Following the retirement of our favourite of many years, the Douro Prince, we are excited to offer limited dates for a special promotion at a very favourable tariff on the former Royal Barge, the Spirit of Chartwell, offering greater quality, space and comfort with just 15 spacious cabins
Day 1– Porto
Day 2 – Entre-os-Rios
Day 3 – Pinhão
Day 4 – Barca d'Alva
Day 5 – Barca d'Alva
Day 6 – Régua
Day 7 – Porto
Day 8 – Return Flight
The Spirit of Chartwell was restored and redecorated for and used by Her Majesty The Queen during her Diamond Jubilee celebration to cruise through London - by Philip Morrell, the original founder of our company who inspired many of our current travel arrangements. So it is incredibly appropriate for us to offer select travellers an experience created by our founder and worthy of its Royal Heritage.
This thirty passenger vessel provides the finest imported interior furnishings and delivers classic elegance in a comfortable and stately ambience. This barge design was inspired by the luxury train Orient Express, which travelled on the Côte d’ Azur until May 1939. Now it receives guests with all quality and luxury, maintaining several decorative details originally chosen by the royal family.
This luxury barge sets the standard for the highest quality, intimate cruising on Northern Portugal’s Douro River, contrasting with the mostly much larger passenger ships on the Douro.
Following the retirement of our favourite of many years, MS Douro Prince, we are excited to offer a slightly smaller vessel of superior quality at just a slightly higher price.
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 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.
Culture & Riverscapes
Exclusive Historic Small Ship
Complimentary Cabin Selection
Jules Verne Sightseeing
2 UNESCO Heritage Sites
UK Tour Manager
Group Size: 2 – 28
Day 1 Fly from your chosen airport to Porto and embark on the MS Spirit of Chartwell 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. Traditional Portuguese show on board. (B, L, D)
Day 3 Cruise to Régua crossing the Carrapatelo Dam. Visit the 18th-century Mateus Manor House, a beautiful small palace with impressive gardens and fine Baroque architecture. Cruise towards Pinhão. 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 Portuguese countryside or relax on board. Overnight at Barca d’Alva. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Sail towards Régua, passing the Pocinho, Valeira and Régua Dam. Visit Quinta do Seixo for a port wine tasting. Special Portuguese dinner. (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.
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 the Queen’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.
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 Guimarães and Braga. (B)
Day 3 Visit Viana do Castelo and Ponte de Lima. (B)
Day 4 Transfer to the MS Spirit of Chartwell. (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.
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.
Day 1 Disembark and travel towards Condeixa-a-Nova for a two-night stay at the Conimbriga Hotel do Paço. Visit Coimbra, including a tour of the university. (D)
Day 2 Visit the Catholic pilgrimage site of Fátima and the impressive Gothic monastery of Batalha. Continue to Tomar with time to explore the medieval town and the Convent of Christ independently. (B)
Day 3 Visit the historic monastery of Santa Maria in Alcobaça via Nazaré. Visit the ancient walled town of Óbidos with free time to explore. Three nights at the Pousada Palácio de Queluz. (B)
Day 4 Morning tour of Lisbon including Terreiro do Paço, Belém and Alfama district. Afternoon at leisure to explore Lisbon further. Evening optional Fado show with dinner (£50). (B)
Day 5 Half day visit of Sintra and its National Palace. Panoramic drive through Cabo da Roca, Cascais and Estoril. (B)
Day 6 Transfer to Lisbon airport for the return flight to London. (B)
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.
per person in a twin main deck cabin
TAP Portugal from Gatwick
Supplements per person
Twin for sole use £995
TAP Portugal Business Class from £195
easyJet from Gatwick - nil
Ryanair from Stansted - nil
Visit to Salamanca by road £50
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 - Pousadas of Portugal
5 nights £795
Single supplement £275
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.
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