Iberian Peninsula Cruise, Holland America Line – Koningsdam.
18 – 30 September 2016.
13 days from Amsterdam The Netherlands to Rome Italy around the Iberian Peninsula aboard the Koningsdam.
Including a pre-cruise stop in Munich Germany.
16 Sept – Munich, Germany
Day 0: 18 Sept – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Day 1: 19 Sept – At Sea
Day 2: 20 Sept – Portland, England
Our first stop on cruise was Portland, which is located on the Jurassic Coast. You need to Google it to see some amazing photos. Best seen from the shoreline. Unfortunately we were not able to do it. We took a bus to the Portland Castle, built to protect from those pesky French and Spanish. Then the Portland museum and finally just walked around the shore and had lunch in a quaint pub.
Day 3: 21 Sept – At Sea
Day 4: 22 Sept – A Coruna, Spain
In no particular order we wondered about in a giant circle and visited the San Carlos garden, Torre de Hercules, and the Castle of San Anton. Had coffee and pastry at a small cafe near Torre de Hercules, it was definitely a locals only place. So good coffee and reasonable prices and No English.
Day 5: 23 Sept – Leixoes (Porto), Portugal
Ah, Porto, home of the finest Port in the world. Unfortunately the city was packed so badly all we did was sit in traffic as we drove around in the bus. Finally we got off and walked through the old town, had a unique sandwich and some port (of course) then back on bus to get back to ship before it left. A definite “we must go back” city. Off season!!!
Day 6: 24 Sept – Lisbon, Portugal
Wondered about the city. Took a Hop On Hop Off bus to see the main sites. At some point we just walked around and then back to the ship. Needs more than 6 hours to see so on next Porto visit a stop in Lisbon.
Day 7: 25 Sept – Huelva (Seville), Spain
The ship uses Huelva as a way to see Seville, but we had already seen it on past trip so stayed in Huelva and wondered around. Christopher Columbus set sail from here.
Day 8: 26 Sept – Gibraltar, British Territory
OK, so first impressions of Gibraltar, tourist trap!!!!! The main walk through the old town is nothing but tacky plastic shops. Then to see the Rock either an hour wait to take cable car up or splurge and get a van with driver/tour guide for twice the price. This works better, he tells you about the sites, and drops you off at each area. If you took cable car you would have to walk and its all up or down hill. Anyway saw the limestone caves of St. Michael’s, the Moorish Castle,and of course the Ape’s Den, home of the famous Barbary Apes. i.e. a bunch of monkeys everywhere you looked. A definite “no need to return place.”
Day 9: 27 Sept – Malaga, Spain
Day 10: 28 Sept – Cartagena, Spain
Day 11: 29 Sept – At Sea
Day 12: 30 Sept – Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
(Photos coming soon)