9 NIGHT FRANCE & SPAIN CRUISE ADVENTURE STARTS HERE

Southampton , England | Paris (Le Havre) , France | Gijon , Spain | Lisbon , Portugal | Bilbao , Spain | Southampton , England

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INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS

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INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS

INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS

GRAB HOLD OF BOLD

If all new adventures are your jam, you've come to the right ship. Launch yourself into a virtual world on a new bungee trampoline experience— Sky Pad℠. Dive into batter fried goodness at the new poolside Fish & Ships℠. And brush up on your dance moves with shows like Invitation to Dance.

DAY 1 - Departure Day

Southampton, England

DEPARTS:
4:30 PM

MEDEIVAL MYSTERIES

If you're arriving at the Southhampton International Airport, it's located on the outskirts of the city, making it easy to arrive into town. If you're flying into London a few days earlier, grab a train from Waterloo Station. During your time in Southampton, explore its medieval architectural spots like Bargate and the Old Town walls. Or learn more about the day the Titantic set sail from here in 1912.

The Bargate medieval gatehouse in Southampton, England
The exterior of the Tudor House in Southampton, England
A waterfront quayside in Southampton, England

If you're arriving at the Southhampton International Airport, it's located on the outskirts of the city, making it easy to arrive into town. If you're flying into London a few days earlier, grab a train from Waterloo Station. During your time in Southampton, explore its medieval architectural spots like Bargate and the Old Town walls. Or learn more about the day the Titantic set sail from here in 1912.

The Bargate medieval gatehouse in Southampton, England
The exterior of the Tudor House in Southampton, England
A waterfront quayside in Southampton, England
Things To Do

in Southampton

View of Stonehenge in England

Prehistoric Adventure

Located just an hour from Southampton, Stonehenge is one of the most well-known prehistoric sites in all of Europe. Wander around the miraculous stone circle and transport yourself back in time when Neolithic engineers used only simple tools to build the huge monument — it's believed they hauled those massive stones over 240 miles from Wales without the use of machines.

The entrance to the SeaCity Museum in Southampton, England

A Port of Importance

Southampton is home to one of the largest ports in the UK and millions of travelers pass through each year. In 1912, the most famous of those travelers would pass through as they set out to America onboard the Titanic. Southampton's SeaCity museum gives you the opportunity to learn more about the events that happened aboard that famous ship.

Close up view of The Bargate gatehouse in Southampton, England

Play Knights in Armor

Step back into the medieval era and walk the old walls of the city. Built to protect the town from attack by sea, most of the wall is still standing, leaving visitors a spectacular view of Southampton and the sea. Watch as boats enter the port city, and see how it would have been if you were a knight on watch hundreds of years ago.

Traditional fish and chips in England

Local Cuisine

Head to the pub for a refreshing glass of ale to pair with crispy, mouthwatering fish and chips. If fried food isn't your thing, go in for a salad with fresh watercress, the peppery green that the Hampshire region is famous for. You'll also find upscale fare based on England's most-loved flavors: Try chicken with Indian-inspired vegetable pakora and tandoori puree or braised Hampshire beef with ale cream.

Various antiques at a market

Shopping

Shop for big-name brands galore at Westquay Shopping Centre, the premier shopping destination of the South Coast. Head to Bedford Place for independent shops and boutiques — the country's oldest traditional shoemaker is located here. On weekends, wander down the road to Bar Street to check out the local market for antiques, crafts, vintage accessories and jewelry.

DAY 2 - DOCKED

Paris (Le Havre), France

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
9:00 PM

EXPLORE AN ICONIC CITY

Just over a two-hour drive from the port, Paris is called the City of Light for a reason — old lamps adorn every avenue and boulevard, illuminating the city's most celebrated sites. Saunter the romantic streets — from almost every corner you can spot the Eiffel Tower. Discover famous avenues like fashionable Champ Elysees and secret lanes like the colorful Rue Cremieux. Walk up the steps to the Basilica de Sacre Coeur, the highest point in Paris, and get a panoramic view of the city from above.

View of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France
View of the front of the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral in Paris, France
The Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France

Just over a two-hour drive from the port, Paris is called the City of Light for a reason — old lamps adorn every avenue and boulevard, illuminating the city's most celebrated sites. Saunter the romantic streets — from almost every corner you can spot the Eiffel Tower. Discover famous avenues like fashionable Champ Elysees and secret lanes like the colorful Rue Cremieux. Walk up the steps to the Basilica de Sacre Coeur, the highest point in Paris, and get a panoramic view of the city from above.

