Day 1 - London Tilbury
Make your own way to London Tilbury to embark Columbus (3T) in preparation for an evening sailing.
Day 2 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands
We arrive in the characterful Dutch capital this afternoon, famous for its extensive canals and many fine museums. View the vast collection of works on show at the Van Gogh Museum and the priceless treasures of the Rijksmuseum and take in sights such as the Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge), the Ann Frank House and the Royal Palace.
Days 3-6 - At sea
Relax and familiarise yourself with the facilities aboard your ship as we sail across the Atlantic. Maybe take a dip in the pool or unwind with a massage in the Wellness Centre.
Day 7 - Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Azores
This morning we reach the Azores, visiting Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel, the islands’ capital. Explore the cobbled lanes and squares of the historic centre, its baroque and Gothic churches, museums and well-tended public gardens, browse the boutiques and perhaps visit the Convent of Nossa Senhora da Esperança, whose ornate chapel is adorned with exquisite glazed tiles. We leave this evening.
Days 8-13 - At sea
Enjoy the onboard entertainment or simply relax with a cold drink on deck as we make our way to the Caribbean.
Day 14 - Philipsburg, St Maarten
St Maarten, even though it’s just 37 square miles, has been divided since 1648. Although there is no real border, monuments and signs depict whether you are on Dutch or French soil. Whichever part you choose to explore today, you will find a fascinating mix of European culture and Caribbean hospitality.
Day 15 - Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Road Town, the capital of the British Virgin Islands, lies on Tortola, the largest of this stunning archipelago of over 50 beach-fringed islands and cays, with names evoking a buccaneering past. It’s a small, picturesque town located between rolling hills and a beautiful bay, best known today as a centre for yachting. On Main Street you’ll find historic colonial buildings, the Folk Museum, and plenty of places to eat and drink, or you may prefer to spend time in the attractive Botanic Gardens.
Day 16 - La Romana, Dominican Republic
On the southern coast of the Dominican Republic, the port city of La Romana is the gateway to some of the country’s most attractive beach resorts such as Bayahibe, with its typically Caribbean palm-fringed white sandy beaches. La Romana city is also worth a look, with its modern marina and variety of restaurants and bars.
Day 17 - At sea
Time to relax today on board Columbus.
Day 18 - Ocho Rios, Jamaica
We are in Jamaica today, and the popular resort of Ocho Rios, on the island’s northern coast. The town is known for its beaches, colourful markets and restaurants, while just outside town you’ll find the stunning Dunn’s River Falls, which featured in the first James Bond film, Dr No. We leave this evening.
Day 19 - At sea
Another day at leisure as we cruise the Caribbean Sea.
Day 20 - Havana, Cuba (overnight)
We dock in the capital of Cuba for an overnight stay, offering plenty of time for you to explore this truly captivating city, with its elegant Spanish colonial architecture, and its famous collection of vintage American cars. Take a stroll around Habana Vieja - Old Havana - or along the seafront promenade known as the Malecón, visit El Capitolio, the grandiose former National Capitol building, and learn about Cuba’s history at the Museum of the Revolution.
Day 21 - Havana
There will be more time to discover the sights of Havana today or perhaps take an excursion to the beautiful Viñales Valley, or to the pretty fishing village of Cojimar, once a favourite haunt of Ernest Hemingway, who found inspiration for his novel The Old Man and the Sea here. We depart Havana this evening.
Day 22 - At sea
Day 23 - Progreso, Mexico
Progreso has a relaxed beach-town vibe with classic thatched-roof restaurants stretching along the beachfront and a four mile pier. You may want to take this opportunity to travel inland to the beautiful city of Mérida, steeped in colonial history, or visit incredible Mayan ruins.
Day 24 - Cozumel
Sailing early this morning from Playa del Carmen, we make the short journey to the nearby island of Cozumel, which is renowned for its beaches and its coral reefs, part of which is protected by the Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park. Scuba diving is a popular activity, while there are also intriguing Mayan sites to explore.
Day 25 - Belize City, Belize
This morning we arrive in Belize City, the largest city in Belize, formerly British Honduras. Founded in 1638 on an older Mayan settlement, it’s a bustling city with historic colonial buildings, including the oldest Anglican cathedral in Central America. Belize is home to several important Mayan archaeological sites, some within easy reach of the city, such as Xunantunich and Altun Ha with their impressive step pyramids and temples. Ship to shore tender service.
