Your LGBT+, all-inclusive, guaranteed full ship charter adventure begins in Lisbon, the stunning capital city of Portugal and one of the most charismatic and vibrant cities in Europe. You’ll spend two days exploring the historic sites of this scenic and romantic city built on the sea. Your visit also includes the beautiful medieval city of Óbidos and lunch at a wine estate.
Your cruise journeys from the picturesque Roman city of Porto, the home of Port wine. Portugal’s once-wild river Douro has been tamed by locks into a series of finger lakes, adding greatly to the valley’s ambience. Leaving behind the Atlantic influenced greenery of the coast, and you are soon immersed in a Mediterranean land of olives, vines, and picturesque, medieval hilltop villages. Our destination is the higher reaches of the valley from where we visit Salamanca – home of one of Europe’s oldest universities, two of its finest cathedrals, Spain’s finest city square and even the Inquisition!
On board the gorgeous Douro Splendor, you will be pampered by a crew of forty ensuring first-class personal service. Plus a friendly ‘small ship’ feel enables the ever-attentive crew to take care of all those little things – leaving you to simply sit back, relax and enjoy every minute of your sensational all-LGBT+ river cruise experience.
This cruise vacation has it all – historic sites, charming villages, world-class port wines and cuisine and more!
Luxury Level: ***** Five Star
Activity Level: Low to Moderate
Guest Count: 120
- Two nights in a 5-star hotel in central Lisbon
- Guided tour of Lisbon with its magnificent squares, Baixa and Moorish quarters, cathedrals and castles
- Seven nights on board the 5-Star Riviera Douro Splendor
- Óbidos – a delightful medieval village of white houses adorned with bougainvillea and honeysuckle
- Wine tasting and dinner at a typical Portuguese quinta
- Visits to Castelo Rodrigo, Mateus Palace gardens and Lamego
- Traditional Portuguese folk music show
- A walking tour of Salamanca, followed by lunch and a flamenco show
- UNESCO World Heritage Site of Coimbra University
Rooms are over 300 sq ft and feature King or two twin beds, individually controlled air conditioning, safe, tea and coffee -making facilities, free wi-fi, iron and ironing board, and more.
Dates of Stay: September 20 – 22
Additional pre-program nights available upon request. Please contact us for availability and pricing.
MS Douro Splendour
Accommodating just 126 guests in the most exquisite of surroundings, the ship’s spectacular design and high specification ensures this vessel feels exceptionally light and airy. The generous ratio of 3:1 guests per crew member ensures first-class personal service plus a friendly ‘small ship’ feel, and enables the ever -attentive crew to revel in taking care of all those little things – leaving you to simply sit back, relax and enjoy every minute of your sensational river cruise experience.
Dates of Stay: Sep 22 – 29
There are currently no extensions for this tour.
- Guaranteed all-LGBT+ charter
- 2 nights hotel accommodation in Lisbon including daily buffet breakfast
- Welcome reception in Lisbon
- ½ day guided tour in Lisbon
- Transfer from the hotel in Lisbon to the ship in Porto
- Tour of the medieval village of Óbidos
- Lunch at Sanguinhal Wine Estate
- 7 nights cruise accommodation
- Complimentary beer, wine, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages throughout the cruise
- Superb Dining: all meals included during your cruise
- Complimentary shore excursions offered daily
- Brand g signature entertainment
- Full-day tour to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Salamanca
- Airport transfers in Lisbon (LIS) and Porto (OPO)
Arrive in Lisbon and meet your local transfer representative, who will whisk you away to your hotel. The balance of the day is free time to start exploring this beautiful city.
Meet your fellow guests at a welcome gathering in the early evening, at approximately 5:30pm. (Welcome Reception)
After your included breakfast, meet your guides to start a panoramic trip in Lisbon exploring the highlights of the city. Admire the different quarters of Lisbon, with its narrow streets and alleys, and gain understanding of the historical past of the city through your expert local guide. Visit the Belem Quarter, where magnificent monuments await, and the Church of the Jeronimos Monastery. Wander around the Belem gardens and its cobblestoned streets, with the opportunity to taste one of the most famous Portuguese Pastries: our Pastel de Nata! (B)
After your first delicious breakfast and while you linger over another coffee, you can really start to unwind as we leave the city skyline far behind. Head up on deck to appreciate the changing landscape as the river weaves its way between the lush hillsides; from the first morning on board, it’s very apparent that the Douro is one of Europe’s most photogenic river valleys.
Following lunch, we arrive to the small town of Peso da Régua, from where we visit the grounds of the splendid Mateus Palace. Anyone familiar with Mateus Rosé and its characteristic ‘squashed’ bottle will recognize the palace from the label. Whatever your opinion of the wine, it is an impressive 18th-century Baroque edifice, mirrored in its stunning pond, surrounded by landscaped French gardens.
This evening we take the short drive to the 126-acre Quinta da Pacheca for dinner. Enjoying dramatic views over the Douro, it dates back to the 18th century and is simply one of the most beautiful and distinguished properties in the region. It is also notable as being the first quinta – in 1738 – to bottle wine under the name of its owner, the aristocrat Mariana Pacheco Pereira. You have time to wander through part of the estate before sampling a selection of its finest wines at dinner. (B, L, D)
This morning, enjoy another leisurely morning on board. One of the benefits of life aboard a river cruise is the sheer sense of relaxation it brings; our elegant ship slips its moorings during breakfast, after which there is plenty of time for a spot of pampering in the on-board spa, or to simply watch the seamless changing of the riverbank scenery passing by from the comfort of a cozy seat in the lounge. We’re in port wine territory, where the lush hillsides have largely given way to a patterned landscape of terraced vineyards. Inland from the Atlantic, the climate has changed, too; it’s noticeably warmer and drier, while the area has a Mediterranean appearance with orangey, earthy colors replacing verdant greens.
