Portugal and Spain have been on the punch list for a while since a colleague and his spouses did the trip in 2019. Despite the year long delay, the cruise, including both land extensions in Lisbon and Santiago de Compostela were marked by great service, excellent food, wonderful tours and a well managed but ubquitous approach to the issues around COVID.
Despite those challenges the trip was as good as our Rhine cruise with them prior to the pandemic. The people of Portugal are warm and friendly and the majority of the cruise staff was Portuguese or of Portuguese descent so providing a great experience was in many ways personal to them.
As to the Douro ships being smaller, there is no downside. The care and maintenance is just as good and the public spaces, while smaller, were just as comfortable as we experienced with the "long-ships" on the Rhine.
No different that our room on the slightly larger long-ships. Spacious, comfortable and always well maintained.
Fantastic little village high above the river valley with amazing ruins from the earliest days of Spain and Portugal.
Great visit which helps to show the modest but clear cultural differences with Spain and Portugal.
Perfect jumping off spot for visits in the wine country and to the Mateus estate and vineyards.
Lisbon is Metropolitan but culturally rich and a long (and often overlooked) history of global exploration by the Portuguese.
Porto and Vila de Gaia are two amazing bookends on either side of the Douro as it reaches the Atlantic.