Posted May 14th, 2013, 05:35 PM
Anybody been on a Douro cruise?
Any info appreciated and does it get boring on a 7 day cruise on the Douro?
any recommendations for cruise lines?
I took the Uniworld Douro cruise last November and enjoyed it very much. Uniworld has a three night stay in Lisbon before heading by bus to Porto to board the ship, and as the Douro is not a long river, it is an up and back from Porto to Porto, with different stops in each direction. At the head of navigation there is a day long trip to the Spanish university city of Salamanca which was most enjoyable. The cruise was a wine-centred one with stops at wineries (quintas), and a port lodge (storehouse) in Porto. Different local wines were served every night on board and port was offered at the end of every dinner, including a vintage port for the final dinner.
It was a relaxing cruise--I wouldn't call it boring at all. We had several on board concerts with local musicians in the evening including a fado night. The excursions were quite interesting and enjoyable and all included in the base price (there were a couple of optional tours in Lisbon).
Just a note on ship ownership. Most of the passenger ships on the Douro are owned by the Portuguese company, Douro Azul and leased to the cruise companies with Douro Azul staff. I was on the Uniworld Douro Spirit, which is now the Viking Douro. The new Uniworld Queen Isobel and the AMA Amavida are both Douro Azul ships on lease--they are virtually the same, except that the decor is done to the specifications of the cruise company.
So I would choose a cruise based on the itinerary and excursions, although I don't imagine these are significantly different, on price, and on your general liking for the cruise company. I have cruised with both Viking and Uniworld, and after this cruise and one this spring on the Danube also with Uniworld, i would tend to stick with them. However, I'm sure both AMA and Viking offer great Douro cruises.