The House of Sand and Port Wine

Port Wine and the Douro River Valley: it's what river cruising through Portugal with Viking River Cruises is all about. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Port Wine and the Douro River Valley: it’s what river cruising through Portugal with Viking River Cruises is all about. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Saturday, October 3, 2015

If anyone tries to tell you that river cruising is relaxing business, they’re wrong. River cruises are some of the most active voyages you can take outside of an expedition cruise, and Viking River Cruises’ 10-day Portugal’s River of Gold itinerary from Lisbon to Porto is no exception.

The Douro isn't a sleepy river; in fact, it's going to get busier next year when Viking introduces the new Viking Osfrid to the Portugal run. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

The Douro isn’t a sleepy river; in fact, it’s going to get busier next year when Viking introduces the new Viking Osfrid to the Portugal run. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Rather than being a negative, the level of activity here onboard the 106-guest Viking Torgil is a huge positive. Personally, if I travel somewhere, I want to see and do as much as is physically possible. Viking makes that a reality. But the line is also cognisant of the fact that even the most adventurous travellers need a break sometimes, which is why guests onboard Viking Torgil were treated to a restful morning of cruising along the Douro River, though the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the Douro River Valley.

A look at what is happening onboard the Viking Torgil today:

  • 6:00-11:00 AM: Continental Breakfast. A selection of beverages and breakfast items are available at the coffee station.
  • 7:00-10:00 AM: Breakfast. Enjoy a buffet breakfast and a choice of dishes cooked to order in the Restaurant.
  • 6:45 AM: Cast Off! Viking Torgil leaves Bitetos for Regua.
  • 10:00 AM: PresentationL Douro River & Region. Join fellow guests in The Lounge for a lecture on the Douro River and Region.
  • 11:00 AM: Welcome to Regua! Viking Torgil arrives in Regua, Portugal.
  • 12:30 PM: Lunch. Join us for lunch in the Restaurant.
  • 2:00-7:00 PM: Shore Excursion. Mateus Palace followed by Quinta do Seixo Wine Tasting. Rejoin your ship in Pinhao.
  • 2:00 PM: Cast Off! Viking Torgil leaves Regua for Pinhao.
  • 4:15 PM: Welcome to Pinhao! Viking Torgil arrives in Pinhao.
  • 5:30-7:00 PM: Cocktail Hour. Enjoy a drink and some music in The Lounge.
  • 7:15 PM: Daily Briefing. Find out about tomorrow’s excursions and events.
  • 7:30 PM: Dinner. We invite you to join us for dinner in the Restaurant.
  • 9:30 PM: Evening Entertainment. We welcome you to the Lounge for a special performance of a Portuguese Folk Music Show featuring Alto da Escrita, followed by our onboard musician, Louis.

As you can tell by the Viking Daily program, boredom is not an option. You can also tell that there is more than one choice for how to spend this stunning Saturday in October in Portugal.

Viking Torgil docked at her berth in Regua....Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Viking Torgil docked at her berth in Regua….Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

...and her sister, Viking Hemming, berthed just ahead of her. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

…and her sister, Viking Hemming, berthed just ahead of her. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

The obvious choice is to relax in the morning and participate in the five-hour long included shore excursion tour in the afternoon. But, should you want, you can elect to skip the tour altogether and remain aboard Viking Torgil as she sails from Regua to Pinhao. The choice is yours; no one will “force” you to do anything you don’t want to!

Of course, why you’d want to pass up an afternoon as fascinating as this is admittedly beyond me. For this fall day in October, Viking has assembled a tour-de-force shore excursion schedule that includes a stop at the 18th century Mateus Palace and Quinta de Sexio – home of the famous Sandeman brand of port wines.

Click here to continue reading!

Our Live Voyage Report from onboard Viking River Cruises’ Viking Torgil continues tomorrow from Barca d’Alva, Portugal! Be sure to follow along with our adventures on Twitter @deckchairblog.

 

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