A river cruise along the Douro is the ideal way to explore the cultural and scenic wonders of Portugal and Spain. Enjoy a daytrip to the cultural melting pot of Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage city famous for its university and amazing architectural highlights, which includes the magnificent Romanesque cathederal.
On your voyage of Iberian discovery visit beautifully restored palaces, relax in quaint coutryside villages, soak up the culture of bustling cities and sample the delectable produce of one of the world's oldest wine regions.
Upon arrival transfer to your ship 'MS Douro Spirit' for the start of your cruise along the banks of the River Douro. Starting in Porto, home of the famous Port wine, this roundtrip leads you through the Douro Valley with its stunning landscape of endless vineyards.
After breakfast there is a visit to the attractive town of Lamego, overlooked by two hills, with a 12th Century castle and the monumental Sanctuary of Mossa Senhora do Remédios. The town museum features Flemish tapestries and works by many Portuguese artists. The ship is re-joined in Régua. After lunch there is a visit to a traditional vineyard and the ship is re-joined in Pinhão. In the evening there is a traditional Portuguese folk evening.
Make sure you get a prime seat for this part of your journey as there is some fantastic scenery to be viewed before lunch. In the afternoon there is an excursion to the medieval town of Figueia Castelo Rodrigo, where you can visit the national monument of Castelo Rodrigo Castle. It is located on one of the two mountains that define the village and offers great views of the surrounding village.
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Today, enjoy an excursion to Salamanca which includes a typical Spanish lunch and a flamenco show before re-joining the ship at Barca d'Alva. Salamanca's history conjures stories of knights, saints and nobility. There are many Renaissance and Medieval buildings that are worth viewing. Salina Palace is one of the most beautiful buildings in the town. Directly opposite is the Clavero Tower and nearby is the Prellanan Place. The tour will allow you to see the beautiful cathedral, the university and the picturesque main square. In the evening there is a barbecue on the ship.
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In the morning there is a visit to Mateus Palace, a beautiful Portuguese noble house. The gardens are classed as some of the most beautiful in the country while the Baroque Palace is enriched with rich furnishings, ceramics and art. The ship is re-joined in Pinhao. In the afternoon there is wine tasting and dinner at the Quinta Avessada wine museum.
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Once again there is some beautiful scenery on the way to Entre-os-Rios and then later on the way to Porto. Before Porto, enjoy lunch at the Monastery of Alpendura. This monastery was abandoned in the 19th century but originally dated from the 11th Century. The ship arrives into Porto, the final destination on the cruise.
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In the morning there is a guided tour of Porto visiting the Cathedral and sampling some of the local Port wine. The six bridges that connect Porto to Gaia offer some great views of the city. The city itself contains a number of alleyways and small side streets. The afternoon sees an optional trip to Guimarães, the town known as 'the cradle of Portuguese nationality'.
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Sleek and stylish, Douro Spirit is one of the newest and most innovative ships sailing the Douro River. Built in 2011, the ship accommodates 130 guests in 3 suites and 61 French balcony staterooms. This floating hotel offers a river view from every stateroom and all public areas, including the panoramic sun deck complete with pool and jacuzzi.
* Payable locally.
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Cuisine is a mix of both continental and local specialities, freshly prepared for you on board. Breakfast and some lunches are served in a buffet style so you can enjoy as much or as little as you wish.
Dinner is a combination of menu and buffet options. Complimentary tea and coffee is available throughout the day. Wines, beer and soft drinks are included with meals and available throughout the day at additional cost.
Where possible al fresco dining is also available on the sundeck
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Prices are per person based on two sharing and are subject to availability at time of booking. Operators reserve the right to amend published prices prior to a confirmed booking being made.
Single Occupancy Supplements: Available on request, in the region of 50%.
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