Day 1 – Embarkation in Porto
Transcript from Day One: Boarding AmaVida
This morning we woke up early, made coffee, fed the cat, locked the door to the apartment, twice — we always do that, double-checking, forgetful as we are. We got in a taxi, went to the train station, traveled to Copenhagen airport and flew to Geneva. There, a surprise: Our flight on TAP was overbooked, and being Star Alliance Gold, we were upgraded to Business Class.
That was lucky, and it was our introduction to Portugal, as we enjoyed Portuguese wines sitting up front in the Airbus 310. From my window seat, I got to film some of the Portuguese countryside on the way to Porto.
We arrived at the airport in Porto (OPO) and were warmly greeted by representatives from AmaWaterways who met us at the exit of the baggage terminal with a sign welcoming us. We were taken to the ship. The drive took about 15 minutes, and we came on board to a warm welcome by the staff.
We checked in and went into our cabin, which was nicely decorated, with flowers and such and all the amenities we needed.
Now we’re off to dinner. We’ll see you tomorrow with our next video vignette.
About Our Douro River Cruise On AmaVida
This week, we’re traveling from Copenhagen to Portugal to river cruise along the beautiful Douro River. We’ll be cruising through the heart of the Duoro Valley, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and known for its wine production. In fact, ours is a special wine-themed cruise on AmaVida, operated by AmaWaterways. Join us for an inspiring week in Portugal. We’ll be posting daily “video vignettes” here on River Cruise Advisor.
Our Week On The Douro
AmaWaterways, Portugal on AmaVida
|Tuesday, July 22, 2014||Porto||This morning, we fly from Copenhagen to Porto via Geneva, arriving at 3 p.m. in Porto. We expect to be on board AmaVida by 5 p.m. The cruise kicks off with a Welcome Aboard Champagne Toast, followed by dinner and an overnight in this enchanting city.|
|Wednesday, July 23||Porto & Entre-Os-Rios||Your Porto city tour will show you 16th-century arcaded buildings, Baroque churches and the magnificent iron bridge built by French engineer Gustave Eiffel. Later, you will take a drive through the elegant residential section along the Atlantic coast and explore the Old City. Tonight, take in the breathtaking view of the river valley from the terrace of the 14th century Alpendurada Monastery, where you will be served dinner. The ship moors overnight.|
|Thursday, July 24||Régua & Pinhão||Cruise to Régua this morning and enjoy a tour of Palacio de Mateus and its gardens, located in the beautiful region of Trás-os-Montes just outside the city of Vila Real. Later, visit the Sandeman Company’s impressive visitors’ facility and winery, Quinta do Seixo, which offers a wine tasting and a comprehensive and fascinating look at port wine production. Cruise to Pinhão where the ship moors overnight.|
|Friday, July 25||Pinhão & Vega Terrón||Your morning begins with an excursion to ancient and picturesque Lamego, home to one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Portugal, the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies). After a guided city tour, enjoy some free time to explore the town on your own, perhaps to visit the Gothic Cathedral or the town’s museum. You may also want to visit a local café to sample delicious regional cakes or a glass of Raposeira (sparkling wine). Later, we depart for Vega Terrón, arriving this evening. You may take part in an onboard wine tasting tonight. The ship moors overnight in Vega Terrón.|
|Saturday, July 26||Vega Terrón||Drive to Salamanca for a full day tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, located at the center of the Castilla y León region of Spain. During your guided city tour, you will see the University buildings, the Salamanca Cathedral and the House of Shells. Enjoy a flamenco show as you dine on a lunch of delicious and authentic Spanish cuisine in a local restaurant. Later, spend some time exploring on your own, perhaps visit the locals’ “living room,” known as the Plaza Mayor. Rejoin the ship in Barca d’Alva, where we moor overnight.|
|Sunday, July 27||Barca D’Alva – Pinhao||After breakfast, tour Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, a small fortified village perched high on a hilltop. See 16th-century walls and walk down very narrow and steep medieval streets. Among the sights is the Chafariz dos Pretos in the market square, a one-of-a-kind fountain decorated with striking black faces. Enjoy a tasting of honey, nuts and olives, then have lunch on board followed by a wine tasting as the ship sails to Regua. After arriving this evening, you will be treated to Moscatel de Favaios (a sweet fortified wine) and traditional Portuguese foods at a wine estate, Quinta Avessada. Your dinner with the quinta’s owner and his delightful family will be an unforgettable highlight of your trip. The ship moors overnight.|
|Monday, July 28||Régua – Porto||Today enjoy an onboard wine lecture and tasting as you cruise back into Porto. Your excursion to Guimarães departs from Lixa Pier and includes a tasting of Vinho Verde. Later Enjoy one last night with your new shipboard friends at the Farewell Cocktail.|
|Tuesday, July 29||Porto||I'm off ... believe it or not ... to Nome, Alaska, for a cruise to Russia's Far East on Silver Discoverer. Stay tuned!|