Day 1: Australia –-Lisbon
Depart Australia today to begin your Portuguese river cruise getaway!
Day 2: Arrive Lisbon
Arrive in Lisbon and make your own way to your Lisbon hotel.
Day 3: Lisbon (B)
Today you can explore the sites of Lisbon at your own pace. Use your Hop on Hop off bus pass to explore the city. Valid for 24 hours.
Day 4: Lisbon (B)
Enjoy a free day of leisure to explore Lisbon at your own pace.
Day 5: Lisbon –– Porto (B)
After breakfast you will be met at the hotel and transferred to the train station to board your train to Porto. On arrival in Porto, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Day 6: Porto (B)
Enjoy a free day of leisure to explore Porto at your own pace.
Day 7: Porto (D)
At the appropriate time, you will be met and transferred to the cruise terminal to board the cruise ship. Prior to dinner, meet your fellow passengers and Cruise Staff for a cocktail, crew introduction followed by an information meeting. Then enjoy your first dinner on board, followed by a well-deserved rest.
Day 8: Regua (B,L,D)
Early in the morning, the ship departs and the Douro journey begins, stopping at Entre-os-Rios, where river Rio Tãmega flows into Douro. Here we drive by bus to the famous Vinho Verde restaurant, where we have a delicious lunch. Return to the ship and we sail towards Régua. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure. We arrive at Régua before dinner. Regua municipality is regarded as part of the most important wine producing region in Portugal, and was even named “the international city of wine”. The appealing city also offers an array of cafés on the riverside and several beautiful bridges over the Douro river.
Day 9: Vega de Terron (B,L,D)
Toda the ship sails further up the valley towards the border with Spain. After lunch we arrive at Vega de Terrón. From here, there is an optional excursion to the small village of Castelo Rodrigo. The Romans built a fortress here. Later, the village was a period of Spain before it came under the Portuguese kingdom in 1297. Throughout the centuries, Jews, Arabs and Christians lived in peaceful coexistence here. You first visit the ruins of the old castle which have great views of the olive groves and vineyards of the valley. From the castle you stroll through the village, where you can still see traces of the Jewish population who lived here during the Spanish Inquisition. The visit ends with a stop to the little church. In the evening, there is a party dinner on board with the Captain’s aperitif and five-course menu. The ship is located at the pier in Vega de Terrón overnight.
Day 10: Barca d’Alva (B,L,D)
Today you can join an optional full day excursion to Salamanca in Spain. Salamanca’s history extends several thousand years back in time, and the historic centre of the city is on UNESCO’s world heritage site. The University of Salamanca is one of the oldest and most famous in Europe. Here, scholars from both Christian and Arab and Jewish cultures were met from the 1200s to the 1400s while there was religious persecution elsewhere in Europe. After arriving, you gather at Plaza Mayo in the heart of the city to get a brief orientation about the city’s attractions, shops and cafes. Then you will have time to explore the city on your own before meeting for lunch at a local restaurant. The lunch includes a rewarding flamenco show. In the afternoon there is a tour of Salamanca, which ends with visits to the “new” cathedral, built between 1513 and 1733. Return to the ship, which has meanwhile sailed to the border town of Barca d’Alva. The ship is located at the dock in Barca d’Alva overnight.
Day 11: Pinhao (B,L,D)
Enjoy a relaxing morning on board while the ship sails back down the river and through the locks of Pocinho and Valeria. Now we are sailing through the heart of the wine district in the Douro valley. On both sides of the river there are terraced vineyards up the steep valley sides. After lunch, we arrive at Pinhão, which is beautifully surrounded by vineyards that produce some of the country’s best port wines. From here, an optional excursion is offered. First stop the Solar de Mateus Palace, immortalized on the label of the Mateus Rosé bottles. The 17th-century palace is considered to be one of the most beautiful baroque buildings in Portugal. It will be time for a stroll in the beautifully landscaped garden. There is also a tour of Vila Real, a city of varied religious architecture. Return to the ship in Pinhão. Take the opportunity to take a stroll in the old town of Pinhão on your own. The city’s old railway station, famous for its beautiful azulejos (traditional Portuguese tiles), is well worth a visit. Tonight, we eat dinner at land in la Quinta, a local vineyard and restaurant. The menu we serve is inspired by the traditional Portuguese cuisine, based on local produce. Each dish is accompanied by a local wine, which helps to enhance the taste experience. The ship is docked here overnight.
Day 12: Entre-os-Rios (B,L,D)
We sail on early in the morning and arrive at Régua in the morning. Explore the city on your own or join an optional excursion to Lamego, the highlight of which is the visit of the beautiful Baroque church, Nossa Senhora dos Remédios – one of Portugal’s most important pilgrimage. During the day there will be a visit to one of the many vineyards in the area, where we will see how the port wine is produced. And of course, we can taste the noble drops. After lunch, the cruise continues, and we pass the high Carrapatelo and Bagaúste slopes. Before dinner, the ship arrives at Entre-os-Rios. After dinner, we will visit a local group who entertains with Portuguese folk music in the lounge.
Day 13: Porto (B,L,D)
Early in the morning we leave Entre-Os-Rios and sail the last stretch back to Porto, arriving before lunch. Porto, with its approximately 300,000 inhabitants, is Portugal’s second largest city. The historic centre of the city stands on UNESCO’s world heritage site and is a breeze of narrow streets, archways and impressive churches – including the 11th-century Cathedral. But above all, Porto is famous for the wine that carries the city’s name. On the other side of the river to the city centre, in the Vila Nova de Gaia district, are the old 17th-century port wine houses. The grapes are transported here from the vineyards of Douro valley, processed and stored in the large portraits before bottling and distribution throughout the world. In the afternoon there is an optional city tour in Porto. The tour ends with visits to one of the Port Vila houses of Vila Nova de Gaia. Here there are tours and tastings on the “precious nectar”. In the evening, there is a dinner party on board. The ship is located at the dock in Porto overnight.
Day 14: Porto –– Lisbon (B)
Today sees the end of your Douro river cruise experience. After breakfast, disembark the ship and you will be met and transferred to the train station for your journey back to Lisbon. On arrival in Lisbon, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Day 15: Lisbon –– Australia (B)
At the appropriate time, make your own way to the airport for your onward flight home.
Day 16: Australia
Arrive home today.
Please note: some flights may arrive home 1 day later.