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Magic of the Canaries

Exploring the mountains, volcanoes and ravines of the Canaries. Our cruises to the spectacular Canary Islands also take in the ports of La Coruña on the north west coast of Spain, together with the Portuguese ports of Funchal in Madeira and Lisbon on the mainland. These cruises really show what Cruise & Walk is all about. New islands & ports every day which offer scenic walking in an ideal climate. These are volcanic islands with a mixture of forested slopes, and high level trails.

  • Portugal

    Spain

  • 14 nights
  • Full Board
  • Sightseeing

  • Jan

    Dec

Moderate

What does this mean?

Tour codes: 82000

Book now from £1,799

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Our holiday walking grades

Moderate

Grade 4 Sightseeing

Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain. Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m. Some days of this holiday will be dedicated solely to sightseeing (or include an element of sightseeing). To enhance your experience, a knowledgeable local guide will accompany your small group for part (or the majority) of the holiday.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • La Palma’s Ruta de los Volcanes - a spectacular high-level trail
  • The stark volcanic landscape of Lanzarote
  • Gran Canaria known as a miniature continent
  • Tenerife's Mt Teide towering at 3715m
  • Less visited La Gomera with scenic ridge walk views

A cruise to southern waters is appealing at any time of year. When cold, dull and short days are commonplace in northern Europe, we can expect milder weather further south and with any luck bright sunshine.

Sailing from Southampton, we have some days at sea to relax, unwind, & enjoy the facilities and entertainment on board our ship, before we call at our first port. During our cruises, we will call at the below ports. Please note, ports of call may change between different departure dates. It is important to check the individual itinerary date for details of your cruise.

Tenerife - Dominated by 3000m Mount Teide, we walk in the Cañadas National Park through the beautiful desert-like terrain.

Gran Canaria - A mini continent due to its mixture of climates, our time on this island is spent descending through pine woods, barrancos and small hamlets.

Funchal, Madeira - Our walk takes us high up into the mountains on the levadas, water channels which allow the rains to irrigate the comparatively dry south.

Lisbon, Portugal -Enjoy a walking tour with a local guide, who takes us through the narrow cobbled streets of the Old Town

La Palma - An island separated in two by a dramatic ridge. We walk along a spectacular high level trail with views of the 120 volcanoes on the island.

Lanzarote - An island with a stark volcanic landscape where we walk along the cliffs in the south of the island between long sandy beaches.

La Gomera - A lesser known Canary Island and a paradise for walkers. Listen out for local farmers whistling to communicate between the valleys.

La Coruna, Spain - A walking tour of the Old Town takes in the Torre de Hércules lighthouse.

  • Breakfast and dinner throughout your cruise, plus lunch on sea days
  • Complimentary tea and coffee at select locations throughout the ship
  • All entertainment, sports & leisure facilities on board
  • A programme of walks and excursions from our ports of call including any necessary transportation costs
  • Tips to the ship’s restaurant staff
  • Picnic lunch on shore excursion days
  • Afternoon tea aboard ship on one of the cruising days
  • All drinks on board
  • Any local excursions not included in the Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays programme including entrances to museums, sites or Fred Olsen on shore activities
  • Access to Wi-Fi on board the ship. At the time of writing Fred Olsen offer various packages from £16 for 30 minutes to £84 for unlimited access on a 14-day cruise. Please ask for more details at the Reception Desk on the ship
  • Personal laundry and dry cleaning, hairdressing, health, beauty treatments and selected fitness classes
  • Holiday Insurance
  • Occasionally a local guide or your Ramblers Cruise & Walk leader might suggest entering a site or monument in a city for which there is an entrance fee to pay. Please allow approximately £30 for this
  • Discretionary gratuities to the crew, drivers, guides etc both on board and ashore

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Sail from Southampton

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Board Bolette in Southampton and set sail in the early evening. Check in for your cruise begins one hour prior to embarkation and embarkation at the cruise terminal usually begins three hours before departure and closes one hour prior to sailing. At Southampton you will be greeted by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ staff, including porters who will arrange for your luggage to be delivered to your cabin.  There will be a letter from your Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays’ leader in your cabin informing you of the place and time for you to meet the rest of the group that evening.

