The Azores & Canary IslandsApril 28, 2015 - May 14, 2015
Based on the expeditionary nature of our trips, there may be ongoing enhancements to this itinerary.
Below please find the day-by-day itinerary for this expedition. Unless otherwise noted, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.
April 28 Depart USA
Board your independent flight to the Azores.
April 29 Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Azores / Embark Sea Adventurer
Arrive in Ponta Delgada and transfer to the Sea Adventurer. The afternoon is at leisure with a welcome reception, dinner, and overnight on board.
April 30 Ponta Delgada
Depart this morning on a full-day excursion highlighting the picture-perfect landscape of lush green fields lined with basalt and adorned with flowers; the smoking fumaroles in the town of Furnas; and the crater lakes of Fogo and Furnas. After a stroll through the Terra Nostra Botanical Gardens, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Birders explore in the area near Caloura. This evening there is free time to explore or dine ashore on your own before the ship sets sail.
May 1 Santa Cruz, Graciosa Island
Join naturalists on deck to search for sperm whales and dolphins as the ship cruises toward Graciosa. Visit the museum at Santa Cruz, then drive inland and pass through several picturesque villages. Make a stop at Furna do Enxofre, where a deep cavern is pierced by sunlight streaming through a narrow funnel. Continue along the north coast for stunning views of the indigo sea on one side and verdant green meadows on the other. Or, board Zodiacs for a birding tour.
May 2 Sao Roque do pico, Pico Island / Horta, Faial Island
Pico, whose name is derived from the 7,713-foot volcanic cone of Mt. Pico, is the second largest of the Islands and a designated World Heritage Site for its vineyard culture. Enjoy a beautiful morning drive through highlands of spring flowers and endemic vegetation. Visit the Whaling Industry Museum, and stop at a Madalena vineyard where we sample local wines and cheeses. Dock in the natural harbor of Horta for the afternoon and go ashore in one of the most popular yachting harbors of the Atlantic.
May 3 Angra do Heroismo, Terceira Island
Angra, a World Heritage Site, was a necessary port of call from the 15th century until the steamship came along in the 19th century. A walking tour includes the highlights of this spectacular and photogenic town. After lunch on board, or on your own ashore, join a cultural tour inland to São Sebastiao; Praia da Vitoria, with its central plaza and historic district; and a wine museum. Or, choose an active hike up Monte Brasil with its scenic overlooks and botanical wonders, then visit the famed cave near Algarda Carvao.
May 4 Vila do Porto, Santa Maria Island
Drive to the east, visiting villages, a church, and a museum. Panoramic views are superb at São Lourenco and Maia. In the afternoon enjoy either an active hike between two charming villages, or a scenic tour to the village of Anjos—where Columbus landed after his first passage to the Americas. View the beautiful 15th-century church where he and his crew prayed; one of the oldest places of worship in the Azores.
May 5 - May 6 At Sea / Funchal, Madeira Island
After a full day at sea, be on deck the next morning to witness the stunning volcanic contours of Madeira appear on the horizon. A half-day tour takes you from the town of Funchal by cable car to the top of Monte, with its 18th-century church and splendid views. Back in Funchal, a local guide shows you the town’s historic sites: the main square, São Lourenco Palace, and the 15th-century cathedral. Watch a lace-making demonstration at an embroidery factory, before visiting the open-air market—one of the most sumptuous in the Atlantic. Or choose an excursion through western Madeira, with its craggy green peaks and luscious valleys. Stop in small wine-making villages to learn about local viniculture and gaze out over the second-highest sea cliff in the world. In Porto Moniz enjoy a wine tasting accompanied by local delicacies.
May 7 - May 8 At Sea / Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tenerife Island, Canary Islands
Spend a relaxing day at sea as our lecture series continues. On May 8 choose a full-day exploration of the southern side of Tenerife to visit the Botanical Gardens, the attractive town of La Orotava, and Teide National Park. Here you will find twisted volcanic formations surrounding El Teide, Spain’s highest peak. After lunch at El Parador, take a hike to view the Roques de Garcia—bizarrely eroded rocks set in ochre plains at the mountain’s base. Birders enjoy an excursion to spot many of the 200 species that populate the varied habitat. Or, choose a half-day excursion visiting the northern side of Tenerife, with its charming small villages, dramatic miradors (viewpoints), and the university town of La Laguna. This World Heritage Site, designated for being the first, non-fortified Spanish colonial town, has superb examples of 16th – 18th-century architecture.
May 9 Arrecife, Lanzarote Island
A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Lanzarote is a volcanic island with some 300 cinder cones pock-marking its rugged landscape. Today you have three tour options to choose from. A scenic drive north takes you to the Mirador del Rio, with superb views over the Famara Mountains and islands off the seacoast. A highlight is the Jameos del Agua, a lava-tube cave transformed by famed local artist César Manrique into a delightful series of pools, gardens, and a natural amphitheater. A second option goes south to Timanfaya National Park, which showcases the island’s stunning volcanic landscape and 177 species of rare plants, many of them unique to the Canaries. The third option is a birding tour to search for the rock dove, Cory’s shearwater, and Eleanora’s falcon.
May 10 Agadir, Morocco / Taroudant
After an early lunch on board, drive inland from Agadir to Taroudant. Often called “little Marrakech,” the village is surrounded by red ramparts. Walk the fortress ramparts and continue through the central plaza and the souks. The Berber Market offers a fascinating array of spices and vegetables, while the artisan souk displays silverwork, leather goods, and carpets.
May 11 Casablanca
Today explore Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city and economic capital. Begin with an excursion to the colorful Central Market, followed by a guided interior exploration of the Hassan II Mosque, the only mosque in Morocco open to non-Muslims. This seaside building is a stunning example of contemporary religious architecture. Its 688-foot minaret, the tallest in the world, is visible for miles.
May 12 Cadiz, Spain / Seville
Travel inland for a full-day tour of splendid Seville, the capital of Andalusia. Or, join a tapas and wine tour in Cadiz, including a visit to the historic city center.
May 13 Faro, Portugal
A walking tour of old town Faro includes a visit to the lively fish market, Moorish ramparts, and the cathedral. Or, choose a birding excursion to Ria Formosa National Park.
May 14 Lisbon / Disembark / USA
Disembark in Lisbon and transfer to the airport for your independent homeward flight.