Portugal, Spain & Douro River Cruise

Sail on Uniworld’s New Ship the S.S. Sao Gabriel

  • Date

    March 25-April 5, 2020 | Wed / Sun – 12 Days

  • Location

    Lisbon, Portugal

Overview

Explore Portugal’s Douro Valley — one of Europe’s oldest and most beautiful wine regions. Your journey starts in Lisbon, the city that launched some of the world’s most renowned explorers. Get to know this stunning metropolis before boarding Uniworld’s elegant, brand-new ship, the S.S. Sao Gabriel. Follow the Douro River through Portugal and into Spain, and cruise past swathes of vineyards clinging to the hills and quaint villages. Dine on traditional fare in majestic Coimbra, enjoy private tastings of Port wine, and explore Porto’s historic Ribeira district, home to iconic rabelo boats, cutting-edge cuisine, and a thriving art scene. Wind your way through the dramatic landscapes of the UNESCO-designated Douro Valley, heading ashore to visit charming quintas and meet the winemakers who operate them. In Salamanca, Spain, see the city’s famous university. Return to Portugal and visit the fortified village of Castelo Rodrigo and historic Guimaraes. Discover Europe’s best-kept secret on this scenic all-inclusive river cruise!

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

  • Sail on the brand-new S.S. Sao Gabriel
  • Included sightseeing in Lisbon
  • Visit seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Cultural enrichment
  • Eight days of unique included excursions
  • Unlimited wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee, and soft drinks
  • Gratuities included for ship crew, local experts, and bus drivers

PACKAGE INCLUDES

  • Roundtrip commercial air from Indianapolis to Lisbon, Portugal and from Porto, Portugal
  • 7 nights shipboard accommodations on Uniworld’s S.S. Sao Gabriel
  • 3 nights hotel accommodations
  • All meals on ship
  • 3 breakfasts on land (use “meals” for mag)
  • Unlimited beverages on board
  • Sightseeing and admissions per itinerary
  • Transfers
  • Gratuities for ship crew, local experts, and bus drivers.
  • Taxes, and port charges

NOTE:

PASSPORT REQUIREMENT!

A passport is required to travel to this destination and must be valid for at least six months after your return.

This itinerary includes activities where moderate walking, possibly on uneven terrain, is required. Some of the most unique sightseeing can be restrictive to motor coaches, especially in historic areas. (Yellow only for mag, whole thing for web)

Itinerary

Wed, Mar 25: Overnight flight to Lisbon, Portugal.

Thu, Mar 26: Arrive in Lisbon, Portugal and transfer to your deluxe hotel, conveniently located near the city center, for the next three nights.

Fri, Mar 27: Everything old is new again in the Portuguese capital, which is undergoing a remarkable rebirth. Get to know this hilly metropolis with a city tour that will show you all the top sights and treat you to an iconic, locally-made pastry, pasteis de nata, at Pasteis de Belem, which has been baking these yummy tarts since 1837. See the ornamental Belem Tower (the name comes from Bethlehem), built in the 16th century to guard the port and housed cannons, prisoners, and royalty over the centuries. Another landmark, the 20th-century Monument to the Discoveries, commemorates these voyagers and their founding patron, Prince Henry the Navigator. Head to the Jeronimos Monastery, which is a masterpiece of Manueline architecture — and decorated with sculptures and elaborate scrollwork. Glorious historic architecture reflects the wealth brought in during the “Age of Discovery,” when the Portuguese owned the seas, but it is also a modern center of finance and international trade. (Meal: Breakfast)

Sat, Mar 28: Lisbon is yours to explore today. The city hosts remarkable museums, amazing food, and excellent shopping. (B)

Sun, Mar 29: Board a motorcoach and travel north through Portugal’s picturesque countryside to Porto. En route, stop in Coimbra — Portugal’s first capital — and tour the ancient university and its lavish baroque library, the Joanina, considered one of the most beautiful in the world. After seeing a little of the town itself, which boasts Moorish and Roman architectural remnants, stop at a local family-run restaurant for a traditional Portuguese lunch. In Porto, board the S.S. Sao Gabriel — your home for the next seven nights. (B,L,D)

Mon, Mar 30: Choose between two distinctive ways to explore Porto today: a city tour by motorcoach, or a walking tour. On the city tour, travel through medieval alleys and UNESCO-designated neighborhoods enclosed by 14th-century walls. See the Clerigos Tower, visible from almost anywhere in Old Town. See the 19th-century Stock Exchange Palace, Porto’s austere hilltop cathedral, and Santa Catarina the bustling pedestrian shopping street. On the walking tour, climb to the top of Clerigos Tower for the best view in Porto. Visit Livraria Lello, perhaps the most beautiful bookstore in the world, and explore the Sao Bento railway station. Walk to the Church of Saint Francis, the city’s finest example of Gothic architecture. The ship sets sail after the tours, cruising up the Douro toward Porto Antigo. Five famous bridges link Porto to Vila Nova da Gaia, including the graceful iron arches of Dom Luis I. Sail under all of them before entering the mouth of the Douro River. (B,L,D)

