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Arrive at Lisbon’s Portela International Airport and transfer to your first class hotel. Due to various arrival times, the balance of the day is free of activities and meals are on your own.

Your morning sightseeing tour will highlight Lisbon’s historic past. The day’s program begins in the western end of the city in Belem.  Here you will see the famous Belem Tower, a monument to honor the Portuguese “Discoveries”. Also visited is the Jeronimos Monastery, built in the 16th century in the Manueline architectural style.  Both of these structures have been classified as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Continue to the city center and the oldest part of the city surrounding St. George’s Castle. The Alfama district with its narrow streets is still a thriving and active part of the city.  The afternoon is free for independent sightseeing of Lisbon. (B)

After breakfast you will have a full free day to enjoy and explore the many wonders of tourist friendly Lisbon.  There is much to see and do in this cultural and economic capital.   May we suggest an excursion to the nearby scenic towns of Sintra, and Cascais.   The hilltop town of Sintra has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for its plethora of historic and cultural attractions. The 15th century Sintra Palace was the summer residence of the Portuguese royal family, and the Castle of the Moors dates back to the 8th century.   For hundreds of years Cascais was just a small quaint fishing village until the Portuguese King Luis II  decided to  turn the citadel of Cascais into his summer residence. Since that time the town has been a beacon to holiday seekers, jet setters, the exiled royal families of Europe and ordinary foreign tourists looking for a beautiful harbor town, with cobble stoned streets and a historic city center. Optional tours, will be offered for those wishing a more structured day. (B)

Depart Lisbon, heading north to the medieval hilltop town of Obidos.  With its fortified walls, imposing castle, narrow cobble stoned streets and terra cotta roofs, Obidos has justly earned the reputation of being the on the highlights of a trip to Portugal.  After a guided tour of this historic gem, continue on to Coimbra. A center of learning, Coimbra has one of the oldest universities in Europe and the first in Portugal.  Its city center is dominated by the old cathedral. After sightseeing and lunch, continue north to Porto where you will embark your river cruise.  Check in is followed by a Welcome Drink and dinner.  WELCOME ON BOARD! (B, L, D)

After breakfast, enjoy the included sightseeing tour of Porto. Spreading along the banks of the Douro River, Porto’s history and development is closely linked to this river. First a Celtic-Iberian settlement, it became a prosperous Roman village thanks to its natural harbor. In the Middle Ages, during the XV and XVI  centuries, its  fishermen, sailors, merchants and ship builders contributed to the success of the Portuguese Discoveries. In the XVIII century, Porto gave its name to the one of the finest wines in the world –Port Wine. This tour introduces the city, the capital of the North of Portugal. You will drive through its narrow streets to find XVI century arcaded buildings and Baroque churches and chapels. You will cross the city’s iconic XIX century iron bridge, built by the school of Gustav Eiffel. The city tour takes you along the coastal road of the Atlantic to the mouth of the Douro River, located at “Foz”. There, this posh  neighborhood of Porto presents its fashionable Villas and Manor Houses. Before returning to the ship, you visit the city’s cathedral. Located on the top of the Penaventosa hill with an amazing view over the river, the cathedral construction started in the late 12th century and continued until the 17th century. The tour ends with a visit to one of the Port Wine Lodges, located in Vila Nova de Gaia, where the group will have  opportunity to see the old casks full of Port and have a sample of this delicious, world famous Portuguese wine. In the afternoon the ship sets sail for Bitetos. A special dinner is planned for the evening at the Alpendurada Monastery. (B, L, D)

 In the morning the ship sails to Regua. Upon arrival in Regua, there is an escorted excursion to Lamego.
 An old town rich in history, Lamego is small and picturesque, warm and very charming. It houses one of the most important places of  pilgrimage in Portugal: the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies. Built in the second half of the 18th century over the remains of a 14th century chapel, it is an excellent example of Portuguese baroque style. Embracing the whole town from the top of the hill is the Cathedral’s impressive staircase, with nearly 700 steps. It is beautifully decorated with enormous panels of blue and white tiles. In addition to the shrine, you will visit, the Gothic Cathedral, the Lamego Castle and its Cisterns and tour the Town’s Museum. Time will be given at the end of the tour to explore the narrow and winding streets of the town or simply watch the world go by from one of the outdoor cafes. In the evening, enjoy an on board folk music show. (B,L,D)

