Delve into the Age of Discovery on our exciting river and land journey to Portugal. Explore the fascinating history of Lisbon and charming Old World towns such as Porto, then enjoy a seven-night cruise of the Douro River, stopping off at vineyards and villages along the famous wine trail. 

Starting at: $5,290 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Sherry boats on the Douro River, Porto  The city of Porto and the Douro River   The scenic Douro River valley  Monument to the Discoveries in Lisbon  Belem Tower, Lisbon  Jeronimos Monastery, outside Lisbon  Fishing boats in the harbor at Cascais  Lighthouse near Cascais  The town of Sintra, with the National Palace at center  The town of Coimbra, featuring the university, a World Heritage site  The scenic Douro River valley  Harvesting grapes along the Douro River  Vineyards along the banks of the Douro RIver  The town of Guimaraes, along the Douro River  Typical <i>azulejo</i> or traditional decorative tiles, Pinhao

Portrait of Portugal

Featuring a Seven-Night Cruise on the Douro River

12 days from $5,290

Delve into the Age of Discovery on our exciting river and land journey to Portugal. Explore the fascinating history of Lisbon and charming Old World towns such as Porto, then enjoy a seven-night cruise of the Douro River, stopping off at vineyards and villages along the famous wine trail. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

While our group was on a small ship with other groups, we felt very fortunate to have our own subject matter expert and logistics facilitator to make our trip special and rich.

- John, S.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Hotel Dom Pedro Palace

Lisbon, Portugal

This popular, deluxe hotel, located in the heart of Lisbon, is within easy reach of the city’s historic and cultural highlights. It offers travelers an excellent base for exploring the city and its environs. Modern architecture and classic décor contribute to the elegance of the hotel while offering stunning views of Lisbon and the Tagus River. Spend some time with a drink in the Bar and try Il Gattopardo, a chic restaurant, serving inspired Italian cuisine. For casual fare and all-day dining, there’s Bistrot Le Café. Unwind in the well-equipped spa, fitness center or indoor pool. Guest rooms are traditional in decor with modern amenities that include complimentary WiFi.

Number of nights: 3

Activity Level

Activity Level 2: Moderate

Expectations: This journey is a combination land trip and river cruise, featuring morning, afternoon, or full-day excursions at a moderate pace. Standing and walking for long periods of time during city tours, museum visits, and/or outdoor activities. Walking over sometimes difficult terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, the absence of elevators, wineries); some longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Choice of excursions with varying activity expectations offered on some days. During the river cruise, the ship pulls into a pier for disembarkation.

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit and comfortable with long days of touring (both walking tours and coach time).

Special Air Rates/Services

FlexAir is designed to provide you with the flexibility and choice you need to personalize your air travel experience. Explore a wide range of flight options in consultation with our experienced travel professionals to select the flights, routing, class of service, and dates of travel that most fit your needs. Our partner tour operator has negotiated contracts with a wide variety of carriers that allow them to hold flight reservations and then issue your ticket close to departure without additional fees. This protects you from the need to purchase published-fare tickets, which must be ticketed within 24 hours of purchase. FlexAir reservations provide the flexibility to adjust reservations without penalty and to accommodate extensions and upgrades right up until ticketing time, usually around 45 days before departure. We look forward to providing you with more choice and the best possible itinerary for your air travel plans.

Program Includes:

  • Guaranteed transfers between the airport and your overseas accommodations upon arrival and departure (in most cases). We will provide you with all of the details you need to guarantee your transfer.
  • Air schedule change and delay assistance. Book FlexAir to ensure assistance should schedule changes or delays impact your air travel plans.
  • Flight insurance worth up to $250,000, subject to policy terms, is automatically included.
  • Confirmed airline seat assignments at the time of booking (in most cases).
River Cruising

Guidance on water levels and itinerary modifications

Your ship is designed with state-of-the-art flexibility in navigating rivers. On rare occasions, river cruising is subject to challenges due to unannounced river lock maintenance and/or weather-related increases or decreases in river depth. Extreme conditions may render a portion of a river itinerary unnavigable.

