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227 Porto (Leixoes) to Europe - River Cruise Reviews

It was part of our ski trip summer trips. This is a fantastic cruise for people who love scenery,wine vineyards especially port wines, olives and churches. It also is an area that tells you about cork and cork trees. The entertainment was ... Read More
It was part of our ski trip summer trips. This is a fantastic cruise for people who love scenery,wine vineyards especially port wines, olives and churches. It also is an area that tells you about cork and cork trees. The entertainment was okay...it is a small ship maximum 113 guests and is very fun. The ship is 2 years old and Emerald has made this small ship seem larger with mirrors everywhere. It is bright and gleaming and the rooms are adequate for cruising. We were on the lowest deck of 3 floors and it even has a large window at the water level. Service was superb and so was the food. Great variety and very tasty and colorful. The breakfast and lunch menu was full of variety and choices. Dinner menu was elegant and 3 to 4 courses with just enough to satisfy the palate. Wine and drinks with every meal was included.The shore excursions led by the Emerald tour leaders and they were very knowledgeable. We saw churches, wine tastings ,food market, city tours , historical bridges and got free time to shop and try out the local foods. Overall, this was one of the best river tours we have done. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were a little concerned we might find a river cruise a little 'small' compared to ocean cruising but we should not have been concerned. It was a simply amazing experience - first class scenery, experiences, staff, food and ... Read More
We were a little concerned we might find a river cruise a little 'small' compared to ocean cruising but we should not have been concerned. It was a simply amazing experience - first class scenery, experiences, staff, food and company. The excursions were wonderful - the Golden City of Salamanca, a wonderful concert in a church in Porto, the most amazing scenery. There was the chance to do more strenuous excursions if you wanted to. The staff and the food were the best we have ever experienced on board any ship and all staff from the Captain down were very interactive and funny and nothing was ever too much for any of them. Of course the cabins are smaller - otherwise we would not fit in the five locks up the Douro river! However, they were luxurious and the beds very comfortable. The highlight of the trip for me was the photography. This was a cruise in partnership with National Geographic and not only did we have an expert lecturer Tim Weed, but also a photographer Gianluca Colla. He was patient, very funny, interactive and very tolerant of stupid questions. The staff would join in - whether it was the head chef dancing at the lunchtime barbecue or the bar staff in the evening. The butlers did everything and were completely down to earth. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Suggested by travel agent. supposed to be top of the line experience, which it was not. Overpriced for what they provide. Highs: Service and staff. Salamance. Porto. Medium: Rooms were OK. They were small because ship has to be lower ... Read More
Suggested by travel agent. supposed to be top of the line experience, which it was not. Overpriced for what they provide. Highs: Service and staff. Salamance. Porto. Medium: Rooms were OK. They were small because ship has to be lower and narrower than other Ama boats because the locks on the Douro are small. Some noise from other rooms. We had a balcony and floor to ceiling sliding glass windows, which were nice but not necessary. Some of the shore excursions were excellent, some were mediocre fillers. Lows: Food, singer/piano player, tastings. Fitness facility was the size of a walk-in closet with two machines and some free weights. As other reviews pointed out, breakfast and lunch were fine but dinners were not. dinner items ranged from mediocre to inedible. I was looking forward to the local meals and tastings and very disappointed. The tastings were not tastings. we werent being offered multiple types of similar wines or ports. Typically, one red and one white wine were served and that was it. same with Port. There was one food "tasting" that consisted of small shop keepers offering us samples in hopes we would then buy. That was a tasting but not what i expected. My overall impression was that we were stuck with the type of local meals and tastings that i would expect from a cheaper cruise. Ama could have provided a better experience (for instance, an actual wine tasting) if they were willing to pay for it. One of the lunches was at a facility built to feed people from cruise ships. The singer/piano player was really, really bad. Laughingly bad. I was also left wondering whether the Douro is worth a 7 day cruise. 4 or 5 seems sufficient. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise line because it is part of the Scenic Cruise Line which has a strong positive reputation. We were also interested in a trip to Portugal and this cruise offered that opportunity to see several towns along the river as ... Read More
We chose this cruise line because it is part of the Scenic Cruise Line which has a strong positive reputation. We were also interested in a trip to Portugal and this cruise offered that opportunity to see several towns along the river as well as the topography and use of land. In this manner, we did not have to schlep baggage and worry about where to go, where to eat, and where to stay. The ease of a River Cruise is most appealing and the staff of the Emerald Radiance, as well as the moderness of the ship provided a smooth, interesting and exceptional experience. The food and food choices are superb for any diet. The beds and pillows are very comfortable. The staff are attentive, friendly and professional. The common rooms are very spacious and comfortable. The tours are well organized with tour guides sharing such well-rounded historical and current information. We did not want for anything during our trip. An outstanding experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Unbelievable trip of a lifetime. We did the pre-cruise trip in Lisbon for three days, the Intercontinental Lisbon was a fabulous hotel. The tours were amazing, the tour guides spoke great English and were so informative about the ... Read More
