Secrets of the Douro 2018 Emerald Waterways River Cruise
Sail along the Douro on board the brand new Emerald Radiance! After leaving the pastel-coloured metropolis of Porto behind, you’ll take to the Douro and navigate a striking path through some of Portugal’s most enchanting countryside. Steeply terraced vineyards rise from the river banks, historic landmarks pepper distant horizons and charming townships lay hidden in the rural hillsides, tucked away from the unforgiving grasp of the modern world. The golden city of Salamanca glows myriad colours both day and night, while your return journey back to Porto is filled with even more cultural and historical treats.
On arrival at the airport in Porto, you’ll be met by an Emerald Waterways representative and transferred to the ship where you will be welcomed by your Captain and crew. In the evening you’ll enjoy a welcome reception and dinner on board in the Reflections Restaurant.
Today’s full day of sailing takes you through the twists and turns of the Douro Valley, a sparsely populated UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its spectacular scenery, quaint villages, thriving vineyards and authentic quintas. As you make stately progress down the tranquil waters your Cruise Director will host an informative lecture on the region’s history and wine culture. You could even get creative during a mosaic tile painting class. Later this afternoon arrive in the village of Pinhão, which is situated on a river bend surrounded by terraced hillsides producing some of the world’s best Port.
Travel to the marvellous Baroque town of Lamego, where history stands still. Visit the remains of a Roman sanctuary and battlements. Return to your ship for lunch and an afternoon sailing to Vega Teron, your gateway into Spain. Learn from the experts on board with a Portuguese cooking demonstration including special local recipes. Why not make the most of your ship’s spacious Sun Deck and soak up the scenery as you make gentle progress down this idyllic river.
EmeraldPLUS: Join your barman on board for a cocktail making class using white port, one of the region’s finest exports.
Founded in Roman times, the city of Salamanca is home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, the seat of the Spanish language, and to this day the UNESCO World Heritage Site is still a lively student town. With its grand squares and Medieval structures, a walking tour here is more like stepping back in time. Tapas bars feature on every street and traditional Spanish music trickles out of buzzing bars and restaurants. You’ll enjoy a full day in this beautiful golden city with plenty of free time to explore independently. Upon returning to your ship from Salamanca, you’ll be invited to enjoy a BBQ dinner on the Terrace alongside your fellow guests.
This morning arrive in the picturesque village of Pocinho and embark on an excursion to the Coa Valley Museum. This impressive concrete structure details pre-historic stone carvings made by the early inhabitants of the Douro. These ancient landmarks were uncovered during the construction of the nearby dam and date from 22,000 to 10,000 years BCE. Later, return to your ship for lunch and bask in your idyllic surroundings as you enjoy cruise towards Regua.
EmeraldPLUS: This evening you’re highlight dinner will be hosted at a local wine estate from the Pinhão region. Dine on regional dishes and sip fine, local wines, raising a toast to your first full day on the Douro.
Wake up this morning in the former roman settlement of Régua. Your walking tour here includes the Douro Museum which showcases the history of wine making in the surrounding valleys.
Included excursions: A walking tour of Régua and a visit to the Douro Museum
Located at the mouth of the Douro River, Porto is a fascinating eclectic mix of modern and ancient architecture. Its most famous export is of course fortified wine, and the hillside across from the city centre features numerous wine caves and tasting boutiques in the area of Vila Nova de Gaia. Sample the local fair in one of these specially adapted wine cellars and learn about the long adapted craft of creating port. You’ll be awestruck by the diverse beauty of this entrancing coastal city, and simply strolling the cobbled walkways is enough to bring the Portugal of your dreams to life.
After breakfast disembark your river cruise ship and transfer to the airport for your onward or homebound flight.
|Date||Fares from (pp)|
|April 2018||£2,545 Cat B Balcony Suite|
|October 2018||£2,345 Cat B Balcony Suite|
- Book by 30th September and enjoy unlimited free drinks or €250 per cabin to spend on board* & savings of up to £600 per couple^!
- Return economy flights from London, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow or Edinburgh. Call for details on regional departures.
- 7 nights in a Stateroom or Suite of your choice
- 5 shore excursions
- 3 EmeraldPLUS activities
- 20 on-board meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners
- Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks to accompany lunch and dinner
- Complimentary tea and coffee on-board
- Complimentary bottled water in your Suite or Stateroom re-stocked daily
- A variety of on-board evening entertainment
- First-class service from English-speaking crew and knowledgeable local guides
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on-board
- All port charges, airport taxes & transfers within Europe
- All tips included, saving you up to £235 per couple