Luxury barge and river cruise vacations in France, Spain and Portugal. Train tours in Spain. All-inclusive barge and river cruising and canal barging in France, Spain and Portugal. Cruises on luxury trains, barge hotels or elegant river boats. Enjoy French wines, gourmet cuisine and private guided tours. Travel Burgundy, Champagne, Provence, Normandy, the Loire River valley, the Paris region, Northern Spain,  Andalusiaand the Douro River valley by barge, riverboat or train. Group theme charters and family tours. Cooking and wine appreciation classes. Wine cruises and wine tours.



Barge Cruises, River Cruises and Train Tours in France, Spain and Portugal

 

CRUISE
DESTINATIONS

 


~ River Cruises in Portugal ~
Douro - Lisbon I

Coming in 2015: Add Madrid before or after your cruise!

A taste of Portugal and Spain:
Historic places, gentle beauty, rich wines and hearty meals

Tour the historic cities of Lisbon, Coimbra and Porto, then cruise the meandering Douro River across northern Portugal to the Spanish border on an elegant 116-passenger river boat (11 days - 10 nights).

Portugal, a small country tucked into a corner of the Iberian Peninsula, changed the course of world history, leading to the “discovery” of many new lands. Before embarking on your river cruise, enjoy the capital city of Lisbon, a treasure house of old world architecture set on seven low hills bordering the River Tejo. Stop in Coimbra, “Birthplace of Kings,” and Porto, the beautiful “City of Bridges.”

The Douro River starts in Spain and reaches the Atlantic Ocean in Porto. The river has carved a valley of spectacular beauty, with hills falling steeply down to the water’s edge and stone terraces built over generations to give the grape vines a sheltered hold on the steep rocks. This is port wine country, the oldest demarcated wine region in the world, established in 1756. Stroll through Salamanca, Spain, a UNESCO World Heritage city, and all along the way uncover a land of unspoiled beauty and charm. 

Photos and deck plan of elegant river boat. All-inclusive river cruising vacation in the Douro River valley of Portugal plus tours of Lisbon, Coimbra and Salamanca, Spain.

Map of river cruise in Portugal

TYPICAL RIVER CRUISE-TOUR ITINERARY
(actual program may vary)

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Day 1 - Thursday: Lisbon. Arrive in Lisbon, where you’ll be greeted by a company representative and transferred to your hotel. (Note: departure from the US or Canada on Wednesday.)

Day 2 - Friday: Lisbon (B). Start with a guided tour to the iconic Belém Tower and Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a monument to Portugal’s great explorers. Visit the spectacular Manueline Baroque Jerónimos Monastery. Sample a traditional sweet, the pastéis de Belém, at a famous pasteleria (pastry shop), then see the hills of the Alfama district and Rossio plaza.

Day 3 - Saturday: Lisbon (B). Free day to enjoy sightseeing in this beautiful city, with its old world atmosphere, museums and numerous outdoor cafes.

Day 4 - Sunday: Lisbon, Coimbra, Porto (B, L, D). En route to the cruise ship docked in Porto, you’ll learn about Portugal’s third largest city on a tour of Coimbra, the birthplace of six of Portugal’s kings and home to one of the oldest universities in Europe. Visit the Biblioteca Joanina, the jewel of Coimbra University. Enjoy a family-style lunch at a local restaurant before continuing on to Porto to meet the riverboat. Dinner on board.

Day 5 - Monday: Porto, Bitetos (B, L, D). Birthplace of Henry the Navigator (who launched Portugal’s voyages of exploration) and longtime hub of the Port wine trade, Porto combines well-preserved historic buildings with cutting-edge architecture and a booming cultural revival. Your tour will take you to the 19th-century Palácio da Bolsa and then on to the cathedral and the bustling shopping street, Santa Catarina. Or, if you prefer, see Porto from a different perspective, starting with a climb to the top of Clérigos Tower. Visit the world’s most opulent bookstore, Livraria Lello; then see the sweeping Avenida dos Aliados followed by a tasty stop at a pastelaria. A scenic cable-car ride returns you to the riverfront, where you can walk to spectacular São Francisco Church. After lunch, you’ll visit one of the city’s famed Port cellars. In the evening, enjoy a Gala Dinner onboard the riverboat.

Day 6 - Tuesday: Bitetos, Régua, Pinhão (B, L, D). Enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Douro Valley as you cruise from Bitetos to Régua in the morning. The valley's steep slopes feature terraces that were cut by hand into the rocky soil and planted with grapes centuries ago. Visit the Douro Museum to learn about the river and its wines. Then tour the Mateus Palace, a perfect example of baroque architecture, with an impressive facade made up of beautiful pinnacles on the roof and an ornate stairway, all reflected in a pond in front of the palace. The gardens are among the most beautiful in Europe, with a tunnel of cypress trees shading the path. In the evening, you’ll tour the family-owned Quinta da Avessada, which produces premium Moscatel. Stroll the vineyard and enjoy its views. Meet the owner and learn about the winemaking process. Inside the winery’s old stone walls, enjoy a rustic dinner featuring fine local wines and live traditional music.

