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Portugal & Spain: Treasures Along the Golden Douro - 2022

Lisbon • Óbidos • Nazaré • 7-night river cruise with Porto, Guimarães, Entre-os-Rios, Régua, Lamego, Pinhão, Barca d'Alva • Salamanca • Madrid
  • $357
  • 14
  • 28
15 DAYS FROM $5,648
Moderate Deluxe
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Barcelona, Spain (Pre extension)

4 DAYS FROM $1,299

Madeira, Portugal (Pre extension)

4 DAYS FROM $1,099

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Lisbon to Madrid

Join Vantage on this picturesque cruise into the heart of the Douro Valley, where generations of winemakers have created some of the world’s finest vintages — and views. Alongside tastings at renowned quintas and wine estates, you’ll revel in bucolic landscapes where latticed vineyards lead to medieval hillside towns. You’ll also discover the revered cultural capitals of Spain and Portugal, including Lisbon, Madrid, and Porto, home to its signature port wine.

From town to country, uncover culture, cuisine, and varietals with 28 included features and Cultural Connections. Attend a fado performance in Portugal and enjoy a passionate flamenco dinner show in Spain. Learn about the Portuguese economy and lifestyle with lectures on tea and cork production. Taste delicate jamón and tapas inside Madrid’s Mercado Central and pay a visit to Nazaré, where legions of extreme surfers arrive each year to ride the town’s legendary swells.

Enjoy both the best value out of the competition and Vantage Exclusives — including a lunch at the Quinta da Avessada winery — as well as explorations away from the crowds in small groups and exclusive Harvest departures. Sail in elegance on the m/s Douro Serenity, and make the most of your journey with optional pre- and post-trip extensions to Madeira and Barcelona.

Pre-Trip Extension

Madeira, Portugal (Pre extension)

FROM: $1099 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $275 PER DAY

Barcelona, Spain (Pre extension)

FROM: $1299 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $325 PER DAY
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DAY 1:

Fly to Portugal

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

DAY 2:

Welcome to Lisbon! Enjoy a Welcome Dinner with fellow travelers tonight

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

Included meals:


DAY 3:

Tour Lisbon’s famed monuments and sample a culinary favorite

Begin the day with a guided panoramic and walking tour of Lisbon’s famed monuments, including Belém Tower and the courtyards of Jeronimos Monastery, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. During your city tour, you’ll sample a classic Portuguese pastry: the mouthwatering pastéis de Belém. One taste of this creamy egg custard wrapped in buttery, flaky crust, and you’ll see why this is Portugal’s favorite treat! Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure by exploring Lisbon’s cobblestoned charm on your own, or perhaps join your Cruise Director for a pub crawl. 

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

Included meals:


DAY 4:

Explore Lisbon on your own

A day at leisure lets you enjoy more time in Lisbon. Active travelers can embark on a hike through the Seven Hills of Lisbon, a trademark attraction for must-see views of the city. Or, you can head over to the Castelo neighborhood for a trek up to the Moorish São Jorge Castle, which offers stunning city overlooks 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: 7 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 at numerous restaurants (all offering fresh regional specialties!) and take in the postcard-perfect scenery before returning to the ship this evening.

DAY 5:

The storied walls of Óbidos and seaside Nazaré; embark the 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 historic city center, and an unmistakably hip vibe that makes a delightful contrast to the city’s medieval walls and myriad architectural styles. On the way to Porto, explore Óbidos on a walking tour before venturing to Nazaré, a beach town famous for its monstrous waves and surfing culture. Enjoy lunch here before continuing on to Porto, where you’ll embark the m/s Douro Serenity and enjoy a Welcome Reception with fellow travelers.

Included Features:

  • Óbidos walking tour
  • Sightseeing and lunch in Nazaré

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 6:

Discover Porto and enjoy 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. No visit to Porto is complete without enjoying its signature wine, of course! So, you’ll seek out 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 Douro River. Back on the ship this evening, a local artisan will give a talk on “Portuguese Filigree.” Following dinner, enjoy a lively performance by a local tuna band.

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
  • Port wine tasting in a celebrated Porto wine cellar

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 7:

Explore historic Guimarães or join a walking tour of Porto's Ribeira district

Enjoy your choice of excursions today: A morning guided tour of the UNESCO-listed historical center and castle of Guimarães, a preserved medieval city; or, discover more of Porto with a walking tour of its oldest district, Ribeira. However you choose to spend the morning, you’ll return to the ship for lunch and scenic sailing toward Bitetos with live commentary. Before dinner on board, learn about Portugal's thriving cork industry in the lounge; then, let music transport you back in time when local performers come on board to play favorites from the '60s, '70s, and '80s.

Included Feature:

  • Your choice of tours: Guided Guimarães sightseeing or a walking tour of Porto’s Ribeira district
Cultural Connections:
  • Talk on Portugal’s cork industry in the lounge
  • Onboard performance
Scenic Sailing:
  • This afternoon, you will sail down the UNESCO-listed Douro River, lined with terraced vineyards and quintas, or rural estates. During the length of our cruise, you’ll pass multiple locks and hear onboard commentary on certain stretches, while enjoying slow sailing to savor every view!