View of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France
View of the front of the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral in Paris, France
The Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France
Things To Do

in Paris (Le Havre)

Famous gargoyles overlooking the city of the Paris, France

Astounding Architecture

Climb the steps of the heaven-scratching Eiffel Tower for panoramic views of Paris. Then, head to the gargoyle-clad Notre Dame, perhaps the most famous cathedral in the world. And don't miss the Romano-Byzantine influences of the unique Sacre Coeur Basilica.

View of The Louvre museum in Paris, France

Home of the Arts

Paris is home to perhaps the most famous museum on Earth, the Louvre. It houses the equally well-known "Mona Lisa." But Paris is also home to Musee d'Orsay, an impressionist art hub, as well as the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, focused on the decorative arts.

View of a typical Parisian cafe in Paris, France

Hang With the Locals

Escape the beaten paths and discover a side of Paris few tourists get to see. Cruise to Paris and head to Canal St. Martin to find hip boutiques and cafes with verandas overlooking the water. Then, head to the less-crowded top decks of Montparnasse Tower or the Arc de Triomphe for Paris vistas.

Escargots on a white plate with a side of sliced bread

Local Cuisine

You'll find Paris' Michelin-starred restaurants in the neighborhoods lining either side of the Seine. Head there at the noon hour for lower-priced lunch menus. Feeling adventurous? Try French classics like escargot and bone marrow on toast. If you have a sweet tooth, don't miss le Paris-Brest, a circular cake filled with praline cream during your Paris cruise.

A typical designer storefront in Paris, France displaying shoes and handbags

Shopping

The Champ Elysees may be the most famous shopping avenue in Paris, with designer boutiques and global chain stores But it's in lesser-known neighborhoods — like North Marais and Rue du Chateau d'Eau — where you can find one-of-a-kind and handcrafted jewelry and goods, as well as the city's funkier fashion options.

INSIDER TIP

Take the time to stroll the streets of Paris and find restaurants, boutiques and bars hidden inside little nooks.

DAY 3 - AT SEA

CRUISING

CAN'T MISS FAVORITES

Man Sliding on the side of Mariner on The Perfect Storm
Man Doing Air Trick on Flowrider

Man Sliding on the side of Mariner on The Perfect Storm
Man Doing Air Trick on Flowrider

THINGS TO DO

Girl Sliding and Smiling on The Perfect Storm
The Perfect Storm℠

A TWISTING TURNING ADVENTURE

Grab a buddy and plunge through three stories of twisting, turning thrills to the bottom of the dual racer slides Typhoon℠ and Cyclone℠. The conditions are just right — for The Perfect Storm℠.

Girl Surfing Flowrider at Daytime with a Smile
FlowRider®

NOW BOARDING FOR ADVENTURE

Grab your board and get ready for 30,000 gallons of rushing awesome headed your way. The surf’s always up on the 40-foot-long FlowRider® surf simulator.

DAY 4 - DOCKED

Gijon, Spain

ARRIVES:
8:00 AM
DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

IBERIAN BEACH VIBES

The joy of Gijon lies in walking the charming streets of this city by the sea. See the ruins of ancient Roman baths, quench your thirst with local cider, and unwind by the beach. Stroll along the marina at Puerto Deportivo to see the city's strong maritime heritage, and check out the fishermen's quarter of Cimadevilla, where you can relish views of the Cantabrian Sea.

Aerial view of Gijon, Spain
View of the San Pedro Church on the coast in Gijon, Spain,
View from the courtyard at the Universidad Laboral

The joy of Gijon lies in walking the charming streets of this city by the sea. See the ruins of ancient Roman baths, quench your thirst with local cider, and unwind by the beach. Stroll along the marina at Puerto Deportivo to see the city's strong maritime heritage, and check out the fishermen's quarter of Cimadevilla, where you can relish views of the Cantabrian Sea.

Aerial view of Gijon, Spain
View of the San Pedro Church on the coast in Gijon, Spain,
View from the courtyard at the Universidad Laboral
Things To Do

in Gijon

View of the front of the City Council building in Gijon, Spain

Roman History on a Headland

Start your visit at Cimadevilla. Here, you'll instantly meet old Gijon. Situated on a headland, this colorful neighborhood is home to the Roman baths, the Revillagigedo Palace, the Jovellanos Museum and the Roman Villa of Veranes.

