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Circling The Bay: No-fly France and Spain

11-day no-fly cruise


Short description

Explore the delights of the Bay of Biscay, from Bordeaux to Bilbao with Oceania cruises


  • Enjoy two days in Bordeaux, with plenty of time to explore
  • Indulge in the worlds finest cuisine at sea, with speciality dining included
  • Discover Bilbao and the architecturally stunning Guggenheim Museum
  • Explore Gijon's beaches and old city
  • Skip the airport queues with no need to fly

In Brief

  • 1 Night Southampton
  • 1 Night Le Havre
  • 1 Night Saint-Malo
  • 1 Night Brest
  • 1 Night Nantes
  • 2 Nights Bordeaux
  • 1 Night Bilbao
  • 1 Night Gijón
  • 1 Night At Sea
  • 1 Night Southampton


Recommended for:
History & culture | No-fly | Ocean cruise

Cross the English Channel and sail south to historic French and Spanish ports on the Bay of Biscay. From medieval towns and fortified cities to bustling harbours and rolling vineyards, there's something for everyone to enjoy on this luxury cruise. Skirt the Brittany coast and take in views of Mont St. Michel, and visit the heavily fortified Chateau de Brest. Spend two days in Bordeaux, strolling its broad avenues and tasting regional wines, and explore the old towns of Bilbao and Gijon. Along the way, you'll enjoy fine dining, world-class entertainment and luxurious surroundings on Oceania's MS Riviera. And, there's no need to fly – the ship leaves directly from Southampton.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1

Today, you'll head to Southampton, Britain’s largest cruise port. Embark MS Sirena and settle into your stateroom, before spending the evening getting to know the ship. In addition to its country club ambiance and personalised service, Sirena offers multiple dining venues no surcharge. Visit the casino or one of the ship's many bars for a nightcap, after watching the sunset over the ocean on the open deck.

Stay: Riviera

Meals: D

Day 2
Le Havre (Paris)

From Le Havre you can enjoy a scenic trip through the rolling French countryside to Paris and spend the day savouring it's gardens, museums and historic sites. Visits to the Louvre, Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower never disappoint. Or take a boat ride along the Seine and a stroll along the Champs Elysee. Or visit historic Rouen or the battlefields of Normandy.  Or even stay local and enjoy tasting the seafood, cheeses and Calvados that the region is justly famous for.

Stay: Riviera

Meals: B L D

Day 3

Today, explore the fascinating fortified town of Saint-Malo, or visit the lovely medieval town of Dinan, with its picture-perfect clock tower and picturesque half-timbered houses. Drive along the rugged Brittany coast and savour stunning views of mystical Mont St. Michel before wandering through its steep, winding streets and maze-like abbey passages. This evening, dine in one of the many venues onboard, perhaps reserving a special table for the La Reserve by Wine Spectator – the six-course Dom Pérignon Experience is an incredible Champagne pairing dinner blending Dom Pérignon vintages with unique dishes such as Sakura Tea “Geisha Flower” Ice Cream and Lemon Caviar.

Stay: Riviera

Meals: B L D

Day 4

Near the western tip of the Breton Peninsula, Brest has a rich military history. Among its landmarks are the heavily fortified Chateau de Brest, the 14th century Tour Tanguy tower and a fascinating museum depicting Brest on the eve of World War II. Meanwhile, Oceanopolis, one of Europe's largest marine complexes, showcases more than 1,000 different species, and the National Botanical Reserve preserves endangered plants rarely found elsewhere. A number of optional excursions are available from here.

Stay: Riviera

Meals: B L D

Day 5

Situated on the banks of the Loire River, this Brittany jewel enchants with both its innovation and whimsy. The historic setting for Henry IV’s famous 1598 edict and once France’s most significant port, Nantes has transformed into a cultural and epicurean mecca. The home of Muscadet wine and delightfully fresh seafood, the city brims with gastronomic pleasures. Not to be missed, the fanciful Les Machines de I’île Nantes is a complex inspired by the creative worlds of Jules Verne and Nantes’ industrial past. The city also boasts a fascinating architectural heritage, including the Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne, Passage Pommeraye and Île Feydeau

Stay: Riviera

Meals: B L D

Days 6-7

Today you'll arrive into Bordeaux, world-renowned for its remarkable wines. Enjoy the city's visual feast of wonderful ornate buildings, broad avenues, marvellous squares and the breathtaking Cathedral of St. André. Take a stroll through Old Bordeaux, then visit the local vineyards and châteaux, and delight in tasting their superb wines. Alternatively, add on a food and wine tour, or perhaps visit nearby Saint-Emilion, and discover its medieval architecture. Back onboard, perhaps head to the Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center for an indulgent treatment before enjoying some evening entertainment in the theatre. The following day, you'll remain in Bordeaux, with more time to explore or take an optional excursion.

Stay: Riviera

Meals: B L D

Day 8

Experience slick modernity alongside nearly 700 years of history in Bilbao. Take a walk around the Old Quarter, the most popular area of the city, and see the Teatro Arriaga, el Arenal – the old stevedoring port, the San Nicholas Church and the Cathedral of Santiago, along with its cloister, Plaza Nueva. And, of course, no visit to Bilbao would be complete without a visit to the architecturally stunning Guggenheim Museum, which is itself a work of art. There are plenty of excursions available here, from Shepherd School with a local farmer to a visit to the vineyards of the Rioja wine region.

Stay: Riviera

Meals: B L D

Day 9

While tourists and locals alike flock to the beautiful beaches of Gijon, there is plenty to do in and around the city as well. There are several uniquely themed museums, including the Campo Valdés Roman Baths, considered one of the most important Roman remains in northern Spain. Visit the aquarium, the botanical gardens or simply stroll through the streets of Cimavilla, the oldest part of Gijon

Stay: Riviera

Meals: B L D

Day 10
At Sea

Today is spent at leisure as you head back towards Southampton. Enjoy breakfast in your suite with views across the ocean, before taking in a lecture or visiting the spa for a treatment. Perhaps take a painting class in the Artist's Loft, enjoy Afternoon Tea with a classical string quartet, or simply relax by the pool with a cocktail in hand. Tonight, enjoy a gourmet dinner and live entertainment before retiring to your stateroom for a final night's rest.

Stay: Riviera

Meals: B L D

Day 11

Today you'll arrive into Southampton, and enjoy a final breakfast before disembarking the ship. 

Meals: B


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At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

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