Best Offer Ever is valid for new, individual bookings on select 2018 itineraries and departure dates only, made between 11/6/2017 and 3/31/2018. Offer applies to full-fare bookings only. Availability of all stateroom categories cannot be guaranteed. All fares and savings listed are in US Dollars. Fares featured are for cruise or cruise/tour only, per person (unless otherwise noted) based on double occupancy. Rates for single guests are available upon request. Maximum savings featured are per cabin, based on double occupancy for travel in a Category 1 stateroom aboard River Queen, on the 8/10/2018 departure of Legendary Rhine. Rates and savings vary by itinerary, departure date and category of accommodations. Offer is not combinable with any other promotional offer or program, except River Heritage Club savings/benefits. Offer is capacity controlled and may be modified or withdrawn at any time. Other restrictions may apply.
Waived Single Supplement and Reduced Single Supplement offers apply to select dates and itineraries only. Category upgrade charges apply. Waived or Reduced Single Supplement offers do not apply to suites. Reduced or Single Supplement Waived offers are not combinable with other current savings or promotional offers. Waived Single Supplement applies to cruise-only dates; Reduced Single Supplement applies to cruise/tour dates. Offers are capacity controlled and may be withdrawn at any time. Other restrictions may apply.
Lisbon city tourWhen you gaze out at the Tagus River, tile-roofed houses climbing the hills behind you, you are looking at the port where Portugal’s empire began. Here the kings of the newly independent nation launched an age of exploration—and then poured the profits of their new trade routes and colonies into their capital. Do you see the square tower rising from the water? Belém (the name comes from Bethlehem) Tower, built in the 16th century to guard the port, has housed cannons, prisoners and royalty over the centuries; its ornamented façade might strike you as unusual for a fortress, but that is typical of Lisbon—even fortresses have beautiful ornamentation. Another landmark nearby, the 20th-century Monument to the Discoveries, commemorates these voyagers and their founding patron, Prince Henry the Navigator. Leave the riverfront to embark on your own voyage of discovery: Head inland a short distance to the Hieronymites Monastery, which will have you reaching for your camera. A masterpiece of Manueline architecture—the Portuguese late-Gothic style is named for King Manuel I—erected during the 16th century and decorated with sculptures and elaborate scrollwork, Hieronymites Monastery is another shining example of Portugal’s golden era. Not all landmarks are architectural, however. Take a break and enjoy one of the city’s iconic pastries, the cream custard tart known as pasteis de nata, at Pasteis de Belém, which has been baking these yummy treats since 1837, before experiencing the rest of your panoramic motorcoach tour. It will include the Rossio—the busiest square in Lisbon—and the Alfama district, the Old Town neighborhood that survived the devastating 1755 earthquake. Note: Please note that we do not visit the cloisters at Hieronymites Monastery. Your local guide will make suggestions for lunch. You can choose to remain downtown and explore on your own or return to the hotel. Shuttles are available to take you to and from the hotel this afternoon, which is yours to spend as you please.
Coimbra tour with Joanina Library visit and family-style lunchDrive through scenic cork forests and verdant fields en route to Coimbra, Portugal’s third-largest city and the birthplace of six of the country’s kings—and home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, the University of Coimbra, whose historic buildings crowd the hill above the Mondego River. A one-time royal palace, the university enjoyed the kings’ patronage for centuries, and one king, João V, endowed it with a lavish baroque jewel of a library, the Joanina. Housing more than 300,000 books, including some from the 12th century, it is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. As a visitor, you and your small group will be admitted into rooms with exquisitely carved and lacquered shelving, splendid ceiling frescoes and ornately gilded coats of arms. These library rooms are simply astonishing. After seeing a little of the town itself, which boasts Moorish and Roman architectural remnants, you’ll stop at a local family-run restaurant for a traditional Portuguese lunch, starting with Portugal’s iconic soup, caldo verde. Then you’ll continue straight into the heart of Porto, where you will board your ship. Unpack, check out the ship’s amenities and prepare to take in some scenic delights as you cruise away from Porto. Five famous bridges link Porto to Vila Nova da Gaia, including the graceful iron arches of Dom Luis I, and you’ll sail under all of them as you enter the mouth of the Douro and drift past Porto on your way to some of the loveliest scenery Portugal has to offer.
