Knitting Cruise along the River Douro, Portugal
with Jane Crowfoot
Wednesday 2 to Mon 7 October 2013. Ref 13010
The prices are:
£1,399 per person (twin share) and the single supplement is £299 per person.
The cabins are on Main Deck and the supplement for upgrading to Upper Deck is £110 per person.
Day 1 Morning flight from London Gatwick to Portugal’s second largest city, Porto. Transfer to your waiting river cruiser, the MS Fernao de Magalhaes, and settle into your cabins.
Enjoy meeting the crew and the rest of the group during a cocktail reception in the lounge.
Dinner, then an excursion to see Porto by night. A mercantile city with a rich trading history, Porto’s historical centre, which has World Heritage status, is a maze of winding lanes, zigzagging staircases and tiled churches.
Day 2 After breakfast, knitters enjoy their first class with Jane, while for non-knitters there’s a morning guided tour of Porto.
Occupied since the 4th century, hilly Porto is a mesmerising mix of narrow medieval streets, baroque churches, quaint squares and wide boulevards lined with stately beauxarts edifices. Gabled houses tumble down the hillside towards the river in steep terraces and stare directly across the water to the port warehouses lining the opposite bank.
Lunch on board, then take part in an afternoon knitting class while cruising towards Regua – the official centre of the Port wine growing region, backed by the Serra do Marão mountains. Meander gently along the river valley, passing some outstanding wooded landscapes and Carrapatelo, the highest lock in Europe with a 35m drop.
Tonight’s highlight is a dinner-dance and gala evening on board MS Fernao de Magalhaes – a chance to dress up, enjoy a gourmet menu and twirl the night away.
Day 3 Wake up to another enjoyable day of knitting workshops and cruising, starting with breakfast. Meanwhile the non-knitters will venture on to dry land for a port wine tasting. This region of Portugal is famed for its high-quality port, with the region’s microclimate producing the perfect conditions to grow grapes. Picturesque quintas or farms cling on to almost vertical slopes dropping down to the river all along this stretch, many of them owned by multinational wine companies.
Those on the port wine tasting excursion re-join the ship at the small town of Ferradossa in time for lunch with the group.
There’s more knitting and chatting while watching the beautiful Douro scenery slip past as the boat cruises onwards to Vega de Teron Dinner on board with the group and a chance to strengthen new friendships makes for the perfect end to the day.
Day 4 Today presents the ideal chance to progress your projects and chat with your fellow knitters with a full day of on-board knitting classes led by Jane. Meanwhile the non-knitters head across the Spanish border to the city of Salamanca, awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO for its outstanding beauty and its Roman, Arabic and Christian architectural treasures. Known as ‘the golden city’ since its buildings are constructed from sandstone and glow different shades of orange and yellow as the sun sets, Salamanca is considered to be one of the most spectacular Renaissance cities in Europe. Lunch will also be in Salamanca.
Non-knitters return to the boat in time to join the rest of the group for dinner, followed by an evening’s entertainment with a special Spanish flavour.
Day 5 Breakfast on board and then a final full day’s knitting with Jane as the boat cruises to Pinhao, spectacularly located at the confluence of the Douro and Pinhao rivers. For non knitters it’s a trip to Vila Real, including lunch, famed for its religious architecture including its 15th-century Gothic cathedral. Perhaps also visit Casa Mateus – afine example of an aristocratic country manor from the early 18th century with lovely gardens. You may in fact already be familiar with this mansion – from its depiction on the label of Mateus Rosé wine bottles!
People on the Vila real excursion re-join the boat at Bitetos for dinner on board with the group, before enjoying a traditional folk evening.
Day 6 In the early morning the boat sets off for Porto once more. Breakfast is on board followed by disembarkation once the boat reaches port.
Free time to explore Porto’s many architectural gems or simply to sit on a café terrace with a drink, enjoying the view, before transferring to the airport for the flight to London.
Mid-evening arrival into Gatwick airport.
Non-Knitting Friends & Partners Welcome!
Non-knitters who book alongside participants in Jane’s classes and share a cabin with them will be made very welcome on this holiday. They even have their own dedicated itinerary, which takes in the fascinating cities of Porto, Salamanca and Vila Real, as well as a port wine tasting excursion. In between they can enjoy the ship’s excellent facilities and join in the evening entertainment and other activities alongside their friends/partners. We regret that we cannot accept bookings from non-knitters in single cabins.