Douro River Cruises From Porto to Vega de Terron

Douro River cruises are between Porto, Portugal and Vega de Terron, Spain. Most of the river is actually located in Spain; however, a cruise on the Douro River takes place mainly in Portugal. Vega de Terron is the only city in Spain where your cruise ship will dock. The river is not navigable for small commercial vessels east of this Spanish city.

The Douro River originates in Spain flowing westward through Portugal and into the Atlantic Ocean. River cruise ships navigate between the border of Spain at Vega de Terron to  Porto, which is about ¼ of the entire river or 124 miles of cruising. During most of your cruise, you will be in the midst of the Douro River Valley – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Cruises are generally round trip from Porto and are 8 to 10 days long. Uniworld and AmaWaterways have an itinerary that travels one-ways from Vega Terron to Porto. If your ship departs from Vega de Terron, you will travel westward to Porto, Portugal.

Douro River Dom Luis Bridge in Porto, Portugal

Dom Luis Bridge in Porto, Portugal

Some itineraries begin in the city of Lisbon, which is 196 miles south of Porto and the Douro River. Passengers are transported to or from Lisbon by motor coach or train. 

Douro River Valley

Douro River Facts

The Douro River begins in north-central Spain and flows westward through Portugal before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. It’s one of the major rivers - and the 3rd longest river - of the Iberian Peninsula.

The Douro forms the national border between Portugal and Spain. It is 557 miles long, but only about 124 miles of the river is navigable from Vega de Terron at the border of Spain to Porto on the western coast of Portugal.


Rossio Square in Lisbon, Portugal

Rossio Square in Lisbon, Portugal

By own work (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Douro River Cruise Destinations

Douro River cruises travel through several cities in Portugal and one city in Spain. Other featured destinations might include Lisbon, Portugal before or after your river cruise and Salamanca, Spain when your cruise ship is docked in Vega de Terron.

In Portugal the Douro River Valley extends from Pinhao to Porto and also includes the cities of Regua and Bitetos in between. A couple of other cities you’ll cruise through are Barca d’Alva, Portugal and Vega de Terron in Spain.

Some UNESCO World Heritage Site that are or might be included in your itinerary:

Lisbon, Portugal - Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém in Lisbon
Porto, Bieteos, Regua & Pinhao, Portugal – Douro River Valley
Salamanca, Spain – Old City of Salamanca

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Lauri Wakefield is a travel writer who specializes in  river cruises in Europe and the U.S. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+.

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