Unbelievable trip of a lifetime. We did the pre-cruise trip in Lisbon for three days, the Intercontinental Lisbon was a fabulous hotel. The tours were amazing, the tour guides spoke great English and were so informative about the history, culture, food and drinks of Portugal. We had just the right mix of tours and then free time do go explore on our own. Embarkation and disembarkation were both without a problem. The ship was beautiful and clean. Our cabin was clean and just what we needed. I loved cruising during the day to see the beautiful countryside of Portugal. We went through five locks which were fascinating! Food, wine and our servers for meals were spectacular. I loved the fact that they offer cuisine from the region of our travels! Our server gave us lots of history on the food and was so attentive. By the second day, he was anticipating our needs. We loved the entertainment which included local cultural artists, including Fado. Our shore excursions were so much fun. We learned so much about the history each excursion. They even had a cooking demonstration and gave us recipes to take home. The whole staff was upbeat and positive the whole time!! I would use AmaWaterways again in a heartbeat!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Wanted to cruise the Douro River with a pre-cruise three day in Lisbon. Ama cancelled our flight, and rescheduled another one without telling us. I even had my boarding pass printed. Horrible customer service. Caused us to miss one of ... Read More
Wanted to cruise the Douro River with a pre-cruise three day in Lisbon. Ama cancelled our flight, and rescheduled another one without telling us. I even had my boarding pass printed. Horrible customer service. Caused us to miss one of the three days we were supposed to be in Lisbon. Lisbon was fantastic! Would definitely go back there. Great food and history. Once on the ship the room was very nice and had plenty of room and storage. Balcony was almost useless because we were either against the pier or another ship. Wish there was more cruising. We spent most the time tied up to land. Portugal was beautiful and the vineyards were great. Nice tours. The tour Director was very good and efficient. Food onboard was very good. Only beer or wine was included at lunch or dinner. Drinks were very pricey. Crew was friendly and efficient. Going through the locks was amazing. The weather was perfect; 70's to low 80's and sunny skies. Loved Portugal, hated Ama's poor customer service changing our flight after I had boarding tickets without telling us, causing us to miss a day in Lisbon. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Excellent cruise line, The ship was small with 97 passengers. Average age in the 60s from various countries. mostly Canada. The ship was well designed and comfortable. The cabin #217 was well planned. The bathroom and shower were ... Read More
Excellent cruise line, The ship was small with 97 passengers. Average age in the 60s from various countries. mostly Canada. The ship was well designed and comfortable. The cabin #217 was well planned. The bathroom and shower were bigger than expected for a small ship. The balcony was small but room enough for 2 small chairs and table. Coffee, tea and snack was down the hall (2nd deck) No coffee maker in the cabin. The service was excellent in every category. The staff was polite and informative. Best cruise director we have ever had - Luis Ribeiro. The Douro river was very scenic with mostly vineyards So, the emphasis is on wine. 1st week in Sept was best time to go, no rain and 75 for 15 days. Breakfast, lunch and dinner was served in the dining area. A later buffet is also available. The quality was excellent. The ports were all good. All the excursions were worth going on. (One required a 2 hr bus trip there and back. The excursions had 3 levels from easy to more difficult. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are coming to the end of our week on the Radiance and it has been fantastic. Only 112 passengers in a very modern boat. Rooms are lovely, even on the lower level, when the windows are large rectangles letting in loads of light. The ... Read More
We are coming to the end of our week on the Radiance and it has been fantastic. Only 112 passengers in a very modern boat. Rooms are lovely, even on the lower level, when the windows are large rectangles letting in loads of light. The staff from the general manager down are committed to making your stay enjoyable. The staff are super friendly and helpful. Nothing is too much trouble. The boat is immaculate and there are hand sanitisers for use when you return. Excursions were excellent and there were very good energetic options including kayaking on the river. Lovely visit to Salamanca with plenty of time to explore the city. Porto is a real treat. Food was first rate as was the wine. For those whose transfer to the airport was after lunch Emerald put on a lovely light buffet in the lounge, wine included. We would highly recommend this trip Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I close this as a contrast to the huge ocean-going ships I had been used to. This was a new riverboat with a maximum of about 100 passengers. My cabin - hardly a stateroom - was on the lowest deck, and not large, but perfect for one, ... Read More
I close this as a contrast to the huge ocean-going ships I had been used to. This was a new riverboat with a maximum of about 100 passengers. My cabin - hardly a stateroom - was on the lowest deck, and not large, but perfect for one, although a bit cramped for two. Nonetheless, it was well designed, with a small but excellent bathroom. The window was certainly not panoramic, but I spent time in the spacious public areas. The cabin lighting and air conditioning were fine, and I have any need of the good-sized television. The excursions were very well-chosen and the transportation extremely comfortable, passing through some beautiful scenery. Alcoholic drinks were limitless during meals, and the daily happy hour for cocktails. Breakfast and lunch were mainly buffet style, and dinner was a little more formal with a well-varied menu, the offerings on which were of variable quality. The evening entertainment was generally good. I really enjoyed me trip up the Douro, and hope to travel again with same company. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was a wonderful cruise. Having never been to Portugal or never been on a river cruise, we feel we started at the top. Staff was very good and attentive. Food was exceptional. Land based activities well thought out. Fairly new ship ... Read More
This was a wonderful cruise. Having never been to Portugal or never been on a river cruise, we feel we started at the top. Staff was very good and attentive. Food was exceptional. Land based activities well thought out. Fairly new ship and they have really taken care of it. With 36 staff and 112 people there is bound to be something you like. Remember this is the Douro river, drinking fine wine and port will be involved. Seeing lots of barren and agricultural land will be involved. There is no industry on the Douro so the scenery is awesome. The cabin is a little small but everything is well done and laid out. The one night to the the Pacheca Winery dinner was a flop. No one said a nice word about the wine dinner. If you did not want to do an off ship activity, staff was able to take care of you. Love the little towns and big cities. Captain you are a brave sailor through those locks and canyons. I would do this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We started the trip with a non-stop flight from Newark to Lisbon. We upgraded to Economy Plus for the extra leg room and enjoyed a smooth flight. We landed in the early morning and after clearing passport control we were met by Viking and ... Read More
