P&O Cruises Canary Islands cruises Spain cruises and Portugal cruises have long been popular with travellers heading here to search out the year-round warmth. Even if you have spent time on these shores before, nothing will quite prepare you for arriving in port on your cruise ship. As you sail towards your destination, your birds eye view from high on deck truly reveals the majesty of this dramatic landscape.
The Canary Islands are a particular gem; with four of Spain’s seven major national nature reserves are located among this volcanic archipelago – the volcanic crater of Mount Teide on Tenerife and Lanzarote’s Timanfaya National park being just two. During a day ashore, the diversity of the Canaries will become clearly visible. There are fields of petrified lava, lush vineyards and quaint whitewashed villages. Plus, not forgetting the bustling resorts and brilliant white and black beaches. Whatever your interests, the Canary Islands will most certainly satisfy them.
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About Gran Canaria
The tranquil harbour, verdant palm groves and excellent climate of Gran Canaria’s lively capital Las Palmas delighted Christopher Columbus when he discovered it on his famous voyage of 1492.
Those same attractions now draw modern travellers keen to explore the atmospheric cobbled streets and leafy courtyards of its old quarter, Vegueta. Cruises to Grand Canaria also bring you close to Playa del Ingles, the liveliest and best-known beach in the Canaries.
Just beyond Las Palmas you can explore the stunning desert scenery of Maspalomas, or tour further afield to explore peaceful old towns like Arucas – famed for its lush banana plantations - and Teror, with its fine collection of traditional houses with intricately carved wooden balconies.
Other highlights of our Grand Canaria cruises include lovely Palmitos Nature Park - set in a canyon inland from Maspalomas and famous for its vivid tropical plants, birds and fish - and Bandama, an extinct volcano set 1,900 feet above sea level, which offers panoramic views over the island.View typical shore excursions for this port
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Cruises to Lanzarote’s sunny climate are a big hit with sunbathers and swimmers, who relish its volcanic red, black and white sand beaches. Make the best of your Lanzarote cruise and But tear yourself away from your sunbed to explore the island’s spectacular moon-like volcanic landscape, best seen from the Fire Mountain in the Timanfaya National Park and famous for the fantastical shapes created by solidified volcanic lava.
Camel rides are available in the park, and tours here will also take you to the lush wine country of La Geria to sample the heady local vintages. Head north instead of southwest and you will discover wonderfully verdant Haria – ‘the valley of a thousand palms’ and can enjoy panoramic views from Mirador del Rio.
Equally fascinating is a visit to Jameos el Agua cave, an oddly shaped volcanic cave overlooking a saltwater lagoon where you will find a colony of white crabs unique to the island. With our Lanzarote cruises the choice is yours.View typical shore excursions for this port
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About La Palma
Canary Island La Palma is called ‘the fair isle because of its fabulous landscape and you will soon see why. Santa Cruz is one of the prettiest harbours among the islands and is easily explored on foot.
Make the best of your La Palma cruise and stroll along the Avenida Maritime promenade which will take you to the lovely old quarter around Plaza de Espana, Here you will find a 16th century fountain and town hall, a magnificent Renaissance church and a handicrafts market where you can pick up distinctive pottery and snack on local delicacies.
As you will discover on our cruises to La Palma, the island’s most spectacular volcanic crater, Caldera de Taburiente, is crammed with rare animal and plant life and has been designated a national park. Its night skies are so clear that a major astrophysical observatory has been built at Roque de los Muchachos. With such a variety of destinations to explore, La Palma cruises offer visitors here a memorable day.View typical shore excursions for this port
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Visiting the largest of the Canary Islands, our Tenerife cruises bring you close to one of the world’s most dramatic and varied landscapes, ranging from verdant valleys and lush plantations to glorious beaches, vast pinewoods and the volcanic `moonscape’ of Mount Teide National Park.
Tenerife’s cruise port Santa Cruz has grown from a fishing village to a splendid city with classy bars and restaurants, varied shops, fine architecture and interesting museums.
With our cruises to Tenerife the action begins right outside the port gates, where you will find a café-lined boulevard leading to the Plaza de Espana, at the heart of the port’s main shopping area. Look out for bargain electrical goods and cut-price CDs, Tenerife’s speciality.
Prefer museums and galleries? Try the Museo de Bellas Artes, which contains works by Bruegel, or discover the island’s history, topography, flora and fauna at the Museo de la Naturaleza y El Hombre.View typical shore excursions for this port
When you embark on one of our Madeira cruises it will become clear why this destination is known as the Garden Island - it is simply awash with colour from a breathtaking display of sub-tropical plants and flowers. So it is hardly surprising that large and colourful flower markets are one of the most arresting features of Funchal, Madeiras capital.
Cruise visitors here will discover that the market town is easily walkable although, the further inland you explore, the steeper and narrower some of the streets become. Locally made wicker furniture, lacework and tapestries all make good buys along with the ubiquitous Madeira wine.
Funchal is also the base for tours to the islands botanical gardens; the fishing village of Camara de Lobos where Churchill went to paint; Camacha, the wicker centre; the levada walks, part of an ancient irrigation system; and to Reids Hotel for traditional afternoon tea, making cruises to Madeira a must see.View typical shore excursions for this port
Some of the best views of the Portuguese capital come as your ship cruises along the Tagus River. You pass the Belem Tower and the impressive Monument to the Discoveries with its statue of Henry the Navigator before arriving at the Lisbon cruise terminal.
Although small for a European capital, this city does sprawl a little so you would do best to concentrate on three districts - Baixa, Bairro Alto and Alfama, each with its own distinctive style, making Lisbon cruises a must see.
Baixa has busy streets of inviting shops, cafés and restaurants while Alfama is the atmospheric old town with narrow cobblestone streets, medieval and Moorish-style buildings, wrought-iron balconies with trailing flowers and a mix of small shops and bars. Bairro Alto is another historic district with narrow streets and is a steep climb from Baixa so look out for the 100-year-old lift (Elevador do Carmo) near Rossio Square. With such a variety of destinations to explore, cruises to Lisbon bring to your holiday a balance of both modern and historical grounds.View typical shore excursions for this port
Spains busiest fishing port, Vigo sits on the rugged west coast of the province of Galicia. Over the centuries, this charming town and its resilient residents have been the target for many naval attacks including a couple from Sir Francis Drake.
In these more peaceful days, you will still find the best view of Vigo is from the fort (Castillo del Castro) built to defend it from the hill overlooking the harbour. From here, your Vigo cruise tour will lead you through the steep, narrow streets of the atmospheric old town (Barrio del Berbes) to see (and smell...) the daily fish market.
Try one of the oysters which are fresh from beds in Vigos ‘ria’ - one of the sunken sea-filled valleys for which Galicias coastline is renowned. And our Vigo cruises are also a chance to visit nearby Santiago de Compostela, the subject of pilgrimages since the Middle Ages.View typical shore excursions for this port