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The Douro Valley Tour

November 1, 2021

8 Days | 7 Cities | 2 Countries

MS Vasco da Gama

Overview

Teeming River Cruises invites you to begin your Douro Valley Tour on the slopes above the Douro River estuary – Porto. Known as a historic mercantile city with a rich and varied heritage and an Old-World atmosphere, lined with its medieval walls, gleaming Baroque churches and famous Port wine cellars, it is an arresting destination of choice for the adventurous traveler.

Traveling the Douro, MS Vasco da Gama finds itself positioned on the Portuguese border at the confluence of the rivers Douro and Águeda, the small Spanish port town of Vega de Terron. A charming settlement across from the beautiful Douro International Nature Park. Its quiet streets and lush landscapes remain beautifully unspoiled and give travelers an authentic taste of western Spanish life. Wind along and be encircled by terraced hillsides that produce some of the world’s best port wine! To continue on, explore the prominent 11th-century city of Salamanca which boasts ornate sandstone architecture, and the world-renowned Universidad de Salamanca.

Your Douro Valley Tour comes to an end where it all began, the perfect place to explore or simply relax before heading off back home…or wherever your travels may take you!

Most photos below were taken by Jeff & Gina on this very itinerary.

Itinerary

Date
Port
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Arrival: Check In 5 PM Ship Repositioning 8 PM to Marina de Afurada
Depart: Overnight

On the slopes above the Douro River estuary, Porto is a historic mercantile city with a rich and varied heritage and an Old-World atmosphere. Porto put ‘Portu’ into Portugal dating back to early 800 AD. With its medieval walls, gleaming Baroque churches, and famous Port wine cellars, it is an arresting destination of choice for the adventurous traveler. Don’t let the cobblestone streets and compact layout of this city fool you, it is easy to navigate these streets by bike or foot! Wander your way through the Batalha district, where centuries’ worth of architecture is bundled into one structure.

Experience Jeff & Gina’s favorite port “shipper” tour- Taylor’s

After dinner take in the arresting views of the Douro from a stroll across the Dom Luís I Bridge, which is renowned for being designed by a student of Gustave Eiffel, the mastermind behind the Eiffel Tower. Climb up the 225 steps of Clérigos Tower to access a 360-degree view of the city. Keep an eye out for the red-tiled warehouses where large amounts of port wine are blended and stored! Sip and saunter through Vila Nova de Gaia to taste the region’s famed port wine at its finest wine lodges.

Quebrantoes Dock – Vila Nova de Gaia

Click for printable pdf map – boarding-porto-docking-douro-cruise-croisieurope

Take the direction of Vila Nova de Gaia (the “twin” city of Porto, located on the other side of the Douro river). At the Vila Nova de Gaia, take the Avenida da republica (the main street) in direction of the river. Just before the river, take the street “rua de Camos” on the right. Once you got to the traffic circle, follow “Quebrantoes Deck” to access the boat directly. The deck is under the Sao Joao railway bridge.

The ship will be repositioning to Marina de Afurada. Details of location and time will be given on board.

For a good Porto, site click here. The last day of the cruise is spent in Porto so you will have a full day at the end of the cruise.

GPS Coordinates

Rua Manuel Pinto de Lima 41.137314 – 8.596249

Arrival: Overnight
Depart: 10:45 AM

Stroll down the narrow streets and drink in the liveliness of the UNESCO World Heritage Ribeira District, one of the most authentic and picturesque parts of the city in the heart of the Old Town. Pop into shops that line the way and discover traditional restaurants where you can dine facing the river and might catch a glimpse of a Rabelo ((traditional Portuguese wooden cargo boat) along the banks of the Douro.

