2021 Douro River Cruise

2021 Douro River Cruise

Cost

$5195 Land/Air Package from DFW

$4195 Land Only Package

Single Room (Additional Cost) $795.00

Prices are valid only if the deposit of $500.00 is received no later than January 19, 2021. Final payment due March 24, 2021.

Dates

October 14 – 26, 2021

NOTE: Mass for our group will be celebrated daily by our pilgrimage chaplains in some of the most amazing sites in Spain and Portugal!

Visit the Crossroads of Christendom

 

on this 11-day Pilgrimage


Visit the holiest places in early Christendom and experience the beauty of the Italian countryside on this summer pilgrimage. Led by international tour guide and theological historian Marcellino “Dr. Italy” D’Ambrosio, this 11-day trip will take you to the cities of Assisi, Florence, and Rome. Explore ancient basilicas, the treasures of the Vatican, and attend a Papal Audience in St. Peter’s Square. Enjoy daily Mass with the chaplain who will accompany this very special tour. Dr. Italy will be our principal guide, providing expert commentary on saints, sites, and shrines of Italy.

Stops

 


Your Guide

 


Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio and his wife, Susan

Known on Catholic radio and TV as “Dr. Italy,” Dr. D’Ambrosio is a NY Times best-selling author and a renowned commentator on Catholic issues appearing on Fox News’ “Geraldo Rivera At Large” and Bill O’Reilly’s radio show. A doctoral student of the renowned Jesuit theologian Avery Cardinal Dulles, Marcellino is an expert on the history of the Church in Italy and has a special familiarity with the shrines we will be visiting on this very special tour. Dr. Italy will be our principal guide, providing expert commentary on saints, sites, and shrines of Italy.

Trip Itinerary

 


DAY 1, Wednesday, October 13: DEPART USA

We depart on an overnight flight to Lisbon, Portugal. Dinner and breakfast will be served on the plane. Add-on airfares are available from most major cities.

DAY 2, Thursday, October 14: WELCOME TO PORTUGAL

We arrive in the capital city of Lisbon and are met by our Portuguese English speaking guide who will assist us to the coach. This afternoon we enjoy a panoramic tour of Lisbon, which includes St. Jerome’s Monastery, built to give thanks to the Blessed Mother, the Belem Tower, the Navigation Monument, and many other landmarks. Our last stop will be St. Anthony’s Church. Patron Saint of lost things is best known as St. Anthony of Padua (Italy), but he was born and baptized here in Lisbon, Portugal. The Church where we celebrate Mass is built upon St. Anthony’s birthplace. Welcome dinner and overnight in Lisbon. (D)

DAY 3, Friday, October 15: SANTAREM - FATIMA

Departing Lisbon we drive to the Church of the Holy Miracle (formerly known as the Church of St. Stephen) in Santarem to venerate the 13th century Miracle of the Eucharist and celebrate Mass. In the afternoon we arrive in Fatima, settle into our hotel, and walk across the street to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. Dinner at the hotel in Fatima. (B.D.)

DAY 4, Saturday, October 16: OUR LADY OF FATIMA

Today will surely be a memorable experience, as we explore one of Our Blessed Mother’s most important apparition sites. Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children; Lucia (age 10), Jacinta (age 7), and Francisco (age 9). These apparitions occurred monthly from May until October of 1917. Historically, as the entire world was in true turmoil, Our Lady’s most prominent message during this time was to pray for world peace. Our first stop is the Little Chapel of the Apparitions. This simple, yet modern, chapel is the site where the Virgin Mary first appeared on May 13, 1917. Continue with a visit to the stunning neoclassical church, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, which contains the tombs of St. Francisco, St. Jacinta, and Sister Lucia. View the monument that commemorates the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in the square. Due to Our Lady’s consistency in Her messages to pray the Rosary, this Basilica also features fifteen altars, dedicated to the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary. Visit the Museum with the exhibition: Fatima- Light and Peace. Continue with a visit to the Holy Trinity Basilica. After lunch, we pray the Stations of the Cross along the Via Sacra. The “Sacred Way” marks the path taken by the shepherd children of Fatima to their first apparition with Our Lady. It is composed of fifteen small chapels in commemoration of the Passion of Our Lord. The day ends with a visit to Valinhos, the site of Our Lady’s August 1917 apparition, and the first and third apparition of the Angel. Mass will be celebrated. Our night will conclude with private devotions, and a candlelight procession, requested by Our Lady (1917). Enjoy dinner and a comfortable night’s rest in Fatima. (B.L.D.)

