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The Basque Country Cruise

  1. 2021
    Thursday, June 3, 2021 to Saturday, June 12, 2021
    Tour Duration: 
    10 days
    Tour Price:
     $4,495 USD
    Tour Starts/Ends: 
    Bilbao, Spain / Brest, France
  • Appreciate Basque fishing, whaling, and seafaring traditions
  • Taste regional specialties: Espelete peppers, white beans of Tolosa, traditional Beasain blood sausage, Idiazabal cheese, angulas of Aguinaga
  • Experience the joy of pintxos, the tapas-like snack at the heart of Basque cusine
  • Visit San Sebastian, a city with more Michelin stars per person than any other in the world
  • Explore Basque language, mythology, music, sports, dance, and folklore with local guides
  • Learn about the rich tradition of bertsolaritza, Basque competitive poetry
  • Taste unique wines, including sparkling dry white Txakoli and world-famous Rioja
  • Hike or bike in the region’s mountain and valley landscapes, including protected biospheres

Along the western coasts of Spain and France, Euskal Herria - the Basque Country - awaits rediscovery. This diverse countryside, with its mountains, estuaries, forests and winding coastlines, is a pleasure that can indulged by all of the five senses.

Yet it is the people of this land that are the most intriguing. Europe’s oldest nation, but never a country. An ancient language with no relation to any other language on earth. An enduring culture whose impact on the world stretches far beyond the stunning countryside nestled at the base of the Cantabrian Sea. 

To say that the Basque people have a strong sense of identity and belonging is an understatement. With this steadfast foundation, the Basques pushed boundaries during the age of exploration, were pioneers in trade and industry, and are known the world over as culinary innovators. The endurance of the great exteas (houses), and the strength and adaptability of the culture is worthy of celebration. 

Travel with an esteemed group of Basque hosts. Hike, bike, or simply wander and explore. Taste the wonders of the Basque Country on this eleven-day journey by sea!

Itinerary Hide Full Itinerary

Enjoy an afternoon guided walking tour of Bilbao’s Old Quarter, which dates back to the 700s. Since 1979, the Old Quarter has been a pedestrian precinct, offering 240,000 square metres of shopping, architecture, and historical sites. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, is widely considered an architectural masterpiece.

In the afternoon, we’ll embark on the Ocean Endeavour and begin our journey down the Nervión River, headed for the Bay of Biscay!

The Urdaibai Estuary is home to a vast salt marsh, making it an important stopping place for migratory birds. More than 245 bird species have been sighted in the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, which is also home to hundreds of varieties of trees, plants, and land animals.

Maritime traditions run deep in Getaria, the hometown of Captain Juan Sebastian de Elcano, who completed the first world circumnavigation after Ferdinand Magellan’s death midway through the voyage. We will have the option to visit local archaeological sites or explore vineyards overlooking the village.

In the historic city of San Sebastian we’ll find wonderful architecture and fabulous food. During a tour of the Parte Vieja (Old Quarter) we'll experience the heart and soul of Basque food culture. We’ll visit the Albaola Sea Factory Museum and the replica of the San Juan, a Basque whaling ship sunk in the harbour of Red Bay, Labrador.

Astigarraga is famed for its cider. We’ll visit an established family of cider-makers. The Astarbe family have a special connection to Adventure Canada and were once cultural contributors on a Basque-focused tour of Newfoundland and Labrador. Here we will be greeted like family.

Just across the Bidasoa River from Spain, in Iparralde (Northern Basque Country) we'll find the town of Espelette, famed throughout Europe for its peppers and its picturesque Basque architecture of whitewashed facades and red roofs. Sare, a tiny village at the base of the Pyrenees, offers an option to travel by rack railway to the summit of La Rhune mountain, a sacred place in Basque mythology standing square on the border of Spain and France.

From there we cross the border back into Spain to Zugarramurdi, in the mountains of Navarre. Known as the site of the Basque witch trials, we’ll visit the prehistoric caves where the witches’ sabbaths were alleged to have taken place. This day provides excellent opportunities for hikers and cyclists.

The wine capital of the world, Bordeaux, offers cuisine, wine, markets, architecture, museums, and more. We'll have the opportunity for a guided tour of the Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll be alongside overnight, allowing us to savour food, drink, and nightlife.

The Ornithological Reserve at Arcachon Bay contains dunes, marshes, reed beds, and meadows, providing habitat for as many as 260 bird species year-round. The reserve is also an important migratory stopover and wintering ground for a wide variety of species. Both long and short walk options are available, with blinds and raised viewing platforms that offer excellent bird-watching opportunities for all.


Brittany’s largest island, Belle-Île, is known for its plant life. There is excellent hiking and biking along coastal pathways and roads, many offering secluded beaches. Rock pyramids known from Claude Monet’s paintings form an intriguing geological attraction.


Heavily bombed during the Second World War and rebuilt in the fifties, Brest has been an important naval port for hundreds of years. We will visit the Maritime Museum housed in an eleventh century medieval castle, and the twelfth century Motte-Tanguy Tower, now houses the Museum of Old Brest.

This morning we bid farewell to the Ocean Endeavour and transfer to the airport.

Ship Info

Sailing with a maximum of 198-passengers, Ocean Endeavour is the perfect vessel for expedition cruising. Outfitted with twenty Zodiacs, advanced navigation equipment, multiple lounges and a top deck observation room, she is purpose-built for passenger experiences in remote environments. The Ocean Endeavour boasts a 1B ice class, enabling her to freely explore throughout the Arctic summer.

Launched in 1982, she has had numerous upgrades, most recently in 2010 and 2014. At 137 meters (450ft) in length, Ocean Endeavour has plenty of interior and exterior space. Enjoy multiple decks offering comfortable lounge chairs, outdoor dining, a swimming pool, sauna and even a hot tub! The spacious interiors allow for multiple workshops and presentations to occur simultaneously. Community is at the heart of our expedition experience. We gather together to learn, enjoy a drink, sing a song or share a yarn – connecting with one and other. The three lounges aboard Ocean Endeavour are fantastic public spaces for seminars, events and dialogue.

The Ocean Endeavour’s private spaces are stylish and comfortable. All cabins have private washroom facilities, a phone for internal calls, radio, TV and air-conditioning. There are a variety of cabin categories available ranging from 9-30 m2 (100-320 sq ft). 

Ocean Endeavour’s crew is experienced, and friendly. Her shallow draft and maneuverability allow her to access isolated fiords, bays and secluded communities. The stylish vessel is at home among the glorious settings we seek. Enjoy the class and comfort of a boutique hotel, while venturing to some of the world’s last great frontiers aboard the Ocean Endeavour!


Deck Plan


2021 Fares are per person in US Dollars: 

Category 1: $4,495  Deck 4 

Category 2: $5,495  Deck 4 

Category 3: $6,795 Deck 5 

Category 4: $8,095 Deck 4 

Category 5: $9,095 Deck 5 

Category 6: $10,095 Deck 7 & 8

Category 7: $11,095  Deck 8 

Category 8: $12,095 Decks 5 & 7 

Category 9: $13,095  Decks 5 & 7 

Category 10: $14,095  Deck 7 

If you'd like a single occupancy cabin, there are a limited number of single cabins in categories 3 to 7 available without a single supplement. Single cabins in categories 8 to 10 are available at 1.5x the fare quoted above.