard the ship, sail past wetlands and enjoy an introductory lecture about Spain. Dig deeper into the culture of Andalusia and experience Cádiz by night.

Day 4: Cadiz:

Discover this city of narrow streets, flower-bedecked plazas and the oldest covered market in Spain. Continue to Jerez to visit a farm that breeds horses.

Day 5: Jerez:

Visit a Bull farm in the countryside of Cadiz

Days 6-7: Seville:

Learn about Christopher Columbus at Huelva. Visit La Rábida, the Franciscan Monastery where Christopher Columbus stayed while he waited for financial backing from King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella for his voyage to the New World. In Seville, visit the Plaza de Toros, one of the oldest and grandest bullfighting rings in Spain and learn about the culture and Myth of the bullfighters.

Day 8: Córdoba:

Step inside the Great Cathedral-Mosque, built when this was one of the most advanced cities on earth.

Days 9-11: Disembark / coach to Granada / departure:

Experience El Albaicín, the medieval section of the city, and the traditional Gypsy Quarter. Take a field trip to the Alhambra, a fortress-palace of stunning Moorish architecture, gardens and fountains. Lodging: Centrally located hotel.

Ms Belle de Cadix

Spacious and light, this three-deck river cruiser is designed to ply the most beautiful rivers in Europe. 361 feet in length, it features 90 cabins, dining room, lounge, bar, sun deck and small swimming pool. This ship is operated by a French family-run company known for its enthusiastic and passionate staff.


Seville, capital of Andalusia, is a city of flamenco, flower-draped balconies and Moorish tile. Ancient Iberian, Phoenician, Roman and Islamic, Seville has welcomed the great civilizations that shaped both Spain and Europe.

Centrally located hotel.
Meals and Lodgings
   MS Belle De Cadix
  Seville, Spain
Cadiz, Spain
The Guadalquivir, Spain
Vila Réal, Portugal
The Guadalquivir, Spain
Seville, Spain
7 nights
   Hotel Carmen
  Granada, Spain 2 nights
 MS Belle De Cadix
Type: Riverboat
  Description: The MS Belle de Cadix is a 3 deck sailing vessel that sails the Guadalquivir and Guadiana Rivers and along the Atlantic Coast.
  Ship Information: Built: 2005 Length: 110 m long Width: 11.4 m wide Cabins: 88 cabins Passengers: 178 passengers
  Contact info: 12, rue de la Division Leclerc
Strasbourg,  67000 France
phone: +33 388 764 4444
  Room amenities: Equipments : all cabins are equipped with shower and toilet, hair-dryer, satellite TV, radio, safe.
  Facility amenities: Facilities: lounge-bar with a dance floor - Dining room 178 places - pianorama bar 30 places - marina at the rear of the vessel with direct access to the sea - spacious sundeck with deckchairs - swimming pool - lift - gift shop. Central heating, 220V electricity, air-conditioning, radar, radiophone, TV and video in the lounge.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Hotel Carmen
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Hotel is located in Granada's commercial and historical center, 5 minutes from the Cathedral, 10 minutes from the Alhambra and 500 meters from the Convention Center. Distance between hotel and the points of interest: - In the historical city centre - In the commercial centre - In the financial centre - In the fairground - 500 m. from the Palacio de Congresos - 15 km. from the airport - 2 km. from the train station - 3 km. from the bus station - 7 km. from the golf course - 60 km. from the port
  Contact info: Acera del Darro , 62
18005 Granada,   Spain
phone: +34 95 825 83 00
  Room amenities: - Air conditioning - Individual heating - Safe deposit box - Mini-bar - Tv satellite - Private connection for fax and personal computer - Pipe music - Direct telephone - Complete bathroom - Hair-dryer - Wi-Fi Internet connection - Room service and laundry - Non-smokers rooms
  Facility amenities: - 270 standard rooms - 11 Junior Suites - 2 Suites - Coffee shop - Live music bar - Private garage - Boutiques - Facilities for handicapped - Private parking - Jacuzzi - Outer swimming pool (opened from 22/06 to 07/09) - Terrace - Restaurant - Animals allowed - Money exchange - Car rental - Laundry service
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: No Before/After Nights 

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program starts with an Orientation around 5:30 PM onboard the ship in Seville on Day 2. You will be staying at MS Belle De Cadix that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends with breakfast at the hotel on Day 11. You will be staying at Hotel Carmen the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. No other documents are needed.
  Parking availability:
No parking available.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: The airport bus in Seville is around 2€ and can be caught every 30 minutes.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Seville
  Transportation to site: Getting from the airport into the center of Seville is easy and quick. The journey will take you around 15 mins and costs between €15 and €22 depending on which time of day you travel. The taxi rank is just outside the terminal building.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Granada
  Transportation from site: The airport is about 17 km outside the city of Granada. A taxi from the city to the airport will cost you about 30 Euros and should take about 20 minutes.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: US Departure and Overnight Flight.
(Thursday, July 4)
 In Transit Overnight: Overnight flight to Seville.

