Exploring the Douro, plus Lisbon & Madrid - Westbound

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Exploring the Douro, plus Lisbon & Madrid

Westbound



Tour Description:

Centuries of vineyards, wine and timeless Port traditions along an enchanting "river of gold"… white-painted quinta estates lined with terraced vineyards… art and architecture royally inspired and the joys of tapas in Madrid… Lisbon's treasures from the Age of Discovery and beyond…
Cruise through the heart of one of the world's oldest and most beautiful wine regions on a 12-day journey between Lisbon and Madrid, featuring a 7-night cruise aboard Tauck's new riverboat ms Andorinha, custom-designed for exploring Portugal's "golden" Douro River. Visit quintas for wine tastings, hike through vineyards and villages, and discover the UNESCO World Heritage city of Porto, where the Douro kisses the Atlantic and timeless Port traditions steal your heart. Spend two nights each in Madrid, Spain's bigger-than-life capital, with its bar culture and bevy of baroque and belle époque architecture – and Lisbon, gate to the "New World," enticing with palaces aplenty and azulejos chronicling life from Moorish times to present day... 

Map for Exploring the Douro, plus Lisbon & Madrid - Westbound
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Dates & Pricing

Wednesday 21 Aug 24 — Sunday 01 Sep 24Starting at $7,990Check Mark Icon SPECIALGet a Quote
Wednesday 06 Nov 24 — Sunday 17 Nov 24Starting at $7,690Check Mark Icon SPECIALGet a Quote
Wednesday 02 Apr 25 — Sunday 13 Apr 25Starting at $8,290Check Mark Icon SPECIALGet a Quote
Wednesday 23 Apr 25 — Sunday 04 May 25Starting at $9,390Check Mark Icon SPECIALGet a Quote
Wednesday 14 May 25 — Sunday 25 May 25Starting at $9,390Check Mark Icon SPECIALGet a Quote
Wednesday 04 Jun 25 — Sunday 15 Jun 25Starting at $9,390Check Mark Icon SPECIALGet a Quote
Wednesday 30 Jul 25 — Sunday 10 Aug 25Starting at $7,790Check Mark Icon SPECIALGet a Quote
Wednesday 20 Aug 25 — Sunday 31 Aug 25Starting at $7,790Check Mark Icon SPECIALGet a Quote
Wednesday 10 Sep 25 — Sunday 21 Sep 25Starting at $9,390Check Mark Icon SPECIALGet a Quote
Wednesday 01 Oct 25 — Sunday 12 Oct 25Starting at $9,390Check Mark Icon SPECIALGet a Quote
Wednesday 22 Oct 25 — Sunday 02 Nov 25Starting at $8,790Check Mark Icon SPECIALGet a Quote
Wednesday 05 Nov 25 — Sunday 16 Nov 25Starting at $8,290Check Mark Icon SPECIALGet a Quote
Check Mark Icon Disclaimer: Prices listed are per person, based on double occupancy, and in USD. All promotions are valid for new bookings only, capacity controlled and valid on select dates and departures. Individual Terms and Conditions will apply to all promotions. Any promotion can be withdrawn at any time without notice. Please speak with your Pavlus Travel Planner for complete vendor terms and conditions, including eligible tour and cruise dates.


Destination & Sightseeing

Centuries of vineyards, wine and timeless Port traditions along an enchanting "river of gold"… white-painted quinta estates lined with terraced vineyards… art and architecture royally inspired and the joys of tapas in Madrid… Lisbon's treasures from the Age of Discovery and beyond… Cruise through the heart of one of the world's oldest and most beautiful wine regions on a 12-day journey between Lisbon and Madrid, featuring a 7-night cruise aboard Tauck's new riverboat ms Andorinha, custom-designed for exploring Portugal's "golden" Douro River. Visit quintas for wine tastings, hike through vineyards and villages, and discover the UNESCO World Heritage city of Porto, where the Douro kisses the Atlantic and timeless Port traditions steal your heart. Spend two nights each in Madrid, Spain's bigger-than-life capital, with its bar culture and bevy of baroque and belle époque architecture – and Lisbon, gate to the "New World," enticing with palaces aplenty and azulejos chronicling life from Moorish times to present day... 

