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The charming country of Portugal is one of Europe's top countries for both river cruises up and down the Douro River and Mediterranean cruises that frequently also visit Spain and Italy. Revel in Portuguese culture and the rolling countryside filled with vineyards, dramatic gorges, and steeply terraced hillsides. The historic city of Lisbon is famous for its unique Fado music, which was inducted into UNESCO's list of the World's Intangible Cultural Heritage. Porto, with its famous Port wine, impressive baroque architecture, and authentically medieval neighborhood, has preserved its cobblestone streets and simple structures. Other activities offered include visits to villages and archeological sites, wine tasting, and hikingContact one of our Portugal travel experts for a free customized itinerary. 

Our Favorite Cruises in Portugal

Our Favorite Places to Travel in Portugal

All Cruises to Portugal

10 Best Portugal Cruises for 2024-2025

All Cruises to Portugal
All Luxury Cruises to Portugal

10 Best Luxury Cruises to Portugal for 2024-2025

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Delightful Douro$101908Aug 14, 2024From windswept seaside meanderings in Porto to the astonishing beauty of the Douro Valley, this 8-day Douro River cruise aboard Scenic Azure will let …
Delightful Douro with Lisbon$1124011Aug 11, 2024Start your 11-day tour and cruise with a 3 night stay in Lisbon before a stunning all-inclusive river cruise along the Douro river from picturesque …
Secrets of the Douro & Lisbon$901511Jul 20, 2024Aboard the Emerald Radiance to travel to the Douro, and immerse yourself in real Lisbon. Navigate away across Portugal's countryside to reach …
The Unforgettable Douro$1429011Jul 25, 2024Cruise the beautiful Douro Valley on an 11-day river cruise. Discover the treasures of Porto, the vineyards in Regua, Vinhateiro & the Côa Valley.
Cape Verde and Canary Islands$820015Apr 15, 2025Embark on a distinctive cruise to discover the natural beauty of Cape Verde, the Canary Islands, and Madeira on this 15-day cruise from Dakar to …
Six Island in Easter Bouquet$1093010Apr 17, 2025Spend 10 days sailing through the Canary Islands, experiencing diverse landscapes from volcanic peaks to white beaches, with stops at historic towns …
Northwest Africa and its Islands$578011May 2, 2025On this 11-day Northwest Africa and its Islands Cruise from Dakar to Casablanca aboard SH Diana, experience the vibrant markets of Dakar and the …
European Coastal Cruise: France, Spain & Portugal$1349510Sep 21, 2024Join a 10-day luxury cruise on Le Dumont-d'Urville departing from Dover. Immerse yourself in Honfleur's beauty, Saint-Malo's culture, and Bordeaux's …
Vistas of Morocco & the Canaries$1029912Oct 19, 2024Embark on a 12-day Vistas of Morocco & the Canaries Cruise aboard World Voyager from Lisbon to Las Palmas. Dock overnight in Seville and sail to the …
Mysteries of Carthage and the Moors$1110812Aug 9, 2024Explore the North African coasts on this 12-day cultural expedition cruise aboard SH Diana. Embark on this voyage of discovery from Palermo to Lisbon.
All Douro River Cruises

10 Best Douro River Cruises for 2024-2025

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Delightful Douro$101908Aug 14, 2024From windswept seaside meanderings in Porto to the astonishing beauty of the Douro Valley, this 8-day Douro River cruise aboard Scenic Azure will let …
Enticing Douro$468911Jul 17, 2024Taste wines from historic vineyards on this 11-day Douro River cruise aboard the MS Amadouro. After spending 3 days exploring Lisbon, embark on a …
Portugal to Spain - Porto, the Douro Valley and Salamanca$31918Jul 22, 2024Join the crew of the MS Miguel Torga on this 8-day round trip Douro River cruise from Porto to Salamanca and back. You will visit the historic sites …
Portugal to Spain - Porto, the Douro Valley and Salamanca$31918Jul 31, 2024Join MS Gil Eanes on an exhilarating eight-day Duoro River voyage from Porto, Portugal, to medieval Salamanca. Visit Vila Nova de Gaia's winery and …
Portugal to Spain - Porto, the Douro Valley and Salamanca$26338Jul 29, 2024Get to know the history, culture and traditions of Portugal and Spain, on this 8-day voyage sailing along the Douro River on the MS Vasco de Gama. …
From Portugal to Spain: Porto, The Douro Valley and Salamanca$31918Jul 18, 2024This 6-day cruise aboard MS Amalia Rodrigues takes you on a roundtrip journey from Porto. Visit vineyards in Porto and Vega de Terron. Try the wines …
Lisbon, Porto and the Douro Valley$28378Aug 3, 2024Join the MS Miguel Torga on an 8-day trip to Lisbon, Porto and the Douro Valley. Cruising in the Douro Valley all the way to the Spanish border.
The Douro River, The Spirit of Portugal$26958Oct 23, 2024Board the MS Fernao de Magalhaes for an 8-day discovery cruise along the Douro River. Start and end in the enchanting city of Porto, making your way …
Vida Portugal: Vineyards & Villages along the Douro$43088Mar 26, 2025Embark on an 8-day Vida Portugal cruise aboard Avalon Alegria, exploring Portugal's Douro Valley. Enjoy guided tours of Porto, Braga, Guimarães, and …
Hike in Porto, the Douro Valley, and Salamanca$21158Oct 14, 2024Embark on a cruise through the heart of authentic Portugal and explore beautiful and unspoiled areas such as the Douro Nature Park and the Portuguese …

