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Island Hopping in the Azores

Far out in the Atlantic, some 800 miles from the Portuguese coast, the nine islands of the Azores are known for their spectacular volcanic scenery, abundant flora and peaceful lifestyle. But, the appeal of this remote and unsophisticated archipelago is difficult to define in words. If you appreciate dramatic scenery, exploring islands where time appears to be standing still, watching for passing whales and learning about the local people and their customs, then this could be the voyage for you. The islands are also perfect for walking enthusiasts with paths through verdant mountain landscapes and we have included some hiking opportunities which, weather permitting, will be a joy for the keen walkers in our group.
11 April, 2019 to 23 April, 2019 Make a booking request for Island Hopping in the Azores, departing on 11 April, 2019

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Standard Single £ 4995 GBP pp
The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all staterooms feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites. Facilities include: • Air conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • Private bathroom with bath or shower and shampoo, conditioner and body lotion • Hairdryer • Robe and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply)
view cabin photo
Standard Stateroom £ 4995 GBP pp
The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all staterooms feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites. Facilities include: • Air conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • Private bathroom with bath or shower and shampoo, conditioner and body lotion • Hairdryer • Robe and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply)
view cabin photo
Classic Stateroom £ 5295 GBP pp
The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all staterooms feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites. Facilities include: • Air conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • Private bathroom with bath or shower and shampoo, conditioner and body lotion • Hairdryer • Robe and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply)
view cabin photo
Superior Stateroom £ 5495 GBP pp
The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all staterooms feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites. Facilities include: • Air conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • Private bathroom with bath or shower and shampoo, conditioner and body lotion • Hairdryer • Robe and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply)
view cabin photo
Deluxe Stateroom £ 5895 GBP pp
The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all staterooms feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites. Facilities include: • Air conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • Private bathroom with bath or shower and shampoo, conditioner and body lotion • Hairdryer • Robe and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply)
view cabin photo
Junior Suite £ 6295 GBP pp
The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all staterooms feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites. Facilities include: • Air conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • Private bathroom with bath or shower and shampoo, conditioner and body lotion • Hairdryer • Robe and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply)
view cabin photo
Owners Suite £ 6995 GBP pp
The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all staterooms feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites. Facilities include: • Air conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • Private bathroom with bath or shower and shampoo, conditioner and body lotion • Hairdryer • Robe and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply)
view cabin photo
Serenissima Suite £ 7495 GBP pp
The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all staterooms feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites, except for the Serenissima Suites (numbers 701 – 704) which have a window and a balcony door which opens out onto the balcony. Facilities include: • Air conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • Private bathroom with bath or shower and shampoo, conditioner and body lotion • Hairdryer • Mini Bar (Serenissima Suites only) • Balcony (Serenissima Suites only) • Robe and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply)
view cabin photo

