Welcome to the sun-drenched capital of Spain, Madrid. Today, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your centrally-located hotel for a two-night stay in the capital.
This morning, join your local guide for an insightful walking tour of Madrid, touching on its bustling centre and its vibrant past as you peruse the Sabatini Gardens and Gran Via. After your tour, the rest of the day is yours to spend exploring at leisure.
A guided tour of Madrid
Today, you will be transferred from your well-appointed hotel to the airport for your flight to Porto. Here, a warm welcome awaits you from your captain and crew on board your contemporary Emerald Cruises Star-Ship. This evening, join your fellow guests for dinner on board.
Relax on board today and enjoy a full day of sailing through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Douro Valley. This fascinating area is celebrated because it builds on two millennia of wine producing history, where viticulture has shaped the surrounding landscape and small, sleepy villages are peppered with dozens of sun-drenched vineyards.
Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner and cocktail reception.
Portuguese cooking demonstration on board
Begin your day with a visit to the beautiful Quinta do Tedo vineyard in the heart of Portugal’s Douro Valley, nestled on the confluence of the Douro and Tedo rivers. This 18th-century estate is environmentally sound, creating organic produce by using traditional viticulture methods.
Alternatively, enjoy a guided walk through local vineyards, stopping along the way to admire your surroundings. Or, embark on a kayak excursion along the river, taking in the impressive views from the heart of the Douro Valley.
This afternoon, enjoy sailing to Vega de Terrón, perhaps relaxing on the Sun Deck
Kayak experience in Pinhão
Guided active walk through the vineyards
Visit to Quinta do Tedo with tasting
Founded in Roman times, the ancient city of Salamanca and its UNESCO World Heritage-listed old quarter have an illustrious past, having been held by the Carthaginians, Romans and Moors.
Travel to the beautiful golden city for a walking tour, starting with the postcard-worthy galleries and arcades that adorn Plaza Mayor. You’ll also have the opportunity to see Casa de las Conchas, a building that has been lovingly decorated with more than 300 shells.
Tuna music band
Guided tour of Salamanca
Castelo Rodrigo tour (extra expense)
This morning, you’ll arrive in Pocinho where you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Côa Valley Museum. Later, return to your ship for lunch and soak up your idyllic surrounds, enjoying a Port wine cocktail lesson on boards as you sail towards Régua. This evening, a rural dinner at a wine estate is certain to be one of the highlights of your trip.
Port wine cocktail lesson on board
Rural dinner at Quinta da Pacheca
Visit to the Côa Valley Museum
Archaeological tour by 4x4 at the Côa Valley Museum (extra expense)
Today, on an included excursion, you will visit the marvellous Baroque village of Lamego, stopping to see the picturesque Shrine of Our Lady of Remedies, a structure that stands gracefully over the town
Mosaic tile painting lesson on board
Walk down the steps of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies
Guided tour of Lamego
Visit to Mateus Manor House (extra expense)
Located at the mouth of the Douro River, Porto is a fascinating eclectic mix of modern and ancient architecture. Famous for its export of Port wines, it’s easy to imagine how British merchant ships would have once clustered together in the medieval harbour, waiting to take their produce across the water.
Your included tour of the coastal city will touch on the fortified structures of Castelo da Foz and Castelo do Queijo, a building whose pentagonal façades overlook the ocean. This evening, enjoy a charming evening cruise that will shine a different light on Porto's skyline.
Evening cruise through Porto
Guided active walk in Porto
Guided tour of Porto
Visit to Quinta da Aveleda (extra expense)
Guided bike tour to the Atlantic (extra expense)
This morning, disembark your Star-Ship and travel south, following the coast of the Atlantic until you reach the enchanting town of Nazaré. Continue onwards until you arrive in Lisbon. Lisbon’s beauty has captivated people from around the world for centuries, and your included three-night stay in Lisbon is certain to leave you captivated too.
Today, a tour of Lisbon’s centre will offer the perfect introduction to the Portuguese capital, where limestone cobbled streets are peppered with terracotta-roofed houses, all swathed in delightful breezy sea views.
Your tour will include a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Jerónimos Monastery, an icon of Late Gothic Manueline architecture that can be found gracing Lisbon’s harbour. The shrine-like south entrance is a true delight, with gables, pinnacles and a statue of Henry the Navigator, one of the pioneers of Portugal’s Age of Discovery, a period of time that brought riches to the Portuguese Empire.
A guided tour of Lisbon
The heart and soul of Lisbon is yours to discover independently today, as you stroll past gleaming white basilicas and traverse cobblestone streets. Your tour director will be available to help you plan your day of independent exploration.
Excursion to Sintra (extra expense)
After breakfast, it’s time to bid farewell to your fellow guests and prepare for your transfer to the airport, taking memories of the golden city and illustrious vineyards with you.
