Day 1: October 29, 2018 - Depart the USA: Depart Washington Dulles for Porto.
Day 2: PORTO (D): Welcome to Portugal. Meet & greet by a Jet Vacations host in Porto airport and transfer to your ship. After you've comfortably settled in your cabin, we'll introduce our crew during our welcome cocktail party, followed by dinner. We moor for the night in Porto. (Dinner)
Day 3: PORTO REGUA (FB,L,D): After a breakfast on board, Departure by coach from the Villa Nova de Gaia Quay, facing Porto from across the Douro river and the famous Dom Luis I Bridge, built between 1881 and 1886 by French engineer Theophile Seyrig, one of Gustave Eiffel's pupils. Porto, the second largest city in Portugal, stands out from the steep banks of the Douro river with its mixture of grey facades and red tiles interspersed with unusual architectural masterpieces. Its historical center was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. We'll discover The Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Building), built in 1834 by the city's Commercial Association. It has remained their headquarters to this day. After climbing up the beautiful granite and marble stairway, we'll visit the former Tribunal Room, the Golden Room and the Arab Room, decorated in the exotic Moorish Revival style. Afterwards, we'll visit the Igreja de São Francisco (Church of Saint Francis), also known as the "Golden Church". It was originally a modest convent founded by Franciscan monks in the 12th century, before being further altered by prominent Porto families in the 15th and 16th centuries. They were responsible for the Baroque style interior which mingles with the large, elaborate rose window in Gothic style on the main façade in a fascinating mixture of styles reflecting the various eras it went through. We'll cross the Dom Luis I Bridge again back to Villa Nova de Gaia for the visit of a wine cellar. Porto's pride notably stems from its famous wine known the world over, which you will get to taste. We'll return on board by coach and the afternoon will be spent sailing. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner).
Day 4: REGUA – PINHAO – VEGA DE TERON (FB,L,D): After enjoying a breakfast on board, we'll leave from Regua or Pinhão for Vila Real, where aristocrats built grand palaces during the 16th and 17th centuries. The architecture of the religious buildings is here extremely varied. We'll take a panoramic tour of the city by coach, followed by a tasting of the local pastry, Cristas de Galo. We'll then set out to explore Mateus Palace, the most beautiful and astonishing manor in all of Northern Portugal. This 18th-century beauty is set in a hilly landscape reminding us of Mexico. The subtle mixture of granite, white walls and extravagance from the Age of Enlightenment such as ledges covered in statues and Baroque style pilasters is a striking feature. Behind the manor is a delightful garden with box hedges, more statues, and a spectacular 115-foot cedar tunnel. After our tour, we'll return to our ship in Regua or Pinhão. Tonight's entertainment on board while sailing has a flamenco theme. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5: VEGA DE TERRON – SALAMANCA – BARCA D'ALVA (FB,L,D):
Departure by coach towards Salamanca where you'll meet up with your guides. Since 1988, the Old Town of Salamanca has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The classified area extends on the major part of the city as it used to be until the middle of the 20th century and is responsible for its growing popularity. We'll visit the cathedral whose successive extensions created a mixture of styles going from late Gothic to Baroque, including Renaissance. Afterwards, we'll visit one of the world's oldest Universities which first opened in 1218. Also known as "Escuelas Mayores", the University building has a sumptuous gate adorned with the city's most famous design: a frog atop a skull – symbolic of the sin of lust being punished after death. Its wonderful library brims with old manuscripts dating back from prior to the 19th century. You'll enjoy lunch and be free to discover the city on your own. Return on board in Vega de Teron. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6: BARCA D'ALVA – FERRADOSA - PINHAO (FB,,D): We'll set off early in the morning and have a breakfast buffet on board as we cruise through the locks in Pocinho and Valeira. Our boat will continue cruising while you enjoy a relaxing lunch on board. We'll arrive in Ferradosa around 2 :00 p.m. where you can join us on the optional "wines of Porto" excursion. You will follow the road through the vineyards and stop at an overlook surrounded by vines. We'll then continue our trip to a "quinta" where we will sample the wines of Porto. After the tour, you'll return back on board in Pinhão around 6 :00 p.m. You will also have the opportunity to explore the old Pinhao train station, with its splendid "azulejos"(traditional Portuguese tiles). At the end of the day, you'll enjoy our gala dinner and evening on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7: PINHAO - PORTO (FB,L,D): You'll begin your day with a breakfast buffet on board in Pinhao. In the morning, you can join us on our guided tour by coach of Lamego for a guided tour of the city center by coach and on foot. Lamego is a charming episcopal and commercial town where you'll get to discover the Nossa Senhora dos Remedios Sanctuary. This 18th century church stands out with its white façade dominating a baroque staircase with 686 steps ending in a shrine built in the rocaille style and adorned with azulejos. The first stone was laid on February 14th, 1750 and gave way to the construction of a massive temple overlooking the city and providing a breathtaking view over the misty mountains of the surrounding landscape. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8: PORTO (FB,L,D): Enjoy time at leisure this morning to discover Porto at your own pace. After lunch on board, join us for an excursion to Aveiro by coach. Often called the "Venice of Portugal", and known as the salt capital of Portugal, Aveiro is surrounded by salt marshes, beaches and lagoons and is dominated by the Central Canal that runs through the town. This little medieval town, built on a lagoon, expanded rapidly during the 15th and 16th centuries as a sea port thanks to cod fishing. It is also a center for baroque art with its many buildings and monuments. Aveiro has kept several of its typical boats with half-moon shaped prows, the "moliceiros". Nowadays, Aveiro and its surroundings form a very significant industrial region with naval shipyards, engineering, iron and steel works, cellulose-producing factories, porcelain and pottery, and where salt production and fishing are still important activities. Its university is one of the largest in Portugal and there are also several further higher studies buildings. Aveiro is a bright and friendly little town with art-nouveau style architecture, brightly colored houses and charming little alleyways for you to take a lovely stroll. Afterwards, we'll set off for Costa Nova, a typical little fishermen town and former family-friendly resort which has now been restored. The resort is located between the beaches on the Atlantic coast and the lagoon and is open onto the ria. Here there are lots of traditional multi-colored, striped wooden houses lining the promenade which is also planted with palm trees. Return on board by coach in Porto
Day 9: PORTO (FB): Enjoy one last breakfast buffet on board before disembarking.
This itinerary is approximate. The exact times, days and destinations may vary due to unforeseen circumstances.