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Overview

An awe-inspiring journey

Aboard the new, majestic Sea Cloud Spirit, follow in the wake of the ancient mariners as we sail along the coast of Spain and Portugal. Marvel at pastel-colored seaside villages and alluring blue waters and stand in awe of Spain’s architectural masterpieces, from Granada’s 11th-century, Moorish-style Alhambra to Gehry’s modern Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

At private performances in Seville and Lisbon, experience the drama of Spain’s famous flamenco and the pathos of Portugal’s plaintive fado. Savor Andalusian specialties in Granada, tapas lunches in Seville and Bilbao, and a port tasting at a historic lodge in Porto. In Santiago de Compostela, terminus of Spain’s legendary 1,000-year-old pilgrimage route, lunch at a resplendent parador.

Dates

May 12–22, 2023

Duration

11 days

Price

From $12,995 per person

Trip size

40 participants

Minimum age

18 years
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Faculty leader

A different kind of classroom

With renowned Stanford faculty and scholars leading the way, every Travel/Study trip is a one-of-a-kind educational experience.

Roberto D’Alimonte

LUISS Guido Carli University, Rome

A professor of political science and noted Italian political journalist, Roberto brings his unique understanding of modern Italian and European politics to Stanford travelers.

Itinerary

Sailing along the vibrant Iberian Peninsula

Begin in Granada with its incomparable Alhambra before weighing anchor in Málaga and later transiting the Strait of Gibraltar. Visit Seville, capital of the Spanish province of Andalucía; Lisbon, Portugal’s capital and the departure point for most of the Portuguese expeditions of the Age of Discovery; and Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the center of port wine production.

  • Granada, Spain

    Upon arrival, transfer to our hotel and enjoy spectacular views of the Alhambra fortress and the historic center of Granada. Enjoy a festive welcome reception and meet your fellow travelers.

    Accommodations:

    Hotel Alhambra Palace

  • Granada, Spain

    This morning enjoy a walking tour in the historic center of Granada, visiting the Capilla Real (Royal Chapel), a lavish mausoleum built by Ferdinand and Isabella to commemorate their victory over the Moors, and the impressive Granada Cathedral, one of only two Renaissance churches in Spain. After dinner, enjoy a private evening visit to the Alhambra, one of the most remarkable fortresses ever built. This 14th-century Moorish hilltop fortress-palace is a World Heritage site and Spain’s most visited attraction. Explore the elegant Nasrid Palaces, built around the Courtyard of the Lions, and the splendid Generalife Gardens, one of the oldest surviving Moorish gardens. Its Court of the Water Channel, framed by flowerbeds, fountains, colonnades, and pavilions, is considered a superior example of a medieval Persian garden.

    Accommodations:

    Hotel Alhambra Palace

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Granada / Málaga / Embark

    Drive to the port city of Málaga, birthplace of Pablo Picasso. Visit the Picasso Museum, where 285 of the artist’s works donated by members of his family are on display. After lunch, embark our luxurious, 384-foot-long, threemasted sailing ship and spend time relaxing and checking out the ship’s amenities before dinner on board.

    Accommodations:

    Sea Cloud Spirit

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Gibraltar

    Enjoy a morning at sea. Weather permitting, marvel at the finely coordinated activities of the crew as they unfurl the sails. Call this afternoon at the iconic Rock of Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, named after Umayyad general Tariq ibn Ziyad (“Gibraltar” is the Spanish derivation of the Arabic name “Jebel Tariq”). In the Gibraltar Nature Reserve atop the rock, enjoy views of the European and African coastlines and the antics of the resident Barbary macaques, the only wild primate species in Europe. Also within the reserve, explore St. Michael’s Cave, a network of limestone caves at a height of more than 980 feet above sea level. Visit the 18th-century Great Siege Tunnels, dug by British soldiers during an attempt by France and Spain to capture Gibraltar during the American Revolution.

    Accommodations:

    Sea Cloud Spirit

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Cádiz / Seville

    Our ship docks this morning in Cádiz for a full-day excursion to Seville, capital of Andalucía and Spain’s fourth largest city. First established as a Roman provincial capital, Seville flourished under the Moors during the Middle Ages and reached new heights of prosperity during the Age of Discovery. Visit the lovely Reales Alcazáres, a Mudejar palace and gardens built on the site of a former Moorish fortress. Walk through the charming Santa Cruz Quarter (the Jewish Quarter in the Middle Ages) and visit Seville Cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral and third-largest church in the world and also the site of Christopher Columbus’ tomb. Enjoy a traditional tapas lunch and private flamenco performance at a local tablao.

    Accommodations:

    Sea Cloud Spirit

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Lagos, Portugal

    Dock this morning at Portimão and explore the seafaring town of Lagos, former capital of the beautiful Algarve region and an important port throughout much of its 2,000-year-old history; it was the principal maritime base for Prince Henry the Navigator’s first expeditions down the coast of Africa, and the site of Europe’s first slave market. The city walls and old quarter are preserved from medieval times, and the Church of St. Anthony is one of Portugal’s finest Baroque buildings with an exuberantly painted ceiling and an altar gilt with Brazilian gold. Nearby, take in the dramatic rock formations of Ponta da Piedade, set against the alluring green sea. Return to the ship for lunch and a full afternoon at sea.

