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X Douro River Cruise (old version)

 

 

 

Overview

Douro River Cruise

  • All Meals & Alcoholic Drinks Included
  • All Shore Excursions Included
  • All Tips & Gratuities Included
  • Wi-Fi Included

 

 

 

 

 

 

Itinerary

Porto, Salamanca & the Douro Valley

Trip Highlights

  • Overnight in Porto!
  • Tour Mateus Palace!
  • Full Day in Salamanca!
  • Cruising the River of Gold!

Trip Snapshot

Sail OUTbound with a dream river cruise through the Douro Valley. From the peaceful wineries producing Portugal’s much-loved port wine to the ancient Spanish city of Salamanca, the Douro is a rustic region of simple pleasures. Along the way you’ll explore incredibly majestic sites such as the Vila Real and the gardens of the manor house of Solar de Mateus. The Douro Valley is home to delicious treasures and will take you along the port wine route. Admire incredible terraced vineyards that extend over a hundred kilometers along the Douro to the Spanish border. We’ll sail from the splendid city of Porto, with its sweet authentic charm, before venturing far into the Iberian countryside to Salamanca, exploring the shops and cafés of the Plaza Mayor and enjoying a sampling of regional cuisine.

Porto

Located at the mouth of the Douro River, Porto is a fascinating eclectic mix of modern and ancient architecture. Admire its graceful bridges, grand cathedral and romantic buildings nestled together on narrow cobblestone streets. Sample wines that have been in the making for generations at the historic Quinta da Aveleda estate, or soar over the historic “City of Bridges” on a thrilling gondola ride along the banks of the Douro.

Régua

Explore Mateus Palace, a stunning baroque palace that was the home to the last Count of Vila Real. See its pinnacled façade, grand stairway, richly appointed interiors and priceless objects on display before strolling through the palace’s enchanting formal gardens featuring exquisitely sculpted hedges and serene bodies of water. Visit one of the area’s iconic port wine making institutions. See its vineyard and tour the facility to learn how these unique Portuguese products are crafted, then sample the libation in their tasting room.

Salamanca

This ancient city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a living museum that takes visitors back to the Middle Ages. Take a ride through the Iberian countryside, then spend some time exploring the shops and cafés of the Plaza Mayor. See the Gothic House of Shells, the 13th century Salamanca University and the New Cathedral, before hitting the local market to enjoy sampling some regional cuisine.

Ferradosa

Continue your OUTbound venture through the enchanting countryside. Terraced vineyards rise from the river banks, historic landmarks pepper distant horizons and charming townships lay hidden in the rural hillsides. Experience the unique culture of the Douro Valley while enjoying traditional cuisine, port wine and ‘fado’ singing. Fado music is a form of Portuguese singing often associated with pubs, cafés, and restaurants. This music genre originated in Portugal around the 1820s, and is known for how expressive and profoundly melancholic it is.

Description

Our cruise on Portugal’s Douro River offers an authentic taste of life and world-class wines in a region steeped in wine making for over 2,000 years. Explore the colorful city of Porto, an enticing labyrinth of winding streets, baroque churches and blue-tiled houses, where port wine is made and stored. We’ll trace port wine to its source, the quintas and picture-postcard villages of the Douro River Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here, you’ll discover terraced vineyards and enjoy tours, tastings, wine pairings, and a lesson in port cocktail-making You’ll also tour baroque Mateus Palace, and immerse yourself in the rich local history and proud colorful culture that showcases the very best of Portugal. A legacy of wine making awaits you on our OUTbound adventure through the lush Douro River Valley!

 

Day 1 – Porto, Portugal

Bem vindo a Porto! Porto is a trendy and charming mix of now and then. After arriving, head to the dock where you can relax, get settled in your stateroom and explore our ship. This evening, meet your OUTbound hosts and mingle with your fellow guests. We’ll introduce the crew with a welcome aboard cocktail before heading OUTbound to explore the fascinating city of Porto after dark.

