Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Got2Cruise

Duoro River Lisbon to Porto July 2019

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone! When researching for our Duoro River cruise I found a lack of postings and even formal CC reviews. I decided to post a day to day photo journal based on our experiences on our Uniworld tour. 

 

I hope to give all who read a general idea of what to expect on the Duoro tour. Spoiler Alert: We had a fantastic time, Lisbon and Duoro River Valley is amazing, the Portuguese staff are all wonderful people. 

 

We cruised on Uniworld, I imagine any brand you use will give you the same basic experience. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 1 Welcome to Lisbon. The Uniworld rep was there to meet us and we were driven to the Hotel Corinthia. The hotel was gorgeous. If I were DIY I would choose a boutique hotel in old town but of course that wouldn’t work with tour groups 

 

We were greeted in the lobby by the Uniworld Rep Pilar Garrido. Pilar was the most amazing tour guide. She has been working for Uniworld since they started on the Duoro, ten years. Pilar provided us with a detailed map of nearby restaurants and points of interest. 

 

Since we traveled over night we decided to visit the nearby Gulbenkian museum. The museum has a wonderful collection, including world masters such as Rembrandt  and is well worth a visit, but it’s on a small scale so not overwhelming. After, we had a late lunch as our main meal of the day. 

49CBFC28-4A26-4CD2-9480-EB074B10D4E5.jpeg

D8E107F8-5E48-4534-B815-1C95784234CA.jpeg

B8157004-B19A-4A65-A9BA-53268E898090.jpeg

4B8805F0-1EBF-4EF4-BB20-FE61A9448EC1.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Day 2 Lisbon City Tour. Pilar provided each guest with a little drawstring pouch and safety pin to pin your cash into your pocket. She had one guest last season pick pocketed and never wants that to happen again. I thought that was a wonderful personalized touch. Not everyone is a seasoned traveler and I’m sure it was very helpful. Also, it should be noted there were 100 guests on our sailing, 66 guests chose the Lisbon extension. 

 

First part of city tour was to Belém area of Lisbon. A stop at a cafe for a famous custard tart was also included. 

32DBA0AB-7D50-42FD-B6BD-205EDA38B6FE.jpeg

8FEB6BDC-CC1A-4612-8C40-E1EFDF31FFFA.jpeg

4474D47D-8EC7-465E-A839-D4E2FB179240.jpeg

3078A0E2-2F69-40FD-9578-A49990B346A6.jpeg

5D24B6CB-3FFB-48D4-804C-410C2318D86F.jpeg

9C1E690E-082C-494E-915C-0A7D86B3B7F7.jpeg

3FCAED50-44F9-4297-AA94-864A2849B4B2.jpeg

0955C712-DBBE-4123-A340-1FDC1E931C06.jpeg

Edited by Got2Cruise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part 2 of the Lisbon City tour was a Panoramic coach tour of the Old Town with Pilar pointing out the sights and areas we might want to visit on our own. We had the choice of returning to the hotel or being dropped off and then getting picked up at designated times by a shuttle. You also had the choice of returning later from the hotel by shuttle. 

 

We stayed in town with a small agenda. First priority another authentic Portuguese lunch with Sangria, LoL priorities, finding some Ginja, a sour cherry liqueur made in Lisbon and served in a dark chocolate cup, and go to the Iron Elevator but instead of the elevator, walking up to the view. Well, it must have been the combination if jet lag and sangria because despite Pilar showing us three times how to get there plus me using my google maps we never found the iron elevator. We could have kept trying but the jet lag took over and we decided to call it a day at 3:45 and catch the shuttle back to the hotel. 

00D3205D-DAC3-4D69-9F44-18F0E32B1E73.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jet lag is a killer! Still, you did a good amount for your first few days there. We have sleepwalked through so many places after a red-eye flight to Europe.

 

I wasn't familiar with the term "iron elevator" but do you mean the Santa Justa elevator? We managed to find that last time. It's quite a cool structure. We rode to the top and had coffee there with a nice view.

 

I'm really enjoying this, as it's a taste of our planned November trip. We'll be DIYing it to many of these places so I can't wait for more previews! Hope you got enough rest - it sounds busy so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes the Santa Justa elevator. Pilar told us not to waste your time or money. lol. Just walk up. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 3- “Sintra & Cascais”. We went with the optional tour for extra fee. Both places are well worth your time. In retrospect for my husband and me, we should looked for a private vendor who brought you to Pena Park, because this where I really wanted to visit. Our tour visited Sintra Palace and Queluz Palace. They were worthwhile to visit, but are the same type of palaces we already visited in Europe. The little town around Sintra Palace is very lovely. It is possible to follow a hiking path up to the Moor Castle from there.

 

After Sintra we traveled to Cascais where we had two hours free time for lunch and enjoying this beautiful beach town. We are beach people. We never met a beach we didn’t like, and visiting various beaches wherever we travel is something we enjoy doing. We had a quick bite in a cafe overlooking the sea, and hubby had a swim in the ocean. Folks 

 

Finally, on the scenic drive back to the hotel, we stopped at Cabo da Roca for a photo op. It is the westernmost point of Europe. If you swim directly across you’ll reach somewhere in New York. 

