PORTUGAL - River Douro cruises


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#1
Toronto, Canada
125 Posts
Joined May 2009
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?
#2
florida
3,671 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
and if you check Search Engine it has been discussed a lot.But we did NOT get bored,lovely villages,scenery,itinerary.Went to Lisbon for 3 days prior.Docked in Porto(fantastic city) and went on Uniworld.So pretty,one of the few I d actually DO AGAIN>.Go for it.
#3
S.E. MA
988 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
We went with Uniworld last fall, with the 3 days in LIsbon and then the 7 day cruise. I was not bored at all, and enjoyed it. I will say for a similar cost, our Uniworld Rhine/Moselle cruise was even better.
#4
Dobbs Ferry, NY
206 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
We are going on our first River Cruise at the end of June with Uniworld on this itinerary. So glad to hear that people have enjoyed it. Our last cruise was on Seabourn and it was AMAZING! We thought we would try something different. We are on the younger end of the stereotypical demographic (late 40s and early 50s). But we love to travel and we liek being with others who like to travel as well. We are looking forward to this and I cant wait until Uniworld posts photos of the Queen Isabella!
#6
florida
3,671 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Originally posted by 4774Papa
We are looking at doing a Douro river cruise in the future with either AMA or Vantage.
our last 2 on this line have been GREAT. Vantage does NOT use travel agents and has had numerous complaints about customer service in past.I used AMA with travel agent who gives %5 cash back(google for others) and got BEST deal then cash back TOO.Plus, they help with all the details,answer questions,etc.Have used them 2 times,and have 2 other cruises booked and VERY PLEASED with service.
#7
Coastal NC
3,260 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Barry, we did this cruise with AMA in 2008. If you get a chnace, try to spend a few extra days in Porto. It is a great city, easy to get around. We used the HoHo bus while there and really saw a lot.

I have been on many river cruises and must say that the Douro is, IMHO, unlike the ones on the Rhine, Danube, etc. The scenery is breathtaking. Many of the stops are VERY small towns, unlike the larger ones that are on the Rhine/Danube. Someday I would like to do this cruise again.

AMA was wonderful, too.
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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
#8
Mississauga, Canada
514 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
We are booked with Viking for the Douro River cruise at the end of June.

We visited Portugal last year. Really enjoyed the country, people, wine, food, scenery, etc.

We are spending an extra day at the beginning of the cruise in Lisbon and an extra day at the end in Porto.

Very much looking forward to our first cruise ever.
#9
NC
362 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Cruised the Douro river 3 years ago.

If you are the type of person who likes to get off the ship in the evening and explore the port you are visiting, you will get bored quickly. This cruise is for those who want to unwind and relax. Get your exploring "fixes" pre and post cruise. Many of the excrusions times were 1-2 hours by bus each way, and quite frankly, not fun after a couple of days for a week long cruise. It was different and I would not do it again.
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#11
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
11,824 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by barry3040
thanks for postings

recommendations for -

AMAWATERWAYS or UNIWORLD or VIKING?
AMA is super.
#12
NC
362 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Before booking, double check with the company the ship is owned by them 100% and not on a lease agreement with Portugal. This was not the case 3 years ago and the company we booked with had issues that were not 100% in there control to rectifty. It was a peculiar arrangement, but one mandated by the government of Portugal for its use on the Duoro river. Times may have changed.

Ask questions!
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#15
2,506 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
AMA and Uniworld now hve their own ships. Like Condocat, when we went it was a leased boat. We went with AMA and thought the trip was great. We met people from Australia, the UK, Isreal, Norway, Germany and Belgium and a very large group from Canada. Pat
#16
Florida
928 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Hi Pacmom think I have read many of your prior posts.

We are sailing with Uniworld Venice to Rome with 7 days on the Po river.
I know there will be lots of bus travel to the cities on the itineray.. but hey - on our Jan 2013 Miami to Lima cruise we had to travel in vans on our private tours for long times too.

I read on the Uniworld site about ship the ship they are using on the Duro river. Note: While the Queen Isabel will be the newest and one of the best ships to sail the Douro River, its amenities may differ from those of a Uniworld company-owned ship. My first thought was a great new ship without the over the top "decor" on their other ships. That is fine with me.

Can't wait to hear what other cruisers think about her once the Duro cruises start this spring.
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Best,

Bobbi & David ~

Sept 23, 2018 - Silhouette - Canaries & Azores
January 21, 2018 - Eclipse - So. Caribbean
June 22, 2017 - Uniworld - Portugal/Spain. Duro River
January 22, 2017 - Marina - Caribbean
Sept 4, 2016 - Summit - Canada/New England
January 22, 2016 - Equinox - Ultimate Caribbean
August 6, 2015 - Azamara Journey - Istanbul/Greece/Italy
January 2015 cancelled Carib cruise .. Always get insurance!!!!!! ... June 2014 August 2014 two cancelled river boat cruises ...January 23, 2014 - Riviera - Sun Splashed Isles ... August 11, 2013 - Uniworld Venice to Rome cruise/tour ... January 5, 2013 - Regatta - Between 2 Oceans - Miami to Lima ... September 12, 2012 - Marina - Continental Connoisseur - London to Barcelona ... January 2012 - Marina - Caribbean Pearls ... August 2011 - Regatta - Alaska, Canada, Oregon ... February 2011 - Nieuw Amsterdam - Eastern Caribbean ... June 2010 - Regatta - England, Ireland, Scotland, Norway ... February 2010 - Noordam - Southern Caribbean ... June 2009 - Tauck -Swiss Jewel - Budapest to Prague ... June 2008 - Regatta - Baltics ... August 2008 - Volendam - Alaska/Cruise Tour ... May 2007 - Nautica - Istanbul to Athens
#17
Kentucky
238 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by herbalsoaplady
Hi Pacmom think I have read many of your prior posts.

We are sailing with Uniworld Venice to Rome with 7 days on the Po river.
I know there will be lots of bus travel to the cities on the itineray.. but hey - on our Jan 2013 Miami to Lima cruise we had to travel in vans on our private tours for long times too.

I read on the Uniworld site about ship the ship they are using on the Duro river. Note: While the Queen Isabel will be the newest and one of the best ships to sail the Douro River, its amenities may differ from those of a Uniworld company-owned ship. My first thought was a great new ship without the over the top "decor" on their other ships. That is fine with me.

Can't wait to hear what other cruisers think about her once the Duro cruises start this spring.
Hi---you'll be getting OFF the ship when we get on! We're booked on the 8/18 Italian Splendor trip--our second Uniworld cruise. Can't wait!!!
#18
Las Vegas, NV
252 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Greetings

Going on the AMAVida this August on the Duro. (Started a Duro rollcall yesterday ... Hint Hint).

First time on AMA, but have done 3 on Uniworld, and loved them all.

Visited Porto for 1 day last fall while on a ocean cruise and fell in love with the city, resulting in our choice of the Duro trip. Looking forward to more info about the stops along the Duro.
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#19
Ontario, Canada
238 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by barry3040
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.