Douro River Cruises

Discover Portugal’s rural heartland on a Douro River cruise holiday…

Running for 556 miles, the Douro River flows between the Urbion Mountain region of Spain and northern Portugal. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Douro is the third largest river in the Iberian Peninsula, and a river cruise represents an excellent way to explore the famous Douro Valley wine region.

Douro River cruises depart from the vibrant city of Porto and are offered by many of the world’s most famous river cruise operators, including AmaWaterways, Scenic and Emerald Waterways. Most Douro River cruises are available to book on a seven-night basis; however, extending with a two- or three-night city break in Porto or Lisbon is recommended should you wish to stay in the region longer.

Regardless of which line you choose, you can look forward to enjoying a river cruise through one of the world’s most enchanting landscapes, past picturesque villages and historical landmarks and between the green sloping banks of vineyards that line the river’s edge.

Best Time To Go On A Douro River Cruise

The best time to go on a Douro River cruise depends on your budget and how hot you like things, temperature-wise. If keeping the price down is essential, then booking for March, April, early May, and November is advisable. The spring/early summer period is often when Douro River cruise fares are at their highest due to the route’s popularity during these times.

In terms of weather, those seeking cooler temperatures should head to the Douro in early spring and early autumn. If you don’t do well in the heat, we recommend avoiding cruising during late July and August, as it can be extremely hot and humid.

Unlike other cruises on rivers such as the Danube or the Rhine, sailings on the Douro are unavailable during the festive period.

Which river cruise lines offer Douro cruises?

Each of the following operators offers a unique perspective of the Douro, combining cultural experiences, scenic views, and luxury services. From exploring historic wineries to sailing through picturesque landscapes, these cruises cater to various preferences and interests.


Known for their “Flavors Of Portugal & Spain” and “Enticing Douro” cruises, each lasting seven nights. These cruises start and end in Porto, taking travellers through the stunning landscapes of the Douro River Valley. They emphasize cultural immersion, including wine tastings and visits to historic wineries.

Viking River Cruises:

Viking offers a “Portugal’s River Of Gold” itinerary, a 9-night cruise starting in Lisbon and ending in Porto. Viking’s cruises are known for their comprehensive packages and inclusive value, which covers most needs without hidden fees.

Scenic River Cruises:

They offer a “Unforgettable Douro With Lisbon” cruise, a 13-night journey beginning and ending in Lisbon. Scenic River Cruises are known for their all-inclusive luxury experiences, where almost everything is included in the price.

CroisiEurope Cruises:

This cruise line offers various options, including 8-day cruises on the Douro. Known for their value-for-money propositions, they blend comfort and cultural exploration.

Avalon Waterways:

They provide cruises on the “Avalon Alegria,” a ship designed to offer spacious accommodations and panoramic views of the Douro River. Their cruises are tailored for those who love in-depth exploration with a touch of luxury.

We offer exclusive fares with these cruise lines, along with others, including Riviera Travel and UniWorld.

Why choose a Douro River Cruise:

  • Douro River cruises are a great way to see rural Portugal, home to some of the most majestic scenery in Europe.
  • Fantastic shore excursions are available with all operators – visit wineries, enjoy walking tours and explore hidden gems such as Vila Nova de Gaia.
  • There’s no night cruising, so all journeys are undertaken during the day, so you have plenty of time to relax and enjoy your ship’s facilities.
  • You can also extend your stay with a city break in Porto, Lisbon or Madrid (depending on your chosen itinerary).

Book your river cruise with us today!

If you would like further information regarding cruising the Douro River, or if you would like a quote for a future voyage, please call 0800 008 6677 or make an online enquiry for one of the cruises below.

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