Sailing from Southampton
Southampton • Funchal, Madeira • Santa Cruz, La Palma • San Sebastian, La Gomera, Spain • Santa Cruz, Tenerife • Las Palmas, Gran Canaria• Arrecife, Lanzarote • Lisbon, Portugal • Southampton
Funchal, the capital of Portugal's Madeiran archipelago, has a timeless old-world charm. Enhanced by a subtropical climate that fills this 'floating garden' with the year-round colours and perfumes of flowers and fruit, Funchal was a favourite of Sir Winston Churchill. His praise of the city has ensured British visitors always receive a warm welcome from locals.
Backed by rolling hills, the town is famous for its harbour, the 17th century São Tiago Fortress (now the Contemporary Art Museum) and world renowned Madeiran wine cellars. Funchal’s parks and gardens are a delight, and a hike through the Laurel Forest nearby is highly recommended. The ancient Funchal Cathedral mixes Gothic and Romanesque architecture, and is noted for its impressive carved wooden ceiling.
La Palma’s small, yet pretty capital city - is one of the Canary Island’s true gems. Boasting colonial-style architecture, a swathe of charming beaches, restaurants and bars, Santa Cruz is typically Canarian and has something for everyone.
Conquered by the King of Castile in the 15th century, Santa Cruz de La Palma was a key trading post between Spain and the Americas, and the city’s fascinating history can be explored in the historic quarter – one of Spain’s Historic-Artistic sites. The Naval Museum is a replica of Christopher Columbus's 15th-century Santa Maria sailing ship.
Stunning palaces and sumptuous merchants’ houses butt up against the grand town hall, built during the reign of Phillip II. Religious buildings include the Renaissance-style Church of El Salvador, with a tower of volcanic stone, and the Church of Santo Domingo, which houses a superb collection of Flemish paintings.
San Sebastian is the beautiful capital of La Gomera, one of the smaller, lesser-known islands in the Canaries. A lively, vibrant city, San Sebastian offers much to enjoy including pristine beaches, perfectly-preserved historic buildings and natural parks of jaw-dropping beauty.
Also known as 'Isla Colombina' because of its historic links to Christopher Columbus – the great explorer called at La Gomera on his way to America. Many of San Sebastian’s buildings and monuments are linked to him, including the Casa de la Agunada and the Casa de Colon where, according to legend, Columbus stayed during his time on the island.
The 15th century Torre del Conde military tower and Ermita de San Sebastian Church, which dates back to the 16th century, are easily accessible highlights. The Church of the Assumption has a mural depicting an 18th-century battle, while La Gomera Archaeological Museum traces the local culture through artefacts and scale models.
The city’s beaches are typically Canarian and benefit from a fantastic warm climate almost all-year round, soft sands and crystal clear waters. Playa de La Cueva – often referred to as La Gomera’s best beach, is a great place to relax.
Northwest of the city lies the Parque Natural de Majona, a beautiful natural park smothered with rolling valleys, stunning flora and dry Fayal-Heath, creates an incredible landscape that's a joy to explore.
Sophisticated Santa Cruz - Tenerife's capital - is built around boulevards and wide avenues that link elegant squares and parks.
Well-preserved buildings feature in the old town, including the colonial Church of the Immaculate Conception and the 18th century Palacio de Carta, which has impressive Baroque and neoclassical features. Recently redesigned by the architects Herzog & de Meuron, the city’s largest square, Plaza de España, is a pleasant spot to lose a few hours. Lively beaches such as Playa de Las Americas are within easy reach of Santa Cruz too.
Away from the capital, many of Tenerife's highlights await on tours, including the exotic Botanical Gardens or the mystical lava stone Pyramids of Guimar. Exploring the volcanic El Teide National Park to marvel at majestic Mount Teide, or even climb Spain's highest peak, is an unmissable experience.
With its feel of mainland-Spain, spiced up with an eclectic mix of Asian and African cultures, Las Palmas is one of the Canary Island's most popular destinations, attracting sun-seekers who come to relax on its golden-sand beaches and soak up the gorgeous, year-round climate of Gran Canaria.