Island Hopping in the Azores itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
Day 1 - London to Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Portugal.
Fly by scheduled flight. Arrive this afternoon and transfer to the MS Serenissima for embarkation. Enjoy welcome drinks and dinner as we sail this evening.
Day 2 - Santa Maria.
Today’s planned itinerary includes visits to the remote settlements of Sao Laurenco and Maia, known for vineyards which rise steeply up high sea cliffs in terraces. This coastline is accentuated by a dramatic waterfall, lava tube caves, seabirds and marine life. Time and conditions permitting, the MS Serenissima will continue its circumnavigation of Santa Maria and cruise around the Formigas (or Ant Islands).
Day 3 - Terceira.
This morning explore Angra do Heroismo, a charming UNESCO heritage town with a distinct Mediterranean flavour of cobblestone streets with a certain quiet charm. Enjoy a walking tour that takes in the Misericorda church, Convent do Sao Francisco, public gardens and museum. In the afternoon there will be free time to hike to Monte Brasil, offering wonderful views over the island, or alternatively relax and wander the historic town at your own pace.
Day 4 - Graciosa.
Known as the ‘White Island’, Graciosa has a gentle rolling landscape, dotted with windmills and traditional whitewashed houses. Visit Furna do Enxofre (‘Cave of Sulphur’), a geologically unique phenomenon and one of the original examples of the volcanic Azores, and take the winding stairway down to the magnificent volcanic cavern and lake. Also see the village of Santa Cruz and the charming Matrix church. Return to the ship for lunch and spend the afternoon at leisure to explore the small town of Vila da Praia.
Day 5 - Flores & Corvo.
Named after its abundant flora, Flores is often regarded as the prettiest of the Azores. A rugged terrain island with flowers growing in the deep canyons and waterfalls casting hues of blues and green as they splash down to the sea. Visit the vertical basalt cliffs of Rocha do Bordoes, formed by the cooling of lava. See a stunning array of natural features including calderas, fajas, rivers, waterfalls and valleys. This afternoon we will use our small ship to circumnavigate the tiny island of Corvo, the smallest island in the archipelago. If weather and sea conditions permit, we will try and make a landing by Zodiac and enjoy the peace of the island with walks in the small community or to the caldera.
Day 6 - Sao Jorge.
This largely rural island is of geographical interest with its cliff shoreline marked with flat fajas sweeping to the sea. We start our full day tour on the western part of the Island, Ponta dos Rosais, visiting a Forest Park and cheese factory. As we move to the north we enjoy the view over the Fajas, an area of flat land at sea level resulting from the erosion of cliffs. As we make our way to the south side towards Calheta we will stop for lunch at a local restaurant before continuing on to Urzelina to visit the remaining tower of a church buried under lava from the eruption of 1808. Now it is surrounded by fruit trees and vegetation. Upon our return to Velas we will take a walking tour of this charming old-world harbour town.
Day 7 - Pico.
Explore distinctive Pico, home to Portugal’s highest peak and numerous black lava flows. The UNESCO-designated Lajido Acros tells the story of early winemakers who used the volcanic soil for the grapes and, on a visit to a vineyard, we will enjoy a tasting of the local product. After a typical Azorean lunch we will learn about whaling life in the Azores at the Museum of Lajes returning to the ship via the Lagoa do Capitao offering views over the north of the island.
Day 8 - Faial.
Our day begins with an island drive where we explore the fairly recent volcanic activity at Ponta dos Capelinhos. See how a 1957-1958 volcanic eruption transformed the area and created a new land mass. Continue to the impressive Caldera, now a nature reserve, which is 400 metres deep and nearly 1500 metres in diameter. As we return to the ship we will see the botanical gardens which are devoted to the endemic plants of the Azores. Alternatively, if weather permits, we will arrange to hike the Caldera. This afternoon we enjoy a walking tour of Horta.
Day 9 - Sao Miguel.
Enjoy a full day exploring the island of Sao Miguel, known as Ilha Verde, the green island and home to some of the most stunning viewpoints in the Azores. This morning we head west towards the Sete Cidades volcano from where we can enjoy excellent views over the Lagos de Canarios. We will continue our drive along the attractive northern coast before arriving in the Furnas Valley, an enormous valley and luxuriant garden in the east of the island where we enjoy lunch. We will also visit the village of Furnas and the botanical gardens before returning to the ship and sailing this evening. For the keen hikers, if weather permits, we will arrange to walk the 13 kilometre trail in Sete Cidades.
Days 10 & 11 - At sea.
Join the lecture programme, find a spot on deck to watch for wildlife or enjoy a book in the library.
Day 12 - Lisbon.
Set on seven hills on the banks of the River Tagus, Lisbon has been the capital of Portugal since the 13th century. It is a city famous for its majestic architecture, old wooden trams, Moorish features and more than twenty centuries of history. Following disastrous earthquakes in the 18th century, Lisbon was rebuilt by the Marques de Pombal who created an elegant city with wide boulevards and a great riverfront and square, Praca do Comercio. Today there are distinct modern and ancient sections, combining great shopping areas with culture and sightseeing in the Old Town, built on the city’s terraced hillsides. During your tour enjoy an informative commentary on a relaxing drive through the town seeing the Monument to the Discoveries and Belem Tower as well as the famous Jeronimos Monastery. Enjoy dinner on board as we moor overnight.
Day 13 - Lisbon to London.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.