Days 2 to 5

Sailing to the Canary Islands

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We have four days at sea, cruising the Atlantic, to relax and enjoy the ship’s facilities. You may be sailing away from a traditional Christmas, but the crew make every effort for you to enjoy the season, with fabulous food and entertainment. You may want to find a quiet space to enjoy your book, visit the gym, go to the spa or just simply relax in one of the lounges with a coffee and a chat with your fellow travellers . Each evening a Daily Times newsletter will be placed in your cabin, detailing events and timings for the following day's activities.

Day 6

Walking on Gran Canaria

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 ½ hours

  • Distance

    8 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    200/900m

Our day on Gran Canaria includes a wonderful walk which shows many different facets of the island. Starting at Cruz de Tejeda at 1500m, we ascend a little, then descend through pine woods and over farmland, entering a verdant barranco, and pass through hamlets to reach the picturesque village of Teror. Here we look at the basilica and balconies, and take time for a drink in the square. This walk involves 900m of mostly gradual descent, but taken at an easy pace and is still within the grade.




Day 7

Walking on Tenerife

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    8 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    200m

Our day starts with a picturesque coach ride towards Mt Teide (3715m), driving along the high ridge in the centre of the island. We arrive at El Portillo at over 2000m and from here walk through beautiful desert-like terrain with unusual flora. Here we are in las Cañadas, the huge collapsed caldera at the centre of the island. There are fine views of the summit of Teide and over to the north coast. We reach the summit of La Fortaleza at 2159m before descending to meet our coach again at the Parador de las Cañadas.

Day 8

Walking on La Gomera

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    5.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    250/650m

La Gomera sees relatively few visitors compared to other, more well known, Canary Islands. We take transport up into the hills, and then climb to a ridge to walk through dramatic scenery with far reaching views – on a clear day Mount Teide on Tenerife is clearly visible. The walk then descends gradually down to San Sebastian.




Day 9

Walking on La Palma

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3½ hours

  • Distance

    6 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    350m

Today finds us exploring the volcanic landscape of island of  La Palma.  We drive to the southern end of the island at Fuencaliente where our walk takes us on the volcanoes of San Antonio and Teneguia, the latter of which is the newest volcano in the Canaries, having started to erupt in 1971.




Days 10

New Year's Eve on Madeira

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3 hours

  • Distance

    4.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    330m

We call at Funchal in Madeira today and drive up to the pass at Boca da Corrida at nearly 1200m. From here we walk to the pass at Boca do Cerro from where there are sensational views to the island’s other big peaks and down into the massive eroded caldera which makes up the centre of the island. We then return the same way. If we encounter cloud or rain, an alternative walk takes us to the far eastern end of the island. Here the stark and beautiful promontory of the Ponta de São Lourenço nearly always has good weather, though sometimes it’s a bit breezy. (5 miles, 180m A/D and 3 hours)

The end of year festivities will be memorable, seeing out 2021 in style as midnight strikes, you’ll be in prime position to watch one of the world’s greatest fireworks displays illuminating the night sky above Funchal from the decks of our ship.

Days 11 & 12

Cruising to Spain

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We leave the Canary Islands behind as we cruise north on Balmoral towards mainland Spain

Day 13

Exploring la Coruna, Spain

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Arriving into La Coruña in Galicia, north west Spain, our local guide helps us discover a province of rich Celtic heritage. Exploring the old city on foot, we’ll see medieval buildings and monuments, plus the splendid waterfront and the Torre de Hércules, said to be the only Roman lighthouse still in existence.

Days 14

Sailing to Southampton

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We have one last day at sea to relax and enjoy the facilities on Balmoral as we head north back towards Southampton.

