Portugal river cruises

The Douro runs through one of Europe’s most beautiful stretches of countryside, flanked by vineyards under the warming Portuguese sun.

Portugal's enchanting countryside is yours to discover

Flowing from the heart of central Spain to the splendour of the Portuguese city of Porto, the Douro, one of the Iberian Peninsula’s major river highlights, is steeped in history, effortless beauty and enormous amounts of grandeur..
Our Secrets of the Douro river cruise takes you on an unforgettable journey through the picturesque northern stretches of beautiful Portugal. The round trip from the ancient city of Porto slowly curves around the dramatic and awe-inspiring landscape of the Douro Valley, with seemingly endless rows of peaceful vineyards gazing down over the water.
 
Visit tiny villages and family-owned wineries, steeped in tradition, which produce some of the world’s finest and best-loved fortified wines. The famous port wine of the Douro Valley has been grown and produced here for centuries, and has helped to cultivate the most delightful of landscapes.
 
As the Douro ebbs towards the Spanish border, you’ll be given the chance to continue your journey onto Salamanca, Spain’s golden city. The glow of the ancient sandstone buildings of Salamanca welcomes you to one of the continent’s most beguiling settlements, which contain some of the continent’s finest examples of medieval architecture.

Embark on a Portugal River cruise your way

Choose to uncover the Secrets of the Douro , which takes visitors from Porto, on an 8-day round trip that includes the Roman city of Salamanca in Spain, the pre-historic stone carvings of Pocinho, Portugal and the stunningly beautiful Régua, a picturesque municipality in northern Portugal.

Perhaps you’d prefer our Three Rivers Discovery Portugal River Cruise, which sees guests travel from Porto to Marseille via Pocinho, Lyon and Tournon. Or maybe your preferred route to Portugal is from Nice to Lisbon, passing through Arles, Avignon, Porto and then Salamanca on our Nice to Lisbon & Three Rivers Discovery Cruises.

However you decide to see the beautiful country on your Portugal river cruise, get in touch with us today and book your adventure of a lifetime.

Map of Portugal

Trace the legacy of port wine from Porto to the Douro Valley

The relaxed beauty of Portugal’s Douro River entwines a rich winemaking history. Traditional wineries and vineyards have long enriched this beautiful part of the world, helping to shape local culture and drive Portugal’s economy.

To this day, traditional methods that have been used for centuries reign supreme, with the delightful family-owned businesses remaining true to their roots. During your Emerald Waterways river cruise, you’ll have the chance to explore this colourful history – from vineyard walking tours to tastings in the ancient wine cellars of Porto.

Whether you’re a passionate Port lover or new to this decadent aperitif, a Portuguese river cruise allows you to trace the journey of the drink from sun-drenched vineyard to subterranean wine cellar. Discover more about Port wine and the flavours of the Douro in our guide below.

Explore the spectacular Douro Valley

The Douro Valley is considered to be one of the most striking stretches in Europe, where all that can be seen is natural beauty. Traditional wineries and charming villages break up the rolling green surrounds, while the illustrious and ancient city of Porto is a wonderful place to sample the very best in Portuguese food, drink and culture.

Extend your stay in Portugal's charming capital, Lisbon

Lisbon is a stylish capital and offers the perfect surrounds for relaxed exploration, with charming streets crisscrossing its squares and plazas. Traditional shops, bars and restaurants line the cobbled streets, welcoming you with rustic cooking, warming spirits and ornate souvenirs.

With monasteries, castles and museums aplenty to explore, a few days in Lisbon perfectly complements a river cruise in Portugal. Take in the ancient monuments of Jerónimos Monastery, Belém Tower and São Jorge Castle, or discover a fine collection of contemporary art at the Museu Coleção Berardo.

 Tracing the legacy of fado is, of course, a must on your visit to the Portuguese capital, and perfectly accompanies an evening of Port wine tasting or an exploration of Portugal’s world-renowned desserts.

Emerald Radiance from design to Douro

This miraculous time-lapse video showcases the impeccable care that goes into creating an Emerald Waterways Star-Ship – one of the most beautiful river cruise ships in the world. Emerald Radiance took to the serene waters of the Douro Valley in 2017, but the planning started many moons ago. Here, discover how the ship came to be and notice some of the wonderful features you can expect when you climb on board and begin your journey through northern Portugal.

Hear from our Douro River cruise director Rachel

Navigating the beautiful Douro year-round, cruise director Rachel knows these enchanting waterways like the back of her hand. Journey with her through Portugal’s charming and mysterious countryside, offering a snapshot into the rich culture and heritage of a handful of the destinations you’ll explore along the way.