EXPO CRUISES AND TOURS
Duration: September 8, 2019 - September 26, 2019

A 19-Day first class package consisting of a 11-day coach tour followed
by an 8-day luxury river cruise/tour of the Bordeaux region, France

Come join us as we celebrate our 20th Anniversary on a land tour adventure from Porto, Portugal exploring Northern Spain’s Galicia and Basque regions for its unique, architecture, culture, and food.  As we continue towards France, we will cruise the famous region of Bordeaux on a luxury river cruise.  It is followed by a stay in the Loire Valley known for its great wines, gastronomy, and spectacular chateaus as we conclude our celebration in Paris.  Three options are available ranging up to a total of 25 days in length.  This is a great value event to celebrate our anniversary with our repeat and new clients.  Reserve your space soon to avoid disappointment as space is limited in various categories on this unique adventure!

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Day 1 — Sunday, September 8                                                   CANADA – PORTO, PORTUGAL
Meet your fellow travellers at the departure gate in Toronto airport for our flight to Porto.

Day 2 — Monday, September 9                                                 PORTO, PORTUGAL
Welcome to Portugal!  Upon arrival, you will be met by our local representative and be transferred to our hotel.  Picturesque Porto is much more than just a place of pilgrimage for port wine lovers – although this unique industry is among the many attractions of Portugal’s second city.  Straddling the River Douro just a few kilometers inland from the Atlantic, Porto, in the country’s northwest, is closer to Spanish Galicia than it is to Lisbon.  Porto possesses an appealing pan-Iberian atmosphere to complement its many historic charms; the old city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  The city centre is architecturally fascinating, many of the buildings faced with distinctive blue-patterned Portuguese tiling.  Porto’s undoubted traditional appeal is balanced by the trappings of a lively modern European city, making it an ideal destination if you’re looking for a rich mix of culture.  Our historic hotel is in the centre of Porto.   Dinner will be served at our hotel.   Accommodation: HOTEL NH COLLECTION PORTO BATALHA or similar (2 nights).  (D)    

Day 3 – Tuesday, September 10                                                 PORTO, PORTUGAL
Breakfast at our hotel.  This morning, enjoy your half day tour of Porto which includes wine tasting major sights including the city centre – a UNESCO World Heritage – the Cathedral, São Bento Train Station and the Lello library.  Porto is the Capital of North Portugal.  It has one of the most remarkable historic centres across Europe.  From the Cathedral to the Port Wine cellar, everything makes this journey memorable in an environment rich in history, tradition, and culture.  We will end our tour in a Port wine cellar where you will visit and enjoy a wine tasting.  After the tour, you will return to our hotel.  Tonight, we have our special Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.  (B/D)  

Day 4 – Wednesday, September 11                                          PORTO – SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, SPAIN
Breakfast at our hotel.  We depart this morning to Santiago de Compostela visiting the city of Vigo en route.  Vigo is a good combination of a bay “with which, in many respects, none other in the world can compare” (G. Borrow) and maritime industrial infrastructure (shipyards, canneries, fishing port, etc.) which explains the rapid growth of this city since the end of the 19th Century.  Today it is the most populous city of Galicia.  It still has the small old sailing quarter of O Berbés.  Castrelos Park, surely the most beautiful municipal park in all Galicia, is home of the Quiñones de León Manor Museum, now the city museum.    The city of Vigo began its modern development from the last decades of the 19th-century onwards.  However, this has not prevented it from being a historic, monumental city such as the Celtic Castro which was the city’s origin, Galicia’s largest Roman necropolis, the Romanesque temples and O Castro’s mediaeval fortress.  The Neo-classical Collegiate of Santa María and the urban centre with its harmonious combination of quiet streets and broad avenues, all deserve a mention.  After lunch continue to Santiago de Compostela to our hotel.  Santiago de Compostela is the capital of northwest Spain’s Galicia region.  It’s known as the culmination of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, and the alleged burial site of the Biblical apostle St. James.  His remains reputedly lie within the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela, consecrated in 1211, whose elaborately carved stone facades open onto grand plazas within the medieval walls of the old town.  Our historic hotel is in the centre of Santiago de Compostela. Accommodation: HOTEL COMPOSTELA or similar (2 nights).   (B/L)

