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9 DAY WESTERN EUROPEAN CRUISE

Carnival Legend

Departure date: 28.06.2020
Sailing duration, days: 9
Cruise heading: EUROPE
  • Photos
Day Date Port, Country Arrival Departure
1 day 28.06.2020 Sunday 17:00
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LONDON (DOVER)

Located 76 miles (122 kilometers) to the east of London, Dover is a major passenger cruise port (as much for cruise ferries as it is for conventional ships) that's considered England's gateway to Europe.

Dover is best known for its stunning white cliffs (remember the World War II song "White Cliffs of Dover"?) that perch over the English Channel. It's also got a quite-spectacular castle. Once, in the mid-19th century, it was a popular seaside resort, though it was repeatedly bombed during World War II. Dover's city center hasn't yet fully regained its footing.

Dover is most commonly a port of embarkation and/or debarkation (itineraries can vary, from those that head to the Baltics and Northern Europe to those cruising south, to the Mediterranean), and most cruise passengers who want extra time in England will use London as their base instead. London is about a 1 1/2-hour train ride or two-hour drive away. Dover's proximity to some major southeast England towns and villages means there are alternatives to big city touring as well: Rye, a 1 1/4-hour drive south, is a charming medieval village and the city of Canterbury is noted for its awesome cathedral, among other sites. For day trips, Sissinghurst, Vita Sackville-West's famous gardens, are near enough to tuck into an "on the way to the port" sightseeing jaunt, as is Leeds Castle.
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GREAT BRITAIN

General information

Capital: London
Government: Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy
Currency: Pound Sterling (£)
Area total: 243,610 km²
water: 1,680 km²
land: 241,930 km²
Population: 63,181,775 (2010 est.)
Language: English, Welsh (about 26% of the population of Wales), Scots (mostly spoken in the Lowlands of Scotland) Scottish Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland), Ulster-Scots (various parts of Northern Ireland) and some speakers of Irish in Northern Ireland
Religion: Anglican and Roman Catholic 40 million (66%)- Roman Catholics are about 10% of the population and rising, Muslim 1.5 million (2.5%), Presbyterian 800,000 (1.3%), Methodist 760,000 (1.3%), Sikh 336,000 (0.6%), Hindu 559,000 (0.9%), Jewish 267,000 (0.4%), Buddhist 152,000 (0.25%), no religion 9,104,000 (15%)
Electricity: 230V, 50 Hz
Country code: +44
Internet TLD: .uk
Time Zone: summer: UTC +1, winter: UTC
Emergencies: dial 999

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the United Kingdom or the UK) is a constitutional monarchy comprising much of the British Isles.

This Union is more than 300 years old and comprises four constituent nations: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It occupies all of the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern portion of the island of Ireland and most of the remaining British Isles.

It's important to remember that the Republic of Ireland is a completely separate state from the United Kingdom, seceding from the Union and gaining its independence in 1922. The Isle of Man and the various Channel Islands are "crown dependencies", possessing their own legislative bodies for domestic legislation with the assent of the Crown. They are not part of the United Kingdom, nor of the EU, but are not sovereign states in their own right either. The UK has Ireland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands as its nearest neighbours.

The 'Great' in Great Britain (Britannia Major in Roman times; Grande-Bretagne in French) is to distinguish it from the other, smaller "Britain": Brittany (Britannia Minor; Bretagne) in northwestern France.

The UK today is a diverse patchwork of native and immigrant cultures, possessing a fascinating history and dynamic modern culture, both of which remain hugely influential in the wider world. Although Britannia no longer rules the waves, the UK is still a popular destination for many travellers. The capital and largest city of the United Kingdom is London.

Home nations

"Great Britain" ("GB") for a geographer refers just to the single largest island in the British Isles that has most of the land area of Scotland, England and Wales. In normal usage it is a collective term for all those three nations together. Great Britain became part of the United Kingdom when the Irish and British parliaments merged in 1801 to form the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland". This was changed to "... and Northern Ireland" when all but the six Northern Irish counties seceded from the Union in 1922 after a treaty granting Irish home rule. "Britain" is simply another name for the United Kingdom, and does include Northern Ireland, despite common misconceptions otherwise.

The flag of the United Kingdom is popularly known as the Union Jack or, more properly, Union Flag. It comprises the flags of St. George of England, St. Andrew of Scotland and the St. Patrick's Cross of Ireland superimposed on each other. Within England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the flags of each nation are commonly used. The St. Patrick's Cross flag is often seen on St. Patrick's Day in Northern Ireland. Since the Republic of Ireland split from the UK though, St. Patrick's Saltire is not used for Northern Ireland, as it represented the whole of the island of Ireland. A flag (known as the "Ulster Banner") was designed for Northern Ireland in the 1920s, which was based on the flag of Ulster (similar in appearance to the St. George's Cross flag of England) and includes a Red Hand of Ulster and a crown. Although the flag's official status ended with the dissolving of the province's devolved government in the early 1970s, it can still be seen in Northern Ireland, particularly among the Protestant community and on sporting occasions. As Wales was politically integrated into the English kingdom hundreds of years ago, its flag was not incorporated into the Union Jack. The flag features a Red Dragon on a green field.

Crown Dependencies

The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are not strictly part of the UK, but rather are 'Crown Dependencies: they have their own democratic governments, laws and courts and are not part of the EU. They are not entirely sovereign either, falling under the British Crown which chooses to have its UK Government manage some of the islands' affairs. The people are British Citizens, but unless they have direct ties with the UK, through a parent, or have lived there for at least 5 years, they are not able to take up work or residence elsewhere in the European Union.

Overseas Territories & The Commonwealth

Again, these are not constitutionally part of the United Kingdom, but are largely former colonies of the British Empire which are to varying degrees, self-governing entities that still recognise the British Monarch as their head of state. The key difference is residents of Overseas Territories still possess British citizenship, whereas those of Commonwealth nations do not, and are subject to the same entry and immigration rules as non-EU citizens.

Referring to nationality

Most residents of The United Kingdom, Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories are legally British, and referring to any as such will usually not cause offence.

Don't describe citizens of the United Kingdom as "English". The Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish do not identify themselves as being from "England". If you need to refer to someone's nationality, you can use the most precise term, 'English', 'Northern Irish', 'Welsh' or 'Scottish'. To play safe, you can ask someone from which part of the UK they are from, as this covers every corner of the isles - including Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland and Scotland can be particularly problematic, and 'Scottish', 'Northern Irish', 'Irish', or 'British' can all be appropriate according to the political persuasion of the individual. Irish nationalists may avoid referring to Northern Ireland at all, referring instead to 'The Six Counties' or 'The North', or talk about 'Ireland' as a whole. 'Northern Irish' is less likely to offend, whereas referring to someone from Northern Ireland as 'British' or as 'Irish' can cause offence depending on a person's political ideology.

It is also worth noting that, while technically a county of England, the issue of identity in Cornwall is very sensitive amongst some people. It is best to refer to anyone you meet in Cornwall as Cornish, unless they have already explicitly stated their identity as English.

As a visitor from outside the UK, you are unlikely to cause serious offence. At worst, you will incur a minor rebuff and reaffirmation of their nationality, as in "I'm not English. I'm Scottish".

Government

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with the Queen as the nominal head of state. It has a bicameral parliament: The lower house, known as the House of Commons, is popularly elected by the people and is responsible for proposing new laws. The upper house, known as the House of Lords, primarily scrutinises and amends bills proposed by the lower house. The House of Lords is not elected and consists of Hereditary Peers, whose membership is guaranteed by birth right, Life Peers, who are appointed to it by the Queen, and the Lords Spiritual, who are bishops of the Church of England. The Head of Government is the Prime Minister, who is usually the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons. It has a first-past-the post system divided into local constituencies. In practice, the Prime Minister wields the most authority in government, with the Queen being pretty much a figurehead, though all bills that have been passed in both houses of parliament require the Queen to grant royal assent before they become law.

Additionally, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have their own elected bodies (the Northern Ireland Assembly, Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly). These devolved governments have a First Minister and varying degrees of power over matters internal to that constituent country, including the passing of laws. For example, the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh exercises power and passes laws over almost every matter internal to Scotland. In the areas over which it has power, the UK government plays no role. As a result, institutions and systems can be radically different between the four constituent countries in the UK. England has no similar body of its own, with all government coming from Westminster. The exception to this is London, which owing to its huge size and population has partial devolved government in the form of an elected Mayor and assembly, which exercises a range of powers previously controlled by both central and local governments.

There are also local government authorities responsible for services at a local level. Each constituency votes for a local MP (Member of Parliament) who then goes to sit in Parliament and debate and vote - whether they do or not is another matter.

Using maps and postcodes

Most basic mapping in the United Kingdom is undertaken by the Ordnance Survey of Great Britain and the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland. The maps found in bookshops may be published directly by those organisations, or by private map publishers drawing on basic Ordnance Survey data.

One consequence of this for the traveller is the widespread use of Ordnance Survey grid references in guide books and other information sources. These are usually presented [xx999999] (e.g. [SU921206]) and form a quick way of finding any location on a map. If using a GPS be sure to set it to the British National Grid (BNG) and the OSGB datum.

Alternatively, every postal address has a postcode, either a unique one or one shared with its immediate neighbours. British postcodes take the form (XXYY ZZZ), where XX is a 2 or 1 character alphabetic code representing the town, city or geographic area, a 1 or 2 digit number YY representing the area of that town or city, followed by a 3 digit alphanumeric code ZZZ which denotes the road and a specific section or house on that road. Therefore, a postcode will identify a location to within a few tens of metres in urban locations; and adding a house number and street will identify a property uniquely (at road junctions two houses with the same number may share the same postcode). Most internet mapping services enable locations to be found by postcode. Owing to London's huge size and population it has its own distinct variation of the postcode system where the town code XX is replaced by an area code indicating the geographic part of the city - e.g N-North, WC-West Central, EC-East Central, SW-South West; and so on.

The Ordnance Survey's 1:50000 or 1:25000 scale maps are astonishingly detailed and show contour lines, public rights of way, and access land. For pursuits such as walking, they are practically indispensable, and in rural areas show individual farm buildings and (on the larger scale) field boundaries.

Climate

The UK has a benign humid-temperate climate moderated by the North Atlantic current and the country's proximity to the sea. Warm, damp summers and mild winters provide temperatures pleasant enough to engage in outdoor activities all year round. Having said that, the weather in the UK can be changeable and conditions are often windy and wet. British rain is world renowned, but in practice it rarely rains more than two or three hours at a time and often parts of the country stay dry for many weeks at a time, especially in the East. More common are overcast or partly cloudy skies. It is a good idea to be prepared for a change of weather when going out; a jumper and a raincoat usually suffice when it is not winter. In summer temperatures can reach 30ºC (86ºF) in parts and in winter temperatures may be mild, eg: 10?C (50?F) in southern Britain and -2?C (28.4?)in Scotland.

Because the UK stretches nearly a thousand km from end to end, temperatures can vary quite considerably between north and south. Differences in rainfall are also pronounced between the drier east and wetter west. Scotland and north-western England (particularly the Lake District) are often rainy and cold. Alpine conditions with heavy snowfall are common in the mountains of northern Scotland during the winter. The north-east and Midlands are also cool, though with less rainfall. The south-east and east Anglia are generally warm and dry, and the south-west warm but often wet. Wales and Northern Ireland tend to experience cool to mild temperatures and moderate rainfall, while the hills of Wales occasionally experience heavy snowfall. Even though the highest land in the UK rarely reaches more than 1,100 m, the effect of height on rainfall and temperature is great.

Stay safe

In any emergency call 999 or 112 (free of charge from any phone, including mobiles) and ask for Ambulance, Fire and Rescue Service, Police, Coast Guard or Mountain And Cave Rescue when connected. The United Kingdom has this one,unified number for all the different emergency services.

British cities and towns can be dangerous in some parts at night as you can find rowdy groups of drunk people on the street, usually in night life and clubbing areas. Drinking alcohol in public (except outside a bar or pub) is not permitted in some towns and areas of cities. Crime rates in areas such as homocide are broadly in line with the European average (though there can be significant variations between different parts of the UK) and crime in general have been falling in recent years.

The police have fairly wide ranging powers to fine or arrest people who are causing a disturbance, and although they can be heavier-handed in major cities they are generally tolerant. If you are stopped by the police, avoid arguing and be sure to appear respectful. Do not try to reason with them, and above all, do not swear, because although it has been ruled that swearing is not a crime, police will often arrest people who swear at them.

Jay walking is not illegal except on motorways, but always try and cross at designated pedestrian crossings. Most operate a "Push the button and wait for the green man" system, but Zebra Crossings are also widespread, particularly outside of city centres - identified by white stripes on the road and yellow flashing spherical lights - pedestrians have right of way but it is advisable to make eye contact with the driver before stepping into the road. Unlike in many other countries British drivers tend to be very respectful of the laws around zebra crossings.

If you are bringing or hiring a car, be sure to lock the doors if you leave your car, and always park in a busy, well-lit area. Don't leave valuables on display in a parked car - satellite navigation systems are a particular target.

The age of both heterosexual and homosexual consent is 16 throughout the United Kingdom. The law supports LGBT rights and are some of the most progressive in the world. You cannot be discriminated against in any area of the UK for your sexuality. Recently, a gay couple won their case for discrimination after a hotel turned them away saying they only took married couples and same sex marriage was legalised in July 2013.

British society is generally not homophobic and attitudes have changes beyond recognition in the past 20 years. There are some areas where you may want to not be overtly showing your sexuality (very remote villages, 'tough' places such as football matches) but even these in these environments attitudes have changed. Being homophobic is now the taboo in the UK where being homosexual used to be.

Racism is not common in the UK, and racially motivated violence is very rare. Most Britons are strongly opposed to racism. The main concern for Britons isn't racism; the government strongly encourages the notion of a multi-cultural society, but recent high levels of immigration have been of debate. However, the UK is generally regarded by its own immigrant population as being amongst the most liberal and tolerant of European countries in this respect, but obviously there will be some people who are exceptions. Most Britons will go out of their way to make tourists and immigrants feel welcome and it's not uncommon for police to impose harsh punishments on any form racial abuse - physical or verbal.

