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We have recently returned from a 6 day river cruise on the Douro on croisieurope Fernao de Maghellaes. This is our second trip on croisieurope having sailed down the Rhine from Strasbourg two years ago. We love the informality of these French ships. Whilst not competing for the luxury market such as Viking, AMA and unworldly, they provide comfortable accommodation and a wonderful european flavour-/ most of the passengers are French. There are always some English speakers and we have met very interesting fellow passengers while I love the opportunity of speaking French. The highlight is the food and wine which is very very French Indeed - although on the Douro cruise the wines offered were local and there was a Portuguese influence on the cuisine with a lot of fish dishes. Although there is no choice if you are unhappy with the menus of the day you can put in a personal request and the chef will rustle up something to your taste. The tours offered are the same as the other company indeed last time in Heidelberg we followed a group round from uniworld. Entertainment was great too with a fado evening that was unscheduled as well as a Portuguese folklorique group.
The Douro valley is breathtakingly beautiful and Porto is a city well worth exploring. Next year's croisieurope I think will be the Bordeaux area in France ... We'll see!
Thanks for this info. DH loves Port and likes to travel independently in the Douro Valley so I don't know if we'll ever do a Douro cruise.
I do have a question. Did your computer, tablet, or smartphone autocorrect "Uniworld" to "unworldly"? I am thinking of taking my mom on a Uniworld Christmas cruise and I'm curious if you have a negative opinion of them or if that is just a "d@mn you, autocorrect!" moment.