2018 Price Comparisons: Douro River Cruise Prices


What’s the cost of cruising on Portugal’s Douro River? In this post, we look at Douro River Cruise Prices by comparing 2018 rates from the major river cruise operators in the region.

Scenic Azure on the Douro. © Elliot Gillies

A wine lover’s dream, Portugal’s Douro River is steeped in history. The Douro River Valley is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its role in the production of wines and, more specifically, Port Wine. Although the valley has functioned as an epicenter of wine production for more than 2,000 years, port wine production has been a constant economic and cultural driver since the 18th century.

Today, Douro River cruises explore the cultural heritage of this region through tastings, tours and excursions designed to highlight the rich contributions of the Douro River Valley to Portugal, Spain and beyond.

Operating from Porto, most Douro River cruises begin with a multi-day stay in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. In addition to visits to noteworthy towns and wineries along the route, many of these itineraries also include an overland day excursion to nearby Salamanca, Spain, famous for its Universidad de Salamanca, or University of Salamanca, that was founded in the 12th century.

Port Wine and the Douro River Valley. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Some things we appreciate about Douro River Cruising:

  • Wine, Wine, Everywhere: For those who appreciate good wine, particularly port wine, a trip down the Douro is an excellent education, with plenty of tasting opportunities.
  • More Time in Port: Because of the shorter distances on the Douro, ships spend more time docked in port compared to other European river cruise itineraries. This allows guests to better sample the nightlife, or take part in longer, overland journeys.
  • Lots of Choice: Douro river cruising has evolved from being a niche river with only a handful of operators to a major destination with plenty of choice when it comes to which lines, ships and itineraries you want to take.
  • Ease of Access: both Porto and Lisbon are easy destinations to fly to and from, with non-stop flights from numerous North American and European gateways.

Here is a look at how things stack up on the Douro for 2018:

2018 Douro River Cruise Price Comparisons

AmaVida ms Gil Eans Emerald Radiance Scenic Azure Queen Isabel Viking Osfrid
$4,548 $2,212 $5,195 $6,790 $5,999 $5,199
Sailing Date
June 12, 2018 June 23, 2018 June 23, 2018 July 24, 2018^ June 14, 2018 June 24, 2018^
Number of days
8 6 8 11 11 10
Cabin Category
Category C Standard Cabin Vista Deck Balcony A Standard Suite Category D^ Category 3 Veranda (B)^
Square Footage
215 108 180 150 161 185
Full None French None French None
Per diem/per person/double occupancy
$568 $368 $649 $617 $545 $519
Port Charges
$168 ($21 per day) Included Included Included Included Included
Gratuities (on ship – non-compulsory)
$136 ($17 per day) $90 ($11.25 per day) Included Included Included $127 ($15.87 per day)
Gratuities (on shore – non-compulsory)
$20 ($2.50 per day) $20 ($2.50 per day) included Included Included $20 ($2.50 per day
$80 ($10 per day) Included $80 ($10 per day) Included Included $80 ($10 per day)
$24 ($3 per day) n/a $24 ($3 per day); included for suites. Included* Included* $24 ($3 per day)
Optional Shore Excursions
all excursions included all excursions included $100 ($12.50 per day)* all excursions included all excursions included $100 ($12.50 per day)*
Incentive (may have expired depending on end date of promotion)
n/a n/a Fly to Europe for $495pp. Fly to Europe from $595pp. n/a Fly to Europe from $1,1195pp.
Our Estimated Value of Incentive
$0 $0 $1,100 ($37 per day) $1,000 ($90 per day) n/a $400 ($40 per day)
True Per Diem
$621 $382 $537 $527 $545 $613

Comparative summer 2018 pricing for river cruises sailing on the Douro River.I looked for staterooms of equivalent size and features, namely those with French balconies or step-out balconies. Prices were obtained from cruise company websites and may not reflect current incentives. Additional charges were estimated in some cases, such as for laundry and beverages, and obtained from the cruise company websites.

* Emerald Waterways and Viking River Cruises include at least one shore excursion in each port of call, with optional excursions for a fee.

** To calculate the value of included roundtrip economy air, I used $1,595 per person from select gateways in North America.

^Scenic’s summer 2018 Douro voyages are nearly sold out; most sailings only have fixed-window Category D Staterooms available. We were unable to obtain balcony pricing. Viking’s summer 2018 voyages on the Douro have riverview availability; balconies are largely sold out. However, we were able to obtain balcony pricing.

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