The Channel Islands, Normandy, Brittany & the Basque Country

The Channel Islands, Normandy, Brittany & the Basque Country

From EUR €5,655

Description

A panoramic trip along the Elbe
The Sea Cloud ii departs from Hamburg’s harbour and glides along the Elbe at a leisurely pace. Past the
patrician mansions of the Elbchaussee, stair-lined Blankenese, the Airbus grounds and the picturesque
river banks with their green dykes.

Kaleidoscopic Amsterdam
Amsterdam is small and homely, cosmopolitan and avantgarde, an international metropolis and a royal capital. Depending on your approach, this city will show you each of its many faces in a constantly changing light. Discover the charm of its canals and be inspired by its
internationally renowned designs.

Bruges: UNESCO World Heritage Site
Be it English cloth merchants, Hamburg’s moneybags or traders from Castile, trade has been at the heart of this Hanseatic city for centuries. Even today there are still great shopping opportunities in the charming medieval old town of Bruges. As you stroll past ramparts, windmills and romantic canals, you will discover all sorts of artistic and culinary delights in the small boutique shops.

Honfleur, paradise for painters
With its colourful fi shing boats and soaring timbered houses, Honfl eur offers visitors a truly picturesque setting. The enchanting little port is considered the cradle of impressionism – Eugène Boudin, Monet, Renoir and Cézanne met here to paint. In addition to enjoying the abounding art, don’t miss out on Normandy’s culinary masterpieces: cider, calvados and camembert.

Saint-Malo and the Mont St Michel
Strong fortifi ed walls and heavy canons still bear witness to what life was like in Saint-Malo in the 18th century. From here, the corsairs started their raids, adding considerably to the wealth of the town. At the other end of the bay, the Mont St Michel also presents itself well-fortified: Like a mighty bastion, the monastery fortress rises from the tidal flats.

A jewel in the Atlantic: Belle-Île-en-Mer
It is easy to imagine that this island was the birthplace of summer; as soon as the sun rises over this Breton isle, the cafés and squares are instantly filled with the friendly chatter of locals, accordion players and women selling their wares at the market. With its serene atmosphere, the port of Le Palais is the perfect place to be discovered individually.

Capital of Culture and culinary delights: San Sebastián
San Sebastián cannot be described in a single word: Donostia, so its Basque name, is a seaside resort, film city, surfer’s paradise, cultural metropolis and above all a Mecca for gourmets. The lively old town is a paradise for the palate: Countless small and cosy bars proudly present the city’s culinary diversity.

Trip Name
The Channel Islands, Normandy, Brittany & the Basque Country
Days
12
Overview
Vessel Type: Tall Ship (Sailing) Length: 105 metres Passenger Capacity: 96 Built: 2001 Launched in 2001, Sea Cloud II is a stunning vessel, built along traditional lines, but offering deluxe accommodation. She combines timeless elegance of sailing ships of the past with the highest safety standards and the luxurious comfort of modern cruise ships. Just like her legendary sister ship Sea Cloud, the 29,600 square feet of sails is set by hand which is a truly magical sight. Built to accommodate 96 passengers in five star luxury, she offers a range of beautifully appointed suites and cabins which are furnished with great style. All accommodations have outside views and the bathrooms, in light marble, are unusually spacious and extremely comfortable. The finest, carefully chosen fabrics, combined with leather, rattan and other materials, brass and gold, precious woods and marble together create an impressive ensemble. No expense has been spared to create a sympathetic ambience in both the accommodations and public areas and this is reflected throughout the vessel. Public areas include an elegant lounge, library, fitness centre, boutique, lido bar and hospital. The single sitting dining room is airy and modern and the quality of the cuisine and service will be to the highest of standards, as one would expect on a Sea Cloud cruise. Relax on the Lido deck and experience the natural grandeur of travelling under sail, rekindling memories of a bygone age. Please note deck and suite plans are indicative only and may vary slightly.

