European Coastal Civilizations

Program Overview

Explore the historical legacies and dynamic cultures of coastal Portugal, Spain, France and England. Cruise for eight nights aboard the exclusively chartered, Five-Star small ship Le Dumont-d'Urville / Le Bellot. Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime cruise up the storied River Thames to London's Tower Bridge. Special guest Dwight D. Eisenhower II, historian and grandson of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, accompanies you to the hallowed beaches of Normandy. Explore Oporto in Portugal's renowned wine country, walk in the footsteps of ancient pilgrims in Santiago de Compostela, visit Bilbao's iconic Guggenheim Museum and see Mont-Saint-Michel's impressive abbey. Lisbon Pre-Program and London Post-Program Options.

Program Details

May 2 to 11, 2022 (Le Dumont-d'Urville) May 11 to 20, 2022 (Le Bellot)
From $5495 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • Uniquely designed, eight-night cruise itinerary available only through Gohagan & Company.
  • Exclusively chartered cruise aboard the Five‑Star small ship Le Dumont-d’Urville or the Le Bellot, with private balconies in all Suites and Staterooms.
  • Visit four countries—Portugal, Spain, France and England—with access to ports unavailable to larger vessels and all shore excursions included.
  • Visit the historic beaches of Normandy, accompanied by Professor Eisenhower.
  • Explore three UNESCO World Heritage sites—Oporto, Santiago de Compostela and Mont-Saint-Michel.
  • Visit the iconic Guggenheim Museum in beautiful Bilbao, Spain.
  • Once-in-a-lifetime cruise from the English Channel up the River Thames to London’s storied Tower Bridge, possible only by small ship.
  • Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages available throughout the cruise.
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access (conditions permitting).
  • Lisbon Pre-Program and London Post-Program Options.

Day 1 - Depart the U.S. or Canada

Day 2 - Lisbon, Portugal/Embark Le Dumont-d’Urville/Le Bellot

Day 3 - Leixões for Oporto

Day 4 - A Coruña, Spain, for Santiago de Compostela

Day 5 - Santander for Bilbao

Day 6 - Cruising the Bay of Biscay

Day 7 - Saint-Malo, France, for Mont-Saint-Michel

Day 8 - Caen for Normandy Beaches

Day 9 - Cruising the English Channel/River Thames to London’s Tower Bridge, England

Day 10 - London/Disembark ship/Return to the U.S. or Canada

View detailed program itinerary >

The Le Dumont-d’Urville and the Le Bellot

Exclusively Chartered, Five-Star Luxury Small Ships

The Le Dumont-d’Urville, launched in 2019, and the Le Bellot, launched in 2020, represent a new generation of Five-Star small ships, combining revolutionary design and a new standard of luxury for unparalleled cruising. Dock in smaller ports inaccessible to larger ships, where authentic cultural experiences and majestic scenery await you.

Learn more about the Le Dumont-d’Urville and the Le Bellot >

Old World Lisbon Pre-Program Option

Experience the cinematic streetscapes, medieval passageways and timeless rituals of Lisbon, one of Europe’s most visually appealing capitals. Savor stunning Portuguese art on a walking tour of the Bairro Alto District; visit the fascinating National Coach Museum and Jerónimos Monastery; and stop by the captivating five-story fortress of Belém Tower. Enjoy breathtaking views on a scenic drive to Sintra, immortalized in English poetry by Lord Byron and noted for its natural beauty and resplendent palaces. Accommodations are for two nights in the deluxe Dom Pedro Lisboa.

London’s Enduring History Post-Program Option

Explore the storied history and vibrant modernity of London, a compelling city that continues to rewrite its narrative and make each visit more enjoyable than the last. Visit the legendary Tower of London and Westminster Abbey, both UNESCO World Heritage sites, and step into Churchill’s Cabinet War Room—a once‑in‑a‑lifetime glimpse into a secret World War II bunker where the Prime Minister and his staff charted a course to victory. Spend two nights in an ideally located deluxe hotel.

The Pre-Program and Post-Program Options are available at additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

Historian Dwight David Eisenhower II, grandson of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, will accompany you to the Normandy Beaches.

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Program Itinerary

Day 1 Departure

Your trip will begin by departing the U.S. or Canada.

Day 2 Lisbon, Portugal

Arrive in Lisbon, Portugal’s enigmatic capital city—replete with pastel‑flushed buildings and world class architecture—and embark the Five-Star Le Dumont-d’Urville / Le Bellot.