Porto city tourOf course it is the longtime hub of the Port wine trade, but Porto is also much more. Colorful multistory townhouses sheathe the hills that climb precipitously from the Douro estuary, medieval alleys snake through UNESCO-designated neighborhoods enclosed by 14th-century walls—which were erected on Roman foundations—and baroque church towers crown the hilltops. The Clérigos Tower is an unmistakable landmark, visible from almost anywhere in the Old Town—in fact, at one time sailors used it as a guide to navigate their way through the estuary. Get a feel for this vibrant town, which is simultaneously profoundly urban and moodily romantic, with a panoramic tour. Take in the UNESCO-designated, 19th-century Stock Exchange Palace, seeing its famous Moorish Revival–style Arab Room, before visiting Porto’s austere hilltop cathedral and the bustling pedestrian shopping street, Santa Catarina.
Exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Porto walking tourClimb 249 steps to the top of Clérigos Tower for the best view in Porto. You’ll see the city roofs cascade down the hill below you, and at the bottom, the estuary with its ports and bridges spread out beyond. A view of another kind, no less spectacular, awaits you at Livraria Lello, perhaps the most beautiful bookstore in the world. Its narrow façade gives little hint of the art nouveau artistry inside: Swirling carved wood shelving lines the walls, while red-carpeted stairways sweep up through the two-story shop, all crowned by a massive stained-glass skylight. You’ll explore another magnificent interior at São Bento railway station. A lovely example of French Beaux-Arts architecture, the station is perhaps best known for its spectacular tile panels depicting scenes from the history of Portugal. A serene walk brings you to the Church of Saint Francis, the city’s finest example of Gothic architecture and a fitting finale for a walking tour of Porto. Inside you’ll find a dazzling gilded baroque altarpiece, polychrome figures and ornate chapels built by the city’s wealthy families.
Your ship sets sail after your tour, cruising up the Douro toward Entre-os-Rios.
Douro MuseumThe Douro Valley is the oldest demarcated wine-growing district in Europe. Why? What makes Port the wine it is? Learn about the region’s unique geology and winemaking history—Romans planted vines in this region 2,000 years ago—at the Douro Museum. Exhibits laid out in buildings that were once home to Port winemaker Real Companhia Velha let you see how the process of making Port evolved over the centuries: You’ll find the tools of the trade and even a rabelo (a boat that carried wine from the vineyards to Porto) on display. An interactive map shows where the quintas are and how the region developed; and by sniffing vials of concentrated fragrance, you can learn to identify the many aromas that a good Port exhibits. It’s fun and informative—plus you can sample some Port.
Quinta da Avessada wine estate visit with lunchTravel up winding roads with spectacular views—and breath-stealing drop-offs—to the hilltop winery Quinta da Avessada. Built a century ago, this quinta produces delicious Moscatels, a wine that is very popular in Portugal; in fact, it’s so popular that most of it is consumed within the country—only about 10 percent of it is exported. Luis Barros, who was determined to revive both his family vineyard and his village when he took over the management of Quinta de Avessada a few years ago, is eager to welcome visitors and help them learn how the sweet, floral Muscat grapes are grown in this region’s extreme climate. Barros’s entire family is involved in this enterprise, as you will discover over a traditional country lunch on the premises. Several family members play in the band that will entertain you during your meal. It’s a fun, lively afternoon —plus you get to taste Moscatels in the beautifully restored winery cellar.
Quinta do Seixo guided tour with tastingAs you journey through the hills to Quinta do Seixo, a prestigious Port wine estate, you will see a unique landscape that has been shaped by wine growers for two millennia. The stone terraces curving around the steep slopes hold soil that is largely the creation of human intervention: People have laboriously broken up the native silver schist stone over the centuries and turned it into usable sandy earth; it’s called “anthroposoil.” The process of producing Port wine is a fascinating blend of tradition and modernity; the steepness of the slopes requires that grape vines be tended almost entirely by hand, but the wine itself is made using ultramodern techniques. You’ll tour the state-of-the-art facility and sample some exceptional Ports in a tasting room whose wall of windows looks out over spectacular views of the Douro Valley.