Founded over 500 years ago, Las Palmas is the largest city in the Canary Islands, and has three gorgeous beaches, including Playa de las Canteras, regarded as one of the world's best beaches, to enjoy.
Vegueta, the oldest quarter, is both atmospheric and fashionable, with extensive historical architecture plus a fine selection of boutiques and smart bars. At its centre stand the twin towers of Santa Ana Cathedral; started in 1500 but still unfinished, the cathedral has a unique mix of Renaissance, Gothic and Neoclassical styles in its construction. In Plaza Santa Ana, bronze statues of dogs – the Romans named the islands after legendary canines – stand guard over the 17th-century Palacio Regental, the Town Hall and the Bishop's Palace.
The sweet arc of Playa de las Canteras at the town’s other end offers the tantalising possibility of taking a dip between sightseeing and shopping. The bewildering maze of streets behind the beach hides many fine restaurants serving an array of wonderful Canarian cuisine.
The bustling port of Arrecife on Lanzarote’s east coast is home to the biggest fishing fleet in the Canaries. Back in the 16th and 17th centuries the city was regularly attacked by pirates. To defend against these raiders, the court of Spain ordered two castles to be built. The first built in 1590, Castillo San Gabriel, now houses the island’s Ethnographic Museum, which tells the fascinating story of the islands' original inhabitants: the Guanche.
Castillo San Jose followed later, providing employment and alleviating poverty on the island following volcanic eruptions in the 1730s - it became known as the Fortress of Hunger. Today, it is home to the Museum of International and Contemporary Art, with a small but impressive collection of modern paintings and sculpture. The excellent restaurant in its basement offers diners panoramic views over the harbour. Today, Arrecife is a quirky hotchpotch of sun-bleached buildings and has a pleasant Mediterranean-style promenade.
Stretched across its seven trademark hills overlooking the River Tagus estuary, Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city of Lisbon, is a cinematic collection of cobbled alleyways, pastel-coloured buildings, ancient ruins and white-domed cathedrals. The city was decimated by an earthquake in 1755, and modern Lisbon has been shaped by that eventful day. The Pombaline architecture that now defines the city represents some of the first seismically-protected buildings in Europe.
The city’s bridges include the Ponte 25 de Abril – similar to the Golden Gate in San Francisco – and the Ponte Vasco da Gama, which includes over 11km of viaducts. Lisbon’s many fascinating museums, include the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Coach Museum and the Carmo Archaeological Museum.
Lisbon is also a shopper’s paradise, with the Centro Commercial Colombo – the biggest shopping mall on the Iberian peninsula – and the elegant Avenidas Novas, full of upmarket shops. Alternatively, there bargains to be had in the local flea market, Campo de Santa Clara. Don't miss the chance to sample iconic egg tarts at Pasteis de Belém too.
At a glance....
Step on board friendly, welcoming Fred. Olsen Cruise ships and start your holiday with a smile. Their cruise ships are smaller and more personal, so you’ll feel relaxed and at home straight away. You’ll soon get to know the crew and your fellow passengers: what could be better than seeing the world, except enjoying it with new-found friends?
Each cruise ship has its own distinct personality, but what they have in common is the comfort and great service that we are so proud of. From great bars and restaurants through to entertainment and relaxation, no matter where your cruise is sailing you can rest assured that you are in for an unforgettable journey.
Cruise ships were once famous for their style and charm. And the Black Watch cruise ship is a hark back to those days, when quality and service were taken for granted. Sleek and intimate, with cabins and suites for 804 people, Black Watch has a warm welcome waiting for you.
Black Watch was voted 'Best for Entertainment' in the 2012 Cruise Critic 'Cruisers' Choice UK Awards’*. Only UK cruisers voted, and they were especially impressed with our service: “they consistently went the extra mile”.
So, be captivated by the entertaining cabaret at the Neptune Lounge,and fire-up your taste buds for a treat at the Glentanar Restaurant. Or, share a relaxing drink over panoramic views across the ocean in our Observatory Lounge.
|Passengers||804 standard occupancy|
|Beam (width)||25.20 m|