Porto Excursion

After dinner, join us for a tour of Porto by night. A vibrant city, Porto’s nightlife is even more alive with energy. We’ll see the city as it lights up, from panoramic spots overlooking its famous old town to a trip along the banks of the Douro to see reflections of the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge, a double-deck metal arch bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel in 1879, a full 10 years before beginning work on his tower in Paris. After our tour, spend some time on your own exploring the local bars and night clubs, offering music for every taste.

Day 2 – Porto, Portugal

Porto is known for its stately bridges and port wine production. In the medieval Ribeira (riverside) district, narrow streets wind past merchants’ houses and charming cafés. Close by sits São Francisco Church, known for its lavish baroque interior with ornate gilded carvings. The palatial 19th century Palácio da Bolsa, formerly a stock market, was built to impress potential European investors. Take an OUTbound walk to Guimarães and its medieval quarter, stopping along the way at some of the many wineries to sample port wines that have been in the making for generations.

Porto Excursion

Today we’ll board one of the city’s trams and travel all the way to the mouth of the Douro on the Atlantic coast. Along the way we’ll visit Porto’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll admire Porto’s graceful bridges, grand cathedral and romantic historic buildings nestled together on cobblestone streets. We’ll conclude our excursion with a tasting of some of the local specialties before returning to our ship and beginning our cruise along the Douro

Day 3 – Régua & Pinhão, Portugal

Encircled by terraced hillsides that produce some of the world’s best port, little Pinhão sits on a particularly lovely bend of the Douro. Wineries and their competing signs dominate the scenery. Even the delightful train station has azulejos (hand-painted tiles) depicting the grape harvest. Next, journey OUTbound to Vila Real and Mateus Palace, set in beautiful gardens on a vast farm. The Palace is considered to be one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in Portugal, and its interior decoration includes intricately carved wood ceilings, 17th and 18th century paintings, silverware, ceramics and a remarkable library.

Vila Real Excursion

Join us for an excursion to Vila Real, site of the extraordinary Mateus Palace (the building depicted on the Mateus Rosé wine labels). This stunning baroque palace was the home of the last Count of Vila Real. Its pinnacled façade, grand stairway, richly appointed interiors and priceless objects on display will astonish you, as will the palace’s enchanting formal gardens featuring cedar-lined walkways, exquisite sculpted hedges and serene pools of water. We’ll also visit one of the area’s iconic port wineries, touring the facility to learn how these unique Portuguese products are crafted, then sample the ports themselves in the tasting room.

Day 4 – Salamanca, Spain

Vega de Terrón serves as our gateway to Spain. Founded in Roman times, the ancient city of Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a living museum that takes visitors back to the Middle Ages, while also being a cosmopolitan and multicultural city with a large population of international students. The sunny sandstone city boasts Spain’s grandest plaza, its oldest university and a fascinating history, all swaddled in a strolling, college-town ambiance. Salamanca is home to a series of monuments, a pair of cathedrals from different centuries and some fantastic museums.

Salamanca Excursion

Today we’ll take a ride through the Iberian countryside to Salamanca, embarking OUTbound on a city tour before spending some time exploring the shops and cafés of the Plaza Mayor (Main Square) on your own. At the local market, enjoy sampling regional cuisine. Our guided city tour takes us to the Casa de las Conchas, a building that has been lovingly decorated with more than 300 sea shells. We’ll also visit the 13th century Salamanca University and the New Cathedral, built from 1513 through 1733. The Old Cathedral still exists and can be visited during our free time.

Day 5 – Ferradosa & Leverinho, Portugal

A symbol of Portugal’s birth and growth as a nation, the Douro has long been the country’s lifeline. Spend today venturing OUTbound through the enchanting countryside. Terraced vineyards rise from the river banks in the charming port village of Ferradosa. Cruising further west, you’ll experience how much of the region remains untouched and unchanged over the past few centuries. Leverinho provides a wonderful step back in time as we get up close and personal with some of the peaceful wineries producing Portugal’s much-loved port wine using age old traditions.

