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Cultural Riches and Seafaring Traditions of Iberia

Program Number: 21284RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/8/2014 - 8/17/2014;
Duration: 9 nights
Location: Portugal/Spain/Morocco
Price starting at: $5,295.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises
Meals: 23; 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 8 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Salt; Low Fat    

On a voyage from Lisbon to Barcelona (and from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean through the Strait of Gibraltar), learn about two countries that changed the world with their bold seafaring adventures: Portugal and Spain. The rich rewards of these countries’ exploration are still evident in their grand cities and monuments. Plus go ashore in North Africa to discover the endlessly intriguing port of Casablanca.




Activity Particulars

Must be able to handle your own luggage, get on and off a motorcoach, walk a few blocks and climb a few stairs. Walking up to two miles on Lisbon field trip.



Programs with Crystal Cruises are designed for the independent traveler. These programs offer a lower activity level and the ability to choose your own shore excursions based on your preferences and physical ability. Road Scholar will provide one exclusive field trip and private onboard lectures with our own study leader.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Lisbon (Portugal), 1 night; aboard Crystal Serenity, 7 nights.



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


Days 2-3: Arrival Lisbon (Portugal) / embark Crystal Serenity:

Explore the oldest part of historic Lisbon on a leisurely, expert-led walking excursion then board a motorcoach to see more of the city. Delve into the story of the Age of Discovery, when ships set out from here in search of new trade routes and resources. Lodging: Stylish hotel in the heart of Lisbon.



Day 4: Cadiz (Spain):

Sail down the coast to Cadiz, a port city that has been continuously inhabited for three millennia. Experience this enchanting city or choose a shore excursion to nearby Seville.



Day 5: Casablanca (Morocco):

Discover a timeless blend of Arabic culture and French sophistication in Casablanca. Find broad palm-lined boulevards, magnificent mosques and bustling markets.



Day 6: Málaga (Spain):

Pass through the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Mediterranean, then venture ashore in Málaga on Spain’s Costa del Sol. You may choose a shore excursion to the Alhambra, a spectacular Moorish palace.



Day 7: Cartagena:

Explore this port city that, due to its strategic position on the Mediterranean, has long been an important base for the powerful Spanish Navy. The splendid Concepción Castle perches high above the city.



Day 8: Ibiza:

Sail to the Balearic Island of Ibiza, an idyllic Mediterranean isle designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for both its biodiversity and its culture.



Day 9: Valencia:

Voyage back to the mainland and the city of Valencia, a lovely and deeply historic port. You may wish to visit the Silk Exchange, a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture and UNESCO World Heritage Site.



Day 10: Barcelona / disembark / departure


Crystal Serenity

At 820 feet long, this elegant ocean liner offers its 1,080 passengers plenty of space, unsparing amenities including the high-tech Computer University@Sea and several restaurants, including one by acclaimed chef Nobu Matsuhisa. Complimentary fine wines and premium spirits available throughout voyage.


Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Mundial
  Lisbon, Portugal 1 night
   Crystal Serenity
  At Sea, At Sea 7 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
web: www.hotel-mundial.pt/
  Room amenities: Equipped with direct dial telephone, air conditioning, heating, individual safe, hairdryer, mini-bar, bathrobe, radio, satellite TV, WI-Fi available.
  Facility amenities: Laundry Service, 24 Hours Room Service, Handicapped Rooms Available
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at 1800-241-1404 to check for rates and availability.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Crystal Serenity
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The readers of Condé Nast Traveler consistently vote Crystal Serenity the number one cruise ship in the world. At 68,000 tons and capable of serving 1,070 guests, Crystal Serenity while the larger of Crystal's two ships, still maintains one of the highest space-per-guest ratios at sea, so you'll never feel crowded.
  Ship Information: Guest Capacity: 1,070 Per guest space ratio: 63 Ship’s Registry: The Bahamas Officers: European Captain, International Officers International Crew: Countries Represented: 40 European-trained Hotel and Dining Staff American/European Cruise Staff Total Crew: 655 Gross Registered Tons: 68,870 Length: 820 ft. (249.9 m) Width: 106 ft. (32.3 m) Draft: 25 ft. (7.6 m) Cruising Speed: 21 knots Maximum Speed: 22 knots
  Contact info: 2049 Century Park East
Suite 1400
Los Angeles, CA 90067 USA
phone: 310-785-9300
web: www.crystalcruises.com
  Room amenities: Hairdryer, bathrobes, slippers, soap, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, sewing kit, umbrealla, pillow menu, 24 hour in stateroom dining, wireless internet access, phone, TV, refrigerator filled with complimentary soft drinks and bottled water, safe
  Facility amenities: Two-story Crystal Plaza and Crystal Cove, lobby area with atrium, comfortable seating and piano bar "Avenue of the Stars" shopping arcade with three boutiques offering upscale clothing, jewelry, and specialty items. Casino featuring slot machines, bar poker and slant top poker machines, blackjack tables, craps, a roulette table, baccarat table and the Ultimate Texas Hold'em Galaxy Lounge, the ship's main entertainment venue Hollywood Theatre for recently released movies, with state-of-the-art audio visual and translation equipment that may be used for meetings and/or conferences; theatre also features audio enhancement for the hearing-impaired Computer University@Sea® center with a lab for classroom instruction and separate room offering 24-hour Internet and e-mail access The Studio, a completely new learning center for a variety of creative and educational hands-on classes Variety of lounges including the Stardust Club for dancing and cabaret, Avenue Saloon cocktail and piano bar, Connoisseur Club, an intimate refined cigar lounge, Palm Court/Sunset Bar observation lounge, and Pulse disco Fantasia children's center and Waves teen center Library featuring over 3,000 books, videos, DVDs, and books-on-tape Bridge Lounge Wi-Fi access is available on board throughout the ship Laundry Service Complimentary self-service launderettes including washing machines, detergent, fabric softener, dryers, irons and ironing boards are provided on Decks 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check out time: 9:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
This program begins in Lisbon, Portugal on Day 2 with a welcome orientation at the program hotel. You will be staying at Hotel Mundial that night.
  End of Program:
This program ends in the morning following breakfast on board the ship in Barcelona, Spain. You will be staying at Crystal Serenity the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. **IMPORTANT INFORMATION** All participants MUST register online with Crystal Cruises. To register go to checkin.crystalcruises.com to access the Priority Check-in and Planning Center. To log in, you need type in your first/last names as they appear on your passport and your booking number (which appears on your cruise confirmation or can be obtained from Road Scholar). You will need to enter your contact and passport information in order to register. Once registered you will be able to book excursions and on-board activities (such as specialty dining, spa appointments, etc). If you did not recieve a booking number, please call us at 1.866.359.5966. For more information on using the Priority Check-in & Planning Center please see the attachment at the end of this booklet. Proof of citizenship is required for ALL guests. For full information regarding traveling with Crystal Cruises, we recommend visiting the Crystal Cruise website at: www.crystalcruises.com and refer to the "Cruise Guidebook"
  Parking availability:
Driving to program site is not possible.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Lisbon
  Transportation to site: Transfers will be provided from the Lisbon Airport to the program hotel for all participants who arrange their air travel through Road Scholar, and are arriving on Day 2 of the program. There will be one designated group transfer, which Program Only Participants (POPS) may join if the flight times coincide with your arrival flights. We recommend that all participants arrive by 3:00 pm in order to make it to the hotel in time for the program orientation.
  From End of Program
  Location:  At Sea
  Transportation from site: There will be one departure transfer from the Port of Barcelona on the morning of Day 10. Participants who arranged their airfare through Road Scholar Travel Services and who are departing on the group date will be provided with a transfer from the ship to the airport in Barcelona. Independent travelers may join the group transfer or take a taxi. We do not recommend booking flights that depart before 12:00 pm.
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: Depart North America
(Friday, August 8)
   
 Depart From: Flights depart from North America

Day 2: Arrive in Lisbon, Portugal
(Saturday, August 9)
   
 Arrive To: Arrive in Lisbon, Portugal and transfer to the program hotel.
 Afternoon: Program Welcome and Orientation: Review program details with your group leader.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Mundial
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Lisbon, Portugal
(Sunday, August 10)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: ROAD SCHOLAR EXCLUSIVE: 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: At a 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 neighborhood. Transfer to the ship as a group and check in aboard the Crystal Serenity.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Serenity
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Cadiz / Seville, Spain
(Monday, August 11)
   
