Lush green landscapes and dramatic volcanic scenery. Bubbling hot springs and sparkling crater lakes. Vibrant port towns and cities steeped in history. The Azores might be remote, but the journey is well worth it. We’ll skip between three islands (Terceira, Faial and São Miguel) for a full flavour of this rugged, unspoilt archipelago, before making our way home via Lisbon’s cobbled streets and Porto’s hole-in-the-wall wine bars. In between, relaxed days at sea allow you to enjoy the facilities of Black Watch.
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your journey to Liverpool. Embark Black Watch (3.5-star) in preparation for a late afternoon sailing.
As we begin our cruise, we’ll have three free days. Enjoy a hearty breakfast then take your pick from the variety of activities on board. Show off your general knowledge in an afternoon or evening quiz. Try your hand at bridge, bingo or deck quoits. Or indulge in a traditional afternoon tea to while away your time. Top off the day with a sumptuous dinner or a simple tasty buffet.
Our first Azorean port of call is the lush island of Terceira. Explore the historic quarter and natural harbour of pretty Praia da Vitoria, the archipelago’s formal capital.
Or make a beeline for Angra do Heroismo, a UNESCO-listed city that’s packed with charm. Wander through the narrow streets here and you’ll find centuries-old churches, interesting museums and traditional houses painted in all colours of the rainbow.
Monte Brasil, a 205-metre-high volcano looms large over Angra do Heroismo. From its peak, you can enjoy panoramic views over the city and out to sea.
Our destination today is hard-to-reach Faial Island. Here, you’ll find a dramatic landscape of volcanic craters, ink-blue lakes and valleys cloaked in deep green. Discover Horta’s vibrant marina and open-air art gallery (paintings are installed on a jetty by visiting sailors).
Or you might like to opt for a scenic island drive or 4x4 adventure tour, where you’ll make your way to the famous Capelinhos volcano. It’s set on a peninsula formed by a series of lava flows, so expect rocky landscapes and jet-black cliffs.
Ponta Delgada is your gateway to Sete Cidades, an extinct volcano with a 13-kilometre-wide crater. Inside the caldera are two glittering lakes that reflect the blue of the sky and the green of the surrounding forested slopes. It’s known as one of Portugal’s ‘seven wonders’ - and once you see it, you’ll understand why.
Elsewhere, you could explore Terra Nostra Park, with its gardens, woodlands and geo-thermal pools, or see the bubbling hot springs of Furnas Valley. In Ponta Delgada itself, there are quaint churches, cobbled streets and pretty, tree-shaded squares to discover.
Keep your brain active with the morning quiz, then perfect your dance moves in the afternoon with a beginners’ class. After dinner, you could continue the dancing theme and join the hosted dancing, or choose to watch the professionals instead.
We arrive in the Portuguese capital this morning, where you’ll have the day to explore. Canary-yellow trams clatter up and down cobbled streets, and are an easy way to explore some of the city’s hillier districts. For great views over Lisbon and the River Tagus, head for Castelo de São Jorge, or one of the viewing terraces (miradouros).
There are also baroque churches, a collection of superb museums, and countless cafés and restaurants serving up fresh seafood and cinnamon-dusted custard tarts.
Leixões is our ticket to Porto, one of Europe’s trendiest cities. Beaux arts buildings climb up steep riverbanks, wine bars pour locally produced ports, and a grand cathedral surveys the city from a hilltop perch.
For a taste of the traditional, you might like to seek out one of the rabelo boats that ferry visitors up and down the Douro. These traditional wooden boats were once used to transport barrels of port between Douro Valley producers and city merchants.
As we sail home you may want to rest after all your sightseeing. If you’re still full of energy, there‘s lots to fill your time - from quizzes, games and music recitals to walks on deck and dance classes. And of course there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy all the tasty food options.
We arrive back in Liverpool early this morning, disembarking after breakfast. Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.
Touring with Titan Travel
As one of the UK’s leading escorted holiday companies, Titan Travel offers an award-winning collection of holidays and tours in incredible destinations on all seven continents. In addition to scooping 20 British Travel Awards, 4 British Cruise Awards and a Telegraph Travel Award in 2018, the company won a Globe Travel Award and achieved Good Housekeeping Reader Recommended status in 2019, meaning you can have complete confidence in booking your escorted holiday and experiences with this great travel brand.
With a vast array of destination choices and so many carefully planned escorted tours available, it’s easy to find your perfect holiday with Titan Travel. The company does, in fact, offer over 400 exciting itineraries visiting around 100 destinations across Europe, Africa, Asia, Australasia, India, Sri Lanka, the Caribbean, the Middle East, North America, South America and Central America. And as your Titan Travel holiday includes a VIP door-to-door service, your escorted holiday starts and ends at your front door. This means planning your touring holiday is super easy, so the only hard part is choosing where to go!
One of the best things about Titan Travel is that they cover all holiday types and have something for everyone, from coach tours, escorted train and rail holiday tours and short UK breaks to Christmas holidays and a wide variety of river and ocean cruises. Whether you want to explore the Slovenian coast from the bow of a boat, see the monumental glaciers and snow-dusted mountains of the Alaskan fjords or even attend a traditional tea ceremony in Japan, Titan Travel boasts an unbeatable collection of touring holidays and unique solo and group travel experiences. Plus, you’ll have peace of mind that everything’s taken care of - including any airport transfers, excursions and chosen escorted tours.
If you want to travel on your own, Titan Travel welcomes thousands of single travellers every year and offers escorted holidays that are reserved exclusively for solo guests, like trips to Russia, escapes to Portugal, rail journeys in Switzerland and Greek island-hopping adventures. Not only will you discover new destinations but you’ll also meet new people and make unforgettable memories while fulfilling your solo travel wishes. Titan Travel also offers small group escorted tours so that you can meet like-minded travellers and enjoy a more intimate and social atmosphere on your holiday. Small group tours are limited to 25 travellers and include South Africa safari adventures, Thailand and Cambodia discovery tours and cruising to the temples and villages in Burma.
No matter which type of escorted touring holiday you pick, your Titan Travel holiday is ABTA and ATOL protected and the brand’s price promise protects you against any price drops after you’ve made a booking. What’s more, Titan Travel uses experienced tour managers and expert local guides who will ensure you don’t miss a thing while visiting a new destination.