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Southern France & Douro River Cruise
(Arles to Porto)

15 days with Emerald Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

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  • Receive a free 200 euro per couple onboard credit. This deal is combinable with other offers. Expires April 30. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.

River Cruise Itinerary

Day 1 Arles
Welcome to France. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the ship where you will be welcomed by your Captain and crew. Tonight enjoy a welcome reception and dinner on board. (D)

Day 2 Arles - Avignon
Join your local guide for a walking tour showcasing the highlights of the city in particular the exterior of the 2000 year old Roman Amphitheatre still in use today, which was originally built to hold 20,000 spectators in the style of the Colosseum in Rome. (B,L,D)

Discover More: Hilltop village of Les Baux (extra expense) or Tastes of Provence, visit an olive oil farm (extra expense)

Day 3 Avignon
Avignon has a rich history from Celtic beginnings to being the residence of the Popes and later central to the French Revolution. Although a fortified town, it is the Papal Palace which stands more secure on a hill in the centre of town; its walls are 17–18 feet thick. Your guided walk with a local guide takes you through this historic centre strolling the cobbled laneways and browsing the shops, overlooking the famous “Pont de Avignon”. EmeraldPLUS: Provencal dinner on board hosted by a popular local chef as well as traditional local style concert known as Chanson music.  (B,L,D)

Discover More: Secrets of the Pope’s Palace (extra expense) or Excursion to Pont du Gard (extra expense)

Day 4 Tournon
Join your local guide for a walking tour of Tournon, which is dominated by the 16th century castle and roman ruins, and is nestled in the valley near the steep slopes of le Massif Central, France's 3rd largest mountain range. The area has a long tradition in wine making, including the renowned wine growing centre of Tain l'Hermitage across the river. Emerald Active: Guided biking tour to Glun. EmeraldPLUS: Cheese and olive tasting on board. (B,L,D)

Discover More: Regional Wine Tasting in Tournon (extra expense)

Day 5 Macon
Arrive in Macon, another important wine region and gateway to the Beaujolais vineyards. Walk the Heritage Trail from Old Saint Vincent to the General Hospital buildings, half–timbered house and Soufflot Chapel, maybe trying some local wines at the many tasting displays in the town. Enjoy time at leisure in the afternoon. (B,L,D)

Discover More: Visit to Benedictine Abbey of Cluny (extra expense)

Day 6 Chalon-Sur-Saone - Beaune
Chalon–Sur–Saone is best known as the birthplace of photography and the centre of Burgundy’s wine region. Travel by road to the quaint village of Beaune, where we visit the Hospices de Beaune, one of the finest examples of French fifteenth–century architecture. Marvel at the multi–coloured roofs of this former hospital, now a museum, which has become one of the symbols of Burgundy. Return to the ship for lunch, and depart this afternoon for Lyon arriving in the evening. Tonight, enjoy local entertainment on board. (B,L,D)

Day 7 Lyon
Lyon is France’s third largest city, a former Roman capital positioned at the conference of the Rhone and Saone rivers, which is steeped in history. Your tour starts with a drive to the Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere, Lyon’s hilltop church, with stunning views over the town. Then pass by the recently re–discovered Roman amphitheatre and walk through the cobbled streets of the gastronomic old town including the secret laneways. (B,L,D)

Discover More: Excursion to the medieval town of Perouges (extra expense)

Day 8 Lyon - Porto
After breakfast disembark your river cruise ship in Lyon and transfer to Airport for your flights to Porto. In Porto you will be met at the airport and transferred to your new ship journey where you will be welcomed by your Captain and crew. Located at the mouth of the Douro River, Porto is a fascinating eclectic mix of modern and ancient architecture. Its most famous export is of course fortified wine, and the hillside across from the city centre features numerous wine caves and tasting boutiques in the area of Vila Nova de Gaia. Sample the local fair in one of these specially adapted wine cellars and learn about the long adapted craft of creating port. (B,D)

