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Discover Spain and Portugal from a different perspective, cruising around the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula on a small ship adventure

The south of Portugal and Spain sail somewhat under the radar in comparison to their northern brethren. Board the elegant Panorama II and experience the glories of their southern coast – fascinating cities, culture-filled small towns, and the chance to slip off the boat’s swimming platform into welcoming waters. Casting off from Malaga, take the chance to explore Granada, filled with Moorish architecture, tapas bars and natural beauty. Turn back west and choose an excursion to Ronda in the Andalucían hills, where a spectacular bridge gaps a town-splitting gorge. From the famous ‘Rock’ of Gibraltar, voyage on to Cadiz, base for trips to joyous Seville – striking for its flamboyance, flamenco and monuments – and Jerez de la Frontera, a place to soak in traditional Moorish architecture and sip sherry. Navigate to Portugal and explore atmospheric medieval citadels, then finally dock in the cosmopolitan capital of Lisbon. Offering the flexibility of a day spent exploring the culture and history of a stop or simply soaking up the sun with a book on the upper deck, this adventure cruise is a unique way to experience the Iberian lifestyle.

Malaga, Spain
Lisbon, Portugal
Gibraltar, Portugal, Spain
Adventure Cruising
Physical rating
Min 7
Group size
Min 1, Max 42

Why you'll love this trip

  • If you’re concerned about long days at sea, this is the tour for you: we’ve broken up the itinerary with plenty of optional shore excursions like Silves, Monchique and the Moorish gem, Jerez de La Frontera.

  • While bigger cruise liners have to moor out at sea and commute into shore via tender, we’ll drop anchor in the middle of Lisbon’s historic city centre. You can hop on or off the boat as you please.

  • This trip includes a guided visit to the ‘Rock’ of Gibraltar. You’ll catch a cable car to the top of the old English colony, and see the Barbary Apes running wild at the Middle Station.

  • This itinerary includes an optional day tour inland to Seville, one of our favourite cities in Europe. You’ll see the Cathedral, Alcazar Palace (and its famous Andalusian gardens), plus the shady lakes of Maria Luia Park.

  • Our small ship means we can drop anchor in secluded bays between Portimao, Cadiz and Motril and swim right off the back of the boat.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a small ship adventure cruise, which means you’ll be sailing on a yacht with between 30 – 50 other people. The boat is spacious and comfortable, but it focuses more on the destination than on-board activities. Instead of a pool, we have the sea itself. Instead of a casino, we’ve got board games and a good book. There’s also no formal dress code to worry about. Wifi is available for a small charge.

  • Our ship moves under engine power, rather than sailing, so all cabins will experience light engine noise when the ship is moving (and occasionally when we drop anchor). It’s probably worth packing earplugs if you’re a light sleeper.

  • This itinerary does feature a few long driving days, and plenty of on-shore walking and exploring. It’s still accessible for anyone with basic fitness, but it is a little more active than our other cruise itineraries.

  • If you’re concerned about seasickness, there are seasickness tablets on-board. The ship will experience some roll and pitch in choppy conditions, however all of our ships come equipped with stabilisers to minimise movement. Most of our departures run in peak season, when the seas are calmer. Your crew do all they can to minimise any discomfort.

  • There are no lifts (elevators) on-board our ships, so you’ll have to navigate a few steep flights of stairs on-board. Handrails are always available.


Panorama II

On this itinerary, you'll be travelling aboard the Panorama II

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Harmony G

On this itinerary, you'll be travelling aboard the Harmony G.

