Portugal & Spain: Treasures Along the Golden Douro - 2018

Lisbon • Oporto • Entre-os-Rios • Régua • Pinhão • Barca d'Alva • Salamanca • Madrid
  • $253
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Moderate Deluxe
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Dive into one of Europe’s most intriguing regions as you experience the people, places, and culture that helped shape Spain and Portugal into the top destinations that they are today. This illuminating Douro River journey is bookended by stays in vibrant Lisbon and cosmopolitan Madrid — two of Europe’s most historic and charismatic capitals. Then, follow the path of one of the loveliest river valleys on the continent as your European river cruise ship glides past graceful terraced vineyards, narrow canyon walls, and bucolic villages. What’s more, you'll navigate the scenic Douro aboard a privately chartered river vessel, the 126-passenger ms Douro Serenity or its sister ship, the ms Douro Splendour, for one of the finest river cruising experiences in the industry. 

You'll explore the treasures of Oporto (including its eponymous wine), see the place where Portugal was “born,” and set off on an excursion to the magnificent university town of Salamanca, Spain, as well as experience five UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You’ll also find a wonderful selection of food and wine on this Portugal river cruise, served up to you in a number of tantalizing venues, including the Avessada Winery. From grand palaces and medieval towns to folk music and port wine tastings, you’ll find thrills from all sides of Portugal and Spain on this traveler-favorite European river cruise.

Lisbon to Madrid

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DAY 1:

Depart home for Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon

After an overnight flight, you'll arrive in Portugal’s capital.

DAY 2:

Arrive in Lisbon

If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, our representative will meet you outside the arrivals area and assist you with your transfer to the hotel. Enjoy a Welcome Briefing and Dinner this evening.

Included Meals:


DAY 3:

A tour of Lisbon’s famed monuments

The Age of Discoveries launched in Lisbon, so it’s fitting that you begin the day with a guided panoramic tour of the city’s famed monuments, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the Monastery of Jerónimos and Belém Tower. Later in the afternoon, enjoy a balance of leisure time as continue to explore Lisbon’s cobble stone alleyways on your own. Cultural Connection: While on your city tour, sample pasteis de Belém, Portugal’s favorite treat.

Included Meals:


DAY 4:

Further explore historical Lisbon on your own, or opt for a scenic coastal tour

Enjoy a day at leisure in this splendid city. Get a taste of the city’s dynamic culinary scene at a gourmet food market or corner tavern, or relax at a café and enjoy a hot bicas (espresso) or refreshing glass of vinho verde. Active travelers can embark on a hike through Lisbon’s trademark seven hills for must-see views of the city. Or, make your way down the scenic Portuguese coast during an optional day tour and visit two waterside destinations: the historic town of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the fishing village of Cascais. 

Included Meals:

Optional Tour: Sintra & the Coast of Portugal

Sintra & the Coast of Portugal

  • Approximate Cost: $69 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 6 hours
  • Location: Portugal
  • When: Full-day Tour

Your tour begins with a scenic drive along the coastline to the quiet fishing village of Cascais. Once you have arrived, you can enjoy lunch on your own and take in the postcard-perfect scenery before continuing to our next destination: Sintra. The town of Sintra has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the wealth of 19th century Romantic architectural monuments it contains, as well as its predominance in Portuguese culture. You'll visit the town's ornate palace before enjoying some time on your own to explore this whimsical site. 

DAY 5:

The storied walls of Obidos and the seaside town of Nazaré, then embark your ship in Oporto

Your exploration of Portugal continues as you travel to Oporto, Portugal’s second-largest city and the center of the port wine trade. First, stop in Obidos, where you’ll enjoy an orientation walk through this beautifully preserved walled town that was once part of the “Queen’s Estate.” Known as the "Wedding Present Town," Obidos was gifted to Queen Isabel from King Dinis on their wedding day in 1282. Later, you’ll make another stop in the seaside town of Nazaré, a beach famous for its monstrous waves and surfing culture. You’ll have free time here to enjoy lunch on your own. Then it’s onward to Oporto, where you’ll embark ship and enjoy a Welcome Reception with fellow travelers. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 6:

An exploration of celebrated Oporto, topped with a Port sampling at a local wine cellar

