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7 nights from

£2995

Royal Barge on the Douro

 

From baroque castles to beautiful bucolic villages, from hilltop medieval ruins to valleys cloaked in the vineyards of age-old wine estates, from mountain scenery to ocean shore, enjoy the ever-changing landscapes of this unique Royal Barge cruise on the Douro

Sailing up and down the Douro is always enchanting, but few cruises compare with Jules Verne’s Royal Barge experience. The MV Spirit of Chartwell carried Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in the Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the Thames in 2012. Now this elegant and sophisticated little ship carries a maximum of just thirty guests along the Douro, its sun deck a perfect viewing platform for the river’s remarkable scenery.

As it flows through a 2,000 year legacy of winemaking, the river 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 five 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 sleepy quayside lining a lazy bend in the river.

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 medieval villages, the Mateus Manor House, port wine tasting at a Quinta, and Lamego’s Moorish castle, museum and holy shrine.

Overview

  • Day 1  - Porto
  • Day 2  - Entre-os-Rios
  • Day 3  - Pinhão
  • Days 4 & 5  - Barca d'Alva
  • Day 6  - Régua
  • Day 7  - Porto
  • Day 8  - Return flight
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Tour Highlights

  • The Regal 18th-Century Mateus Palace
  • Pastel de Nata Custard Tart Culinary Lesson
  • The Charming Medieval Village of Castelo Rodrigo
  • The Historic City of Salamanca
  • Wine-Tasting at Quinta São Luiz
  • The Towering Church of Our Lady of the Remedies

From baroque castles to beautiful bucolic villages, from hilltop medieval ruins to valleys cloaked in the vineyards of age-old wine estates, from mountain scenery to ocean shore, enjoy the ever-changing landscapes of this unique Royal Barge cruise on the Douro

Notes:

The programme may be altered due to navigational factors with locks, water levels or to enhance your experience at certain sites.

Vessels

MS Spirit of Chartwell

A luxury barge owned by Douro Azul with a mainly Portuguese crew (official on-board language is English), built in 2000 and refurbished in 2010 especially for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee celebrations on the River Thames. Smaller than most Douro cruise vessels, these departures in the favoured season are reserved exclusively for the guests of Jules Verne.

Enjoy traditional Portuguese and continental 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 (free/limited). The ship normally sails in daylight hours only.

15 air-conditioned, outside cabins with private facilities, safe, hairdryer and satellite TV. 14 twin main deck cabins (130 sq. ft.) and one double Upper Deck Royal suite (194 sq. ft.). Select your preferred cabin at the time of booking.

Extension Options

Pousadas of Portugal Extension

Extend and stay in charming historic accommodation with two nights in Condeixa-a-Nova and three nights in Queluz. Includes 6 UNESCO sites with visits to Coimbra, Fátima, Batalha, Tomar, Nazaré, Alcobaça, Óbidos, Lisbon and Sintra.

Conimbriga Hotel Do Paço - Condeixa-a-Nova

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 hairdryer, mini-bar and TV.

Pousada Palácio de Queluz - Queluz

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 mini-bar and satellite TV. 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.

Hotel do Parque - Braga

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.

Extra Nights

Stay in Porto before you start your tour or before flying back to the UK

Extra nights are on request, please call to discuss your requirements

The Lodge Hotel
(per night) £160 (Oct £140)
Single supplement £160 (Oct £140)
Arrival transfer £39
Departure transfer £39

The Lodge Hotel - Porto

Stay at the luxurious 5-star The Lodge Hotel in Porto. Excellently located in the historic heart of Vila Nova de Gaia, with centuries-old Port wine cellars waiting to be discovered. Restaurant, bar, outdoor pool, WiFi (free) and 119 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, mini-bar and satellite TV. Breakfast included. City tax is payable locally, currently €2 per person per night.

Dates & Prices

per person in a twin main deck cabin
TAP Portugal from Gatwick

September
September 13 (Friday)
  • Sold Out
September 20 (Friday)
  • 2 Places Remaining on Tour
October
October 4 (Friday)
October 11 (Friday)
Price Includes:

Air travel and taxes, port charges, transfers, 7-night cruise, full board on cruise vessel, complimentary tea/coffee on board, drinks at dinner, 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.

Not Included:

Travel insurance, optional excursions, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.

Notes:

Drinks Package Includes: House Brands - House wine (red, white, rose); Open sparkling wine; Bottle of beer (alcoholic/non-alcoholic); All cocktails (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) ; All long drinks: Whisky, Gin, Vodka, Brandy, Baileys & Rum; All non-alcoholic drinks; All coffee specialties (non-alcoholic); Hot chocolate & tea. Premium branded drinks and champagne are not included.

Supplements per person

Single Supplement
  • 2024: Sep 20
  • £1995
  • 2024: Oct
  • £795
  • 2025: May, Jun, Oct
  • £895
  • 2026: May, Jun, Sep, Oct
  • £895
Upgrades
  • MS Spirit of Chartwell - Main Deck Twin
  • MS Spirit of Chartwell - Upper Deck Double Suite
Flight Options
  • TAP Portugal Business Class
  • On request, please call
  • Alternative regional departures
  • On request, please call
Tour Only
  • Save
  • £200
  • Arrival or departure transfer
  • £39
Extension Options
  • The Cradle of Portugal Pre Cruise (Royal Barge) - 2024 (3 nights)
  • £545
  • Single Supplement
  • £125

  • Pousadas of Portugal - Post Cruise Extension - 2024 (5 nights)
  • £1265
  • Single Supplement
  • £295

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