Learn more about our Travel Heath Advisory Update and 2020 Oberammergau.

Portugal & Spain: Treasures Along the Golden Douro - 2019

Lisbon • 7-night river cruise with Porto, Bitetos, Regua, Pinhao, Barca d'Alva • Salamanca • Madrid
Moderate Deluxe
Fly for free!
Save up to $3398 per couple with FREE international airfare on select sailings, limited availability!
Leader in Solo Travel
FREE and Reduced Single Supplements, limited availability!
Earn $1,200 + Save
Share your love of travel - earn up to $6,400 in cash or free travel!

Follow the “river of gold” on this sweeping cruise through Portugal and Spain that showcases the culture, history, and wine of the Douro River Valley, arguably the world’s most beautiful wine region. From craggy granite bluffs to vineyard-laced hillsides, you’ll savor the views — and the vintages — of quaint quintas and picturesque wineries lining the storied Douro. You’ll also explore Lisbon — Portugal’s romantic cultural darling — as well as Porto, the seaside town renowned for its signature tipple, and Madrid, Spain’s regal and energetic metropolis. Experience as many as five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Salamanca’s Old City and the preserved ancient town of Guimarães, Portugal’s original first capital and the cradle of the Portuguese identity.

You’ll discover the bucolic hideaways, timeworn charm, and grand palaces of Portugal and Spain aboard the 124-passenger ms Douro Serenity, a brand-new, privately chartered river vessel. Maximize your time with pre- and post-trip extensions to Madeira and Barcelona on this traveler favorite, now with additional dates for the 2019 season!

Harvest Wine Celebration: Lisbon to Madrid

Sip Portuguese history in a wine glass on this exclusive harvest departure of Portugal & Spain: Treasures Along the Golden Douro cruise. Reap the bounty of Douro River Valley viniculture with special lectures, tours, and wine tastings in addition to the extensive sightseeing and Cultural Connections already included in the original tour. Learn how to decant a vintage port, channel your inner Lucille Ball during a rollicking grape stomping experience, and savor Portugal’s celebrated varietals in one of the world’s most beautiful wine regions. Space is limited — reserve today! 

About the Harvest Wine Celebration: 
Harvest Season exclusive: Participate in a full-day harvest celebration at Avessada Winery with lunch, grape stomping, and local entertainment  
Harvest Season exclusive: Visit Aveleda Winery, featuring a Vinho Verde wine tasting and extended menu of regional delicacies 
Harvest Season exclusive: Learn the correct method for opening and decanting a fine bottle of vintage port 
Tour of Figueira Castelo Rodrigo 
Tour Lamego and a local quinta with port wine tasting 
Hear a series of onboard lectures and presentations, including “A Look Inside Portugal” and “Portuguese Filigree” 
Visit a port-wine cellar with an included tasting 
Tour the Douro Wine Museum, including a lecture on wine production in the Douro Valley region  

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

Close All

DAY 1:

Depart home for Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon

Depart the U.S. and board an overnight flight to Lisbon, Portugal.

DAY 2:

Arrive in Lisbon

Arrive in Portugal’s capital. 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:

Tour Lisbon’s famed monuments, optional Religious History & Monuments Walking Tour

Wake up to views of Lisbon’s famed hillsides. This sloping city is a delight to explore on foot, with cobblestoned alleyways lined with shops, historical discoveries, and endless nooks and crannies — not to mention cinematic views of the Tagus River the higher you trek. 

Begin the day with a guided panoramic tour of Lisbon’s famed monuments, including Belém Tower and the courtyards of the Monastery of Jerónimos, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure by exploring Lisbon’s cobblestoned charm on your own, or join an optional Jewish Heritage Walking Tour, which takes you inside the city’s historical Jewish sites, including the local synagogue, the Alfama Quarter, the Baixa district, and more! Cultural Connection: During your city tour, you’ll sample more pastéis de nata from a local bakery.

Included Meals:

Optional Tour: Lisbon's Religious History & Monuments Walking Tour

Lisbon's Religious History & Monuments Walking Tour

  • Approximate Cost: $65 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 3.5 hours
  • Location: Lisbon
  • When: Afternoon tour
Explore Jewish heritage in one of the world’s oldest cities! Recent discoveries have uncovered a Jewish presence on the Iberian Peninsula as early as 390 C.E., and some biblical archaeologists even attest to a Jewish presence dating as far back as the time of King Solomon. On this walking tour, you’ll explore Lisbon’s Alfama Quarter, a labyrinth of medieval streets where a small Jewish section was located; Sé Cathedral, Lisbon’s most important and iconic religious structure; and the Baixa district, which once housed the city’s largest Jewish population. You’ll also visit the Praça do Comércio, Rossio Square, and São Domingo's Square before returning to the hotel.

