As many people know this summer Cardiff will be hosting one of the world’s largest sporting events, the UEFA Champions League Finals. On 1st June the women’s finals will be held at the Cardiff City Stadium and on 3rd June the men’s finals at the National Stadium of Wales. It is touted as being one of the biggest sporting events to ever be held in Wales and the single-biggest sporting event in the World in 2017.
Over 170,000 fans are predicted to descend on the Welsh capital in the beginning of June to support their teams and will add another 50% to the Cardiff population for the short duration. As the city begins to prepare for the arrival of the final teams, which will be decided after the semi-finals in early May, many people will either be ecstatic that this major event will be coming to their hometown or will be deciding now whether they will be looking to leave the capital to avoid the impending travel issues and closures which always follow large sporting events.
For those in Cardiff who do not know their offside from their foul play we may be able to help you escape the city this summer to enjoy a last minute adult-only cruise break which will allow you to avoid the planned madness of the finals, unless of course you are planning on enjoying the UEFA build-up atmosphere! We are offering you the chance to sail away on the Marco Polo from Cardiff throughout May to a host of European destinations in Spain, Portugal and France from £799pp*.
A Trio of Cultures
For those who wish to miss all the build-up and road closures but still make it home to watch the all-important hometown final then touring the historical cities and colourful coasts of Spain, Portugal and France is the cruise for you. Travel southbound for 10 nights sailing on Wednesday 24 May from Cardiff Port to experience the best of four cultures.
First port-of-call is La Pallice for La Rochelle where passengers will have the day to explore the 10th Century city taking in the architectural beauty of the ‘White City’ where the famous two Towers protect the port. Hennessy Cognac may well be one of the most famous exports from the town of Cognac, founded back in 1765 by Captain Richard Hennessey who upon tasting the regions delicacy set up his own trading company which still exists today. You can explore the site, taking in the history and story of how an ex-Army captain cultivated brandy making and, most importantly, taste test the famous brandy itself.
The Basque Country which is home to Bilbao has long been famed for its cuisine and architecture. You are able to spend a morning within Bilbao to either explore the world-famous Guggenheim Museum, simply wander the streets trying the local delicacies of bacalao or pintxos or if you wish to discover outside the city the famous Vizacaya Bridge is only a short coach ride away. Built in 1893 it is now the oldest transporter bridge in the world connecting Portugalete and Las Arenas across the Nervion River.
And finally a true delight which cannot be missed is the overnight stop in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. Originally thought to have been founded by the Greek hero Odysseus during his 10 year journey back from Troy to Ithaca which was immortalised in the epic ‘The Odyssey’ by Homer, Lisbon today is a bustling industrialized capital and is always a welcome stop for visitors. A must visit is the Jerónimos Monastery which was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, originally built in the 16th century on the order of King Manuel I. The stunning main church was built in the Manueline style and attracts architects and artists from all over the world to admire its structure and visit the tombs of poet Luis de Camoes and explorer Vasco de Gama.
*Prices correct and available at time of publishing.
Excursions are subject to minimum number of bookings.