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Islands of the Azores: Basalt Peaks to Volcanic Vineyards

Expedition

Islands of the Azores: Basalt Peaks to Volcanic Vineyards

EXPERIENCE OVERVIEW

Towering basalt peaks, bubbling hot springs, emerald-green farmlands, fascinating seafaring history, world-class wine and cheese and captivating fado music—this is just some of the beauty and vitality you’ll discover as we explore the dramatically beautiful Portuguese archipelago of the Azores aboard the state-of-the-art National Geographic Endurance.

highlights

  • NEW PERSPECTIVES: $1,000 CREDIT : Book by March 13, 2024. Receive a credit of $1,000 per person, deducted from cabin fare prior to any additional applicable savings with the purchase of cabin fare. Valid for new bookings only on select departures, subject to availability, not applicable on airfare or extensions, and may not be combined with other offers. Call for details.
  • NEW PERSPECTIVES: 10% SOLO SAVINGS : Book by March 13, 2024. Save 10% on solo cabins on select departures. Not applicable on airfare or extensions and may not be combined with other offers. Call for details.
  • NEW PERSPECTIVES: 25% SOLO SAVINGS : Book by March 13, 2024. Save 25% on solo cabins on select departures. Not applicable on airfare or extensions and may not be combined with other offers. Call for details.
  • NEW PERSPECTIVES: ADDITIONAL 10% SAVINGS WHEN YOU PAY IN FULL : Book by March 13, 2024. Save an additional 10% on the cabin fare when you pay in full at time of booking. Valid for new bookings only on select departures, subject to availability, not applicable on airfare or extensions, and may not be combined with other offers. To qualify for the discount, nonrefundable payment in full is due at the time of booking. Call for details.
  • SUITE EXCLUSIVES : Spacious living areas and incredible views immerse you in the beauty of your marine surroundings. Our new Suite Exclusives package helps make your voyage all the more memorable. Learn more
  • BAR TAB & CREW TIPS INCLUDED : Your bar tab and tips to the ship’s crew on all departures aboard National Geographic Endurance, National Geographic Resolution, National Geographic Orion, National Geographic Explorer, Sea Cloud, and Sea Cloud II are included in your fare. Bar tab excludes certain super premium brands, which are available for sale. Call for details.
  • 10% OFF BACK-TO-BACK VOYAGES : Save 10% on consecutive departures, applicable on voyage fares only and not valid on extensions or airfare. Valid for new bookings only, subject to availability, and may not be combined with other offers. Call for details.
  • BRINGING THE KIDS : We believe sharing an expedition with children is a life-enhancing experience. Take $500 off for each child under the age of 18 on any departure. Not applicable on extensions or airfare. Call for details.
  • CELEBRATE LIFE'S MILESTONES : Celebrate a milestone with a group of eight or more and enjoy a special amenity package including: 5% savings on voyage fares, custom group photo, US$150 shipboard credit for the group, and other special gifts. Milestone celebration to be communicated at time of booking. Valid for new bookings only on select departures, subject to availability, not applicable on airfare or extensions, and may not be combined with other offers. Deposit, final payments, and cancellation policies for group travel vary from our regular policies. Call for details.
  • SAVE 5% TRAVELING AS A GROUP : Save 5% when traveling as a group of eight or more people. Valid on voyage fares only and not applicable on extensions or airfare. Deposit, final payments, and cancellation policies for group travel vary from our regular policies. Valid for new bookings only, subject to availability, and may not be combined with other offers. Call for details.
  • COMBINING OFFERS : Certain offers may be combinable, up to two savings opportunities, except where noted otherwise. For example, travel with a group of 8 or more on back-to-back expeditions, and take advantage of both savings.

