Divine Douro 2023

Porto, Regua, Pocinho, Vega de Terron, Barca D’Alva, Salamanca, Ferradosa, Pinhao, Porto

Highlights:

  • Presentations on Portuguese culture and language lessons plus traditional Portuguese dinner with additional activities per itinerary
  • Wine tasting world-renown local libations
  • Flamenco & Fado-themed entertainment
  • A day to explore Salamanca (Spain)
  • Sailing through vineyard-lined Douro Valley
  • Welcome & Captain’s Farewell dinner and drinks

7 Sightseeing Tours Included:

  • PORTO
  • REGUA
  • POCINHO 
  • VEGA DE TERRON
  • BARCA D’ALVA
  • SALAMANCA (SPAIN)
  • PINHAO
  • FERRADOSA
  • PINHAO

Included Features:

  • 7n/8d cruise in river-view cabin category of your choice 
  • Total of 20 meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners including special meals
  • Drink Package: Free mineral water, soft drinks, local house white and red wine, beer, coffee or tea for all onboard lunches and dinners
  • 1 small bottle of water per person, replenished in cabins nightly
  • Complimentary 24/7 Coffee and tea stations
  • Welcome and Farewell cocktail party with snacks
  • Daily sightseeing programs, onboard lectures, and presentations along with other surprises as outlined in the itinerary 
  • Free WI-FI onboard the ship (subject to signal and sailing conditions)
  • Professional English-speaking Cruise Manager and local guides throughout
  • Audio units included on all tours and excursions
  • New and enhanced safety protocols applied to all sailings 

Not Included:

  • International airfare (can be priced separately)
  • Port fees and cruise fuel surcharges (listed separately in Pricing & Departures)
  • Transfers if purchasing Cruise Only (must be arranged and paid for in advance)
  • Any travel and document fees including Visa requirements
  • Optional tours as outlined in itinerary (minimum number of people required to operate)
  • Costs of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone, liquor, souvenirs, etc.
  • Tips to Crew, Cruise Directors, local guides and other staff along the route (suggested Tipping amounts will be advised)
  • Any increases in costs due to unforeseen circumstances such as: additional fuel surcharges, exchange rates or Government imposed taxes and fees not known at this time
  • Travel Insurance (strongly recommended)

Click here to see our full terms and conditions.

Day 1 – Depart via overnight flights to Portugal

Meals and services per airline policy.

Day 2 – Vila Nova de Gaia (Porto), Embarkation after 5pm   (D)

Check in after 5 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, after which we’ll set out for an excursion by coach for:

Porto by Night (about 1 hour)
A unique opportunity to admire the city of Porto by night during a panoramic tour by bus. You will love the old, preserved districts of this city of immense character, classed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Porto is not only a city rich in vestiges from a glorious past, but also the young-spirited, warm capital city of a region marked by its winemaking as well as its closeness to the ocean. During the tour of the historic center, your guide will schedule a stop at the Sao Bento railway station to look at iris azulejos. Return on board by coach.

Day 3 – Porto – Regua   (B, L, D)

Guided Tour of Porto and Wine Tasting (about 4 hours)
Departure by coach from the Villa Nova de Gaia Quay, facing Porto from across the Douro river and the famous Dom Luis I Bridge, built between 1881 and 1886 by French engineer Theophile Seyrig, one of Gustave Eiffel’s pupils. Porto, the second largest city in Portugal, stands out from the steep banks of the Douro river with its mixture of grey facades and red tiles interspersed with unusual architectural masterpieces. Its historical center was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. We’ll discover The Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Building), built in 1834 by the city’s Commercial Association. It has remained their headquarters to this day. After climbing up the beautiful granite and marble stairway, we’ll visit the former Tribunal Room, the Golden Room and the Arab Room, decorated in the exotic Moorish Revival style. Afterwards, we’ll visit the Igreja de São Francisco (Church of Saint Francis), also known as the “Golden Church”. It was originally a modest convent founded by Franciscan monks in the 12th century, before being further altered by prominent Porto families in the 15th and 16th centuries. They were responsible for the Baroque style interior which mingles with the large, elaborate rose window in Gothic style on the main façade in a fascinating mixture of styles reflecting the various eras it went through. We’ll cross the Dom Luis I Bridge again back to Villa Nova de Gaia for the visit of a wine cellar. Porto’s pride notably stems from its famous wine known the world over, which you will get to taste*. We’ll return on board by coach. Tonight we set sail to Regua.

Day 4 – Regua – Vega de Terron   (B, L, D)

Today we will explore Vila Réal, a town with a great variety of religious buildings and architecture. In the afternoon, the cruise continues to the heart of the most famous vineyards in Porto to Vega de Terron. We’ll arrive in the evening. Enjoy an evening of Flamenco entertainment.

