Port Mahon cruises

Menorca is one of the four main Balearic Islands, and its name derives from the word ‘smaller’ - in comparison with its nearest neighbour, Mallorca.

Its capital, Mahon, stands on the east shore beside the world’s second deepest natural harbour, and will feature on selected Mediterranean cruises.

There may be no beaches within Mahon itself, but you’re spoilt for choice along the coasts, draped with pine forests and ribbons of sand. Foremost among those nearest to Mahon is Es Grau, a picturesque crescent with enticing shallow waters. It’s backed by the gentle rolling dunes of S’Albufera des Grau nature reserve. This protected wetland occupies the northeastern corner of the island and is a major reason the island is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Mahon’s Cultural Heritage

Menorca has been inhabited since at least 2000BC, and one of its great intrigues are the 35 ancient monolithic stones known as ‘taulas’ scattered around the island. The island has changed hands many times during more recent history and the British took temporary ownership during the eighteenth century. This perhaps explains the island’s taste for gin, and a trip to the Xoriguer distillery will introduce you to the local variety. 

Another British legacy is the fortress on Mola, a strategic peninsula at the entrance to the harbour into Mahon. Never originally finished, the Spanish twice improved the defences to create the fortifications that remain today.

Discover Mahon

Mahon is adorned with elegant 18th-century mansions, quaint churches and a Gothic cathedral, while Plaza de la Esplanada, the city’s biggest square, features the impressive red Town Hall. Menorca’s former capital, Ciutadella, is worth exploring too, a delightful jumble of shady plazas and centuries-old churches, with a Gothic cathedral of its own. Elsewhere on the island you may be drawn to the fishing village of Fornells celebrated for its lobster dishes, Monte Toro which is the island’s highest peak, or just views of meadows dotted with wildflowers.

Excursions

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

  • Beach Transfer

    Spend some beach time one of Menorca’s stunning beaches, known for their wonderful sand and crystal clear waters.

    Beach Transfer

    Enjoy some time at either Son Bou Beach in the south of the Island or Arenal d’en Castell in the north.

    Son Bou is considered to be one of the greatest beaches on Menorca. This beach offers 1½ miles of golden sand, where you can enjoy the blue crystalline Menorca water. Lining the beach you will find ‘chiringuitos’ (beach bars) and zones of sunbeds and umbrellas for hire.

    Arenal d'en Castell is a fabulous horseshoe shaped beach that is well protected against the waves. The water is shallow and the sand is delightful. There are many sections of the beach with sunbeds and umbrellas for hire.



    BEACH/WATER RELATED EXCURSIONS
    For any excursion involving water, guests are reminded to exercise particular care. Alcohol and eating a full meal should be avoided before swimming. If buoyancy aids are provided for an activity they must be worn at all times. You should bear in mind that the sea is unpredictable. Lifeguards are unlikely to be present and there may not be a flag system to indicate whether or not it is safe to go in the water. In addition, beach activities may not be supervised or accompanied and so you should take care to satisfy yourself as to the safety of the beach and/or the sea at the time of your excursion. Please exercise caution when entering the sea as the seabed and aquatic environment is capable of springing surprises and we have not inspected the beach or seabed for its safety. Children must be supervised by you at all times near water. All activities on the beach, water and in the sea are undertaken at your own risk. You’ll need to take swimwear, a towel, sunscreen and flat shoes that can be worn in the water.

    LIABILITY
    Cunard will arrange for the excursions to be performed by the relevant excursion provider. Cunard does not provide or supply the excursion services. Cunard will exercise reasonable care and skill in the selection of the excursion provider, but will not in any circumstances have a greater liability than the excursion supplier and Cunard shall not be responsible for the negligent acts/omissions of the excursion supplier. Please note that in relation to all excursions Cunard is not responsible or liable for any loss, damage, or injury sustained by you unless such loss, damage or injury arises out of a breach of legal duty of Cunard.

    TRAVEL INSURANCE
    Before booking any activity excursions it is essential that you ensure your travel insurance extends to cover the specified activity. It is your responsibility to obtain adequate insurance.

    This excursion is operated by coach. Guests are reminded to wear swimwear, take a towel and sunscreen. Sunbeds and umbrellas are not included but may be available for hire. Please refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages prior to swimming. There may be independent suppliers on the beach that offer watersports. These are provided by parties unconnected to Cunard. The beach is public and therefore may become busy. Before you book this excursion your must refer to the ‘Beach / Water Related’ paragraph under the Guide to Symbols in the shore excursions brochure.

    Tour code

    PMH_008

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Scenic North Coast

    Sample the highlights of Menorca’s northern coast on this relaxing panoramic journey.

    Scenic North Coast

    Enjoy a leisurely drive north through fertile farmland to the picturesque coastal village of Addaya set in a sheltered natural inlet. Here, you’ll have a short photo stop before continuing the scenic drive along the north coast to the holiday resort of Arenal den Castell.

    Continue to the small whitewashed fishing village of Fornells. Set in a magnificent bay which, centuries ago was used as a shelter by ships from the strong north winds, Fornells is also very well-known locally for its fish restaurants and is a favourite haunt of the King of Spain.

    Departing Fornells, you’ll begin to head inland to the village of Mercadal taking the winding road to Monte Toro, Menorca’s highest and only ‘mountain’ and home to the island’s patron lady saint. The chapel built in 1670 is run by nuns and inside you will see the priceless jewel-encrusted statue of the Madonna. The Church is still used by locals and is very popular for weddings. There is a small shop run by the nuns and also a bar with a terrace offering unrestricted views across the island.

