Circle the Iberian Peninsula, tracing history from the Romans and Moors to the explorers that spearheaded the Age of Discovery. Delve into some of Europe’s most captivating cities, including Barcelona, Seville, Lisbon, and Porto, and head to the countryside to discover the timeless villages of the Algarve, Galicia, and France and Spain’s Basque country. Encounter wonders both ancient and modern, from the Roman ruins of Cartagena to the avant-garde architecture of Valencia and Bilbao. Along the way, savor local cuisine, sampling paella and port at their source and learning to make pintxos, Basque tapas.
• Encounter an array of architectural marvels, from the Alhambra in Granada to Lisbon’s 16th-century Jerónimos Monastery, and Frank Gehry’s titanium-clad Guggenheim in Bilbao, and capture your best photos alongside a National Geographic photography expert
• Explore seven UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Seville’s Alcázar palace, Santiago de Compostela in Spain, the Tower of Belém in Lisbon, and Porto’s old city
• Learn how cork oak is harvested in the orchards of the Algarve, and collect mussels with local fisherman in Galicia
• Experience Basque country in the music and culture of northern Spain and the markets of southwest France
• Discover the works of renowned artists including Mark Rothko, Jeff Koons, and Richard Serra on a private tour of the Guggenheim in Bilbao
Arrive in Barcelona, Spain, and explore the iconic
architectural masterpieces of this city, the
energetic street rhythms coming from Las
Ramblas, and the beautiful views atop Montjuic.
Embark National Geographic Resolution in the late
afternoon and set a course west for Valencia.
In sunny Valencia, old-world cafes mingle with
Gothic cathedrals and futuristic architecture.
Explore the rich birdlife of Albufera National Park
—Thekla's Lark, the Wood Sandpiper, and more—
by hopping aboard private fishermen’s boats along
the canals of the lake, where they cultivate rice
and harvest shellfish for paella. Enjoy a traditional
paella—Valencia’s signature dish. (B,L,D)
Today we explore Cartagena—where Phoenicians,
Romans, and Moors all left their mark. Walk amid
the city’s medieval fortress and visit the lookout at
Parque Torres to view the ruins of the Roman
amphitheater, side-by-side with a modern-day one.
Nestled at the foot of Spain’s Sierra Nevada
range, Granada is a city rich in history and culture.
Its legacy as the last stronghold of the Moors lives
on in the architecture, cuisine, and culture of the
modern-day city. Spend the day exploring
Granada’s vibrant center, or choose to explore the
Alhambra, a fortified palace complex boasting
exquisite Moorish architecture and decor, as well
as meticulously landscaped gardens. The
following day, we dedicate our time to discovering
Málaga, the birthplace of Picasso and a gem of a
coastal city surrounded by charming Andalusian
towns. Or spend the day in Ronda, where
bullfighting originated. Discover the town’s iconic
Puente Nuevo, a stone bridge spanning the gorge
and separating the new and old towns, or set for a
hike in the countryside. (B,L,D)
From Cádiz, travel to the graceful Andalusian
capital of Seville to see one of the world’s largest
Gothic cathedrals and the famed Alcázar palace,
where the king and queen of Spain greeted
Columbus. Or opt to visit a traditional sherry
bodega, which houses a private Spanish art
collection with works by Goya, Velazquez, and
Portimão is our gateway to Portugal’s
southernmost province, the Algarve, known for its
picturesque beaches, whitewashed villages, lush
farmlands, and remnants of Moorish culture.
Travel north to Silves, home to a fortified
sandstone castle built by the Moors and learn
about the tradition of harvesting cork from cork
oak trees. Or, spend the afternoon exploring the
sea caves of the Algarve coast by small boat while savoring a glass of medronho, a local fruit brandy.
Lisbon, the second oldest European capital,
maintains a reputation as one of the continent’s
most vibrant and charismatic cities. Captivating
history, art, culture, and delectable cuisine make
the birthplace of fado music worth discovering.
Begin your exploration of this fascinating city on a
morning tour. See the stunning 18th century
downtown area of the city and take in views in the
Graça District, one of Lisbon's oldest suburbs
located atop the city’s highest hill. Enter Terreiro
do Paço, “the palace’s square,” where the royal
palace stood for over two centuries and marvel at
the grandeur of Lisbon Cathedral. In the afternoon
continue to Jerónimos Monastery, a UNESCO
World Heritage site. This intricately carved building
was crafted to showcase the magnificent wealth
that the age of exploration brought to the
Portuguese empire. Continue to the Tower of
Belém Tower, a 16th-century fortification that
served as a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon and as
a start and ending point for Portuguese explorers.
