Passage South aboard Serenissima

Passage South aboard Serenissima

From GBP £5,795


Join us aboard the 95-passenger MS Serenissima for this leisurely journey south and visit Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, Algeria and Mallorca, all of which are easy to visit individually but difficult to combine independently in a two week trip. We have chosen the perfect time of year for our voyage and, in the absence of high season crowds, we will explore some marvellously historic and scenic places along with the delightful cities and towns of the region. Our itinerary has been planned to ensure the balance is just right between exploring ashore on the guided excursions and time at leisure in the picturesque ports. Interspersed throughout the voyage are some leisurely days at sea to relax on board, enjoy the company of your fellow, like-minded travellers and to listen to some talks from our Guest Speaker.

Each day holds something new and during our included guided excursions we will witness Guernsey’s unspoilt coastal landscapes, sample the local Albarino wine in Galicia and the splendid port wines in the enchanting city of Oporto, experience the rich maritime history of Gibraltar and take a scenic train journey from Palma to Soller on the charming island of Mallorca. Whilst in mainland Spain we will step into the pilgrimage cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, visit some of the gardens of Galicia’s great ‘pazos’ and discover the fascinating Roman history of Tarragona. In addition, we have the benefit of a call in Algeria where we spend the day exploring the ancient city of Tipaza and the mysterious Mausoleum of Mauretania with its breathtaking views.

Our itinerary offers an insight into the contrasting cultures and intriguing history of the regions visited combined with some fabulous coastal scenery and makes for an endlessly fascinating voyage.

Trip Name
Passage South aboard Serenissima
Vessel Type: Small Ship Length: 87 metres Passenger Capacity: 95 Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013 / 2019 MS Serenissima is a charming vessel and one of her best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During a major refit the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels. The vessel is equipped with a fleet of Zodiac landing craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible. The European Captain, Officers, Expedition Staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation. AIR-CONDITIONING The ship is air conditioned throughout. Please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning. DAILY PROGRAMME A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced onboard and delivered to your cabin each evening during the turn down service. DINING, DRINKING AND DIETARY REQUIREMENTS The Venice Restaurant onboard serves international cuisine and accommodates all guests at a single open seating. Tables seat 4 to 10 diners. In addition, there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. Breakfast and lunch are both buffet style, dinner is waiter service only. Complimentary (red and white) house wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner. Bar drinks and other beverages with meals are not included; these may be purchased onboard and paid for at the end of your cruise. Complimentary tea and coffee are available between 07:00 hours and 23:00 hours at the tea and coffee station located in the Andrea lounge. Please advise of any special dietary requests in advance. DISABLED FACILITIES The ship can accommodate passengers with mobility restrictions and wheelchair dependent passengers in cabin 407, which has a wider door and no step into/out of the bathroom and shower area. There is a lift serving decks 3 to 6, but there is no stair lift. DOCTOR A medical doctor is available on board 24 hours a day. A fee is charged for any consultations and medication prescribed. Please ensure you carry adequate supplies of any regular medications you may require.  ELECTRICITY The electrical outlets in the cabins and public areas are 220V and take a two-round-pin plug (as in continental Europe). There is a 110/220V, 60Hz outlet for electric shavers in the bathroom. We recommend that you bring an international adaptor. GRATUITIES Gratuities to crew and whilst on excursions are included in the cost of your holiday. INTERNET The onboard library has a computer equipped for email/internet access and Wi-Fi access is available in public areas, although you will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone, and charges apply – 100mb for €15 Euros, or 500mb for €25 Euros. Please note that connection is dependent on weather conditions and location. LANGUAGE All members of the crew speak English. MONEY The following payment methods are accepted for settlement of shipboard accounts: Cash (Euros or British Pounds), Credit Card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express), Debit Card (MasterCard and Visa). Please note that personal cheques and Travellers’ Cheques are not accepted. PUBLIC AREAS • Andrea Lounge (on Deck 5). The bar is open from 11.00 until 24.00. • Harald Jarl Lounge (on Deck 5). There is a small library here with books and games. There is also a computer for public use (charges apply for internet access) • Lido area (on Deck 5) with a Jacuzzi and fitness room with two running machines • Observation Deck (access from Deck 5 lido area) • Deck 5 and Deck 6 outside seating areas SNORKELLING Snorkelling equipment is kept onboard. Please note that there is no snorkelling from Zodiacs. All snorkelling stops will operate from a beach.  TELEVISION The ship is equipped with a satellite TV system which receives 15 channels. TV reception depends on the satellite dish and on occasion it may not be possible to receive a signal. There is one central video channel on which it is possible to listen to the lectures delivered in the Andrea Lounge. There is also a channel for the ship’s camera located in front of the ship. ZODIACS Some destinations may require the use of Zodiacs to go ashore. These are usually on expedition cruises though may sometimes be used on destination cruises. 