Tue, Mar 31: Your day in Regua is all about wine, which has been cultivated in the Douro River Valley since ancient Roman times. Get a crash course on the history of Port during your visit to the Douro Museum. Exhibits laid out in buildings that were once home to Port winemaker Real Companhia Velha, let you see firsthand how the process of making Port has evolved over the centuries. By sniffing vials of concentrated fragrance, you can learn to identify the many aromas that a good Port exhibits, and sip some regional samples. Travel up winding roads with spectacular views and breath-taking drop-offs for an included dinner at the hilltop winery, Quinta da Avessada. Built a century ago, this quinta produces delicious Moscatels, a wine that is very popular in Portugal. (B,L,D)

Wed, Apr 1: Feel the centuries fall away as the ship winds its way through the pristine, dramatic, UNESCO-protected landscapes of the Douro River Valley. Head ashore in Pinhao and choose between two excursions: a port wine estate tour with a tasting at prestigious Quinta do Seixo, or a vineyard hike with a tasting at a local quinta. The ship docks near the Spanish border this evening. (B,L,D)

Thu, Apr 2: Today, visit the historic university town of Salamanca, Spain, where Columbus sought advice before sailing west in search of a new route to the Indies. Called the Golden City for its tawny sandstone buildings, the city boasts an abundance of beautiful churches — including the Old Cathedral, which dates to the 12th century. Walk through Plaza Mayor, lined with wonderful baroque buildings, to the university founded by Alfonso IX in 1218. Visit Salamanca’s food hall and taste some of Spain’s best cheeses and meats before free time to browse the shops on Rua Mayor. (B,L,D)

Fri, Apr 3: Enjoy awe-inspiring scenery this morning as the ship cruises the upper Douro River Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site both because of its beauty and its remarkable history. A tiny village surrounded by mountains, Barca d’Alva is your base for today’s adventures. Opt to visit Portugal’s first archaeological park, Foz Coa, to discover an astonishing collection of prehistoric carvings ranging from the Epipaleolithic and Bronze ages to the 17th century. Or choose to explore the comparatively “modern” Castelo Rodrigo, a medieval castle standing at the heart of the still-lively village. The view from the top is incredible and the village is a charming place to ramble, relax, and replenish. Later in the day, the ship will drift down the Douro toward Porto to dock for the last two nights. (B,L,D)

Sat, Apr 4: Choose between a city tour of historic Guimaraes (where Portugal was born), or a walking discovery tour of picturesque Ribeira, one of Porto’s oldest neighborhoods. In Guimaraes, explore the wonderfully well-preserved Old Town, with its unique architecture (houses here combine granite with half-timbering) and charming little plazas. Rove with your guide from the castle that overlooks the town toward the beautiful main square, the Largo da Oliveira, and to the splendid Monastery and Church of Our Lady of Oliveira and the 14th-century Gothic Padrao do Salado. On the walking tour in Ribeira, stroll through the oldest part of the city and check out some of the Roman ruins excavated here. This may be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it’s still home to the locals. People hang their laundry from upper floors of brightly painted houses, cafes nestle under 500-year-old arches, and traditional rabelos (flat-keeled sailboats) bob at the quay. As lively as it is picturesque, Ribeira is indeed the soul of Porto. In the evening, enjoy a special Farewell Dinner. (B,L,D)

Sun, Apr 5: Disembark and transfer to the Porto Airport to fly home. (B)

Hotel

S.S. Sao Gabriel. Debuting March 26, 2020, S.S. Sao Gabriel will be the newest ship on the Douro River. Designed to embody the beautiful Douro River Valley region, this ship’s lavishly appointed riverview suites and staterooms with butler service will give guests the option to dine at any time while enjoying the ship. Highlights: full-service bar • restaurant • spa • complimentary Internet/WiFi • sun deck • swimming pool • fitness center.

Pricing

  • Complete Package – Deluxe
  • Double P/P – $6,249
  • Single – $9,599
  • Complete Package – French Balcony
  • Double P/P – $7,849
  • Single – $12,399
  • Complete Package – Suite
  • Double P/P – $8,749
  • Single – $15,729

Documents Required: Valid Passport

* Subject to change due to fuel surcharge

** Deposit may vary by category and occupancy

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