The world may have changed, however, our commitment to our guests and crew, the guest experience and their health, safety and wellbeing remains our key priority. We are working closely with Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), local and international Government Health agencies, to ensure our protocols exceed the latest regulatory requirements. Our Health & Safety Steering Committee oversees all health and safety policies and training with Emerald Cruises, ensuring you can travel with complete confidence that your wellbeing and safety are taken care of to the highest standard. In addition, we are implementing the most recent insights and technologies, with our Emerald Cruises team dedicated to exceeding the levels of cleanliness required in today’s travel climate.
We are continuously updating our protocols to safeguard both the health, safety and the experience of our valued guests. You will be informed about these important procedures, well in advance of your journey departure, which may include the following information and guidelines:
Medical Evaluation & Test
To ensure all of our guests are safe and well before your journey with us begins, we will require you to complete a pre-departure medical health evaluation. During the phased embarkation process you, and your fellow passengers, will be tested for COVID-19 by a medical specialist. This will allow you to relax with complete peace-of-mind when you board our Star-Ships, in the company of other like-minded travelers.
Our Dedicated Team
Our Captains, Hotel Managers and Cruise Directors, alongside their exceptional teams, will deliver a first-class level of service during your time traveling with us. You can enjoy the same exciting program of on board and on shore experiences, tailored to smaller groups to allow for safe social distancing. The team are readily available to ensure every detail of your journey with us is memorable, for all the right reasons. They will ensure health and safety protocols are followed on a daily basis.
Having the best crew to look after you is at the heart of our core values at Emerald Cruises, and we will go the extra mile to ensure our crew is healthy in doing so. All crew will be regularly tested for COVID-19 and will have daily temperature and health checks. They will also be trained and regularly briefed on all aspects in preventing COVID-19 amongst themselves as well as our guests. They will go beyond the ordinary to make your cruise a truly exceptional experience.
Contact-Free Check In & Check Out
We have adjusted the various touchpoints of your journey, allowing you to check in and check out in a completely contact-free way. Through a phased embarkation you will be able to arrive and depart from your Star-Ship smoothly and with safe social proximity in mind. And, of course, every time you return to your Star-Ship, our crew will be there to greet you with a warm smile.
Briefings & Screenings
Our medical expert will host mandatory briefings and screenings. These events are designed to ensure every member of our guests and crew are healthy, and also offer an opportunity to allay any concerns or ask any questions you may have about our safety protocols.
Enhanced Cleaning Commitment
Our on board crew will be increasing and enhancing our already frequent and high standard cleaning protocols in public areas and suites, leaving surfaces and spaces spotless. Additional care and attention will be paid to high contact zones, such as communal restrooms and dining facilities.
Socially Aware Dining
You can expect the same delightful dining experiences when you travel with us, savoring a choice of dishes inspired by regional cuisine and local produce. We are adapting and redesigning our on board food and beverage service to ensure extra care is taken in order to minimize social contact. We will serve our delicious food a la carte or via served buffets.
The spacious surrounds of our ships in combination with the guest numbers provide ample room for you to relax, allowing for an abundance of personal space. We are introducing contact-free movement across our Star-Ships to further reduce risks. Contact-free hand sanitizer dispensers will be readily available in all public spaces and guest corridors on board, whilst automated doors and contact-free guest servicing will minimize the number of touchpoints.
Our Star-Ships are equipped with air circulation systems. These systems ensure there is no re-circulation of inside air on board the ship. When you are relaxing in your suite you will be breathing air from outside the ship that is channeled directly to your suite. The air will also be released from your suite directly to the outside.
Smaller Groups & Social Proximity
Discovering the local culture of your destination is the highlight of every river cruise. Create memories to cherish during our choice of on shore excursions. You will travel in smaller groups, allowing for a more intimate travel experience, whilst respecting social proximity and destination specific regulations. To enhance your sightseeing, you can utilize our digital headsets, which will act as your personal tour guide and travel map.
Carefully Selected Local Partners
As well as enhancing our health and safety protocols on board and with our crew, we’re working closely with our local partners. We have forged long-standing relationships with our local partners, all of whom have been carefully selected for their expertise and high levels of service, and are committed to ensuring your safety. They will receive extensive training to adhere with our enhanced protocols. We will also introduce strict control and screening procedures for anyone boarding our Star-Ships.
Wellness Throughout Your Journey
Your wellbeing is our number one priority, both during your time on board and on shore. Journey to and from your destination with complete peace-of-mind. All transport vehicles will be equipped with hand sanitizer and will undergo deep cleaning after every journey, surpassing the high industry standards required. You can also rest assured that we will monitor social proximity, allowing you to travel safely, with plenty of personal space.
We are committed to continually reviewing and updating our protocols and guidelines as new information becomes available, to ensure that our guests can travel safely in the many destinations we operate in.
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This trip was all we expected and more. The booking and planning by Affordable Tours weas very helpful. The Emerald Radiance was a joy. The ship and crew were unbelievable. The Douro Valley is so very beautiful and Portugal an amazing destination-just need to explore it further.