Ferradosa Excursion

Disembark for a scenic drive up to the little village of Ferradosa, where we’ll make our way OUTbound to one of the traditional wineries of the Douro River Valley. Discover how port was made in the old days, and how those traditions continue to present day. Sample local fortified port varieties such as Ruby, a deeply-colored red port; Vintage, a type of Ruby that requires aging in the bottle (sometimes for decades); and Tawny, a very sweet barrelaged port with oxidative nut and caramel flavors.

Day 6 – Porto, Portugal

Enjoy a final breakfast onboard before disembarking this morning from our ship. Sadly, it’s time to say farewell to your hosts and our fellow guests. Choose to extend your vacation with more time in Porto, or return with us to Lisbon for our post cruise package and a wild weekend of Arraial Lisboa Pride. Either way, we’ll all be taking memories of sun-drenched vineyards with us. Obrigado Portugal, until we meet OUTbound again!

Porto Transfers

Direct transfers from our ship to downtown Porto are available. Transfers to Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) are available or join us for our Lisbon Pride post cruise package.

The Ship

Ship Specifics

  • River Boat
  • Three (3) Decks
  • 132 Passengers / 4 Suites / 62 Staterooms
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

MS Amalia Rodrigues

Custom-built to navigate the waters of the Douro Valley and make the most of the delightful Portuguese climate, our ship pays homage to the Queen of Fado, Amalia Rodrigues, the famous Portuguese singer and actress and has been carefully designed to reflect the beauty of its surroundings. The warm terracotta tones suggest the streets in Lisbon and the accessories the fadista wore on stage. Light-hued woods bring to mind the guitars that are part of the genuine southern Portuguese spirit.

Christened in 2019, the MS Amalia Rodrigues offers ample space in each cabin and public areas. With state-of-theart engineering, deluxe accommodations and streamlined interiors, you’ll have your choice of a variety of suites and stateroom classes, all with sweeping river views.

From the generously-proportioned suites and staterooms to the contemporary, chic Panoramic Bar and Lounge, no aspect of the ship has been compromised. Intelligent deck planning adds to your experience exploring Portugal’s Douro region, navigating the eponymous river Douro while surrounded by our ship’s beautiful extra flourishes throughout. Boasting a spacious open-air Sun Deck, wonderful dining areas and generously appointed suites and staterooms, every inch of this vessel has been designed for your comfort and enjoyment.

Settle in and relax as your OUTbound team takes care of everything, from answering any questions that you may have about your itinerary to helping with your independent exploration. Mixed drinks, wine, beer, sodas, fruit juice, water and coffee are all included with all your meals and throughout your cruise with us.

Panoramic Lounge

The Panoramic Lounge is the hub for social interaction of our OUTbounders on board during our Douro cruise. The floor-to-ceiling windows on both sides of the space offering breathtaking views of the Douro River and the stunning landscapes beyond. You’ll find comfortable seating and tables ideal for playing board games, chatting with old friends and new, drinking a specialty coffee, enjoying hand-crafted cocktails or indulging in some of the local port wines the region is famous for.

Main Bar 

Sailing along the UNESCO-designated Douro River, you’ll have the chance to taste new wines from the old world. The main bar is located within the Panoramic Lounge on the Middle Deck at the front of the ship, just past the reception desk. Here, in the heart of the ship, you can relax, catch up with new friends and enjoy the evening’s entertainment. The space offers floor-to-ceiling windows and great views of the spectacular scenery. Head to the bar for sunset or an after dinner nightcap. It’s an ideal place to snuggle into a comfy couch, order a drink and watch the world go by.

Restaurant

Savor authentic regional delicacies as we cruise the Douro, along with more familiar western cuisine for those who are looking for a taste of home. All the food onboard is sourced from regional suppliers, meaning your meals are both extremely fresh and always in season. You’ll enjoy plentiful buffets for breakfast and lunch with a wide variety of choices. Dinners feel exclusive and intimate in the comfortable open seating, with tables available for two to eight guests. Every OUTbounder will be invited to indulge in the multi-course dinner menus specially paired with selections from the region’s best wineries.

