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Douro River Cruises

Discover the beauty along the pristine Douro River on a leisurely voyage up the river from Porto on the Atlantic Ocean to the Spanish border.

The journey begins in Portugal’s second largest city, Porto, on the Atlantic Ocean and winds its way up through the stunningly beautiful UNESCO-designated Douro Valley with its steeply terraced vineyards and verdant vegetation cascading down the hill slopes towards the river and its numerous tributaries.

Established in the 18th century when the port wine industry developed, this was the world’s first demarcated wine region and there are many famous port wine estates, quintas, located on the steeply terraced hillsides. Along the way learn about the region’s winemaking history, with a visit to the Douro Museum in Regua and to the prestigious Quinta do Seixo wine estate, or hike through vineyards in pretty Pinhao to a charming family-run quinta to sample some fine port wine.

In Salamanca, Spain, pay a visit to the city’s famous university and stop at a bustling food hall to perhaps pick up some fine Spanish chorizo and olive oil before the ship starts on its journey back to Porto. Hike to the archaeological park in Coa Valley to see prehistoric carvings or spend time in the medieval village of Castelo Rodrigo and take in the views from its hilltop castle.

Dine at a hilltop winery producing delicious Moscatel wine and venture off on a tour of UNESCO-listed Guimaraes and its well preserved old quarter; or make the most of the time left in Porto and explore its historic Ribeira district.

Portugal, Spain & the Douro Valley

Experience the best of Portugal and Spain as you travel along the pristine Douro River on a luxury boutique river cruise. Starting in Porto pass the terraced hillsides, vineyards and charming little villages of the Douro Valley and continue into Spain before returning to Porto. There are six days of fully hosted excursions by local experts, guided ‘Do as the locals do’ programmes and numerous World Heritage sites to visit.

Portugal, Spain & the Douro Valley Itinerary

The Portugal, Spain & the Douro Valley cruise consists of an 8 days and 7 nights round trip from Porto to Porto.

Day 1 – Sunday: Porto (embark)

You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your ship to settle in.

Day 2 – Monday: Porto, cruising the Douro River, Entre-os-Rios

Portugal’s second largest city, romantic and stylish Porto is a city of hidden delights and boasts scenic riverscapes, a handsome quayside, traditional shops and elegant cafe´s, and a wonderful mix of architectural styles as well as lively squares and a buzzing nightlife, and of course a plethora of port wine lodges. You can choose to the see the highlights on a city tour or experience Porto as the locals do on a walking tour, before starting on your luxury cruise up the Douro towards Porto Antigo. In the evening enjoy a Captain’s welcome reception and dinner on board.

Choice of excursions: Porto city tour or ‘Do as the Locals Do’ Porto walking tour

Day 3 – Tuesday: Cruising the Douro River, Regua, Pinhao

As the ship follows the river marvel at this stunningly beautiful region of terraced vineyards and olive groves with verdant vegetation cascading down the hill slopes towards the river and its numerous tributaries. On today’s featured excursion to the Douro Museum learn about the region’s geology and winemaking history.

Featured excursion: Douro Museum

Day 4 – Wednesday: Pinhao, Vega de Terron

Established in the 18th century when the port wine industry developed, this was the world’s first demarcated wine region and there are many famous port wine estates, quintas, located on the steeply terraced hillsides. Spend the day at a prestigious port wine estate with a guided tour of its state of the art facilities and sample fine ports whilst taking in the panoramic views over the stunning river and landscape. If you prefer something a bit more active you can join a vineyard hike starting in the pretty town of Pinhao and heading into the hills to a traditional family-owned quinta. A special gala dinner on board in the evening.

Choice of excursions: Quinta do Seixo guided tour with tasting, or Vineyard hike and wine tasting at a local quinta

Day 5 – Thursday: Vega de Terron (Salamanca), Barca d’Alva

Today the ship will dock near the Spanish border for onward journey by road to Salamanca, The Golden City, so named for its sandstone buildings. The city boasts a myriad of historic churches, two cathedrals, baroque buildings and Spain’s oldest university. Your local expert will walk you through Plaza Mayor with its baroque buildings and on to the university to marvel at its stunning interiors. From here head to Salamanca’s food hall for the best chorizos, cheeses, olive oil and hams. There will be time to explore on your own, browse the shops and maybe enjoy a tapas lunch.

Featured excursion: Salamanca – the Golden City and Spain’s oldest university

Day 6 – Friday: Barca d’Alva, Regua

With the tiny village of Barca d’Alva as a base, you can opt for a challenging hike to see the prehistoric carvings in the archaeological park in Coa Valley, or choose the beautiful medieval village of Castelo Rodrigo and its hilltop castle; the views from the top are outstanding. As you travel up the winding roads to the hilltop winery Quinta de Avessada for dinner marvel at the breathtaking views. At this century old quinta, producing delicious Moscatel wine, you will be warmly welcomed by the estate’s owner and learn about the sweet, floral Muscat grapes grown in the region.

Featured excursion: Dinner at Quinta de Avessada wine estate

Choice of excursions: Archaeological Park of the Coa Valley, or Castelo Rodrigo

Day 7 – Saturday: Cruising the Douro River, Porto

On arrival back in Porto you can stay for a guided tour of one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods, the charming UNESCO-listed Ribiera, or you can opt to join a local expert and venture off to discover the historic and UNESCO-listed Guimaraes and its wonderfully preserved Old Town. Enjoy a special Captain’s farewell reception and dinner in the evening.

Choice of excursions: Guimaraes city tour, or Porto surprise discovery tour

Day 8 – Sunday: Porto (disembark)

Disembark the ship and transfer to the airport for your flight home, or onward by private transfer to one of our luxury city hotels in Porto if you have chosen to extend your trip with a few days in this city of hidden delights.

Please note: this cruise departs on selected Sundays from March to November.

Please note: Itineraries may be subject to change should any operational reason prevail at the time.

S.S Sao Gabriel

  • Launching in 2020
  • Douro Valley inspired design
  • Lavishly appointed suites
  • Pool & sun terrace
  • Spa & gym

Cruise extensions

Why not stay at one of our luxury city hotels in Porto for a few days prior to your boutique river cruise, or extend your holiday with a stay at the end.