Festive Celebrations in the Med
|Resort:||Spirit of Discovery|
Eat, drink and be merry in the Med
For a Christmas to remember, join Spirit of Discovery on this voyage around the western Mediterranean, calling at ports across Portugal, Spain and North Africa. Explore Lisbon on Christmas Eve or perhaps take the opportunity to visit Obidos atmospheric Christmas market. Enjoy a long stay in Barcelona on New Years Eve where you can experience the citys party atmospherebefore seeing its firework display as Spirit of Discovery sets sail just before midnight. Other highlights include discovering Malagas Moorish heritage, the exotic sights and sounds of Algiers and Valencias UNESCO-listed attractions. Plus, you can look forward to a host of festive activities on board to set the Christmas scene, including a riotous pantomime by the ships crew, to the opportunity to sing traditional carols to the delight of your fellow cruisegoers. Of course, meal times promise to be extra special, including Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, a New Years Eve midnight buffet and more. And if your New Years resolution is to make amends for all the festive over-indulgence, well help you get started with workshops on diet, nutrition and exercise.
Christmas Eve – Lisbon, Portugal
One of the best ways to appreciate Lisbons scenic cityscape is to approach by sea. You get a sense for the scale of this historic city that has gradually enveloped seven hills over the centuries. Step ashore to explore the different districts that offer a snapshot of its eras: explore the atmospheric lanes of the ancient Alfama district, admire the elegant 18th-century architecture of Baixa Pombalina or seek out two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Jernimos Monastery and Blem Tower, built during the Age of Discoveries. Alternatively, if youre keen to get in the festive spirit, join a visit to medieval Obidos village.
Look forward to a very merry Christmas Day at sea. Spirit of Discovery will be decked out in festive lights and decorations, making a pleasing back drop to a lavish Christmas lunch and plenty of festive activities. This promises to be one Yuletide youll cherish for years to come.
Boxing Day – Malaga, Spain
The 11th-century Alcazaba, an imposing Moorish fortress, watches over Malaga from its lofty setting. Its a symbol of Malagas fascinating past which can be explored further in the city centre where attractions include the baroque cathedral, which was built in the 16th century, the Moorish caste atop Mount Gibrafaro, and the green lung of the city 33-acre Malaga Park which features a botanical garden. For a guided tour with a twist, follow the life and work of one of the citys most famous sons, artist Pablo Picasso. Youll see Malagas key sights, as well as visit Picassos birthplace and the palace where his works are displayed.
Spirit of Discovery will cross over to the North African coast on a visit to Algiers. This exotic city is steeped in French influences, evident in such sights as the Notre-Dame dAfrique and the 19th-century botanical gardens. Of special note is its UNESCO-listed medina, the Kasbah, where you can explore winding, whitewashed lanes that weave across a hillside to discover Ottoman-style palaces and the ruins of the old citadel.
Ibiza Town, Ibiza
Cruise up to scenic Ibiza Town where whitewashed buildings hug the hillside. Take a walk up the steep streets and along the ramparts to the UNESCO-listed upper town, where the lofty cathedral commands views of the battlements, harbour and sea below. Or take a 4×4 ride off the beaten track to discover the islands rural charms.
Founded in 138 BC, history pervades every inch of Valencia which spans over 420 acres of historic centre. Highlights include the grandiose 15th-century silk exchange, the Gothic cathedral and Plaza de la Virgen which bustles with activity. For those interested in the Borgias, a special tour retraces the footsteps of the Aragonese family, whose lineage has given the world popes and countless cardinals. More modern attractions include the City of Arts and Sciences, which is set in a futuristic park and features an impressive aquarium.
31/12/2020 Barcelona, Spain
New Year’s Eve – Barcelona, Spain
Arrive 0800. Depart 2359.
Imagine ending the year on a high exploring Barcelona amid the palpable anticipation of the pending New Year. From the medieval streets of the enchanting Gothic Quarter, to lively Las Ramblas, the city is sure to be overflowing with excitement. By day, perhaps seek out Gaudis modernist creations which include the immense, and as yet unfinished, Sagrada Familia, Parc Gell and Casa Mila fantastic sights any time of year. Chocoholics may also be tempted to visit the Simon Coll Chocolate Experience, the perfect excuse to indulge before commencing any New Years resolutions. A late departure means you can enjoy the citys energetic vibe well after sundown perhaps stop by the circular fountain of Montyjuc which features colourful, choreographed light and music shows. Spirit of Discovery will then depart against a backdrop of colourful fireworks as the city residents ring in the New Year.
01/01/2021 At Sea
New Year’s Day
Spend the day at sea.
Arrive 0800. Depart 2200.
This British Overseas Territorys heritage is evident in the familiar architecture, money and language nearly everyone speaks English here. A late departure gives you longer to enjoy your final port of call. Perhaps indulge in a spot of duty-free shopping or head to the top of the Rock, famous for its cheeky Barbary macaques, to enjoy amazing views across the Mediterranean towards Africa.