13 Nights | Jewels of Spain, Portugal & the Douro River
Two intriguing countries and one dramatic river equal a grand adventureBefore setting sail on the Douro River, experience three legendary Spanish cities: Salamanca, the lovely “Golden City”; Madrid, renowned for its museums, stately royal palace and vibrant nightlife; and Toledo, the city of El Greco and a magnificent tribute to the three great cultures that forged Spain.Cruise through the UNESCO-designated Douro Valley, where grapes have been grown for 2,000 years, visiting picturesque quintas and meeting the winemakers who operate them, as well as tasting the wine. Get even closer to natural treasures at the Douro International Natural Park, where you can get a better understanding of the flora and fauna of the land with an intimate boat cruise, and at the Quinta Aveleda’s gardens, offering an enchanting landscape that boasts a cascading waterfall, graceful swans swimming, peacocks flaunting their colors and so much more. Visit the walled village of Castelo Rodrigo, a site that dates back to the 12th century, and the pilgrimage town of Lamego to see the monumental baroque Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. Travel through the verdant countryside to Óbidos, a charming hilltop town that has entranced visitors since the 13th century en route to Portugal’s colorful capital of Lisbon.Reward your inner explorer with the “Jewels of Spain, Portugal & the Douro River,” blending captivating cities, picturesque villages and unparalleled scenic cruising through this less-traveled corner of Europe.Who will enjoy this cruise/tourThose who seek to experience the best of Spanish and Portuguese cuisine, culture, art and history, all while traversing the dramatic landscapes made famous by Don Quixote.
YOUR CRUISE PACKAGE INCLUDES:
TRUE ALL-INCLUSIVE BOUTIQUE RIVER CRUISING™ All gratuities for all onboard and onshore services; unlimited fine wine, beer, spirits, and non-alcoholic beverages; shore excursions with local experts as your guide; free Internet and Wi-Fi; and all arrival and departure day transfers.
7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the chic Queen Isabel
2 nights in Lisbon at the InterContinental Lisbon Hotel (or similar) with breakfast
3 nights in Madrid at the Westin Palace (or similar) with breakfast
All transfers on arrival and departure days
All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
12 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 8 dinners
Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water
11 days of excursions, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
Guided “Gentle Walking” programs
7 UNESCO World Heritage sites
Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
Captivating onboard local entertainment
Cultural enrichment, including a Signature Lecture: “Portuguese Seafarers and Spanish Explorers”
You will visit the following 10 places:
Madrid, Spain's elegant capital, is beautifully located on the Manzanares River. It is also the political, economic and cultural centre of Spain. Due to its economic output, high standard of living, and market size, Madrid is considered the major financial centre of Southern Europe and the Iberian Peninsula; it hosts the head offices of the vast majority of major Spanish companies, such as Telefónica, Iberia and Repsol. Madrid is considered the 17th most livable city in the world and as one of the world's major global cities.
The capital of Portugal, Lisbon (Portuguese: Lisboa) has experienced a renaissance in recent years, with a contemporary culture that is alive and thriving and making its mark in today's Europe. Perched on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon is one of the rare Western European cities that faces the ocean and uses water as an element that defines the city. Lisbon enchants travellers with its white-bleached limestone buildings, intimate alleyways, and an easy-going charm that makes it a popular year-round destination.
Toledo is a city in and the county seat of Lucas County, Ohio, United States. It is in northwest Ohio, at the western end of Lake Erie bordering the state of Michigan. The city was founded by United States citizens in 1833 on the west bank of the Maumee River, and originally incorporated as part of Monroe County, Michigan Territory. It was re-founded in 1837, after conclusion of the Toledo War, when it was incorporated in Ohio. After construction of the Miami and Erie Canal, Toledo grew quickly; it also benefited from its position on the railway line between New York City and Chicago. It has since become a city with an art community, auto assembly businesses, education, healthcare, and local sports teams. The city's glass industry has earned it the nickname, "The Glass City".
Porto (also known as Oporto in English), is the second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon and one of the major urban areas of the Iberian Peninsula. The urban area of Porto, which extends beyond the administrative limits of the city, has a population of 1.4 million (2011) in an area of 389 km2 (150 sq mi), making it the second-largest urban area in Portugal. Located along the Douro river estuary in Northern Portugal, Porto is one of the oldest European centres, and its historical core was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. The western part of its urban area extends to the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean. Its settlement dates back many centuries, when it was an outpost of the Roman Empire. One of Portugal's internationally famous exports, port wine, is named for Porto, since the metropolitan area, and in particular the caves of Vila Nova de Gaia, were responsible for the packaging, transport and export of the fortified wine. In 2014, Porto was elected The Best European Destination by the Best European Destinations Agency.