Join us on our exciting river and land journey to Portugal, renowned for its rich culture, fascinating history, and stunning beauty. Explore important sites during two days around Lisbon followed by a seven-night cruise on the scenic Douro River.

Starting at: $4,240 * 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  Lighthouse near Cascais  Fishing boats in the harbor at 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: Cruising the Douro River

With three nights in Lisbon

12 days from $4,240

Join us on our exciting river and land journey to Portugal, renowned for its rich culture, fascinating history, and stunning beauty. Explore important sites during two days around Lisbon followed by a seven-night cruise on the scenic Douro River.

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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SPECIAL OFFER

Save $500 off per person on our July 15-26, 2019 cruise and save $250 per person of our October 1-12, 2019 and 2020 departures when you book by July 19, 2019!

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. Visit the Tour Details tab and click on "Special Air Rates/Services" drop down. 

Overview

Portugal is renowned for the Age of Discovery, Old World towns and centers of learning, rabelo (sailboats) loaded with casks of port plying the Douro, and distinctive blue azuelos (tiles). Encounter all this and much more during our land and river cruise program featuring seven nights aboard an intimate riverboat.

Highlights Include

  • Lisbon to Coimbra: Explore the treasures of Lisbon, including the Jeronimos Monastery, Tower of Belém, and Monument to the Discoveries, and enjoy a performance of traditional fado music. Then travel to the ancient town of Sintra, the fishing village of Cascais and the fashionable seaside resort of Estoril. Explore the medieval walled town of Obidos and during a stop in Coimbra, visit the University and see the spectacular university library.
  • Cruising the Douro: In Porto, discover sites on a city walking tour or take a tram tour, and savor a taste of the area’s port wine. Visit the town of Guimaraes, Portugal’s birthplace, or take a hike along the river. Cruise along the meandering Douro River to Pinhao, stopping off at traditional towns and vineyards along the famous wine trail. And on a day excursion, explore the glories of Spain’s Salamanca on foot or by bicycle.
  • Your Elegant Small-Ship Experience: Enjoy cruising aboard an upscale small river ship that features sophisticated staterooms and public spaces, superb amenities, excellent cuisine, and an informal ambiance. This cruise features the sister ships of Gil Eanes (October 2019) and Amalia Rodrigues (July 2019 and both 2020 departures). See more information about these sister ships on the Tour Details page. Each voyage will also host other leading cultural and educational institutions, which will add to the excitement and energy of the experience. 

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.

Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 — Depart the U.S. for Lisbon, Portugal

Smithsonian Journeys Travelers depart the U.S. for Lisbon via transatlantic flights.

Arrive at Lisbon’s Portela International Airport, and transfer to the upscale Hotel Dom Pedro Palace. Each traveler will receive a Welcome Package that contains information on Portugal and a map of Lisbon. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be on-hand to help with information for independent activities and they will offer a short orientation walk around the hotel neighborhood in the late afternoon. In the early evening, meet fellow Smithsonian Journeys travelers at a welcome reception at the hotel. (R)

Day 3 — Lisbon

Start each day with a buffet breakfast at the hotel. Today, visit Jeronimos Monastery, burial place of Vasco da Gama, and the Tower of Belém, both designated as World Heritage sites. Following Portugal’s seafaring tradition, see the Monument to the Discoveries, built for the Portuguese World Exhibition of 1940. It’s designed in the form of a ship with a statue of Prince Henry the Navigator standing on the bow looking out to the horizon.

Later, join fellow participants in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner for lively conversation.  Fado, meaning “fate,” is a musical art form made famous by the Portuguese. This evening, dine in a cozy Fado restaurant where you’ll hear these dramatic and soulful songs accompanied by dual guitarists. (B,D)

Day 4 — Sintra / Cascais and Estoril

After breakfast, depart for the historic town of Sintra where you’ll visit the Main Square and the National Palace of Sintra. Enjoy a luncheon of local specialties in Sintra, then continue along the coastal road to the quaint fishing village of Cascais.

After a guided walk through town, continue to the elegant resort of Estoril, a gathering place for Europe’s “glitterati.” In the late afternoon, a local expert will offer a talk on Portugal’s role in key events during the 20th century. (B,L)

Day 5 — Obidos / Coimbra and Porto

This morning, depart Lisbon and drive to the charming medieval walled town of Obidos, renowned for narrow winding streets, whitewashed houses covered with bougainvillea and its well-preserved 17th-century architecture. After a guided walking tour, explore the town on your own before continuing the drive north to Coimbra. Coimbra is a  World Heritage site known for its University, one of the oldest in Europe.

Enjoy lunch in Coimbra then continue to see the famous library, Saint Michael’s Chapel, and the Royal Palace including the Ceremonial Hall. After touring the University, you may want to explore the Old Cathedral commissioned by King Afonso Henriques on your own.

