River Cruises on the Douro

From Portugal’s second city of Porto the scenic River Douro extends inland through vineyards of grapes for the port wine which made Porto famous. A Douro river cruise travels upstream through steep gorges almost to the Spanish border. A major excursion includes the historic Spanish city of Salamanca.

Porto is notable for its high level rail and rail bridges, and the warehouses of the port wine shippers. Porto station and that at Pinhao are famous for the blue tiles depicting local scenes. Excursions include Lamego with its church-shrine over 600 steps above the town, and the Mateus Palace at Vila Real, familiar from Mateus wine bottles.

    • CroisiEurope Ship - Infante Don Henrique
      Infante Don Henrique
      • See the steep vineyards along the Douro in the spring and autumn on this short break from Porto with plenty of opportunity to visit the highlights on optional excursions

    • CroisiEurope Ship - Miguel Torga
      Miguel Torga
      • Journey through Portugal's untouched picturesque Douro valley on this short break from Porto, home of the Port wine trade, upstream to the Spanish border

    • CroisiEurope Ship - Miguel Torga
      Miguel Torga
      • See why the World Heritage listed Douro is so popular on this week long voyage from Porto through Portugal's port wine region. Optional excursions available include Lamego, Mateus and Salamanca in Spain

River Douro Cruises from Porto in Portugal

Known as the River of Gold, the River Douro (d'Ouro) meets the Atlantic Ocean at Porto. Famous for the port wine trade started by the British, warehouses bearing the names of famous port wine shippers line the river. Terraces of ancient houses climb up Porto's hills, and notable is Eiffel's high level river bridge.

From Porto, our River Douro cruises head into a rural landscape with golden hued vineyards reaching down to the river. An overnight stop at the riverside town of Regua is a base for excursions to Lamego and Vila Real.

Lamego is a market town with an ancient cathedral and a 11th century castle. High above the town is Nossa Schrum, a shrine reached by flights of steps climbed by centuries of pilgrims. Near Vila Real is the beautiful Mateus Palace of the Counts of Vila Real, as depicted on labels of Mateus Rose wine.

The River Douro is noted for its deep locks, some of the deepest in Europe, which lead upward to a scenic stretch of gorges and crags overlooked by terraces of vines. At Pinhao the railway station has decorated tiles showing historic Douro scenes.

The navigable section of the Douro ends at the Spanish border, starting point for a day trip to the World Heritage Site of Salamanca in Spain, noted for golden stone buildings, cobbled streets and the huge Plaza Mayor.

  • CroisiEurope ship in Porto
  • The River Douro at Porto
  • Scenic River Douro
  • Lamego Shrine
  • Vineyards along the Douro
  • Morning on the River Douro
  • The palace of Mateus
  • Upper River Douro
  • Deep gorges on the River Douro
  • Salamanca Cathedral
  • River Douro narrows upstream

Lamego (Portugal)

Overlooked by two hills, Lamego is an impressive and picturesque town lying in the fertile Upper Douro region. At the top of one hill and reached via sweeping steps is the magnificent baroque Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios, and on the other, the remains of a 12th-century castle. The town has a pretty square laid out as a garden, and many fine 17th-century buildings.


Pinhao (Portugal)

Pinhao has a spectacular position at the confluence of the Douro and Pinhao rivers, surrounded by steep, rocky vineyards. It is famed for its old station, wonderfully decorated with blue painted tiles depicting the history of this port-producing region.



Oporto's sea port is located in Leixoes at the mouth of the River Douro and five miles north of the city, whilst river cruise vessels can access Oporto directly. Oporto is the hub of the port wine trade, and vineyards line the shores of the river upstream. Old Oporto is a World Heritage Site with houses dating back to the 15th-century, a grand cathedral, a train station decorated with fine examples of Portugal's blue and white tiles and the remains of Roman city walls.

Porto (Portugal)

Regua (Portugal)

Regua is backed by the Serra do Marao mountains and is at the heart of the Port wine region. It is a pretty town to stroll and is home to the Solar de Vinho do Porto which offers tastings and port-related exhibitions.


Salamanca (Spain)

The old city of Salamanca is a World Heritage Site with many Renaissance buildings of golden sandstone. The central square of Plaza Mayor is bordered by graceful arcades, and other highlights include the Romanesque Cathedral, the Augustinian Monastery and the Art Nouveau and Art Deco Museum of Casa Lis. Salamanca is reached by a day long optional excursion.

Southern Europe Rivers Map