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Portugal & Spain: Treasures Along the Golden Douro - 2020

Lisbon • Óbidos • Nazaré • 7-night river cruise with Porto, Guimarães, Entre-os-Rios, Régua, Lamego, Pinhão, Barca d'Alva • Salamanca • Madrid
  • ADMIRE STUNNING SCENERY AS YOU CRUISE THE PICTURESQUE DOURO RIVER VALLEY
  • EXPLORE THE MAGIC OF SALAMANCA, FROM ITS PLAZA MAYOR TO THE OLD CITY
  • ENJOY A CITY TOUR OF PORTO WITH INCLUDED PORT WINE CELLAR VISIT
  • WATCH THE DOURO VALLEY UNFOLD FROM THE COMFORT OF THE MS DOURO SERENITY
  • FROM PORT TO VINHO VERDE, TASTE EXQUISITE VINTAGES AT QUINTAS AND WINERIES
DATES & PRICES
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$4,599
  • $328
    PER DAY
  • 14
    DAYS
  • 28
    TOURS
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Moderate Deluxe
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Barcelona, Spain

4 DAYS FROM $1,149

Madeira, Portugal

4 DAYS FROM $899

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Harvest Wine Celebration: Madrid to Lisbon

Channel your inner Lucille Ball on this smashing and exclusive harvest departure of Portugal & Spain: Treasures Along the Golden Douro cruise. You’ll savor even more Portuguese wine, viniculture, and special features — including a tutorial on decanting a vintage port, extended winery visits, and a rollicking grape stomping experience at Avessada Winery — while sailing through one of the world’s most beautiful wine regions. Reap the bounty of the Douro River Valley on this special cruise — but space is limited, so reserve today!

*Dates available: August 28, September 18 & October 2, 2020

Harvest Season Exclusives:
  • Participate in a full-day harvest celebration at Avessada Winery with lunch, grape stomping, and local entertainment
  • Visit Aveleda Winery, featuring a Vinho Verde  tasting and elevated harvest menu of regional delicacies
  • Learn the correct method for decanting a bottle of vintage port

Additional Included Features:

  • Tour Figueira Castelo Rodrigo with a sampling of regional produce
  • Tour Lamego and a local quinta with port wine tasting
  • Enjoy an onboard lecture series on Portuguese history and culture
  • Visit a port-wine cellar in Porto with an included tasting
  • Tour the Douro Wine Museum, including a lecture on wine production in the Douro Valley region

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


Channel your inner Lucille Ball on this smashing and exclusive harvest departure of Portugal & Spain: Treasures Along the Golden Douro cruise. You’ll savor even more Portuguese wine, viniculture, and special features — including a tutorial on decanting a vintage port, extended winery visits, and a rollicking grape stomping experience at Avessada Winery — while sailing through one of the world’s most beautiful wine regions. Reap the bounty of the Douro River Valley on this special cruise — but space is limited, so reserve today!

*Dates available: August 28, September 18 & October 2, 2020 

Harvest Season Exclusives:

  • Participate in a full-day harvest celebration at Avessada Winery with lunch, grape stomping, and local entertainment
  • Visit Aveleda Winery, featuring a Vinho Verde  tasting and elevated harvest menu of regional delicacies
  • Learn the correct method for decanting a bottle of vintage port

Additional Included Features:

  • Tour Figueira Castelo Rodrigo with a sampling of regional produce
  • Tour Lamego and a local quinta with port wine tasting
  • Enjoy an onboard lecture series on Portuguese history and culture
  • Visit a port-wine cellar in Porto with an included tasting
  • Tour the Douro Wine Museum, including a lecture on wine production in the Douro Valley region

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

Pre-Trip Extension

Barcelona, Spain

FROM: $1149 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $287 PER DAY
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DAY 1:

Depart home for Madrid

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

DAY 2:

Madrid arrival

Arrive in Spain’s capital city. If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, our representative will meet you outside the arrivals area and assist with your transfer to the hotel. Travelers on the optional pre-trip extension to Barcelona will meet up with fellow travelers on Day 2. Enjoy a Welcome Briefing and Dinner this evening.

Included Meals:

Dinner

DAY 3:

Uncover Madrid’s charms during a city tour, and witness a stirring flamenco show

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 through Plaza Sol and Plaza Mayor, savoring city views, and passing multiple other historic monuments. Embark on a panoramic drive and walking tour that includes the Atocha Station, Retiro Park, Gran Vía, and an outside look at the Royal Palace. Later, visit the city’s Mercado Central for an included tapas tasting!

The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to further explore, or head to the renowned Prado Museum on an optional tour.

Tonight, witness Spanish history and intoxicating culture come to life during a stirring flamenco dinner show. While its history is a big foggy, this renowned music and dance combination is reported to have originated in the southern region of Andalusia while it was under Arab rule. Locals and, later, gypsies adapted Arab music and instruments into a hybrid genre still practiced and celebrated today.

Vantage Exclusive:

  • Panoramic Madrid excursion with a walking tour of major landmarks
Culinary Feature:
  • Mercado Central visit and included tapas tasting
Cultural Connection:
  • Flamenco dinner show

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner
Optional Tour: Prado

Prado

  • Approximate Cost: $65 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. (You'll spend two hours in the museum, and another two hours factoring in lunch, sightseeing, and transfer time.)