 Breakfast: At leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION: Explore Cadiz and Seville independently by choosing from a variety of shore excursions offered by Crystal Cruises. Excursions will vary in length from a couple of hours to a full day with different activity levels. On a low-lying peninsula extending into the crescent-shaped bay stands 3,000-year-old Cádiz, the Western world's oldest continuously inhabited city. Neat houses huddle within high walls, while the surrounding countryside is lush with olive groves. The Puertas de Tierra divides the city in two. Modern Cádiz lies on the isthmus, while the romantic, historical section is located on the other side. The old districts of El Pópulo and Santa Maria, adorned with narrow streets and ancient stone walls, are in sharp contrast to the parks, gardens, wide roads and plazas of the bustling commercial area.
 Lunch: At leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill, or you may choose to eat independently ashore. Some Crystal shore excursions will include lunch (depending on the length).
 Afternoon: Continue independent exploration of Cadiz.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Serenity
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Casablanca, Morocco
(Tuesday, August 12)
   
 Breakfast: At leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION: Centuries-old Casablanca, Morocco's largest city and principal port, lies on the Atlantic coast of North Africa. Awaiting your discovery is a timeless blend of Arabic culture and French sophistication, as seen by the imposing administrative buildings that recall years of colonial influence. Although the spirits of Bergman and Bogart still linger in the narrow alleyways of the old Medina, this gleaming white city has a firm grasp on the 21st century. Today, it encompasses broad palm-lined boulevards, attractive public parks and soaring high-rises. Bargain-filled souks are reminders of mysterious Africa and shopping aficionados will delight in scouring narrow alleyways for great buys in leatherwork, pottery, carved woodwork and Moroccan rugs.
 Lunch: At leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill, or you may choose to eat independently ashore. Some Crystal shore excursions will include lunch (depending on the length).
 Afternoon: Continue independent exploration of Casablanca.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Serenity
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Malaga, Spain
(Wednesday, August 13)
   
 Breakfast: At leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: Meet your study leader for an exclusive Road Scholar lecture.
 Lunch: At leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill.
 Afternoon: INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION: Prosperous Málaga lies along the beautiful Costa del Sol, approximately 70 miles inside the Strait of Gibraltar. Its wealth of historical sites includes a 16th-century cathedral and the Moorish Alcazaba Fortress. This modern-looking provincial capital was founded by the Phoenicians and later became culturally and economically important as the port of Granada. Sightseeing opportunities abound from Málaga. The charming mountain village of Mijas and the impressive Alhambra are attractions you won't want to miss.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Serenity
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Cartagena, Spain
(Thursday, August 14)
   
 Breakfast: At leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION: Explore Cartagena independently by choosing from a variety of shore excursions offered by Crystal Cruises. Excursions will vary in length from a couple of hours to a full day with different activity levels. Thanks to its strategic position on the Mediterranean, Cartagena has long been one of the most important naval ports in Spain. Its maritime history can be appreciated with visits to the naval museum and naval buildings, including the Naval Headquarters, Dockyard Gate and Midshipman School. Cartagena also boasts an interesting Roman history. The city's bullring sits atop a Roman amphitheater, and the Old Cathedral was built over the stalls of the Roman Theater. Discovered in 1987 and still being excavated, the theater dates to the first century BC. While its landmarks from antiquity certainly are intriguing, Cartagena's lively streets and attractive squares reveal chapters from more recent centuries as well. The magnificent Concepción Castle, perched above the city in Torres Park, dates to the 14th century. Even closer to present day are the early 19th-century modernist buildings lining Calle Mayor, and beautiful City Hall, which was built in 1907.
 Lunch: At leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill, or you may choose to eat independently ashore. Some Crystal shore excursions will include lunch (depending on the length).
 Afternoon: Continue independent exploration of Cartagena.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Serenity
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Ibiza, Spain
(Friday, August 15)
   