Vila Real and Mateus Palace {about 4 hours}
We’ll leave from Regua or Pinhão for Vila Real, where aristocrats built grand palaces during the 16th and 18th centuries. The architecture of the religious buildings is here extremely varied. We’ll take a panoramic tour of the city by coach, followed by a tasting of the local pastry, Cristas de Galo. We’ll then set out to explore Mateus Palace, the most beautiful and astonishing manor in all of Northern Portugal. This 18th- century beauty is set in a hilly landscape reminding us of Mexico. The subtle mixture of granite, white walls and extravagance from the Age of Enlightenment such as ledges covered in statues and Baroque style pilasters is a striking feature. Behind the manor is a delightful garden with box hedges, more statues, and a spectacular 115-foot cedar tunnel. After our tour, we’ll return to our ship in Regua or Pinhão.

Day 5 – Barca d’Alva – Salamanca  (B, L, D)

Full day to visit Salamanca, SPAIN! We’ll return on board in Barca d’Alva. 

Guided Tour of Salamanca (lunch included) {about 10.5 hours}
Departure by coach towards Salamanca where you’ll meet up with your guides. Since 1988, the Old Town of Salamanca has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The classified area extends on the major part of the city as it used to be until the middle of the 20th century and is responsible for its growing popularity. We’ll visit the cathedral whose successive extensions created a mixture of styles going from late Gothic to Baroque, including Renaissance. Afterwards, we’ll visit one of the world’s oldest Universities which first opened in 1218. Also known as “Escuelas Mayores”, the University building has a sumptuous gate adorned with the city’s most famous design: a frog atop a skull – symbolic of the sin of lust being punished after death. Its wonderful library brims with old manuscripts dating back from prior to the 19th century. You’ll enjoy lunch and be free to discover the city on your own. Return on board in Vega de Teron.

Day 6 – Barca d’Alva – Ferradosa – Pinhao  (B, L, D)

This morning will be spent cruising. Then we will depart on the “wines of Porto” excursion followed by a wine-tasting session*. Tonight’s our gala dinner and evening.

Wine Trails of Porto {about 4 hours}
Departure from Ferradosa for our excursion along the Porto wine route. We’ll discover this incredible vineyard extending over 100 km along the Douro river all the way to the Spanish border. We’ll visit San Salvador do Mundo and Sao Joao da Pesqueira, two small towns set among the vineyards in the Rio Torto valley. In Sao Joao da Pesqueira, you will have the opportunity to explore the arcaded main square, the chapel and the white houses with their balconies. You will visit a quinta (wine cellar) to taste the famous Porto*. We’ll return on board in Pinhao or Folgosa.

Day 7 – Pinhao – Villa Nova de Gaia (Porto)   (B, L, D)

The morning is reserved for a guided tour of Lamego. This afternoon will be spent cruising. Tonight enjoy an evening of Fado-themed entertainment.

Guided Tour of Lamego {about 4 hours}
Departure by coach from Pinhao to Lamego for a guided tour of the city center by coach and on foot. Lamego is a charming episcopal and commercial town where you’ll get to discover the Nossa Senhora dos Remedios Sanctuary. This 18th century church stands out with its white façade dominating a baroque staircase with 686 steps ending in a shrine built in the rocaille style and adorned with azulejos. The first stone was laid on February 14th, 1750 and gave way to the construction of a massive temple overlooking the city and providing a breathtaking view over the misty mountains of the surrounding landscape. Return on board in Regua.

Day 8 – Vila Nova de Gaia (Porto)   (B, L, D)

Full free day to explore Porto on your own, shop ‘till you drop, or partake in the afternoon optional  excursion to Guimaraes. Tonight enjoy an evening of traditional folk entertainment.

Discover Guimaraes {about 4 hours}: Optional: €48 euros per person
We’ll leave by coach from Porto for Guimarães. With our guide, we’ll begin the tour of this university town on foot to discover its historical treasures. We’ll get the chance to discover the Nossa Senhora de Oliveira Church (outdoors), the most important religious building in the city. The medieval heart of Guimarães is a labyrinth of lanes and picturesque plazas framed by 14th-century buildings. We’ll continue on to the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza, a medieval estate and former residence of the first Dukes of Braganza with striking architecture. The palace is closed on May 1 and Easter Day. At the end of our visit, we’ll return on board in Porto.

Day 9 – Villa Nova de Gaia (Porto), Portugal Disembark at 9:00am   (B)

After breakfast, bid your crew goodbye as you disembark and transfer to the airport for flights home.

Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, located on the estuary of the Tagus River, owes its historical prominence to its natural harbour, one of the most beautiful in the world. With its pastel colored buildings to the Vasco de Gama Bridge, Lisbon retains the air of a 19th century city. This city extension combines sightseeing of this vibrant city with a wonderful train ride to Porto offering you amazing sights of the countries rural areas!*

Included Features

  • Duration: 3 nights/4 days
  • Arrival transfer from Lisbon airport to Lisbon hotel
  • Accommodation at centrally located 4+* hotels with breakfast daily, (Duque de Loule, Turim Marques or similar)
  • Half day city tour (seat on coach basis)
  • Transfer Hotel to Train Station for 3 hour ride to PortoHigh speed train Alfa Pendular form Oriente station Lisbon to Campanha station in Porto
  • Transfer from Porto train station to port

Optional Half day tour
to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril: $69 pp

Head to the national park to visit the Pena Palace, the greatest example of romantic architecture in Portugal. Visit Sintra’s historical center, world heritage site by UNESCO since 1995. Walk through the medieval streets of the fairy tale village, and taste the traditional sweets of the region. Then journey to Cascais, a fishing harbor and former summer residence of the Portuguese royal family. Then return to Lisbon with a stop in Estoril, famous as a major international luxury tourist entertainment destination, to see the casino and its gardens.

Day 1 Lisbon
Private transfer from Lisbon airport to your hotel.

Day 2 Lisbon (B)
Monumental Lisbon – regular seat on coach City tour. One of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Belém, historical area, Tower of Belém exlibris of Lisbon jewel of Manueline art. Stop at the Monument to the Discoveries, a modern monument dedicated to the Portuguese maritime discoveries. We stop at Jerónimos Monastery, a greatest example of Manueline art. Visit of the church and old part of Coach Museum, one of the best coach collections in Europe. (Both closed on Monday replaced by Ajuda Palace). Porto Wine tasting. Then we head to Alfama, we walk through the oldest and most picturesque section of Lisbon. See Comercio Square, the biggest and most beautiful square in Lisbon, to Downtown, Rossio Square. Liberty Avenue and, Marquês de Pombal. Balance of the day is free.

Day 3 Lisbon (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Day is free at leisure. Overnight in Lisbon.

Day 4 Lisbon (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Private transfer from the Lisbon hotel to Porto pier.

Rates

Per person based on double occupancy Single Sup.
All Departures $ 697 $ 296
Upgrade to private car/guide/tour of Lisbon & private car transfer to Porto for $250 per person.

 

M/S Infante Don Henrique

Welcome on board the MS Infante Don Henrique! Built in 2004 and fully renovated in 2014 this first class 4* vessel is perfectly designed to explore the winding valleys of the Douro river. The cabins are small but comfortable at 120 sq feet with private bathrooms with showers and full amenities. The Low deck features windows that do not open, the Middle deck cabins have panorama windows with sliding tops that allow for fresh air, while Upper deck cabins have full floor to ceiling French balconies allowing for fabulous views and fresh breezes during the sailing. The ship also has 4 single cabins (100 sq ft) with no supplement and 2 Upper deck cabins with private terraces. The public areas include a one seat restaurant located on the Low deck, a Panorama lounge on the Middle deck and shaded areas with sun loungers and a dipping pool on the Sun deck. A vivacious crew of 26 serves a maximum of 134 passengers. No smoking interiors, on board currency is the Euro and Visa/Mastercard are accepted.

Public Areas

Cabins

Category A: Upper  Deck with French Balcony 120 sq ft

  • TV
  • Telephone (for internal calls only)
  • Bathroom with shower and toilet
  • Towels
  • Safe
  • Independent air-conditioning
  • Electricity 220V
  • Wi-Fi

 

Category B: Middle Deck Cabin with windows with sliding top section (120 sq ft)

  • TV
  • Telephone (for internal calls only)
  • Bathroom with shower and toilet
  • Towels
  • Safe
  • Independent air-conditioning
  • Electricity 220V
  • Wi-Fi

 

 

Category C: Low Deck with windows that do not open  (120 sq ft) 

  • TV
  • Telephone (for internal calls only)
  • Bathroom with shower and toilet
  • Towels
  • Safe
  • Independent air-conditioning
  • Electricity 220V
  • Wi-Fi

 

NEW! M/S Douro Cruiser Video.
See all of our ship videos on Youtube.

Detailed Travel Tips for the Divine Douro Cruise coming soon.

FAQ's

Will I need to obtain a visa for the Divine Douro Cruise

No. Visas are not required for US citizens traveling on this program.

Are transfers included?

If you have purchased your air tickets through us, your transfers will be included. However, transfers are still available for those who would like to arrange their own airfare, for a fee. For more information about transfer rates for this program, please call our office at (714) 556-8258 or toll free (800) 795-1633.

