Portugal River Cruise with a Great Cause July 29th 2019 $400 from Each Cabin goes to the Charity Brian Schmidt from Vineland Estates Winery works with in Haiti building much needed houses and infrastructure for the people of Haiti called Haiti Mission Inc - Depart Toronto July 29th 2019

“Haiti calls me every day,” Schmidt says. “Not a single day goes by when I’m not thinking about Haiti. I have to make sure it doesn’t consume me.” Brian Schmidt, Vineland Estates

Each year I try to offer some kind of trip that gives back to a great cause. This year I want to support a friend of mine and Wine Icon, Brian Schmidt who spends pretty much every vacation in Haiti building houses and schools and just all round pitching in to help the poor and needy people of Haiti. His time can not be matched however in a small way of support we are giving $400 from each booking to his cause. More about the Cause can be found by clicking the link below.

More about Brian's passion Below
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” ~ Muhammad Ali

So lets talk about the cruise...

Depart Toronto July 29th 2019 8 nights

We begin our journey in Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located at the center of Spain’s Castilla y León region. Salamanca, in northwestern Spain, is the capital of Salamanca province with a history dating back to the Celtic era, it’s known for its ornate sandstone architecture and for the Universidad de Salamanca. Founded in the 1100s and a key intellectual center in the 15th-16th centuries, the university continues to add to the city’s vibrancy with its international student population.

In our already discounted price We have included an overnight stay in a beautiful hotel right in the heart of the historic city in a restored building.

After breakfast your guided city tour includes the university buildings, Salamanca Cathedral and the uniquely adorned House of Shells. We will then be transferred to Vega De Terron to join our River cruise for the week.

The Douro River is my all time favourite river. Views like these are found around every bend. The river holds lots of interesting history- mostly involving their wine and Port production and is a world class wine growing region.

On day 2 we venture to Castelo Rodrigo, known as the “White Village” because of its almond trees. The site offers spectacular views of the surrounding area. Join a walking tour through its medieval streets and see the houses and establishments with 16th-century façade and Manueline-style windows. If you prefer a more active adventure there, you can hike up to the town. At the end of both tours, enjoy a tasting of local favorites, such as almonds, cheese, bread and wine. Later in the day, cruise along the scenic Douro to Pinhão, where a wine tasting will be waiting for you in a local quinta. (B,L,D)

On Day 3 - Embark on a leisurely walk to the charming Pinhão Railway Station, a stunning train station along the Douro Line, one of the most iconic rail journeys in Portugal. The station’s main building is revered for its 25 tile panels, all in shades of blue, that depict scenes from the Douro region. Afterward, enjoy an exclusive lunch at Quinta da Avessada, where you’ll enjoy an authentic and traditional dining experience complete with entertainment. The warm, spirited hospitality of this family-run quinta is quite special as you will discover. Several family members play in a band, and while dining, they will entertain you. Quinta de Avessada is also a fascinating interactive museum commemorating the history and culture of wine in the Alto Douro region, so you’ll have fun discovering all the various stages of wine production as well as doing plenty of tasting. Later in the day, indulge in some free time to explore the town on your own. (B,L,D)

Next on to Reggua. You have a choice of two excursions. Your first option is an excursion to ancient and picturesque Lamego, home to one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Portugal, the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies). For active adventurers, you can hike up the famed Lamego Steps, also known as the Holy Staircase. Later in the day, visit Mateus Palace and Gardens, where you can admire the elegant 16th- to 18th- century furnishings and spend some time exploring the palace’s magnificent gardens, which feature perfectly manicured topiary work and an impressive cedar tunnel. (B,L,D)

The following day Enjoy a scenic cruise along the Douro from Régua to Entre-Os-Rios. We will also have a chance to take an included excursion where we visit a winery and this will be followed by a traditional “home-cooked” meal at a local quinta.

