Travel Holly

Into the Douro Valley with Avalon Alegria

Into the Douro Valley with Avalon Alegria

If you had actually asked me ten years ago if I took pleasure in a river cruise ship, my solution would certainly have been a tough no. But a years later on, river cruise ships have actually come a lengthy means, child! We lately boarded the Avalon Alegria in Porto, Portugal, for a cruise ship right into the Douro Valley. This European River cruise ship really felt extra like the little ship explorations we’ve absorbed the past than the old common river cruise ships that quit at stuffed ports and invested even more time on the bus than discovering the location.

What’s it Like on a Douro Valley River Cruise

Avalon Alegria Douro Valley Cruise

We boarded our all-suites ship in Porto, where we started our trip right into the magnificent hillsides of the Douro Valley. The Avalon Alegria was developed to make use of one of the most room while developing the best relaxing and elegant experience.

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The Ship – Avalon Alegria

The Avalon Alegria Ship

The Avalon Alegria is the latest of Avalon’s ships. It is an all-suites ship with 14 luxurious staterooms or 37 Panorama Suites. We explored every one of the spaces, and despite which area you select, you will certainly more than happy. All Panorama Suites function floor-to-ceiling home windows that open up to transform your area right into one substantial terrace, and all beds encounter the water.

Avalon Alegria Top Deck Pool

Onboard services consist of a bar and dancing flooring, every night amusement, a dining-room, a club lounge, and a health club. The Sky Deck has a pool, barbecue grill and bar, and lots of easy chair and tables. If the climate is great, this is the location to be to absorb the stunning views of the Douro Valley.

Avalon Alegria Suites

Avalon Alegria Suites

Let’s start with the collections. With an optimum ability of 102 individuals, every area is roomy and elegant. We remained in among the fourteen 200-square-foot scenic view collections, which was excellent for our journey.

While various other cruise ship lines we’ve taken line their beds up versus a wall surface with a sight of the various other wall surface, the Avalon Alegria ship establishes each bed dealing with the floor-to-ceiling home windows for sights of the river. We taken pleasure in mid-day siestas in our area while viewing the Douro River sights pass.

Avalon Alegria Stateroom

But that’s not all. Most individuals desire a terrace when river travelling, however it’s hard to offer every person one as a result of the dimension constraints of the river and the locks. Avalon has actually repaired this trouble by developing floor-to-ceiling home windows that widen, changing your collection right into an al fresco terrace. By eliminating the exterior terrace, they have actually produced 30% even more space.

Breakfast in our room on the Avalon Alegria in the Douro Valley

We taken pleasure in morning meal in our area each early morning with our home windows open up to see capitals of the Douro River. With deluxe bathrobes, sandals, and magnificent sights, we never ever wished to leave our area! Oh and did I inform you that they not just have a cushion food selection, however additionally a bed food selection? There are 4 various setups for the bed. Just allow the team recognize exactly how you like your bed, and they’ll establish it up for you.

Club Lounge

the Club Lounge on the Avalon Alegria ship

Next to our area, the Club Lounge was our 2nd preferred room on the Avalon Alegria. Before morning meal, we strolled to the lounge in our bathrobes and sandals to get hold of a coffee, newly baked cookies, and vitamin water.

I liked loading my refillable canteen with my selection of water for the day. Would it be Vitamin B water? Sparkling grapefruit or ginger. The options were amazing.

Normally, cruise liner book this room for updated collections, however Avalon makes this desirable room at the strict of the watercraft open for every person. You can kick back and unwind, have tea, or send out an e-mail on the rapid Star Link Wi-Fi that is consisted of in the journey.

Avalon, the Greenest Ship on the Douro

Green initiatives on the Avalon Alegria

We recognize the rap cruise liner obtain, however Avalon strives to take a trip sustainably. Avalon has actually partnered with locations to produce lasting electrical energy while anchored. They utilize coast power whenever they can and have actually set up LED lighting throughout their ships.

You will certainly observe that I pointed out a water terminal over and Avalon has absolutely no plastic onboard. There are glasses that you can replenish, however we suggest loading your very own canteen to handle tours. We weren’t provided mineral water on our trips (which I was thankful for), so we filled out our containers prior to leaving the ship.

douro river cruise avalon waterways video

They have actually lowered paper by 80%. Unlike various other cruise liner, you won’t see your day-to-day routine and lots of paper on your beds. Avalon has an application for visitors to utilize with routines on the Televisions.

Be well water stations on the Avalon Alegria

They have actually additionally partnered with The Ocean Cleanup to assist in their objective of eliminating 90% of sea plastic. This is an overwhelming job, and I have no concept exactly how it will certainly occur, however good ideas can occur with firms spending and partnering.

Honestly, in today’s globe, we are all adding to the earth’s devastation, so the only point firms can do is return. Avalon plants 2 trees for every single traveler on a cruise ship, has modern oil filters to maintain oil adjustments to a minimum, and is wanting to switch over to electrical ships in the future.

What’s Included – Avalon is About Choice

Since we pointed out costs coffees and totally free web, I believed we’d discuss what is consisted of in your Douro River Cruise with Avalon Waterways. The expression we maintained hearing was the Avalon has to do with selection. Passengers have versatility relating to eating, tours, and points to do onboard.


Meals included on the Avalon Alegria Douro Valley Portugal

All dishes, consisting of morning meal, lunch, and supper, are consisted of. Breakfast can be appreciated in your stateroom or in the dining-room. Lunch is a buffet in the dining-room or light treats in bench. You can additionally constantly get particular foods, like hamburgers and sandwiches, off the food selection.