From the Villa Nova de Gaia Quay, facing Porto from across the Douro river and the famous Dom Luis I Bridge, built between 1881 and 1886 by Fren engineer Theophile Seyrig, one of Gustave Eiffel’s pupils, take a Taxi or walk over this wonderful bridge for incredible views of Porto.
Its historical center was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. Discover The Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Building), built-in 1834 by the city’s Commercial Association. It has remained their headquarters to this day.  Climb up the beautiful granite and marble stairway, visit the former Tribunal Room, the Golden Room, and the Arab Room, decorated in the exotic Moorish Revival style. Afterward, visit the Igreja de São Francisco (Church of Saint Francis), also known as the “Golden Church”. It was originally a modest convent founded by Franciscan monks in the 12th century, before being further altered by prominent Porto families in the 15th and 16th centuries. They were responsible for the Baroque style interior which mingles with the large, elaborate rose window in Gothic style on the main façade in a fascinating mixture of styles reflecting the various eras it went through.
Cross the Dom Luis I Bridge again back to Villa Nova de Gaia for the visit of a wine cellar. Porto’s pride notably stems from its famous wine known the world over, which you should get a taste of.

The afternoon will be spent sailing arriving in Regua around 6:30 PM.

Arrival: 06:30 PM
Depart: Overnight

Régua played a fundamental role in the production and sale of Port wine since it was from its waters that the barrels were transported in the special boats known as barcos rabelos to Vila Nova de Gaia, where the wine was left to age in the local wine lodges. In this small river port, vines are grown on terraced slopes leading down to the river, providing spectacular views. If you want to get a feel for the culture and identity of the Douro wine region, visit the Museu do Douro, a museum housed in the fully restored and adapted Casa da Companhia Velha, an 18th-century manor house that is emblematic of the history of the world’s oldest demarcated and regulated wine region. It showcases a wealth of artifacts and engaging displays recounting the history of wine production in the Douro Valley.

Arrival: Overnight
Depart: 10:15 AM

Encircled by terraced hillsides that produce some of the world’s best port wine, Pinhão is considered to be the geographical center of the Douro demarcated wine region. It boasts some of the most beautiful views in Portugal and is home to the historic Pinhão Train Station, famous for its gorgeous blue and white Azulejo tiles that depict Duoro Valley scenes related to port production.

Optional excursion to Vila Real and Mateus Palace – Price $59 per person. (Note: Ship will be sailing during this excursion. This excursion is your best bet!)
We’ll leave from Regua at 8:30-9:00 AM am for Vila Real, where aristocrats built grand palaces during the 16th and 18th centuries. The architecture of the religious buildings is here extremely varied. We’ll take a panoramic tour of the city by coach, followed by a tasting of the local pastry, Cristas de Galo.
We’ll then set out to explore Mateus Palace, the most beautiful and astonishing manor in all of Northern Portugal. This 18th-century beauty is set in a hilly landscape reminding us of Mexico. The subtle mixture of granite, white walls, and extravagance from the Age of Enlightenment such as ledges covered in statues and Baroque style pilasters is a striking feature. Behind the manor is a delightful garden with box hedges, more statues, and a spectacular 115-foot cedar tunnel. After our tour, we’ll return to our ship in Pinhão.

The afternoon will be spent sailing. Enjoy an evening of Flamenco entertainment. Arrival at Vega de Terron 8:00 pm.

Arrival: 8:00 PM
Depart: Overnight

Positioned on the Portuguese border at the confluence of the rivers Douro and Águeda, the small Spanish port town of Vega de Terron is a charming settlement across from the beautiful Douro International Nature Park. Its quiet streets and lush landscapes remain beautifully unspoiled and give travelers an authentic taste of western Spanish life.

Vega de Terron, Portugal is the farthest east we can travel and this is our jumping-off point to take transportation to Salamanca, Spain. When we dock here we are about 2km from the Spanish border. By the time we reach this small town, most everything will be closed. It is a great time to take a walk along the old bridge and watch the sunset. Bus transportation will be provided for a fee. We will have a drop-off point in the city that is convenient the sites. You will be able to spend the full day there.