Day 7 - Wednesday: Pinhão, Vega de Terrón (Spain) (B, L, D). The small town of Pinhão is the center of the port winemaking area. Visit a quinta (vineyard) and learn more about the history of port, which goes back to the 17th century. Find out about the unique climate conditions of the Douro River Valley and the port wine making process, and of course, indulge in some of this country's most celebrated beverage. Cruise to Vega de Terrón in the afternoon. Dinner on board the riverboat.

Day 8 - Thursday: Vega de Terrón, Salamanca, Barca d'Alva (B, L, D). The riverboat will dock in Vega de Terrón, Spain, in the morning. From here, you’ll travel by motor coach to the Spanish city of Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best preserved medieval cities in Spain. Visit the historic university founded in 1218 by Alfonso IX of León and stroll through one of Spain’s largest and grandest squares - the Plaza Mayor - with its warm, gold-colored sandstone. After a typical Spanish lunch with a flamenco show at one of the city’s wonderful restaurants, enjoy some free time before returning to the cruise ship.

Day 9 - Friday: Barca d'Alva, Régua (B, L, D). Visit the small town of Castelo Rodrigo, a medieval walled town dating back to the 12th century with a parish church perched high on a hilltop.

Day 10 - Saturday: Régua, Porto (B, L, D).Today you have a choice of excursions. One possibility is to visit historic Guimarães. As Portugal’s first capital (back in the 12th century) and home to its first king, Don Afonso Henriques, Guimarães has been called the birthplace of the Portuguese nation. Dominated by Afonso Henriques’s grand castle, Guimarães has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or, if you prefer, explore the UNESCO-designated Ribeira district of Porto on foot; here, the colorful heart of the old port city will enchant you with medieval lanes and zigzagging stairways.

Day 11 - Sunday: Porto. (B) Disembark the riverboat and transfer to the Porto airport for your flight home.

This program is also available as cruise-only, starting in Porto on Day 4.

This itinerary is subject to change without notice.

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Highlights

  • Lisbon, capital of Portugal
  • Bibiloteca Joanina in Coimbra
  • Port wine tasting
  • Mateus palace and surrounding gardens
  • Tour and dinner at Quinta da Avessada, which produces premium Moscatel wines
  • Salamanca (a UNESCO World Heritage Site): tour and flamenco show
  • Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, a small medieval town
  • Guimarães (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Porto, "City of Bridges"

Included

  • 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom
  • 3-night luxury hotel stay in Lisbon with breakfast
  • All meals beginning on Day 4, including Gala Dinner
  • Unlimited wine, beer, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Bottled water in staterooms each day
  • 24-hour specialty coffee and tea station
  • 13 excursions fully hosted by English-speaking guides using portable audio headset system
  • Onboard entertainment and lecture
  • Services of a cruise manager and English-speaking staff
  • All gratuities for onboard staff and shore excursions
  • Internet and WiFi
  • Transfers on arrival (flights arriving between 5 am and 5 pm) and departure days (flights departing between 6 am and 6 pm)

Available at Additional Cost

  • Roundtrip air from many US cities
  • Items not included on regular menus
  • Laundry (not self-service)
  • Health and travel insurance

Not Included

  • Personal expenses
  • Other items not specifically listed under "Included" above

River Boat Features

  • All staterooms and suites have hotel-style beds (choice of queen or twin), private bathroom with hairdryer and L'Occitane toiletries, bathrobes and slippers, generous built-in closets, safe, individual climate-control thermostat, flat-screen TV, radio, alarm clock, iPhone/iPod charger and player and bottled water.
  • 2 suites (323 sq ft), upper deck, full balcony
  • 18 junior suites (215 sq ft), upper deck, full balcony
  • 23 category 1 staterooms (161 sq ft), main deck, French balcony
  • 12 category 2 staterooms (161 sq ft), lower deck, fixed window
  • 3 category 3 staterooms (161 sq ft), lower deck, fixed window
  • Public areas include: lounge with full-service bar, elegant restaurant, sun deck with swimming pool, fitness center, spa, boutique, and elevator
  • Reception service
  • Complimentory coffee and tea bar
  • Free internet and Wi-Fi access
  • New in 2013
  • Size: 258 ft x 37.5 ft
  • Guests: 116
  • Number of decks: 3 plus sun deck
  • Voltage: 110/220
  • Elevator

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2014 Dates & Prices (in US$). Contact us for 2015 dates and prices.

Note: Departures from the US on Wednesday. Land portion of cruise-tour starts in Lisbon on Thursday. River cruise begins in Porto on Sunday evening and ends in Porto the following Sunday morning.