We started the trip with a non-stop flight from Newark to Lisbon. We upgraded to Economy Plus for the extra leg room and enjoyed a smooth flight. We landed in the early morning and after clearing passport control we were met by Viking and transported to the Hotel Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa. It was a lovely hotel and we enjoyed our stay. We arrived so early we had to wait a little until our rooms were ready. Since I am useless with no sleep we just sat in the lobby until our room was ready. Our room was facing the interior courtyard and there was some noise from the nightclub on the roof but I was so jet lagged I was able to sleep. The hotel was very nice and clean and the included breakfast was terrific. We found a very nice seafood restaurant down the street from the hotel and we enjoyed dinner there. The second night we ate at a place recommended by the hotel but that was not exactly what we wanted. The food was tasty but floating in a bowl of gravy. Our transfer to Porto was quite a ride but we did make 3 stops to break it up, a comfort stop , a stop for lunch and a visit to Coimbra University. The tour buses were very comfortable and equipped with a rest room and wifi. This made the trip easier to bare. Our arrival at the ship was smooth and we were given our room keys as we got off the bus. The cabins were all ready and everyone was happy to arrive and unpack finally. The meals on the ship were all very good, the weather was perfect. Cool in Lisbon and Porto and the much warmer as we got into the Douro Vally. One thing about the meals was that if you didn’t take then Chef’s suggestion he took it personally. I had duck one day and did not want the gravy. He became so upset and insisted the duck needed the gravy. It was just a personal thing I don’t care for gravy but he was acting like I suggested we go club baby seals. One night my husband ordered from the always available side of the menu. The waitress again was horrified and tried to get him to order something else. I just found that strange. The tours were all very nice my favorites were the dinner at Grahams and the Bread Bakery tour. When we were riding up to Grahams the tour guide told us that we probably didn’t know each other yet but when she picked us up at the end of the dinner we would be great friends and we were. A beautiful dinner in a beautiful place. The bread bakery was amazing. I love bread and this was the best bread I ever tasted. The lady took it right out of the oven and handed it to me. I had to grab some napkins to stop from burning my hand. I enjoyed the warm bread with butter and homemade jam. We did several wine tasting at wineries. The Sanderman winery was interesting though the ride up there was very scary. There was nothing bad that happened but I was nervous. The Viking drivers were very skillful and careful. How they negotiated the hairpin curves and the narrow roads in the big bus was truly amazing. They always got applause and a handshake when we returned. The day in Salamanca ,Spain was very nice. Plaza Mayor reminded us of Venice. We enjoyed a lunch there . Delicious and reasonable priced. We enjoyed the ship probably even more because we received an upgrade to a Veranda Suite. I am afraid I have been spoiled. The bed was comfortable and the room was spotless. Our cabin steward was perfect. She kept our room in tip top condition. The final day we were sadly transported the Porto airport for another direct flight to Newark. It was a wonderful vacation. I cant wait for my next Viking trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Day 1 - Flew by Air Portugal from Toronto to Lisbon then to Porto. TAP did not allow us to change or select seats online, but we were able to do so at airport. Flight to Lisbon was cramped and uncomfortable. Flight to Porto was delayed ... Read More
Day 1 - Flew by Air Portugal from Toronto to Lisbon then to Porto. TAP did not allow us to change or select seats online, but we were able to do so at airport. Flight to Lisbon was cramped and uncomfortable. Flight to Porto was delayed 45 min. This flight had much more legroom. Arrived around 5 pm at the Scenic Azure just as the Port Talk was starting in the lounge. Butler did not take us to our room after and we never met him for entire trip. Our room was on the cheapest floor, room 102. It was spacious and well organized and organized very nicely, with lots of storage and clothes closet space. This contrasted big time with our Scenic Moselle cruise last year on the Scenic Jewel. Day 2 -Porto > Entre-os-Rios. Highlights: Historic Porto. discover the unique historic treasures of Porto, including a visit to Palacio da Bolsa. Then enjoy a relaxing afternoon of cruising as your luxury Scenic Space-Ship meanders its way to Entre-os-Rios. Tour of the Stock Exchange Palace was very interesting. Local guide did not appear to like her job. Later toured the train station to see all the tiles on the walls. Very unique. Guide was from the Scenic Azure and she was good. Day 3 -Entre-os-Rios. Highlights: Quinta Aveleda. This afternoon, enjoy a blissful cruise to Regua where you have the chance to explore the Douro Museum at your leisure. Learn about the culture, history and identity of the people living in this wine growing region of the Douro Valley. Freechoice: Guimarães was the seat of the first King of Portugal and is dominated by the impressive Ducal Palace, which dates back to medieval times. It’s a great tour to kickstart your interest in this fascinating region. Alternatively, you could choose a tasting at the fairytale property of Quinta Aveleda. Located in the famous Vino Verde region and a renowned regional sparkling wine producer, the incredible gardens alone make the excursion worthwhile. We chose the tour of Guimarães. We toured the Ducal Palace and ancient town. Grapes were grown on fence borders. Our guide was the ship’s cruise director Filipe. He was very good and interesting. Later we left the ship again and walked over to the Douro museum and learned the evolution of port wine industry on the Douro. It was very interesting. Local guide was OK. Day 4 -Regua. Highlights: Ucanha and Varosa Valley. his afternoon, you’ll discover the captivating Varosa Valley and visit the charming village of Tarouca where you’ll get to explore the restored Monastery of Saint John of Tarouca. En route walk the fortified bridge of Ucanha, Portugal’s first toll bridge, spanning the crystal clear waters of the Varosa River. Freechoice: Tour the