Tall ship sailing specialist Star Clippers is offering two wonderful opportunities to explore the history of the Mediterranean this autumn, combining the romance of a voyage through the Balearic Islands and Andalucia to Morocco with a stay in a beautiful riad in Marrakech. A second option combines a mini-cruise with both Marrakech and two nights in historic Lisbon.
Sailing on the line’s flagship, the five-masted square rigger, Royal Clipper, the first voyage departs Civitavecchia, the port for Rome, on October 15, 2011. After a day exploring the dramatic medieval fortress town of Bonifacio in Corsica, the ship sets a course to Mahon, Menorca, Lord Nelson’s chosen base for the British fleet during the Napoleonic wars. There’s a day in Ibiza, best known for its nightlife but actually rich in history, from its Carthaginian origins to 500 years of Moorish rule. On board, guests can relax on the warm, teak decks, enjoy their favourite cocktail from the Tropical Bar, or help the crew raise thousands of square feet of billowing sails.
Royal Clipper next calls at Motril on southern Spain’s Costa Tropical, an easy hop from Grenada and the magnificent Alhambra’s Palace. Then there’s a day at Safi in Morocco, famous for its pottery, before disembarking in Casablanca for the short flight to Marrakech.
Here, guests will stay for four nights at the tranquil, four star Les Jardins de la Medina, a traditional 19th century riad inside the city’s massive, terracotta ramparts, surrounded by luxuriant gardens and complete with its own gastronomic restaurant, cookery school, hammam and spa, before flying back to London on October 27.
From £2,585 per person, including flights, full board on the cruise, transfers, B&B at the hotel, a bottle of wine and a three-hour private tour of Marrakech.
The second option departs London on October 21, for two nights at Les Jardins de la Medina, before flying to Casablanca on October 23 to join Royal Clipper for a four-night cruise to Lisbon via Tangier, Cadiz (for Seville, the magnificent Andalucian capital) and Portimao on the popular Algarve coast. Guests disembark in Lisbon and spend two nights at the boutique Lisboa Plaza hotel. A complimentary train ticket to the beach resort of Cascais is included, as well as a Lisbon Card, for discounts on entries to the city’s museums and attractions, and free public transport, as well as the Elevador da Gloria funicular, a scenic tram that links Baixa with the Bairro Alto.
From £1,725 per person, including flights from London, full board on the cruise, two nights’ B&B at the Jardins de la Medina and two nights’ B&B at the Lisboa Plaza, as well as a bottle of wine, three-hour private tour of Marrakech, the Lisbon Card and train tickets.
To book visit www.starclippers.co.uk