The Elogio al Horizonte, a famous monument in Gijon, Spain

Park at the Horizon

Walk to the northern edge of the city to find Cerro Santa Catalina park, where you'll find La Fontica fountain and a sculpture called Elogio al Horizonte, or "In Praise of the Horizon." Hear the waves crashing on the coast, and witness unparalleled views of a seemingly endless ocean.

Boats docked at a marina in Gijon, Spain

Portside Pleasure

Breathe in the undeniably maritime air with Gijon cruises. Stroll along the city-side Playa de San Lorenzo, and see the boats docked in the bright blue waters at Puerto Deportivo. Don't miss the impressive array of marine life at Acuario de Gijon.

A bowl of seafood stew

Local Cuisine

Gijon serves the best seafood in the area. Experience dishes like chopa a la sidra (fish cooked in cider) and caldereta gijonesa (seafood stew), quintessential examples of Gijon's gastronomic pedigree. Stop by V. Crespo, Sidreria Casa Carmen or La Posada del Mar, and get lost in Gijon's ocean flavors.

Assorted madrenas, a traditional wooden sandal in Gijon, Spain

Shopping

Gijon is proud to promote items that are made in Asturias and encourages store owners to do the same. Support locals and try on Asturian frocks and madrenas, the wooden sandals traditional to the region, at La Troupe or La Merced. Find local books at Central or Paradiso bookstores, and sip some Asturian wine at El Gallego during your Iberian Peninsula cruise.

INSIDER TIP

Make sure to visit the raw rural beaches of Gijon: Playa Penarrubia, Playa de Serin and Playa de la Nora.

DAY 5 - AT SEA

CRUISING

FOR FOODIES

Two plates with sushi at Izumi on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship
Sugar Beach on Independence of the Seas

Two plates with sushi at Izumi on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship
Sugar Beach on Independence of the Seas

THINGS TO DO

Assorted Sushi Rolls Platter served at Izumi, Japanese Restaurant. One of the best fine dining cuisine on a cruise.
Izumi

A FAR EAST FEAST

Say “Konnichiwa” to a reimagined favorite. Sushi, sashimi and more, all made-to-order with intense flavors, the best ingredients and impeccable presentation. Now that’s fresh.

Assortment of Candy from Sugar Beach
Sugar Beach℠

TREAT YOURSELF

Treat your sweet tooth to every candy under the sun — plus a few sugarcoated surprises. Sugar Beach℠ is stocked to max candy capacity with all your favorite confections.

DAY 6 - DOCKED

Lisbon, Portugal

ARRIVES:
8:00 AM
DEPARTS:
9:00 PM
GAIN A NEW VIEW

IN LISBON

Fuel up for your Lisbon adventure with a delectable pasteis de nata, a sweet custard tart spiced with cinnamon and best savored warm. Then, climb the Seven Hills of Portugal and admire panoramic views of the sea and the city from above. Ride the yellow tram to explore every inch of colorful Lisbon. Wander along the seaside in the Belem district and marvel at the 16th-century architecture of the Jeronimos Monastery and Belem Tower.

Aerial view of the different homes and buildings of Lisbon, Portugal
The Belem Tower on the coast of Lisbon, Portugal
Rossio Square in Lisbon, Portugal

Fuel up for your Lisbon adventure with a delectable pasteis de nata, a sweet custard tart spiced with cinnamon and best savored warm. Then, climb the Seven Hills of Portugal and admire panoramic views of the sea and the city from above. Ride the yellow tram to explore every inch of colorful Lisbon. Wander along the seaside in the Belem district and marvel at the 16th-century architecture of the Jeronimos Monastery and Belem Tower.

Aerial view of the different homes and buildings of Lisbon, Portugal
The Belem Tower on the coast of Lisbon, Portugal
Rossio Square in Lisbon, Portugal
Things To Do

in Lisbon

View of the Pena National Palace in Lisbon, Portugal

Get Romantic

Step into the pages of a fairy tale in Sintra, a UNESO World Heritage Site a short ride from Lisbon. The city's awash in colorful buildings and grand forts, including the Romanticist architecture of the pastel-hued Pena Palace — more like a castle, really — and the extravagant Quinta da Regalaira villa. Or, wander through gardens inspired by Dante's "Inferno."

Tables on a terrace in Lisbon, Portugal

Go View-Hopping

There's no other way to explore Lisbon than to see it from the miradouros, the hilltop lookout points scattered around the city. Ride the Santa Justo Lift to catch a glimpse of the city below. Enjoy an evening drink at the Miradouro de Santa Catarina. Finally, watch the sunset behind the Ponte 25 de Abril Bridge.

Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portugal

Architectural Adventure

History buffs should head to Belem. See the 16th-century Manueline architecture of the Jeronimos Monastery. Lisbon, Portugal cruises will allow you to visit the final resting place of explorer Vasco de Gama before walking to the river to snap a photo of the Torre de Belem, a 16th-century fort that appears to float in the ocean.

A tray full of Pasteis de Nata pastries in Lisbon, Portugal

Local Cuisine

You'll find plenty of Portuguese delicacies around Lisbon. Follow the locals to the nearest food truck for a bifana, a sandwich of pork marinated in white wine and garlic sauce. Snack on salty sardines over a glass of wine, or devour a pasteis de nata, the famous egg tart that packs a creamy, cinnamon-infused custard in a crisp shell.

Various Lisbon souvenir magnets

Shopping

Browse eclectic clothes and jewelry in the backstreets of Bairro Alto. Feira da Ladra, or "thieves' market," is the place to go for handmade crafts and antiques. Looking for a high street? Walk down Chiado or Avenida da Liberdade to shop international brands.

INSIDER TIP

Tram 28 is the best-known tram line, taking riders through all the must-see neighborhoods, but the trolleys fill up quickly. Opt for a lesser known route to avoid crowds.

DAY 7 - AT SEA

CRUISING

SUN DRENCHED DAYS

Kids Splashing Mom at Splashaway Bay Water Park
Relaxing Day at the Solarium

Kids Splashing Mom at Splashaway Bay Water Park
Relaxing Day at the Solarium

THINGS TO DO

Girl Getting Splashed on Harmony of the Seas
Splashaway Bay℠

FUN BY THE GALLON

The fun comes in gallons. This bigger, better kids aqua park features slides, water cannons, waterfalls and more. And when the drench bucket gets full, everyone gets wet.

Beautiful Night on the Pool Deck
Whirlpools

ENJOY SOME BUBBLY

It’s easy to let every thought melt away while relaxing in a whirlpool, especially when you’re soaking up ocean views, too.

DAY 8 - DOCKED

Bilbao, Spain

ARRIVES:
8:00 AM
DEPARTS:
8:00 PM
BASQUE IN MOUNTAIN VIEWS

AND MODERN ART

Bilbao makes a great first impression. Once you arrive, you'll soon spot the futuristic building that's become the beating heart of the city: the Guggenheim Museum. Get swept up by Michelin-starred restaurants, enchanting tapas bars, sidrerias (cider houses) and a clever 100-year-old suspension bridge.

A view of the Bilbao, Spain cityscape
A bridge crossing over a river in Bilbao, Spain
A fountain at a park in Bilbao, Spain

Bilbao makes a great first impression. Once you arrive, you'll soon spot the futuristic building that's become the beating heart of the city: the Guggenheim Museum. Get swept up by Michelin-starred restaurants, enchanting tapas bars, sidrerias (cider houses) and a clever 100-year-old suspension bridge.

A view of the Bilbao, Spain cityscape
A bridge crossing over a river in Bilbao, Spain
A fountain at a park in Bilbao, Spain
Things To Do

in Bilbao

A hilltop chapel in Bilbao, Spain

Bilbao's Nature

Bilbao may be famous for architecture, but the rolling green hills, panoramic coastline and lush plazas will enchant you as well. Reach Mount Artxanda by cable car for sweeping vistas of the city. Walk by ponds and fountains at Parque de Dona Casilda de Iturrizar, and reach the riverside walkways for close-up urban views of Bilbao.

Various buildings in downtown Bilbao, Spain that show the city's wonderful architecture

Bask in Basque Culture

Check out the Euskal Museoa and the Arkeologi Museoa for a look into the Basque Country's past. Cruise to Spain to stroll down medieval streets in Casco Viejo, the historical center of Bilbao, or down the Gran Via boulevard for a glimpse into the daily lives of locals, who are usually moving from one pintxos (tapas) tavern to the next.

An aerial view of the city of Bilbao, Spain

Artistic Heights

Take in the monumental beauty of the Guggenheim by first exploring the outside. You'll see how architect Frank Gehry blended titanium, glass and limestone to conceive elegant curves and sharp edges in this masterpiece of modernity. Then, head inside to see the other masterpieces created by legends like Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro and more.

