Feel like royalty as you sail along the beautiful Douro Valley aboard the Spirit of Chartwell, the ship that carried Her Majesty the Queen during the Diamond Jubilee. Sail between coastal Porto and the Spanish border, with visits to picturesque towns, monasteries and palaces. Your experience aboard this intimate ship is enhanced with wine tastings, folk shows, cooking demonstrations and informative talks. You also have two nights in Portugal’s vibrant capital, Lisbon, and on selected autumn departures we celebrate the grape harvest.
- River Cruise
- Small Group
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Lisbon. On arrival, we transfer to the Hotel Mundial (4-star), for a two-night stay.
Lisbon entrances visitors with its wealth of grand buildings, from Baroque churches and palaces to art-nouveau façades and striking contemporary architecture, and today you are free to explore the beautiful Portuguese capital at your own pace. Perhaps visit Jeronimos Monastery, the last resting place of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, and the Belém Tower, built in 1515 to protect the city’s harbour and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or learn more about Portugal’s rich maritime heritage at the Navy Museum.
This morning we leave Lisbon, driving northwards to Porto, stopping for lunch en route. On arrival, we transfer to the port to embark Spirit of Chartwell (4-star) for a welcome cocktail party and dinner.
On a city tour, take in the delights of Porto, exploring the UNESCO-listed Ribeira district, with its cobbled streets and embellished buildings, and the iconic river scenes of the port cellars and traditional wooden barges used to transport the famous wine. Partake in a tasting of port before we return to the Spirit of Chartwell, for a relaxed afternoon as we sail up the River Douro, taking in views of steep, terraced vineyards. We dock overnight in Entre-os-Rios, and this evening we celebrate vintage port wine.
An excursion to the quaint town of Lamego and the grand rococo sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios is included this morning. If you choose to walk down the steps of this town’s elaborate shrine, don’t forget to look back to appreciate the tiled artwork. We visit the episcopal palace which now houses Museu de Lamego, a great display of art and Flemish tapestries. We also have the opportunity to sample some local specialities, which complement today’s culinary demonstration on board our vessel. We disembark this evening for dinner at a wine-producing Quinta.
This afternoon we arrive in Barca d’Alva, close to the Spanish border, where we will be staying for the next two nights. A visit to the medieval hilltop town of Castelo Rodrigo, a peaceful village that still bears the scars of old battles, is included, as well as an almond tasting experience. This evening we’ll enjoy the Captain’s dinner and a Fado and folk music show.
We cross the border into Spain for our full-day tour today, visiting the UNESCO-listed city of Salamanca, home to one of Europe’s oldest universities, outstanding examples of Romanesque, Gothic, Moorish and Baroque architecture, two cathedrals, and an impressive main square, the arcade-lined Plaza Mayor. We experience a traditional flamenco show before returning to our ship for a Portuguese barbecue dinner.
Early this morning we sail down the River Douro, back towards Régua, where we will stay overnight. Relax, enjoy the beautiful scenes of green, vineyard-clad hills and listen as our knowledgeable guest lecturer gives a talk about life in Portugal today. This afternoon there is an included excursion to the 18th-century Mateus Palace, a Baroque masterpiece that offers a glimpse of Portuguese aristocracy and is renowned for its delightful gardens, as well as the rosé wine which was first produced here.
After a relaxing morning on the Douro, we disembark in Entre-os-Rios for a leisurely lunch at the Quinta da Aveleda. Aveleda has been managed by the same family since 1870, and had already started winning international awards by 1888. The historic estate has been in the family even longer, and is the perfect place to enjoy lunch, in a delightful setting of exotic flora and endless vineyards, with an unusual addition of a goat tower. We return to Spirit of Chartwell to continue navigating the twists of the river. Tonight, we bid a fond farewell to Portugal with a sunset cruise in Porto harbour.
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.
Touring with Titan Travel
As one of the UK’s leading escorted holiday companies, Titan Travel offers an award-winning collection of holidays and tours in incredible destinations on all seven continents. In addition to scooping 20 British Travel Awards, 4 British Cruise Awards and a Telegraph Travel Award in 2018, the company won a Globe Travel Award and achieved Good Housekeeping Reader Recommended status in 2019, meaning you can have complete confidence in booking your escorted holiday and experiences with this great travel brand.
With a vast array of destination choices and so many carefully planned escorted tours available, it’s easy to find your perfect holiday with Titan Travel. The company does, in fact, offer over 400 exciting itineraries visiting around 100 destinations across Europe, Africa, Asia, Australasia, India, Sri Lanka, the Caribbean, the Middle East, North America, South America and Central America. And as your Titan Travel holiday includes a VIP door-to-door service, your escorted holiday starts and ends at your front door. This means planning your touring holiday is super easy, so the only hard part is choosing where to go!
One of the best things about Titan Travel is that they cover all holiday types and have something for everyone, from coach tours, escorted train and rail holiday tours and short UK breaks to Christmas holidays and a wide variety of river and ocean cruises. Whether you want to explore the Slovenian coast from the bow of a boat, see the monumental glaciers and snow-dusted mountains of the Alaskan fjords or even attend a traditional tea ceremony in Japan, Titan Travel boasts an unbeatable collection of touring holidays and unique solo and group travel experiences. Plus, you’ll have peace of mind that everything’s taken care of - including any airport transfers, excursions and chosen escorted tours.
If you want to travel on your own, Titan Travel welcomes thousands of single travellers every year and offers escorted holidays that are reserved exclusively for solo guests, like trips to Russia, escapes to Portugal, rail journeys in Switzerland and Greek island-hopping adventures. Not only will you discover new destinations but you’ll also meet new people and make unforgettable memories while fulfilling your solo travel wishes. Titan Travel also offers small group escorted tours so that you can meet like-minded travellers and enjoy a more intimate and social atmosphere on your holiday. Small group tours are limited to 25 travellers and include South Africa safari adventures, Thailand and Cambodia discovery tours and cruising to the temples and villages in Burma.
No matter which type of escorted touring holiday you pick, your Titan Travel holiday is ABTA and ATOL protected and the brand’s price promise protects you against any price drops after you’ve made a booking. What’s more, Titan Travel uses experienced tour managers and expert local guides who will ensure you don’t miss a thing while visiting a new destination.