20642
Spain

Flamenco & Fortresses: Spain’s Great River With Your Grandchild

Experience the wonders of Spain as you dance Flamenco, explore a former royal palace and venture to an awesome bull farm, all while building lifelong memories with your grandchild.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20642RJ
Length
11 days
Starts at
4,499
Flights start at
1,300
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11 days
10 nights
24 meals
9 B 7 L 8 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Seville, Program Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Seville
D
MS La Belle de Cadix

Activity note: Embarkation at 5:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Upon arrival, while we wait for the official embarkation, we have the choice to join our Group Leader for a walking discovery of the area around the Guadalquivir River. We will embark approximately 5:00 p.m. Orientation: 5:30 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. This is a Road Scholar Adventures Afloat program. In addition to lectures and field trips exclusively for our Road Scholar group, you are invited to take advantage of activities and events aboard ship that are separate from the Road Scholar program. The time available in each port is set by the cruise line. Whenever possible, the Road Scholar daily schedule indicates port arrival and departure times (subject to change by the cruise line). This may mean that free time in port is limited. Regardless of the time in port, Road Scholar delivers a robust educational program. All routes, field trips, and excursions are subject to change as weather and sea conditions may affect the itinerary. Sea conditions could affect the progress of the ship, making it run late and sometimes miss ports because it is not safe to dock. Because of this, the cruise itinerary should always be regarded as provisional. The operators reserve the right to change the content of field trips and excursions without prior notice. This is a Road Scholar Grandparent program. Grandparents are responsible for their grandchildren. If/when separate age group activities are conducted concurrently, program staff will supervise. Minors are never to be left unsupervised.

Dinner: We will enjoy a welcome dinner on board, including water, wine, beer, fruit juice, and coffee.

Evening: At leisure. Meals, and especially dinners, take place much later in Spain than in North America, meaning there is little or no free time in the evenings. The ship will be docked overnight in Seville.

DAY
3
Seville Alcazar, Cathedral, Flamenco
Seville
B,L,D
MS La Belle de Cadix

Activity note: Getting on/off boat and motorcoach. Driving up to 3 miles. About 3 miles of walking throughout the day. Additional standing and dancing at the Flamenco venue. The riverboat will be docked in Seville overnight.

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: We will join a local expert on a walking visit of the cobblestone streets of the oldest neighborhood of Seville, the Barrio Santa Cruz (the ancient Jewish Quarter), including the city's magnificent cathedral. 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 tomb of Christopher Columbus. We will end the afternoon with a visit to the spectacular Moorish Alcázar royal palace and garden. An expert will lead us through the palace, which dates from 913, when the area was ruled by the Moorish Caliph of Cordoba. After the Reconquista of Seville in the 13th century, the Alcazar became a royal residence for the Castilian royal family. The Alcazar was also one of the settings used in the series Game of Thrones.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Seville, we will enjoy a plated meal with mineral water and complimentary glass of wine. Other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will walk to The Flamenco Dance Museum to learn more about Andalusian culture and watch a demonstration of flamenco. All are invited to participate in a flamenco dance class. The culture of this southernmost region of Spain has been heavily influenced by its location and home to many different civilizations, including Celts, Phoenicians, Romans, Germanic tribes, Moors, Roma tribes, and modern Spain. With staff, we will learn about the folklore and tradition of this dance style, accompanied by melodies and patterns known as palos that consist of singing, guitar, handclaps, snaps, and vocalizations. Afterwards we will walk back to our riverboat.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Jerez & Horses, Historic Cádiz
Cadiz
B,L,D
MS La Belle de Cadix

Activity note: Getting on/off boat and motorcoach. Driving under 2 hours total, about 85 miles. Walking up to 4 miles today on cobblestones, uneven ground. Potentially high temperatures; sunscreen, water bottle, hats, and glassed recommended. The Tavira Tower has a 170 steps. The ship will be docked in Seville in the morning and will set sail for Cádiz at lunch time. We will meet the riverboat in Cadiz in the evening after the days’ activities.

