twtcruiseship

17-day luxury cruise and train journey through the heart of Portugal and Spain

PORTO - REGUA - VEGA DE TERRON - BARCA D'ALVA - SALAMANCA - BARCA D'ALVA - FERRADOSA - PINHAO – PORTO- SEVILLE- CÓRDOBA- TOLEDO- LEÓN AND ÁVILA- GALICIA- SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA- RÍAS BAIXAS- SANTIAGO

Be carried away by the charm of Portugal and Spain as you travel in luxury by cruise ship. Explore Porto, a lively and fascinating city where you can taste its famous wine, and the fascinating town of Guimarães, the beating heart of Portugal with a remarkable history that gives it today all its charm. Journey through the unique landscapes of the Douro and discover the cities of Lamego, Salamanca or Vila Real with their rich cultural heritage.

Board your luxury train and travel in style as you venture deep into the heart of Spain on one of Europe's most luxurious trains, the Al Andalús. Lose yourself in its romance, passion, and history. Spain is one of the world’s most fascinating European countries—a melting pot of cultures, where the influences of Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, and many other peoples have created a unique cultural landscape. This incredible and unique train journey takes you to some of the most beautiful cities in Spain:  Seville, Córdoba, Toledo, Ávila, León, and Santiago de Compostela. This exclusive cruise and rail package will leave you with memories to last a lifetime!

Trip code : TWTPPHTR21

Duration : 17 days

Destination : Portugal & Spain

Travel Dates :2021

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Discover the picturesque scenery of vineyards and countryside along the riverside
  • Immerse yourself in the heritage, flavours, dances, and traditional songs of this fascinating region
  • Enjoy the Fado, flamenco, and traditional evenings on board
  • Unique train journey of 1,250 kilometers by rail through Spain from the South to North
  • Explore 4 Spanish regions in just one trip: Andalusia, Castile–La Mancha, Castile–León, and Galicia
  • Discover 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Aranjuez, Ávila, Córdoba, Toledo, Santiago de Compostela, and Seville
  • Culinary specialties and fine wines throughout your journey
  • Wine tasting in a bodega in the wine region Ribeira Sacra
  • Enjoy a boat ride through the Spanish fjord coast in national park Islas Atlánticas and in the Sil Canyon

On arrival in Porto you will be welcomed at the airport and transferred to the cruise ship.

Passengers are welcome to board our ship at 5:00 p.m. After comfortably settling into your cabins, we will introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail.

Tonight, we depart for a unique opportunity to admire the city of Porto by night during a panoramic tour by bus. You will love the old, preserved districts of this city of immense character, classed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Porto is not only a city rich in vestiges from a glorious past, but also the young-spirited, warm capital city of a region marked by its winemaking as well as its closeness to the ocean. During the tour of the historic centre, your guide will schedule a stop at the Sao Bento railway station to look at its magnificent azulejos. Return on board by coach.

This morning we depart by coach from the Villa Nova de Gaia Quay, facing Porto from across the Douro river and the famous Dom Luis I Bridge, built between 1881 and 1886 by French engineer Theophile Seyrig, one of Gustave Eiffel's pupils.

Porto, the second largest city in Portugal, stands out from the steep banks of the Douro river with its mixture of grey facades and red tiles interspersed with unusual architectural masterpieces.

Its historical centre was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. We will discover The Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Building), built in 1834 by the city's Commercial Association. It has remained their headquarters to this day. After climbing up the beautiful granite and marble stairway, we will visit the former Tribunal Room, the Golden Room, and the Arab Room, decorated in the exotic Moorish Revival style. Afterwards, we will visit the Igreja de São Francisco (Church of Saint Francis), also known as the "Golden Church”. It was originally a modest convent founded by Franciscan monks in the 12th century, before being further altered by prominent Porto families in the 15th and 16th centuries. They were responsible for the Baroque style interior which mingles with the large, elaborate rose window in Gothic style on the main façade in a fascinating mixture of styles reflecting the various eras it went through.

We will cross the Dom Luis I Bridge again back to Villa Nova de Gaia for the visit of a wine cellar. Porto's pride notably stems from its famous wine known the world over, which you will get to taste. We will return on board by coach.

The afternoon is free to do as you please, or you can ask to be dropped off to the city centre via rabelo boat. We will return on board for dinner and an evening of Fado entertainment.