Day 15

Arrive in Southampton

Meals

Breakfast

Balmoral arrives in Southampton early morning and after breakfast we disembark and make our way home.

From (GBP)£2,699

Departure dates for your selected tour

22nd Dec 2021 - 5th Jan 2022 (14 Nights)

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Sail from Southampton

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Board Bolette in Southampton and set sail in the early evening. Check in for your cruise begins one hour prior to embarkation and embarkation at the cruise terminal usually begins three hours before departure and closes one hour prior to sailing. At Southampton you will be greeted by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ staff, including porters who will arrange for your luggage to be delivered to your cabin.  There will be a letter from your Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays’ leader in your cabin informing you of the place and time for you to meet the rest of the group that evening.

Days 2 to 5

Sailing to the Canary Islands

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We have four days at sea, cruising the Atlantic, to relax and enjoy the ship’s facilities. You may want to find a quiet space to enjoy your book, visit the gym, go to the spa or just simply relax in one of the lounges with a coffee and a chat with your fellow travellers . Each evening a Daily Times newsletter will be placed in your cabin, detailing events and timings for the following day's activities.

Day 6

Walking on Gran Canaria

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 ½ hours

  • Distance

    8 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    200/900m

Our day on Gran Canaria includes a wonderful walk which shows many different facets of the island. Starting at Cruz de Tejeda at 1500m, we ascend a little, then descend through pine woods and over farmland, entering a verdant barranco, and pass through hamlets to reach the picturesque village of Teror. Here we look at the basilica and balconies, and take time for a drink in the square. This walk involves 900m of mostly gradual descent, but taken at an easy pace and is still within the grade.




Day 7

Walking on La Palma

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3½ hours

  • Distance

    6 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    350m

Today finds us exploring the volcanic landscape of island of  La Palma.  We drive to the southern end of the island at Fuencaliente where our walk takes us on the volcanoes of San Antonio and Teneguia, the latter of which is the newest volcano in the Canaries, having started to erupt in 1971.




Day 8

Walking on Tenerife

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    8 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    200m

Our day starts with a picturesque coach ride towards Mt Teide (3715m), driving along the high ridge in the centre of the island. We arrive at El Portillo at over 2000m and from here walk through beautiful desert-like terrain with unusual flora. Here we are in las Cañadas, the huge collapsed caldera at the centre of the island. There are fine views of the summit of Teide and over to the north coast. We reach the summit of La Fortaleza at 2159m before descending to meet our coach again at the Parador de las Cañadas.

Day 9

Walking on La Gomera

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    5.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    250/650m

La Gomera sees relatively few visitors compared to other, more well known, Canary Islands. We take transport up into the hills, and then climb to a ridge to walk through dramatic scenery with far reaching views – on a clear day Mount Teide on Tenerife is clearly visible. The walk then descends gradually down to San Sebastian.




Days 10

Walking on Madeira

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3 hours

  • Distance

    4.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    330m

We call at Funchal in Madeira today and drive up to the pass at Boca da Corrida at nearly 1200m. From here we walk to the pass at Boca do Cerro from where there are sensational views to the island’s other big peaks and down into the massive eroded caldera which makes up the centre of the island. We then return the same way. If we encounter cloud or rain, an alternative walk takes us to the far eastern end of the island. Here the stark and beautiful promontory of the Ponta de São Lourenço nearly always has good weather, though sometimes it’s a bit breezy. (5 miles, 180m A/D and 3 hours)

Days 11

Cruising to Portugal

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We leave the Canary Islands behind as we cruise north on Bolette towards mainland Portugal

Day 12

Exploring Lisbon, Portugal

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We enjoy a full day in the Portuguese capital with our local guide who shows us what makes Lisbon one of Europe’s most attractive and interesting capitals, with its steep cobbled streets, a waterside setting and imposing 18th century buildings.be sure to look out for Portugal's delicious deserts, the Pastel de Nata!

