Jewels of Spain, Portugal, and The Douro River

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1020
13 Days
Availability : Apr – Oct 2019
Lisbon, Portugal
Madrid, Spain

Two intriguing countries and one dramatic river equal a grand adventure.

Before setting sail on the Douro River, experience three legendary Spanish cities: Salamanca, the lovely “Golden City”; Madrid, renowned for its museums, stately royal palace and vibrant nightlife; and Toledo, the city of El Greco and a magnificent tribute to the three great cultures that forged Spain.

Cruise through the UNESCO-designated Douro Valley, where grapes have been grown for 2,000 years, visiting picturesque quintas and meeting the winemakers who operate them, as well as tasting the wine. Get even closer to natural treasures at the Douro International Natural Park, where you can get a better understanding of the flora and fauna of the land with an intimate boat cruise, and at the Quinta Aveleda’s gardens, offering an enchanting landscape that boasts a cascading waterfall, graceful swans swimming, peacocks flaunting their colours and so much more. Visit the walled village of Castelo Rodrigo, a site that dates back to the 12th century, and the pilgrimage town of Lamego to see the monumental baroque Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. Travel through the verdant countryside to Óbidos, a charming hilltop town that has entranced visitors since the 13th century en route to Portugal’s colorful capital of Lisbon.

Reward your inner explorer with the “Jewels of Spain, Portugal & the Douro River,” blending captivating cities, picturesque villages and unparalleled scenic cruising through this less-traveled corner of Europe.

Who will enjoy this cruise/tour

Those who seek to experience the best of Spanish and Portuguese cuisine, culture, art and history, all while traversing the dramatic landscapes made famous by Don Quixote.

 

 

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

Included
    • One-of-a-kind, luxurious ships with an average capacity of just 130 guests
    • The highest staff-to-guest ratio in the river cruise industry, with award-winning service from the most experienced English-speaking staff on the rivers
    • The most elegantly appointed riverview staterooms and suites afloat—many with French balconies—offering exclusive signature touches such as handcrafted beds from Savoir® of England, an array of pillow options, flat-screen TVs with infotainment centers, and spacious marble bathrooms stocked with robes, slippers, and L’Occitane en Provence bath and body products
    • All scheduled airport transfers
    • All meals onboard, prepared with the finest and freshest ingredients sourced from farmers’ markets and other local suppliers
    • Unlimited beverages onboard, including distinctive wines; craft and regional beers; spirits; cocktails; soft drinks; juices; cappuccinos, lattes, espresso, and French press coffee; fine teas; and mineral water
    • A variety of onboard dining options and special culinary experiences
    • Expertly planned shore excursions hosted by English-speaking local experts, with personalization options including Choice Is Yours, Go Active, Do as the Locals Do, Village Day, and Gentle Walking programs and a host of exclusive experiences designed for Uniworld guests only
    • Ship-wide Internet and Wi-Fi access
    • Well-equipped fitness center with exercise classes onboard and use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks for onshore enjoyment
    • All gratuities onboard and onshore

    NOTE: Bicycles are not available on the River Countess because bike riding is prohibited in Venice.

Not Included
  • Items Not Included in the Published Price: These include, but are not limited to, airfares to and from your destination except where specified; airport/departure taxes; cost of passport and visas; taxes; excess baggage charges; laundry; phone calls; all items of a personal nature; items not included on regular menus; expenses for additional sightseeing not specified in the itinerary; premium spirits & premium wine (please refer to complimentary beverage program in Uniworld’s Terms & Conditions), meals not detailed in the itinerary; Gratuities for programs in Russia, Egypt, India, China and Vietnam/Cambodia (please refer to Gratuities section in Uniworld’s Terms & Conditions for details ); and health, accident, baggage, or travel protection plans.

 

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About Uniworld

The moment you step onboard any of Uniworld’s luxurious, one-of-a-kind floating boutique hotels, you’ll experience the care that went into the beautiful design. With outstanding service that comes from the heart, a choice of personalized and exclusive excursions, delicious farm-to-table cuisine, and a choice of inspiring destinations throughout world—every element is included, and is as unique and special as each guest. U by Uniworld is innovating the travel industry with a fresh approach to river cruising. Our sleek ships give you access to the heart of the city, local food, lively onboard atmosphere, and immersive activities.


Itinerary

Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.

DAY 1: Lisbon

Arrive at Lisbon Portela Airport. If your cruise/tour package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the hotel.

DAY 2: Lisbon

Everything old is new again in the Portuguese capital, which is undergoing a remarkable rebirth of late. Get to know this hilly metropolis with a city tour that shows you all the top sights and treats you to a unique pastry with an intriguing (and delicious) history. Dynamic, colorful and picturesque, Lisbon will continually surprise you. Glorious historic architecture reflects the wealth brought in during the “Age of Discovery,” when the Portuguese owned the seas, but it is also a modern center of finance and international trade.

DAY 3: Lisbon, Óbidos, Transfer to Porto (Embark)

You’ll board a motorcoach this morning, heading north through Portugal’s picturesque countryside toward Porto—but you’ll stop in fascinating Óbidos before you reach the colorful city. The tiny whitewashed village of Óbidos is so charming that Portuguese kings traditionally gave it to their brides as a wedding gift. Need we say more? Climb up to the imposing hilltop castle for spectacular, Instagram-worthy photos of the countryside and the sea beyond.

DAY 4: Porto

There’s much more to Portugal’s second city than its eponymous fortified wine—historic architecture, cutting-edge design, fabulous food and wine, and a hip, laid-back vibe. Discover its many charms with your choice of distinctively different tours today. Today you cruise to the mouth of the Douro and Portugal’s second city (after Lisbon), Porto, which gave its name to the nation’s most famous export, Port wine, and to the nation itself. The city is a fascinating combination of historic buildings and cutting-edge architecture, tradition and vivacious modernity.

