Portugal and the Douro River Cruise
Oct 09-Oct 19, 2019
$4,874 per person
From $4,874 per person, double occupancy. Includes 11 days, 23 meals. Spend two nights exploring Lisbon, then set sail through the Portuguese Frontier. Visit Spain’s walled city of Salamanca, and the quaint and historic towns of Portugal along the Douro River. Airfare is FREE on reservations made by 06/30/2018.
Highlights: Lisbon, Fatima, Pinhao, Vega de Terron, Salamanca, Pocinho, Regua
You will start your journey in Lisbon, Portugal where you will have the day to explore at your leisure. Our second day of Lisbon will include a tour of the city highlighting Jeronimos Monastery, Monument to the Discoveries, and Belem Tower. Take the afternoon to shop and explore the rest of the city.
Enroute to the cruise ship visit Fatima, home to the Sanctuary of Fatima, a Catholic pilgrimage site. The city's fame originates from the apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary that appeared to three shepherd children in the fields. In Porto, you will embark on the MS Emerald Radiance to begin your adventure at sea.
Once on the ship you will sail through the twists and turns of the Douro Valley. The area is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is sparsely populated by small quaint villages with vineyards and small farms. In the afternoon you will land in the village of Pinhao, home of some of the world's best Port wine.
Begin your day in Pinhao with a visit to a quinta vineyard and learn about wine production and its importance to the culture and economy. After your wine tour, you will embark for Vega de Terron, the gateway to Spain.
Today you will explore Salamanca, Spain, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Embark on a guided walking tour of the city and observe intricately carved and detailed buildings of the university, the 12th century Romanesque church of San Martin, and the house of Shells. Visit the Plaza Mayor and enjoy free time to explore the rest of the city before returning to the ship.
Arriving in Pochinho, you will enjoy a morning excursion to the Coa Valley Museum. The museum is designed to blend in with it's surroundings and houses prehistoric stone carvings made by the early inhabitants of the Douro which were uncovered during construction of a nearby dam project. Enjoy lunch on the ship as you sail through beautiful surroundings on your way to Regua. Dinner will be provided as an off-ship affair at a traditional vineyard estate.
After arriving in Régua, journey to the marvelous baroque village of Lamego, home to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies - one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Portugal. Wonder at the 686 step granite staircase, decorated with the traditional Portuguese blue and white 'azulejos' tiles, leading up to the Sanctuary perched atop the hill.
Having traversed the Douro River, the ship returns to Porto – a city with an eclectic mix of modern and ancient architecture. Enjoy a tour highlighting historic landmarks around the city and complete your visit with a visit to a wine cave for a tour and tasting of Port wine. Take your leisure and explore the rest of the city for the afternoon.