Should your river cruise be affected: 

  • You will receive a revised schedule outlining any changes prior to your departure either by regular mail or email. 
  • Any additional transportation, hotel accommodations, meals or special events, as a result, changes to the published itinerary will not increase the price of your trip. 
  • All ports of call and trip highlights contained in your original itinerary will be included in your revised schedule.  Under these extreme circumstances, additional motor coach travel, ship changes and/or hotel nights may be required to ensure participants experience the trip safely and as advertised.
Ship

Amalia Rodrigues

The Amalia Rodrigues represents a new generation of passenger vessels cruising the rivers and waterways of Europe. It employs a state-of-the-art marine design that enables it to deliver a high degree of safety and comfort while being mindful of the local environment and ecology. Staff and crew on the ship welcome travelers as they would members of their family and strive to make each day on board an extraordinary travel experience.

The ship boasts 65 welcoming cabins, accommodating 112 travelers. All cabins afford outside river views and feature individually-controlled air conditioning and heating, flat screen satellite TV, hair dryers, a personal safe and bathrooms with showers. The bright, panoramic restaurant accommodates all travelers at one convenient sitting. A comfortable lounge and bar provide a meeting place for shipboard relaxation and entertainment as well as a wide choice of cocktails, beer, wine, and other refreshments. On the Sun Deck, travelers can enjoy the passing scenery and relax in the outdoors as the ship sails to its next port. Stylish décor features contemporary design and furnishings in tones that are in perfect harmony with the congenial atmosphere found onboard.

The cuisine aboard ship is prepared in a traditional European style and served by staff who take pride in providing service with the ubiquitous French joie de vivre. Delight in a full breakfast buffet, lunch is served buffet style and dinner is a three- or four-course sit-down meal with a selection of specialty entrees complemented with local wine. Chefs aboard have worked with “Michelin-starred” masters, and CroisiEurope’s head chef, Alain Bohn, has been nominated for membership in the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France.

Amalia Rodrigues

The Amalia Rodrigues represents a new generation of passenger vessels cruising the rivers and waterways of Europe. It employs a state-of-the-art marine design that enables it to deliver a high degree of safety and comfort while being mindful of the local environment and ecology. Staff and crew on the ship welcome travelers as they would members of their family and strive to make each day on board an extraordinary travel experience.

The ship boasts 65 welcoming cabins, accommodating 112 travelers. All cabins afford outside river views and feature individually-controlled air conditioning and heating, flat screen satellite TV, hair dryers, a personal safe and bathrooms with showers. The bright, panoramic restaurant accommodates all travelers at one convenient sitting. A comfortable lounge and bar provide a meeting place for shipboard relaxation and entertainment as well as a wide choice of cocktails, beer, wine, and other refreshments. On the Sun Deck, travelers can enjoy the passing scenery and relax in the outdoors as the ship sails to its next port. Stylish décor features contemporary design and furnishings in tones that are in perfect harmony with the congenial atmosphere found onboard.

The cuisine aboard ship is prepared in a traditional European style and served by staff who take pride in providing service with the ubiquitous French joie de vivre. Delight in a full breakfast buffet, lunch is served buffet style and dinner is a three- or four-course sit-down meal with a selection of specialty entrees complemented with local wine. Chefs aboard have worked with “Michelin-starred” masters, and CroisiEurope’s head chef, Alain Bohn, has been nominated for membership in the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France.

Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

While our group was on a small ship with other groups, we felt very fortunate to have our own subject matter expert and logistics facilitator to make our trip special and rich.

