Portugal, Spain & the Douro River
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise
Following the Douro River through Portugal and into Spain, you’ll cruise past steeply terraced hillsides, quaint villages and acres of ripe vineyards. Dine on traditional fare in majestic Coimbra, the birthplace of six Portuguese kings; enjoy private tastings of Port; and explore Porto’s historic Ribeira district, home to iconic rabelo boats, cutting-edge cuisine and a thriving art scene. Wind your way through the dramatic landscapes of the UNESCO-designated Douro Valley, heading ashore to visit charming quintas and meet the winemakers who operate them. In Salamanca, Spain, you’ll see the city’s famous university. Return to Portugal with a visit to the fortified village of Castelo Rodrigo and historic Guimarães. Your journey ends in Lisbon, the city that launched some of the world’s most renowned explorers. There’s no better way to discover Europe’s best-kept secret than this scenic and all-inclusive river cruise!
Tantalize your senses during this 11-day guided tour through Portugal. In Lisbon, a Local Expert will show you the historic downtown and the finest square in the city, Terreiro do Paço. From the hilltop perch of Monsaraz, see across the Spanish plains to Alqueva Lake — and meet a local boat captain, who will regale you with tales of water adventures during a cruise on its calm waters. In Tomar, see the Templar Castle, and explore its awe-inspiring rotunda with a Local Expert. Indulge in a farm-to-table dinner in Douro Valley’s renowned winery Quinta da Roêda that will feature locally sourced ingredients, and taste a port produced onsite. Stroll Portugal’s second city, Porto, a World Heritage town, and relax in your five-star hotel in the city’s picturesque historic district.
Your Fly, Cruise & Tour Package Includes:
- $2500 flight credit per person
- 10 night Portugal & Spain river cruise onboard S.S. Gabriel, Porto to Lisbon
- All meals & unlimited beverages onboard, 8 days of excursions, local entertainment, WiFi plus more
- 2 nights 4-star accommodation in Lisbon with breakfast
- 10 night Country Roads of Portugal guided tour with Insight Vacations, Lisbon return
- Includes stylish hand-picked hotels, 15 meals, unique experiences, top-rated highlights, highly-skilled Travel Director plus more
- Port charges & prepaid gratuities onboard your cruise
Pricing is per person twin share and based on travel 17 November - 09 December 2024
Solo traveller pricing available. Please speak to one of our travel consultants for more details
PORTUGAL, SPAIN & THE DOURO RIVER VALLEY
- All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
- 10 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
- Welcome and Farewell Dinners
- Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee and tea, soft drinks and mineral water
- 8 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
- Guided “Do as the Locals Do” program
- State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
- 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the chic S.S. São Gabriel
- 3 nights in Lisbon at the Tivoli Avenida Liberdade (or similar) with breakfast
- Beautifully appointed riverview staterooms and suites with hotel-style beds, draped in fine linens with a choice of pillows
- Free Internet and Wi-Fi access
- 2 countries: Spain and Portugal
- 6 UNESCO World Heritage sites
- Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
- Group Transfers are included on arrival and departure days (please see terms and conditions for transfer guidelines)
- Gratuities for onboard personnel (ship staff, crew, Cruise/Tour Manager) are included during the cruise/tour
- Captivating onboard local entertainment
- Cultural enrichment
DAY 1: Porto (Embark)
Arrive in Porto, the port city at the mouth of the Douro.
DAY 2: Porto, Entre-os-Rios
Portugal’s second city (after Lisbon), Porto gave its name to the nation’s most famous export, Port wine, and to the nation itself. Today, choose between two distinctively Portuguese ways to explore Porto.
In the evening, a special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.
DAY 3: Entre-os-Rios, Régua, Pinhão
Today is all about wine, which has been cultivated in the Douro River Valley since ancient Roman times. Get a crash course on the history of Port during your visit to the Douro Museum.
DAY 4: Pinhão, Pocinho, Vega de Terrón
Head ashore for a choice of excursions, including a tasting at a prestigious Port wine estate or a vineyard hike with a wine tasting at a local quinta. Later, lace up your hiking boots and unleash your inner Indiana Jones with an up-close gander at some prehistoric carvings at an archaeological park.
DAY 5: Vega de Terrón (Salamanca), Barca d’Alva
Today, you can visit the historic university town of Salamanca—the “Golden City”—famous for its sand-colored buildings and abundance of churches. Feel the centuries fall away as your ship winds its way through the pristine, dramatic UNESCO-protected landscapes of the Douro River Valley.
DAY 6: Barca d’Alva, Régua
Go medieval today at Castelo Rodrigo, both the name of a hilltop castle as well as the village that surrounds it. The view from the top is incredible and the village is a charming place to ramble, relax and replenish.
DAY 7: Régua (Guimarães), Porto
Explore Guimarães, the town where Portugal was born. Its well-preserved architecture and stylish young residents make it a pleasure to visit. Or opt for a leisurely walking tour through Ribeira’s quaint cobbled streets.
In the evening, a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.
DAY 8: Porto (Disembark), Transfer to Lisbon
Disembark the ship and board a motorcoach, heading south through Portugal’s picturesque countryside to Lisbon where you will check in to your hotel.
DAY 9: Lisbon
Everything old is new again in the Portuguese capital. Get to know this hilly metropolis with a city tour that shows you all the top sights and treats you to an iconic, locally made pastry.
DAY 10: Lisbon
Experience your own “Age of Discovery” with a full day to explore Lisbon however you wish. The city hosts remarkable museums and excellent shopping, and natives of Lisbon boast that they have the best food in the world.
DAY 11: Lisbon (Depart)
Transfer to your hotel in Lisbon for the next 2 nights.
