Why should I choose a river cruise?
A river cruise from Portugal will take you along the coast from Lisbon to Porto and on towards several destinations in Spain, making it a great value. Plus, it's a comprehensive way to explore the Iberian peninsula, including lodging, meals, and daily tours. The Douro River is the main river that cruises from Portugal, and it allows you to see new views every morning without ever having to pack or unpack your suitcase.
What should I look for on a riverboat or small ship?
offered for our Portugal journeys were specifically designed for sailing the Douro River. While they don't feature a wealth of amenities due to space restrictions of river vessels, you can count on a panoramic sundeck perfect for taking in the scenic views, a stylish bar, lounge, and dining area, and cabins that range from comfortable to luxurious. A friendly crew and knowledgeable captains will guide you through your journey.
Does Portugal feature any five-star vessels?
Not quite, but don't let that deter you. The river vessels that explore the Douro River combine comfort and style, but their size doesn't allow them to qualify as five-star vessels. Fewer amenities correlates to fewer stars, but the truth is the focus of your cruise will be the daily excursions, and with our hand-picked lineup of boats, we guarantee you will find a "five star" itinerary.
Should I get a room with a balcony?
It's really just not worth it. Balconies can be a nice place to drink coffee in the morning or watch the sunset in the privacy of your own room, but each of the river vessels we feature has a panoramic sun deck with comfortable chairs, making this a much better place to enjoy the scenic views and social atmosphere. On top of that, balcony cabins can cost much more and actually have less floor space to make room for the balcony. Consider a room with a floor to ceiling window or a window that opens rather than a balcony. Some boats offer what is called a "French balcony" with a sliding glass door and full length window so that you can literally convert your whole room into your balcony.
What is dining like?
Prepared by excellent local chefs, the cuisine on all of our featured vessels is nothing short of gourmet. You will get a true taste of Portugal as you enjoy typical meals each day.
Do Portugal river cruises ever visit destinations that aren't on the river?
Occasionally. Portugal is a relatively small country, so the Douro River and the coastal waters provide the main cruise routes throughout the country. There might be a few places that aren't right on the river, in which case transportation will be provided. But typically, the Portugal river cruises do stick to either the coast or the Douro River.
Will my vessel have WiFi?
While some vessels do offer WiFi, it's not standard on all boats, so be sure to check with us if that's important to you. But remember, even if your boat does have WiFi, there's a good chance that throughout your cruise you will be out of range of a signal.
What kind of power outlets are there? Will I need a converter?
Most 110v devices (like those made in North America) are also built to handle 220v power (which is what Europe has). You will need a plug adapter for three flat pronged outlets or two round prong outlets.
How can I save money on a river cruise?
DON'T try to save money on your cruise by reserving a cabin of a lower class, since these often sacrifice space and comfort in favor of savings which can make your overall experience a bit less amazing. INSTEAD, let one of our travel experts know where you want to go on your Portugal cruise and we will do our best to find the best promotions for you; or you can check out the promotions on the Deals page
Are river cruises in Portugal a good family vacation?
Portugal cruises are mainly centered around sightseeing and wine tasting primarily, so they can be a great option for an older family but could be a bit boring for younger kids. Check out our family travel article for more information.
Do Americans and Canadians need a passport and visa to travel to Portugal?
All citizens of North America traveling to Europe need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months. In recent years, it has not been necessary to apply for a visa before traveling to Europe if you plan to stay less than three months, however, this situation may change in the future. See current European visa requirements