Highlights of a Douro River CruiseCruises on the Douro River usually run between March and November and start with a multi-day visit to Portugal's capital city of Lisbon. This lovely city is very hilly and sits on the Tagus River. Many compare Lisbon to San Francisco, primarily because of its hills and its suspension bridge that looks much like the Golden Gate Bridge.
River cruise tours leave Lisbon and drive to Porto on the coast of Portugal north of Lisbon, where you will board your Douro River cruise ship. From Porto, the river vessels sail eastward up the river into Spain, stopping at historical sites along the way. One of the best things about a Douro River cruise is the unspoiled scenery and fascinating towns, monasteries, and gardens. Of course, participants will also have the opportunity to learn all about Portgual's famous beverage, port. Towns and villages such as Coimbra, Salamanca, and Guimarães will each add special memories to your Douro River cruise.
Uniworld's Queen Isabel will be slightly smaller than the Douro Spirit. The new ship will carry 118 passengers and allow Uniworld to offer 18 junior suites at 215 square feet and 2 larger suites at 323 square feet. These larger accommodations will be on the top deck and have full balconies. The style of the Queen Isabel will be the same classic Old World style and elegance similar to Uniworld's other ships in Europe.
Uniworld named the ship Queen Isabel after one of Portugal's most beloved queens.
Viking River Cruises sail the Douro River for the first time in 2013, with 10-day cruise tours starting with two days in Lisbon, followed by seven nights on the 124-passenger Viking Douro, built in 2011. Guests who want to spend more time in the region can add a 2-night extension to Braga, Portugal and Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
AmaWaterways joins Uniworld and Viking on the Douro River in 2013. This European river cruise line will have two river cruise itineraries. The first is a 12-day cruise tour called the "Enticing Douro" and is similar to that of the other two river cruise lines, starting in Lisbon and ending with a 7-day cruise on the Douro on the 108-passenger AmaVida.