Highlights

  • NEW PERSPECTIVES: $1,000 CREDIT : Book by March 13, 2024. Receive a credit of $1,000 per person, deducted from cabin fare prior to any additional applicable savings with the purchase of cabin fare. Valid for new bookings only on select departures, subject to availability, not applicable on airfare or extensions, and may not be combined with other offers. Call for details.
  • NEW PERSPECTIVES: 10% SOLO SAVINGS : Book by March 13, 2024. Save 10% on solo cabins on select departures. Not applicable on airfare or extensions and may not be combined with other offers. Call for details.
  • NEW PERSPECTIVES: 25% SOLO SAVINGS : Book by March 13, 2024. Save 25% on solo cabins on select departures. Not applicable on airfare or extensions and may not be combined with other offers. Call for details.
  • NEW PERSPECTIVES: ADDITIONAL 10% SAVINGS WHEN YOU PAY IN FULL : Book by March 13, 2024. Save an additional 10% on the cabin fare when you pay in full at time of booking. Valid for new bookings only on select departures, subject to availability, not applicable on airfare or extensions, and may not be combined with other offers. To qualify for the discount, nonrefundable payment in full is due at the time of booking. Call for details.
  • SUITE EXCLUSIVES : Spacious living areas and incredible views immerse you in the beauty of your marine surroundings. Our new Suite Exclusives package helps make your voyage all the more memorable. Learn more
  • BAR TAB & CREW TIPS INCLUDED : Your bar tab and tips to the ship’s crew on all departures aboard National Geographic Endurance, National Geographic Resolution, National Geographic Orion, National Geographic Explorer, Sea Cloud, and Sea Cloud II are included in your fare. Bar tab excludes certain super premium brands, which are available for sale. Call for details.
  • 10% OFF BACK-TO-BACK VOYAGES : Save 10% on consecutive departures, applicable on voyage fares only and not valid on extensions or airfare. Valid for new bookings only, subject to availability, and may not be combined with other offers. Call for details.
  • BRINGING THE KIDS : We believe sharing an expedition with children is a life-enhancing experience. Take $500 off for each child under the age of 18 on any departure. Not applicable on extensions or airfare. Call for details.
  • CELEBRATE LIFE'S MILESTONES : Celebrate a milestone with a group of eight or more and enjoy a special amenity package including: 5% savings on voyage fares, custom group photo, US$150 shipboard credit for the group, and other special gifts. Milestone celebration to be communicated at time of booking. Valid for new bookings only on select departures, subject to availability, not applicable on airfare or extensions, and may not be combined with other offers. Deposit, final payments, and cancellation policies for group travel vary from our regular policies. Call for details.
  • SAVE 5% TRAVELING AS A GROUP : Save 5% when traveling as a group of eight or more people. Valid on voyage fares only and not applicable on extensions or airfare. Deposit, final payments, and cancellation policies for group travel vary from our regular policies. Valid for new bookings only, subject to availability, and may not be combined with other offers. Call for details.
  • COMBINING OFFERS : Certain offers may be combinable, up to two savings opportunities, except where noted otherwise. For example, travel with a group of 8 or more on back-to-back expeditions, and take advantage of both savings.
Towering basalt peaks, bubbling hot springs, emerald-green farmlands, fascinating seafaring history, world-class wine and cheese and captivating fado music—this is just some of the beauty and vitality you’ll discover as we explore the dramatically beautiful Portuguese archipelago of the Azores aboard the state-of-the-art National Geographic Endurance.

Trip details

Trip Type: Small Group

Comfort: Luxury

Travel Styles: Marine

Starts: São Miguel, Azores, Portugal, Embark Ship

Finishes: São Miguel, Disembark Ship

Duration: 9 days

Includes

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

Costs Include: All accommodations aboard ships or in hotels per itinerary or similar, all meals and nonalcoholic beverages aboard ship, meals on land as indicated, air transportation where indicated as included, shore excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees, special access permits, transfers to and from group flights, use of snorkeling equipment and wet suits, use of kayaks (where available), tips (except to Egyptologists and ship’s crew), taxes and service charges, services of a ship physician on most voyages, and services of our expedition staff.

