Boats on the Douro from Vila Nova de Gaia
The Douro River
Sail aboard the Spirit of Chartwell, formerly Her Majesty’s Royal Barge, as it cruises along the ‘River of Gold’
Take in the vineyards and historical towns of Portugal’s northern valleys
Learn about the history of port, Oporto and the Douro Valley
"It was an outstanding trip - the programme was very well constructed and carried out, the Tour Director and Tour Manger were both excellent, as was the local guide. The Spirit of Chartwell was very comfortable and had class, and we were very well looked after by the crew."
- ACE customer on a 2021 Douro River Cruise
Beginning our tour with an exploration of the old town of Oporto, we cast off for our voyage eastwards. Along the way, we will explore one of Europe’s most handsome Renaissance cities, Salamanca, and pay a visit to the 18th century Mateus Palace.
Our tour will also embrace some lesser-known delights, including the picturesque town of Pinhão, strikingly situated at the confluence of the Douro and Pinhão Rivers, and the medieval hilltop town of Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo.
During an excursion to the pilgrimage town of Lamego, where Baroque mansions and churches grace the skyline, we will enter one of the country’s most majestic shrines – Our Lady of Cures – acclaimed for its monumental Baroque staircase.
Continuing into Spain, we will explore Salamanca, famous for its honey-coloured buildings, ancient university, 18th century Plaza Mayor, and twin cathedrals, perched high above the River Tormes. The city has passed through the conquering hands of Carthaginians, Romans and Moors, a fact that is evident from its mix of architecture.
Upon our return to Oporto, we will visit the historical Factory House of the British Association, and tour Graham’s Port Lodge – owned by the Symington Family Estates – to discover and taste some of their fine vintage.
We also hope to enjoy some traditional music during the tour, as well as opportunities to learn about local cuisine during an on-board culinary demonstration.
Our Tour Director, Martin Symington, BA, is a travel journalist who contributes to The Times and Wanderlust, and is the author of Dorling Kindersley’s guidebook to Portugal. Martin was born and raised in the region, and is a port expert. He will deliver talks on port, Oporto and the Douro Valley, as well as on Portugal in general and the country’s history.
** Limited cabins remaining **
Please call 01223 841055
Included: Return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded cabin, full board with unlimited wine, beer, soft drinks, tea & coffee with lunch & dinner, shore excursions & admissions, all gratuities & all taxes.
Not Included: Travel insurance, supplement for the Royal Suite £200 per person, double cabin for single use supplement £895.