Tour & Cruise: Cruise the Canary Islands and Madeira

20 days

On the world’s most famous luxury liner “Queen Elizabeth”, Including a week in Portugal


This cruise focuses on the Canary Islands and combines intriguing places and breathtaking views: volcanic mountains, and lava rocks that created a huge variety of natural formations, dense forests, cliffs, picturesque fishing villages and verdant meadows. This island archipelago, an autonomous community belonging to Spain, consists of seven main inhabited islands and several secondary islands. The islands are unique due to their comfortable climate most of the year. During the cruise we will visit some of the islands, notably Tenerife, the largest and most popular, rich in green landscapes on one side, while on the other side we’ll find brown beaches and volcanic scenery. We will also visit Lanzarote with its rich and breathtaking volcanic scenery; Gran Canaria, the third largest of the Canary Islands and the island of La Palma. Our cruise will also bring us to the Portuguese island of Madeira. Here, too, we will admire a combination of rough mountains, valleys, huge rocks that descend into the sea, charming bays, cultivated agricultural areas and tropical fruits. On the last part of the trip we will tour Portugal, albeit a small country but with a great variety of sights and sites to see ranging from a spectacular beachfront strip along the Atlantic Ocean lined with ancient fishing villages through impressive mountain ranges, abundant forests, vineyards and picturesque little villages along the Doro Valley. History, monumental architecture and religious and secular art are reflected in the ancient remains from different periods. All these create the magical and special atmosphere in this country. Against the backdrop of this impressive diversity, we will also follow the fascinating story of Jews and the Anusim (Marranos) of this land.


Day 1 Wednesday: London
Arrival to London airport , the capital of Britain. Meet the tour leader at the hotel.

Day 2. Thursday: London – Southampton – boarding the luxury ship “Queen Elizabeth”
Today we will drive to Southampton Harbor. We will embark on the luxury vessel that will serve as a luxurious floating hotel and friendly home for the duration of the cruise. We set sail at 16:00.

The most beautiful ship in the world: Queen Elizabeth

The ship was launched in 2010, weighing 91,000 tons. A spectacularly beautiful ship, classical, built to give all its guests the experience of a royal palace.

  • 12 decks
  • Restaurants and lounges surrounded by panoramic views
  • Elegant boutique
  • Bar complex
  • Upgraded and decorated theater
  • Spacious and elegant rooms with a window (rooms with balconies at an additional charge)
  • TV with DVD
  • In addition the ship boasts: a magnificent hall for performances, music and singers, casino, bars, luxury restaurants, a spa, gym, swimming pool and Jacuzzi, and of course an active entertainment team every day.

Day 3-5. Friday, Shabbat, Sunday: At Sea – Cruising, Lectures, and Plenty of Pampering
Over these three days we’ll have time to relax and enjoy all of the ship’s magnificent facilities. Take a dip in the pool or play some tennis, sit at the bay window while reading in the library, marvel at the art works in the gallery, share a cappuccino with friends in the coffee shop, enjoy a massage in the spa, score a few wins in the casino, go to the movies or take in a show. There’s so much to do… and what a beautiful way to spend a relaxing Shabbat on board, along with Shabbat services, scrumptious Shabbat meals, lectures and shiurim.

Day 6. Monday: Lanzarote, Spain
Today we will dock on Lanserote Island, the most northeastern island in the Canary Islands chain. The island is the fourth largest island and the “oldest” since it was created 180 million years ago. The island boasts some 300 volcanoes; some of them are even dormant. The color scheme is fascinating: black island soil combines with green vegetation, while housing construction is low and identical with white walls and green or brown windows. We will visit the Timnapaya National Park, which, as a result of geological activity, has exceptional landscapes. We’ll stop at the visitors’ center to observe a demonstration of the volcanic activity. We’ll continue to Hervidros de Aqua where we’ll walk along a strip of cliffs created by the lava, and we will arrive at the fishing village of El Golfo that is located next to a unusual and remarkable natural phenomenon: a lake of green water, black lava sand and blue ocean waters. We will visit a small part of the Cauva de los Verdes, a 17 km long lava cave, after which we’ll descend to another part of the volcanic cave of Hamos de Aquo.