- John, S.
Reading List

Highly Recommended

Cork Boat: A True Story of the Unlikeliest Boat Ever Built
By: John Pollack
165,321 corks1 boatMost people have childhood dreams; few ever pursue them. At the age of 34, John Pollack quit a prestigious speechwriting job on Capitol Hill to pursue an idea he had harbored since the age of six: to build a boat out of wine corks and take it on an epic journey.In Cork Boat, Pollack tells the charming and uplifting story of this unlikely adventure. Overcoming one obstacle after another, he convinces skeptical bartenders to save corks, corrals a brilliant but disorganized partner, and cajoles more than a hundred volunteers to help build the boat, many until their fingers bleed. Hired as a speechwriter for President Clinton midway through construction, Pollack soon has the White House saving corks, too. Ultimately, he and his crew set sail down the Douro River in Portugal, where the boat becomes a national sensation. Written with unusual grace and disarming humor, Cork Boat is a buoyant tale of camaraderie, determination, and the power of imagination.
Journey to Portugal: In Pursuit of Portugal's History and Culture
By: José Saramago
When José Saramago decided to write a book about Portugal, his only desire was that it be unlike all other books on the subject, and in this he has certainly succeeded. Recording the events and observations of a journey across the length and breadth of the country he loves dearly, Saramago brings Portugal to life as only a writer of his brilliance can. Forfeiting the usual sources such as tourist guides and road maps, he scours the country with the eyes and ears of an observer fascinated by the ancient myths and history of his people. Whether it be an inaccessible medieval fortress set on a cliff, a wayside chapel thick with cobwebs, or a grand mansion in the city, the extraordinary places of this land come alive. Always meticulously attentive to those elements of ancient Portugal that persist today, he examines the country in its current period of rapid transition and growth. Journey to Portugal is an ode to a country and its rich traditions.
DK Eyewitness Portugal (Travel Guide)
By: DK Eyewitness
Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire
By: Roger Crowley
In Empires of the Sea and City of Fortune, New York Times bestselling author Roger Crowley established himself as our generation’s preeminent historian of the great European seafaring empires, and the go-to author for post-Crusade clashes of East and West. Now, in Conquerors, Crowley gives us the epic story of the emergence of Portugal, a small, poor nation that enjoyed a century of maritime supremacy thanks to the daring and navigational skill of its explorers—a tactical advantage no other country could match. Portugal’s discovery of a sea route to India, campaign of imperial conquest over Muslim rulers, and domination of the spice trade would forever disrupt the Mediterranean and build the first global economy. Crowley relies on letters and eyewitness testimony to tell the story of tiny Portugal’s rapid and breathtaking rise to power. Conquerors reveals the Império Português in all of its splendor and ferocity, bringing to life the personalities of the enterprising and fanatical house of Aviz. Figures such as King Manuel “the Fortunate,” João II “the Perfect Prince,” marauding governor Afonso de Albuquerque, and explorer Vasco da Gama juggled their private ambitions and the public aims of the empire, often suffering astonishing losses in pursuit of a global fortune. Also central to the story of Portugal’s ascent was its drive to eradicate Islamic culture and establish a Christian empire in the Indian Ocean. Portuguese explorers pushed deep into the African continent in search of the mythical Christian king Prester John, and they ruthlessly besieged Indian port cities in their attempts to monopolize trade. The discovery of a route to India around the horn of Africa was not only a brilliant breakthrough in navigation but heralded a complete upset of the world order. For the next century, no European empire was more ambitious, no rulers more rapacious than the kings of Portugal. In the process they created the first long-range maritime empire and set in motion the forces of globalization that now shape our world. At Crowley’s hand, the complete story of the Portuguese empire and the human cost of its ambition can finally be told.Praise for Conquerors “Excellent . . . Crowley’s interpretations are nuanced and fair.”—The Christian Science Monitor “In a riveting narrative, Crowley chronicles Portugal's horrifically violent trajectory from ‘impoverished, marginal’ nation to European power, vying with Spain and Venice to dominate the spice trade.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “Brings to life the Portuguese explorers . . . perfect for anyone who likes a high seas tale.”—Publishers Weekly “Readers of Crowley’s previous books will not be disappointed by this exciting tale of sea battles, land campaigns and shipwrecks. . . . Crowley makes a good case for reclaiming Portugal’s significance as forger of the first global empire.”—The Daily Telegraph “Crowley has shown a rare gift for combining compelling narrative with lightly worn academic thoroughness as well as for balancing the human with the geopolitical—qualities on display here. The story he has to tell may be a thrilling one but not every historian could tell it so thrillingly.”—Michael Prodger, Financial Times “A fast-moving and highly readable narrative . . . [Crowley’s] detailed reconstruction of events is based on a close reading of the works of the chroniclers, notably Barros and Correa, whose accounts were written in the tradition of the chronicles of chivalry.”—History Today