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Embarkation in Malaga will take place at about 4pm. Enjoy a drink and meet your crew and fellow passengers before your welcome dinner. Overnight is at the port in Malaga
Meals Included
  • Dinner
We arrive in the morning in Motril. Optional full day excursion to Granada, one of the most fascinating cities in Europe and the last Muslim city to fall to the Christians in 1492. We will visit one of the most brilliant jewels of universal architecture is the Alhambra, a series of palaces and gardens built under the Nazari Dynasty in the 14th C. We will also visit the Cathedral with its Royal Chapel where Isabel and Ferdinand lie buried, the Monastery of La Cartuja and many churches built by Moorish craftsmen after the Reconquest, in Granada's unique "mudéjar" style. In the afternoon we leave Granada to return to Motril. Overnight at sea to Porto Banus.
Optional Activities
  • Full day Alhambra and Granada Tour - EUR182
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Arrival in Porto Banus. Our full day optional excursion to Ronda takes us first to Reservatauro bull breeding farm. Founded in 2011, this biosphere reserve is located in a fantastic landscape with special characteristics, called Dehesa. Learn about the history of the particular bull race, with special attention to the guest and respect to the animals. After the visit we continue to Ronda, set in a valley yet perched on a hill, three sides of which fall perpendicularly to the gorge three hundred feet below. After lunch, a walking tour is made through the Moorish city with its narrow, cobbled streets, white houses, imposing portico’s and grilled windows. The walk includes a visit to the second oldest bullring in the country. Some free time allows you to stroll around or go shopping. We drive back to the coast by the same spectacular route heading south down to San Pedro de Alcantara; passing the Serranía de Ronda - craggy mountains where eagles soar overhead, goats graze and human habitation is virtually non-existent. Last stop is done in Marbella, where you have some time to stroll around the historic city center around the Plaza de Naranjos before we return to Puero Banus. Overnight in port
Optional Activities
  • Full day Ronda Tour - EUR124
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
We sail at 5.00 am for Gibraltar. The Original Rock Tour commences at the port and takes you along Winston Churchill Avenue to the Spanish border and then to the Eastside of the Rock, through the Dudley Ward Tunnel to Europa Point. Here you can see the magnificent views over the Straits of Gibraltar. On a clear day the Northern coast of Africa is visible. After the photo stop the minibus will travel to the Upper Rock / Nature Reserve to visit the spectacular St. Michael’s Cave where you will see amazing examples of stalactites and stalagmites. Following the visit to the caves, you will travel to the Apes Den where the famous Barbary Apes can be observed in their natural habitat – the only apes roaming wild in Europe. It has been said, since after the Second World War, that Gibraltar will remain British as long as the apes inhabit the Rock.
The tour will then continue passing by the Second World War Evacuation Monument, and then, following the 18th/19th Century British Defense Wall made of white Portland Limestone we will see the King’s Bastion. This was where General Elliott defended Gibraltar during the last Great Siege. The British Defense wall visibly changes to the Spanish built wall in the 1500’s – called the King Charles V Wall. The first stop is the 100 Ton Gun, a 17.17 inch 100 ton rifled muzzle loader, the ‘supergun’ of the Victoria era. Only 4 guns of this type were built in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England. The tour then leads up the winding roads to the summit of Gibraltar – 426m above sea level where you will see the site of O’Hara’s Battery. This Battery affords a 360º view of Gibraltar, Spain and – on a clear day – the coast of Africa.
In 1940, Britain was at war with Germany and Italy, and the future looked very bleak for Gibraltar as it was surrounded by the enemy. Winston Churchill and the British Military leaders believed that an attack on Gibraltar was imminent. The answer was to construct a massive network of tunnels, to build a fortress, or a city within a city, and the tunnels were excavated during 1939 – 1944 by the Royal Engineers and Canadian Engineers. In May 2005 these World War II Tunnels were opened to the public, and now you will be able to see the amazing testament to the soldiers and civilians who worked inside the Rock during the darkest days of the war. Finally the tour continues past the Tower of Homage, part of the Moorish Castle built in 1333, the oldest free standing building in Gibraltar.
You will have an opportunity to finish the tour in Main Street for shopping, or go back to the Port. Overnight at sea to Cadiz.
Optional Activities
  • Gibraltar - The Rock and WWII Tunnels tour - EUR59
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning we leave port to drive in land for our full day optional excursion to Seville, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe , where Moorish and Spanish art and culture have left their mark. Our optional excursion will bring you to the Cathedral, the Alcazar Palace and its Andalusian gardens, the Maria Luisa Park and the quaint and elegant district of Santa Cruz. Late in the evening we return to Cadiz. Overnight in port
Optional Activities
  • Seville Highlights Half day tour - EUR98
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Morning optional excursion to Jerez de la Frontera, famous for its wines, horse breeding and flamenco Your tour will enable you to see the Alcazar, the cathedral and a “ganadería” , where bulls are raised to take part in bull fighting., very much part of Spanish culture. After lunch on board, afternoon optional guided tour of Cadiz and Sanlucar de Barrameda. We begin with a guided visit of Cadiz; with its white and blue buildings and its rich historic and cultural wealth. Later we will reach the area of Sanlucar de Barrameda and visit a wine cellar renowned for its production of “Manzanilla”. Late afternoon return to ship. Overnight at sea to Portimao - Portugal
Optional Activities
  • Seville and Jerez de la Frontera Full Day Tour - EUR149
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Our Optional half day excursion will take us to Silves, largely destroyed by a 17th century earthquake. Marvel at the centuries-old Moorish castle complex with an underground water reservoir, a 13th Century Cathedral built by Alfonso X of Castile on the site of a former Mosque and a fine strong 15th century bridge over the Rio Arade. During your visit to Silves, you'll also have time to browse the historic exhibits at the Museu Arqueológico. We leave Silves visit and travel into the Serra de Monchique to reach the picturesque city of Monchique nested between two hills. The city retains its 16th century charm and you will walk through its cobbled streets with small doorways housing various artisan trades.There is a 17th~Century Franciscan monastery overlooking the town and a 16th Century Parish Church decorated with hand-crafted blue ceramic tiles . We return to Portimao for a late lunch. Early in the afternoon we sail overnight to Lisbon.
Optional Activities
  • 1/2 day Silves & Monchique tour - EUR70
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Disembarkation will take place after breakfast this morning. Make your way to the airport for your onward travels or stay on in Lisbon to enjoy the delights of this city.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast


7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners


Small Cruise Ship


Small Cruise Ship 7 nights

Dates & availability

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Important notes

Your voyage is operated by our partner company, Variety Cruises.
On this itinerary, shore excursions are optional and are paid on board the ship in Euro’s. The price and a description of these excursions are listed in the day to day itinerary.
2018 departures - Please note that the excursions and excursion prices for 2018 departures are yet to be confirmed and may change.
Adventure Cruising trips have a deposit of A$600 per person (different amounts apply in other currencies) and the balance is due 90 days before departure.
If a booking is cancelled 90 days or more before departure - the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid.
If a booking is cancelled between 89 and 31 days before departure - the cancellation fee is 50% of the total booking cost, or the deposit, whichever is greater.
if a booking is cancelled 30 days or less prior to departure - the cancellation fee is 100% of the total price of the voyage.
Other fees may apply for air tickets and other arrangements booked in conjunction with a voyage.
It is not possible to share with a stranger on a Variety Cruises voyage and single travellers must pay the Single Occupancy rate.
Children from the age of 7 can be accommodated on these voyages. Each boat has one cabin category that will accommodate a 3rd person allowing for triple sharing. Any child under the age of 18 must share with an adult.

Essential trip information

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