AmaWaterways continues to set a course for innovation on the rivers of Europe. The line will debut three ships on the Continent in 2019. One of them, the AmaDouro, is purpose-built for the scenic Douro River in Portugal. The 102-passenger vessel will showcase the UNESCO-designated Douro River Valley.
Despite her intimate size, AmaDouro offers the award-winning amenities, service and features travelers expect from an AmaWaterways cruise. All 51 of her staterooms are outside accommodations. Most feature outside balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows. They range in size from 161-215 square feet. While, suites measure 323 square feet, and feature their own sitting area.
Every stateroom features hotel-style bedding with Egyptian linen, down pillows and duvets, marble-trimmed bathrooms (suites feature double sinks) with multi-jet showers. A flat-panel TV offers an Entertainment-On-Demand system with high-speed Internet, movies, music, and English-language TV.
Public areas aboard the ship include the Panoramic Lounge, with a bar, piano and dance floor; a fitness room, massage room, and gift shop. The Sun Deck features a pool with its own swim-up bar.
Regionally-inspired cuisine in on the menu at the Main Restaurant, along with hand-selected wine, beer and soft drinks with meals. There’s a Sip & Sail cocktail hour each evening, along with afternoon tea and a 24-hour coffee station.
But, it’s the region’s port wines that are the star of the sailing. The Douro River Valley is the world’s oldest demarcated wine-growing region. Its terraced hillside vineyards produce an array of the sweet, fortified wines. And, the AmaDouro is the perfect setting for savoring the area’s specialties. Onboard tastings and excursions to local wine producers are highlights of the itinerary.
The seven-night Enticing Douro cruise takes guests roundtrip from Porto. The picturesque riverside wine capital is known as “the city of bridges.” It leads the way to a landscape lined with rambling vineyards, charming villages and historic wineries.
As with every AmaWaterways cruises, guests aboard AmaDouro will enjoy an extensive lineup of complimentary excursions. In many cases, they can choose from standard tours, hikes or special interest tours.
Cruise highlights include a visit to the Baroque-style Mateus Palace in Régua, known for its elaborate gardens. In Barca d’Alva, guests will visit Castelo Rodrigo, a small fortified village perched high on a hilltop. And, in Pinhão, the itinerary includes lunch and entertainment at the famous Quinta de Avessada, as well as a port wine tasting at Quinta, do Seixo. At the centuries-old Alpendurada Monastery, guests will sip a pre-dinner glass of Vinho Verde (young wine) before enjoying a traditional dinner. While, an excursion to Salamanca, Spain, provides a chance to explore the legendary “Golden City” and enjoy a colorful flamenco performance.
Local culture is on display aboard the AmaDouro, as well. Entertainment offerings include a folkloric performance and an evening with traditional Fado musicians. And, for those interested in discovering more of Portugal’s diverse appeal, optional pre and post-cruise stays offer the chance to explore Lisbon. Today one of Europe’s trendiest destinations, it’s the city that launched legendary explorers centuries ago.