Next day enjoy a morning of scenic cruising on your way to Porto, then join a guided tour of Porto’s historic quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll see the Cathedral, one of the city’s oldest monuments; the main square, ringed with shops and cafés; and the São Bento Railway Station, known for its blue and white tile panels depicting scenes from Portuguese history. You’ll also enjoy a tasting of Port, Portugal’s most renowned contribution to the world of wine. For a more active adventure, join a hike in Porto and explore the old harbor quarter, passing through the medieval streets of Porto; afterwards, indulge in a Port wine tasting. (B,L,D)

After an overnight on board the boat in Porto we visit Guimarães, the “birthplace of the Portuguese nationality,” on a very special excursion. The city of Guimaraes was originally settled in the 9th century and is widely regarded as being “the cradle of the Portuguese nationality.” It served as center of government for the historic county of Portugal after the Moorish invaders were pushed out by the Kingdom of Galicia in the 10th century. It was also the site of the Battle of São Mamede in 1128, and may have been the birthplace of Afonso I of Portugal, the first Portuguese king.

The Details..

8 nights and 9 days in total - Spain and Portugal. (we can add one or two nights in Madrid if you would like too.)

Extra Benefits included in your already discounted price...
  • Deluxe Hotel in Salamanca
  • Transfer to the port from the hotel
  • City Tour with English Speaking guide.
  • $400 CA$ per cabin to Haiti Mission / Brian Schmidt
  • Total added value of $1600 per cabin

All prices below are per person based on double occupancy.

  • Category E - Picture Window - $4195 CA$ or $3550 in US$ (Limited Availability)
  • Category D - Picture Window - $4618 CA$ or $3875 US$
  • Category B - Balcony -$5995 CA$ or $4995 US$
  • Category A Balcony - $6195 CA$ or $5150 US$ (Only 2 left)
Stunning Douro River

So Whats included in the price?

  • One night in the Historic City of Salamanca
  • City Tour with guide in Salamanca
  • $400 per cabin Donation
  • 7 nights luxury accommodation in an outside stateroom
  • Computer for internet access
  • Entertainment-On-Demand in all staterooms featuring free high-speed internet access, movies, a music library and English language TV stations
  • Desk and sitting area
  • Bottled water replenished daily
  • Personalized service from a highly trained Cruise Manager during cruise
  • Internet and Wi-Fi access
  • Sun deck and pool
  • Fitness room
  • Main Lounge with panoramic views and bar
  • Bottled water in every stateroom replenished daily
  • Daily entertainment including cultural performances
  • All onboard dining in a variety of venues
  • Regionally inspired cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients
  • Welcome Cocktail, Welcome Dinner, Captain's Cocktail and Gala Dinner
  • Unlimited fine wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • Unlimited sparkling wine and fresh juice with breakfast
  • Sip & Sail Cocktail Hour with complimentary wine, beer, spirits and soft drinks
  • Tapas, sandwiches, snacks and refreshments served daily in the Main Lounge
  • Immersive tours in every destination
  • Gentle, regular, active and late-riser tour options
  • Guided hikes
  • Special Interest Tours
  • Knowledgeable guides
  • Personal headset for easy exploration

Can't come on the cruise but would still like to help? Talk to me about another trip you may be interested in and if I can then I will also use the commission to donate ... or you could just click this button below and donate directly too if you prefer... But please email and let us know so we can tell Brian!

Brian has been involved with the Haiti Mission Inc. based out of Louisiana since 2012. He was one of the chaperones for a group of kids (including his son Conner) who went to Haiti on their first mission in 2013. Their first and foremost goal is to provide potable water within 500 feet of every family in the area. Other projected activities include initiatives in the fields of education, health, improved housing, and other basic material needs.

Brian Schmidt can be reached at Vineland Estates and he is always wiling to chat about his Haiti Mission that is so dear to his heart! Vineland Estates Winery 905-562-7088

Seasoned Travel Guru and Cityline TV Travel Expert Lorraine Simpson shares her passion for food and wine with her clients when she hosts specialty theme River Cruises. Her love of travel is infectious and of course award winning too with over 26 awards so far including the best of the best, The Magellan. As an industry speaker and regular guest expert Lorraine is able to use her connections not only to negotiate the best price but often is your personal host and traveling concierge... who wouldn't want their ravel agent to go with them in case your run into any issues?

Lorraine's Favourite Award, The Magellan Gold
Award Winning Specialist for Food and Wine Travel. If you are interested in traveling with your wineclub or just fellow food and wine lovers let us know!

Concierge Travel Group INC is a holding company for several brands with TICO license #50021829

Head Office 32 College street, Fonthill, Ontario L0S 1E0

Telephone 289-273-8095 x 2221


Created with an image by olafpictures - "portugal porto river"

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