Start Date
Lisbon Tour
+ Cruise*

Start Date
Lisbon Tour
+ Cruise*
Mar 27
$3,799
Aug 21
$4,099
Apr 3, 10, 17
$3,899
Aug 28
Sep 4, 11
$4,499
Apr 24
$3,949
Sep 18, 25
Oct 2
$4,399
May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Jun 5
$4,199
Oct 9
$4,199
Jun 12, 19
$3,999
Oct 16
$3,899
Jun 26
$3,949
Oct 23
$3,799
Jul 3, 10, 17, 24
Aug 1, 7
$3,849
Oct 30
$3,699
Aug 14
$3,899
Nov 6, 13
$3,599

*Prices are per person, double occupancy, in Category 3. To upgrade to a higher category, add the following amounts per person:

Suite
$3,095
Junior Suite
$1,595
Category 1
$850
Category 2
$275

For each passenger, add port charges of $140.

For cruise only (starting in Porto), subtract $500 per person from above prices.

A limited number of singles are available for an additional supplement.

Airfare is available from US and Canada only. Contact us for prices

If you book your own air transportation, free transfers are available for flights arriving between selected hours on the start and end days.

Document shipping to countries outside the US and Canada is available for an additional fee.

Specials

2014 discounts:

  • Save $300 per couple on select departure dates. Offer expires July 31, 2014 OR
  • Single supplement waived on select departures

2015 discounts:

  • Program including Lisbon and Madrid: Save $1,200 per couple on Suite or Category 1 stateroom or $1,000 per couple on Category 2 or 3 stateroom. Requires full payment at time of booking. Offer expires October 31, 2014. OR
  • Program including Lisbon only: Save $800 per couple on Suite or Category 1 stateroom or $600 per couple on Category 2 or 3 stateroom. Requires full payment at time of booking. Offer expires October 31, 2014. OR
  • Save $300-500 per couple with deposit only depending on itinerary. Offer expires January 15, 2015.OR
  • Single supplement waived on select departures

Contact us for 2015 dates and prices.

Note: Offers are subject to availability at time of reservation and are capacity controlled. Other restrictions may apply. The cruise company reserves the right to withdraw any special offer at any time.

 Availability of Douro-Lisbon river boat cruise  Register for a cruise on canal barges or riverboats in France, Burgundy, Provence, Normandy, the Loire Valley or Portugal

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DEPARTURES
AND PRICES

(R) Riverboat cruises
(C) Private charters only
(T) Train tours

France: Burgundy

Burgundy - Besancon
Burgundy - Chablis

Burgundy - Dijon I
(C)
Burgundy - Dijon II
(C)
Burgundy - Tanlay
Burgundy - Vezelay
Burgundy - Vougeot

France: Paris & Vicinity

Chablis - Paris
Ile de France - Briare

Ile de France - Loire
Paris - Champagne
Paris - Honfleur
(R)
Paris - Normandy (R)
Paris - Rouen (R)

France: Rhone River

Lyon - Provence (R)
Paris - Barcelona
(R)
Paris - Riviera
(R)
Provence - Camargue
Rhone - Provence

South of France

Midi - Beziers
Midi - Carcassonne

Midi - Languedoc I
Midi - Languedoc II
Midi - Marseillette
(C)
Midi - Narbonne

France: Bordeaux Region

Aquitaine - Armagnac
Aquitaine - Garonne
Bordeaux - Medoc (R)

France: Loire Valley

Loire - Chenonceau

France: Alsace

Alsace - Lorraine

Portugal: Douro River

Douro - Lisbon I (R)
Douro - Lisbon II (R)
Douro - Madrid (R)

Spain: Rail Cruise

Andalusia - Seville (T)
Galicia - Leon
(T)
Galicia - Vasco
(T)

(R) Riverboat cruises
(C) Private charters only
(T) Train tours

Dates and prices of river cruises in Portugal
Specials for cruises on canal barges and riverboats in France, Burgundy, Provence, Normandy, the Loire Valley and Portugal
Questions about our river cruises in France, Spain and Portugal
Availability of barge cruises on canal barges and riverboats
Ask about our river cruises
Register for a cruise on canal barges or riverboats in France, Burgundy, Provence, Normandy, the Loire Valley or Portugal
Canal barge and riverboat cruises in France, Spain and Portugal
 

Coimbra, Portugal

Coimbra

 

Douro Valley, Portugal

The Douro Valley

 

Mateus Gardens, Portugal

Mateus Gardens

 
France travel specialist
 
Travel Institute-Certified
France Specialist
 
Spain travel specialist
 
 Travel Institute-Certified
Spain Specialist
 
Circa Tours, a division of
Circa Terras, Inc.

CST Registration 2081474-40
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
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