Days 13 & 14

Sailing to Southampton

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We have two days at sea to relax and enjoy the facilities on Bolette as we head north back towards Southampton.

Day 15

Arrive in Southampton

Meals

Breakfast

Bolette arrives in Southampton early morning and after breakfast we disembark and make our way home.

From (GBP)£1,799

Departure dates for your selected tour

6th Dec 2021 - 20th Dec 2021 (14 Nights)

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Sail from Southampton

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Board Bolette in Southampton and set sail in the early evening. Check in for your cruise begins one hour prior to embarkation and embarkation at the cruise terminal usually begins three hours before departure and closes one hour prior to sailing. At Southampton you will be greeted by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ staff, including porters who will arrange for your luggage to be delivered to your cabin.  There will be a letter from your Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays’ leader in your cabin informing you of the place and time for you to meet the rest of the group that evening.

Days 2 & 3

Sailing to Lisbon, Portugal

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We sail southwards, past France and the northern tip of Spain, as we head for the Atlantic port of Lisbon in Portugal. You may want to find a quiet space to enjoy your book, visit the gym, go to the spa or just simply relax in one of the lounges with a coffee and a chat with your fellow travellers . Each evening a Daily Times newsletter will be placed in your cabin, detailing events and timings for the following day's activities.

Day 4

Exploring Lisbon, Portugal

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We enjoy a full day in the Portuguese capital with our local guide who shows us what makes Lisbon one of Europe’s most attractive and interesting capitals, with its steep cobbled streets, a waterside setting and imposing 18th century buildings.be sure to look out for Portugal's delicious deserts, the Pastel de Nata!

Day 5

Sailing to Funchal, Madeira

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Leaving Lisbon, we sail across the Atlantic to the island of Madeira.

Day 6

Walking on Madeira

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3 hours

  • Distance

    4.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    330m

We call at Funchal in Madeira today and drive up to the pass at Boca da Corrida at nearly 1200m. From here we walk to the pass at Boca do Cerro from where there are sensational views to the island’s other big peaks and down into the massive eroded caldera which makes up the centre of the island. We then return the same way. If we encounter cloud or rain, an alternative walk takes us to the far eastern end of the island. Here the stark and beautiful promontory of the Ponta de São Lourenço nearly always has good weather, though sometimes it’s a bit breezy. (5 miles, 180m A/D and 3 hours)

Day 7

Free time in Santa Cruz, Tenerife

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

The Balmoral arrives into Santa Cruz, Tenerife in the early afternoon, after lunch on board. The afternoon is at leisure for you to explore on your own, perhaps take a local excursion or enjoy the cafes, restaurants and perhaps the beach. We overnight in port.

Day 8

Walking on Tenerife

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    8 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    200m

Our day starts with a picturesque coach ride towards Mt Teide (3715m), driving along the high ridge in the centre of the island. We arrive at El Portillo at over 2000m and from here walk through beautiful desert-like terrain with unusual flora. Here we are in las Cañadas, the huge collapsed caldera at the centre of the island. There are fine views of the summit of Teide and over to the north coast. We reach the summit of La Fortaleza at 2159m before descending to meet our coach again at the Parador de las Cañadas.

Day 9

Walking on Gran Canaria

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 ½ hours

  • Distance

    8 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    200/900m

Our day on Gran Canaria includes a wonderful walk which shows many different facets of the island. Starting at Cruz de Tejeda at 1500m, we ascend a little, then descend through pine woods and over farmland, entering a verdant barranco, and pass through hamlets to reach the picturesque village of Teror. Here we look at the basilica and balconies, and take time for a drink in the square. This walk involves 900m of mostly gradual descent, but taken at an easy pace and is still within the grade.




