Guests immerse themselves in the ‘real’ Spain, Portugal, Madeira and the Canaries with Saga’s “Spanish Islands of the Atlantic” cruise

Tower of Belém, LisbonIndependent exploration is central to Spirit of Discovery’s “Spanish Islands of the Atlantic” cruise where guests can immerse themselves in the ‘real’ Spain, Portugal, Madeira and the Canaries.

In Madeira’s capital, Funchal, a stroll along the cobbled streets of Zona Velha reveals formerly derelict 19th-century fishermen’s cottages with colourful painted doors, some decorated with unusual sculptures, in this now up-and-coming area.

Tenerife is perfect for hiking, so guests wander amid Canarian palms and dragon trees on a coastal hike following the La Rambla de Castro. After exploring this protected landscape, an aperitif in Casa Abaco, a luxurious 18th-century Canarian mansion in Puerto de la Cruz rounds off a pleasing day ashore.

For travellers who prefer to do their own exploring, the ship’s Explore Ashore team can help with directions or with making arrangements for guests as well as booking tours or advising on places of interest and discovery.

Keeping to the theme, an explorer joins the cruise off the Iberian Peninsula to inspire guests and reveal stories of derring-do, while there are also lectures from an expert in volcanology, and members of conservation charity ORCA are out on deck to identify whales, dolphins and seabirds.

The cruise visits three further Canary Islands with options to trek through pine forests or dine at a delightful tapas restaurant in La Palma, retrace Christopher Columbus’ footsteps in La Gomera and see Fuerteventura on a thrilling 4×4 safari.

Another highlight of this winter sun voyage is sailing along the Tagus River to Lisbon, Portugal’s elegant capital which is home to a Moorish district, the Belém Tower and Monument to the Discoveries. A call at La Coruña, Spain and the option of a tour in the pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela complete this 14-night cruise.

Spirit of Discovery takes Saga Cruises into a new era of luxury boutique cruising where every cabin has a balcony. The ship features a wide selection of restaurants, led by an expert team of executive chefs, so guests can choose to dine in the Grand Dining Room or any of the speciality restaurants where all meals are included in the price, along with a choice of house wines, tips and service charges.

14 nights from £3,591 per person, aboard Spirit of Discovery departing Southampton on November 4, 2019. Price includes UK travel package to and from Southampton, all meals and entertainment, choice of table wines at lunch and dinner, afternoon tea, 24-hour room service, welcome cocktail party, unlimited tea and coffee in selected venues, free wifi, all on-board gratuities, porterage, free shuttle bus to nearest town centre (whenever possible and when the ship is berthed more than 500 yards away), optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights, or a discount if passenger has own insurance.

All excursions mentioned are optional, at an additional cost, and are subject to availability and change. Some of the highlights detailed may only be seen on optional excursions or by exploring independently.

Price based on two people sharing the lowest available balcony cabin grade and includes any relevant booking discount. Fare was correct at the time of sending and is subject to availability and change. Further terms and conditions apply. Please call for details.