Tauck Australia has announced three cruises commencing in April 2020 aboard Tauck’s new 84-passenger Douro Riverboat.
Purpose-built by Scylla for cruising to historic quintas and picturesque villages along Portugal’s golden Douro River from coastal Porto to the Spanish border, the riverboat will feature five cabin categories: 12 Category 5 Tauck Suites, 20 Categories 4 and 3, six Category 2 cabins and four Category 1 cabins. Most have floor-to-ceiling windows with real French balconies, and all have in-room movies, mini bar, adjustable heating and cooling, private bathroom and shower with pampering toiletries. In addition to the main dining room, The Compass Rose, the ship also features Arthur’s, a second dining venue offering casual fare.
Cruise itineraries and dates on the 80-metre ship are as follows, with full pricing to be available in February 2019:
12-day Exploring the Douro, plus Lisbon & Madrid
Discover the Iberian Peninsula’s riverside gems, accompanied by two-night land stays in Lisbon and Madrid. Lisbon invites discoveries of then and now in a delightfully paced parade of monumental sites, palaces and azulejos chronicling life from Moorish times to present day. Discover fascinating Porto while in the Douro Valley, white-painted quinta estates lined with terraced vineyards, a rich multicultural heritage, unique grape varieties and a fantastic climate. Visit museums, monasteries, castles, riverside wine estates and picture-perfect villages such as Pinhão. See Madrid’s 13th-century university, Plaza Mayor, and museums royally inspired. Enjoy culinary creations that make small bites an art and a bevy of Baroque and belle époque architecture.
Departures eastbound ex-Lisbon to Madrid: 8 April, 6 and 27 May, 14 July, 11 August, 8 September, 6 October 2020. Departures westbound ex-Madrid to Lisbon: 15 April, 13 May, 3 June, 21 July, 18 August, 15 September, 13 October 2020.
Seven-night Douro Discovery
Start with a two-night stay in Lisbon, setting foot where the world’s first explorers set sail and visiting a palace, historic monuments and museums. Then embark your riverboat in Porto, home to port wine, storytelling mosaics, Harry Potter influences and sightseeing aboard a 19th-century tram and a funicular railway. In the Douro River Valley, cruise through the oldest winemaking region in the world, where prehistoric artists created rock art, Romans planted vines in the second century, and monasteries, castles and quintas date back to the Middle Ages. Make this a family adventure for every age and generation exploring Portuguese ports of call from Lisbon and Porto to Pinhão and Peso da Régua, visiting landmarks on a guided tour, riding the rails back in time, hiking or bicycling through picturesque vineyard and enjoying onboard fun with parties, games and a pool on the sun deck.
Departures ex-Porto (return): 24 June, 29 June, 4 July, 9 July 2020.
Eight-day Villages and Vintages
Experience an authentic taste of daily life in the Douro River Valley, steeped in a legacy of winemaking for more than 2,000 years. Enjoy wine tastings at picturesque quintas hosted by expert winemakers. Visit villages, a museum, a palace and a prehistoric site and view azulejo-tiled stories. In Porto, discover the essence of world-famous Port wine in the historic seaside city where it was perfected, with private tastings and sightseeing. See traditional Rabelo boats carrying barrels of regionally produced Port wine bound for aging casks in Porto, set sail from the scenic wine-terraced town of Peso da Régua as Pinhão seems to have emerged straight out of a postcard, offering up-close exploration on a choice of activities including hiking and al fresco wine tasting. Pocinho is the perfect place to visit hidden gems, like the Palaeolithic rock art of Foz Côa and medieval ramparts of Castelo Rodrigo.
Departures ex-Porto (return): 3 and 24 April, 1 May and 22 May, 12 and 19 June, 30 July, 6 and 27 August, 3 and 24 September and 1, 22 and 29 October, 2020.