Also Recommended

Portugal - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
By: Guedes de Queiroz, Sandy, Culture Smart!
DK Eyewitness Top 10 Lisbon (Pocket Travel Guide)
By: DK Eyewitness
Lonely Planet Portuguese Phrasebook & Dictionary
By: Lonely Planet, Kamimura, Yukiyoshi, Landon, Robert, de Azevedo Teixeira Sobrinho, Anabela
The Last Crusade: The Epic Voyages of Vasco da Gama
By: Nigel Cliff
HistorianNigel Cliff delivers a sweeping, radical reinterpretation of Vasco da Gama’spioneering voyages, revealing their significance as a decisive turning point inthe struggle between Christianity and Islam—a series of events which foreveraltered the relationship between East and West. Perfect for readers of Endurance:Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage, Galileo’sDaughter, and Atlantic, this first-ever completeaccount of da Gama’s voyages includes new information from the recentlydiscovered diaries of his sailors and an extraordinary series of lettersbetween da Gama and the Zamorin, a king of modern-dayKerala, India. Cliff, the author of The Shakespeare Riots, draws uponhis own travels in da Gama’s footsteps to add detail, authenticity, and acontemporary perspective to this riveting, one-of-a-kind historical epic.
The Portuguese: A Modern History
By: Barry Hatton
Combining history and anecdote, Barry Hatton paints an intimate portrait of a fascinating country and its people Portugal is an established member of the European Union, one of the founders of the euro currency and a founding member of NATO. Yet it is an inconspicuous and largely overlooked country on the continent's south-west rim. Barry Hatton shines a light on this enigmatic corner of Europe by blending historical analysis with entertaining personal anecdotes. He describes the idiosyncrasies that make the Portuguese unique and surveys the eventful path that brought them to where they are today. In the fifteenth-and sixteenth-century Age of Discovery the Portuguese led Europe out of the Mediterranean into the Atlantic and they brought Asia and Europe together. Evidence of their one-time four-continent empire can still be felt, not least in the Portuguese language which is spoken by more than 220 million people from Brazil, across parts of Africa to Asia. Analyzing present-day society and culture, The Portuguese also considers the nation's often tumultuous past. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake was one of Europe's greatest natural disasters, strongly influencing continental thought and heralding Portugal's extended decline. The Portuguese also weathered Europe's longest dictatorship under twentieth-century ruler António Salazar. A 1974 military coup, called the Carnation Revolution, placed the Portuguese at the center of Cold War attentions. Portugal's quirky relationship with Spain, and with its oldest ally England, is also scrutinized. Portugal, which claims Europe's oldest fixed borders, measures just 561 by 218 kilometers. Within that space, however, it offers a patchwork of widely differing and beautiful landscapes. With an easygoing and seductive lifestyle expressed most fully in their love of food, the Portuguese also have an anarchical streak evident in many facets of contemporary life. A veteran journalist and commentator on Portugal, the author gives a thorough overview of his adopted country.
My Portugal: Recipes and Stories
By: George Mendes, Genevieve Ko
In My Portugal, George Mendes, chef and owner of Michelin-starred Aldea, introduces us to the world of Portuguese cuisine, offering 125 mouthwater­ing recipes that showcase the wide range of dishes that come from this coastal country. The collection balances Mendes’s popular restaurant recipes, such as his signature Duck Rice and Garlic Seared Shrimp, with his takes on classic Portuguese dishes, such as Salt, Cod, Potato, and Egg Casserole; Mozambique Shrimp and Okra with Piri Piri; Eggs Baked with Peas, Linguiça, and Bacon; Butter Cookies; and more. His stories illustrate the wealth of culinary resources in Portugal—fresh seafood, savory meats, and crisp vegetables. With delicious recipes and stunning photographs of the country, My Portugal takes the reader on an unforgettable journey.
A Traveller's History of Portugal
By: Ian C. Robertson
A definitive concise history of Portugal, from its earliest beginnings right up to the politics and life of the present day.It was not until the twelfth century that Portugal became a country in its own right, having been a Roman colony and then having suffered both Barbarian and Islamic invasions. The golden age of discoveries, the reign and foresight of Henry the Navigator, and great seamen such as Vasco da Gama led to the founding of Portugal's empire and wealth. Troubled times followed: in 1755 Lisbon was virtually leveled by the "Great Earthquake, " and the country had hardly recovered its former prosperity when it was overrun by Napoleon's troops at the start of the Peninsular War, to be followed not long after by the Miguelite civil war. The middle decades of the nineteenth century saw the Port Wine trade flourishing, and further expansion into Africa. During the last quarter of the twentieth century, ever since the bloodless revolution of 1974 overthrew the right-wing dictatorship of Salazar, the country has regained its stability, and now takes its rightful place in the European Community.
