Overview

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

Spendology - Widgets

Royal Barge on the Douro

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

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.

Key Features

Culture & Riverscapes
Exclusive Historic Small Ship
Complimentary Cabin Selection
Jules Verne Sightseeing
2 UNESCO Heritage Sites
UK Tour Manager
Guaranteed Departure
Group Size: 2 – 28

Special Events

Quinta Dinner & Tastings

Enjoy Port tastings and a traditional Portuguese dinner at the Quinta da Avessada, an ancient site producing Douro wines in the vineyard village of Favaios

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)

  • Key
  • B - Breakfast
  • L - Lunch
  • D - Dinner

Notes

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

2021

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

Date Price
May 28 £2195
June 4 £1995
June 25 £2145
August 27 £2095
September 3 £2295
October 22 £1995

Supplements per person

Single Supplement

Twin for sole use £995

Cabin Upgrades

 Suite £695

Flight Options

TAP Portugal Business Class from £195
easyJet from Gatwick - nil
Ryanair from Stansted - nil

Optional Excursions

Visit to Salamanca by road £50

Extension Options

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

Independent Arrival

Save £200 
Arrival or departure transfer add £20

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, UK Tour Manager, 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.

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Royal Barge on the Douro

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