Douro River Portugal Luxury All-Gay Cruise 2022
6 days from/ to Porto, Portugal
June 17 22, 2022
CroisiEurope Cruises Amalia Rodrigues
Our all-gay cruise on Portugal’s Douro River offers an authentic taste of life and world-class wines in a region steeped in wine making for over 2,000 years. Explore the colorful city of Porto, an enticing labyrinth of winding streets, baroque churches and blue-tiled houses, where port wine is made and stored.We’ll trace port wine to its source, the quintas and picture-postcard villages of the Douro River Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here, you’ll discover terraced vineyards and enjoy tours, tastings, wine pairings, and a lesson in port cocktail-making. You’ll also tour baroque Mateus Palace, and immerse yourself in the rich local history and proud colorful culture that showcases the very best of Portugal. A legacy of wine making awaits you on our OUTbound adventure through the lush Douro River Valley!
Sail OUTbound with a dream river cruise through the Douro Valley. From the peaceful wineries producing Portugal’s much-loved port wine to the ancient Spanish city of Salamanca, the Douro is a rustic region of simple pleasures. Along the way, you’ll explore incredibly majestic sites such as the Vila Real and the gardens of the manor house of Solar de Mateus.
The Douro Valley is home to delicious treasures and will take you along the port wine route. Admire incredible terraced vineyards that extend over a hundred kilometers along the Douro to the Spanish border. We’ll sail from the splendid city of Porto, with its sweet authentic charm, before venturing far into the Iberian countryside to Salamanca, exploring the shops and cafés of the Plaza Mayor and enjoying a sampling of regional cuisine.
Bucket List Moments
• Wander the back streets of Porto's Ribeira neighborhood
• Cross the Douro River in a traditional Rabelo boat
• Get lost in the hedge maze of Mateus Palace
• Taste a tawny port that's been aged 35 years
• Hear a live falda concert performed in a Portuguese tavern
All Included! All Inclusive!
• All Meals & Alcoholic Drinks Included
• All Shore Excursions Included
• All Tips & Gratuities Included
Your Ship - MS Amalia Rodrigues
Built to navigate the waters of the Douro Valley and make the most of the delightful Portuguese climate, our ship pays homage to the Queen of Fado, Amalia Rodrigues, the famous Portuguese singer and actress. The warm terracotta tones reflect the gowns the fadista wore on stage, while light-hued woods bring to mind the guitars that are part of the genuine Portuguese spirit. Boasting a spacious open-air Sun Deck, wonderful dining areas and generously appointed suites and staterooms, every inch of this vessel has been designed for your comfort and enjoyment.
Built in 2018 and christened in 2019, this Superior-category ship offers ample space in each cabin and public areas. Large picture windows on the Upper and Mid Decks display all the scenery as the ship cruises. These decks share four suites. Two of the suites have private patios with sunloungers.
All the meals during the cruise are served in the restaurant on the Main Deck. Onboard fun, music, and dancing happen in the lounge and bar on the Mid Deck bow, where a cozy patio also provides great landscape views.
The Sun Deck has a pool and sunloungers that everyone can enjoy.
The Panoramic Lounge is the hub for social interaction of our OUTbounders on board during our Douro cruise. The floor-to-ceiling windows on both sides of the space offering breathtaking views of the Douro River and the stunning landscapes beyond. You’ll find comfortable seating and tables ideal for playing board games, chatting with old friends and new, drinking a specialty coffee, enjoying hand-crafted cocktails or indulging in some of the local port wines the region is famous for.
Sailing along the UNESCO-designated Douro River, you’ll have the chance to taste new wines from the old world. The main bar is located within the Panoramic Lounge on the Middle Deck at the front of the ship, just past the reception desk. Here, in the heart of the ship, you can relax, catch up with new friends and enjoy the evening’s entertainment. The space offers floor-to-ceiling windows and great views of the spectacular scenery. Head to the bar for sunset or an after dinner nightcap. It’s an ideal place to snuggle into a comfy couch, order a drink and watch the world go by.
Savor authentic regional delicacies as we cruise the Douro, along with more familiar western cuisine for those who are looking for a taste of home. All the food on board is sourced from regional suppliers, meaning your meals are both extremely fresh and always in season. Enjoy plentiful buffets for breakfast and lunch with a wide variety of choices. Every OUTbounder will be invited to indulge in the multi-course dinner menus, specially paired with selections from the region’s best wineries. Throughout your voyage, you’ll be treated to unlimited mixed drinks, wine, beer or soft drinks, all included in the price of your cruise.
Built for Portugal’s warm climate, the comprehensive Sun Deck provides ample opportunity to sample the sun and gentle river breezes. The open-air aspect of the deck is the perfect place to enjoy a bite to eat and a drink or two with your fellow OUTbounders. The pool on the Sun Deck is the perfect place to relax with a few friends, enjoying a glass of vinho verde under the beautiful Iberian sky. It’s also the ideal way to spend your afternoon enjoying a panoramic view of the magnificent landscapes. Literally on top of the world, you’ll spend hours simply soaking up the views as the world around us drifts by. With plenty of comfy seating and a walking track for those active OUTbounders, there’s an option for everyone up top.