Day 7. Tuesday: La Palma Gran Canaria, Spain
This morning we will anchor in La Palma de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria Island and one of its most important ports. It is said that Christopher Columbus anchored here at the beginning of his expedition to discover what would become known as America. We will visit the old quarter which is the historical center of the city. We’ll stroll through Santa Ana Square and admire the city hall and picturesque alleyways, along the Triana pedestrian street, and along the promenade along the sea and in the harbor.

Day 8. Wednesday: Tenerife, Spain
Today we will anchor on the island of Tenerife. We will travel to Guimar and visit the famous Pyramids of Tenerife, where we will learn about the life of the Guanchetos, the ancient inhabitants of the island, who were ethnically and culturally absorbed by the Spanish in the Middle Ages. From there we’ll continue to the Las Casillas National Park. We’ll drive up to the foot of the Tyda volcano, the highest mountain in Spain (about 3,720 m in height, covered most of the year with a snow dome) to admire spectacular volcanic landscapes. We will learn about the formation of the giant crater, the unique lava species and vegetation, and explore the impressive canary forests. Then it’s down to the Orutava Valley to visit the charming town of La Ortua where the local aristocracy resides. The town is located on the lower slopes of the mountain and offers a spectacular view of the Gulf of Puerto de la Cruz.

Day 9 Thursday: La Palms, Spain
We’ll drop anchor today on the island of La Palma, the greenest of the Canary Islands and third largest in terms of population. We will tour the island’s capital of Santa Cruz – an ancient port city with colonial buildings. We will visit the garden of La Glorietta, in the Fuencaliente volcanic park.

Day 10. Friday: Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Today we will anchor on the island of Madeira, an autonomous province of Portugal, with its harsh mountain landscapes, great valleys, enchanting bays and huge sand dunes. We’ll take a walk in Funchal, the capital, where we’ll visit the Mercado dos Labradors – the main farmers’ market where fruits, vegetables and fish are sold. We will continue to the Botanical Garden and see the vegetation that was brought to the island in centuries of Portuguese colonialism. We will continue to Monte, the “mountain” of Funcha, where we’ll try our skills at tobogganing which was ancient means of transportation of the island. Afterwards we’ll continue to Ira do Serrado, for a beautiful view of the “Nuns Valley”. Then its onward to Ficus dos Barcelos for a look at Ponciel and Santo Antonio, where the world famous soccer legend Christiano Ronaldo was born. At the end of the tour we will return to the ship to prepare for Shabbat.

Day 11. Shabbat: Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
While we remain docked at Madeira, we’ll spend Shabbat aboard ship, with Shabbat services, scrumptious Shabbat meals, lectures and shiurim. This is pure relaxation time to enjoy the ship’s many facilities and to pamper ourselves.

Day 12. Sunday: At Sea
Today’s a day to relax and enjoy all of the ship’s magnificent facilities. Take a dip in the pool or play some tennis, sit at the bay window while reading in the library, marvel at the art works in the gallery, share a cappuccino with friends in the coffee shop, enjoy a massage in the spa, score a few wins in the casino, go to the movies or take in a show. There’s so much to do…

Day 13. Monday 12/11/18: Vigo – Guimarães – Porto
Our cruise to the Canary Islands and Madeira has come to an end. We’ll disembark at Vigo and drive to Porto. We’ll make a stop at Guimarães, the first capital of Portugal, to see the citadel of the city. From there we’ll continue to Porto, the capital of the north, the second largest city in Portugal and its most important port. The city is built on granite cliffs towering over and crossing the Douro River and crossing.

Day 14. Tuesday 13/11/18: Porto – Coimbra
Today we will tour Porto. We’ll begin in the ancient part of the city between narrow and steep alleys that earned it a mention as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site and visit traditional wine houses and antique wooden boats, from where wine was transported to destination ports. We’ll visit the city’s synagogue and see the impressive Stock Exchange Palace. At the end of the tour we will go to Coimbra, a beautiful city built on a cliff surrounded by a river. Coiumbra has the oldest local university in Portugal and the library of King Joao, which is built in Baroque style with about 300,000 antique books.

