The Douro Valley is one of the oldest demarcated wine regions in the World. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 2001, it’s marked by steep terraces, untamed wilderness, and quaint hillside villages. Our trip to this picturesque region begins in the city of Porto. We’ll then meander along the tranquil Douro River to Salamanca Spain and back to Porto, the birthplace of Port and the economic engine of Portugal.

Above is a map of our route with some highlights. See below for an overview of the itinerary for the second sailing, July 31st to August 7th, 2019.

[  View Full Itinerary   |  Overview Only]

Day 1 | July 31
Upon arrival at Porto airport, you’ll be met by a Scenic representative for complimentary transfer to the 5-star Scenie Azure ship. After settling in and meeting your butler, spend the remainder of the afternoon exploring Porto by foot or simply watch the boats pass from the comfort of the sun deck. That evening join your Globe hosts for a welcome cocktail followed by your first Port Talk—a rundown of the following day’s activities—and a special welcome dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.

Day 2 | August 1
There’s a rhythm to a Globe and Mail cruise and it begins on the first full day onboard with our first Insider Breakfast, hosted by David Walmsley and Kathy Tomlinson.

These casual, intimate sessions are designed to give you insight into the writers, editors and decisions behind the printed paper. You can enjoy them, with coffee and pastries, from the comfort of your bed through Scenic’s onboard entertainment session, or in person in the lounge.

Following this gentle awakening, you’ll have the opportunity to discover Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage site and once the centre of trade in Portugal.

In the morning, Join Kathy Tomlinson and Nathan VanderKlippe for a walking tour of the city and entrance to the Stock Exchange Palace, home to the famed Arab room.

In the afternoon, choose between four tours, each one an exploration of Portuguese industry. Visit the charming town of Guimaraes and the Ducal Palace with Nathan VanderKlippe or join Tara O’Brady at Portuguese sardine canning factory. Alternatively, if wineries pique your interest, you won’t want to miss a trip to Quinta da Aveleda with Beppi Crosariol, to explore the wines as well as the luxuriant gardens or see the well-known Port House Taylor Fladgate for a winery tour and Port tasting.

That evening, all guests will enjoy a private classical music performance at the São Francisco Church, followed by dinner on board.

Day 3 | August 2
Porto to Régua and Pinhão
Following a busy day in Porto, we’ve arranged for a day of rest and relaxation as we set sail to Régua.

David Walmsley and Kathy Tomlinson kick off the day with an Insider Breakfast and a look at how international news from the far reaches of the world makes its way into the paper every day.

Day 4 | August 3
Pinhão and Vega Terron
On day four, we journey further up the Douro to Vega de Terron, the last stop for river cruise ships and the gateway to Spain, but not before some notable excursions.

After a Globe Insider Breakfast with David Walmsley and Nathan VanderKlippe, choose from three included tours and one optional excursion.

Visit Mateus Palace, an impressive example of Baroque architecture at its decorative climax with Tara O’Brady and Kathy Tomlinson. Or, travel with Nathan VanderKlippe to the stunning Varosa Valley to see the town of Tarouca and the Abbey of São João de Tarouca, the first Cistercian abbey founded in Portugal in 1124. Alternatively, join Phillip Crawley on a visit to Quinta do Tedo, an 18th century wine estate, which offers beautiful views, a vineyard tour and tasting. Or, spend a little extra to head high in the hills to Quinta Do Crasto and Qunita Nova with Beppi Crosariol. Enjoy a tour and tasting at each of the wineries and heart-stopping views of the valley below.

For those eager to exercise their minds, we’ve got you covered, too. Nathan VanderKlippe hosts an onboard forum and fields questions on the complicated relationship of China with the rest of the world, before a group visit to the Douro Museum.

Day 5 | August 4
Vega Terron and Salamanca, Spain
This day is one for the senses.

With an early start, we skip the Insider Breakfast, and journey overland from Vega de Terron to Salamanca, Spain. Along the way you’ll learn more about Spanish-Portuguese relations and get a look at the spectacular Douro International Natural Park, the second largest natural park in Portugal and home to dozens of species of birds, an ancient landscape of granite, quartz and schist, and cork-oak trees.

Once in Salamanca, we'll hit the market for a taste of the famed cured meats, olives and cheeses of the Iberian Peninsula. From there, we’ll visit the Plaza Mayor, regarded as one the most beautiful squares in Spain, the city’s university, and the impressive, adjoined Old and New Cathedrals. You'll then have a chance to explore the old city at your own pace, find a comfortable lunch spot to indulge in the Spanish tradition of tapas or pick up some food souvenirs in the market. We’re back on board late that afternoon in Vega de Terron with a new group of Globe journalists, including Laura Stone, Eric Reguly and John Ibbitson.

That night, we celebrate our new arrivals with dinner on board and after-dinner entertainment on the top deck.

Day 6 | August 5
Vega Terron to Pocinho
This morning, David Walmsley and John Ibbitson lead the Insider Breakfast, delving deep into the federal election and the reporting and editing decisions that drive our coverage.

Following, we stop in Pocinho to explore the Côa Valley, one of the most significant Paleolithic sites in the world.

Again, you’ll have the opportunity to see this important region in a way that suits you most. Those interested in history can visit the Museum of Art and Archaeology with Eric Reguly, a monolithic triangular structure, that aims to put the Côa Valley drawings within the early history of mankind. Adventurers can explore the Sabor River by canoe, a tributary of the Douro River, with David Walmsley, while foodies will love the Côa Valley Tasting with Tara O’Brady and a chance to savour local products such as olives and almonds, jams, marmelades and jellies.

Back on the ship, Eric Reguly leads the afternoon forum, as we make our way to Pinhão. Once docked the entire group will enjoy a special dinner at the picturesque DOC restaurant on the breathtaking banks of the Douro.

Day 7 | August 6
Pinhão to Porto
Our final full day is a special one, with a Globe Insider Breakfast with David Walmsley and Eric Reguly and capped off with a spectacular final dinner at Graham’s Port Lodge.

Following the Insider Breakfast with David Walmsley and Eric Reguly, the entire group will travel to the village of Provesende where time has seemingly stood still for a century. That afternoon, you’ll have a chance to rest and relax on board, take in a Globe Forum with John Ibbitson, and rest up before our final dinner at Graham’s 1890 Lodge.

To make our final night extra special, we’ve closed Graham’s to the public and designed a dinner menu just for you.

You’ll have a chance to tour the winery, look for your birth year amongst the mould-encrusted bottles in the family cellar, and enjoy a classic dinner of steak, cooked over an open fire and paired expertly with red and Port wines.

Day 8 | August 7
Today marks the end of our journey. Let the ship’s crew assist you as you disembark and set out on your next adventure.


more FOOD.