Our itinerary is crafted to offer a balanced & in-depth experience

Sail among the Old World islands in the wake of the world’s great explorers, learning of their discoveries—and having plenty of your own. Balmy ocean breezes, dramatic island archipelagos, with extraordinary island geology. Flexibility is a hallmark of Lindblad-National Geographic expeditions, so our day-to-day itinerary may change as we choose to take advantage of a unique opportunity or photographers decide to linger in a village through the golden hour of light.


  • DAY 1-2: U.S./São Miguel, Azores, Portugal/Embark

    Fly overnight to Ponta Delgada on the island of São Miguel in the Azores, where we embark National Geographic Endurance. (L,D on Day 2)

  • DAY 3: Pico

    Named after long dormant volcano, Ponta do Pico, Pico is known as the “mountain island.” Towering over the center of the island, the peak is the tallest on the Atlantic Ridge. This morning we set off to explore this beautiful island with a notorious history of whaling and wine. Explore Lajes do Pico, once believed to be the most important whaling village in the islands. Visit the Whalers’ Museum, Museu do Baleeiros, to learn about the importance the industry had to the island. Then travel on to the wine region, where the moonscape terrain left by the lava flows has been painstakingly converted to vineyards. The lava stone corrals housing the precious vines are now considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The day would not be complete without a tasting of these very special wines. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 4: Faial

    The Azores are a whale-watching mecca, where more than 20 different types of cetaceans can be spotted. We go in search of these gentle giants in the channel north of Pico and Horta islands. A researcher from the Biology Department of Azores University will join us and share details of the university’s ongoing studies as we scan the sea. Once ashore on the island of Faial, we head to Capelinhos, where we can see how dramatically the landscape changed when the volcano at the western end of the island erupted in 1957. Farms and villages were covered with ash, adding an extra two square kilometers of land to the island. Later, stroll along the marina, visit the excellent scrimshaw museum, and raise a glass at Peter Café Sport, a legendary pub where sea adventurers historically dropped off their mail. This evening enjoy a very special musical performance of the achingly beautiful Fado. The genre may trace its roots to Portugal, but the islands have made it their own. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 5: São Jorge

    This morning visit São Jorge, the third corner of the “triangulo” or triangle of islands – Pico, Faial, and São Jorge. Formed by volcanic fissures, the island is an impressive mix of imposing sea cliffs and fajãs - coastal plateaus formed from the lava flows. The fertile soil has created one of the greenest and naturally beautiful islands in the archipelago. With trails that crisscross the ridge and beaches, hike to Caldeira de Santo Cristo Lake, known for its clams; visit the small villages perched on the fajãs; explore the coffee and tea plantations, one of only two places in Europe with commercial production; and take part in a tasting of the world-renowned São Jorge cheese.


    This afternoon we sail around the tip of the island on our way to Fajã dos Cubres and Fajã de Santo Cristo. Be on deck with your binoculars as we pass cliffs with nesting sea birds and there is always the chance to spot Risso’s dolphin or passing whales. Designated as “Wetland of International Importance”, we’ll go ashore by Zodiac to explore these secluded bays. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 6: Graciosa

    Aptly named, this “gracious” island has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for the balance they have achieved between the preservation of the geography and sustainable human development. The colors of the farmland and vineyards create a beautiful patchwork that is dotted with windmills. We will travel to the ancient village of Santa Cruz and the natural monument of Caldeira da Graciosa, where we’ll glimpse Furna do Enxofre, a lava cave and underground lake. Later you’ll have time to stroll through the village of Praia, enjoy the sweet pastry - Queijadas da Graciosa, and soak up the tranquility of this quiet harbor. This afternoon enjoy Zodiac cruises, and weather permitting, kayaking in the secluded bays of Ilhéu da Praia, a small islet off the coast. This evening enjoy a presentation by a local historian that will help set the stage for our visit to Terceira and its rich past. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 7: Terceira

    First settled by Portuguese navigators around 1450, Terceira grew to play a prominent role in history –a popular port of call for the ships carrying the wealth of the Americas and those trading with India, the island became the economic and religious center of the Azores. Depart on an exploration of the island; wind along the coastline and explore many of the historic villages – Porto Judeu, a small fishing village; Sao Sebastiao and its 15th century parish church; Altares with its quaint whitewashed houses, capped with the traditional chimneys and painted cones. Head upland to Algar do Carvao, a huge lava tube adorned with stalactites and stalagmites; continue exploring as you stroll through the streets of Praia da Vitoria before returning to the ship.


    Alternatively embark on a walking tour of UNESCO World Heritage site, Angra do Heroismo. Step back in time with our local guides and see firsthand the indelible mark left by the ancient explorers, conquerors and religious leaders. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 8: Vila de Porta, Santa Maria

    Tap into the century’s old expertise of our local whale guides. These experts have centuries of ties to their surroundings and an instinct for scouting its wild inhabitants. They will guide us on our morning whale-watching. In the afternoon, we go ashore at Santa Maria, historically significant as the first landfall of Christopher Columbus on his return from the Americas in 1493. We will travel to the village of Anjos, known for its statue of the explorer and the Chapel Nossa Senhora dos Anjos, thought to be where Columbus attended his first mass upon his return from America. Continue along the coast and take in the breathtaking vistas. For those interested in getting some exercise, we will hike the Pico Alto-Baíia dos Anjos trail that will allow us to experience the scenery and atmosphere of the island – making its way from Pico Alto, the highest point on the island, to the sea where will observe marine birds in their azure surroundings. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 9: São Miguel

    Today we explore the Furnas Valley and its famed hot springs, hiking the trails or perhaps visiting a tea plantation or the lovely garden of Terra Nostra. And we will have a tasting of Azorean cuisine. Savor a traditional cozido lunch, naturally cooked from the volcanic activity—underground! For those that want a more “hands on” experience, join a local chef to create your own cozido lunch – visit the market for fresh ingredients; bury your creation, explore the valley while the thermal heat cooks your meal and then enjoy your bounty! (B,L,D)

  • DAY 10: São Miguel/Disembark/U.S.

    This morning we disembark and travel to Sete Cidades, a lovely village set amongst green and blue lakes. Enjoy exploring the lakes and village before we are treated to a traditional Azorean lunch. Transfer to the airport and homebound flights. (B,L)

Please note: All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

Get our newsletter

Join us for updates, insider reports & special offers.

Privacy Policy