Arrival: Overnight
Depart: 9:00 AM

Ship will depart Vega de Terron 9:00 am; will arrive in Barca D’Alva 10:00 am

Salamanca, Spain
Known for its unique sandstone architecture and the historical University of Salamanca, this ancient city is both mesmerizing and unforgettable. Nicknamed “La Dorada” or Golden City, its sandstone structures create a warm golden glow as the sun reflects off them. Its Old City with its lively central plaza, Playa Mayor, is both dazzling and awe-inspiring, with its towering monuments, majestic Baroque style buildings, and imposing Roman bridge. Being home to one of the oldest universities in Spain, which first opened in 1218, is just one of the things that makes this UNESCO World Heritage Site so special. Also known as “Escuelas Mayores”, the University building has a sumptuous gate adorned with the city’s most famous design: a frog atop a skull – symbolic of the sin of lust being punished after death. Its wonderful library brims with old manuscripts dating back from prior to the 19th century. Since 1988, the Old Town of Salamanca has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The classified area extends on the major part of the city as it used to be until the middle of the 20th century and is responsible for its growing popularity. You can visit the cathedral whose successive extensions created a mixture of styles going from late Gothic to Baroque, including Renaissance.
The pedestrianized streets of Toro and Zamora are full of shops and in the Plaza del Liceo you can even go shopping in a refurbished church, part of the old convent of San Antonio el Real. They also have suggestions for One Day in Salamanca at this link.

Offical Tourism website link.

Bus transportation will be arranged and provided for a small cost. You’ll be free to discover the city on your own.

Google Map Link

Transportation to Salamanca – Price $41 per person (Note: There is no public transportation, taxis, Uber, etc. Taking the bus is the only way we know to get to Salamanca, Spain. There is nothing to do where we will be docked.)
Return on board in Barca D’Alva.

Barca D’Alva is a sleepy village that offers a glance into a sunbaked, slow-paced corner of the world steeped in medieval history and surrounded by terraced vineyards and picturesque olive and almond groves. Explore the vineyards and wine-making facilities or the now-defunct train station that was constructed in 1887 to connect the country with the rest of Europe. Be sure to sample the wine, olives, and almonds!

Arrival: 8:30 AM
Depart: 12:30 PM

This morning will be spent cruising. Departing Barca D’Alva 8:30 am. Departure from Ferradosa (excursion drop off) at 12:30 PM for our excursion along the Porto wine route.

Optional Wine Trail of Porto – Price $54 per person. We’ll discover this incredible vineyard extending over 100 km along the Douro river all the way to the Spanish border. We’ll visit San Salvador do Mundo and Sao Joao da Pesqueira, two small towns set among the vineyards in the Rio Torto valley. In Sao Joao da Pesqueira, you will have the opportunity to explore the arcaded main square, the chapel, and the white houses with their balconies. You will visit a quinta (wine cellar) to taste the famous Port.
(Note: We are in remote areas with no public transportation, Uber, etc. Your best bet to see this area is to take the optional excursion.)

The ship will depart Ferradosa 2:00 PM; We’ll return on board in Pinhao, ship will arrive 5:00 PM.

Arrival: 02:00 PM
Depart: 5:00 PM - Overnight

Tonight’s our gala evening and dinner. (No ties are required. No Black ties are required. But I would, as your mom said, “try to look nice”! (No shorts, T-Shirts etc.)

Arrival: Overnight
Depart: 7:00 AM - arrive in Folgosa 8:00 AM (excursion drop off)

Departing Pinhao 7:00 am, arrive in Folsoa 8:00 am.
9:45 am Optional Transportation to Lamego – Price $24 per person
Departure by coach from Regua to Lamego for a guided tour of the city center by coach and on foot. Lamego is a charming episcopal and commercial town where you’ll get to discover the Nossa Senhora dos Remedios Sanctuary. This 18th-century church stands out with its white façade dominating a baroque staircase with 686 steps ending in a shrine built in the rocaille style and adorned with azulejos. The first stone was laid on February 14th, 1750, and gave way to the construction of a massive temple overlooking the city and providing a breathtaking view over the misty mountains of the surrounding landscape. Return on board in Regua.

The ship will arrive in Regua at 11:30 AM departing at 1:00 PM. The afternoon will be spent sailing towards Porto. We will dock in Leveirinho for the night.

Arrival: 09:00 PM
Depart: 07:00 AM

Docking or the evening. This is different for TeemingRC as we usually travel at night. In Portugal on the Douro locks and docks are not open 24 hours!

We will pass through the Eclusa Crestuma Lock at 07:25 AM.

Arrival: 09:00 AM
Depart: Overnight

This is a full day for you to enjoy in Porto.

