Welcome to Portugal. Enjoy a warm welcome reception on board the luxurious Scenic Azure. Tonight, as an introduction to Portugal you will be seduced by a soulful Fado performance on board.
Freechoice: Discover the historic treasures of Porto, including a visit to Palacio da Bolsa, a neoclassical style building which started construction in 1842 and took over 65 years to complete. Instead, if you’re feeling more active, join a walking tour that includes a cable car ride allowing you to see Porto from a different perspective.
Enjoy a relaxing afternoon of cruising as your luxurious Scenic Space-Ship meanders its way to Entre-os-Rios.
Freechoice: Guimarães was the seat of the first King of Portugal and is dominated by the impressive Ducal Palace, which dates back to medieval times. Alternatively, you could choose a tasting at the fairytale property of Quinta da Aveleda. Located in the famous Vino Verde region and a renowned regional sparkling wine producer, the incredible gardens alone make the excursion worthwhile.
Later, enjoy a blissful cruise to Regua where you have the chance to explore the Douro Museum at your leisure. Learn about the culture, history and identity of the people living in this wine growing region of the Douro Valley.
This morning, discover the captivating Varosa Valley and visit the charming village of Tarouca where you’ll explore the restored Monastery of Saint John of Tarouca. Enroute, walk the fortified bridge of Ucanha, Portugal’s first toll bridge, spanning the crystal-clear waters of the Varosa River.
Freechoice: Tour the elegant town of Lamego, with its many fine Baroque structures such as the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios and the Lamego Museum, or enjoy a guided visit of Mateus Palace, the historic icon depicted on the labels of Portugal’s famous Mateus rosé wine. Alternatively, you may choose to visit the home of a local for a demonstration on how to bake delicious crusty bread in a traditional wood fire oven. Enjoy the opportunity to hear stories from the locals while sampling their home made produce.
Enjoy a full day cruising the Douro Valley’s Vinhateiro wine growing region. A World Heritage-listed Site, Vinhateiro has a history of wine production that stretches back for 2,000 years. In fact, its impeccable port wines have been world-famous since at least the 18th century.
Today you have the opportunity to cross the Spanish border.
Freechoice: Take your time absorbing the architectural splendour of Salamanca, a city as visually striking as it is historically intriguing. From humble beginnings during the Iron Age to darker times, such as the economic crises and the War of the Spanish Succession, Salamanca has been shaped over time to become the fascinating beauty it is today. Explore the city on a guided tour before free time to explore at your leisure. Alternatively, you may choose to visit the Portuguese village, Freixo de Espada à Cinta for a guided tour and visit to their silk museum. Freixo de Espada à Cinta is the only municipality where handcrafted silk is still processed entirely by hand. After exploring the beautiful village, a local will welcome you into their home for a hearty and authentic lunch.
Freechoice: Visit the award-winning Côa Valley Museum and enjoy a pre-historic workshop, or if you’re more adventurous at heart, take a canoeing excursion on the Sabor River. Alternatively, you could join the ‘Tastes of the Côa Valley’ excursion and visit Casa Painova for a sweet almond workshop and a tasting of their almond, olive and fruit products.
Tonight, be entertained by a traditional Portuguese musical performance on board.
Visit the remarkable village of Provesende, showcasing the Portugal of yesteryear, and wander the quaint streets with locals as they proudly introduce you to their way of life – including their local bakery. This is a specially choreographed experience exclusive to Scenic guests. You’ll also visit the church for a special recital, and enjoy wine tasting at the restored manor house of Morgadio da Calçada before joining a local family at their home for a home hosted lunch.
Freechoice: Top off a truly unforgettable day with a visit to a local estate for a tasting of their famous export, or if you’re feeling energetic, you could choose a walk through the hillside vineyard for a tasting among the vines.
Having spent the previous eight days discovering the treasures of the Douro, Varosa and Côa Valleys, enjoy an exclusive Douro Valley Wine Review. Otherwise, simply enjoy the beauty of the region as you cruise back into Porto.
The sheer beauty of São Francisco Church is sure to impress. The façade is a mix of Gothic and Baroque architecture, while the interior glows with intricate wood carvings swathed in gold. Immerse yourself in the heart and soul of Portuguese music as you witness a spectacular private concert in these wondrous surroundings.
Freechoice: Step outside of Porto and join an excursion to Aveiro for a guided tour including a cruise on the waterways that meander through this historic and colourful city. Alternatively, visit a local corking factory and learn how cork is produced as well as its multitude of uses, or visit Vila Nova de Gaia, the historic district set on the banks of the Douro River, for a tasting of the region’s famed drop in one of Porto’s most renowned port wine aging cellars.
You have the opportunity to explore Porto at your leisure this afternoon, or simply make the most of the remainder of your time on board Scenic Azure.
After breakfast, disembark Scenic Azure and travel to Lisbon, visiting the charming fortified town of Obidos enroute. Settle into your hotel, before dinner accompanied by a Fado music performance.
Take a morning tour of Lisbon including Jeronimos Monastery before enjoying a taste of the Portuguese favourite Pasteis de Nata. Enjoy lunch in the seaside village of Cascais before an afternoon tour of Sintra and the national monument, Palacio Nacional.