elegant town of Lamego, with its many fine Baroque structures, or enjoy a guided visit of Mateus Palace, the historic icon depicted on the labels of Portugal’s famous Mateus rosé wine. Our tour guide was Miguel from our ship, who was very good. The fortified bridge of Ucanha was very scenic and interesting. The Monastery of Saint John of Tarouca was not interesting to us as all that was there was foundations of buildings. Our Freechoice selection was the town of Lamego with our cruise director Filipe as guide. He was very good. There we toured the Sanctuary dos Nossa Sanhora dos Remedios and 365 steps. This was very scenic and a highlight of our trip. After walking down the 365 scenic steps there was an option of touring the Lamego Museum. This was a waste of time and we exited as soon as we could. Day 5 - Regua > Vega de Terron. Highlights: Cruising Vinhateiro. Today, enjoy a full day cruising the Douro Valley’s Vinhateiro wine growing region. Classified a World Heritage-listed Site, Vinhateiro has a history of wine production that stretches back for 2000 years. We spent most of the day on top of the ship enjoying the spectacular scenery. Our Tailormades explained what we were looking at. Day 6 -Salamanca Spain. Highlights: Spanish dining and Flamenco. Take your time absorbing the sheer architectural splendour of Salamanca, a city as visually striking as it is historically intriguing. Explore the city on a guided tour before some time at leisure followed by a delicious lunch accompanied by an energetic Flamenco dance performance. It was a 2-hour bus ride to Salamanca. Our guide on the bus was our cruise director Filipe who provided commentary for the entire 2 hours. He made the trip very interesting and enjoyable. Countryside was very dry. It was very hilly at the beginning and then much flatter once up on the plateau with crops to view. Had a local guide in Salamanca who was good. Restaurant meal was very good and Flamenco dance was enjoyable. Salamanca was very scenic. Day 7 -Pocinho > Pinhão. Highlights: Côa Valley. Over breakfast, you’ll enjoy a leisurely cruise to nearby Pocinho for our Côa Valley discovery. This afternoon, enjoy your picturesque cruise to Pinhão and tonight be entertained by a traditional Portuguese musical performance on board. Freechoice: Visit the award-winning Côa Valley Museum and enjoy a pre-historic workshop. If you’re more adventurous at heart, take a canoeing excursion on the Sabor River. Alternatively, you could join the ‘Tastes of the Côa Valley’ excursion and visit Casa Painova for a sweet almond workshop and a tasting of their almond, olive and fruit products. For our Freechoice we took a Scenic bus to the village of Freixd de Numao to house of Casa Painova with our excellent tour director Filipe. We toured the house and had an almond cooking and tasting demo. Local guide had a booming voice, so we did not need our Tailormades. A very enjoyable, scenic and interesting trip. Day 8 -Pinhão. Highlights: Scenic village experience. Today you’ll visit the remarkable village of Provesende, showcasing the Portugal of yesteryear. Wander the atmospheric streets of this quaint village with the locals as they proudly introduce you to their way of life – including their local bakery. This is a specially choreographed experience only open to Scenic guests. You’ll also visit the church for a special recital, and enjoy wine tasting at the restored manor house of Morgadio da Calçada. What better way to immerse yourself in the local culture. Freechoice: Top off a truly unforgettable day with a visit to the estate of Quinta Roeda for a tasting of their famous export. Or, if you’re feeling energetic, you could choose a walk through the hillside vineyard for a unique tasting among the vines. Our guide was Carla from the ship. She was very good. Tour of the bakery was a waste. We had an interesting tour of a port winery called Morgadio Da Calcada Manor House who served us the best port we had on the entire trip. Our Freechoice was a visit to the estate of Quinta Roeda. We chose a walk through the vineyard. Our local guide was in a hurry to get the tour over with and rushed through the vineyard, so if you stopped to take a picture, you had to run to catch up. It was very interesting and very scenic. Day 9 -Pinhão > Porto. Highlights: Scenic Enrich at São Francisco Church. Having spent the previous eight days discovering the treasures of the Douro, Varosa and Côa Valleys, enjoy an exclusive Douro Valley Wine Review, as well as on board activities, including a cork jewellery workshop. Otherwise, simply enjoy the beauty of the region as you cruise back into Porto. Enrich: The sheer beauty of São Francisco Church is sure to impress. From the outside the facade is a mixture of Gothic and Baroque architecture and inside the interior glows with its intricate wood carvings swathed in gold. Immerse yourself in the heart and soul of Portuguese music as you witness a spectacular private concert in this wondrous surrounding. This was a very enjoyable cruising day seeing the locks and scenery from the opposite direction. The evening Enrich was very enjoyable. Day 10 -Porto. Our Freechoice was a visit to Santa Maria Da Feira Paper Museum. This was a very interesting place. They demonstrated many of the old ways paper was made. Day 11 - Trip home to Toronto. Our flight to Lisbon was not till evening, so Scenic let us stay on the ship for the day then took us to the airport at the appropriate time, You don’t get this perk on ocean cruises as they just take you straight to the airport and leave you there all day. Our friends who travelled with us were told that the flight was oversold and they had no seats for them. Our friends explained that we drove them to the airport in Toronto and if they do not travel with us, they cannot get home. Air Portugal then agreed to let them on and bump someone else. Our flight to Lisbon was on time and on the same comfortable plane we came on. Our flight to Toronto was not on the same uncomfortable plane we came on thank goodness. It was on a new Airbus with lots of legroom and very comfortable and modern entertainment system. The Ship Scenic Azure This was our 4th Scenic cruise. Our first was from Budapest to Amsterdam on the Scenic Saphire. Our 2nd cruise was Vietnam and Cambodia on the Scenic Spirit. Our third was from Amsterdam to Basel on the Scenic Jewel. Everything was top notch on the Saphire and Spirit. Vietnam and Cambodia were full of spectacular things to see compared to what you can see in Europe. The Jewel was a disappointment as far as food and service and the tiny room. This cruise on the Scenic Azure was over the top for food and service. Every meal seemed like it was the best meal we had ever had. The service was exceptional and not only in the restaurant and lounge. The TV in the bedroom was also a computer. Wi-Fi was all through the ship. The Tailormades are so useful for tours and cruising on the river. The new ones do not have the range that the old ones did, so you cannot get far from the guide. The buses had beautiful Scenic murals and had Wi-Fi and were very comfortable. They also had USB charges at your seat for your phones and tablets. All the guides from the ship were very knowledgeable and made tours very interesting and enjoyable. Another feature we liked is you did not hear people hacking and coughing like you do on most ocean cruises. We really liked the choices we had for tours. Other cruise lines don’t seem to have any choice at stops. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are Scenic tragics, and love the levels of extras that come with the luxuries. Having completed all the French river cruises, it was time to branch out to Portugal. We booked the big cabin down the back, and never regretted it. Flew in ... Read More