Throughout your voyage, you’ll be treated to unlimited mixed drinks, wine, beer or soft drinks, all included in the price of your OUTbound cruise

Sun Deck

Specifically built for Portugal’s warm climate, the comprehensive Sun Deck provides ample opportunity to sample the sun and gentle river breezes. The open-air aspect of the deck is the perfect place to enjoy a bite to eat and a drink or two with your fellow OUTbounders. The pool on the Sun Deck is the perfect place to relax with a few friends, enjoying a glass of vinho verde under the beautiful Iberian sky. It’s also the ideal way to spend your afternoon enjoying a panoramic view of the magnificent landscapes. Literally on top of the world, you’ll spend hours simply soaking up the views as the world around us drifts by. With plenty of comfy seating and a walking track for those active OUTbounders, there’s an option for everyone up top.

Pricing

Book today & pick whichever payment plan fits your budget best!

Choose from either convenient quarterly payments or spread your payments out over monthly installments. Either way, OUTbound has a payment plan designed to fit every budget!

Royal Suites

Starting at $5,597 per person

Located on the Upper Deck in a commanding position at the back of the ship, Royal Suites are 205sqft and boast floor-to-ceiling windows that encase your own private balcony. The two Royal Suites aboard the Amalia Rodrigues offer amazingly spacious terraces that transform your suite into an open-air space. Light wooden cabinetry, fluffy white duvets, faux suede headboards, gray and tan accents and local Iberian tones create a light, airy and comfortable sleeping environment. Storage space includes a full-length wardrobe closet with room for hanging clothes on one side and shelves and a cabinet (with a safe) on the other, and there’s extra room under the bed for suitcases. 

Riverview Suites

Starting at $4,997 per person

Located at the rear of the ship on the Middle Deck, the two exquisite Riverview Suites are 205 sqft, with twice as many panoramic windows as a standard stateroom, provide unspoiled panoramic vistas of the river and breathtaking landscapes beyond. All suites are equipped with a retractable TV, and your luxurious bathroom features a shower complete with decadent toiletries and a hair dryer. The hotel-like queen-sized bed can be reconfigured into two twins if you prefer.

Upper Deck Staterooms

Starting at $2,997 per person

Every stateroom located on the Upper Deck measures 143sqft and has a French balcony, a floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door that opens for an even closer look at the passing shorelines covered with terraced vineyards. Enjoy an incredible night’s sleep in your twin hotel-style bed, wrapped up in luxurious bed linens. Guests can choose to have their twin beds converted into a comfortable single queen-sized bed in any stateroom.

Embarkation Deck Staterooms

Starting at $2,597 per person

Staterooms located on the Embarkation Deck all have French balconies. Lay back in your 143sqft stateroom and watch a film in bed on your retractable flat screen TV and infotainment system, or enjoy the space as you ponder an exciting day ahead. Your luxurious bathroom features a shower complete with decadent toiletries, perfect for unwinding after an unforgettable day OUTbound on the Douro. Storage space includes a full-length wardrobe closet with room for hanging clothes on one side and shelves and a cabinet (with a safe) on the other, and there’s extra room under the bed for suitcases.

Main Deck Staterooms

Starting at $1,997 per person

Staterooms located on the Main Deck offer large windows running almost the entire length of your 143ft2 cabin. Your stateroom is impeccably designed and customized for convenience. Light wooden cabinetry, fluffy white duvets, faux suede headboards, gray and tan accents and local Iberian tones create a light, airy and comfortable sleeping environment. Storage space includes a full-length wardrobe closet with room for hanging clothes on one side and shelves and a cabinet (with a safe) on the other, and there’s extra room under the bed for suitcases. The hotel-like queen-sized bed can be reconfigured into two twins if you prefer.

Lisbon Pride Extras - Post Cruise Package

Overview – Lisbon Pride Post Package

Included:

  • Daily Breakfast Buffet
  • Transfers from our Ship in Porto to Host Hotel in Lisbon

Day 1 – Transfer from Porto & Check Into Host Hotel

Day 2 – Touring Sintra

Day 3 – Lisbon On Your Own

Day 4 – Arraial Lisboa Pride

Day 5 – Leave for Home

5 Day/4 Night Package for 2 People: $900*

*Prices based on Brown Central’s Charming Deluxe room, double occupancy. Upgrades to Stylish Attic, Junior Suite or Grand Glamour Suite available for an additional cost.

