RIVER CRUISES / ENTICING DOURO

Itinerary

Two programs are available. Cruise & Land or Cruise only

Day 1: ARRIVE IN LISBON, PORTUGAL


Arrive in Lisbon and check in to your hotel. The remainder of the day and evening is free to explore this historic city on your own.



Day 2: LISBON

One of Europe’s most beautiful cities, Lisbon sprawls across several hills along the  Tagus  River. See  Belem  Tower, a fortified 4-story tower made of limestone, and visit the Late Gothic  Jerónimos  Monastery, the burial place of many Portuguese kings and heroes. You will also see the Discoveries Monument, the city’s most famous monument, built in honor of Portugal’s greatest maritime explorers. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore the city’s other top sights, such as the Castle of  São  Jorge or the Santa Justa Elevator that overlooks the castle, river and Rossio Square. (B)

Day 3:   LISBON – SINTRA
Enjoy a morning excursion to Serra de  Sintra , one of the loveliest mountain villages in Portugal and a favorite summer residence of the Portuguese royal family for more than 500 years.Long an inspiration for artists and poets, Lord Byron once called it “perhaps the most delightful village in  Europe.”  High up on a rocky peak, you will tour the  Castelo   da  Pena, a wonderful fairy tale castle dating from Portugal’s Romantic period. Afterwards, enjoy a wine tasting or free time on your own. (B)

Day 4: LISBON – EMBARKATION – PORTO

After breakfast, board a high-speed train to Porto to embark your ship. Gather on board tonight for a Welcome Dinner. (B,D)

Day 5: PORTO – RÉGUA

This afternoon, you will have an excursion to ancient and picturesque Lamego, home to one of the most important pilgrimage sites in all of Portugal, the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies). The shrine features a staircase of nearly 700 steps, beautifully decorated with white and blue tiles. Other attractions include a Gothic cathedral, a museum, and charming cafés. Alternatively, you will have the opportunity to sample local traditional specialties such as Bolas de Lamego, bread filled with smoked ham, Presunto, a type of dry-cured ham, and Espumante, a Portuguese sparkling wine. Late this afternoon, you will visit a Wine Museum in Régua, where the ship will overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 6: RÉGUA – BARCA D’ALVA

Spend some leisurely time soaking up the beauty of the Douro River as you cruise to Barca d’Alva, where you will visit Castelo Rodrigo. Tour Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, a small fortified village perched high on a hilltop with centuries-old walls, steep narrow streets and fantastic views. We will stop to admire the Chafariz dos Pretos, a truly unique fountain decorated with black faces, and taste some delicious locally grown produce. (B,L,D)

Day 7: SALAMANCA, SPAIN - VEGA TERRON, SPAIN

Drive to Salamanca today for a tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, located at the center of Spain’s Castilla y León region. Built of golden sandstone, Salamanca is known as a “living museum,” an opportunity to step back in time to the Middle Ages. During your guided tour, you will see the city’s elegant university buildings, the twin-towered Cathedral, the intriguingly decorated House of Shells, as well as Plaza Mayor, considered the most magnificent main square in Spain. Later, enjoy a Flamenco show in Vega Terrón. (B,L,D)

Day 8: VEGA TERRÓN – PINHÃO
Today we have something special planned. You will indulge in an exclusive wine tasting and lunch at Quinta da Roeda, a famous estate that is home to one of the Douro Valley’s finest vineyards. (B,L,D)

Day 9: RÉGUA – ENTRE-OS-RIOS
This morning, cruise to Régua for a morning excursion to the Baroque-style Palacio de Mateus and its gardens, located in the beautiful Trás-os-Montes region near the city of Vila Real. Inside the house you’ll see exhibits of religious images and beautiful furnishings, paintings and ceiling of intricately carved wood. The gardens here are considered some of the most beautiful in Portugal. Alternatively, you may either wish to visit Quinta da Pacheca where you will enjoy breathtaking views over the Douro River and picnic in a terraced vineyard, or enjoy a port wine tasting at Quinta do Seixo. Return to the ship for lunch while the ship cruises to Entre-os-Rios, arriving this evening. Tonight, you will enjoy a traditional home-cooked Portuguese meal off ship at Casa de Vila Verde. (B,L,D)

Day 10: PORTO
Your ship arrives in Porto, the capital of northern Portugal, early this morning. Your guided tour of the historical quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, includes a number of iconic sights: the Porto Cathedral, one of the city’s oldest and most impressive monuments, the bustling main square and the Sao Bento Railway Station, renowned for its magnificent blue and white tile panels depicting scenes from Portuguese history. More active guests may wish to instead take part in a guided hiking tour of Porto where they will explore the old harbor quarter, passing through the medieval streets of Porto, and cross the Dom Luis Bridge by foot. You’ll also enjoy a tasting of port wine, which derives its name from this very city. A third option is a walk along the Atlantic coast and Porto’s seaside promenade, with a stop at a local café for Portuguese coffee. This afternoon, we take a short journey to the nearby coastal town of Matosinhos, where we will visit a traditional restaurant for a cooking demonstration of Pataniscas, a traditional Portuguese cod fish cake, and other typical regional snacks. The ship moors overnight in Porto. (B,L,D)

Day 11: PORTO – DISEMBARKATION 
Your cruise comes to an end as you prepare for your homeward flight. (B)