Tucked in France’s Côte Basque, Biarritz first came to prominence in the mid-19th century when Napoleon III built a summer palace here for his wife, Empress Eugenie. The oceanside palace is now the esteemed Hotel du Palais, a landmark for the dynamic, beach-rimmed Biarritz. Surfing in France originated here in the late 1950s, and the sport has become synonymous with the city. You might watch surfers riding the waves that funnel into the Bay of Biscay, or simply comb the lovely beaches. Biarritz also has an urbane personality and museums dedicated to everything from Asian art to chocolate. Don’t miss the blue-domed Russian Orthodox Church, built for visiting Russian aristocrats in the 19th century. Pedestrian-friendly Biarritz is lined with fashion boutiques and shops selling French cheeses, wine, porcelain dolls, and Basque tablecloths. Enjoy Basque-influenced cuisine such as veal stew, cured ham dishes, tapas and foie gras.

Port: Biarritz (Saint-Jean-de-Luz)
Experience

Biarritz (Saint-Jean-de-Luz)

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  • Executive Collection Half Day Van

    PRICE is per vehicle

    This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

    The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

    Capacity: 6 guests

    PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

    Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

    Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

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  • Executive Collection Half Day Car

    PRICE is per vehicle

    This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

    The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

    Capacity: 2 guests

    PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

    Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

    Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

    Read More
  • Executive Collection Full Day Car

    PRICE is per vehicle

    This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

    The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

    Capacity: 2 guests

    PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

    Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

    Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

    Read More
  • Executive Collection Full Day Van

    PRICE is per vehicle

    This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

    The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

    Capacity: 6 guests

    PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

    Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

    Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

    Read More
  • A Taste of the Basque Country

    Enjoy discovering the charm of some typical Basque villages on this delightful half-day excursion into the countryside surrounding Saint-Jean-de-Luz.

    Starting off from the pier, you will travel for approximately 30-minutes into the beautiful landscape of the famous Basque area of France. Your first stop will be at the village of Ainhoa, which was nearly totally destroyed by the Spanish in 1629. The houses you see here today were rebuilt during the 17th and 18th centuries. Your guided tour down the town's main street showcases some of the finest homes built in the Labourd style, with the dates of construction and owner's name engraved on the lintels above the doorways. An interesting feature of the homes found on the main street is that those on one side of the street appear to be less decorative than those on the other side. The reason being, it is local tradition to build homes with their backs to the sea, in order to protect them from the wind and rain.

    From here, you will next travel to the lovely hilltop village of Sare. Surrounded by superb Basque farmhouses, this pastoral and peaceful setting rests in the shadow of the Rhune Mountain and in the heart of what was once known as the old smuggling region. A stop here at Sare's preserved, typical Basque House, gives an opportunity to view the interior of a traditional Basque home as well as enjoy a tasting of local treats that have been produced from the surrounding farms. This may include cheeses, apple marmalade, cider and wine.

    Leaving Sare behind, you will transfer back to Saint-Jean-de-Luz and have a brief orientation drive of the historic town before being returned to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes limited walking. As the sites are not wheelchair accessible, it is not available to wheelchair guests. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Flat, comfortable walking shoes, a hat and sunglasses are recommended. The order of the sites visited may vary.

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  • The Guggenheim Museum

    Spend the day exploring the fabulous Guggenheim Museum on this full-day tour that takes you through the Basque country to Bilbao, Spain and this impressive attraction.

    Starting off from the pier, it's a scenic drive of approximately 2-hours to reach the city of Bilbao, home of the famous Guggenheim Museum. Since its opening on October 19, 1997, architecture critics have been tripping over themselves to invent new superlatives to praise this modern art repository; many settle on the word miracle. A wondrous sculpture of a building crafted in titanium, limestone and glass by controversial American architect Frank Gehry, it rises majestically above the banks of Bilbao's Nervion River. Its restless form truly defies description. From one angle, its form is likened to fish squirming in a basket; from another it takes the form of a massive ocean liner. From across the Nervion, it is seen as a rose with unfolding silver petals.

    Once inside this three-story building, it continues to fascinate, seeming to bob and weave, with barely a straight line or right angle. The atrium soars to 165 feet and the boat gallery which looks like the hold of a ship, is a vast 433-foot cavern. The Museum includes exhibition space totaling an incredible 110,000 square feet. Gehry's work here is as astounding to the eyes as the Eiffel Tower or Frank Loyd Wright's 1959 screw-shaped Guggenheim. Gehry himself says, "It's really a miracle of collaboration between the Americans and the Basque people."

    Your time here is on your own. Although guides are not allowed to make any comments inside the museum, audio-guides are available. For your convenience, there are venues available in the museum for a light snack or restaurants in the area for you to enjoy lunch.

    After approximately 3 1/2 hours, you will re-join your escort and make the return journey back to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes moderate walking, mainly at the guests' discretion and elevators are available at the museum. The tour is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests and those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

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  • Cristobal Balenciaga Museum

    Behold the genius of Spanish fashion designer Cristobal Balenciaga in his namesake museum, where more than a thousand of his creations are displayed.

    After departing from the pier, you will enjoy a leisurely one hour drive across France’s southern border and on to Spain’s medieval city of Getaria, home of the Cristobal Balenciaga Museum. The legendary fashion designer was born in Getaria, so it is fitting that a museum devoted to his life and legacy is located here, not far from his grave.

    Balenciaga was so influential, especially in the 1950s and 1960s, that Coco Chanel called him “the only true couturier among us.” He began sewing at an early age, became an apprentice tailor as a teen, and opened his own fashion house at age 22. Balenciaga’s acclaim soon grew. He is credited with transforming the silhouette by broadening the shoulders and narrowing the waist. His Empire dresses, baby doll dresses and kimono-like coats became icons. Some of his most famous clients included Fabiola de Mora y Aragon, who wore a Balenciaga design for her 1960 wedding to King Baudouin I of Belgium, and film actress Grace Kelly.