Vineyard hike and tasting at a local quintaGet out and enjoy the fresh air on an invigorating hike through lush vineyards, accompanied by a local guide. Later, relax over a glass of wine at a local quinta.
Full-day Salamanca tourLeave Portugal for a day in Spain, which, naturally, comes complete with a performance of that most Spanish of all dances, the passionate and stylized flamenco. It’s just one of the highlights of your excursion to Salamanca, the university town where Columbus sought advice before sailing west in search of a new route to the Indies. Called the Golden City for its tawny sandstone buildings, Salamanca boasts a dozen beautiful and historic churches, including two cathedrals: the new one, built in the early 16th century, and the Old Cathedral, which dates to the 12th century and can only be entered from the New Cathedral. Walk with your guide through Plaza Mayor, lined with wonderful baroque buildings, to the university, which was founded by Alfonso IX in 1218. The ornate plateresque façade is stunning, and the interior rooms you see are equally beautiful. Salamanca’s food hall is one of Spain’s best, as you will discover when you sample chorizos, cheese, olive oil and ham with your guide’s assistance. You have time to browse through the shops on Rua Mayor and enjoy a tapas lunch (your guide can recommend some great places to dine).
International Douro Natural Park scenic cruiseYour ship cannot navigate the Douro beyond Vega de Terrón but you still have a chance to take in the spectacular scenery of the International Douro Natural Park, a protected area that lies on both sides of the river. Board a small boat to float through steep canyons the river has carved into the granite over the centuries. A mecca for birdwatchers, the banks host a variety of eagles, vultures, falcons, kites, warblers, storks, thrushes and shrikes, including some endangered eagle species that nest along the river. As you drift along, you’ll notice that the Spanish side of the river (the Douro marks the boundary between the two countries) is almost barren; that’s because it is blasted by the afternoon sun in summer, while the Portuguese side gets more shade and is therefore more lush. You can step off the boat and onto the shore upriver for a short, scenic hike through this extraordinary landscape. You’ll rejoin the boat in Barca d’Alva, and, if the weather is fair, the enticing aromas of traditional barbecue will greet you, inviting you to enjoy this quintessential Portuguese cuisine on deck.
Castelo RodrigoRide through wonderfully scenic countryside—the area is noted for its honey, which derives its flavor from the fields of wild lavender and the almond groves you’ll pass—to Castelo Rodrigo, the name of both a castle and the village that surrounds it. The castle ruins loom high atop Marofa Mountain, telling the tale of border strife and Portugal’s struggle for independence in a single structure. Construction on the citadel began in 1209 under the auspices of the king of Leon, but it became part of Portugal within a century—though its local lords sided with Spanish rulers from time to time over the next four centuries. That’s why the palace adjoining the castle stands in ruins: Outraged citizens destroyed it after its lord sided with Castile. Take in the amazing view from the ancient stone walls, then step down through the tiny cobbled lanes of the village, passing the old pillory, the Manueline church and the town’s market square. It’s not all history, of course. You’ll also get to indulge in a wine tasting and sample delicious local treats—such as honey, almonds, olive oil and cheeses—and a restored teahouse invites you to relax over a cup of tea or a cool drink.
Archaeological Park of the Côa ValleyReady for an expedition worthy of Indiana Jones? Today’s your chance. In the 1990s, scouting for a proposed dam project on the Côa River revealed an astonishing collection of prehistoric carvings, among them horses, deer and aurochs that span eons. The oldest images etched into the schist walls around the river date to approximately 22,000 to 20,000 BC, with younger carvings ranging from the Epipaleolithic, Neolithic and Bronze ages to the 17th century—images that represent human interaction with the natural world for more than 30,000 years. Your visit starts at the Côa Museum, where you can see both reproduction and original rock art and learn about the amazing area. Then you can go out with your knowledgeable guide into the valley to see these sites for yourself. It will be an illuminating adventure. Note: Exploring these sites will require sturdy hiking footwear and considerable physical fitness: You’ll take a four-wheel drive down dirt roads and hike into rocky and hard-to-access locations. Later in the day, your ship will drift down the Douro toward Porto, where it will dock for the last two days of your Portuguese adventure.
