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Great day out,
suberbe croisière à faire le Douro avec ses écluses
The tour was very well organised. The meals were good and the staff was very friendly.
The landscape is wonderful and very exciting. Also the trip back to Porto by train was pleasant.
Altogether it is a must do when you visit Porto.
Thoroughly enjoyed the tour, the views were terrific and going through the 3 locks was more impressive than I expected. Meals were generally good and the overall service was excellent.
We took a full day river cruise tour on the river Douro from Porto to Pinhão with Barqua Douro mid June. This river cruise included breakfast and lunch.
The start for this river cruise is in Villa Nova de Gaia opposite side of Porto.
We started early morning and there was some confusion about which boat to take as there were many and quite a number coaches arrived for other boats and there was no signage so many people went to ask. The staff were a bit overwhelmed by the many questions by guests wanting to now if it was the correct boat.
Once we got underway we started with a light breakfast, nothing much to write home about, a bread roll and some jam with tea/coffee.
During the cruise we passed many quaint little villages dotted along the banks of the river.
The cruise takes you through 3 locks of various heights, it's quite amazing how quickly these locks can be filled to raise the boat to the necessary level upstream.
Lunch was not a culinary affair but acceptable.
This particular day was very hot and temperatures reached 37C with most people seeking shelter after lunch to stay out of the unforgiving sun.
The first stop was Regua where the first lot of passenger disembarked.
From Regua to Pinhão is another hour travel, that day we wished to stopped in Regua as it was so hot.
Was we got to Pinhão we had just over an hour time to wander around before taking the train back to Porto.
Pinhão is a small town worthy of a trip in its own, if you like wine tours or tasting wines from the various vineyard nearby.
The train ride back to Porto takes over 2.5 hours making it a very long day.
Also to note is that the train arrives in the main train station and not in the ornate São Bento Train Station.
We had an enjoyable day on the boat, the meals were organised with military precision. The scenery was beautiful especially on the upper river towards Pinhao. That was very relaxing, our guide Sergio organised the transfer to the train at Pinhao but I wish he'd said that we would have to change trains at Campanha to arrive in Sao Bento, we realised what was happening so ended up at the right station in Porto
The sights along the Douro River are absolutely beautiful. We thoroughly enjoyed cruise.
We did wonder, however, why we were seated with German people that did not speak English in spite of the fact that there were MANY English speaking people onboard,
The afternoon was VERY hot and the train ride back was late and LONG!
Good trip, but a long day! Breakfast was poor, but lunch was good. Boat was full and dining experience not very pleasant as area was crowded. However, the trip itself was very pleasant and scenery worth seeing. Would do it again, but may look for a shorter trip.
All in all the trip was good. Food and scenery was good. Only negative is that we found the final leg to Pinhao seem to drag out and the train ride bask was only fair. There was not much to see in Pinhao in the area of the dock and the train station.
Could have gotten off on the stop before Pinhao and would have felt better. Four of us share the same view.
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