We are Scenic tragics, and love the levels of extras that come with the luxuries. Having completed all the French river cruises, it was time to branch out to Portugal. We booked the big cabin down the back, and never regretted it. Flew in via Barcelona, where we stayed a night to recuperate from the 24hrs of flights from Sydney, and then flew direct to Porto and Azure. Embarkation on a rainy day was slightly tricky down a long slippery gangway to the Douro River level, and then back up one deck to get onboard - Scenic might like to review this one. But that was the only difficulty that arose during our 11 days. The cabin is excellent (see separate comments) and comes with a dedicated butler. We used him to replenish the bubbly as often as possible, and to run a small soiree for 8 of us one afternoon - including an impressive range of canapes. Alocohol is provided as part of your package, all the way up to top tier items, and the bartender Therese was outstanding in meeting our requirements. The dining room downstairs is a wonderful place, with excellent views, seating for as many as you want (2,4,6,8+) depending on who you meet, and includes buffet items for breakfast and lunch, as well as a la carte items, and fully a la carte for dinner. Upstairs is the bar, an entertainer, and a quick menu lunch option should you need that. Shore excursions were excellent, tailored for the area the ship was located, and included at least 2 options - there is always a dedicated and luxurious Scenic bus available to transport passengers, so little walking required. The only excusion off river was to Salamanca in Spain. But all excursions were good. We think this is the best of the Scenic river adventures, and we will probably go again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My mother wanted to do another river cruise (our first was the Rhone in France) and I selected the Douro based on my friends' many visits to Portugal. It was lovely. Although my mother has limited mobility, the staff went out of their ... Read More
My mother wanted to do another river cruise (our first was the Rhone in France) and I selected the Douro based on my friends' many visits to Portugal. It was lovely. Although my mother has limited mobility, the staff went out of their way to make sure my mother and I really enjoyed the trip. The entertainment and activities were great, the cabin was a generous size, especially the balcony. We enjoyed the deck, we met some lovely people, tasted some great food. My mother is already wondering if we will do another river cruise. To top it off, I had a medical emergency on the last day - the staff looked after everything, including contacting my travel agent and my family member, and keeping an eye on my mother. When I was back on ship, our butler pretty much packed everything for us and the staff made sure we caught our flight the next day. That went far beyond my expectations. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Pros and cons but overall a very pleasant cruise. We would choose Croisieurope again but not the Douro Booking procedure and communication etc was excellent The price was very reasonable and included drinks Check in process was ... Read More
Pros and cons but overall a very pleasant cruise. We would choose Croisieurope again but not the Douro Booking procedure and communication etc was excellent The price was very reasonable and included drinks Check in process was smooth and all the staff were extremely friendly and helpful The boat docked in the middle of nowhere, the only way to get there is a taxi, there is nothing nearby. Other cruise lines seemed to dock near the Luis 1 bridge which has much much more to offer considering you board in the afternoon and do not sail till the following lunchtime so there is nothing to do with yourself in between times Unfortunately on our trip were 20 children - 1/5 of the total passengers They monopolised the pool completely and any daytime activities were only for them There are plenty of chairs and sunbeds on the top deck and a cold juice dispenser was sometimes put up there but it would have been nice for bar staff to wander around occasionally too because it's two floors down to the bar Our cabin was fine, number 304 on the upper deck at the back. The engines are extremely noisy though, so don't expect any lie-ins Luckily the sailing was not done at night, otherwise we would not have slept at all We had a large opening window with Juliette balcony. The lighting is good. The beds are comfortable. The cabin is very clean. Water and toiletries are supplied. There is only one plug! So take a four way adapter.The shower pressure is poor. You are allocated your table in the dining room for the whole week and share with other people of the same language. We had a nice table for 5 near a window. The food is tasty but absolutely no choice whatsoever for lunch or dinner. You get what you are given. Not even one single choice. My husband does not eat fish and therefore they did cater for him separately on those occasions. Water and wine are supplied at the table and they would bring you a beer or similar if you prefer. Starter, main course, dessert and coffee. Breakfast is a buffet and that was very good but they only had the egg station running for one morning which was a real shame. The lounge/bar area is a very good size with plenty of tables and chairs and a dance floor. Unfortunately because we had 20 children on board, they monopolised that area during the day playing noisy games and therefore there was nowhere quiet to set and play cards or read and have a drink etc. There was 'entertainment' 3 nights out of 5. One was the crew - this was awful, sorry. One was a Spanish dancing performance and one was a Portuguese dancing performance. Nothing during the day for adults. There was a daily picture quiz sheet but everyone was googling the answers so what's the point! It would have been really nice to have a talk about the river and the history of the dams and locks perhaps or generally about the Douro and Port etc but there was nothing. It would have