Day 2: Arrival Seville / Program Orientation
(Friday, July 5)

Note: When you transfer to the boat, the group leader will help you check in your luggage before embarkation around 5:00 PM.

 Arrive To: Arrive in Seville and transfer to the ship.
 Afternoon: Join your group leader and other participants for the program orientation and a walking discovery of the area around the Quadalquivir river.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner on board the ship.
Accommodations: MS Belle De Cadix
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Seville Old City / Sailing the Guadalquivir
(Saturday, July 6)

Note: About 2h walking and about 2.5 miles.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: This morning explore Seville by foot. Begin by walking the cobblestone streets of of Seville's oldest neighborhood, the Barrio Santa Cruz/Jewish quarter. End the morning exploring the Alcázar Royal Palace and gardens.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: After lunch the ship sails from Seville. Join your Study leader on deck as he comments on the sites of the city. Later, enjoy some time on deck to relax or soak in the small deck pool. While the ship follows the current of the Guadalquivir you see untouched nature, and where fields of cotton and rice sit side by side with extraordinary wildlife. Cruise past the famous Doñana National Park, declared a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, one of Europe's most important wetland reserves and a major site for migrating birds. Then participate in a presentation on "1492, More Than Columbus - the Reconquista of Spain." Examine the History of Spain from the arrival of the Moors until their ultimate expulsion from Iberia under the reign of Isabella and Ferdinand in 1492. NOTE: This presentation will be geared to the younger learners but Grandparents are welcome to attend.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Dock in Cádiz, and then transfer to the city to enjoy a flamenco performance ( subject to availability).
Accommodations: MS Belle De Cadix
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Visit Jerez & Cadiz.
(Sunday, July 7)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: In the morning, enjoy an excursion to Jerez. A panoramic tour will enable you to see the Alcazar and the cathedral. Your tour will continue with a visit to a “ganadería” (a property where bulls are raised).
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a guided tour of Cádiz and Sanlucar de Barrameda. We begin with a guided visit of Cadiz. We continue to Sanlucar de Barrameda and visit a wine cellar renowned for its production of “Manzanilla”. We are then entertained by a traditional equestrian display and show.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: After dinner there will be entertainment onboard.
Accommodations: MS Belle De Cadix
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: ALCOUTIM (the Algarve) - VILA REAL (Portugal)
(Monday, July 8)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: We will continue our journey along the Guadiana, sailing up river to Alcoutim or Sanlucar de Guadiana. As we sail, we cruise past fabulous landscapes and villages that time has forgotten. This morning we arrive in Alcoutim, a typical Algarve village. You will have some free time to walk around the village before lunch.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: The cruise departs once more for Vila Réal de St Antonio. Depart by coach for Faro which was originally an important centre for Roman trade and then a Moorish city, before becoming an important provincial city after the Christian conquest in 1249. In 1580, the city became the regional capital. We have a walking tour of the old town, including a visit of the exteriors of the castle and cathedral. You will also see the exteriors of the convent, the seminary and the bishop's residence. Free time, then back to Vila Réal de San Antonio (or Ayamonte). Dinner on board tonight has a Portuguese theme followed by an evening of traditional Portuguese entertainment. The ship sets sail during the night and heads for El Puerto de Santa Maria.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: MS Belle De Cadix
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Explore Gibraltar.
(Tuesday, July 9)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: We arrive early this morning in El Puerto de Santa Maria. Later, go on a full-day optional excursion to Gibraltar. We set off by coach for the Rock of Gibraltar this morning.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch enjoy a guided tour of Gibraltar, with its resident colony of Barbary apes, is the pearl of the bay of Algeciras. Stops are scheduled during the tour: Europapoint from where you can see the Moroccan coastline and Saint Michael's Cave famous for its stalactites. We return on board and the ship departs that evening.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard followed by a Gala evening as we continue our cruise to Seville.
Accommodations: MS Belle De Cadix
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Explore Al-Hambra and the Moorish history in Spain.
(Wednesday, July 10)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast on board.
 Morning: Today is entirely devoted to the exploration of Granada. The coach sets off early this morning to Granada and we have a guided visit of the town. Set against the impressive mountain range of the Sierra Nevada as a natural backdrop, Granada, renowned for its energy and dynamism, was built on the slopes of three hills: the Albaicin, the Sacromonte and the Alhambra. The imposing city is in a tremendous natural setting, and owes its prestige to its Arabic monuments, in particular to the Alhambra, which is extraordinarily well-preserved. We visit the Alhambra, the genuine palace of 1001 nights and the former summer residence of the Kings.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: This afternoon is free to explore Granada on your own before heading back to the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Onboard entertainment.
Accommodations: MS Belle De Cadix
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Córdoba Mosque & Church
(Thursday, July 11)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Today is devoted to the optional tour of Córdoba. Departure by coach in the morning heading for Córdoba, the city of the Caliphs. You will have a guided tour of the city and discover the mosque-cathedral, a veritable forest of columns, no less than 856, adorned with jasper, granite and precious marble; the Juderia, the former Jewish quarter and its white lanes adorned with flowers and its typical houses opening onto their superb patios.
 Lunch: Lunch in the old city.
 Afternoon: This afternoon explore Córdoba on your own.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: MS Belle De Cadix
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Granada's Arab District, Sacromonte and the Gypsy Quarter
(Friday, July 12)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Disembark the ship and transfer to Granada. On the drive to Granada learn about the importance of Granada as a center of learning, and the contribution of the Moors to Spanish and World Culture. Upon arrival, explore Historic Granada in the old Arab Quarter, known as the Albaicín. It comprises the area between the hill of the Alhambra, the hill of San Cristóbal, the Sacromonte and Elvira. The Albaicín is like a different world within Granada due to its strong Muslim influence and was the place where the first Ziríd court was built in the eleventh century.
 Lunch: Lunch in town.
 Afternoon: Presentation - Museo Cuevas del Sacromonte: Learn about the life and history of the Gypsies in Granada and in Spain. Continue to the Sacromonte, Granada's traditional Gypsy Quarter, which rises above the Albaicín. It is a tight-knit community with its own traditions and art forms. Most of the dwellings on this hillside high above the city were carved out of the hard-packed lime soil between the late 19th and mid-20th century as inexpensive, quickly constructed housing for people relocating from the countryside.
 Dinner: Check into hotel. Dinner on your own in Sacromonte Quarter or around the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Carmen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10: Visit the coastal town of Nerja
(Saturday, July 13)

