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Highlights
  • Learn about the wondrous architectural masterpieces of Spain, including Gaudi’s unfinished La Sagrada Familia and the Alhambra, a Moorish citadel overlooking the city of Grenada.
  • Visit the colossal Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca's landmark building.
  • On the island of Madeira, discover Europe's highest sea cliff and the vineyards of Funchal.

From the fantastical Gaudi creation La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona to the narrow cobbled streets of the old fishing port of Puerto de la Cruz on the Canary Islands, join us as we paint a colorful portrait of life in Spain. Begin with three nights in the incomparable cultural capital of Barcelona, then voyage through the Strait of Gibraltar, stopping in Casablanca before reaching the volcanic Spanish archipelago of the Canaries. Along the way, learn about the touchstones of Spanish culture and the influence of art, the Moors, and food and wine on Spain’s identity today.

Travelers Also Viewed All similar trips
Countries
Cities & Attractions
Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport
Ship Name
  • Norwegian Spirit

29
Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings
90% Recommend

4.6 out of 5
Excellent 23 Great 3 Average 1 Disappointing 1 Terrible 1
Value
4.6 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.6 Lodging
4.4 Transportation
4.5 Meals
4.4
Sketches of Spain, Morocco and the Canary Islands

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Road Scholar .

S

Does Not Recommend

They take advantage of the elderly May 2018

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
I had high hopes for Road scholar. However, when I was diagnosed with cancer I got no sympathy from Road Scholar. The agents and management kept saying you should have purchased insurance. But the insurance was extremely expensive and would not have covered the cancellation fee either. I ended up attending anyways because I didn't want to lose my money. I felt sick the entire time and could barely complete the activities. The group leader was wonderful. But the program was very strict and I felt that they over charged for everything. They demonstrated shocking behavior for a non profit that is supposed to be all about education and supporting the elderly. Yet they constantly are sending catalogs and pushing expensive programs. I highly recommend taking your money elsewhere. They do not respect their customers and only care about money. They took advantage of a cancer patient and according to the others on my trip this is common.
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

S

Does Not Recommend

A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT August 2017

3.0
  • Value 3.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 3.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 2.0
  • Meals 3.0
I would have enjoyed this trip much more if I felt I was being treated as an adult, the educated, enthusiastic traveler that I am.
Unfortunately, I took a fall and broke my arm near the end of the trip. I was shocked at the very insolent, uncaring attitude of Road Scholar. I received two calls from the insurance program my husband was encouraged to pay for for the trip (we usually use Travel Guard who is great). Both calls were very negative. Neither expressed concern about my condition and both apparently had called to state that ROAD SCHOLAR
WOULD NOT PAY FOR ANYTHING! WOW! A WAKEUP CALL FROM HELL. I WILL BE SHOUTING THIS FROM THE ROOFTOPS SO NO ONE ELSE
HAS THIS EXPERIENCE. DO NOT PURCHASE ROAD SCHOLAR INSURANCE -- IT IS A BOONDOGGLE!
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

LG

Does Not Recommend

Don't go! March 2017

2.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
  • Value 2.0
  • Transportation 2.0
I took a four day bridge class at Jekyll Island Club Hotel. The class was mediocre. And I came home with over 50 BED BUG BITES! Please beware.

Operator Road Scholar

TCtssvawmc

Recommends

Excellent coverage of major cities and Guizhou Province January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Road Scholar (also known as Elderhostel) offers hundreds of tours worldwide, using local tour companies, sometimes universities. I have taken RS tours to Africa, China, and France and look forward to more. This was my first "tour" of China, but my 20th visit, with the rest on business. Our guide, Mei Mei, was one of the finest I've seen on tours. We started with Beijing and continued to Xian and then to Guizhou Province for a week in this fascinating area, which was new to me. We were able to meet the people in the villages, thanks to our guide, and enjoyed the chance to see and photograph such a variety of places in China. Hotels were excellent and appropriate to this type of tour (usually centrally located and very fine). Meals were family style and always good. Road Scholar makes its tours educational and doesn't push shopping as so many commercial ones do. Touring in China is very safe. You do have a lot of walking and RS tells you this in the tour, but it seems that a great deal of the walking is in those huge airports! I recommend Road Scholar and always turn to their catalogs to choose my next trip.
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Operator Road Scholar

WE

Recommends

A peaceful and green country with lots of history revealed by motor coach travel. January 2017