Not Included: Air transportation (except where shown as included), extensions, passport, visa, immigration fees, scuba diving (where available), meals not indicated, baggage/accident/travel protection plan, items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages, e-mail, laundry. Gratuities to Egyptologists and ship’s crew at your discretion.

Airfare: For all programs, airfare is an additional cost unless otherwise indicated. Sample airfares are based on 2007 fares and are subject to change. We will gladly assist in making your air arrangements.

Note: Complete pre-journey information, including suggestions on what to bring and recommended reading, will be sent after your reservation is confirmed 4-6 months prior to departure.

ITINERARY

1Day 1 : São Miguel, Azores, Portugal / Embark Ship

Arrive on the island of São Miguel in the Azores where we embark the National Geographic Endurance.

Arrival Time: Arrive before 9:00 a.m. local time.

Arrival City: Ponta Delgada, Azores

2Day 2 : Pico

The tallest mountain on the Atlantic Ridge, the long dormant Ponta do Pico, is a defining feature of this beautiful island whose claims to fame are whaling history and wine. Visit the once-booming former whaling village Lajes do Pico and learn about the importance of the whaling industry to these islands at the Whalers’ Museum.Then travel to the wine region, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where the moonscape terrain left by the lava flows has been painstakingly converted to vineyards. See the unlikely lava stone corrals that protect the precious vines before ending the day with a tasting of these very special wines.  

3Day 3 : Faial

More than 20 types of cetaceans can be spotted in the waters surrounding the Azores, and today we go in search of these gentle giants in the channel north of Pico and Horta. A researcher from the biology department of Azores University will join us and share details of the university’s ongoing studies as we scan the sea. Once ashore on the island of Faial, we head to Capelinhos, where we can see how dramatically the landscape changed when its volcano erupted in 1957. Farms and villages were covered with ash, which added nearly an extra mile of land to the island. Later, stroll in the marina, visit the excellent scrimshaw museum, and raise a glass at Peter Café Sport, a legendary pub where sea adventurers historically dropped off their mail. This evening enjoy a very special musical performance of achingly beautiful fado. The genre may trace its roots to mainland Portugal, but the islands have made it their own.  

4Day 4 : São Jorge

This morning visit São Jorge, formed by volcanic fissures. An impressive mix of imposing sea cliffs and fajãs—coastal plateaus formed from lava flows—the island has fertile soil that supports picturesque grasslands and farms. On trails that crisscross the ridge and beaches, hike to Caldeira de Santo Cristo Lake, known for its clams; visit the small villages perched on the fajãs; explore the coffee and tea plantations; and taste world-renowned São Jorge cheese. Be on deck with your binoculars this afternoon as we sail around the tip of the island, passing cliffs with nesting sea birds and looking for Risso’s dolphin and whales. We’ll go ashore by Zodiac to explore the secluded saltwater lagoons of Fajã dos Cubres and Fajã de Santo Cristo, “Wetlands of International Importance.”  

5Day 5 : Graciosa

Aptly named, this “gracious” island has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for the balance its inhabitants have achieved between the preservation of the geography and sustainable human development. Travel through a beautiful patchwork of farmland and vineyards dotted with windmills en route to the ancient village of Santa Cruz. At the natural monument Caldeira da Graciosa, we will see Furna do Enxofre, a unique lava cave and underground lake. Later, stroll through the village of Praia, enjoy the sweet pastry queijada da Graciosa, and soak up the tranquility of this quiet harbor. Weather permitting, we will explore the islet Ilhéu da Praia in Zodiacs and kayaks before ending the day with a presentation by a local historian who will set the stage for our visit to Terceira.   

6Day 6 : Terceira

First settled by Portuguese navigators around 1450, Terceira became a popular port of call for merchant ships and the economic and religious center of the Azores. We will wind along the coastline and explore historic villages like Porto Judeu, a small fishing community; Sao Sebastiao, which has a notable 15th-century parish church; and Altares, with its quaint whitewashed houses capped with traditional chimneys and painted cones. Upland at Algar do Carvao, be amazed by a huge lava tube adorned with stalactites and stalagmites, and later stroll the streets of Praia da Vitoria. Or, take a walking tour with local guides to see the forts, palaces, churches, museums, and gardens of Angra do Heroismo. Step back in time in this 15th-century UNESCO World Heritage site and see firsthand the indelible mark left by the ancient explorers, conquerors, and religious leaders.  