Day 15. Wednesday 14/11/18: Coimbra – Trancoso – Guarda – Belmonte
After breakfast we will travel to Trancoso, which was an important Jewish center in the  Middle Ages. We’ll visit the synagogue and the newly opened Jewish museum, and if we are lucky we will meet some members of the local Jewish/Marrano community. Afterwards its on to Guarda, to visit the Jewish Quarter there where we’ll be able to see the impressive engravings on the doorways of the Marrano homes. From Guarda we’ll continue to Belmonte, built around a 13th century fortress. The town has preserves the history of the Jews well, and is home to  a community of Marranos who, after being separated from Jewish tradition for over 500 years, decided to return to Judaism in the 1980s.

Day 16. Thursday 15/11/18: Belmonte – Castello de Vida – Lisbon
Today we will tour the city and visit the Jewish Museum, which offers a wonderful display of Jewish tradition and Jewish life during the period of the Inquisition. In addition, it has a unique display dedicated to the subject of the Marranos. After visiting the museum, we will visit the local synagogue, Beit Eliahu, and become acquainted with the local people and the Shavei Israel organization, which works to help bring the Marranos back to Judaism. At the end of the tour we will travel to the small town of Castelo de Vida. Here we’ll visit the Roman remains in and around the town. Most of the town’s fame came from the most impressive Juderia, the Jewish quarter, in Portugal. It contains the oldest synagogue that was recently restored. In the synagogue there is a display showing the integration of Jews in the town’s famous textile industry and in various other industries. It was here that the President of Portugal, Mario Suarez, chose to apologize to the Jewish people for the terrible injustice and murder his people have committed. We will walk through paved alleys and hear about the community that lived here before and accepted Christianity by royal decree. We will also see the fortress that gave the city its name. We’ll continue to Lisbon, capital of Portugal.

Day 17. Friday 16/11/18: Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais, Cabo de Rocca, Astoril
Today we will leave Lisbon for the charming town of Sintra, which offers fascinating architecture and a number of interesting museums, beautiful gardens and impressive palaces. Sinatra means pink, and indeed this small town is all pink. Originally it was built as a summer palace for the kings of Portugal. We will see the unique palace with the huge chimneys above its kitchen. We’ll continue along the coast to the westernmost point of Europe, Cabo de Rocca, and continue to Cascais, the most prestigious resort town in Portugal, and see the “Devil’s throat.” From there to the resort town of Astoril, a town with a casino, hotels and luxurious villas inhabited by some of world’s the richest people and exiled kings. At the end of a day filled with experiences, we will return to our hotel to prepare for Shabbat.

Day 18. Shabbat: Lisbon
After Shabbat services, Kiddush and lunch, we’ll take a walking tour of the area near our hotel.

Day 19. Sunday: Lisbon, Tomar, Obidos, Nazare
After breakfast we will drive to the old town of Tomar to visit the ancient synagogue that was built in 1430 and named after Abraham, a Jewish astronomer and mathematician whose name has been given to one of the craters on the moon. From there we’ll make our way to Obidos. We will stroll through the quiet streets of the town, between ancient buildings and conservation sites, and walk up to the impressive 12th century fortress – a Templar monastery – that dominates the city. The town looks like a toy. Everything here, except for the castle on the hill, is small; the white houses, the squares. For the courageous among us there is a real challenge – walking on the town wall. But the reward for accepting the challenge is the amazing view of the surrounding landscapes that are revealed.. At the end of the visit we will continue to the fisherman’s town of Nazare, located on an impressive cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Day 20. Monday: Lisbon – Back home
In our last day we will get to know Lisbon, the capital and heart of Portugal. The city, like Rome and other cities, spans seven hills. The most famous of these is the hill of Alfa, on which the Old Quarter is built, and where the Jewish Quarter of the city was also located. We will visit the district of Belem, (Bethlehem in Portugues) a quarter built on the waterfront and where the famous Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama is buried. We will see the Tower of Belem and the monument to the explorers of Portugal. We will climb to the heights of St. George’s Castle overlooking the city and then descend along the winding alleys of the ancient Alfa district, which also includes the Juderia region (the Jewish quarter). Our fascinating excursion is over. We’ll go to the airport in Lisbon and fly back home.

