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Canary Islands

Castles, fresh fish & golden beaches: What to do, see and eat on a Canary Islands cruise

Canary Islands cruises are perfect for anyone seeking winter sun, with the idyllic archipelago serving up golden sands, unique wines and intriguing history. Here’s what to do in the cruise ports there.

Canary Islands cruises stop at a selection of fabulous Canarian ports of call so guests can soak up everything from rum to art to castles.

Norwegian Cruise Line is offering a brilliant selection of winter sun cruises to the Canary Islands in 2023 aboard the lovely Norwegian Sun (below, left). All the itineraries – ranging from 10 to 13 days – stop at a selection of the islands (think Tenerife, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and more) and passengers can either go ahead and explore solo or join up to Go Local, NCL’s new shore excursion tours to immerse themselves even deeper.

Escaping to the sunshine this winter doesn’t just come with the perks of a Vitamin D boost though – NCL guests can bag 50 percent off all sailings and get airfare credit on select fly-cruise packages*.

What’s more, if you fancy treating yourself to an upgrade package, you won’t need to spend the earth thanks to Free at Sea upgrades from as little as £199pp (you’ll enjoy speciality restaurants, unlimited branded drinks and more – discover the details in our NCL upgrade package guide here).

To get you inspired to fly (cruise) south for the winter in comfort, we’ve looked at the brilliant things you can see, do, eat and drink on Canary Islands cruises during your time in port on a Norwegian Cruise Line sailing.

Puerto del Rosario

Fuerteventura

What to see in Puerto del Rosario: Look out for the many sculptures in Puerto del Rosario – the entire town is an Outdoor Sculpture Park with more than 100 artworks to ogle, all designed by different artists as part of an annual contest. The sculptures range from goats and suitcases to fishermen and whale skeletons.

What to do in Puerto del Rosario: For a spot of history and culture on your Canary Islands cruise, head to the 19th-century Casa-Museo de Unamuno. The Spanish poet, novelist and philosopher Miguel de Unamuno lived in this house-turned-museum after he was forced into exile in 1924 following complaints about the political situation in Spain. Find out all about the essayist and how he lived here.

What to eat in Puerto del Rosario: Fresh fish is excellent in Fuerteventura (above, right) – parrot fish is particularly popular and is often stewed or found in fish casseroles.

What to drink in Puerto del Rosario: Order a café con hielo to get your caffeine kick – it’s a strong black coffee served with a side of ice and you can add sugar to taste. For something with a stronger punch, try honey rum (ron miel).

Set Sail

Europe: Spain, Portugal & Canary Islands with NCL

Duration: 10 nights

Where: Granada (Malaga), Spain | Seville (Cádiz), Spain | Lisbon, Portugal | Santa Cruz de la Palma, Spain | Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands | Las Palmas, Canary Islands | Puerto del Rosario, Canary Islands | Arrecife, Lanzarote | Gibraltar, United Kingdom | Granada (Malaga), Spain

Ship: Norwegian Sun

Price: Inside from £765 pp

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Arrecife

Lanzarote

What to see in Arrecife: On a cruise to the Canary Islands admire the pretty Charco San Gines, a natural seawater lagoon in the centre of Arrecife (above, left). It’s lovely to mooch around this area with its fishing boats, restaurants and old buildings and why not walk the palm tree promenade towards Castillo de San Gabriel? The stone castle was once a wooden fortress and offers excellent views over the Atlantic.

What to do in Arrecife: If you’re an art lover visit the Museo International de Arte Contemporáneo – it’s housed in the well-preserved 18th-century Castillo de San José, a castle which was transformed into an art gallery in 1976 by César Manrique, a famous painter and sculptor born in Lanzarote. The museum boasts one of the Canaries’ major contemporary art collections.

What to eat in Arrecife: Canarian potatoes (gloriously wrinkled after being cooked skin-on with coarse salt) accompanied by mojo (a sauce made from blended olive oil, parsley, garlic, coriander and salt) is a typical dish to sample during a Canary Island cruise.

What to drink in Arrecife: You must sip on local Lanzarote wine during your time here with NCL – it’s received a plethora of national and international awards for its quality and is unique thanks to the particular weather conditions and volcanic nature of the island’s wine regions.

Set Sail

Europe: Spain, Gibraltar & Canary Islands with NCL

Duration: 10 nights

Where: Lisbon, Portugal | Santa Cruz de la Palma, Spain | Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands | Las Palma, Canary Islands | Puerto del Rosario, Canary Islands | Arrecife, Canary Islands | Gibraltar | Seville, Spain | Lisbon, Portugal

Ship: Norwegian Sun

Price: Inside from £745 pp (based on February 5, 2023 sailing)

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Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Tenerife

What to see in Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Check out the beautiful botanical gardens at the unique Palmetum during your Canary Islands cruise stop-off in Tenerife. Incredibly, this spot used to be the city’s rubbish dump but is now a splendid display of flora after many years of hard work; palm trees from around the world can be found here! You’ll also benefit from views towards the ocean and Parque Maritim Cesar Manrique here.

What to do in Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Head north to hit up the beach at Playa de Las Teresitas (above, right). Boasting yellow sands backed by palms, it’s the most popular beach in the area plus showers and restaurants make a trip out all the easier. For a great view of the beach be sure to head up to the Mirador.

What to eat in Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Do tuck into some goat’s cheese while on a Canary Island cruise with NCL – Canarians are said to eat more of the stuff than any other Spanish region! Fresh goat’s cheese is the most common and can be ordered in pretty much every restaurant or bought in a supermarket.

What to drink in Santa Cruz de Tenerife: A barraquito is a coffee liqueur drunk in Tenerife; it’s traditionally prepared with Licor 43, milk and lemon zest.

Set Sail

Europe: Spain, Morocco & Portugal with NCL

Duration: 10 nights

Where: Santa Cruz de Tenerife,C anary Islands | Las Palmas, Canary Islands | Arrecife, Lanzarote | Agadir, Morocco | Casablanca, Morocco | Gibraltar, United Kingdom | Granada (Malaga),S pain | Seville (Cádiz),S pain | Lisbon, Portugal | Funchal, Madeira | Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands

Ship: Norwegian Sun

Price: Inside from £913 pp

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*Terms and conditions apply to all offers, see ncl.com for full details.

Published 24.11.22