This morning we depart by coach from Porto for Guimarães. With our guide, we will begin the tour of this university town on foot to discover its historical treasures. We will get the chance to discover the Nossa Senhora de Oliveira Church (outdoors), the most important religious building in the city. The medieval heart of Guimarães is a labyrinth of lanes and picturesque plazas framed by 14th-century buildings. We will continue to the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza, a medieval estate and former residence of the first Dukes of Braganza with striking architecture.

At the end of our visit, we will return on board in Porto

The afternoon will be spent cruising. Enjoy an evening of dancing or a stroll through Regua by night on your own.

This morning we depart from Regua or Pinhão for Vila Real, where aristocrats built grand palaces during the 16th and 17th centuries. The architecture of the religious buildings is here extremely varied. We will take a panoramic tour of the city by coach, followed by a tasting of the local pastry, Cristas de Galo.

We will then set out to explore Mateus Palace, the most beautiful and astonishing manor in all Northern Portugal. This 18th-century beauty is set in a hilly landscape reminding us of Mexico. The subtle mixture of granite, white walls, and extravagance from the Age of Enlightenment such as ledges covered in statues and Baroque style pilasters is a striking feature. Behind the manor is a delightful garden with box hedges, more statues, and a spectacular 115-foot cedar tunnel. After our tour, we will return to our ship in Regua or Pinhão.

The afternoon will be spent cruising. Enjoy an evening of Flamenco entertainment.

This morning we depart by coach towards Salamanca where you will meet up with your guides.

Since 1988, the Old Town of Salamanca has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The classified area extends on the major part of the city as it used to be until the middle of the 20th century and is responsible for its growing popularity. We will visit the cathedral whose successive extensions created a mixture of styles going from late Gothic to Baroque, including Renaissance. Afterwards, we will visit one of the world's oldest Universities which first opened in 1218. Also known as "Escuelas Mayores”, the University building has a sumptuous gate adorned with the city's most famous design: a frog atop a skull - symbolic of the sin of lust being punished after death. Its wonderful library brims with old manuscripts dating back from prior to the 19th century. You will enjoy lunch and be free to discover the city on your own. Return on board in Vega de Teron.

Enjoy an evening of entertainment.

The morning will be spent cruising.

On arrival in Ferradosa we depart for an excursion along the Porto wine route.

We will discover this incredible vineyard extending over 100 km along the Douro river all the way to the Spanish border. We will visit San Salvador do Mundo and Sao Joao da Pesqueira, two small towns set among the vineyards in the Rio Torto valley. In Sao Joao da Pesqueira, you will have the opportunity to explore the arcaded main square, the chapel and the white houses with their balconies. You will visit a quinta (wine cellar) to taste the famous Porto. We will return on board in Pinhao or Folgosa.

Tonight's our gala dinner and evening.

This morning we depart by coach from Regua to Lamego for a guided tour of the city centre by coach and on foot. Lamego is a charming episcopal and commercial town where you will get to discover the Nossa Senhora dos Remedios Sanctuary. This 18th century church stands out with its white façade dominating a baroque staircase with 686 steps ending in a shrine built in the rocaille style and adorned with azulejos. The first stone was laid on February 14th, 1750 and gave way to the construction of a massive temple overlooking the city and providing a breathtaking view over the misty mountains of the surrounding landscape. Return on board in Regua.

The afternoon will be spent cruising. Enjoy an evening of traditional folk entertainment.

Enjoy one last buffet breakfast on board before disembarking the cruise ship 9:00 a.m. You will then be transferred to the airport for your flight to Seville.

On arrival in Seville you will be welcomed at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free at your leisure.

Overnight in Hotel Alfonso XIII (or similar)

 

Today is a free day to spend at your leisure.

Overnight in Hotel Alfonso XIII (or similar)

A city tour in Seville brings you close to figures like Don Juan, the Barber of Seville, and Count Almaviva from the Marriage of Figaro and Carmen. You also see the Seville Cathedral—the largest gothic cathedral in the world; the Giralda bell tower—once a minaret of the Great Mosque of Seville—and the Alcázar of Seville, both wonderful examples of Andalusian Mudéjar architecture. That evening, you enjoy an Andalusian farewell dinner in a beautiful restaurant housed in an old palace.