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 8:

Sample local vintages at Aveleda Winery before touring Régua

A plethora of cultural delights awaits you today! Begin the day in Bitetos, where a short drive brings you to Aveleda Winery for a tasting of Vinho Verde and snacks before returning to the ship for lunch. Back on board, as we sail to Régua, you will enjoy an authentic Portuguese tea experience — complete with delectable pastries — while learning about the traditions surrounding tea drinking and tea production. In the afternoon, head off on a short walk to Régua and visit its Museu do Douro to learn about the storied Douro River during a lecture and wine tasting. Alternately, skip the museum and explore more of the town on an active walk. Later, delve into the recipe behind pastéis de nata, one of Portugal’s favorite treats, during an onboard cooking lesson.

Included Features:

  • Régua excursion and Museu do Douro with wine tasting and lecture
  • Aveleda Winery excursion with wine and cheese tasting
Cultural Connections:
  • Portuguese tea experience onboard
  • Onboard cooking lesson: Pastéis de nata
Active Feature:
  • Régua active walking tour

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 9:

Lamego's highlights, a regional quinta tasting, and an evening of traditional entertainment

Today you’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. Your tour begins at the church. Then, you can descend all 700 steps and admire the surrounding gardens filled with monuments, terraces, fountains, and pretty tile mosaics. You’ll also visit the Lamego Museum, which houses a collection of works by Portuguese painter Grão Vasco. Enjoy lunch on board and an afternoon at leisure, during which you’ll cruise to Pinhão and get “A Look Inside Portugal” with another lecture. Early this evening, head to another quinta to sample more fantastic regional wines in yet another breathtaking Douro setting. After, experience the tradition of Portuguese fado music as you enjoy a performance and attend the Captain's Dinner.

Included Features:

  • Lamego tour, with entrance to the Lamego Museum
  • Afternoon 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 10:

Mateus Manor House and Garden and Quinta da Avessada wine tasting

Spend the morning at the magnificent 18th-century Mateus Manor House and Garden. On a walking tour, discover this sweeping baroque property and palace, including a maze of manicured hedgerows, elegant parterres, and a lake reflecting the palace in its mirror-still surface. Lunchtime brings you to Quinta da Avessada, where you’ll meet the winery host, view generations of wine production, and come closer to a true understanding of this region's way of life. Many of our travelers rave that this is the best meal on the cruise! After dinner tonight, gather in the lounge for a movie and popcorn.

Vantage Exclusive:

  • Quinta da Avessada winery lunch
Included Feature:
  • Mateus Palace and Gardens tour

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 11:

Journey back to medieval times in Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo

Enjoy breakfast and a morning at leisure as your ship sails from Pinhão to Barca d'Alva (where travelers can see Spain in the distance!). After lunch on board, turn back the clock 600 years on a combined coach and walking tour that brings you to the fortified hill town of Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo and its old walls, the 16th-century pillory, and the local parish church. You’ll also enjoy a small tasting of local products here. Later, enjoy a special “World of Discoveries” themed dinner on board.

Included Feature:

  • Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo walking tour
Culinary Feature:
  • Regional food tasting in Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 12:

Discover Salamanca’s Old City, then head to Madrid

Discover the magic of Salamanca on a coach and walking tour. Then, explore its UNESCO-listed Old City and 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. We’ll depart for Madrid after lunch; practice your pronunciation during the drive with a Spanish language lesson and an introduction to Spain. We'll reach Madrid and check into our centrally-located hotel close to many restaurants, the Royal Palace, and the famous El Corte Inglés shopping mall (just across the street). Tonight, regroup for a Farewell Dinner at the hotel. 

Vantage Exclusive:
  • Guided Salamanca walking tour, with visit to the UNESCO-listed Old City
Cultural Connection:
  • Spanish language lesson and introduction to Spain

Included meals:

Breakfast & dinner

DAY 13:

Explore Madrid's landmarks, try traditional tapas at the Mercado Central, and experience the passion of flamenco

Explore vibrant Madrid on foot, walking through Plaza Sol and Plaza Mayor, savoring city views, and passing multiple other historic monuments. Then, 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. Tonight, witness Spanish history come to life during a stirring flamenco dinner show, with dinner.

Vantage Exclusive:

  • Panoramic and walking tours of Madrid with included tapas at Mercado de San Miguel
Cultural Connection:
  • Flamenco dinner show

Included meals:

Breakfast & dinner
Optional Tour: Prado Museum Tour

Prado Museum Tour

  • 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 14:

Explore Madrid at your leisure

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. The evening is at leisure with dinner on your own.

Included meals:

Optional Tour: Toledo


  • Approximate Cost: $89 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 9 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:

Return home, or head to Barcelona on an optional extension

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

Included meals:


Post-Trip Extension

Barcelona, Spain (Post extension)

FROM: $1299 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $325 PER DAY

Madeira, Portugal (Post extension)

FROM: $1099 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $275 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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Portugal & Spain: Treasures Along the Golden Douro - 2022

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