New Portugal Douro River Cruise From Emerald Waterways

douro river valley, portugalEmerald Waterways has announced a new itinerary in Portugal for 2017: "Secrets of the Douro." The eight-day trip, which sails onboard the line's newly built Emerald Radiance, will take travelers roundrtip from Porto, Portugal to Salamanca, Spain, and back.

Thirty departures between April and October 2017 range from $2,195 per person, based on double occupancy. Booking by April 30 reduces those fares by $250.

From Porto, guests will sail to the village of Lamego in the Douro Valley port wine region, where they can enjoy a tour of baroque architecture and art. An afternoon sailing to Vega Teron, the gateway into Spain, offers the opportunity to participate in a Portuguese cooking demonstration. A day trip to Spain’s Roman city of Salamanca offers a first-hand look at the seat of the Spanish language and a feel for life in medieval times. Declared a World City of Culture, Salamanca is home to one of the oldest universities in Europe and is still a lively student town. A full day spent in this historic city offers plenty of free time to explore. An excursion to the Coa Valley Prehistoric Museum in Pocinho reveals stone carvings made by early inhabitants of the Duoro, followed by a cocktail lesson (using white port) on board and a dinner at a traditional local wine estate. At the Duoro Museum in Regua, the regions winemaking history is highlighted; or, guests can book a Discover More excursion to Mateus Palace, the historic icon depicted on the labels of Portugal’s famous rose wine. Back in Porto, a city tour—including the numerous wine caves of Vila Nova de Gaia—rounds out the trip.

For those wishing to extend their stays in Portugal or Spain, Emerald Waterways offers the opportunity to spend time exploring the capitol cities of Lisbon and Madrid. Guests wishing to see Lisbon can add a three-night stay at the beginning or end of the sailing with a package that includes accommodations, daily breakfast, one dinner, a city tour and services of a program director starting at $645 per person. A three-night extension package in Madrid, Spain contains accommodations, breakfast daily and one dinner starting at $995 per person.

The Emerald Radiance will carry 112 guests in 56 suites and staterooms, with a three-to-one guest-crew ratio. A new category of stateroom will have 330 square feet of living space and panoramic floor-to ceiling windows on two sides. The Radiance will have a serenity pool on the sun deck for relaxation. Guests have a choice of two restaurants—Reflections, the main dining room, and The Terrace for light breakfast and lunch. All ships also have an onboard hairdresser, massage therapy room and fitness area.