On Queen Isabel, the ‘most luxurious ship on the Douro River’, guests can expect an opulent journey as they travel the upriver from Porto. On the way, the ship passes picturesque historic towns, terraced vineyards and imposing gorges as it winds its way to the Spanish border, and passengers can enjoy the views from a brand new vessel offering superb facilities and stately cabins.
The rooms are rather gorgeous, stylishly decked out with dark wooden furniture and fine furnishings, and some suites and staterooms have balconies. In these sunny climes many guests will find the open sundeck a blessing, but even better is the pool built into it, which provides an extra level of relaxation not often seen on riverboats.
Food & Drink
1 restaurant, 1 bar
Sundeck with pool
Fitness room, Serenity River spa
The restaurant is excellent, with a small al fresco section. The lovely lounge also has an open-air bar that serves light lunches. Breakfast and lunch are lavish buffets; at dinner there is an extensive menu to choose from, always featuring a Portuguese classic or two among the international standards. A good range of local wines and cheeses is also on offer, alongside a dedicated gelato bar. The lounge and restaurant also offer a limited menu outside normal mealtimes.
There is no entertainment on board, other than live piano recitals in the evenings, but with the riverbank never more than a stone’s throw away there are always interesting excursions to be had, including visits to wine estates, charming villages and historic towns.
There is a fitness room on board with some select pieces of gym equipment, and a physio room where guests can receive massage and other treatments. There’s a shallow swimming pool on the sun deck with an artificial current to swim against.
As with entertainment, this tends to occur on land excursions.
The cruise company has a fleet of luxury coaches at its disposal, capable of whisking passengers away to far-flung destinations (like Madrid and Salamanca), so myriad activities are available, from wine tasting to hiking.