European Coastal Civilizations

  • Note: This alumni adventure is sold out; waitlist now open.

  • April 29th through May 7th, 2011
  • Registration deadline: December 1st, 2010
  • Capacity: 30


Join Carleton's art history professor emeritus, Lauren Soth, for this unique eight-day cruise aboard the  deluxe M.S. LE BOREAL.  Launched in 2010, this voyage on LE BOREAL captures the vibrant culture, fascinating legacies and magnificent views of the western coasts of Portugal, Spain and France and one of the United Kingdom’s charming Channel Islands. Set your own pace in each port by choosing from the attractively priced shore excursions or spending time at leisure.

Visit Oporto in Portugal’s renowned wine country; walk in the footsteps of ancient pilgrims in Santiago de Compostela; cruise along Spain’s Costa Verde; visit the illustrious Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao; and survey the sheer cliffs and rolling moorlands of Guernsey and France’s “Beautiful Island,” Belle-Île-en-mer. Further enhance your experience with the exclusive “C’est Bon! Culinary Traditions” program led by a renowned culinary expert and celebrating the local cuisines and wines of our ports of call through included lectures, demonstrations and tastings. Enrich your appreciation of the flavors and gastronomic traditions of these regions by choosing from a selection of specially arranged optional shore excursions accompanied by our culinary expert. Extend your stay with the Lisbon Pre-Cruise Option and/or the Paris Post-Cruise Option.


Day     Destination
1        Depart from the U.S./Canada
2        Lisbon, Portugal/Embark M.S. LE BOREAL
3        Oporto (Leixões)
4        Santiago de Compostela (Villagarcia), Spain/La Coruña
5        Oviedo (Gijon)
6        Bilbao
7        Belle-Île-en-Mer, France
8        Guernsey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom
9        Honfleur, France/Disembark M.S. LE BOREAL/Return to the U.S./Canada


  • Cruise aboard the deluxe M.S. LE BOREAL, which incorporates the latest in ship design and environmental technology, the elegant intimacy and personal service of a luxury small ship and enhanced navigability.
  • Enjoy an exclusive seven-night itinerary along the coast of Western Europe from Lisbon to Honfleur, with port calls in Portugal, Spain, England and France.
  • Discover some of Western Europe’s most captivating treasures, including four UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  • See Oporto’s stately architecture and picturesque harbor, tour the exquisite monuments of Santiago de Compostela and the medieval landmarks of La Coruña, explore the historic Asturias region and the charming islands of Guernsey and Belle-Île-en-mer, and visit the Basque port of Bilbao, including the Old Quarter and the world-famous Guggenheim Museum.
  • Explore the local flavors through the “C’est Bon! Culinary Traditions” program—optional excursions with an emphasis on fine regional cuisine, informative lectures by a professional culinary writer and cooking demonstrations by master chefs.


State-of-the-Art Design
The deluxe M.S. LE BOREAL features unprecedented design, technology and standards in comfort and elegance.

120 Exceptionally Spacious, Deluxe Suites and Staterooms
The large Staterooms and Suites range in size from 200 to 484 square feet. Ninety-five percent of the accommodations feature private balconies. All Suites and most Staterooms feature two twin beds that convert to one queen-size bed, a private bathroom with shower (some with bathtub), international direct dial telephone, satellite flat screen television, DVD/CD, iPod dock with speakers, wireless Internet access, safe, minibar, full-length closets, writing desk/dressing table, hair dryer, duvet and plush terry cloth robes.

Elegant Dining Experience
International and local cuisines are served in the stylish, spacious Dining Room in single, unassigned seatings, alfresco in the casual indoor-outdoor Grill Restaurant or from 24-hour Room Service. Continental and buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea, a three-course dinner and a late-evening snack are served daily. Complimentary wine and beer are served with lunch and dinner. Bar service is available on the Sun Deck.

Spacious Public Areas and World-Class Recreational Facilities
Inviting and spacious public areas accommodate all passengers comfortably. Enjoy views from the Panoramic Lounge, nightly entertainment in the Main Lounge and lectures, cultural performances and film screenings in the state-of-the-art theater. There is a library, Internet salon, beauty salon, elevator, infirmary staffed with a doctor and nurse, Sun Deck, swimming pool, spa, Turkish bath-style steam room and full range of
fitness equipment.

Passenger- and Eco-Friendly
The ship’s propulsion system creates little vibration and significantly less engine noise to provide an exceptionally smooth, quiet and comfortable voyage. The ship meets the latest “Cleanship” standards and is designed to prevent contact with environmentally sensitive seabeds.
    The highly trained, English-speaking international crew provides attentive service. Laundry services are available.


  • Lectures and informal discussions with Carleton art history professor emeritus Lauren Soth
  • Seven-night cruise from Lisbon, Portugal, to Honfleur, France, with port calls at Leixões (Oporto), Portugal; Villagarcia (Santiago de Compostela) La Coruña, Gijon and Bilbao, Spain; Belle-Île-en-mer, France; and Guernsey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom.
  • Spacious and elegant outside accommodations with private bathroom and individual stateroom climate control.
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell receptions.
  • All meals—Continental breakfast, buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and late-evening snack—throughout the cruise, featuring fine international and regional cuisine, served at single, unassigned seatings.
  • Complimentary house wine, beer, soft drinks, mineral water, coffee and tea with lunch and dinner.
  • “C’est Bon! Culinary Traditions” lectures by culinary experts.
  • Cultural Shore Excursion options, led by experienced, English-speaking local guides.
  • Gratuities for local guides and drivers on included excursions and transfers.
  • Experienced Travel Director to accompany you throughout the travel program.


See the brochure in the blue box on right for more itinerary details and cabin pricing.


Extend your time in the romantic Portuguese city of Lisbon for two nights including five-star accommodations in the DOM PEDRO PALACE HOTEL. Included tours introduce the cultural treasures of Lisbon as well as the history and architecture of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its magnificent setting on the rugged slopes of the Serra and impeccably preserved historical character.


Spend two nights in Paris with first-class accommodations. During the orientation tour, view Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, and admire the artistry of French, Dutch and Italian masters in the Musée Jacquemart-André, housed in an elegant former mansion. Time at leisure affords you opportunities to experience Paris’ many delights on your own.


TOUR OPERATOR:  Thomas P. Gohagan & Company


Contact Amy Goerwitz at the Alumni Affairs Office: 800-729-2586 (general office number) or 507-222-5645 (Amy's direct line) or by e-mail at