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European Coastal Civilizations
April 23 - May 1, 2015
This exclusive small ship itinerary cruising aboard the state-of-the-art, Five-Star M.S. LE BORÉAL features the captivating historical legacies and enduring, dynamic cultures of European coastal civilizations. From the old-world sophistication of Portugal to the artistic riches of Spain’s Basque Country, to the rugged beauty of France’s Côte Sauvage and the United Kingdom’s charming Channel Islands, a riveting canvas of important yet seldom-visited seaports await along Europe’s western coast.
Join fellow members and friends for the opportunity of a lifetime with the European Coastal Civilizations experience operated by National Trust Tours and meet distinguished expert Dwight David Eisenhower II, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and grandson of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who will share his personal insights during an onboard lecture and accompany visitors to the hallowed beaches of Normandy to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the Allied Forces’ historic D-Day landings.
Visit three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, tour Oporto, the epicenter of world-famous port wine production, walk in the footsteps of ancient pilgrims on St. James Way in Santiago de Compostela, cruise Spain’s Costa Verde and call at France’s spectacular Belle-Île-en-Mer and the U.K.’s Channel Island of Guernsey. This unique seven-night cruise features an included cultural excursion in each port, along with two exclusive C’EST BON! CULINARY TRADITIONS™ options celebrating the traditional regional cuisine of these European coastal civilizations.
M.S. Le Boréal
The highly acclaimed, exclusively chartered M.S. Le Boréal , launched in 2010, represents the newest generation of Five-Star small ships, featuring elegant style, unparalleled service, and opulent accommodations and facilities.
Accommodations: Boasting distinctive French sophistication, the 120 Suites and Staterooms, most with private balconies, feature two twin beds that convert into one queen bed and luxurious amenities, including private baths, individual climate control, satellite flat-screen television, wireless Internet access, safe, minibar, full-length closet, writing desk/dressing table, plush robes, and slippers.
Dining: International and regional cuisine are served in the stylish, spacious La Licorne dining room in single, unassigned seating, alfresco in the casual indoor-outdoor La Boussole Restaurant, or from 24-hour room service. Continental and buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea and a four-course dinner are served daily. Complimentary wine and beer are served with dinner; beer is served with lunch.
Facilities and Services: Inviting and spacious public areas accommodate all passengers comfortably. Enjoy views from the Panoramic Lounge, nightly entertainment in the Main Lounge, and lectures, cultural performances, and film screenings in the state-of-the-art theater. The ship also boasts a library, Internet salon, sun deck, swimming pool, beauty salon, spa, Turkish bath-style steam room, full range of fitness equipment, and two elevators. The infirmary is staffed with a doctor and nurse. The highly trained and personable, English-speaking, international crew provides attentive service.
Study Leader Information
Providing insightful lectures throughout the program is Smithsonian study leader Dianne Konz, an independent scholar specializing in Iberia and the Western Mediterranean. Her areas of expertise include Roman Iberia and the growth of urban culture, the Moorish invasion and subsequent Islamic Golden Age, and the Christian Reconquest as a foundation of modern Spain.
There can be no more fitting way to mark the 71st anniversary of the Allied Forces D-Day invasion than to walk on the Normandy beaches liberated by American and Allied forces. Attend a dynamic lecture and be accompanied to the beaches by our expert historian, intimately familiar with one of the most powerful world leaders of the 20th century and World War II.
Dwight David Eisenhower II, grandson of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is a noted historian of World War II and the Cold War. His 1986, 900-page best seller, Eisenhower: At War 1943-1945, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history. David is Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a Public Policy Fellow at the Annenberg School of Communication and the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches “Communication and the Presidency.”
April 23 - Thursday - U.S.
Depart the U.S.
April 24 - Friday - Lisbon, Portugal
Arrive in Lisbon and embark the Five-Star M.S. LE BORÉAL.
April 25 - Saturday - Leixões for Oporto
Dock in Leixões, northern Portugal’s principal port, and transfer to Oporto, a former Roman outpost and the hub of the country’s world-famous port wine trade since the 13th century. Oporto’s historic city center, Ribeira, a neighborhood of medieval streets lined with colorful Portuguese houses, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the Gothic Church of São Francisco and the neoclassical Stock Exchange, with its intricately gilded Arabian Hall inspired by the famous Moorish Alhambra palace. The city showcases great artistic and architectural treasures that remain from the Moorish period, when previous Greek and Roman influences along with Jewish and Christian life created a coexistence of cultures in which disciplines like algebra, medicine, optics, horticulture, art, and architecture flourished.
During the “Robust Flavors Of Oporto” C’EST BON! CULINARY TRADITIONS™ option, enjoy a specially prepared lunch in Oporto’s oldest district, where a celebrity chef will introduce traditional Portuguese specialties. Then, tour the cellars of a renowned port wine producer and enjoy a tasting among the seasoned oak casks.
Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception and dinner this evening.
