Douro River Cruise

Our Douro River cruise offers the perfect combination of relaxation and exploration. As you cruise through Portugal, step off the ship in the heart of beautiful European cities and enjoy daily excursions filled with exquisite architecture, fascinating history and famous Port wine. Then, relax aboard the ship with a drink on the Sun Deck as the ship glides through the picturesque countryside of the Douro River Valley! 

Inclusions:

  • Round trip airport transfers from Carroll, IA (requires a minimum of 15 passengers)
  • Round trip air to (price based on air estimate of $1,400)
  • Motorcoach transportation
  • 2 nights' accommodations in Lisbon
  • 2 breakfasts/1 dinner on land and all meals on board
  • 7-night cruise aboard the MS Gil Eanes
  • Professional tour manager
  • Admission to attractions as stated in itinerary
  • Porter service of one bag per person at hotel
  • Taxes and gratuities for included services
  • Included shore excursion at every port
  • Wi-fi on board
  • Complimentary beverages on board (including alcohol)

Not included in the price of this tour: 
Meals/beverages other than those listed on the itinerary, beverages other than tea or coffee with included meals on land, items of a personal nature/souvenirs, phone calls and faxes from hotel/ship, travel protection plan, passport fees, current baggage fees at the airport as assessed by the airline, and any service not listed in the above inclusions.

Single Tour Icon

Price Per Person

Multiple Tour Icon

Price Per Person

(3% cash discount applied)

Optional basic secondary travel protection plan:
($358 per person)

A $500 non-refundable deposit per person is required with your registration form

Final payment is due May 10, 2019

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Itinerary

Today we transfer to the airport for our overnight flight to Lisbon, Portugal.

Note: The airport location and airline will be confirmed no sooner than 9 months before departure.

Welcome to Portugal! Upon arrival at the airport, we will meet our driver and guide. Enjoy a panoramic view of this stunning capital city that perfectly reflects the culture, heritage, and traditions of Portugal, while at the same time, embraces a modern world. Lisbon is often called the “city of discoveries,” known for explorers such as Henry the Navigator and Vasco da Gama, who led amazing expeditions into the New World in the name of Portugal. We'll see the famous Monument of the Discoveries, the Belém Tower, the Jerónimos Monastery, and much more. You will come to love Lisbon and understand why it is often listed as one of the top 10 cities in the world! After getting settled into our rooms at the deluxe Dom Pedro Hotel, you can relax a bit and get ready for a delightful welcome dinner.

(Dinner included)

Enjoy a lavish breakfast at the Dom Pedro before heading outside of Lisbon. Our first stop is in the picturesque Portuguese town of Sintra that is set amidst pine-covered hills. The village is steeped in history and charm that has enticed the nobility and elite of Portugal for centuries, and it boasts exquisite palaces, lovely mansions, and decorative gardens. We’ll walk through the Gothic-Renaissance Palacio Nacional located in the heart of the town with its two huge, coned chimneys. This palace was a favorite of the nobility and has been in continuous use from the 15th to the 19th century, making it the most used royal residence of Portugal. You'll enjoy time on your own to browse the cobblestone lanes for local crafts and maybe stop into one of the delicious pastry shops for a Sintra specialty. We then continue to the village of Cascais. Here, we'll discover the delightful Portuguese fishing town located on the Bay of Cascais that is Lisbon's most popular coastline destination. The nobility discovered this gem in the mid-19th century, and high society has played here ever since. This time of the year, the town swells with visitors who want to enjoy the plentiful fish and chicken restaurants, great shops, beautiful beaches, and superb people-watching from charming sidewalk cafés. We'll return to Lisbon late in the afternoon for an evening on your own.

