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. And on selected autumn departures, we celebrate the famed grape harvest together.
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Porto. On arrival, we embark Spirit of Chartwell (4T) for a welcome cocktail and captain’s gala 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 complements 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
Scooping 20 awards at the 2018 British Travel Awards, you can be sure that a touring holiday with Titan Travel will be something special. Among others, Titan received gold awards for Best Special Interest Holiday Company and Best Safari, Wildlife and Nature Holiday Company so they are perfectly placed to provide that exceptionally epic tour to any corner of the globe.
A Titan holiday begins and ends at your front door with their award-winning VIP door-to-door travel service, scheduled international flights and the most memorable form of touring transport. Where this is a coach, they provide the best available. Titan pride themselves in providing tours that enable you to see all the sights of the area you visit as well as giving you the option for plenty of free time, optional excursions and extra nights here and there to tailor-make your holiday and make it extra special. The choice of destinations and interests are extensive including gems such as a wildlife tour of Sri Lanka, exploring the musical history of the Deep South, grand tours of North America, China, South America, Italy, Asia and Kenya, searching for the Northern Lights in Iceland and Norway, and a cruise to discover Japan and Russia.
If you are undecided between the elegance and relaxation of a cruise and the enthralling insight of an escorted tour, Titan’s Cruise & Tour holidays could be the perfect choice. You can cruise with some of the most respected names in the industry, including Fred.Olsen and Holland America, around regions of awe-inspiring beauty and then head ashore for an extra land-based touring adventure. The waterways of Europe, Egypt and China link the most spectacular cultural gems in picturesque fashion and a river cruise is an excellent way to appreciate wonderful destinations from a different and more relaxed perspective.