14 Night Cruise sailing from Liverpool roundtrip aboard Black Watch.
Experience the delights of mainland Portugal and floral Madeira, mixed in with the sun, sand and stunning scenery of two gorgeous Canary Islands for good measure, on this springtime escape to savour. With rewarding city exploration and gentle relaxation to enjoy, along with an extra special seasonal celebration, you’re in for rich rewards throughout your holiday.
Sailing south from Liverpool, attraction-packed Lisbon beckons as you begin your journey to see the many sides of Portugal. You could take the day to revel in the Portuguese capital’s fascinating maritime history among the city’s collection of enthralling museums, architectural delights and famous monuments, such as Jerónimos Monastery, Tower de Belem, Padrão dos Descobrimentos. Then, on the gorgeous ‘garden island’ of Madeira, you’ll stop in Funchal for a memorable overnight stay, timed to coincide with the fabulous annual Flower Festival. Step ashore in the Madeiran capital and you’ll be greeted by an infusion of vibrant colours and delicate floral scents – a real feast for the senses; and delight in all the excitement of the floral parade, a procession of florally-decorated floats and locals dressed in elaborate costumes. Beyond the celebrations in Funchal, you could take the chance to explore lush-green landscapes via the unique levada trails too; take a cable car to the enchanting Monte Palace Tropical Garden; or, from something a little more exhilarating, visit the famous Cabo Girão – one of the world’s highest sea cliffs. Show less
Staying in Macaronesia after your memorable visit to Madeira, two sun-soaked islands in the Canaries are next on your itinerary. In Tenerife, you’ll have ample time to discover the island’s many highlights: make the most of a full-day in Santa Cruz to perhaps unravel the mysteries of the Pyramids of Güímar; or marvel at the sheer scale of mighty Mount Teide. Alternatively, you could simply opt to take the weight off and relax at the beach. A call into Arrecife will offer you the chance to explore lunar-like volcanic landscapes of Lanzarote’s Timanfaya National Park and the dramatic Fire Mountains, or uncover the glorious saltwater lagoon of Jameos Del Agua Cave, before your Portuguese discovery continues and concludes back on the mainland. You’ll visit Portimão on the sun-kissed, craggy coast of the Algarve for enticing golden beaches, lively promenades and fantastic bars and restaurants, before finally calling at Leixoes, gateway to nearby Oporto. It’s well worth taking the short journey from Leixoes to Portugal’s UNESCO-listed second city, to discover plenty of architectural gems, legendary port wine cellars and picture-perfect riverside scenes.
Highlights of the cruise:
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Liverpool is one of Britain's most iconic and interesting cities, and famously home to the Cavern Club and The Beatles.
Liverpool - a former European Capital of Culture - is globally-renowned for its music, arts, culture and diverse architecture, and attracts visitors from around the globe.
A busy port city, Liverpool is also known for its historic waterfront district and Albert Dock, where some of the city's best known galleries and museums can be found. The Tate Gallery, International Slavery Museum and 'The Beatles Story' exhibition are easily found on foot, and sit alongside the largest collection of Grade One listed buildings in the UK, including the iconic Liver Building and a number of structures associated with the ill-fated RMS Titanic.
Stretched across its seven trademark hills overlooking the River Tagus estuary, Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city of Lisbon, is a cinematic collection of cobbled alleyways, pastel-coloured buildings, ancient ruins and white-domed cathedrals. Decimated by an earthquake in 1755, modern Lisbon has been shaped by that eventful day. The Pombaline architecture that now defines the city represents some of the first seismically-protected buildings in Europe.
The city’s bridges include the Ponte 25 de Abril – similar to the Golden Gate in San Francisco – and the Ponte Vasco da Gama, which includes over 11km of viaducts. Lisbon’s many fascinating museums, include the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Coach Museum and the Carmo Archaeological Museum.
Lisbon is also a shopper’s paradise, with the Centro Commercial Colombo – the biggest shopping mall on the Iberian peninsula – and the elegant Avenidas Novas, full of upmarket shops. Alternatively, there bargains to be had in the local flea market, Campo de Santa Clara. Don't miss the chance to sample iconic egg tarts at Pasteis de Belém too.
Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Funchal, the capital of Portugal's Madeiran archipelago, has a timeless old-world charm. Enhanced by a subtropical climate that fills this 'floating garden' with the year-round colours and perfumes of flowers and fruit, Funchal was a favourite of Sir Winston Churchill. His praise of the city has ensured British visitors always receive a warm welcome from locals.
Backed by rolling hills, the town is famous for its harbour, the 17th century São Tiago Fortress (now the Contemporary Art Museum) and world renowned Madeiran wine cellars. Funchal’s parks and gardens are a delight, and a hike through the Laurel Forest nearby is highly recommended. The ancient Funchal Cathedral mixes Gothic and Romanesque architecture, and is noted for its impressive carved wooden ceiling.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Sophisticated Santa Cruz - Tenerife's capital - is built around boulevards and wide avenues that link elegant squares and parks. Well-preserved buildings feature in the old town, including the colonial Church of the Immaculate Conception and the 18th century Palacio de Carta, which has impressive Baroque and neoclassical features. Recently redesigned by the architects Herzog & de Meuron, the city’s largest square, Plaza de España, is a pleasant spot to lose a few hours. Lively beaches such as Playa de Las Americas are within easy reach of Santa Cruz too.
Away from the capital, many of Tenerife's highlights await on tours, including the exotic Botanical Gardens or the mystical lava stone Pyramids of Guimar. Exploring the volcanic El Teide National Park to marvel at majestic Mount Teide, or even climb Spain's highest peak, is an unmissable experience.
Portimão is a port city to the western end of the Algarve region of southern Portugal. The town is known for its excellent sandy beaches with plenty of warm, calm waters, which visitors find very alluring.
Portimão's long fishing tradition was developed between the 19th and 20th centuries and established a strong canning industry and a busy marina. Indeed, in its old quarter, Museu de Portimão is housed in a restored 19th century cannery, and has exhibits on local history.
The simply styled Chapel of São José de Alcalar is not to be missed, while the impressive Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição (Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception), built in the 15th century on top of a hill, stands out on the city’s skyline. The church was badly damaged by the 1755 earthquake, but retains its beautiful original Gothic portal and azulejo tiles.
To the south of the town Rocha Beach, backed by ochre cliffs, is worth a stroll and skirts the medieval Fort of Santa Catarina de Ribamar.
Leixões (for Oporto), Portugal
A short journey from Leixões takes you into the heart of Oporto, with its fortress-like Cathedral and the Baroque Church of Clérigos. Head to the historic Ribeira District, where the narrow, cobbled lanes wind their way down to the Douro River. Don’t forget to visit one of the many wine cellars for a taste of the tipple named after the city, Port. On the ground floor of the Museu Romantico is the Port Wine Institute, where port is served with great ceremony.
Oporto sits deep in the gorge of the River Douro and on the riverside – dominated by the two-level Luis I bridge – it’s possible to look up at the narrow old town streets climbing out of the valley. Pastel-fronted houses with red-tiled roofs line the streets, mixed with neo-classical buildings and wonderful baroque churches. Dominating the centre of the city is the fortress-like Cathedral, which is worth visiting for the views alone.
Itinerary may vary by sailing date and itineraries may be changed at the cruise line's discretion. Please check itinerary details at time of booking and before booking other travel services such as airline tickets.
Please note, while prices and inclusions are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to changes in cruise line policies and pricing and due to currency fluctuations. Currency surcharges may apply. Please check details of price and inclusions at time of booking. Please ask for child and infant pricing if applicable.