All in all though, the UK is generally a very safe country to visit and the vast majority of tourists will run into no problems.

Police

On the whole, British police officers tend to be professional and polite, and are generally less aggressive than law enforcement agencies in other developed nations (however, this does not mean they are lenient). The vast majority of British police officers do not carry firearms on standard patrol, and the only time one would usually see a "Bobby" with a weapon is at ports or when there is a suspicion they will meet armed offenders. The exception to this is Northern Ireland, where all Police are armed. Most officers will only speak English and you will be made to speak to an interpreter over police radio or will do so at a police station if you cannot communicate in English. You have the legal right to remain silent during and after arrest - but police in England and Wales will warn you that "You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence".

Stay healthy

The local emergency telephone number is 999; however, the EU-wide 112 can also be used. For advice on non-emergency medical problems, you can ring the 24-hour NHS Direct [102] service on 0845 4647 (NHS 24 in Scotland on 08454 242424)

Emergencies can be dealt with under the NHS (National Health Service) at any hospital with a Casualty or A & E (Accident & Emergency) department. At A&E be prepared to wait for up to 4 hours to be seen to if the medical complaint is not serious, depending on the time of day/night. The longest waiting times usually occur on Friday and Saturday nights. Emergencies will be dealt with immediately and before any question of remuneration is even contemplated. Walk-in centres also provide treatment for less urgent conditions on a first come first served basis. They are open to residents and foreign nationals.

All treatment at an NHS hospital or doctor is free to residents of the UK. All emergency treatment is free, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. As a result, an EHIC card is infact not necessary (though advised for EU travel in general), as the UK is possibly one of the only countries to provide free emergency treatment without question or identity verification. This also applies to tourists, both from the EU and outside.

For advice on minor ailments and medicines, you can ask a pharmacist (there are many high-street chemists, and to practise legally all pharmacists must be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) which involves a university degree and other exams and training). Notable pharmacy chains include Boots and Lloyds, and many supermarkets also have pharmacists. It is worth noting that the medicine trade is strictly controlled and many medicines available to purchase from a pharmacy in other countries eg: antibiotics can only be provided on production of a prescription written by an authorised medical professional.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases are spreading between young people, so make sure you practise safe sex. There are around 50,000 HIV victims living in the UK. Chlamydia is common enough to warrant public health screening of young people. Condoms are available in toilets, pharmacies, and supermarkets. They are also available free from some NHS sexual health clinics (known as GUM clinics), which also provide free STI testing and treatment, even if you are not eligible for other NHS services.

Tap water is safe to drink everywhere, unless otherwise stated.

Respect

It's acceptable to address someone by their first name in most social situations. First names are sometimes avoided among strangers to avoid seeming overly familiar. In very formal or business situations first names are not commonly used until people are better acquainted. The best strategy is to use what they introduced themselves with. Officials, however, (like policemen or doctors) will invaribly call you by your title and surname, for example "Mr Smith".

The British can be extremely indirect when requesting things from people they do not know. It is common for Britons to "ask around" questions when requesting something: for example, one would be more likely to say something along the lines of "Where can I find the changing room?" when in a clothes shop, rather than "Where's the changing room?". Although asking questions directly is quite common, it can sometimes be seen as overly abrupt or even rude.

Similarly, saying 'What?' when not understanding something can be considered rude around authority figures or people you don't know, so 'Pardon?' is more appropriate to use in situations with a stranger or a superior. British people apologise a lot, even when there is absolutely no need to do so. For example, if someone trod on someone else's toe by accident, both people would normally apologise. This is just a British thing to do, and dwelling on it (eg: "What are you sorry about?") will mark you out as a foreigner. Often a British person will request something or start a conversation with 'sorry', e.g. "Sorry, do you know where the nearest toilets are?" In this situation, "sorry" means the same as "excuse me", and again shouldn't be treated as an apology.

Allow some personal space between you and others in queues and elsewhere. You will usually find this in such places as cinemas. Generally, unless people know each other, you will find they will usually choose to fill up every row of seating and keep as much distance of possible until there is a requirement to sit directly next to each other. Exceptions are in very crowded situations where this is impossible, like on the Tube.

British people do not normally make conversation with strangers in the street or on public transport, especially in cities. If you do strike up a conversation with a stranger, they will be polite but somewhat distant. Make sure you have something in common to talk about with the stranger. In small communities and villages, this kind of conversation-making is more accepted.

Greetings are dependent upon the situation. In anything but a business situation, a verbal greeting (such as 'hello (name)!') will suffice. Younger people will usually say 'Hi,' 'Hiya,' or 'Hey' though the latter is also used to attract attention and should not be used to address a stranger as it would be considered impolite. Another British greeting (frequently used by younger people) is 'You all right?' or 'All right?' (sometimes abbreviated to "A'right" in northern England), which basically is a combination of 'Hello' and 'How are you?'. This term can be confusing to foreigners, but it can be easily replied to with either a greeting back (which is far more common) or stating how you feel (usually something short like 'I'm fine, you?'). Note that the person using this greeting isn't really asking if you're all right, and is expecting you to say at most "I'm all right, you?". To a foreigner the question can often be misinterpreted as a genuine display of concern; but the person asking is not expecting you to tell them why you are or are not all right, and may be somewhat annoyed if you do.

Etiquette for a hug is somewhat complicated, so the best advice is to accept a hug (regardless of the gender offering it) if it is offered, otherwise a handshake is appropriate. In a formal situation or an initial greeting between two strangers, a handshake is the done thing, this should be of a appropriate firmness (generally moderate firmness).

It is not uncommon for people in the service industry (eg: cab drivers and hair-dressers), to make small-talk with you while they are serving you. A couple of good conversation topics are the weather (a British favourite) and sport (particularly with men). Regarding the latter, most British people will have at least a passing knowledge of football, cricket, rugby, or tennis. If you find you share tastes, then music, films, and books are also fairly universal subjects.

For more details on unwritten rules concerning greetings, addressing others, small-talk etc, read Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour by Kate Fox.

The Scottish are Scottish, the Welsh are Welsh, and the English are English. Referring to all of them as "English" will probably offend. It's a potential minefield but "British" will always be safer than "English". Anyone who doesn't wish to be referred to as British will understand that you didn't mean any offence and will politely correct you ("I prefer to be called Scottish".) However calling a Scottish, Welsh, or Irish person English will at best make you come across as ignorant and at worst actively offend. Your safest bet is to ask them what part of the UK they're from before referring to their nationality. Remember, too, most Northern Ireland Unionists would not want to be called Irish. (In contrast, most of the Nationalists in Northern Ireland will identify as Irish and register accordingly as Irish citizens and carry Irish passports, which all people born in Northern Ireland are entitled to do if they wish). You may also find that, even though all the people of the United Kingdom are legally classed as British, peoples preferences are based upon which country in the United Kingdom they were born in, rather than using the collective term British. It is also common to meet someone who might say "I am half Welsh, half-English" or "my parents are Scottish and I am English".

Never refer to the Falklands as being Argentinian: over 250 British soldiers died fighting to defend these islands from Argentinian invasion and occupation in the early 1980s. The Falklands remain a British Overseas Territory to this day. The same goes for Gibraltar; despite the Spanish claim, UN supervised plebiscites register more than 98% local support for remaining British. Do the V sign with the palm facing outward to indicate either "peace" or "victory"; do the reverse with the palm facing inward if you wish to be extremely offensive.

Emergency services

Information Services: 142
Fire brigade, police and ambulance: 999 or 112
Road Emergency Service: (0800) 822-87-82
2 day 29.06.2020 Monday 7:00 20:00
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LE HAVRE

Sail to good-living, art-loving Normandy on Carnival cruises to Le Havre, France. Sitting pretty on France’s north coast, overlooking the English Channel, Le Havre has risen from the rubble of World War II to become one of France’s most dynamic port towns. Modernist architecture, Monet artworks, delicious seafood, wild cliff-backed beaches—you'll find the lot on your Le Havre cruise.

  • See the light in the Monet masterpieces gracing Musée Malraux on Le Havre cruises.
  • Snap photos of Oscar Niemeyer’s volcano-shaped arts center, Le Volcan.
  • Stand in awe of Auguste Perret’s modernist monolith, Église St-Joseph.

Central administration of the port Le Havre:

Terre-Plein de la Barre, B.P. 1413, Le Havre, Cedex 76067, France

tel.: (+33-2) 327-474-00; fax: (+33-2) 327-474-29

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FRANCE

General information

Capital: Paris
Government: Republic
Currency: Euro (€)
Area total: 643,801 km²
water: 3,374 km²
land: 640,427km²
Population: 64,667,374 (January 2009) in non-overseas France
Language: French, some regional languages and dialects
Religion: Christianity 45 %
Atheism: 35 % Not stated 10 % Other religions 6 %(Judaism 1 %) Islam 3 % Buddhism 1 %
Electricity: 220..230V, 50Hz. Outlets: CEE7/5 (protruding male earth pin), accepting CEE 7/5 (Grounded), CEE 7/7 (Grounded) or CEE 7/16 (non-grounded) plugs
Country code: 33
Internet TLD: .fr
Time Zone: UTC +1

France is a country located in Western Europe. Clockwise from the north, France borders Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland to the east, Italy to the south-east and Spain to the south-west, across the Pyrenees mountain range (the small country of Andorra lies in between the two countries). The Mediterranean Sea lies to the south of France, with the Principality of Monaco forming a small enclave. To the west, France has a long Atlantic Ocean coastline, while to the north lies the English Channel, across which lies the last of France's neighbours, England (part of the United Kingdom).

France has been the world's most popular tourist destination for over twenty years (81.9 million in 2007) and it's geographically one of the most diverse countries in Europe. Its cities contain some of the greatest treasures in Europe, its countryside is prosperous and well tended and it boasts dozens of major tourist attractions, like Paris, the French Riviera, the Atlantic beaches, the winter sport resorts of the French Alps, the castles of the Loire Valley, Brittany and Normandy. The country is renowned for its gastronomy (particularly wines and cheeses), history, culture and fashion.

Climate

A lot of variety, but temperate winters and mild summers on most of the territory, and especially in Paris. Mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean and in the southwest (the latter has lots of rain in winter). Mild winters (with lots of rain) and cool summers in the northwest (Brittany). Cool to cold winters and hot summer along the German border (Alsace). Along the Rhône Valley, occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-northwesterly wind known as the mistral. Cold winters with lots of the snow in the Mountainous regions: Alps, Pyrenees, Auvergne.

Terrain

Mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; remainder is mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south west, Vosges , Jura and Alps in east, Massif Central in the mid south.

When to travel

If possible, try to avoid French school holidays and Easter, hotels are very likely to be overbooked and road traffic awful.

Holidays: search internet for [french school holidays], as they vary from region to region. Mostly, the winter holidays are 10 Feb-10 Mar. The spring holidays are often 10 Apr-10 May.

Winter gets very cold, sometimes freezing. Make sure to bring appropriate clothing to keep you warm while visiting.

Hotels are very likely to be overbooked and road traffic awful during the 1 May, 8 May, 11 Nov, Easter Weekend, Ascension weekend too.

Electricity

Electricity is supplied at 220 to 230V 50Hz. Outlets are CEE7/5 (protruding male earth pin) and accept either CEE 7/5 (Grounded), CEE 7/7 (Grounded) or CEE 7/16 (non-grounded) plugs. Older German-type CEE 7/4 plugs are not compatible as they do not accommodate the earth pin found on this type of outlet. However, most modern European appliances are fitted with the hybrid CEE 7/7 plug which fits both CEE 7/5 (Belgium & France) and CEE 7/4 (Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and most of Europe) outlets.

Plugs Travellers from the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland and other countries using 230V 50Hz which use different plugs simply require a plug adaptor to use their appliances in France. Plug adaptors for plugs from the US and UK are available from electrical and "do-it-yourself" stores such as Bricorama.

Voltage: Travellers from the US, Canada, Japan and other countries using 110V 60Hz may need a voltage converter. However, some laptops, mobile phone chargers and other devices can accept either 110V or 230V so only require a simple plug adaptor. Check the voltage rating plates on your appliances before connecting them.

Stay safe
Crimes

Crime-related emergencies can be reported to the toll-free number 17. Law enforcement forces are the National Police (Police Nationale) in urban area and the Gendarmerie in rural area, though for limited issues such as parking and traffic offenses some towns and villages also have a municipal police.

France is a very low-crime area, and is one of the safest countries in the world, but large cities are plagued with the usual woes. Violent crime against tourists or strangers is very rare, but there is pickpocketing and purse-snatching.

The inner city areas and a few select suburbs are usually safe at all hours. In large cities, especially Paris, there are a few areas which are better to avoid. Parts of the suburban are sometimes grounds for youth gang violent activities and drug dealing; however these are almost always far from touristic points and you should have no reason to visit them. Common sense applies: it is very easy to spot derelict areas.

The subject of crime in the poorer suburbs is very touchy as it may easily have racist overtones, since many people associate it with working-class youth of North African origin. You should probably not express any opinion on the issue.

Usual caution apply for tourists flocking around sights as they may become targets for pickpockets. A usual trick is to ask tourists to sign fake petitions and give some money, which is a way to put pressure on the victim. Stay away from people requesting money without any organization badge.

While it is not compulsory for French citizens to carry identification, they usually do so. Foreigners should carry some kind of official identity document. Although random checks are not the norm you may be asked for an ID in some kinds of situations, for example if you cannot show a valid ticket when using public transportation; not having one in such cases will result in you being taken to a police station for further checks. Even if you feel that law enforcement officers have no right to check your identity (they can do so only in certain circumstances), it is a bad idea to enter a legal discussion with them; it is better to put up with it and show ID. Again, the subject is touchy as the police have often been accused of targeting people according to criteria of ethnicity (e.g. delit de sale gueule = literally "crime of a dirty face" but perhaps equivalent to the American "driving while black.")

Due to the terrorist factor, police, with the help of military units, are patrolling monuments, the Paris subway, train stations and airports. Depending on the status of the "Vigipirate" plan (anti terrorist units) it is not uncommon to see armed patrols in those areas. The presence of police is of help for tourists, as it also deters pickpockets and the like. However, suspicious behaviour, public disturbances etc., may result in policemen asking to see an ID.

