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Discover the Douro

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8 days From £2,595 per person
4.6 stars(29 reviews)
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Fly & Cruise

Fly direct to Porto for an enchanting Douro river cruise with wonderful ports of call, including Porto, Mateus Palace, and Lamego

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2025 Tour code: DOZ25

About the tour

Setting sail from Porto, enjoy a fantastic 7-night cruise along the golden Douro. After a convenient flight to our floating hotel, drift through golden valleys alongside enchanting towns and past regal wine estates. Our cruise reveals the timeless beauty of this serene river, stopping at wonderful ports along the way.

Tracing the winding course of the Douro river through picturesque landscapes, we visit the golden city of Salamanca, journey along the Porto wine route, and discover Baroque architecture in Lamego. Then the medieval town of Guimarães beckons before we bid farewell to the Douro Valley. Join us on this captivating cruise through culture, history, and breathtaking scenery.

Unforgettable Experiences

Savour scenic Porto
Savour scenic Porto
Explore the UNESCO-listed World Heritage city of Porto – renowned for its port wine and picturesquely located on the banks of the Douro with historic landmarks like the Clerigos Tower and Porto Cathedral dotting the skyline.
The cuisine and magnificence of Salamanca
The cuisine and magnificence of Salamanca
Experience the golden city of Salamanca with its ancient cathedrals - like the Catedral Nueva and Catedral Vieja - that stand as testaments to its rich heritage, and experience a traditional Spanish lunch in this beautiful setting.
Mateus Palace – a baroque masterpiece
Mateus Palace – a baroque masterpiece
Visit the impressive Mateus Palace, a stunning Baroque-style mansion near Vila Real that boasts beautiful gardens, a grand interior with opulent rooms, and stunning architecture adorned with intricate carvings.
Charming Lamego
Charming Lamego
Enjoy a guided tour of the picturesque village of Lamego seeing its impressive Baroque cathedral as well as its historic centre adorned with ornate churches and elegant squares.
The treasures of Guimarães
The treasures of Guimarães
Discover the medieval buildings of Guimarães, a picturesque city known as the ‘birthplace of Portugal’ with a beautifully preserved medieval old town, historic churches, and charming squares.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - To Porto where we board our cruise ship

Today is the start of our amazing holiday. We gather at the airport, ready to embark on an adventure to the charming city of Porto, city famous for the explorers who set out from here to discover the New World.

Upon arrival, we're escorted by coach to our excellent ship. After settling into our comfortable cabins, we're greeted by our wonderful crew with a welcome cocktail. Later, we sit down to our first delicious meal on board, followed by a panoramic evening coach tour of the city of Porto by night. From our comfortable seats, we see the lovely old, preserved areas of the city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hopping off the coach for a brief stop at the Sao Bento railway station, we admire its magnificent azulejos, before heading back to our luxurious ship for a restful nights sleep.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - Discovering Porto and Regua

This morning we explore Porto further on a guided walking tour. We wander its winding streets, steeped in centuries of history. Admire townhouses adorned with intricate azulejos, the ornate details of regal churches, and the iconic iron bridge - an emblem of the city's industrial prowess and architectural ingenuity. We also visit a wine cellar to sample the city's famous port wine hearing tales of the region's viticultural legacy and the meticulous craftsmanship behind every drop. Savour the velvety texture and lingering finish of these exquisite wines. From the luscious sweetness of Tawny to the robust complexity of Vintage, each sip unveils a distinct character.

We rejoin our ship for lunch on board and then later this afternoon, begin our cruise along the Douro river, enjoying its fabulous landscapes enroute to the town of Regua, a picturesque town that is rich in history and culture and surrounded by terraced slopes. After dinner this evening, we enjoy entertainment on board.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 – The delights of Mateus Palace and Gardens

This morning, we visit the city of Vila Real and the magnificent Mateus Palace with its breathtaking gardens. We start with a panoramic tour of the city by coach, followed by a tasting of the local pastry, Cristas de Galo. Later, we visit the Mateus Palace, one of the most beautiful and astonishing houses in all of Northern Portugal. This 18th-century masterpiece is a delight with its classic Italianate exterior, beautifully adorned interiors, and lush gardens. Our tour takes us through the grand halls and rooms of the palace before time at leisure to explore the property's chapel and winery. Returning to our ship, we cruise in the afternoon through blissful scenery to Vega de Terron on the border with Spain. This evening, after dinner, we enjoy Flamenco entertainment on board.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 – The golden city of Salamanca

