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Setting sail from Lisbon
The roots of historic Lisbon's fame lie in its strategic position on the edge of the Atlantic and the fact it offers one of the world's greatest natural harbours. No surprise therefore that it became the home of the world's most famous explorers such as Vasco da Gama, Magellan and Prince Henry the Navigator. Built on seven hills, we always find Lisbon to be soulful, captivating and picturesque, with architecture which reflects its status as a great port.
Belem Tower, dating from the 1500s, was both a fortress and the explorers’ departure point. On the façade you will find a stone rhinoceros sculpted into the tower – Europe’s first sight of this extraordinary beast!
Blessed with a dramatic setting on the steep banks of the river Douro, Portugal’s second city is currently enjoying something of a renaissance, and is best known as the home of the country’s most famous export, port wine.
Spain: La Coruña
La Coruña is the largest city in Galicia, a beautiful region of lush green countryside and wild, windswept beaches. Historical sights of note include the Tower of Hercules, a UNESCO-listed Roman lighthouse, and the city is also home to some great seafood restaurants.
Gijón is the largest city in the Asturias region of northern Spain, an important industrial port but also a lively and youthful place, ideally positioned for exploring the Costa Verde. The most interesting area is the historic fishing village of Cimadevilla, which sits on a peninsula that divides the bay in two.
It’s not so long ago that Bilbao was a grim and unappealing place, scarred by heavy industry, but the Basque Country’s biggest city has reinvented itself as a cultural hub since the opening of the shimmering Guggenheim Museum in 1997.
Bordeaux sits at the centre of the world's most famous wine region, and is home to a beguiling blend of beautiful buildings, sophisticated gastronomy and high culture. It's a marvellous place to spend some time, whether it's a day sampling wines, an evening at the opera or a night on the tiles.
France: Belle Ile, Douarnenez
Saint-Malo grew rich off the back of maritime trade and its plundering corsairs, a seafaring heritage that is still proudly on display today. It’s great fun getting lost in the streets of the walled old town, and the famous medieval abbey of Mont Saint-Michel is an easy day-trip.
France: Le Havre
Le Havre was more or less flattened during World War II, which makes the city’s UNESCO World Heritage status all the more remarkable. Rebuilt by the Belgian architect Auguste Perret, Le Havre is now characterised by a striking modernist style; don’t miss the towering, concrete Église St-Joseph.
Arriving in London Tower Bridge
In our view there couldn't be a more magical port than Tower Bridge. Only the smaller ships can make it up the river to the Pool of London, tying up next to HMS Belfast, with glorious views to the north of the Tower of London, and to the south of the modern City Hall. As you sail from here, the bridge opens, stopping the traffic for your departure. The skyline boasts the bridge itself, and behind it the City's modern architecture: the Gherkin, the Cheese Grater and the Walkie Talkie building.
Stroll along the South Bank to Shakespeare’s Globe – pre-book to see a performance if you can, either at the Globe, or in the new, entrancingly tiny Sam Wanamaker theatre – a gem.
Your home from home
The intimate and popular little Silver Cloud is set to undergo an extensive refurbishment in August 2017, and will be reborn as a stylish expedition ship.
What we love
The lovely Silver Cloud will join Silversea's Expeditions fleet from November 2017, with a reduced capacity, an ice-strengthened hull and 18 zodiacs making this one of the most luxurious expedition ships at sea.
|Capacity||296 guests (until Aug 2017) / 260 guests (from Nov 2017; 200 guests in polar regions)|
|Crew||222 International Staff (until Aug 2017) / 208 International Staff (from Nov 2017)|
|Style||Cosy, welcoming, stimulating, exciting - this ship has it all! If you enjoy the finer things in life but have an adventurous spirit, you will find yourself in congenial company on board.|
|Cruising Speed||18 knots|
Tailor-make your trip
Our recommended hotel
The Pousada de Lisboa, newly opened in May 2015, has a great location in the heart of the city and an interior to wow you.
Take a day trip from Lisbon
Visit Sintra – Roman and Moorish influences make this magical city with its fairytale palaces and extravagant villas a must.
Where to stay in London
The Guoman Tower Hotel, right by the bridge to the North of the river, has fantastic views to put you in the mood.
A tour of Tower Bridge
A private tour to Tower Bridge's Towers, high-level Walkways and new glass floor, then down to the Engine Rooms, is rather special.