Known for offering visitors the experience of a lifetime, a Douro River cruise is a unique way to see the best parts of Portugal. Travelers on the Douro River are given the chance to see the country's capital city and tour gorgeous wine country. They do this all while heading west along the Douro, exploring its multifaceted waters.
Most river cruises on the Douro bring travelers through rural countryside, where they’ll have the chance to relax on sun-soaked ship decks with drink in hand. The river offers travelers the chance to step back from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Cruisers can enjoy the scenic Portuguese country all from the comfort of high-end cruise lines.
Cruise travelers will see how Portugal was originally built around the Douro River. Along with wine country, visitors will see many villages dotting the river’s banks. Douro River cruises come to port at some of these, but also in some wonderful, historic cities. Travelers of the Douro are able to see many of Portugal’s most famous locations, ensuring a memorable trip down the river.
Douro River cruise ships
Douro cruises offer guests the chance to see a lot -- but mainly focus on traveling the countryside in style. Travelers have the chance to visit exciting cities, tour wineries, and explore quaint villages. Besides that, they’ll spend a lot of time on the ship, enjoying Portugal’s great climate.
From winding countryside to shallower waters, the Douro can be a challenge for certain cruise ships. Due to this, many Douro River ships are custom designed to navigate the waters of the Douro. You'll often have a more intimate experience with fewer guests while cruising this river, making for an incredibly immersive Portugal vacation.
The Douro's ideal climate for outdoor cruise ships
With our luxury Douro River cruises, cruisers can soak in the sun during Portugal’s summer months on their ship's outdoor sun deck with a local glass of wine in hand. Summers in the country are warm -- but not hot -- with temperatures around 80℉, or 26℃. Even winters in Portugal are pretty mild, with average temperatures near 60℉, or 15℃. The moderate climate in Portugal makes the country an excellent place for cruises year-round.
Ships also commonly feature other modern amenities on board. Douro cruises will usually have lounges, restaurants, music, and more on board. Guests spend the night in world-class staterooms on each ship from our cruise lines, so they always have a great place to return to after long days in the city.
Cruise the Douro River with our top cruise lines
All our favorite cruise lines offer cruises on the Douro River, including Viking, Scenic, and Uniworld cruise lines. Learn more about our top Douro River cruise companies below:
Visiting cities on the Douro
As a country, Portugal was built around the Douro River. The waterway was originally a common trade route for the area’s settlers. Because of this, all sizes of populations exist along the river. Because of this, each Douro River cruise will travel by small villages and large cities alike. All locations have historic landmarks, classic architecture styles, or intriguing cultural cuisine.
Here, we’ve listed a few of our favorite cities highlighted by Portugal river cruises on the Douro:
- Porto, Portugal. Originally settled by the Roman Empire, Porto is now a large city with tons of great dining, shopping, and entertainment. The city is famous for its fortified wine, now common throughout the world, known as port. Douro cruisers visiting Porto will have the chance to visit buildings like the Porto Cathedral or Palácio da Bolsa.
- Lisbon, Portugal. Some cruises visit the capital of Portugal, Lisbon. The capital is the largest city in Portugal, lining the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the 10th largest city in the European Union. Visitors will have plenty to do when they get to Lisbon -- whatever that may be. The 64-acre Eduardo VII Park and the Lisbon Cathedral are popular, picture-worthy spots for travelers.
- Bitetos, Portugal. A small village located along the Douro, Bitetos is a small village full of ancient Roman ruins. Visitors will have the chance to tour the Benedictine Monastery of Alpendurada, a historic monastery, while sipping on tasty port wines.
While not the most urban of European river cruises, the Douro River certainly has some great urban stops. Even with all of its great Portugese cities and villages, the Douro’s real charm is in its travels through nature.
Sailing the Douro River
Travels on the Portuguese Douro River give travelers the chance to see some of Europe’s best wine country. When you’re ready to explore beautiful, rural Portugal -- and stop in a few great cities along the way -- Douro River cruises are the voyage you want.