Day 9 Porto - Pinhao
Today enjoy a full day sailing the windy turns and twists of the Douro Valley. A UNESCO world heritage site this area is sparsely populated by small quaint villages and typical communities working vineyards and small farms. Your Cruise Director will host a lecture on board showcasing the history and wine culture of the region. Perhaps join a painting class of local mosaic tiles which typically depict traditional motives. Later this afternoon arrive in the village of Pinhao which is situated on a river bend surrounded by terraced hillsides producing some of the world’s best Port. Tonight your captain will be delighted to host the welcome dinner and cocktail reception. (B,L,D)

Day 10 Pinhao - Vega Teron
Today visit the marvelous baroque village of Lamego, where history stands still. Visit the remains of a Roman sanctuary and battlements. Return to your ship for lunch and an afternoon sailing to Vega Teron, your gateway into Spain. EmeraldPLUS: Join your barman for a lesson on how to make cocktails using port wine on board. (B,L,D)

Day 11 Salamanca
Founded in Roman times, the city of Salamanca is home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, the seat of the Spanish language, and still a lively student town. With its grand squares and medieval structures, a walking tour here is more like stepping back in time. Tapas bars feature on every street and traditional Spanish music trickles out of buzzing bars and restaurants. You will enjoy a full day in this beautiful golden city with plenty of free time to explore independently. Upon returning to your ship from Salamanca, you will be invited to enjoy a BBQ dinner on the Terrace alongside your fellow guests. (B,D)

Day 12 Pocinho
This morning arrive in the picturesque village of Pocinho and embark on an excursion to the Coa Valley Museum. This impressive concrete structure details pre-historic stone carvings made by the early inhabitants of the Douro, which were uncovered during the construction of the nearby dam. Later return to your ship for lunch and enjoy your idyllic surroundings as you sail towards Regua. EmeraldPLUS: This evening dinner will be hosted at a local winery estate. (B,L,D)

Day 13 Regua
Wake up this morning in the former roman settlement of Regua. Visit the Douro Museum for a look at wine making in the region. (B,L,D)

Discover More: Guided excursion to the Mateus Palace (extra expense), please note that passengers on this tour would not be able to join the included tour of Regua.

Day 14 Porto
Located at the mouth of the Douro River, Porto is a fascinating eclectic mix of modern and ancient architecture. Its most famous export is of course fortified wine, and the hillside across from the city centre features numerous wine caves and tasting boutiques in the area of Vila Nova de Gaia. Sample the local fair in one of these specially adapted wine cellars and learn about the long adapted craft of creating port. (B,L,D)

Discover More: Excursion to the Palacio da Bolsa (extra expense) or Excursion to Guimaraes (extra expense)

Day 15 Porto - Disembarkation
After breakfast disembark your river cruise ship and transfer to Porto airport for your onward or homebound flight. (B)

Tour Map
All This Included
SUPERB SERVICES
  • Emerald Star Ship EXCLUSIVE to Emerald Waterways
  • The services of an Emerald Waterways Cruise Director
  • Port taxes and charges included
  • All tipping and gratuities included
  • Free airport transfers
  • 14 nights on two luxury European river ships
PREMIUM INCLUSIONS
  • Explore 12 different cities, towns and villages with a guide during our included tours and shore excursions
  • Walking tour of Tournon
  • Visit to the Hospice de Beaune
  • City tour of Lyon including the Basilique Notre Dame du Fourviere
  • City walk in Avignon including the Papal Palace
  • Guided tour of Arles
  • Visit a local wine estate
  • Tour of Salamanca
  • Coa Valley pre-historic museum
  • Tour of Lamego
  • City tour of Porto including wine caves
  • You're Invited
EmeraldPLUS
  • Cheese and olive tasting on board
  • Local dinner at a Douro Valley wine estate
  • Cocktail making lesson on board
DINING HIGHLIGHTS
  • 39 superb meals including 14 Full Breakfasts (B), 11 Lunches (L), 13 Dinners (D), 1 Highlight Dinner (HD)
  • Captain's Welcome Reception & Dinner
  • Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner while cruising
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Emerald Liberte and Emerald Radiance
Notes
  • Itineraries are subject to change.
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Pleae ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.



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