Alternatively, spend the day in Sintra, a charming
town hidden in the pine-covered hills of the Serra
de Sintra. Home to the whimsical Palácio Nacional
de Pena, the medieval Palácio Nacional de Sintra,
the Morrish Castelo dos Mouros, and the Arabianinspired Monserrate Palace, Sintra was the first
European site listed by UNESCO as a Cultural
Take a panoramic drive into the UNESCO World
Heritage site of Porto in the early morning. The
birthplace of port wine, Porto straddles a gorge on
the Douro River, linked by numerous bridges and
filled with medieval architecture. See the famous
azulejo tiles of the region and take in the views
from the iron masterpiece Ponte Dom Luís. Learn
the secrets of port-making during a tasting at a
riverside port house. Take a tour of the Bolsa
Palace Stock Exchange, the Clérigos Church
Tower, the iconic Ribeira neighborhood, or the
Monument Church of Saint Francis. (B,L,D)
Anchor in Villagarcía de Arousa and take a day
trip to the Galician countryside, where you’ll visit a
winery, watch fishermen as they collect mussels,
and enjoy the verdant Galician landscapes from
the river. Alternatively, travel to Santiago de
Compostela, and visit the cathedral that has
welcomed millions of pilgrims over the centuries.
Enjoy a typical Galician musical performance and
a tapas lunch at the adjacent Hostal dos Reis
Católicos. Take the opportunity to hike a portion of
the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route before
heading back to the ship. (B,L,D)
This morning we arrive in Bilbao, one of the great
cities within Basque country. Surrounded by rolling
hills, Bilbao excels not only in its architectural
masterpieces, but in its superb Basque cuisine.
Explore the titanium curves of Frank Gehry’s iconic Guggenheim Museum and learn how it has
transformed the city. Wander through Bilbao’s
cobblestoned old quarter or take part in a pintxos
(Basque tapas) cooking demonstration to discover
the buzz around the city’s well-known cuisine.
Explore both the French and Spanish Basque
cultures today. Choose a market excursion in the
village of Biarritz to get an introduction to French
Basque culture, or journey to the French Basque
countryside for a wine and pintxos tasting. In
Spain’s Basque capital of San Sebastián, discover
the connection to the Celts and hear the bouncing
rhythms of a trikitixa, a traditional accordion.
From the stunning symmetrical architecture of
place de la Bourse to charming side streets
brimming with cafés, Bordeaux has no shortage of
nooks and crannies worth discovering. Today we
arrive in this picturesque riverside city and have
breakfast aboard before disembarking and
departing for the airport for flights home. (B)
Itineraries are subject to change.
08 May, 2024 to 20 May, 2024
National Geographic Explorer
#301-308 — Cabins feature one or two portholes. Most cabins feature two single beds that can be converted to a queen. Cabins #301-306 feature one queen-sized bed. All cabins feature a writing desk, floor length mirror, reading lamps, well-appointed bathrooms with a roomy glass-wall shower, and a TV.
#317-320, 335-336 — Cabins feature two single beds (some can convert to a queen-sized bed), and one large window. They offer a writing desk, floor length mirror, reading lamps, sitting chair, well-appointed bathrooms with a roomy glass-wall shower, and a TV.
#313-316, 321-328, 337-350 — Cabins feature two single beds (some can convert to a queen-sized bed), one large window, and two sitting chairs and a small table and ample storage. They have a writing desk, floor length mirror, reading lamps, well-appointed bathrooms with a roomy glass-wall shower, and a TV. Cabins 341 & 343 have a sofa bed for a triple.
#103-104, 107-108 — Cabins feature two single beds than can convert to a queen-sized bed, and at least one large window, climate controls, sitting chair, and a TV. Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall.
#201-202, 204-207, 210, 212, 217, 226, 228 — Cabins feature two single beds and at least one large window. All cabins can convert between two single beds to a queen, except Cabins 217, 226 & 228 that feature one queen-size bed only. All cabins feature climate controls, sitting chairs, and a TV. Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall.