Island Hopping in the Azores reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
Day 13 - Lisbon to London. *
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.
Day 12 - Lisbon. *
Set on seven hills on the banks of the River Tagus, Lisbon has been the capital of Portugal since the 13th century. It is a city famous for its majestic architecture, old wooden trams, Moorish features and more than twenty centuries of history. Following disastrous earthquakes in the 18th century, Lisbon was rebuilt by the Marques de Pombal who created an elegant city with wide boulevards and a great riverfront and square, Praca do Comercio. Today there are distinct modern and ancient sections, combining great shopping areas with culture and sightseeing in the Old Town, built on the city’s terraced hillsides. During your tour enjoy an informative commentary on a relaxing drive through the town seeing the Monument to the Discoveries and Belem Tower as well as the famous Jeronimos Monastery. Enjoy dinner on board as we moor overnight.
Days 10 & 11 - At sea. *
Join the lecture programme, find a spot on deck to watch for wildlife or enjoy a book in the library.
Day 9 - Sao Miguel. *
Enjoy a full day exploring the island of Sao Miguel, known as Ilha Verde, the green island and home to some of the most stunning viewpoints in the Azores. This morning we head west towards the Sete Cidades volcano from where we can enjoy excellent views over the Lagos de Canarios. We will continue our drive along the attractive northern coast before arriving in the Furnas Valley, an enormous valley and luxuriant garden in the east of the island where we enjoy lunch. We will also visit the village of Furnas and the botanical gardens before returning to the ship and sailing this evening. For the keen hikers, if weather permits, we will arrange to walk the 13 kilometre trail in Sete Cidades.
Day 8 - Faial. *
Our day begins with an island drive where we explore the fairly recent volcanic activity at Ponta dos Capelinhos. See how a 1957-1958 volcanic eruption transformed the area and created a new land mass. Continue to the impressive Caldera, now a nature reserve, which is 400 metres deep and nearly 1500 metres in diameter. As we return to the ship we will see the botanical gardens which are devoted to the endemic plants of the Azores. Alternatively, if weather permits, we will arrange to hike the Caldera. This afternoon we enjoy a walking tour of Horta.
Day 7 - Pico. *
Explore distinctive Pico, home to Portugal’s highest peak and numerous black lava flows. The UNESCO-designated Lajido Acros tells the story of early winemakers who used the volcanic soil for the grapes and, on a visit to a vineyard, we will enjoy a tasting of the local product. After a typical Azorean lunch we will learn about whaling life in the Azores at the Museum of Lajes returning to the ship via the Lagoa do Capitao offering views over the north of the island.
Day 6 - Sao Jorge. *
This largely rural island is of geographical interest with its cliff shoreline marked with flat fajas sweeping to the sea. We start our full day tour on the western part of the Island, Ponta dos Rosais, visiting a Forest Park and cheese factory. As we move to the north we enjoy the view over the Fajas, an area of flat land at sea level resulting from the erosion of cliffs. As we make our way to the south side towards Calheta we will stop for lunch at a local restaurant before continuing on to Urzelina to visit the remaining tower of a church buried under lava from the eruption of 1808. Now it is surrounded by fruit trees and vegetation. Upon our return to Velas we will take a walking tour of this charming old-world harbour town.
Day 5 - Flores & Corvo. *
Named after its abundant flora, Flores is often regarded as the prettiest of the Azores. A rugged terrain island with flowers growing in the deep canyons and waterfalls casting hues of blues and green as they splash down to the sea. Visit the vertical basalt cliffs of Rocha do Bordoes, formed by the cooling of lava. See a stunning array of natural features including calderas, fajas, rivers, waterfalls and valleys. This afternoon we will use our small ship to circumnavigate the tiny island of Corvo, the smallest island in the archipelago. If weather and sea conditions permit, we will try and make a landing by Zodiac and enjoy the peace of the island with walks in the small community or to the caldera.
Day 4 - Graciosa. *
Known as the ‘White Island’, Graciosa has a gentle rolling landscape, dotted with windmills and traditional whitewashed houses. Visit Furna do Enxofre (‘Cave of Sulphur’), a geologically unique phenomenon and one of the original examples of the volcanic Azores, and take the winding stairway down to the magnificent volcanic cavern and lake. Also see the village of Santa Cruz and the charming Matrix church. Return to the ship for lunch and spend the afternoon at leisure to explore the small town of Vila da Praia.
Day 3 - Terceira. *
This morning explore Angra do Heroismo, a charming UNESCO heritage town with a distinct Mediterranean flavour of cobblestone streets with a certain quiet charm. Enjoy a walking tour that takes in the Misericorda church, Convent do Sao Francisco, public gardens and museum. In the afternoon there will be free time to hike to Monte Brasil, offering wonderful views over the island, or alternatively relax and wander the historic town at your own pace.
Day 2 - Santa Maria. *
Today’s planned itinerary includes visits to the remote settlements of Sao Laurenco and Maia, known for vineyards which rise steeply up high sea cliffs in terraces. This coastline is accentuated by a dramatic waterfall, lava tube caves, seabirds and marine life. Time and conditions permitting, the MS Serenissima will continue its circumnavigation of Santa Maria and cruise around the Formigas (or Ant Islands).
Day 1 - London to Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Portugal. *
Fly by scheduled flight. Arrive this afternoon and transfer to the MS Serenissima for embarkation. Enjoy welcome drinks and dinner as we sail this evening.
* = Indicative
Map for Island Hopping in the Azores
Serenissima, the ship servicing Island Hopping in the Azores