    The buildings that house the museum are just as remarkable as Balenciaga’s designs. One is the majestic Aldamar Palace, once owned by mentors to Balenciaga; the other is a curved, glass-walled modern annex. The interiors throughout are designed to create a calm, enveloping ambiance.

    Upon arrival, you’ll have a guided introduction by a member of the museum staff and then you are free to explore the various exhibits independently. While browsing the museum, which contains the world’s most extensive collection of Balenciaga’s creations, you will see some of his most important fashions which include chic cocktail dresses, jeweled wedding dresses, tailored suits and accessories such as taffeta day caps and brooches.

    Following your two hour visit, you will rejoin your coach and travel back to the pier in St. Jean de Luz.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 2 hours of easy to moderate walking that includes some steps to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

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  • San Sebastian

    Travel from the pier to charming San Sebastian, the city that the Kings and Queens of Spain have chosen as their royal seaside resort, just as Napoleon III and the Empress Eugenie chose Biarritz. Today, San Sebastian remains a brilliant and seductive city, a true cultural hub of the Basque Country.

    After a scenic 30-minute drive, your first stop is at Monte Igueldo, where you will enjoy a fabulous view of San Sebastian bay. After a brief photo opportunity, you will travel into San Sebastian and be treated to a panoramic tour of the city. Arriving at the Old Town, you will take part in a guided walking tour of the old quarter. Here, in the narrow pedestrian streets of this historic section of town, are located the famous Tapas bars. Free time will be allotted for you to experience the charming atmosphere of this area while perhaps enjoying a tasting of local Tapas, accompanied by Spanish wines or local cider. You will also find a variety of colorful shops that offer up a wide selection of goods for you to purchase as a keepsake of your visit.

    Please note: This tour includes moderate walking and is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. There may be steps to negotiate at some of the Tapas bars and shops. Flat, comfortable walking shoes, a hat and sunglasses are recommended.

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  • Biarritz & the Basque Coast

    Discover Biarritz, considered the Queen of resorts and the resort of Kings on this delightful half-day tour.

    Joining your motor coach at the pier, you'll enjoy a scenic 30-minute drive to Biarritz, stopping first at lighthouse point. Situated on the northern tip of Biarritz, this lovely viewpoint offers a wonderful panoramic view of the city and makes for a great photo opportunity. After a scenic drive, you will take part in a guided walking tour of the city. Amongst the sites you will view during the course of your tour is the Grande Plage, the main beach in town, where surfers from all over the world come to ride the waves.

    Another impressive highlight is the Hotel du Palais. With its façade that overhangs the golden beach of Biarritz, this historic hotel revives memories of the idle and frivolous period of the 1920's. Built in 1855 as a summer house for the Imperial couple, the building owes its 'E' shape to the name of the Empress Eugenie.

    From the Hotel du Palais, your next stop is the cozy fishing port nestled amongst the rocks. It is considered by many as a tiny village within the city of Biarritz. After viewing the fishing port, it's off to the Rock of the Virgin, a landmark in Biarritz. This island is attainable only by an imposing bridge which was constructed by Gustave Eiffel, the very same architect who, of course, designed the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris. Your interesting, as well as amusing guided tour packed with anecdotes from Biarritz's colorful past, concludes at the ancient whaling port where you are afforded some free time to further explore on your own or do some shopping.

    Re-joining your coach, you'll next travel through the charming villages of Bidart and Guethary, typical villages with their fronton, the place where the Basques play the pelota, the traditional sport.

    Arriving back in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, you will enjoy a 45-minute walking tour of the historic town which will end back at the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes a moderate amount of walking and is not available to wheelchair guests. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability and may make arrangements with the guide to not participate in some of the walking portions of the tour. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and fat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.

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  • Discover Medieval Bayonne

    Discover the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage city of Bayonne and then enjoy some free time to explore on your own.

    Traveling from the pier, it's a 30-minute drive from St. Jean de Luz to Bayonne. Nestled at the junction of the Nive and Adour rivers, rests this charming fortified city. From the defensive ramparts to the beautiful cathedral and cloister, Bayonne's uniqueness is clearly defined by its traditions and historical past.

    Originally a Roman garrison, medieval Bayonne sprang to life on the same site, under the coat-of-arms of both France and England. The town became a flourishing port during three-hundred years of English rule, which originated in the famous marriage between Alienor of Aquitaine and Henry Plantagenet. Their son, Richard the Lion Hearted, often visited Bayonne and eventually married a Basque princess from Navarre.

    Upon arrival, you will enjoy a guided one-hour walking tour through the narrow pedestrian streets of "Old Bayonne" which are lined with 18th century homes and colorful shops. Today, Bayonne remains the regional capital and main port.

    A little known fact is that one of Bayonne's oldest gourmet traditions is chocolate making. The Portuguese Jews introduced the secret technique of chocolate making in the 16th century and Bayonne was thus the first town in France to introduce what was then referred to as the "devil's drink". Following your guided tour, you will have one-hour of free time to leisurely stroll about the town and perhaps sample some of this notable chocolate or a pastry. The shops in Bayonne also offer up some fine linen pieces.

    Afterwards, rejoin your coach at the appointed time and location and transfer back to the pier in St. Jean de Luz.

    Please note: This tour includes 1-hour of moderate to strenuous walking plus any additional walking at the guests' discretion during free time. There will be cobblestone surfaces and some steep inclines to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not considered suitable for those with mobility concerns. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

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