Day 10

Walking on Lanzarote

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3.5 hours

  • Distance

    6 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    150/400m

Arriving in Lanzarote, you are struck by the parched landscape. Travelling south, however, into the area of the most recent volcanic activity, you realise that the countryside in the north is comparatively quite lush. We start our walk in Femes, on the border between the lunar landscapes of the south and the more fertile hillsides of the centre and north. We ascend into the mountains to a rocky and sometimes rough ridge, and then drop to a quiet and tranquil valley followed by a secluded lava beach which is an ideal location for a swim. We then follow the coast path north with fine views. The path then snakes through to the unspoilt resort of Playa Quemada where a few nice bars await us.




Days 11 & 12

Cruising to Spain

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We leave the Canary Islands behind as we cruise north on Balmoral towards mainland Spain

Day 13

Exploring la Coruna, Spain

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Arriving into La Coruña in Galicia, north west Spain, our local guide helps us discover a province of rich Celtic heritage. Exploring the old city on foot, we’ll see medieval buildings and monuments, plus the splendid waterfront and the Torre de Hércules, said to be the only Roman lighthouse still in existence.

Days 14

Sailing to Southampton

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We have one last day at sea to relax and enjoy the facilities on Balmoral as we head north back towards Southampton.

Day 15

Arrive in Southampton

Meals

Breakfast

Balmoral arrives in Southampton early morning and after breakfast we disembark and make our way home.

From (GBP)£2,119

Departure dates for your selected tour

5th Jan 2022 - 19th Jan 2022 (14 Nights)

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

Balmoral (Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines)

Our cruise ship is the Balmoral, which can accommodate a maximum of 1325 passengers with 520 crew. The ship offers an intimate, homely atmosphere and the combination of Balmoral's comfortable cabins, excellent cuisine, friendly attentive crew and the onboard facilities are second to none.  These include two swimming pools, a fitness centre including a sauna, steam room and beauty salon, two sun decks, Jacuzzis, several lounges and bars, a card room, small casino, library, internet room and several restaurants. The ship has a medical centre, boutique shops, where you can buy essentials such as sun cream or toiletries, and there is also a self service laundrette and ironing room on board. The main restaurant is The Ballindalloch (named after the Speyside village and castle), while the two other formal restaurants - Avon and Spey - are also in keeping with the Scottish theme and are named after two of Scotland's most beautiful salmon rivers. There's a comfy pub with occasional live music or comedy, cabaret and shows in the Neptune Lounge, or drift away with a cool drink and spectacular seascapes in the Observatory Lounge

After dinner there are a variety of shows, reviews and evenings of cabaret for your entertainment. Or maybe even try your hand at the Casino? Our accommodation is twin and single cabins with shower and toilet. All cabins are equipped with individually controlled air-conditioning, television, hairdryers, tea and coffee making facilities and a safety deposit box. Balmoral has a non-smoking policy on board and smoking is not permitted in any cabin. Allocated cabins will be an inside cabin (normally on the Main or Atlantic Deck) unless you have paid a supplement to upgrade. Those booking single cabins may not necessarily be allocated a twin cabin for sole use. Your cabin steward will keep your cabin in immaculate condition throughout your stay, replacing any linen or towels as or when required. Separate towels are provided for poolside use. Balmoral operates a satellite telephone system, with telephones in each cabin, and personal mobile phones enabled for international roaming should work on board.

The voltage on board the Balmoral is supplied at 220 volts (requiring a continental style 2-pin plug). If you are in any doubt as to the appropriate voltage to use your electrical appliances on board, please check with the ship’s Reception Desk. Adapters are usually available for hire on board, or may be bought at the ship’s shop.

Deck plans for the Balmoral can be viewed here


Bolette (Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines)

Our flagship Bolette is everything that Fred.Olsen regular guests have come to expect from their ships. Proudly bearing the name of Fred. Olsen Jr.’s great-great-grandmother, as many other Olsen vessels have over the years, she exudes classic, elegant style in her exterior and interior design, features spacious and comfortable public areas, and has all the facilities and special touches you need for a relaxing and enjoyable holiday.