(Breakfast included)

Enjoy a breakfast buffet at the hotel before we depart for Porto to begin our Douro River cruise. En route, we will stop at Obidos, one of the most picturesque walled villages in Portugal. As we walk through the gateway to the town, you will immediately feel the charm that radiates from Obidos, from the narrow cobbled streets and quaint houses, to the imposing medieval castle, which once guarded the region. The crowded streets lure you with chocolate cups of cherry liqueur, pastries, and chocolate shops…along with loads of goods made from the cork that is in plentiful supply in Portugal. We continue on to the docks near Porto on the Douro River to board our ship for the next seven nights. Meet the captain and crew as we come together for a welcome dinner and then a delightful nighttime excursion into Porto to view the lights of the city.

(Breakfast & dinner included)

This morning we will set off on a guided tour of Porto, the second largest city in Portugal. Porto is one of the oldest cities in Europe, with a historic center that is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We'll see the stunning Porto Cathedral, beautiful bridges, impressive squares, and monuments around the city. Next up is a visit to a local wine cellar for some delicious samples of the specialty of the region – Port wine. Free time will be available to wander through the city before we board the ship for dinner and an evening of entertainment with the emotional music of the Fado-style singers.  

(Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

Today we'll join an excursion to Guimarães. The city is regarded as the birthplace of the Portuguese nationality, and this extensive history is reflected in the variety of national monuments and historic buildings found within the city. In 2012, Guimarães was named a European Capital of Culture, and its historic town center has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001. Dinner will be enjoyed on board followed by dancing or a stroll through Régua at night. Just a block or so up the hill from the dock is the charming Old Town.

(Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

After breakfast, we will set out on an excursion to Vila Réal. We'll visit the Mateus Palace and walk through its gardens. The palace is considered to be one of the finest examples of baroque civil architecture in Portugal, and the large gardens are absolutely beautiful. We will return to the ship for an afternoon of jaw-dropping beauty as you head to the upper deck, grab a beverage, and watch as the ship glides over the water through the magnificent countryside of the Douro River Valley. This is the birthplace of Port wine, and it is one of the oldest and most beautiful historic wine regions in the world. Wine has been produced in these vineyards for over 2,000 years! The vineyards are planted on the steep hills covered with one terraced row after another, creating striking landscapes. The Douro Valley has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001, protecting its long tradition of viticulture and beautiful landscape. After dinner, enjoy an evening of entertainment. 

(Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

Today we enjoy an excursion to Salamanca, Spain, a city of dazzling houses that are extraordinary Roman, Arabic, and Christian architectural treasures. In addition to its amazing architecture, Salamanca is rich in religious and gastronomic culture. The city features a number of grand palaces, such as the 16th-century Palacio de la Salina. Many of the main attractions are never far from the Plaza Mayor, the busy central square that is surrounded by old buildings, shops, and cafés.  We return to our ship and relax during an evening of onboard entertainment.

(Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

Take advantage of the amenities on board the ship as we spend the morning sailing toward Ferradosa, Portugal. Here, we will join a “wines of Porto” excursion, visiting small towns set among the vineyards and sampling some wonderful Porto wine. Afterward, we will meet the ship for a gala dinner and evening on board!

(Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

In Lamego, we will embark on a guided tour of discovery. Although Port wine gets all the attention in the Douro River Valley, there are a lot of other really fascinating treasures along the way. Like the Shrine of Our Lady of Remedies in Lamego. This twin-towered, 18th-century church has a trim, blue-and-white stucco interior with a sky-blue rococo ceiling and gilded altar. The cathedral stands out with its nine flights of stairs, 686 steps, and terraces adorned with chapels, statues, fountains, and obelisks. Lamego really stands out as a culturally-rich area in Portugal, serving as a center of art, architecture, and history. After the tour, we'll board the ship in Régua and spend the afternoon sailing to Porto. Tonight, we'll enjoy a traditional folklore-themed evening.

(Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

After breakfast, we bid farewell to the crew and disembark with memories of the beautiful Douro River Valley and the towns, villages, and cities that we have discovered along our journey. 

(Please be aware that the flight schedules are not available yet. It may be possible that we may need to overnight in Lisbon prior to departure. This would return the group on September 1, 2019. You will be informed as soon as the flights are confirmed.)

(Breakfast included)