Cruise along the Douro River through northern Portugal to Spain on the small and charming Portuguese MS Douro Prince
Day 1 - Porto
Day 2 - Entre-os-Rios
Day 3 - Régua
Day 4 - Barca d'Alva
Day 5 - Salamanca / Barca d'Alva
Day 6 - Pinhão
Day 7 - Porto
Day 8 - Return Flight
Sailing aboard the MS Douro Prince, exclusive to Jules Verne, this special Douro river cruise of the Iberian Peninsula travels beyond the popular northern coastal cities deep into the heart of the Portuguese countryside. Smaller than most Douro River cruise boats it can gently wind its way through the valleys of the river with ease.
The Douro Valley is a region of stunning natural beauty, a serene landscape of hillside vineyards lining the winding riverbanks. Those taking a river cruise through Spain and Portugal will be treated to sun-drenched vineyards, bucolic villages and stunning landmarks that stretch along the fertile valleys that produce the ‘rich gold’ of the region, their award-winning wines and port. Port wine production is the main industry and the grapevines create a characteristic look; thousands of tiers of vine-lined terraces rippling in an ordered, yet chaotic cascade. Small towns and settlements perched on the sloping hillsides retain an aura of medieval simplicity, its many tiny communities clustering around historic churches, monasteries and castles. Whilst in Porto, benefit from our mooring point beside the picturesque Vila Nova de Gaia, a UNESCO World Heritage site where the quayside is overlooked by cobbled streets that twist past colourful merchants’ houses and modern cafés.
Our Iberian River Journey will take you through some of the most beautiful parts of the Iberian Peninsula. Discover the stunning “River of Gold” from the comfort of our River Douro cruise vessel, with departures running from May through to October to capture the best of the seasons and the amazing views they offer. You can do this in comfort, relaxing on board the vessel or during one of our excursions as you explore the culture and culinary delights of two countries and the length of the Douro River from Salamanca to Porto.
When to go on Douro River Cruises
The MS Douro Prince is a modern, small but boutique vessel that would make year-round Douro river cruises possible. However, to most appreciate the natural beauty of the Douro valley, Spring, Summer and Autumn are the best seasons to visit the Iberian Peninsula.
The 23 private outdoor cabins with modern facilities such as air-conditioning as standard, make Douro river cruises comfortable from May to October.
The height of summer, when all the vineyards are in full bloom provide the most majestic view of the Douro river and surrounding valleys while the vineyard harvest period – while not a fixed time of year – typically falls in the second half of September. At this time of year, the river Douro comes alive with thousands of vineyard workers handpicking and collecting the grapes that make this region famous for both wine and port.
Who is suited for River Douro Cruises
Put simply, anyone that enjoys comfort and the ability to absorb a culture, regional food and the many stunning landmarks will be suited for river Douro cruises.
As one of the few travel companies that do not charge supplements for single travellers*, river Douro cruises are suitable for both solo travellers, couples and groups alike.
For solo travellers, river cruises offer the chance to meet and travel in comfort with like minded people who come to the Iberian Peninsula for the stunning countryside, great food and wine, cultural highlights and much more.
Comfort and an outstanding experience are front and central to all Jules Verne holidays and we are sure that our Portugal and Spain river cruises will exceed your expectations.