In France, failing to offer assistance to 'a person in danger' is illegal. This means that if you fail to stop upon witnessing a motor accident, fail to report such an accident to emergency services, or ignore appeals for help or urgent assistance, you may be charged. Penalties include suspended prison sentence and fines. The law does not apply in situations where to answer an appeal for help might endanger your life or the lives of others.

Controlled substances

Carrying or using narcotic substances, from marijuana to hard drugs, is illegal whatever the quantity. The penalty can be severe especially if you are suspected of dealing. Trains and cars coming from countries which have a more lenient attitude (like the Netherlands) are especially targeted. Police have often been known to stop entire coaches and search every passenger and their bags thouroughly just because they're coming from Amsterdam.

France has a liberal policy with respect to alcohol; there are usually no ID checks for purchasing alcohol (unless you look much younger than 18). However, causing problems due to public drunkenness is a misdemeanor and may result in a night in a police station. Drunk driving is a severe offense and may result in heavy fines and jail sentences.

A little etiquette note: while it is common to drink beer straight from the bottle at informal meetings, doing the same with wine is normally only done by tramps (clochards).

Stay healthy
Tap water

Tap water (Eau du robinet) is drinkable, except in rare cases such as rural rest areas and sinks in train bathrooms, in which case it will be clearly signposted as Eau non potable. Eau potable is potable water. (You may, however, not like the taste which may be chlorinated, botteled water is common.)

Medical help

The health care in France is of a very high standard.

Pharmacies in France are denoted by a green cross, usually in neon. They sell medicines, contraceptives, and often beauty and related products (though these can be very expensive). Medicines must be ordered from the counter, even non-prescription medicines. The pharmacist is able to help you about various medicines and propose you generic drugs.

Since drug brand names vary across countries even though the effective ingredients stay the same, it is better to carry prescriptions using the international nomenclature in addition to the commercial brand name. Prescription drugs, including oral contraceptives (aka "the pill"), will only be delivered if a doctor's prescription is shown.

In addition, supermarkets sell condoms (preservatifs) and also often personal lubricant, bandages, disinfectant and other minor medical item. Condom machines are often found in bar toilets, etc.

Medical treatment can be obtained from self-employed physicians, clinics and hospitals. Most general practitioners, specialists (e.g. gynecologists), and dentists are self-employed; look for signs saying Docteur (medecine generale is general practitioner). The normal price for a consultation with a general practitioner is €23, though some physicians charge more (this is the full price and not a co-payment). Physicians may also do home calls, but these are more expensive.

Residents of the European Union are covered by the French social security system, which will reimburse or directly pay for 70% of health expenses (30% co-payment) in general, though many physicians and surgeons apply surcharges. Other travellers are not covered and will be billed the full price, even if at a public hospital; non-EU travellers should have travel insurance covering medical costs.

Emergencies

Hospitals will have an emergency room signposted Urgences.

The following numbers are toll-free:

15 Medical emergencies
17 Law enforcement emergencies (for e.g. reporting a crime)
18 Firefighters
112 European standard emergency numbers.

Operators at these numbers can transfer requests to other services if needed (e.g. some medical emergencies may be answered by firefighter groups).

Smoking

Smoking is prohibited by law in all enclosed spaces accessible to the public (this includes train and subway cars, train and subway station enclosures, workplaces, restaurants and cafes) unless in areas specifically designated for smoking, and there are few of these. There was an exception for restaurants and cafes, but since the 1st January 2008, the smoking ban law is also enforced there. You may face a fine of €68 if you are found smoking in these places.

Smoking is banned in metro and trains, as well as enclosed stations. Subway and train conductors do enforce the law and will fine you for smoking in non-designated places; if you encounter problems with a smoker in train, you may go find the conductor.

As hotels are not considered as public places, some offer smoking vs non-smoking rooms.

Only people over the age 18 may purchase tobacco products. Shopkeepers may request a photo ID.

Respect
On the Metro

The Metro subway system is a great way to get around Paris (or Lyon, Marseille, et al.), which is readily apparent in the throngs of people that use it to go to work, school, and the like. If you do not ride the train at home, or if you come from a place that doesn't have a subway system, there are certain points of etiquette that you may not be aware of. When boarding at the station, let those exiting the train step off onto the platform before boarding, and once aboard move to the centre of the car. If you have luggage, move it as far out of the path of others as possible (on the RER B to Charles de Gaulle airport, use the luggage racks above the seats instead). Certain stations have moving sidewalks to cover the distances between platforms - walk on the left and stand on the right! Finally, do note that the doors on French subway cars don't generally open automatically once the train has stopped at the station; rather, most cars have a small button or lever on the doors that opens them. If you should happen to be standing near the door in a crowded car you might hear someone behind you say "la porte, s'il vous plait," which means that person would like to get off the train and is asking you to open the door for him/her. Pop the door open and step aside (or down onto the platform) while that person exits the train - the driver will wait for you to get back on.

Loudness

It is considered very rude to be loud in a crowded place, such as a subway car or restaurant. Keep in mind that, though you may be enjoying your holiday, most people around you in the metro or other places are probably going to or back from work and may be tired and thus will react very coldly to tourists babbling at the top of their lungs. If you listen to the locals talk, you will notice that they talk rather softly.

Shopping Etiquette

In many shops/stores in France, you should ask the shopkeeper to take items from the shelf; as opposed to picking it up yourself. This applies in liquor or wine stores, clothing stores, etc. Failure to respect this policy might result in confused and/or angered reactions from the shopkeeper.

Dress code

Dress codes are fast disappearing, but if you want to avoid looking like a tourist, then avoid white sneakers, baseball caps, tracksuit pants, shorts and flip-flops (except at the beach). Generally speaking, business casual dress code is sufficient in cities and in all but the most formal occasions.

Usual courtesy applies when entering churches, and although you may not be asked to leave, it is better to avoid short pants and halter tops.

Some restaurants will frown if you come in dressed for trekking but very few will insist upon a jacket and tie. You may be surprised by the number of French twenty-somethings who show up at a grungy bar in jacket and tie, even if obviously from a thrift-shop.

Beaches and swimming pools (in hotels) are used for getting a tan. Taking off your bra will not usually create a stir if you don't mind a bevy of oglers. Taking off the bottom part is reserved to designated nude beaches. People on beaches are usually not offended by a young boy or girl undressed. Most resort cities insist on your wearing a shirt when leaving the beach area. Many pools will not allow baggy or "board" swim trunks, insisting on snug fitting speedo type trunks.

Breastfeeding in public is very rare but nobody will mind if you do.

Talking to people

The French language has two different forms of the pronoun "you" that are used when addressing someone in the second person. "Tu" is the second-person singular and "Vous" is nominally the second-person plural. However, in some situations, French speakers will use "Vous" for the second-person singular. While one will use "Vous" to address a group of people no matter what the circumstances, non-native speakers will invariably have some difficulty when trying to determine whether to address a person with the informal and friendly "tu" or the formal and respectful "vous." The language even has two special verbs reflecting this difference: "tutoyer" (to address a person using "tu"), and "vouvoyer" (to address a person using "vous"), each of them carrying their own connotations and implications. Unfortunately, the rules as to when to use which form can sometimes seem maddeningly opaque to the non-native French speaker.

Generally speaking, one will only use the "tu" form to address someone in an informal situation where there is familiarity or intimacy between the two parties. For example, "tu" is used when addressing a close friend or spouse, or when an adult child is addressing a parent. "Tu" is also used in situations where the other party is very young, such as a parent speaking to a child or a schoolteacher to a student. In contrast, "vous" is used in situations where the parties are not familiar, or where it is appropriate to convey respect and/or deference. For example, an office worker might use "tu" to address co-workers that he works closely with, but he would probably use "vous" when speaking to the receptionist he rarely talks to. He certainly wouldn't use "tu" when speaking with his boss. In that same vein, police officers and other authorities should always be addressed with "vous."

If that's confusing (or not confusing enough) the key thing to remember is that it's all about distance. For example, a bartender is vous up until the moment that he or she gives you a complementary drink, at which point tu becomes more appropriate, and the use of vous would be a bit ungrateful and off-putting.

For foreigners, the best way to deal with the "tu" and "vous" problem is to address people using "vous" until invited to say "tu", or until addressed by the first name. Doing so will look perhaps a shade old fashioned, but always respectful. In most cases, if French is not your native language most French people will overlook any such overly formal and polite language without thinking much about it anyway. Doing the opposite can be pretty rude and embarrassing in some situations, so it's probably best to err on the side of caution.

Simplified: Use vous unless:
the person is genuinely your friend;
the person is under 16; or
you've been explicitly told to use "tu"

Sensitive topics

As a general rule, debates, discussions, and friendly arguments are something that the French enjoy, but there are certain topics that should be treated more delicately or indirectly than others:

Politics: French people have a wide variety of opinions about many subjects. Unless you really follow French news closely, you should probably steer clear of discussing internal French politics, especially sensitive issues such as immigration - you may come across as judgmental and uninformed. Reading French newspapers to get a feel for the wide spectrum of political opinions in France – from the revolutionary left to the nationalistic right – may help. That said, don't be discouraged from engaging in political discussions with French people, just be aware of the position that being a foreigner puts you in. Also, it is considered to be quite rude to ask a person point-blank about which candidate he/she voted for in the last election (or will vote for in the next); instead, talk about the issues and take it from there.

Religion: The French seldom advertise their religious feelings, however, and expect you to avoid doing so as well. Doing so might make people feel uneasy. It is also generally considered impolite to inquire about religious or other personal issues. While France has barred religious symbols from public places including Sikh turban, Islamic hijab and Jewish kippah on grounds of secularism, this controversial topic is best avoided in polite conversations. People practicing those faiths need to be aware of the unfriendly attitudes that some in France hold to expression of religion in public places.

Money: You should also avoid presenting yourself through what you own (house, car, etc.). It is also considered to be quite crass to discuss your salary, or to ask someone else directly about theirs. Instead express your enthusiasm about how great are the responsibilities, or how lucky you were to get there, etc.

City/Rural Differences: While it is true that roughly 1/6th of the country's population lives in the Paris region, don't make the mistake of reducing France to Paris or assuming that all French people act like Parisians. Life in Paris can be closer to life in London or New York City than in the rest of France; just as New Yorkers or Londoners might act and feel differently than people from, say, Oklahoma or Herefordshire, so might Parisian customs and opinions differ from those found "en province."

3 day 30.06.2020 Tuesday
FUN DAY AT SEA
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4 day 01.07.2020 Wednesday 9:00 18:00
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LA CORUNA, SPAIN
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5 day 02.07.2020 Thursday 8:00 17:00
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LEIXOES (PORTO), PORTUGAL
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6 day 03.07.2020 Friday 7:00 17:00
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LISBON

Discover Portugal’s bright, fun-loving capital on Carnival cruises to Lisbon. Straddling seven hills, hugging the banks of the River Tagus, and crowned by a storybook castle, Lisbon, Portugal, is a visually stunning port of call. And this city has got personality, too. With its stately plazas, irresistible patisseries and bluesy Fado music, this port will amaze and excite you on your Lisbon cruise.

  • Be captivated by the skyline views from Lisbon’s Castelo de São Jorge.
  • Eat a custard tart—or three.
  • Marvel at delicate, fairy-tale Mosteiro dos Jerónimos on Lisbon cruises.

Central administration of port Lisbon:
Rua da Junqueira, 94, Lisbon, Lisbon 1349-026, Portugal
tel.: (+351-21) 392-20-03

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PORTUGAL

General information

Capital: Lisbon
Government: Parliamentary Republic
Currency: Euro (€)
Area total: 92,090 km2
water: 620 km2
land: 91,470 km2
Population: 10,084,245 (July 2002 est.)
Language: Portuguese
Religion: Roman Catholic 84%, Protestant
Electricity: 230V/50Hz (European plug)
Country code: +351
Internet TLD: .pt
Time Zone: UTC

Portugal, in Southern Europe, shares the Iberian peninsula at the western tip of Europe with Spain. Geographically and culturally somewhat isolated from its neighbour, Portugal has a rich, unique culture, lively cities and beautiful countryside. Although it was once one of the poorest countries in Western Europe, the end of dictatorship and introduction of Democracy in 1974, as well as its incorporation into the European Union in 1986, has meant significantly increased prosperity. However it may be one of the best value destinations on the Continent. This is because the country offers outstanding landscape diversity, due to its North-South disposition along the western shore of the Iberian peninsula. You can travel in a single day from green mountains in the North, covered with vines and all varieties of trees to rocky mountains, with spectacular slopes and falls in the Centre, to a near-desert landscape in the Alentejo region and finally to the glamorous beach holidays destination Algarve. The climate, combined with investments in the golfing infrastructure in recent years, has also turned the country into a golfing haven. Portugal was recently named "Best Golf Destination 2008" by readers of Golfers Today, a British publication. Fourteen of Portugal's courses are rated in the top 100 best in Europe. If you want a condensed view of European landscapes, culture and way of life, Portugal might very well fit the bill.

Portugal is 900 years old, and even though it has a relatively small area, it played a crucial role in world history. As of today, it is the oldest country in Europe with the same borders. During the 15th and 16th centuries Portugal started a major chapter in world history with the New World Discoveries ("Descobrimentos"). It established a sea route to India, and colonized areas in Africa (Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde...), South America (Brazil), Asia (Macau,...), and Oceania (East-Timor,...) creating an empire. The Portuguese language continues to be the biggest connection between these countries.

In 1910, the Republic was established, abolishing the Monarchy. However, this Republic was fragile and a military dictatorship was implemented, which lasted for 40 years, plunging the country into a marked stagnation. In 1974, Portugal became a free democracy, and in 1986 it joined the current European Union, quickly approaching European standards of development.

Climate

Portugal is one of the warmest European countries. In mainland Portugal, yearly temperature averages are about 15°C (55°F) in the north and 18°C (64°F) in the south. Madeira and Azores have a narrower temperature range as expected given their insularity, with the former having low precipitation in most of the archipelago and the latter being wet and rainy. Spring and Summer months are usually sunny and temperature maximum are very high during July and August, with maximums averaging between 35°C and 40°C (86°F - 95°F) in the interior of the country, 30°C and 35°C in the north. Autumn and Winter are typically rainy and windy, yet sunny days are not rare either. Temperatures rarely fall below 5°C (41°F) nearer to the sea, averaging 10°C (50°F), but can reach several degrees below 0°C (32°F) further inland. Snow is common in winter in the mountainous areas of the north, especially in Serra da Estrela but melts quickly once the season is over. Portugal's climate can be classified as Mediterranean (particularly the southern parts of the Algarve and Alentejo, though technically on Atlantic shore).