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 with recommendations provided by your Cruise Director. 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:

Breakfast
Optional Tour: Toledo

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 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. During our transfer to Salamanca, practice your pronunciation with a Spanish language lesson. 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 along the town's main street. Lunch (typically tapas) will be on your own. Afterward, we'll transfer to the pier and embark the ms Douro Serenity. Tonight, enjoy a Welcome Drink and Briefing before your first dinner on board.

Included Feature:

  • Guided Salamanca walking tour, with visit to the UNESCO-listed Old City
Cultural Connection:
  • Language lesson and introduction to Portugal
Scenic Sailing:
  • Tonight, we’ll 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 savor every view!

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. A tour of a local home allows you to explore the interiors of the centuries-old architecture. This is also a great place to purchase Portuguese cork products! Continuing the culinary theme today, you’ll participate in 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 surrounding tea drinking and tea production. This evening, gather with your fellow travelers for a delightful Captain’s Dinner on board your ship.

Included Feature:

  • Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo walking tour
Culinary Features:
  • Regional food tasting in Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo
  • Portuguese tea experience onboard
  • Onboard cooking lesson: Pastéis de nata

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7:

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

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 muscatel 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. Prepare yourself for an experience you won't soon forget!

Harvest Season Exclusive:

  • Full-day “Harvest Day” excursion to Quinta da Avessada, hosted by Luis Barros

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8:

Savor a regional tasting at a local quinta, then tour the highlights of Lamego

Take “A Look Inside Portugal” with another fascinating lecture this morning, then visit a local quinta to 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. We'll begin our tour at the church, then you can descend all 700 steps and admire the surrounding gardens filled with monuments, terraces, fountains, and pretty tile mosaics. We’ll also visit a former episcopal palace that’s now the Lamego Museum, which houses a collection of works by Portuguese painter Grão Vasco.

Before dinner, catch a demonstration on how to open and decant a fine vintage port in preparation for serving, followed by a tasting — the perfect prelude to tonight's delightful Captain's Dinner, complete with traditional Portuguese fado music.

Harvest Season Exclusive:

  • Learn how to decant a fine vintage port, followed by a tasting
Included Features:
  • Lamego tour, with entrance to the Lamego Museum
  • Before lunch quinta visit and wine tasting
Cultural Connections:
  • Onboard lecture: “A Look Inside Portugal”
  • Fado music performance in the lounge

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 9:

Tour Régua, then sample vintages and regional delicacies at Aveleda Winery 

A plethora of cultural delights awaits you today! This morning, we’ll head off for a visit to Régua, including a stop at 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. After lunch on board the ship, we’ll spend the afternoon at 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. 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.

Harvest Season Exclusive:

  • Aveleda Winery excursion with enhanced wine and cheese tasting
Cultural Connection:
  • Onboard music performance in the lounge
Active Feature:
  • Régua active walking tour

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

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

Get insights on Portugal's booming cork industry as you 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.

No visit to Porto is complete without enjoying its signature wine, of course, of course, so we’ll seek our port-wine at one of the city’s best-known cellars. Learn about and sample the varieties of this digestif while enjoying views of Porto and the river. 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!

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.

Vantage Exclusive:

  • Port wine tasting in a celebrated Porto wine cellar
Included Feature:
  • Guided city and panoramic tour of Porto
Cultural Connections:
  • “Portuguese Filigree” onboard talk by a local artisan
  • Tuna band performance in the ship’s lounge

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 11:

Explore the historic center of Guimarães

This morning, enjoy your choice of experiences: first, a morning 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. Or, take a guided tour through one of Porto's liveliest neighborhoods, Ribeira, known for its colorful buildings and cobblestone streets. Return to the ship for lunch, and enjoy scenic sailing toward Bitetos with live commentary. Before dinner on board, learn about Portugal's thriving cork industry during another enlightening lecture; then, let music transport you back in time when local performers come on board to play music from the '60s, '70s, and '80s.


Included Feature:

  • Guided Guimarães sightseeing or Ribeira
Cultural Connections:
  • Talk on Portugal’s cork industry in the lounge
  • Onboard performance

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, where we'll have lunch before visiting 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 Features:

  • Óbidos walking tour
  • Sightseeing and lunch in Nazaré

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 13:

Tour Lisbon’s famed monuments, optional Jewish Heritage 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 Religious History & Monuments Walking Tour, which takes you inside the city’s historical religious sites, including Sé Cathedral, the Alfama Quarter, the Baixa district, and more! During your city tour, you’ll sample more Pastéis de Belém from a local bakery.

Included Feature:

  • Guided panoramic and walking tour of Lisbon and its monuments
Cultural Connection:
  • Pastéis de Belém sampling

Included Meals:

Breakfast
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 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:

Breakfast
Optional Tour: Sintra & the Coast of Portugal

Sintra & the Coast of Portugal

  • Approximate Cost: $79 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 7 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 15:

Fly home — or head to Madeira Island

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home. Or continue your travels by next heading to the island of Madeira on an optional extension.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Post-Trip Extension

Madeira, Portugal

FROM: $899 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $225 PER DAY

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 on our special harvest itineraries, winery visits may occur on days other than advertised

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