Portugal & Spain: Treasures Along the Golden Douro - 2018

Lisbon • Oporto • Entre-os-Rios • Régua • Pinhão • Barca d'Alva • Salamanca • Madrid
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Madrid, Spain

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Madeira, Portugal

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Madrid to Lisbon

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DAY 1:

Depart home for Spain’s capital city, Madrid

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

DAY 2:

Arrive in Madrid

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 Welcome Dinner in the hotel.

Included Meals:


DAY 3:

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 past all the fascinating faces and personalities of Madrid: people watching in elegant squares like Oriente and España Plazas, strolling along the new Madrid-Rio area, driving down the grand Mayor Street. Other highlights we'll spot include the lovely memorial Retiro Park, the Fountain of Neptune, the famous Las Ventas Bullring, and the Santiago Bernabéu Football Stadium.

Enjoy your afternoon at leisure – perhaps visiting the world famous Prado Museum or simply wandering the various shops and restaurants near your centrally located hotel – 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 4:

Explore Salamanca’s ornate architecture and historic university

We set out for a scenic ride towards our next destination this morning, enjoying a Spanish lesson along the way. 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 upon arrival. 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. This evening, you'll be greeted with a Welcome Reception and dinner onboard after embarking the ship.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 5:

Savor Portugal’s culinary culture, from Figueira Castelo Rodrigo to cooking demonstrations onboard your ship

After a buffet breakfast onboard, enjoy 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. Cultural Connection: Continuing the culinary theme today, you’ll enjoy an onboard demonstration of a classic Portuguese egg pastry, pastéis de nata. (You'll get to compare your recipe to a local version later in Lisbon.) You'll also enjoy an authentic Portuguese tea experience complete with pastries while learning about the traditions surrounded tea drinking and production.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 6:

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. Take some time to admire the Baroque architecture and elaborately manicured gardens at this stately property. Then, we'll head next to the Avessada Winery to sample the finest vintages of this area and savor a delectable lunch. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 7:

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

Enjoy a fascinating onboard lecture this morning titled “Society and Economy of Portugal." Our first stop today is Quinta da Roêda, where you will get to sample the fantastic local wines of the region. In the afternoon, you'll head to 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 in order to ask the Virgin Mary to rid them of their afflictions. This evening, we'll honor the tradition of Portuguese folk music as we watch a performance onboard following a delicious Captain's Dinner.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 8:

A tour of Regua, then a sampling of vintages and regional delicacies at Aveleda Winery

Your day begins with a walking tour of Regua, including 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. Cultural Connection: You'll also learn about the importance of the cork industry here in Portugal during an onboard lecture. 

Later this afternoon, we'll visit Aveleda Winery, 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 expertly paired with grilled Portuguese sausage, a cheese and jam spread, and other regional delicacies. Back on board this evening, let music carry you back in time a local performers play music from the 60s, 70, and 80s. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 9:

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

Your exploration of Portugal continues with a scenic sail into Oporto, Portugal’s second-largest city and the center of the port wine trade. Cultural Connection and Unforgettable Moment: One can’t visit Oporto without enjoying its signature wine, of course, so you'll start with a visit to one of the city's best-known port-wine cellars. Sample this world-famous drink while enjoying the ambiance of the surrounding gardens and incredible river views below. Afterwards, get to know the city better with a full 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 paying a visit to the stunning Livraria Lello, named one of the world's most beautiful bookstores. Make your way up the famous red staircase (be sure to pause and admire the stained glass skylight as you climb!) and peruse the shelves of this one-of-a-kind gem, said to have been an inspiration for J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter book series. Cultural Connection: Back on board this evening, enjoy a lively performance by a local Tuna Band after dinner. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 10:

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. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 11:

Disembark in Oporto, then explore the storied walls of Obidos and the seaside town of Nazaré

This morning, you'll disembark ship and transfer to the final city on your tour: Lisbon. En route, you'll stop in the seaside town of Nazaré, a beach famous for its monstrous waves and surfing culture. Later, you’ll make another 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. This evening, we'll arrive in Lisbon and enjoy a buffet dinner in the hotel. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 12:

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 cobblestone alleyways on your own. Cultural Connection: While on your city tour, sample pastéis de nata, Portugal’s favorite treat. 

Included Meals:


DAY 13:

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 pitcher of sangria. 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 14:

Fly home

After breakfast, transfer to Lisbon airport for your flight home. Or, transfer to Madeira by way of Lisbon for 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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