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: We will set off by motorcoach for a field trip to the city of Jerez, famous for its horses and its role in the history of flamenco. We will visit a family-owned horse-breeding farm to see some of the finest horses in Spain and enjoy a dressage performance by an expert equestrian team.

Lunch: We will enjoy a boxed lunch at the horse farm, consisting of a sandwich, water, and fruit.

Afternoon: We will continue by motorcoach to Cádiz, where we will enjoy an expert-led visit by motorcoach and foot. The city is one of the oldest in Western Europe and the port from where Columbus set sail on two of his voyages to the Americas. We will visit the old city, including the Torre Tavira, an 18th-century watchtower, offering wonderful views of the city, and a unique “camera oscura” After our visit, we will enjoy some free time in Cádiz before dinner.

Dinner: At a local restaurant in Cádiz.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Bull Farm, Vejer de la Frontera
Santa Maria
B,L,D
MS La Belle de Cadix

Activity note: Getting on/off boat, motorcoach. The ship is docked in Cádiz, and sails to El Puerto de Santa Maria overnight. Driving approximately 1.5 hours each way (50 miles). Walking around 3 miles throughout the day. Potentially high temperatures; sunscreen, water bottle, hats, and glassed recommended. The town of Vejer is built on a steep hill and the motorcoach cannot access the pedestrian old quarters. Walking approximately 1 mile uphill.

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: We will set out on a field trip by motorcoach to a ganadería, or bull ranch, with the chance to learn about this living symbol of Spanish culture firsthand from a well-known local bull breeding family. Later, we will drive to Vejer de la Frontera, a traditional Pueblo Blanco, or White Village of Andalucía, so named for the distinctive look of the town’s whitewashed buildings. We will also learn about the town’s customs and legends through a series of different characters, including the cobijadas, the women covered in black robes head to foot, showing only one eye, as a mark of religious devotion and a traditional symbol of Vejer.

Lunch: We will enjoy a light lunch at a restaurant in Vejer. Beverages included.

Afternoon: We will return by motorcoach to the riverboat, where there will be some free time to relax on board.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: We will enjoy a flamenco performance on board.

DAY
6
San Marcos Castle, Sherry Bodega
Seville
B,L,D
MS La Belle de Cadix

Activity note: Getting on/off boat. The riverboat is docked in El Puerto de Santa Maria until midday, and will then set sail up the Guadalquivir River to Isla Minima, and on to Seville. Up to 1 mile of walking today with some steps and uneven ground at the castle.

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: We will walk the short distance to the castle of San Marcos. Originally a mosque built by the Moorish conquerors, King Alfonso X (also known as the Wise King) transformed it into a Christian sanctuary in the 13th century. It was eventually acquired by a winemaking family in the 1950s. Led by staff, we will visit the well-preserved interior of the castle before walking to the adjoining winery, where we will learn about the production of sherry and its cultural and historical importance to the region. Adults will have the opportunity to sample some of the sherry wines, and children will be offered soft drinks. We will return to the riverboat for lunch on board.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: As we set sail this afternoon, our Group Leader will provide further insight on life in Spain.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: At leisure. We will have the opportunity to join the boat crew for a visit to a hacienda, or remain on board to relax.

DAY
7
Toros, Market & Cooking Class, Free Time
Seville
B,L,D
MS La Belle de Cadix

Activity note: Getting on/off boat. The riverboat sails overnight to Seville and is docked all day at the Delicias pier in the city center. Walking up to 3 miles today, cobblestones and uneven ground all around Seville. Standing at the cooking class. Free time activities may involve additional walking. NOTE: We will not see an actual bullfight.

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: We will explore the culture and myth of the toreado, or bullfighter. Led by a local expert, we will walk to the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza, considered one of the oldest and grandest bullfighting rings in Spain. Here we will learn about its history of this controversial sport in the city that is often called its birthplace. Next, we will walk to the traditional market in Triana, one of the most Sevillano of barrios. Led by a local chef, we’ll visit the traditional market stalls and sample some of the local produce before joining an Andalusian tapas cookery class, where we will make some local specialties.

