Douro Explorer 2022 A-ROSA River Cruise
Board sleek A-ROSA ALVA for a voyage that begins and ends in the fascinating city of Porto. After a first night here, sail east to delightful Pinhão, in its stunning setting, and Spain’s Vega de Terrón. Turning back downstream, you’ll head to Barca d’Alva, gateway to great the Spanish city of Salamanca. After a second night in pretty Pinhão, a final call is made at Régua, where vineyards have lined the river and covered the hillsides for over 2000 years. A night is spent in tiny Bitetos, beneath its Benedictine monastery.
Return to Porto with its ancient old town clinging haphazardly to granite bluffs, the colourful, rambling UNESCO-listed riverside Ribeira district, and, across the river, wine-producing Vila Nova de Gaia. With plenty of time to enjoy the ship’s spacious top-deck, passing sun-kissed days and evenings under the stars, as well as opportunities to step ashore or explore some wonderful places on optional shore excursions, this is river cruising at its most glorious.
Fly, or make your own way, to Porto, and board A-ROSA ALVA, your home-from-home for your cruise on the Golden River, at the quayside. As the ship does not sail until the morning, you'll have the chance to step ashore after you've settled in to your cabin, and before or after you’ve enjoyed your first gourmet buffet dinner on board.
This morning, A-ROSA ALVA slips away to begin your journey up-river, passing through the gorges beyond the city and out into the countryside. This morning you’ll cruise past the dams at Crestuma/Lever and Carrapatelo, make a short call at Régua for those joining shore excursions, and meander on through ever more beautiful scenery to tiny, picture-book Pinhão, which stands on the Douro's north bank surrounded by vineyard-covered hills. Step ashore to explore, then enjoy a second night aboard.
Pass a relaxed morning on board or enjoying a shore excursion - perhaps to see the Baroque glories of the Palácio de Mateus, depicted on millions of bottles of the ubiquitous rosé wine produced by the surrounding estate. In the afternoon A-ROSA ALVA will continue her cruise towards the Spanish border, where the Douro becomes the Spanish Duero, and you spend the night in sleepy Vega de Terrón, at the easternmost point of the cruise.
This morning brings an opportunity to enjoy a shore excursion to Salamanca, said to be the most beautiful city in Spain, to see its Baroque sandstone buildings and two sumptuous cathedrals. Later, A-ROSA ALVA begins her languid downstream journey towards the tiny hamlet of Barca d’Alva, for an afternoon spent among its almond trees. If it’s a clear night, don’t miss the opportunity to stargaze from the top deck this evening, taking advantage of the famously unpolluted skies.
Slipping away from Barca d’Alva at breakfast time, you’ll cruise back downstream, pausing briefly at Pocinho and its dam, to arrive once more in idyllic Pinhão by early evening. Don’t miss the the town's lovely railway station and its exquisite tiles depicting the grape harvest, as you spend another night beneath Pinhão's rolling hills.
An early morning cruise brings you to bustling Régua, not only one of the centres of the port-wine trade and surrounded by vineyards for over two thousand years, but also gateway, on an optional shore excursion, to exquisite Lamego, with its achingly beautiful Igreja de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios shrine, known colloquially as the ‘Stairway to Heaven’. After the chance to go ashore to explore, enjoy a last afternoon’s cruise to Bitetos, a former Roman settlement nestled beneath a 13th-century Benedictine monastery. Spend your last evening ‘upriver’ in this beautiful location.
A last morning’s cruise sees you sail back past the Crestuma-Lever reservoir dam, and make a short call at Cais da Lixa, before passing once again through the gorges to Porto. On 2021 sailings, an included tour here will introduce Portugal’s wondrous second city. Built on granite bluffs high above the river, which is crossed by several vertigo-inducing bridges, Porto is a city of cobbled passageways lined with restaurants, bars and speciality shops, quaysides where you'll still see ancient, flat-bottomed barcos rabelos waiting for cargo, and the historic, often British-named port lodges of Vila Nova de Gaia on the Douro's south bank.
Make the most of your time in the city, then enjoy a last night on board or ashore, alone or with new-found friends.
Bid "Adeus" to your ship and her crew, as you begin your journey home.
|Date||Fares from (pp)|
|18 May 2022||£2,415|
|8 June 2022||£2,415|
|13 July 2022||£2,185|
|10 August 2022||£2,189|
|7 September 2022||£2,405|
|12 October 2022||£2,159|
|2 November 2022||£1,899|
- 7 nights' Premium Inclusive cruise accommodation
- Return travel from the UK
- Included coach transfers to the ship
- Free Wi-Fi on board
- On-board activities and entertainment
- Gourmet buffet dining with live cooking stations
- Flexible mealtimes
- A FREE unlimited Premium Inclusive drinks package including water, soft drinks, speciality teas and coffees, beer, wine, spirits and cocktails throughout the day and evening
- Occasional regional treats and specialities to complement your destination that day
- Afternoon tea with freshly prepared cakes and pastries
- 15 per cent off on a range of beauty and wellness treatments in the on-board spa, SPA-ROSA
- The services of a Cruise Director and experienced English-speaking crew
- All port taxes and surcharges
- Eight visits and tours
- Discover the riverside havens, Pinhão and Barca d’Alva
- Cross into Spain and visit charming Vega de Terrón
- Explore the world of port wine in Régua
- Enjoy an included guided tour of Salamanca in Spain