Time zone

Portugal is regulated by the Western European Time Zone (WET), the same time as in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Talk

The official language of Portugal is Portuguese. Portuguese is today one of the world's major languages, ranked 6th according to number of native speakers (approximately 240 million). It is the language with the largest number of speakers in South America, spoken by almost all of Brazil's population. It is also the official language in Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor and Macau.

Portuguese is a Romance Language. Although it may be mutually intelligible with Spanish to a wide extent, with about 90% of lexical similarity (both in vocabulary and grammar), it is far from identical. Portuguese are proud people and are uneasy when foreigners from non-Spanish speaking countries speak that language when traveling in Portugal. While many words may be spelled almost the same as in Spanish (or Italian), the pronunciation differs considerably. This is because Portuguese has several sounds not present in those languages. Spanish is widely understood, but it's not always the best language to use unless you're from a Spanish-speaking country.

It is also worth mentioning that pronunciation in Portugal differs significantly from that in Brazil. The difference is basically in pronunciation and a few vocabulary differences, which make it tricky even for Brazilians to understand the European Portuguese accent, although not vice versa because Brazilian pop culture (soap opera and pop music, for instance) is very popular in Portugal. Nevertheless, the current media has made these difficulties in understanding each other's accent irrelevant.

English is spoken in many tourist areas, but it is far from ubiquitous. Portuguese youths are taught English in school, and are also exposed to American and British films and television shows with the original English soundtrack and Portuguese subtitles, so while shy, most younger people would have at least a basic grasp of English. To improve your chances of being understood, speak slowly and stick to simple phrases. In fact, you are very likely to find more English spoken in Portugal than in the likes of Spain or France. In the main tourist areas you will almost always find someone who can speak the main European languages. Hotel personnel are required to speak English, even if sketchily. French has almost disappeared as a second language, except possibly among older people. German or Italian speakers are rare. Approximately 32% of Portuguese people can speak and understand English, while 24% can speak and understand French. Despite Spanish being mutually intelligible in a sense that most Portuguese understand it written and/or spoken, only 9% of the Portuguese population can speak it fluently. If you're a Spanish speaker, chances are you'll understand each other very well without an interpreter for the most part.

Portuguese people are of generally excellent humor when they are talking with someone who cannot speak their language. This means that all types of shop owners, sales-folk, and people curious about you will take time to try to carve out any means of communication, often with funny and unexpected results. Helping a foreigner is considered a pleasant and rewarding occasion and experience. If you attempt to speak correct Portuguese, especially if slightly beyond the trivial, with locals, you will be treated with respect and often the locals will apologize for how "difficult" it is to learn Portuguese, or how "hard" the language is, and will almost adopt you. This might encourage travelers to learn the very basics of Portuguese, such as daily greetings and the routine "please-thank you" exchanges.

In Miranda do Douro, a town in the North East, and its vicinity some people speak a regional language called Mirandese, in addition to Portuguese, although rarely in front of people they do not know.

Foreign television programmes are almost always shown in their original language with subtitles. Only children's programmes are dubbed into Portuguese.

Stay safe

Portugal is a safe country to visit, and some basic common sense will go a long way. There are no internal conflicts, no terrorism-related danger and violent crime is not a serious problem, as it is generally confined to particular neighbourhoods and is rarely a random crime. Also, there is a refreshing lack of boozy stupidity at the weekends, despite the profusion of bars open to all hours in the major cities.

There are, however, some areas of Lisbon and Porto that you might want to avoid, like in any big city, especially at night. Also, you might want to have in mind that pickpockets do tend to target tourists and tourist-frequented areas more frequently. Wear a money belt or keep your documents and money in an inside pocket. Metro and large rail stations, shopping areas, queues and crowded buses are the most usual places for pickpockets. Many are under 18 and take advantage of the non-harsh laws on minors. If you try to run them down, a fight may be necessary to get your items back.

On the subway or on trains try to sit with other people and avoid empty carriages. Non-violent pickpocket is the most common crime so always watch any bags (purses, luggage, shopping bags, etc.) you may have with you. A voice message reminding that is played in most of the metro and train stations.

Since the disappearance of Madeline McCann, many families have become wary of taking their children to Portugal, especially if they are very young. However, as long as they have a basic understanding of stranger danger and you keep them with you at all times, then you have nothing to worry about.

Illicit Drug Use

On July 1, 2001, a nationwide law in Portugal took effect that decriminalized the recreational use of drugs. Note that drug possession for personal use and drug usage itself are still legally prohibited, but violations of those prohibitions are deemed to be exclusively administrative violations and are removed completely from the criminal realm. Drug trafficking continues to be prosecuted as a criminal offense.

Driving while impaired by drugs is a criminal code offense and is treated in the same way as driving under the influence of alcohol, with severe penalties.

Stay healthy

Major cities are well served with medical and emergency facilities and public hospitals are at European standards. The national emergency number is 112.

Bottled/spring water (água mineral) is recommended as per use but the network's water is perfectly safe.

Citizens of the European Union are covered by Portugal's National Healthcare System as long as they carry the free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), obtainable from their own national healthcare authority.

Respect

Portuguese people feel a sincere happiness when helping tourists so don't feel ashamed to ask for help. If you make an effort to speak some Portuguese with the people there, it can go a long way. A large percentage of the younger population speak English and many Portuguese understand basic Spanish. Although Portuguese people will understand some basic Spanish vocabulary, try to use it only in emergencies, since it is generally seen as disrespectful if you are a non-Spanish native yourself. If used be prepared to be hear something like "In Portugal people speak Portuguese, not Spanish" or they will simply reply that they don't understand you even if they do. Most probably they will not say anything and will still help you, but they will not like it inside. This is due to historical rivalry between Spain and Portugal. It is best to speak in English or your native language with the resource of hand signs or at the very least starting a conversation with Portuguese, then switching to English can be a successful technique to obtain this type of help.

Although not strict, when visiting churches or other religious monuments, try to wear appropriate clothes. That means that shoulders and knees should be covered.

Smoking in public enclosed places (taxis and transport, shops and malls, cafés and hotels, etc.) is not allowed and is subject to a fine, unless in places showing the appropriate blue sign.

It is not unusual for women to sunbathe topless in the beaches of Portugal, and there are several naturist beaches too. Thong bikinis are acceptable throughout the country's beaches.

There are no serious political or social issues to be avoided, although see Reintegration below.

Although a Catholic country (almost 90% of Portuguese consider themselves to be Catholic) only as much as 19% practice this faith (known as Lapsed Catholic). As a result when discussing religion with a Portuguese don't expect much knowledge about church practices or support towards some of their beliefs and opinions (e.g. Use of condoms, abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, etc). In Portugal religion is not seen as a valid argument when discussing politics. As such abortion in Portugal was legalized in 2007 and same sex marriage in 2010.

Portugal in general is a gay friendly country, but don't expect the same openness in rural and small places that you get in the bigger cities like Lisbon or Porto. Public display of affection between gay couples can be seen as a curiosity and in some cases as inappropriate depending on the place and the kind of display. Gays and lesbians in Lisbon are respected as the city itself has a big gay scene with lots of bars, night clubs, restaurants, cafes, saunas and beaches. Most of the “gay-friendly” places are located in the quarters of Bairro Alto, Chiado and Princípe Real.

Don't be surprised if you came across women/girls holding hands or holding arms with each other, this is considered normal and a sign of friendship; it doesn't mean they are lesbians.

Since September 2007, the age of consent laws in Portugal states 14 years old, regardless of sexual behaviour, gender and/or sexual orientation. Althought the age of consent is stipulated at 14, the legality of a sexual act with a minor between 14 and 16 is open to legal interpretation since the law states that is illegal to perform a sexual act with an adolescent between 14 and 16 years old "by taking advantage of their inexperience".

Some cities in Portugal still stage bullfighting events. In Portugal it is illegal, contrary to what happens in Spain, to kill the bull during the bullfight. However, it is totally wrong to assume that all Portuguese people support or even faintly like bullfights. Many Portuguese are indifferent to bullfighting or are offended by acts of cruelty. You might also end up offending someone if you make generalizations or insist that bullfighting is part of today's Portuguese culture. The Municipality of Barrancos (border town with Spain) actively defy the law and law enforcement agents and kill the bull in the arena.

Contrary to what many think Portuguese language does not descend from Spanish.

Tread lightly on the Reintegrationism issue. Galician language is closely related to Portuguese. Both descend from a Romance language of the Middle Ages now referred to as Galician-Portuguese not Spanish. The independence of Portugal since the late Middle Ages has favored the divergence of the Galician language (developed under Spanish influence and now spoken in the Spanish province of Galicia) and Portuguese (developed as a free language). Never the less the two languages maintain an 85% mutual intelligibility. Most Portuguese people are indifferent to the Reintegrationism movement that defends the unity of today Galician and Portuguese as a single language, but for the Galicians and some Spanish and Portuguese this is a hot political topic. Although Portugal will not translate or dub or even put subtitles when Galician is being spoken, the language cannot be officially recognized as Portuguese due to the Spanish government obstacle. Both Portugal (specially the north of the country) and Galicia, share a close cultural similarity, hence the joint participation for UNESCO Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, that was approved by UNESCO in 2001. They also entered to get the recognition of Cultural Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005, that did not meet the criteria of the judges from UNESCO. There have been many political debate in Galicia about this issues, specially to get Portuguese tv channels broadcasts and Portuguese as an obligatory discipline in schools. Despite the close historical and cultural heritage, that is cherished by Portuguese and Galician people, we can state that today's Galicians are proud Spanish people or are in many cases more likely to want the independence from Spain rather than to merge with Portugal, even though many active Reintegrationism groups defend a merge . This is a political debate with many different implications and you will have people from both countries to have every kind of different opinions about it, so if you don't want to offend someone you should avoid this issue.

Contacts

The Russian Embassy in Lisbon:
Rua Visconde de Santarem, 59, 1000-286 Lisboa, Portugal
Tel.: (351-21) 846-2424, fax: (351-21) 846-3008
Consular Section:
Tel.: (351-21) 846-4476, 849-0711, Fax: (351-21) 847-9327

Emergency services

Ambulance / police / fire protection - 112
Police - and 01/346-6141 347-4730
Rescue service (nationwide) - 115
Emergency roadside assistance - 308
7 day 04.07.2020 Saturday 12:00 20:00
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GIBRALTAR

Rising up as an indomitable peak at the gateway between Spain and the African coast, Gibraltar is a unique destination with a life that goes beyond its surface. The monolithic Rock of Gibraltar entices tourists with its lush greenery and the friendly Barbary Macaques ubiquitous to the area. Beneath its looming exterior lay the Galleries, a veritable labyrinth of underground passageways running through the Rock. Above ground there is also plentiful tax-free shopping, as well as numerous beaches.

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GREAT BRITAIN

General information

Capital: London
Government: Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy
Currency: Pound Sterling (£)
Area total: 243,610 km²
water: 1,680 km²
land: 241,930 km²
Population: 63,181,775 (2010 est.)
Language: English, Welsh (about 26% of the population of Wales), Scots (mostly spoken in the Lowlands of Scotland) Scottish Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland), Ulster-Scots (various parts of Northern Ireland) and some speakers of Irish in Northern Ireland
Religion: Anglican and Roman Catholic 40 million (66%)- Roman Catholics are about 10% of the population and rising, Muslim 1.5 million (2.5%), Presbyterian 800,000 (1.3%), Methodist 760,000 (1.3%), Sikh 336,000 (0.6%), Hindu 559,000 (0.9%), Jewish 267,000 (0.4%), Buddhist 152,000 (0.25%), no religion 9,104,000 (15%)
Electricity: 230V, 50 Hz
Country code: +44
Internet TLD: .uk
Time Zone: summer: UTC +1, winter: UTC
Emergencies: dial 999

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the United Kingdom or the UK) is a constitutional monarchy comprising much of the British Isles.

This Union is more than 300 years old and comprises four constituent nations: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It occupies all of the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern portion of the island of Ireland and most of the remaining British Isles.

It's important to remember that the Republic of Ireland is a completely separate state from the United Kingdom, seceding from the Union and gaining its independence in 1922. The Isle of Man and the various Channel Islands are "crown dependencies", possessing their own legislative bodies for domestic legislation with the assent of the Crown. They are not part of the United Kingdom, nor of the EU, but are not sovereign states in their own right either. The UK has Ireland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands as its nearest neighbours.

The 'Great' in Great Britain (Britannia Major in Roman times; Grande-Bretagne in French) is to distinguish it from the other, smaller "Britain": Brittany (Britannia Minor; Bretagne) in northwestern France.

The UK today is a diverse patchwork of native and immigrant cultures, possessing a fascinating history and dynamic modern culture, both of which remain hugely influential in the wider world. Although Britannia no longer rules the waves, the UK is still a popular destination for many travellers. The capital and largest city of the United Kingdom is London.

Home nations

"Great Britain" ("GB") for a geographer refers just to the single largest island in the British Isles that has most of the land area of Scotland, England and Wales. In normal usage it is a collective term for all those three nations together. Great Britain became part of the United Kingdom when the Irish and British parliaments merged in 1801 to form the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland". This was changed to "... and Northern Ireland" when all but the six Northern Irish counties seceded from the Union in 1922 after a treaty granting Irish home rule. "Britain" is simply another name for the United Kingdom, and does include Northern Ireland, despite common misconceptions otherwise.

