Cuisines & Cultures of Spain, Portugal, and France
 
10 DAYS
Star Pride
Lisbon to Dun Laoghaire (Dublin)
Departure Date:
Price from $4,599 per guest
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Lisbon to Dun Laoghaire (Dublin)
Discover the delectable cuisines and spirits of Spain and France at their authentic best. Treat your palate to Europe’s best seafood in Spain’s Galicia region, to sweet port in Porto, cognac in La Rochelle, and world-famous wines in Bordeaux. Spend time absorbing the culture, history, and landscapes that have gone into the creation of each delicious mouthful. Follow the pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela and share conxuro da quiemada with them in a social ritual passed down through the generations. Toast a region so bursting with flavor you wished you never had to leave.
voyage map
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Day 1: Lisbon
The rhythm of Lisbon invites you to join its captivating dance. This splendid capital city on the banks of the Rio Teja offers a warm welcome and an unparalleled blend of architectural styles. Elegant outdoor cafés line the cobbled sidewalks. Turn-of-the-century funiculars climb the scenic hills. Find the UNESCO sites of the Tower of Belem and the Monastery of the Hieronymites. And, everywhere, the city engages you with its easy style and remarkable charm.
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Day 2: Porto
Built into the granite cliffs at the mouth of the Rio Douro, the hilly city of Porto presents a heady juxtaposition of eras and styles. Here, medieval alleyways, orderly neighborhood squares, and ornate Baroque churches readily intermingle. Porto’s historic heart is a UNESCO site of winding lanes, zigzagging staircases and tiled churches. The highlight, though, is a taste of port wine at its best – a happy accident dating from the 17th century when brandy was discovered to preserve wine for transit. After your choice of palate-pleasing shore excursions, return for an onboard fado folk music performance.
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Day 3: El Ferrol
After entering the estuary mouth, pass through a narrow canal where the twin castles of San Felipe and La Palma welcome you to what was the main base for the Spanish Navy in the 17th century. Spend a pleasant day rumbling around the old Magdalena neighborhood, or make your own pilgrimage to the nearby UNESCO site of Santiago de Compostela or head to Lugo to see the Roman Walls – another UNESCO site.
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Day 5: Bordeaux
Bordeaux has long been known as La Belle au Bois Dormant, Sleeping Beauty.  And while the beauty part is undeniable, the sleeping part could be argued. Sure, the region is filled with treasures from long ago, including more than 350 historic monuments and buildings in the city alone. But the capital of Aquitaine is also home to a vibrant culture and, as oenophiles well know, is the gateway to some of France’s most famous vineyards. In this UNESCO World Heritage city, 13th century cathedrals and 18th century palaces are commonplace. Venture beyond the city’s borders to the chateaux of the Médoc region or to Saint-Émilion, a breathtaking medieval village set among the vineyards that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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Day 6: Bordeaux
Bordeaux has long been known as La Belle au Bois Dormant, Sleeping Beauty.  And while the beauty part is undeniable, the sleeping part could be argued. Sure, the region is filled with treasures from long ago, including more than 350 historic monuments and buildings in the city alone. But the capital of Aquitaine is also home to a vibrant culture and, as oenophiles well know, is the gateway to some of France’s most famous vineyards. In this UNESCO World Heritage city, 13th century cathedrals and 18th century palaces are commonplace. Venture beyond the city’s borders to the chateaux of the Médoc region or to Saint-Émilion, a breathtaking medieval village set among the vineyards that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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Day 7: La Rochelle
La Rochelle is said to be the most lovely and unspoiled port city in France, and who are we to argue?  Two 14th century stone towers guard the gateway to the medieval core of the city, the Vieux Port. And this is a city that is focused on ships. You’ll find yachts floating in the Port des Minimes, ships in the stained glass of church windows, maybe even decorating the arcaded walkways that line the streets. Learn the art of brandy making with a visit to the Cognac region and the Hennessy maisson, dating back to 1765. While walking past the aging barrels, inhale the heady aroma—the escaping vapors known as “the angels’ share.”
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Day 9: St-Malo
Once notorious as the home of pirates, St.-Malo today is better known for the UNESCO site monastery and town of Mont St. Michel and the famous oysters of nearby Cancale. Walk the city’s ramparts, or pass the time at a seaside boulangerie sampling a fresh and buttery croissant. 
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Day 11: Dun Laoghaire (Dublin)
Dublin is a city of delights and surprises. Stroll across the Ha’Penny Bridge to Trinity College for a glimpse of the Book of Kells. Step inside the 11th century Dublin Castle. Stop by the Guinness Storehouse or Old Jameson Distillery for a taste of Irish history. And embrace the beauty of Dublin Bay, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
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