River Douro Cruise 2018

River Douro | Portugal, Europe

8 days
per person
  • Douro
  • Douro
  • Barca d'Alva
  • Peso da Regua
  • Douro
  • Castelo Rodrigo
  • Porto
  • River Douro
DouroDouroBarca d'AlvaPeso da ReguaDouroCastelo RodrigoPorto River Douro
Note that there may be small differences between our general Itinerary for this cruise and a specific departure. To view departure specific itineraries please go to the Dates and Prices tab and click "View Itinerary" on a specific departure.


River Douro Cruise Itinerary

In a sundrenched corner of Europe, the Douro has created a spectacular valley as it wends its way from Spain and across Portugal to meet the Atlantic Ocean. It’s here, in the colourful city of Porto, that we join our ship and set off through miles and miles of rural scenery swathed with endless rows of neatly terraced vineyards and clusters of almond and olive trees, with tiny villages dotted here and there along the steep slopes. On reaching Spain, we turn our course back to Porto to explore the place that gave Portugal – and port wine – it’s very name. With sightseeing opportunities each day and the chance to experience local traditions aboard our ship, it’s a cruise that will lull you into the relaxing rhythm of the Douro, the river of gold.

Day 1: UK – Porto, Vila Nova de Gaia
We fly to Porto in Portugal and are transferred to Vila Nova de Gaia where we board our ship. This evening we sail to Bitetos.

Day 2: Bitetos - Pinhão
Enjoy the beautiful surroundings with a welcoming cocktail. We stop in Foz Távora where we leave for our included excursion to Quinta Avessada where you will enjoy lunch and live entertainment. We arrive back to the ship in time for dinner. This evening we visit the tiled railway station of Pinhão.

Day 3: Pinhão – Vega de Terrón
After a leisurely morning cruising to Vega de Terrón on the Spanish Portugal border. Here you can join our excursion visiting Castelo Rodrigo, which ranks among the 12 historic villages in Portugal and has landmark status. We take a walk around the village to admire the medieval treasures and panoramic views before returning to our ship. The captain joins us for dinner this evening.

Day 4: Vega de Terrón - Barca d’Alva
Today’s excursion visits the Spanish city of Salamanca, where you can enjoy a sightseeing walk, lunch and a flamenco show. We return to our ship back over the border in Barca d’Alva, the last Portuguese village along the Douro, and enjoy a traditional barbecue onboard.

Day 5: Barca d’Alva – Peso da Regua
We make a short stop at Foz Távora, where we drive to Quinta do Seixo winery, where we enjoy port wine and stunning views across the Douro. This afternoon you can join the excursion to Lamego. This elegant city is filled with Renaissance and baroque mansions and is where we find one of Portugal’s best museums. We arrive back for dinner onboard the ship, which is in Peso da Règua for the night.

Day 6: Peso da Règua
Today we sail to Règua early in the morning. Our excursion takes usto the Palace Mateus including a promenade in the park as well as through the lovely historic centre of Vila Real. The return journey to the ship leads us through vineyards, gorges and olive groves. During the afternoon our journey continues along the Douro. We arrived just in time for the sunset, as we reach the river-mouth, where the Douro turns into the Atlantic. For the next two nights we will be moored in Vila Nova de Gaia. In the evening we enjoy a traditional Fado Show on board.

Day 7: Porto, Vila Nova de Gaia
Vila Nova de Gaia offers an overwhelming view across the Douro of the second major city of Portugal, Porto with its labyrinth of colourful streets and houses. Your visit to Porto starts at the Cais da Ribeira and onto the historical Alfandega before visiting one of the local port wineries for a tour and tasting. After lunch there is an excursion to Guimarães, often referred to as the birthplace of Portugal, where you can explore the narrow alleys lined with medieval houses, along with an old castle complex set against the deep green hills surrounding the Pena Palace

Day 8: Porto – UK
After breakfast we bid farewell to the team onboard our ship and are taken to the airport for our return flight.

River Douro Cruise

• Stay aboard the beautiful 4 star ms Douro Spirit

• Follow the river of gold from Porto, Portugal, to Spain and back

• Cruise through one of the oldest and most beautiful wine regions in the world

• Explore the colourful port of Porto, the second largest city in Portugal

• Enjoy a Portuguese barbecue aboard our ship

• Experience traditional Portuguese singing with a fado music evening


Please see below for information on how to join your cruise:

By Air London Heathrow

Air travel is included as an air inclusive option with flights and return transfers to the ship included.

Dates and pricing

The details below show the travel options, pricing and the available departure dates for this itinerary. If you have any questions about this cruise please do not hesitate to call our Holiday Advisors.


DepartureTravel optionsBooking

To enhance your holiday experience all excursions are included. This will allow you to discover the history of our ports of call, experience the tradition of local regions and explore further afield.



This elegant city is filled with Renaissance and baroque mansions, and tucked away in an 18th century palace is one of Portugal’s best regional museums which we see during our visit. It includes huge 16th century Flemish tapestries depicting mythological scenes and works by the great 16th century Portuguese artist Grão Vasco showing the Creation, Annunciation, Visitation, and Circumcision.

Wine tasting in the Quinta Avessada

We are taken to the little village of Favaios in the heart of the Douro region to visit the Quinta Avessada wine cellar and enjoy a tasting of different kinds of port wine, as well as dinner and live entertainment. Traditions here are still very much at the heart of winemaking, but the winery has also developed an interactive technological system which uses robots – a project that’s totally unique in Europe.

Castelo Rodrigo

Castelo Rodrigo

Castelo Rodrigo is among the 12 historic villages in Portugal and has landmark status. From its elevated position we can enjoy panoramic views as we walk around the village, taking in the medieval walls, the church, the cistern and the palace ruins.

Salamanca with lunch and a flamenco show

Salamanca with lunch and a flamenco show

Enjoy a full day in the famous Spanish university city Salamanca. During a sightseeing walk you will see the Plaza Mayor (the oldest university in Spain), the Casa de las Conchas, the baroque church La Clereria, the cathedral and the Roman bridge. The excursion also includes lunch and a flamenco show.

Quinta do Seixo & Mateus Castle and garden

Quinta do Seixo & Mateus Castle and garden

Sandeman’s Quinta do Seixo wine centre offers breathtaking views across its vineyards and the Douro river. During our visit we take a guided tour of the cellar and enjoy a glass of delicious Porto wine. We also visit Mateus Castle, where you can explore the grand interiors and landscaped gardens.

The Douro Museum

The Douro Museum

This museum is a fantastic representation of the memory, culture and identity of the World Heritage Douro wine region and the perfect complement to our cruise. Naturally, there is also a wine bar overlooking the river!

Porto city tour with port wine tasting

Porto city tour with port wine tasting

This excursion leads you from Ribeira square, the historical heart of Porto, to the waterfront, taking in numerous highlights along the way. We then visit one of the port wine houses for a tour and tasting.



This well preserved town is often referred to as the birthplace of Portugal. With the consistent use of traditional building materials and techniques, it exemplifies Portuguese architecture from the 15th to the 19th century, and is a beautiful place to explore on foot.

At a glance

Length: 8 days

From: Porto

Ends: Porto

Travel options available:

  • By Air London Heathrow
8 days
per person

Customer feedback

Included in the Price

  • Return flights from London Heathrow
  • Coach transfers between the airport and ship
  • Welcome drink, captain’s dinner and farewell cocktail
  • En suite cabin accommodation aboard the MS Douro Spirit
  • Full board during your cruise including a Portuguese barbecue
  • Evening entertainment including a folk show and fado evening
  • English-speaking, experienced tour guides on board
  • Services of our Tour Manager


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