Europe & Baltic Cruises
(Douro River Cruise)
Begin your journey in beautiful Madrid, Spain, known for its great cultural and artistic heritage. Travel to the Spanish border of Vega Terrón to embark on your Douro River Valley cruise. Traverse through one of Europe’s most pure and unspoiled rivers where Port wine vineyards wrap around every crew-cut hillside. Visit the small town of Pinhão, known as the wine lovers Mecca, then on to the beautiful region of Trás-os-Montes. Explore the former Roman village of Bitetos and its 11th-century Alpendurade Monastery before visiting the northern capital of Portugal, Porto. Conclude your journey in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, Lisbon. Intriguing shared excursions are provided for you along the way.
Package Start Dates
Madrid-Lisbon: Jun 7, Jul 5, Aug 2, Aug 30, Sep 27, Oct 25 (2014) // Apr 11, May 9, Jun 7, Jul 5, Aug 2,30, Sep 27, Oct 25 (2015)
Lisbon-Madrid: Jul 26, Aug 23, Oct 18 (2014) // Apr 4, Oct 17 (2015)
Meet your driver for a private airport transfer in Madrid.
Today, you will tour Madrid, the capital and largest city in Spain. Known for its many historic districts as well as its modern infrastructure, Madrid’s landmarks include the elaborate Royal Palace, Buen Retiro Park, Plaza Mayor, and renowned art galleries, such as the Prado Museum and Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.
Today, an excursion will take you to the walled city of Toledo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and ancient capital of Spain. Populated since pre-Roman times, its landmarks include the Alcázar, Cathedral of Toledo and the El Greco Museum.
This morning, you will depart Madrid for a full-day tour of Salamanca. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Salamanca is located at the center of the "Castilla y León" region of Spain. During your guided city tour, see the University buildings, the 12th-century Romanesque church of San Martin and the House of Shells. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant for some deliciously authentic Spanish cuisine (included). Then enjoy some free time to explore the city on your own. Perhaps visit the locals “living room,” otherwise, known as the Plaza Mayor or stop by a café for a drink and some tapas.
After your visit to Salamanca, transfer to Vega Terrón port to embark your luxurious ship. This evening, meet your fellow passengers at the Welcome Dinner.
Port charges are included in your multi-day itinerary.
After breakfast, tour Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, a small fortified village perched high on a hilltop. See 16th-century walls and walk down very narrow and steep medieval streets. Appreciate the Chafariz dos Pretos, a strikingly unique fountain decorated in black faces which stoically sits in the market square. Rejoin the ship in Barca d'Alva. Enjoy sail away mimosas as your ship departs for Pinhão. Arriving this evening, you will enjoy wine-tasting and dinner at Quinta Avessada in Pinhão. The ship moors here overnight.
This morning, enjoy a group excursion to Lamego for a city tour. Ancient and picturesque Lamego houses one of the most important places of pilgrimage in Portugal, the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies). Lamego’s attractions also include a gothic Cathedral, museum and cafés known for local specialties such as “bola de Lamego” (bread filled with smoked ham) and Raposeira or sparkling wine. This afternoon, enjoy the distinctive Douro scenery as your ship cruises to Régua. This evening, enjoy a Portuguese folklore show. The ship overnights in Régua.
This morning, enjoy an excursion to the Palacio de Mateus. The palace and gardens of Mateus are located in the beautiful region of Trás-os-Montes just outside the city of Vila Real. This afternoon, your ship departs for Caldas de Arregos. This evening, enjoy a barbecue on the Sun Deck.
This morning, visit the Caldas de Aregos in Resende, a natural spa area. Return to the ship for lunch and sail to Bitetos. Tonight, appreciate a traditional “home cooked” meal at the 14th-century Alpendurada Monastery. Before dinner, savor a glass of Port wine and a breathtaking view of the river valley from the Monastery’s terrace.
This morning, depart Bitetos for Porto. Arriving mid-day, your sightseeing tour of Porto reveals 16th-century arcaded buildings, Baroque churches and the magnificent iron bridge built by French engineer Gustave Eiffel. You will then drive through the elegant residential section along the Atlantic coast and explore the Old City. For some modern culture, visit the Boavista area where you will find the Casa da Musica and the Museum of Modern Art. Your ship overnights in Porto.
Today, enjoy an excursion to Guimarães, one of the most historic towns in Portugal, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Say farewell to your friends at the Farewell Cocktail this evening.
Disembark from your ship this morning, bringing the cruise portion of your journey to a close.
After disembarking your ship in Porto, you will transfer to Fatima, renowned for its Basilica shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Explore the town and enjoy lunch on your own before continuing to Lisbon for your post-cruise stay.
Lisbon, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, lies on several hills along the Tagus River. Your city tour visits Old Town and the spectacular 16th-century Jerónimos Monastery. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore the city. Perhaps see the Castle of São Jorge, Lisbon’s state of the art Oceanarium, or the famous Santa Justa Elevator that oversees the Castle of São Jorge, the river, and the famous Rossio Square.
Enjoy an afternoon excursion to Serra de Sintra, which is one of the most delightful mountain villages in Portugal. High up on a rocky peak sits the Castelo da Pena, which is a wonderful example of Portuguese architecture from the Romantic Period. See this fairy-tale castle, followed by a guided tour of this picturesque city and experience firsthand the bewitching beauty that inspired poets such as Lord Byron.
Meet your driver for a private airport transfer in Lisbon. Please note drivers may or may not speak English as their sole responsibility is to transfer clients from one location to another. If you would like to have the presence of an English speaking Assistant or Guide for your transfer this can be pre-arranged upon request and would be subject to an additional supplement.
Las Letras Hotel (4*) is located in Madrid,and is a focal point for the world of culture, literature and the Arts. The refurbished building, built in 1917, has 109 rooms designed in comtemporary style, using original colours and decorated with art. The hotel features an exquisite combination of the building's original glazed tiles, stone sculptures, an old elevator, and a noble staircase coupled with the latest in interior design. The restaurant is another highlight, with delicious cuisine, and located on the ground floor where you can enjoy the city of Madrid.
The AmaVida brings distinctive standard of excellence to the Douro River in Portugal. This grand 108-passenger vessel features balconies in the majority of its spacious staterooms and suites, which range up to 323 sq. ft. Guests on the AmaVida enjoy fine dining in the main dining room, plus al fresco dining for up to 32 guests. The AmaVida also features a Sun Deck swimming pool; fitness center and spa; complimentary in-stateroom Internet access on a 42” flat-screen and ship-wide Wi-Fi.
Lisboa Plaza (4*) charming boutique hotel in the historic center of Lisbon. Located close to Avenida da Liberdade, the Plaza is classic in decoration, and embues a 'grand' traditional feel. The beauty of the décor created by Graça Viterbo, one of the most famous Portuguese interior designers, the constant updating of services provided and the attention paid to even the smallest detail make this charming hotel one of the most character in Lisbon. All rooms at Hotel Lisboa Plaza blend the décor of Portuguese houses with modern amenities such as free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV and DVD player. Facilities include a small gym and has a nice lounge/bar area.
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