The “Sherry to Port” journey commences on 31 May 2019 in Grenada, Spain with our 8 night pre-cruise tour of this country’s incredible sights, sherry wineries, colourful culture and delicious tapas. We visit the mountaintop city of Rondo and Sevilla, famous for its Flamenco dancing.
We make our way to Portugal for a visit to the beautiful Lisbon before stepping aboard the luxurious Evergreen Emerald Radiance Star-Ship in Porto for an 8 day cruise of the magnificent, scenic Duoro River. Explore 6 different cities, towns and picturesque villages with a guide during your included tours and shore excursion.
The journey will be exclusively hosted by Bill and Merilyn Hardy. Bill, wine connoisseur & consultant, is a fifth generation member of a famous South Australian winemaking family. His love affair with southern Europe began when, at the age of 21, he married his sweetheart, Merilyn, and moved to Cognac to work in the wine trade.
Escorted Spain Land Journey
• Escorted by Bill & Merilyn Hardy from arrival at Granada through to Sevilla (plus the Evergreen Cruises ‘Secrets of the Douro River Cruise’ if that option is taken.
• All transfers airport / hotel / airports & between cities as per the itinerary.
• All touring noted in the itinerary.
• Meals as specified.
• 4* hotels as mentioned are proposed and may vary.
• Items of a personal nature.
Evergreen Cruises: Secrets of the Douro River Cruise
• Emerald Waterways ‘Star-Ships’ EXCLUSIVE to Evergreen
• The services of an Emerald Waterways Cruise Director
• Port taxes and charges included
• All tipping and gratuities included
• Airport transfers
• 7 nights on a luxury European river ship
• Explore 6 different cities, towns and villages with a guide during our included tours and shore excursions
• Visit Quinta da Pacheca wine estate
• Day tour to Salamanca
• City tour of Porto including wine caves
• 19 superb meals including: 7 Full Breakfasts (FB), 5 Lunches (L), 6 Dinners (D), 1 Highlight Dinner (HD)
• Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner while cruising
• Rural dinner at a Douro Valley wine estate
• Cocktail making lesson on board
• Sunset Illumination Cruise in Porto
• Mosaic Tile Painting Lessons on board
• Cooking demonstration on board
Escorted Spain Land Journey
Arrival Granada Airport & transfer to the hotel.
Welcome drink and restaurant dinner in Granada.
Remainder of the day at leisure.
Overnight: Granada / proposed Villa Oniria (D)
Granada is a city in southern Spain’s Andalusia region, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It’s known for grand examples of medieval architecture dating to the Moorish occupation, especially the Alhambra. This sprawling hilltop fortress complex encompasses royal palaces, serene patios, and reflecting pools from the Nasrid dynasty, as well as the fountains and orchards of the Generalife gardens.
Guided Visit Granada (2.5 hours): Alhambra y Generalife.
Guided Visit Granada (2.5 hours): Old quarter, Cathedral and Albacin quarter.
08:30 Travel to Ronda by coach – total travel time approx. 2 hours.
Ronda is a mountaintop city in Spain’s Malaga province that’s set dramatically above a deep gorge. This gorge (El Tajo) separates the city’s circa-15th-century new town from its old town, dating to Moorish rule. Puente Nuevo, a stone bridge spanning the gorge, has a lookout offering views. New town’s Plaza de Toros, a legendary 18th century bullring, is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks.
11:30-14:00 Visit Ronda: Old quarter with Bullring.
14:00 Restaurant lunch in Ronda (if possible at the Parador with its stunning views).
16:00 Travel to Sevilla with arrival at approx. 18:00.
Overnight in Sevilla / proposed Casa Romana (B / L)
Seville is the capital of southern Spain’s Andalusia region. It’s famous for flamenco dancing, particularly in its Triana neighborhood. Major landmarks include the ornate Alcázar castle complex, built during the Moorish Almohad dynasty, and the 18thcentury Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza bullring. The Gothic Seville Cathedral is the site of Christopher Columbus’s tomb and a minaret turned bell tower, the Giralda.
Guided Visit Sevilla (3.5 hrs): Old quarter with Cathedral and Giralda and Alcázar.
Afternoon at leisure.
Tapas Dinner with Flamenco Show in Sevilla.
