Portugal's Douro River


Explore Madrid and the Douro River while enjoying a cruise aboard AmaVida.

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 Sunset over the Douro River, Porto  Portugal's Douro River Valley  Porto, Portugal  Solar de Mateus, Vila Real  Pinhão, Portugal  Commerce Square, Lisbon. Credit: Danielle Dybiec  Jerónimos Monastery. Credit: Danielle Dybiec  City of Porto in Portugal. Credit: Danielle Dybiec  Facade of Casa de la Panadería in Plaza Mayor, Madrid  Salamanca Cathedral, Spain
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Discover Portugal’s Douro River Valley—a region renowned for its port wine, steeply terraced vineyards, and timeless villages—during the autumn grape harvest. Begin your journey in Madrid to peruse the art collections of the famous Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza, and a walking tour then travel north to Salamanca, city of golden sandstone. Board your riverboat in Vega de Terrón and step back in time as you cruise along the gentle, winding Douro River. Visit the medieval fortified village of Castelo Rodrigo and walk the pilgrimage steps at the Shrine of our Lady of Remedies in Lamego.  Our itinerary features special visits and meals exclusive to this sailing, including a sumptuous luncheon at a Michelin-starred restaurant and visit to the the Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso Museum in Amarante; dinner at Quinta do Portal—a centuries-old, prize-winning boutique winery with modern cellars by Pritzker Prize winning architect  Álvaro Siza; and a garden tour and Vinho Verde tasting at Quinta da Aveleda in Penafiel. In coastal Oporto explore the eclectic architecture, from the Romanesque buildings of the Old City to the 21st-century Casa da Música, designed by Rem Koolhaas. An optional extension to Lisbon is also offered.

Itinerary

September 26— New York, Madrid, Spain

Depart the U.S. on an overnight flight to Madrid.

September 27— Madrid

Arrive in Madrid and transfer to the Hotel Wellington. In the afternoon, visit the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, an encyclopedic collection representing many important artists and movements from the 13th through the 20th centuries. Gather in the evening for our welcome dinner at the hotel. (D)

September 28 — Madrid

Following a morning lecture, depart on a guided walking tour of this lively city. After lunch, visit the Museo del Prado, with its newest wing designed by Rafael Moneo. Afterwards, join lecturer Paddy Bowe on a stroll through Madrid’s distinctive Royal Botanic Garden. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (B, L)

September 29 — Madrid, Salamanca,Vega de Terrón, Spain

This morning depart Madrid for Salamanca’s Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where our tour includes the Museum of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, with its sweeping and richly colored stained glass façade, and the Convent of St. Stephen, where Christopher Columbus stayed while defending his idea to sail west to the Indies. Continue to Vega de Terrón and the awaiting AmaVida. A welcome aboard reception is followed by dinner. (B, L, D)

September 30— Vega de Terrón, Pinhão, Portugal

This morning visit Castelo Rodrigo, a fortified hilltop village with sweeping views over slopes of almond trees and vineyards. Pass through its 16th-century walls, climb its narrow, medieval streets and enjoy a tasting of the region’s wine and foods. Rejoin our ship across the border in Barca d’Alva, Portugal for lunch as we sail early this afternoon for Pinhão. Tour the striking modern wine cellars designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza at the family-owned Quinta do Portal in Sabrosa. Enjoy dinner tonight at the winery.  AmaVida remains overnight in Pinhão. (B, L, D)

October 1 — Pinhão, Régua

Begin the day at Lamego and the spectacular, Baroque style Shrine of Our Lady of Remedies, where you may take the pilgrimage steps down its beautiful, tiled-covered staircase. Admire 16th century Flemish tapestries and religious art at the Museum of Lamego, located in the 18th century Bishop’s Palace.  Return to the ship for lunch sail and time on deck sailing to Régua, where we an after-hours visit of the Douro Museum has been arranged for us. A folk music group entertains us in the lounge this evening. (B, L, D)

October 2 — Régua

This morning, discover the elegant manor house of Mateus, with its impressive Baroque façade, library of rare books and landscaped gardens. Continue to Amarante for a luncheon prepared by Chef Vitor Matos, recently voted Best Chef in Portugal, at Michelin-starred Largo do Paço. We stroll across the Tâmega River to visit the fabled Church of São Gonçalo and Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso Museum. Alternatively, join Patrick Bowe after lunch for a tour of Casa de Pascoaes, home and gardens of the celebrated mystic poet Teixeira de Pascoaes.  Return to AmaVida for dinner. You may wish to explore Régua as we remain in port overnight. (B, L, D)

October 3 — Régua, Entre-os-Rios

Attend a morning lecture, and transit Carrapatelo Lock, as we sail to Entre-os-Rios. This afternoon, enjoy a special visit to the charming gardens at Quinta da Aveleda at Penafiel and sample a glass of their region’s Vinho Verde. Dine tonight in the Convento de Alpendurada, dating from the 14th century and boasting majestic views of the valley below. The ship remains overnight in Entre-os-Rios. (B, L, D)

October 4 — Entre-os-Rios, Porto

Arrive in Porto this morning, sailing under the magnificent iron bridge by French engineer Gustave Eiffel. After lunch, an architectural tour at Serralves includes the Art Deco villa and formal gardens. Admire its contemporary art museum, also designed by Álvaro Siza. Pending artist schedules, attend an evening concert and private reception at Casa da Música, a landmark of 21st-century architecture designed by Rem Koolhaas. (B, L, D)

October 5 — Porto

Tour this captivating hillside city, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stopping at Porto’s cathedral, one of the city’s oldest monuments, and São Bento Railway Station, known for its azulejos depicting scenes from Portuguese history.  We continue to W & J Graham’s 1890 Lodge, a working wine cellar, for a port tasting. Lunch is on board, followed by an afternoon at leisure, perhaps to enjoy a guided Tuk Tuk tour of Porto’s cafes and book shops.  Celebrate a memorable cruise at our farewell dinner this evening. (B, L, D)

October 6 — Porto, New York

Disembark and transfer to the airport in Porto for the morning flight to New York. (B)