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Northwest Travel Service
4271 257th Place SE
Issaquah, WA 98029
425/313-1691

Monday December 11th, 2017

Corporate Client
Service Information

NW Travel Packages

Douro River Cruise-Spain and Portugal - FAQ PDF

Uniworld Experience
In July 2015, Northwest Travel chartered the River Royale for seven nights in Bordeaux. My previous river cruising experience up to that time had all been with Viking River Cruises. I could not have been more pleased with my personal experience as coordinator and with the comments and reviews provided by my guests during and after the cruise. It was an easy decision to choose Uniworld for the 2017 charter on the Rhone River and this program for 2018 on the Douro.

If you have enjoyed other river cruise companies, I guarantee you will love what Uniworld has elevated the experience to.

Air Transportation
Flight details for arrivals and departures:

The ship departs from the port of Porto late in the afternoon on the 20th. It’s suggested that you plan to arrive early to take full advantage of your time aboard. You’re able to board the ship as early as 1:00 PM. The ship departs from Porto to head upriver at 5:00 PM. Plan to arrive at least three hours prior to the scheduled departure. If you’re not participating in the Barcelona program, consider spending a few days in Porto and environs before the cruise.

There are a few carriers that will get you to Porto from the US. Lufthansa operates a connection via Frankfurt. It’s likely that you will fly into Lisbon, then either take an hour-long flight to Porto or travel by train from.

Tour Extensions
A four-night pre-cruise tour to the Barcelona is planned, limited to 22 guests. This tour will feature three full days of touring in and around Barcelona with local guides. We’ll see the architecture of Gaudi, shop local markets, see the Barcelona nightlife, and visit wine producers on our way to see the monastery at Montserrat. Your flight will be arranged from Barcelona to Porto as part of this tour.

A 3-day post-cruise extension to the island of Madeira will be offered departing from Porto to the island capital of Funchal. We’ll employ the services of a local guide, tour the island’s mountain region participate in the thrilling Monte Toboggan, and sample the wine that put Madeira on the map. The tour includes flights from Porto to Funchal, returning to Lisbon. More details for this tour will be released in the next few weeks.

Aboard Ship
The order of the day is casual. There is no reason to pack any formal wear for your time aboard. The cruise line asks that you dress appropriately for dinner and evening time. There will be evening events scheduled both on and off ship.

You need not be concerned with motion during the cruise. River cruise ships are not subject to the same type of side to side motion common to ocean-going vessels.

There are three scheduled meals per day with table sizes ranging from two to ten guests. Seating is not assigned. Dine with a group of friends each evening or mix it up to enjoy your meal with friends met along the way. Wine, beer, and liquor are included with your cruise.

Documentation
You’ll need a valid passport, which much have at least 6 months validity from the date of entry in France. No additional visa is needed for US or Canadian citizens.
Your stateroom
The Queen Isabel was launched in 2013. She holds 116 guests in a variety of stateroom configurations and sizes. Some cabins offer picture windows, while others provide French or full-sized balconies. Determine what’s right for you by looking over the cabin descriptions above or visiting the webpage at: the Uniworld Website
Dining
The ship provides three meals a day, beginning with a breakfast buffet, plated lunch and dinner. Tables are not assigned. You’re free to dine with different group of friends each evening. The ship is able to accommodate a wide range of dietary restrictions and allergies.
Sightseeing
All shore tours offered by the cruise line are included in the cost of your tour. There will be additional wine touring options arranged by Northwest Travel at additional cost. I anticipate that additional wine visits will cost approximately $30-$45 each, mostly to cover transportation costs. Early booking guests will earn priority in selecting these tour options.
Early booking incentive
Guests who book early will have priority in stateroom selection. In additional, early booking will secure priority in selecting optional wine touring throughout the week and well as pre-cruise and post-cruise tour extensions, which will be limited to 22 guests for each tour.

A $200 (per person) early booking discount is in place until the first 40 staterooms are booked.

Weather
May is an excellent time to visit the region. Summer tourists have not yet arrived, and the weather is fairly moderate with average temperatures ranging from 50°-72° in Lyon to 54°-73° in Avignon. Both locations average about 1.5 inches of rain for the month. We’ll have over 14 daylight hours for touring in May.

Porto is on the coast, so you get a marine climate, with lower temperatures. You should expect to see temperatures around 70 degrees. Porto has about 8 rainy days in the month of May, getting sunnier toward the end of the month. As the ship moves upriver away from the coast, temperatures will increase to a May average of 75.

Port or Starboard? Which side should I choose?
The ship sails round trip out of Porto. The benefit of port and starboard side is shared, so there is no particular reason to choose one side over another.
Deposit and payment schedule
Payments made to Northwest Travel Service are non-refundable. If you need to cancel, I will do everything possible to find someone to take your place. Cancellation insurance is an option to protect your deposit. Trip cancellation will cost between 6% and 10% of the total cost of your tour. Please request details about insurance when you make your reservation. An initial deposit of $1000 per person is required to hold your reservation. An additional deposit of $1500 per person is due by August 31 st with the balance due by January 31 st , 2018.
What if I need to cancel my cruise?
Because payments are nonrefundable, travel insurance is suggested. Both of the companies listed below have a policy rate calculator online. Enter the cost of your tour and personal data to receive a no-obligation cost estimate. Two recommended companies are:

Cancellation insurance will range in price based on the cost of your travel and the age of the applicant. Get a quote at the websites above before making a purchase. If you have a pre- existing condition to cover, you usually must purchase your policy within 2 weeks of the initial deposit.

Updated: Wednesday, November 30, 2016

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