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Portugal, Morocco, Gibraltar and Spain Aboard a Clipper Ship

Program Number: 20480RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/4/2013 - 9/16/2013;
Duration: 12 nights
Location: Spain/Morocco/Portugal
Price starting at: $4,529.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 32; 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

It was from Portugal and Spain that explorers with little more than a compass to guide them sailed in search of trade routes that would lead them to gold, silver and spices. Imagine yourself a part of the Age of Discovery as you board a beautiful tall ship for a voyage to the intriguing ports of the Iberian Peninsula, Morocco and Gibraltar.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to 2.5 miles per day; unavoidable stairs and uneven terrain.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

Lisbon (Portugal), 2 nights; aboard Star Flyer, 5 nights; Seville (Spain), 2 nights.

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

Days 2-4:
Arrival Lisbon (Portugal) / embark Star Flyer:

Delve into Portugal’s history from the Moorish conquest to modern times. Take a field trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sintra. Lodging: Four-star hotel.

Day 5:

Sail along Portugal’s lovely coast to explore this small town. Once the world center of sardine production, today it is popular with sailors and beachgoers.

Day 6: Cádiz (Spain):

Learn about the making of sherry in Jerez de la Frontera, the town from which the wine takes its name. Visit a local farm where horses are bred and raised.

Day 7: Tangier (Morocco):

Visit the Tangier American Legation, a museum focused on U.S.-Morocco relations and the first American public property outside our borders. Continue into the Tangier Kasbah.

Day 8: Gibraltar:

A local expert introduces you to this British territory known for its Barbary macaques. Journey to the top of the Rock for a spectacular view over the Strait of Gibraltar.

Days 9-11: Málaga / disembark / coach to Seville / departure:

A shore excursion in Málaga includes La Alcazaba, a 9th-century fortress. Continue to Seville, where you walk through the Jewish quarter and explore the largest Gothic cathedral in the world.

Star Flyer

This authentic, traditionally rigged tall ship is 360 feet long and can carry 170 passengers in comfort. It offers all the amenities of a modern cruise ship and boasts expansive teak decks, two swimming pools, an elegant dining room, piano bar and library.

Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Mundial
  Lisbon (Portugal), Portugal 2 nights
   Star Flyer
  Aboard the Star Flyer, At Sea 7 nights
   Hotel Catalonia Giralda
  Seville (Cadiz), Spain 2 nights
 Hotel Mundial
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Mundial hotel is located right in the heart of Lisbon, in the Baixa Pombalina district, with the São Jorge castle as backdrop and a stone's throw away from Praça do Rossio square, an area with easy and quick access to the main sights of the city.
  Contact info: Largo Martim Moniz, 1100-341
Lisbon,   Portugal
phone: +351 21 884 20 00
  Room amenities: Equipped with direct dial telephone, air conditioning, heating, individual safe, hairdryer, mini-bar, bathrobe, radio, satellite TV.
  Facility amenities: Laundry Service, 24 Hours Room Service, Handicapped Rooms Available
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD Contact program provider for special rates and reservations.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Star Flyer
Type: Luxury Barge
  Ship Information: Tonnage: 2298 Length: 360 ft Beam: 50 ft Draft: 18.5 ft Sail Area: 36,000 sq ft Masts: 4 masts (tallest is 226 ft) Registry: Malta Number of Crew: 72 Nationality of Officers: International Nationality of Crew: International Speed: 8 knots Electric Current: 110 volts Stabilized: Yes, by water tanks to prevent rolling Air Conditioning: Yes Entered Served: Star Flyer 1991, Star Clipper 1992 Most Recent Refits: Star Clipper Summer 2005, Star Flyer Fall 2007 Size: 170 guests/85 staterooms
  Contact info: 4, rue de la Turbie
Monaco,  98000 Monaco
phone: +37797978400
  Room amenities: Cabin amenities include: Private Safe Hairdryer Individually Controlled AC Direct Dial Telephones Marble Bathrooms Daily Program Color TV Satellite TV Coverage Turndown Service with Pillow Sweet Bathroom Amenities (hand soap, bath soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, shower caps) 110 volts outlet Sewing Kit
  Facility amenities: 2 Outdoor pools, Water Sports: water skiing, snorkeling, windsurf sailing and lasers, Piano Bar, Tropical Bar, Private massage tent on deck (additional cost), Laundry/dry cleaning, Movies shown in your cabin throughout the day/night, Radio in each cabin, Nurse onboard, Internet Access (located in Library for 12 euros an hour)
  Smoking allowed: No

