Mediterranean Opera and Music Cruise

with Christopher Lawrence, Sharolyn Kimmorley and guest artists

This unique event combines the pleasure of a luxury cruise, the thrill of sailing on a traditionally rigged tall ship and the magic of opera, music and art.

Designed for the Patrons and supporters of Opera Australia, and all those with a passion for the arts and a love of travel, this cruise features 9 glorious days and nights aboard the unique Sea Cloud II. Setting sail from Lisbon, the cruise will stop at the Spanish ports of Cadiz, Malaga and Valencia and the delightful island of Mallorca, before arrival in Nice, the gateway to the Cote d’Azur.

On board, enjoy a specially curated program of opera and music by rising stars and established artists. Ashore, explore a panorama of art, history and culture around the Iberian Peninsula and across the Mediterranean.

Suggested departure from Australia on Qantas/Emirates flights via Dubai.

12.35 PM Early afternoon arrival in Lisbon. Make your way to the Port of Lisbon for embarkation on the Sea Cloud II, commencing at 4.00 PM. The ship departs at 5.00 PM.


Enjoy a day at sea, sailing along the Atlantic coast of southern Portugal and Spain.

This evening enjoy your first on board opera recital, featuring Cheryl Barker (soprano) and Aldo di Toro (tenor). Entitled ‘From the Old World to the New’, tonight’s program features opera, operetta and song from bel canto to Broadway.


8.00 AM Arrival at Cadiz, thought by some to be the oldest city in Europe. Founded in 1,100 BC by the Phoenicians who called it Gadir and traded Baltic amber and British tin, as well as Spanish silver, Cadiz subsequently became a naval base for the Romans before fading into obscurity until 1262 AD when Alfonso X took it from the Muslims. The real boom period was with the discovery of America as Columbus sailed from this port on his second and fourth voyages. Much later the city enjoyed a golden age during the 18th century when it enjoyed 75% of Spanish trade with America. From this time it grew into one of the wealthiest and most cosmopolitan cities in Spain and most of the city’s fine buildings date from this time.

During a morning tour by coach and on foot, see the Parque Genoves and the Castillo of Santa Catalina, walk through the old town and stop at the Torre Tavira, a watch tower built in the 18th century on the highest point of the old town. Today the tour offers 360 degree views of Cadiz. Enjoy some free time afterwards in the city centre before reboarding the Sea Cloud II.

1.30 PM Departure from Cadiz. Continue your journey around the Atlantic coastline of Spain. After passing through the Strait of Gibraltar, enter into the Mediterranean Sea.

This afternoon, join Christopher Lawrence in conversation with Cheryl Barker, Aldo Di Toro and Sharolyn Kimmorley.

Tonight’s recital will feature acclaimed Spanish guitarist and composer José María Gallardo del Rey in a rich and stimulating program of music for the guitar.


8.00 AM Arrival at Malaga, the capital city of the Costa del Sol. Founded by the Phoenicians as a colony some 3,000 years ago, Malaga has come under the rule of the Romans, the Carthaginians and the Moors. Once considered the poor cousin of Seville (the capital city of Andalusia), Malaga now competes successfully for attention, thanks to its profusion of interesting museums, delightful pedestrianised centre, innovative restaurants and stylish hotels, many featuring trendy rooftop terraces with bar, pool and stunning views. Muelle Uno is the latest addition – a contemporary leisure complex in the port – while a new arty district called SOHO is bringing a bohemian edge to the city.

Departing from the pier, begin with a visit to the Cathedral, also called La Manquita, for an inside visit. After conquering Malaga from the Moors in 1528, the Catholic kings ordered a cathedral to be built over the original mosque. The construction was not finished until 1728, and the façade is mainly Renaissance in style. Next visit La Alcazaba, a military fortress build by the Moors in the 11th century on the remains of a Romans fortress. After, walk through the city centre to the Picasso Museum, housed in the Condes de Buenavista Palace, a building from the 16th century. The museum was created in response to Pablo Picasso’s own desire for his work to be present in the city where he was born in 1881.

1.00 PM Departure from Malaga. Continue your journey around the Mediterranean coastline of Spain.


Enjoy a day at sea, sailing along the Atlantic coast of southern Portugal and Spain.

During the morning, join Christopher Lawrence in conversation with Deborah Humble, José María Gallardo del Rey and Sharolyn Kimmorley

This evening evening’s recital is entitled ‘A Night in Spain’ and will feature Deborah Humble, Jose Maria Gallardo del Rey and Sharolyn Kimmorley in a mixed programme of works by Spanish composers – or inspired by Spain – for mezzo soprano, guitar and piano.


9.00 AM Arrival at Valencia. Founded as a Roman colony in 138 BC Valencia is situated on the banks of the Turia River, in a fertile valley watered by two rivers, the Jucar and the Turia. The city boasts a long tradition of agriculture – citrus orchards in particular – enhanced by irrigation systems first set up by the Romans and then improved by the Moors.

Encompassing Visigoth and Moorish periods, the city’s historical heritage is particularly rich, offering magnificent churches, elegant museums and romantic promenades. The third largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona Valencia has embarked in recent decades on a major program of urban renewal which has resulted in many fine examples of contemporary architecture.