Today, we venture into beautiful Spain and make our way through enchanting countryside to the golden city of Salamanca, in the Castille y Léon region. Known as the academic capital of Spain, this ancient city boasts an impressive array of sandstone university buildings and - founded in 1218 - is the oldest and most prestigious centre of learning in the country. Our guided tour showcases the highlights of Salamanca, including the ornate House of Shells, the vibrant Plaza Mayor, and other magnificent buildings. Afterwards, you have time to wander at leisure and discover the city's hidden gems before enjoying a traditional Spanish lunch.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - Savouring the renowned Port wine route

This morning, we begin our cruise back downstream through scenic landscapes to Ferradosa. After lunch, we join our fabulous excursion along the Porto wine route where we visit São Salvador do Mundo and São João da Pesqueira, two small towns set amongst the vineyards on the Rio Torto valley. We also visit a local Quinta where we indulge in some of the region's finest Ports. Later, we rejoin our ship in Pinhao before enjoying our Gala dinner on board.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 – Baroque splendour in Lamego

This morning we journey to the picturesque village of Lamego. We enjoy a guided tour of this charming town, renowned for its stunning cathedral. Standing at the heart of the village, this is a breathtaking example of Baroque architecture. But the real highlight of this masterpiece is the 700 steps leading up to its doors, beautifully decorated with cheerful white and blue tiles. This afternoon we continue our cruise back to Porto where tonight, we enjoy an evening of Fado-themed entertainment.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - Exploring Porto and Guimarães

This morning, we enjoy time at leisure in Porto before lunch on board. This afternoon, we visit the charming medieval city of Guimarães, known for its well-preserved 10th-century buildings, vibrant squares, and picturesque castle gardens. We return to Porto and rejoin our ship before our 4-course farewell dinner and traditional folk entertainment on board.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 – Homeward bound

Today marks the final day of our adventure on the Douro. We disembark and transfer to the airport. On our return flight to the UK enjoy memories of Lisbon's vibrant hues, Sintra's enchanting palaces, and explorations of Porto and Regua where we savoured port wine. Mateus Palace impressed before venturing to Spain's Salamanca. Our luxurious cruise ended with Pinhao, Lamego's steps, and Guimarães' medieval charm, leaving us with a holiday experience we will treasure for a long time.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Ship

MS Gil Eanes

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Reviews

4.6 stars4.6 / 5 · 29 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (18)
  2. 4 stars
    (10)
  3. 3 stars
    (1)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

David Jenkins

4 stars

Submitted 6/Jul

very enjoyable experience, croisi staff/crew excellent, Good food

Collected by Trustpilot

Jennie

5 stars

Submitted 3/Jul

An amazing holiday with an amazing group of people. Beautiful scenery, lovely excursions and an awesome tour manager that made sure we were looked after and entertained.

Collected by Trustpilot

Grumpygranpa

4 stars

Submitted 30/Jun

This was our first GRJ trip without stepping on a train (our choice). It was a lovely trip up and down the Douro, with a superb caring boat crew who looked after us with every consideration. Food was excellent but three full meals a day was more than necessary, I'm sure a light buffet at lunch would have been sufficient, with perhaps a three course lunch for those who wished to book. Information prior to the trip was inconsistent and therefore anxiety inducing. I had to phone GRJ on at least two occasions for clarification and always polite and helpful telephone staff would clarify that what had been sent to us in written form was not correct. It was therefore a relief to meet someone at Gatwick to direct us. After many trips with GRJ, the tour guide has always been good, this was the first exception. Information given was sometimes inaccurate and conflicting, with a somewhat patronising attitude to the age group on the tour. Her second in command was lovely, but understandably took a low profile

Collected by Trustpilot

philip craven

5 stars

Submitted 28/Jun

Highly recommend. Enjoyed every single minute of the cruise. Would definately use Great Railway Journeys again. Cruise managers and all the crew, friendly, helpful and couldn't do enough to make our trip enjoyable. A worthy 5 STAR.

Collected by Trustpilot

Mr David Everest

5 stars

Submitted 28/Jun

Beautiful Scenery. Fabulous ship, crew and food. Comfortable cabins. Interesting excursions and on board entertainment.

Collected by Trustpilot

David Bristow

5 stars

Submitted 28/Jun

Top class. Boat and programme excellent

Collected by Trustpilot

Show 6 more reviews
River Cruise Holidays 2025

River Cruise Holidays 2025

Experience the magic of cruising along some of Europe’s most picturesque waterways. Glide serenely along the romantic Rhine, explore the blue Danube or meander through the enchanting Douro Valley. With our river cruises, you’ll drift through beautiful landscapes and historic towns.

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