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from just £669 per person.

Santander

Santander, is located on the northern coast of Spain and enjoys a stunning location nestled on a small peninsular jutting between the busy waters of the Bay of Santander and the glittering seas of the Bay of Biscay. The area surrounding the city is lined with 11 sandy beaches, which are perfect for sun worshipers and water sports enthusiasts alike. The area of El Sardinero in times past was famed as a resort by Spain's richest citizens. Their patronage has resulted in a beautiful area of beaches, divided by the gardens of Piquio, stretching from the Magdalena Peninsula to Mataleñas. The area also boasts hotels, cafes and even a casino.

Those looking to discover Santander away from the beaches will find a city as historic as it is beautiful. The Cathedral of Santander was built between 13th and 14th centuries on top of proceeding holy buildings and combines Gothic and Romanesque architecture.

 

Shore excursions in Santander

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Classic Comillas and El Soplao Cave

Activity medium

Duration: 5½ hours

Combine a visit to the small township of Camillas and the spectacular cave of El Saploa.

The majestic town of Comillas, once summer residence of the King Alfonso XII, boasts a beautiful landscape and picturesque architecture including Neo-Gothic, Neo-Arab, and Neo-Mudejar styles. During your visit, you’ll pass by the stunning Pontificial University, perched on the top of a hill, and will see the impressive Sobrellano Palace (exterior visit only), which combines English Gothic architecture with some elements of Venetian stately homes.

The famous ‘Capricho de Gaudí’ is also a must-see in Comillas. The genius Antoni Gaudí left few reminders of his work beyond Catalonia, but one of those that he did, the 1885 Gaudí Caprice is certainly the most flamboyant.

Leaving Comillas, your next stop will be El Soplao Cave. El Soplao, a former mine dedicated to the exploitation of calamine, is a treasure for all those who visit it. Feel like an explorer to another planet and discover an unknown universe hidden underground and carved out by Mother Nature. Admire a natural paradise of light, shadow, sound, and eccentric but wonderful formations before returning to Santander and your ship.

Essential information

This tour will operate by coach and on foot. Passengers are advised that this tour involves approximately 1¾ hours of walking and standing over uneven and slippery ground. Sensible, comfortable shoes and warm clothing are recommended. Video/Photography is not permitted inside the cave. The temperature inside the cave ranges between 10 and 14˚ C. The order of highlights may vary.

Leisurely Santander

Activity lowRefreshments included

Duration: 3 hours

A wonderful introduction to the sights of Santander at a leisurely pace.

Relax as a panoramic drive introduces you to the beautiful seaside city of Santander. Winding your way through the city, your coach will take you past the Pereda Gardens and the Puertochico, before heading towards the bay of Santander and the stunning Magdalena Peninsula.

This beautiful parkland covers around 69 acres and is crowned by the Palacio de la Magdalena, the former summer residence of King Alfonso XIII. Boasting fabulous views and beautiful surrounding gardens, the Palacio de la Magdalena is designated as a cultural heritage site. Enjoy some free time to explore the exterior of the Palace and experience the wonderful views.

Continue to the 5 star Hotel Real, pausing briefly en route at a vantage point to admire the beautiful beaches of ‘El Camello’ and ‘El Sardinero’. Constructed in 1916 by order of the King, this luxury hotel played host to the honorary guests of the royal family for almost 15 years. Sit back and enjoy refreshments of tea, coffee and local pastries and marvel at the spectacular views over the Bay of Biscay.

During your drive back to the ship, you’ll pass El Sardinero Beach, the ‘Gran Casino’ Santander Bank Headquarters building, Porticada Square, the Town Hall and the Cathedral of the Assumption.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and requires minimal walking. The stop at Magdalena Palace is an exterior view only; it does not include a visit inside.

Majestic Comillas and San Vicente

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 4½ hours

Combine a visit to the historical town of Comillas with the charming fishing village of San Vicente de la Barquera.