Official Pride Amsterdam Website: www.ilga-portugal.pt/lisboapride/

Lisbon Pride Package

Continue your OUTbound adventure reveling in the splendor and excitement of Arraial Lisboa Pride. Lisbon’s Gay Pride takes place at Terreiro do Paço, right in the heart of Lisbon’s Praça do Comércio, where you’ll find one incredible party that includes plenty of music, food and fun. Explore Lisbon and enjoy this international pride party featuring DJs, exhibit booths, and the largest outdoor dance party on the Iberian peninsula.

Immerse yourself in authentic Lisbon as we go OUTbound to Arraial Lisboa Pride. Spend time discovering Lisbon’s city center and experience the sight of yellow trams traveling swiftly through tree-lined boulevards. The cobbled alleyways and ancient ruins of Lisbon are yours to explore. Later, take in Pride Village, an incredible open-air party with stands, bars, DJs and dance floors. It all takes place in one of Lisbon’s main squares, Praça do Comércio, with the pride revelry running throughout the entire weekend. If you like the idea of experiencing your pride in Portugal’s charming city on the sea, get yourself OUTbound with us!

Day 1 – Wednesday, June 22

Disembark Ship & Lisbon Host Hotel Check-In

This morning we’re OUTbound from Porto to Lisbon. Along the way we’ll stop in Coimbra, home to one of Europe’s oldest universities. Stroll through old-timey shops, cafés and bakeries all under the watchful eye of Coimbra’s historic university, capping the hill above town. After lunch, we’ll continue south and arrive at our host hotel in Lisbon, Portugal’s old world capital city. Once settled into your room at the Brown’s Central Hotel, spend the evening on your own exploring Lisbon and all this charming city has to offer.

Day 2 – Thursday, June 23

Touring Sintra

Bem vindo a Lisboa! Enjoy a relaxing day on your own in Lisbon, or join us for an optional tour of Sintra. For centuries, Portugal’s aristocracy considered Sintra the perfect place to escape from city life. Sintra is a mix of natural and man-made beauty, with fantasy castles set amid exotic tropical plants, lush green valleys and craggy hilltops providing stunning views of Lisbon down below. We’ll see The Sintra National Palace, distinguished by dramatic twin chimneys and elaborate tilework and visit the hilltop Pena National Palace, known for its whimsical design, colorful façade, and sweeping views.

Day 3 – Friday, June 24

Exploring Lisbon

Lisbon is a trendy and charming mix of now and then. Vintage trolleys shiver up and down its hills, centuries-old statues mark grand squares, and Art Nouveau cafés are alive with energy. It’s a city of proud ironwork balconies, mosaic sidewalks, red-tiled roofs, and stunning vistas. Take some time to explore the LGBTQ+ businesses around our host hotel, the Brown’s Central Hotel, located in the very heart of the Historic Baixa and Chiado district of Lisbon. Discover elegant outdoor cafés, exciting art, fun-to-browse shops, stunning vistas, delicious food, entertaining museums and a sailors’ quarter with a hill-capping castle. Tonight, get a front row seat as Lisbon gears up for Arraial Lisboa Pride!

Day 4 – Saturday, June 25

Arraial Lisboa Pride

Today, show your pride in Portugal’s charming capital city by the sea, as the Arraial Lisboa Pride party starts in Terreiro do Paço, one of the most amazing squares in Europe. Here you will find countless gay bars, food stalls and an impressive stage lineup featuring live music, dance acts, vendor booths and special international guest appearances. Highlights not to miss are the massive street festival, a vibrant parade, and all the club parties, along with plenty of other more cultural events too! The celebrations center around the themes of freedom, diversity and equality… so be prepared to share a whole lot of alfresco fun!

