European Coastal Civilizations

Program Overview

Explore the storied legacies and dynamic cultures of coastal Portugal, Spain, France, and England and commemorate the historic D-Day landings on this one-of-a-kind itinerary. Discover Portugal’s renowned wine country, walk in the footsteps of ancient pilgrims in Santiago de Compostela, visit Bilbao’s iconic Guggenheim Museum, see UNESCO-inscribed Mont Saint Michel’s impressive abbey, and walk the hallowed D-Day beaches of Normandy. Special guest Dwight D. Eisenhower II, historian and grandson of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, accompanies you to the hallowed D-Day beaches of Normandy. Extend your journey with the Lisbon Pre-Program and London Post-Program Options.

D-Day beaches of Normandy

Mont Saint- Michel

London Tower Bridge

Program Details

April 24 to May 3, 2023 (Le Bellot) May 20 to 29, 2023 (Le Champlain)
From $5,995 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • Uniquely designed, eight-night cruise itinerary available only through Gohagan & Company.
  • Exclusively chartered cruise aboard one of two five-star small ships, Le Bellot or Le Champlain, with private balconies in all suites and staterooms.
  • Visit four countries—Portugal, Spain, France, and England—with access to ports and waterways unavailable to larger vessels and all shore excursions included.
  • Visit the historic beaches of Normandy alongs side featured guest speaker Professor Dwight D. Eisenhower II, historian and grandson of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
  • Explore three UNESCO World Heritage Sites—Oporto, Santiago de Compostela, and Mont-Saint-Michel.
  • Visit the wonderful Guggenheim Museum in beautiful Bilbao, Spain, iconic both as an architectural marvel and for its astounding collection of modern and contemporary art.
  • Once-in-a-lifetime cruise from the English Channel up the River Thames to London’s storied Tower Bridge, only possible on a  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 Bellot or Le Champlain

Day 3 - Leixões for Oporto

Day 4 - A Coruña, Spain / Santiago de Compostela

Day 5 - Santander for Bilbao

Day 6 - Cruising the Bay of Biscay

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

Day 8 - Caen / 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 >

These elegant, exclusively chartered, Five-Star Luxury Small Ships feature private balconies on all staterooms and suites, complementary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and warm and inviting public areas.

Le Bellot and Le Champlain

Le Bellot, launched in 2020, and Le Champlain, launched 2018, usher in 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 Le Bellot and Le Champlain >

Old World Lisbon Pre-Program Option

Experience the streetscapes and medieval passageways of Lisbon. Savor Portuguese art on a tour of the Bairro Alto District and stop by the captivating fortress of Belém Tower. Enjoy a scenic drive to Sintra. Accommodations are for two nights in the deluxe Dom Pedro Lisboa.

London’s Enduring History Post-Program Option

Explore the storied history of London, a city that continues to rewrite its narrative. Visit the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey, both UNESCO Sites, and step into Churchill’s Cabinet War Room—which offers a rare glimpse into a secret World War II bunker. Spend two nights in the five-star Intercontinental London Park Lane.

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

Professor David Eisenhower

Grandson of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Professor David Eisenhower is a noted historian of World War II and the Cold War. His 1986 bestseller, Eisenhower: At War 1943–1945, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History. Eisenhower received a B.A. in history cum laude from Amherst College. Following graduation, he served in the United States Naval Reserve for three years as an officer on the USS Albany; shortly afterward, he earned his J.D. cum laude from The George Washington University Law School. Today, Eisenhower is Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a Public Policy Fellow at the Annenberg School of Communication and the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches “Communication and the Presidency.”

Program Rates

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Program Itinerary

Day 1 and Day 2 Depart U.S. / Lisbon, Portugal

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

Arrive in Lisbon, Portugal’s enigmatic capital city—replete with pastel-flushed buildings and world class architecture. Embark the ship this afternoon.

Day 3 Leixões for Oporto

Discover Oporto, where you will fall under the spell of its historical center of Ribeira, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the Gothic Igreja de São Francisco, noted for its Baroque interior, and the Neoclassical Palácio da Bolsa, where designs of the gilded Arabian Hall were inspired by the Alhambra in Granada. Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception.

Day 4 A Coruña, Spain, for Santiago de Compostela

Travel to the hills of Galicia, one of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities. Golden-hued granite buildings and arcaded squares grace Santiago de Compostela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Spain’s most beautiful cities. Stroll along medieval pedestrian streets to the expansive Praza do Obradoiro, flanked by the glorious Romanesque cathedral.

Day 5 Santander for Bilbao

Visit the dynamic and exuberant Bilbao, encircled by the verdant Basque Mountains. The 1997 construction of Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum launched 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 art collection, explore Art Nouveau and Baroque jewels in Bilbao’s Casco Viejo (Old Quarter), and take a stroll along the Paseo del Arenal.

Day 6 Cruising the Bay Biscay

Enjoy a day at sea, where you can choose to attend various educational lectures.

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

The UNESCO World Heritage-designated Mont-Saint-Michel is a soaring masterpiece isolated beyond a stretch of saltwater marsh. Admire the serene cloisters, barrel-roofed réfectoire, and Gothic Salle des Hôtes of the 13th-century La Merveille and the magnificent Église Abbatiale with a transept that rests on solid rock.

Day 8 Caen for Normandy Beaches

Make the solemn pilgrimage to the historic Normandy D-Day beaches, site of the largest seaborne invasion in history and walk where Allied forces landed on D-Day. Following lunch, continue to Arromanches to see the remnants of Mulberry Harbor.

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

This morning, attend an insightful lecture from Professor Eisenhower on board the ship.

Cruise the English Channel and continue up the River Thames, a memorable passage possible only by small ships. Cruise under Tower Bridge and dock alongside HMS Belfast for an overnight you will never forget. Attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception this evening.

Day 10 London / U.S. or Canada

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