Douro Discovery: A Family River Cruise in Portugal - 8 Days

Douro Discovery: A Family River Cruise in Portugal

This unique eight-day tour of Portugal includes Lisbon, Coimbra, Porto, and a riverboat cruise deep into the Douro River Valley for an authentic taste of life in a seldom-visited region steeped in a wine-making culture thousands of years old. Begin in maritime Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city, where you’ll enjoy an exclusive dinner at a lavish royal palace, explore bohemian districts on foot and by tram car, and discover historic ships from the nation’s sea-going heritage at the National Maritime Museum. Explore the medieval university-town of Coimbra, steeped in poetry and Fado music, and the city of Porto, an enticing labyrinth of winding streets and stairways, baroque palaces and colorful bohemian enclaves, where port wine is a mainstay of the economy. Board a luxury riverboat and trace port-wine to its source, the quintas and picture-postcard villages of the Douro River Valley, the world’s oldest demarcated wine region, where you’ll find miles of mountains and hills carved into vineyard terraces. Discover medieval towns, castle ruins, and palaces, and immerse yourself in local history and culture, kayaking on the Douro River, bicycling through Vinho Verde country, and evenings of onboard entertainment by local performing artists.

ONLY WITH TAUCK

  • Dinner at the National Palace of Queluz
  • Choice of a vineyard hike or kayaking on the Douro River
  • Bicycle tour through Vinho Verde wine country
Day 1
Arrive Lisbon

Tour begins: 5:30 PM. A transfer is included from Lisbon International Airport to the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon, a luxury landmark in the heart of Portugal’s capital city. Settle in, then join us for a drive to the National Palace of Queluz, built in the 18th century, once the residence of the royal family. Steeped in Baroque opulence and history, the palace features frescoes, gilded carvings, walls of mirrors, paintings, and a landscaped garden of lakes, fountains, and statues, including a canal lined with lavishly decorated azulejos (painted tiles). A private tour of the palace is followed by a welcome reception in the garden and dinner in the Throne Room.

MEALS – Dinner

Day 2
Dazzling sights of Lisbon

Seaside Lisbon is a hilly city of dazzling architecture – an eclectic mix of medieval monasteries, Moorish castles, Baroque palaces and churches, and modern towers – tucked amid a labyrinth of colorful historic neighborhoods. Ride a tram this morning on a tour of Bairro Alto, a bohemian enclave of narrow medieval streets, and Baixa, a district of grand Baroque plazas and monumental buildings and boulevards, lined with boutiques and cafes; take a guided walking tour of Alfama, the city’s oldest neighborhood, a charming maze of streets, stairs, alleys, cafes, and artisans’ shops below the hilltop Castle of São Jorge. Enjoy free time to explore as you please, then join us for a guided visit to the National Maritime Museum, where you’ll learn how tiny Portugal once ruled the seas, with an empire that reached around the world; the museum’s exhibits include scale models of ships, paintings, navigational instruments, and Queen Maria’s royal barge, a stunning ship with gilded ornaments and long oars, built in 1778. Spend the evening as you wish; your luxury hotel on the Avenida da Liberdade is in easy reach of landmarks, museums, and restaurants.

MEALS – Breakfast

Day 3
Romantic Coimbra / Embark riverboat

This morning, drive to Coimbra on the Mondego River. Coimbra was Portugal’s capital city during the Middle Ages, and the preserved city center teems with monasteries, churches, plazas and monuments of a romantic history and culture, a home of poets, troubadours, and Fado music. A walking tour includes the university – where students still wear black capes as they have since medieval times – and its Palace of Schools, royal chapel, breathtaking library, and botanical garden. After lunch on your own, continue on to the city of Porto beside the Douro River, where your riverboat awaits. Embark and join us this evening for a welcome reception followed by dinner and entertainment.

MEALS – Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4
Pleasures of Porto

Rising on staggered hills beside the river, colorful Porto beckons you to its medieval streets and alleys, Baroque churches, bell towers, Beaux-Arts buildings, and bohemian neighborhoods where houses clad in painted tiles and street art are around every corner. Choose a guided walking tour or a bicycle tour of Oporto, the town’s historic center, then return to the riverboat to begin your cruise. Porto is famous for Port wine, shipped in barrels from the Douro River Valley, and today you’ll sail deep into the valley and its astonishing mountain landscapes. Along the river, conical mountains and shale hills carved by vineyard terraces and estates tell of a winemaking heritage thousands of years old. The land here is inhospitable to most kinds of farming, but perfect for Portugal’s indigenous wine grapes, whose roots can reach down 30 feet or more in search of water. Dock overnight in the winetown of Peso da Régua.