Day 5 – Sunday, June 26

Morning in Lisbon & Check Out of Host Hotel

This morning we say “Obrigado” to the city of Lisbon and our fantastic OUTbound Portugal Pride experience. Spend your final hours in Lisbon exploring more of Bairro Alto, our surrounding bohemian neighborhood and its bright colors and romantic streets. Take one last stroll through Rossio Square in the heart of Lisbon, perfect for relaxing and people watching. We’ll check out of the Brown’s Central Hotel this morning and transfer to Lisbon Portela Airport for our flights home.

Arraial Lisboa Pride

Arraial Lisboa Pride is the biggest LGBTQ+ event in Portugal. In fact, it’s the largest, most attended and most colorful party of any kind in Lisbon, with around 100,000 visitors coming from around the globe to celebrate. Since 1997, Lisbon Pride has brought visibility to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex population, with a celebration of equality that takes place in the main square of the city, Terreiro do Paço. Arraial Lisboa Pride is synonymous with a Lisbon that knows how to value, cherish and work for diversity and equality.

Brown’s Central Hotel

Located in the center of Lisbon, the Brown’s Central Hotel is set in an 18th century building, recently renovated to reflect Lisbon’s new design trends. Free Wi Fi is available in all areas. Each air-conditioned room offers a unique decoration and features elements from renowned world-class designers like Charles and Ray Eames, BestLite, Arne Jacobsen, Eero Saarinen and Artemide. The rooms include wooden floors, contemporary furniture and private marble bathrooms. All come with a Nespresso coffee machine, Smeg kettle, a Bluetooth MediaHub system and flatscreen Smart TV.

Our host Brown’s Central Hotel is a boutique hotel ideally located in the center of the city, near Lisbon’s gay district found in the old Bairro Alto and neighboring trendy Principe Real area. Huge all-night club events, trendy cocktail bars, drag shows and go-go boys galore tempt those who are willing to go out and explore during pride weekend, though there is also plenty of gay saunas, cafés and beaches to see as well as the main pride events.

Brown’s Central Hotel: www.hotelbrownscentral.com

Bairro Alto and Principle Real (Lisbon’s Gay Districts)

Bairro Alto is where most of the nightlife is located including the popular gay street Rua Barroca. You’ll also find many other LGBTQ+ owned businesses in Principle Real, just to the north. Take time to sit and relax with a drink and chat about Lisbon’s gay life with the friendly locals. Make sure to take a shot of Ginginha (typical cherry liqueur) to toast Arraial Lisboa Pride with your new friends!

While you’re at it, make sure to catch a live Fado show, one of the most amazing and cultural heritages of Lisbon. Fado is a music genre that can be traced to the 1820s and is characterized today by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor. You’ll find plenty of bars and spaces to bare witness to this beautiful art form around the Bairro Alto bohemian neighborhood, home to much of the gay nightlife in Lisbon.

Nightlife in Lisbon starts very late, especially during pride. People start going out to bars around midnight and clubs a few hours after that. The popular gay nightlife spots in Lisbon are all located near our host hotel in both Principe Real and Bairro Alto, where locals crowd the streets in this popular area to celebrate pride weekend.

Gay Lisbon

It’s hard to believe gay Lisbon has flown under-the-radar for so long. By day this capital city offers twisting alleyways, world-class museums, world class dining, and understated glamour, all served with idyllic views thanks to the cities seven hills setting. But it’s after the sun goes down that gay Lisbon really comes alive, made even better by the pleasant Mediterranean climate and warm summer nights!

Portugal has some of the most progressive gay rights legislation in the world with gay marriage, same-sex adoption, a simplified process of legal gender identification and even a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation enshrined in its Constitution. All this means you will find plenty of LGBTQ+ people wandering the streets of Lisbon, getting cozy in any one of the countless delightful cafés and just generally making the most of life. Throw in all those boutique fashion stores and art galleries, plenty of sunshine and various day-trips to vineyards, beaches and castles and you begin to understand why so many in our LGBTQ+ community are flocking to Lisbon

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