Silversea Luxury Cruises To St Jean de Luz

St Jean de Luz

Situated at the mouth of the Nivelle River, St. Jean de Luz is by far the most attractive and most Basque of the region's beach resorts. Evidence of the wealth and vigour of St. Jean's seafaring past is most notable in the opulent villas that dot the bay area and the centre square. Not yet submerged in tourism, it is one of the busiest fishing ports in France. As the only natural harbour in this area, St. Jean has been a major port for centuries. View more

Whaling and cod fishing are the traditional occupations. Voyaging as far afield as Newfoundland, local sailors claimed to have discovered it a hundred years before Columbus. Driven from his traditional ports of call in Arctic waters by Dutch and English whalers, an enterprising Basque devised a method of boiling down blubber on board the vessel. This enabled the Basque boats to stay at sea much longer. When they lost their cod fishing grounds in Newfoundland in the 18th century, they saved themselves from ruin by turning privateer and seizing other nations' vessels. St. Jean de Luz became a veritable pirates' nest; Basque corsairs sailed under the authority of the French King, becoming the scourge of English merchant ships. In 1660 at the church St. Jean Baptiste, Louis XIV (the Sun King) wed the Infanta Maria Teresa of Spain, as agreed in the 1659 Treaty of the Pyrenees. The marriage put an end to decades of war between the two neighbouring countries. Plain and fortress-like on the outside, the church's interior is magnificent, lined on three sides with tiers of dark oak galleries and gilded wooden statues. A ship model presented by the Empress Eugénie hangs from the centre. Unfortunately, the portal through which the famous newlyweds exited the church was sealed immediately following the ceremony so no one else could use the royal threshold. It has remained walled up ever since. The town is best explored on foot, starting around the Place Louis XIV with its bandstand, cafés and the statue of Louis XIV on horseback. Shop-lined pedestrian streets and art galleries invite you to browse; a picturesque harbour is filled with colourful boats. St. Jean beckons you to explore its narrow streets and shady squares enhanced by local artists who daily set up their easels and sell their paintings.

An Introduction to Silversea Cruises

The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.

cruises visiting St Jean de Luz

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Lisbon To London (Greenwich)
  • Northern Europe & British Isles
  • Silversea Cruises
  • Departure
    May 22, 2018
  • Duration
    12 Days
  • Ship
    Silver Spirit

Fares from (Per guest)
US$ 7,900

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Fares shown are per guest