The flag of the United Kingdom is popularly known as the Union Jack or, more properly, Union Flag. It comprises the flags of St. George of England, St. Andrew of Scotland and the St. Patrick's Cross of Ireland superimposed on each other. Within England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the flags of each nation are commonly used. The St. Patrick's Cross flag is often seen on St. Patrick's Day in Northern Ireland. Since the Republic of Ireland split from the UK though, St. Patrick's Saltire is not used for Northern Ireland, as it represented the whole of the island of Ireland. A flag (known as the "Ulster Banner") was designed for Northern Ireland in the 1920s, which was based on the flag of Ulster (similar in appearance to the St. George's Cross flag of England) and includes a Red Hand of Ulster and a crown. Although the flag's official status ended with the dissolving of the province's devolved government in the early 1970s, it can still be seen in Northern Ireland, particularly among the Protestant community and on sporting occasions. As Wales was politically integrated into the English kingdom hundreds of years ago, its flag was not incorporated into the Union Jack. The flag features a Red Dragon on a green field.

Crown Dependencies

The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are not strictly part of the UK, but rather are 'Crown Dependencies: they have their own democratic governments, laws and courts and are not part of the EU. They are not entirely sovereign either, falling under the British Crown which chooses to have its UK Government manage some of the islands' affairs. The people are British Citizens, but unless they have direct ties with the UK, through a parent, or have lived there for at least 5 years, they are not able to take up work or residence elsewhere in the European Union.

Overseas Territories & The Commonwealth

Again, these are not constitutionally part of the United Kingdom, but are largely former colonies of the British Empire which are to varying degrees, self-governing entities that still recognise the British Monarch as their head of state. The key difference is residents of Overseas Territories still possess British citizenship, whereas those of Commonwealth nations do not, and are subject to the same entry and immigration rules as non-EU citizens.

Referring to nationality

Most residents of The United Kingdom, Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories are legally British, and referring to any as such will usually not cause offence.

Don't describe citizens of the United Kingdom as "English". The Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish do not identify themselves as being from "England". If you need to refer to someone's nationality, you can use the most precise term, 'English', 'Northern Irish', 'Welsh' or 'Scottish'. To play safe, you can ask someone from which part of the UK they are from, as this covers every corner of the isles - including Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland and Scotland can be particularly problematic, and 'Scottish', 'Northern Irish', 'Irish', or 'British' can all be appropriate according to the political persuasion of the individual. Irish nationalists may avoid referring to Northern Ireland at all, referring instead to 'The Six Counties' or 'The North', or talk about 'Ireland' as a whole. 'Northern Irish' is less likely to offend, whereas referring to someone from Northern Ireland as 'British' or as 'Irish' can cause offence depending on a person's political ideology.

It is also worth noting that, while technically a county of England, the issue of identity in Cornwall is very sensitive amongst some people. It is best to refer to anyone you meet in Cornwall as Cornish, unless they have already explicitly stated their identity as English.

As a visitor from outside the UK, you are unlikely to cause serious offence. At worst, you will incur a minor rebuff and reaffirmation of their nationality, as in "I'm not English. I'm Scottish".

Government

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with the Queen as the nominal head of state. It has a bicameral parliament: The lower house, known as the House of Commons, is popularly elected by the people and is responsible for proposing new laws. The upper house, known as the House of Lords, primarily scrutinises and amends bills proposed by the lower house. The House of Lords is not elected and consists of Hereditary Peers, whose membership is guaranteed by birth right, Life Peers, who are appointed to it by the Queen, and the Lords Spiritual, who are bishops of the Church of England. The Head of Government is the Prime Minister, who is usually the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons. It has a first-past-the post system divided into local constituencies. In practice, the Prime Minister wields the most authority in government, with the Queen being pretty much a figurehead, though all bills that have been passed in both houses of parliament require the Queen to grant royal assent before they become law.

Additionally, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have their own elected bodies (the Northern Ireland Assembly, Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly). These devolved governments have a First Minister and varying degrees of power over matters internal to that constituent country, including the passing of laws. For example, the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh exercises power and passes laws over almost every matter internal to Scotland. In the areas over which it has power, the UK government plays no role. As a result, institutions and systems can be radically different between the four constituent countries in the UK. England has no similar body of its own, with all government coming from Westminster. The exception to this is London, which owing to its huge size and population has partial devolved government in the form of an elected Mayor and assembly, which exercises a range of powers previously controlled by both central and local governments.

There are also local government authorities responsible for services at a local level. Each constituency votes for a local MP (Member of Parliament) who then goes to sit in Parliament and debate and vote - whether they do or not is another matter.

Using maps and postcodes

Most basic mapping in the United Kingdom is undertaken by the Ordnance Survey of Great Britain and the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland. The maps found in bookshops may be published directly by those organisations, or by private map publishers drawing on basic Ordnance Survey data.

One consequence of this for the traveller is the widespread use of Ordnance Survey grid references in guide books and other information sources. These are usually presented [xx999999] (e.g. [SU921206]) and form a quick way of finding any location on a map. If using a GPS be sure to set it to the British National Grid (BNG) and the OSGB datum.

Alternatively, every postal address has a postcode, either a unique one or one shared with its immediate neighbours. British postcodes take the form (XXYY ZZZ), where XX is a 2 or 1 character alphabetic code representing the town, city or geographic area, a 1 or 2 digit number YY representing the area of that town or city, followed by a 3 digit alphanumeric code ZZZ which denotes the road and a specific section or house on that road. Therefore, a postcode will identify a location to within a few tens of metres in urban locations; and adding a house number and street will identify a property uniquely (at road junctions two houses with the same number may share the same postcode). Most internet mapping services enable locations to be found by postcode. Owing to London's huge size and population it has its own distinct variation of the postcode system where the town code XX is replaced by an area code indicating the geographic part of the city - e.g N-North, WC-West Central, EC-East Central, SW-South West; and so on.

The Ordnance Survey's 1:50000 or 1:25000 scale maps are astonishingly detailed and show contour lines, public rights of way, and access land. For pursuits such as walking, they are practically indispensable, and in rural areas show individual farm buildings and (on the larger scale) field boundaries.

Climate

The UK has a benign humid-temperate climate moderated by the North Atlantic current and the country's proximity to the sea. Warm, damp summers and mild winters provide temperatures pleasant enough to engage in outdoor activities all year round. Having said that, the weather in the UK can be changeable and conditions are often windy and wet. British rain is world renowned, but in practice it rarely rains more than two or three hours at a time and often parts of the country stay dry for many weeks at a time, especially in the East. More common are overcast or partly cloudy skies. It is a good idea to be prepared for a change of weather when going out; a jumper and a raincoat usually suffice when it is not winter. In summer temperatures can reach 30ºC (86ºF) in parts and in winter temperatures may be mild, eg: 10?C (50?F) in southern Britain and -2?C (28.4?)in Scotland.

Because the UK stretches nearly a thousand km from end to end, temperatures can vary quite considerably between north and south. Differences in rainfall are also pronounced between the drier east and wetter west. Scotland and north-western England (particularly the Lake District) are often rainy and cold. Alpine conditions with heavy snowfall are common in the mountains of northern Scotland during the winter. The north-east and Midlands are also cool, though with less rainfall. The south-east and east Anglia are generally warm and dry, and the south-west warm but often wet. Wales and Northern Ireland tend to experience cool to mild temperatures and moderate rainfall, while the hills of Wales occasionally experience heavy snowfall. Even though the highest land in the UK rarely reaches more than 1,100 m, the effect of height on rainfall and temperature is great.

Stay safe

In any emergency call 999 or 112 (free of charge from any phone, including mobiles) and ask for Ambulance, Fire and Rescue Service, Police, Coast Guard or Mountain And Cave Rescue when connected. The United Kingdom has this one,unified number for all the different emergency services.

British cities and towns can be dangerous in some parts at night as you can find rowdy groups of drunk people on the street, usually in night life and clubbing areas. Drinking alcohol in public (except outside a bar or pub) is not permitted in some towns and areas of cities. Crime rates in areas such as homocide are broadly in line with the European average (though there can be significant variations between different parts of the UK) and crime in general have been falling in recent years.

The police have fairly wide ranging powers to fine or arrest people who are causing a disturbance, and although they can be heavier-handed in major cities they are generally tolerant. If you are stopped by the police, avoid arguing and be sure to appear respectful. Do not try to reason with them, and above all, do not swear, because although it has been ruled that swearing is not a crime, police will often arrest people who swear at them.

Jay walking is not illegal except on motorways, but always try and cross at designated pedestrian crossings. Most operate a "Push the button and wait for the green man" system, but Zebra Crossings are also widespread, particularly outside of city centres - identified by white stripes on the road and yellow flashing spherical lights - pedestrians have right of way but it is advisable to make eye contact with the driver before stepping into the road. Unlike in many other countries British drivers tend to be very respectful of the laws around zebra crossings.

If you are bringing or hiring a car, be sure to lock the doors if you leave your car, and always park in a busy, well-lit area. Don't leave valuables on display in a parked car - satellite navigation systems are a particular target.

The age of both heterosexual and homosexual consent is 16 throughout the United Kingdom. The law supports LGBT rights and are some of the most progressive in the world. You cannot be discriminated against in any area of the UK for your sexuality. Recently, a gay couple won their case for discrimination after a hotel turned them away saying they only took married couples and same sex marriage was legalised in July 2013.

British society is generally not homophobic and attitudes have changes beyond recognition in the past 20 years. There are some areas where you may want to not be overtly showing your sexuality (very remote villages, 'tough' places such as football matches) but even these in these environments attitudes have changed. Being homophobic is now the taboo in the UK where being homosexual used to be.

Racism is not common in the UK, and racially motivated violence is very rare. Most Britons are strongly opposed to racism. The main concern for Britons isn't racism; the government strongly encourages the notion of a multi-cultural society, but recent high levels of immigration have been of debate. However, the UK is generally regarded by its own immigrant population as being amongst the most liberal and tolerant of European countries in this respect, but obviously there will be some people who are exceptions. Most Britons will go out of their way to make tourists and immigrants feel welcome and it's not uncommon for police to impose harsh punishments on any form racial abuse - physical or verbal.

All in all though, the UK is generally a very safe country to visit and the vast majority of tourists will run into no problems.

Police

On the whole, British police officers tend to be professional and polite, and are generally less aggressive than law enforcement agencies in other developed nations (however, this does not mean they are lenient). The vast majority of British police officers do not carry firearms on standard patrol, and the only time one would usually see a "Bobby" with a weapon is at ports or when there is a suspicion they will meet armed offenders. The exception to this is Northern Ireland, where all Police are armed. Most officers will only speak English and you will be made to speak to an interpreter over police radio or will do so at a police station if you cannot communicate in English. You have the legal right to remain silent during and after arrest - but police in England and Wales will warn you that "You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence".

Stay healthy

The local emergency telephone number is 999; however, the EU-wide 112 can also be used. For advice on non-emergency medical problems, you can ring the 24-hour NHS Direct [102] service on 0845 4647 (NHS 24 in Scotland on 08454 242424)

Emergencies can be dealt with under the NHS (National Health Service) at any hospital with a Casualty or A & E (Accident & Emergency) department. At A&E be prepared to wait for up to 4 hours to be seen to if the medical complaint is not serious, depending on the time of day/night. The longest waiting times usually occur on Friday and Saturday nights. Emergencies will be dealt with immediately and before any question of remuneration is even contemplated. Walk-in centres also provide treatment for less urgent conditions on a first come first served basis. They are open to residents and foreign nationals.

All treatment at an NHS hospital or doctor is free to residents of the UK. All emergency treatment is free, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. As a result, an EHIC card is infact not necessary (though advised for EU travel in general), as the UK is possibly one of the only countries to provide free emergency treatment without question or identity verification. This also applies to tourists, both from the EU and outside.

For advice on minor ailments and medicines, you can ask a pharmacist (there are many high-street chemists, and to practise legally all pharmacists must be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) which involves a university degree and other exams and training). Notable pharmacy chains include Boots and Lloyds, and many supermarkets also have pharmacists. It is worth noting that the medicine trade is strictly controlled and many medicines available to purchase from a pharmacy in other countries eg: antibiotics can only be provided on production of a prescription written by an authorised medical professional.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases are spreading between young people, so make sure you practise safe sex. There are around 50,000 HIV victims living in the UK. Chlamydia is common enough to warrant public health screening of young people. Condoms are available in toilets, pharmacies, and supermarkets. They are also available free from some NHS sexual health clinics (known as GUM clinics), which also provide free STI testing and treatment, even if you are not eligible for other NHS services.

Tap water is safe to drink everywhere, unless otherwise stated.

Respect

It's acceptable to address someone by their first name in most social situations. First names are sometimes avoided among strangers to avoid seeming overly familiar. In very formal or business situations first names are not commonly used until people are better acquainted. The best strategy is to use what they introduced themselves with. Officials, however, (like policemen or doctors) will invaribly call you by your title and surname, for example "Mr Smith".

The British can be extremely indirect when requesting things from people they do not know. It is common for Britons to "ask around" questions when requesting something: for example, one would be more likely to say something along the lines of "Where can I find the changing room?" when in a clothes shop, rather than "Where's the changing room?". Although asking questions directly is quite common, it can sometimes be seen as overly abrupt or even rude.

Similarly, saying 'What?' when not understanding something can be considered rude around authority figures or people you don't know, so 'Pardon?' is more appropriate to use in situations with a stranger or a superior. British people apologise a lot, even when there is absolutely no need to do so. For example, if someone trod on someone else's toe by accident, both people would normally apologise. This is just a British thing to do, and dwelling on it (eg: "What are you sorry about?") will mark you out as a foreigner. Often a British person will request something or start a conversation with 'sorry', e.g. "Sorry, do you know where the nearest toilets are?" In this situation, "sorry" means the same as "excuse me", and again shouldn't be treated as an apology.

Allow some personal space between you and others in queues and elsewhere. You will usually find this in such places as cinemas. Generally, unless people know each other, you will find they will usually choose to fill up every row of seating and keep as much distance of possible until there is a requirement to sit directly next to each other. Exceptions are in very crowded situations where this is impossible, like on the Tube.

British people do not normally make conversation with strangers in the street or on public transport, especially in cities. If you do strike up a conversation with a stranger, they will be polite but somewhat distant. Make sure you have something in common to talk about with the stranger. In small communities and villages, this kind of conversation-making is more accepted.