This morning there is a visit to Quinta do Seixo, a center for the port wine industry. There will be sample wine tasting before returning to the ship for lunch. In the afternoon the ship sails onward to Barca d’Alva.
This evening the gala Captain’s Dinner is followed by dancing in the lounge. (B, L, D)

A full day excursion is scheduled into Spain and the city of Salamanca. Situated in the center of the  “Castilla e León” region, the city was founded by Celtic-Iberian tribes. Subsequently occupied by Romans and then Arabs, Salamanca was finally re-conquered by Christians in the XIIth century. Afterwards, during the XIIIth century, the Iberian Peninsula’s  oldest university was created here and the city’s stature was greatly increased. Along with this city’s impressive history, monuments, and buildings are also its 40,000 international students who give it a multicultural, cosmopolitan and modern feeling. In 2002, Salamanca was Capital of the Culture and the city is World Heritage City since 1988.  The guided city tour takes you to visit the university, the House of shells, and the beautiful “Plaza Mayor”, formally a site of bullfighting and now a popular gathering point for locals and visitors alike. The tour also visits the Gothic “New Cathedral” - a name which serves as a testimony to the city’s age and rich history - since this “new” building was constructed in the 16th century to replace the original 12th century Salamanca Cathedral. During your free time, you may opt to also visit the Old Cathedral to take in its classic Romanic architecture. Activities while in Salamanca also include lunch and a flamenco show. Back on the ship, in the evening dinner will be a special Portuguese barbecue. (B,L,D)

This morning’s excursion is to Figueria de Castelo Rodrigo, located at about 2200 feet above sea level.  One of Portugal’s 12 historic parishes, it’s streets are typically medieval, very narrow and steep, and one can still find sixteenth century façades and Manuelino style windows. The Romans were the first to build a fortress here. Then in 1209 Alfonso IX built the wall of the fortress. The village became part of the Portuguese territory in 1297, during the reign of King Dinis. Throughout the centuries, Jews, Arabs and Christians have all peacefully coexisted in this small city and have created the social fabric of Castelo Rodrigo. There are still signs of this peaceful cooperation such as on the Sinagoga - the Synagogue Street - which dates back to the XVI century, during the time of King Manuel I, when a Jewish community of about 300 people escaping the inquisition and local Christians lived together in peace during this terrible time. The tour includes visits to the town hall to admire the azulejos that cover the wall as well as to the castle area itself, where you will have some free time to  explore before returning to the ship. In the afternoon sail on to Pinhao. A special dinner this evening is planned at a local wine estate.  (B,L,D)

The program this morning is to Vila Real and the nearby Gardens and Palace of Mateus. A visit to Vila Real offers a great opportunity to venture away from the Douro River and deeper into Portugal’s Trás-os-Montes (Across the Mountains) Region. The history of Vila Real dates to Palaeolithic times. However, between the 15th and the 17th century the city grew as many nobles chose to live in Vila Real.  After free time in the city the tour proceeds to land held by the last Count of Vila Real – the Palace and Gardens of Mateus. In the Gardens of Mateus Palace you have the chance to discover the connection between Mateus Rose Wine and this beautiful XVIII century house. After touring the home, enjoy free time in the beautiful gardens, amongst Portugal’s most beautiful. Finally, before returning to the ship there will be time to visit the villa’s beautiful chapel and winery. The ship sails on to Porto where it will dock at Vila Nova de Gaia. (B, L, D)
As all good things must eventually come to an end, so must this tour of Lisbon and the beautiful Douro River.  After breakfast, disembark the ship and transfer to the Porto Airport. (B)

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