Day 1 – Depart via overnight flights to Portugal
Meals and services per airline policy.
Day 2 – Vila Nova de Gaia (Porto), Embarkation after 4pm (D)
Check in after 4 pm. Prior to dinner, meet your fellow passengers and Cruise Staff for a cocktail, and crew introduction followed by an information meeting. Then enjoy your first dinner on board, followed by a well-deserved rest.
Day 3 – Vila Nova de Gaia – Regua – Pinhao (B, L, D)
Enjoy a relaxing morning on board while the ship sails 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. Around lunch time, we arrive at Regua, which is beautifully surrounded by vineyards that produce some of the country’s best port wines. After lunch from there, we depart on your included excursion to Quinta Do Vallado. Demarcated and regulated way back in 1756 by Marquis de Pombal, this region is known for one of the first “classic” wines in this part of the world. Your tour of the vineyard will include tasting of some of the best wines of the region. 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. Overnight.
Day 4 – Pinhao – Pocinho – Vega de Terron (B, L, D)
Enjoy a quiet morning while the ship sails further up the valley towards the border with Spain. After lunch we arrive at Pocinho. From here, we depart on an included excursion to the small town of Castelo Rodrigo home to an ancient Roman fort. The town was part of Spain before it came under the Portuguese kingdom in 1297. Throughout the centuries, Jews, Arabs and Christians lived in peaceful coexistence here. Your first stop will be at the ruins of the old castle which have great views of the olive groves and vineyards of the valley. From the castle you will stroll through the center of the town, where you can still see traces of the Jewish population who lived here during the Spanish Inquisition. The tour ends with visits to the little church. Re-board the ship in Vega de Terrón for overnight.
Day 5 – Vega de Terron – Barca d’Alva (B, L, D)
Today you will delight in your included full day excursion to Salamanca, Spain! Salamanca’s history extends several thousand years back in time, and the historic center 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 met from the 1200s to the 1400s while there was religious persecution elsewhere in Europe. On arrival to Plaza Mayo and a brief orientation about the city’s attractions, shops and cafes, you will have time to explore the city on your own before meeting for lunch at a local restaurant which will include a fabulous flamenco show! After lunch you will tour the main sites of Salamanca, including the “new” cathedral, built between 1513 and 1733. Return to the ship, which has meanwhile sailed to the border town of Barca d’Alva for overnight.
Day 6 – Barca d’Alva – Pinhao – Regua (B, L, D)
Relax and take in the scenery while you sail back into Pinhao. From here you will depart on your included excursions to Avessada Farm to experience an authentic locally hosted lunch. After appetisers, welcome music and time to enjoy the gorgeous views, visit the Enoteca Museum where you will learn about the traditional process of making Muscatel and Porto wines. Then its time for a traditional Portugese lunch featuring meals made in iron pots including cod fish cake, traditional sausage, soup, stuffed beef and regional deserts. Return to the ship in Regua for dinner time and overnight.
Day 7 – Regua – Entre-os-Rios – Villa Nova de Gaia (Porto) (B, L, D)
Enjoy the passing vistas as you sail back toward Porto. After lunch, depart on your included excursion to Guimaras renowned for its castle and historic center, a Unesco World Heritage site. The city played a fundamental role in the formation of the country a fact proudly remembered in its walls by the inscription “Portugal was born here!” On your sightseeing tour you will visit the castle and the Palace of the Dukes where the first king of Portugal was born After the tour return to your ship and continue sailing toward your home port. Dinner and overnight in Villa Nova De Gaia.
Day 8 – Vila Nova de Gaia (Porto) (B, L, D)
The morning is reserved for a half day city tour of this magnificent city. Porto, with its approximately 300,000 inhabitants, is Portugal’s second largest city. The historic center of the city stands as a 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. 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 port barrels before bottling and distribution throughout the world. This afternoon you will visit one of the Port Vila wine cellars and taste the “precious nectar”. In the evening, enjoy your farewell dinner on board.
Day 9 – Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal Disembark at 9:00am (B, L, D)
After breakfast, bid your crew goodbye as you disembark and transfer to the airport for flights home.