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The Golden River - Valley of the Douro River Cruise

Relax as you cruise along the waters of Portugal’s Douro River, calling at elegant Oporto, the ancient city of Salamanca and a host of pretty riverside towns. Cast your gaze towards rolling hills and terraced vineyards and step ashore for tastings of the region’s famed port wine.

What's included

  • Return scheduled flights from Gatwick with TAP Air Portugal or similar and overseas transfers
  • 7 nights’ accommodation on board 4 star MS Infante Don Henrique
  • A full programme of optional shore excursions
  • All meals on board: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners
  • All your drinks on board (*excluding Champagne and selected wines)
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail reception
  • Farewell gala dinner
  • Onboard evening entertainment
  • The services of a Travelsphere Tour Manager and Local Guides
  • All airport taxes, security charges, UK Airline Passenger Duty, all state and local taxes, plus ATOL protection fee
  • No surcharges once your deposit is paid – guaranteed

Optional excursions

  • A panoramic tour of Oporto by night (evening - 2 hours)
  • Explore the home of port wine, Oporto (half day)
  • Braga, whose superb architecture has earned it the nickname of ‘Portuguese Rome’ (half day)
  • Vila Real, whose Mateus Palace appears on the labels of Mateus Rosé wine (half day)
  • Spain’s ancient university city of Salamanca (full day)
  • Enjoy a tasting of port wine, Portugal’s finest export (half day)
  • Discover medieval Lamego – the shrine of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios attracts pilgrims from all over the world (half day)
After flying to Oporto, the pace slows as you transfer to your river cruiser, Infante D’Henrique – your home for the next seven nights. Enjoy a welcome drink and dinner on board, followed by the option of a night-time panoramic tour of Oporto.
Before you get too accustomed to life on the water, take the opportunity to join a tour of Oporto, the world-famous home of port wine. Stroll through the steep, winding streets of the old town, and head to Vila Nova de Gaia, one of the region’s famous port producers, for a tour and tasting. This afternoon, explore Oporto under your own steam. Dinner this evening is followed by a night of dancing and folk music.
Spend the morning relaxing, or join an optional excursion to Braga, known locally as the ‘Portuguese Rome’. In the afternoon your ship will sail through the spectacular scenery of the Douro Valley and the famous Crestuma and Carapatello locks, the highest in Europe. Now you’re on top of the world, you’ll cruise along to the town of Regua where dinner will be served on board.
A wine synonymous with long hot summer afternoons, fruity Mateus rosé is produced in this region, and you can join an optional tour to the town of Vila Real to wander in the beautiful gardens of Solar de Mateus. The town also boasts an impressive Gothic cathedral and a 16-arch Roman bridge.

Spend a leisurely afternoon cruising through rolling hills, terraced vineyards, picturesque villages and the locks of Valeira and Pocinho. The pace lifts on arrival at Barca d’Alva as your evening entertainment comes on board in the form of traditional flamenco dancers.
After breakfast on board, join an optional excursion to the ancient university city of Salamanca. Outdating even Oxford and Cambridge, you will find the city both culturally exciting and gloriously intimate. Explore the fascinating architecture of its elegant streets or take to the main square, said to be the most impressive in the whole of Spain.

You’ll rejoin the ship for dinner and entertainment and set sail again for Vega de Teron.
The locks of Valeira and Pocinho are this morning’s highlights, en route to Ferradosa. From here you can join an optional port wine excursion and a tasting in a local quinta. Make your way back to your cruiser for a spectacular gala dinner, while your ship docks at Pinhao overnight.
Today you may choose to relax on board or join an optional excursion to Lamego, a medieval town set against a stunning backdrop of lush vineyards. You’ll be shown around the town, with its wealth of ornate Baroque buildings, including the shrine of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios – its reputation for healing miracles attracts pilgrims from all over Portugal.

A final afternoon cruise back through the stunning scenery will return you in style to Oporto. For your final night you’ll be treated to a fabulous farewell dinner and a traditional folklore show.
Your cruise comes to an end this morning, and we’ll transfer you back to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

Please note: To maximize your enjoyment of this holiday a certain amount of walking is essential.

Experience even more of your destination by adding one or more optional excursions to your holiday before you set off. Right now is the perfect opportunity to do that – with everything booked and paid for you’ll have even more to get excited about and all you’ll need to think about while you’re away is having a great time.

By the way - look out for ‘Optional Excursion Packages’. For some holidays we’ve grouped a selection of excursions into a package which means you can make a saving when you book in advance.

Prices shown may vary according to departure date and are subject to change.  The full range of excursions will be detailed in your holiday information pack, sent approximately 15 weeks prior to departure.