Day 1 - Day 1 Portsmouth, England.
Embark this afternoon. Transfers will be provided from Portsmouth Harbour Railway Station at a fixed time. Enjoy welcome drinks and dinner as we sail this evening.
Day 2 - Day 2 Guernsey, Channel Islands.
Today we explore Guernsey where we take a panoramic drive during which we will see the beautiful coastline, rocky cliffs and wild sandy bays. Along the coast we will also see the Martello Towers, built during the Napoleonic wars, and the fortifications built by the Germans during the occupation in the Second World War. Return to the MS Serenissima via country lanes and the Little Chapel, built in 1914 as a miniature version of the famous basilica at Lourdes and covered in fragments of shattered china, seashells and pebbles. This afternoon is free to explore the picturesque town of St Peter Port at your own pace. Please note that we will be at anchor today and the ships Zodiacs will be used to transfer ashore.
Day 3 - Day 3 At Sea.
Enjoy a leisurely day at sea as we continue our journey south.
Day 4 - Day 4 La Coruna, Spain.
Arriving into Spain we visit Santiago de Compostela, the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia. The city’s cathedral is the destination of the important Medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St James (in Spanish the ‘Camino de Santiago’), which is still walked today. For those keen to walk some of the route there will be the chance to hike a short section towards Santiago. Otherwise transfer directly to the site where we will visit the Conventual de San Francisco, the Faculty of Medicine and the world-famous Plaza del Obradoiro. Inside the cathedral, we will visit the Romanic crypt and see the facade of Platerias; the Quintana Plaza; House of Parra; facade of Azabacheria; and the facade of San Martin Pinario. Enjoy lunch at a parador and some free time before returning to the ship and sailing this evening.
Day 5 - Day 5 Vilagarcia de Arousa.
Continuing our exploration of Galicia, today we will visit the gardens of the grand country mansions, known as ‘pazos’, which were built by noble families in the 17th and 18th centuries and are typical of this region. This morning we will drive to the Pazo de Oca, often referred to as the “Galician Versailles”. These French-style gardens were recently restored to their 18th century glory and the beauty is the fusion of formal garden with a working farm. Continue to the Pazo de Ribadulla which dates back to the 1500s. The English style gardens, which were laid out in the 19th century, are subtler and more natural than the French-style gardens of the Pazo de Oca and include a pretty waterfall and a wonderful grove of olive trees, some of which are nearly 300 years old. After lunch on board we drive the short distance to the Pazo de Rubianes which was originally founded in 1411 and was one of the three official lordships in Spain. Enjoy a guided walk through the stunning gardens which are home to eucalyptus trees, sequoias and camphors. Also visit the Pazo’s extensive vineyards to learn about the local Albarino wine production and enjoy a tasting before exploring the historical palace itself.
Day 6 - Day 6 Oporto, Portugal.
The port of Leixoes is our base for a day of activities around Oporto. We will visit the Quinta de Aveleda, located in the heart of the Vinho Verde Demarcated Region, which creates a young fresh wine with a low alcoholic content and a lightly fruity flavour. After exploring the beautiful park and gardens with rare specimens of trees, shrubs and flowers which surround the Manor House, we will learn about the wine which has been produced here since 1947. This afternoon we explore Oporto including the impressive St Francis Church and the Ribeira, a riverside quarter made up of narrow, twisting streets and shadowy arcades. We will end at one of the many port wine cellars where we hear all about the wines and how they are produced.
Day 7 - Day 7 At Sea.
Spend a relaxing day at sea as we continue our journey along the Iberian Peninsula. Maybe join a lecture or find a spot on deck.
Day 8 - Day 8 Huelva & Seville, Spain.
Sail this morning into the port of Huelva from where Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World in 1492. Learn more about the voyage at the Muelle de las Carabelas Museum where we also find replicas of the ships. Also see the 14th century La Rabida Monastery which was declared a national monument in 1856 and is where Columbus stayed whilst preparing for his voyage. Alternatively, take a full day tour to Seville and discover the city’s greatest monuments. Enter the Alcazar Palace with its ornate Moorish interiors and exotic terraced garden and visit the imposing La Giralda, Seville’s cathedral, which is reputed to be the largest Gothic style church in the world with its distinctive Moorish tower. After lunch enjoy some free time to explore before returning to the MS Serenissima.
