Tues 09 Auckland – Dubai
Depart Auckland on Emirates Airlines to Dubai and onto Casablanca
Wed 10 Dubai - Casablanca (Morocco) D
Arrive in Casablanca and transfer to your hotel. Afternoon free before a Welcome Dinner.
Thurs 11 Casablanca – Marrakech B D
Visit the new Mohamed V mosque – the only modern mosque on tour; the central market, the Habbous Quarter and residential Anfa.
Continue by coach to Marrakech and enjoy an eye-popping walking tour of the Medina, Souks and Djemaa El Fina Place – timed for sunset
Fri 12 Marrakech B L
Today an authentic Moroccan cooking lesson is included. Cook and enjoy your food for lunch – a great insight into Moroccan food and culture. An afternoon tour includes further highlights of the city.
Sat 13 Marrakech – Ouarzazate B L D
Today travel across the Tizi n Tichka Pass (2660m) in the Atlas Mountains through rural Morocco to Ouarzazate, stopping at Ait Ben Haddou, a former stop on the caravan route from Sahara. It is known for its Kasbahs and has been the location for more than 17 movies and TV shows!
Arrive in Ouarzazate (known as the ‘Door of the Desert’) late afternoon for a two night stay.
Sun 14 Ouarzazate B L D
Travel along the desolate Daraa River Valley with its unusual rock formations to Zagora (perfect for the production of dates and figs). Some of the towns along the valley are built inside fortified walls. A day to remember. Dinner at the hotel in Ouarzazate.
Mon 15 Ouarzazate – Boumalne B L D
This morning, tour the city of Ouarzazate including the partly-ruined Kasbahs of Tifoulout and Taourit.
Travel along the Dades Valley - centre for distilling rose essence. We are in the rose blooming season!! Skoura is an oasis village with date palms, figs and birch trees – all watered by underground Kheltaras (pipes). Later arrive in Boumalne.
Tues 16 Boumalne – Tinghir – Erfoud B L D
A full travel day. First visit Tinghir, a town in the High Atlas Mountains in the heart of the Todra Valley and a former French Garrison town. Travel on to the Todra Valley palmerie, a checkerboard of cereal fields, vegetable gardens, palm and olive groves. Continue on to Erfoud.
Wed 17 Erfoud B L D
Early wake up and depart by 4x4 to the dunes to ride camels and climb the dunes to see the sunrise. Return to the hotel for breakfast. Later continue by 4x4s to visit the Ksar Abbar ruins and the town of Rissani before lunch in the dunes. Rest of afternoon free before dinner.
Thurs 18 Erfoud – Fes B D
Travel to Midlet (1508m) on the high plains between the High and Middle Atlas Mountains where development is credited to the mining of lead and gypsum. Continue on to Ifrane, a surprising ski resort in the European style. Arrive in Fes late afternoon for a two night stay.
Fri 19 Fes B L
A day to savour with a tour of the oldest cultural and spiritual city in Morocco. Visit the medieval medina with its ancient leather works, spice stalls, craftsmen and narrow streets with only room for foot and mule traffic.
Sat 20 Fes – Meknes – Volubilis – Rabat B D
Visit the partially-excavated Roman ruins at Volubilis and the holy city of Moulay Driss before arriving in Meknes - known as the ‘Moroccan Versailles’. Continue on to Rabat known as the ‘White Imperial City.’
Sun 21 Rabat – Tangier – Gibraltar B D
Rabat is the administrative capital of Morocco. Enjoy a short city tour before travelling through rich farming and cropping land to the port city of Tangier at the entrance to the Straits of Gibraltar. Cross by fast ferry to Algeciras in Southern Spain. Transfer to Gibraltar for a three night stay. See British policemen, spend pounds sterling and enjoy duty free shopping.
‘The Rock’ of Gibraltar is a monolithic headland at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. Most of the ‘rocks’ upper area is natural reserve, home to colonies of rock apes which along with the large network of tunnels attract thousands of tourists each year.
Gibraltar was transferred from the Spanish to Great Britain in 1713 where it has remained ever since. When WWII broke out in 1939, the civilian population was evacuated and by 1942 there were more than 30,000 armed forces stationed at Gibraltar.
Its invincibility inspires the saying ‘Solid as the rock of Gibraltar.’
Mon 22 Gibraltar B
Sightseeing tour of ‘The Rock’ – the former Military fortification and gateway to the Mediterranean Sea. Highlights include the natural reserve area as well as the tunnel system and the views across the strait to Africa.
Tues 23 Gibraltar B
Today is free to explore Gibraltar and relax.
Wed 24 Gibraltar – Seville (Spain) B D
A coach will meet you at the hotel and after crossing the border into Spain, change coaches and travel through the Andalusian countryside to Seville.
Thurs 25 Seville B L D
This morning’s city tour includes the tomb of Christopher Columbus, views of the city from La Giralda and a walk in the Quarter of Santa Cruz - a maze of small streets, square and gardens.
Visit the magnificent Alcāzar, a royal palace from the Islamic period with changes made under Christian rule.
This afternoon time to explore on your own and dinner is included tonight with a Flamenco show.
Fri 26 Seville – Albufeira (Portugal) B D
Today’s journey from Spain takes us through orange groves and whitewashed villages to the historical area on the Algarve.
Drive along the coast to the fishing and sailing port of Lagos where we see the highlights including magnificent panoramic view from Ponta da Piedade.
