Welcome to Porto. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the ship where a warm welcome awaits you from your Captain and crew as you board your luxury Emerald Radiance river cruise ship. This evening join your fellow travellers for a cocktail reception followed by a welcome dinner. Your Cruise Director will also conduct a port talk to review the activities and itinerary for the days ahead. EmeraldPLUS: Sunset Illumination Cruise.
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. In the morning join a painting class of local mosaic tiles which typically depict traditional motives. Your Cruise Director will also host a lecture on board showcasing the history and wine culture of the region. 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. EmeraldPLUS: Mosaic Tile Painting Lessons on Board & Cooking Demonstration on Board Emerald Active: Yoga Lesson on Board
Pinhao - Vega de Terron
Today you will have a choice to visit the marvelous baroque village of Lamego and the picturesque Our Lady of Remedies Sanctuary where history stands still. Alternatively, take part on a guided hike through local vineyards. Return to your ship for lunch and an afternoon sailing to Vega de Terron, your gateway into Spain. Emerald Active: Guided Walk through Vineyards in Pinhao EmeraldPLUS: Cocktail Lesson on board
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. EmeraldPLUS: Local Entertainment
This morning arrive in Pocinho and either embark on an excursion to the Coa Valley Museum or take part on the Emerald Active canoeing experience. The Coa Valley Museum is a concrete structure that 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. Emerald Active: Guided Canoeing Experience EmeraldPLUS: This evening experience a rural dinner in Regua area Emerald Active: Yoga Lesson on Board
This morning you will visit the former roman settlement of Regua. After the village tour, visit the Douro Museum for a look at wine making in the region. Emerald Active: Yoga Lesson on Board
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. Emerald Active: Guided Active Walking Tour Discover More: Excursion to Guimaraes (extra expense)
Porto Disembarkation - Lyon
After breakfast disembark your river cruise ship and transfer to Porto airport for your flight to Lyon. In Lyon, you will be transferred to the new ship journey. Tonight enjoy a welcome reception and dinner on board.
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. Today be part of the guided tour of Lyon, which 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. This evening sail north through the beautiful Beaujolais region.
Chalon-Sur-Saone – Beaune
Chalon–Sur–Saone is best known as the birthplace of photography and the center 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–colored roofs of this former hospital, now a museum, which has become one of the symbols of Burgundy. Return to the ship for lunch, and then depart this afternoon for Macon arriving in the evening. Emerald Active: Guided bike tour from Tournus to Macon
Arrive in Macon, another important wine region and gateway to the Beaujolais vineyards. Your walking tour includes the sights of the General Hospital buildings, half–timbered house and Soufflot Chapel. Macon is a great destination to try some local wines at the many tasting displays in the town. Enjoy time at leisure in the afternoon. Discover More: Visit to Benedictine Abbey of Cluny (extra expense)
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 bike tour to Glun OR Guided hike tour through vineyards EmeraldPLUS: Cheese and olive tasting on board
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 with its cobbled laneways and shops, overlooking the famous 'Pont d'Avignon'. The rest of the day is at leisure. Emerald Active: Yoga Lesson on Board EmeraldPLUS: Provencal dinner on board hosted by a popular local chef Discover More: Excursion to Pont du Gard (extra expense and please note - due to uneven surfaces, this excursion is best enjoyed by those with an Active Fitness Level)
Sail into the Camargue wilderness region to the capital of Provence, Arles where you will 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. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax on board and explore Arles further.
Arles Disembarkation - Nice
After breakfast disembark your river cruise ship in Arles, transfer to Nice airport for your onward or homebound flight.