been nice if a couple of films were available in English in the cabin but only 2 English channels and they were American news. Apart from Porto and Salamanca, the ports of call were awful - absolutely nothing there! Salamanca was wonderful but it was a 9 hour paid-for day trip and goodness knows what there was to do if you didn't go on the trip! The locks were fun, 5 of them, very low bridges and quite entertaining with the upper deck roof being lowered and everyone advised to sit on the floor haha The river is beautiful and the passing scenery was lovely Tea and coffee and water are left out in the bar to help yourself together with plain biscuits and cheese cracker biscuits. There were a few pastries first thing each day but unfortunately the 20 children on board seemed to enjoy those every day The boat itself is nicely presented and clean and the staff are all lovely We would choose a river cruise again one day and perhaps with this company but not on the Douro and not with so many children on board if we can help it. We would also take more nibbles and snacks on board because there is nothing to eat between meals and nowhere to buy anything We would also try to find a cruise with at least two choices of food for lunch and dinner. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The previous review by Mr Polich in June, was exactly our experiance in July. The boat was our first disappointment, painted a depressing brown,(not the boat shown on Ama as the Amadouro) Being pnly four months old, we also found ... Read More
The previous review by Mr Polich in June, was exactly our experiance in July. The boat was our first disappointment, painted a depressing brown,(not the boat shown on Ama as the Amadouro) Being pnly four months old, we also found the interior disappointingly old fashioned in design. And here in lies the problem, Douro Azur build, own and staff all the boats on the Douro ,and obviously turn them all out the same, the furnishings, restaurant runnings ,etc are parallel whether you are on Viking Ama, or other boats. The staff are employed by Douro Azur on 9 month contracts, so may have worked on lesser boats previously, and answer to their Douro Azur hotel manager All this said the staff were excellent (with only a couple of exceptions) Big shout out to Antonio who cared for our cabin, and Pedro, with his sunny personality, who gave excellent care in the restaurant. The cabin (french window) was fine, lots of storage. The restaurant was pretty with some tables for two which we really appreciated. Sip and Sail only operated 5 nights, of the seven. The first night we were only offered one glass of sparkling wine, similarly the last night captains cocktail party was just wine. Breakfast and lunch were excellent, but unfortunately dinner was a let down.Long wait for courses with some courses inedible. Not La Chaine des rotisseur standard by a long chalk. On day two the hotel manager was taking photoes of a wine display, completely oblivious to the fact that we were all waiting an hour for food. When I drew attention to the problem he muttered something about food having to come up in lifts. It is inexcusable that after four months they have not addressed this by bringing some starters up early, and having soup tureens in the restaurant for the waiters to serve from., thus freeing up the lifts. Be aware also that the menu is limited two starters often salad, soup, two mains, one pudding, fruit, icecream, or cheese .There is also an extra menu, of chicken, steak, salmon & chips .Note if you choose not to do the tours this is the only menu available lunch and dinner which is boring. The food at Quinta Avessada was poor, as apparently was the quinta dinner on day two, The top deck was mainly tables and chairs (but no food was ever served up there) On the one occasion that there was a waiter serving drinks, he refused to get a coffee for a gentleman with obvious walking difficulties , telling him to go down and get his own from the coffee station (there is no stair lift as on the Amavida) Appalling service which we also encountered from same bar/waiter (tall, thin greying) on an other occasion. There are only twenty eight loungers, and the usual crack of dawn towel reservers, so expect to be seated on an uncomfortable dining chair if you want to enjoy the sun. The only Ama employee was the cruise manager, who by his own admission was new to the work. I am sure he was employed for his brilliant language skills, but on the Douro Ama needs to employ someone who has hotel management skills to see the failings of the on board operation, and know how to correct, otherwise Douro Azur will continue to offer a sub standard product. All this said Porto and the Douro where fabulous, and if dinner had been as good as lunch I would be writing a very different review. Sort it out Ama this is not good for your reputation! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We went on the AmaDouro in June 2019 as part of a three week trip through Portugal. It is by far the most expensive cruise we have done....much more expensive per day than SilverSea or Seaborne. The Douro cruise was between 27% and 100% ... Read More
We went on the AmaDouro in June 2019 as part of a three week trip through Portugal. It is by far the most expensive cruise we have done....much more expensive per day than SilverSea or Seaborne. The Douro cruise was between 27% and 100% more expensive that our cruises on SilverSea and Seabourne. We are happy to pay for quality, but we expect companies to live up to their promise. The Douro River was beautiful and the locks were amazing. This cruise is probably better for the older crowd as there is not much walking except in Porto. There are no bicycling excursions. And there is a LOT of food. Also be aware that the boat quite often docks with boats on either side; this means you have another cabin just outside your cabin! So needless to say, no view. Also be aware that the dock may be the same height as your cabin, so be sure to be dressed (or curtains pulled) when docking! The boat was new and the cabins were standard river boat cabins. A bit of a tight squeeze to get in the desk seat. The excursions and the guides were good. The food was good, with plenty of healthy options. There were some excellent shows on board. BUT the service on the boat was seriously sub-standard, and this slowly wore us down. We had an onboard credit that took a few days to resolve. What struck us was that reception were quite content to tell us that the credit wasn’t there and apparently to take no further action. It took a number of emails between us and our travel agent to resolve this. For the front desk staff, the problem was ours alone. Drinks are not included outside of meal times, so no drinks included during the shows. No herbal tea unless you walk down a deck and get it from the coffee/tea machine. Also, no room service, even for a coffee in the morning...only out of the machine. So at 6am (we woke early to get work done) we had to get dressed and walk down a deck to the coffee machine. There was virtually no service on the top deck. Generally the attitude of the staff seemed to be that they expected us to come to them. This was strange because in the rest of Portugal we had amazing service. I think with some of the staff this was a training issue; but with many it was just their attitude. I would suggest hire a small boat privately for 2-3 days on the Douro. A week is a long time...especially when the staff are not keen! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose Scenic based on a couple of things. First, we had cruised with them before and thought they were great. Second, it is truly and all inclusive cruise, no extras other than laundry. Great food, top shelf liquor and all excursions. ... Read More