Depart for Setúbal, one of Portugal’s most history rich regions. Enjoy an orientation tour and time at leisure before continuing to Évora with its overarching cathedral. Protected by an impressive outer wall, Évora’s historic centre is a World Heritage-listed cultural treasure. Then on to your hotel for two nights.
In Esporão today, you’ll tour the exclusive estate of Herdade do Esporão and enjoy a World of Wines workshop. Learn about the wines produced in this region and delight in a tasting along the way. The session ends with a fabulous long lunch in the Galeria de Esporão Restaurant.
The Aracena mountain region straddles the Portuguese and Spanish borders and is famous for its production of Iberian pork. You’ll visit the little village of Jabugo, famous for its cured jamon, before visiting a renowned local producer for a tasting of their delicious fare. Enjoy a lunch of fine Spanish delicacies before heading to your hotel in Seville.
Your exploration of Andalucia’s capital city, Seville starts this morning with a guided walking tour showcasing sites such as the Barrio de Santa Cruz, the cathedral that houses Christopher Columbus’ tomb, and the Alcazar of Seville.
Freechoice: Explore further and see the city’s highlights from a different angle via horse-drawn carriage, or experience the heart and soul of Spain at an expressive Flamenco show.
This morning, enjoy a scenic drive to Ronda, situated in spectacular mountain scenery atop the El Tajo Canyon. Take a guided walking tour before a little free time, before your departure for Granada. This evening, dine at a popular local restaurant while enjoying live Tuna folk music before you retire to the comfort of your hotel.
Explore Granada, including the Alhambra and the Generalife Gardens, before heading for the mountain village of Alfarnatejo where you’ll enjoy a home-hosted lunch with hospitable locals. Arrive at Córdoba in the afternoon, where you’ll be escorted around the most seminal sites, including the Aljama Mosque. Relax tonight at your unique hotel.
Enjoy an insightful orientation tour of Toledo, with time to explore, before heading to magnificent Madrid, where you’ll be introduced to the glorious sights of the city during a guided city tour. From there, settle in for a luxurious two night stay at your hotel.Tonight, celebrate with your fellow guests at a fabulous farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Freechoice: Visit the delightful Prado Museum, where your guide will escort you through the collections. Alternatively, try a fun Flamenco Dance workshop.
After breakfast, transfer to Madrid airport for your homebound flight, taking many wonderful memories with you.
This itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons such as high and low water. As such, the cruise may operate altered from that stated above.
Scenic provided an exceptional trip via staff, meals, and experiences. Our tour guide was extraordinary and handled even the slight setback of low water with ease and grace. I would recommend them to anyone interested in river travel.
People didn't really dress for dinner. Men in jeans were allowed in the dining room at night for dinner. That did not happen at another Scenic Cruise we were on. Very disappointed about this. We belong to a private Country Club and men will be turned away at the entrance for this dressing in jeans. Scenic is lowering their standards by doing this. We won't travel Scenic again because of the lower dress codes. Not a top of the line company if this is allowed.
Scenic delivered an Above & Beyond Experience that we will cherish forever. The ENTIRE ship personnel was the epitome of what customer service should be!
Scenic River Cruise was fantastic. Service and food were both absolutely wonderful. Exceeded our expectations and will travel again with Scenic.
The ship was luxurious. The staff were professional and attentive. We would definitely travel with Scenic again.
Scenic River Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest was a wonderful experience. The ship's staff and amenities afforded us a very comfortable experience. The food sometimes challenged us to try new and regional dishes, which we really enjoyed. But alternate choices were always available, as well. The other passengers were friendly and we made many new acquaintances on our trip. Best part...? All inclusive! We may have made a small tip here and there, but nothing was expected during excursions, tours, dining, bar or hospitality services. Great entertainment on various occasions.
Scenic were exceptional.They have to be the best operators of river cruises.Every aspect of the trip with them was of a very high standard.The cabins (suites) were large and very comfortable (we had the lowest level,so I can imagine what the higher levels would have been like!). All the meals served were excellent with plenty of variety and imagination.Every member of staff we encountered was helpful and smiley.The excursions were excellent with high level guiding .Overall a very good experience.and I would highly recommend them.
The tour description matched the tour exactly.
Wonderful Trip at the right price
Scenic Tours delivers a flawless river cruise experience. They truly take care of everything - all at one price. The ships are beautiful and the staff is cheerful and accommodating. The cabins are incredible feats of design that make use of every inch of space. We were gone for two weeks and never felt cramped. The food is diverse and wonderful and the excursions are very interesting and well-planned.
Scenic did a great job. It was all inclusive so we had no bill at the end, including tips. The trip was 14 days down the Danube, Main, and Rhine. The food, service, and excursions were all very good and included. The only note I would make is that you stopped at so many towns that you did not have enough time to really explore them. But overall, it was a very good trip!
The Scenic Jewel Amsterdam to Budapest cruise certainly exceeded our expectations. The Scenic Jewel staff could not have been better. We were certainly pampered the entire cruise and the staff could not do enough to insure the trip was a success. We did not have one staff person who was only average--everyone was exceptional. Our cruise director kept everything humming right along and he and the captian went above and beyond to solve a water level issue.
Scenic was more expensive than our other trips But quality was outstanding!
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