Portugal’s Douro River is quickly gaining popularity in the world of river cruising. Famed for its legendary role in the production of port wine, it winds its way through the breathtaking Douro River Valley, which has been protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its cultural and historical importance.
In 2016, river cruisers wanting to explore the Douro will have more choices than ever before, as Australia-based Scenic Tours launches their new Scenic Azure in April of 2016.
Derived from the same basic design as Scenic’s highly-successful “Space Ship” class of river cruise vessels, Scenic Azure will measure 80 metres (262 feet) in length, and will carry just 96 guests in 48 cabins. Current plans call for her to feature the same standard of inclusive service that Scenic offers on their larger European-based river cruise vessels, including private butler service and unlimited complimentary beverages throughout the voyage. As with their other voyages, Scenic’s Douro voyages will include all tips, gratuities and excursions ashore in the cost of the cruise.
When it comes to dining options onboard, Scenic Azure will feature three distinctive venues: traditional French degustation specialties at Table La Rive; fine dining at Portobellos; and casual fare served at the aptly-named River Café.
“We are delighted to announce the addition of the Douro in Portugal to our river cruise collection,” said Aleisha Fittler, Scenic’s General Manager, Product. “Behind the undulating hillside curves of the beautiful Douro Valley through years of research we have uncovered some extraordinary and diverse experiences for our guests which we can’t wait to share. Both on board and off board, this sets a new level of luxury for the region.”
What makes Scenic’s forthcoming 11-day roundtrip cruise from Porto, Portugal enticing is that this new offering can also be combined with river cruises in France throughout the Bordeaux region and along the Seine river. Tour extensions are also available for guests in Lisbon, and an optional land tour can be added that takes guests from Porto inland to Spain’s capital of Madrid.
Scenic Tours also recently announced they intend to begin offering sailings along the Mekong River between Cambodia and Vietnam in 2016.
More information on Scenic Tours, their itineraries and vessels, can be found by viewing our company overview here on River Cruise Advisor.