Dinner is a scrumptious multicourse dish of neighborhood and global recipes coupled with great neighborhood white wine. Portugal has superb white wines, and I enjoy that Avalon offers just neighborhood white wines. When I remain in Portugal, I don’t wish to be consuming alcohol a California Chardonnay; I desire an abundant Douro Valley red, which is precisely what they supplied.

Unlike various other cruise ships, travelers are provided flex eating and can consume anytime within the eating home window. Seating is versatile, with tables for 2, or you can sign up with huge teams.


Happy hour drinks on the Avalon alegria Douro Valley Portugal

Speaking of white wine, beer and white wine are consisted of at lunch and supper. All specialized coffees, sodas, and water are additionally consisted of. And, unlike various other cruise ships, the Douro Valley River cruise ship supplies totally free alcoholic drink hour beverages. And allow me inform you, they make scrumptious mixed drinks.


Tour to Amarante from the Alegria by Avalon Waterways

Avalon Waterways actually sticks out with its trips and coast tours. They have actually damaged down trips to fit various requirements. You can pick from Classic, Discovery, or Active Excursion choices. Each day, you can do something various, from energetic experiences that consist of kayaking and treking to social experiences that take you to historical areas and food and white wine tours to delight in the Douro Valley Wines and Ports of Porto.

There is something for every person, depending upon your wheelchair and task degree. Plus, there is an onboard experience host that leads yoga exercise in the early mornings.


Nightly entertainment onboard the Avalon Alegria

Each night after supper, there is neighborhood amusement. We took pleasure in a Fado Show of gifted neighborhood guitar players sharing their society, tales, and songs.

The following evening was an exceptional quartet of strings placing their very own spin on modern-day rock and popular song.

We additionally took pleasure in being serenaded by a finalist from The Voice and had every night dance. This is just one of those journeys that brings the neighborhood society to you.

The Crew

The amazing crew on the Avalon Alegria

Something that actually sticks out on the Avalon Alegria cruise ship via the Douro Valley is the team. Your hosts can make or damage a journey and the Alegria team exceeds and past. Within the minute we tipped onboard, they seemed like old close friends.

At alcoholic drink hour, they recognized precisely what kind of alcoholic drink I’d remain in the state of mind for and also produced specializeds out the food selection.

Dave has a Gluten allergic reaction, and the waitstaff paid mindful focus to supplying him options and notifying him of what we might consume and have to prevent.

They were constantly grinning, and you might inform that they actually appreciated their tasks. It wasn’t an act; the team liked what they were doing. From the people smiling from ear to ear as they linked the lines to the front workdesk, addressing our every requirement.

Ports of Call

Ports of call on the Vineyards & Villages Along the Douro itinerary by Avalon

Don’t fear, you are motivated to leave the ship and delight in the neighborhood ports of telephone call. Avalon anchors midtown or near the metropolitan facilities where a brief (and low-cost) Uber adventure can take you to where you wish to be.

8-Day Itinerary – Vineyards & Villages Along the Douro

The cruise ship begins in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Porto. We recommend getting here early to actually take in this gorgeous location. Avalon supplies a directed scenic tour of Braga and Guimaraes, which we extremely suggest seeing. But you need to additionally invest a minimum of 2 days in Porto to delight in the Historical Center, the Gaia District, and the magnificent waterside.

The cruise ship after that leaves at night to quit at various places along the Douro Valley. The 8-day schedule consists of these quits and afterwards goes back to Porto for an additional day of touring. We picked the alternative of white wine sampling in Gaia with a trip of the Cork Museum, which was interesting and scrumptious!

Porto Embarkation
Porto day scenic tour to Braga and Guimaraes.
Peso da Regua – a see to among the earliest ranches in the Douro Valley 
Poncinho – Douro Valley Vineyards
Barca d’Alva – Salamanca, Spain – This is where you can include an additional nation to your schedule.
Ferradosa-Leverhino – Day scenic tour of Amarante

Can Solo Travelers Join Avalon?

Can Solo Travelers join the Avalon alegria

We constantly take a trip as a pair, however I recognize many individuals question solo traveling on cruise ships. Avalon forgoes the solo supplement. On Avalon, you never ever really feel alone. From my monitorings, a river cruise ship is a terrific alternative for solo vacationers.

Avalon is About Choice

The Avalon Waterways river cruises are all about choice

Most individuals select the Danube or Rhine Rivers for their very first river cruise ship. We did ten years back, and it transformed us off river travelling for a years. When Avalon welcomed us to example their Douro Valley path, we were fascinated to offer it an additional shot. I’m glad we did. This river cruise ship was precisely the kind of traveling we enjoy—little ships with less travelers and lots of choices for coast tours.

Fewer ships get on the river, and the quits really feel intimate and unblemished. With just 102 travelers on the Avalon selecting from various tours, we had little team trips that really felt customized to our requirements.

The Douro Valley is just one of one of the most gorgeous areas to travel in Europe, with rolling hillsides and terraced wineries. It is absolutely a pail checklist cruise ship where immersing in society and experiencing the neighborhood food goes to the heart of the schedule.

Deb standing next to the Avalon Alegria in the Douro Valley

These are one of the most preferred courses loaded with various other river cruise ships and groups at ports of telephone call. I’m not claiming to never ever do one, however I believe the Douro Valley is the excellent intro to river travelling.

So there you have it—our Douror Valley River Cruise—the very first European River Cruise we’ve absorbed ten years. Will we do an additional one? You wager! As we age, we enjoy the concept of unpacking as soon as and cruising via Europe’s most gorgeous countryside.

When you reach ports, you don’t need to adhere to the overviews; every person is totally free to do as they please. Remember, Avalon has to do with selection, and our selection is to return quickly.

Check out extra one-of-a-kind cruise ships all over the world

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