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Portugal: hot new cruise destination

THE growing popularity of river cruising through the middle of Europe has spread west to Portugal with a record number of people expected to sail down the country's spectacular Douro River on cruises this year.

Cruise Express director Hardy Schneider said: "Many Australians have now enjoyed a cruise down the Rhine and Danube rivers and are seeking the relaxed pleasures of river cruising elsewhere and Portugal is a perfect new destination, with luxury vessels offering week-long journeys through the beautiful, World Heritage-listed Douro River Valley, with its rugged gorges, ancient monasteries, old-world villages, rustic farms called quintas and rolling vineyards where Portugal's famous port wine is grown.

Cruise Express is offering a hosted, 13-night 'Paths to Portugal' cruise tour to Portugal this April including return flights from Australia, three nights in charming Lisbon with local touring and sightseeing, a seven-night luxury cruise along the Douro River from medieval Porto on the coast to the Spanish border and back aboard the deluxe vessel, Douro Spirit, and 25 meals along the way.

The holiday package includes a visit to a port-growing quinta to taste Portugal's celebrated beverage, a tour to the 'golden city' of Salamanca with its golden-hued historic buildings and an exploration of the 12th century walled village of Castelo Rodrigo - an enchanting medieval town frozen in time.

The 13-night fly/cruise./tour package, which departs Australia on April 18, 2012, is available from $7990 per person, twin-share.

For more details visit Cruise Express.

>> Read more travel stories.


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