Book a 2018 holiday before 31 July and our home pick-up service is doubled to 100 miles.
Meals included: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
Experience the historic cities and verdant countryside of Portugal as you cruise on one of the Iberian Peninsula's major rivers: stop in the wine-growing districts to taste the local Port, roam around 18th century palaces and get lost in the winding lanes of Porto along the way.
Please call our Travel Specialists to book this holiday with an extension
Fly to Porto where you will be met and transferred to your ship for embarkation. Enjoy a welcome cocktail party and a chance to meet the crew. In the evening there will be an optional excursion to see Porto by night.
After breakfast, there will be an optional guided tour of medieval Porto, Portugal's second largest city. Venture the steep, winding lanes of the town, edged by grand archways and magnificent churches, before travelling to Vila Nova de Gaia. Visit one of the producers of the port wine that the region is famous for, followed by wine tasting. Enjoy a free afternoon to discover Porto at leisure. After dinner, there will be a folk evening on board.
The morning is at leisure or perhaps take the optional excursion to Guimarães. The birthplace of Afonso Henriques, the first independent king of Portugal. Guimarães is renowned for its historical treasures including many museums. Return on board and cruise to Régua and pass through the gigantic lock at Carrapatello.
This morning, enjoy an optional excursion to Vila Real for a visit to the beautiful manor and gardens of Solar de Mateus. In the afternoon, rejoin your ship in Pinhão, the geographical centre of the demarcated port wine making region. Later, your ship continues cruising amidst the steep, terraced vineyards that line the banks of the river, en route to Vega de Teron. Enjoy a flamenco evening on board.
After breakfast, there is a full day optional excursion to the Spanish city of Salamanca, home to one of the oldest universities in the world. The city has been well-preserved and has beautiful stone-built noblemen's houses, convents and palaces scattered among the faculty buildings. The architecture reflects its Roman, Arabic and Christian past, and it is also said to have the most impressive town square in the whole of Spain.
Continue your journey through the stunning countryside of the Douro Valley, arriving in Ferradosa after lunch. There is an optional excursion in the afternoon that takes you through vineyards where grapes are grown for the production of local wines before heading to a Quinta to taste Port wine. Rejoin the ship in Pinhão before your Gala evening tonight.
This morning, there is an optional excursion to the ancient town of Lamego, 12km from the banks of the Douro. This includes a visit to the Nossa Senhora dos Remedios sanctuary, 600 metres above the town, the medieval castle, the church of Almacave with its azulejo lined walls and gilded woodwork on the altars, and the Cathedral. After lunch on board, the ship continues its journey to Porto. Tonight, there is a fado evening on board, where you can hear the traditional songs of Lisbon.
After breakfast, disembark your ship and transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK, or extend your stay in Porto with 2 nights at the Hotel Teatro.
The following cruise optional excursion package can be purchased at the time of booking from £248 per person and includes:
Day 1: 'Oporto by night' excursion
Day 2: Guided city tour including Palacio da Bolsa and San Francisco Church
Day 3: City visit
Day 4: City tour and visit to Solar de Mateus manor and gardens with a 'cristas de galo' tasting
Day 15: City visit including cathedral and university
Sao Salvador da Mundo
Day 6: 'Wines of Porto' vineyards route and wine tasting
Day 7: Guided tour
Note: All optional excursions are subject to change and a minimum number of participants are required for them to operate.
Please call our Travel Specialists to book this holiday with an optional excursion package.
The MS Fernao de Magalhaes sails passengers along the Douro valley in Portugal and is known well as one of the finest canyons in Europe with it's breathtaking scenery. The 3 deck ship was built in 2003 and is 75m long and 11.4m wide. She can accommodate up to 142 passengers comfortably in the 72 cabins onboard.
All cabins are located above water level and offer panoramic views of the scenery. Spacious and comfortable, they offer guests twin or a double bed, with a bathroom including a shower, WC and washbasin, and with towels provided onboard. They are also equipped with satellite television, radio, hairdryer and safe. The cabins located on the upper deck have large picture windows.
The boat was very nice and the staff were excellent, they couldn't do enough for us, always ready to go the extra mile. The cabins were comfy not very large but ample for time we spent in them. The food was excellent a buffet breakfast, you could order eggs how you wanted them cooked and some days there was a show chef. Lunch and dinner were three or four courses. Fruit was also always available. We went on tours everyday and really enjoyed them. Seeing lots of the countryside. The boat had a dining room on the lower deck which was bright and roomy. The lounge was on the middle deck with lots of seating and a bar. Tea and coffee making facilities were always available. The bar had a good stock of drinks. When arriving back from tours we were greeted with lovely cool drinks. There was a different cocktail of the day everyday. The top deck had plenty of sun beds and tables and chairs. There was a large canopy in the middle so shade was always available if you wanted it and as it reached 38 degrees we were thankful for some shade. Waiters and waitresses were always around to supply you with a welcomed cold drink.
Good value , but extortionate excursion prices. Someone buying the cruise would increase the cost by 25 % if they bought the excursion package.
The crew were 100 percent excellent and could not have been more helpful. The entertainment was mixed some good some not so good. The boat was clean . The cabins small. The food could have been better, although it was editable, the portions were small, but being a French shipping line that was to be expected. The excursions were overpriced, and some boring. The weather was mixed, but that's the chance you take when booking any holiday.
Wonderful experience of the Douro river
Friendly crew, very clean ship, food and drink excellent. The tours were well organised and we were well entertained on board.
Excellent accommodation, staff and entertainment. Would recommend to others.
The ship and crew were great - the ship was lovely - the food "out of this world". The excursions, unfortunately, were rubbish - we went to 3 and then cancelled the rest which was sad because we have always enjoyed the trips arranged on other holidays with you. I t think they have difficulty finding things of interest - of the 3 we went on 2 were Sandeman's Port estates.
Good busy cruise but order of the itinerary was changed as two boats were doing the same cruise. A bit confusing especially as the TV screen approach did not function correctly. Option of buffet lunch would be better than 5 course lunch taking up one and a half hours of the day. We were an early arrival and although we knew that our cabin would not be available till later, the reception and unwelcoming attitude towards us was disappointing.
Weather very poor, rained most days, unable to enjoy the sundeck. No choice with main meals, shower unit extremely small. Entertainment average. Long delay between connecting flight from Brussels to Birmingham on homeward journey. Problem with aircraft from Brussels to Birmingham which resulted in having to wait for a replacement plane which delayed the return home further. We would not like to repeat this experience.
There's no need to shop around. Find a cheaper like-for- like tour from another company, and we’ll not only match their price but also give you a £50 discount when you book with us.
They have in-depth knowledge of the places you’ll visit and will be on hand every step of the way with commentary entirely in English. 96% of customers rate them 'excellent' or 'good'.
We've been creating holiday adventures since 1961. We are a member of ABTA and all our flight-inclusive holidays are fully protected by the CAA's ATOL scheme.