DAY 4:

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

Enjoy a day at leisure today. You might take our optional day tour down the scenic Portuguese coast to the UNESCO town of Sintra — home of the opulent, Moorish Sintra Palace — and onward to the fishing village of Cascais and its dramatic seaside cliffs, sweeping beaches, and bustling marina. 

Or, further your Lisbon explorations with a taste of the city’s dynamic culinary scene at a gourmet market or by sampling local seafood in one of Lisbon’s celebrated eateries. Portugal is renowned for bacalhau — dried, salted codfish — as well as its tinned seafood, much of which is sardines, and you’ll find these delicacies almost everywhere. 

Active travelers can embark on a hike through Lisbon’s trademark seven hills for must-see views of the city or head over to the Castelo neighborhood for a trek up to Sao Jorge Castle. This Moorish fortress offers a stunning overlook of the entire city and shopping opportunities for everything from local pottery to Portugal’s famous azulejo tiles.

Included Meals:

Optional Tour: Sintra & the Coast of Portugal

Sintra & the Coast of Portugal

  • Approximate Cost: $79 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 6 hours
  • Location: Portugal
  • When: Full-day tour

Beginning in Lisbon, your coastal trek first takes you to the town of Sintra, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the wealth of Romantic architectural monuments it contains, including the 18th-century Queluz Palace. You'll visit this ornate palace before enjoying some time to explore the town of Sintra on your own. Later, your tour continues 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 returning to the hotel this evening.

DAY 5:

The storied walls of Óbidos and the seaside town of Nazaré, then embark your ship in Porto

Today, head to the port wine capital of Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city featuring a charming tangle of alleyways, a walkable and historic center, and an unmistakably hip vibe that juxtaposes the city’s myriad architectural styles. 

But first you’ll explore Óbidos, where a walking tour will introduce you to one of Portugal’s prettiest towns — so pretty, in fact, that Óbidos was gifted to Queen Isabel from King Dinis on their wedding day in 1282. You’ll also venture to Nazaré, a beach town famous for its monstrous waves and surfing culture, where we'll have lunch before continuing on to Porto. Here, we’ll embark the ms Douro Serenity and enjoy a Welcome Reception with fellow travelers

Scenic sailing: We’ll also begin our sail down the UNESCO-listed Douro River, lined with terraced vineyards and quintas, or rural estates. During the length of our cruise, we’ll pass multiple locks and offer onboard commentary on certain stretches, and you’ll enjoy slow sailing to enjoy every view!

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6:

An exploration of celebrated Porto, topped with a port wine sampling at a local wine cellar

Following breakfast on board, get to know Porto 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 might also visit stunning Livraria Lello, named one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores. Make your way up its famous red spiral staircase (be sure to pause and admire the stained glass skylight as you climb!) and peruse the shelves of this landmark — reportedly an inspiration for J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series!  

Cultural Connection and Unforgettable Moment: No visit to Porto is complete without enjoying its signature wine, of course, so we’ll cross the Douro for a visit to one of the city’s best-known port-wine cellars. Learn about and sample the varieties of this digestif while enjoying the ambience of the surrounding gardens and river views below. Cultural Connection: Back on board this evening, a local artisan will give a talk on “Portuguese Filigree” as you cruise through the Douro River Valley. Following dinner, enjoy a lively performance by a local tuna band.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7:

Tour the historical center of Guimarães

Set off on a guided tour of the historical center of Guimarães, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Inscribed on the city’s castle walls you’ll find the phrase Aqui Nasceu Portugal (“Portugal was born here”), a reference to the country’s first king, Afonso Henriques, who was purportedly born in Guimarães. Cultural Connection: Back on board, a lecture about Portugal’s cork industry will further enhance our understanding of regional wine culture and the ways in which the Portuguese are making use of this versatile material. Then, 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 Régua

A plethora of cultural delights awaits you today! Cultural Connection: We begin the day at Aveleda Winery, a producer of a variety of popular Portuguese wines (many of which are favorites in New England, as well). Harvest Season Exclusive: You’ll enjoy an upgraded tasting of Quinta da Aveleda and Casal Garcia rosé wines expertly paired with grilled Portuguese sausage, a cheese and jam spread, and other regional delicacies before returning to the ship for lunch. Back on board, enjoy an authentic Portuguese tea time, complete with pastries while learning about the traditions surrounded tea drinking and tea production. 