MEALS – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5
Peso da Régua and Pinhão

Peso da Régua was once a busy hub where small wooden boats called rabelos, laden with barrels of wine, sailed downriver to Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia. At the Museo do Douro, housed in a renovated 18th-century mansion, a guided tour and multimedia exhibits offer a history of viniculture in the Douro Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This afternoon, sail to the idyllic little village of Pinhão, nestled at a dramatic bend in the river, where a walking tour includes an exquisite early 20th-century train station adorned with blue-painted tiles illustrating scenes of everyday life in the region. Dinner this evening is followed by onboard entertainment.

MEALS – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6
Hiking or kayaking in Pinhão

Your choice of excursions this morning includes a hike through the scenic hilltop vineyards with striking views of Pinhão and the valley, or kayaking on the tranquil Douro River. Join up with your riverboat in Peso da Régua to begin the return trip towards Porto. After an afternoon of sailing and onboard activities, dock overnight in a region famous for Vinho Verde, a “Green Wine” made from grapes indigenous to Portugal.

MEALS – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7
Bicycling or a visit to Guimarães

Take a bicycle tour through picturesque Vinho Verde country, ending at the romantic, storybook town of Amarante; the town was once home to Sao Gonçago, Portugal’s St. Valentine, and famous Portugese artists and writers, but it’s also known for its cozy cafes and enticing local cuisine. Or discover the medieval town of Guimarães, known as the “Cradle City;” the kingdom of Portugal was born here after a famous battle in 1128. The city center offers a wealth of architectural treasures; including the ruined Castle of Guimarães, with its tempestuous history and sweeping views, the opulent Dukes of Palace of the Dukes of Braganza, and the 13th-century Church of São Miguel do Castelo. Return to the riverboat and arrive late afternoon in Porto. We invite your family to join us for a final reception and farewell dinner aboard ship.

MEALS – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8
Journey Home

Tour ends: 8:00 AM. Disembark and fly home anytime. A transfer is included from your riverboat to Porto Airport. Allow at least 3 hours for flight check-in.

MEALS – Breakfast

What's Included

  • Five nights on the Douro aboard a new riverboat designed for Tauck
  • Tauck’s private shore excursions and distinctive inclusions valued at $1,798
  • Vintage tram ride and guided walking tour of Lisbon's colorful historic center
  • Walking tour of medieval Coimbra and its university, founded in 1290
  • Visit to the Museo de Douro, a museum of local viniculture in Peso de Régua
  • Guided visit to the opulent Palace of the Dukes of Braganza in Guimarães
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks.
  • 17 meals; service charges, gratuities to local guides, mission fees, taxes and porterage

NIGHTS 1 – 2 LISBON, PORTUGAL

Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon

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Regally set atop one of Lisbon’s seven hills, the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon has long reigned as the city’s finest hotel. Welcoming guest rooms offer a private terrace, refrigerated private bar, in- room safe, plasma/LCD television with DVD/CD player, working desk, dual-line telephone, and a full marble bathroom with twin basins, a separate glass-enclosed shower, and plush cotton towels warmed on heated racks. The rooftop Ritz Spa Fitness Center, with three floor-to-ceiling glass walls providing extraordinary views of the city, is comprised of an exercise room with state-of-the-art equipment, two studios, an outdoor running track and a solarium. Guests can enjoy a spa treatment or take a dip in the swimming pool while gazing out over the hotel garden and Eduardo VII Park. The Varanda Restaurant is a popular venue for enjoying Mediterranean cuisine and lovely views among sophisticated local residents and discerning hotel guests.

NIGHTS 3 – 7

ms Andorinha

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Purpose-built for cruising to historic quintas and picturesque villages along Portugal’s golden Douro River from coastal Porto to the Spanish border with Tauck in 2020, our newly constructed custom riverboat offers spacious accommodations for just 84 guests, with 12 300-sq.-ft. Tauck Suites and more 225-sq.-ft. cabins, to maximize the onboard experience in every way. Add a small swimming pool atop the Sun Deck that refreshes body and spirit as you drink in the passing UNESCO World Heritage Site scenery, onboard dining venues, and built-in amenities custom- designed to delight, and you’ll experience a riverboat truly inspired by the destination. We look forward to welcoming you aboard!

AMENITIES

Open seating in main dining room, The Compass Rose; flexible dining times; vegetarian meals always available

Alternate dining venue, Arthur’s, offering classic favorites at lunch and dinner and lighter breakfasts in the morning

Al fresco dining on Sun Deck, weather permitting

American breakfast room service available in Category 5 Tauck Suites

Complimentary snacks served 10:00 AM – midnight

Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks

Onboard entertainment includes enrichment lectures, piano music nightly, in-room movies, culinary demos, local entertainment and “themed” fun

110-volt and 220-volt outlets included in every cabin for small electronics; minibar stocked with complimentary water and soft drinks

Complimentary Internet & Email available Small Swimming Pool on Sun Deck Laundry service available

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Douro Discovery: A Family River Cruise in Portugal

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