Porto is located on the northwest coast of Portugal and serves as the starting point for many Douro River cruise itineraries, but is also featured on many ocean cruise itineraries. Porto is home to the world-famous port wine (also known as vinho do Porto). A diverse city, Porto has just about everything – an “old town,” night clubs, beautiful scenery, and of course wine tours & tastings! Plus, there are many opportunities to take day trips, thanks to Porto’s great location. Best of all, there are many beaches located nearby if you need an escape to the sea.
While both ocean and river cruises visit Porto, only river cruises currently start in Porto, as it is located right on the end of the famous Douro River.
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The following cruise destinations can be visited on a cruise that includes Porto, Portugal. Select a destination to view the upcoming cruises that are available:
The following cruise lines offer cruises sailing to Porto, Portugal. Select a cruise line to view the upcoming cruises that visit Porto, Portugal:
These cruise lines fit (quality and, usually, price-wise) somewhere in between Premium and Luxury cruise lines.
A country club casual atmosphere can be expected on these lines, as can be elegant accommodations and gourmet cuisine. These cruise lines are a great option for adults looking for a upscale, yet laid back, vacation.
Unique itineraries are often available on these cruise lines, as their small-to-mid-sized ships can visit ports of call that large ones can't get to.
The pricing on Azamara Club Cruises includes select beverages and pre-paid gratuities, while the pricing of Viking Ocean Cruises includes shore excursions and select beverages.
Value is a key feature of these popular cruise lines, as they offer lots of activities, entertainment and dining options, along with a variety of stateroom types. Some of the cruise lines in this category have ships with unique innovations like water slides, rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, surfing simulators, bowling alleys, and boardwalks.
Their ships are usually anywhere from mid-sized to very large "mega" ships, accommodating thousands of guests. These ships give the feel of being in a large resort.
Mainstream cruise lines are a great option for just about everyone (including multi-generation families, and first-time cruisers), and typically have great youth programs.
During the cruise, entertainment may include Broadway productions, Vegas-style shows, comedians, and music. Some of these lines have select formal nights during the cruise. Specialty restaurants are becoming more and more common (some which have a cover charge for this type enhanced dining experience). Buffets are usually available throughout the day, besides room service, and the main dining room(s).
These cruise lines enhance what mainstream cruise lines typically offer, by providing their guests with higher quality service and cuisine, along with more spacious public spaces and accommodations.
Depending on the cruise line, the ships in this class range in size from small to very large.
These cruise lines appeal to a more discerning traveler, and are typically more expensive than mainstream cruise lines, but more affordable than the luxury lines.
Becoming more and more popular, a river cruise is an immerse and destination-focused vacation experience, on a small and luxurious vessel.
River cruises sail through the inland waterways of some of the world's most interesting vacation destinations (i.e. Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America), and provide their guests with a greater opportunity to spend time visiting more unique ports of call than a traditional cruise typically would.
Because the destination is the star of a river cruise, (typically guided) shore excursions are included at no additional charge by many River cruise lines. There are usually many interesting lectures given during the cruise, by experts on the history and culture of the region being visited.
Among the famous rivers that one may take a river cruise on are the Rhine, Mississippi, Seine, Danube, Mekong, Nile, Yangtze, Amazon and Douro.
These cruise lines offer a truly unique vacation experience, with a wide range of possible amenities and itineraries. Some are expedition cruise lines, others have sailing yachts or are coastal ships.
On these types of cruise lines, there's usually a focus on a specific destination or theme. Itineraries are usually very destination intensive, aided by the fact that they're able to reach many ports of call that larger ships can't.
Expedition cruise lines are a great fit for adventure-seeking travelers, featuring exciting destinations like the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, and the Norwegian coast. During the cruise, there will usually be plenty of interesting lectures given by experts on the destination being visited. Often, shore excursions are included in the cost of the cruise. In fact, some of these cruise lines have all-inclusive pricing. There's a definite focus on the ship's surrounding scenery, as well as opportunities to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Small, but comfortable, ships are commonplace here, with anywhere from basic to very luxurious public spaces, cuisine, and accommodations (depending on the cruise line and ship).
Sailing Yachts, sail-assisted motor ships, offer a really unique vacation experience. Accommodations and cuisine on these intimate vessels can be anywhere from good to fantastic, depending on the cruise line. Destinations offered by these cruise lines may include the Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, Tahiti, and Costa Rica.
When the finest cruise vacation is your top priority, this is the place to start.
On a luxury cruise line, guests experience highly personalized service, a more intimate (and usually formal) onboard experience, gourmet cuisine, well-appointed accommodations, and fantastic amenities. Many of these brands have smaller ships, allowing them to reach ports of call that the larger ships can't, which results in unique itineraries.
All of these brands feature a version of all-inclusive pricing, and some of them have ships with all-suite accommodations. Although these cruise lines are usually more expensive than the rest, they also provide their guests with so much more, resulting in a fantastic value when considering all that's included.
These are just a few of the more popular tourist attractions in Porto, along with a brief description:
♦ Cais da Ribeira
Porto’s riverside promenade is one of the city’s most popular attractions. Filled with everything from seafood restaurants to taverns and colorful houses, this is a great place to not only enjoy dinner with a view, but also for mingling with locals. You can count on great views of the Luis I Bridge (see below) and the river, which can be very relaxing and romantic!
♦ Luis I Bridge
If you are fascinated by architecture, then you definitely don’t to skip this architectural wonder! The Luis I Bridge dates back to the late 1800s when it first opened. This two-level bridge currently supports the Porto Metro train system and also has a pedestrian walkway so you can experience the stunning views from almost 200 feet in the air! If you’re not a fan of heights, there is also a lower walkway where you can admire a just as stunning view.
While there aren’t any beaches within Porto, the city is conveniently situated on the coast of Costa Verde, where there are a bunch of wonderful beaches. You can easily access most beaches by using public transportation system. When visiting the beaches along Costa Verde, you can expect to find rocky, sandy landscapes with scenery that’s nothing short of breathtaking. If you have enough time before or after your cruise, there are even a couple of beach resorts located a little further out, including Vila do Conde and Costa Nova.
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