Join Vantage on this picturesque river cruise into the heart of the Douro Valley, where generations of winemakers have created some of the world’s finest vintages. 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 29 included features and Cultural Connections. Attend a fado performance in Portugal and enjoy a passionate flamenco dinner show aboard the m/s Douro Serenity. Learn about the Portuguese economy and lifestyle with lectures on tea and cork production
Enjoy both the best value 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.
Fly to Portugal
Depart the U.S. and board an overnight flight to Lisbon, Portugal. Or, depart earlier for your pre-trip extension to Madeira, Portugal.
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.
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.
Enjoy Lisbon at your leisure
After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll have a full day at leisure to explore more of Lisbon on your own.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Set out on an optional tour of Sintra and Cascais, with a visit to Queluz Palace. Learn more
Embark on a coastal trek that begins at Lisbon’s ornate Queluz National Palace before exploring the town of Sintra, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its wealth of 19th-century Romantic architectural monuments. Your tour continues with a scenic drive along the coastline to the quiet fishing village of Cascais. Following a short walk, you can enjoy lunch on your own at one of the town’s many restaurants, all offering fresh regional specialties. Enjoy the picture-perfect scenery on your drive back to Lisbon.
Due to high call volume, we recommend you visit MyPortfolio to book this Destination Enhancement. Don’t wait — these optional experiences are limited to a select number of guests and are selling out fast!
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.
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. Following dinner on board, enjoy a lively performance by a local tuna band.
Join a walking tour of Porto's Ribeira district
Discover more of Porto with a walking tour of its oldest district, Ribeira. Located on the banks of the Douro River, Ribeira is one of Porto’s most picturesque neighborhoods. 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.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Embark on an optional guided sightseeing tour of Guimarães. Learn more
On this optional excursion, you’ll visit the exceptionally well-preserved medieval town of Guimarães. As the birthplace of Portugal’s first king, Afonso Henriques, Guimarães’ roots in the Portuguese national identity run deep. Today, the town center is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll delve into the fascinating history of this destination and discover its medieval center, labyrinthine lanes, and picturesque plazas for yourself.
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. Alternatively, 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.
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.
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.
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” dinner on board, which includes a stirring flamenco show!
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.
See more of Madrid's landmarks
Explore more of vibrant Madrid on a panoramic tour by foot and motorcoach that showcases the city’s main squares — Playa Sol and Plaza Mayor — as well as the Egyptian Temple of Debod, Segovia Bridge, the Royal Palace of Madrid, Atocha Station, and more. Then, visit the city’s Mercado Central for an included tapas tasting!
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Enjoy an optional guided tour of Madrid’s incredible Prado Museum. Learn more
Opened in 1819 as the Royal Museum of Painting and Sculpture, the Prado Museum is one of Madrid’s most popular attractions. The museum is dedicated to the conservation and dissemination of the world’s most unique art collection and a commitment to the cultural enrichment of society. On this optional tour, you’ll enjoy a guided visit of its world-renowned exhibitions, featuring the largest holdings of Bosch, Titian, El Greco, Rubens, Velázquez, and Goya.
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.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Visit Toledo, Spain — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — on an optional full-day tour. Learn more
The city of Toledo, known as the “City of Three Cultures” and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, still preserves its original medieval layout. From the ancient fortress of Alcázar and grandiose cathedral to the old Toledo mansion house and the historic Jewish quarter, this is one of Spain’s most fascinating destinations. On a tour through its narrow, winding streets you will discover a series of incredible buildings, still very much alive both inside and out.
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.
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.