Arrival: Overnight
Depart: 9:00 AM Disembarkation

Enjoy one last buffet breakfast on board before disembarking at 9:00 AM (or as early as you need to for flights.) See you in France!

Departure and Arrival Docking Information

Quebrantoes Dock – Vila Nova de Gaia

Click for printable pdf map – boarding-porto-docking-douro-cruise-croisieurope

GPS Coordinates

Rua Manuel Pinto de Lima 41.137314 – 8.596249

Please Note: For navigational reasons and passenger safety, Teeming River Cruises and the captain reserve the right to modify the cruise itinerary as necessary. These Optional Excursions may or may not be offered, since availability is subject to number of participants and weather conditions.

Deck Plans

Cabin Options

Your cruise will take place on the MS Vasco da Gama. To learn more about this ship, click here.

Availability & Pricing

Reserve Your Cabin

Double Cabins

105 ~ $1,138/$163 night
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107 ~ $1,138/$163 night
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209 ~ $1,225/$175 night
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101 ~ $1,299/$186 night
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102 ~ $1,299/$186 night
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103 ~ $1,299/$186 night
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104 ~ $1,299/$186 night
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111 ~ $1,299/$186 night
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113 ~ $1,299/$186 night
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114 ~ $1,299/$186 night
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205 ~ $1,299/$186 night
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206 ~ $1,299/$186 night
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208 ~ $1,299/$186 night
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213 ~ $1,299/$186 night
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106 ~ $1,348/$193 night
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108 ~ $1,348/$193 night
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110 ~ $1,348/$193 night
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112 ~ $1,348/$193 night
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202 ~ $1,453/$208 night
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201 ~ $1,551/$222 night
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204 ~ $1,551/$222 night
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207 ~ $1,596/$228 night
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203 ~ $1,600/$229 night
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210 ~ $1,600/$229 night
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212 ~ $1,600/$229 night
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215 ~ $1,600/$229 night
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216 ~ $1,600/$229 night
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323 ~ $1,649/$236 night
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324 ~ $1,649/$236 night
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325 ~ $1,649/$236 night
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338 ~ $1,649/$236 night
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305 ~ $1,698/$243 night
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306 ~ $1,698/$243 night
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307 ~ $1,698/$243 night
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310 ~ $1,698/$243 night
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311 ~ $1,698/$243 night
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312 ~ $1,698/$243 night
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313 ~ $1,698/$243 night
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315 ~ $1,698/$243 night
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316 ~ $1,698/$243 night
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317 ~ $1,698/$243 night
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318 ~ $1,698/$243 night
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319 ~ $1,698/$243 night
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320 ~ $1,698/$243 night
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321 ~ $1,698/$243 night
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328 ~ $1,698/$243 night
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329 ~ $1,698/$243 night
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330 ~ $1,698/$243 night
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331 ~ $1,698/$243 night
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332 ~ $1,698/$243 night
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333 ~ $1,698/$243 night
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327 ~ $1,750/$250 night
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303 ~ $1,999/$286 night
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304 ~ $1,999/$286 night
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301 ~ $2,037/$291 night
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302 ~ $2,037/$291 night
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What's Included

Highlights and Notes

Entertainer

Freddie and Lu Langston will be joining us for the 3rd time. Freddie Langston is a rare solo performer in that he has had such a varied history of venues in which he has performed. From an island in the Philippines on which there has never been power, to a stage in Washington with the President, there is an acquired stage sensitivity that is needed for a connecting performance in today’s world. Freddie has the rare blend of many decades of performance with the wit and energy of a kid. (In fact, his wife of 50 years wishes he would grow up 😉)

In the 60’s he performed for over 500,000 college and high school students in assemblies and concerts. With five recorded albums and accumulated material, Freddie brings to any event a wide array of songs and panache that is widely appreciated. These past two have been such fun in playing at Disney Springs on the Strolling Piano, a magical remote control piano stage. Freddie’s spontaneity has been such a great asset for the wonderful acceptance the piano has enjoyed. This has been the case in playing the strolling piano at fairs in California, and Seaworld and Universal Studios.