A filet of cod with side dished on a white plate

Local Cuisine

Food is a pastime in Bilbao. Sample bacalao al pil pil (cod with garlic), Marmitako (tuna and vegetable stew) and savory pintxos, the local version of tapas. Stop by El Globo and La Barraca for a quick bite-sized dish, or head to Mina and Azurmendi for Michelin-starred experiences.

An assortment of botas wine flasks

Shopping

In Bilbao, you do your shopping on historic streets and sprawling urban areas, with hidden gems in between. Go to the old town and look for the classic botas (wineskin flasks), txapelas (berets) or pañuelos (kerchiefs). Head north to the Abando district for modern shops offering more contemporary wares.

INSIDER TIP

Don't miss Bilbao's outskirts — check out the coastal suburb Getxo, a 25-minute train ride away, which offers lush green mountains and ocean views.

DAY 9 - AT SEA

CRUISING

SHOW STOPPERS

Performers on stage with a big book behind them during the Freedom of the Once Upon a Time Cruise Show,
Performers singing and dancing on stage to the Grease Broadway show on Harmony.

Performers on stage with a big book behind them during the Freedom of the Once Upon a Time Cruise Show,
Performers singing and dancing on stage to the Grease Broadway show on Harmony.

Performer dress in green on fantasy like stage during the Freedom of the Once Upon a Time Cruise Show
Once Upon A Time

A STORYBOOK SPECTACULAR

Settle in for the rarely told side of your favorite fairy tales in a colorful spectacle for all those who never want to grow up.

Couples dancing on stage to Grease Broadway show on Harmony.
Grease

THE THRILLS ARE MULTIPLYIN'

Slick back your hair and pack your poodle skirts. Summer lovin' is in the air with an all new larger than life take on Broadway's hit musical, Grease.

DAY 10 - Arrival Day

Southampton, England

ARRIVES:
5:30 AM
PRIME ENGLISH

COUNTRYSIDE

Your adventure doesn't have to end once you've gotten back to Southampton. Before you go, spend a few days exploring the quaint English towns of the Hampshire region like Winchester, the ancient capital, or the pretty market town of Romsey. This village is also home to the Romsey Abbey, one of the most magnificent churches in Southern England thanks to its round Norman arches and lofty nave.

Yachts docked at the Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, England
The Netley Abbey ruins in Southampton, England
The historic Calshot Castle at the entrance of Southampton, England

Your adventure doesn't have to end once you've gotten back to Southampton. Before you go, spend a few days exploring the quaint English towns of the Hampshire region like Winchester, the ancient capital, or the pretty market town of Romsey. This village is also home to the Romsey Abbey, one of the most magnificent churches in Southern England thanks to its round Norman arches and lofty nave.

Yachts docked at the Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, England
The Netley Abbey ruins in Southampton, England
The historic Calshot Castle at the entrance of Southampton, England
Things To Do

in Southampton

View of Stonehenge in England

Prehistoric Adventure

Located just an hour from Southampton, Stonehenge is one of the most well-known prehistoric sites in all of Europe. Wander around the miraculous stone circle and transport yourself back in time when Neolithic engineers used only simple tools to build the huge monument — it's believed they hauled those massive stones over 240 miles from Wales without the use of machines.

The entrance to the SeaCity Museum in Southampton, England

A Port of Importance

Southampton is home to one of the largest ports in the UK and millions of travelers pass through each year. In 1912, the most famous of those travelers would pass through as they set out to America onboard the Titanic. Southampton's SeaCity museum gives you the opportunity to learn more about the events that happened aboard that famous ship.

Close up view of The Bargate gatehouse in Southampton, England

Play Knights in Armor

Step back into the medieval era and walk the old walls of the city. Built to protect the town from attack by sea, most of the wall is still standing, leaving visitors a spectacular view of Southampton and the sea. Watch as boats enter the port city, and see how it would have been if you were a knight on watch hundreds of years ago.

Traditional fish and chips in England

Local Cuisine

Head to the pub for a refreshing glass of ale to pair with crispy, mouthwatering fish and chips. If fried food isn't your thing, go in for a salad with fresh watercress, the peppery green that the Hampshire region is famous for. You'll also find upscale fare based on England's most-loved flavors: Try chicken with Indian-inspired vegetable pakora and tandoori puree or braised Hampshire beef with ale cream.

Various antiques at a market

Shopping

Shop for big-name brands galore at Westquay Shopping Centre, the premier shopping destination of the South Coast. Head to Bedford Place for independent shops and boutiques — the country's oldest traditional shoemaker is located here. On weekends, wander down the road to Bar Street to check out the local market for antiques, crafts, vintage accessories and jewelry.

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