Embark on a scenic drive to the majestic town of Comillas, the former summer residence of King Alfonso XII. Upon arrival, a short panoramic drive will introduce you to a town rich in history and boasting magnificent architecture and ancestral mansions.

A highlight of your tour will be a visit to the impressive Sobrellano Palace. This late 19th century Neo-Gothic style palace is the work of the Catalan architect Juan Martorel and is the most iconic building of this charming town. Next to Sobrellano Palace stands the famous ‘Capricho de Gaudí’. Antoni Gaudí left few reminders of his work beyond Catalonia, but out of those that he did, this is by far the most impressive.

Your tour continues along the coastal road to one of the most picturesque villages on the Cantabrian coast, San Vicente de la Barquera. After crossing the 15th century Maza Bridge you’ll arrive in San Vicente, where your knowledgeable guide will lead you on a leisurely guided walk to discover some of town’s most important medieval buildings.

Afterwards, you’ll have some free time to explore independently, before the return journey to the ship.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and involves approximately 1½ hours of walking, some of which is over inclines and cobblestoned streets. At Sobrellano Palace there are 22 steps to negotiate.

Santander by E-Bike

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 3 hours

Discover the city of Santander in a fun, comfortable and ecological way!

Board your bike directly at the pier and after receiving a short safety briefing and a bottle of water, your knowledgeable guide will lead you and your fellow cyclists into the city of Santander.

Your route will take you to the most emblematic sites in the city, such as the Magdalena Palace, Sardinero Beach, Cabo Mayor Lighthouse or Pereda Gardens. You’ll also have the chance to admire the beautiful Cathedral, City Hall and Plaza Porticada during your ride. All of this without almost any effort with the help of your e-bike.

Have your cameras ready as photo-stops will be made en-route to capture the fabulous views. This is a fun way to explore every corner of lovely Santander!

Essential information

This tour will operate on foot and e-bike. Children are not permitted to participate. E-Bikes are similar to normal bicycles but have a small electrical engine on the front wheel charged by the passenger pedalling. Participants are required to have previously ridden a normal bicycle and will be supplied with a small bottle of water. The cycling portion of the excursion will last approximately 2¾ hours. All participants will be given a cycle helmet, which must be worn. Participants’ heights will be required in order to allocate the most appropriate bike. Once bookings have closed, we regret the tour is non refundable.

Santander Stroll and Tapas

Activity highRefreshments included

Duration: 3 hours

Discover the history and traditions of Santander on this walking tour, a perfect mixture of culture and gastronomy!

Departing on foot with your knowledgeable local guide, explore some of the highlights of Santander.

Pass by the lovely Pereda Gardens, named after 19th century Cantabrian writer José María de Pereda, whose seminal work ‘Escenas Montañesa’ is illustrated in bronze and stone here. Have your camera ready as you approach the impressive Bank of Santander original headquarters, built in 1875 and whose façade is crowned by statues representing the arts, culture, commerce and navigation. You’ll then arrive at the first tapas bar, ‘Mesón Rampalay,’ where some delicious pinchos (tapas) will await you.

Continue your guided walk seeing the Church of St. Lucía, built in 1868, towards your next tapas venue, ‘Bodega El Riojano’, an ancient cellar of 1940 which still retains the wood smell in its beams and barrels. Delight your palate with some more tapas at this traditional restaurant in town, and then keep on exploring the city, seeing the eclectic Town Hall or the lively Velarde Square, among other interesting sites.

On your way to ‘El Machi’, one of the oldest taverns in Santander, you will admire the beautiful Cathedral of the Assumption, composed of 2 Gothic churches, one above the other. To round-off the day, recharge your batteries enjoying some more pinchos at this charming tavern which has recently been refurbished and converted into a restaurant that preserves the sea flavour of old times.

Essential information

This tour is entirely on foot and involves approximately 1½ hours of walking and standing. Comfortable, flat walking shoes are recommended. The order of highlights and tapas may vary. Limited seating available at the tapas bars. The order of highlights may vary.

Santander Stroll and Tapas
 

A selection of cruises to Santander

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