In addition to its famous museums, bustling streets dotted with all kinds of shops, restaurants featuring world-class cuisine and traditional specialties; and unbeatable nightlife, Madrid will surprise you with its tranquil historic spots that charm everyone walking by. Immerse yourself in the culture of this lively, Iberian city during your optional pre-trip extension.
Fly overnight to Barcelona
Today you’ll board an overnight flight to Barcelona. Or, depart earlier for your optional pre-trip extension to Madrid, Spain.
Arrive in Barcelona and check into your hotel
Welcome to Spain! If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you at the airport to assist with transfers to your hotel. After checking in, you’ll have time to relax at your hotel, or head out and acquaint yourself with your surroundings. Dinner tonight will be at your hotel.
Barcelona at your leisure
Following breakfast at your hotel, you’ll have a full day to explore Barcelona at your leisure.
Embark the Ocean Odyssey in Barcelona today
Today, you’ll embark the Ocean Odyssey and begin your exciting Mediterranean voyage. Along the way, you’ll enjoy a panoramic sightseeing tour of a few of Barcelona’s highlights, including Montjuïc Hill, the Plaza de España, and Gran Via. You’ll also have an opportunity to discover Paseo de Gracia and have free time for shopping at Las Ramblas.
Once on board get settled in your sumptuous stateroom, then explore the Ocean Odyssey’s many amenities, including the sundeck and fitness center. Later, gather for the first of your daily port talks to hear about tomorrow’s exciting destination. Tonight, savor a special Welcome Dinner.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Opt for a special Barcelona sightseeing tour that includes access to the interior of La Sagrada Familia. Learn more
Begin your discoveries with a guided visit of the Museo Nacional de Prado (Prado Museum). Housed inside a building originally constructed in 1785 to house the Natural History Cabinet, today the Prado Museum is Spain’s main national art museum. Visitors are able to get up-close to the works of master artists such as Francisco Goya, Hieronymus Bosch, El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian, and Diego Velázquez.
Designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí in the late 19th century, the Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, is one of Barcelona’s must-see landmarks. This Catholic church — the largest one in the world to remain unfinished — was inscribes as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010, along with six other Barcelona properties built by Gaudí. Pope Benedict XVI consecrated the church, proclaiming it a minor basilica, in 2010. On this optional excursion, you’ll have an opportunity to visit the interior of the church and take in the beauty and artistry of this structure for yourself. Your tour concludes with lunch at a local restaurant.
Due to high call volume, we recommend you visit MyPortfolio to book this Destination Enhancement. Don’t wait — these optional experiences are limited to a select number of guests and are selling out fast!
A walking tour of Port-Vendres
Following breakfast on board, you’ll set out to explore Port-Vendres. Situated at the foot of the Albères mountain, you’ll find this tiny resort town, named for the goddess Venus. This small Mediterranean town, situated near the Spanish border of southeastern France’s Côte Vermeille, is famous for its fishing port and deep-water harbor, the only natural port on the Vermillion Coast. This charming city has a long history dating back to Europe’s Iron Age, and you’ll discover its highlights during an included walking tour today.
Tour Tarragona’s Roman ruins
Enjoy breakfast on board, then head ashore to explore the Spanish port town of Tarragona. Founded in the 5th century, this historic city once served as a fortification for the Roman empire. It was later captured by the Vandals, and then the Visigoths, before eventually being taken over by the Spanish empire. Today, Tarragona shines with its golden beaches, fascinating culinary scene, and ancient Roman architecture. In fact, the Roman ruins of Tarragona have been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Your walking tour will include a visit to the Roman Amphitheatre, once used for races, public executions, and gladiatorial combat.
Uncover history and religion in Valencia
Following breakfast on board, you’ll head into Valencia to uncover this fascinating city of contrasts for yourself. From its golden beaches and flamboyant Rococo architecture to its cobblestone streets and thriving culture, Valencia is one of Spain’s most interesting and welcoming cities. Founded as a Roman colony in the 2nd century BC, today Valencia is renowned for its arts and sciences. Sitting alongside its beautiful Old-World buildings and ancient cathedrals you’ll find futuristic structures and Europe’s largest aquarium. During your time here, you’ll have an opportunity to visit the Valencia Cathedral, also known as St. Mary’s Cathedral. Consecrated in AD 1238 by Pere d'Albalat, first bishop of Valencia, this Roman Catholic church was dedicated to Saint Mary by the order of James I the Conqueror, the 13th-century King of Aragon.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Valencia is known as the City of Arts & Sciences, and you’ll find out why on this optional tour that includes an aquarium visit. Learn more
Experience the modern masterpiece at the heart of Valencia’s cultural scene with a guided tour of the spectacular City of Arts and the Sciences. Walk along the length of this futuristic complex designed by celebrated Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, while learning about its construction and the many events and attractions contained within. Step inside several buildings, including the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum and Europe’s largest aquarium, the Oceanogràfic.
