Cruise only (Please call for flight options)
Setting sail from Lisbon
The roots of historic Lisbon's fame lie in its strategic position on the edge of the Atlantic and the fact it offers one of the world's greatest natural harbours. No surprise therefore that it became the home of the world's most famous explorers such as Vasco da Gama, Magellan and Prince Henry the Navigator. Built on seven hills, we always find Lisbon to be soulful, captivating and picturesque, with architecture which reflects its status as a great port.
Belem Tower, dating from the 1500s, was both a fortress and the explorers’ departure point. On the façade you will find a stone rhinoceros sculpted into the tower – Europe’s first sight of this extraordinary beast!
Portugal: Porto Santo
Many people don’t realise that Madeira is part of an archipelago, but Porto Santo is Madeira’s little sister, known as the ‘Golden Island’ on account of its magnificent sandy beaches. Christopher Columbus lived on the island for a time with his Portuguese wife, and their house in Vila Baleira is now a museum.
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.
Spain: La Gomera
Little La Gomera is the quietest of all the Canary Islands, still barely touched by tourism. The dramatic landscape of craggy volcanic peaks and misty laurel forest is staggeringly beautiful, and the diminutive capital, San Sebastián, is low key and laid back.
Canary Islands: Santa Cruz de La Palma
The lush volcanic island of La Palma is one of the Canary Islands’ best kept secrets, a place where tourism is still low key and the beautiful scenery is unspoilt by high rise developments. Don’t miss the colourful colonial architecture of the capital, Santa Cruz, reminiscent of the Spanish Caribbean.
Canary Islands: Puerto de la Estaca (El Hierro)
Remote, rugged and barely touched by tourism, El Hierro is the smallest of the Canary Islands. The island has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and the small population is entirely sustained by renewable energy. Highlights include dramatic volcanic landscapes, sleepy mountain villages and some fantastic dive sites.
Canary Islands: Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Situated on Tenerife’s north eastern shore, the island’s capital is a busy port that serves mostly as a gateway to the popular south west coast and the spectacular volcanic landscapes of the island’s interior.
Canary Islands: Arrecife (Lanzarote)
In recent years Lanzarote has begun to shake off its mass market reputation and reinvent itself as a more upmarket destination. The extraordinary volcanic landscapes and the works of local artist César Manrique give the island a unique appearance, and the understated capital, Arrecife, is well worth exploring.
Argentina: Las Palmas
Arriving in Dakar
The busy, dusty streets of Senegal's capital Dakar are filled with life and colour, noises, smells and local music. The city extends over the Cap Vert peninsula - as the name suggests, it is a former French colony, and the distinctive atmosphere still has traces of the French influence. You can get a great view of the flat peninsula and ocean beyond from Les Mamelles (The Breasts), two small and appropriately shaped hills. The people here are friendly and helpful, so expect a warm welcome - but watch out for the usual hustles and scams of a busy city.
For a brief respite from the heat and bustle, go to the Institut Francais in the centre of town. We find it a bit of a haven; lovely gardens to enjoy over a coffee.
Your home from home
MS Spitsbergen joined the Hurtigruten fleet in 2016 after an extensive renovation, and operates both the classic Norwegian coastal route and expedition voyages to Svalbard.
What we love
Calling at regular coastal route towns, MS Spitsbergen spends more time in port than other Hurtigruten vessels, allowing a little more time ashore. The ship's manoeuvrability and small size allows guests to get even closer to the stunning scenery that this part of the world is famous for.
|Style||MS Spitsbergen is relaxed and comfortable, accommodating a combination of tourists and Norwegians ferrying goods up and down the coast.|
Tailor-make your trip
Our recommended hotel
The Pousada de Lisboa, newly opened in May 2015, has a great location in the heart of the city and an interior to wow you.
Take a day trip from Lisbon
Visit Sintra – Roman and Moorish influences make this magical city with its fairytale palaces and extravagant villas a must.
Where to stay in Dakar
The comfortable Radisson Blu is probably the best choice.
Sightseeing in Senegal
Outside Dakar lies the beautiful Pink Lake – Lake Retba. Its high salt content attracts a bacteria which creates the colour.