April 26 - Sunday - La Coruña, Spain, for Santiago de Compostela
On today’s excursion, travel into the oak and pine-forested hills of Galicia, one of Spain’s self-governed principalities influenced by its Roman, Germanic, Moorish, and Castilian heritage and infused with an unexpected Celtic atmosphere. Golden-hued granite buildings grace its well-preserved capital, Santiago de Compostela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where almost completely pedestrianized streets lead to the expansive Plaza del Obradoiro and the city’s grand Romanesque cathedral, a national monument, built to enshrine the tomb of St. James, who preached on the Iberian Peninsula. A pilgrimage destination since the Middle Ages, the church is recognized for its distinctive Baroque façade, original medieval portico and incomparable Churrigueresque altar.
April 27 - Monday - Santander for Bilbao
From Santander, transfer to Bilbao, surrounded by the verdant Basque Mountains. Discover this dynamic and sophisticated city with a stop in the historic casco viejo (old quarter) and the promenade of El Arenal, a popular route for Bilbainos’ evening paseos (leisurely strolls). Enjoy a guided architectural tour of the iconic Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum of Contemporary Art with time to stroll through the galleries of modern and contemporary art.
Basque cuisine is a ritual of love passed down through the generations. During the “Pintxos: A Basque Tradition” C’EST BON! CULINARY TRADITIONS™ optional excursion, sample a variety of traditional Basque pintxos (tapas) in a 16th-century caserio (country house) located in an idyllic setting just outside of Bilbao.
April 28 - Tuesday - Belle-Île-en-Mer, France
This afternoon, call at Belle-Île-en-Mer, France’s “Beautiful Island,” off the coast of Brittany. Much of the island’s current population is descended from repatriated Acadian colonists who returned to France from Acadia (Nova Scotia) in the mid 18th century. See the charming island community of Le Palais and visit the 18th-century Vauban Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the unique beauty of the island’s stunning Côte Sauvage on a panoramic tour, highlighting the “wild coast” that has inspired artists from the time of the Romans to Claude Monet, Auguste Rodin, and Henri Matisse as well as author Alexandre Dumas in his adventures of The Three Musketeers.
April 29 - Wednesday - Guernsey, Channel Islands, U.K.
An English outpost located off the coast of France, Guernsey is a fascinating mosaic of fishing villages, greenhouses, and fields dotted with its ubiquitous chestnut brown and white dairy cows. The island’s distinct culture is a delightful amalgam of English tradition and French lifestyle. Its capital, St. Peter Port, is an old Regency town distinguished by granite buildings and wrought-iron garden railings. It was here that Victor Hugo lived in exile (1855-1870) and wrote Les Misérables.
On an afternoon panoramic tour around Guernsey’s dramatic coastline, see the remnants of Germany’s occupation (1940-1945) of the Channel Islands, a launching point for invading Great Britain during World War II, and Fort Hommet, the permanent fortifications constructed to keep a German foothold on Europe. Enjoy time at leisure to explore the quaint cobblestone streets and picturesque harbor of St. Peter Port.
This evening attend historian David Eisenhower’s exclusive onboard lecture while cruising the Normandy coast.
April 30 - Thursday - Caen, France, for Normandy Beaches
Dock in Caen and travel through the scenic countryside to the historic Normandy beaches. In the company of David Eisenhower, walk where Allied forces landed under the direction of his grandfather, Supreme Allied Commander, Dwight D. Eisenhower, on June 6, 1944. Step respectfully among the solemn crosses and Stars of David in the American Military Cemetery at St. Laurent, overlooking Omaha Beach. Envision the brave American rangers who scaled 200-foot heights to capture German gun emplacements at Pointe du Hoc.
See remnants of Mulberry Harbor, constructed to support Allied landings, and then view exhibits chronicling the campaign at the D-Day Museum that overlooks the beach at Arromanches. Alternatively, visitors may choose to see the famous 230-foot-long Bayeux Tapestry, a stunning visual chronicle of the Norman conquest of 1066.
Join the Captain on board the ship for a Farewell Reception in the evening.
May 1 - Friday - Honfleur/U.S.
Disembark the ship in Honfleur and continue on the Paris and Giverny Post-Cruise Option or to Paris for the return flight to the U.S.
Staterooms range from 200 to 484 sq. ft. and most have two twin beds that convert to make one queen bed. All feature a private bathroom and individual climate control.
|Stateroom Category 8||$4,995|
Ocean-view, one large window, shower. Deck 3, Le Champollion, forward. (limited availability)
|Stateroom Category 7||$6,595|
Ocean-view, small window and single door onto private, partial wall balcony, shower. Deck 3, Le Champollion, aft. (limited availability)
|Stateroom Category 6||$6,995|
Ocean-view, small window and single door onto private, partial wall balcony, shower. Deck 3, Le Champollion, midship.
|Stateroom Category 5||$7,795|
Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private, partial wall balcony, shower. Deck 4, Le Lafayette, forward.
|Stateroom Category 4||$7,995|
Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private balcony, shower. Deck 4, Le Lafayette, midship.
|Stateroom Category 3||$8,395|
Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private balcony, shower. Deck 5, Le Normandie, forward.
|Stateroom Category 2||$8,695|
Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private balcony, shower or tub/shower. Deck 5, Le Normandie, midship.
|Stateroom Category 1||$9,195|
Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private balcony, shower or tub/shower. Deck 6, Le France.
Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private balcony, tub/shower and sitting area with sofa. Deck 6, Le France. (limited availability)
|Prestige Suite II||$11,995|
Two-room, ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto large private balcony, two bathrooms: tub/shower and shower, large sitting area with sofa, two closets, writing desk, and dressing table. Deck 5, Le Normandie. (limited availability)
|Prestige Suite I||$12,495|
Two-room, ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto large private balcony, two bathrooms: tub/shower and shower, large sitting area with sofa, two closets, writing desk, and dressing table. Deck 6, Le France. (limited availability)
Mention Historic Hotels of America when booking your tour and receive three $100 gift certificates, each good toward a $100 refund when you book through HistoricHotels.org and stay for at least two-nights at a Historic Hotels of America hotel.**
To book a tour please contact our tour VIP desk at +1 202 772 8000 or email@example.com.
Terms and Conditions
*Per person, based on double occupancy. An Owner’s Suite (Deck 6, Le France) is available upon request at a cost to be advised, on a first-come first-served basis. Singles are available in category 4 and in category 6; call for pricing. Taxes are an additional $549 per person and are subject to change.
Included in tour cost:
On board the exclusively chartered Five-Star, small ship M.S. LE BORÉAL: Seven-night cruise from Lisbon, Portugal, to Honfleur, France, with port calls at Leixões for Oporto, Portugal; La Coruña for Santiago de Compostela, Santander for Bilbao, Spain; Belle-Île-en-Mer, France; Guernsey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom; and Caen, France for the Normandy beaches; Spacious, Five-Star, ocean-view Suite or Stateroom accommodations, each with a private bathroom; Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions; All meals—continental breakfast, buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea and dinner—throughout the cruise, featuring fine international and regional cuisine, served at single, unassigned seatings; Complimentary wine and beer served with lunch and dinner; Excursion to Oporto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Excursion to Santiago de Compostela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Visit to Bilbao’s iconic Guggenheim Museum; Panoramic tour of Belle-Île-en-Mer with its citadel, one of Vauban’s UNESCO World Heritage Site fortifications; Panoramic tour of Guernsey seeing the remnants of Germany’s occupation and free time in St. Peter Port; Full-day excursion to the Normandy beaches during the 71st anniversary year of the D-Day Landings, including visits to the American Cemetery and the D-Day Museum, or to the historic Bayeux Tapestry. Lunch is included.
Enhanced Travel Services: Transfers and luggage handling abroad for participants whose arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s); All excursions and visits, as outlined above, with experienced local guides; Gratuities to local guides and drivers on included excursions and transfers; Two exclusive C’EST BON! CULINARY TRADITIONS™ optional excursions are available at additional cost; Hospitality desk aboard the M.S. LE BORÉAL; The services of experienced Gohagan & Company Travel Directors throughout the program; Travel document wallet, name badge and pre-departure information; Automatic $250,000 flight insurance policy for each participant ticketed on flights by Gohagan & Company.
Not included in tour cost: Taxes; passport, visas and associated fees; personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls and Internet access; accident/sickness, trip cancellation, and baggage insurance; gratuities to ship and hotel personnel; optional sightseeing excursions; baggage charges on aircraft; local departure air/airport tax(es); airfare and associated local taxes, airport facility and security taxes and federal inspection fees not listed in the “Included Features” section of the brochure; transfers and baggage handling to/from airport/hotel/ship on day(s) of arrival and/or departure if you are arriving earlier or later than and/or departing earlier or later than the scheduled group transfer(s); any overnight on land due to flight schedule(s); meals, alcoholic or other beverages and all other services not specifically mentioned in the “Included Features” section.
**Maximum of one $100 certificate may be claimed for a refund with a minimum two night stay booked through HistoricHotels.org following the return of your tour and completion of your hotel stay. The refund will be issued within 45 days of the completion of your stay upon submitting a Great Experiences & Tours $100 refund application. Refund application must be submitted with a copy of your hotel folio receipt, the original confirmation number from your booking on HistoricHotels.org, and the Certificate number issued to you for booking your tour through Historic Hotels of America. Certificates issued are a promotion only valid toward future reservations made through HistoricHotels.org and do not have any cash value. One certificate may be used per room per two night or longer stay at the same hotel. Eligible rates include rates publicly available at time of booking. Reduced rates, rooms included in another travel or tour package, employee rates, advance purchase rates, and certain last minute sale rates are not eligible for this promotion.