Lunch: We’ll enjoy a lunch of the tapas we have prepared, including complimentary drinks.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Córdoba, Free Time
Seville
B,L,D
MS La Belle de Cadix

Activity note: Getting on/off boat, motorcoach. The riverboat is docked in Seville all day. Driving 2 hours, about 85 miles, each way to Córdoba. Walking up to 3 miles. Many cobblestones, uneven surfaces and some steps all around the city.

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: We will leave the ship in Seville and travel to Córdoba, with a local expert, we will visit the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba. Popularly known as the Mosque or the Mezquita, it stands over a Christian church built in the Visigoth period (5th century). After the Moorish conquest of Spain, it was used as a mosque. In 1236, following Córdoba's fall to King Ferdinand and after over 500 years of use as a mosque, the site was re-consecrated Christian and a cathedral was erected in the center of the mosque in 1523. It is the foremost Islamic monument in Spain and a unique example of the interplay of Christian and Muslim cultures in Spain. Later we will visit the traditional Cordobés Patios of the old Alcazar Palace. These small, interior gardens are unique to the city.

Lunch: We will enjoy a tapas lunch at a typical restaurant in Córdoba. Water, wine or soft drink included.

Afternoon: After some free time in Córdoba, we return to the ship in Seville by motorcoach.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Granada’s Alhambra, the Arab District
Granada
B,L
Hotel Melia Granada

Activity note: Disembarkation approximately 8:30 a.m. Getting on/off motorcoach. Driving 3 hours, about 160 miles, from Seville to Granada. The Alhambra has many steep inclines and uneven ground with steps. Walking over 3 miles all around the grounds of the monument and additional standing at specific areas of the visit. The city of Granada also has many cobblestone streets and pedestrian areas. Alhambra tickets subject to strict regional government quotas; visits may be rescheduled/substituted if necessary.

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: We will disembark our riverboat and head by motorcoach to Granada. En route, our local expert will give a presentation about the importance of the city as a center of learning and the contribution of the Moors to Spanish and world culture. The city boasts many impressive and intricate buildings designed by Moorish architects and hosted scholars who benefitted from the scientific and mathematical learnings of the Islamic Golden Age. On arrival in Granada, we will enjoy a field trip with a local expert to the Alhambra. The Alhambra was first built as a smaller fort around 889 CE before being expanded into a palace in the 11th century by the sultan of Granada. After the Reconquista, the palace fell into disuse for several centuries, to be restored once again in the 19th century. There are royal apartments, forts, gardens, pavilions, and sumptuous gardens, which offered protection from the summer heat. The Alhambra visit ends with an exploration of the Nasrid Palace, one of the most spectacular Islamic buildings in Europe, dating from the 14th century and filled with Arabic inscriptions and geometrical patterns, perfectly proportioned rooms, and peaceful courtyards. We will then check into our hotel.

Lunch: At the hotel, we will enjoy a plated meal with mineral water and wine included.

Afternoon: We will visit the old Arab Quarter, called the Albaycin, a world away from Granada due to its strong Muslim influences. We will walk through the narrow streets and learn about the peaceful co-existence of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish traditions which shaped the Andalusian and Spanish culture and identity.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
The Mediterranean Sea, Paella & Farewell
Granada
B,D
Hotel Melia Granada

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. Approximately 1 hour drive, about 50 miles, each way to the coast. Walking up to 1 mile.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll have a buffet featuring a selection of bread and pastries, cereal, yogurt, fruit, and cold cuts, plus coffee, tea, juice, water.

Morning: We will depart by motorcoach to a coastal village for a morning spent enjoying time by the Mediterranean Sea.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: We will return to Granada, where we will have free time. Later in the evening, we will participate in a paella-cooking experience! Aprons on, as we learn how to make a traditional Spanish paella, with the help of local restaurant chefs; afterwards, sit back and enjoy the result.

Dinner: We will enjoy a farewell paella dinner at a restaurant in Granada. Water, wine, soft drinks included.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes out program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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