Portugal & Spain: Treasures Along the Golden Douro - 2019

Lisbon • Oporto • Entre-os-Rios • Régua • Pinhão • Barca d'Alva • Salamanca • Madrid
  • $285
  • 14
  • 28
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Harvest Wine Celebration: Madrid to Lisbon

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 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. 

Pre-Trip Extension

Barcelona, Spain

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DAY 1:

Depart home for Spain’s capital city, Madrid.

Depart the U.S. and board an overnight flight to Madrid, Spain.

DAY 2:

Arrive in Madrid

Arrive in Spain’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:

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 a walking tour of sites including the Plaza Mayor and Royal Palace. 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 4:

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: 6 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 5:

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 Salamanca and practice our pronunciation during the drive with a Spanish language lesson. Tonight, we’ll board our ship and enjoy a Welcome Drink and Briefing before dinner on board.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 6:

Savor Portugal’s culinary culture at Figueira 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. You’ll also 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, followed by some insightful commentary as we sail leisurely along the Douro. (You'll get to compare your recipe to a local version later in Lisbon.)

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 7:

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 and beauty of the UNESCO-listed Alto Douro Wine Region.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 8:

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

Start the day with a visit to a local quinta, where you’ll sample more fantastic regional wines in yet another breathtaking Douro setting. This afternoon, 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.  

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, we’ll dive into traditional Portuguese folk music with an onboard performance following a delicious Captain’s Dinner.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 9:

Enjoy a sampling of vintages and regional delicacies at Aveleda Winery after exploring Régua

A plethora of cultural delights awaits you today! 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’ve already been admiring from the deck of the ship. 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.

Harvest Season Exclusive: In the afternoon, we’ll visit Aveleda Winery, a producer of a variety of popular Portuguese wines (many of which are favorites in New England, as well). A tasting will feature Quinta da Aveleda and Casal Garcia rosé wines expertly paired with grilled Portuguese sausage, a cheese and jam spread, and other regional delicacies. Cultural Connection: Back on board this evening, let music carry you back in time when local performers come on board to play music from the '60s, '70s, and '80s.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 10:

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

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. 

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. Then, 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: 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 11:

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. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 12:

Exploring seaside Nazaré and the storied walls of Óbidos

This morning, we’ll disembark the ms Douro Serenity and transfer to the final city on our tour: Lisbon. But first we’ll venture to Nazaré, a beach town famous for its monstrous waves and surfing culture, and Óbidos, where a walking tour will introduce us 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. Tonight, we’ll gather in the hotel restaurant for a Farewell Dinner.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 13:

Tour Lisbon’s famed monuments

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, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to 1514. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure by exploring Lisbon’s cobblestoned charm on your own. Cultural Connection: During your city tour, you’ll sample more pastéis de nata from a local bakery.

Included Meals:


DAY 14:

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 restaurants. 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: $59 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 6 hours
  • Location: Portugal
  • When: Full-day tour

Your coastal trek begins in the town of Sintra; 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. 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 ship this evening.

DAY 15:

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or transfer to Madeira for your optional extension

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home. Or continue your travels by transfering to Madeira for your optional extension.

Included Meals:


Post-Trip Extension

Madeira, Portugal


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 - 2019

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VantageViking River CruisesUniworldVantage Advantage
JourneyThe Douro: Portugal's River of Gold & SpainPortugal's River of GoldJewels of Spain, Portugal2-for-1 Cruise Prices & up to 2-for-1 Airfare! The BEST Value in River Cruising.
Cruise-Only Price*14 Days from $3,79910 Days from $2,79913 Days from $5,899The BEST pricing & Greatest value compared to our competitors.
Per Diem$271 per day$280 per day$454 per daySave up to $366 per couple per day - that's a total of $5,124 for 14 days.
Ship & StateroomsThe 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 TravelersSingle-friendly prices, with last-minute single offers based upon availability. 100% Single SupplementA limited number of singles are available for an additional supplement. Single-friendly prices!
Included Tours14 Included Tours,12 Cultural Connections, Plus 4 UNESCO sites8 included tours5 UNESCO sites11 Included Tours, Plus 6 UNESCO sitesThe most complimentary bikes, culinary demos, and included features—exclusive to Vantage travelers!The most Included tours, and special harvest dates!
Special FeaturesExclusive 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, lectureComplimentary use of bicycles,lectures, wine tastingExperience the Best of Lisbon, Spain, and the Douro River Valley with more Cultural Connections & exclusive features
Meals30 meals + complimentary wine/beer/soda with dinner22 meals28 mealsThe most meals ashore-get a true taste of your destination with local cuisine!
Discover More4 days Madrid from $999 per person, 4 days Barcelona from $1439 per person3 days Lisbon starting at $699
 3 days Madrid, starting at $6993 days Santiago, starting at $499
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