Navigate a path through Portugal’s enchanting countryside while cruising along the dramatic Douro River. Terraced vineyards rise from the river banks, historic landmarks pepper the distant horizons and charming towns lay hidden in the rural hillsides. From Spain’s walled city of Salamanca to the charming baroque village of Lamego, enjoy a new perspective of Europe as you sail along the Douro.
DAY 1: Depart the USA
Depart the USA on your overnight flight to Lisbon, Portugal.
DAY 2: Lisbon, Portugal
Upon arrival, you’ll be met by a representative of Mayflower Cruises & Tours and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to explore Lisbon. This evening, join your Mayflower staff and fellow travelers for an included dinner. Meal: D
DAY 3: Lisbon
After breakfast, an included tour highlights the famous sites of the city. During a panoramic coach tour, see ‘Monument to the Discoveries,’ and Belem Tower, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit Jerónimos Monastery and discover the unique architecture and history. Enjoy a free afternoon to shop, dine and experience this cosmopolitan city on your own. Meal: B
DAY 4: Fátima – Coimbra – Porto
Depart Lisbon by coach and journey to the ship in Porto. Enroute, visit Fátima, home to the Sanctuary of Fátima, an important Catholic pilgrimage site. The city’s fame originates from the apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary that appeared to three shepherd children in the nearby fields. Continue to Coimbra and its famous university before arriving in Porto to embark the MS Emerald Radiance, home for the next seven nights. Meals: B, D
DAY 5: Porto – Pinhão
Today is a day of sailing through the twists and turns of the Douro Valley. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this area is sparsely populated by quaint villages, sun-drenched vineyards and small farms. Later today, arrive in the village of Pinhão, perfectly situated on a river bend surrounded by terraced hillsides that produce some of the world’s best Port wine. Tonight, enjoy a welcome reception and dinner. Meals: B, L, D
EmeraldPLUS: A Portuguese cooking demonstration onboard
DAY 6: Pinhão – Vega de Terrón
Begin the day with a visit to the beautiful 18th-century estate of Quinta do Tedo Vineyard with spectacular views of the Douro Valley. Learn about wine production, its importance to the culture and economy, and enjoy a tasting of the local vintage. This afternoon, the ship sails for Vega de Terrón, gateway to Spain. Meals: B, L, D
EmeraldACTIVE: A guided walk through the vineyards *
EmeraldACTIVE: Kayak experience in Pinhão *
*The included tour and both ACTIVE tours all operate simultaneously. Only one can be selected.
DAY 7: Salamanca, Spain
Today’s excursion takes you to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Salamanca, Spain. During the guided walking tour, see amazingly detailed and intricately carved buildings of the university and the House of Shells. Regal splendor abounds in the Plaza Mayor, the heartbeat of the city. Visit the market and taste the local products including cheese, olives and bread. You’ll have free time for lunch and to explore independently before returning to the ship in Portugal. Meals: B, D
EmeraldPLUS: Entertainment by a Tuna music band in Salamanca
DiscoverMORE: Tour of Castelo Rodrigo (instead of city tour to Spain – additional expense)
DAY 8: Pocinho / Régua, Portugal
Arrive in Pocinho and disembark for a morning tour to the Côa Valley Museum. Designed to blend in with its surroundings, the museum’s concrete structure houses prehistoric stone carvings made by the early inhabitants of the Douro which were uncovered during construction of a nearby dam project. Return to the ship for lunch and relax on deck as the ship sails through idyllic surroundings on the way to Régua. This evening, enjoy an off- ship dinner at a traditional vineyard estate. Meals: B, L, D
DiscoverMORE: Archaeological 4×4 Tour at Côa Museum (additional expense)
The included tour and DiscoverMORE operate at the same time.
EmeraldPLUS: Port wine cocktail lesson onboard
EmeraldPLUS: Dinner at a vineyard estate
DAY 9: Régua – Lamego
From Régua, journey to the marvelous baroque village of Lamego, home to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies – one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Portugal. Visit the Sanctuary perched atop the hill, with its iconic 686-step granite staircase, decorated with the traditional Portuguese blue and white ‘azulejos’ tiles. During a guided walk through the village, learn about the importance of wine production to the local area. Return to the ship in Régua after the excursion. Meals: B, L, D
EmeraldACTIVE: Walk down the stairs of the Sanctuary
DiscoverMORE: Visit to Mateus Manor House (additional expense)
This tour operates at the same time as the included visit of Lamego.