Continue on to the historic seaport of Sagres, situated on the peninsular before returning to the coastal city of Albufeira for the night.
Sat 27 Albufeira - Lisbon B D
Our coach journey north is through the Portuguese countryside, renowned for its cork trees and farming to Lisbon – Portugal’s capital.
The city tour of Lisbon highlights its historic past. See the famous Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery built in the 16th century. (Both UNESCO World Heritage sites). Continue to the oldest part of the city surrounding St George’s Castle and the Alfama District. Afternoon free to continue exploring before dinner.
Sun 28 Lisbon B
This morning visit Sintra before returning to Lisbon with afternoon free before a dinner and show at a Fado House.
The hilltop town of Sintra has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for its historic and cultural attractions. It was just a small quaint fishing village until the Portugese King Luis II decided to turn the citadel into his summer residence. Since that time the town has been a beacon to jet setters, the exiled royal families of Europe and tourists looking for a beautiful harbour town, with cobble stoned streets and historic city centre.
Mon 29 Lisbon – Coimbra B D
Continue north to the medieval hilltop town of Obidos with its fortified walls, imposing castle, narrow cobble stoned streets and terracotta roofs. A highlight! Later visit Nazare – a typical fishing village with a clifftop suburb overlooking the bay. Continue to Coimbra, preceded by a brief visit to Fatima, a place of pilgrimage made famous in 1917 by the virgin’s apparition appearing to three shepherd children.
Tues 30 Coimbra – Porto B D
Before departing this charming town, visit the main university buildings and the Portugal dos Pequeninos Theme Park.
Later travel to Porto – cultural home of the Portugal’s famous Port Wine.
Enjoy a walking tour of the city including the Dom Luiz I Bridge and a visit to a famous port wine cellar where this exceptional wine is mellowed and matured slowly, followed by a tasting.
Overnight at inner city hotel.
Porto, one of the oldest cities in Europe has long-been a destination for the rich and famous! Its historic centre is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, Porto is known first and foremost for its famous port wines.
Wed 31 Porto B D
Enjoy a morning city tour of Porto including a drive through the narrow streets with its 18th c buildings and Baroque churches. Continue along the coast to the mouth of the Duoro River. Visit the city’s cathedral on Penaventosa Hill with views of the city and river.
Embark M/S Duoro Serenity, your home for the next seven nights and enjoy a welcome drink and presentation of the Captain and crew.
ABOUT YOUR SHIP: M/S DUORO SERENITY
This latest state-of-the-art, 2017 built ship with a crew of 36 for 126 passengers, is a real bonus.
The 63 cabins over three passenger decks have the latest technology, twin or double beds, individually controlled air conditioning, satellite TV, radio, marble bathroom, hairdryer, safety box, shower, wc and the upper and middle decks have floor to ceiling windows>
Public areas include the main restaurant a large partially covered sundeck, lounge bar with dance floor, gift shop, lift, outdoor swimming pool and single seating restaurant.
Thurs 01 Porto - Régua B L D
Enjoy breakfast as you cast off while watching Porto’s busy river scene. Relax and enjoy the ride as we sail past the gigantic locks at Crestuma and Carrapatello, the highest in Europe at 35m (115ft). Arrive in Régua around 6pm.
Enjoy a traditional Portuguese dinner on board with time to stroll through Régua.
Fri 02 Régua – Pihnao B L D
This morning an excursion to the charming old town of Lamego, a small town with quaint quiet charm with a square surrounded by 17th century Baroque buildings overlooked by the Cathedral and its 700- step staircase.
Enjoy a wine visit with tasting before rejoin our boat and continue sailing past hills covered with vine trellises planted in terraces up to 700m (2300ft) high and plunging majestically down towards the river. Evening entertainment is a Portuguese Folk Music Show.
Sat 03 Pihnao – Vega Terron B L D
Enjoy an on board cooking presentation before arrival in Vega Terron. After lunch tour Castello Rodrigo, located 670m above sea level with narrow, steep medieval streets and castle. The area has an economy based on agriculture, cattle raising, the granite trade, cheese and wine production.
Captain’s Dinner tonight.
Sun 04 Vega Terron - Barca D’Alva B L D
Today is a full day excursion to Salamanca (awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO) and to see rural Spain. This town of dazzling beauty houses some extraordinary Roman, Arabic and Christian architectural treasures. After our tour, enjoy lunch and a Flamenco Show. Return to the boat and continue to Barca D’Alva and enjoy a Portuguese BBQ Dinner.
Mon 05 Barca D’Alva – Pihnao - Régua B L D
This morning cruise through the locks in Pocinho and Valeira and continue to a ‘quinta’ where we sample the wines of Porto and enjoy a country lunch. Our afternoon tour to the Gardens of Mateus Palace is a highlight where we discover the connection between Mateus Rose wine and this beautiful 18th c house.
Tues 06 Régua – Porto B L D
Early morning departure to Porto, returning through the number of large locks to arrive mid-afternoon.. Tonight enjoy a traditional folklore-themed evening - our Farewell Dinner.
Wed 07 Porto – Madrid – Dubai B
Disembark and transfer to the Airport for the flight to Madrid. Change planes and depart on an Emirates Airlines flight to Dubai and home.
Thurs 09 Arrive in Auckland
Itinerary subject to change.