 

Another possible independent day trip would be to visit the shrine in Fátima.

 

Images from Sintra:

 

 

81481856-AE35-4BDC-AE06-552C1E2F65F1.jpeg

F043A996-121F-41A9-BA35-2F62491A37E4.jpeg

C257AC92-4993-455E-A42E-87AF8A1A2ACD.jpeg

8E084283-10FB-4ACF-B2B7-07D3970A6B36.jpeg

E3FCFEAC-BB1F-4809-BE20-2F5CB40F0FD4.jpeg

5B2A092F-5B5F-4637-8A2B-D6273ED733B8.jpeg

F0A4BA76-6E02-4A83-8661-EFE077F5CCAE.jpeg

963CD686-644A-40E2-8560-2749A3FC178D.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Fellow Long Islanders,

 

Loving your review so far, really looking forward to the rest!  Sounds like you're having a great time already & you haven't even started the cruise portion yet! 

 

We leave next Wed for Castles on the Rhine w/ Uniworld & thought we had decided on Bordeaux w/ them for next year but just a few posts into your review & I'm already thinking Portugal...….:))

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, need2travel1 said:

Hey Fellow Long Islanders,

 

Loving your review so far, really looking forward to the rest!  Sounds like you're having a great time already & you haven't even started the cruise portion yet! 

 

We leave next Wed for Castles on the Rhine w/ Uniworld & thought we had decided on Bordeaux w/ them for next year but just a few posts into your review & I'm already thinking Portugal...….:))

 

 

Hi. I’m back already. Posting as I do the wash and bills and all fun stuff. lol. It was our first Uniworld Cruise and we were pleased. Next year Uniworld putting brand new ship on Duoro. Only 80 pax and 10 cabins are suites. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a little info about dining in Lisbon. Almost every restaurant serves traditional Portuguese food. If you think you will be able to order chicken at every restaurant it is not the case. One thing to know is that everything is served a la carte, even the bread. That’s how they do it. If you love seafood, you’re in luck. My favorite dish was the seafood rice  If you wish more Americanized food try the hotel restaurant. 

 

Seafood Rice. Absolutely delicious!

 

 

 

CC97AD6A-343E-47D3-9D85-BB22DCBBEAA1.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 4 Transfer to Ship by motorcoach. (All coaches used entire trip were brand new Mercedes coaches). We will spend time in Coimbra before arriving at the ship in Porto around 4:00 pm. 

 

In Coimbra, we will visit the 13th Century university including the library. I wish I could show you photos of the library, but no photos allowed. It is similar to the library at Melk Abby on the Danube. Think of the library in Harry Potter. Did you know that JK Rowling lived in Portugal? Look at the student wearing the robe! The centuries old traditions of the university are fascinating to learn about. 

 

 

 

 

 

F2656E53-7B7F-4AE2-9E41-1D1DC9CA5DDA.jpeg

760259B0-E20F-4715-9B4F-51DE67D5F157.jpeg

8886BDE1-392C-41E2-890E-D618DBFD8665.jpeg

6223017E-FDA5-4B1A-A9CF-4C36CC060A66.jpeg

0EE53271-2631-4BBC-A19D-BF1EF20DA995.jpeg

B3E3E4B3-4045-46A7-AC51-709E20517835.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the Coimbra shots!

 

We will spend a day there. We're parking in Tomar for 2 nights on our way from Lisbon to Porto, so we'll do that as a day trip. So looking forward to it! Loving your report!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, JK Rowling lived in Porto for a few years, and was a faithful customer of the Livrario Lello. You can visit this beautiful bookstore with its intricate double spiral staircase, but most times it a bit of a zoo with all the visitors. They now charge a fee, which can be applied to any book purchase, but I suspect that most of the visitors don't buy anything.

 

BTW, my first Douro cruise was with Uniworld back in 2012 and I remember Pilar Garrido in Lisbon as the Uniworld rep--she was indeed an excellent and enthusiastic guide.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

We made it to Porto! Well, technically across the Duoro at Cais de Gaia. What an amazing view! We had to wait a few minutes to check in because 66/100 pax all arrived simultaneously. No prob, we waited in lounge and free massages offered. We waited perhaps 20 minutes. Check in is all hands on deck, and here is where we met two of our favorite staff who took excellent care of us all week. Ana Loureiro, restaurant manager, and Carlos our favorite waiter. It was Carlos who showed us to our room. 

 

Then it was off to the cable car to soak in the view of gorgeous Porto. The cable car is literally a few yards from the ship. 

 

Here are some snaps from the cable car and then top of the bridge. It was around 5;00 pm. BTW notice that the ships are triple rafted. We were the middle ship. 