Following breakfast onboard, get to know Oporto better with a full city tour and panoramic drive, including a visit to the historic center (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the market area. You’ll also have the option of checking out one of the top bookstores in the world – Livraria Lello – where you can peruse the shelves of this one-of-a-kind gem that is said to have been an inspiration for J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter book series. Cultural Connection and Unforgettable Moment: One can’t visit Oporto without enjoying its signature wine, of course, so you’ll also stop by a port-wine cellar for a sampling of this world-famous drink. Back on board this evening, enjoy a lively performance by a local Tuna Band after dinner. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 7:

Your choice of tours, Oporto’s medieval Ribiera District or the historical center of Guimarães

You’ll have a choice of how to spend your day today: set off on a walking tour of Oporto — which includes an exploration of the quaint, medieval Ribiera district — or take a guided tour of the historical center of Guimarães. Inscribed on the city walls here is the phrase Aqui Nasceu Portugal – “Portugal was born here” – and you’ll learn how true this statement is as you explore this town’s historical center. Back on board, enjoy a fascinating lecture entitled “Society and Economy of Portugal” as you cruise along the lovely Douro River Valley. Following dinner this evening, let music carry you back through the decades as you enjoy a performance by local musicians. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 8:

Sample vintages and regional delicacies at Aveleda Winery before touring Regua

A plethora of cultural delights awaits you today. Cultural Connection: We begin with a visit to Aveleda Winery this morning, producer of a variety of popular Portuguese wines (many of which are favorites in New England as well). You’ll enjoy a tasting of Vinho Verde and paired cheeses before continuing next to the sleepy town of Amarante. Here, set off on a walking tour of this charming town that includes a guided visit of the Sao Goncalo Monastery. In addition to displaying a beautiful combination of Renaissance and Baroque influences, the grounds are also home to the tomb of São Goncalo, Portugal's St. Valentine. We journey next to Régua, where we'll rejoin the ship for lunch before exploring the town on foot. Our walking tour includes a visit to the Douro Museum, where you’ll learn all about the picturesque Douro River Valley you’ve been admiring from the deck of the ship. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 9:

Tour the highlights of Lamego, followed by a regional tasting at Quinta do Roêda

Your day begins with a walking tour of Lamego, a town well known for its wine and the Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios shrine. The elaborate structure is a regular stop for Catholic pilgrims, who climb its nearly 700 steps to walk in order to ask the Virgin Mary to rid them of their afflictions. Reboard the ship this afternoon and continue to Quinta do Roêda, where you will get to sample the fantastic local foods and wines of the region. Cultural Connection: This evening, experience the tradition of Portuguese folk music as you enjoy a performance onboard. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 10:

Wander the fabulous Mateus Manor House & Garden before sampling vintages at Avessada Winery

Today, you'll experience the beauty of the Alto Douro Wine Region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. First, you’ll see the magnificent palace depicted on Mateus rosé wine bottles come to life on an excursion to the 18th-century Mateus Manor House & Garden. Spend some time admiring the Baroque architecture and elaborately manicured gardens at this stately property. Then, visit the Avessada Winery to sample the finest vintages of this area and savor a delectable lunch. Later, enjoy a leisurely afternoon of scenic sailing along the Douro. Cultural Connection: Learn about the importance of the cork industry here in Portugal during an included lecture onboard. 

Culinary Feature: Get a taste for regional delicacies during an onboard cooking lesson before dinner. This evening: Portuguese cod fish cakes, or Bolinho de Bacalhau.  

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 11:

Savor Portugal’s culinary culture at Figueira Castelo Rodrigo 

Enjoy more scenic sailing before an excursion to Figueira Castelo Rodrigo. This medieval town features some fascinating architectural accents, including 16th century facades and Manuelino-style windows. You’ll enjoy a small tasting of local products here, introducing you to the culinary culture of the area. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 12:

Explore Salamanca’s ornate architecture and historic university

Unforgettable Moment: The word “magical” has frequently been used to describe Salamanca, and you’ll find out why on a walking tour of the city today. After disembarking the ship, you’ll spend time exploring the Old City, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and learn about the esteemed University of Salamanca. Founded in the 13th century by King Alfonso IX, the university is the oldest in Spain and considered among the finest in Europe. You’ll also see the remarkable cathedral as well as the gorgeous main square, where you'll have some free time to wander and shop. After lunch, we depart for the lively city of Madrid. Tonight you'll enjoy a buffet dinner at the hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 13:

Uncover the fascinating gems of Madrid during a city tour

Explore this vibrant city today. Truly one of the world’s great capitals, Madrid is teeming with fascinating sights. Unforgettable Moment: Your included tour will take you on a panoramic drive through the city. Enjoy your afternoon at leisure – perhaps visiting the world famous Prado Museum – or set off on an optional tour of Toledo and the charming, narrow lanes of its UNESCO-listed historic center.