Jules Verne Sightseeing
2 UNESCO Heritage Sites
UK Tour Manager
Group Size: 2 – 32
Day 1 Fly from your chosen airport to Porto and embark on the MS Douro Prince for seven nights. Baroque churches, bell towers and beaux-art buildings seem to sit on each other’s shoulders on Porto’s riverbank hills, the country’s second largest city straddling the Douro. Sights worth seeing include the 14th-century São Francisco church and port wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia. (D)
Day 2 City tour of Porto including a visit to a port wine cellar. Cruise upstream crossing the Crestuma-Lever Dam and flood gate. Arrive in Entre-os-Rios. Special Portuguese dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 3 Cruise to Régua crossing the Carrapatelo Dam. Visit the Douro Museum and the 18th-century Mateus Manor House, a beautiful small palace with impressive gardens and fine Baroque architecture. Dinner at a local Quinta. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Morning cruising passing the Valeira Dam. Afternoon excursion to the hilltop medieval village Castelo Rodrigo, with its gilded Baroque church and curiously ornamented public fountain. Overnight in Barca d’Alva. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Optional visit to Salamanca in Spain, by road (£50) with free time to explore around Plaza Mayor and a guided tour of Salamanca’s medieval old city including the house of shells and the 16th-century Gothic ‘new cathedral’. Alternatively explore the riverside village, walk in the Portugese countryside or relax on board. Overnight at Barca d’Alva. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Cruise downstream to Pinhão, passing the Pocinho Dam. Visit Quinta do Seixo for a port wine tasting. Sail to Régua. Traditional Portuguese show on board. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Excursion to ancient Lamego, a picturesque town with the 18th-century pilgrimage site of our Lady of the Remedies, reached via an impressive staircase of blue and white tiles. Lamego also boasts a Moorish castle, Gothic cathedral and museum. Sail to Porto for overnight. Farewell Jules Verne drink. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Return flight or extend your stay. (B)
The programme may be altered due to navigational factors with locks, water levels or congestion at certain sites.
MS Douro Prince is a Douro Azul vessel, registered in Portugal, with a mainly Portuguese crew (official on-board language is English) and refurbished in 2016. Smaller than most Douro cruise vessels, it is reserved exclusively for the guests of Jules Verne and normally sails in daylight hours only.
Enjoy International and Portuguese cuisine in an elegant one-sitting dining room with wine, beer and soft drinks included at dinner. Breakfast and lunch are normally buffet and dinner is waiter service. Reception, bar, lounge, sun deck, shop and WiFi (chargeable/limited).
23 air-conditioned, outside cabins with private facilities, safe, hairdryer and satellite TV. 13 twin/double cabins (130 sq. ft.), one single (97 sq. ft.) and one suite (224 sq. ft.) on the Upper Deck, and eight cabins with balconies on the Main Deck (110 sq. ft.). Select your preferred cabin at the time of booking.
The Cradle of Portugal - Pre-Cruise Extension
Stay at the 4-star Hotel do Parque perched high on a hilltop overlooking Braga and surrounded by gardens, with access into the town by road and funicular. Sightseeing includes tours of medieval Guimarães, Braga, Viana do Castelo and Ponte de Lima.
Day 1 Transfer to the Minho region and stay three nights in the Hotel do Parque.
Day 2 Visit medieval Guimarães and Braga. (B)
Day 3 Visit Viana do Castelo and Ponte de Lima . (B)
Day 4 Transfer to the MS Douro Prince. (B)
Stay in the 4-star Hotel do Parque, perched high on a hilltop overlooking Braga and surrounded by gardens, with access into the town by road and funicular. The hotel serves breakfast only but a hotel nearby, under the same management, has a restaurant serving lunch and dinner. 49 air-conditioned rooms with mini-bar, hairdryer and satellite TV.
Portugal's Capital Cities - Post-Cruise Extension
Stay two nights at the 3-star art-deco central Hotel Astoria in Coimbra and two nights at the 4-star central Hotel Mundial in Lisbon. Travel between Porto, Coimbra and Lisbon by rail with a half-day tour of Lisbon included and breakfast daily.
Day 1 Travel by rail from Porto to Coimbra and stay two nights at the 3-star Hotel Astoria
Day 2 At leisure. (B)
Day 3 Travel by rail from Coimbra to Lisbon and stay two nights at the 4-star Hotel Mundial. (B)
Day 4 Half-day city tour of Lisbon. (B)
Day 5 Return flight. (B)
A 3-star art deco hotel reminiscent of the 1920's located in central Coimbra, within walking distance to the restaurants and bars of the town. 62 rooms air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer and satellite TV. WiFi (free).