7Day 7 : Vila Do Porto, Santa Maria

Today we will be joined by a local whale guide who will share centuries of expertise on a morning whale-watching expedition as we take to the waters in search of the islands’ many cetaceans. In the afternoon, we go ashore at Santa Maria, historically significant as the first landfall of Christopher Columbus on his return from the Americas in 1493. We’ll see a statue of the explorer in the village of Anjos and admire breathtaking vistas as we travel along the coast. Those who choose to hike the Pico Alto-Baíia dos Anjos trail will travel from the highest point on the island to the sea to observe marine birds in their azure surroundings.   

8Day 8 : São Miguel

Today we explore the Furnas Valley and its famed hot springs, hiking the trails or perhaps visiting a tea plantation or the lovely garden of Terra Nostra. Sample a typical Azorean dish for lunch with the option to prepare it with a local chef. Naturally cooked underground from the heat of volcanic activity, cozido is a dish made with a variety of meats and vegetables. Those who want a hands-on experience may join a local chef to visit the market for fresh ingredients, prepare, and bury the creation. We will explore the valley while the thermal heat cooks our meal and then enjoy the fruits of our labor. 

9Day 9 : São Miguel / Disembark Ship

This morning we disembark and travel to Sete Cidades, a lovely village set amongst green and blue lakes. We will explore the lakes and village and conclude our expedition with a traditional Azorean lunch before transferring to the airport and homebound flights.

Departure Time: Depart after 4:00 p.m. local time.

Departure City: Ponta Delgada, Azores

Day 1 : São Miguel, Azores, Portugal / Embark Ship

Arrive on the island of São Miguel in the Azores where we embark the National Geographic Endurance.

Arrival Time: Arrive before 9:00 a.m. local time.

Arrival City: Ponta Delgada, Azores

Day 2 : Pico

The tallest mountain on the Atlantic Ridge, the long dormant Ponta do Pico, is a defining feature of this beautiful island whose claims to fame are whaling history and wine. Visit the once-booming former whaling village Lajes do Pico and learn about the importance of the whaling industry to these islands at the Whalers’ Museum.Then travel to the wine region, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where the moonscape terrain left by the lava flows has been painstakingly converted to vineyards. See the unlikely lava stone corrals that protect the precious vines before ending the day with a tasting of these very special wines.  

Day 3 : Faial

More than 20 types of cetaceans can be spotted in the waters surrounding the Azores, and today we go in search of these gentle giants in the channel north of Pico and Horta. A researcher from the biology department of Azores University will join us and share details of the university’s ongoing studies as we scan the sea. Once ashore on the island of Faial, we head to Capelinhos, where we can see how dramatically the landscape changed when its volcano erupted in 1957. Farms and villages were covered with ash, which added nearly an extra mile of land to the island. Later, stroll in the marina, visit the excellent scrimshaw museum, and raise a glass at Peter Café Sport, a legendary pub where sea adventurers historically dropped off their mail. This evening enjoy a very special musical performance of achingly beautiful fado. The genre may trace its roots to mainland Portugal, but the islands have made it their own.  

Day 4 : São Jorge

This morning visit São Jorge, formed by volcanic fissures. An impressive mix of imposing sea cliffs and fajãs—coastal plateaus formed from lava flows—the island has fertile soil that supports picturesque grasslands and farms. On trails that crisscross the ridge and beaches, hike to Caldeira de Santo Cristo Lake, known for its clams; visit the small villages perched on the fajãs; explore the coffee and tea plantations; and taste world-renowned São Jorge cheese. Be on deck with your binoculars this afternoon as we sail around the tip of the island, passing cliffs with nesting sea birds and looking for Risso’s dolphin and whales. We’ll go ashore by Zodiac to explore the secluded saltwater lagoons of Fajã dos Cubres and Fajã de Santo Cristo, “Wetlands of International Importance.”  

