Day 1 – London to Porto, and embarkation
We meet today at the airport, where you and your group board
your flight for Porto. Upon arrival in this fantastic Portuguese
city, we are escorted by coach to our ship, the Douro Serenity.
After settling into our cabins, we are welcomed with a cocktail.
Later, we sit down to our first on-board meal, after which you are
free to enjoy your first night on the ship. Perhaps enjoy the views
from the sun deck or live music in the lounge area.
Day 2 – Lamego
Today, our ship docks at Regua. In the afternoon, we pay a visit
to Lamego, a picturesque village near the banks of the Douro for a
guided tour. The cathedral is the centrepoint of Lamego, a
remarkable example of Baroque architecture. Arguably more
impressive however, are 700 steps which lead up to its doors,
decorated in cheerful white and blue tiles. Enjoy dinner at a local
wine estate later. These marvellous vineyards provide the sublime
Port wines which are such an integral part of the Douro’s
viticulture. Many of them are housed in delightful, sprawling
farmland, lending an memorable touch to our meal this evening.
Day 3 – Castelo Rodrigo
Our ship sails to Barca d’Alva today where we dock. After lunch,
we embark on an excursion to the historical town of Castelo
Rodrigo. This charming destination offers a look into the medieval
past of Portugal and the Douro region, with a history that goes all
the way back to the Roman period. All the different eras are
evident from the fascinating buildings which line the streets,
including a synagogue and the remains of medieval townhouses. We
enjoy a tour here, which takes in the old castle. Afterwards, you
have time to wander the ancient streets and discover stories that
breathe life into Castelo Rodrigo.
Days 4-5 – Salamanca
Our travels today take us across the border into Portugal’s
beautiful neighbour, Spain. We travel through enchanting
countryside to the golden city of Salamanca, in the Castille y Lon
region. Salamanca is the academic capital of Spain, which is
evidenced in the sandstone university buildings that make up one of
the most prestigious centres of learning in the country. Our tour
takes us to see these buildings, as well as the decorative House of
Shells, and the thriving Plaza Mayor. Enjoy free time afterwards
before we sample a traditional Spanish lunch at a local restaurant.
Our entertainment during the meal is a dazzling flamenco show,
where trained dancers perform this iconic Spanish dance of passion
and finesse. On our return to the ship, we enjoy a BBQ dinner on
the sun deck (weather permitting).
Day 5 is spent cruising through to Peso de
Regua. After dinner, we sample some of the region’s vintage Port
following a traditional opening ceremony.
Day 6 – Mateus Palace & Gardens
We pay a visit to the gorgeous Mateus Palace today and its
stunning gardens. This 18th-century stately home is a delight to
explore with its classic, Italianate exterior, decorative interiors
and beautifully manicured gardens. We take a tour before free time
to visit the property’s chapel and winery. On our return to the
ship, we sit down with the captain for a resplendent gala dinner,
offering a chance to reminisce about our adventures on Portugal’s
finest river. After our meal, we enjoy a traditional folk dance
performance from a local troupe.
Day 7 – Porto
Arriving into Porto this morning, you have a choice of
excursions to explore this famous port city that marks the end
point of the Duoro River. Your first option is an insightful tour
of the city both by coach and on foot. The tour takes us along the
winding streets, cutting between the city’s superb architecture,
historical townhouses, regal churches, and crossing the famous iron
bridge. We continue to the district of Foz at the mouth of the
Douro, where we see the impressive villas which dot the hills
Your second option is to travel to the nearby city of Guimares,
with its fantastically well-preserved medieval buildings, dating
back to the 10th century. We enjoy a tour through the colourful
streets and the lively squares before visiting the castle and its
gardens. In the afternoon you can relax on board before our
4-course farewell dinner.
Day 8 – Return Home
After our final breakfast, we depart our ship for a transfer to
the airport. Here we board our flight back to the UK, where your
Portuguese adventure comes to an end.