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Cruises to Lanzarote

230 Reviews
Lanzarote (Photo:Marques/Shutterstock)

About Lanzarote

Lanzarote is the northernmost of the Canary Islands, situated just 70 miles off the coast of Africa. The island is 37 miles (60km) long and 12 miles (20 km) wide, making it the fourth largest island in the Canaries. Because it is just four degrees north of the Tropic of Cancer, it enjoys a sub-tropical climate that remains fairly stable year-round with average daytime temperatures ranging from about 21°C in January to 29°C in August. Annual rainfall is just 5.5 inches.


Lanzarote is volcanic in origin. Due to eruptions during the 18th and 19th centuries, many parts of the island appear to be from another world, often described as "lunar" or "Martian," so much so that parts of the 1970's science fiction series Planet of the Apes was shot on the island. The dry climate and lack of erosion means that the volcanic landscape appears much as it did just after the eruptions; the local tourist industry capitalizes on this fact.


Amongst the many volcanic features of Lanzarote is the longest volcanic tunnel in the world called the Atlantida Tunnel, which is over 7 km long and includes the La Cueva de los Verdes and Jameos del Agua. Today, the volcano park at Timanfaya is the islands number one tourist attraction. But 270 years ago it was the scene of the world's longest ever volcanic eruption. Father Lorenzo Curbelo, the priest of the nearby village of Yaiza, witnessed how the events started to unfold: "On the first day of September, 1730 between nine and ten o'clock at night, the earth suddenly opened near Timanfaya, two miles from Yaiza. An enormous mountain emerged from the ground with flames coming from its summit. It continued burning for 19 days. Some days later, a new abyss developed and an avalanche of lava rushed down over Timanfaya, Rodeo and part of Mancha Blanca.


"The lava extended over to the northern areas to begin with, running as fast as water, though it soon slowed down and ran like honey. On September 7th a great rock burst upwards with a thunderous sound and the pressure of the explosion forced the lava going northwards to change direction, flowing then to the north west and west north west. The lava torrent arrived, instantly destroying Maretas and Santa Catalina in the valley. On September 11th the eruption became stronger." The situation had obviously aggravated in the first week since it started, but the ordeal of the islanders had only begun and it would take six years before the eruptions finally came to an end.


Despite the history rocked by eruptions, there have been plenty of earlier visitors on the island. These include a Genoese sailor by the name of Lancelotto Malocello, who arrived here in 1312 as the first European. Some people say the island got its name from him, but other legends co-exist by its side. Another one suggests that after conquering the native inhabitants, Jean de Bethencourt, a Norman knight who arrived in 1402, celebrated his victory over the natives by throwing his broken lance into the air and shouting "lanza rota," which means broken spear.


The islanders finally surrendered on February 27, 1404, and on that day, their king Guardafia was baptized and christened Luis. Bethencourt was granted the title of king of the Canary Islands by Pope Innocent VII.


Bethencourt died in Normandy in 1422 and was succeeded by his nephew Maciot, who later turned out to be a tyrant. He established Teguise as the capital and seat of governor, but he was suspected of trying to sell the Canaries to the Portuguese, who had also laid claim to the islands, but at arbitration the pope decided in favour of the Castille. The constitution of Cadiz of 1812 abolished feudal system, and the Canaries became a province of Spain with Santa Cruz, Tenerife as the capital. In 1852, the law of free ports granted the islands immunity from customs and excise duties. They hold this status even today.


Cruise ships dock at Arrecife, which is capital of the island with 50,000 inhabitants. The island has several resorts, such as Puerto del Carmen, which is located some 20 km to the south from Arrecife, or Costa Teguise 7 km to the north.

  • More about Lanzarote

  • Why go to Lanzarote?

  • Lanzarote Cruise Port Facilities?