Which ship will be chartered for the 2022 Divine Douro Cruise?

M/S Douro Cruiser 

You are guaranteed the best views here! Relax on the sun deck and enjoy the magnificent landscape of the Douro valley with its terraced vineyards. The swimming pool on deck invites you to a refreshing cooling in between. Comfort is a key factor on board. The cabins furnished in style are even equipped with a private balcony with sitting accommodation on the upper deck. In the comfortable restaurant, you will be enjoying the excellent cuisine typical for the country and international dishes as well as fine wines from the world famous wine region.Non-smoking interiors, on board currency is EURO (€) and Visa/Mastercard also accepted. Welcome on Board!

Will I be able to make phone calls and check emails while aboard the ship?

There are no telephone lines for outgoing calls on our vessels. Communication from ship to shore can only be done through the Captain’s radio. However, you may bring your US cell phone to use – just please make sure it is “unlocked” by your US provider in order to use it. Free internet and Wi-Fi are available ship-wide and computers are provided near the bar. The service is free, but the level of signal may vary depending on sailing itinerary and location of ports.

What is the currency should I be prepared to use?

The EURO. For the rate of exchange to the US dollar, please check online a few days prior to your departure as some of these currencies fluctuate daily. Due to varying foreign currency laws, our ships do NOT have exchange offices on board. Therefore, we highly recommend that you BRING A SUFFICIENT QUANTITY OF EUROS OR DOLLARS in CASH prior to your departure. You will then have ample opportunity to change either Euro/dollar to local currencies.

What methods of payment are accepted on board and on shore?

While on board the ship, all costs are quoted in Euros. Direct payments are accepted in cash (Euros) or signed to your cabin and paid at the end of the navigation by cash or credit card (Visa or MasterCard only). However, a service may be applied to credit card transactions. Please check in advance and remember – cash is still “king” in most European countries. Personal and Traveler Checks are not accepted.

Due to strict foreign currency laws, here are important notes regarding on shore expenses:
Cash: is accepted and preferred. (Euros & USD)
Credit Cards: are accepted, VISA OR MASTERCARD ONLY! (Limited use outside of urban areas.)
*Credit Card Note: As of May 2014, European credit card processors require credit cards with chips and a 4-digit PIN code. Your USA magnetic strip cards may NOT work at local ATM’s requiring a PIN. Ask your bank for a chip card and/or bring along a debit card with your PIN (or enough cash to cover your expenses!)

If cash is still “king,” any recommendation of how much I should bring?

Although everyone is different, we suggest that you set aside at least 700 Euros/$1000 USD per person – to cover your optional tours and shopping expenses. If you are planning on purchasing more expensive items you may want to bring more.

I’m super excited for all the tours! But will I have any free time during the program?

Most definitely! We do our best to ensure that each of our programs offer a healthy balance of cultural immersion through our included tours and free time for our passengers. You will have plenty of free time to shop for souvenirs, explore on your own, or take one of the optional tours (when provided.)

Are optional tours offered in this program?

Yes, a number of optional excursions will be offered for sale during your cruise. These optional services are priced in Euros. They may be signed to your cabin and paid at the end of the cruise with cash or via Visa or Matercard.

What if I have special dietary needs or food allergies?

Special meal requests are possible. If you have any food allergies or special dietary needs, please be sure to notify our office at least 90 days prior to your departure. We and the restaurant staff will make every effort to arrange for special meals, however, if you have strict dietary restrictions, you may want to bring some non-perishable snacks, crackers, dried fruits, dietary sweeteners, or other items that will compliment the limited variety of special meals.

Anything else I should make sure to pack?

For a complete list of suggested items to bring, please read our detailed Travel Tips For Danube Discovery Cruise. But here are a few important items that often get overlooked!

Electrical current in hotels and on the ship is 220 volts/50MHZ. In order to use appliances, including shavers, hair-dryers, chargers for movie cameras, etc., you will need to bring:
1) Universal Transformer: to convert from US 110 Volts to 220. (Note: recent electronic equipment such as laptops and cameras MAY automatically convert. Please check your individual item.)
2) Universal Adapter Plugs: Round pins for sockets that are different than at home. Since there are no supplies of converters/ adapters, we recommend you purchase a transformer/ adapter plug set at any electronics or appliance store before you leave.

PLEASE DO NOT FORGET: Medications which are vital to your health. A letter should accompany these from your doctor (signed and dated), certifying that such medications are vital to your health. Dosage should be indicated. Always pack any personal medications in your carry-on luggage, not in your checked baggage. Additionally, those passengers with lighter physical disabilities must report them to us at the time of booking.