Secrets of the Douro River cruise

(215 Reviews)
99% Recommended

Ann Castagna Morin

Southampton, MA
Luxury River Cruise & European travel specialist

I have had a sense of wanderlust since I was a child, always yearning to go off and explore the world.

I will take my own personal passion for travel and use it to craft an extraordinary luxury experience for you.

Europe is my specia...

Douro river Portugal

The Douro river is a photographers delight!

    It is a stunning itinerary, probably the most picturesque I have sailed. 

The grape vines cling to the side of the cliffs at an almost impossible angle, very similar to the Rhine gorge but even more challenging. Dramatic mountains are covered with vineyards are far as your eye could see, it was very relaxing after the stressful year of constant Covid conversations.

     The landscape changes constantly throughout the cruise, at the end of the river the lush mountains turn to barren stone walls.  The rocky cliffs are jagged and quite impressive reminding me of the Iron Gates gorge on the Danube as one enters Romania.   

I sailed with Emerald Waterways on the Radiance, the ship itself is laid out very nice with an enticing spa pool on the top deck and the staff could not be friendlier.  I could tell that they were a real "team".  All were from Portugal, had a true love of their country, and a fondness for each other, it was quite touching. The food was excellent and they were very accommodating with my allergy which is a priority for those of us who have limitations.    

There is a small gym and spa downstairs, I liked how they had it set up with a water bottle and towel already set up in cubbies for guests.  I had a massage and it was quite relaxing, I kept my mask on when I was faced up but then when I turned over I removed it- it worked out fine.

Part of traveling now is being flexible and accepting that just because things are not exactly the same does not mean they still can't be excellent!    

     We had several great included excursions such as a visit to a beautiful vineyard for a tasting and a dinner at another gorgeous wine estate.  On board they had some fun activities like a cocktail making lesson featuring port wine and a tile painting class.  I loved the nightly "game show" activities like trivia etc. it was fun proving yet again I know more than my husband.

The highlight for myself was an optional excursion to the Mateus Manor house, the mansion and gardens were something I will not long forget!    

     This is a cruise one takes for the scenery, it is jaw dropping gorgeous, a photographer's dream. It is also a trip for wine lovers with many included tastings and the wines served on board are very good.  The cruise is very relaxing and a great way to de-stress, it is important to note that it is not an itinerary for shoppers though.  The towns are small, no jewelry stores etc., that didn't bother me as I wasn't looking to shop on this trip, many husbands will be thrilled about that!

If you are looking to see some of the prettiest views in the world in a "laid back luxury" atmosphere Emerald Waterways Secrets of the Douro may be the perfect match for you.

Give me a call at 413-552-8941 we can chat about it.

My Travel Albums

Sicily, Italy
Sicily has amazing ruins!
The Romantic Rhine River Cruise
Vineyards and Castles on Rhine River
Sailing the Danube River
The Danube bend is so picturesque!
Italy-, Umbria, Tuscany, Venice and more!
The Golden Val d'Orcia Italy
Italy- Rome
Trevi fountain Rome Italy
Southern Italy- Amalfi Coast and Islands
Maronti Beach Ischia Italy
See more travel stories
Return to my Luxury River Cruise & European travel specialist page
© 2020 Travel Leaders Group