On November 3, we’ll arrive in Porto, Portugal for an overnight in this fabulous city before boarding Emerald Radiance. Emerald Waterways’ newest ship will take us along the Douro for eight days. Follow our voyages on River Cruise Advisor, @rivercruiser, Facebook and Instagram. Click. View. Cruise with us.
Emerald Waterways Douro Voyage Description
Travel through the Douro River Valley, where the Age of Discovery began, on our brand new 8 day Secrets of the Douro river cruise. Meaning “River of Gold” and now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Douro was not navigable until a series of dams built in the 1950s and ‘60s allowed a more controlled flow of the river.
On this unforgettable river cruise, you’ll travel the Douro aboard our newly built Emerald “Star-Ship” – the 112-passenger Emerald Radiance. Enjoy stops in Portugal ranging from the World Heritage city of Porto to the Roman settlement of Regua and in Spain – Vega de Terron and Salamanca. Highlights include many of the region’s best sites and activities: the village of Lamego; pre-historic carvings showcased in the Coa Valley Museum and a day trip to Spain’s Roman city of Salamanca, offering a first-hand look at the seat of the Spanish language and a feel for life in medieval times.
Day 1 Arrival Porto
Welcome to Porto. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the ship where you will be welcomed by your Captain and crew. Located at the mouth of the Douro River, Porto is a fascinating eclectic mix of modern and ancient architecture. Its most famous export is of course fortified wine, and the hillside across from the city centre features numerous wine caves and tasting boutiques in the area of Vila Nova de Gaia. Tonight enjoy a welcome reception and dinner on board while cruising past the illuminations of Porto.
Day 2 >Porto – Pinhao
Today enjoy a full day sailing the windy turns and twists of the Douro Valley. A UNESCO world heritage site, this area is sparsely populated by small quaint villages and typical communities working vineyards and small farms. Your Cruise Director will host a lecture on board showcasing the history and wine culture of the region. Perhaps join a painting class of local mosaic tiles which typically depict traditional motives. Later this afternoon arrive in the village of Pinhao which is situated on a river bend surrounded by terraced hillsides producing some of the world’s best Port. Tonight your captain will be delighted to host the welcome dinner and cocktail reception.
Day 3 >Pinhao – Vega de Teron
Today visit the marvelous baroque village of Lamego, where history stands still. Visit the remains of a Roman sanctuary and battlements. Return to your ship for lunch and an afternoon sailing to Vega de Teron, your gateway into Spain. EmeraldPLUS: Join your barman for a lesson on how to make cocktails using port wine on board.
Day 4 >Salamanca
Founded in Roman times, the city of Salamanca is home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, the seat of the Spanish language, and still a lively student town. With its grand squares and medieval structures, a walking tour here is more like stepping back in time. Tapas bars feature on every street and traditional Spanish music trickles out of buzzing bars and restaurants. Board your coach this morning in Vega de Terron and travel to this beautiful golden city with plenty of free time to explore independently before returning to the ship later this afternoon.
Day 5 >Pocinho
This morning arrive in the picturesque village of Pocinho and embark on an excursion to the Coa Valley Museum. This impressive concrete structure details pre-historic stone carvings made by the early inhabitants of the Douro, which were uncovered during the construction of the nearby dam. Later return to your ship for lunch and enjoy your idyllic surroundings as you sail towards Regua. EmeraldPLUS: This evening dinner will be hosted at a local winery estate.
Day 6 Regua
Wake up this morning in the former roman settlement of Regua. Visit the Douro Museum for a look at wine making in the region.
Discover More: Guided excursion to the Mateus Palace (extra expense) guests on this option will not be able to attend the included tour of Regua
Day 7 >Porto
Located at the mouth of the Douro River, Porto is a fascinating eclectic mix of modern and ancient architecture. Its most famous export is of course fortified wine, and the hillside across from the city centre features numerous wine caves and tasting boutiques in the area of Vila Nova de Gaia. Sample the local fair in one of these specially adapted wine cellars and learn about the long adapted craft of creating port.
Discover More: Excursion to Guimaraes (extra expense)
Day 8 >Porto – Disembarkation
After breakfast disembark your river cruise ship and transfer to Porto airport for your onward or homebound flight.
Included in Your Price
- Emerald Star Ship EXCLUSIVE to Emerald Waterways
- The services of an Emerald Waterways Cruise and Tour Director
- Port taxes and charges included
- All tipping and gratuities included
- Free airport transfers
- 7 nights on a luxury European river ship
- Explore 6 different cities, towns and villages with a guide during our included tours and shore excursions
- Visit a local wine estate
- Tour of Salamanca
- Coa Valley pre-historic museum
- Tour of Lamego
- City tour of Porto including wine caves
- Local dinner at a Douro Valley wine estate
- Cocktail making lesson on board
- 19 superb meals including 7 Full Breakfasts (B), 5 Lunches (L), 6 Dinners (D), 1 Highlight Dinner
- Captain’s Welcome Reception & Dinner
- Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner while cruising
Our Ship, Emerald Radiance
Brand new for 2017, Emerald Radiance is our new ship sailing the Douro. The ship features a serenity pool on the Sun Deck, so guests can enjoy the Portuguese sun.
The Emerald Radiance is Emerald Waterways’ most intimate ship to date, with a capacity of just 112 guests. Paired with the crew-to-guest ratio of 1:3, this low capacity accommodates incredible levels of service, with personal butlers happy to cater for your every whim.
However, the small scale of the Emerald Radiance does not mean it is missing the key amenities and features to make your holiday atop the Douro any less comfortable or enjoyable. Intelligent deck planning has allowed us to add all the favorite features of Emerald Waterways’ fleet to the Emerald Radiance, and there are even beautiful extra flourishes throughout. From the generously-proportioned suites and staterooms to the contemporary, chic Horizon Bar and Lounge, no aspect of the ship has been compromised by its moderate size.
Amongst the brand new additions featured aboard the Emerald Radiance are the Riverview Suites. Located at the rear of the ship on the Horizon Deck, and boasting floor-to-ceiling windows encasing our innovative balcony; the two Riverview Suites offer amazing, unspoiled panoramic vistas of the river as it flows on by.
Purpose built for Portugal’s warm climate, the comprehensive Sun Deck aboard the Emerald Radiance provides ample opportunity to sample the sun and gentle river breezes. The open-air aspect of the Emerald Radiance includes The Terrace, the perfect place to enjoy a bite to eat and a drink or two with new friends. Or if you fancy a plunge, the Serenity Pool on the Sun Deck is the perfect place for a few lengths before breakfast, under the beautiful Iberian sky.