Highlights
TAUCK EXCLUSIVE  – Tour and private dinner in Queluz National Palace in Lisbon
7-night cruise aboard a brand new riverboat custom designed to sail on the Douro River
A choice of excursions that include active hikes, a port cocktail-making class, a tour of wine caves, bicycle rides and more valued at $4,142!
In-depth exploration of 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Spain and Portugal
Private wine tastings in quintas along the Douro River

ITINERARY

Arrive Madrid
Tour begins: 5:30 PM, The Westin Palace Madrid. A transfer is included from Madrid-Barajas Airport or Madrid's Atocha station to The Westin Palace, Madrid, commissioned by King Alfonso XIII in 1912 and located in the heart of the city's renowned art triangle with easy access to its three most famous museums, El Prado, Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza. Settle in and join your fellow travelers for a welcome reception and dinner tonight at the hotel.

Palatial Treasures of Madrid
Take a guided one-mile walk – or a short drive – to Madrid's 18th-century Royal Palace, home to a succession of Spanish kings from Charles III to Alfonso XIII, and reigning today as the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family in name only. Your visit to this 2,000+ room jeweled palace, by square feet Europe's largest palace, takes you on a journey through history and time-honored splendor with a local guide as you view rooms and salons overflowing with art treasures and antiques, and gilded, floor to ceiling, with fine fabrics, magnificent mosaics, crystal chandeliers and more. Highlights may include the Reception Room, the State Apartments, the Armory, the Throne Room, the Banquet Room and the Royal Pharmacy. Head-turning art welcomes you to the Museo del Prado, one of the world's premier art museums with over 4,000 works of art masterpieces, including works by iconic Spanish artists Goya and Velázquez, many of them acquired by kings through the ages. Tapas tantalize with small bites of local culinary fare on a guided exploration of Madrid's tapas culture with an expert guide who knows where to find the best samples of this regional specialty.

Salamanca Sights & Your Riverboat Hotel
Drive to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Salamanca for free time and a guided walking tour of its ancient heart, viewing the "living room of Salamanca," the elegant arcaded Plaza Mayor, its stunning 12th-century Romanesque Cathedral, and its esteemed 800-year-old university, one of the oldest in the world. Cross the border into Portugal, where Tauck's riverboat, ms Andorinha, is docked on the Douro and awaiting your arrival. Settle into your cabin and enjoy dinner onboard at your leisure tonight.

A Medieval Castle & Antiquities on the Douro
The Douro River cuts a 200-mile path through rugged wilderness on the Spanish frontier and one the world's most beautiful and prolific wine regions as it courses through Portugal and the city of Porto on the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way, it passes the castle ruins hidden in the hills; disembark for a visit to Castelo Rodrigo, standing watch over the medieval village of Rodrigo since the 13th century when its defensive battlements were built and fought over by both Spain and Portugal. A walking tour reveals remnants of its storied roots, before your cruise continues along the river. 20,000 years ago prehistoric man called the nearby Côa Valley home, leaving evidence of their residence on rocks in the Coa Valley; visit the Museum of Art and Archaeology of the Côa Valley to see these stunning exhibits of rock art from the valley's Paleolithic era, discovered in the 1990s when excavations began for a Côa River dam. Return to the ship late afternoon, and cruise to Ferradosa.

Pleasures of Pinhão
A choice of shore excursions today includes a walk in pretty Pinhão, nestled in the heart of port wine country, with a visit to its historic tile-covered train station, a vision of blue and white Azulejo tiles, or an active hike through the sloping terraced vineyards that surround this town with stunning views of the river and town. Return to your riverboat for an afternoon cruise to Folgosa where dinner tonight entices with a special culinary experience at DOC, an acronym for "Degustar Ousar Comunicar" (translated: "Taste, Dare, Communicate"), savoring gourmet cuisine by acclaimed Portuguese chef Rui Paula who delights in marrying traditional dishes with contemporary fare along with the Douro's famous wines.