We chose Scenic based on a couple of things. First, we had cruised with them before and thought they were great. Second, it is truly and all inclusive cruise, no extras other than laundry. Great food, top shelf liquor and all excursions. Finally, the 11 nights appealed to us as we did 2 days just cruising and relaxing, a vacation from vacation! The food was outstanding and so were the wines served with lunch and dinner. Breakfast was a buffet with something for everyone including a few menus items. Lunch was also a buffet. Dinner was sit down with table service. There are 2 specialty restaurants onboard and we ate at both and were impressed with the food and wine pairings. The first and last nights the boat was out hotel in Porto. So we were able to see some of the city. The level of service is outstanding. 8 of us had a wonderful time! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Previous experience with Emerald waterways. We found the cruise lived up to expectations. Following the loss of our luggage the crew were wonderful , and went out of there way to help, in tracing our luggage . Giving us toothbrushes and ... Read More
Previous experience with Emerald waterways. We found the cruise lived up to expectations. Following the loss of our luggage the crew were wonderful , and went out of there way to help, in tracing our luggage . Giving us toothbrushes and toothpaste ,sun lotion. And laundering our clothes so we had clean clothes until our luggage arrived. Following the breakdown of the air conditioner we were transferred to a new cabin . All the crew were friendly , and very soon they new who we were . The dinning room was clean and the waiter staff were exceptional . We had the same waiter and very soon he got to no our likes and dislikes. What can I say about the food , it was superb plenty off choice and there was always three alternatives The entertainment was suitable for us . We did not attend all the activities that were on offer, All the trips were timed perfectly the guides excellent and knowledgable. The food was exceptional and the waiters attentive and nothing was to much trouble . We stayed in the stateroom on the lower deck , this was comfortable and clean with all towels and bathroom toiletries changed daily. Overall we found the ship friendly . Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was my second Emerald River cruise. I had already been on the Emerald Radiance the year before and had an excellent time so was slightly worried that it could not be as good again. I was wrong, it was just as excellent and we had the ... Read More
This was my second Emerald River cruise. I had already been on the Emerald Radiance the year before and had an excellent time so was slightly worried that it could not be as good again. I was wrong, it was just as excellent and we had the extra bonus of the delightful friendly Mary Berry sailing with us for part of the trip. This time I was traveling with my 23-year-old daughter. I had given her the option of a week away anywhere she fancied and Portugal on the Emerald Radiance was what she picked. I had told her that she would likely be the only one of her age on board but she was happy to be amongst a mixed age group. She had a ball and her only compliant was having to leave the fabulous crew and the delicious food served at the end of the week! The captain and crew made you feel so very special with personal attention from the cruise director, Maria Elena, the hotel manager, Manuel and the Maitre D, Cornel. All the staff were polite, very friendly, helpful and approachable. Manuel and his team all genuinely seem to support each other and work well together. The ship is modern and spacious enough that it doesn't feel crowded and the open dining allows for meeting fellow passengers but there are also plenty of tables for two if you prefer. On our last evening on board the crew kindly pushed together tables to accommodate 14 of us who wanted to dine together. We really enjoyed the quizzes that took place after dinner, they were really good fun and well organised. The food was superb, beautifully presented and the wines were excellent. The trips are informative and interesting. We took the optional excursion to the Mateus Palace which was one of my highlights this time The onboard activities were excellent including making Pasteis de Nata, port wine cocktails, bracelets and tile painting. They were all very popular and you came away with a nice little memento. I will definitely be back with Emerald in the very near future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Been wanting to see the Douro for sometime and our travel against recommended Emerald. What a Find! Brilliant modern ship, superbly comfortable, and the Portugese crew were the most smiley and helpful people we have ever come across in any ... Read More
Been wanting to see the Douro for sometime and our travel against recommended Emerald. What a Find! Brilliant modern ship, superbly comfortable, and the Portugese crew were the most smiley and helpful people we have ever come across in any holiday destination. Add to this the beauty of Europe’s most unspoilt and beautiful river and you have all the ingredients of a holiday made in heaven. Go for it! The shore excursions were well chosen and uncrowded, with guides who treated us like adults and kept us entertained as well as informed. The onboard cruise manager, Marie Helena was so friendly, helpful , knowledgeable and unfazed, I suggested she join the queue to be Prime Minister of England. Dining room served excellent local and beautifully presented dinners with waiting staff who were unfailingly friendly and helpful Look no further - if you want to cruise the magical Douro, this has to be the ship for you. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We wanted to go on the Douro river and explore the Portuguese countryside. It was an amazing experience. Amalia Rodrigues is a new ship. Very modern and welcoming. We loved the crew. The staff was very hardworking, friendly, humorous and ... Read More