 Hotel Catalonia Giralda
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: This hotel is located in the historic center of Seville, very near to the beautiful quarter of Santa Cruz and a few minutes walk from monuments such as the cathedral, La Giralda and Maria Luisa Park .
  Ship Information: n/a
  Contact info: Sierra Nevada, 3
Sevilla,  41003 Spain
phone: +34954416661
  Room amenities: Air conditioning and heating, Flat screen satellite TV, Free internet access (WiFi), Full-length mirror, Hair dryer, Marble bathroom, Room service, Safe deposit box, Telephone with direct line
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Bar, Free WiFi, Laundry and Dry Cleaning Services, Air Conditioning
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: TBD Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for rates and bookings.

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
This program begins in the late afternoon at Orientation at the program hotel in Lisbon, Portugal. You will be staying at Hotel Mundial that night.
  End of Program:
This program ends after breakfast at 8:00 a.m. at the program hotel in Seville, Spain. You will be staying at Hotel Catalonia Giralda the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is not available for this program.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Lisbon (Portugal)
  Transportation to site: The Hotel Mundial is located in the heart of Lisbon approximately 5 miles from the Lisbon International Airport. Participants who purchased their airfare through Road Scholar Travel Services will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. Taxis are readily available for participants making their own way to the hotel.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Seville (Cadiz)
  Transportation from site: The Hotel Catalonia Giralda is located in the historic center of Seville, approximately 8 miles from San Pablo Airport in Seville. Participants who purchased their airfare through Road Scholar Travel Services will be provided with a transfer from the hotel to the airport. Taxis are readily available for participants making their own way to the airport.
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: International flights to Lisbon
(Wednesday, September 4)
 In Transit: International flights depart the USA to Lisbon, Portugal