Overnight in Hotel Alfonso XIII (or similar)

Today you visit the city of Córdoba, where Moorish Spain had its intellectual, cultural, and economic zenith. During the caliphate of Córdoba in the 10th century, about half a million people lived here. Christians, Jews, and Muslims lived here peacefully side by side. A guided tour through the old town brings you closer to the most important architectural complex of the city—the Great Mosque of Córdoba—with its Muslim prayer halls and Christian chapels. You also visit the Alcázar of Córdoba, a palace surrounded by wonderful gardens. You stroll through the narrow streets of the Jewish quarter before getting back on your train.

Toledo is known as the “City of Three Cultures,” since Christians, Moors and Jews have all left their marks here. Toledo is a living museum that features churches, palaces, oriental-style houses, narrow streets, and a romantic atmosphere. You see the San Juan de los Reyes monastery; the Santa María la Blanca and El Tránsito synagogues, and the famous painting “The Burial of the Count of Orgaz” by El Greco in the Iglesia de San Tomé.

In the afternoon, enjoy some free time before boarding your train once again. In the evening, the Al Andalús continues toward Aranjuez, one of the summer residences of the royal family since the 16th century. If you like, you can enjoy an evening walk through the city.

Your first stop today is León, one of the most important stops for Jacobean pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Here you visit the León Cathedral, a 13th-century Gothic church. Later your train continues toward Ávila, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ávila’s immense city walls date back to the 11th century and belong to one of the most well-preserved and most complete medieval fortifications in the world. At a height of 1,128 meters, you get a spectacular view of everything that makes Castile beautiful: gothic manors; narrow, winding streets; great Romanic churches and of course, the 88 towers of the 2.5-kilometer-long city wall.

The morning you have free time to explore Ourense on the Rio Miño. Back on board, you enjoy lunch as the Al Andalús continues southward. You reach Ribeira Sacra, a Spanish wine region close to the Portuguese border. Here you enjoy a wine tasting at a winery and a river cruise in the spectacular Sil Canyon, with gorges as deep as 500 meters.

Santiago de Compostela is the final stop for 10,000 pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, where they visit the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great. Here you enjoy a tour through the city’s historic centre.

In the late afternoon, you board the Al Andalús private train and settle into your compartment. While travelling south, you enjoy a typical Galician dinner in the restaurant car.

Rías Baixas is the name of the region where estuaries of the Atlantic Ocean reach deep inland. Beautiful beaches, wild nature and a diverse culinary scene await. This part of Galicia is not only characterized by its unique natural beauty with its fjord-like coast and numerous offshore islands but also by its deep-rooted traditions. During a boat trip to the mussel beds where the world’s best blue mussels and scallops are cultivated, you get the chance to taste freshly prepared seafood directly from the ocean. Weather permitting, you also go an excursion to the Cíes Islands, the gem of the Islas Atlánticas National Park. Afterward, you visit the historical fishing village of Combarro, whose center is a characteristic example of Galicia’s traditional architecture.

Overnight: Parador Santiago de Compostela (or similar)

After breakfast, check out of your hotel and we transfer you to the airport. End of our services.

***Important Note***

For operational reasons and passenger safety, Tweet World Travel and its suppliers reserve the right to change, vary, modify or cancel any itinerary or arrangement in relation to the tour/cruise as considered necessary.

This Cruise is not recommended for persons with reduced mobility.

All of our cruises/excursion require a reasonable level of fitness. Every traveller on our cruises is required the ability to walk around sights on uneven surfaces in both urban and rural / mountainous areas unaided. You will be getting on and off cruises, coaches and boats, walking around the sights and climbing some steps.

Please read our cruise itinerary carefully for outline of activities to help you select the right holiday for you.

Important notes:
• All persons must be fit and physically able to partake unaided in their chosen activities/packages/tours /cruise etc. as outlined in the itinerary.

• All parties acknowledge the physical demands and hazards involved in the tour or cruise they will be undertaking and have chosen to participate at their own risk.
We provide a wealth of dining experiences and venues. Most meals during the cruises are onboard or at famous restaurants during excursion, with the menus handpicked and planned to highlight a perfect mix of Local and Western cuisines.

• Meals onboard are a cultural culinary experience: Continental breakfast buffets with a rich menu are offered daily, while lunch and dinner are set menus.

• Gala evening: The gala evening is a long-awaited tradition in the world of cruising. This is the night we like to dress up, although no dress code is imposed. The crew all in their dress uniform, are presented to the passengers who are invited have a pre-dinner drink with the captain in the company of the purser, and the head chef.