It’s hard to believe gay Lisbon has flown under-the-radar for so long. By day this capital city offers twisting alleyways, world-class museums, world-class dining, and understated glamour, all served with idyllic views thanks to the city's seven hills setting. But it’s after the sun goes down that gay Lisbon really comes alive, made even better by the pleasant Mediterranean climate and warm summer nights!
Portugal has some of the most progressive gay rights legislation in the world with gay marriage, same-sex adoption, a simplified process of legal gender identification and even a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation enshrined in its Constitution. All this means you will find plenty of LGBTQ+ people wandering the streets of Lisbon, getting cozy in any one of the countless delightful cafés and just generally making the most of life. Throw in all those boutique fashion stores and art galleries, plenty of sunshine and various day-trips to vineyards, beaches and castles and you begin to understand why so many in our LGBTQ+ community are flocking to Lisbon.
Douro River Portugal
All-Gay Cruise 2022 Itinerary
| 17 Jun
| 18 Jun
| 18 Jun
| 19 Jun
||Vila Real, Portugal
| 19 Jun
| 20 Jun
| 20 Jun
||Barca d'Alva, Portugal
| 21 Jun
| 21 Jun
| 21 Jun
| 22 Jun
Day 1 - Porto, Portugal
Bem vindo a Porto! Porto is a trendy and charming mix of now and then. This evening, meet your OUTbound hosts and mingle with your fellow guests. We’ll introduce the crew with a welcome aboard cocktail before heading OUTbound to explore the fascinating city of Porto after dark. A vibrant city, Porto’s nightlife is even more alive with energy. We’ll see the city as it lights up, from panoramic spots overlooking its famous old town to a trip along the banks of the Douro to see reflections of the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge, a double-deck metal arch bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel in 1879, a full 10 years before beginning work on his tower in Paris.
After dinner, join us for a tour of Porto by night. A vibrant city, Porto’s nightlife is even more alive with energy. We’ll see the city as it lights up, from panoramic spots overlooking its famous old town to a trip along the banks of the Douro to see reflections of the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge, a double-deck metal arch bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel in 1879, a full 10 years before beginning work on his tower in Paris. After our tour, spend some time on your own exploring the local bars and night clubs, offering music for every taste.
Day 2 - Porto, Portugal
Located at the mouth of the Douro River, Porto is a fascinating eclectic mix of modern and ancient architecture. Admire its graceful bridges, grand cathedral and romantic buildings nestled together on narrow cobblestone streets. Sample wines that have been in the making for generations at the historic Quinta da Aveleda estate, or soar over the historic “City of Bridges” on a thrilling gondola ride along the banks of the Douro.
On today's tour we’ll board one of the city’s trams and travel all the way to the mouth of the Douro on the Atlantic coast. Along the way we’ll visit Porto’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll admire Porto’s graceful bridges, grand cathedral and romantic historic buildings nestled together on cobblestone streets. We’ll conclude our excursion with a tasting of some of the local specialties before returning to our ship and beginning our cruise along the Douro.
Day 3 - Vila Real, Portugal
Join us for an excursion to Vila Real, site of the extraordinary Mateus Palace (the building depicted on the Mateus Rosé wine labels). This stunning baroque palace was the home of the last Count of Vila Real. Its pinnacled façade, grand stairway, richly appointed interiors and priceless objects on display will astonish you, as will the palace’s enchanting formal gardens featuring cedar-lined walkways, exquisite sculpted hedges and serene pools of water. We’ll also visit one of the area’s iconic port wineries, touring the facility to learn how these unique Portuguese products are crafted, then sample the ports themselves in the tasting room.
Day 4 - Salamanca, Spain
This ancient city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a living museum that takes visitors back to the Middle Ages. Take a ride through the Iberian countryside, then spend some time exploring the shops and cafés of the Plaza Mayor. See the Gothic House of Shells, the 13th century Salamanca University and the New Cathedral, before hitting the local market to enjoy sampling some regional cuisine.
Today we’ll take a ride through the Iberian countryside to Salamanca, embarking OUTbound on a city tour before spending some time exploring the shops and cafés of the Plaza Mayor (Main Square) on your own. At the local market, enjoy sampling regional cuisine. Our guided city tour takes us to the Casa de las Conchas, a building that has been lovingly decorated with more than 300 sea shells. We’ll also visit the 13th century Salamanca University and the New Cathedral, built from 1513 through 1733. The Old Cathedral still exists and can be visited during our free time.