A 4-star hotel is located in the heart of Lisbon, close to the tram network, railway station and a choice of metro stations. Bar, restaurant, coffee shop, a fine terrace with panoramic views and WiFi (chargeable). 350 air-conditioned rooms with private facillities, hairdryer, mini-bar, safe and satellite TV. An accommodation tax is payable locally, currently €2 per person per night.
Pousadas of Portugal Extension
For a complete tour of Portugal combine the cruise in the north with some of the main towns and cities of the country. Enjoy seven nights in charming historic accommodation staying in Guimarães, Condeixa-a-Nova and Queluz, and visiting Porto, Braga, Coimbra, Fátima, Sintra and Lisbon.
Day 1 Transfer to the Pousada Mosteiro de Guimarães for two nights. (D)
Day 2 Morning city tour of Guimarães with the opportunity to visit Ducal Palace independently. Continue to Braga, Bom Jesus do Monte and Citânia de Briteiros. (B)
Day 3 Morning visit to Quinta da Aveleda with a wine tasting. Afternoon visit of Porto, including one of the Port wine cellars. Continue to Condeixa-a-Nova for a two-night stay at the Pousada de Condeixa. (B)
Day 4 Visit Coimbra in the morning, including a tour of the university. Continue to Tomar, with time to independently explore the Convent of the Christ and medieval areas. (B)
Day 5 Visit Fátima and the Batalha Monastery. Continue to the historic monastery of Santa Maria in Alcobaça. Visit the ancient walled town of Óbidos before arriving at the Pousada D. Maria I in Queluz for a three-night stay. (B)
Day 6 Morning city tour of Lisbon including Terreiro do Paço, Belém and Alfama. Afternoon at leisure to explore Lisbon further, before returning to the hotel. (B)
Day 7 Half day visit of Sintra and its National Palace. Continue to Cabo da Roca, Cascais and Estoril. Optional Fado show with dinner (£42). (B)
Day 8 Transfer to Lisbon airport for the return flight to London. (B)
A former 7th-century Augustin monastery, set on a hill overlooking the city with gardens and close to the historical centre of Guimarães. Restaurant, outdoor pool, WiFi (free) and 51 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, safe, mini-bar and TV.
A former noble manor house from the 16th century with large gardens and located near Coimbra. Restaurant, outdoor pool, WiFi (free) and 43 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, mini-bar and TV.
Formerly used by the Royal Guard of the Court in the Palace of Queluz, known as the ‘Portuguese Versailles’ and located 12kms from Lisbon. Restaurant, WiFi (chargeable) and 26 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, mini-bar and satellite TV. An accommodation tax is payable locally, currently €2 per person per night.
A charming 3-star hotel, centrally located in a pedestrian zone. Restaurant, bar, WiFi (free) and 94 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, mini-bar and satellite TV. Breakfast included. An accommodation tax is payable locally, currently €2 per person per night.
per person in a twin/double Upper Deck cabin
TAP Portugal from Gatwick
per person in a twin/double Upper Deck cabin
TAP Portugal from Gatwick
Supplements per person
Single supplement £275
Double cabin for sole use £695
Main Deck cabin with balcony £145
TAP Portugal Business Class from £195
easyJet from Gatwick save £15
Ryanair from Stansted save £15
Extra Nights - Porto
Grande Hotel do Porto (per night) £70
Double for sole use £60
Airport-Hotel-Boat-Hotel-Airport transfer add £20 per way
Pre-Cruise Extension - The Cradle of Portugal
Hotel do Parque 3 nights £355
Single supplement £105
Post-Cruise Extension - Portugal's Capital Cities
4 nights £485
Single supplement £225
Post-Cruise Extension - Pousadas of Portugal
7 nights £925
Single supplement £325
Available on selected departures:
Visit to Salamanca by road £50
Arrival or departure transfer add £20
Air travel and taxes, port charges, transfers, 7-night cruise, full board on cruise vessel, complimentary tea/coffee on board, drinks at dinner, excursions, UK Tour Manager, local expert guides and representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.
Travel insurance, optional excursions, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
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