While she’s one of the largest ships, by overall size, in our fleet, Bolette has capacity for less than 1,400 guests. So, in keeping with our smaller-ship ethos, you’ll find that you’re not overcrowded on board, and have plenty of space in which to indulge yourself in the stylish dining venues, enjoy a glass of your favourite tipple and fantastic entertainment at the several bars, lounges and theatres, and while away the hours by the all-season pool. And of course, with our friendly staff providing our typical level of personal, attentive service, there’s an intimate feel to the on board experience too. You can find a deck plan of the ship here

Please note: At this present time, Fred.Olsen have not released photos of the cabins on the Bolette, but as soon as they we will upload them to this page

On Board

As a family-owned business, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines really pay attention to the smallest detail ensuring a wonderful voyage every time.

Passengers are referred to as guests, the ships call at smaller ports so they can often get closer and avoid overcrowding both onboard and ashore. At capacity, their ships will only ever sail with between 900 and 1,400 guests, depending on the vessel.

The ships becomes your floating hotels, with breakfasts, lunches and dinners catered for. Each ship is different with their own decorative flair, but with the same Fred Olsen level of service throughout.

Onboard you will not find the climbing walls, waterslides and games arcades found on some of the bigger vessels. Instead Fred Olsen focuses on more traditional entertainment in the form of evening shows, deck quoits, quiet bars, delightful restaurants, a library and in some cases, a cards room. You will also find a gym/fitness centre, swimming pool(s), and hairdresser. The ships offer plenty of space to just sit, relax, read a book and watch the coastlines and open waters drift by.

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This Grade 4 moderate holiday includes full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain and is likely to include an element of sightseeing as well. Half day walking will probably include about 3 hours of walking, with full days having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to about 600m. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.

Walks & Excursions

The described walks assume that the weather will be good and that the ship will keep to the planned schedule. We may have to change the walks if the ship’s schedule changes or there is poor weather.

Local Transport Costs

All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.

Optional Excursions

A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Fred Olsen Paying On Board

The currency on board ship is sterling. A credit account system is operated onboard allowing bar drinks, wine in restaurants, laundry charges, purchases from the shop and any other incidental expenses to be automatically charged to your account. You will be required to register a debit or credit card at check-in against which to charge your onboard account. At the time of writing there is no charge for payment by credit or debit card. Onboard accounts can be settled in cash, however, a debit or credit card must still be registered at check-in to secure the on-board account balance.

The following credit cards are accepted: Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa. Fred. Olsen also accepts Visa debit cards but is unable to accept American Express, Solo, and Electron, travel agent debit cards or traveller’s cheque cards.

The ship operates a Bureau de Change onboard, where currency can be purchased or sold subject to local currency restrictions. All major currencies are stocked based on the cruise destinations with no commission charge and competitive rates.

Entrance Fees

Whilst sightseeing plays a part in our itinerary, no entrances to museums or monuments are planned, and therefore no entrance fees are included in the price of the holiday.

Currency in Spain

The currency in Spain is the euro.

Currency in Portugal

The currency in Portugal is the euro. You may wish to take some euro cash with you until you reach an ATM. Credit cards may not be accepted in smaller towns and rural areas.

Tipping

Fred. Olsen operates a system whereby the recommended level of gratuities will be automatically added to guests’ onboard accounts at the end of the cruise. Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays include the tips for the dining room waiters but £2.50 per guest per day will be added to all onboard accounts for cabin stewards. Anyone wishing to vary the amount given can do so via reception and guests are free to remove the charge from their onboard account and tip the relevant staff in the traditional ‘envelope & cash’ method if they prefer.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.

Local Guides

To enhance your experience, as well as your tour leader, each holiday will be accompanied in some centres by a well qualified and knowledgeable English-speaking local guide.

Your Travel Details

Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents

Your luggage allowance is 200lbs or 90kg. For safety reasons, each piece of luggage should weigh less than 44lbs or 20kg.

Approximately 10 days prior to departure, we will send you your cruise tickets and luggage labels. 