Afterward, continue to Porto where you’ll embark the ship. Once on board, there’s time to relax and get settled before gathering for a welcome reception and dinner. (B,L,R,D)

Day 6 — Porto

Start the day with a hearty breakfast. Today you can choose between two included shore excursions.

Choice #1 – Porto City Tour: Begin exploring Porto with a visit to the Stock Exchange, built in 1842. Continue to the Igreja de Sao Francisco, a church originally built in the Gothic tradition and through successive renovations has become a Baroque masterwork. Porto is famous the world over for its fine port wine. Visit a local wine cellar, where you’ll have the chance to sample!

Choice #2 – Porto Tram Trek: Travel to the town center where you’ll board a city tram and begin a unique experience in urban sightseeing to see Porto’s points of interest. The excursion will include a stop at the Tram Museum, housed in a former power plant. The museum collection includes the oldest horse-drawn cars and the last trams in operation dating from the 1950s and 1960s. The excursion ends with a tasting of Porto’s local specialties before returning to the ship.

The balance of the day will be at leisure for exploring on your own. Shuttles from the ship to Porto town center will operate this afternoon for your convenience. Later, gather for a talk by a local expert that will introduce you to The Alto Douro Wine Region. The ship will overnight in Porto. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Porto / Guimarães and Regua

Enjoy local cultural and historic highlights with a choice of one of the following included shore excursions.

Choice #– Guimarães: This historic city, a World Heritage site, is considered Portugal’s birthplace. See its medieval castle and magnificently well-preserved historic town center. With an expert local guide, tour this university town on foot and explore its historic treasures. Discover the Nossa Senhora de Oliveira Church, the most important religious landmark in the city. A maze of lanes and picturesque plazas are evocative of how life was lived in the past.

Choice #2 – Hiking Along the Douro: Set out with a local guide for a hike along the Atlantic coastline and the Douro River. On the walk, pass through the fishing village of Sao Pedro da Afurada. Enjoy beautiful views of Porto and the renowned Ribeira Square. Visit the town of Vila Nova de Gaia, where the local wine is aged in its world-famous cellars. Sample the wine in one of a local quintas.

This afternoon, the ship will cruise toward Peso de Regua. This region of Portugal is known as the Alto Douro, a World Heritage site and the world’s major producer of port wine. Late this afternoon, gather with fellow participants in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner to talk about the day’s experiences. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Regua / Barca d’Alva

Take an excursion to Vila Réal, a small town set amidst the vineyards and famous for its variations of religious architecture. After a panoramic tour of the town, stop and sample a local pastry. Continue on to the Manor Solar de Mateus, built in the 18th century, and considered one of the most beautiful manor houses in northern Portugal. Stroll through the perfectly manicured formal gardens, and see a 115-foot tunnel of old cedar trees.

Return to the ship in Pinhao ou Tavora and spend an afternoon sailing to Barca d’Alva, Spain where the ship will overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Salamanca

Today take your choice of one of the following included shore tours.

Choice #1 – Salamanca City Tour: This morning, depart the ship to visit the historic Old Town of Salamanca, a designated World Heritage site. Visit the Cathedral that has, over time, evolved in style from late Gothic to Baroque. Visit the University, one of the world’s oldest which first opened in 1218. Enjoy lunch in Salamanca, before returning to the ship.

Choice #2 – Salamanca Bike Hike: Take a bike ride accompanied by a local guide along the Tormes River before seeing the historic and cultural highlights of Salamanca’s Old Town and some points of interest off-the-beaten-path.

Spend time sharing experiences with fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. The ship remains in Barca d’Alva this evening. (B,L,D)

Day 10 — Barca d’Alva

Set out to explore the wine trail of Porto to see San Salvador do Mundo and Sao Joao da Pesqueira. These small towns are situated amidst the lush vineyards of the Rio Tinto Valley. In Sao Joao da Pesqueira see the arcade of the Main Square, the town Chapel, and quaint white-washed houses. Visit a quinta to sample the famous port.

Return to the ship in Ferradosa before an afternoon cruise along the Douro. This evening enjoy a traditional Portuguese folk show onboard. The ship will overnight in Piano. (B,L,D)

Day 11 — Pinhao ou Tavora

This morning, travel to Lamego, a charming town, where you’ll visit the 18th-century Nossa Senhora dos Remedios Sanctuary, known for the 686 stairs that lead up to the shrine. It is one of the most important pilgrimage churches in Portugal.

This evening, gather for a farewell reception and dinner. The ship will depart for Porto after dinner. (B,L,R,D) 

Day 12 — Depart for the U.S.

After an early breakfast, transfer to Porto Airport for your flight to the U.S. (B)​

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)