    You will be offered refreshments before returning to the port of Mahon.



    This excursion is operated by coach and on foot. There is approximately 1 hour of walking on this tour.

    Tour code

    PMH_002

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Menorca - 3 of the Best

    A leisurely tour visiting three of the most popular sites on the island of Menorca.

    Menorca - 3 of the Best

    Travel to the south east of the island and through the most easterly resort of Punta Prima to Binibeca – an award winning Moorish style village. It is said to be the most photographed place on Menorca. It is also considered a popular holiday resort. Enjoy some free time to embrace the enchanting village’s atmosphere.

    Your next stop is at the small resort of Son Bou where the islands longest beach at 2km long can be found and which is one of the least developed on the island. Running parallel to the coast is a line of sand dunes which separates the beach from the wetlands behind, and which is the most extensive fresh water area on the south of Menorca. Free time is given here to explore or just enjoy the views.

    Your final stop is made at Monte Toro – the highest point and geographically the centre of the island. You’ll have some free time to explore, shop for souvenirs or just sit in a café and watch the world go by.

    Return to your coach for a leisurely drive down the picturesque north road through rich farm land and unspoilt countryside to Mahon.



    This excursion is operated by coach and on foot. There is approximately one hour of walking over paved, cobbled and sandy terrain. Comfortable shoes are recommended.

    Tour code

    PMH_007

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Discover Cuitadella

    Cross the pretty boomerang-shaped island from Port Mahon to Ciudadela, a beautifully-preserved traditional Menorcan town.

    Discover Cuitadella

    Sit back and relax as you head west on a panoramic drive to the old capital of the island, Ciudadela. Founded by the Cartheginians, Ciudadela remained the capital of Menorca until 1772 and today, it is still the ecclesiastical capital. The old capital retains a rather grand air, packed with many elegant historical buildings, churches and large squares.

    Your guide will host you on a walking tour through the charming streets, passing the gothic Cathedral and several palaces which once belonged to the noble families. Steps from the main square lead down to the quaint port where locals moor their traditional llauts (fishing boats) and lively bars and restaurants line one side of the harbour. Enjoy some free time to explore the fashionable boutiques and shops or simply relax at one of the many bars in the harbour.

    From here you’ll head back towards Mahon and at the village of Mercadal, at the centre of the island you will drive up to Monte Toro. Monte Toro at only 1,268 feet above sea level, is Menorca’s highest and only ‘mountain’. It is home to the island’s patron lady saint and in the chapel you will see the priceless jewel-encrusted statue of the Madonna.



    This excursion is operated by coach and on foot. There is a moderate amount of walking on this tour which is at passengers’ discretion.

    Tour code

    PMH_004

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4¼ hours

  • A Taste of Menorca

    Enjoy a snapshot of Menorca’s countryside, sample some local cheese and visit a stud farm.

    A Taste of Menorca

    Embark on a journey to the north coast, to visit the small whitewashed fishing village of Fornells. Set in a magnificent bay which, centuries ago was used as a shelter by ships from the strong north winds, Fornells is also very well-known locally for its fish restaurants and is a favourite haunt of the King of Spain.

    Next, you’ll travel to Monte Toro, Menorca’s highest and only ‘mountain’ and home to the island’s patron lady saint. In the chapel, built in 1670, and run by nuns, you will see the priceless jewel-encrusted statue of the Madonna. From the terraces there are magnificent views over most of the island.

    Continue to the village of Ferreries and to the farm of the S’Hort de Sant Patrici. This delightful farm showcases impressive gardens and vineyards. Here you are invited to taste homemade cheese and sample local wine, and if you wish, you can purchase the products.

    Your final stop is the stud farm of Son Martorellet which breeds the famous Black Menorcan Stallion. The farm has a large covered ménage (arena) where they train both classical and Menorcan dressage, plus stables and grazing areas. The Menorcan horse was officially recognised as an international pure breed in 1989. Your visit to the farm is a wonderful insight into the horse world of Menorca.



    This tour is operated by coach and on foot. There is approximately 1½ hours of walking on this tour.

    Tour code

    PMH_001

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    4¼ hours

  • Town & Country

    Head off the tourist track and explore a few of Menorca’s pretty villages and sample local liqueurs.

    Town & Country

    A short drive from Mahon is the very pretty coastal village of Es Grau, untouched by developers and tourism. A favourite with the locals, this delightful area forms parts of the S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park. Here you can enjoy a leisurely walk along a designated path through flat woodland and then back along the beach, where many of the wetland birds and vegetation can be seen.

    The beach of Es Grau backs on to an inland lake which is enclosed by a system of dunes with a single river that connects to the sea. After your walk you’ll have some free time to relax or explore the village.

    On leaving Es Grau, head to the south east of the island and through the most easterly resort of Punta Prima. Continue along the undeveloped coastal road to the small fishing village of Binibeca designed by a Catalan architect. It is well worth a wander through the labyrinth of streets in this strikingly white “fisherman’s village”. It is said to be the most photographed place on Menorca.

    Return to Mahon, where you will be given a guided tour of the centre. Amongst the many sights you’ll see, will be the cloisters of the Church of Carmen which houses the energetic and vibrant fruit and vegetable market where you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the busy locals.

    Continue with a visit to the factory shop of Gin Xoriguer, where not only do they make gin but also many delicious liqueurs, all of which you can sample.



    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately one hour of walking over paved, cobbled and sandy terrain. Comfortable shoes are recommended.

    Tour code

    PMH_006

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4¼ hours