Day 5 – Thursday, September 12                                               SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, SPAIN
Breakfast at our hotel.  Today you will walk through the narrow streets of Santiago de Compostela.  Our tour of the city includes the most important monuments including St. James Cathedral – the city’s crowning glory and considered one of the world’s finest examples of Romanesque architecture.  Legend has it that the remains of the apostle St. James were found here, and when he was declared the patron saint of Spain, pilgrims travelled from all over Europe to visit his shrine.   This walking tour will lead you through an extraordinary ensemble of distinguished monuments grouped around the tomb of St James the Greater, including charming chapels, magnificent monasteries or splendid urban palaces. With its meandering medieval street plan and aging buildings there is the impression of timelessness in Santiago, each stone reflects the history of the city in perfect harmony.  This magical city boasts a wealth of more secular architectural treasures such as the different squares that surrounds the impressive Cathedral.  Tonight, dinner will be served at our hotel.   (B/D)

Day 6 – Friday, September 13                                                      SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA – OVIEDO, SPAIN
Breakfast at our hotel. Morning departure to Oviedo visiting Luarca en-route.  Luarca is a truly stunning fishing village on the north-western coast of Asturias.  It is easily reached from Lugo (Galicia) and has one of the most attractive harbours in all of Spain.  The best way to view Luarca is from the hills above the town, or from the picturesque and multi-tiered cemetery on the slopes above from which you can also look out to the open sea.  Luarca’s harbour is almost rectangular when viewed from over head and two sides are overlooked by neat terraces of three and four storey buildings. Nearly every harbour facing building in this quaint little town has a white rendered facade and a grey pan tiled roof and this gives Luarca an appearance that, whilst “old world”, is still ordered and tidy.  After our lunch at a local restaurant, continue to Oviedo to our hotel.  Oviedo is a town in northwest Spain between the Cantabrian Mountains and the Bay of Biscay.  The capital of Asturias is known for its medieval old town and the site of the Gothic Oviedo Cathedral with its 9th-century Holy Chamber.  The Archaeological Museum of Asturias, in a nearby convent, displays regional artifacts.  The Fine Arts Museum of Asturias includes 2 palaces and has an expansive Spanish art collection.   Accommodation: HOTEL AYRE OVIEDO or similar (2 nights).  (B/L)

Day 7 – Saturday, September 14                                                OVIEDO, SPAIN
Breakfast at our hotel.  This morning we enjoy a walking tour visiting the old pedestrian quarter of Oviedo to see the squares and chigres (cider bars) before we proceed to Leon, capital of the old Spanish Kingdom of Castile, where we visit the town’s main attraction – the Gothic Cathedral with its famous and spectacular stained-glass window.  The afternoon is at your leisure.  Tonight, our dinner will be served at our hotel.  (B/D)

Day 8 – Sunday, September 15                                                   OVIEDO – SANTANDER, SPAIN
Breakfast at our hotel.  Depart to Santander visiting Santillana del Mar en-route.  Situated on the northern route of the Pilgrim’s Road to Santiago de Compostela, Santillana del Mar is a beautiful medieval town which was developed around the collegiate church of Santa María. Its various defence towers and Renaissance palaces make Santillana one of the most important historical areas of Cantabria.  The centre of this village, declared a National Monument, continues to contain the collegiate church, considered one of the best examples of Romanesque architecture in Cantabria. Built on the site of a former hermitage in the XII century, you can admire its cloister with magnificent decorated capitals, as well as its interesting façade decorated with sculptures and Panthocrator (a representation of Christ framed in an almond shaped structure).  Through the calle de Santo Domingo, the main street in Santillana, you reach an historic quarter which has managed to survive the passage of time in an excellent state of conservation. Its picturesque cobbled streets are lined with stately buildings most of which were built between the XIV and XVII centuries.  After lunch continue to Santander to our hotel.  Santander is the capital city of the Cantabria region on Spain’s north coast. The Palacio de la Magdalena, once the royal summer residence, lies at the mouth of the Bay of Santander on the rocky La Magdalena Peninsula.  To the west, the city center is home to the Cathedral de Santander, with its octagonal cupola and Gothic cloister. Nearby, the Paseo de Pereda promenade runs along one side of the Jardines de Pereda gardens.   Accommodation: HOTEL GRAN SARDINERO or similar (2 nights).   (B/L)