Top 10 Douro River Boats

Best Portugal Cruise Lines for 2024-2025

  • Ponant has provided innovative, exclusive, and constantly refreshed itineraries for over 30 years. Since the 15th century, Portugal has wielded influence on the Atlantic Ocean. On the explorer ships, Le BougainvilleLe Dumont-d'Urville, and Le Champlain see religious buildings, squares, and historic places reflect this feel, together creating a solid and attractive sense of identity.
  • CroisiEurope is a Strasbourg-based, Europe river cruise operator. During a Douro River cruise in Portugal, explore incredibly majestic sites such as the Vila Real and the gardens of the manor house of Solar de Mateus. The Douro Valley is home to delicious treasures and takes you along the Port wine route. Several ships available for this cruise include MS Infante Don HenriqueMS Amalia RodriguesMS Vasco de GamaMS Miguel Torga, and MS Gil Eanes.
  • Star Clippers Americas reimagines the legendary clippers that crossed the oceans in the 19th century and offered guests the chance to experience the unique thrill of sailing aboard a Tall Ship. The Royal Clipper sails across Portugal, including ports of call in Lisbon, Portimao, and Funchal. 
  • Lindblad Expeditions has garnered numerous awards for its commitment to environmental stewardship, conservation, and geographic education. Embark National Geographic Endurance to explore Lisbon, enchanting Sintra, and Portugal's scenic wine country. 
  • AMA Waterways. The newest Douro River ship, AmaDouro, features spacious, elegantly appointed staterooms. Most include balconies to take in views of Portugal's breathtaking hills and terraced vineyards along the river.
  • Silversea Cruises has four ships in its fleet of ten that cruise to Portugal, including Silver Spirit, Silver Moon, Silver Dawn, and  Silver Whisper. 
    Discover Portugal's glorious year-round weather, century-old cities, miles of stunning coastline, and fantastic wine. 
  • Emerald Waterways is a cruise line headquartered in Switzerland, that sets the benchmark in comfort across its fleet of innovative ships. Its stylish suites combine contemporary design with generous extras to guarantee an exceptional stay. On a river cruise in Portugal aboard Emerald Radiance, wind through the picturesque Douro Valley, flanked by peaceful villages steeped in centuries of incredible history.
  • Sea Cloud Cruises sails passion by tradition. Onboard the Sea Cloud Spirit, the sails are still traditionally set by hand – a real piece of work.

Portugal Cruise Tips & Travel Guide

Portugal Highlights
The charm and flavor of Portugal is not one you will soon forget! As you cruise the Douro River or the Portugal coast, you will experience the customs and traditions of these Iberian towns.
  • Porto is the country's major port city and also the departure point for many of our cruises; here, you'll find 16th century buildings, Baroque churches, and charming streets for an evening stroll.
  • Lisbon, the capital city, is another coastal town considered to be one of Europe's most beautiful cities; home to Castle of São Jorge and other sites over 400 years old.
  • Régua, Pinhão, Trás-os-Montes, and Vila Real have gained acclaim in Portugal as being among the finest wine-making regions in all of Europe, which is a staple part of several of our elite wine-tasting tours.
Many of our featured cruises also cross into neighboring Spain, visiting cities like the culturally rich Salamanca and other top destinations along the Douro River.

Portugal Cruise FAQs

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?
The riverboats 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.

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