Route of The Discoveries
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The great period of "the Discoveries" accounted for phenomenal wealth brought back from India, Africa and Brazil by the great Portuguese navigators. Gold, jewels, ivory, porcelain and spices helped finance grand new buildings and impressive monuments in Lisbon, the country's capital city. As you sail up the Tagus River, be on deck to admire Lisbon's panorama and see some of the great monuments lining the river. Lisbon is one of Europe's smallest capital cities but considered by many visitors to be one of the most likeable. Spread over a string of seven hills, the city offers a variety of faces, including a refreshing no-frills simplicity reflected in the people as they go unhurriedly through their day enjoying a hearty and delicious cuisine accompanied by the country's excellent wines.
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Funchal (Madeira), Portugal
The Madeira Archipelago, consisting of the islands Madeira, Porto Santo and Desertas, is situated in the Atlantic, about 400 miles from the African coast and 560 miles from Lisbon. Discovered by the Portuguese in 1419, Madeira, the largest of the islands, became of great importance to Portugal for its sugar production and later on for the cultivation of wine. The unusually temperate oceanic climate and extraordinary scenery had Northern Europeans flocking to Madeira as early as the 18th century to spend the winter months. The winning combination of high, rocky peaks, steep green ravines and waterfalls in the interior, with the flowering charm of Funchal still attracts nearly half a million visitors each year.
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Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
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St. John's, Antigua
Antigua is blessed with an abundance of shining white beaches, and many of these have sprouted top-end resort hotels that engender golf courses and other amenities counted among the best in the Caribbean. A pleasant drive up through farms and tiny villages leads to the commanding fortress on Shirley Heights, from which you can survey the town and the harbor of Nelson’s Dockyard across the island. Once a carenage for British frigates, today it is an enclave of shops and restaurants.
|Sat 04 Nov 2017 08:00||Sat 04 Nov 2017 23:00|
Carambola Beach, Saint Kitts and Nevis
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The Caribbean’s verdant “Nature Island” has resolved not to succumb to the high-rise hotels and casino culture that predominate on some other islands. The tiny nation is determined to thrive on its natural resources, which are many and attractive. Water is one, and the island does export delicious mineral water throughout the area. There are also thermal springs and a “boiling lake,” as well as lovely waterfalls. Citrus fruits such as grapefruit are another export. The island is the source of Rose’s Lime Juice, a requisite of the perfect gimlet cocktail. Fragrant bay rum, distilled from native trees, is a handmade commodity much prized on the global market. Visit the peaceful Botanical Gardens, or ascend Morne Bruce for a stunning view over the town, the harbor and the sea beyond.
|Mon 06 Nov 2017 08:00||Mon 06 Nov 2017 18:00|
Gustavia (St. Barts), France
Tiny St. Barts, as it is commonly called, lies 125 miles northwest of the French island of Guadeloupe, of which it is a dependency. Its geographic features include steep, green, once-active volcano hills, deep valleys, and beautiful beaches. Founded by the French, ceded to Sweden then returned to France, the toy-scaled capital of Gustavia is built around the harbor on the island's southwest coast. Many of the island's inhabitants are descendants of settlers from Brittany, Normandy and Sweden. Today they operate small inns, cafes, restaurants and boutiques that are housed in old buildings of Swedish colonial and French Creole architecture. Too small for most cruise ships, Gustavia's harbor is a favorite layover for sailing yachts, and with prices well beyond the means of the masses, visits are mostly limited to a few hours of day-trippers from nearby St. Martin/St. Maarten. The majority of visitors staying on the island still come from among the privileged who treasure the laid-back atmosphere and small-gem perfection of St. Barts.
|Tue 07 Nov 2017 08:00||Tue 07 Nov 2017 17:00|
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico has been voluntarily associated with the United States since it was ceded by Spain in 1898. In 1952, this island country became a self-governing commonwealth territory of the United States. The capital, San Juan, is a teeming city of over 1.5 million. Remnants of colonial architecture stand side by side with the most modern high rises in this city of contrasts. The 7-square-block area, which contains the historic zone of Old San Juan, was once completely encircled by city walls and is still guarded by the impressive forts of El Morro and San Cristobal, which loom over the harbor as reminders of the centuries of Spanish rule. El Yunque rainforest, on the northeastern side of the island, is just one of many distinctive geographical features found here. Mountain lakes, waterfalls, teak forests, and three magnificent phosphorescent bays offer the visitor a variety of diversions.
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