Villages and Vintages: Cruising the Douro River Valley Aboard ms Andorinha

An 8-day riverboat cruise on Portugal's Douro River! Beginning and ending in Porto, our cruise-only 8-day Portugal riverboat adventure offers an authentic taste of daily life in the Douro River Valley... a UNESCO World Heritage Site steeped in a legacy of wine making for 2,000+ years!



Discover the bohemian heart of the city that gave Port-wine its name... sample its treasures in the wine caves of Vila Nova de Gaia... sail deep into the mountain landscapes of Portuguese wine country to find wine estates, lush vineyards, idyllic riverside villages, baroque castles, hilltop medieval ruins, and rock art from the valley's earliest inhabitants... Our new eight-day riverboat cruise on Portugal's Douro River offers an authentic taste of life and world-class wines in a region steeped in winemaking for over 2,000 years. Explore the colorful city of Porto, an enticing labyrinth of winding streets, baroque churches and blue-tiled houses, where port wine is made and stored. Board ms Andorinha and trace the wine to its source, the quintas and picture-postcard villages of the Douro River Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site... discover terraced vineyards and enjoy tours, tastings, wine pairings, and a lesson in port cocktail-making... tour baroque Mateus Palace... and immerse yourself in local history and culture, the prehistoric art of Foz Coa, the views from hilltop Castelo Rodrigo and more...

Discover the bohemian heart of the city that gave Port-wine its name... sample its treasures in the wine caves of Vila Nova de Gaia... sail deep into the mountain landscapes of Portuguese wine country to find wine estates, lush vineyards, idyllic riverside villages, baroque castles, hilltop medieval ruins, and rock art from the valley's earliest inhabitants... Our new eight-day riverboat cruise on Portugal's Douro River offers an authentic taste of life and world-class wines in a region steeped in winemaking for over 2,000 years. Explore the colorful city of Porto, an enticing labyrinth of winding streets, baroque churches and blue-tiled houses, where port wine is made and stored. Board ms Andorinha and trace the wine to its source, the quintas and picture-postcard villages of the Douro River Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site... discover terraced vineyards and enjoy tours, tastings, wine pairings, and a lesson in port cocktail-making... tour baroque Mateus Palace... and immerse yourself in local history and culture, the prehistoric art of Foz Coa, the views from hilltop Castelo Rodrigo and more...

Traveling Well Includes:
  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - Private dinner with wine pairings at Quinta do Poral, a Douro Valley wine estate
  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE -Port wine cocktail-making workshop
  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - Bicycle tour through Vinho Verde wine country
  • Gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director
  • All private Tauck shore excursions - $1,215 Value!
  • Seven nights on the Douro aboard ms Andorinha, a new riverboat designed for Tauck

  • Day 1 - Arrive Porto

    Tour begins 5:00 PM. A transfer is included from Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport (Porto Airport) to your riverboat, ms Andorinha, on the Douro River. Settle in, then join us for a welcome reception followed by dinner and onboard entertainment.

    Lodging: ms Andorinha

    Meals: D

    Day 2 - Porto and The Douro Valley

    Rising on staggered hills along the river, colorful Porto beckons you to its labyrinthine streets and stairways, medieval alleys, Baroque churches, fountains, and bell towers, Beaux-Arts buildings, and bohemian neighborhoods. Choose a walking tour of the town's historic center or a guided stroll through Ribeira, the riverfront district. It's hard to take a bad picture in Porto, where houses are clad in painted tiles and beguiling, eclectic architecture is around every corner. Return to your riverboat and sail to the Douro River Valley and its astonishing landscapes. All along the winding river, rugged conical mountains and shale hills carved by concentric vineyard terraces tell of a winemaking history thousands of years old. Inhospitable to most kinds of farming, the terroir is perfect for Portugal's indigenous wine grapes, whose hardy roots can go down 30 feet or more in search of water. And since the 18th century, when Britain discovered that Porto's sweet fortified wine could travel long sea journeys without spoiling, the Douro Valley has been the premier Port supplier to the world, and the oldest demarcated wine region.

    Lodging: ms Andorinha

    Meals: B, L, D

    Day 3 - Peso da Regua and Pinhao

    Dock in the historic town of Peso da Regua, once a busy hub where wooden boats called rabelos, laden with barrels of Port, sailed downriver to Vila Nova de Gaia. At the Museo do Douro, housed in a renovated 18th-century mansion, multimedia exhibits offer a history of viniculture in the Douro Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site; you also have the choice of a port cocktail-making workshop. This afternoon, sail to the idyllic, tranquil village of Pinhao, nestled at a dramatic bend in the river; Pinhao is known as the gateway to the valley's quintas (vineyards) and large wine estates. From here it's a short drive to Quinta do Portal, a family-run estate in the Cima Corgo region where renowned Port and non-fortified wines are made. Your visit includes an introduction to the vineyards and winemaking process, and a private dinner with wine pairings.