Note: Today is a beach day. Please bring your swimwear, sun screen, towels...etc.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Visit the coastal resort town of Nerja. It is is a traditional seaside resort of sandy coves sheltered by the impressive Sierra de Almijara mountains and often referred to as 'The Jewel of the Costa del Sol'. From Balcon de Europe, you can see all the surrounding beautiful beaches and areas. You will have a chance to take a dip in the Mediterranean at one of the most beautiful beaches of Costa del Sol.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Continue your exploration of Nerja and head back to the hotel in mid-afternoon. You will have free time before dinner to prepare for your return flight to the US the following day.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner in Grenada.
Accommodations: Hotel Carmen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: Departure
(Sunday, July 14)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Coach transfer to airport for return flights to the U.S.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

A Traveller's History of Spain

Author: Juan Lalaguna

Description: A swift survey from prehistory through the Romans, Goths and Moors to the present.

Andalucia Map 578

Author: Michelin Travel Publications

Description: A travelers' map of Andalucia and the Costa del Sol at a scale of 1:400,000 with city plans of Seville, Malaga and Granada.

Bracebridge Hall, Tales of a Traveller, the Alhambra

Author: Washington Irving

Description: This collection of Irving's writing, published by the Library of America, is the only book in print that contains "The Alhambra," his romantic account of travels in Southern Spain.

Driving over Lemons, An Optimist in Andalucia

Author: Chris Stewart

Description: Stewart's memoir about moving with his wife to a farm in Alpujarras is charming and insightful. Unlike many expatriates, Stewart manages to ground himself far enough into the community to make lasting friends -- as well as a home for his young daughter.

Eyewitness Guide Seville and Andalusia

Author: Eyewitness Guides

Description: This wonderfully organized and visually rich guide features excellent maps and essays on the culture, history and geography of the region. With a pullout city map of Seville.

Moorish Spain

Author: Richard Fletcher

Description: The history and culture of Islam in Spain geared for the curious traveler.

Platero and I

Author: Juan Ramon Jimenez, Eloise Roach (Translator)

Description: In this autobiographical tale, the Nobel Prize-winner chronicles the wanderings of a donkey and his meditative master through Andalusia, capturing the rhythms and traditions of village life.

Shadow of a Bull

Author: Maia Wojciechowska

Description: In this compelling award-winning, young-adult novel, everyone expects Manolo to become a bullfighter like his father. Not surprisingly, it features vivid descriptions of bullfights.

Spain, The Root and the Flower

Author: John A. Crow

Description: Take this book with you to Spain: it's an absorbing, well-written account of Spanish cultural history from prehistory to the Romans, Jews, Moors, Golden Age and on to Franco and his legacy in modern Spain.

The Alhambra

Author: Robert Irwin

Description: Irwin's brief, indispensable guide introduces the stunning Moorish palace and fortress complex, revealing its mysteries, myths and significance with wit and insight.

The Ornament of the World, How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain

Author: Maria Rosa Menocal, Harold Bloom (Introduction)

Description: A lively, illuminating portrait of the Andalucian Kingdom, its cultural achievements and religious tolerance from the eighth century to 1492.

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