River Douro Cruise
- Duration: -1 days
- Board Basis: Full Board
- Tour Ref: D2TRIVDOURO18/DS8A
- Travel Type: Air
In a sundrenched corner of Europe, the Douro has created a spectacular valley as it wends its way from Spain and across Portugal to meet the Atlantic Ocean. It’s here, in the colourful city of Porto, that we join our ship and set off through miles and miles of rural scenery swathed with endless rows of neatly terraced vineyards and clusters of almond and olive trees, with tiny villages dotted here and there along the steep slopes. On reaching Spain, we turn our course back to Porto to explore the place that gave Portugal – and port wine – it’s very name. With sightseeing opportunities each day and the chance to experience local traditions aboard our ship, it’s a cruise that will lull you into the relaxing rhythm of the Douro, the river of gold.
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
- Return flights from London Heathrow
- Coach transfers between the airport and ship
- Welcome drink, captain’s dinner and farewell cocktail
- En suite cabin accommodation aboard the MS Douro Spirit
- Full board during your cruise including a Portuguese barbecue
- Evening entertainment including a folk show and fado evening
- English-speaking, experienced tour guides on board
- Services of our Tour Manager
Day 1: UK – Porto, Vila Nova de Gaia
We fly to Porto in Portugal and are transferred to Vila Nova de Gaia where we board our ship.
Day 2: Vila Nova de Gaia – Régua
Enjoy the beautiful surroundings with a welcoming cocktail. In the afternoon you can join the excursion to Lamego. This elegant city is filled with Renaissance and baroque mansions and is where we find one of Portugal’s best museums, we then drive to Quinta do Seixo winery, where we enjoy port wine and stunning views across the Douro. We arrive back for dinner onboard the ship, which is in Régua for the night.
Day 3: Régua – Pinhão
This morning our ship sails from Régua to Pinhão. Join our full day excursion; we begin with a detour to the tiled railway station of Pinhão. In the Quinta Avessada you will enjoy lunch as well as a wine tasting. We take in the beautiful landscape and the charming city Sao Joao da Pesqueira until we reach the vessel again in Ferradosa. From here on we continue to Terra Vegon.
Day 4: Vega de Terrón – Barca d’Alva
Today’s excursion visits the Spanish city of Salamanca, where you can enjoy a sightseeing walk, lunch and a flamenco show. We return to our ship back over the border in Barca d’Alva, the last Portuguese village along the Douro, and enjoy a traditional barbecue onboard.
Day 5: Vega de Terrón, Spain - Pinhão
After a leisurely morning you can join our excursion visiting Castelo Rodrigo, which ranks among the 12 historic villages in Portugal and has landmark status. We take a walk around the village to admire the medieval treasures and panoramic views before returning to our ship. The afternoon is spent relaxing on board as we cruise to Pinhão. The captain joins us for dinner this evening.
Day 6: Regua – Vila Nova de Gaia
This morning we sail to Regua early in the morning. Our excursion this morning is sightseeing to the Palace Mateus including a promenade in the park as well as through the lovely historic centre of Vila Real. The return journey to the ship leads us through vineyards, gorges and olive groves. Just in time for the sunset, we reach the river-mouth, where the Douro turns into the Atlantic. For the next two nights we will be moored in Vila Nova de Gaia.
Day 7: Porto,Vila Nova de Gaia
Vila Nova de Gaia offers an overwhelming view across the Douro of the second major city of Portugal, Porto with its labyrinth of colourful streets and houses. Your visit to Porto starts at the Cais da Ribeira and onto the historical Alfandega before visiting one of the local port wineries for a tour and tasting. After lunch there is an excursion to Guimaraes, often referred to as the birthplace of Portugal, where you can explore the narrow alleys lined with medieval houses, along with an old castle complex set against the deep green hills surrounding the Pena Palace
Day 8: Porto – UK
After breakfast we bid farewell to the team onboard our ship and are taken to the airport for our return flight.
This beautiful 4 star ship was purpose built in 2011 for cruising along Portugal’s glorious river of gold. The modern design, extensive facilities and added home comforts ensure you have everything you need, and with a ratio of four guests per crew member, you can enjoy excellent service throughout your cruise.
The lounge bar, with its panoramic windows and comfortable seating, is the perfect place to relax with a drink, whether it’s a hot cup of coffee to kickstart the day, a refreshing soft drink to quench your thirst after a day ashore, or something a little stronger to unwind after dinner.
Located on the lower deck, the restaurant is a stylish setting to enjoy your meals, which include a fantastic selection of Portuguese, Mediterranean and international dishes. Breakfast is a hot and cold buffet; lunch is also a buffet with an excellent choice ranging from light salads to full meals; and dinner is made up of four courses.