Cruising the Douro from its mouth on the Atlantic to its crossing into Spain, with daily excursions to medieval towns, majestic palaces, port wine cellars, and vineyard valley landscapes, this beguiling journey includes visits to Guimarães, Lamego, and Salamanca
Days 1 & 2 - Porto
Day 3 - Guimarães/Régua
Day 4 - Vega de Terron
Day 5 - Salamanca/Barca d'Alva
Day 6 - Rio Torto Valley/Pinhão
Day 7 - Lamego/Porto
Day 8 - Return Flight
Sail upstream and down on the ‘River of Gold’ aboard the MS Infante Don Henrique, an elegant river cruiser of our long-time partners, Croisi Europe. As it flows through a 2,000year legacy of winemaking, the Douro meanders around the sun-soaked slopes of its famous valley vineyards, from which, in times gone by, flat-bottom boats would brave the rapids to carry the wine to the river mouth. Now tamed and shelved with dams and locks, it is a serene journey from the port wine cellars, bell towers and beaux-art buildings of Porto, to the uppermost Portuguese port on the river, Barca d’Alva, its lively quayside lining a lazy bend in the river; and the Spanish border port of Vega de Terrón, for a tour to ancient, sumptuous Salamanca, its university among the oldest in Europe, the self-proclaimed ‘Mother of Virtues, Sciences, and the Arts’. In between, we sail beneath the Douro’s seven bridges, cross the Carrapatelo, the highest of the dams, float through super-scenic UNESCO listed landscapes, and go ashore to Guimarães, the ‘cradle of the kingdom of Portugal’, and to the palaces of Vila Real, villages of the Rio Torto valley, the Mateus Manor House, a port wine Quinta, and Lamengo’s Moorish castle, museum and holy shrine.
Culture & Riverscapes
4 UNESCO Heritage Sites
Jules Verne Representative
Day 1 Fly from your chosen airport to Porto and embark on the MS Infante Don Henrique for your seven-night cruise. Enjoy a welcome cocktail and an introduction to the crew; and take a tour of vibrant Porto by night. (D)
Day 2 Straddling the Douro and the centuries, Porto is the country’s second-largest city, where Baroque churches and merchant houses seem to sit on each other’s shoulders on riverbank hills. A morning tour of its historic heart visits the grand Palácio de Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace); the 14th-century church of São Francisco, an emblem of the city, known as the ‘golden church’; and one of the port wine cellars for which Porto is famed. Afternoon at leisure for independent exploration. Join us for a Jules Verne pre-dinner drinks party, and enjoy an evening of Fado entertainment on board. Overnight in Porto. (B, L, D)
Day 3 Travel to UNESCO listed Guimarães. This atmospheric ancient town was the birthplace of the first king, Alfonso Henriques. Almost a thousand years later, its fortress still stands as an icon, outlined on the nation’s coat-of-arms. A walking tour includes Nossa Senhora de Oliveira church, a place of worship since the 10th century, much restored and enlarged since its origins; and the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza, the 15th-century ancestral home of the powerful family. Soak-up the scenery this afternoon as the vessel navigates the Crestuna Dam and the 35metre-high lift of the Carrapatelo, the highest in Europe, enroute to Régua. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Visit the rural town of Vila Real, where a 15th-century cathedral shares the limelight with the grand 16th and 17th-century palaces of aristocrats, and enjoy a ‘Cristas de Galo’ local pastry before visiting the Mateus manor house, a beautiful little baroque palace, built as a royal holiday home, set amid gorgeous gardens, and featured on the labels of Mateus rosé wine. This afternoon, cruise toward Vega de Terron, on the Portuguese/Spanish border, and enjoy Flamenco entertainment aboard this evening. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Travel by road into Spain to visit the UNESCO World Heritage City of Salamanca, where a tour of the medieval old town includes the 16th-17th century Gothic ‘New Cathedral’, and the majestic buildings of Escuelas Mayores, the oldest university in the Hispanic world. After lunch in a local restaurant (drinks not included), take time at leisure in the city to explore the area around the magnificent Plaza Mayor, or perhaps find the quirky Casa de las Conchas (‘house of shells’). Return to the cruiser for its overnight mooring in Barca d’Alva. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Relax aboard this morning as we cruise downstream, through the Pocinho Dam, toward Pinhão. In the afternoon, a scenic tour of the port wine route takes you to small towns and villages in the Rio Torto valley, and includes a wine tasting at a Quinta. Enjoy a Gala Dinner aboard this evening. Overnight in Pinhão. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Tour to ancient Lamego, where a 12th century castle crowns one of its two hills, the Episcopal Palace is now the town’s museum, frescoes and Flemish tapestries adorn the Gothic cathedral, and all is overseen by the church of Our Lady of the Remedies, atop an astonishing baroque staircase, 686 steps high and embellished with blue and white tiles. Sail to Porto for overnight. Enjoy a farewell Jules Verne drinks party aboard, and an evening of folk entertainment. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Disembark for the return flight or to extend your stay. (B)
Cabins are available from 5pm on arrival and until 9am on departure (before/after this, luggage storage on board is possible).
Whilst the vessel carries more, the group size specified refers to transfers and excursions.
The programme may be altered due to navigational factors with locks, water levels or congestion at certain sites.
Launched in 2003 and refurbished in 2014, the MS Infante Don Henrique is registered in France with a mainly European crew and announcements in French and English. For 20 years Jules Verne has been the main UK partner of the innovative French cruise company, CroisiEurope, established over 40 years ago, now boasting the largest European river fleet (over 40 ships), yet still operated by the same family.
All drinks, except premium brands are included throughout the cruise. Enjoy International and French cuisine with a choice of wines in an elegant one-sitting dining room. Breakfast is a buffet, lunch and dinner waiter service with the occasional buffet. The vessel does not sail at night.
Reception, lift, lounge bar with small dance floor, sun deck with plunge pool and WiFi (free/limited).
71 air-conditioned cabins with private facilities, hairdryer, safe and satellite TV. 38 twin/double cabins (118 sq. ft.) on the Upper Deck with picture windows and a French balcony, 17 twin/double cabins (118 sq. ft.) and two single cabins (97 sq. ft.) with picture window on the Middle Deck. 12 twin/double cabins (118 sq. ft.) and two single cabins (97 sq. ft.) with picture window on the Main Deck.
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.
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 Braga, Viana do Castelo and Ponte de Lima. An accommodation tax is payable locally, currently €1.50 per person per night.
Day 1 Transfer to the Minho region and stay three nights in the Hotel do Parque.
Day 2 Visit medieval Braga. (B)
Day 3 Visit Viana do Castelo and Ponte de Lima . (B)
Day 4 Transfer to the MS Infante Don Henrique (B)
4-star hotel 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.
per person in a twin/double main deck cabin
(July 17 & Oct 9 based on middle deck cabin)
TAP Portugal from Gatwick
Supplements per person
NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
Single supplement £515
Middle Deck £145
Upper Deck £195 (17 Jul £50)
TAP Portugal Business Class- On request
Ryanair from Stansted - On request
Pre-Cruise Extension - The Cradle of Portugal
Hotel do Parque
3 nights £375
Single supplement £125
Post-Cruise Extension - Portugal's Capital Cities
4 nights £545
Single supplement £215
Extra Nights - Porto
Grande Hotel do Porto (per night) £65
Single supplement £60
Airport-Hotel-Boat/Boat-Hotel-Airport transfer add £25 per way
Arrival or departure transfer add £25
Air travel and taxes, port charges, transfers, 7-night cruise, full board and drinks on cruise vessel, excursions, Jules Verne Representative, 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.
Please complete this form and a member of our sales department will contact you as soon as possible to confirm your booking and take payment. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm and Saturdays 10am to 2pm