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Norwegian Sun
Norwegian Sun

19 Night
Repo - TransatlanticDetails

2,099 Reviews
Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Apr 2, 2023
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Norwegian Sun
Norwegian Sun

13 Night
Europe - Canary IslandDetails

2,099 Reviews
Leaving:Tenerife
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Mar 12, 2023
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Norwegian Star
Norwegian Star

12 Night
Europe - OtherDetails

2,505 Reviews
Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Nov 12, 2023
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Zuiderdam
Zuiderdam

73 Night
Grand Africa VoyageDetails

1,011 Reviews
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Oct 10, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Azamara Club Cruises

21 Night
Africa-south AfricaDetails

2,912 Reviews
Leaving:Cape Town
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Mar 20, 2024
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Cruise Critic Favorite

46 Night
Grand Africa VoyageDetails

1,011 Reviews
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Oct 10, 2023
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12 Night
Europe - Western Mediterranean - BarcelonaDetails

2,912 Reviews
Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Oct 23, 2023
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12 Night
Europe - Western Mediterranean - RomeDetails

4,252 Reviews
Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Feb 25, 2024
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13 Night
13 Nt Spain & Canary Islands CrossingDetails

2,010 Reviews
Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
Oct 29, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Europe - Canary IslandDetails

2,099 Reviews
Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Feb 16, 2023
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16 Night
Repo - TransatlanticDetails

2,099 Reviews
Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Apr 2, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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24 Night
Africa CruiseDetails

364 Reviews
Leaving:Cape Town
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
May 21, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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13 Night
Transatlantic AzoresDetails

2,177 Reviews
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
Oct 25, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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24 Night
Africa CruiseDetails

23 Reviews
Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Nov 12, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Transatlantic CruiseDetails

1,485 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
Nov 12, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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More about Lanzarote

Why go to Lanzarote?

Pros:

View jaw-dropping geothermal activity at nearby Timanfaya National Park

Cons:

You'll need to take a shuttle bus to get to town; the walk isn't pleasant

Bottom Line:

Come for the beaches with crystal clear water. Stay for the dramatic volcanic landscapes

Lanzarote Cruise Port Facilities?

If you feel less than energetic, take a shuttle bus from your ship to the town. You can drop the anchor at the cafes and restaurants overlooking the Charco, an inlet of water with houses painted in white and blue around it. Should you feel a bit more active, walk over the bridge along the waterfront to Calle de Leon y Castilia; this is where all the main shops of Arrecife are located. There are plenty of cafes too and it has palm trees to shelter you against the sun. Nice and cool -- literally.

Getting Around?

The drop-off point of shuttle buses, Charco de San Gines, is not exactly attractive, but only a few hundred yards to the west lies Charco, an inlet of water with bars, restaurants and clean, tidy white buildings overlooking it. Cross the bridge and walk some three quarters of a mile and you come to Calle Leon y Castilia, the main shopping street of the town. A bit more than a mile further and you will reach a beach at Reducto. From the town center, a bus runs every 20 minutes to Puerto del Carmen. Timetables of this and other services are available at a tourist information office on the Avenida de Coll street on the seafront. The town of Arrecife itself follows the shoreline and there is little of interest to see after you come a few blocks from the waterfront. The shops, cafes and restaurants congregate near the water and so do people.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The currency in use is the euro. There are ATM's in the town center, i.e. on Calle Leon y Castilia, which is also where you will find most of the ships.

Language?

The language of the islands is Spanish, but as the islands receive visitors from many parts of Europe, you will get on with English quite well.

Where You're Docked?

Your ship will dock at Puerto de Naos, which also handles cargo vessels. However, there is usually a shuttle bus service to Charco de San Gines, close to the town center. The journey takes about 12 minutes depending on traffic. It is hardly a scenic ride and includes some busy roads and roundabouts, so walking to town is not very pleasant.


Lanzarote Cruise Reviews
Walk to the only tall building seen when you disembark.It is a 5 star hotel with a restaurant on 17th floor.Excellent food and drinks.Amazing views.Read More
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wendypete
Bit of an odd island. Very bleak, like the moon. Some nice beaches.Read More
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Eastboundanddown
This is not a place I enjoy and we wandered around but didn't really get much from the experience.Read More
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Frieslander
MSC Trekking excursion - Take heed of the need for decent hiking shoes. Yes, it's hot, dusty and relentessl windy ! Get up close to the landscape, learning about growing vines and figs in a hostile environment. Read More
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notley-cruise

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