COUNTRY ROADS OF PORTUGAL
Welcome to Lisbon
On arrival at Lisbon International Airport, there are complimentary transfers to your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Settle in and relax before joining your Travel Director at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant. Enjoy the opportunity to mingle with your fellow travellers during a pleasant evening of good food and wine.
Lisbon and the Age of the Great Discoveries
Your guided sightseeing with a Local Expert takes you along the spacious avenues of the Lower Town and across the tree-shaded squares. Pass beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paço. See the ancient Belém Tower and marvel at the Monument to the Discoveries.
Explore more of the Belém Quarter as you enjoy a taste of Pastéis de Belém from the patisserie that has been using the same secret recipe for almost 200 years, and visit Jerónimos Monastery. This evening, gain further insight into Portuguese culture with an Optional Experience dinner.
Cross the River Tagus and head for the sun-drenched southern coast to reach Lagos, a fishing port nestled in the bay of Meia Praia. After free time to explore, continue to your resort hotel set within a magnificent 360-acre estate. Simplicity is in the soul of Algarve cuisine, along with seafood so fresh it still tastes of the sea. A short walk away specialised Portuguese seafood restaurants hug the coastline, overlooking the Atlantic.
Journey to the medieval walled city of Évora where cathedrals, churches, aqueducts and ancient castle walls all serve to create the feeling that this beautiful city is a living, breathing museum to Portugal's rich past. Join your Local Expert to explore the highlights of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the Roman Temple and visit the Capela dos Ossos, an extraordinary 17th century chapel comprising the skulls and bones of 5,000 bones. Visit the cathedral with its attractive mix of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. With the rest of the afternoon at leisure, you may wish to continue to stroll through Évora’s unique historical centre, or the serene city park, following the aqueduct inside the city walls?
Monsaraz and Évora
Travel to the striking white village of Monsaraz, situated on an imposing hilltop, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. From the castle ruins, admire the spectacular views across to the dry Spanish plains, contrasting with the blue of Europe's largest artificial lake. Join a local boat captain for a leisurely cruise on the tranquil waters of Lake Alqueva. Relax and enjoy calming waters, picturesque views and tales of river life. Sit down to a delicious Highlight Lunch at local restaurant Sem Fim, once an olive mill. Enjoy a wide range of tasty tapas dishes showcasing the local cuisine, and soak up the vibrant; cheerful atmosphere. Return to Évora where the evening is at your leisure to explore this beautifully preserved regional capital.
Fátima and on to Tomar
Continue to Fátima, Portugal’s most renowned place of pilgrimage. See the basilica or perhaps visit the Chapel of the Apparitions, which commemorates the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three young shepherds in 1917. Journey to Tomar and visit one of Portugal’s historical jewels, the Templar Castle and Convent of Christ, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With your Local Expert, explore the octagonal Templars' Rotunda in the cloister and glimpse the day-to-day life of a warrior monk in the domestic areas. Outside on the battlements, the Manueline Window is a national masterpiece. You also visit the Synagogue of Tomar, one of the best-preserved medieval synagogues in Portugal, housing a small Jewish museum.
Coimbra and the Douro Valley
In Coimbra, your Local Expert will show you the highlights of the Old Town, including the University of Coimbra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit its impressive baroque university library, one of the finest in the world. Your journey continues past verdant hills and lush vineyards, along the tranquil waters of the Douro river. Enjoy a wonderful Farm-to-Table Dinner, freshly prepared from locally sourced ingredients, with a port wine tasting.
Guimarães and Porto
Journey to Guimarães to admire the views from the ruined castle and explore the cobbled streets and cosy squares. Next, continue on to Porto, Portugal’s second city, a World Heritage town and where Portugal originates. Explore Porto with Insight Choice. Choose to join your Local Expert and visit the São Bento Railway Station, with a walk along the architecturally impressive Dom Luís I Bridge. Alternatively, explore the Clérigos Tower, Liberdade Square and the nearby Atlantic beaches, also led by a Local Expert.
In the evening you are at leisure to enjoy your boutique, five-star hotel, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, in the heart of Porto’s historic district. The decor is a mix of classic and contemporary and each room is individually decorated with original artwork. Alternatively, why not join an Optional Experience to see the pastel-painted houses in Porto's Ribeira district before cruising on a traditional Rabelo boat and finishing off the evening with a Portuguese dinner in the comfort of your riverside restaurant?
Porto, Grande Dame on the Douro
With a full day free to enjoy at your own pace, why not take a stroll to admire the multi-coloured houses and churches covered in beautiful glazed tiles. Perhaps choose to visit Braga, the capital of baroque. In the evening, bid adeus to your Travel Director and fellow travellers with a mouth-watering Celebration Dinner with wine at an authentic Porto restaurant.
Óbidos and onto Lisbon
Pass cork oak forests and orchards as you journey to the fortified town of Óbidos. Walk inside its walls to explore the craft shops, art galleries and flower-laden houses that line the narrow, medieval streets. This afternoon your travels continue to the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.
After breakfast, your departure transfer arrives at Lisbon International Airport at 07:00 or 09:30.
* Conditions apply. Offer is limited, subject to availability and change without notice. Promotion is correct and valid at the time of publication. Booking and full supplier terms and conditions apply. Valid for new bookings only and not combinable with any other offer (unless stated).
Prices listed are per person in Australian/New Zealand Dollars, based on twin occupancy, including all discounts unless otherwise stated. The offer is subject to availability at time of booking and shown on the lowest outside category available at the time. Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice. Prices/Offers are correct as at 10 May 2023 and can be withdrawn without notice. Cabin categories include prepaid government fees and port taxes unless otherwise stated. Hotels may charge resort fees not included in this package, payable direct upon check in. Visas are not included. Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge. Air credit is applicable on airline of choice, subject to availability and subject to the carriers’ flight schedules and conditions.