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CruiseDirection - Magazine May 2019

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Once an important industrial centre, it has had a cultural resurgence in recent years due to the huge success of the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao. It also has lively restaurants and tapas bars, fabulous shopping, and an enchanting Old Quarter.  

Temperate and warm, August is the hottest month in Bilbao, with an average temperature of 21°C; the coldest month is January, with an average temperature of 10°C.  

If you are cruising to Bilbao as part of your trip, there is a lot to look forward to in this interesting and captivating location.

Latest Bilbao Deals

Scotland with the Isles of Orkney and Mull

23 May 2020 (5 Nights) Cruise Only from £675pp
Black Watch

14-Day Norse Legends & Viking Sagas

16 Aug 2020 (14 Nights) Cruise Only from £2199pp
Nieuw Statendam

15-night Rivers Of Western Europe Voyage

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Azamara Quest

Whales, Wonders & Waterfalls

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Lisbon to London

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Silver Cloud Expedition

Copenhagen to Stockholm

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Silver Spirit

French River Cruising in Five Nights

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Spain & Portugal

08 Dec 2019 (11 Nights) Cruise Only from £760pp

Netherlands, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal

20 Sep 2019 (8 Nights) Cruise Only from Call Us
MSC Preziosa

Canary Islands

01 Dec 2019 (12 Nights) Cruise Only from £839pp

14-Day North Cape & Majestic Fjords

04 Jul 2020 (14 Nights) Cruise Only from £8499pp
Seabourn Ovation

Viking Homelands

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Viking Star

Cruise Companies that sail to Bilbao

Why visit Bilbao ?

Bilbao location iamge - CruiseDirection

The most important port in Spain

Bilbao is in the Basque region close to the French border

There are historical delights, such as the 16th-century Basilica de Begoña overlooking the Casco Viejo district from a nearby hill. The Basilica features both Gothic and Renaissance influences, and its gold altarpiece contains a statue of Our Lady of Begoña, the patron saint of Biscay.  

The Casco Viejo is Bilbao’s atmospheric Old Quarter and has a myriad of charming roads, bars and independent shops. In the midst of Casco Viejo are Bilbao’s original seven streets, Las Siete Calles, which date from the 1400s. Stylish buildings with striking patterned facades overlook this warren of medieval pedestrian lanes.  

Other iconic landmarks for cruise visitors to check out include the 16th-century Gothic Quarter, the 14th-century Santiago Cathedral, the 19th-century Plaza Nueva and the Renaissance-style churches of San Antón, Santos Juanes and San Nicolás.  

The 19th-century Plaza Nueva is home to a lively Sunday-morning flea market and includes second-hand book and record stalls as well as street performers. There is also a flower market in nearby Plaza del Arenal.  

The city’s museums and its Old Quarter are linked by a park and pathway, with several attractive bridges that lead to the river’s north side that gives access to the funicular to the top of Mount Artxanda. The trip is well worth it for the exceptional view of the city and its surrounding hills.  

Further west is another gem. The Vizcaya Bridge straddles the mouth of the Ibaizabal estuary. Designed by the Basque architect Alberto de Palacio y Elissague, it was completed in 1893. It was the first bridge in the world to carry people and traffic on a high suspended gondola and was used as a model for many similar bridges all over the world. It is regarded as one of the outstanding architectural iron constructions of the Industrial Revolution and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

Of course, there is the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao. Standing above the banks of the Nervión River, it houses some of the world’s greatest modern art, including pieces by Picasso, Matisse and Chagall. Designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, the building is a sculpture-like structure, imaginatively integrated within Bilbao’s urban pattern and its surrounding area. The building itself is one of the most admired works of contemporary architecture.  

A fascinating mix of the old and the new, the industrial and the artistic, a cruise pause at Bilbao is not to be missed.

Interested in Bilbao Cruise Holidays?

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