Sailing from Liverpool
Liverpool • Praia da Vitoria, Portugal • Horta, Portugal • Ponta Delgada, Portugal • Lisbon, Portugal • Leixoes (for Oporto), Portugal • Liverpool
• Up to £200 per person David Urquhart Sky Travel Voucher
• Up to £200 per person Free Excursion Voucher or Transport Allowance
Pretty Praia da Vitoria, the former capital of the Azores, is a town steeped in history. Originally heavily fortified, Praia has a fascinating historic quarter, and a stunning natural harbour that’s overlooked by the impressive 16th century Fort of Santa Catarina.
Translated as the Beach of the Victory, Praia da Vitoria is a popular destination thanks to a bustling, modern harbour, vibrant town centre and gorgeous sandy beaches. The pick of which is the uncrowded Praia Grande, which is a safe, dark sand beach with barely any waves.
Praia’s centre has a pleasant pedestrian zone with many attractive shops and some notable historic buildings that deserve a glance. The most notable monuments include the imposing bell towers of 15th century Igreja Matriz de Santa Cruz and the stunning Town Hall in the main square.
The tranquil little port of Horta on the Azores island of Faial, has played host to transatlantic yachtsmen since it was discovered by the Portuguese in the 15th century.
Regarded as one of the most colourful marinas in the world, Horta is the location of several international regattas each year, and its harbour is known for its vast open-air exhibition of paintings installed on the jetty by visiting sailors.
This emerald-green, volcanic island is an unspoilt environment of craters, lakes, sheer cliffs and lush valleys, to which only picturesque whitewashed houses and stately little baroque churches have been added.
Ponta Delgada, the main town on the island of São Miguel, is the capital of the Azores archipelago of Portugal. The town’s cosmopolitan atmosphere belies its 500 year history, and the surrounding island boasts beautiful lakes, mountains, sandy beaches and the stunning crater lakes of the extinct Sete Cidades volcano.
Ponta Delgada’s fine collection of buildings, narrow cobbled streets and squares, are a firm reminder that this was once a key staging post between Europe and the Americas. Intermingled are cool parks, enchanting squares, a modern marina, restaurants and waterside cafés. Its lakeside, whitewashed houses with terracotta roofs look out to enchanting mountain plains.
The striking, three-arched city gates, Portas da Cidade – which once stood in the harbour and now reside in Gonçalo Velho Cabral Square, were dedicated to the Portuguese navigator who discovered the Azores. The Gothic Church of St. Sebastian and The Convent and Chapel of Our Lady of Hope, which is home to a revered image of Christ, are both worth uncovering. The Carlos Machado Museum offers diverse artefacts of Azorean culture, while Igreja Matriz Church, with its splendid clock tower, is one of many beautifully ornate towers to be found.
The ‘Green Island’ also offers canoeing and other sports activities on lakes located in the craters of its dormant volcanoes. The island’s beauty can also be enjoyed by horse riding or cycling.
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. Decimated by an earthquake in 1755, 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.
A short journey from Leixões takes you into the heart of Oporto, with its fortress-like Cathedral and the Baroque Church of Clérigos. Head to the historic Ribeira District, where the narrow, cobbled lanes wind their way down to the Douro River. Don’t forget to visit one of the many wine cellars for a taste of the tipple named after the city, Port. On the ground floor of the Museu Romantico is the Port Wine Institute, where port is served with great ceremony.
Oporto sits deep in the gorge of the River Douro and on the riverside – dominated by the two-level Luis I bridge – it’s possible to look up at the narrow old town streets climbing out of the valley. Pastel-fronted houses with red-tiled roofs line the streets, mixed with neo-classical buildings and wonderful baroque churches. Dominating the centre of the city is the fortress-like Cathedral, which is worth visiting for the views alone.
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|