Serenissima

Vessel Type: Small Ship

Length: 87 metres

Passenger Capacity: 107

Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013

Prior to her life as the MS Andrea she spent many years cruising the Norwegian coast as the Harald Jarl. The decision by the Norwegian owners, Hurtigruten to invest in much larger new vessels, presented an opportunity to the American company, Elegant Cruises to purchase the vessel in 2002. After a substantial refit of over $20 million in Sweden she began her new life of worldwide cruising.

Perhaps, one of the best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During the major refit in Sweden the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.

Accommodating just under 100 passengers, the 59 cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience and are fully air conditioned with a modern shower and toilet, telephone, flat screen televisions and other thoughtful appointments. There are eight different grades of cabin arranged over five decks and with the exception of the five inside cabins, all staterooms feature either windows or portholes.

The free seating Venice Restaurant accommodates all guests in one sitting. In addition there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. A new addition to the vessel is a Lido area on Deck 5 with a bar and Jacuzzi.

Other facilities on board include two lounges, a small library with two computers for internet access, a spacious observation deck, fitness area, massage and an elevator. In areas such the United Kingdom and Norway the vessel is equipped with Zodiac craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible.

The European captain, officers, expedition staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation.

 

Cabin layout for Serenissima
• Visit Graciosa Island, the second smallest island in the archipelago and the most northern of the central group. Explore the highlights of the island, discover Santa Cruz and walk around the beautifully paved town square.

• Discover Terceria Island which is known as a dynamic island and is the second most inhabited in the archipelago. Enjoy nice views of the pretty town of Angra do Heroismo.

• Enjoy a full day exploring the island of Sao Miguel, known as Ilha Verde, the green island and home to some of the most stunning viewpoints in the Azores.
Enquire now about Island Hopping in the Azores

Travel on the Serenissima

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