Lisbon, the dazzling city that stretches along the banks of the Tagus, is an enchanting capital. There is the fortress around which the city originally sprang up, and which is now circled by neighborhoods drenched with medieval charm. Everywhere are fine monuments that bring to mind the great Age of Discoveries, and picturesque houses whose facades are decked with ornate ceramic tiles. As the dusk turns to night, the yellow electric tramcars continue to wind their way up and down the hills of the old capital, while the sound of traditional Fado folk songs enlivens many a candle-lit dinner table in restaurant or home. But the capital also provides ample opportunity for seeing popular celebrations, for shopping, and for enjoying the nightlife along the riverbanks. With the port and marinas situated nearby, water sports are a natural attraction too.
One of Europe’s smallest capital cities, Lisbon is for many, one of it most beguiling – an easily accessible mix of new and old worlds. Elegant outdoor cafés line Lisbon’s mosaic cobblestone sidewalks along grand 18th-century boulevards. Turn-of-the-century funiculars dot its steep hills. Two-thirds of the city was leveled in a 1755 earthquake, but in its churches, peeling buildings, tiny alleyways, hidden squares, you can still feel the glorious past.
11 Days at Sea
From St. Maarten to the Azores, an ocean passage with time to relax and enjoy the freedom of sailing the Atlantic on a tall ship.
St. John's, Antigua
St John's, the capital city of the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, in the Lesser Antilles, has been the administrative center since the islands were first colonised in 1632. The nation achieved its independence from Great Britain in 1981.
Arawak and Carib Amerindian tribes lived on the islands when Christopher Columbus first arrived in 1493. Early settlements were made by Spain and France. Subsequently the English formed a colony in 1667, bringing African slaves to work sugar plantations. Slavery was abolished in 1834.
Most of the present day population is descended from those slaves. Europeans, principally British and Portuguese, make up the remainder. The official language is English, but the locals speak a patois, a mixture of English, local languages and some other European languages.
Philipsburg, St. Maarten
Philipsburg was founded in 1763 by John Philips, a Scottish captain in the Dutch navy, and soon became a bustling center of international trade. Two historic forts bear witness to Philipsburg's strategic importance in St. Martin's history: Fort Amsterdam and Fort Willem.
The main shopping district, Front Street, is in the heart of the city. Philipsburg has a port that is home to many cruise liners and tall ships.