The main focus of this trip was a seven day river cruise on the Douro River in Northern Portugal. In planning for this trip our friends Dan and Wanda from Corpus Christi, Texas were joining us. Dan and I were colleagues in the same office at Patuxent River, Maryland, working for the Navy. We agreed to the cruise in May of 2016 to avoid cold weather. I researched with three or four river cruise companies, including AMA Waterways, Viking and Vantage. Vantage had the best prices considering the total number of days of the tour, including the river cruise. We had done two trips with Vantage and found that they delivered an excellent product.
The Vantage tour included three days in Lisbon and seven days on the river boat. We booked the cheapest cabin on the lower deck (as usual). We had our pick of cabins, since we booked over a year ahead of the tour. The boat was the Douro Spirit, one of eleven boats owned by Douro Azul, a Portuguese company.
We decided to fly into Lisbon a day in advance of the tour, as well as staying three days after the tour ended in Porto. Dan and Wanda made plans later and decided to book a transatlantic cruise with Princess from Ft. Lauderdale to Barcelona, Spain, then visiting Granada and Madrid prior to arriving on the same day that we did in Lisbon. Ginny and I were in the bar of our hotel in Lisbon when Dan and Wanda arrived. We planned for our free day in Lisbon the next day.
Cheapest cabin, same size as most of others. Cabin had nice features and was spacious enough.