Sailing from Portugal
Setting sail from Funchal
Funchal, Madeira's bustling capital, tumbles down a dramatic hillside towards a beautiful sweeping bay. Highlights include colourful markets, wine lodges and the spectacular cable car ride up to the village of Monte, home of the famous toboggan run. The Zona Velha, the old fishermen's neighbourhood, has been transformed in recent years, and is now full of restaurants, bars and galleries.
Portugal: Santa Maria
Santa Maria is the sunniest and most southerly of the Azores, with beautiful beaches and a landscape of rolling hills that is quite different to the archipelago’s younger, more volcanic islands. Santa Maria is known for its handicrafts, wines and sweet liqueurs, and Columbus stopped off here in 1493 on his way back from the New World.
Pico is dominated by its eponymous volcano, a mist-shrouded cone that rises to the highest peak in Portugal. The seas off Pico are a whale-watching hotspot, and you can learn about the island’s whaling history at the museum in Lajes. Pico also has a strong winemaking tradition, and a bottle of Verdelho do Pico makes for a great souvenir.
Faial sits in the centre of the Azores archipelago, and its main harbour, Horta, is a popular stop-off point for yachts crossing the Atlantic. Popular things to do here include whale watching trips and excursions to the spectacular Caldeira Cabeço Gordo volcanic crater.
Beautiful Flores, at the western edge of the Azores archipelago, is a watery wonderland of lakes, waterfalls and streams, verdant and carpeted with hydrangeas during summer. The island is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and it’s a wonderful destination for hikers and nature lovers.
Portugal: Velas (São Jorge)
São Jorge is home to some of the most dramatic volcanic scenery in the Azores, with some fantastic walks along the coastal plains known as ‘fajãs’, which were formed by lava flows and landslides. The main town on the island, Velas, has a pretty harbour and some interesting churches and museums.
Portugal: Praia da Vitória (Terceira)
Terceira means ‘third’ in Portuguese - this was the third island in the Azores to be discovered, and it’s also the third largest island. The main town, the UNESCO-listed Angra do Heroismo, is the oldest in the archipelago, with some lovely historic buildings lining the cobbled streets.
Portugal: São Miguel (Azores)
São Miguel is the largest and most populous island of the Azores archipelago. The pretty capital, Ponta Delgada, is home to elegant architecture and some excellent restaurants, though the main attraction is the tranquility and natural beauty of the surrounding countryside, including the spectacular caldera lakes of Sete Cidades.
Portugal: Porto (Leixões)
Blessed with a dramatic setting on the steep banks of the river Douro, Portugal’s second city is currently enjoying something of a renaissance, and is best known as the home of the country’s most famous export, port wine.
Arriving in Bilbao
It's not so long ago that Bilbao was a grim and unappealing place, scarred by heavy industry, but the Basque Country's biggest city has reinvented itself as a cultural hub since the opening of the shimmering Guggenheim Museum in 1997.
Your home from home
The new expedition ships from Hapag-Lloyd, Hanseatic Nature, Hanseatic Inspiration & Hanseatic Spirit, represent the perfect marriage of experience and innovation in adventure cruising.
What we love
The perfect combination of technical expertise and thoughtful design makes these ships stand out as very special additions to the expedition fleet. We are particularly excited that Hanseatic Inspiration will be a totally bilingual ship, showing Hapag-Lloyd's commitment to the English-speaking markets.
230 Guests (199 for Antarctic cruises)
Luxury expedition means a fresh and airy décor, great food, service and facilities, alongside technical expertise and 30 years of experience in operating the very best expedition cruises.