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Portugal's River of Gold
Scenic Cruising on the Douro River
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Tour Dates October 1st - 11th, 2018 (11 days)
Included meals 9 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
Tour Host(s) Rostad Tours or Tour Host
Pricing from $4,199 CAD
Portugal is one of Europe’s most pristine destinations. On this 10-day journey begin with two fascinating days and nights exploring the capital city of Lisbon, then drive to Porto at the mouth of the Douro River to embark on a river cruise that takes us on a course between steeply terraced vineyards. Enjoy stops at ports of call largely unchanged for centuries. See charming town squares, colorful castles, baroque mansions, historic monasteries and unspoiled vistas. Sample Portuguese specialties, and of course the area’s sensational ruby and tawny Port wines.
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Itinerary

Day 1 - Departure Day

Monday, October 1st, 2018

Our exciting journey begins as we board our flight bound for Lisbon, the beautiful capital of Portugal.

Day 2 - Arrive Lisbon

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

City ViewWelcome to Lisbon; we will be met at the airport and taken to our hotel in the heart of Lisbon. We can relax and rest up from our journey, or explore a bit on our own.

Day 3 - Lisbon Sightseeing

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

Belem TowerAfter breakfast we will enjoy a half-day excursion of Lisbon. We begin at Belém with a tour of the Jerónimos Monastery - a Hieronymite monastery that is arguably the city’s most beautiful building. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS), along with the Tower of Belém. Then we take a walking tour to explore the narrow streets of the Alfama District and learn about Lisbon's long, muticultural history. This evening we are free to discover Lisbon’s many delightful restaurants.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 - Porto - Board Ship

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

Evening in PortoAfter breakfast we'll check out of our hotel and take a scenic ride up the Portuguese coast to Porto. We'll stop for lunch at Coimbra, birthplace of six Portuguese kings and home to one of Europe’s oldest universities. Upon arrival in Porto, we'll proceed to the dock at Vila Nova de Gaia to board our ship. Then, we may enjoy free time to relax and get settled in our stateroom before a welcome cocktail and dinner aboard.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 - Porto

Friday, October 5th, 2018

View over PortoAfter breakfast we take a city tour of the charming riverside community of Porto and its historic centre (WHS). Admire its graceful bridges, baroque cathedrals and romantic 16th through 19th-century buildings set among narrow cobbled streets. We visit a typical port wine-making facility before returning to the ship for lunch. This afternoon we have time to explore on our own, or take an optional excursion to Guimarães (WHS). Here, the medieval quarter's narrow streets, main square, palaces and monasteries date back to the 10th century. In the 12th century, it was Portugal’s first capital and home to its first king, Afonso Henriques. This evening the ship is docked overnight and we may enjoy Porto at our leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 - Régua & Pinhão

Saturday, October 6th, 2018

Mateus PalaceThis morning we continue sailing along the Douro, arriving in Régua in the early afternoon. We disembark for a tour to Vila Real, site of the extraordinary Mateus Palace. This stunning baroque palace was the home of the last count of Vila Real with a pinnacled facade, grand stairway, and richly appointed interiors. The palace’s enchanting formal gardens feature cedar-lined walkways, exquisite sculpted hedges, serene bodies of water and statuary. We will visit one of the area’s iconic port wine-making institutions. See the vineyard and tour the facility to learn how these unique Portuguese products are crafted, then sample the libation in their tasting room. We rejoin our ship in Pinhão for dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 - Douro River & Barca d'Alva

Sunday, October 7th, 2018

Vineyard near PinhaoThis morning we sail east along the Douro to see dramatic sheer rock formations, picturesque terraced vineyards, and graceful bridges and trestles. We pass through two of the river’s locks at the Valeira and Pocinho Dams, and mid-afternoon arrive at Barca d’Alva which is not far from the Spanish border. This afternoon we enjoy a half-day tour to Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo. Located about 2,200 feet above sea level and surrounded by almond trees, Castelo Rodrigo is one of Portugal’s 12 historic parishes; its streets are narrow and steep and its houses still present 16th-century facades and the distinctively Portuguese Manueline-style windows. Here we will see Sinagoga Street, a remembrance of a Jewish community established by refugees from the Spanish Inquisition, and visit the local church as well. Then we ride back to our ship, stopping along the way to admire panoramic views.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 - Salamanca Spain

Monday, October 8th, 2018

Plaza Mayor in SalamancaToday we have a full-day excursion to Salamanca Spain (WHS). This ancient city is a living museum that takes visitors back to the Middle Ages, yet it is a cosmopolitan, multicultural city with a large population of international students. Take a ride through the Iberian countryside to Salamanca, where we have time on our own to explore the shops and cafés of the Plaza Mayor (Main Square). Our afternoon guided city tour takes us to the Gothic House of Shells, the 13th-century Salamanca University and the New Cathedral, built from 1513 through 1733. The Old Cathedral still exists and can be visited during free time. We rejoin our ship in Vega de Terrón.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 - Douro River & Pinhão

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

Along the Douro RiverThis morning we sail west along the Douro enjoying the river views and passing some of the area's quintas (vineyards). We may even see the vintners tending their vines. We stop and take a scenic drive up to the little village of Favaios, and make our way to one of the last traditional bakeries in the Douro Valley. Discover how bread was made in the old days and enjoy a fresh sample. Visit the local museum for wine and bread and explore a typical village not yet discovered by mass tourism. We continue for lunch at Quinta da Avessada, a rustic centuries-old winery in the heart of the Douro Wine District (WHS), and sample some local varieties of port. We rejoin our ship in Pinhao and remain docked overnight.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 - Régua

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

Scenic Cruising on the Douro RiverWe arrive in Régua during breakfast, then disembark for a visit to Lamego, a small town known for its baroque Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies, dating back to the 14th century and still used by pilgrims today. We visit the shrine, decorated with exquisite tilework in the Moorish manner, and descend the grand baroque staircase. We also see the town’s Gothic cathedral and the ruins of 12th-century Lamego Castle with its unusual vaulted cistern. We return to the ship for lunch and scenic afternoon sailing along the Douro, back toward Porto. Later, we enjoy a festive farewell dinner. We dock overnight so feel free to take an evening stroll or enjoy the activities in the lounge.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 - Return Home or Santiago Extension

Thursday, October 11th, 2018

After breakfast, we disembark and proceed to the airport for our return flight. Or, if you wish you may extend your time in the region with a 2-night extension to Braga, Portugal and Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Meals: Breakfast

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Tour Information

Tour Map

Tour Map

Cruise Information

Line
Viking River Cruises
Ship Name
Viking Torgil
Life Onboard

Special Inclusions

  • Eight Day River Cruise
  • Cultural Curriculum on Board
  • Wine with lunch and dinner during cruise
  • Dinner and wine tasting in the Douro Wine District

Prices per person (CAD)

Cruise Lead In$4,199
Single supplementCall

Deposit

Deposit is $500 pp; fully refundable up to 125 days prior to travel, less $100 administration fee

Included

  • Riverview stateroom on cruise ship
  • Meals as shown (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
  • Wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner during cruise
  • Hot coffee and tea on the ship
  • Comprehensive sightseeing program
  • Shipboard entertainment and lectures
  • Port taxes and foreign taxes
  • Rostad Tours travel gift
  • Personalized tour documentation

Not included

  • Airfare and airline luggage fees
  • Other beverages
  • Optional shore excursions
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tipping for ship staff and optional excursions
  • Increases to surcharges, taxes or fees
  • Insurance
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