Local Culture

Culture-rich Portugal and Spain are renowned for their passionate music and dance as well as their flavorful culinary experience. Here is just a taste of what you can experience with us while sailing along the Douro River. 

This sensuous Spanish tradition was named a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO. Dating back to the 15th century, flamenco continues to mesmerize audiences today. You can witness the art and beauty of this dramatic dance in Salamanca as part of your optional land package to Madrid after your Flavors of Portugal & Spain river cruise.
With roots that date back to the 13th century, a tuna is a group of university students that play traditional Portuguese music using such instruments as guitars, mandolins and tambourines. Participants typically wear dark cloaks and perform on city streets, although they are occasionally invited on board our ships on the Douro River as part of the evening entertainment.
Fado music is a form of expressive Portuguese singing most often performed within restaurants and pubs. It originated in the early part of the 19th century and is best summed up with the Portuguese word “saudade,” which translates to a longing or profound sense of loss. Featuring stringed instruments such as guitars and viola as well as a singer, fado groups are sometimes a part of our onboard entertainment.

Authentic RegionalCuisine

Aboard our ships, you will always be treated to regionally-inspired cuisine prepared with the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients. Delight in several recipes made with freshly caught seafood, including codfish, and local pastries from pasteis de nata to bôlas to malasadas. For one special meal on board, our chefs prepare dishes like cabbage soup, spicy chicken piri-piri, grilled octopus and sardines, salad with beans and chorizo, sweet rice, and other local seasonal dishes.

Try your hand at making two of our exceptional Douro River recipes below. 

Local Recipes