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. You'll visit the medieval fortified village of Castelo Rodrigo and enjoy an evening tasting at a quinta (wine-producing estate) in Favaios. Other highlights include the hilltop church of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios in Lamego and an after-hours tour of the Douro Museum in Régua. 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. This Spanish national art museum displays one of the world's largest and finest collections of European art from the 12th to early 19th centuries. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (B, L)

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

Depart Madrid and drive to Salamanca for a morning visit at Casa Lis, the Museum of Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Following lunch, see the city’s sights on a guided walking tour including Catedral de Salamanca, Plaza Mayor and the Universidad de Salamanca. 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. Dine this evening at a local quinta, a wine-producing estate. AmaVida remains overnight in Pinhão. (B, L, D)

October 1 — Pinhão, Régua

Drive to Lamego to discover the spectacular, Baroque style Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, where you may take the pilgrimage steps down its marvelously-tiled staircase. Admire the National Treasures found in Museu de Lamego, located in the 18th-century Antigo Paço do Bispo. Return to the ship for lunch and a lecture during the cruise to Régua. Arrive in the early evening for an after-hours visit at Museo do Douro, representing the wine region’s cultural heritage. After dinner, a local vineyard owner will conduct a special port and chocolate tasting on board. (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. Following lunch, enter the fabled Igreja de São Gonçalo in Amarante on the Tâmega River and visit the Museu Municipal Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, featuring modern and contemporary Portuguese art. 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 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, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Portuguese architect 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

Depart this morning on a guided walking tour of Porto's historic quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visits include the Palácio da Bolsa and São Bento Railway Station, known for its azulejos depicting scenes from Portuguese history. Following lunch on board, the afternoon is at leisure. You may wish to stroll through Vila Nova de Gaia and step inside one of its many port wine lodges for a tasting. 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)