4.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 3.0
  • Transportation 3.0
  • Meals 3.0
The trip was a good overview of the country. The Road Scholar guide was very knowledgeable. The motorcoach was very comfortable. The accommodations and meals were fine. Couldn't ask for a better overview of the place.
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Operator Road Scholar

Itinerary

Day 1: In Transit to Program

In Flight

Day 2: Arrive to Barcelona, Spain

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Abba Balmoral Barcelona

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 2:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Upon arrival at the hotel, check in and take the afternoon to unpack and relax. Orientation: 6:00 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Each evening there will be a group dining reservation in the main dining room. However, participants are free to explore other dining options aboard the ship on any evening. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful, rewarding, and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. In addition to lectures and field trips exclusively for our Road Scholar group, you are invited to take advantage of activities and events aboard ship that are separate from the Road Scholar program.

Dinner: We’ll stretch our legs on a short walk to a restaurant near the hotel where we’ll enjoy a plated welcome dinner of Spanish cuisine with our fellow participants. 1 glass of wine and water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: After returning to the hotel, the remainder of the evening will be at leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the full day ahead.

Day 3: Barcelona – Spain, Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia & La Pedrera

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Abba Balmoral Barcelona

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach, standing and walking through museums and historic sites. Please note that the Sagrada Familia is subject to very strict entry limits and is therefore not always available. If entry is not available, we will visit another important monument or museum instead.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After boarding a motorcoach, we’ll leave the hotel and go on a panoramic drive of Barcelona to explore the various neighborhoods with a local expert. Our morning activities will conclude with an expert-led visit of La Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudi's unfinished architectural masterpiece. Construction on this unique Roman Catholic basilica began in 1882 and still continues today with hopes that the architectural work will be completed by 2026.

Lunch: At a local restaurant with a complimentary glass of wine and water included.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll visit one of Gaudi's most famous residential buildings, La Pedrera. Also known as Casa Mila, it was built between 1906 and 1912 and was named an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 for its unique cultural value as a representation of Gaudi’s work that has been significant to the facilitation of creativity and knowledge in the community through its galleries and educational involvement. Following this visit, we’ll return to the hotel. The remainder of the afternoon will be free.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in Barcelona. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 4: Barcelona, Las Ramblas

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Abba Balmoral Barcelona

Activity note: Walking about 2 miles throughout the day; busy city streets. Use of public Metro; our Group Leader will review the boarding process.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Walking from the hotel with a local expert, we’ll go on a field trip to explore the Boqueria market. While here, we’ll try some local specialties and mingle with local Barcelonians as they do their market shopping.

Lunch: On your own to sample the local fare.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. We’ll reconvene at the hotel at a predetermined time.

Dinner: At a local restaurant a short walk from the hotel, we’ll enjoy a plated dinner, plus a glass of wine, coffee, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out, transfer, and embarkation tomorrow.

Day 5: Gothic Barcelona, Picasso Museum, Embark Norwegian Spirit

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Norwegian Spirit

Activity note: Picasso Museum is subject to strict entry limits and is therefore not always available. If entry is unavailable, we will have an alternative activity. Please pack your passport and any medications in your hand luggage today. There may be extra walking and/or standing in lines as the group prepares to board the ship.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll head to the Picasso Museum with a local expert to see some of the artist's great works. Next, we’ll travel to the El Born area of the city, the historic barrio that includes the gothic Santa Maria del Mar basilica, and many local artisan workshops and galleries. While here, we’ll enjoy a walking field trip (approx. 1 mile) with a local expert and learn about this vibrant neighborhood. Take some time for independent exploration in the Gothic Quarter of the city before we regroup for transfer to the ship and proceed with embarkation procedures.

Lunch: Aboard the ship after embarkation.

Afternoon: Take some time to settle in, unpack and explore the ship. The ship is scheduled to depart Barcelona at 6:00 p.m.

Dinner: Aboard the ship, we’ll dine on plated meals with our fellow participants at tables reserved for Road Scholar. Coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 6: At Sea, Onboard Lectures

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Norwegian Spirit

Activity note: Full day aboard ship.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We’ll gather for an onboard lecture given by our Study Leader on pertinent topics.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Regrouping, we’ll join our Study Leader for another onboard lecture relating to the program theme. Later, we’ll enjoy a Road Scholar exclusive cocktail party with our fellow participants!

