RIVER CRUISES / THE RIVER DOURO
DAY 1 | PORTO
Boarding in Porto from 5.00pm . After settling into our cabins, we are introduced to the crew in the lounge/bar over a welcome cocktail. After dinner on board, the evening is free. We moor for the night in Porto.
DAY 2 | PORTO – REGUA
We set sail early this morning, heading towards Regua . We have buffet breakfast on board and during our cruise we have the chance to admire the wonderful landscapes and scenery. We pass through the Crestuma and Carrapatello locks on our journey. The Carrapatello lock, at some 36 metres , is the highest in Europe. We have lunch on board and arrive in Regua in the early afternoon. We set off by coach for a guided excursion to Lamego . Here we visit the sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios and the cathedral, which was amended and restored over the ages, resulting in a succession of different architectural styles, both inside and out. For those who do not want to join the excursion, there is free time in Regua . We return on board for dinner and we moor overnight in Regua .
DAY 3 | REGUA – PINHAO – BARCA D’ALVA
We have buffet breakfast on board this morning before setting off on an excursion to Vila Réal , a town with a great variety of religious buildings and architecture. A little further on, we have a wonderful walk through the beautiful gardens of the Solar de Mateus . During our excursion, the ship sails to Pinhão , where we re-board and have lunch. Our cruise continues along the Douro and we travel through the heart of the famous Port Wine vineyards, passing spectacularly beautiful terraced hillsides as high as 700 metres planted with vines which fall steeply down to the water’s edge. We pass through the locks at Valeira and Pocinho before arriving in Barca d’Alva during the evening. After dinner on board, tonight’s entertainment on board has a flamenco theme.
DAY 4 | BARCA D’ALVA – VEGA DE TERON – SENHORA DE RIBEIRA
We have buffet breakfast on board this morning before setting off on an excursion to Salamanca today. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this beautiful town has many extraordinary Roman, Arabic and Christian architectural treasure. We have lunch in Salamanca and return on board during the afternoon. Our cruise continues as we head for Senhora de Ribeira . Tonight after dinner on board, we have an evening of entertainment in the lounge bar. We moor for the night.
DAY 5 | SENHORA DE RIBEIRA – FERRADOSA – FOLGOSA – ENTRE OS RIOS
We set sail early this morning, heading towards Ferradosa . We set off on our “Wines of Porto” excursion, following the famous port vineyard route. During our trip, we stop at a panoramic viewing point in the heart of the vineyards before continuing to a quinta to sample some Port wine. We return on board at Folgosa in time for lunch and continue our cruise throughout the afternoon to Entre Os Rios. This is the perfect opportunity to relax on board and enjoy the wondrous scenery in the Douro Valley, where with each bend in the river, another of Mother Nature’s marvels presents itself. Tonight on board we have our Gala Dinner followed by an evening of music and dancing. We arrive in Entre Os Rios during the evening and moor for the night.
DAY 6 | ENTRE OS RIOS – PORTO
We have buffet breakfast on board as we cruise this morning. The Douro Valley is a delightful location, where the River Douro weaves its way through the vineyards, which look as if they could tumble down straight into its sparkling waters. It has taken some 20 centuries since Roman times for the people to create this structure of terraces and tiers and to plant the vines attached to the slopes at angles as steep as 70° in places. We have lunch on board and arrive in Porto in the early afternoon. We set off on a discovery tour of Porto, with a guided tour. Porto is one of the oldest towns in Europe, and the historic centre is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO: the old districts are still largely intact, a veritable maze of narrow winding lanes, houses with arches and beautiful little churches. More than anything else however, Porto is first and foremost the town of port wine so we also visit a famous port wine cellar for some tastings in Vila Nova de Gaia, a commune located on the left bank of the Douro where many of the cellars are located. The exceptional port wines are slowly aged in the cellars, and in great secrecy, and it is a wonderful end to our tour to sample some of the “precious nectar”. We return on board for dinner followed by an evening of Fado music and entertainment. We moor for the night.
DAY 7 | PORTO – AVEIRO – PORTO
We have buffet breakfast on board today, after which the morning is free to visit Porto at our own pace. We return on board for lunch, after which we set off by coach for Aveiro . Often called the “Venice of Portugal”, Aveiro is surrounded by salt marshes, beaches and lagoons, and is dominated by the Central Canal that runs through the town. It is an attractive little town, with an art-nouveau style architecture, brightly coloured houses and charming little alleys where a stroll is highly recommended. We return to Porto for dinner and an evening of traditional folklore entertainment. We moor for the night.
DAY 8 | PORTO
We have buffet breakfast on board before disembarking. End of our journey.
NB: The ship’s captain reserve the right to modify the cruising itinerary to ensure the safe navigation of the vessel.
The excessive consumption of alcohol is dangerous and life-threatening – please consume in moderation.