Please be advised that there are a number of items that are prohibited to be taken on board. To avoid any items being confiscated at check-in, please familiarise yourself with our prohibited items policy at www.fredolsencruises.com and search for ‘prohibited items’.

Personal Details Check

To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Passports and Visas

General Passport Advice

It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.

Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.

General travel and destination advice for UK nationals is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at www.fco.gov.uk/travel and at www.gov.uk/travelaware.

Fred Olsen Holiday and Passport Info

Please ensure your passport has at least 6 months’ validity from the date you return from the cruise and have enough spare pages to accept immigration stamps/visas. Ramblers Walking Holidays will not be held responsible for any guest refused entry to a country/countries for non-compliance with the above, and passage will be refused to any guest at point of embarkation with insufficient passport validity. We would suggest a minimum of four clear pages excluding pages required for any visas you are required to apply for in advance of sailing. It is also a requirement of all immigration authorities that your passport is not damaged in any way or has no missing pages - we strongly recommend you check the condition of your passport prior to travel.

Meals

So, what’s on the menu? One certainty is that no one on board the ship will ever go hungry. All meals are included, and you start the day with breakfast, a buffet arrangement where you can choose from fresh fruits, cereals, yoghurts, a full English breakfast, cheeses, cold cuts, breads, pastries, fresh juices and unlimited tea or coffee.

We’ll take our lunches on board on cruising days and the choice is yours: sample the ample buffet in the restaurant, see what’s on offer in the informal café or choose an alfresco poolside affair. When we’re out for the day we’ll be provided with a packed lunch.

Dinner is a sumptuous five course feast. The choices are many, and the food is excellent. The menus are varied and mouth-watering, freshly cooked by award-winning chefs. Special diets such as fat-free, vegetarian and gluten-free meals can be catered for. Dinner is taken in a stylish restaurant with smiling courteous waiting staff creating a wonderful atmosphere for your evening meal. We are booked for dinner at 6.15pm to allow you plenty of time to also enjoy the evening entertainment if you wish. Wine can be pre-ordered from the Maître’d, over the interactive intranet in your cabin, or at the table.

If this is not enough, there is also morning coffee, afternoon tea and extensive late-night suppers to indulge in! We’ll also have an exclusive drinks party for our group one evening in addition to the Captain’s welcome and farewell parties and a traditional afternoon tea with waiter service on one of our sea days.

Complimentary tea and coffee can be found aboard the ship throughout the day, usually in the informal café. Other drinks must be purchased but the prices are very reasonable. No alcoholic drinks purchased ashore may be taken aboard the ship for consumption during the cruise.

If you have any special dietary requirements such as diabetic, gluten/wheat-free, dairy-free/soya, vegetarian, vegan, or low fat please advise us at the time of booking or no later than 14 weeks prior to departure.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks. 

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Cruising Attire

Daywear

Daytime wear is casual with comfortable shoes for walking around deck. A lightweight jacket or coat is recommended for the early evening when the sun sets. You may also like to take a towel and swimwear as the Fred Olsen ships have small swimming pools and Jacuzzis. Towels are provided at the poolside should you forget your own. During the day casual wear is allowed in the restaurant but not swimwear.

Evening attire

During your cruise, there will be formal and smart casual evenings. On formal evenings, gentlemen are encouraged to wear ‘black tie’, although a dark suit and tie will suffice, with ladies elegantly dressed in cocktail or evening dress. On smart casual evenings, men can wear open-necked shirts, chinos and dark coloured jeans, and women dress or trousers and a top.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
  • Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
  • Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
  • Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
  • A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Electricity on Board

The voltage on board is supplied at 220 volts (requiring a continental style 2-pin plug).

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

The Map Shop

If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:

The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
WR8 0HJ
England

Tel: 01684 593 146
Website: www.themapshop.co.uk
E-mail: [email protected]

If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.