Greetings are dependent upon the situation. In anything but a business situation, a verbal greeting (such as 'hello (name)!') will suffice. Younger people will usually say 'Hi,' 'Hiya,' or 'Hey' though the latter is also used to attract attention and should not be used to address a stranger as it would be considered impolite. Another British greeting (frequently used by younger people) is 'You all right?' or 'All right?' (sometimes abbreviated to "A'right" in northern England), which basically is a combination of 'Hello' and 'How are you?'. This term can be confusing to foreigners, but it can be easily replied to with either a greeting back (which is far more common) or stating how you feel (usually something short like 'I'm fine, you?'). Note that the person using this greeting isn't really asking if you're all right, and is expecting you to say at most "I'm all right, you?". To a foreigner the question can often be misinterpreted as a genuine display of concern; but the person asking is not expecting you to tell them why you are or are not all right, and may be somewhat annoyed if you do.

Etiquette for a hug is somewhat complicated, so the best advice is to accept a hug (regardless of the gender offering it) if it is offered, otherwise a handshake is appropriate. In a formal situation or an initial greeting between two strangers, a handshake is the done thing, this should be of a appropriate firmness (generally moderate firmness).

It is not uncommon for people in the service industry (eg: cab drivers and hair-dressers), to make small-talk with you while they are serving you. A couple of good conversation topics are the weather (a British favourite) and sport (particularly with men). Regarding the latter, most British people will have at least a passing knowledge of football, cricket, rugby, or tennis. If you find you share tastes, then music, films, and books are also fairly universal subjects.

For more details on unwritten rules concerning greetings, addressing others, small-talk etc, read Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour by Kate Fox.

The Scottish are Scottish, the Welsh are Welsh, and the English are English. Referring to all of them as "English" will probably offend. It's a potential minefield but "British" will always be safer than "English". Anyone who doesn't wish to be referred to as British will understand that you didn't mean any offence and will politely correct you ("I prefer to be called Scottish".) However calling a Scottish, Welsh, or Irish person English will at best make you come across as ignorant and at worst actively offend. Your safest bet is to ask them what part of the UK they're from before referring to their nationality. Remember, too, most Northern Ireland Unionists would not want to be called Irish. (In contrast, most of the Nationalists in Northern Ireland will identify as Irish and register accordingly as Irish citizens and carry Irish passports, which all people born in Northern Ireland are entitled to do if they wish). You may also find that, even though all the people of the United Kingdom are legally classed as British, peoples preferences are based upon which country in the United Kingdom they were born in, rather than using the collective term British. It is also common to meet someone who might say "I am half Welsh, half-English" or "my parents are Scottish and I am English".

Never refer to the Falklands as being Argentinian: over 250 British soldiers died fighting to defend these islands from Argentinian invasion and occupation in the early 1980s. The Falklands remain a British Overseas Territory to this day. The same goes for Gibraltar; despite the Spanish claim, UN supervised plebiscites register more than 98% local support for remaining British. Do the V sign with the palm facing outward to indicate either "peace" or "victory"; do the reverse with the palm facing inward if you wish to be extremely offensive.

Emergency services

Information Services: 142
Fire brigade, police and ambulance: 999 or 112
Road Emergency Service: (0800) 822-87-82
8 day 05.07.2020 Sunday 8:00 20:00
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MALAGA

A Málaga cruise brings you to Spain’s brilliant Andalucía coast, where dramatic Moorish history blends with a vibrant Mediterranean lifestyle. Bustling Málaga is immersed in Roman history, protected by Muslim fortresses, and famed as the birthplace of Picasso. On a cruise to Málaga, Spain, explore the narrow streets and historic landmarks, soak up the sun on the sparkling blue seas, and sip local wines in lively tapas bars.

  • Discover your favorite Picasso print, ceramic or rarely-seen drawing in Museo Picasso Málaga.
  • Feel refreshed by the Mediterranean Sea breeze from sandy La Malagueta beach.
  • Find richly carved saints' statues in Málaga Cathedral.

Central administration of the port Malaga:
Muelle de Canovas, s/n, Malaga 29001, Spain
tel.: (+34-952) 125-012; fax: (+34-952) 125-014

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SPAIN

General information

Capital: Madrid
Government: Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy
Currency: Euro (€)
Area total: 505,370 km2
water: 6,390 km2
land: 498,980 km2
Population: 47,725,002 (July 2011 est)
Language: Castilian Spanish (official) 100%, Catalan (also official in Catalonia, Comunitat Valenciana and Balearic Islands) 17%, Galician (also official in Galicia)7%, Basque (also official in Basque Country and Navarra) 2%
Religion: Roman Catholic 72%, none 20% other 8%
Electricity: 230V/50Hz (European plug)
Country code: 34
Internet TLD: .es
Time Zone: UTC + 1

Spain (Spanish: España) is a diverse country sharing the Iberian Peninsula with Portugal at the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. It is the country with the second-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, after Italy, and the largest number of World Heritage Cities.

Spain is considered an exotic country in Europe due to its friendly inhabitants, relaxed lifestyle, its cuisine, vibrant nightlife, and world-famous folklore and festivities. Among many places worth visiting are Spain's thriving capital Madrid, the vibrant coastal city of Barcelona, the famous "Running of the Bulls" at Pamplona, major Andalusian cities with Islamic architecture, like Seville, Granada and Córdoba, the Way of St. James and the idyllic Balearic and Canary Islands.

With great beaches, fun nightlife, many cultural regions and historic cities, Spain makes a great destination for any kind of trip. A country of large geographic and cultural diversity, Spain is a surprise to those who only know its reputation for great beach holidays. There is everything from lush meadows and snowy mountains to huge marshes and deserts in the south east. While summer is the peak season because of the beaches, those who wish to avoid the crowds should consider visiting in the winter as attractions such as the Alhambra in Granada and La Gran Mezquita in Cordoba will not be overcrowded.

History

Once the center of a global empire with territories in North, Central and South America, Africa (e.g. Equatorial Guinea or Western Sahara), and Asia (e.g. the Philippines), contemporary Spain has overcome civil war and fascism in the 20th century to stand proud and centered in itself.

Immigration

Spain holds a historical attachment to its neighbors within the Iberian Peninsula, Andorra and Portugal, to its former colonies, to former citizens and their descendants, and to a special category of former citizens, namely Sephardic Jews. Individuals from these categories may acquire Spanish citizenship in an accelerated fashion which may or may not require that the individuals reside in Spain, and residency requirements are as short as one to three years depending on the category. Citizens of countries in the European Union may acquire citizenship after living in Spain for five years. Citizens of any other country may acquire citizenship after residing in Spain for ten years.

The population of Spain is growing in large part due to migration from relatively poor or politically unstable areas that have a historical or linguistic attachment to Spain, such as Latin America [e.g. Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador and Peru ], Europe (mostly Eastern Europe), Africa and Asia.

Stay safe
Police

There are four kinds of police:

  • 'Policia Municipal' or 'Local' (metropolitan police), In Barcelona: Guardia Urbana. Uniforms change from town to town, but they use to wear black or blue clothes with pale blue shirt and a blue cap (or white helmet) with a checkered white-and-blue strip. This kind of police keeps order and rules the traffic inside cities, and they are the best people in case you are lost and need some directions. Although you can't officially report theft to them, they will escort you to 'Policia Nacional' headquarters if required, and they will escort the suspects to be arrested also, if needed.
  • 'Policia Nacional' wear dark blue clothes and blue cap (sometimes replaced by a baseball-like cap), unlike Policia Municipal, they do not have a checkered flag around their cap/helmet. Inside cities, all offenses/crimes should be reported to them, although the other police corps would help anyone who needs to report an offense.
  • 'Guardia Civil' keeps the order outside cities, in the country, and regulates traffic in the roads between cities. You would probably see them guarding official buildings, or patrolling the roads. They wear plain green military-like clothes; some of them wear a strange black helmet ('tricornio') resembling a toreador cap, but most of them use green caps or white motorcycle helmets.
  • Given that Spain has a high grade of political autonomy released to its regional governments, four of them have created regional law forces: the Policia Foral in Navarre, the Ertzaintza in the Basque Country or the Mossos d'Esquadra in Catalonia. These forces have the almost the same competences as the Policia Nacional in their respective territories.

All kinds of police also wear high-visibility clothing ("reflective" jackets) while directing traffic, or in the road.

Theft

Spain is a safe country, but you should take some basic precautions encouraged in the entire world:

  • Thieves prefer stealth to direct confrontation so it is unlikely that you will be hurt in the process, but exercise caution all the same.
  • There have been instances where thieves on motorbikes drive by women and grab their purses, so keep a tight hold on yours even if you don't see anyone around.
  • Try not to show the money you have in your wallet or purse.
  • Always watch your bag or purse in touristic places, buses, trains and meetings. A voice message reminding that is played in most of the bus/train stations and airports.
  • Do not carry large amounts of money with you, unless needed. Use your credit card (Spain is the first country in number of cash points and most shops/restaurants accept it). Of course, use it with caution.
  • Beware of pickpockets when visiting areas with large numbers of people, like crowded buses or the Puerta del Sol(in Madrid). If you report a thief, people are generally helpful.
  • Don't hesitate to report crimes to local police.
  • In general, you must bear in mind that those areas with a larger number of foreign visitors, like some crowded vacation resorts in the East Coast, are much more likely to attract thieves than places which are not so popular among tourists.
  • Avoid gypsy women offering rosemary, refuse it always; they will read your future, ask for some money, and your pocket will probably be picked. Some gypsy women will also approach you on the street repeating "Buena suerte" ("good luck") as a distraction for another gypsy woman to try to pickpocket you. Avoid them at all costs.
  • vA great tourist attraction is the Flea Market (el Rastro) in Madrid on the weekends. However, as it is nearly standing room only - it is also an attraction for pickpockets. They operate in groups... be extremely cautious in these tight market type environments as it is very common to be targeted... especially if you stand out as a tourist or someone with money. Try to blend in and not stand out and you will likely not be at as much risk.
  • Women who carry purses should always put the straps across their bodies. Always hold on to the purse itself and keep it in front of your body. Keep one hand on the bottom, as pickpockets can otherwise slit the bottom without you ever knowing.
  • Never place anything on the back of a chair or on the floor next to you, keep it on your person always.
  • If you must use an ATM, do not flash the money you have just picked up.

Scams

Some people could try to take advantage of your ignorance of local customs.

In Spanish cities, all taxis should have a visible fare table. Do not agree a fixed price to go from an airport to a city: in most cases, the taxi driver will be earning more money than without a preagreed tariff. Many taxi drivers will also demand a tip from foreign customers or even from national ones on the way to and from the airport. You might round up to the nearest euro when paying though.

In many places of Madrid, especially near Atocha station, and also in the Ramblas of Barcelona, there are people ('trileros') who play the "shell game". They will "fish" you if you play, and they will most likely pick your pocket if you stop to see other people play.

Before paying the bill in bars and restaurants, always check the bill and carefully scrutinize it. Some staff will often attempt to squeeze a few extra euros out of unsuspecting tourists by charging for things they did not eat or drink, or simply overcharging. This is true in both touristy and non-touristy areas. If you feel overcharged, bring it to their attention and/or ask to see a menu. It is also sometimes written (in English only) at the bottom of a bill that a tip is not included: remember that tipping is optional in Spain and Spanish people commonly leave loose change only and no more than a 5%-8% of the price of what they have consumed (not an American-style 15-20%), so avoid being fooled into leaving more than you have to.

Racism

Because of the many incidents in the football arenas, especially during the match between Spain and England in Madrid November 2004, the country has been labeled as racist by many people. During the match, England's black players were racially abused by the crowd and in league matches, other players of African heritage have been targeted by racist fans. But being dark-skinned and going to a football match is not dangerous at all and as with most matches in Europe, avoid sitting with or near the most hardcore ultras who can be violent. Besides, wearing a Real Madrid-shirt in Bilbao or Barcelona during the matches will make you more exposed to danger than the color of your skin.

In the streets racism does exist but as in most european countries. Racial abuse is not widespread even though a drunk person for example can make racist comments. But some spaniards will be ready to defend you and be ashamed of the situation. So before making a judgment on the spaniards, remember that there will always be some persons making your life difficult. And those who are prepared to help you, as in any country in Europe or in the rest of the world for that sake.

With the police the case can be different, especially in Madrid and Barcelona. There are some rumours that the police make an "ID-check", which in reality is to see whether a dark-skinned person is an illegal immigrant or not. This does occur and it can happen in any hour in the cities and especially in neighbourhoods where many immigrants live, like in Lavapies. Most of the checks are based on race, so be sure to carry a valid ID-card or a photocopy of your passport if the police approach you and ask for identification.

Younger people will oppose racism and xenophobia in general and may be more open to talk about the issue. Older people and especially nationalists will deny that racism exists in the country and point out the fact that many immigrants live in the country as "proof" that the country is open to people from other cultures.

Arab people or muslims in general might be called "moro", which is the spanish word for Moors. For people from Latin America the word "sudaca" can be used as a racial slur by people and the region itself is in a racist manner called "Sudaquia" or "Sudacalandia". Like in many european countries, gypsies are exposed to racism and discrimination from the spanish society in general despite having famous people with roma origin like flamenco dancer Joaquin Cortes and football player Jose-Antonio Reyes.

Other things you should know

Spanish cities can be LOUD at night, especially on weekends.

All stores, hotels and restaurants should have an official complaint form, in case you need it.

The emergency telephone number (police, firefighters, ambulances) is 112. You may call it from any phone at no cost, in case you need to.

Drugs

In Spain possession and consumption of illegal drugs at private places is not prosecuted. Taking drugs in public and possession, for personal use, will be fined from €300 to €3000 depending of the drug and the quantity that you carry on, you will not get arrested unless you have large quantities destined for street sale.

Stay healthy

Pharmaceuticals are not sold at supermarkets, only at 'farmacias' (pharmacies), identified with a green cross or a Hygeia's cup. Nearly every city and town has at least one 24 hour pharmacy; for those that close at night, the law requires a poster with the address of the nearest pharmacy, possibly in one of the nearby streets or towns.

People from the European Union and a few more European countries can freely use the public health system, if they have the appropriate intereuropean sanitary card. That card does not work in private hospitals. Agreements are established to treat people from a few American countries; see the Tourspain link below for more info.

However, do not hesitate to go to any healthcare facility should you be injured or seriously ill, as it would be illegal for them not to treat you, even if you are uninsured.

