Scenic Group’s two award-winning river lines – Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours and Emerald Cruises – will start their 2021 European river cruise season on Portugal’s Douro River from July 30 and July 31, 2021, respectively.
Emerald Cruises’ eight-day sailings and Scenic’s eight- and 11-day itineraries are all roundtrips from the World Heritage city of Porto, making their way along the Douro River as far as the quaint port village Vega de Terron over the Spanish border before returning. Unique to the two cruise lines are their own purpose-built docks, located in Porto’s historic Cais de Maragaia, and only a five-minute walk to Cais de Ribeira, one of Porto’s most popular riverfront promenades, known for its distinctive small alleyways and pastel-hued buildings.
Emerald Cruises’ eight-day Secrets of the Douro takes guests on an exploration of many of Portugal’s best sites – from the pastel-colored city of Porto to the terraced vineyards and charming towns just beyond the banks of the country’s lifeline – the Douro. Highlights include a day trip to Spain’s Roman city of Salamanca, the seat of the Spanish language and a historic city dating back to medieval times; an excursion to the Coa Valley Prehistoric Museum in Pocinho, where guests can view stone carvings made by early inhabitants of the Douro followed by dinner at a traditional local wine estate; and touring the Baroque village of Lamego, stopping to see the picturesque Shrine of Our Lady of Remedies, a structure that stands gracefully over the town.
Guests will also enjoy a guided walk at the beautiful Quinta do Tedo vineyard in the heart of Portugal’s Douro Valley; and a city tour of Porto, including the fortified structures of Castelo da Foz and Castelo do Queijo, overlooking the ocean. Onboard, guests enjoy mosaic tile painting, a port wine cocktail lesson, and a Portuguese cooking demonstration, among other activities.
Emerald Cruises offers a diverse, award-winning lineup of river and yacht cruises on three continents. Emerald Azzurra, the line’s first ocean-going vessel set to debut in January 2022, is a 100-guest, luxury superyacht that will sail the warm waters of the Mediterranean, Adriatic, Black, and Red Seas. On the rivers, Emerald Cruises sails eight branded Star-Ships in Europe and one on the Mekong, as well as a chartered river ship sailing the Russian waterways (MS Nizhny Novgorod).
Scenic offers eight- and 11-day sailings that take in many of the region’s best sites and activities. A small sampling includes sparkling wine tasting at the fairytale property of Quinta Aveleda; exploring the restored Monastery of Saint John of Tarouca; a tour and free time in the architecturally rich city of Salamanca; a canoeing adventure on the Sabor River; and a visit to Casa Painova for a sweet almond workshop and a tasting of their almond, olive and fruit products.
The itinerary also includes a wine tasting at the restored manor house of Morgadio da Calçada where guests will join a local family for a home-hosted lunch; a visit to Porto’s São Francisco Church (exclusive to Scenic), whose exterior is a mix of Gothic and Baroque architecture; and a chance to delve into traditional Portuguese music during a spectacular private concert. Itineraries can be combined with Bordeaux and Seine river cruises plus extensions in Lisbon and a land tour from Porto to Madrid.
Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours has grown over its 35-year history to include award-winning, all-inclusive river, and ocean cruises and handcrafted land tours that take participants to many of the world’s most fascinating destinations. Since 2008, Scenic has offered river cruises in Europe, SE Asia, Russia, and Egypt on its 15 Space-Ships. In 2019, Scenic introduced the world’s first luxury Discovery Yacht, the 228-guest Scenic Eclipse.
Guests can cruise with complete confidence knowing that Scenic Group’s dedicated Health & Safety Steering Committee ensures all guests’ wellbeing and safety are taken care of to the highest standard. All guests must be fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to departure. The company is working closely with relevant bodies, including CLIA and the Portuguese authorities, to ensure operations adhere to all necessary guidelines.
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