A Celebration of Lisbon and the Douro
|Resort:||A Celebration of Lisbon and the Douro|
Feel like royalty as you sail along the beautiful Douro Valley aboard the Spirit of Chartwell, the ship that carried Her Majesty the Queen during the Diamond Jubilee. Sail between coastal Porto and the Spanish border, with visits to picturesque towns, monasteries and palaces. Your experience aboard this intimate ship is enhanced with wine tastings, folk shows, cooking demonstrations and informative talks. You also have two nights in Portugals vibrant capital, Lisbon, and on selected autumn departures we celebrate the grape harvest.
6 excursions and visits
Day 1 Lisbon – Porto
This morning we leave Lisbon, driving northwards to Porto, stopping for lunch en route. On arrival, we transfer to the port to embark Spirit of Chartwell (4-star) for a welcome cocktail party and dinner.
Day 2 Porto – Entre-os-Rios
On a city tour, take in the delights of Porto, exploring the UNESCO-listed Ribeira district, with its cobbled streets and embellished buildings, and the iconic river scenes of the port cellars and traditional wooden barges used to transport the famous wine. Partake in a tasting of port before we return to the Spirit of Chartwell, for a relaxed afternoon as we sail up the River Douro, taking in views of steep, terraced vineyards. We dock overnight in Entre-os-Rios, and this evening we celebrate vintage port wine.
Day 3 Entre-os-Rios – Rgua
An excursion to the quaint town of Lamego and the grand rococo sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios is included this morning. If you choose to walk down the steps of this towns elaborate shrine, dont forget to look back to appreciate the tiled artwork. We visit the episcopal palace which now houses Museu de Lamego, a great display of art and Flemish tapestries. We also have the opportunity to sample some local specialities, which complement todays culinary demonstration on board our vessel. We disembark this evening for dinner at a wine-producing Quinta.
Day 4 Rgua – Barca dAlva
This afternoon we arrive in Barca dAlva, close to the Spanish border, where we will be staying for the next two nights. A visit to the medieval hilltop town of Castelo Rodrigo, a peaceful village that still bears the scars of old battles, is included, as well as an almond tasting experience. This evening well enjoy the Captains dinner and a Fado and folk music show.
Day 5 Barca dAlva – Salamanca – Barca dAlva
We cross the border into Spain for our full-day tour today, visiting the UNESCO-listed city of Salamanca, home to one of Europes oldest universities, outstanding examples of Romanesque, Gothic, Moorish and Baroque architecture, two cathedrals, and an impressive main square, the arcade-lined Plaza Mayor. We experience a traditional flamenco show before returning to our ship for a Portuguese barbecue dinner.
Day 6 Barca dAlva – Rgua
Early this morning we sail down the River Douro, back towards Régua, where we will stay overnight. Relax, enjoy the beautiful scenes of green, vineyard-clad hills and listen as our knowledgeable guest lecturer gives a talk about life in Portugal today. This afternoon there is an included excursion to the 18th-century Mateus Palace, a Baroque masterpiece that offers a glimpse of Portuguese aristocracy and is renowned for its delightful gardens, as well as the rosé wine which was first produced here.
Day 7 Rgua – Entre-os-Rios – Porto
After a relaxing morning on the Douro, we disembark in Entre-os-Rios for a leisurely lunch at the Quinta da Aveleda. Aveleda has been managed by the same family since 1870, and had already started winning international awards by 1888. The historic estate has been in the family even longer, and is the perfect place to enjoy lunch, in a delightful setting of exotic flora and endless vineyards, with an unusual addition of a goat tower. We return to Spirit of Chartwell to continue navigating the twists of the river. Tonight, we bid a fond farewell to Portugal with a sunset cruise in Porto harbour.