Day 5 : Graciosa

Aptly named, this “gracious” island has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for the balance its inhabitants have achieved between the preservation of the geography and sustainable human development. Travel through a beautiful patchwork of farmland and vineyards dotted with windmills en route to the ancient village of Santa Cruz. At the natural monument Caldeira da Graciosa, we will see Furna do Enxofre, a unique lava cave and underground lake. Later, stroll through the village of Praia, enjoy the sweet pastry queijada da Graciosa, and soak up the tranquility of this quiet harbor. Weather permitting, we will explore the islet Ilhéu da Praia in Zodiacs and kayaks before ending the day with a presentation by a local historian who will set the stage for our visit to Terceira.   

Day 6 : Terceira

First settled by Portuguese navigators around 1450, Terceira became a popular port of call for merchant ships and the economic and religious center of the Azores. We will wind along the coastline and explore historic villages like Porto Judeu, a small fishing community; Sao Sebastiao, which has a notable 15th-century parish church; and Altares, with its quaint whitewashed houses capped with traditional chimneys and painted cones. Upland at Algar do Carvao, be amazed by a huge lava tube adorned with stalactites and stalagmites, and later stroll the streets of Praia da Vitoria. Or, take a walking tour with local guides to see the forts, palaces, churches, museums, and gardens of Angra do Heroismo. Step back in time in this 15th-century UNESCO World Heritage site and see firsthand the indelible mark left by the ancient explorers, conquerors, and religious leaders.  

Day 7 : Vila Do Porto, Santa Maria

Today we will be joined by a local whale guide who will share centuries of expertise on a morning whale-watching expedition as we take to the waters in search of the islands’ many cetaceans. In the afternoon, we go ashore at Santa Maria, historically significant as the first landfall of Christopher Columbus on his return from the Americas in 1493. We’ll see a statue of the explorer in the village of Anjos and admire breathtaking vistas as we travel along the coast. Those who choose to hike the Pico Alto-Baíia dos Anjos trail will travel from the highest point on the island to the sea to observe marine birds in their azure surroundings.   

Day 8 : São Miguel

Today we explore the Furnas Valley and its famed hot springs, hiking the trails or perhaps visiting a tea plantation or the lovely garden of Terra Nostra. Sample a typical Azorean dish for lunch with the option to prepare it with a local chef. Naturally cooked underground from the heat of volcanic activity, cozido is a dish made with a variety of meats and vegetables. Those who want a hands-on experience may join a local chef to visit the market for fresh ingredients, prepare, and bury the creation. We will explore the valley while the thermal heat cooks our meal and then enjoy the fruits of our labor. 

Day 9 : São Miguel / Disembark Ship

This morning we disembark and travel to Sete Cidades, a lovely village set amongst green and blue lakes. We will explore the lakes and village and conclude our expedition with a traditional Azorean lunch before transferring to the airport and homebound flights.

Departure Time: Depart after 4:00 p.m. local time.

Departure City: Ponta Delgada, Azores

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Costs Include: All accommodations aboard ships or in hotels per itinerary or similar, all meals and nonalcoholic beverages aboard ship, meals on land as indicated, air transportation where indicated as included, shore excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees, special access permits, transfers to and from group flights, use of snorkeling equipment and wet suits, use of kayaks (where available), tips (except to Egyptologists and ship’s crew), taxes and service charges, services of a ship physician on most voyages, and services of our expedition staff.

Not Included: Air transportation (except where shown as included), extensions, passport, visa, immigration fees, scuba diving (where available), meals not indicated, baggage/accident/travel protection plan, items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages, e-mail, laundry. Gratuities to Egyptologists and ship’s crew at your discretion.