    Accommodations:

    Sea Cloud Spirit

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Lisbon / Sintra

    After a full morning at sea, arrive in Lisbon and choose between a visit to the superb Gulbenkian Museum, whose collection spans every major epoch of Western art, or a guided walk through the medieval streets of the Alfama district. In the Alfama, stop at the Museum of Decorative Arts for a private demonstration of the application of age-old crafts including gilding, inlay work and woodcarving. Enjoy dinner in Lisbon with a performance of fado, Portugal’s poignant traditional music.

    Accommodations:

    Sea Cloud Spirit

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Lisbon

    This morning we drive north along the Atlantic coast to Sintra, the summer residence of Portugal’s royalty for four centuries, and now a World Heritage site. This serene town of palaces and parks is nestled among forested hills. At the medieval National Palace of Sintra, see a marvelous collection of azulejos, or traditional painted tiles, and step into the spacious kitchens, whose massive conical chimneys define Sintra’s skyline. Return to Lisbon in the afternoon to visit the Belem Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery, the jewel of Manueline (Portuguese late-Gothic) architecture, where the renowned Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama is buried. Set sail from Lisbon early this evening. 

    Accommodations:

    Sea Cloud Spirit

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • At Sea

    During a final day at sea, partially under sail (weather permitting), enjoy the conclusion of our lecture program and a festive farewell reception and dinner.

    Accommodations:

    Sea Cloud Spirit

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Porto / Disembark

    Arrive this morning in Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city and a thriving economic center with considerable charm. Disembark the Sea Cloud Spirit and enjoy a walking tour of Porto’s historic center, including a visit to the Palácio da Bolsa, a 19th-century palace that is now home to Porto’s stock exchange. Then cross the Douro River to Vila Nova de Gaia, where most of the world’s port wines are blended and aged. Toast our journey at a private port wine tasting and farewell lunch.

    Accommodations:

    Hotel Infante Sagres

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Porto / Home

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for return flights home.

    Accommodations:

    Hotel Infante Sagres

    Included meal: Breakfast

Make the most of your trip

Want more time to explore? Get the most out of your stay in this region when you sign up for an optional trip extension.

Post-trip Extension: Duoro Valley

Extend your stay in Portugal with two nights at a deluxe Relais & Chateaux property in the Douro Valley, before returning to Porto for one last night. Visit beautifully situated vineyards and family-owned country estates; enjoy gourmet meals and a cooking demonstration, all paired with fine wines; blend your own bottle of wine; explore lovely traditional towns in the countryside; and enjoy an afternoon cruise on a lovely stretch of the Douro River. 

Dates

May 22–25, 2023

Duration

4 days
  • Douro Valley

    Depart Porto this morning and stop in the charming town of Amarante en route to Hotel Rural Casa dos Viscondes Várzea, where we tour the property and enjoy a cooking demonstration and lunch of typical Portuguese dishes paired with Douro wines. In the afternoon, continue to Lamego to visit the Santuario de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, which was constructed over the course of nearly two centuries and today remains a destination for Marian pilgrims.

    Accommodations:

    Quinta Nova Winery House

    Included meals: Lunch and dinner
  • Douro Valley

    Begin at the stunning Quinta Nova Winery, perched above terraced vineyards overlooking the Douro Valley. Take part in a wine-blending event that includes three different base wines of three different grape varietals to blend to your own taste. Finally, bottle and label your wine to take home as a souvenir. After lunch at the estate, take a tour of the vineyards.

    Accommodations:

    Quinta Nova Winery House

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Porto / Pinhão

    Today we taste Vintage Ports at Quinta do Bomfim, which takes its name from Vale do Bomfim, “the well-placed valley.” Then drive to Pinhão, where we embark on a Douro River cruise, ending at DOC, a restaurant created by celebrity and Michelin-star chef Rui Paula, beautifully situated overlooking the river.

    Accommodations:

    Hotel Infante Sagres

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Porto / Home

    Transfer to the airport for return flights home.

    Accommodations:

    Hotel Infante Sagres

    Included meal: Breakfast

Trip details

Start preparing for the trip of a lifetime

From top to bottom, we’ve taken care of all the details, so you can enjoy a no-stress, worry-free travel experience.

“I loved the special touches of private showings and diversity of events normally not available to most travelers. The Sea Cloud needs to be on every traveler's bucket list. What a great way to travel!”

— Joni Morrison Ehly, ’64, MA ’65

detail view of ship with sails and ropes

Pricing

Secure your spot today

The price of your trip covers a comprehensive educational program in addition to meals, accommodations, tours and excursions. Continue reading for a full list of what’s included.

Category E

Superior Cabins on the Cabin Deck with porthole windows, queen bed and shower (177–204 sq. ft.)

  • Double: $12,995 per person

  • Single: $17,495 per person

Category D

Deluxe Cabins on the Cabin Deck with porthole windows, queen bed and shower (215 sq. ft.)

  • Double: $14,595 per person

  • Single: $20,595 per person

Category C

Deluxe Cabins on the Lido Deck with panorama windows that you can open, queen bed and shower (177–215 sq. ft.)

  • Double: $16,195 per person

Category B

Junior Balcony on the Panorama Deck with a queen bed or two single beds, walk-in closet and bathtub, and a private 65-sq.-ft. balcony (280–323 sq. ft.)

  • Double: $18,295 per person

Category A

Owner’s Balcony Suites on the Panorama Deck with a king bed or two single beds, walk-in closet, bathtub and separate WC room, and a private 85-sq.-ft. balcony (320–330 sq. ft.)

  • Double: $20,395 per person

Join us on the Sea Cloud Spirit

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