Set sail on a memorable expedition cruise that will take you down the Douro River in northern Portugal and through the tranquil terraced vineyards of Douro wine country. The World Heritage-designated region is celebrated for its spectacular beauty and centuries-old viticulture. Seamlessly cross into Spain and roam the romantic renaissance streets of Salamanca before heading back towards Portugal where you will explore the countries spectacular landscapes, history and culture. Along the way, taste excellent wines in the cellars of Porto and historic countryside estates, and listen to traditional rhythms of fado and flamenco in spectacular settings.

Special offer: Price includes a discount of £750pp & free door-to-door transfers. 

Trip highlights

Enrich your river cruise expedition as you are accompanied onboard by a National Geographic Expert and National Geographic Photographer who are experts in the destination.

Enjoy a very special private concert in Porto’s Igreja de São Francisco, a baroque church with a spectacular gilded nave.

Discover more about the rich history of the region as you enjoy guided tours of some of the most magnificent towns and cities including Cascais, Lamego and Porto.

Itinerary - 14 Days

1 Bem-vindo

On arrival at Lisbon Airport you’ll be escorted to your hotel for the next three nights. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner with your Tour Director and fellow guests. A truly wonderful experience awaits you.

2 Lisbon

This morning, take part in a guided exploration of Portugal’s pretty capital.

Freechoice: Journey to Lisbon’s seaside suburb of Cascais and enjoy a picturesque and informative tour of this former fishing village. Alternatively, climb to the hilltop town of Sintra and visit the Sintra Palace.

3 Lisbon

Enjoy time at leisure to take advantage of everything that Lisbon has to offer. This evening you’ll get to experience Portuguese cuisine at its finest.

4 Lisbon > Porto

Our journey via Portugal’s medieval capital, Coimbra, will see you travelling to Porto where you’ll board the luxurious Scenic Azure to begin your cruise of the idyllic Douro Valley.

5 Porto

On a walking tour of Porto’s historic old town, explore medieval treasures, examine famous azulejo tiles, and stroll the waterfront.  Visit the Palácio da Bolsa, the city’s old stock exchange, and gaze at the gilded Moorish motifs coating the walls of its Salão Árabe—or Arabian Room. This afternoon we begin our cruise along the Douro, tracing the river through the rural landscapes of northern Portugal.

6 Guimarães/Douro Valley

Freechoice: Delve into history at the Palace of the Dukes of Bragança in Guimarães, Portugal’s first capital and the birthplace of its first king, Afonso Henriques; or venture to the stunning Quinta da Aveleda winery and gardens in the Vinho Verde wine region, where we’ll sip on this producer’s famous sparkling whites.

Glide into the stunning Douro Valley this afternoon and stop in Peso da Régua to visit the Douro Museum for an introduction to the area and its wine-making history.

7 Douro Valley

We continue our exploration of the Douro Valley at the skeletal ruins of the 12th-century Mosteiro de São João de Tarouca, Portugal’s first Cistercian monastery.

Freechoice: En route to the site, stroll the Ponte de Ucanha, a fortified medieval toll bridge, then wander the abandoned monks’ quarters and restored church. Alternatively, choose to tour the elegant town of Lamego, home to a stunning baroque staircase leading to the Senhora dos Remédios pilgrimage church; or join a guide to explore the opulent Mateus Palace, famously featured on bottles of Mateus rosé.

8 On the Douro

Take in scenes from the Douro Valley from the comfort of the ship lounge as we wind our way past the charming terra-cotta-roofed towns and vine-striped hillsides that earned the region its World Heritage designation. Enjoy the amenities on board, including a plunge pool, fitness center, and expansive sundeck.

9 Salamanca, Spain

Cross into Spain for a visit to Salamanca. Take in the city’s Renaissance splendor on a guided city tour, then enjoy some time to explore on your own. Gaze at façades of golden sandstone, soak in the grandeur of the Plaza Mayor, and see the pair of cathedrals that crown the city. Enjoy lunch in town, with live entertainment from flamenco dancers before a visit to the historic university in the afternoon.

10 Côa Valley, Portugal

Freechoice: Venture into the Côa Valley and visit the Côa Museum to learn about the prehistoric rock art at the World Heritage-listed Foz Côa, where thousands of stone carvings created over thousands of years have been found.  Opt to ride a 4x4 vehicle to the archaeological site, and set out on a hike to view these fascinating carvings. You may instead choose to paddle a canoe along the pristine Sabor River, a rugged tributary to the Douro that has remained virtually undeveloped. Or set out on a culinary excursion to the Casa Painova estate and taste their delicious almond and olive products.

Tonight, local musicians join us on board to perform traditional Portuguese songs.

11 Provesende

Drive into the hills of the Douro Valley to the time-locked town of Provesende, perched high above the river. Wander the stone streets of this quaint village, and get a glimpse into daily life here while meeting with local residents. Pop into the town bakery, enjoy a special recital in the church, and sip on wine at the charming Morgadio da Calçada manor house.

Freechoice: Later, visit the Quinta da Roêda estate to try their famous ports and, if you wish, walk among the vines for a special al fresco tasting.

12 Porto

Relax on board today and enjoy a tasting of Douro Valley wines as we sail back toward Porto.

Enrich
This evening, head to Porto’s Igreja de São Francisco for a private concert in this baroque church’s spectacular gilded nave.

13 Porto

Cruise just beyond the city to the Douro Estuary, home to a nature reserve harboring an array of birds, including kingfishers, cormorants, and several species of heron.

Freechoice: Set out on an extended walking tour from the edge of town into the reserve, spotting birdlife amid the salt marshes. Meet fishermen returning with the day's catch along the way, and sample fresh sardines grilled on an open fire.  There are also options today to visit Porto’s oldest canning factory, or go for a tasting in one of the city’s most celebrated port cellars.

14 Porto

Enjoy a final breakfast on board, then transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Please note: Itinerary is subject to change.

Show More

You are leaving this Website and being directed to an External Website.

Please read the privacy policy of the External Website to understand how your personal information will be treated.

GO NOW

You are leaving this Website and being directed to an External Website.

Please read the privacy policy of the External Website to understand how your personal information will be treated.

GO NOW