Note: It is your responsibility to notify us of any dietary requests/requirements. We will do our best to meet your request/requirements, however, cannot guarantee that it can always be accommodated.
The currency accepted on board is the local currency or US dollar. You can pay in dollars or using an international credit/debit card (Visa and MasterCard) at the end of the cruise. It is recommended to have some local currency or US dollars in cash with you during your cruises.
A range of activities and entertainment are provided on board:

• Before dinner, games and quizzes are hosted by our entertainers in the lounge bar

• On the sun deck, where you can stroll alone, be with family or friends or sit comfortably in the sun loungers, gymnastics sessions are organised in the morning whilst enjoying the magnificent views of the landscapes that pass by.

• The panoramic lounge bar, the library and the "piano bar"
• Depend on the destination, lectures on subjects related to the history and geography of the places visited, are offered in the lounge bar.

• Some evenings, the dance floor of the lounge bar comes to life with musical evenings, folk groups or singers

• Some cruises have variety evenings where the crew members reveal their hidden talents are also provided.
All cabins are air-conditioned and double-occupancy cabin with shower in bathroom

• Triple Share: Available upon request
• Bedding Configuration: Double or twin bedding (subject to availability).
• Adjoining / Interconnecting Rooms: Not Available
• Laundry service: Not Available
• Wi-Fi: All the cruise is equipped with free Wi-Fi available in all lounges / bars and receptions. For some destination it is available in the cabin.
After purchase, you will receive a Booking Confirmation and Passenger Information Form by email. Within 24 hours of purchase you need to send us a copy of your passport together with your Passenger Information Form.

After purchase, you are required to make a deposit or full payment for your order. Please note most of our deposit is non-refundable. Please check your booking and your invoice for the Terms and Conditions which apply specifically to your booking.

If you would like to cancel your booking, please refer to our cancellation terms.

Please note:
• Any special requests, preferences MUST be clearly stated in your Passenger Information Form
• Any change requested after submitting your Passenger Information Form cannot be guaranteed, is strictly subject to availability and will incur surcharges
Safety Net Protection is not included in our tour/cruise packages. If you wish to purchase safety net protection, an additional fee of $105 per person will be incurred. This is only valid for a one-time use (claim).

Safety Net Protection enables passengers to amend their tour and/or river cruise 15 days prior to departure, to another tour/cruise to the same destination, departing in the same year (once only) without any applicable cancellation charges or penalties.

The new tour/cruise must be at the same cost or higher but cannot be at lower cost than the initial cruise/ tour booked. If the passenger chooses the higher cost option, then the additional difference amount must be paid. However, no modifications shall be accepted less than 15 days prior to departure.

Important notes:
• Safety Net Protection is payable immediately at the time of making the deposit payment. Once purchased, Safety Net Protection is not refundable
• Safety Net Protection does not apply for airfares or third-party fees and charges.
• Safety Net Protection allows for amendment ONLY, not cancellation.
• You will be responsible for all your personal belongings while on the tours. It is your responsibility to make sure your room is secure.
Tipping is not compulsory and is not included in this cruise. We believe that if you choose to tip, you should only pay for the service you receive.

In general, tipping is widely accepted as a way to show your appreciation of good service but is not compulsory. Tipping is expected and often makes up a large part of people's wages.

• If travel on a river cruises and happy with the services provided by your crews and service onboard. Recommended tips - For the crew members on board the ship - $10US per day per passenger.

• If you are happy with services provided by your tour guides and drivers, a tip is appreciated. Recommended tips - For the guides and drivers - $6US per day per passenger.
You must carry your own luggage from/to the coach and to/from the hotel or cruise. The driver/crews and his assistance will assist with the uploading/off-loading of your luggage.

Please note:

• You will be responsible for all your personal belongings while on the tours/cruises. It is your responsibility to make sure your room/cabin is secure.

• Tweet World Travel will not be liable for any loss or damage to your luggage or other personal belongings.
Our products DO NOT include Travel Insurance. Travel insurance is not included in our cruises and shore excursions.

For your protection, we strongly recommend that you purchase comprehensive travel insurance for your travel arrangements (without limitation) that include coverage for medical expenses, loss of luggage, cruise, land content and airfare charges that may occur.

You need to provide us your Travel Insurance details upon booking, or at least before 30 days prior to your departure.