EmeraldPLUS: Mosaic tile painting lesson onboard
DAY 10: Porto
Having traversed the Douro River, the ship returns to Porto – a city with an eclectic mix of modern and ancient architecture. An included tour highlights the sights from its scenic beauty to the historic landmarks of the Castelo da Foz and Castelo do Queijo. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure in Porto. Meals: B, L, D
EmeraldACTIVE: A guided walking tour of Porto (instead of included tour)
DiscoverMORE: Guided bike tour to the Atlantic Ocean (additional expense) *
DiscoverMORE: Visit to Quinta do Aveleda with Vinho Verde tasting (additional expense) *
EmeraldPLUS: Evening cruise through Porto’s enchanting waters
* The DiscoverMORE’s operate at the same time; only one can be selected.
DAY 11: Porto / USA
This morning, disembark the MS.
Emerald Radiance and bid a fond farewell to Portugal, filled with memories of this remarkable cruise along the ‘River of Gold.’ Meal: B
- 22 Meals: 9 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 8 dinners
- Airport transfers on tour dates when air is provided by Mayflower Cruises & Tours
- Visit two countries
- Two-night hotel stay and touring in Lisbon, Portugal before cruising
- Seven-night cruise on the Emerald Radiance
- First-class service by an English-speaking crew
- Onboard Activity Manager will support all EmeraldACTIVE excursions and host daily onboard wellness activities, games, classes and evening entertainment
- Shore excursions with English-speaking local guides
- All gratuities included
- Personal listening device for onboard excursions
- Many meals included onboard with a variety of international cuisine
- Complimentary regional wines, beer and soft drinks accompany onboard lunches and dinners
- Complimentary bottled water in your stateroom
- Complimentary WiFi onboard
- Variety of onboard evening entertainment
Cruise & Hotel Accommodations
- Days 2 and 3 – Avani Hotel or similar, Lisbon, Portugal
- Days 4 through 10 – Aboard the MS Emerald Radiance
$500 USD deposit is required to hold your space and is non-refundable. Payment is full is due before February 1, 2024.
Pricing is based on two people sharing a room = per person twin – that does not mean you will have twin beds (unless you want them), it just means two people in a cabin. The ‘single room add’ option is the amount added to the per-person price if you would like to have your own cabin.
CLICK SHIP PHOTO TO ENLARGE
For The Trip: Any cancellation will result in a total loss of the $500 USD deposit. Any cancellation made between December 1, 2023, and February 1, 2024 will result in a loss of 50% of the trip price. Any cancellation made between February 2nd and the trip departure will result in a total loss of funds. We reserve the right to cancel the trip, (if we do so your deposit is refunded in full). Trip cancellation insurance is HIGHLY recommended.
You should be aware that COVID-19 and the health and security measures around COVID-19 may impact elements of this trip and influence the operation of some travel services. Iceland, and the airline(s) you are traveling on may all have strict requirements on travel to limit the spread of COVID-19.
- Wearing of masks at airports, while in flight and when out in public.
- Active testing for COVID-19 that may include blood testing before permission is granted to board any flight or enter a country.
- Being able to show proof of health via formalized means (Certificate or similar).
- Subject to screening on arrival at your destination country or any transit countries.
- Subject to quarantine periods in any country subject to screening results.
- Changing restrictions on sightseeing, due to closures or other public health concerns.
- Subject to limitation/restrictions on travel to the destination by your country of residence/citizenship.
- Possible compulsory quarantine on return to your country of residence/citizenship.
COVID-19 is causing constant and ongoing changes in the application of the above types of measures and the way an airline, airport or country chooses to deal with the threat of COVID is constantly changing.
We will keep you as informed as we can, however, it is also your responsibility to stay informed of all requirements in relation to your travels and any COVID-19 based restrictions, and I suggest these are constantly monitored right up until departure, as they can change at any time. See Travel.State.Gov or the CDC website.