Day 9 – Monday, September 16                                                 SANTANDER, SPAIN
Breakfast at our hotel. This morning we start our city tour where we see the Palacio de la Magdalena, once the royal summer residence, which lies at the mouth of the Bay of Santander on the rocky La Magdalena Peninsula.   We will have time to enjoy the charming Paseo de Pereda promenade and Jardines de Pereda gardens before returning to the hotel.  Afternoon at leisure and dinner at our hotel.   (B/D)

Day 10 – Tuesday, September 17                                               SANTANDER – SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN
Breakfast at our hotel. Departure to San Sebastian visiting Bilbao en-route.  Bilbao, an industrial port city in northern Spain, is surrounded by green mountains. It’s the de facto capital of Basque Country, with a skyscraper-filled downtown.  It’s famed for the Frank Gehry–designed Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, which sparked revitalization when it opened in 1997. The museum houses prominent modern and contemporary works, but it’s the curvy, titanium-clad building that receives the most attention.  Today we enjoy a walking tour of the Old Quarter to discover the city’s most impressive buildings; the Church of san Nicolas (patron saint of sailors), Santiago Cathedral, the Teatro Arriaga, the Mercado de la Ribera (the largest covered market in Europe) and the Plaza Nueva, built in the neoclassical style.  We then visit the famous Guggenheim Museum, to marvel at the building itself and enjoy the masterpieces of modern and contemporary art housed within.  After our lunch we will continue to San Sebastian for accommodation.  San Sebastián is a resort town on the Bay of Biscay in Spain’s mountainous Basque Country.  It’s known for Playa de la Concha and Playa de Ondarreta, beaches framed by a picturesque Bayfront promenade, and world-renowned restaurants helmed by innovative chefs.  In its cobblestoned old town (Parte Vieja), upscale shops neighbor vibrant pintxo bars pairing local wines with bite-size regional specialties.   Accommodation: HOTEL SAN SEBASTIAN or similar (2 nights).   (B/L)

Day 11 – Wednesday, September 18                                       SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN
Breakfast at our hotel.  Today you will visit Pamplona.  Pamplona is the capital of Navarre province in northern Spain.  It’s best known for the Running of the Bulls (Feast of San Fermín) in July.  During this legendary multiday festival, bulls are led through the city streets by daredevil runners.  A major stop along the Camino de Santiago, a medieval-era pilgrimage route, Pamplona is also home to Gothic-style churches including a fortress like San Nicolás.  We visit the city that Ernest Hemingway fell in love with, and who’s writing about the town’s beauty and people gave it world-wide recognition.  Rich in history and deep-rooted traditions, unique churches and medieval walls dominate the streets and squares of its historic quarter.  We will stroll along the pilgrimage path of St. James Way and see the dramatic Gothic-style Cathedral.  Lunch will be at a local restaurant before we return to our hotel.  (B/L)

Day 12 – Thursday, September 19, 2019                                 SAN SEBASTIAN – BORDEAUX, FRANCE
Breakfast at our hotel. Morning departure for Bordeaux.  En-route, you will visit Biarritz, an elegant seaside town on southwestern France’s Basque coast, has been a popular resort since European royalty began visiting in the 1800s.  It’s also a major surfing destination, with long sandy beaches and surf schools.  A symbol of Biarritz, the Rocher de la Vierge is a rocky outcrop topped with a statue of the Virgin Mary.  Reached via footbridge, it offers sweeping views of the Bay of Biscay.  Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before we continue to Bordeaux where you will board your luxury river boat.  Accommodation: AMADolce for 7 nights with AMA Waterways.  (B/L/D)