Exploring Cartagena's Roman flourishes
After breakfast on board the ship arrives in the natural harbor of Cartagena, in use since the city was established as a major naval center by the Carthaginians in 227 BC. You’ll get acquainted with its history at La Concepción Castle, which overlooks the old Roman Theatre, the second largest in Iberia. Walking down the Calle Mayor, you’ll also see some of the Cartagena’s noteworthy art nouveau buildings, including the gleaming white façade of the Cervantes House and the elegant Grand Hotel, where you have time to explore on your own. After returning to ship for lunch, you’ll have a free afternoon to spend as you wish. Sit in on an onboard cooking demonstration or just relax on deck as you take in the scenery.
Experience the storied city of Granada
Today, you’ll set out on a full-day excursion to fabled Granada, the last stronghold of the Spanish Moors, and visit two of its UNESCO-listed sites: Alhambra and Generalife. Set in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada boasts one of the world’s most spectacular fortified palace complexes, the legendary Alhambra. On a guided tour, you'll see its most famous attractions, including the renowned fountains and gardens of the adjacent Generalife. Enjoy lunch in a typical Spanish restaurant before returning to the ship in Motril. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure on board or continue your explorations in Motril on your own.
Explore untamed Almería today
Situated in southeastern Spain is the city of Almería, founded in AD 955 by Caliph Abd al-Rahman III, the Umayyad Emir of Córdoba in the early 10th century. With over 60 miles of untamed coastline and beautiful landscapes, Almería offers its visitors many natural pleasures. Thanks to its strategic situation on the Mediterranean, Almería has been home to many different civilizations throughout its history, and significant traces of their presence can be seen in the province’s archaeological remains. You’ll head out on a walking tour this morning to explore the city’s incredible sites.
Another day of Spanish explorations in Alicante
Located in the middle of the Costa Blanca, Alicante is one of the most popular Spanish destinations for visitors. Alicante’s many golf courses, along with the Mediterranean Sea’s tranquil azure waters, are a big part of this beautiful harbor city’s appeal. Situated at the foot of Santa Bárbara Castle, the city’s historic quarter conceals an interesting religious and architectural legacy, including the emblematic Esplanada de España (Spain Boulevard. Following breakfast on board, you’ll set off on a walking tour to explore this incredible city.
Live a Mediterranean dream in Ibiza
Ibiza, one of Spain’s Balearic islands, is well-known for its lively nightlife. But there is more to Ibiza than nightclubs. This diminutive destination is also home to quiet villages, sandy coves, pine forests, and charming street markets. You’ll have a full day at leisure to explore Ibiza’s rural charms and laid-back lifestyle for yourself.
Visit Palma de Mallorca, the jewel of Spain’s Balearic Islands
Your ship will arrive in Palma de Mallorca this morning. Ringed by pristine crescent beaches and cloaked in lush green forest, Mallorca is an island paradise for both residents and visitors alike. On a panoramic city tour, you'll explore the stunning circular Bellver Castle, built in the 14th century for the Kings of Mallorca. Later, step inside the massive La Seu Cathedral. This honey-colored, Gothic masterpiece boasts a cavernous interior designed by Antoni Gaudí and a 144-foot-high nave. Return to the ship for lunch before an afternoon at leisure in Palma de Mallorca.
Disembark the Ocean Odyssey in Barcelona
After breakfast, you’ll disembark the Ocean Odyssey and transfer your Barcelona hotel. Following check-in, you’ll have the remainder of the day at your leisure to enjoy Barcelona at your own pace.
Another day to explore Barcelona at your leisure
Enjoy another leisurely day in Barcelona today. Set your own schedule as you take in the city’s renowned sites.
Return home today
Following breakfast at your hotel, you’ll check out and head to airport to board your return flight home.
Please Note: Ocean cruising is not the same experience as river cruising; as such, you may experience fluctuating tides and weather patterns that may involve some rocking of your vessel. Itineraries will include all activities as planned except in extreme cases that can’t be controlled by your shipboard crew. Day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Cruise Director or regional expert.