Wendy’s Douro River Cruise Review
Following a wonderful Douro River Cruise in September 2020 the following is a review written by Wendy, a fellow passenger, and her husband, Norris.
“This was our first river cruise but most definitely not our last as we usually ocean cruise on larger vessels.
We boarded the vessel in Porto, having taken direct flights from Manchester. The city of Porto is beautiful, historical and has many places to visit.
Embarkation was smooth and simple. We were greeted by attentive and friendly staff following all current Covid guidelines with masks and social distancing in place. The Gil Eanes public spaces including the dining and bar areas were much more spacious than we anticipated.
Our cabin along with the bathroom was modern, comfortably furnished with good storage space and had magnificent views from the french balcony of the spectacular scenery of the Douro Valley as we sailed during daylight hours. Up on the sun deck we experienced pleasant hours soaking up the sun, enjoying the never-ending scenery and passing through several huge locks which are a feat of engineering in themselves.
The vessel offers a buffet style breakfast served to you by the staff and a 3 course set menu for lunch and dinner accompanied by wine and water as standard. We found the food and wine/drinks to be of the highest standards, as would be expected from a French operation.
We took advantage of two shore excursions. The first to Salamanca, which was a long day but well worth the visit to this World Unesco Site. We had a multi-lingual guide who was most informative and passionate about his city. The second trip was to visit a couple of small villages of interest followed by a visit to a working vineyard at Quinta for wine/port tasting. This was also an excellent trip which we enjoyed to the full.
On disembarkation, which was organised and swift by the excellent staff on board, we chose to spend an extra day/evening in Porto so that we could further explore this beautiful city, its waterfront dining and we were not disappointed.
If there was to be a negative, and we would be splitting hairs here, the internet connection is patchy at best, but probably to be expected sailing on the river.
Overall thoroughly enjoyable, can’t wait to do it all again.”