Start from Bordeaux, one of the world’s undisputed wine regions. Iconic châteaux, timeless vineyards and delicious wine tastings are plentiful as you visit Cadillac, Pauillac, Saint-Émilion and Libourne.  Be treated to an exclusive experience in Bourg, featuring live French music, dancing, wine and hors d’oeuvres. This trip is a must for anyone interested in the best of French culture, lifestyle, wine, and food.  You will enjoy an extensive lineup of included tours. In many cases, you will have a choice of excursions, such as standard tours, bike tours, hikes, and Special Interest Tours. We always include a large variety of activities so that you can choose how you want to explore.  No matter your preference, your days will be full of discovery and wonder.

Day 13 – Friday, September 20                                                   CADILLAC, FRANCE
Visit the impressive Castle of Roquetaillade, an amazingly preserved masterpiece of medieval military architecture owned by the same noble family for 700 years. Afterwards, travel to the Sauternes wine region to either Château de Rayne Vigneau or Château Guiraud to taste the highly prized golden-hued sweet wines produced here.  (B/L/D)

Day 14 – Saturday, September 21                                              PAUILLAC, FRANCE
Pauillac, a lovely village on the Left Bank of the Gironde Estuary, is the gateway to the famed Médoc region renowned for producing some of the world’s finest Bordeaux wines.  You will see some of the most beautiful and famous wine estates, including Château Latour, Château Mouton Rothschild, Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Pichon Longueville.  You’ll then visit either Château Gruaud Larose or Château Léoville Poyferré for a tasting of Grand Cru wines.   (B/L/D)

Day 15 – Sunday, September 22                                                 BLAYE, FRANCE
Once in Blaye, you can join a tour of its 17th-century citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  For a more active excursion, take a bike ride from Blaye through the idyllic French countryside. Alternatively, visit a prehistoric cave, Pair non Pair, offering one of the best examples of art made by prehistoric man.  During the afternoon, you can cruise to Bourg or join a bike tour along Santiago’s path – a famous pilgrimage route—to Bourg. While in the ancient village of Bourg, visit the Carriage Museum, which houses a wonderful collection of horse-drawn vehicles and then explore the underground passageways that lead you to the immense oil tanks from the Second World War. Later in the day, experience the hospitality of this charming medieval village with an exclusive wine festival complete with live French music, dancing, wine and hors d’oeuvres.  (B/L/D)

Day 16 – Monday, September 23                                               LIBOURNE, FRANCE
Libourne provides a gateway to one of Bordeaux’s most elite wine regions, Saint-Émilion, known for its picturesque architecture, monuments, and celebrated vineyards.  Join an excursion to historic Saint Émilion, and while here, explore the monolithic church carved out of one piece of limestone rock, and then go under the church to discover its catacombs and caves.  Afterwards, enjoy a wine tasting at either Château de Ferrand or Château de Pressac.  Prefer a more active adventure, pedal through the vineyard-rich countryside to Saint-Émilion and then to Château Soutard for a Grand Cru Classé wine tasting.   (B/L/D)

Day 17 – Tuesday, September 24                                               LIBOURNE, FRANCE
Tour the magnificent Château Vayres, one of the most prestigious historic buildings of Aquitaine, or spend time discovering the Bastide town of Libourne and then stroll through its colorful open-air market tasting some of the region’s specialties. For a more active exploration of the countryside, enjoy a hike followed by a wine tasting.  Later in the day, you can visit Fronsac, where you can taste some of the regional wines at a grand wine cellar; or if you missed the countryside hike in the morning, you can do it in the afternoon, followed by a wine tasting.  (B/L/D)