DAY 5: Porto (Guimarães)

Guimarães or Porto? That’s the question of the day today (you really can’t go wrong either way). Guimarães is the town where Portugal was born and its well-preserved architecture and stylish young residents make it a pleasure to visit. Or opt to explore one of Porto’s oldest neighborhoods, picturesque Ribeira, considered the soul of the city.

DAY 6: Entre-os-Rios (Amarante)

The family-owned Quinta da Aveleda looks like something out of a fairytale, with its lush flower gardens, peacocks and swans, shady terraces and whimsical follies—the perfect place to relax over a glass of vinho verde, the preferred drink of the region. After your visit to the quinta, you will get a crash course in the history of making Port during your visit to the Douro Museum.

DAY 7: Régua (Lamego), Pinhão

One of Portugal’s top pilgrimage sites is our destination today, Our Lady of Remedies in Lamego. The church sits high above the town, accessible via hundreds of zigzagging steps adorned with beautiful blue and white tiles. After seeing the sights with a local expert, enjoy a tasting of locally made wines at a picturesque quinta.

DAY 8: Pinhão, Pocinho

Today is all about wine, which has been cultivated in the Douro River Valley since ancient Roman times. You’ll head to the hills to a prestigious wine estate, where you can sip Port while savoring marvelous views. Or, take a scenic drive to a family-owned quinta, where you’ll have a firsthand look at grape harvesting.
Whichever excursion you opt for, you’ll spend the afternoon cruising along a stretch of the Douro that is considered one of the most beautiful in all of Europe, boasting dramatic vistas, bountiful countryside and terraced vineyards, as well as picturesque villages tucked along the riverbanks.

DAY 9: Pocinho, Barca d’Alva (Castelo Rodrigo)

A tiny village surrounded by mountains, Barca d’Alva is your base for today’s adventures. Go medieval today at Castelo Rodrigo, both the name of a hilltop castle as well as the village that surrounds it. It has been singled out as one of Portugal’s 12 historic villages for its medieval beauty. The view from the top is incredible and the village is a charming place to ramble, relax and replenish. Or, if you wish, you can also lace up your hiking boots and unleash your inner Indiana Jones with an up-close gander at some prehistoric carvings during a visit to Portugal’s first archaeological park, Foz Côa.
In the evening, a special Gala Dinner will be prepared for you.

DAY 10: Vega de Terrón (Disembark), Salamanca, Transfer to Madrid

What adventures await you in Spain? You’ll disembark today, heading towards Madrid. Along the way you’ll visit the beautiful and historic university town of Salamanca—the “Golden City”—famous for its sand-colored buildings and abundance of churches. This is the university town where Columbus sought advice before sailing west in search of the new route to the Indies. Walk with a local expert through the Plaza Mayor, considered one of the most beautiful squares in Spain, and visit the university and the city’s astounding Food Hall.
After checking into your hotel in Madrid, join a guided “Madrid at Your Doorstep” vicinity walk to begin getting acquainted with the city.

DAY 11: Madrid

Madrid may very well be Europe’s liveliest capital city, a place where people eat late and stay up even later. Get your bearings with a panoramic overview or a more intimate walking tour, both of which include a visit to the extraordinary Prado Museum. Tonight, enjoy dinner and a colorful, passionate, foot-stomping show at the city’s finest flamenco venue. The capital of Spain, Madrid boasts incomparable artwork, an amazing range of architectural styles— from Moorish to postmodern—and exceptional food. Your Iberian adventure begins here as you sample some of its highlights.

DAY 12: Madrid (Toledo)

A one-time ancient Roman colony, medieval Moorish capital and center for religious tolerance, Toledo is said to be Spain’s spiritual heart: a timeless, UNESCO-listed city where Muslims, Jews and Christians have peacefully co-existed for three centuries. After your city tour you’ll have time to explore—and eat—on your own; the food here is so exceptional that Toledo was named Spain’s gastronomic capital in 2016.

DAY 13: Depart Madrid

You’ve experienced the best of Spain, Portugal and the pristine Douro River, but now the journey comes to a close. If your cruise/tour package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Madrid-Barajas Airport for your flight home. Your Uniworld adventure may be over, but we know you’ll enjoy the memories you’ve made for years to come.


Pricing Terms and Conditions

All fares are per guest in US Dollars based on double occupancy unless otherwise noted. Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice. Availability of all stateroom categories cannot be guaranteed. Fares for single guests are available upon request. Additional restrictions may apply. If you have purchased your transatlantic or transpacific air with Uniworld and/or you have purchased a cruise-tour package with Uniworld that includes air, your entire package price will be guaranteed at time of initial payment.

Reservations and Payments: A deposit of at least 10% of the cruise-tour fare (cruise-tour, plus port charge, plus pre and or post land extensions, less applicable discounts), per person is required within 72 hours of reservation. Final payment is due at least 120 days prior to departure. Reservations will be canceled if final payment is not received in a timely manner. For all guests booking air travel with Uniworld, a separate non-refundable airfare deposit of $450 per person is required at time of booking. Upon receipt of air deposit your airfare, tax and fuel surcharges are final. You may cancel your air within 24 hours of booking and receive a full refund of the airfare deposit or the total amount paid for air if paid in full at time of booking

Click here for full US terms and conditions and cancellation policies.

Click here for full Canadian terms and conditions and cancellation policies.

Ships’ Registries: China, Egypt, India, The Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland, Vietnam


 

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