DAY 5, Sunday, October 17: FATIMA - COIMBRA - PORTO - CRUISE EMBARKATION

Following Mass and time for shopping in Fatima we drive to the University city of Coimbra to see the Convent where St. Lucia lived most of her life and where we see the incorrupt body of St. Isabel. Arriving Porto, the capital of the wine-making region of Portugal known for its Port wine we embark on our ship Amalia Rodrigues, our home for the next seven nights. Settle into our comfortable cabins before we meet for orientation and welcome cocktails in the lounge. Dinner and overnight on the ship. (B.L.D)

DAY 6, Monday, October 18: PORTO - AFTERNOON RETREAT ON THE SHIP

Porto built on staggered hills along the river, invites you to stroll through its labyrinthine streets and stairways, medieval alleys, Baroque churches, fountains, and bell towers, Beaux-Arts buildings, and bohemian neighborhoods. Our walking tour includes the town’s historic center and the Ribeira, the riverfront district. It’s hard to take a bad picture in Porto, where houses are clad in painted tiles and fascinating, eclectic architecture awaits us around every corner. Since the 18th century, when Portuguese vintners created a sweet fortified wine – now famous as Port – that could make the long sea voyage
to Britain without spoiling, the Douro Valley has been the only supplier of Port to the world, and the oldest demarcated wine region. We visit a local port making facility before returning to the ship for lunch and an afternoon retreat with Dr. Marcellino and our spiritual directors. Mass will be celebrated. Dinner and overnight on the ship. (B.L.D.)

DAY 7, Tuesday, October 19: PORTO - BARGA - BOM JESUS

We disembark from the ship to make our way by bus to the city of Braga, where we celebrate Mass at the spectacular Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sameiro (Santuario de Nossa Senhora do Sameiro), the country’s second-largest shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Our visit continues with the exploration of the Shrine of Good Jesus of the Mountain (Santuário Bom Jesús do Monte), a magnificent hilltop shrine surrounded by a lush forest. We explore the grounds, perhaps walking all the way up the Baroque double stairway to the top (381 feet) or taking the funicular which dates back to the end of the 19th century. Time permitting we visit the Sanctuary of Blessed Alexandrina in Balasar. This mystic and victim soul was beatified by Pope St John Paul II in 2004. Lunch is included today in Bom Jesus. Return to the ship for dinner and overnight. (B.L.D)

DAY 8, Wednesday, October 20: PESO DE REGUA AND PINHAO

Dock in the historic town of Peso da Régua, once a busy hub where wooden boats called rabelos, laden with barrels of Port, sailed downriver to Vila Nova de Gaia. We celebrate Mass in the local church and visit the Muesu do Douro, housed in a renovated 18th-century mansion, multimedia exhibits offer a history of viniculture in the Douro Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This afternoon, sail to the idyllic, tranquil village of Pinhão, nestled at a dramatic bend in the river; We visit its early-20th century train station, adorned with blue-painted tiles (azulejos), and explore the village of Pinhão which sits along a scenic bend in the Douro River and serves as the epicenter of the valley’s port winemaking region. Pinhão is known as the gateway to the valley’s Quintas (vineyards) and large wine estates. We have the opportunity to visit the Quinta do Seixo estate, located just outside of Pinhão. This 100-acre estate is one of the most traditional and renowned wine-producers in the region. The views from their terrace of the valley below will leave you speechless! Return to the ship for dinner and overnight. (B.L.D.)