This afternoon, we’ll head off on a walking tour of Régua, including a visit to the Douro Museum, where you’ll learn all about the storied Douro River Valley you’ll be admiring from the deck of the ship. Cultural Connection & Culinary Feature: Continuing today’s culinary theme, enjoy a demonstration of pastéis de nata back on the ship. Tonight, a musical trio comes on board for more evening entertainment.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 9:

Tour the highlights of Lamego, followed by a regional tasting at a local quinta

Today we’ll explore the quaint town of Lamego, filled with terra-cotta rooftops, tree-lined streets, and a 700-step staircase that leads to the grand Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. Climb all 700 steps to this church and admire the surrounding gardens filled with monuments, terraces, fountains, and pretty tile mosaics. 

Reboard the ship this afternoon and hear a lecture titled “A Look Inside Portugal” as we continue to another local quinta to sample more fantastic regional wines in yet another breathtaking Douro setting. Harvest Season Exclusive: Before dinner, catch a demonstration on how to open and decant a fine vintage port in preparation for serving, followed by a tasting. Cultural Connection: This evening, experience the tradition of Portuguese folk music during an onboard performance.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

Toast the season with a full-day Harvest Celebration at the Avessada Winery Estate

Harvest Season Exclusive: Today will definitely go down as a highlight of this journey after you make a special full-day “Harvest Day” visit to Avessada Winery hosted by Luis Barros, the estate’s fifth generation owner. Located at the highest point on the Douro, this winery produces a staggering 30,000,000 bottles of light, fruity, fortified Moscatel wine. Along with a tour of the cellars and museum, you’ll pick grapes in the vineyard, enjoy local entertainment, and channel your inner Lucille Ball during a grape stomping experience, a classic way to celebrate the culture of the UNESCO-listed Alto Douro Wine Region.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 11:

Savor Portugal’s culinary culture in Figueria Castelo Rodrigo 

We’ll venture on shore today on a visit to the fortified hill town of Figueira Castelo Rodrigo. With its preserved medieval architecture, a visit here truly feels like turning back the clock 600 years. Visit the old walls, the 16th-century pillory, the local parish church, and more on a walking tour. Cultural Connection: You’ll also 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 

The word “magical” is often used to describe Salamanca, and you’ll find out why on a walking tour of the city today. Unforgettable Moment: Explore Salamanca’s Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and learn about the revered University of Salamanca and its students who infuse the city with even more character and vitality. You’ll also see the town’s grand cathedral and baroque Plaza Mayor, where you can seek out churros and do some shopping and independent wandering.  

We’ll depart for Madrid after lunch on our own; practice your pronunciation during the drive with a Spanish language lesson. Tonight, we’ll gather for a lively Farewell Dinner at the hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 13:

Uncover Madrid's charms during a city tour

Truly one of the world’s great capitals, Madrid is teeming with fascinating sights in a swirling, lively, cosmopolitan setting. You’ll begin exploring this vibrant city on foot, walking the new Madrid-Rio area, savoring city views, and passing multiple other historic monuments. Unforgettable Moment: Embark on a panoramic drive and walking tour that includes Plaza Mayor and tapas tasting at the Central Market. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to further explore, or head to the renowned Prado Museum on an optional tour. Cultural Connection: Tonight, witness Spanish history and intoxicating culture come to life during a stirring flamenco dinner show.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner
Optional Tour: Prado Museum Tour

Prado Museum Tour

  • Approximate Cost: $59 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 4 hours
  • Location: Madrid, Spain
  • When: Afternoon tour
Welcome to Madrid’s treasured Prado Museum, one of the world’s greatest art galleries. Located in the eponymous street, El Paseo del Prado, you’ll find a dazzling display of priceless works by European masters such as Velázquez, Goya, Raphael, Rubens, and Bosch. The sheer scale of this museum’s collection can be daunting, so you’ll begin your tour with the expertise of a guide before having free time to explore further on your own.

DAY 14:

Spend a day exploring Madrid at your leisure, or opt for a tour of Toledo

Enjoy a free day to pursue your own interests — wander the city’s many squares, shop for espadrilles and other classic Spanish products, and get your fill of tapas — or set off on an optional tour to nearby Toledo and the charming, narrow lanes of its UNESCO-listed historic center on the Tagus River.

Included Meals:

Optional Tour: Toledo


  • Approximate Cost: $99 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 8 hours
  • Location: Toledo, Spain
  • When: Full-day tour
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 15:

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 your travels by heading next to Barcelona on an 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

Meet Your Vantage Team

Contact Vantage

CALL 1-888-514-1845

View Journey Map

Be prepared for
your journey with our
cruising essentials
Shop Now

Portugal & Spain: Treasures Along the Golden Douro - 2019

Call us to reserve your next vacation:

Earn up to $1,200 cash and
a FREE trip as a Vantage
Chat with an Expert
Promo Code: WB50500
Please provide this promotion code to your Vantage call center agent.