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

Program Number: 20642RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/1/2013 - 8/11/2013; 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.

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. Aboard the ship, sail past wetlands and learn about the “Reconquista.”

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:

Dig deeper into the culture of Andalusia, from the world’s largest Gothic cathedral to a Flamenco dance lesson and a visit to one of the most impressive bullrings in Spain.

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
Santa Maria, Spain
Seville, Spain
Granada, 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 at 5 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 25 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, August 1)
 In Transit Overnight: Overnight flight to Seville.

Day 2: Arrival Seville / Program Orientation
(Friday, August 2)
 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. Board the boat starting at 5pm. Settle into your cabin and presentation of the crew and a welcome cocktail served in the lounge will follow. The ship wil be docked overnight in Seville.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner on board the ship.
Accommodations: MS Belle De Cadix
Meals Included: Dinner

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

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: This afternoon, we will start sailing on the great river. As we drift along, you will discover unspoilt nature where fields of cotton and rice rub shoulders with the extraordinary wildlife. We will sail past the Donana Park, classed by UNESCO as a “natural Biosphere reserve”. Arrival in Cádiz in the evening.
 Dinner: Spanish theme Dinner on board.
 Evening: To round the evening off to perfection, your group leader will accompany you on an exploration of Cádiz by night. Built on a rock and surrounded on all sides by the sea, this fortified city is connected to the mainland only by a narrow strip of sand.
Accommodations: MS Belle De Cadix
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Cadiz Market / Spanish Hosrmanship / Bull Fighting
(Sunday, August 4)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: This Morning will is devoted to the guided tour of Cádiz on foot which will surprise you with its cultural and historic richness. A city famed for the beauty of its landscapes which make it quite unique.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Departure for the excursion to Jerez, capital of wine and horses and cradle of flamenco song. 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), the chance to learn about this living symbol of Spanish culture.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Spanish theme this evening.
Accommodations: MS Belle De Cadix
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

(Monday, August 5)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Departure for the visit to a wine cellar of renown where the secrets of these specific “Manzanilla” wines will be revealed to you. This visits includes wine tasting. Then, an equestrian display will take you to the heart of an entirely different tradition.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Relax onboard while sailing along Spain’s big River.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: MS Belle De Cadix
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Explore Granada
(Tuesday, August 6)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: After breakfast, 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.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore Granada on your own. Later, enjoy a lecture onboard the ship about the Moorish history of Spain.
 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 a small village.
(Wednesday, August 7)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast on board.
 Morning: Departure by coach for the visit of Carmona. You will discover this charming village with a local guide and visit an olive oil mill where you will have a tasting.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard the ship.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a lecture by your study Leader about Christopher Columbus. This is mainly for kids, but adults are welcome to join.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: flamenco show onboard.
Accommodations: MS Belle De Cadix
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Córdoba Mosque & Church
(Thursday, August 8)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: This morning coach to Córdoba and explore this ancient city. The Cathedral of Córdoba, popularly known as the Mosque of Córdoba, or the "Mezquita", stands over a Christian church built in the Visigothic period (5th C). After the Moorish conquest of Spain, it was used as a Mosque. From 786 to 988 the original church was rebuilt into a Grand Mosque. Following Córdoba's fall to Saint Ferdinand III in 1236 (after over 500 years of use as a mosque), the site was reconsecrated Christian, and a cathedral erected in the center of the mosque in 1523. It is the foremost Islamic monument in Spain and a unique example of the inter-play of Christian and Moslem cultures in Spain. Continue to the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, just southwest of the Mezquita. The "Castle of the Christian Monarchs" began as a palace and fort for Alfonso X in the 13th century. From 1490 to 1821 the Inquisition operated from here. Today the castle's gardens are among the most beautiful in Andalusia. The building houses an old royal bathhouse, the Baños Califales. Take time to gaze at the 3rd-century Roman sarcophagus, with its reflections on life and death.
 Lunch: Lunch in the old city.
 Afternoon: This afternoon explore Córdoba on your own.
 Dinner: Gala dinner on board followed by an evening of dancing.
Accommodations: MS Belle De Cadix
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Granada's Arab District, Sacromonte and the Gypsy Quarter
(Friday, August 9)
 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 Granada Cathedral and explore the city on your own.
(Saturday, August 10)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Visit the Granada Cathedral, which is the first Renaissance church built in Spain and is one of the most important monuments of Granada. Work on the cathedral began in1523 and it was not completed until 1704, 180 years later.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own in downtown Granada
 Afternoon: Free time in Granada for you to explore on your own. The city offers so much all within walking distance. Spend the afternoon exploring at your own pace.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner in Grenada.
Accommodations: Hotel Carmen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: Departure
(Sunday, August 11)
 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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