This category contains 26 posts


Like Amsterdam and Stockholm, Bruges is often referred to as the “Venice of the North” due to its canals. Little of its pre-Roman or Roman period survives, but it is known that the city was the western terminus of the “Amber Road” trade route as long ago as 1600 BC. It was trade that made … Continue reading »

Le Havre

  Officially founded in 1517, the city of Le Havre is the second largest port in France. Due to its strategic importance, the Germans fortified the city in early 1940 in anticipation of an invasion of Britain. The RAF (and later, the Allies) responded with continuous air attacks on the harbour and shipyard for much … Continue reading »


Beautiful, red-roofed Lisbon may be one of WesternEurope’s oldest cities, first settled around 1200 BC as a Phoenician trading post. Its subsequent history parallels that of many other Iberian cities: Roman occupation, followed by barbarian invasions, integration into the Visigothic Kingdom of Toledo (which controlled the entire Iberian peninsula), and conquest by the Moors. The … Continue reading »

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

  Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the co-capital of the Canary Islands (Las Palmas, Gran Canaria is the other), and as such, is home to the Parliament, the Ministry of the Presidency, one half of the government Ministries and the Provincial and Superior Courts. It also boasts some high-profile architecture and an annual Carnival that … Continue reading »

5 DIY Daytrips from Barcelona

If you cruise frequently, then you’ve probably been in and out of Barcelona numerous times. It’s a beautiful city, and there are countess things to see and do there, but sometimes you just want to see if there’s something “beyond Barca.” Here are 5 “do-it-yourself” day trips out of the city that might fill the … Continue reading »


Nowhere is the Canaries’ volcanic past more evident than on the island of Lanzarote. This northernmost island of the archipelago was the first to break the sea’s surface some 16—20 million years ago. Over time, periodic eruptions created new volcanoes and new land. Today, there are over 300 volcanoes on the island, and much of … Continue reading »


Malaga is a compact gem of a city, offering everything from historical monuments to high-end stores. A day of sightseeing can easily be combined with a leisurely lunch and a trip through the shops. Getting In The Cruise Terminal is about 2 km (1 ½ miles) from the Plaza de la Marina – about a … Continue reading »

Making the Most of a Day in Valencia

Getting In Ships usually dock at the Cruise Terminal, but if the port is very busy – or your ship is too large – you may be docked in the Industrial Port, in which case a free shuttle will take you to the Terminal. From there, it’s about 4 km (2.5 miles) to the city … Continue reading »

Palma de Mallorca

Getting In Most cruise ships dock at either Estacio Maritima or the nearby commercial terminal of Porto Pi. Either way, it’s a long hike into town (6-8 km), so your best bet is either a 4-passenger taxi (€10-15 to Old Town) or the ship’s shuttle bus. You can also get into town via the EMT … Continue reading »

Barcelona’s Masters of Modernisme – Gaudi and Domènech i Montaner

The Eixample (“extension”) is, in every sense of the word, Barcelona’s “modern” district. Designed in the mid-19th century by Ildefons Cerdà, the district occupies formerly vacant land between the old city walls and what once were surrounding towns and villages. Cerdà’s grid plan, with its straight streets and wide avenues, took into consideration things like … Continue reading »

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.