Day 2: Arrive Lisbon / Orientation
(Thursday, September 5)
 Arrive To: Arrivals at Lisbon International Airport. Transfer to program hotel. Check in to your room.
 Afternoon: Meet your fellow Road Scholar participants and Group Leader at Orientation in the late afternoon.
 Dinner: Enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Mundial
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Lisbon
(Friday, September 6)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Depart for a guided panoramic drive of Lisbon. Stop in the Belem area from where the navigators of the 15th century have left their voyages along the African coast until India and Brazil. Visit the Maritime Museum and the Church of Jeronimos where Vasco da Gama is buried. Stop at the tower of Belem and the Monument to the Discoveries.
 Lunch: Lunch at a traditional local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch you will have some free time to explore downtown Lisbon or take the old funiculars and discover the fancy Ciado neighbourhood. In the evening enjoy a lecture in a professor's home: the lecture will focus on Portuguese civilization. Learn about the Moorish conquest, the Christian reconquest, and the origins of modern Portugal.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Mundial
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Lisbon / Board Star Flyer
(Saturday, September 7)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet on board the ship
 Morning: This morning's guided field trip will reveal the architectural beauty and history of the Palace of Pena in the forest of Sintra. The architecture of Pena National Palace is eclectic in its use of Egyptian, Moorish, Gothic and Renaissance elements, being the most remarkable example of Portuguese Romantic architecture. Built in the 1840's, it is one of Europe's most fantastic palaces, often compared to Neuschwanstein and the other mock-medieval castles of Ludwig of Bavaria in Germany, although it was actually built more than two decades before those. Surrounding the palace is Pena Park, filled with a variety of trees and exotic plants from the former colonies of the Portuguese empire.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Returning to Lisbon we stop at "Cabo da Roca", the westernmost point in mainland Europe and Cascais. Arriving to Lisbon, transfer to board the ship and take some time to settle into your cabin.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
Accommodations: Star Flyer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Portimao, Portugal
(Sunday, September 8)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet onboard the ship.
 Morning: As the ship sails to Portimao, join your study leader for a lecture entitled "An Introduction to Moorish Art and Architecture."
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship.
 Afternoon: This afternoon disembark the ship for a field trip in Portimao, Portugal. The city of Portimao, the beach resort Praia da Rocha, and the nature reserve Ria de Alvor are the most well known places of an Algarve region quite unique in its diversity. Explore the countless shopping opportunities, visiting historical sites, strolling along the river boulevard or just sipping a drink in a garden bar. Warm seawaters and gorgeous rock formations make the beaches particularly alluring.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
Accommodations: Star Flyer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Cadiz, Spain
(Monday, September 9)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet onboard the ship.
 Morning: In the morning join your Study Leader for a lecture entitled: "Jews, Christians and Moors: The Evolution of Art in the Western Mediterranean- Part 1."
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Take the old road to Jerez de la Frontera, whose climate makes it possible to cultivate the different types of grapes that produce the three main sherry varieties. Enjoy a short walk through the narrow streets with a stop at a local cellar for a wine tasting. Next, visit a farm known for raising quality livestock and learn about the horse-breeding business. See the facilities and stables, carriages, colts and clinical labs. An indoor arena allows a view of the animals.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
Accommodations: Star Flyer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: At Sea
(Tuesday, September 10)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet on board the ship.
 Morning: Relax on board the ship as you sail from Cadiz to Casablanca.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Relax at leisure as you sail to Casablanca
 Dinner: Dinner onboard the ship.
Accommodations: Star Flyer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Casablanca, Morocco
(Wednesday, September 11)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet on board the ship
 Morning: Led by a local expert, visit the Jewish museum of Casablanca. This is a unique museum in a Muslim land to preserve the Moroccan Jewish Heritage; it consists of a cultural center, an art gallery with a photo exhibit of Jewish sites in Morocco, a permanent jewelry and dress exhibit, a Moroccan Jewish synagogue and a museum of fine arts. Its exquisite architecture crafted by the best craftsmen in the region makes it one of the top architectural mastepieces in the world for Moorish architecture.
 Lunch: Light lunch of Moroccan couscous
 Afternoon: Join your study leader for a presentation
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
Accommodations: Star Flyer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Tangier, Morocco
(Thursday, September 12)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet on board the ship.
 Morning: Explore the city of Tangier and its rich heritage. The architecture and the culture of Tangier is a reflection of its eclectic past borrowing elements from the Moroccan, Spanish and French cultures. Throughout its history, Tangier was the home of many famous western writers and intellectuals who were fascinated by the charm and the richness of the city. Paul Bowles, the famous American novelist and composer, William Burroughs, Edith Wharton and others made Tangier their home where they crafted some of their best pieces. When Edith Wharton first visited Tangier, she wrote, “it was a sensation to rouse the hunger of the repletest sight-seer.” Visit the local souq, a daily farmers market where locals sell their fresh produce, fish and spices. Afterwards, head to the Tangier American Legation building in the medina. It is a thriving cultural center, museum, conference center and library in the heart of the old medina in Tangier and it is housed in the only historic landmark of the United States located abroad. It commemorates the historic cultural and diplomatic relations between the United States and the Kingdom of Morocco, which was the first country in the world to recognize the independence of the United States. Tangier American Legation Museum (TALM) has been listed on the Secretary of State's Register of Culturally Significant Property, a listing of State Department properties around the world that have particular cultural or historical significance. On display in the building are some rare documents and letters of correspondence between the kings of Morocco and American presidents in 19th century.
 Lunch: Light lunch of Moroccan couscous.
 Afternoon: On the way to the Kasbah Museum, visit the Kasbah, the original old city of Tangier. It is on the highest point of Tangier and is isolated from the rest of the Medina by its walls. The gate opens to the courtyard which leads to the Kasbah Museum, also known as palace museum, which is devoted to Moroccan art. The palace was built in the 17th century and enlarged later by sultans. The carved wooden ceilings and a marble courtyard enhance the beauty of this palace. The former sultan's palace deserves to be seen not only for its collection of artifacts from the Phoenician to modern times, but also for the exquisite architecture and gorgeous garden.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
Accommodations: Star Flyer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Gibraltar
(Friday, September 13)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet on board the ship.
 Morning: Discovering Gibraltar: Led by a local guide discover this strategic link between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean ruled by the Spanish, British and Moors. It is said that as long as the Barbary Apes remain, the British will rule Gibraltar this has held for 350 years. Ride to the top of the Rock for great views over the Strait of Gibraltar. On a clear day you can see Africa.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship or on shore.
 Afternoon: Join your Study Leader for a lecture entitled "Art and the Inquisition."
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
Accommodations: Star Flyer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Disembarkation /Alhambra visit
(Saturday, September 14)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet on board the ship, before disembarking.
 Morning: Explore La Alcazaba: Situated in the Old Town district of Malaga, La Alcazaba was originally a Muslim palace / fortress dating back to the early 9th century. Highlights here include Roman excavations, scenic gardens and a small museum.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, depart by coach for a day excursion of Granada. Ringed by the imposing mountainous barrier of the Sierra Nevada, Granada, 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. You will discover the Alhambra, a palace straight out of the thousand and one nights, the Generalife, the kings' summer residence and much more.
 Dinner: Tapas dinner near the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia Giralda
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Seville, Spain
(Sunday, September 15)

