Douro Cruise onboard The Spirit of Chartwell
Iconic port wine, enigmatic cities and Portuguese charm, all on a boat used by Her Majesty the Queen, makes this cruise one to remember. Discover the unique culture of the golden Douro river on board the excellent Spirit of Chartwell as you visit quintas, explore villas and sample Portuguese delicacies.
After meeting at the airport, we board our flight today from London to Porto. On arrival into this classic Portuguese city, transfer to the dock where you board your ship, the exquisite Spirit of Chartwell. After settling in to your elegant cabin, enjoy an exotic cocktail while the captain and his crew welcome you aboard as the upper deck is bathed in the golden glow of the Portuguese sunset. Enjoy a delicious dinner together on board this evening
This morning begins with a city tour of Porto. Enjoy the sights of this charming city including the city bridge, the manors of the Foz district and the cathedral with its commanding views from the top of the Penaventosa Hill. Our tour also includes a visit to a Port Wine Lodge, where we will see old casks full of Port and have the opportunity to sample the famous Portugese wine. The Spirit of Chartwell sets sail in the afternoon, on its way to Entre-os-Rios. We enjoy a vintage port wine celebration on board this evening.
Today, your ship docks at Regua. This morning, you are given a culinary demonstration introducing you to the gastronomic traditions of this part of the world. In the afternoon, you pay a visit to Lamego, a picturesque village near the banks of the Douro where you take a guided tour. The Cathedral is the centrepoint of Lamego, a remarkable example of Baroque architecture with superb panoramas across the white buildings below. Arguably more impressive however, are 700 steps which lead up to its doors, decorated as they are in cheerful white and blue tiles. As part of the tour, enjoy tastings of the local produce, including regional bread, cakes and a sparkling wine known as 'Raposeira'. Enjoy dinner at a local wine 'quinta' or wine estate later.
Barca d'Alva is today's docking point and from here, you take an excursion to Castelo Rodrigo. A fascinating medieval town, hidden in the hills, Castelo Rodrigo has seen a variety of different peoples and civilisations come and go. Enjoy a historical tour here along with a tasting of local almonds. Later on board, you take dinner with the Captain at the Captain's Dinner before a Portuguese Music Show which features a delightful performance of folk music.
Your excursion today sees you venture into neighbouring Spain by coach, where you visit the magnificent city of Salamanca. This honey-coloured city is home to some stunning buildings and architecture, which you discover on your tour here. We see the oldest university in Spain, the decorous House of Shells and the grand Plaza Mayor.
The Spirit of Chartwell departs Barca d'Alva today, sailing back to Regua. On arrival, you pay a visit to the Vila Real and the Casa de Mateus. This romantic villa was owned by the Count of Vila Real, and features a chapel and gracefully manicured gardens. After the dinner tonight, we enjoy a tasting of Graham's Six Grapes, Winston Churchill's favourite port.
Sail today to Entre-os-Rios this morning for your excursion to Quinta da Aveleda. One of the notable wine estates which sit near the banks of the Douro, the Quinta da Aveleda belongs to the Guedes family who have been in operation since the mid-19th century. Tonight, the Spirit of Chartwell returns to Porto and it is here where you are treated to a sunset cruise across the harbour.
Bid a fond farewell to the Spirit of Chartwell and Portugal as you disembark for your transfer to the airport and you flight back to London.
On the evening of Day 1, on selected tours we are joined by our special guest speaker, former ITN Royal Correspondent Nicholas Owen. Nicholas' gives a talk on the Royal Family, a suitable topic given the Spirit of Chartwell's impressive royal connection.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise arrival and departure times.
The River Cruise and All Transfers
All Meals and Drinks
This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.