Included Meals:

Optional Tour: Toledo


  • Approximate Cost: $99 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 5 hours
  • Location: Toledo, Spain
  • When: Afternoon
In the UNESCO World Heritage City of Toledo, southwest of Madrid, visitors enjoy a cross-sectional view of Spanish heritage spanning more than 2,000 years. Buildings dating to the Roman era have been repurposed and transformed by decoration by successive rulers, from the Visigoths to the Moors, right through the Spanish Civil War! Within the city walls you’ll find exquisite examples of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian houses of worship, proving that at one time, people of different religions could exist peacefully side-by-side. Your tour includes a stop at the mountaintop old town, where you’ll find the Alcázar, the cathedral, and the main market square — not to mention show-stopping views over the city!

DAY 14:

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or remain in the city for your optional extension

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home. Or continue enjoying your time in the Spanish capital on your optional extension.

Included Meals:


Important Notice:The above day-by-day itinerary is preliminary and subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Cruise Director or regional expert. In addition, should there be an extreme change in water levels, Vantage will do everything possible to provide either the included excursion or an alternate excursion at Vantage’s discretion.

Please Note: Port Times & Itineraries are subject to change. Fluctuating water levels may affect itinerary.

*Note that in this special itinerary, winery visits may occur on days other than advertised

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Portugal & Spain: Treasures Along the Golden Douro - 2018

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Journey The Douro: Portugal's River of Gold & Spain Portugal's River of Gold Portugal, Spain & the Douro River Valley 2-for-1 Cruise Prices & up to 2-for-1 Airfare! The BEST Value in River Cruising.
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Ship & Staterooms The Brand New 126-passenger ms Douro Serenity offer all staterooms with glorious view (cabin size ranges from 150-323 sq ft). While aboard, take advantage of the handsome, single-seating restaurant, bar/lounge, spa treatment room, pool deck, and gym. Watch the magnificent scenery of the valley unfold from your stylishly decorated cabin, which also offers individual air conditioning, a TV with Video on Demand, and a private bath with shower. The ship features a restaurant, lounge, and bar, and a sun deck with lounge chairs. Laundry and ironing services are available for a small fee. There are no dry cleaning services on board. There is an elevator that serves the three inner decks. The Sun Deck is served by a chair lift. Viking Torgil offer you a choice of stateroom category (cabin size ranges from 155-302 sq ft). The 118-passenger Queen Isabel has Suites and Staterooms from 161-323 sq ft. Join us and unpack just once! We have the most square footage on lower and bottom cabins, plus the best Suite Life Deal in the cruise business!
Single Travelers Single-friendly prices, with last-minute single offers based upon availability. 100% Single Supplement A limited number of singles are available for an additional supplement.  Single-friendly prices!
Included Tours 11 Included Tours, Plus 5 UNESCO sites 8 included tours 5 UNESCO sites 8 Included Tours, Plus 5 UNESCO sites The most complimentary bikes, culinary demos, and included features—exclusive to Vantage travelers! The most Included tours, and special harvest dates!
Special Features Exclusive harvest season departures with added tastings and tours! All dates feature port wine tastings; wine cave visit; dinner at Alpendurada Monastery; Mateus House visit; Cooking demonstrations onboard; Flamenco show; Tuna show on board; Portuguese Folk music show, lectures, and more! Sample wines, flamenco show, lecture Complimentary use of bicycles,lectures, wine tasting Experience the Best of Lisbon, Spain, and the Douro River Valley with more Cultural Connections & exclusive features
Meals 28 meals + complimentary wine/beer/soda with dinner 22 meals 28 meals The most meals ashore-get a true taste of your destination with local cuisine!
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