    Lodging: ms Andorinha

    Meals: B, L, D

    Day 4 - Along the Douro to Vega de Terron

    The Douro River Valley and its unique landscapes of terraced mountains, villages, and wine estates unfolds today on a full day's sail to the small Spanish port town of Vega de Terron, where the Douro forms the border between Spain and Portugal. The landscape, at a confluence of rivers, is tranquil, beautiful and unspoiled, at the edge of Douro International Natural Park.

    Lodging: ms Andorinha

    Meals: B, L, D

    Day 5 - Castle Ruins and Paleolithic Art

    At the town of Pocinho you have a choice of shore excursions. Visit Castelo Rodrigo, a medieval hilltop village with a turbulent history, where battles were once fought against Moors and Spanish rule; the empty ruins of its 13th-century palace still stand guard over the walled town with its churches, Manueline pillory, cistern, and panoramic vistas. Alternatively, travel to the Museu do Coa in the Vale do Coa Archaelogical Park, for stunning exhibits of rock art from the valley's Paleolithic era, discovered in the 1990s when excavations began for a Coa River dam; unlike cave art found in other parts of Europe, the thousands of petroglyphs in the Coa region were created in the open air by the valley's earliest inhabitants, and the museum explores their mystery through state-of-the-art multimedia exhibits. Return to the riverboat for lunch and sail back to Pinhao, arriving this evening.

    Lodging: ms Andorinha

    Meals: B, L, D

    Day 6 - Mateus Palace or Vinho Verde & Amarante

    Your choice of excursions this morning includes a walking tour of Pinhao and its exquisite early-20th century train station, adorned with blue-painted tiles (azulejos) depicting scenes of everyday life in the winemaking region; or a vigorous hike in the hilltop vineyards with striking views of the town and river. Sail to Regua, and drive to Vila Real for a visit to 18th-century Mateus Palace, a lavish Baroque residence designed by Nicolau Nasoni, now a museum with period furnishings and artwork, a heraldic hall, formal gardens, a winery, and a chapel with tombs and reliquaries. Begin the return trip to Porto, and dock overnight in this verdant wine country, where some traditional farms grow vines on pergolas and fences so high the grapes must be harvested with ladders.

    Lodging: ms Andorinha

    Meals: B, L, D

    Day 7 - Guimaraes to Gaia

    Explore the medieval town of Guimaraes, known as the 'Cradle City; the kingdom of Portugal was born here after a famous battle in 1128. The city center, a UNESCO World Heritage site, offers a wealth of architectural treasures, including the ruined Castle of Guimaraes, with its tempestuous history and sweeping views, the opulent Palace of the Dukes of Braganza, lush with 17th-century furnishings and tapestries, and the 13th-century Church of Sao Miguel do Castelo. Arrive late afternoon in Porto and cross the river to Vila Nova de Gaia, the destination of wines shipped from the vineyards, and home to many Port wine warehouses and cellars; visit one of its caves for a tour and tasting, and toast the end of your Douro River journey. Join us this evening for a farewell reception and dinner aboard ship.

    Lodging: ms Andorinha

    Meals: B, L, D

    Day 8 - Journey Home

    Tour ends 8:00 AM. Disembark and fly home anytime. A transfer is included from your riverboat to Porto Airport. Allow at least 3 hours for flight check-in.

    Lodging:

    Meals: B

    Call (202) 584-3700 for more information or to book today! Mention code 15013756

    Cruise Line
    Tauck River Cruising
    Offer
    Offer valid through 9/30/2020
    Duration
    8 Days
    Cruise Ship
    ms Andorinha

    Click for more information on this ship.

    DayPortArriveDepart
    Day 1Porto  
    Day 2Porto  
    Day 3Peso da Regua  
    Day 4Vega de Terron Spain  
    Day 5Pocinho  
    Day 6Pinhao  
    Day 7Guimaraes  
    Day 8Porto  
    Dates/Pricing

    Click Quote or call us to get additional information on your chosen travel date. Special offers or competitive pricing may be available!

    DatePrice / DescriptionQuote
    04/17/2021Quote
    05/08/2021Quote
    05/29/2021Quote
    06/19/2021Quote
    07/24/2021Quote
    08/14/2021Quote
    09/04/2021Quote
    09/25/2021Quote
    10/16/2021Quote
    Disclaimer
    * Land / cruise price per person in U.S. dollars, based on double occupancy, includes cruise fare, most meals, port charges, shore excursions, applicable fuel surcharges, and gratuities to Tauck Directors, Tauck Cruise Director, ship staff, local guides & drivers, and on all included meals.

    Itinerary Changes - Although not expected, Tauck reserves the right to alter the sequence of ports or omit or substitute scheduled ports or attractions at any time without prior notice. Further, museums and attractions may be subject to closure due to state, local or religious holidays.
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