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from just £599 per person.

Santander

Santander, is located on the northern coast of Spain and enjoys a stunning location nestled on a small peninsular jutting between the busy waters of the Bay of Santander and the glittering seas of the Bay of Biscay. The area surrounding the city is lined with 11 sandy beaches, which are perfect for sun worshipers and water sports enthusiasts alike. The area of El Sardinero in times past was famed as a resort by Spain's richest citizens. Their patronage has resulted in a beautiful area of beaches, divided by the gardens of Piquio, stretching from the Magdalena Peninsula to Mataleñas. The area also boasts hotels, cafes and even a casino.

Those looking to discover Santander away from the beaches will find a city as historic as it is beautiful. The Cathedral of Santander was built between 13th and 14th centuries on top of proceeding holy buildings and combines Gothic and Romanesque architecture.

 

Shore excursions in Santander

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Bilbao and Guggenheim Museum

Activity highShopping

Duration: 6 hours

Combine modern with old during visits to Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum and the charming Old Quarter.

Journey to Bilbao for a guided visit of the remarkable Guggenheim Museum. Designed by American architect Frank Gehry, the Guggenheim Museum, was instantly hailed as the most important structure of its time, representing a magnificent example of the most groundbreaking 20th century architecture. This unique titanium, stone and glass sculpture houses a wonderful collection of modern and contemporary art.

Your tour continues to Bilbao’s Old Quarter, where many of the city’s oldest churches and monuments can be found, alongside modern shops, restaurants and tapas bars. Join your knowledgeable guide on a leisurely walk along the charming narrow streets lined with Renaissance, Baroque and Modernist buildings. Listen carefully as they point out some of the most important sites including the Cathedral of Santiago, the Church of San Antón, and the Plaza Nueva.

Afterwards, you’ll have around 1 hour of free time to explore further, before taking the return journey to the ship.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and involves approximately 2½ hours’ of walking and standing. Passengers may opt out of the guided walk of the Old Quarter and have additional free time instead. Exhibits within the Guggenheim Museum are subject to change; therefore we are unable to guarantee exactly which collections will be on display. Photography or video filming is not permitted inside the Guggenheim Museum. Due to increased security measures bags, handbags larger than 35cm x 35cm, rucksacks and umbrellas, are not permitted inside the museum and must be left either on the coach or checked into the coatroom inside the museum.

Cabárceno Nature Park

Activity mediumShoppingFamily

Duration: 5 hours

Enjoy a day at Cabárceno Nature Park, ideal for the whole family and home to over 100 animal species from around the world.

Cabárceno is without doubt one of the most famous animal parks in the North of Spain, beautifully located in the Cantabrian Mountains, among the truly exceptional surroundings of the Peña Cabarga Nature Reserve.

The Nature Park covers an area of more than 750 hectares and is the largest park of its kind in Europe. It is a large open area, where you can marvel at the way animals from all over the world live happily and roam freely in a semi-wild environment.

Upon arrival at Cabárceno, you’ll take a scenic drive through the park, stopping at viewpoints along the way to get a closer view of the animals. Have your camera at the ready as you observe a variety of species such as African elephants, Bengal tigers, fast-running ostriches, majestic lions, elegant jaguars and impressive rhinos. There are more than 118 species living in the park, and you will often come across delightful animal cubs, given that this is one of the few places where these animals reproduce naturally.

Enjoy approximately 1½ hours of free time to purchase lunch and take an optional cable-car ride to explore the park independently, before the return journey to Santander.

Essential information

This tour operates by coach and on foot.Passengers must be able to negotiate the steps to board the coach. The drive to the Nature Park is approximately 30 minutes each way. The amount of walking inside the Park is at passengers’ own discretion. Most of the signs inside the Park are in Spanish. The shops and restaurants inside the Park will accept major credit cards and Euros only. Drinks/Lunch at Cabárceno Nature Park will be at passengers’ own expense.

Leisurely Santander

Activity lowRefreshments included

Duration: 3 hours

A wonderful introduction to the sights of Santander at a leisurely pace.

Relax as a panoramic drive introduces you to the beautiful seaside city of Santander. Winding your way through the city, your coach will take you past the Pereda Gardens and the Puertochico, before heading towards the bay of Santander and the stunning Magdalena Peninsula.

This beautiful parkland covers around 69 acres and is crowned by the Palacio de la Magdalena, the former summer residence of King Alfonso XIII. Boasting fabulous views and beautiful surrounding gardens, the Palacio de la Magdalena is designated as a cultural heritage site. Enjoy some free time to explore the exterior of the Palace and experience the wonderful views.

Continue to the 5 star Hotel Real, pausing briefly en route at a vantage point to admire the beautiful beaches of ‘El Camello’ and ‘El Sardinero’. Constructed in 1916 by order of the King, this luxury hotel played host to the honorary guests of the royal family for almost 15 years. Sit back and enjoy refreshments of tea, coffee and local pastries and marvel at the spectacular views over the Bay of Biscay.

During your drive back to the ship, you’ll pass El Sardinero Beach, the ‘Gran Casino’ Santander Bank Headquarters building, Porticada Square, the Town Hall and the Cathedral of the Assumption.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and requires minimal walking. The stop at Magdalena Palace is an exterior view only; it does not include a visit inside.

Majestic Comillas and San Vicente

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 4½ hours

Combine a visit to the historical town of Comillas with the charming fishing village of San Vicente de la Barquera.

Embark on a scenic drive to the majestic town of Comillas, the former summer residence of King Alfonso XII. Upon arrival, a short panoramic drive will introduce you to a town rich in history and boasting magnificent architecture and ancestral mansions.

A highlight of your tour will be a visit to the impressive Sobrellano Palace. This late 19th century Neo-Gothic style palace is the work of the Catalan architect Juan Martorel and is the most iconic building of this charming town. Next to Sobrellano Palace stands the famous ‘Capricho de Gaudí’. Antoni Gaudí left few reminders of his work beyond Catalonia, but out of those that he did, this is by far the most impressive.

Your tour continues along the coastal road to one of the most picturesque villages on the Cantabrian coast, San Vicente de la Barquera. After crossing the 15th century Maza Bridge you’ll arrive in San Vicente, where your knowledgeable guide will lead you on a leisurely guided walk to discover some of town’s most important medieval buildings.

Afterwards, you’ll have some free time to explore independently, before the return journey to the ship.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and involves approximately 1½ hours of walking, some of which is over inclines and cobblestoned streets. At Sobrellano Palace there are 22 steps to negotiate.

 

A selection of cruises to Santander

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