Prebookable Package - KCDO

Prebookable Package - KCDO

from £225

Some of the most exciting and enjoyable aspects of a river cruise are the things that you do and see whilst ashore. To help you get the most from your cruise, Croisieurope Cruises have put together a varied programme of shore excursions at great prices, and you can book the excursion package now. This ensures that you get to go on the excursions that you want to, avoiding the need to pay for them during your holiday. So everything is taken care of before you leave home. If you would prefer to book the excursions individually then please be aware that this can only be done onboard the ship.

Oporto by night
This is a unique opportunity to admire the city of Porto by night during a panoramic coach tour. You will love the old, conserved districts in this city of immense character, classed as a world heritage site by UNESCO. During the tour of the historic centre, your guide will schedule a stop at the Sao Bento railway station to look at its magnificent azulejos.

Evening tour - Minimal Walking – Historical

Guided tour of Porto and Wine Tasting
During a guided tour of the city you will discover the Stock Exchange Building and the Sao Francisco Church. You will also see the famous Dom Luis Bridge, built between 1881 and 1886 by Theophile Seyrig, Gustave Eiffel’s disciple. We also include a visit to a wine cellar with a Port wine tasting in Vila Nova de Gaia, a town situated on the south bank of the Douro.

Half day – Moderate to Strenuous Walking – Cultural

Please note to visit the São Francisco Church you will need to climb 50 steps.

Guided tour of Lamego
Depart from Regua by coach for a guided tour of Lamego. During this excursion, you will discover the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios sanctuary and Lamego Cathedral. The sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios is one of Portugal’s most famous places of pilgrimage. The awe-inspiring 686 step double stairway, which many pilgrims climb on their knees in September each year, has 9 terraces leading to the twin-towered church. The commanding views alone make the climb worthwhile. Your excursion then continues onto Lamego Cathedral, Founded in 1129 by Afonso Henriques, the imposing Gothic Lamegro Cathedral has been considerably altered over the years, particularly in the 16th to 18th centuries. Only the square tower remains of the original.

Half day – Minimal Walking - Not to be missed

Please note that the coach drives up to the sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios and you do not have to walk up/down the stairway unless you would like to.

Vila Real and Casa de Mateus
You will set out for Vila Real by coach, a pleasant little town situated amongst the foothills of the majestic slopes of Serra do Marão. Enjoy a tour of the town before continuing towards Mateus, where you will visit the Palácio de Mateus. This splendid manor house is depicted on the labels of the famous Mateus rosé wine. Built in the 18th century, the building has an impressive baroque façade and ornate pinnacles on the roof. The beautifully landscaped gardens feature elegant statues as well as a stunning reflecting pond in the front of the palace.

Half day - Moderate Walking - Scenic

Please note to visit the Palácio de Mateus you will need to climb around 30 steps.

Guided tour of Braga
Heavily influenced by its religious past, Braga is full of churches, convents and monasteries, the town has retained its reputation of being deeply enriched by the past and has been nicknamed the ‘Rome of Portugal’. During this excursion you will visit the magnificent Braga Cathedral which dates back to the 12th Century, before walking along the pedestrian street of Rua do Souto, where you will discover the Arco da Porta Nova (Arch of the New Gate) before continuing to Santa Barbara Gardens and the former Archbishops Palace, nowadays Rectorship of Minho’s University. Enjoy some free time to explore independently before returning back to your ship.

Half day - Moderate Walking - Scenic

Guided
You will stay on board the MS Infante D’Henrique. This ship has a lounge, dining room and sundeck. Three cabin grades are available; please ask your holiday advisor for details. All cabins feature private facilities.

Please note: A sister ship may be used on certain departures

MS Infante D. Henrique

Travelsphere have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the hotel images provided on this website and images of room types displayed may vary to those offered on your tour.  Therefore due to the possibility of inadvertent errors we do not guarantee their accuracy. Hotels are subject to change and will be confirmed in your final documents.

Departing from

Departure date

Duration

Was

Now

Status

 

London (Gatwick)

Monday 21 September 2015

8 Days

£1,649

Available

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London (Gatwick)

Monday 23 May 2016

8 Days

£1,399

Available

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London (Gatwick)

Monday 13 June 2016

8 Days

£1,399

Available

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London (Gatwick)

Monday 11 July 2016

8 Days

£1,299

Available

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London (Gatwick)

Monday 19 September 2016

8 Days

£1,399

Available

Book Now

Take the opportunity to maximise your travel experience and extend your holiday with an add-on. The number of days and the price shown is inclusive of the main tour: