Our hosts often choose to offer MillenniuM Travel crafted excursions to their group to enhance their cruise experience. Our excursions focus on the region’s culture paired to it’s unique culinary and wine flavors. Guests will receive a formal invitation on excursions that their hosts select after their reservation has been made. These excursions are exclusive only to our small groups, they are not available through the cruise lines. All excursions are optional and are offered at an additional fee. Advance reservation and prepayment is required and pricing is subject to change based on the final number of guests. Minimum number of guests required for tours to operate.
Lisbon / Sintra Pre or Post Private Extension
Sintra’s fairy tale architecture and castles make for a stunning place to end your cruise. In these few days you will enjoy glimpse of Portugal – Coimbra, an ancient city, was the capital of Portugal in the 12th and 13th centuries, resulting in unusual street layouts, architecture and historical sites in addition to being the home of an important university; the seaside resort of Aveiro, the Bussaco Forest where gigantic trees and gardens decorate the landscape and we have added a visit to charming Tomar and its Knights of the Templars Castle, and Obidos, a tiny village unlike another.
DAYS 1-3, 2 nights at the Hotel Palacio de Seteais prepaid inclusive of Portuguese breakfast daily, service and taxes
More than just a five-star hotel, this is a luxurious and romantic palace taking us back to the elegance and architecture of the XVIII century. It offers spectacular views of the Moorish Castle and Pena Palace, magnificent surroundings of lush gardens and spectacular scenery. The beautifully decorated rooms with extraordinary furnishings make this hotel something quite unique and unforgettable. Your sumptuously decorated rooms are in keeping with the grandeur of the Palacio, yet complemented with modern amenities including air conditioning, satellite TV, internet connectivity, and Nespresso Coffee machine. The bathroom features a ‘rain effect’ shower and its own mini-bar of toiletries and bathrobes.
DAY 2, Touring Sintra
With richly hued palaces, mist-covered forests and the ruins of a craggy Moorish castle overlooking a sleepy village, Sintra is like a page torn from a fairy tale. Not surprisingly, it’s long been a favorite with ours. The Portuguese Royals summered here, as did the Moors before them, and it was one of the few places Lord Byron liked, inspiring his travel epic. In addition to its bizarre and beautiful palaces, mansions and finely manicured gardens, Sintra boasts a historic center that’s listed as a Unesco World Heritage site. The early Iberians made it a site of cult worship; the Moors built the castle; the Middle Ages brought monasteries; the nobility bolted here after the 1755 earthquake; then, in the 19th century, it became one of the first centers of European romantic architecture. (B)
DAY 3 ~ Sintra ~ Alcobaça ~ Tomar ~ Coímbra
10:00am – 500pm: After a wonderful breakfast and check out, we meet our driver in the hotel lobby (with your luggage) to board our private mini-bus for a full day sightseeing tour of the countryside. We will meet our guide at the Alcobaco Monastery, a UNESCO site founded by the first Portuguese King, Afonso Henriques. We continue to Tomar. In itself, Tomar is a town of great charm, with cobbled streets, whitewashed houses, fine squares and an invitingly leafy riverfront. In addition, the town abuts the lush Mata Nacional dos Sete Montes (Seven Hills National Forest), and the neighboring countryside is alongside the Castelo de Bode reservoir. But what makes Tomar extraordinary – and an inextricable part of Portuguese history – is the Convento de Cristo, the hilltop headquarters of the legendary Knights Templar. A Unesco World Heritage site, this castle-cum-monastery is a rambling ccoction of Gothic, Manueline and Renaissance architecture that offers extravagant proof of the vital role the Templars played in the foundation of the Portuguese kingdom. We’ll leave free time for lunch before continuing to Coimbra to check-in at the Relais & Chateaux Hotel Quinta das Lagrimas for two nights. This hotel has soul and character. For centuries a private sanctuary that welcomed Kings and Emperors, it now honors Portugal’s rich traditions of hospitality and gastronomy. (B) Evening Free.
Hotel Quinta das Lagrimas, DAYS 3-5: 2 nights in a Palace Room, prepaid Inclusive of Portuguese breakfast daily, service & taxes
DAY 4 ~ Coímbra ~ Aveiro ~ Bussaco
10:00am – 5pm: After enjoying breakfast, our guide will meet in the lobby for a half-day walking tour of the medieval city of Coímbra, the University library and the Coímbra Ruins. Coímbra is one of Portugal’s best preserved and restored Roman Sites. Archaeologists believe that it was settled long before the arrival of the Romans, around 100 A.D. We’ll rejoin our driver to Aveiro, the Portuguese Venice, for free time to wander and sample the local seafood. Then we continue to Bussaco Forest and a stop at the Bussaco Palace Hotel to view the maze of gardens, dating from the 1600s and designed to represent an Earthly Paradise. Perhaps time for a glass of port before returning to our Relais & Chateaux Hotel at the end of the day? (B)
DAY 5~ Coímbra ~ Obídos ~ Lisbon ~ Silver Explorer
10:00am – 2pm: After a leisurely breakfast and hotel check-out we’ll head to the ship in Lisbon, but first we’ll stop in Obidos, one of Europe’s most romantic medieval villages, with picturesque cobblestone streets lined with colorful houses filled with geraniums and bougainvillea, Gothic doorways and windows, white-washed churches, flower pots and dazzling tiles — all encircled by the walls of a 12th century castle.
2:30pm Afternoon arrival in the port of Lisbon to board the cruise ship and continue our memorable adventure.