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River Cruising

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    River Cruising

    Hi all. We have done quite a few Ocean cruises, so thought we would try something different for a change, so along with a couple of friends thought we would try river cruising. I have looked at some web sites for information etc, but thought I would turn to you guys for expert advice first. We have been looking at the cruise on the Douro river from Porto, but didn't realise that there were so many different boats and cruise companies to choose from. Can you help please? Many thanks.

    #2
    Yes, River Cruising is a refreshing change!
    I believe the Douro has less operators than the Rhine and Danube!

    I'm just back from the Douro (Porto to Porto). Loved the river, it is SPECTACULAR, but hated the cruise line. I would not touch CroisiEurope ever again, with a barge pole.

    If I went again, I'd maybe pick Emerald or Viking, Neither are cheap. However I think you would get what you pay for. There are probably cheaper options, but be carefu, I got it very wrong!

    Give yourself a few days in Porto (pre or post), if you can.

    Lisbon is only a 3 hour train ride away, if you want to extend the trip.

    I wrote this for my blog:

    https://malcolmoliver.wordpress.com/...-river-cruise/

    and this:

    https://malcolmoliver.wordpress.com/...-myth-reality/


    It may help you decide to give river cruising a go.
    Last edited by Malcolm, Essex; 23rd June 2019, 07:29 PM.
    See my cruise blog: HERE

    Comment


      #3
      I can’t comment on the Douro but having done a number of river cruises on the Danube (Viking) and the Nile (Thomson and 2 other lines now defunct) I would say it is a totally different cruise experience. Some thoughts :

      - ships much smaller so far fewer organised activities, facilities and entertainment
      - pricing always looks very expensive but it usually (though not always) includes a full programme of day excursions plus drinks with meals
      - lowest deck cabins may be below the waterline
      - single seating at dinner
      - more daytime cruising to appreciate the scenery - great to have something to look at on both sides of the river.
      - you often moor up in the heart of towns - great for getting off to explore
      - you get to know your fellow passengers well due to smaller numbers

      i love river cruising.
      Cruising my way through life!

      Sue

      Comment


        #4
        Hi, we have done both Ocean and River cruises including those of Viking and Scenic. The joy of river cruise is you dock right in the heart of cities, towns and villages, so lots to see and do everyday. We've recently come back from the Douro on Viking. I cannot fault Viking, organisation, first class hotels for the pre-cruise stay in Lisbon food on board etc. but this cruise was disappointing. The scenery is beautiful but there really is very little of interest beyond the wine estates and the tours usually involved long coach trips from ship to a tiny village or wine estates (Once you've seen one line of vines...etc.) Because of the size of the locks, this ship is even smaller than usual for river cruises, so very limited facilities - e.g. the .library was a bookcase in the lounge. The cabins on river cruises are smaller than on Ocean ships and while Viking have tiny balconies with seats outside the cabins, other lines have cabins with wall to wall floor length sliding glass doors so in effect the .balcony and sitting area is inside which makes for a roomier space inside the cabin. For your first river cruise, I recommend ones which include Budapest and/or Prague, the Rhine, the Rhone. There is usually something of interest every day and the ships have more facilities than on the Douro.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by sailorjoan, London View Post
          Hi, we have done both Ocean and River cruises including those of Viking and Scenic. The joy of river cruise is you dock right in the heart of cities, towns and villages, so lots to see and do everyday. We've recently come back from the Douro on Viking. I cannot fault Viking, organisation, first class hotels for the pre-cruise stay in Lisbon food on board etc. but this cruise was disappointing. The scenery is beautiful but there really is very little of interest beyond the wine estates and the tours usually involved long coach trips from ship to a tiny village or wine estates (Once you've seen one line of vines...etc.) Because of the size of the locks, this ship is even smaller than usual for river cruises, so very limited facilities - e.g. the .library was a bookcase in the lounge. The cabins on river cruises are smaller than on Ocean ships and while Viking have tiny balconies with seats outside the cabins, other lines have cabins with wall to wall floor length sliding glass doors so in effect the .balcony and sitting area is inside which makes for a roomier space inside the cabin. For your first river cruise, I recommend ones which include Budapest and/or Prague, the Rhine, the Rhone. There is usually something of interest every day and the ships have more facilities than on the Douro.
          A very interesting and informative first post.

          Comment


            #6
            Malcolm - I’ve read your account of the cruise on your blog and it’s well worth reading. Thanks.

            Comment


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