European River Cruises - Portugal, & Spain - Secrets of the Douro & Remarkable Lisbon

Start in Lisbon, a city rich in history and a vibrant modern culture.  Then set sail on the Douro River for a spectacular cruise, dipping into Spain along the way. The Douro Valley is famous for its quaint villages, winding paths, and wealth of historical sites. You will visit the treasures of the past and the settlements of today, sipping wine with locals and letting the Portuguese breeze surround you as you gaze out over the railing toward each new destination. Drink your fill of culture, art, and local delicacies on this remarkable trip down the Douro, and if you’re so inclined extend your adventure to Madrid and discover the many cultural delights of this city, as well as of Toledo.

Degree of Difficulty - Two Paws

Slightly active. May involve some walking and climbing of stairs.

Weather Reports - When to Go

The three cruises we offer generally operate April through October and we have varying pricing depending on departure date. The weater in Europe is pleasant during that time of the year (although summers can be hot), perfect for navigating the diverse rivers and seeing the beautiful countryside, hsitoric sites, vineyards, castles, and palaces. Emerald Waterways is an award-winning cruise liner with new ships that are relatively small since all take less than 200 people. With their innovative design, all-inclusive packaging, expert guides, and fabulous itineraries, travelers will want for nothing.

Days 1/2 USA/LISBON

Your journey begins as you fly to Lisbon, Portugal’s exciting capital. This hilly city sits right on a sparkling coastline and is home to everything from thriving beaches to towering medieval castles. You’ll be met and escorted upon arrival to your hotel where the rest of the day is at leisure. Tonight, meet with your group and enjoy a welcome dinner. HOTEL MERCURE PORTO CENTRO. (Meals Aloft, D)

Days 3/4 LISBON/EVORA

Enjoy a half-day guided tour of Lisbon – a city built on seven hills, with Castle St. Jorge on the highest hill commanding a marvelous view over the city. Once the starting-point for world discovery, it is still today a city with a bustling way of life, famous for its medieval quarter and the legendary yellow trams. Tonight enjoy dinner with a live Fado show. In the morning, admire the natural beauty of the Alentejo region as you drive to Évora, a World Heritage Site, to discover the city and learn of its historic significance. Walk along the most important monuments: The Roman Temple of Diana, Saint Francis Church with the Chapel of Bones, and the University. Return to Lisbon and enjoy dinner tonight at a local restaurant. HOTEL MERCURE PORTO CENTRO. (B,D Daily)

Day 5 LISBON/PORTO

Transfer to Porto where you will board your ship and be welcomed by your Captain and crew. The beautiful EMERALD RADIANCE is launching in May, 2017 and will carry 112 guests and 37 crew. Your stay aboard includes tours daily, wine, beer and soft drinks with meals, gratuities and so much more! Get settled and watch the countryside slide by you, and as the sun sets, enjoy a welcome aboard buffet dinner. (D)

Day 6 PORTO/PINHÃO

Enjoy a full day sailing the windy turns and twists of the Douro Valley. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this area is sparsely populated by quaint villages and typical communities, working vineyards and small farms. Your Cruise Director will host a lecture on board showcasing the history and wine culture of the region. Perhaps join a painting class of local mosaic tiles. Later this afternoon, arrive in the village of Pinhão. Tonight, enjoy the Captain’s Welcome reception and dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 7 PINHÃO/VEGA DE TERRON

Today visit the village of Lamego, where history stands still. See the remains of the most spectacular building of Lamego, the sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady of Remedies. Set above the town on the Monte de Sao Estavo, it is flanked by two bell towers. There are hundreds of zig-zagging stairs decorated with ornate friezes that ascend out of a garden with a vast array of trees. This afternoon, sail to Vega de Terron, Spain. Tonight enjoy a barbecue dinner on the Terrace. (B,L,D)

Day 8 SALAMANCA

Founded in Roman times and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, Salamanca is home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, the seat of the Spanish language, and still a lively student town. With its grand squares and medieval structures, a walking tour here is more like stepping back in time. Tapas bars can be found on every street and traditional Spanish dancing is practiced often. Lunch is on your own today to try out some of the many dining options featured on every street. The rest of the day is at leisure. (B,D)

Day 9 POCINHO

This morning arrive in the picturesque village of Pocinho and join your excursion to the Côa Valley Museum. This impressive concrete structure details prehistoric stone carvings made by early inhabitants of the Douro. The workshop uncovers the everyday pastimes of our Paleolithic ancestors. Return to your ship for lunch and afternoon sailing toward Regua. This evening, your highlight dinner will be hosted at a traditional local wine estate. (B, L, D)

Day 10 REGUA

Wake up this morning in the former Roman settlement of Regua. Visit the Douro Museum for a look at winemaking in the surrounding valleys. This museum is specifically focused on the creation of the agriculture and production of Alto Douro wines. Option to book a Discover More guided excursion to the Mateus Palace, set amongst beautiful gardens on a large farm. Housed within the palace are intricately carved wood ceilings, paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries, grand silverware, ceramics, and a vast library. Tonight enjoy the Captain’s Farewell reception and dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 11 PORTO

Porto is a fascinating, eclectic mix of modern and ancient architecture. Its most famous export is of course fortified wine, and the hillside across from the city center features numerous wine caves and tasting boutiques in the area of Vila Nova de Gaia. Here you will find a wine industry much the same as it was a hundred years ago. While port is made in other countries, such as the United States, Australia, and South Africa, only port wine made here in the Douro Valley can use the terms “port” or “porto.” Choose to take a Discover More excursion to Guimarães, the seat of the first king of Portugal. (B,L,D)

Day 12 PORTO/LISBON/USA

After breakfast, disembark the Emerald Radiance and transfer to the airport for your homebound flight. (B, Meals Aloft)

POST-EXTENSION TO MADRID, SPAIN

Cap off your incredible experience with a stay in Madrid. Visit the major attractions of the Spanish capital, from the royal palace to the spectacular Prado Museum. Visit Toledo to see the Cathedral with its sparkling gold reliefs, huge oil paintings and portraits of all of the Toledo Cardinals going back at least 500 years. View one of El Greco's most famous works "El Entierro del Senor de Orgaz," housed in the Church of Santo Tome and explore The Alcázar of Toledo, the Moorish stone fortification located in the highest part of the city.

Prices starting at $5,495. For further booking, date, and pricing info please contact info@classicescapes.

Does not include international or domestic flights. Prices are based on 10 or more travelers, and are subject to change.