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. Tonight enjoy dinner on board with your fellow travellers. 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. 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: Cooking Demonstration on Board EmeraldACTIVE: 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. EmeraldACTIVE: 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. Board your coach this morning in Vega de Terron and travel to this beautiful golden city for a guided walking tour passing through its grand squares and medieval structures, where you will feel like stepping back in time. Tapas bars feature on every street and traditional Spanish music trickles out of buzzing bars and restaurants. You will also have plenty of free time to explore independently before returning to the ship later this afternoon. 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. EmeraldACTIVE: Guided Canoeing Experience EmeraldACTIVE: Yoga Lesson on Board EmeraldPLUS: This evening your highlight dinner will be hosted at a traditional rural wine estate in the Regua area
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. This afternoon, join a painting class of local mosaic tiles which typically depict traditional motives. EmeraldACTIVE: Yoga Lesson on Board EmeraldPLUS: Mosaic Tile Painting Lessons on Board Discover More: Excursion to Mateus Palace (extra expense). This tour operates at the same time as the tour of Regua.
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. EmeraldACTIVE: 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 confluence 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. Discover More: Visit to Perouges (extra expense)
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. EmeraldPLUS: Cheese and olive tasting on board EmeraldACTIVE: Guided bike tour from Tournus to Macon while ship sails. This tour is only possible on the Lyon to Arles cruise.
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 houses and the 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. EmeraldACTIVE: Guided bike tour to Glun OR guided hike through vineyards EmeraldPLUS: Regional wine taste 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 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. EmeraldACTIVE: Yoga Lesson on Board EmeraldPLUS: Provencal dinner on board hosted by a popular local chef Discover More: Excursion to Pont du Gard (extra expense) 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. Discover More: Excursion to Les Baux de Provence (extra expense)
Arles Disembarkation - Nice
After breakfast disembark your river cruise ship in Arles, transfer to Nice airport for your onward or homebound flight. Please book your flights to depart between 11am and 4pm if flying out of Marseille and after 1pm if flying out of Nice.