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

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

The cruise departs Southampton on Sunday 22 October and sails across the Bay of Biscay. It takes a while to transit the infamous waters, so you will have a sea day to do as you please onboard. Relax and unwind, or try out some of the many activities on this great ship.

The following morning you will arrive at Getxo, the nearest 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.

It is time to head back northwards, and the vast distances means another relaxing sea day ensues. Before returning to Southampton, there is just enough time to cram a last-minute stop at 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.

The Route

The map above shows point-to-point lines which may cross land. Do not worry, your cruise ship will stay on water all the way! Mapping is approximate and the markers are based on city locations and not necessarily the ports. The itinerary for this mini cruise is:

DayDatePortWhen
1Sunday 22nd October 2017Southampton4.30pm
2Monday 23rd October 2017At seaAll day
3Tuesday 24th October 2017Getxo for Bilbao7am to 5pm
4Wednesday 25th October 2017At seaAll day
5Thursday 26th October 2017Le Havre7am to 9pm
6Friday 27th October 2017Southampton5.30am

Times are estimates, and itineraries are subject to change. Occasionally, cruise lines alter itineraries based on the weather or prevailing events at the time of the cruise.

The Price

When I last checked, prices for this cruise started from £399 per person, based on two sharing an inside cabin. This price excludes gratuities, shore excursions, and any applicable flights and transfers (if needed). As prices change far too quickly for me to keep up-to-date by hand, please use the link below to get the latest prices.

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Last updated on 17th May 2017 by David Fiske

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