Though most foreigners tend to think Spain is a warm place, it can be terribly cold in winter, especially in the Central Region and in the North, and in some places it is also rainy in summer. Remember to travel with adequate clothes.

In summer, avoid direct exposure to sunlight for long periods of time to prevent sunburn and heatstroke. Drink water, walk on the shady side of street and keep a container of sun cream (suntan lotion) handy.

Most cities have a good water supply, especially Madrid, but you may prefer bottled water to the alkaline taste of water in the east and south.

Smoking

On 21 December 2010, the Spanish Parliament approved a law prohibiting smoking in all indoor public and work places and near hospitals and in playgrounds, becoming effective on 2 January 2011. Smoking is now banned in all enclosed public spaces and places of work, in public transportation, and in outdoor public places near hospitals and in playgrounds. Smoking is also banned in outdoor sections of bars and restaurants. Smoking is banned in television broadcasts as well.

Respect
Culture and identity

Spaniards in general are very patriotic about both their country and the region in which they live. Avoid arguments about whether or not people from Catalonia, Galicia or the Basque Country are Spaniards. Safety is generally not a concern in case you engage in an argument, but you will be dragged in a long, pointless discussion.

Spaniards are generally very interested in maintaining their linguistic and cultural connections with Latin America. However, most Spaniards are also quick to point out they are Europeans and do not understand the common North American notion that "Hispanics," including Spaniards, are somehow all the same. People from other Spanish-speaking countries or backgrounds may encounter a variety of receptions from being embraced as cultural kin to rejection or apathy.

Spaniards are not as religious as the media sometimes presents them, but they are and always were a mostly Catholic country (73% officially, although just 10% admit practising and just a 20% admit being believers); respect this and avoid making any comments that could offend. In particular, religious festivals, Holy Week (Easter), and Christmas are very important to Spaniards. Tolerance to all religions should be observed, especially in large urban areas like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville or Malaga (where people and temples of all beliefs can be found) or different regions in southern Spain, which may have a sizeable Muslim population (which accounts for almost a 4% of the country's population).

Despite being a Catholic majority country, homosexuality widely accepted in Spain and public display of same-sex affection would not likely stir hostility. In fact, same-sex marriages are legal and recognized by the government and provide legal benefits to same-sex couples. However, a gay friendly country does not always necessarily mean that the Spaniards are friendly to gays: (people in places like Madrid or Barcelona, which are 2 of the largest urban areas in Europe, will obviously have a more open view than those from rural areas). As in any other place, elderly people do usually have far more conservative points of view. Still, violence against gays is rarely heard of and Spain should be safe for most gay and lesbian travelers.

Avoid talking about the former colonial past and especially about the "Black Legend." Regardless of what you may have heard Spain had several ministers and military leaders of mixed race serving in the military during the colonial era and even a Prime Minister born in the Philippines (Marcelo Azcarraga Palmero). Many Spaniards take pride in their history and former imperial glories. People from Spain's former colonies (Latin America, Equatorial Guinea, the Philippines, Western Sahara and Northern Morocco) make up a majority of foreign immigrants in Spain (a 58%) along with the Chinese, Africans and Eastern Europeans. Equally, Spain is one of the main investors and economic and humanitary aid donors to Latin America and Africa.

Bullfighting is seen by many Spaniards as a cultural heritage icon, but the disaffection with bullfighting is increasing in all big cities and obviously among animal activist groups within the country. Many urban Spaniards would consider bullfighting a show aimed at foreign tourists and elder people from the countryside, and some young Spaniards will feel offended if their country is associated with it. To illustrate how divided the country is, many Spaniards point to the royal family: King Juan Carlos and his daughter are avid fans, while his wife and the Heir Prince do not care for the sport. Bullfights and related events, such as the annual San Fermin Pamplona bull-runs, make up a multimillion-dollar industry and draw many tourists, both foreign and Spaniard. In addition, bullfighting was recently banned in the northeastern region of Catalonia and has also been outlawed in several towns and counties all over the country.

Avoid mentioning the past, such as the former fascist dictatorship of Francisco Franco, who ruled Spain from 1939 to 1975, and especially the Civil War of 1936-1939. Many symbols, pictures, statues and monuments affiliated with the Franco regime have been outlawed and possible fines and jail time could result if you violate these laws. This was a painful past as Franco ruled Spain with an iron fist, executing many Spaniards who violated the anti-democratic laws of the regime. Nonetheless, one of the best periods of economic growth in Spain was the one that took place during the last years of Franco's regime, so some older Spaniards may have supportive views of Franco's ultranationalist and anticommunist ideology, so talking against Franco in front of them may be considered offensive.

Socializing

It is customary to kiss friends, family, and acquaintances on both cheeks upon seeing each other and saying goodbye. Male-to-male kisses of this sort are limited to family members or to very close friends; otherwise a firm handshake is expected instead (same as in France or Italy). A happy medium is the traditional abrazo (hug) which is usually done to people that you haven't seen in a long time and/or are very glad to see, regardless of gender (male-to-male is somewhat more common). When somebody expects a hug he/she usually will throw his/her arms towards you: this is more common than you may think, but don't do it with complete strangers as it's probably a ruse to get your wallet.

Related to this, Spaniards are keen to maintain physical contact while talking, such as putting a hand on your shoulder, patting your back, etc. These should be taken as signs of friendship done among relatives, close friends and colleagues.

When in a car, the elderly and pregnant always ride in the passenger's seat, unless they request not to.

While Spaniards may not always be the most punctual people in the world, you should never arrive late to appointments; this will seem very bad to most people.

If you are staying at a Spaniard's home, bring shoes to wear inside such as slippers. Walking around barefoot in the house is viewed as unsanitary and also an easy way to catch a cold.

In Spanish beaches it is okay for women to sunbathe topless. This practice is particularly common in tourist areas. Full nudity is practised in "clothing-optional" or nudist beaches.

Eating and drinking

During lunch or dinner, Spaniards do not begin eating until everyone is seated and ready to eat. Likewise, they do not leave the table until everyone is finished eating. Table manners are otherwise standard and informal, although this also depends on the place you are eating. When the bill comes, it is common to pay equally, regardless of the amount or price each has consumed.

When Spaniards receive a gift or are offered a drink or a meal, they usually refuse for a while, so as not to seem greedy. This sometimes sparks arguments among especially reluctant people, but it is seen as polite. Remember to offer more than once (on the third try, it must be fairly clear if they will accept it or not). On the other hand, if you are interested in the offer, politely smile and decline it, saying that you don't want to be a nuisance, etc., but relent and accept when they insist.

Spaniards rarely drink or eat in the street. Bars will rarely offer the option of food to take away but "tapas" are easily available. Especially unheard of until recently was the "doggy bag." However, in the last few years, taking leftovers home from a restaurant, although still not common, has become somewhat less of a stigma than it once was. One asks for "un taper" (derived from "Tupperware") or "una caja." Older Spaniards are still likely to frown on this.

Appearing drunk in public is generally frowned upon.

Emergency services

Rescue - 112
National Police - 091
Local (municipal) police - 092
Ambulance - 061
Cruz Roja (Spanish Red Cross) - 222-222
Fire - 085
9 day 06.07.2020 Monday
FUN DAY AT SEA
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10 day 07.07.2020 Tuesday 6:00
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BARCELONA

Ramble through a cosmopolitan city of Gothic spires and contemporary curves when you book a Carnival cruise to Barcelona. An architectural treasure trove—from the Modernist L’Eixample neighborhood to the Roman remains and medieval lanes of Barri Gòtic—is yours to explore on a Barcelona cruise. Fun beach bars overlooking the Mediterranean, sleek Spanish designer stores, and Gaudí’s surreal buildings make Barcelona, Spain a whimsical and unique port of call.

  • Cruise to Barcelona to photograph Gaudí’s otherworldly sculptures in Park Güell.
  • Ascend Montjuïc hill for stunning city views.
  • Enter the 14th-century Catedral’s vaulted galleries and listen for its 13 resident geese.

Central administration of the port Barcelona:
Edifici Portal de la Pau, Portal de la Pau, 6, Barcelona 08039, Spain
tel.: (+34-93) 306-88-00; fax: (+34-93) 306-88-11

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SPAIN

General information

Capital: Madrid
Government: Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy
Currency: Euro (€)
Area total: 505,370 km2
water: 6,390 km2
land: 498,980 km2
Population: 47,725,002 (July 2011 est)
Language: Castilian Spanish (official) 100%, Catalan (also official in Catalonia, Comunitat Valenciana and Balearic Islands) 17%, Galician (also official in Galicia)7%, Basque (also official in Basque Country and Navarra) 2%
Religion: Roman Catholic 72%, none 20% other 8%
Electricity: 230V/50Hz (European plug)
Country code: 34
Internet TLD: .es
Time Zone: UTC + 1

Spain (Spanish: España) is a diverse country sharing the Iberian Peninsula with Portugal at the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. It is the country with the second-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, after Italy, and the largest number of World Heritage Cities.

Spain is considered an exotic country in Europe due to its friendly inhabitants, relaxed lifestyle, its cuisine, vibrant nightlife, and world-famous folklore and festivities. Among many places worth visiting are Spain's thriving capital Madrid, the vibrant coastal city of Barcelona, the famous "Running of the Bulls" at Pamplona, major Andalusian cities with Islamic architecture, like Seville, Granada and Córdoba, the Way of St. James and the idyllic Balearic and Canary Islands.

With great beaches, fun nightlife, many cultural regions and historic cities, Spain makes a great destination for any kind of trip. A country of large geographic and cultural diversity, Spain is a surprise to those who only know its reputation for great beach holidays. There is everything from lush meadows and snowy mountains to huge marshes and deserts in the south east. While summer is the peak season because of the beaches, those who wish to avoid the crowds should consider visiting in the winter as attractions such as the Alhambra in Granada and La Gran Mezquita in Cordoba will not be overcrowded.

History

Once the center of a global empire with territories in North, Central and South America, Africa (e.g. Equatorial Guinea or Western Sahara), and Asia (e.g. the Philippines), contemporary Spain has overcome civil war and fascism in the 20th century to stand proud and centered in itself.

Immigration

Spain holds a historical attachment to its neighbors within the Iberian Peninsula, Andorra and Portugal, to its former colonies, to former citizens and their descendants, and to a special category of former citizens, namely Sephardic Jews. Individuals from these categories may acquire Spanish citizenship in an accelerated fashion which may or may not require that the individuals reside in Spain, and residency requirements are as short as one to three years depending on the category. Citizens of countries in the European Union may acquire citizenship after living in Spain for five years. Citizens of any other country may acquire citizenship after residing in Spain for ten years.

The population of Spain is growing in large part due to migration from relatively poor or politically unstable areas that have a historical or linguistic attachment to Spain, such as Latin America [e.g. Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador and Peru ], Europe (mostly Eastern Europe), Africa and Asia.

Stay safe
Police

There are four kinds of police:

  • 'Policia Municipal' or 'Local' (metropolitan police), In Barcelona: Guardia Urbana. Uniforms change from town to town, but they use to wear black or blue clothes with pale blue shirt and a blue cap (or white helmet) with a checkered white-and-blue strip. This kind of police keeps order and rules the traffic inside cities, and they are the best people in case you are lost and need some directions. Although you can't officially report theft to them, they will escort you to 'Policia Nacional' headquarters if required, and they will escort the suspects to be arrested also, if needed.
  • 'Policia Nacional' wear dark blue clothes and blue cap (sometimes replaced by a baseball-like cap), unlike Policia Municipal, they do not have a checkered flag around their cap/helmet. Inside cities, all offenses/crimes should be reported to them, although the other police corps would help anyone who needs to report an offense.
  • 'Guardia Civil' keeps the order outside cities, in the country, and regulates traffic in the roads between cities. You would probably see them guarding official buildings, or patrolling the roads. They wear plain green military-like clothes; some of them wear a strange black helmet ('tricornio') resembling a toreador cap, but most of them use green caps or white motorcycle helmets.
  • Given that Spain has a high grade of political autonomy released to its regional governments, four of them have created regional law forces: the Policia Foral in Navarre, the Ertzaintza in the Basque Country or the Mossos d'Esquadra in Catalonia. These forces have the almost the same competences as the Policia Nacional in their respective territories.

All kinds of police also wear high-visibility clothing ("reflective" jackets) while directing traffic, or in the road.

Theft

Spain is a safe country, but you should take some basic precautions encouraged in the entire world:

  • Thieves prefer stealth to direct confrontation so it is unlikely that you will be hurt in the process, but exercise caution all the same.
  • There have been instances where thieves on motorbikes drive by women and grab their purses, so keep a tight hold on yours even if you don't see anyone around.
  • Try not to show the money you have in your wallet or purse.
  • Always watch your bag or purse in touristic places, buses, trains and meetings. A voice message reminding that is played in most of the bus/train stations and airports.
  • Do not carry large amounts of money with you, unless needed. Use your credit card (Spain is the first country in number of cash points and most shops/restaurants accept it). Of course, use it with caution.
  • Beware of pickpockets when visiting areas with large numbers of people, like crowded buses or the Puerta del Sol(in Madrid). If you report a thief, people are generally helpful.
  • Don't hesitate to report crimes to local police.
  • In general, you must bear in mind that those areas with a larger number of foreign visitors, like some crowded vacation resorts in the East Coast, are much more likely to attract thieves than places which are not so popular among tourists.
  • Avoid gypsy women offering rosemary, refuse it always; they will read your future, ask for some money, and your pocket will probably be picked. Some gypsy women will also approach you on the street repeating "Buena suerte" ("good luck") as a distraction for another gypsy woman to try to pickpocket you. Avoid them at all costs.
  • vA great tourist attraction is the Flea Market (el Rastro) in Madrid on the weekends. However, as it is nearly standing room only - it is also an attraction for pickpockets. They operate in groups... be extremely cautious in these tight market type environments as it is very common to be targeted... especially if you stand out as a tourist or someone with money. Try to blend in and not stand out and you will likely not be at as much risk.
  • Women who carry purses should always put the straps across their bodies. Always hold on to the purse itself and keep it in front of your body. Keep one hand on the bottom, as pickpockets can otherwise slit the bottom without you ever knowing.
  • Never place anything on the back of a chair or on the floor next to you, keep it on your person always.
  • If you must use an ATM, do not flash the money you have just picked up.