Staying Healthy Onboard

Although most cruises experience calm seas, there is always the possibility of heavy weather. It is possible in these circumstances that some clients may be susceptible to sea-sickness. You may wish to consider packing some travel motion sickness medication which can greatly reduce any symptoms. Please liaise with your local pharmacist or doctor for advice regarding particular medication.

Whilst none of the walks is difficult you need to be comfortable walking over uneven and occasionally steep ground to enjoy them to the full.

Network and Centre website at www.travelhealthpro.org.uk, the NHS Fit for Travel website at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk and the Foreign Office Travel Advice website at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or a local travel health clinic.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

We cannot stress enough the importance of good quality, comprehensive cruise insurance. Insurance is a mandatory requirement for all customers travelling on board. 

We require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance. Your Ramblers Cruise & Walk leader will ask for this information locally and you will not be able to join our walking and activity programme without this information.

Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday. It is vital that you have disclosed all pre-existing medical conditions to your insurer. 

Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.

Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.

EHIC Cards

From January 1st, 2021 UK travellers can continue to use their European Heath Insurance Card (EHIC) – which can last up to five years, until its expiry date, to gain access to medical assistance during your holiday. However, you will no longer be covered in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Travellers without a valid EHIC can apply for a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which will replaces the EHIC once it has been phased out. Please note however that the EHIC/GHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.

For more information, please visit www.nhs.uk/ehic

Safety Onboard

Naturally, the safety and comfort of our guests and crew is always our highest priority. We would therefore like to reassure you that when in certain ‘hot spots’ around the world, additional and robust security measures are put in place. Whereas you will appreciate that we cannot divulge these plans we would like to pre-advise that additional safety drills will take place prior to reaching these waters and it may be necessary to close the portholes of lower deck cabins whilst in areas considered to be at a higher threat level. We thank you in advance for your co-operation and understanding.

Cultural Awareness

Fred Olsen Plastic Policy

The use of single-use plastics on board Fred Olsen ships has been stopped wherever possible, including the banning of plastic straws, cocktail sticks, stirrers, cutlery and take away coffee cups. In addition, their officers and crew always consider how they can reduce the use of plastic further. All waste is collected, sorted and discharged by the ship’s staff following strict environmental regulatory requirements. This waste is subsequently landed ashore to approved recycling and receiving operators. The only waste that is discharged at sea is commuted food waste and wastewater.

Responsible Travel

We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements. 

Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.  

As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.

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Useful Information

Find out more

Portugal

  • Capital

    Lisbon

  • Currency

    Euro

  • Language

    Portuguese

  • Time Difference

    UTC, UTC +01:00

  • Flight duration

    3hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    11°C

    Avg. Rain: 109mm

  • February

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 93mm

  • March

    13°C

    Avg. Rain: 75mm

  • April

    14°C

    Avg. Rain: 66mm

  • May

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 52mm

  • June

    19°C

    Avg. Rain: 26mm

  • July

    21°C

    Avg. Rain: 12mm

  • August

    22°C

    Avg. Rain: 16mm

  • September

    20°C

    Avg. Rain: 44mm

  • October

    17°C

    Avg. Rain: 91mm

  • November

    14°C

    Avg. Rain: 111mm

  • December

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 120mm

Spain

  • Capital

    Madrid

  • Currency

    Euro

  • Language

    Spanish

  • Time Difference

    UTC +02:00, UTC +01:00

  • Flight duration

    2.5hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    9°C

    Avg. Rain: 59mm

  • February

    10°C

    Avg. Rain: 51mm

  • March

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 47mm

  • April

    14°C

    Avg. Rain: 49mm

  • May

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 42mm

  • June

    20°C

    Avg. Rain: 27mm

  • July

    23°C

    Avg. Rain: 14mm

  • August

    23°C

    Avg. Rain: 18mm

  • September

    21°C

    Avg. Rain: 37mm

  • October

    17°C

    Avg. Rain: 61mm

  • November

    13°C

    Avg. Rain: 69mm

  • December

    10°C

    Avg. Rain: 69mm

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