Exploring the Douro, plus Lisbon & Madrid - 12 Days

Exploring the Douro, plus Lisbon & Madrid

Cruise through the heart of one of the world’s oldest and most beautiful wine regions on a 12-day journey between Lisbon and Madrid, featuring a 7-night cruise aboard Tauck’s new riverboat ms Andorinha, custom designed for exploring Portugal’s “golden” Douro River. Visit quintas for wine tastings, hike through vineyards and villages, and discover the UNESCO World Heritage city of Porto, where the Douro kisses the Atlantic and timeless Port traditions steal your heart. Spend two nights each in Madrid, Spain’s bigger-than-life capital, with its bar culture and bevy of baroque and belle époque architecture – and Lisbon, gate to the “New World,” enticing with palaces aplenty and azulejos chronicling life from Moorish times to present day…

Only With Tauck

Tour and private dinner in Queluz National Palace in Lisbon

Cruise prices are per person in U.S. dollars. All riverboat and hotel accommodations, motor coach transportation, port charges, land excursions, admissions, entertainment, special dinners, beverages while on the riverboat (including unlimited soft drinks, regional wine, beer and premium spirits), sightseeing, porterage, and the services of the Tauck Directors, the Tauck Cruise Director, hotel and ship staff, and local guides and drivers are included. Transportation from Madrid Barajas Airport, Madrid Atocha Train Station or Chamartin Train Station to te Tauck hotel is included, regardless of the time you check into the hotel, provided you have furnished us with accurate flight arrival information at least three weeks prior to the start of your tour. We will also provide you with transportation from the Tauck hotel to Lisbon Airport, Lisbon Oriente Train Station or Lisbon Santa Apolonia Train Station at the end of your tour. Transportation to and from airports and train stations may be shared with other Tauck guests. If you are staying at a hotel other than the Tauck-designated hotel before or after your tour, contact Tauck regarding your various transfer options.

Rates and schedules are not guaranteed until booked and will vary based on departure date.

Day 1
Arrive Madrid

Tour begins: 5:30 PM, The Westin Palace Madrid. A transfer is included from Madrid-Barajas Airport to The Westin Palace, Madrid, commissioned by King Alfonso XIII in 1912 and located in the heart of the city’s renowned art triangle with easy access to its three most famous museums, El Prado, Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza. Settle in and join your fellow travelers for a welcome reception and dinner tonight at the hotel.

Meals – Dinner

Day 2
Palatial Treasures of Madrid

Take a guided one-mile walk – or a short drive – to Madrid’s 18th-century Royal Palace, home a succession of Spanish kings from Charles III to Alfonso XIII, and reigning today as the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family in name only. Your visit to this 2,000+ room jeweled palace, by square feet Europe’s largest palace, takes you on a journey through history and time-honored splendor with a local guide as you view rooms and salons overflowing with art treasures and antiques, and gilded, floor to ceiling, with fine fabrics, magnificent mosaics, crystal chandeliers and more. Highlights may include the Reception Room, the State Apartments, the Armory, the Throne Room, the Banquet Room and the Royal Pharmacy. Head-turning art welcomes you to the Museo del Prado, one of the world’s premier art museums with over 4,000 works of art masterpieces, including works by iconic Spanish artists Goya and Velázquez, many of them acquired by kings through the ages. Tapas tantalize with small bites of local culinary fare on a tasting walk with an expert guide who knows where to find the best samples of this regional specialty.

Meals – Breakfast

Day 3
Salamanca Sights & Your Riverboat Hotel

Drive to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Salamanca for free time and a guided walking tour of its ancient heart, viewing the “living room of Salamanca,” the elegant arcaded Plaza Mayor, its stunning 12th-century Romanesque Cathedral, and its esteemed 800-year-old university, one of the oldest in the world. Cross the border into Portugal, where Tauck’s brand new riverboat, ms Andorinha, is docked on the Douro and awaiting your arrival. Settle into your cabin and enjoy dinner onboard at your leisure tonight.