This afternoon, following lunch, we visit Castelo Rodrigo, a delightful 12th-century walled village tucked away in the picturesque highland ranges bordering Spain. Its church was a resting place on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela and it is said that Saint Francis himself stayed here. The views are simply stupendous, stretching across almost-deserted ochre hillsides.
This evening after dinner we will see a celebratory vintage port wine opened in the traditional way, then head up on to the lounge for another night of fun and frivolity with your Brand g Signature entertainers. Or, head up to the sun deck to listen to the unmistakable sound of crickets and breathe in the scents from the surrounding valley slopes that pervade the warm evening air. (B, L, D)
Today we visit historic Salamanca, one of the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites on this journey, regarded by many Spaniards as their nation’s most beautiful city. Founded by the Romans, who erected its 389-yard-long bridge, Salamanca is mostly built from local sandstone that emanates a gorgeous rose-coloured glow in the sunlight. Perched on a hill on a bend in the serene River Tormes, the city is a picture of tranquility; but its history is turbulent, having been successively fought over by Hannibal, the Moors, then the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon.
Salamanca is dominated by its two cathedrals and its university. Founded in 1218, the university is the oldest in Spain and was one of the civilized world’s most important seats of study for over 400 years. The Spanish Inquisition’s records are still kept here, and as early as the 16th century it boasted some 12,000 students. Seeing its immaculately preserved lecture halls with their vaulted ceilings, it’s easy to conjure an image of Christopher Columbus addressing the learned men of the day or legal experts constructing the international laws that originate here.
On arrival in Salamanca, you are free to explore as you wish. You may choose to linger, admiring the ornate interiors of its cathedrals – the more recent dates from the 16th-century – or explore its tiny streets, medieval squares, traditional shops, gardens and marketplaces.
The main square, the Plaza Mayor, was built in the 18th-century in Spanish Baroque style, with colonnaded walkways all around at ground level, ideal for finding a shaded spot to sit and watch the locals pass by.
Over lunch you enjoy a traditional flamenco show. This afternoon, we enjoy a guided tour of the city seeing the main sights.
Following our full-day tour, we return to our 5-star vessel for dinner. (B,L,D)
Another morning of sailing brings the opportunity for pampering in the on-board spa, a workout, catching up on a book, or simply watching the seamless changing of the riverbank scenery passing by from the comfort of a cozy seat in the lounge.
We arrive later in the pretty little town of Peso da Régua. Here, we enjoy a visit to a local historic quinta to learn all about the stages of wine production, from the planting of the vines, harvesting, the wine-making process and finally tasting and labeling. No visit would be complete without sampling some of their excellent vintages, of course, so we enjoy a tasting before returning to the ship for cocktails, dinner and another night of Brand g signature entertainment. (B, L, D)
This morning after breakfast, we take a short drive to historic Lamego, home of Portugal’s sparkling wine, Raposeira, and one of the first places to be reclaimed from the Moors in the 12th century. Situated atop the hill overlooking this lovely town is the ancient Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies church, its stairways adorned with attractive azulejos, the country’s characteristic painted ceramic tiles.
By the time we return to our ship, our chef and his team will be adding the finishing touches to another delicious lunch, ready to be served as we depart for Entre-os-Rios. After lunch, there’s the perfect opportunity to take to the sun deck to enjoy the kaleidoscope of Douro views – or perhaps a spot of reading in the lounge over a cup of tea. This evening is the Captain’s Dinner, a truly memorable experience featuring exquisite regional specialties, followed by a colorful performance of traditional Portuguese folk music by a local cultural group. (B,L,D)
There’s a perfect opportunity to avail yourself of some of the ship’s range of five-star facilities this morning – maybe a little gentle exercise in the fitness room before heading up to the sun deck to enjoy a coffee while chatting with newly-made Brand g friends as our ship makes a graceful arrival in Porto once more, passing under the city’s spectacular bridges.
Porto is of course synonymous with wonderful port wine and all the famous port producers are here, such as Cálem, Sandeman and Ferreira, so a visit here would not be complete without a tour of one of them. You’ll learn about this fortified wine’s fascinating history and its close British connections. Port is made from grapes still pressed in the traditional way – by feet – then lovingly matured, sometimes for decades, before you can enjoy its subtle flavours. Of course, you’ll get the chance to sample various port styles at the end of our visit.
After lunch on board, we enjoy a guided tour of Porto. Strategically overlooking the Douro as it empties into the Atlantic, Portugal’s second largest city was originally a Roman town, but its wealth derived from its knowledge of the sea routes to India, with fortunes made from trading spices, silks and other fine goods. Our tour unveils some of its major and more surprising sights.
You’ll have the rest of the afternoon to explore this truly fascinating city. Return to the terraced streets of the old town and wander the sloping maze of winding, cobbled alleyways, soaking up the atmosphere while stopping to admire the lovely architecture, soaring bell towers, fine baroque churches, golden rooftops and beautiful tiles of this slice of traditional Portugal. Stop for a drink in a cozy café and be tempted by an array of delicious cakes and pastries – perhaps sample another pastel de nata, the traditional Portuguese custard tart.
This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner on board. Afterwards, settle into the lounge to enjoy a final performance from your Brand g signature entertainers and reflect on the splendors of the remarkable River Douro – over a glass of port, of course! (B,L,D)
This morning, the crew bids you farewell before you disembark with memories of one of the most beautiful and unspoiled corners of Europe. (B)
Bookings for the 2024 Portugal and the Douro River tour start at $4,999 Cabins to $8,199 Suites. Please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or +17132530041 for real-time availability of spaces and for reservations.