Note: Exploration of Seville for about 2.5 miles in about 2 hours.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Explore Seville on foot: Start the morning walking cobblestone streets of the oldest neighborhood of Seville - the Barrio Santa Cruz/Jewish quarter ending the morning exploring the Alcázar Royal Palace and gardens.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own in Seville to explore local flavor.
 Afternoon: We end our exploration at the Seville Cathedral. The Cathedral of Seville (Catedral de Sevilla) is an expression in stone of post-Reconquest confidence and wealth. Built on the site of a mosque, it is the third largest church in Europe and the largest Gothic building in Europe. It also boasts the largest altarpiece in the world.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a farewell dinner.
Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia Giralda
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Departures
(Monday, September 16)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport for flights returning to North America.
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 Portugal

Author: Ian Robertson

Description: A lively, admirably concise survey from prehistory to the present, great for travelers to Portugal who would like an overview of the country's history and culture.

Culture Smart! Morocco

Author: Jillian York

Description: History, religion, daily life, food, health and safety are all covered in this pocket guide to Moroccan customs, etiquette and culture.

Dreams of Trespass, Tales of a Harem Girlhood

Author: Fatima Mernissi

Description: This captivating memoir opens, "I was born in a harem in 1940 in Fez, a ninth-century Moroccan city." Mernissi captures not only the spirit of the place, but also the hierarchy and decorum of a family compound in a Muslim household.

Eyewitness Guide Morocco

Author: Eyewitness Guides

Description: Gorgeously illustrated and filled with excellent maps, this compact guide introduces Morocco's history, culture and attractions.

Eyewitness Guide Portugal

Author: Eyewitness Guides

Description: Featuring hundreds of photographs and drawings, an excellent overview of the culture and history, and good information about where to go and what to do.

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.

In Morocco

Author: Edith Wharton

Description: Wharton's enjoyable account of her month-long journey through Morocco after WWI captures the landscapes, architecture and many aspects of Muslim culture and history, and especially the cities of Rabat, Fez and Marrakech.

Islam, A Short History

Author: Karen Armstrong

Description: Armstrong brings authority and experience to this vivid, clear-headed survey of the history and impact of Islam from the birth of Muhammad to present-day challenges.

Leaving Tangier

Author: Tahar Ben Jalloun

Description: Capturing the ambitions of young people everywhere, Ben Jalloun traces the fate of Azel, his sister and other emigrants, who leave Morocco for the promise of a better life in Spain.

Living in Morocco

Author: Lisl Dennis (Photographer), Landt Dennis

Description: Glorious photos bring colorful interiors, distinct architecture and traditional folk art to life in this celebration of Moroccan style and culture.

Marrakesh & Northern Morocco Map

Author: ITMB

Description: Featuring a detailed walking map of the Medina and surrounding New Town on one side and a map of Northern Morocco at 1:740,000 on the reverse. With insets of Rabat and Tangier.

Mediterranean Cruises Map

Author: Freytag & Berndt

Description: A double-sided, full-color map of the Mediterranean, including the Iberian Peninsula and Black Sea, North Africa and the Levant, at a scale of 1:2,000,000.

Nine Parts of Desire, The Hidden World of Islamic Women

Author: Geraldine Brooks

Description: A highly readable overview of the role of women in Islamic society, drawn from the author's many interviews with women throughout the Arab World.

Small Memories

Author: Jose Saramago

Description: In this contemplative memoir, the late Portuguese Nobel laureate recalls a childhood both dark and magical, split between the growing city of Lisbon and the tiny village of Azinhaga, where he was partially raised by his illiterate grandparents. Eventually teaching himself to read, Saramago has an almost religious conversion to the power of literature.

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 Almoravids and the Meanings of Jihad

Author: Ronald Messier

Description: A scholarly and readable history of the rise, rule, collapse and influence of the Almoravid dynasty that ruled Morocco, Algeria and Muslim Spain in the 11th and 12th centuries.

The Maias

Author: Jose Eca de Queiros

Description: This sprawling family epic is worthy of comparison to the greatest accomplishments of Proust and Tolstoy. It's the atmospheric story of the decline of an affluent 19th-century Lisbon family.

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.

The Wine and Food Lover's Guide to Portugal

Author: Charles Metcalfe

Description: This oenophiles guide, organized geographically, focuses on Portuguese cuisine, vineyards and wine.

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