Meals – Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4
A Medieval Castle & Cave Art on the Douro

The Douro River cuts a 200-mile path through rugged wilderness on the Spanish frontier and one the world’s most beautiful and prolific wine regions as it courses through Portugal and the city of Porto on the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way, it passes the castle ruins hidden in the hills; disembark for a visit to Castelo Rodrigo, standing watch over the medieval village of Rodrigo since the 13th century when its defensive battlements were built and fought over by both Spain and Portugal. A walking tour reveals remnants of its storied roots, before your cruise continues along the river. 20,000 years ago prehistoric man called the nearby Coa Valley home, leaving evidence of their residence on rocks in the Coa Valley. Visit the Coa Museum to learn more about the history of the valley and its ancient sites. Enjoy the chef’s signature dinner onboard ship tonight.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5
Pleasures of Pinhão

A choice of shore excursions today includes a walk in pretty Pinhão, nestled in the heart of port wine country, with a visit to its historic tile-covered train station, a vision of blue and white Azulejo tiles, or an active hike through the sloping terraced vineyards that surround this town. Return to your riverboat for an afternoon cruise to Folgosa where dinner tonight entices with a special culinary experience at DOC, an acronym for “Degustar Ousar Comunicar” (translated: “Taste, Dare, Communicate”), savoring gourmet cuisine by acclaimed Portuguese chef Rui Paula who delights in marrying traditional dishes with contemporary fare along with the Douro’s famous wines.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6
A Rendezvous in Peso da Régua

Its historic role in the production of port wine is written on the landscapes you’ll see today when you step off the boat into Peso da Régua for a day of discovery. An important transport junction, this is where barrels of wine were boarded onto traditional rabelos bound for Gaia in the 18th century, where the wine was aged in local lodges. Learn more about the history and cultural treasures of the Douro Wine Region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on a locally guided visit to the Douro Museum; or, join a local guide for an active walk through the vineyards to a local wine-making estate called a quinta, rewarding with a port cocktailmakingclass. Thentakeyourchoiceofshoreexcursions.Embarkonaguidedtourof18th-centuryCasadeMateus,a Baroque masterpiece you may recognize from the label on bottles of Mateus Rosé, and its fantasy garden of manicured hedges and dignified statues. Or visit the 12th-century Monastery of St. John, resplendent with tiled tableaus, with an opportunity to learn about Portugal’s sparkling wines during a tour of wine caves of a local producer.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7
The Charms of Guimarães

Spend a leisurely morning cruise on the lower Douro through a region known for its Vinho Verde wines. Disembark for a choice of excursions that includes a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Guimarães, regarded as the birthplace of Portugal and renowned for its well-preserved medieval buildings and national monuments. As an alternative, you can join a local guide for a bicycle ride that entices with scenic views of terraced vineyards.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8
Vinho Verde Wines

ThewinegrowingregionsoftheDourosurprisevisitorswithanarrayofvintages,youngandold. Discoverthematawine tasting at a quinta in a Vinho Verde vineyard where they specialize in green wines uniquely produced here. Green refers to its age not its color; the grapes they use for these wines are typically consumed within three to six months after bottling and can be red, white, or rosé. Chart a course for Porto this afternoon.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9
Discover Porto, Your Way

Culturally rich and historically charming, Porto’s pleasures are diverse and delightful, blending old and new to reveal a fascinating portrait of the city through art and architecture, wine and food, and waterfront views that take your breath away. Explore the city by land, river and air when you ride a historic tram from Foz Quarter through the upper part of town and board a water taxi that takes you across the river for a cable car ride to the top of the Luiz I Bridge, rewarding with panoramic views. If you prefer, join a local guide for a tram ride and a robust walking tour of Porto’s historic center with stops to taste local culinary treats. Your day concludes with a tasting visit to a port wine cellar in Gaia.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10
Captivating Coimbra & On to Lisbon

Disembark your riverboat in Porto this morning for a drive back in time to Coimbra, Portugal’s medieval capital for more than a century. A walking tour along the tiered cobbled lanes of this hilltop city brings you to its esteemed university, founded here in 1537, where its caped students evoke images of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School, its majestic buildings line squares steeped in history and cloistered arcades lead to architectural showpieces beautiful to behold. Learn about student life, past and present, and university traditions still in play today. Enjoy free time for lunch and exploring before continuing on to Lisbon for a two-night stay.