Explore the legacy of wine, in and around Peso da Régua
Its historic role in the production of port wine is written on the landscapes you'll see today when you step off the boat into Peso da Régua for a day of discovery. An important transport junction, this is where barrels of wine were boarded onto traditional rabelos bound for Gaia in the 18th century, where the wine was aged in local lodges. This morning, you have a choice of a visit to the Douro Museum, set within the restored Casa da Companhia Velha building, once part of Real Companhia Velha (Royal Oporto Wine Company), chartered in 1756. On your guided visit to the museum, you'll explore its exhibits chronicling the history, culture and traditions of the Douro River Valley region, from the cultivation of grapes on the vines to the processes involved in the production of Port wine and its distribution around the world. Alternatively, visit the historic town of Lamego (dating back to the Middle Ages), renowned for its viticulture and production of sparkling wine. This afternoon, you have a choice of a guided tour of 18th-century Casa de Mateus, a Baroque masterpiece you may recognize from the label on bottles of Mateus Rosé, and its fantasy garden of manicured hedges and dignified statues. Or, if you choose, join a local guide for a visit to a local wine-making estate called a quinta, rewarding with a port cocktail making class. Return to the riverboat late day.

The Charms of Guimarães
Spend a leisurely morning cruise on the lower Douro through a region known for its Vinho Verde wines. Disembark for a choice of excursions that include a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Guimarães, the birthplace of Portugal renowned for its well-preserved medieval buildings and national monuments. As an alternative, you can join a local guide for a bicycle ride that entices with scenic views of terraced vineyards.

Vinho Verde Wines
The wine growing regions of the Douro surprise visitors with an array of vintages, young and old. Discover them at a wine tasting at a quinta in a Vinho Verde vineyard where they specialize in green wines uniquely produced here. Green refers to its age not its color; the grapes they use for these wines are typically consumed within three to six months after bottling and can be red, white, or rosé. Chart a course for Porto this afternoon, and enjoy the chef's signature dinner onboard your ship tonight.

Discover Porto, Your Way
Culturally rich and historically charming, Porto's pleasures are diverse and delightful, blending old and new to reveal a fascinating portrait of the city through art and architecture, wine and food, and waterfront views that take your breath away. Explore the city by land, river and air when you ride a historic tram from Foz Quarter through the upper part of town and board a water taxi that takes you across the river for a cable car ride to the top of the Luiz I Bridge, rewarding with panoramic views. If you prefer, join a local guide for a tram ride and a robust walking tour of Porto's historic center with stops to taste local culinary treats. Your day concludes with a tasting visit to a port wine cellar in Gaia.

Captivating Coimbra & On to Lisbon
Disembark your riverboat in Porto this morning for a drive back in time to Coimbra, Portugal's medieval capital for more than a century. A walking tour along the tiered cobbled lanes of this hilltop city brings you to its esteemed university, founded here in 1537, where its caped students evoke images of Harry Potter's Hogwarts School, its majestic buildings line squares steeped in history and cloistered arcades lead to architectural showpieces beautiful to behold. Learn about student life, past and present, and university traditions still in play today. Enjoy free time for lunch and exploring before continuing on to Lisbon for a two-night stay.

A Choice of Sightseeing & a Palace Dinner
Crafted atop seven hills over centuries, Lisbon is home to cobbled lanes, castles in the clouds and maritime monuments that pay lasting tribute to Portuguese explorers like Vasco da Gama who changed the world. You'll have a choice of excursions today. Your first choice is city sightseeing in Lisbon; discover landmark places steeped in history, including Eduardo VII Park, Trade Square, the Monument to the Discoveries, and Jeronimos Monastery where Vasco da Gama and Portugal's kings are buried. Your second choice is also in Lisbon, a robust Lisbon walking tour of the city's terraces for those seeking a more active walk. Alternatively, visit the town of Sintra for a visit to Sintra National Palace, the best preserved medieval residence in Portugal and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy some free time in Sintra before driving to the seaside town of Cascais for a guided walk in the town's center and lunch before returning to Lisbon. After enjoying time at leisure, join us for an exclusive royal dinner at 18th-century Queluz National Palace, a blend of Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical architectural designs graced with gardens inspired by French styles. 

Journey Home
Tour ends: Lisbon. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from the InterContinental Lisbon to Lisbon Airport. Allow a minimum of 3 ½ hours for flight check-in.

Check Mark Disclaimer: Prices listed are per person, based on double occupancy, and in USD. All promotions are valid for new bookings only, capacity controlled and valid on select dates and departures. Individual Terms and Conditions will apply to all promotions. Any promotion can be withdrawn at any time without notice. Please speak with your Pavlus Travel Planner for complete vendor terms and conditions, including eligible tour and cruise dates.