Cala in Mallorca, Spain
Cala in Mallorca, Spain

Spain, Portugal & the Canary Islands Cruises

See classical architecture, hob-nob in hip bars, or scale an imposing volcano.

Tucked into the far southwestern corner of Europe, the nations of the Iberian Peninsula are home to diverse cultural riches and myriad opportunities for outdoor exploration. Start a cruise vacation to experience Spain's Islamic-inflected architectural heritage at the Alhambra in Granada and the Giralda in Seville. See the dramatic cliffs and turquoise waters of Portugal's Algarve, and take exhilarating hikes around the calderas of active volcanoes in the Canary Islands. As an added bonus, the food and drink in Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands is life-altering — from finger foods like Spanish tapas and Portuguese petiscos to crisp white wines like Vinho Verde and bold reds from Rioja.

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Things to do in Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia
Things to do in Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia

Turn Back the Clock

Retrace history along Spain's coast, from the lives of world-famous artists to monasteries dating back to the time of Christopher Columbus.


The imaginary camaraderie between Picasso, Gaudi and Miro notwithstanding, the works of these men are a great way to add culture to your Spanish cruise. Visit Gaudi's Sagrada Familia Cathedral or Miro's "Woman and Birds" sculpture in Barcelona. Then tour the impressive collection of the Picasso Museum in Málaga for something truly distinct.


After you stroll through castles like the Alhambra that hearken back to Spain's Islamic past, visit the UNESCO World Heritage site that comprises Lisbon’s Belem Tower and Jerónimos Monastery, which date back to the Age of Explorations that led to the voyage of Christopher Columbus.


Need a break from the bustle of Barcelona or the lazy crowds of Lisbon? Take a train down the coast to from Barcelona to Sitges, the capital of Catalonian chill or northward from Lisbon to Sintra, whose colorful Pena National Palace has quickly become one of Portugal's most notable sites.

Tour European Cliff and Coastal Towns
Tour European Cliff and Coastal Towns

Sun, Sand and Sipping

Nature is in abundant supply in Europe's sunniest sector. Laze on the sandy beaches of Spain and cliff-hewn shores or Portugal, scale volcanic craters in the exotic Canary Islands, or sip fine wines in the region's stunning vineyards.


Whether you prefer to laze on the golden sands of Spain's Costa del Sol, such as at Málaga's La Malagueta Beach, or trek above dramatic cliffs in Portugal's Algarve region or on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, the Iberian Peninsula has all beach bums covered.


Earn your tapas by taking one of the region's many great hikes. In the Canary Islands, the hike up the Teide Volcano is positively exhilarating. Or get your physical activity in close to a city: Walk up to Barcelona's scenic Park Guell, or make the trek to Lisbon's stunning Miradouro da Graca viewpoint.


Soak in the sunshine and hillside vistas at the wineries of Portugal's Douro Valley, which specializes in Port dessert wines that are known to age for decades. Or head to Spain's Rioja region to sample bold, barrel-aged reds made from the indigenous grape Tempranillo.

Barcelona Attraction, La Sagrada Familia
Barcelona Attraction, La Sagrada Familia

Encounter beauty both natural and manmade in
Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands

Sail to Spain to sink your teeth into tapas, Portugal to sip sweet port wine or the Canary Islands to feast on the majesty of natural bliss. No matter where in southwestern Europe you visit, a feast is guaranteed.

Spanish Sensibilities

From the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona to the Alhambra in Granada, a cruise to Spain lets you experience the great architecture of Iberia firsthand.

Power Through Portugal

See the expanse of Lisbon from the hilltop viewpoints scattered around the city, or go deeper into the countryside near Porto and see the pristine coastline at Matosinhos Beach.

Boost Your Spain Smarts

When to go to Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands comes down to the experience you want to have. If you don't mind crowds and plenty of sunshine, come during the summer months between June and August or in the shoulder months of May and September. Choose the winter months of January and February if you prefer a quieter vacation.

The weather in Spain, Portugal and the Canaries is pleasant most of the year, though winter can be rainy and occasionally chilly. Summer (and most of spring and fall) are dry, but it's not uncommon for daytime temperatures to rise up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, especially in the Canary Islands and low-lying places in Spain and Portugal.



Carry a dictionary with you, or update the "Translate" app on your phone. Even in the major cities and ports of Spain and Portugal, English isn't widely spoken.


Pack your schedule lightly: The siesta culture of Spain means cities and towns shut down for an hour every afternoon, which can shave off some time on your to-do list.


Portugal has famously relaxed views on punctuality in Portugal, so factor in a few extra minutes when trying to get around.


The culinary patchwork of Spain, Portugal and Canary Islands is as colorful as the various languages its people speak and the many cultural traditions they follow. From the tapas in Spain to meat and potatoes covered in Canarian mojo sauce, you're sure to find many ways to express your contentment during your vacation.


Featuring tender seafood and savory sausage stir-fried with savory saffron rice, paella's claim to fame is simplicity. In one bite of this dish, you can taste all of the flavors that have made Spain's signature dish famous around the world.


Whether you try tapas in Spain or petiscos in Portugal, a few things stay true: These small plates of meat dishes, pastries and sandwiches meant to be eaten by hand aren't tiny, and a friend to help you eat is just as useful as a glass of fruity sangria wine punch to wash it down.


These long, fried pastries covered in cinnamon and sugar not only taste better in Spain, where they originated long ago, but they're also available in their first incarnation: served with a rich cup of hot chocolate, a meal so satisfying it's not even considered dessert.

Related Ports

Discover Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands in-depth. Read about Málaga, the hub of Spain's Costa del Sol where Pablo Picasso was born, or Portugal's colorful capital Lisbon. Then get to know the Canary Islands, from the busy beaches of Tenerife to peaceful La Palma.

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