We wanted to go on the Douro river and explore the Portuguese countryside. It was an amazing experience. Amalia Rodrigues is a new ship. Very modern and welcoming. We loved the crew. The staff was very hardworking, friendly, humorous and caring. They worked as a perfect team. Special thanks to the cruise director Sonya and the entertainer Diogo. The evening entertainment, shows and different kinds of trivia contests were a lot of fun. Comfortable cabins and common areas. This cruise is for foodies and wine experts. The French cuisine was elaborate and the wines and drinks on the ship were very good and wine tasting on tours was great. We loved shore tours and the tour guides that were contracted by Croisi. Those people were passionate about their country and history. The natural beauty of the Portuguese country side is breathtaking. We liked all tours, but the best ones were in Salamanca (Spain) and Lamego. It was not our first river cruise, but the most successful thanks the detailed planning and perfect organization of all activities by the crew and the cruise company especially the staff in New York office Ms. Manipon and Mr. Erickson. The atmosphere on the ship was very pleasant. The staff was Portuguese, but spoke French and English. We were with the group of English speaking tourists from New Zealand and Denmark. We highly recommend this cruise to American tourists. Thanks to CroisiEurope we had an unforgettable vacation. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We arrived in Porto Friday April 5 after the pre-cruise package in Lisbon. Lisbon was fine, but Porto is truly an amazing place. Definitely worth a visit! The inaugural cruise on the AMA Douro was supposed to be Saturday April 6. We ... Read More
We arrived in Porto Friday April 5 after the pre-cruise package in Lisbon. Lisbon was fine, but Porto is truly an amazing place. Definitely worth a visit! The inaugural cruise on the AMA Douro was supposed to be Saturday April 6. We were initially told via email the ship wasn't ready and it will now be Sunday April 7. They put us up at the Yeatman-- a 5 Star hotel in Porto and paid for everything including our scheduled shore excursion. Then they announced we are delayed another day. (Don't ever do an inaugural cruise-- even if the owners of AMA are on board.) So we got on busses and followed the incomplete ship down the river to another hotel that was 4 Star at best. We finally met the ship 1/3 of the way down the Douro River on day 3 Monday April 8. Most of the ship was complete, but there were plenty of cosmetic issues that were worked on throughout the week. By now, the ship is probably decorated and 95% as it was intended. The other issue with the inaugural cruise is that many of the servers didn't know what they were doing and our dinners were regularly incorrect. Most of the staff was very pleasant and tried to do everything they could. For an expensive river cruise the breakfasts were excellent at 5/5, lunch 4/5, but dinners only 3/5. I'd say the biggest issue going forward is with the Douro River itself. Excursions required long bus rides and most ports had nothing to offer, but a dock and maybe a café. Salamanca Spain was the highlight and that was 2 hours each way by bus. There were no bikes available and no reason to go out at night. You were either on the boat or on a bus. This was not the Danube or Rhine where cities and castles are right by the ports. We are in our mid 50s and were by far the youngest people on the ship. The piano player was very good, but there was little to do and this is clearly a cruise for retired folks. We did get three great surprises at the end. We were offered 1/2 our money back in cash or a future free cruise credit; they paid for all our drinks (not just the free wine/beer during meals); and the Christening event on Friday was really special. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We sailed with them in Africa and it was a great trip, so we booked this Lisbon to Madrid trip. AMA Waterways put on a new ship which sailed four days after we did. The BIG problem was that they took most of the experienced staff and ... Read More
We sailed with them in Africa and it was a great trip, so we booked this Lisbon to Madrid trip. AMA Waterways put on a new ship which sailed four days after we did. The BIG problem was that they took most of the experienced staff and transferred them to the new ship, leaving us with trainees. The chef was terrible and the wait staff was hit and miss. One night it took me an hour to get a drink from the cocktail waitress. Also, the breakfast buffet had hot food that was cold, and it took five days to get that fixed. It got so bad that AMA sent someone from Corporate to solve the many problems. However, you cannot train a crew while taking care of 106 passengers. As for day excursions, most were good, but some were really bad. Someone needs to review all their day excursion trips. I will never sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This cruise was a Christmas/birthday present for my sister, who had never been to Portugal. It was my fourth visit to the country, but first to the Douro region. I have never "cruised", opting for more active adventures, on ... Read More
This cruise was a Christmas/birthday present for my sister, who had never been to Portugal. It was my fourth visit to the country, but first to the Douro region. I have never "cruised", opting for more active adventures, on land. But my sister's limited mobility made this a better choice. We were not disappointed. The ship was comfortable, with an elevator for those who preferred. It was spotlessly maintained. This was one of the final cruises of the season, yet the crew members were as fresh and enthusiastic as I would expect on the first cruise of the season. We enjoyed the attentive housekeeper assigned to our comfortable cabin. I was initially concerned regarding the Portuguese cuisine, but the ship's kitchen offered tastes of Portugal as well as standard simpler offerings, including vegetarian options. The guides for shore excursions were knowledgeable and enjoyable. I appreciate their sensitivity to those few with mobility limitations. A highlight was the overnight excursion to Salamanca, which did involve a long bus ride due to lock maintenance closures. Other than that, I did not find bus travel dominant. On-shore hotels (Lisbon and Salamanca) were excellent. As a first time cruiser, I especially liked the opportunity to enjoy the lounge, meet new people or be alone with a book. Even though this was a December voyage, thus cooler temperatures, my hours on the cabin veranda/patio were a delightful way to enjoy the river bank scenery. The flexibility appeals to different interests. Activities/entertainment in the lounge were educational and/or just fun. I would definitely go on a VRC again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018

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