Cathedrals, Palaces and Port, this Douro river cruise explores the many sides of Portugal. Admire the beautiful landscapes and quaint towns of the Douro Valley on this cruise through Portugal and Spain, which includes a visit to Salamanca. If you’re taking our Douro Discovery cruise, do take a few minutes to visit our ‘What to Discover’ section below. What’s Included:
Fly to Oporto on the north bank of the Douro and embark your ship the Douro Queen at Vila Nova de Gaia on the south bank. You’ll remain moored here overnight.
Day 2 - Oporto to Régua to Pinhão
This afternoon travel by coach from Régua to Lamego, one of the most attractive cities in Portugal. On arrival, you’ll see the elaborate Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, which is set atop nine steep terraces overlooking the town. There’ll be free time to explore this impressive baroque church and walk down into the city from the Sanctuary using the ornate staircase – but be warned, there are almost 700 steps! Alternatively, take the coach down to the city and visit the lovely Gothic cathedral, which in parts dates back to the 12th century! This evening there’ll be an included trip to a local vineyard for dinner, with wine and entertainment included. Re-join your ship in Régua then continue your cruise to Pinhão.
Day 3 - Pinhão to Vega de Térron
Depart Pinhão early this morning and take in the scenery as you sail towards Vega de Térron. This afternoon, join an included excursion to Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, a small medieval village with a stunning hilltop location. See the 18th-century baroque church and stroll around the village in your own time. Back on board ship look forward to a traditional Portuguese dinner.
Day 4 - Vega de Térron to Barca d'Alva
Today join an included excursion across the border to the city of Salamanca in Spain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famed for its beautiful old university buildings of golden-coloured stone. The journey here usually takes about two hours, during which your guide will give an interesting commentary on Spanish history. After half an hour of free time join a walking tour with a local guide to the magnificent Plaza Mayor, one of the finest town squares in Spain. You also see the famous cathedral, built in two parts. The original Catedral Vieja, which dates from the 12th century, is now incorporated into the much larger 16th-century Catedral Nueva. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant, followed by a flamenco show to give you a taste of traditional Spanish culture. Return to the Douro Queen which will now be in Barca d’Alva and moor overnight.
Day 5 - Barca d'Alva to Pinhão
Depart Barca d’Alva and enjoy the wonderful views as you spend the morning sailing towards Pinhão, arriving after lunch. This afternoon pay a visit to Quinta do Seixo, a local winery. Here you’ll join an included tour of the estate, followed by an opportunity to taste their port wines. The ship remains moored in Pinhão overnight.
Day 6 - Pinhão to Regua to Entre-os-Rios
Sail from Pinhão to Regua early this morning. From here an included excursion visits Mateus Palace gardens. Your guide will give you an introduction to the palace, one of the loveliest country houses in Portugal and which famously features on the Mateus rosé wine label. Explore these exceptional formal gardens as well as examining the exterior of the palace. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure on board as the Douro Queen departs Régua and look forward to a traditional Portuguese folk music show after dinner. Moor overnight in Entre-os-Rios.
Day 7 - Entre-os-Rios to Oporto
Spend the morning at leisure as you sail back towards Oporto. Learn the history of Portugal’s second-largest city on an included tour. This famous centre of port wine production is beautifully located on the Douro estuary. The coach tour includes a visit to Sé Cathedral, which dates from the 12th century, and is where Phillipa of Lancaster married King Joao I of Portugal in 1387 becoming the first and only English queen of Portugal. Your tour also includes a visit to a port wine cellar where you’ll learn about the production of this famous drink and enjoy a tasting. Remain moored in Vila Nova de Gaia overnight.
Day 8 - Oporto to UK
Disembark after breakfast and travel to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
The Douro Queen allows you to explore the River Douro in comfort. On the sun deck you’ll find a pool and plenty of sun loungers, while on the lower decks you can make yourself at home in the panorama lounge and bar, and the restaurant.
The restaurant serves international cuisine with meals served at one leisurely sitting. You can admire the views while enjoying four-course dinners, as well as delicious buffet-style breakfasts and lunches.
During your cruise there will also be entertainment local to the region through which you are cruising, such as Portuguese folk music.
The Douro Queen has a total of 65 outside cabins. 38 cabins are located on her Upper Deck and feature floor-to-ceiling windows opening onto a private balcony. These are comfortably sized at 15 square meters (including balcony). The Upper Deck Cabins are furnished with twin beds which can be joined together to make a double and there is ample closet space for your clothes and luggage. En suite facilities include a shower and WC and all cabins on the Douro Queen are fully air-conditioned.
Main Deck provides accommodation for 54 passengers in 27 cabins. Each cabin has twin beds that convert to a double and is amply sized at 15 square meters. Views of the Douro are provided through large picture windows and all Main Deck Cabins have en suite facilities featuring a shower and WC.
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On selected departures you have the opportunity to spend two nights after your cruise in Oporto, at the locally rated 4 star Eurostars Heroismo (4Q) on a bed-and-breakfast basis. The modern hotel, built in 2015, is set opposite the Heroismo underground station and just a short walk from Oporto’s historic centre. It has a lounge, bar and restaurant. All 153 air-conditioned rooms have a television, direct-dial telephone, hairdryer, minibar (extra charge) and complimentary Wi-Fi. Room service and laundry service are available for an extra charge. A local Saga-appointed representative will visit the hotel during your stay. Transfers between the ship and hotel, and between the hotel and Oporto airport, are included. The distance from the hotel to the airport is approximately 19 kilometres.
One of Europe’s best kept river cruise secrets in one of its most undiscovered corners, the terraced vineyard slopes of the stunning Douro Valley.
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