Scenic Group has announced that the company’s two river lines – Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours and Emerald Cruises – will start their 2021 European river cruise season on Portugal’s Douro River with the first sailings taking place on July 30 and July 31, 2021, respectively. This announcement is exclusive to the USA and UK markets. Deposits for new bookings on either line have been reduced to a fully refundable $100 per person.
Emerald Cruises is offering savings of $2,000 per couple on the eight-day Secrets of the Douro for July-Sept sailings and $1,500 on October and November sailings on new bookings made through Aug. 31, 2021. Savings on Scenic is $2,400 per couple on all 2021 departures of the 11-day Unforgettable Douro and on the August and November eight-day sailings of Delightful Douro and $1,500 savings on the Sept. and Oct. departures.
Guests can cruise with confidence knowing that Scenic Group’s dedicated Health & Safety Steering Committee ensures all guests’ wellbeing and safety is taken care of. All guests must be fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to departure. The company is working closely with relevant bodies, including CLIA and the Portuguese authorities, to ensure operations adhere to all necessary guidelines.
Emerald Cruises’ eight-day sailings and Scenic’s eight- and 11-day itineraries are all roundtrip from the World Heritage city of Porto, making their way along the Douro River as far as the port village Vega de Terron over the Spanish border before returning. Unique to the two cruise lines is their own purpose-built dock, located in Porto’s historic Cais de Maragaia, and only a five-minute walk to Cais de Ribeira, one of Porto’s riverfront promenades known for its distinctive small alleyways and pastel-hued buildings.
Emerald Cruises’ eight-day Secrets of the Douro takes guests on an exploration from the pastel-colored city of Porto to the terraced vineyards and towns just beyond the banks of the country’s lifeline, the Douro. Highlights include a day trip to Spain’s Roman city of Salamanca, the seat of the Spanish language and an historic city dating back to medieval times; an excursion to the Coa Valley Prehistoric Museum in Pocinho, where guests can view stone carvings made by early inhabitants of the Douro followed by dinner at a traditional local wine estate; touring the Baroque village of Lamego, stopping to see the Shrine of Our Lady of Remedies, a structure that stands over the town; a guided walk at the Quinta do Tedo vineyard in the heart of Portugal’s Douro Valley; and a city tour of Porto, including the fortified structures of Castelo da Foz and Castelo do Queijo, overlooking the ocean. On board, guests enjoy mosaic tile painting, a port wine cocktail lesson, and a Portuguese cooking demonstration, among other activities.
Scenic offers eight- and 11-day sailings that take in many of the region’s sites and activities. A small sampling includes: sparkling wine tasting at the property of Quinta Aveleda; exploring the restored Monastery of Saint John of Tarouca; a tour and free time in the city of Salamanca; a canoeing adventure on the Sabor River; a visit to Casa Painova for a sweet almond workshop and a tasting of their almond, olive and fruit products; and a wine tasting at the restored manor house of Morgadio da Calçada before joining a local family at their home for a home hosted lunch. Exclusive to Scenic is a visit to Porto’s São Francisco Church, who’s exterior is a mix of Gothic and Baroque architecture, while the interior glows with wood carvings swathed in gold. Guests are immersed in Portuguese music during a private concert in these historic surroundings. Itineraries can be combined with Bordeaux and Seine river cruises plus extensions in Lisbon and a land tour from Porto to Madrid.