 Breakfast: At leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION: Ibiza’s reputation as the birthplace of the rave and Christopher Columbus reveals its split personality. On the one hand, the island—located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Valencia—is the “Undisputed Party Capital of the World,” where DJs spin their newest mixes and young clubbers revel at parties that rock until the wee hours. But this island and its city Ibiza Town also have deep roots in Mediterranean history, as acknowledged by UNESCO with its designation of large portions of the island and various cultural icons as World Heritage Sites. The local government has demonstrated an interest in making this idyllic destination (indeed, the island is movie-quality photogenic) quieter and more family friendly by passing laws to raise hotel standards and require night clubs to close earlier—by a still eye-reddening 6 am.
 Lunch: At leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill, or you may choose to eat independently ashore. Some Crystal shore excursions will include lunch (depending on the length).
 Afternoon: Continue independent exploration of Ibiza.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Serenity
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Valencia, Spain
(Saturday, August 16)
   
 Breakfast: At leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION: One of the largest cities of Spain, Valencia is also one of the country's most dynamic. Its location on the Mediterranean offers a mild climate, bringing sun worshippers to Valencia's many beaches. Sports aficionados will find activities galore, including golf, diving, cycling and tennis. When the sun goes down, the tempo speeds up as locals and visitors gather in cafes and nightclubs. Given that Valencia was founded by the Romans and has been a witness to, if not directly involved in, the history of the centuries, the city also is a showcase of art and architecture. Old Town boasts a cathedral that is mainly of early gothic style, with Romanesque and baroque additions. In the cathedral's museum are works of Goya and the paintings of the Valencia School, representing art of the 15th to the 17th centuries. Spanning the river are three old bridges, one of which has 15th-century towers that were part of Valencia's fortified walls. Then there is Spain's national hero, El Cid, whose famous battle against the Moors was waged here in Valencia.
 Lunch: At leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill, or you may choose to eat independently ashore. Some Crystal shore excursions will include lunch (depending on the length).
 Afternoon: Continue independent exploration of Valencia.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Serenity
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Barcelona, Spain
(Sunday, August 17)
   
 Breakfast: At leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: Disembark the ship and 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 Spain


Author: Juan Lalaguna


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



Culture Smart! Spain


Author: Marian Meaney


Description: This concise, no-nonsense guide to local customs, etiquette and culture provides a short overview of the land and people along with practical travel advice.



Eyewitness Guide Lisbon


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: A compact illustrated guide to the city featuring excellent neighborhood maps and hundreds of color photographs. It also includes chapters on the surrounding areas and Lisbon's coast.



Eyewitness Guide Spain


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: This superb, colorful guide covering all of Spain features bright photography, dozens of maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country's attractions.



Food and Wines of Spain


Author: Penelope Casas


Description: This classic collection of 400 recipes, interwoven with cultural commentary and culinary history, is a pleasure to read, but prepare to become hungry.



Ghosts of Spain


Author: Giles Tremlett


Description: Tremlett captures the Spanish character, history and modern politics in this masterful portrait, interweaving the story of his love for the country (where he has lived for 20 years) with interviews, anecdotes and observation.



Iberia, Spanish Travels & Reflections


Author: James Michener


Description: In this best-selling travelogue, Michener presents a compulsively readable and well-observed account of his love affair with Spain and all things Spanish. It has achieved the status of a classic, rich in detail and insightful.



Small Memories


Author: Jose Saramago


Description: In this contemplative memoir, the Portuguese Nobel laureate recalls a childhood both dark and magical, split between the growing city of Lisbon and the tiny village of Azinhaga.



Spain & Portugal Adventure Map


Author: National Geographic


Description: A colorful, shaded relief map.



Spain, A Traveler's Literary Companion


Author: Peter R. Bush (Editor)


Description: This collection of 30 stories form a “who’s who” of contemporary Spanish literature, including writers from Galicia, Leon, the Basque Country, Madrid and Barcelona.



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 Caliph's House, A Year in Casablanca


Author: Tahir Shah


Description: A great storyteller, of Afghan descent and English-raised, Shah leads us through Moroccan society and culture with deft portraits of ordinary neighbors and craftsmen as he and his wife transform a crumbling palace in old Casablanca.



The Story of the Moors in Spain


Author: Stanley Lane-Poole


Description: A wonderfully readable, sweeping tale of splendor and tragedy, first published in 1866.





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