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A Journey through Spain and Portugal
Optional 7 night Duoro River Valley Cruise
Sunday 4 to Sunday 11th October 2020
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Sunday 4 October: Porto, Entre-os-Rios
There’s much more to Portugal’s second city than its eponymous fortified wine—historic architecture, cutting-edge design, fabulous food and wine, and a hip, laid-back vibe. Discover its many charms with your choice of distinctively different tours today. Portugal’s second city (after Lisbon), Porto gave its name to the nation’s most famous export, Port wine, and to the nation itself. The city is a fascinating combination of historic buildings and cutting-edge architecture, tradition and vivacious modernity. You must choose between two distinctive—and distinctively Portuguese—ways to explore Porto.
The ship sets sail after your tour, cruising up the Douro toward Porto Antigo.
In the evening, a special Gala Dinner will be prepared for you. **Choice of Porto city tour or “Do as the Locals Do” Porto walking tour
Monday 5 October: Entre-os-Rios, Régua, Pinhão
As you cruise along the river today, take note of the little chapels you see along the banks. Though the river is slow and calm now that it has been tamed by dams, it was once extremely hazardous. These tiny chapels mark spots where entire rabelo boat crews perished attempting to get their cargo of Port wine to Porto. Today we learn about wine, which has been cultivated in the Douro River Valley since ancient Roman times. Get a crash course on the history of Port during your visit to the Douro Museum.
**Featured Excursions: Douro Museum / Lunch at a local quinta.
Tuesday 6 October: Pinhão, Vega de Terrón
Feel the centuries fall away as your ship winds its way through the pristine, dramatic, UNESCO-protected landscapes of the Douro River Valley. Head ashore for a choice of excursions, a tasting at a prestigious port wine estate or a vineyard hike with a wine tasting at a local quinta.
**Choice of Quinta do Seixo guided tour with tasting or Vineyard hike and wine tasting at a local quinta
Wednesday 7 October: Vega de Terrón (Salamanca), Barca d’Alva
What adventures await you in Spain today? The ship docks near the Spanish border today, where you may head across the country to the historic university town of Salamanca—the “Golden City”—famous for its sand-coloured buildings and abundance of churches.
**Featured Excursion: Salamanca – the Golden City and Spain's oldest university.
Friday 9 October: Barca d’Alva, Régua
A tiny village surrounded by mountains, Barca d’Alva is your base for today's adventures. Go medieval today at Castelo Rodrigo, both the name of a hilltop castle as well as the village that surrounds it. It has been singled out as one of Portugal’s 12 historic villages for its medieval beauty.
The view from the top is incredible and the village is a charming place to ramble, relax and replenish. Or, if you wish, you can also lace up your hiking boots and unleash your inner Indiana Jones with an up-close gander at some prehistoric carvings during a visit to Portugal’s first archaeological park, Foz Côa.
**Choice of Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley or Castelo Rodrigo
Saturday 10 October: Régua (Guimarães), Porto
Guimarães or Porto? That’s the question of the day today (you really can’t go wrong either way). Guimarães is the town where Portugal was born and its well-preserved architecture and stylish young residents make it a pleasure to visit. Or opt to explore one of Porto’s oldest neighbourhoods, picturesque Ribeira, considered the soul of the city. A tough choice awaits you today: Do you venture off to historic Guimarães, Portugal’s first capital, or do you stay in Porto and explore the Ribeira district on foot?
**Choice of Guimarães city tour or Porto surprise discovery tour. A special Farewell Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
Sunday 11 October: Dubai – Australia in flight meals
This morning you shall transfer to Porto Airport for your flight to Dubai via Lisbon. You shall overnight at the hotel within the Dubai Airport.
Monday 12 October: Dubai – Australia in flight meals
Morning departure from Dubai to Australia.
Tuesday 13 October: Australia in flight meals
You shall arrive in Melbourne in the morning and will be met and transferred to Gippsland.
Debuting in April 2020, S.S. São Gabriel will be the newest ship on the Douro river. Designed to embody the beautiful Douro River Valley region, this ship will offer more lavishly appointed suites than the Queen Isabel and bring the destination to life through its décor and delectable food and wine. Butler service will be added onboard, giving guests the option to dine at any time they’d like while enjoying the ship.
S.S. Sao Gabriel Overview
Designed specifically to navigate the narrow Douro river in Portugal, the all-new S.S. Sao Gabriel brings the best of the region to life with public rooms, decor and cuisine all designed to highlight this famous epicentre of port wine production.
Carrying 100 passengers in 50 cabins, all of which offer river views, S.S. Sao Gabriel offers cruisers plenty of niceties, like an onboard swimming pool, a small spa and fitness centre, and a small gift shop.
A panoramic lounge situated all the way forward offers 180-degree views of the Douro River Valley, and like all Uniworld vessels, all beverages onboard are offered on a complimentary basis.
S.S. Sao Gabriel Dining
Meals are taken in the ship's main restaurant on Cape Verde Deck, which features open seating and cuisine inspired by Portuguese favourites alongside international and North American dishes.
Breakfast and lunch are typically served over several hours, while dinners tend to start at a set time, usually around 7p.m.
Lighter fare and afternoon snacks can be found in the ship's lounge on Azores Deck, which also houses a full-service bar offering specialty coffees, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages throughout the day.
S.S. Sao Gabriel Cabins
S.S. Sao Gabriel offers five grades of cabin accommodations, from economical river-view staterooms to the ship's four lavish Grand Suites.
Deluxe and Classic staterooms are all located on the Madeira Deck, and all feature fixed half-height window views of the passing river.
Moving up one deck, French Balcony staterooms are similarly sized but replace the small picture window with a French balcony that can fully open.
The uppermost accommodations deck, Azores Deck, houses only Suites and Grand Suites. These boast French balconies and enlarged living space compared with other cabin categories onboard. In a first for Uniworld's Douro river cruises, passengers booking suites aboard S.S. Sao Gabriel will be entitled to the same butler service found aboard Uniworld's other European-based river cruise vessels.
While Uniworld has not announced specific cabin details, features like hand-crafted Savoir of England beds, Egyptian linens, L'Occitane toiletries (or Hermes at the suite level) and interactive flat-panel television entertainment systems with complimentary movies and television shows are pretty much standard issue across the fleet.
S.S. Sao Gabriel Top Deck Attractions
S.S. Sao Gabriel's Sun Deck features an outdoor swimming pool that is perfect for cooling off in the heat of the Douro, which can get hot, particularly during the summer months. Other niceties include plenty of shaded seating, and unshaded options for those looking to work on their tan.
S.S. Sao Gabriel Entertainment
In addition to daily briefings, cooking classes, demonstrations and the odd guest lecture make up the majority of the entertainment onboard. S.S. Sao Gabriel sails a port-intensive itinerary through the Douro River Valley, so expect to be off the ship for much of the day.
At night, a piano player entertains in the ship's main lounge, while passengers mingle over cocktails. Between the heat and the copious amounts of port wine to be enjoyed while on-tour, many cruisers elect to retire to their cabins shortly after dinner.
Cruise Cost based on French Balcony cabin:
$8,899 per person twin share
$7,280 single supplement
Cruise Cost based on Deluxe Cabin:
$6,499 per person twin share
$5,480 single supplement
*Should you choose to travel on the cruise, a reduction of $840 per person will apply to the main tour cost.
CANCELLATION FEES – applicable to cruise component only
Cancellation fees cannot be credited to another booking. Notice of cancellation must be made in writing to Gippsland Travel Centre. For this tour the following fees apply: