December 14th 2017


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Cruising the Douro Cruising the Douro Cruising the Douro Cruising the Douro


Continent: Europe. Country: Portugal. City: Porto.

Cruising the Douro

By David Stock

The River Douro – I recently cruised on the Douro in Portugal in September and have to admit this is one of the most picturesque rivers I have been on.

I have visited and been on a couple of River Cruises and cannot believe how nice the experience is from start to finish the whole experience is just amazing. I have been on many Ocean cruises but with River cruise the number of passengers is less and really offers you that personal service.

I was lucky enough to be taken by Titan and we flew from Gatwick to Porto again this was a new experience for me such a beautiful city quite easy to get about and very reasonable to eat and drink, the city is set on the River Douro. The city has and is famous for its several Porto distilleries where an excursion is offered to go and taste after a city sightseeing.

The Ship – The Spirit of Chartwell (was the Royal Barge for the Diamond Jubilee) hold just 30 passengers in 14 Cabins and 1 Suite. The Cabins are all on the lower deck of the ship although bijou had ample space for everything you needed. The Team of staff do everything including luggage portage to restaurant and bar service, the food on board is amazing 3 meals a day that are served in the small dining room and drinks are included throughout, entertainment is limited with lectures of the river and pianist some evening although one of the nights whilst you are in Pinhao you do have an traditional Portuguese dinner and entertainment in a wine estate.

The greatest Bonus of a river cruise is always waking up somewhere different or just relaxing on the sundeck and watching some of the amazing scenery go pass. You also pass several locks which is pretty amazing experience too, I have never experienced this on a River cruise before.

At each destination a different excursion is offered sometimes 2 one in the morning and one in the afternoon to various places of interest again as it is only a small group that is onboard you do not need headphones like other companies. A huge benefit of a River cruise is where every you arrive you are never too far to just go off by foot if you did not want to take the organised excursion.

Tipping is always something that customers find difficult on cruises they recommend 12 euros per person, per day on this ship however you are given an envelope on your last evening and is entirely discretionary all though they staff work amazing hard to make your trip truly amazing.

Overall a truly amazing trip offered by a mixture of companies and sizes of River cruise ships and certainly definitely a river worth exploring.

Personally I can’t wait to go back and do the cruise again.

Keywords: River Cruises, River Douro, The Spirit Of Chartwell