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..
Sun-drenched, culture-rich and endlessly beautiful, Portugal is one of the finest nations on the continent to explore slowly, delighting in every wonderful experience. On a river cruise in Portugal, you’ll find yourself winding through the picturesque Douro Valley, flanked by peaceful villages steeped in centuries of incredible history.

Our Douro River cruises have been specially designed to take you on an unforgettable journey through the postcard-worthy northern stretches of Portugal. The round-trip sailings from the ancient city of Porto weave slowly through the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Douro Valley, with endless rows of peaceful vineyards gazing down over the water.

Where the Douro ends its journey and empties out into the Atlantic, Porto straddles the river – a city rich with a unique pace and many hidden treasures. From the subterranean wine cellars that have opened their doors for hundreds of years to the incredible architecture on show, there’s much to enjoy and explore here.

Map of Portugal
Port wine with view over city

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.

Culture and heritage abound in Portugal

Few countries in Europe boast Portugal’s depth of history. Since the Neolithic period, this Iberian nation has played a key role in the timeline of the continent – from the influence of the Celts, Romans and Moors to its seafaring power during the Age of Discovery.

Discover more of what you can expect to see on a Douro River cruise with our gallery showcasing the river’s main highlights.

Fado

A guide to Portugal's traditional fado music

·     Acquaint yourself with the timeless rhythm of fado, as we explore the origins, legacy and stars of this beloved Portuguese folk genre.

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.

Vega de Terron

A guide to Vega de Terron

With Portuguese and Spanish influences, Vega de Terron is a classic Douro Valley village – featuring all the hallmarks associated with northern Portugal. Find out more about this alluring destination in our in-depth guide.

A guide to 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.

Call our Cruises Experts on 0808 159 4193 to secure your place or
Request a Brochure

Featured Cruises