Marella Discovery 2
Flights available from Birmingham or Manchester
Montego Bay, Jamaica • Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands • King's Wharf, Bermuda • Horta, Azores ⚓ • Ponta Delgada, Azores • Porto, Portugal • Lisbon, Portugal • Cadiz (for Seville), Spain • Gibraltar • Cartagena, Spain • Palma, Mallorca
Jamaica’s bubbly side is on show in Montego Bay. This lively north-coast town has a strip full of reggae bars and Caribbean restaurants, and you can dip in and out for rum cocktails and jerk chicken. Montego Bay’s biggest pull, though, is its coastline. The shores here are bracketed by clear blue waves and coconut palms.
Back in 1492 Columbus was one of the first Europeans to set foot on Grand Turk. His visit opened a floodgate and, today, more than 600,000 holiday makers cruise into the island’s port every year. Some come here for the diving – there’s a coral reef with an 8,000 foot drop just off the island’s coast. Others come for the colonial architecture – Cockburn Town has some of the best examples in the Caribbean.
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas set up home in Bermuda. Mark Twain famously declared his affection for the island. And big-wigs from the States have been weekending on the island for years. It’s really no surprise, though. In Bermuda you get striking pink-sand beaches, a coral reef that provides a kaleidoscopic underwater scene, and pretty towns that have skipped time since the British ruled 400 years ago. The island’s big with sporty types, as well, thanks to golf courses and sailing clubs.
Faial’s nickname – the Blue Island – sounds straightforward enough. But when you get there it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what the blue refers to. It could nod to the sapphire of the Atlantic Ocean that surrounds the island, the hydrangeas that cover it in summer, or the water marshes that pool in the caldera. In the port of Horta, blue is just one of many colours on show. The marina here is multi-coloured thanks to the collage of paintings created by visitors who have illustrated their boat and crew names on the walls and walkways over the years.
Sao Miguel does a good impression of Eden. The largest of Portugal’s Azores is contoured with rolling hills, expansive lakes and beaches that have resisted tourism. That’s not to say there aren’t any signs of life on the island, though. The capital, Ponta Delgada, is a bubbly city of museums, 17th-century architecture and seaside restaurants.
Portugal’s second-largest city is sprawled over a hillside, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the winding Duoro River. It’s a mass of pretty, terracotta-roofed buildings and winding streets. It has a big claim to fame, too – it’s the historical home of port. Tasting the drink is a must while you’re here, and you’ll find centuries-old wineries tucked among the area’s parks and beaches.
Portugal’s electric capital stands shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Madrid and Barcelona. You’ll find clusters of cocktail lounges in the Bairro Alto neighbourhood. In Chiado, meanwhile, lies the world’s oldest book store. The old town showcases a cosmopolitan café culture, with locals gathering in sun-dappled plazas to gossip over an espresso or ‘bica’.
From its impressive harbour to its streets packed with Moorish relics, Cadiz is a great introduction to Spain. One minute you can be admiring medieval walls, the next browsing the racks of designer boutiques. It’s one of those cities where a new surprise awaits at every turn.
Affectionately known as Gib or The Rock, Gibraltar is a little slice of Britain in the Mediterranean. And, just like the motherland, it’s a small stretch of land with a lot to offer. The history here is largely military-related – you’ll find Nelson’s anchorage where the body of Nelson was brought back to land after the Battle of Trafalgar, and the Parson’s Lodge Battery that dates back to 1875. Elsewhere, wildlife steals the show. Check out the cheeky Barbary apes or go whale-watching in the Strait.
Tucked in a deep bay guarded by two cliff-top fortresses, this Spanish gem is steeped in history. In the 18th century it became a major Spanish naval base and reminders of its seafaring past can be seen down in the port, where you’ll find a prototype submarine.
Palma. Think leafy boulevards that echo with the stilettos of stylish shoppers. Tiny tapas bars tucked down narrow sidestreets. Architectural gold hidden in the historic quarter. With its trademark cathedral dominating the skyline, cosmopolitan Palma never fails to impress.
At a glance....
Marella Discovery 2 joined the Marella Cruises fleet in May 2017. Marella Discovery 2 is the sister ship to Marella Discovery so their onboard set up is very similar. Having two ships means you’ll be able to pair a wider choice of itineraries with the exciting features offered by this larger, more contemporary style of vessel. These include an outdoor cinema, a rock climbing wall, a minigolf course, an indoor pool and a glossy atrium. Not to mention the range of bars, excellent dining scene and night-time shows enhanced by up-to-the-minute technology. Just like Marella Discovery, Marella Discovery 2 will be All Inclusive as standard. So, drinks, including prosecco and cider, meals in a selection of restaurants and most onboard activities are included in the cruise price. Flights and tips are both part of the package, too.