Guimarães city tour“Portugal was born here.” So the sign on the city wall proclaims. Guimarães was home to the first king of Portugal, Afonso I, who managed to win his kingdom’s independence in the 12th century from neighboring suzerains. The wonderfully well-preserved Old Town, with its unique architecture (houses here combine granite with half-timbering) and charming little plazas, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; overlooking it is the grand castle that appears on Portugal’s coat of arms. Rove with your guide from the castle toward the beautiful main square, the Largo da Oliveira, and to the splendid Monastery and Church of Our Lady of Oliveira and the 14th-century Gothic Padrão do Salado. But remember that despite these historic beauties, Guimarães has the youngest population of any city in Europe, so the pedestrian area is full of lively and fun cafés and shops.
“Soul of Porto” Ribeira district walking discovery tourPrince Henry the Navigator was born in this historic waterfront neighborhood in 1394, and, more than 600 years later, the building is still standing: It became Porto’s first customs house, which seems appropriate, considering that Prince Henry began Portugal’s international trade. Stroll with your local guide through the oldest part of the city—check out some of the Roman ruins excavated here—simply breathing in the atmosphere. It may be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it’s no museum: People hang their laundry from upper floors of brightly painted houses, dogs mosey down the alleys, cafés nestle under 500-year-old arches, and traditional rabelos flat-keeled sailboats that once carried barrels of Port from the vineyards to the Port cellars) bob at the quay. As lively as it is picturesque, Ribeira is indeed the soul of Porto.
In the evening, a special Gala Dinner will be prepared for you.
Indulge your passion for food, history, and music as you discover the warmth of Portugal and Spain.
Experience the “sunny side” of Europe, starting in radiant seaside Lisbon, then follow the Douro River through Portugal and into Spain. Feel the warm sun on your skin as you cruise past terraced hills, quaint villages, and acres of ripe vineyards.
Breathe the sea air in Lisbon, the city that launched a host of renowned navigators, including Vasco da Gama. Climb the steep hills and hear the sound of fado music fill the streets as you sip a bica (espresso) at a café. Enjoy a quintessential Portuguese lunch in majestic Coimbra (birthplace of six of Portugal’s kings). And in Porto’s ancient Ribeira district, find picturesque rabelo boats, cutting-edge cuisine, and a thriving art scene.
Sail from Porto through the breathtaking, UNESCO-designated Douro Valley, where vines cling to precipitous hillsides. Visit charming quintas and meet the winemakers who run them. See Salamanca, “The Golden City,” and visit its famed university (where Columbus planned his pivotal journey) before enjoying a flamenco show. Then return to Portugal with a visit to the walled village of Castelo Rodrigo and historic Guimarães. Revel in the captivating cities and striking scenery of the serene Douro River Valley on this perfectly paced cruise/tour.
Who will enjoy this cruise
Wine connoisseurs hoping to indulge in this region’s most celebrated beverage, Port, and those wanting to discover Europe’s best-kept secret, the Douro River, with its spellbinding natural beauty and cultural heritage.
YOUR CRUISE/TOUR PACKAGE INCLUDES:
7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the chic
3 nights in Lisbon at the InterContinental Lisbon Hotel (or similar) with breakfast
All transfers on arrival and departure days
All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
10 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water
8 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
Guided “Do as the Locals Do” and “Gentle Walking” programs
6 UNESCO World Heritage sites
Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio–headset system on all excursions
Captivating onboard local entertainment
Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture: “The Magical Douro River Valley”
Note: Cruising in Spain and Portugal is a wonderful experience, but while the Queen Isabel is a lovely and comfortable ship, her amenities may differ from those of a Uniworld company-owned ship.
Information is subject to change.
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