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 Hamburg/Germany
Hamburg has seen many ships in its time. Richly laden Hanseatic cogs, famous 19th century windjammers and giant vessels have dropped anchor in its port. The beautiful banks of the Elbe form prominent cordons for ships sailing in or out of the port of Hamburg. Moving towards the mouth of the Elbe, they glide by the patrician villas on the Elbchaussee, the Treppenviertel in Blankenese, the Airbus site and the picturesque banks of the Elbe with their green dykes and white beaches. You can catch charming harbour views of the little villages all along the banks of the Elbe.
Day 2 - Day 2 At sea
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Day 3 - Day 3 Amsterdam/Netherlands
Amsterdam is small and unhurried, cosmopolitan and avant-garde, a multi-cultural lively city and a royal capital. The countless canals and bridges, and the charming cityscape with all its beautiful gabled houses nestling beside the secluded canals, shape the character of the inner city. Amsterdam is considered the cultural centre of the Netherlands. The Reichsmuseum, with its famous Night Watchman by Rembrandt and other masterpieces from the Golden Age is the largest of the innumerable museums, the Van Gogh Museum is the most colourful, and the Hermitage Amsterdam, with its high-profile opening back in summer 2009, is the newest.
Day 4 - Day 4 Oostende/Belgium
King Leopold II built the white palace and the long, wonderfully shady galleries on the beach. Like the casino and kursaal, they hark back to the Belle Époque when Ostend was the favourite summer resort of the aristocracy on the Flemish North Sea coast and was one of the most chic seaside towns in Europe. Although both world wars took their toll on the king's 'queen of seaside resorts', people still come in droves to stroll along the wide beach with its creamy sand and the long promenade. The lively old Hanseatic city of Bruges is captivating and its medieval atmosphere will enchant you. A rich historical heritage has been preserved inside its vast ramparts and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 5 - Day 5 Honfleur/France
Many famous impressionists caught the quaint atmosphere of this town at the mouth of the Seine on canvas in the 19th century. This small town in Calvados is still one of the most charming places in Normandy. Tall and narrow slate-clad buildings crowd around the quayside, the exquisite Vieux Bassin and the old 17th century dock. Honfleur honours its famous sons, painter Eugène Boudin and composer Eric Satie, in a museum. East of Honfleur, the breathtaking Pont de Normandie spans the Seine estuary and links Honfleur with Le Havre, an engineering masterpiece and one of the longest bridges in Europe.
Day 6 - Day 6 St Peter Port/Guernsey
'A piece of France fallen into the sea and grabbed up by the English' is how Victor Hugo described his place of exile in the Bay of St. Malo, which is closer to the northern coast of France than the south coast of England. Guernsey, the second largest British Channel Island, later inspired Auguste Renoir to produce a whole series of paintings. Narrow, meandering roads bordered by hedges and embankments wind through the interior of the island, which boasts luscious vegetation courtesy of the mild Gulf Stream climate, while in the south, green hills give way to rocky cliffs on the sea's edge. Here, spectacular crags, bays and sandy beaches have been shaped by the vast tidal range pummelling the rock. The pretty island capital of St. Peter Port overlooking the large sheltered harbour and castle boasts a fascinating mixture of styles in a tangle of terraces and stepped gardens.
Day 7 - Day 7 Saint-Malo/France
This former 'corsaire' town in northern Brittany has always had a close relationship with the sea. Although the buccaneers have left, St. Malo is now the start or end point for many famous sailing regattas. Behind the legendary town defences lies the historic centre, which is surrounded by water on three sides and has always been impregnable. On one side of the town walls you will see the narrow alleyways and tall houses of the old town which bear testament to the prosperity of past traders and sailors. The other side offers exquisite views of the emerald sea, dazzling white sandy beaches, harbour and forts. Tidal variations in the Bay of Saint-Malo provide an impressive natural spectacle with twelve metres difference between high and low tides.
Day 8 - Day 8 At sea
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Day 9 - Day 9 Le Palais/Belle-Île-en-Mer
At 54 square miles, Belle-Île-en-Mer, south of Lorient is the largest of Brittany's islands. For a few weeks every summer, the storms and crashing waves subside and the island takes on a laid-back holiday atmosphere, with lots of bicycles, beach towels and music. On the west coast, the waves break on the rocks causing white crests to dance on the water. Small, idyllic bays and beaches nestle in deep inlets in the rocky coastline, sometimes only accessible from the sea. The island's capital is the port of Le Palais with its imposing citadel and countless street cafés along the harbour and in the Place de la République. Claude Monet spent two and a half months on the island, producing 39 paintings of the wild Côte Sauvage.
Day 10 - Day 10 La Rochelle/France
The Vieux Port dock and the beautiful front, which teems with cafés, form the centre of the picturesque old town. Two imposing towers once served as lookout posts for the harbour and town, and are now the symbol of La Rochelle. The medieval town walls, town hall, churches and shipowners' offices bear testament to its former glory. Today, the Les Minimes marina is one of the largest examples of its kind in Europe. A bridge spans the 3km gap between the mainland and the Ile-de-Ré. With its enchanting beaches and dunes, little villages, cottages with green shutters and alleyways lined with hollyhocks, the 'White Isle' is a paradise for cyclists.
Day 11 - Day 11 San Sebastián/Spain
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Day 12 - Day 12 Bilbao/Spain
Bilbao has always been an important port and industrial city. In 1993, Bilbao was a pilgrimage destination for lovers of modern art and avant-garde architecture. The Guggenheim Museum, with its idiosyncratic and unique design by famous architect Frank O Gehry, showcases everything that is important within its 11,000 square metres 118,403 foot). Steel used to be manufactured in Bilbao and it now plays a major role here, since other renowned architects have also been inspired to give Bilbao an attractive, distinctive look. Cross the futuristic Calatrava Bridge to reach the old town, where you can take a delightful stroll round the lanes and enjoy the art of Basque cuisine.
Day 13 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
13-08-201924-08-2019EUR €5,655GTY Double Cabin
13-08-201924-08-2019EUR €6,095Category F Upper/Lower Beds
13-08-201924-08-2019EUR €6,995Category E
13-08-201924-08-2019EUR €7,495GTY Single Cabin
13-08-201924-08-2019EUR €7,775Category D
13-08-201924-08-2019EUR €8,255Category C
13-08-201924-08-2019EUR €9,655Category B
13-08-201924-08-2019EUR €10,755Category A

Inclusions

    • A panoramic trip along the Elbe
    • Kaleidoscopic Amsterdam
    • Bruges: UNESCO World Heritage Site
    • Honfleur, paradise for painters
    • Saint-Malo and the Mont St Michel
    • A jewel in the Atlantic: Belle-Île-en-Mer
    • Capital of Culture and culinary delights: San Sebastián

Map