British Channel, to North Sea – West coast France, Spain, Portugal to Gibraltar

From Southampton or Dover, the Channel Islands, on to France, Honfleur and west coast Iberia, Lisbon and onto Gibraltar. This very near coastline is full of interesting gems. Take a look at how easy and close a great cruise can be.

Cruising can be so close, west coast France, Spain and Portugal.


This is an interesting coast of France, very different from the south of France. It has many WWII sites and many memories. It is often better known to booze cruisers and weekenders as they pop over, have mussels and chips and stock up with wine. But for cruisers, this section of cruising, takes us from the UK south. The Bay of Biscay (other wise known as the Golfe de Gascogne in Francemakes many a cruise smile, and check they have packed their sea sickness bands. It starts in France and rounds to Spain, joining the Channel (via the Celtic Sea) with the North Atlantic Ocean and down to Spain’s Cantabrian Sea.

This area has been inhabited since the old stone age, or Middle Palaeolithic period, which broadly means dating back to 300,000 years ago. It has subsequently changed hands with whatever roving power including the Romans. From Basque Spain, through the autonomous community of Asturias to Galicia which borders Portugal. Historic sites, major maritime and fishing history, and wine.

It is one of the oldest and certainly the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, almost all of it sitting on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It’s important position means it has been fought over since pre-historic times. There is much opportunity to see historic sites all along this coast. Lisbon being the number one stop, is built on seven hills, but so cruiser heavy the locals are sometimes a little miffed they can’t get on a tram. See the various posts and films for what to see. The daily transport ticket is often the best deal in town.

BRIEF: Known both as Oporto and Porto, it is Portugal’s second largest city.


SHIPS HERE inc: Neue Mein Schiff 2, AIDAPerla, Silver Wind, mv Aegean Odyssey, Oceana Riviera

  • BRIEF: Lisbon. Major City. Fishing is a main activity here.
  • CURRENCY: Euro
  • LANGUAGE/PHRASES: Portugese. English spoken
  • VISA: Entry with cruise card.

  • BRIEF: Fishing is a main activity here.Artistes and writers as well as beach lovers flock to Praia da Rocha.
  • CURRENCY: Euro
  • LANGUAGE/PHRASES: Portugese. English spoken
  • VISA: Entry with cruise card.
  • SHIPS SEEN HERE REGULARLY: Seabourn Encore, Marella Discovery 2.

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