Day 3 Leixões for Oporto

Dock in Leixões and transfer to Oporto, once a Celtic hamlet and later a Roman outpost and center of the port wine trade beginning in the 13th century. The cultural legacy of the Moors—who occupied Spain and Portugal Moors from A.D. 711 to 1492—finds expression in Oporto’s rich architectural details, including famed azulejos with Moorish geometric and floral motifs.

Fall under the spell of Ribeira, Oporto’s historical center, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site for its extraordinary architectural timeline and living history status. Visit the Gothic Igreja de São Francisco, hailed for its lavish gold‑plated Baroque interior, and the Neoclassical Palácio da Bolsa, where the swirling arabesques and ornate stained glass of the gilded Arabian Hall were inspired by the Alhambra in Granada.

Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception and enjoy dinner on board the ship this evening.

Day 4 A Coruña, Spain, for Santiago de Compostela

Travel into the oak- and pine‑forested hills of Galicia, one of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities. Golden‑hued granite buildings and magnificent arcaded squares grace Santiago de Compostela, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Spain’s most beautiful cities. Stroll along medieval pedestrian stone streets to the expansive Praza do Obradoiro flanked by the glorious Romanesque cathedral. A pilgrimage site since the Middle Ages and the final stop on the Camino de Santiago, the cathedral enshrines the tomb of St. James and is recognized for its intricately carved Baroque facade, original medieval portico and glittering Churrigueresque altar.

Day 5 Santander for Bilbao

From Santander, transfer to dynamic Bilbao, encircled by the Basque Mountains. The construction of Frank Gehry’s titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum in 1997 hailed the city’s cultural renaissance as modernist marvels from Santiago Calatrava and Philippe Starck redefined the post‑industrial skyline.

Enjoy a guided tour of the Guggenheim’s renowned modern and contemporary art collection, explore the Art Nouveau and Baroque jewels of Bilbao’s historical Casco Viejo (Old Quarter) and walk along the Paseo del Arenal, a promenade for leisurely evening strolls.

Day 6 Cruising the Bay of Biscay

While cruising the Bay of Biscay along the western coast of France, attend enriching lectures on board.

Day 7 Saint-Malo, France, for Mont-Saint-Michel

Rising from a tidal plain seemingly suspended above the sea, UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Mont-Saint-Michel is a sight of soaring spires isolated beyond a stretch of saltwater marsh. The seat of its namesake Benedictine monastery since the early eighth century, this fortified village began as a humble oratory and became a renowned medieval center of learning. Narrow cobblestone streets weave through the village, culminating in the Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel, a three‑story Gothic masterpiece. Admire the serene cloisters, barrel-roofed réfectoire (dining hall) and Gothic salle des hôtes (guest hall) of 13th‑century La Merveille and the magnificent église abbatiale (abbey church) with a transept that rests on solid rock.

Day 8, Morning Caen for Normandy Beaches

Dock in Caen and make the solemn pilgrimage to the historic Normandy beaches, site of the largest seaborne invasion in history. In the company of Professor Eisenhower—historian and grandson of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower—walk where Allied forces landed on D-Day.

At Pointe du Hoc, envision the heroic U.S. Army Second Ranger Battalion scaling this cliff promontory and view the craters that remain from D-Day bombardments. Survey the serene English Channel and reflect on the memorial crosses and Stars of David in the American military cemetery at Colleville‑sur‑Mer. Dock in Caen and travel to the historic beaches of Normandy, where Allied Forces landed on June 6, 1944. See where Canadian soldiers commenced the D-Day invasion at Courseulles-sur-Mer and Juno Beach and visit the Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, solemnly marked with maple leaf headstones.

Day 8, Afternoon Caen for Normandy Beaches

Following lunch, continue to Arromanches to see the remnants of Mulberry Harbor, an artificial harbor taken across the English Channel to support Allied landings on the Normandy beaches. View a short documentary on the D-Day campaign in the immersive Arromanches 360 Circular Cinema or choose to see the famous 230-foot-long Bayeux Tapestry, a visual chronicle of the Norman conquest of 1066.

Day 9 Cruising the English Channel / River Thames to London’s Tower Bridge, England

Cruise the English Channel across the Strait of Dover and continue up the River Thames, a memorable passage possible only by small ship. Britain’s history is revealed as you pass the towering skyline of Canary Wharf and take in monumental views of Greenwich’s Observation Tower, the Tower of London, Norman Foster’s emerald‑hued Gherkin and Renzo Piano’s sky-piercing Shard. Dock alongside HMS Belfast in view of Tower Bridge. Attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception this evening.

Day 10 London / U.S. or Canada

Following breakfast, disembark and continue on to the London’s Enduring History Post‑Program Option or transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S. or Canada