Airfare: For all programs, airfare is an additional cost unless otherwise indicated. Sample airfares are based on 2007 fares and are subject to change. We will gladly assist in making your air arrangements.

Note: Complete pre-journey information, including suggestions on what to bring and recommended reading, will be sent after your reservation is confirmed 4-6 months prior to departure.

PAYMENT TERMS

Effective October 1, 2007, all Lindblad voyages departing from and returning to ports outside the United States will be operated by Lindblad Maritime Enterprises, Ltd., a subsidiary of Lindblad Expeditions, Inc.

Reservations: To reserve your place, an advance payment for the program as outlined is required at the time of reservation and is payable by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover or check. The per person amount due is noted on each dates and rates screen.

Final Payment: For expeditions of eight nights or less, final payment is due 60 days prior to departure. For expeditions of nine nights or more, final payment is due 90 days prior to departure.

Travel Protection Plan: Travel protection and medical insurance are available at extra cost. Ask about our comprehensive guest travel protection plan for a worry-free expedition. Learn more about Lindblad Expeditions Travel Protection "Plus" Plan.

Smoking: Smoking is allowed only in designated outdoor areas.

Responsibility and Other Terms & Conditions: Certain other provisions concerning, among other things, limitations of Lindblad Expeditions’ and the National Geographic Society’s liability for loss of property, injury, illness or death during the voyage will be provided to all guests on the ship’s ticket sent prior to departure, and are also available where within this site or upon request. By registering for a trip, the guest agrees to all such terms and conditions.

CANCELLATION POLICY:

For Expeditions 8 Nights or Less:
Number of Days to Expedition Start / Prior Per Person Cancellation Fee
90 or more days / $150*
89–60 days / Advance payment cost
59–30 days / 50% of trip cost
29–0 days / No refund

For Expeditions 9 Nights or More:
Number of Days to Expedition Start / Prior Per Person Cancellation Fee
120 or more days / $150*
119–90 days / Advance payment cost
89–60 days / 25% of trip cost
59–30 days / 50% of trip cost
29–0 days / No refund

Partner Details

Lindblad Expeditions Feed

In Business Since 1966

For over 50 years Lindblad Expeditions has been introducing travelers to a unique and exhilarating way of seeing the world. In 1966, Lars-Eric Lindblad successfully led a group of 56 intrepid guests to Antarctica, where only explorers and scientists had ever gone. In 1967 he did it again in Galápagos; effectively inventing expedition travel. Since then, his son Sven Lindblad has created an unmatched expedition style, taking curious people to the world’s wild, remote places for up-close encounters with beauty, wildness, and the seldom seen. Guests get to share their experience with like-minded others and veteran expedition teams and return home with a priceless stock of memories, some of the best photos of their life, and a deeper appreciation of the most remote, pristine places on the planet. Lindblad Expeditions travels to over 40 geographies on all 7 continents. Their fleet is comprised of 15 nimble and intimately scaled expedition ships with passenger capacities from just 28 to 148. Small ships allow captains to safely venture where larger cruise ships cannot, providing guests with authentic, up-close encounters in the world’s most remote, wild, and pristine places. The quality and experience of Lindblad Expeditions’ veteran staff is a driving factor behind their reputation as a global leader in overseas adventure. Guests traveling on their voyages are guided by skilled and passionate captains and Expedition Leaders, as well as an expert team of naturalists, marine biologists, geologists, historians, undersea specialists, experts and photographers. Lindblad Expeditions’ staff-to-guest ratio (no more than 1-to-16) fosters a genuine exchange of knowledge/information on natural surroundings, history, and culture of the places they explore. Lindblad is committed to sustainability and considered the travel industry’s leader in responsible travel, which includes protecting nature, preserving culture, supporting local communities, and operating green business practices. In October, Lindblad Expeditions was awarded the #1 small-ship cruise line by the 2021 Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards.

Availability

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From $10,721 pp

Subject to availability Double occupancy

Apr 30 - May 08,

2024

Apr 30 - May 08, 2024 (9 days)

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