Day 18 – Wednesday, September 25                                       BORDEAUX, FRANCE
The breathtaking capital of the wine world, Bordeaux is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and classified as a “City of Art and History.”  You’ll have an opportunity to experience much of the rich culture and architecture on a city tour followed by a visit to the Bordeaux Wine Museum, housed in an awe-inspiring building.  Bike enthusiasts will wish to join a tour along the city’s amazing network of bicycle paths.  (B/L/D)

Day 19 – Wednesday, September 26, 2019                            BORDEAUX – CANADA
Enjoy your breakfast aboard the river AMADolce before we will transfer to the airport for your homebound flight.  (B)

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All prices are in Canadian dollars (per person) and include:

Return airfare from TORONTO, please note airfare is estimated and is subject to change upon final confirmation.
10 Nights in first class hotel accommodation.   
Full buffet breakfast daily at each hotel.     
6 Lunches and 5 Dinners on our land tour with wine.   
Locally guided tours as per our detailed itinerary.   
Individual Quiet Vox Boxes.        
All gratuities for local guides/drivers services.   
Fully Hosted by Expo Cruises & Tours.       

8 Day luxury river cruise aboard AMADolce.
All your meals during your river cruise.
Wine, beer, soft drinks with lunch and dinner.
Guided shore excursions during the cruise.
Unlimited bottled water during your cruise.
All gratuities for the shipboard crew.
All taxes/fees and surcharges.

 

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DOUBLE OCCUPANCY FARES:                                                    SINGLE OCCUPANCY FARES:                               
Outside Category “E”               $10,995 (Waitlisted)                    Outside Category “E”                    $13,995 (Waitlisted)
Outside Category “D”               $11,295                                        Outside Category “D”                    $14,495
French Balcony Cat. “C”          $11,895                                        French Balcony Cat. “C”                $15,495
French Balcony Cat. “B”          $12,195                                        French Balcony Cat. “B”                $15,795
French Balcony Cat. “A”          $12,295                                        French Balcony Cat. “A”                $15,995
French Balcony “Suite”            $13,995 (Waitlisted)

Initial deposit of $1,700 per person is required to secure your space.  Final payment is due by:  MAY 9, 2019.
Please note a cancellation fee of $500 per person will apply for any cancellation prior to the final payment.
Save an additional 2% if you deposit and pay for your package by cheque.
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MAKE A 25-DAY GRAND VOYAGE! – September 8 to October 1, 2019
Join us in Porto, Portugal and enjoy this adventure with us all the way to Paris, France.  Please add $2,995
per person based on double occupancy and $4,195 single occupancy to the above pricing for the ultimate adventure.

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An AMA Waterways river cruise is about more than the destination – it’s the journey.

SPACIOUS STATEROOMS

  • 7 nights luxury accommodation in an outside stateroom (most with French balconies)
  • Computer for internet access
  • Entertainment-On-Demand in all staterooms featuring free high-speed internet access, movies, a music library, and TV stations
  • Desk and sitting area

AN ARRAY OF AMENITIES

  • Personalized service from a highly trained Cruise Manager during both cruise and land programs
  • Internet and Wi-Fi access
  • Sun deck whirlpool and walking track
  • Fitness room, massage services and hair
  • Main Lounge with panoramic views and bar
  • Daily entertainment including cultural performances

AWARD-WINNING DINING

  • All onboard dining in a variety of venues
  • Regionally inspired cuisine
  • The Chef’s Table specialty restaurant
  • Welcome Cocktail, Welcome Dinner, La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Dinner, Captain’s Cocktail and Gala Dinner
  • La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs exclusive dining experience
  • Unlimited fine wines, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • Sparkling wine and fresh juice with breakfast
  • Sip & Sail Daily Cocktail Hour with complimentary wine, beer, and spirits
  • Tapas, sandwiches, snacks, and refreshments served daily in the Main Lounge
  • Bottled water replenished daily

A WORLD OF EXPLORATION

  • Immersive tours in every destination
  • Gentle, regular, active, and late-riser tour options
  • Bike tours and hikes
  • Special Interest Tours
  • Knowledgeable guides
  • Personal headset for easy exploration

 

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