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 7: Casablanca – Morocco, Hassan II Mosque

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Norwegian Spirit

Activity note: Periods of standing possible when getting on/off the ship.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Casablanca, the mythical city from the 1942 film "Casablanca," is still a jewel of colonial architecture. Details denoting its colonial origins are still in evidence everywhere in the city center, from the wrought ironwork to the arabesque twirls adorning the buildings. After getting off the ship, we'll meet our local expert and board our motorcoach for the day. We will first visit the colossal Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca's landmark building, which is the largest mosque Morocco capable of housing up to 25,000 worshippers at a time. Beneath its 210 meter high minaret, one of the tallest religious structures in the world, the automated roof of the mosque can also be opened in order to offer contemplation of the sky.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll enjoy meals featuring Moroccan cuisine.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll enjoy some time walking as a group down the promenade with its various shops and pools amidst oceanfront scenery. We will continue with a walking exploration seeing Hispano-Moorish architecture.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 8: At Sea, Onboard Lecture

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Norwegian Spirit

Activity note: Full day aboard ship. Days at sea will be a mix of Road Scholar lectures along with a chance to enjoy the ship's many activities which will be described in a daily newsletter onboard.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Free time to enjoy the ship's activities.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We’ll gather with our Study Leader for an onboard lecture on pertinent topics.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 9: Las Palmas & Vegueta de Gran Canaria, Columbus House Museum, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Norwegian Spirit

Activity note: Walking up and down stairs, uneven surfaces. Getting on/off a motorcoach.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Led by a local expert, we’ll enjoy a field trip via motorcoach to the historic Vegueta area of the city, with narrow 15th Century cobblestone streets, traditional Canarian wooden balconies, and the imposing Santa Ana Cathedral. Our morning activities will conclude at the Columbus House-Museum, which is dedicated to the study, research and dissemination of the history of the Canary Islands and their relationship with the Americas.

Lunch: Aboard ship, or on your own in the city.

Afternoon: Free time to see and do what interests you most in Las Palmas or relax aboard the ship. All aboard is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 10: Santa Cruz, La Laguna, La Orotava Wine Valley, Free Time

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Norwegian Spirit

Activity note: Walking uneven surfaces, including cobblestone streets and in historic homes. Getting on/off a motorcoach.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Once off the ship, we’ll board a motorcoach and drive to the UNESCO listed town of La Laguna, widely regarded as one of the loveliest towns on the island where the streets and buildings are monuments to its historic past, for a field trip led by our local expert. Later, we’ll travel through the lush wine-growing valley of La Orotava where we will visit the Wine Museum and enjoy a tasting.

Lunch: At the winery, we’ll enjoy a tasty meal of tapas.

Afternoon: Free time to explore the Port of Santa Cruz on your own. We’ll rendezvous at a predetermined time and place before returning to the ship.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 11: Funchal – Madeira, Wines of Madeira

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Norwegian Spirit

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We’ll get off the ship and board a motorcoach that will take us past the vineyards and wine cellars of Barbeito. Afterwards, we’ll continue to Cabo Girao, Europe's highest sea cliff. En route back to Funchal, we’ll make a stop in Camara de Lobos, a fishing village well-known as the place Sir Winston Churchill used as the scenery for painting during his visits to the island. Upon our return to Funchal, we’ll go to Fortress of Sao Tiago in the old quarters of the city. Located in the charming Funchal historical center, in the heart of the astonishing Madeira Island, the São Tiago Fort is a 17th century defensive construction in an irregular star shape, that today houses the town’s Contemporary Art Museum. The Fort was built back in 1614, in order to protect the town and the Island from the pirate attacks that were becoming more frequent, as the Island's economy was developing and originating prosperity. Prior to lunch, we’ll enjoy a wine tasting at the fort with a local sommelier.

Lunch: At the Fort of Sao Tiago’s restaurant. During lunch, we’ll enjoy a talk given by a former journalist and politician (ex-member of regional parliament) focused on daily life in Madeira, history, politics, culture and local stories.