Small Memories
By: José Saramago
“Small Memories is a . . . nourishing last gift from a great writer.”—Washington PostShifting back and forth between childhood and his teenage years, between Azinhaga and Lisbon, this is a mosaic of memories, a simply told, affecting look into the author’s boyhood: the tragic death of his older brother at the age of four; his mother pawning the family’s blankets every spring and buying them back in time for winter; his beloved grandparents bringing the weaker piglets into their bed on cold nights; and Saramago’s early encounters with literature, from teaching himself to read by deciphering articles in the daily newspaper, to poring over an entertaining dialogue in a Portuguese-French conversation guide, not realizing that he was in fact reading a play by Molière.Written with Saramago’s characteristic wit and honesty, Small Memories traces the formation of an artist fascinated by words and stories from an early age who emerged, against all odds, as one of the world’s most respected writers.“Like a nostalgic progenitor bestowing his wealth of life experience upon a younger generation, Saramago digs deep into his peasant roots to sketch a rough outline of the little boy who would become one of the greatest Portuguese-language writers”—Portland Oregonian
Alentejo Blue
By: Monica Ali
Following her National Book Critics Circle and Los Angeles Times Book Award-nominated, bestselling debut, Brick Lane, Monica Ali's splendid Alentejo Blue "rewards readers with characters who etch themselves into one's memory" (People). Set in a small Portuguese village, Alentejo Blue is a story of displacement and modernization told through the lives of the locals and of people who are just passing through. The residents of Mamarrosa whose ancestors occupy the graveyards are restless and struggle to make a living. They watch as tourists and expats move in. Monica Ali's characters are profoundly sympathetic. Her understanding of their dreams, desires, and disappointments is rare and moving. Alentejo Blue is evidence that Monica Ali is one of the most gifted voices of her generation.
The Book of Disquiet (Penguin Classics)
By: Fernando Pessoa
The prizewinning, complete and unabridged translation—“the best English-language version we are likely to see for a long time, if ever” (The Guardian)—of a work of unclassifiable genius: the crowning achievement of Portugal’s modern master   Winner of the Calouste Gulbenkian Translation Prize for Portuguese Translation    Fernando Pessoa was many writers in one. He attributed his prolific writings to a wide range of alternate selves, each of which had a distinct biography, ideology, and horoscope. When he died in 1935, Pessoa left behind a trunk filled with unfinished and unpublished writings, among which were the remarkable pages that make up his posthumous masterpiece, The Book of Disquiet, an astonishing work that, in George Steiner's words, "gives to Lisbon the haunting spell of Joyce's Dublin or Kafka's Prague."   Published for the first time some fifty years after his death, this unique collection of short, aphoristic paragraphs comprises the "autobiography" of Bernardo Soares, one of Pessoa's alternate selves. Part intimate diary, part prose poetry, part descriptive narrative, captivatingly translated by Richard Zenith, The Book of Disquiet is one of the greatest works of the twentieth century.
The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis
By: José Saramago
The year: 1936. Europe dances while an invidious dictator establishes himself in Portugal. The city: Lisbon-gray, colorless, chimerical. Ricardo Reis, a doctor and poet, has just come home after sixteen years in Brazil. Translated by Giovanni Pontiero.
Baltasar and Blimunda
By: Jose Saramago
From the recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature, a “brilliant...enchanting novel” (New York Times Book Review) of romance, deceit, religion, and magic set in eighteenth-century Portugal at the height of the Inquisition. National bestseller. Translated by Giovanni Pontiero.
The Stone Raft
By: Jose Saramago
When the Iberian Peninsula breaks free of Europe and begins to drift across the North Atlantic, five people are drawn together on the newly formed island-first by surreal events and then by love. “A splendidly imagined epic voyage...a fabulous fable” (Kirkus Reviews). Translated by Giovanni Pontiero.
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Laminated)
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.