Day 26 - Roatan Island, Honduras
Lying off the coast of Honduras, Roatan is 50km long but no more than 4km wide and surrounded by a rich coral reef, making it a big draw for scuba divers from around the world, while on dry land there are beautiful botanical gardens, butterfly and iguana farms and inviting beaches. Trips around the island on glass-bottomed boats are also available.
Day 27 - At sea
A leisurely day cruising the Caribbean.
Day 28 - Puerto Limon, Costa Rica
Established in the 19th century as coffee-exporting port, Puerto Limon is still an important commercial hub and the gateway to the spectacular natural beauty of Tortuguero National Park and Veragua Rainforest, which offers a range of eco tours and exhibits, including a tropical butterfly garden, walking tours and a zip-line canopy tour. We depart early this evening.
Day 29 - Cristobal, Panama
Today’s port of call is Cristobal in Panama. Just outside town are the Panama Canal’s impressive Gatún Locks and Gatún Dam, while not too far away is the well-preserved Fort San Lorenzo, built by the Spanish to guard the mouth of the strategically important Chagres River. We leave early afternoon.
Day 30 - Cartagena, Colombia
We arrive in Cartagena this morning, a historic and truly beautiful city founded in 1533 and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its brightly painted colonial mansions, its elegant churches, monasteries, wide plazas and neat cobbled lanes overhung by flower-laden balconies, the old town is a joy to explore while highlights include the imposing Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, dating from the 17th century and the Palace of the Inquisition, which is now a museum.
Day 31 - At sea
Another relaxing day on board Columbus.
Day 32 - Oranjestad, Aruba, Dutch Antilles
Oranjestad is the capital of the Dutch island of Aruba, and its pastel-coloured waterfront buildings bring a touch of Amsterdam to the Caribbean. Visit Fort Zoutman, built in 1798 to defend the island against pirates, learn about Aruba’s prehistory at the National Archaeological Museum, discover its natural beauty in Arikok National Park or spot some of the island’s tropical birdlife at the Bubali Bird Sanctuary.
Day 33 - Willemstad, Curaçao
Like neighbouring Aruba, the island of Curaçao is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and there is a strong Dutch influence in its capital, Willemstad, with its elegant colonial architecture. Sights of interest include the 17th century Curaçao Synagogue, the oldest in the Americas and Fort Amsterdam, built in 1634 or you may just want to enjoy the sun on the island’s beaches.
Day 34 - At sea
Relax on deck with a cocktail or enjoy a film at the outdoor cinema on this free day at sea.
Day 35 - Bridgetown, Barbados
We arrive at the British Caribbean island of Barbados this morning. With its balmy climate, warm, inviting waters and many beaches, it’s easy to see why this is such a popular destination for the jet-set. The capital, Bridgetown, has a laid-back atmosphere and there’s plenty to see and do. Visit UNESCO-listed Barbados Garrison, built in 1780 and the neo-Gothic Parliament Buildings, or just relax on the glorious sandy beaches.
Days 36-40 - At sea
Five days to simply relax on board your ship, perhaps catching up with friends in the lounges and enjoying the nightly entertainment.
Day 41 - Horta, Faial, Azores
Today we reach the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores, and the main town on the island of Faial, Horta, which has long played host to transatlantic yachtsmen. The 17th century Sao Salvador Church is one of the oldest in the Azores, while also worth a look is the Scrimshaw Museum, with its interesting collection of whale bones and teeth carved and engraved by local artists. We set sail again this evening.
Days 42-43 - At sea
Two leisurely days at sea as we cruise towards mainland Portugal.
Day 44 - Lisbon
Columbus arrives in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, this morning. One of Europe’s most beautiful cities, Lisbon entrances visitors with its wealth of grand buildings, from baroque churches and palaces to art nouveau facades and striking contemporary architecture. Visit the Jeronimos Monastery, last resting place of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, the UNESCO-listed Belem Tower, built in 1515 to protect the city’s harbour and the superb collection of modern art at the Barardo Museum. In between sightseeing, take time out in one of Lisbon’s many cafes and try a pastel de nata - a traditional egg-custard tart. We leave this afternoon.
Days 45-46 - At sea
Enjoy your final days aboard Columbus as we make our way back towards the UK.
Day 47 London Tilbury
Upon arrival at London Tilbury, you are free to make your own way home.