Highlights of What’s Included:

  • Welcome & Farewell Receptions with Sparkling wine & hors-d’oeuvres
  • Welcome Aboard Dinner & Farewell Dinner
  • All Meals Included Daily (onboard your ship)
  • Locally inspired cuisine
  • Buffet Breakfast, and a set menu for lunch and dinner
  • At TeemingRC, we are committed to offering our passengers on each cruise the best combination of both value and service.
    • The standard drink menu on the MS Vasco da Gama offers a variety of reasonably priced drinks. For example, wine by the glass is 4 Euro, draft beer is 3 Euro, a soft drink is 3 Euro, and whiskey, gin, & vodka are 4 Euro. Based on these negotiated prices and in keeping with our business model & value proposition, you may buy drinks on an à la carte basis.
    • Instead of a drink package on the MS Vasco da Gama, drink cards will be available for purchase by cash or charge to any passenger. These drink cards will come with a pre-loaded limit of 30 Euro. Each time you purchase a drink, it will be deducted from your pre-paid card. If you run out of Euros on the card, you can purchase a new 30 Euro card. At the end of the cruise, if you have any unused funds on your drink card, they will be refunded back to you.
    • You are welcome to bring your own wine on board, and there is a corkage fee of €5,00 per bottle
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi will not support large photos, videos, streaming movies, etc. It is only good enough for texting and emails of minimal size)
  • TeemingRC/PopGuide App City Walking Tour in all ports
  • Tech Talks
    • Using Your Smartphone As Your Personal Tour Guide
      • How to Navigate with your Smartphone without cell service or date
  • Daily Port Talks- We Give You the Tools to “Explore More for Less!”
    • Museums/Sites/History/Architecture
      • Opening Times
      • Information on Entry Fees
      • Location
      • Explore On Your Own Information
  • Onboard Entertainment
  • Daily Housekeeping Service
  • Non-Smoking Ship Interior

Trip Notes:

  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change.
  • Disruptions in cruising and itinerary may occur (low/high water levels).
  • The prices are for cruises only. Flights are not included.
  • Transfers to and from the airport are not included in the cruise fare.
  • Shore Excursions are not included in the cruise fare. These may be purchased for an additional cost.
  • Due to currency fluctuation, the pricing shown is subject to change until purchased.
  • Uber is now available in most of the bigger cities in Portugal including; Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra, Aveiro, Braga, and Guimarães.
  • Port Taxes and Fees are not included
  • Please be sure to read our Frequently Asked Questions page for answers to many common questions.
  • If you are booking the France trip in conjunction with Portugal we suggest booking your flight to France into Orly airport as it is closer to meeting the ship and a smaller airport.

Departure and Arrival Docking Information – Quebrantoes Dock – Vila Nova de Gaia
Click for printable pdf mapboarding-porto-docking-douro-cruise-croisieurope  
Take the direction of Vila Nova de Gaia (the “twin” city of Porto, located on the other side of the Douro river). At the Vila Nova de Gaia, take the Avenida da republica (the main street) in direction of the river. Just before the river, take the street “rua de Camos” on the right. Once you got to the traffic circle, follow “Quebrantoes Deck” to access the boat directly. The deck is under the Sao Joao railway bridge.
GPS Coordinates – Rua Manuel Pinto de Lima 41.137314 – 8.596249

If you are joining us on our Seine River Cruise this same day here are suggested Nonstop Flights from Porto to Paris on November 8
We recommend flying into Orly as the airport is closer to the ship and is a much easier airport logistically. Below are some nonstop flights we have found.

Tap Air Portugal TP452 |  6:25 am  9:35 am  |  Porto to Orly 

Vueling VY1986 |  1:45 am  5:00 pm  |  Porto to Orly (time change, updated info as of 8.12.21)

Flights with stops.

Vueling VY8477-VY8018 |  9:10 am  3:40 pm  |  Porto to Orly 

Tap Air Portugal TP1933 connect in Lisbon TP430 | 10:00 am  4:00 pm  |  Porto to Orly 

Tap Air Portugal TP1931 connect in Lisbon TP442 |  8:00 am  2:30 pm  |  Porto to Orly