#209, 211, 214, 216, 218, 220-222, 224 — Cabins feature a balcony with sliding glass doors, feature one queen-sized bed, a writing desk and chairs, climate controls, a TV. Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall. (Cabin 221 has two single beds that can convert to an Olympic-sized queen.)
#309-311, 329-334 — These cabins feature one single bed and a large window, a writing desk, reading lamp, bathroom with a roomy glass-wall shower stall, and a TV.
#105-106 — These cabins feature one single bed and a large window, a writing desk, reading lamp, bathroom with a roomy glass-walled shower stall, and a TV.
#203, 208 — These cabins feature one single bed and a large window, a writing desk, reading lamp, bathroom with a roomy glass-walled shower stall, and a TV.
#101-102 — These spacious cabins can be converted into triples. They have two single beds that can be converted into a queen, a writing desk, double closet, bookcase, sofa-bed, chairs, two large windows, and a TV. The sleeping area can be closed off with the glass partition. Bathrooms are generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall and twin sinks.
#213 — This spacious cabin has a private balcony, two single beds that can be converted into a queen, a writing desk, double closet, bookcase, chairs, and a TV. The sleeping area can be closed off with the glass partition. Bathrooms are generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall and twin sinks.
#215, 219, 230 — These large cabins with private balconies have two single beds that can convert to an Olympic-sized queen. They have seating areas with a sofa-bed and can be converted to triples. Cabins also include a desk with chairs, coffee table with sitting chair, and a small table. Bathrooms are generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall and twin sinks.
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 108 meters
Passenger Capacity: 148 (single & twin cabins)
Built / Refurbished: 1982 / 2008
National Geographic Explorer is a state-of-the-art expedition ship. It is a fully stabilized, ice-class vessel, enabling it to navigate polar passages while providing exceptional comfort. It carries kayaks and a fleet of Zodiac landing craft. An Undersea Specialist operates a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and sophisticated video equipment, extending access to the underwater world.
Public areas: Bistro Bar; Chart Room; Restaurant; Global Gallery; Library, Lounge with full service bar and state-of-the-art facilities for films, slideshows and presentations; Mud Room with lockers for expedition gear, and Observation Lounge. Our “Open Bridge” provides guests an opportunity to meet our Officers and Captain and learn about navigation.
Meals: Served in single seatings with unassigned tables for an informal atmosphere and easy mingling. Menu is international with local flair.
Cabins: All cabins face outside with windows or portholes, private facilities and climate controls.
Expedition Equipment: Zodiac landing craft, kayaks, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), hydrophone, SplashCam, underwater video camera, Crow’s Nest remote controlled camera, video microscope, snorkeling gear.
Special Features: A full-time doctor, Undersea Specialist, LEX Photo Specialist and Video Chronicler, Internet Cafe and laundry.
Wellness: The vessel is staffed by two Wellness Specialists and features a glass enclosed Fitness Center, outdoor stretching area, two LEXspa treatment rooms and Sauna.
COMBINING OFFERS. Certain offers may be combinable, up to two savings opportunities, except where noted otherwise. For example, travel with a group of 8 or more on back-to-back expeditions, and take advantage of both savings.
TRAVELING AS A GROUP. Save 5% when traveling as a group of 8 or more people. Take advantage of these great savings, while enjoying traveling with your friends and family. This savings is applicable to voyage fares only, and is not valid on extensions or airfare. Deposit, final payments, and cancellation policies for group travel vary from our regular policies.
BACK-TO-BACK SAVINGS. Save 10% on any consecutive journeys taken on board one of our expedition ships. This savings is applicable on voyage fares only, and are not valid on extensions or airfare.
FREE BAR TAB AND CREW TIPS INCLUDED. We will cover your bar tab and all tips for the crew on all National Geographic Resolution, National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Endurance, and National Geographic Orion voyages.
• Voyage on board in selected cabin category
• All meals while on board
• Non alcoholic beverages
• Experienced expedition team and leader
• All excursions
• Zodiac and kayak exploration
• Snorkeling, including wetsuits, masks, fins & snorkel where relevant
• Lectures and presentations on board
• International and domestic flights unless otherwise stated
• Travel insurance
• Passport and visa costs if applicable
• Alcoholic beverages on board unless otherwise stated
• Gratuities unless otherwise stated
• Wifi on board
• Any items of a personal nature including laundry