Scams

Some people could try to take advantage of your ignorance of local customs.

In Spanish cities, all taxis should have a visible fare table. Do not agree a fixed price to go from an airport to a city: in most cases, the taxi driver will be earning more money than without a preagreed tariff. Many taxi drivers will also demand a tip from foreign customers or even from national ones on the way to and from the airport. You might round up to the nearest euro when paying though.

In many places of Madrid, especially near Atocha station, and also in the Ramblas of Barcelona, there are people ('trileros') who play the "shell game". They will "fish" you if you play, and they will most likely pick your pocket if you stop to see other people play.

Before paying the bill in bars and restaurants, always check the bill and carefully scrutinize it. Some staff will often attempt to squeeze a few extra euros out of unsuspecting tourists by charging for things they did not eat or drink, or simply overcharging. This is true in both touristy and non-touristy areas. If you feel overcharged, bring it to their attention and/or ask to see a menu. It is also sometimes written (in English only) at the bottom of a bill that a tip is not included: remember that tipping is optional in Spain and Spanish people commonly leave loose change only and no more than a 5%-8% of the price of what they have consumed (not an American-style 15-20%), so avoid being fooled into leaving more than you have to.

Racism

Because of the many incidents in the football arenas, especially during the match between Spain and England in Madrid November 2004, the country has been labeled as racist by many people. During the match, England's black players were racially abused by the crowd and in league matches, other players of African heritage have been targeted by racist fans. But being dark-skinned and going to a football match is not dangerous at all and as with most matches in Europe, avoid sitting with or near the most hardcore ultras who can be violent. Besides, wearing a Real Madrid-shirt in Bilbao or Barcelona during the matches will make you more exposed to danger than the color of your skin.

In the streets racism does exist but as in most european countries. Racial abuse is not widespread even though a drunk person for example can make racist comments. But some spaniards will be ready to defend you and be ashamed of the situation. So before making a judgment on the spaniards, remember that there will always be some persons making your life difficult. And those who are prepared to help you, as in any country in Europe or in the rest of the world for that sake.

With the police the case can be different, especially in Madrid and Barcelona. There are some rumours that the police make an "ID-check", which in reality is to see whether a dark-skinned person is an illegal immigrant or not. This does occur and it can happen in any hour in the cities and especially in neighbourhoods where many immigrants live, like in Lavapies. Most of the checks are based on race, so be sure to carry a valid ID-card or a photocopy of your passport if the police approach you and ask for identification.

Younger people will oppose racism and xenophobia in general and may be more open to talk about the issue. Older people and especially nationalists will deny that racism exists in the country and point out the fact that many immigrants live in the country as "proof" that the country is open to people from other cultures.

Arab people or muslims in general might be called "moro", which is the spanish word for Moors. For people from Latin America the word "sudaca" can be used as a racial slur by people and the region itself is in a racist manner called "Sudaquia" or "Sudacalandia". Like in many european countries, gypsies are exposed to racism and discrimination from the spanish society in general despite having famous people with roma origin like flamenco dancer Joaquin Cortes and football player Jose-Antonio Reyes.

Other things you should know

Spanish cities can be LOUD at night, especially on weekends.

All stores, hotels and restaurants should have an official complaint form, in case you need it.

The emergency telephone number (police, firefighters, ambulances) is 112. You may call it from any phone at no cost, in case you need to.

Drugs

In Spain possession and consumption of illegal drugs at private places is not prosecuted. Taking drugs in public and possession, for personal use, will be fined from €300 to €3000 depending of the drug and the quantity that you carry on, you will not get arrested unless you have large quantities destined for street sale.

Stay healthy

Pharmaceuticals are not sold at supermarkets, only at 'farmacias' (pharmacies), identified with a green cross or a Hygeia's cup. Nearly every city and town has at least one 24 hour pharmacy; for those that close at night, the law requires a poster with the address of the nearest pharmacy, possibly in one of the nearby streets or towns.

People from the European Union and a few more European countries can freely use the public health system, if they have the appropriate intereuropean sanitary card. That card does not work in private hospitals. Agreements are established to treat people from a few American countries; see the Tourspain link below for more info.

However, do not hesitate to go to any healthcare facility should you be injured or seriously ill, as it would be illegal for them not to treat you, even if you are uninsured.

Though most foreigners tend to think Spain is a warm place, it can be terribly cold in winter, especially in the Central Region and in the North, and in some places it is also rainy in summer. Remember to travel with adequate clothes.

In summer, avoid direct exposure to sunlight for long periods of time to prevent sunburn and heatstroke. Drink water, walk on the shady side of street and keep a container of sun cream (suntan lotion) handy.

Most cities have a good water supply, especially Madrid, but you may prefer bottled water to the alkaline taste of water in the east and south.

Smoking

On 21 December 2010, the Spanish Parliament approved a law prohibiting smoking in all indoor public and work places and near hospitals and in playgrounds, becoming effective on 2 January 2011. Smoking is now banned in all enclosed public spaces and places of work, in public transportation, and in outdoor public places near hospitals and in playgrounds. Smoking is also banned in outdoor sections of bars and restaurants. Smoking is banned in television broadcasts as well.

Respect
Culture and identity

Spaniards in general are very patriotic about both their country and the region in which they live. Avoid arguments about whether or not people from Catalonia, Galicia or the Basque Country are Spaniards. Safety is generally not a concern in case you engage in an argument, but you will be dragged in a long, pointless discussion.

Spaniards are generally very interested in maintaining their linguistic and cultural connections with Latin America. However, most Spaniards are also quick to point out they are Europeans and do not understand the common North American notion that "Hispanics," including Spaniards, are somehow all the same. People from other Spanish-speaking countries or backgrounds may encounter a variety of receptions from being embraced as cultural kin to rejection or apathy.

Spaniards are not as religious as the media sometimes presents them, but they are and always were a mostly Catholic country (73% officially, although just 10% admit practising and just a 20% admit being believers); respect this and avoid making any comments that could offend. In particular, religious festivals, Holy Week (Easter), and Christmas are very important to Spaniards. Tolerance to all religions should be observed, especially in large urban areas like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville or Malaga (where people and temples of all beliefs can be found) or different regions in southern Spain, which may have a sizeable Muslim population (which accounts for almost a 4% of the country's population).

Despite being a Catholic majority country, homosexuality widely accepted in Spain and public display of same-sex affection would not likely stir hostility. In fact, same-sex marriages are legal and recognized by the government and provide legal benefits to same-sex couples. However, a gay friendly country does not always necessarily mean that the Spaniards are friendly to gays: (people in places like Madrid or Barcelona, which are 2 of the largest urban areas in Europe, will obviously have a more open view than those from rural areas). As in any other place, elderly people do usually have far more conservative points of view. Still, violence against gays is rarely heard of and Spain should be safe for most gay and lesbian travelers.

Avoid talking about the former colonial past and especially about the "Black Legend." Regardless of what you may have heard Spain had several ministers and military leaders of mixed race serving in the military during the colonial era and even a Prime Minister born in the Philippines (Marcelo Azcarraga Palmero). Many Spaniards take pride in their history and former imperial glories. People from Spain's former colonies (Latin America, Equatorial Guinea, the Philippines, Western Sahara and Northern Morocco) make up a majority of foreign immigrants in Spain (a 58%) along with the Chinese, Africans and Eastern Europeans. Equally, Spain is one of the main investors and economic and humanitary aid donors to Latin America and Africa.

Bullfighting is seen by many Spaniards as a cultural heritage icon, but the disaffection with bullfighting is increasing in all big cities and obviously among animal activist groups within the country. Many urban Spaniards would consider bullfighting a show aimed at foreign tourists and elder people from the countryside, and some young Spaniards will feel offended if their country is associated with it. To illustrate how divided the country is, many Spaniards point to the royal family: King Juan Carlos and his daughter are avid fans, while his wife and the Heir Prince do not care for the sport. Bullfights and related events, such as the annual San Fermin Pamplona bull-runs, make up a multimillion-dollar industry and draw many tourists, both foreign and Spaniard. In addition, bullfighting was recently banned in the northeastern region of Catalonia and has also been outlawed in several towns and counties all over the country.

Avoid mentioning the past, such as the former fascist dictatorship of Francisco Franco, who ruled Spain from 1939 to 1975, and especially the Civil War of 1936-1939. Many symbols, pictures, statues and monuments affiliated with the Franco regime have been outlawed and possible fines and jail time could result if you violate these laws. This was a painful past as Franco ruled Spain with an iron fist, executing many Spaniards who violated the anti-democratic laws of the regime. Nonetheless, one of the best periods of economic growth in Spain was the one that took place during the last years of Franco's regime, so some older Spaniards may have supportive views of Franco's ultranationalist and anticommunist ideology, so talking against Franco in front of them may be considered offensive.

Socializing

It is customary to kiss friends, family, and acquaintances on both cheeks upon seeing each other and saying goodbye. Male-to-male kisses of this sort are limited to family members or to very close friends; otherwise a firm handshake is expected instead (same as in France or Italy). A happy medium is the traditional abrazo (hug) which is usually done to people that you haven't seen in a long time and/or are very glad to see, regardless of gender (male-to-male is somewhat more common). When somebody expects a hug he/she usually will throw his/her arms towards you: this is more common than you may think, but don't do it with complete strangers as it's probably a ruse to get your wallet.

Related to this, Spaniards are keen to maintain physical contact while talking, such as putting a hand on your shoulder, patting your back, etc. These should be taken as signs of friendship done among relatives, close friends and colleagues.

When in a car, the elderly and pregnant always ride in the passenger's seat, unless they request not to.

While Spaniards may not always be the most punctual people in the world, you should never arrive late to appointments; this will seem very bad to most people.

If you are staying at a Spaniard's home, bring shoes to wear inside such as slippers. Walking around barefoot in the house is viewed as unsanitary and also an easy way to catch a cold.

In Spanish beaches it is okay for women to sunbathe topless. This practice is particularly common in tourist areas. Full nudity is practised in "clothing-optional" or nudist beaches.

Eating and drinking

During lunch or dinner, Spaniards do not begin eating until everyone is seated and ready to eat. Likewise, they do not leave the table until everyone is finished eating. Table manners are otherwise standard and informal, although this also depends on the place you are eating. When the bill comes, it is common to pay equally, regardless of the amount or price each has consumed.

When Spaniards receive a gift or are offered a drink or a meal, they usually refuse for a while, so as not to seem greedy. This sometimes sparks arguments among especially reluctant people, but it is seen as polite. Remember to offer more than once (on the third try, it must be fairly clear if they will accept it or not). On the other hand, if you are interested in the offer, politely smile and decline it, saying that you don't want to be a nuisance, etc., but relent and accept when they insist.

Spaniards rarely drink or eat in the street. Bars will rarely offer the option of food to take away but "tapas" are easily available. Especially unheard of until recently was the "doggy bag." However, in the last few years, taking leftovers home from a restaurant, although still not common, has become somewhat less of a stigma than it once was. One asks for "un taper" (derived from "Tupperware") or "una caja." Older Spaniards are still likely to frown on this.

Appearing drunk in public is generally frowned upon.

Emergency services

Rescue - 112
National Police - 091
Local (municipal) police - 092
Ambulance - 061
Cruz Roja (Spanish Red Cross) - 222-222
Fire - 085
Icon
Cabine
Cost
The price per passenger based on double occupancy in a cabin for each category cabins.
IS - Внутренняя каюта (Без возможности выбора номера)
from $1,299.00
OV - Каюта с окном (Без возможности выбора номера)
from $1,409.00
BL - Каюта с балконом (Без возможности выбора номера)
from $1,619.00
Мини-сьют
from $2,399.00
Виста-сьют
from $2,669.00
Гранд сьют
from $39.00
Carnival Legend
Year of built: 2002
Year of reconstruction: 2011
Length: 292.6 meters
Width: 32.2 meters
Cruising speed: 22 knots
Displacement: 88,500 tons
Passenger capacity: 2,124 (double occupancy)
Onboard crew: 930
Number of cabins: 1,062
Number of passenger decks: 12

* Dear visitors! All descriptions, cabin photographs and ship infrastructure are showed for informational purposes only and may differ from the actual.

Open all
Deck: PROMENADE
Description: Sushi Bar brings more to the table than just sushi, and brings it well. Enjoy good times and great eats in a unique, festive atmosphere.
Deck: PROMENADE
Description: The Private Club Restaurant on the Carnival Legend board is known for its glamor and luxury. This aristocratic and elegant restaurant can always surprise you with a wide selection of incredible and original dishes prepared by masters.
Deck: PROMENADE
Description: Choose Early (6 p.m.), Late (8:15 p.m.) or Your Time (5:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.) dining in the Carnival Legend main dining room and feast on culinary pleasures to your heart's delight.
Deck: LIDO
Description: Stroll around the buffet and explore our many international cuisines and made-to-order options at the Carnival Legend Lido restaurant.
Deck: SUN
Description: The intimate ambiance and mouth-watering favorites at the Carnival Legend's Golden Fleece Steakhouse will make this a truly memorable meal.
Description: Hungry, but don’t feel like leaving your stateroom? Relax. Our complimentary room service is available 24 hours a day.
Interior cabin
Interior
Interior cabin
Interior cabin
Interior cabin
Interior with Window (Obstructed View)
Ocean View
Balcony (obstructed views)
Balcony cabin
Balcony cabin
Balcony cabin
Balcony cabin
Balcony cabin
Balcony cabin
Extended Balcony
Extended Balcony
Aft-View Extended Balcony
Aft-View Extended Balcony
Premium Balcony (Obstructed View)
Premium Balcony
Ocean suite
Junior Suite
Vista suite
Grand suite

Cabins

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Interior cabin
Ocean View

Infrastructure

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Firebird Lounge
When it comes to relaxation from the inside out, nothing beats a trip to the spa. From the minute you step inside, the soothing ambiance begins to work its magic. Renew yourself with premium beauty and wellness therapies, like hot stone massages, aromatherapy or full-body wraps. This is your time to be spoiled, indulged and beautified. Lay back, close your eyes, and feel the stress sail away as your body and mind experience total tranquility. (Oh yeah, and this feel-good stuff isn’t just for the ladies — there are plenty of treatments on our menu for men too.)
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