Day 9 - Day 9 Gibraltar.
Spend the day in Gibraltar exploring this strategic British outpost of the Mediterranean. After taking in the views from Europa Point, where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean, we continue to the Great Siege Tunnels, a labyrinth of tunnels built to defend Gibraltar from Spanish and French attacks between 1779 and 1783 and revered as one of the finest defensive systems. Also visit the Gibraltar Museum where we can learn more about the Great Siege, the geological origins of the rock and the area’s natural history. The afternoon is free to explore at your own pace, maybe take the cable car up the famous rock, see the Botanical Gardens or visit the Garrison Library.
Day 10 - Day 10 Malaga, Spain.
Returning to Spain we will explore the historic city of Malaga. A morning tour will take us to the 14th century Castillo de Gibralfaro built on a hill overlooking the city and once considered the most impregnable fortress in Iberia. Continue to La Merced Square where we see the birthplace of Pablo Picasso before we visit the impressive 16th century cathedral which was built on the remains of a mosque with a mix of Renaissance and Gothic styles and has been declared a national landmark. The afternoon is free to explore at your own pace, the art lovers may wish to visit the Picasso Museum, alternatively, head to the market or watch the world go by in the local park.
Day 11 - Day 11 At Sea.
Our lecture programme continues as we spend a day at sea sailing towards the north African coast.
Day 12 - Day 12 Algiers, Algeria.
From our berth in Algiers we head for the ancient city of Tipaza which was probably founded by the Phoenicians but really came into being under the Romans. The city was extended by Emperor Claudius and grew wealthy on Mediterranean trade. It was built on three small hills which overlooked the sea. There are ruins of three Basilicas, two cemeteries, the baths, the theatre, the nymphaeum and the unusual oval shaped amphitheatre. After visiting the city, we will enjoy a typical Algerian lunch before continuing to the mysterious Mausoleum of Mauretania which lies in the hills above the sea about 18 kilometres away from Tipaza. It is one of the most breathtaking sights in Algeria. The vast pyramid-like structure is named the Tomb of the Christian on account of the large crosses that decorate the tomb which predates Jesus Christ. We return to the ship via the Martyrs‘ Monument which offers spectacular views over the city.
Day 13 - Day 13 Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain.
Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands, has a rich history dating back to the Phoenicians when it was under control of Carthage, the principal North African city at that time, before flourishing under Roman rule. From our berth in Palma we will take the beautifully maintained vintage train that connects Palma with the pretty town of Soller on the island’s west coast and enjoy splendid mountain views of the Serra de Tramuntana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Over the course of just seven kilometres the railway rises 199 metres, runs through 13 tunnels and crosses several bridges. We will enjoy some time to explore Soller before taking a scenic drive to the village of Valldemossa, a quiet and traditional town with narrow streets and lanes. We will take a walk around the town followed by lunch at a local restaurant before returning to Palma where we will have some time to explore at our own pace.
Day 14 - Day 14 Tarragona.
During the second Punic War in 218 AD the city of Tarraco was established as a garrison which developed into the main military base for the Roman army in Spain. Today we can still see remnants of the Roman period as we explore the city by foot. See the impressive walls that once surrounded the city, the 2nd century amphitheatre and the Roman Circus where chariot races were held. After lunch on board there will be time to explore more of Tarragona at your leisure.
Day 15 - Day 15 Tarragona to London.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to Barcelona airport for our scheduled flight to London.
Day 16 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
05-09-202319-09-2023GBP £5,795Standard Stateroom
05-09-202319-09-2023GBP £6,195Classic Stateroom
05-09-202319-09-2023GBP £6,595Superior Stateroom
05-09-202319-09-2023GBP £6,895Standard Single
05-09-202319-09-2023GBP £7,195Deluxe Stateroom
05-09-202319-09-2023GBP £7,895Junior Suite
05-09-202319-09-2023GBP £8,495Owner’s Suite
05-09-202319-09-2023GBP £8,795Serenissima Suite


    • Guernsey
    • La Coruna
    • Vilagarcia de Arousa
    • Oporto
    • Huelva & Seville