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The Douro

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    The Douro

    Anyone ever cruised the Douro?

    The river cruise lines excursions look difficult to avoid.
    See my cruise blog: HERE

    #2
    I've been looking at River Cruises, but I would like to go through Switzerland, but most of them seem to start in Basel and then move on.

    Can't help with Douro I'm afraid, I hadn't even heard of it, had to look it up .................................................. .....................Carol

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by carol, welwyn garden city View Post

      Can't help with Douro I'm afraid, I hadn't even heard of it, had to look it up .................................................. .....................Carol
      Hi Carol, the Rhine and the Danube are the 'big' destinations. The Douro (Portugal, often a round trip from Porto) is no quite so common.

      I'd recommend the Rhine from Cologne (7 night return). It's very picturesque. Cologne is worth a few nights pre or post. I'd also recommend Amadeus River Cruises for price. If you go off-season the price is sensible. I did a 7 night winter Christmas markets a few years ago. It did not really rain much and it was not so cold either.

      Those that live near London, Ebbsfleet or Ashford can take the train to Cologne. There are some hotels right next to Cologne station. You can even walk to the Rhine (boat jetties) from the hotels in ten minutes or so.

      A nice way to see Switzerland is by train - such as 'Great Railway Journeys'. It's quite breathtaking, but It's NOT cheap of course. I did not think much of Basel (or Chur). Much of the rest is lovely.
      Last edited by Malcolm, Essex; 6th January 2019, 10:59 AM.
      See my cruise blog: HERE

      Comment


        #4
        Malcolm,
        We have done the Douro but some time ago, we loved it, when we were on board we could not sail at night, don't know if this is still the case. They said there were too many boulders to navigate.
        You don't have to do the cruise line excursions the ports we visited you could just walk off the ship and go into towns etc.
        We also found that being moored overnight we could have dinner then go for a walk and visit some of the bars etc in the towns.
        We started in Porto and had a few days either side of the cruise.

        Comment


          #5
          We also did the Douro river cruise, round trip from Porto. The excursions were included, one at each port with no choice of activity. Joining the coach is not compulsory of course, you can always stay on the ship or do your own thing. The first day was a tour of Porto and port tasting. There were wine and port tastings, some evening dinners at historic shore hotels, visits to towns, a visit to the house that is on the Mateus Rose bottle label and we particularly enjoyed the day in Salamanca, Spain, a visit we could not have done without the ships tour. There is time to wander around the docking place.

          Now that it is mentioned I seem to remember that we did not travel by night but was not aware of any reason, just assumed thats how it is. Distances covered are not as great as on a cruise on the Rhine, in France or in Russia, all of which we have also done so maybe time is not as important.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by CELEBRITYFAN, YORK View Post
            Malcolm,
            We have done the Douro but some time ago, we loved it, when we were on board we could not sail at night, don't know if this is still the case. You don't have to do the cruise line excursions the ports we visited you could just walk off the ship and go into towns etc. We also found that being moored overnight we could have dinner then go for a walk and visit some of the bars etc in the towns.
            Originally posted by mags, cardiff View Post
            Now that it is mentioned I seem to remember that we did not travel by night but was not aware of any reason, just assumed thats how it is. Distances covered are not as great as on a cruise on the Rhine, in France or in Russia, all of which we have also done so maybe time is not as important.


            Thanks both.

            I believe the river is too narrow and shallow so night cruising is not allowed.

            I was under the impression that some of the berthing places were remote.

            Can you recall what is at Pinhao?

            Is tha mateus palce near Regua?

            Do I need a tour for Guimaraes?
            See my cruise blog: HERE

            Comment


              #7
              Malcolm
              The only one I remember on our cruise was https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attrac..._Portugal.html
              her we just walked from the ship to see the old railway station and the famous blue tiling. We were then taken to an old house and had afternoon tea in the garden/

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Malcolm, Essex View Post



                Thanks both.

                I was under the impression that some of the berthing places were remote.

                Can you recall what is at Pinhao?

                Is tha mateus palce near Regua?

                Do I need a tour for Guimaraes?
                Ive checked back to some of our paperwork / mementos from 2003. We went to Porto (docked o/n and tour + port cellar the next day before sailing. Then evening at Bitetos with dinner on shore in an old monastery, now a pousada, one of Portugals historic hotels. Next Regua from where we went to Vila Real, a historic town with cathedral and to Casa de Mateus (Mateus Rose label fame). By the way, on our cruise all the excursions and transport were included so no need for any choice, only whether to go or stay. Sometimes we rejoined the boat further down the river so it would not be easy to go far on your own. Our o/n stop was at Barca d Alva and next day at Vega Terron in Portugal for a full day to Salamanca Spain. Then it was retracing back to Porto with a stop at Pinhao. We visited some churches, I think it must have been on another organised tour. Also some wine tasting here. Regua again and Lambego, a historic town with churches and a cathedral. Guimares is an unknown sorry.

                There was free time at places and it is possible to go for a walk, look around at docking places but my recollection is that they are quite small, obviously riverside rather than in centres. There are not as many pax on river boats as cruise ships so a selection of excursions tends not to be on offer.

                Hope this helps and you enjoy.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by mags, cardiff View Post

                  Hope this helps and you enjoy.
                  Very informative, thanks Mags.
                  See my cruise blog: HERE

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Malcolm, Essex View Post

                    Hi Carol, the Rhine and the Danube are the 'big' destinations. The Douro (Portugal, often a round trip from Porto) is no quite so common.

                    I'd recommend the Rhine from Cologne (7 night return). It's very picturesque. Cologne is worth a few nights pre or post. I'd also recommend Amadeus River Cruises for price. If you go off-season the price is sensible. I did a 7 night winter Christmas markets a few years ago. It did not really rain much and it was not so cold either.

                    Those that live near London, Ebbsfleet or Ashford can take the train to Cologne. There are some hotels right next to Cologne station. You can even walk to the Rhine (boat jetties) from the hotels in ten minutes or so.

                    A nice way to see Switzerland is by train - such as 'Great Railway Journeys'. It's quite breathtaking, but It's NOT cheap of course. I did not think much of Basel (or Chur). Much of the rest is lovely.
                    I'm getting old, we are going to Switzerland, but on a coach holiday!! It looks amazing. I did look at doing it on a train, but didn't fancy keep changing hotels. This way, we stay put, and can go on the trains any way. Fingers crossed we have made the right decision! .................................................. .........Carol

                    Comment


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