Blue Water Holidays
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Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
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+44 1756 706500
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Douro River Cruises through Portugal to Spain

The Douro valley combines delightful scenery with rural, unspoilt villages and towns and an opportunity to visit the great cities of Porto and Salamanca

The River Douro, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of Europe's most untouched and beautiful rivers. The River of Gold (D'Oro) meanders through northern Portugal through gorges terraced with thousands of vineyards to the ocean and the fascinating city of Porto. Along the way, visit restored palaces, places of pilgrimage, cultural centres and vineyards.

  • River Douro Map
  • Cruising down the River Douro at Porto
  • Boats on the Douro River at Porto

About Douro River Cruises

Porto is Portugal's second largest city and one of the most beautiful cities of the Iberian Peninsula. Its charm stems from its dramatic position above the river, with little gabled houses closely terraced down the hill. Porto owes its wealth and fame to Port wine, first discovered and exported by the British in the early 17th century.

Birthplace of the navigator Diego Cap who discovered the mouth of the Congo, Villa Real is an attractive old Episcopal town surrounded by fruit orchards and vineyards Nearby is the little village of Maters with a beautiful Baroque country house and gardens belonging to the Counts of Villa Real, and featured on labels of Mateus Rosé wine.

Situated south of the Douro, Lamego is a major market centre, and is charmingly set amid vineyards and lush, fertile countryside. The town boasts several fine Baroque buildings including the 18th century pilgrimage church Nossa Schrum, a Gothic cathedral, and an 11th century castle where in 1143 Don Alfonso Henriques was elected first King of Portugal.

On certain itineraries you will visit Salamanca, Spain's ancient seat of learning with its grand buildings and the Plaza Mayor, the country's most magnificent square. One of the loveliest and best preserved of the old Spanish cities, Salamanca justly deserves its place as a World Heritage Site. With a tumultuous past, the city has been conquered, influenced and shaped by Hannibal, the Romans, the Moors and the French. Today it is a city of golden stone architecture, narrow cobblestone streets and beautiful plazas.

Terraced vineyards on the river DouroVineyards on the Douro Mateus PalaceMateus Palace

NEW: Read our diary of a Blue Water Holidays River Douro cruise

Cruise Collection

All of our Douro cruises are shown below. Tick the boxes to filter by date, company, duration and type.

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    • CroisiEurope Ship - Infante Don Henrique
      Choice of Ships
      • See the steep vineyards along the Douro in the spring and autumn on this short break from Porto with plenty of opportunity to visit the highlights on optional excursions

      • River Cruise
      • 2016 - Oct, Nov
        2017 - Mar, Oct
        Included with this holiday ...

    • Save 5% on cruise only!

    • CroisiEurope Ship - Infante don Henrique
      Choice of Ships
      • Journey through Portugal's untouched picturesque Douro valley on this short break from Porto, home of the Port wine trade, upstream to the Spanish border

      • River Cruise
      • 2016 - Sep
        2017 - Apr, Sep, Oct
        Included with this holiday ...

    • Save 5% on cruise only!

    • CroisiEurope Ship - Infante don Henrique
      Choice of Ships
      • See why the World Heritage listed Douro is so popular on this week long voyage from Porto through Portugal's port wine region. Optional excursions available include Lamego, Mateus and Salamanca in Spain

      • River Cruise
    • Save 5% on cruise only!

    • Viking River Cruises Ship - Viking Hemming and Viking Torgil
      Viking Hemming and Viking Torgil
      • Enjoy a hotel stay in Lisbon before joining Viking Hemming or Viking Torgil in Porto and uncovering the highlights of Portugal's port wine region. Includes excursions and travel package from the UK

      • River Cruise
    • Save £1000pp on 2017 dates!

    • Riviera Travel Ship - Douro Spirit
      Choice of Ships
      • A 7-night river cruise through the picturesque Douro Valley exploring Portugal's famous port wine region on a luxurious ship, with return flights from the UK

      • River Cruise
    • Emerald Waterways Ship - Emerald Radiance
      Emerald Radiance
      • Brand new for 2017, discover the charming towns and historic landmarks along the Douro on this captivating 7-night roundtrip cruise from Porto. Includes return flights from the UK, shore excursions and complimentary drinks with lunch and dinner

      • River Cruise
    • Save up to £1200 per couple PLUS 250 Euro OBC per cabin!

    • Uniworld Ship - Queen Isabel
      Queen Isabel
      • Highlights of this voyage through Portugal include the spectacular Mateus Palace in Regua, the charming town of Pinhao and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Guimaraes. Includes guided excursions, unlimited complimentary drinks and gratuities

      • River Cruise
    • Save up to £600pp on 2017 departures! Exclusive package from just £2049pp!

    • AMA Waterways Ship - AmaVida
      AmaVida
      • Discover the terraced vineyards and sleepy fishing villages along the Douro on this round-trip from Porto on brand new AmaVida with included shore excursions and drinks with meals

      • River Cruise
      • 2016 - Sep, Oct, Nov
        Included with this holiday ...

    • Exclusive £50pp discount!

    • AMA Waterways Ship - AmaVida
      AmaVida
      • Join AmaVida at the Spanish border in Vega de Terron and explore the Douro Valley along one of Europe's most unspoiled waterways, lined with hillside terraved vineyards. Includes shore excursions

      • River Cruise
      • 2016 - Aug, Sep, Oct
        Included with this holiday ...

    • Exclusive £50pp discount!

    • APT Ship - AmaVida
      AmaVida
      • Explore the beautiful Douro Valley and port wine region on this superb itinerary along the River Douro on brand new ship AmaVida. Includes travel package from the UK and drinks with lunch and dinner on board

      • River Cruise
    • Save £500 per couple on 2017 departures!

    • Uniworld Ship - Queen Isabel
      Queen Isabel
      • See the beautiful terraced vineyards, medieval cities and World Heritage Sites on this voyage from Porto, beginning with a 3-night pre-cruise stay in historic Lisbon. Includes guided excursions, unlimited complimentary drinks and gratuities

      • River Cruise
    • Save up to £600pp on 2017 departures! Exclusive package from just £2449pp!

    • APT Ship - AmaVida
      AmaVida
      • Explore the beautiful Port wine region and breathtaking World Heritage listed Douro Valley on this luxury holiday along the River Douro, with Signature Experiences and Freedom of Choice Touring

      • River Cruise
    • Save £1000 per couple on 2017 departures!

    • Scenic Ship - Scenic Azure
      Scenic Azure
      • Discover sleepy Portuguese villages and the Douro Valley's famous wine growing regions on this superb voyage from Porto along the sun-drenched River Douro on brand new ship Scenic Azure. Includes shore excursions, return flights from the UK, butler service and all gratuities

      • River Cruise
    • FREE suite upgrade worth up to £2600 per couple on 2017 departures!

    • Uniworld Ship - Queen Isabel
      Queen Isabel
      • Discover the enchanting towns and celebrated wines of Portgual on this unique holiday combining a Douro cruise with hotel stays in Lisbon and Madrid. Includes guided excursions, unlimited complimentary drinks and gratuities

      • River Cruise
    • Save up to £900pp on 2017 departures! Exclusive package from just £3699pp!

    • Scenic Ship - Scenic Azure
      Scenic Azure
      • Enjoy a hotel stay in Lisbon and a luxurious voyage along the River Douro showcasing the region's celebrated flavours on custom-built Scenic Azure. Includes shore excursions, return flights from the UK, butler service, complimentary drinks and all gratuities

      • River Cruise
    • FREE suite upgrade worth up to £2600 per couple on 2017 departures!

Douro River Highlights

Lamego (Portugal)

Overlooked by two hills, Lamego is an impressive and picturesque town lying in the fertile Upper Douro region. At the top of one hill and reached via sweeping steps is the magnificent baroque Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios, and on the other, the remains of a 12th-century castle. The town has a pretty square laid out as a garden, and many fine 17th-century buildings.

Lamego

Lisbon

Lisbon has three ports, all with taxi services and within 3 kilometers of the city centre. Lisbon is a sprawling city which has been occupied by Visigoths, Moors, Romans and Celts. Alfama and Barrio Alto are historic districts of cobbled streets, wrought-iron balconies and Moorish buildings. Its most famous landmarks are the World Heritage Sites of Belem Tower and the impressive 16th-century Jeronimos Monastery.

Lisbon (Portugal)

Pinhao (Portugal)

Pinhao has a spectacular position at the confluence of the Douro and Pinhao rivers, surrounded by steep, rocky vineyards. It is famed for its old station, wonderfully decorated with blue painted tiles depicting the history of this port-producing region.

Pinhao

Porto

Oporto's sea port is located in Leixoes at the mouth of the River Douro and five miles north of the city, whilst river cruise vessels can access Oporto directly. Oporto is the hub of the port wine trade, and vineyards line the shores of the river upstream. Old Oporto is a World Heritage Site with houses dating back to the 15th-century, a grand cathedral, a train station decorated with fine examples of Portugal's blue and white tiles and the remains of Roman city walls.

Porto (Portugal)

Regua (Portugal)

Regua is backed by the Serra do Marao mountains and is at the heart of the Port wine region. It is a pretty town to stroll and is home to the Solar de Vinho do Porto which offers tastings and port-related exhibitions.

Regua

Salamanca (Spain)

The old city of Salamanca is a World Heritage Site with many Renaissance buildings of golden sandstone. The central square of Plaza Mayor is bordered by graceful arcades, and other highlights include the Romanesque Cathedral, the Augustinian Monastery and the Art Nouveau and Art Deco Museum of Casa Lis. Salamanca is reached by a day long optional excursion.

Salamanca

Vila Real (Portugal)

This typical Portuguese town has many interesting buildings, but the chief draw of the town is the baroque Mateus Palace of the Counts of Vila Real. Featured on the famous wine label, and recognizable by its ornate façade and stairways, its gardens are considered to be amongst the most beautiful in Europe.

Vila Real

Customer Reviews

"Relaxing cruise" by chris k5 star
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We have just returned back from a river cruise with  Croisieurope on the Infante Don Henrique.  Thanks to the wonderful planning of your Company it was a superb trip, from the arrival of our tickets in a blue fabric wallet, to the prebooked seats on the aircraft, and the private car waiting to transport us to our ship, everything was arranged so well.

The cruise was very relaxing, and the scenery beautiful, but if you are expecting that when you dock overnight, you will be able to walk round the town, do a bit of shopping and have a drink in a local bar, this is not the trip for you, as nowhere on the river where the ship docks, is there any sign of life.  Having said that if you want a week of total away from it all relaxation, this is the one for you.

The ship was beautifully kept, the staff very friendly and helpful, and the food superb.  I have a problem with food allergies, and the chef catered for me better than I have ever been looked after before, on any other holiday.

Well done Blue Water holidays, we recommended you to other passengers, and most certainly will book with you again.  Thank you.

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Just a quick line to let you know how much we enjoyed this holiday. Great management, friendly staff and wonderful scenery all made for a memorable week on the Douro. The French cuisine added greatly to both the quality and presentation.

The boat 'Infante de Henrique' was comfortable, light, airy, very well appointed and glided along almost silently. The guides were knowledgable, multi-lingual and very attentive. Salamance ticked all the boxes and was a particular highlight for us, together with visits to the port quintas. With evening entertainment of folk and flamenco dancing we thoroughly enjoyed the holiday and would definitely consider another river cruise in the future.

"Surprise 65th Birthday present" by margaret moore5 star
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This was a surprise 65th birthday present for my husband so I was slightly apprehensive as this was our first river cruise.  Neither of us was disappointed and we can't wait to do another cruise.  All the staff were so friendly and helpful from the minute someone ran up the gangway to relieve us of our luugage.  We didnt do all of the excursions but we enjoyed the ones to the Solar Mateus gardens (could have spent longer there) and the one to the Port wine road. To sum up the weather was great, the scenery was fantastic, the boat provided for all our needs and we returned home refreshed having made new friends of different nationalities.

Because this was a surprise holiday I was grateful to the company for keeping contact to a minimum and for sending the tickets in an unmarked brown envelope. Before booking I did phone to get a bit more information about the holiday to see if it would suit us and I found the staff most helpful.

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We travelled independently to Oporto the day before our cruise was due to start and did some sight-seeing before taking a taxi to the quay at Quebrantoes to join the Fernao de Magalhaes. Warning - there is nothing else at Quebrantoes and it is not within easy walking distance of the main part of Oporto, so don't go to the boat too early.

The reception they gave us was very welcoming and our cabin was up to our expectations. The quality of the food throughout was good, though not exceptional. The price of drinks on board, including after-meals coffee, was excessive. The vessel was sparkling clean and modern.

The trip along the Douro and back took us through suburban Oporto, rolling green hills, vinyards and then empty, wild countryside. The locks were impressive indeed in terms of the ascent/descent, one being 39 metres ! Yet our progress was hardly delayed because of the extremely efficient operation of this modern system.

Of the tours, "Oporto by Night" was disappointing in its scope, but student parties throughout the city centre may have been a factor here. There was, pleasingly, no overlap between that tour and the one of the following day around Oporto, which, like the others, was reasonable value for money. They were all most interesting, especially the visits to the port lodges and vinyards. The marvellous views up in the mountains down onto the river, which were a feature of all the tours along the river, gave us lasting memories. We had been to Salamanca before so we chose not to do this tour, remaining instead where the boat moored at Barca D'Alva and occupying ourselves with walks in the village (very small with no tourist attractions beyond its bars/restaurants) and the surrounding country lanes, including crossing the bridge leading into Spain to the quay at Vega Terron, where there is just the quay and nothing else !

The evening entertainment on board was very well organised. The crew evening was amusing and we applauded their bravery in putting sketches together for our entertainment. The Spanish evening and Portuguese evening were both of a high standard, with the latter being exceptional in music, singing and dancing.

Too soon we were back in Oporto where they kindly allowed us to remain on board waiting for the taxi to take us to our mid-day train to Lisbon.

We recommend this river cruise to all those who have an interest in Portugal and port wine, gorgeous scenery and a lazy 5 days in some luxury.

 

 

"Sailing by" by Fran5 star
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After booking this holiday I was a little anxious in case our friends did not enjoy it.  I needn't have worried because it was perfect and the four of us really enjoyed this cruise.

If you are looking for fresh air, relaxation, superb cuisine and interesting outings then this is for you.  The crew were welcoming, extremely hard working and multi-lingual.  The boat was comfortable and clean, the river was so peaceful.  We saw herons and an eagle.

I loved watching the boat going through the locks - the engineering is fascinating, and there was always a group of people watching and waving to us!  There were excursions every day and activities like a language lesson or aerobics class, but no pressure to join in.

I will never forget the sight of the mist rising from the river in the early mornings, the miles of vineyards, the rugged beauty of the mountainous area near to the Spanish border.  This was such a relaxing holiday and I would certainly recommend it.

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We both needed a break and this was the ideal cruise.

Immediately we boarded the ship we were made welcome by the crew who were friendly and attentive throughout the cruise. Our cabin was comfortable and spotless. The food was well-presented and extremely good at every meal.

The scenery as we cruised along the Duoro was breathtaking. The excursions were well organised and informative. Our favourites were the day long trip to Salamanca, the visit to Vila Real where we had a guided tour of Solar de Mateus - the original Mateus Rose property - and the visit to Lamego. We were able to sample the port wine from the region on our tour of the Sandeman company in Porto and at a rural quinta on a tour of the wine route. On each tour we were given free time to explore on our own which we really appreciated.

Many thanks to Blue Water Holidays for a great holiday!

"Amazing River Douro" by tourist5 star
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The River Douro cruise exceeded our expectations. Our French ship had superb food and excellent service from the crew.

Porto was fascinating, with its ancient port houses and old buildings built on many hills. As we went upriver we hadn't expected the huge deep locks which lifted the ship upwards. And then the scenery in the Upper Douro was much more hilly than we had expected. The vineyards clung to the hills, and the ship navigated through narrow rocky gorges.

Our excursions were to Lamego, with its sanctuary over 600 steps above the town, an all-day trip to medieval Salamanca in Spain, to religious Braga, and to the Solar de Mateus pictured on each bottle of Mateus Rose. We also toured the vine-clad hills and visited a port cellar and winery.

"Cruising the Douro" by ryank5 star
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We had planned for a number of years to take a cruise on the River Douro.  When the time arrived to undertake this trip, we researched the ships cruising on that river and selected the Douro Queen as the best, and booked it through Blue Water Holidays.

We extended our trip by a few days before the cruise to visit friends, and were very pleased to have done so in view of the all there was to see in Porto, a very old and historic city.

We found that the Douro Queen lived up to all that had been written about it.  It was a very comfortable ship with a very relaxed atmosphere, and a crew for whom nothing was too much trouble.

The itinerary was very well balanced with a good mixture of visits to Port wine lodges and estates where we learned a great deal about the history and production of the Port Wine as well as an adequate number of tastings.  there were a good selection of vitits along the route to historical sites of the region, and the restaurants visited ashore were well selected.

Salamanca was a particularly interesting city, and whetted our appetites to explore the region further on future visits.

The cruise was not cheap, but we felt that we had had good value for money, and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a quality experience, as well as our stay in Porto Pestana hotel.

 

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 We have just returned from a cruise on the R: Douro with Croisieurope.  Our ship was the Fernao de Magalhoes ( Ferdinand Magellan in English).    Most of the guests were French, but there were 6 of us from UK and another 10 from Spain amd the crew were able to converse etc in all three languauges It was a last minute decision to take this trip, and we were so pleased that we did.

 From the minute we joined the ship in Oporto, the crew were not only very attentive, but were friendly and fun as well.  The cabin was smaller than ocean going cruise ships, but had everything we needed and the beds were comfortable.  The food was imaginative and well presented.  The Gala Dinner was exceptional.  And all meals partnered with all inclusive wine or soft drinks.  There was some low key, but enjoyable evening entertainment.

 The River Douro is stunningly beautiful and the side excursions were reasonably priced and the guides catered for each seperate nationality. 

All in all, I could recommend this cruise to anyone who enjoys good scenery, good food and wine and a relaxed pace of life.

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Thank you for your letter and the chance to relate how much we enjoyed our recent holiday on the Douro, an area which we previously knew little about. It is certainly a place to be visited and to savour it's delights.

We had been on river cruises before, but Ricardo (the purser or rather "Jack of all trades") played a major part in ensuring our party of six were very comfortable and well looked after.

The guides we had were hand picked, fully conversant with their subject and able in the various languages represented on board to converse fully.

I thank you all for the planning and organisation that was evident from Blue Water Holidays behind the scenes.

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The welcome on board was great, the cabin was very comfortable and the facilities as good as could be expected in a small space.  The food was good and plentiful, except that the vegetables tended to be a bit overcooked, as if they had stood around for a while.  The public accommodation was very good. The staff were all very friendly, especially the purser, who ran the whole show.  I only went on one excursion because the river was too good to miss, but the trip to Salamanca was well organised and the guide was excellent..  My husband enjoyed his tour of the port wine area.

It is a French boat so most of the passengers were French.  However, there were three other English  couples and a Spanish couple.  We speak Spanish and French so didn't find this a problem, especially as all the staff speak very good English, as well as French and Spanish.  All notices were in the three languages. Just about everyone we met in Portugal speaks good English.

 There was free entertainment of a good quality every evening, the best being the staff show.

 I would highly recommend this cruise and would be tempted to do it again myself.

 

 

"Cruising the River Douro" by wendy matthews4 star
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We received a warm welcome from the crew when we boarded the ship in Porto and was escorted to our cabin which was on the main deck. The cabin was very compact not a great deal of storage space. The food was excellent and served by friendly staff.

The cruise was amazing  going through the different locks and beautiful scenery. We booked all the excursions which included visits to the wine growers and cathderals,our favourite was the trip to Salamanca.

The entertainment was good including fado evening , folklore and entertainment by the staff who did very well.

All the staff were friendly and helpful which made it an enjoyable trip.

 

"Portugal cruising" by up the creek4 star
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We had a fantastic holiday on the Douro river cruise last September. The crew were wonderful, it made our first cruise memorable. We couldn't fault anything, from the comfort of the cabins, the excellent food, (dare I say TOO much), the evening entertainment, & the varied & interesting excursions. We are looking forward to another "Blue Water" holiday soon.

"Golden River Douro" by B.Hart5 star

Well, my wife and I are back from our third cruise with CroisiEurope - this time on the MS Gil Eanes on the River Douro - and it's been just as good as the previous two. The ship is magnificent, having only been launched in April 2015. Obviously, everything is very new, and the colour scheme (a pastel blue with mushroom) is very restful and very contemporary; it is everywhere, including the cabins.

The cabin was spotless with high quality fixtures and fittings and the beds are probably the most comfortable had on any holiday. The bathroom was gleaming. In particular, the shower needs a mention as it's very large and there is no shortage of (potentially very) hot water.

The food was excellent, although in line with company policy, there is no choice. Of course, if there's something people didn't like, an alternative was always available. Breakfast was more simple than we've encountered on other river cruises, but did not pose a problem. Local yoghurt, continental meat, cheese, bread and pastries and masses of fruit was more than enough for us. Now, if only we could persuade the continentals that a cup of tea requires boiling water . . . .!

The Douro is spectacular - on the cruise, the ship climbs up a total of 150 metres on the journey via 5 very impressive dams. The terracing on the mountainsides (they can't be called hills) is breathtaking. In quite a change from previous cruises, the ship's company is mainly from the country of cruising i.e. Portugal whereas, for example in Spain the crew seemed to be mainly Filipino. No matter, everyone was unfailingly helpful and very pleasant; it was a pleasure to be on board.

The locks in the dams dictate the ship's size, so it's 80 metres long (most river cruisers are 110 metres long). This means there is no room for a 'piano bar' at the rear. If the entertainment in the main lounge is not to your liking, then the only choices are the sun deck, some casual seating in the central atrium, a walk ashore or retire back to the cabin.

We did not go on any excursions, through choice, because we didn't want to miss any of the 205km (each way) cruising; the ship continues to cruise during some of the excursions. There is no night cruising.

A couple of 'quirks' did not detract from our holiday. First, it is impossible to fill the cabin hand basin with water as the plug is designed not to close, so one has to wash in running water. With the benefit of hindsight, we would now take our travelling plug, unscrew the one in the cabin and so be able to fill the sink - which would make shaving a bit easier. Second, there are no bedside tables (no room) so our night-time water supply had to be a bottle stood on the floor between the beds. A possible third quirk is that the ship only carries 1.5 litre bottles of water - a bit large to carry around. On both our previous cruises with Croisi, water (in 500ml bottles) was freely available - both from the bar or when leaving the ship.

In summary, we loved the cruise and we like Croisi (the other 6 people on our dining table were also on their third Croisi cruise) and will be travelling with Croisi again. We would definitely recommend the Douro cruise. However, prospective cruisers must be agreeable to a lack of open seating and no choice of courses at mealtimes.

We have just returned from a wonderful trip and thought that our feedback may be of interest to you.

From the time last year that I originally made contact with you every facet of the trip has been beautifully organised, and exceeded expectations. The transport with Titan was punctual, and very well organised. Our overnight stay at the Park Inn was an ideal way to start, with very pleasant Titan staff to ensure Heathrow check in was smooth and efficient.

The three nights in Lisbon seemed to fly by with so much to see and do. Pilar from Uniworld is a credit to the company. We took the add on trip to Sintra which was good value and presented a lot of photographic opportunities!! The Queen Isabel is about as big as it gets for the River Douro!! Squeezing into the locks was a work of art!! The Stateroom that we had was very comfortable, lots of ingeniously designed storage, super shower, but of course the bathrooms are compact. Our room was cleaned and serviced by Claudia to a high standard.

We fitted with the demographics on board... 60 to 80 and well travelled with a wide range of backgrounds and interests. We met some lovely people from USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, as well as the 20 or so British on board. We enjoyed the food.. Good choices, nicely presented. We appreciated the low key nature of the entertainment. Quite happy to relax after dinner in the lounge. All in all... Fantastic !!!

"Port Wine Country" by P.Furmedge5 star

We booked our River Douro cruise through Blue Water Holidays without any trouble.

The cruise was wonderful, we stayed for two nights in Lisbon which we enjoyed very much , visiting The Castelo S. Jorge and touring the City.

We were then taken to Porto where we picked up our cruise. We had seven nights on board the Viking Torgil in a french balcony cabin. The cabin was compact but very well fitted out. We toured the River Douro as far as we could sail on the river and were taken to Salamanca by tour coach. Salamanca was a good fun day with a Spanish Flamenco show during lunch.

En route we visited many of the vinyards, tasting the wonderful port wines of the region. We were taken on tours either during the morning after breakfast or in the afternoon after a good lunch. The food on board was of a very good standard with excellent wines of the region we were touring on that day.

We found all of the staff on board really friendly and helpful, you only had to ask and help was at hand.

"Enticing River Douro" by S.Fernando5 star

In a few words the care and attention I had from Blue water was absolutely excellent and I just could not fault them especially the personal trouble taken over all the arrangements.

The cruise was with APT which was also very good and most enjoyable and very efficiently organised . Personally I expected the food to be of a higher standard although I must say it was very good. The entertainment was disappointing especially the on board pianist.

All in all very good.

We have just returned from a splendid River Cruise on the Douro in Portugal. We chose 'Blue Water' to book and arrange the entire holiday as the Company is the leading agent in the U.K. for Croisi - Europe. We could not have made a better choice - from the flights, the transfers, allocation of a requested cabin on the preferred deck - everything went like clockwork!

We saw wonderful landscapes with terraced vineyards, visited several interesting cities especially the stunning Salamanca and met many new friends. All in all, a most memorable holiday.

We found the staff members of 'Blue Water' to be pleasant, polite, helpful and all must be congratulated on their very professional manner.

We cruised on the River Duoro, Queen Isabel, beautiful boat, the staff was wonderful, friendly, helpful.  They made us feel special.  The food was excellent, cabins on the small side, but well proportioned.

And scenery was breath taking, lovely ancient villages, vineyards.  

Porto is a lovely city with so much history.

I highly recommend this trip to anyone who interested in River Cruises.  We had a wonderful time, never will forget it.

 We needed a relaxing holiday with lots to do and this was it.  Absolutely fantastic.  Lots of people to talk to or not, if you wanted to be quiet. Great excursions, or not if you wanted to stay on board.  Fantastic French chef and lots of drink.

The boat was safe, happy and relaxing.  The staff were friendly, brilliant and like family.  The food was yummy, loads to drink and great company.

 

We returned on Monday from our Douro Cruise and it was excellent. The French Company CroisiEurope, which we had not travelled with before, were very professional and seemed to get it absolutely right. The cabins were very comfortable with twin beds and a large window and plenty of loungers on the sundeck when we were sailing and not touring. We did all the tours except the Porto one which we did on our ownas as we arrived on the Sunday evening for an extra night. Chef,Sebastian, was astounding, the variety was fantastic and also his presentation. Definitely the best food we have ever had on any cruise.

I certainly hope we can do another cruise with the same company.Thank you for handling our bookings so efficiently.

"Very good" by bobalson5 star

Enjoyed it tremendously. Very good and memorable. I  would recommend it to anybody!

 

 

WE HAD AN AWESOME CRUISE!!!!

Food was delicious, servers and service excellent. Clean, comfortable rooms, very pleasant staff. Good entertainment - the staff put on a very funny and entertaining show the first night of the actual voyage, and the Flamenco Danciing and Folk Dancing were most enjoyable! Tours were even better than expected - the tour to Sandeman's was over the top! Heard many others express "They've saved the best for last!" The tour itself was good, but the location and thrilling ride to the top of the 'mountain', and the view from the top were outstanding.

Very good value for money - can you tell we had a good time?!! I have already highly recommended this Cruise to many of my friends.

Staff at Blue Water Holidays were very prompt and helpful with all our dealings with the company - especially since we are in Canada, and needed to receive our tickets well ahead of time, as the cruise was at the end segment of our Portuguese holiday.

Thanks again for a great time!!

Excellent ship, mostly extremely good catering and very very kind, helpful and attentive crew.   Absolutely no grumbles, cabins had more than expected from previous cruises and public areas were spectactular.   Like everything where you are together with other people you do not know especially at meal times you have to be lucky, we were.  

The ship was spotlessly clean and they took lots of precautions encouraging passenger hand sterilisation to make sure everyone stayed healthy.  We were the only British people on board but that didnt stop us feeling welcome as all the crew spoke 4 languages and everything was announced in english just for us.  The crew were very friendly and put on an excellent and very funny show.  My husband enjoyed the food of which there was plenty.  I dont eat meat and am mainly vegetarian although I do eat fish a couple of times a week.  The chef had this information and proceeded to give me fish up to 4 times a day counting all the courses.  I did crave some salads towards the end.  Everything was beautifully prepared and presented and there was as much wine as you wanted with lunch and dinner. 

Some of the places we tied up in overnight were rather primitive but the purser explained that the time pressure of the 5 night cruise meant that the ship had to cover the river more quickly.  He said the 7 night cruise tied up in more populous places.  This may be true but I did wonder if there was a financial incentive to tie up in some of these desolate places.

On the last day we were allowed to stay on the ship longer to wait for our train departure time.  All of the crew got stuck in with cleaning and other duties - I saw the captain in his orange te shirt portering people's luggage ashore!

 

The Douro valley is spectacular and well worth a visit.  We also had trips to Salamanca and Sandemans port estate.  They were both very interesting.

We did enjoy our Lisbon and the Beautiful Douro River holiday. When we arrived at Hotel Tiara and were met by Pilar Jackson. She was superb and "dotted every i and crossed every t" for the whole time we stayed in Lisbon. What a star!!

Moving onto the Douro Queen - both the Tour Manager and the Cruise Manager could not have been better. A map presented to us at every venue - impossible for anyone to get lost - especially as evrything was explained to us prior to getting off the coach. As for the French chef - superb meals and plenty of variety - and a team of friendly English speaking waiters who were also very efficient. The "door to door drivers were on time and courteous.

"A taste of Port" by bomma0 star

 

Being new to any form of cruising, on Blue Waters recommendation, we booked on the Douro River Cruise. What a good choice.

The Boat (Infante D. Henrique) all one thousand tons of it is French owned and run, and the influenced showed. The vessel generally and the public rooms were beautifully designed and immaculate. The staff worked hard and were friendly and very efficient, the Chef fed us French cuisine of the highest order with just a hint of Portugal.

          Each evening we were entertained by various groups and the "Crew"; on one occasion - and they were good at it, very well rehearsed! Fado, however, is an acquired taste.

          The excursions were varied - cities, small towns and vineyards which I found more interesting than I usually do. It was interesting to find out and taste the various "Ports" I'd almost forgotten the drink. This is a very religious part of Portugal so there was strong emphasis on churches.

          The River Douro is beautiful with the hillsides dotted with acres of vines, gorges, bridges and the occasional habitation. Perhaps the most impressive aspect is the five locks raising or lowering the boat up to 35 meters, and so very gently. They really are an amazing experience as the lock is 12 meters wide and the boat is 11m 40.

          All in all a most excellent holiday.        Margaret and Colin

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