If you do not have travel insurance prior to your departure, we retain the rights to refuse boarding/joining our tours or cruises. We might refund / provide travel credits for you, less any unrecoverable fees including but not limited to admin fees, visas fees, other suppliers’ cancellation fees. We won’t be held liable for any costs associated with this matter.
FAQ & Travel Blog

FIRST CLASS SERVICE

  • Assistance from our onboard multi-lingual host/hostess
  • Expert services of English-speaking local guides throughout your trip
  • Airport Meet-and-Greet welcome service
  • 24/7 local assistance and travel guidance

ACCOMMODATION

  • Cruise  onboard the Premium Ship from Porto to Porto​ docked in central location , with all meals included while on boar
    • 7-night onboard the MS Amalia Rodrigues
    • Double-occupancy cabin with show in bathroom
  • 3-night stay in premium hotel in Seville
  • 1-night stay in premium hotel in Santiago De Compostela
  • 5-night luxury train journey onboard the Al Andalus, from Seville to Santiago de Compostela

SIGHTSEEING

  • Classic Shore Excursion package (Douro river cruise)
    • Headsets are included for ship excursions
    • Porto By Night (1.25 hrs)
    • Guided tour of Porto and Wine Tasting (4 hrs)
    • Guimaraes (4 hrs)
    • Vila Real and Mateus Palace (4 hrs)
    • Guided tour of Salamanca (lunch included) (10.5 hrs)
    • Wine trail of Porto (4 hrs)
    • Guided tour of Lamego (4 hrs)
  • City tours and excursions during train journey, as per itinerary
    • 4 Spanish regions: Andalusia, Castile La Mancha, Castile-Leon, and Galicia
    • 6 UNESCO WOrld Heritage Sites: Aranjuez, Ávila, Córdoba, Toledo, Santiago de Compostela, and Seville
    • Flamenco museum in Seville
    • Boat ride through the Spanish fjord coast in national park Islas Atlanticas and in the Sil Canyon
    • Wine tasting in a bodega in the wine region Ribeira Sacra

TRANSPORTATION

  • Arrival and departure airport transfers in private air-conditioned vehicles
    • Airport transfer from Porto Airport to Cruise ship
    • Airport transfer from Cruise ship to Airport
    • Airport transfer from Seville Airport to Hotel
    • Airport transfer from Santiago de Compostela to Airport
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Locally based professional drivers

FLIGHT

  • International flight from Porto to Seville
    • with Full-service airlines in Economy Class, with luggage allowance

TOUR GUIDE & TOUR LEADER

  • English-speaking local tour guides who live and breath the destination - they will bring your itinerary to life

MEALS & DRINKS

  • Onboard the cruise:
    • Welcome Cocktail and Gala Dinner while on cruise
    • All meals onboard while on cruise (from first evening to breakfast on the final day)
    • All drinks on board while on cruise (except for drinks from the special lists)
  • Onboard the train:
    • All meals onboard while on train, including two specialty meals
  • Daily breakfast while staying at hotels
  • Total meals: 16 breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 14 Dinners

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Entertainment onboard CroisiEurope Cruise ship
  • Traditional folk entertainment

OTHERS

  • Travel assistance and repatriation insurance while on cruise
  • Free wi-fi in lounge and bar onboard cruise ship
  • All port fees

Please note:  this cruise doesn’t include the entry visa for the country it travels to. Make sure you have acquired a valid visa before travelling and joining the cruise. Check whether a single entry or multiple entry visa is required/ available.

When assisting with an international travel booking, we assume that all travellers in the booking have a valid Passport and Visas to enter to the country it travels to. Passports must be valid for the countries through which a ship or tour passes. It is the responsibility of each passenger to ensure the validity and conformity of their passport/Visas.

It is the customer’s responsibility to make sure that the travellers have the valid visas and/or correct visa type to enter the destination country they are travelling to. Travellers might need to present the visas at multiple checkpoints and may be refused to fly out of their countries, if the visa documents cannot be presented. If such an event occurs, we won’t be liable and the travellers will be deemed as “no-show”. Please check our Terms & Conditions for penalty for “no-show”.

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate for up-to-date information.

Important Note:

  • All travellers must have a valid passport for international travel and most countries require at least 6 months validity from the date of return and some countries require a machine‐readable passport.
  • Some countries require visas and re‐entry permits which meet the requirements of immigration and other government authorities.
  • It is your sole responsibility if any fines, penalties, payments or expenditures incurred as a result of such documents not satisfying the requirements of those authorities.