Day 5 - Ferradosa, Portugal
Continue your OUTbound venture through the enchanting countryside. Terraced vineyards rise from the river banks, historic landmarks pepper distant horizons and charming townships lay hidden in the rural hillsides. Experience the unique culture of the Douro Valley while enjoying traditional cuisine, port wine and ‘fado’ singing. Fado music is a form of Portuguese singing often associated with pubs, cafés, and restaurants. This music genre originated in Portugal around the 1820s, and is known for how expressive and profoundly melancholic it is.
On today's tour we'll take a scenic drive up to the little village of Ferradosa, where we’ll make our way OUTbound to one of the traditional wineries of the Douro River Valley. Discover how port was made in the old days, and how those traditions continue to present day. Sample local fortified port varieties such as Ruby, a deeply-colored red port; Vintage, a type of Ruby that requires aging in the bottle (sometimes for decades); and Tawny, a very sweet barrel-aged port with oxidative nut and caramel flavors.
Optional Post-Cruise Lisbon Pride Extension
June 22 - 26, 2022
Coimbra, Sintra & Lisboa Pride
Lisbon Pride Package
5 Days / 4 Nights - June 22 - 26, 2022 - $900 per person (double occupancy)
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Transfer to Lisbon
This morning we’re OUTbound from Porto to Lisbon. Along the way we’ll stop in Coimbra, home to one of Europe’s oldest universities. Stroll through old-timey shops, cafés and bakeries all under the watchful eye of Coimbra’s historic university, capping the hill above town. After lunch, we’ll continue south and arrive at our host hotel in Lisbon, Portugal’s old world capital city. Once settled into your room at the Brown’s Central Hotel, spend the evening on your own exploring Lisbon and all this charming city has to offer.
Thursday, June 23, 2022
Bem vindo a Lisboa! Enjoy a relaxing day on your own in Lisbon, or join us for an optional tour of Sintra. For centuries, Portugal’s aristocracy considered Sintra the perfect place to escape from city life. Sintra is a mix of natural and man-made beauty, with fantasy castles set amid exotic tropical plants, lush green valleys and craggy hilltops providing stunning views of Lisbon down below. We’ll see The Sintra National Palace, distinguished by dramatic twin chimneys and elaborate tilework and visit the hilltop Pena National Palace, known for its whimsical design, colorful façade, and sweeping views.
Friday, June 24, 2022
Lisbon On Your Own
Lisbon is a trendy and charming mix of now and then. Vintage trolleys shiver up and down its hills, centuries-old statues mark grand squares, and Art Nouveau cafés are alive with energy. It’s a city of ironwork balconies, mosaic sidewalks, red-tiled roofs, and stunning vistas. Explore the LGBTQ+ businesses around our host hotel, the Brown’s Central, located in the very heart of the Historic Baixa and Chiado district of Lisbon. Discover elegant outdoor cafés, exciting art, fun-to-browse shops, stunning vistas, delicious food, entertaining museums and a sailors’ quarter with a hill-capping castle. Tonight, get a front-row seat as Lisbon gears up for Arraial Lisboa Pride!
Saturday, June 25, 2022
Arraial Lisboa Pride
Today, show your pride in Portugal’s charming capital city by the sea, as the Arraial Lisboa Pride party starts in Terreiro do Paço, one of the most amazing squares in Europe. Here you will find countless gay bars, food stalls and an impressive stage lineup featuring live music, dance acts, vendor booths and special international guest appearances. Highlights not to miss are the massive street festival, a vibrant parade, and all the club parties, along with plenty of other more cultural events too! The celebrations center around the themes of freedom, diversity and equality... so be prepared to share a whole lot of alfresco fun!
Sunday, June 26, 2022
Leave For Home
This morning we say “Obrigado” to the city of Lisbon and our fantastic OUTbound Portugal Pride experience. Spend your final hours in Lisbon exploring more of Bairro Alto, our surrounding bohemian neighborhood and its bright colors and romantic streets. Take one last stroll through Rossio Square in the heart of Lisbon, perfect for relaxing and people watching. We’ll check out of the Browns Central Hotel this morning and transfer to Lisbon Portela Airport for our flights home.
Lisbon Host Hotel
Brown's Central Hotel
Our host Brown's Central Hotel is a boutique hotel ideally located in the center of the city, near Lisbon’s gay district found in the old Bairro Alto and neighboring trendy Principe Real area. Huge all-night club events, trendy cocktail bars, drag shows and go-go boys galore tempt those who are willing to go out and explore during pride weekend, though there are also plenty of gay saunas, cafés and beaches to see as well as the main pride events.
Located in the center of Lisbon, the Brown's Central Hotel is set in an 18th-century building, recently renovated to reflect Lisbon’s new design trends. Free Wi-Fi is available in all areas. Each air-conditioned room offers a unique decoration and features elements from renowned world-class designers like Charles and Ray Eames, BestLite, Arne Jacobsen, Eero Saarinen and Artemide. The rooms include wooden floors, contemporary furniture and private marble bathrooms. All come with a Nespresso coffee machine, Smeg kettle, a Bluetooth MediaHub system and flat-screen Smart TV.