Overnight: Sevilla (B / D)
Jerez de la Frontera, usually called Jerez, is a city in southern Spain’s Andalusia region. Its old quarter surrounds the Alcázar de Jerez, a Moorish fortress founded in the 11th century. The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art is a famed riding school with horse shows and a carriage museum. The city is also known for flamenco music and sherry production in the so-called Sherry Triangle lying to the west.
09:00 Travel to Jerez de la Frontera for a day of sherry tasting – a little over an hour journey time from Sevilla.
10:30-12:00 Visit with Show Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art in Jerez de la Frontera.
Restaurant lunch in Jerez.
15:00-16:30 Visit Sherry-Winery with tasting in Jerez (for example GONZALEZ BYASS)
17:00-18:30 Visit Sherry-Winery with tasting in Jerez (for example BODEGAS SANDEMAN )
Overnight: Sevilla (B / L)
Córdoba is a city in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia, and the capital of the province of Córdoba. It was an important Roman city and a major Islamic center in the Middle Ages. It’s best known for La Mezquita, an immense mosque dating from 784 A.D., featuring a columned prayer hall and older Byzantine mosaics. After it became a Catholic church in 1236, a Renaissance-style nave was added in the 17th century.
08:30 Transfer to Córdoba.
10:30-13:30 Guided Visit Cordoba: Old quarter with Mezquita and Alcázar.
Restaurant Lunch in Córdoba (pedestrian area) (for example BODEGAS MEZQUITA).
Some free time in the afternoon before return to Sevilla.
Overnight: Sevilla (B / L)
Morning at leisure before transfer to the airport.
15:15-15:20 Flight Sevilla – Lisbon.
Arrival in Lisbon & transfer to the accommodation.
Overnight: Lisbon / proposed Bessahotel (B)
Lisbon is Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city. From imposing São Jorge Castle, the view encompasses the old city’s pastel-colored buildings, Tagus Estuary and Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge. Nearby, the National Azulejo Museum displays 5 centuries of decorative ceramic tiles. Just outside Lisbon is a string of Atlantic beaches, from Cascais to Estoril.
Guided visit of Lisbon (4 hrs): Walking tour with Cathedral and Panoramic tour with exterior visits of St Jeronimos Monastery and Torre de Belem.
Afternoon at leisure.
Dinner with Fado Show (for example CAFÉ LUSO)
Overnight: Lisbon (B / D)
Transfer to Porto. End of the land journey & flight to Porto for the Evergreen Douro River Cruise. (B)
Evergreen Cruises: 8 Day Secrets of the Douro River Cruise
Welcome to Porto. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the ship where you will be welcomed by your Captain and crew of the Emerald Radiance. Tonight enjoy dinner on board while enjoying the illuminations of Porto.
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 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 a welcome reception and dinner. EmeraldACTIVE Yoga lesson on board. You’re Invited: Cooking demonstration on board.
Today visit the village of Lamego and the picturesque Our Lady of Remedies Sanctuary where history stands still. Alternatively, join EmeraldACTIVE for a guided walk through the vineyards of Pinhao. Return to your ship for lunch and an afternoon sailing to Vega Teron, your gateway into Spain. You’re Invited: Join your barman for a lesson on how to make cocktails using white port.
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. Journey by coach from Vega Teron and enjoy a guided tour and time at leisure to explore before returning to your ship later this afternoon.
This morning arrive in the picturesque village of Pocinho and join your excursion to the Coa Valley Museum. This impressive concrete structure details pre-historic stone carvings made by the early inhabitants of the Douro, which were uncovered during the construction of the nearby dam. Alternatively join EmeraldACTIVE for a guided canoeing experience or a yoga lesson on board. Return to your ship for lunch and set sail towards Regua. You’re Invited: This evening enjoy dinner at Quinta da Pacheca wine estate in the Regua area.
Wake up this morning in the former roman settlement of Regua. Visit the Douro Museum for a look at wine making in the region. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon onboard as you sail towards Porto, Portugal’s second largest city and one of the major urban areas of the Iberian Peninsula. EmeraldACTIVE Yoga lesson on board. You’re Invited: Mosaic Tile painting lessons and cooking demonstration.
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 refined craft of creating port. EmeraldACTIVE Guided walking tour of Porto. Discover More: Excursion to Guimaraes.
After breakfast disembark the ship and transfer to the airport.