In June 2018, Aegean Odyssey will begin her ‘European Connoisseur’ sailing from Seville, the capital of southern Spain’s Andalusia region. As she heads north along the Iberian coast, she will make calls in Portugal and northern Spain before arriving in France and England. This exciting itinerary features 9 included tours, and in our blog today, we’re taking a closer look at what awaits during you visits to Seville, Lisbon, Oporto, Vigo, Bordeaux, Falmouth and Dartmouth.

Plaze de Espana, Seville.

Before joining Aegean Odyssey, you can enjoy a 2-night hotel stay in Seville, where we have two included tour options available. Our half-day city tour is always a popular choice, but for those that would like to do something different, we offer a full-day in Cordoba. In its history, Cordoba has been both a capital of a Roman province and capital of the Arab state of Al-Andalus. A great cultural reference point in Europe, this ancient city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains a mixture of wonderful buildings, monuments and artefacts that are a reminder of the cultures that have settled it throughout history.

You’ll join Aegean Odyssey on your final day in Seville and cruise the Guadalquivir River as you head for Lisbon in Portugal. A full day of adventure here awaits you and our included city tour offers the historic Belem quarter and its UNESCO listed monastery, which was commissioned by Manuel I to trumpet Vasco da Gama’s discovery of a sea route to India in 1498. You can also explore Baixa (Downtown), Avenida da Liberdade and Rossio Square.

Torre de Belem (Belem Tower) in Lisbon.

Staying on Portuguese shores, Aegean Odyssey will next call to the UNESCO city of Oporto, where our included city tour also offers port wine tasting in Gaia, the hub of the port wine industry.

Next, it is on to Spanish shores as you arrive in the port city of Vigo, another destination where you have a choice of included tours. Our first offering is the UNESCO World Heritage Centre of Santiago de Compostela, one of the most important places in Catholicism. It is reputed to be the place where St James, one of the twelve Apostles of Christ, is buried and it has been a place of pilgrimage on the Way of St James since the early Middle Ages. Our alternative option in Vigo is a half-day leisurely sightseeing tour, which includes the 17th century Castrelos Park.

The UNESCO city of Bordeaux is your next stop and to allow ample time to see everything of interest, Aegean Odyssey will remain in port overnight. Our included tours here are UNESCO Bordeaux, Medoc Vineyards and Wine Chateaux Road and Panoramic Bordeaux and Wine Tasting. The history of Bordeaux wine spans almost 2,000 years to Roman times when the first vineyards were planted. In the Middle Ages, the marriage of Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine opened the Bordeaux region to the English market and eventually to the world’s stage. The world-famous vineyards are magnificent and a must-see during your time here.

Ripe grapes ready for harvest in Bordeaux.

As the sun sets, Aegean odyssey will begin her journey to English shores, her first stop being in Falmouth for included tours to St Michael’s Mount or The Eden Project – both of which are fine choices. Next, it’s on to Dartmouth where you can embark on a Medieval Totnes and Buckfast Abbey included tour or head to Slapton Sands to learn about the forgotten heroes of D-Day. Every suitable beach and slipway along this stretch of coastline was utilised to stage the D-Day landings. Based on its similarity to much of the French coastline, Slapton was selected for a vast rehearsal prior to the actual landings. Hear a D-Day expert explain the significance of this remote stretch of beach and visit the Memorial given by the United States to the local inhabitants in gratitude for them evacuating their homes to make way for war wounded.

Sherman Tank memorial in Slapton Sands.

Before arriving in Tilbury for disembarkation, Aegean Odyssey will call into the picturesque French fishing village of Honfleur. An easy-pace city walking tour is offered here and you’ll get the chance to see one of Honfleur’s major sites: St Catherine’s Church, which dates from the 15th century and has the distinction of being France’s largest timber-built church.

Guest lecturers on this cruise are Dr Carrie Gibson, Historian and Journalist, and John Hughes, Judge for the Royal Horticultural Society.

Join Aegean Odyssey on her European Connoisseur sailing in 2018.