Bilbao from above

Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas France & Spain Mini Cruise – 20th October 2019

Few mini cruises from Southampton have the luxury of being able to reach Spain.

This five-night mini cruise on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas heads straight to Bilbao and squeezes in Le Havre on the way back.

About this cruise

The cruise departs Southampton on Sunday 20th October 2019 and sails across to Le Havre in France. This is the cruise gateway to Paris, although it is a two hour journey to get there. The long day in port means you can have plenty of time to enjoy a relaxed lunch in the country's capital if you so wish. Alternatively, Le Havre boasts restaurants and attractions that will keep you busy throughout the day.

On Monday you'll continue your way through the Bay of Biscay. It takes a while to transit the infamous waters, so you will have a sea day on Tuesday to do as you please onboard. Relax and unwind, or try out some of the many activities on this great ship.

On Wednesday morning you will arrive at Getxo, the closest cruise ship port to Bilbao. A short bus journey onwards and you will be in the city centre. Here you could do many things, but my favourite is the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Puppy, a gigantic floral artwork by artist Jeff Koons, sits proudly outside the building. Jump on Funicular de Artxanda to enjoy magnificent views over the city from its summit.

That night you'll start heading back northwards. Thankfully, the vast distance means you get an extra relaxing sea day on Thursday to do as you please. The October weather may not lend itself to sunbathing (you can always hope), but there's plenty of things to see and do inside the ship. Enjoy a drink or two, take part in the entertainment, pamper yourself in the spa, or shop 'till you drop on Royal Promenade.

On Friday morning you'll dock back in Southampton, drawing this adventure to France and Spain to a close.

See the latest prices°

The Route

The itinerary for this mini cruise is:

1Sunday 20th October 2019Southampton4.30pm
2Monday 21st October 2019Le Havre7am to 7pm
3Tuesday 22nd October 2019At seaAll day
4Wednesday 23rd October 2019Getxo for Bilbao7am to 5pm
5Thursday 24th October 2019At seaAll day
6Friday 25th October 2019Southampton5.30am

Why choose this taster cruise?

  • 5 nights on Royal Caribbean's family-friendly ship, Explorer of the Seas
  • Departs on Sunday 20th October 2019
  • Sail round-trip from Southampton
  • Spend a day in Spain and another in France, with two relaxing days at sea

See the latest prices°

So you know, the map above shows point-to-point lines which may cross land. Don't worry, your cruise ship will not sprout legs and run across dry land. Instead it's water all the way! Mapping is approximate, and the scheduled times are estimates. Your trip is subject to change as, occasionally, operators have to alter itineraries due to bad weather or unforeseen events.

The Price


On Friday 29th June 2018, I found a starting price from £424 per person based on two sharing the cheapest cabin (usually this is an inside cabin). 1 month prior it started from £429 per person, a saving of £5 per person.


What's that per night?

Want to compare this short break to a hotel stay? A starting price of 'from £424 per person' equates to 'from £84.80 per person per night'.

Here's a trend line showing the movement of the lead-in price for this cruise. I aim to check prices daily and this graph shows only those readings. I love geeky stuff like this and thought it might be handy when planning when to book your next cruise.

In my last 4 checks, the cheapest I have seen this cruise start at is from £424 per person, and the highest I've seen it go is from £569 per person.


Are there any extras?

This price normally includes some meals but excludes drinks, gratuities, optional shore excursions, and any applicable flights and transfers (if needed and if excluded). If you want a cabin or suite with a view, these come at a premium (if available).

Cruise prices are based on supply and demand so the more spare cabins there are closer to the sail date, the cheaper the prices often become. After all, no cruise line likes sailing with empty cabins and this cruise sails in 1 year.

I regularly check for price changes by hand, but as they can occur rapidly, please use the link below to get the latest prices.

Remember, prices were correct when I last checked, but may have since changed. Prices are usually based on two adults sharing the cheapest available cabin.

See the latest prices°

More choices

Not quite right? Here are some other suggestions that may suit better.

See full mini cruise calendar

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