Portugal, Spain & The Douro River Valley

  • Date

    April 24 – May 5, 2024 | Wed / Sun – 12 Days 

  • Location

    Lisbon | Sintra | Cascais | Coimbra | Porto | Regua | Pinhao | Pocinho | Salamanca | Barca d’Alva


Join one of Grueninger Travel Group’s exclusive 70th Anniversary Trips and explore Portugal’s Douro Valley—one of Europe’s oldest and most beautiful wine regions. Hosted by Mike & Erika Grueninger, 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 ship, the S.S. Sao Gabriel. Follow the Douro River to the border of Spain, as you 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 and uncover its architectural delights. Discover Portugal’s fortified village of Castelo Rodrigo and historic Guimaraes. Europe’s best-kept secret is unveiled on this scenic adventure!


  • Travel with Mike & Erika Grueninger
  • Sail on the S.S. Sao Gabriel
  • Included sightseeing in Lisbon
  • Day trip to Sintra & Cascais
  • Visit several UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Cultural enrichment
  • Unique, included excursions
  • Wine, beer, spirits, specialty coffee, and soft drinks included on the cruise


  • Roundtrip commercial air from Indianapolis to Lisbon, Portugal and from Porto, Portugal
  • Escorted
  • 7 nights shipboard accommodations on Uniworld’s S.S. Sao Gabriel
  • 3 nights hotel accommodations
  • All meals & drinks onboard the cruise
  • 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches & 2 dinners on land
  • Sightseeing and admissions per itinerary
  • Transfers
  • Gratuities for ship crew
  • Gratuities for local guides and bus drivers on pre-cruise land tour
  • Taxes, and port charges


A passport is required to travel to this destination and must be valid for at least six months after your return. Europe is implementing a requirement for an Electronic Travel Authorization, which will also be required. Costs for required documentation are not included in the package price.

This itinerary includes activities where moderate walking, possibly on uneven terrain, is required. Some of the most unique sightseeing can be restrictive to motorcoaches, especially in historic areas.

Wed, Apr 24: Meet Mike & Erika Grueninger at the airport before boarding your overnight flights to Lisbon, Portugal.

Thu, Apr 25: Arrive in Lisbon, and enjoy a panoramic tour of the city and a Welcome Lunch at a local restaurant. Take in the charm of the hilly, historic Alfama neighborhood on board a Tuk Tuk (an automatic rickshaw) before transferring to your well-appointed hotel, conveniently located near the city center, for the next three nights. (Meals: Lunch, Dinner)

Fri, Apr 26: Everything old is new again in the Portuguese capital, which is undergoing a remarkable rebirth. Start the day with a visit to the Royal Coach Museum, the world’s best collection of gilded and wood-carved coaches of the Portuguese Renaissance and one of Lisbon’s most visited attractions. 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. 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. Spend the afternoon at your leisure before an exciting evening—dinner at an authentic Fado restaurant. Fado is a music genre so integral to the Portuguese culture that UNESCO recognizes it as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It’s galvanizing, exposed, and emotional, not to mention one of every visitors’ most treasured memories of Lisbon. (B,D)

Sat, Apr 27: Escape the excitement of the city, and travel back in time to the village of Sintra. Located between stunning beaches and fairytale forests—and filled with whimsical palaces, Sintra has long been an inspiration for poets, artists, and nobility. Stop before reaching the town center at the palace of Queluz, known to some as Portugal’s “Versailles”. Take a brief walking tour of quaint downtown Sintra, and tour the National Palace, with its mixture of architecture and decorative features, from Islamic tiles to Gothic details to ceilings painted with swans and magpies. Sample the local flair with an included lunch, before a short drive to the popular sun-kissed, resort town of Cascais. Spend some time on your own, walk along the beach, shop or sip a cocktail with an incredible view before returning to Lisbon. (B,L)

Sun, Apr 28: 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 for lunch before continuing on to Porto to board the S.S. Sao Gabriel—your home for the next seven nights. (B,L,D)

Mon, Apr 29: 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 Clergios Tower, the 19th-century Stock Exchange Palace, Porto’s austere hilltop cathedral, and Santa Catarina—the bustling pedestrian shopping street. On the walking tour, cross the upper level of the Ponte Dom Luis for one of the best views in Porto. Visit Bolhao Market to experience local delicacies and explore the Sao Bento railway station. Walk through the Clerigos Quarter to discover the stunning architecture up close before returning to the ship. The ship cruises up the Douro toward Porto Antigo this afternoon. 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, Apr 30: 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, May 1: 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. Head ashore in Pinhao and opt to visit the Archaeological Park of the Coa Valley 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)

Thu, May 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, May 3: Feel the centuries fall away as the ship winds its way through the pristine, dramatic, UNESCO-protected landscapes of the Douro River Valley. A tiny village surrounded by mountains, Barca d’Alva is your base for today’s adventures. Choose between two excursions: a port wine estate tour with a tasting, or a vineyard hike with a tasting at a local quinta. The ship docks near the Spanish border this evening. (B,L,D)

Sat, May 4: Enjoy a city tour of historic Guimaraes (where Portugal was born), 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. In the evening, enjoy a special Farewell Dinner. (B,L,D)

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

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.


  • Deluxe Window
  • Double P/P – $9,699
  • Single – $14,369
  • French Balcony
  • Double P/P – $12,499
  • Single – $19,199
  • Suite

* Subject to change due to fuel surcharge.

Call for additional stateroom category and occupancy pricing.

Documents Required: Valid Passport, visit travel.state.gov for specific requirements