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Special Interest - Music

Gilbert & Sullivan on the Douro


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The joyous music of Gilbert & Sullivan, the beautiful Douro river and visits to historic cities and wineries await you on this special cruise

Look forward to discovering some of the beautiful and fascinating highlights that lie along the river Douro and beyond. When you're not out and about, look forward to enjoying the music of Gilbert & Sullivan aboard Douro Queen. There will be five on-board concerts of music performed by your expert host Carole Anne Wells with guest musician Leon Berger, as well as two talks to enrich your musical experience. No holiday to Portugal is complete without trying the port wine for which it is so justly famous and your tour of the city of Oporto will conclude with a tour of a port wine cellar. Saúde!


20 meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners

Excursions and visits

  • Mateus Palace Gardens
  • Tour and lunch at a local Quinta
  • Visit to Figueira Castelo de Rodrigo
  • Sightseeing in Salamanca
  • Tour of Lamego
  • A tour of beautiful Oporto including a port wine cellar visit.
Upgrade to Club Europe on British Airways from only £199 per person*
*subject to availability.

View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK to Oporto

Vila Nova de Gaia

Fly to Oporto on the north bank of the Douro and embark your ship at Vila Nova de Gaia on the south bank. You'll remain moored here overnight. Look forward to meeting your expert music host Carol Anne Wells and guest musician Leon Berger, and learn about the five on-board concerts and two music-related talks that will take place during the course of your cruise.

Oporto Porto Portugal Europe

Day 2 Oporto to Régua to Pinhão

Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios

This afternoon travel by coach from Régua to Lamego, one of the most attractive cities in Portugal. On arrival, you’ll see the elaborate Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, which is set atop nine steep terraces overlooking the town. There’ll be free time to explore this impressive baroque church and walk down into the city from the Sanctuary using the ornate staircase – but be warned, there are almost 700 steps! Alternatively, take the coach down to the city and visit the lovely Gothic cathedral, which in parts dates back to the 12th century! This evening there’ll be an included trip to a local vineyard for dinner, with wine and entertainment included. Re-join your ship in Régua then continue your cruise to Pinhão.

Regua Regua Vila Real Douro Portugal Europe Pinhão Alijo

Day 3 Pinhão to Vega de Térron

Duoro Valley

Depart Pinhão early this morning and take in the scenery as you sail towards Vega de Térron. This afternoon, join an included excursion to Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, a small medieval village with a stunning hilltop location. See the 18th-century baroque church and stroll around the village in your own time. Back on board ship look forward to a traditional Portuguese dinner.

Pinhão Alijo Vila Real Douro Portugal Europe Vega de Terron Castile and Leon Spain

Day 4 Vega de Térron to Barca d'Alva


Today join an included excursion across the border to the city of Salamanca in Spain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famed for its beautiful old university buildings of golden-coloured stone. The journey here usually takes about two hours, during which your guide will give an interesting commentary on Spanish history. After half an hour of free time join a walking tour with a local guide to the magnificent Plaza Mayor, one of the finest town squares in Spain. You also see the famous cathedral, built in two parts. The original Catedral Vieja, which dates from the 12th century, is now incorporated into the much larger 16th-century Catedral Nueva. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant, followed by a flamenco show to give you a taste of traditional Spanish culture. Return to the Douro Queen which will now be in Barca d’Alva and moor overnight.

Vega de Terron Castile and Leon Spain Europe Barca dAlva Guarda Portugal

Day 5 Barca d'Alva to Pinhão

Cruise comfortably aboard a Douro ship

Depart Barca d’Alva and enjoy the wonderful views as you spend the morning sailing towards Pinhão, arriving after lunch. This afternoon pay a visit to Quinta do Seixo, a local winery. Here you’ll join an included tour of the estate, followed by an opportunity to taste their port wines. The ship remains moored in Pinhão overnight.

Barca dAlva Guarda Portugal Europe Pinhão Alijo Vila Real Douro

Day 6 Pinhão to Regua to Entre-os-Rios

Mateus Palace Gardens, Peso da Régua

Sail from Pinhão to Regua early this morning. From here an included excursion visits Mateus Palace gardens. Your guide will give you an introduction to the palace, one of the loveliest country houses in Portugal and which famously features on the Mateus rosé wine label. Explore these exceptional formal gardens as well as examining the exterior of the palace. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure on board as the Douro Queen departs Régua and look forward to a traditional Portuguese folk music show after dinner. Moor overnight in Entre-os-Rios.

Regua Regua Vila Real Douro Portugal Europe Entre os Rios

Day 7 Entre-os-Rios to Oporto


Spend the morning at leisure as you sail back towards Oporto. Learn the history of Portugal’s second-largest city on an included tour. This famous centre of port wine production is beautifully located on the Douro estuary. The coach tour includes a visit to Sé Cathedral, which dates from the 12th century, and is where Phillipa of Lancaster married King Joao I of Portugal in 1387 becoming the first and only English queen of Portugal. Your tour also includes a visit to a port wine cellar where you’ll learn about the production of this famous drink and enjoy a tasting. Remain moored in Vila Nova de Gaia overnight.

Oporto Porto Portugal Europe

Day 8 Oporto to UK


After breakfast and bidding your fellow guests and hosts goodbye, disembark and travel to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

Your talks and performances


During your cruise enjoy two talks from your host, exploring ‘The Story of Gilbert & Sullivan’ in words and pictures, Parts 1 and 2.

Onboard performances

You can also look forward to five onboard performances from your host and guest musician:

The story of Gilbert & Sullivan in song – Part 1

Enjoy arias, duets and comedy songs ranging from Gilbert & Sullivan’s first opera Thespis, to Patience, premiered in 1881.

The story of Gilbert & Sullivan in song – part 2

Enjoy further arias and songs ranging from the duos famous Iolanthe (1882) to their last collaboration The Grand Duke, premiered in 1896

A Society Clown” The Songs of George Grossmith George Grossmith not only appeared in leading comic roles in works by Gilbert & Sullivan but was also a solo entertainer. Learn about the songs he wrote and performed as Leon draws on Grossmith’s personal collection.

Gilbert & Sullivan - together and apart

Enjoy hearing about some of the rarer works by Gilbert & Sullivan, including Art songs and ballads by Sullivan.

The Gilbert & Sullivan Legacy

Your host and guest musician look at the influence of this famous duo on the works of Jerome Kern, Gershwin and more.

Upgrade to Club Europe

Upgrade to Club Europe* from a European business-class service, for access to comfortable private lounges (where available) more personal space to relax, a complimentary food and drink service, dedicated check-in desks (where available) and priority boarding, and a larger baggage allowance.

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Gilbert & Sullivan on the Douro