After arrival begin with a visit to the historic heart of the city. Walk through the Plaza de la Reina, visit the Cathedral and adjoining Miguelete Tower, see La Lonja (Silk Exchange) and taste local specialties in the Central Market. Finish the morning with a visit to the Fine Arts Museum of Valencia, considered Spain’s second most important art collection after the Prado in Madrid.

After a break for lunch on your own, continue to the City of Arts and Science complex, designed by Spanish ‘starchitects’Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candel, Enjoy a guided interior visit of the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, the opera house at the centre of this extraordinary complex devoted to science, technology, nature and art.

Return to the Sea Cloud II for dinner before attending an evening concert of Mahler’s 8th Symphony (‘Symphony of a Thousand’) by the Symphony Orchestra of Valencia, conducted by Yaron Traub

12.00 AM Departure from Valencia.


Enjoy a day at sea, sailing from the coast of Spain across the Balearic Sea to the Island of Mallorca.

7.00 PM Arrival at Palma de Mallorca.

Depart for an evening tour on coach and on foot. Start with a drive to the Bellver Castle, a magnificent medieval fortress from the 14th century which offers a spectacular panoramic view over the city and the Bay of Palma. Continue to the Cathedral, where you begin a walking tour of the historic and lively Old City, passing elegant town houses, small squares and smart shops, bars and restaurants. Finish the evening with tapas and a flamenco performance!


Enjoy a morning tour across the island. Begin with a drive to Son Marroig, a typical 16th century Majorcan mansion, with beautiful views of the northern coastline. Continue to the hilltop village of Valdemossa, known for its Carthusian Monastery. Originally a royal residence before being occupied by Carthusian Monks from 1399 until 1835 Valdemossa is especially well known thanks to musician and composer Frederick Chopin who spent the winter of 1838 here with the writer George Sand. The museum at the monastery contains original music sheets of Chopin and manuscripts by George Sand. There is also the old pharmacy in its original state, numerous displays of ancient manuscripts, monks’ cells in original condition and the lavishly decorated palace of King Sancho. The various cells have beautiful little partitioned gardens with excellent views down the valley.

12.00 PM Departure from Mallorca.


Enjoy a day at sea, sailing across the Mediterranean towards France.

During the morning, join Christopher Lawrence in conversation with Lauren Fagan (soprano) and Morgan Pearse (baritone).

This evening before dinner, enjoy your final on board opera recital, featuring Lauren Fagan and Morgan Pearse. Program to be announced.

After, celebrate the conclusion of the cruise with the Captain’s farewell cocktails and dinner.


8.00 AM Arrival at Nice and disembarkation.

If returning to Australia today, make your way to Nice Airport for suggested departure on mid-afternoon Qantas/Emirates flights, via Dubai. Evening arrival in Australia on Wednesday 03 May.

Per person, twin-share from

AUD 9,950

Single/Sole use* from

AUD 11,950

Deposit per person (at time of booking)

AUD 1,000

All prices are per person.

*Be one of the first 20 to book and we will offer a free cabin upgrade (twin-share travellers) OR waive the single supplement (single travellers).

Mediterranean Opera and Music Cruise / Lisbon – Nice 23 April – 02 May 2017 (10 days)


Tour code


Final payment due

18 February 2017

Fitness level

Please see terms & conditions for fitness level definitions.

Suggested airlines

Qantas / Emirates
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current fares and specials.


Australian and New Zealand passport holders currently do not require visas for Portugal, Spain and France

Cruise price includes

  • 9 nights’ cruise on Sea Cloud II with all meals
  • Other meals as per itinerary (L=Lunch, D=dinner)
  • Wines included with all meals
  • Comprehensive sightseeing including entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Four (4) on-board opera and music recitals, plus a flamenco performance in Mallorca
  • Symphony concert in Valencia
  • Pre-concert introductions and talks
  • Gratuities throughout
  • Ship porterage

Cruise price does not include

  • Flights
  • Transfers in Lisbon and Nice
  • Items of a personal nature (i.e. lounge and bar drinks, mini-bar, telephone, laundry etc.)
  • Travel insurance


Launched in 2001 SEA CLOUD II is a three-masted barque with a total length of 117 metres and 23 sails, which cover a surface area of around 3,000 square metres when fully unfurled – a magnificent sight to witness. Sister ship of the legendary SEA CLOUD, SEA CLOUD II combines the high standards expected of a 5-star cruise ship with the unique atmosphere of a romantic tall ship.

With just 47 outside suites and cabins for a maximum of 94 guests, SEA CLOUD II has the character of a private yacht. Public areas include a restaurant with open seating and one sitting dining, lounge with Steinway baby grand piano (will be used for the on-board recitals and concerts), boutique, library, sauna, fitness area, swimming platform, hospital and an outside bar on Lido deck.

Included in the cruise are six meals a day (from ‘early riser coffee and tea’ to ‘midnight snack’, with breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner in between), wine and beer with lunch and dinner, Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Cocktail parties, a welcome bottle of Champagne, fresh fruit in each cabin (replenished daily) and use of an on-board laptop for sending e-mails.

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