Dates & Prices
Tour Code Departure Return  
EPCN18/01 10/31/2018 11/19/2018 Book this tour
Tour Code Departure date Air + Land * Land only * Single Room**
EPCN18/01 10/31/2018 6990 $ 3250 $

* Price per person in USD Iin double or twin room.

** Supplement for single room.

* Price of tour is subject to change due to change in Air Fare

Need to Know

Price Includes:

  • Air-conditioned bus for all tours and transfers according to plan
  • Tours, visits and site entrances according to the plan
  • First class hotels or the best available
  • Half board kosher throughout the trip and supplies to prepare sandwiches for lunch.
  • An experienced, professional tour guide from Shai Bar-Ilan
  • Logistics and Kashrut Supervisor
  • Tips for local service providers abroad
  • Travel, health and basic cargo insurance

Price Excludes:

  • International flights
  • Tips for shipboard service providers only $ 140 (paid directly to the ship on board)
  • Any personal expenses
  • Evening entertainment not included in the detailed plan
  • Tip for the Israeli tour guide – $5 per person per day

Important to Know:

  • There may be changes to the order of places visited. We will make every effort to visit every place mentioned in the itinerary.
  • The tour organizers have no control over airline services such as seating, special meal requests, changes in departure times or delays. These remain the sole responsibility of the airline company.

Kashrut on Tours

Kosher food is provided to our travelers on all our tours. We work with the local Rabbinate to provide Hashgacha for all local ingredients and fresh meat and poultry. In some cases, we fly in kosher food from Israel and other sources, depending on the destination of the tour. We do not guarantee Pat Israel and Chalav Israel for all destinations. In many destinations we have our own crockery and cutlery. Where we don’t, we provide disposables at the meals. When we cook in Hotel kitchens, we ensure proper Kashering and we use our own kitchenware on kashered and covered surfaces. All this is done under the strict supervision of our trained staff/guides that function as our Mashgichim. Our travelers enjoy satisfying meals prepared by our team including fresh local fish, fruit, and vegetables. This is an integral part of Jewish travel. We make great efforts to assure that our travelers will experience local foods first-hand, while maintaining stringent observance of Kashrut laws on all occasions.

Deposit, Cancellation Fees & Policy:

A $500 USD Deposit per person must be received at the time of booking in order to confirm your reservation. Payment in full is due 60 days before departure. A minimum number of participants are required to operate tour dates. If a minimum number has not been reached prior to tour departure and the tour is cancelled you will receive a FULL refund.

Terms of cancellation

  • Cancellation for any reason from the moment of registration and up to 90 working days (inclusive) * prior to departure of the trip – the passenger will be charged $ 97 registration fee only
  • Cancellation for any reason from 89 work days to 30 working days (inclusive) * prior to departure of the trip – the passenger will be charged $ 1500 + $ 47
  • Cancellation for any reason from 29 working days to 11 working days (inclusive) * prior to departure of the trip – the traveler will be charged $ 2500 + $ 47
  • Cancellation for any reason from 10 working days * prior to departure of the trip – the traveler will be charged the full price of the trip including all the accompanying costs.


  • Fridays and Saturdays, holidays and holidays in Israel, Sundays and holidays abroad are not counted as a working day.
  • If any air tickets have been issued or additional services have been purchased,(eg: visas etc.), their prices will be added to the cancellation fees specified above.
  • Adding a logistics and kashrut person is dependent upon more than 20 participants.
  • In case of change, cancellation or malfunction related to flights, cruise or transportation, the responsibility for these rests with the service provider
  • The performance of the trip is subject to the conditions and responsibilities as they appear on the website
    Passports must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of return from the trip
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