689D0E55-5DD6-4624-8EBF-2EFDCC2F1A61.jpeg

EACF537E-2761-4783-B135-6DB10B0E7E09.jpeg

E74D8BE7-82EC-4710-955A-DA47EE3F890F.jpeg

7D9C196E-2F57-4D0B-9BEF-17AC811B35CE.jpeg

2A591ABD-F9AE-4720-A574-4CCB91D5EC48.jpeg

560B9E47-453C-483D-849C-6855D27CAD9E.jpeg

Edited by Got2Cruise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Day 5. We had the choice between the Porto city tour, which was a coach tour, or “Do As The Locals Do” which was a walking tour. We chose the walking tour. 

 

The tour started by coach to drive us up the the bridge so we can walk across. It wasn’t fast paced and we learned much interesting information. The highlight for us was a ride on the cable car through sections of the city. The walking tour provided us the opportunity to see the amazing tile work on the churches and in the train station. Also, you’ll notice one of the bridge’s ironwork reminds you of the Eiffel Tower. That is because it was designed by Eiffel. 

 

Beautiful Porto:

 

 

 

00BFB6C2-1289-44B9-9FD5-13FE7918CECC.jpeg

93BF782E-144A-41A1-A729-24EB6BD7466C.jpeg

F0EFF4EF-6BD0-4796-8420-722D898AC124.jpeg

E5331BBA-BE3E-4E26-8278-36A3F612A96F.jpeg

5C4330C8-405A-4443-870C-47B3C2E97416.jpeg

26494EF6-B057-47A3-ADC0-55D546C99040.jpeg

FA2E0392-8BAC-41DA-894F-E7995C398985.jpeg

323FEA92-84E9-4638-BD5F-86F15EDAA740.jpeg

Edited by Got2Cruise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upthread there was mention of Harry Potter and JK Rowling. Laverendrye was kind enough to describe the book store. The line was very long, it snaked down the block. Our guide told us a way to beat the system. Fast Pass! It’s 5 Euros to get in, but for 7 Euros you can pass through the ticket office and right into the store! Worth it if you really want to get inside. Some Harry Potter in Porto:

 

8D5F7B01-623F-4F37-AC7F-90EF1D78F5A9.jpeg

96E3D4E9-A883-4788-9A9D-4C1E8E8F28B3.jpeg

D9BD889F-B304-4509-8B6B-F3F63B08562E.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As you may know, no traveling on the Duoro is allowed at night, therefore traveling from port to port is done during the day. Quite frankly, I didn’t know what to expect. The scenery is amazing and the top deck is beautiful. We were never bored. 

 

First sailaway, taken from our Aquarium Class cabin window. I know some can’t imagine staying down there, but we love it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are making me want to book this cruise! Loving the review.

 

Robin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a fantastic review with wonderful photos.

 

We are planning a trip to Spain, Lisbon and Porto later next year, not a river cruise, just a regular trip.  Your photos have made it even more exciting to plan!

 

You mentioned restaurants not having chicken available but lots of seafood.  I don't eat shell fish but I love all other fish.  I would imagine that there is plenty of fish, is that right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, djh1959 said:

This is a fantastic review with wonderful photos.

 

We are planning a trip to Spain, Lisbon and Porto later next year, not a river cruise, just a regular trip.  Your photos have made it even more exciting to plan!

 

You mentioned restaurants not having chicken available but lots of seafood.  I don't eat shell fish but I love all other fish.  I would imagine that there is plenty of fish, is that right?

All restaurants have cod fish for sure. The Portuguese are crazy for cod fish. Of course there will be grilled sardines on every menu. Sea bass I saw very frequently also. 

 

Some restaurants do serve chicken. They call it chicken pico pico. It’s grilled chicken and then you add the pico which is a hot sauce to your taste. All restaurants serve pork loin which I had and was delicious. Everything is prepared very simply, salt olive oil, a little garlic sometimes. Pilar said she didn’t recommend the beef because all beef is imported so the quality is not consistent. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 6- We awoke early so we had enough time to eat breakfast and be on sundeck when we go through the lock at Carrapatelo Dam (Deepest lock in Europe, 115ft/35mt. Going through these deep locks were a highlight of the trip. (Our photos of going thru the dams did not come out too well but if you go to Instagram a gal on our cruise posted awesome photos)

 

A little more scenic sailing. You can see the train tracks and the tunnel in the bedrock. Now off to the Duoro Museum (literally across the road) for a very interesting and informative lecture “Magical Duoro Valley”

 

After lunch more scenic cruising including the Baguste Dam. Many pax including us decided to put on our swimsuits and lounge by the pool and sip cocktails. Yes there is bar service. lol. 

 

At 5:45 we’re all heading off to the Wine Estate Quinta Da Avessada for a traditional Portuguese dinner. 

F249D23E-4F57-42E7-846C-C71A2FF33FDD.jpeg

114C5B9F-FD0E-4C8B-924D-5D9498591AEF.jpeg

AFD11D78-427A-45CB-B285-C21B8106AAA3.jpeg

24E5E8E0-8182-4C29-89AC-BA4F59E231B7.jpeg

AAF9F6B5-1D08-4059-AD2E-A17DBC08E41E.jpeg

160305F8-724E-4439-8639-79E7E985FE3D.jpeg

A919F7F0-CC22-4510-BCCA-1D9120BD061B.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...