Douro river cruises

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#1
Auckland, New Zealand
173 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
The 2013 river cruise season for the Douro River will be over this month and I have not found one review for the AMAVIDA or Uniworlds QUEEN ISABEL on the Cruise Critic Review board.
Can anyone post a review.
Going on AMAREINA (new ship for 2014) Amsterdam to Budapest, but looking at booking the Douro for 2015.
#2
Mississauga, Canada
487 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
We did the Duoro River cruise with Viking this past June. Fantastic part of the world. Amazing scenery. From that point I highly recommend. Can't assist with the 2 lines your are contemplating.
#3
S.E. MA
970 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
We cruised the Douro with Uniworld in Sept. '12 and loved it, but they have changed ships...After cruising the Rhine/Moselle with Uniworld, we found this one somewhat more sedate, but enjoyed it very much.
#4
Conway, AR USA
1,804 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
We have this river cruise with Uniworld booked for April, 2014 and are interested in those who have done it - how they returned to the United States from Porto? It is easy to get to Lisbon where it begins, but seems to be very limited from Porto.
Cole
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B. Cole
#5
1,383 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
If you are booking you air yourself the easiest way to fly back from Porto is TAP Portugal to Lisbon then your normal airline home. TAP is a Star Alliance member so if you book through United or US Air it should show up.

A good way to find flights is on kayak dot com
#6
Conway, AR USA
1,804 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
Originally posted by fred111
If you are booking you air yourself the easiest way to fly back from Porto is TAP Portugal to Lisbon then your normal airline home. TAP is a Star Alliance member so if you book through United or US Air it should show up.

A good way to find flights is on kayak dot com
Thanks for the info. We fly Delta and have opted to fly into and out of Madrid and transport ourselves to Lisbon and from Porto.
Cole
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B. Cole
#7
Mississauga, Canada
487 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
There is also the train from Porto to Lisbon.

Another option is to fly Porto to Toronto (direct with AirTransat) and then connect to your US destination.
#8
Scotland
549 Posts
Joined May 2007
We did the Viking Douro trip this year and cant say we enjoyed it much. The boat itself wasnt great (non functioning air con in temps of 30 degrees+, poor food etc). However, that wasnt one of Viking`s own boats. I believe they will have their own ones soon so would hope things are better in that regard next season.
The cruise itself was v different from previous ones- this was due to the geography really. Steep sided valleys meant virtually all outings were on buses. The chance to just step off the boat into a little village and wander about as in France/Germany/ Holland etc wasnt possible.
We didnt like the enforced bus travel. The regimentation was such that we had to be on exactly the same bus each time. we found it a bit depressing.
We also found our fellow travellers to be quite a lot older (generally fine by me but very obviously much older than on eg Grand France/Grand European etc). It was very noticeable on our trip.
Additionally, there appeared to me to be far more people with mobility issues. This is despite clear warning in the brochures that this is not really suitable for those with restricted mobility. I have had mobility problems myself in the past and always hesitated to inconvenience others. On this trip we frequently found ourselves waiting on stairs, lifts being unavailable and shuffling round tours at the pace of the slowest. I know this sounds harsh. Unbelievably, we found ourselves considering trying to just leave and go home after almost a week. This has NEVER happened to us before. In all it added up to our deciding not to take this sort of trip again. It might be fine for others but just not us. Sorry!
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Previous cruises: QE2 X3, Viking Pride X1, Arcadia X1, Avalon Scenery X1, Avalon Creativity X1, QVX1. Viking Douro X1
#9
Conway, AR USA
1,804 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
Originally posted by Nippy Sweetie
We did the Viking Douro trip this year and cant say we enjoyed it much. The boat itself wasnt great (non functioning air con in temps of 30 degrees+, poor food etc). However, that wasnt one of Viking`s own boats. I believe they will have their own ones soon so would hope things are better in that regard next season.
The cruise itself was v different from previous ones- this was due to the geography really. Steep sided valleys meant virtually all outings were on buses. The chance to just step off the boat into a little village and wander about as in France/Germany/ Holland etc wasnt possible.
We didnt like the enforced bus travel. The regimentation was such that we had to be on exactly the same bus each time. we found it a bit depressing.
We also found our fellow travellers to be quite a lot older (generally fine by me but very obviously much older than on eg Grand France/Grand European etc). It was very noticeable on our trip.
Additionally, there appeared to me to be far more people with mobility issues. This is despite clear warning in the brochures that this is not really suitable for those with restricted mobility. I have had mobility problems myself in the past and always hesitated to inconvenience others. On this trip we frequently found ourselves waiting on stairs, lifts being unavailable and shuffling round tours at the pace of the slowest. I know this sounds harsh. Unbelievably, we found ourselves considering trying to just leave and go home after almost a week. This has NEVER happened to us before. In all it added up to our deciding not to take this sort of trip again. It might be fine for others but just not us. Sorry!
Thank you for taking the time to post your review. So many times people forget to come back and give those of us who are interested in feedback your take on your experience. We are hoping that Uniworld's Isabel (a new ship) will be up to their standards and we will have the opportunity to see a good bit of this country. Bussing to different cities, vineyards, etc. seem to becoming an expected part of most of the river cruises, but its good to know before you go what the cruise will be like.
Cole
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B. Cole
#10
Coastal NC
3,241 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Even though this is old, some of the information might help:

Part 1: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=847910

Part 2: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...4#post16345964
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Sharon

Viking, Portraits of Southern France. 2006
Uniworld, Castles Along the Rhine, 2007
Gate 1, Thanksgiving Cruise, 2007
AMA Waterways, Portugal on the Douro, 2008
Grand Circle: Romance of the Rhine and Mosel, 2010
Viking Emerald, China's Cultural Delights. 3/28/2011
Grand Circle: Old World Prague and the Blue Danube. September 7, 2011.
Viking Spirit, Paris to Normandy. 12/11/11.
Grand Circle's [i]Essence of the Elbe: 5/27/12/ to 6/11/12
Grand Circle Russia Revealed with pretrip to Helsinki and Tallinn , 2012. .
Viking Sun, Treasures of the Rhine. Nov 11, 2012.
AMACerto, Istanbul to Budapest. May 30, 2013.
Uniworld River Queen, Classic Christmas Markets, Nuremberg to Frankfurt. Dec 5, 2013.
Vantage Travel, Croatian Odyssey & Venice with Lake Bled, Slovenia pretrip. M/Y Harmony G
Grand Circle, Burma and the Irrawaddy, Thailand and Cambodia. Nov 25, 2014. RV Paukan 2012.
Grand Circle: Spain's Northern Coast & the Bay of Biscay. 4/30/2015 to 5/21/2015. Ship: Corinthian
AMAWaterways: Magnificent Europe. Aug 30 to Sept 14, 2015. AMACerto. Budapest to Amsterdam
Vantage: The Peruvian Amazon and Machu Picchu. 3/12/2016. Post trip to Lake Titicaca. Ship: RV Amazon Discovery
Grand Circle: Grand Baltic Sea Voyage. . 7/30/2016 to 8/15/2016. Ship: Corinthian
Viking: Castles & Legends. Munich to Budapest. 12/5/16 to 12/16/16. Viking Ve.
Viking Sky: Mediterranean Getaway, Rome to Barcelona, 2/25/17 to 3/4/17.

Grand Circle: Maritime Jewels of the British Isles. 7/23/17. Ship: Corinthian
Avalon Affinity: Burgundy & Provence with London, 10/2/17
Viking RA: Pharaohs & Pyramids. March 8, 2018
#11
237 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
We're on Viking Douro now (mid cruise) and are enjoying ourselves immensely. We've had a lovely Christmas and tomorrow we go to Salamanca, Spain for the day. We're happy to be here and we're enjoying the trip and scenery even in late December. We have several younger folks aboard (maybe due to school holidays and it might be easier to get time off work) and even a lady in a wheelchair who has been enjoying the trip with her family - no problems. The food has been very good and this is our 5th river cruise. I'll write more when we finish but wanted folks to know that Viking sails through New Years. We finish on Sunday and there is one more sailing.
#12
florida
3,654 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
and LOVED it.One of my favorite so far,great ports and scenery.
Good food and pleasant crew.Cabin very nice(only french balcony).
NIce group of people, of all ages(but tends older on river cruises).
Stayed extra pre cruise time in Lisbon.
Would go again.
Not at all the experience above with Viking.
#13
Florida
16 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
We are finishing our tour on the Douro with Viking Douro. This is a quiet cruise...not a lot to do. Lots of bussing back and forth to destinations, unlike any of the other 6 river cruises we have taken. Walking in a charming town by the river is not an option. Scenery is gorgeous, ship's crew are delightful (not Viking employees as the boat is owned by another company). NO Ships are permitted on the river at night so all cruising is done during the day and you are docked at night. If your cabin is not on the upper deck, you are often facing the wall of the dock. The ship needs to be retired (and we are told it will be) as it has zero soundproofing and, as previously mentioned, the A/C is nonexistent. If you want to rest and relax and ride the bus, this is the tour for you.
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