Afternoon: We’ll then head by motorcoach to the Park of Santa Catarina for a visit. While here, we’ll see the statue of Christopher Columbus and hear the story surrounding him before he departed for the Americas. Next, we’ll stop at the Casa do Turista, a showplace for local artifacts and the Madeira hand embroidery of the good old days. We’ll then return to the ship.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 12: At Sea, Onboard Lectures

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Norwegian Spirit

Activity note: Full day aboard ship.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We’ll gather for an onboard lecture given by our Study Leader on pertinent topics.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Regrouping, we’ll join our Study Leader for another onboard lecture relating to the program theme.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 13: Malaga & Granada – Spain, The Alhambra, Granada (Malaga)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Norwegian Spirit

Activity note: Walking steep and uneven surfaces at the Alhambra. Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 2 hours each way from the port in Malaga to Granada, including rest stops.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: With a local expert, we will spend the morning at the magnificent Alhambra Palace and Generalife gardens overlooking Granada. The Alhambra began modestly as a fort around 889 CE. It gradually fell into ruins and was transformed in the 11th century by the Moorish emir/sultan of Granada into a palace. Moorish poets described it as “a pearl set in emeralds.” It later became a royal residence of the Nasrid dynasty but was eventually abandoned after the Christian re-conquest. Finally, it was “rediscovered” in the 19th century and restorations began. Today, it is one the world’s most significant examples of Islamic art in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Next we will explore the adjacent Genarilfe, the summer palace and private retreat of the emirs/sultans. This was where the ruler escaped official court life and its burdens, to relax and reflect amid exceptional man-made beauty.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Granada, we’ll savor some Andalusian cuisine during our meal with a glass of wine or beer, and water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll then transfer back to Malaga and the ship.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 14: Alicante – Spain, Old Town Exploration

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Norwegian Spirit

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: At port in Alicante, a historic town known for its parks, gardens, and lines of palm trees, we’ll set out on foot for an expert-led exploration of Alicante's Old Town to see this colorful part of the community full of wrought-iron window grilles, flowers, and a view of the entire harbor. We’ll take in such sights as the Old Quarters, the Santa Barbara Castle, and the Santa Maria Basilica before returning to the ship for lunch.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Aboard the ship, we’ll gather for a program wrap-up session where we’ll meet with our Study Leader and fellow Road Scholar participants for an informal discussion. We’ll share some of our favorite experiences from the program, discuss what we learned and the places we visited, and get familiar with the disembarkation procedures for tomorrow.

Dinner: Aboard the ship, we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner together.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out, disembarkation and departures in the morning.

Day 15: Disembark Barcelona, Program Concludes

In Flight

Activity note: See your program’s travel details regarding transfers.

Morning: Aboard ship.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 2,995

Price Per Day:

$ 200 per person
 
  • Select Custom Arrangements to get to and from Road Scholar-provided airfare for your program
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Ship Name

Norwegian Spirit

Ship Stats
  • 75,904: Gross Register  Tonnage
  • 2,018: Guest  Capacity (double occupancy)
  • 880.2ft: Overall Length
  • 126.6ft: Max Beam
  • 2014: Refurbished Year Built 1998
  • 912: Ship Crew
Ship Description

Explore the history of the Mediterranean, feel the balmy breezes of the Bahamas and the Caribbean, or just sit back and relax while you cruise across the Atlantic. Whatever you choose to do, you will be travelling in style on Norwegian Spirit. While onboard make a trip to the Tivoli Pool, soak in one of our four outdoor hot tubs, or take the kids to Buccaneer's Wet and Wild. That's just the beginning - with 14 delicious dining options, 12 bars and lounges, the Maharaja's Casino, and the Roman Spa & Fitness centre at your fingertips, you're ready to have a holiday of a lifetime!

Trip Includes
  • 13 nights of accommodations
  • 6 expert-led lectures
  • 11 expert-led field trips
  • An experienced Group Leader
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program
  • The Road Scholar Travel Protection Plan, 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance coverage
  • Taxes
Meals Included:

12 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches and 12 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Accomodations

Abba Balmoral Barcelona: 3 nights  Barcelona

103 Rooms, free Wi-Fi connection in all hotel, meeting rooms up to 180 people, coffee–bar, restaurant, parking, business center, sauna, fitness center and solarium. In Barcelona city center, 5 minutes to Gaudí's famous building “La Pedrera”, next to la Diagonal of Barcelona and close to Passeig de Gràcia and Rambla Catalunya.   

 

Norwegian Spirit: 10 nights  Miami

This 881-foot ocean liner can accommodate up to 2,018 passengers. Its 13 passenger decks boast elegant, Asian-inspired decor. Amenities include two main dining rooms and many other dining options, two swimming pools, hot tubs, spa and fitness center, walking track, art gallery, library and more.

Start City
Barcelona
End City
Alicante

Trip ID#: SkeOfsRoa

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