A Pleasurable Douro River Cruise from Porto:
With the sun setting in the horizon, we board our Porto Cruz river boat at the Cais da Ribera, one of the quays where river boats are moored. The ramp from the quay to the boat looks steep, but I make it okay, even on high heels and carrying Tony’s 20-tonne camera bag - he was helping another passenger with a walking frame down the ramp.
Douro River Cruise
The Douro river tour is a very pleasurable trip to do in the early evening. What could be nicer than cruising in the light, warm breeze and enjoying the nice river view of Oporto with a glass of wine! The river cruise also gives us the opportunity to see some of Oporto’s famous bridges.
First, we sail eastwards and under the impressive Ponte de Dom Luis I which links Porto with Vila Nova de Gaia on two levels. The light rail runs on the upper level. This bridge was engineered by Teófilo Seyrig, a partner of the famous Gustavo Eiffel of the Eiffel Tower fame.
Next we pass under Ponte do Infante and then the Ponte D. Maria Pia, another of Mr. Seyrig’s bridges. After Ponte D. Maria Pia, we come to the minimalist looking Ponte de São João. This railroad bridge was built from 1984 – 1991 to replace the older Ponte D. Maria Pia.
The river boat then turns around, sails past our starting point and heads westward towards the river mouth. We pass by many famous buildings and landmarks but no one’s keeping track of these as we’re all in such a relaxed mood. But, all too soon we’ve returned to our starting point and it’s time to disembark. However, by now we’re all looking forward to a nice Portuguese meal.
About the River
The Douro River, like Portugal’s other great river the Tagus, rises in Spain and then flows westwards across Portugal to the Atlantic Ocean. At the mouth of the Douro River stands Oporto, Portugal’s second largest city.
The Douro River played an crucial role in commerce in the past and since time immemorial has been linked to the wealth of Oporto . Ships laden with port or carrying goods from overseas would moor here. These days Oporto as a port is much quieter place from a commerce perspective, and the port barges have been replaced by river cruise boats.
So on your Oporto holiday, plan on doing a river cruise on Porutugal’s famous Douro River.