Meals – Breakfast

Day 11
City Sightseeing & a Palace Dinner

Crafted atop seven hills over centuries, Lisbon is home to cobbled lanes, castles in the clouds and maritime monuments that pay lasting tribute to Portuguese explorers like Vasco da Gama who changed the world. City sightseeing today discovers landmark places steeped in history, including Eduardo VII Park. Trade Square, the Monument to the Discoveries and Jeronimos Monastery where Vasco da Gama and Portugal’s kings are buried, and visits the National Coach Museum. After enjoying time at leisure, join us for an exclusive royal dinner at 18th-century Queluz National Palace, a blend of Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical architectural designs graced with gardens inspired by French styles.

Meals – Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12
Journey Home

Tour ends: Lisbon. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from the InterContinental Lisbon to Lisbon Airport. Allow a

minimum of 3 1⁄2 hours for flight check-in.

Meals – Breakfast

What's Included

  • 7-night cruise aboard a brand new riverboat custom designed to sail on the Douro River
  • A choice of excursions that include active hikes, a port cocktail-making class, a tour of wine caves, bicycle rides and more valued at $3,156!
  • In-depth exploration of 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Spain and Portugal
  • Private wine tastings in quintas along the Douro River
  • A special culinary experience at DOC restaurant in Folgosa, savoring gourmet cuisine by acclaimed chef Rui Paula and riverside views
  • Two-night stays at premier hotels in Madrid and Lisbon with a choice of city sightseeing
  • 26 meals, airport transfers on arrival and departure as detailed, gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director, admission fees, service charges, taxes, applicable fuel surcharges and porterage

Nights 1-2 Madrid, Spain

The Westin Palace, Madrid

This lovely Belle Époque landmark lies in the most elegant part of Madrid and close to many of the city’s must-see sights, such as the famous Museo del Prado. Commissioned by King Alfonso XIII in 1912, The Westin Palace, Madrid has been surrounding travelers with opulent luxury for a century. Today, the exquisitely decorated guest rooms feature the Westin Heavenly Bed® and offer luxury amenities. Indulge in the WestinWORKOUT® in the beautiful new fitness center located on the roof overlooking the splendors of Madrid. Two delightful restaurants, the Asia Gallery and La Rotunda, named for the hotel’s famed stained glass dome, await your pleasure.

Nights 3-9

ms Andorinha

Purpose-built for cruising to historic quintas and picturesque villages along Portugal’s golden Douro River from coastal Porto to the Spanish border with Tauck in 2020, our newly constructed custom riverboat offers spacious accommodations for just 84 guests, with 12 300-sq.-ft. Tauck Suites and more 225-sq.-ft. cabins, to maximize the onboard experience in every way. Add a small swimming pool atop the Sun Deck that refreshes body and spirit as you drink in the passing UNESCO World Heritage Site scenery, onboard dining venues, and built-in amenities custom-designed to delight, and you’ll experience a riverboat truly inspired by the destination. We look forward to welcoming you aboard!

AMENITIES

Open seating in main dining room, The Compass Rose; flexible dining times; vegetarian meals always available

Alternate dining venue, Arthur’s, offering classic favorites at lunch and dinner and lighter breakfasts in the morning

Al fresco dining on Sun Deck, weather permitting

American breakfast room service available in Category 5 Tauck Suites

Complimentary snacks served 10:00 AM – midnight

Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drinks

Onboard entertainment includes enrichment lectures, piano music nightly, in-room movies, culinary demos, local entertainment and “themed” fun

110-volt and 220-volt outlets included in every cabin for small electronics; minibar stocked with complimentary water and soft drinks

Complimentary Internet & Email available Small Swimming Pool on Sun Deck Laundry service available

Nights 10 – 11 Lisbon, Portugal

InterContinental Lisbon

Located between Eduardo VII Park, Marques de Pombal Square and the luxurious Avenida da Liberdade, InterContinental Lisbon connects the heart of Lisbon society. With warm refinement, contemporary design and expansive views of the Tagus River, this fresh new addition to the Lisbon scene is the ultimate choice for experiencing Portugal’s vibrant capital. Experience Portuguese heritage from the cosmopolitan flavors at the restaurant Akla to the exemplary service of the hotel’s concierge team, who will help you bring insider Lisbon to life. Fully air-conditioned, contemporary guest rooms are equipped with upscale linens, marblebathroom,smartTV, largeworkingdesk,in-roomsafe,andteaandcoffee-makingfacilities.

Tauck Guests enjoy complimentary Internet access in guest rooms!

You can send your inquiry via the form below.