DAY 9, Thursday, October 21: FULL DAY SAILING ALONG THE DOURO TO VEGA DE TERRON

The Douro River Valley and its unique landscapes of terraced mountains, villages, and wine estates unfold today on a full day’s sail to the small Spanish port town of Vega de Terron, where the Douro forms the border between Spain and Portugal. The landscape, at a confluence of rivers, is tranquil, beautiful, and unspoiled, at the edge of Douro International Natural Park. Mass will be celebrated on the ship. Dinner and overnight on the ship. (B.L.D.)

DAY 10, Friday, October 22: SALAMANCA

Today we journey to Salamanca, Spain’s oldest college town. We quickly forget about the lengthy border-crossing ride when we arrive in La Dorada (The Golden City), which gets its nickname from the beautiful glow of the sandstone structures. Europe’s oldest (and possibly one of the most beautiful) universities, dating back to 1134, sits in the heart of Salamanca, along with the city’s main square (Plaza Mayor), two Cathedrals, the House of Shells, and a multitude of Medieval, Gothic, and Baroque buildings. Despite the seemingly large size of the city, it feels like a small Spanish village. We celebrate Mass at the magnificent Cathedral. During our visit, don’t miss the opportunity to sample freshly made churros served with thick hot chocolate at Valor! Lunch is on our own today. We return to the ship for dinner and overnight. (B.D.)

DAY 11, Saturday, October 23: PINHAO and MATEUS PALACE

This morning we drive to the picturesque Lamego, home to one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Portugal, the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies). There are more than 600 steps to ascend to the top – but fortunately, we are starting at the top and walking down! It is still a very memorable experience. To think that the pilgrims who visit here actually go up on their knees… We celebrate Mass at the Shrine, see Lamego’s Se, and explore the lovely town before returning to explore Pinhão. In the afternoon we sail to Vila Real for a visit to 18th-century Mateus Palace, a lavish Baroque residence designed by Nicolau Nasoni, now a museum with period furnishings and artwork, a heraldic hall, beautiful formal gardens, a winery, and a chapel with tombs and reliquaries. Tonight we enjoy the Captain’s dinner party and local entertainment. Overnight on the ship. (B.L.D.)

DAY 12, Sunday, October 24: DISEMBARKATION IN PORTO

This morning we disembark in Porto and are transferred to the airport for our flight home. (B)

Optional Extension to Santiago de Compostela

 


DAY 12, Sunday, October 24: SPANISH FOOD AND WINE - PONTEVEDRA - SANTGIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

We disembark from our ship in Porto and drive across the border from Portugal to Spain to Pontevedra the largest Marian Shrine in the country, where we celebrate Mass. We learned about Portuguese wines during our cruise but today we have a taste of Spanish food and wine. In Combados we visit a Spanish winery and enjoy tasting Albarino wine with lunch. We arrive at O Grove for a boat ride along the Ria de Arousa to learn about the mussels production which this area is known for. Our final stop for the day is the famous city of Santiago, where all pilgrimage roads lead. Dinner and overnight in Santiago. (B.Special lunch. D.)

DAY 13, Monday, October 25: WALKING THE CAMINO - SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

This morning choose to join pilgrims from all over the world in walking the last few miles of the El Camino ( 11 Km approximately, 2-3 hours walking time) or you may choose to visit a local monastery garden that this area is famous for. Both groups will congregate at the Monte del Gozo from which the spires of the magnificent Cathedral of St. James are visible. Formed by Galician granite, this Cathedral is one of the finest architectural examples in Europe as it encompasses Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque styles. The Cathedral* contains numerous, valuable pieces of art that truly captivate the eye. It is traditional to hug the statue of St. James upon entering the Cathedral. Our private guided walking tour takes us into the crypt where the relics of the Patron Saint of Pilgrims’ are kept. We celebrate Mass before our farewell dinner tonight at the Catholic Pilgrimage House across the street from the Cathedral. Overnight in Santiago. (B. Special dinner)

*Cathedral of St. James is under renovation and some portions may not be accessible

DAY 14, Tuesday, October 26: RETURN TO THE USA

After breakfast, we are transferred to the airport for our flight home. (B.)

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