A rendering of a stateroom aboard Uniworld’s new Duoro Spirit // © 2010 Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Next year, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection will inaugurate the new Douro Spirit, which will sail along Portugal and Spain’s Douro River.
“The Douro River Valley is one of the most beautiful areas in the world and has also been one of Uniworld’s fastest-growing destinations,” said Uniworld president Guy Young. “We are so excited to be able to offer a new ship in an area that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was also recognized by National Geographic Traveler as one of the World’s Great Places in its annual Destination Survey.”
The 128-passenger Douro Spirit will have riverview staterooms and suites with French balconies; hotel-style beds with fine linens; built-in closets; flat-screen satellite televisions; and complimentary bottled water. Public areas include a main lounge featuring a full-service bar and a dance floor; a sun deck with a Jacuzzi and a small swimming pool; a restaurant with open seating; a fitness room; a massage room; a beauty salon; and a boutique.
The ship’s itinerary in the Douro River Valley takes passengers to a region that is increasingly becoming recognized for its wine making, natural beauty and exceptional value. Its Port wine heritage dates back more than 2,000 years as the oldest demarcated wine region in the world.
The picturesque landscape of vineyards and charming quintas clinging to the steep slopes of the valley is very appealing. Here, guests will explore the seven hills of Lisbon, Portugal’s Old World architecture; Coimbra, the birthplace of kings and Port wine; and the City of Bridges, with its UNESCO World Heritage-designated medieval city center. Guimares and Salamanca, Spain are also UNESCO World Heritage sites that are featured in the itinerary.
In addition to tasting local wines from village vineyards, guests will enjoy a traditional meal at the Alpendurada Monastery; a Spanish-style lunch complete with a flamenco show; and dinner at the Vintage House Hotel, an 18th-century wine quinta overlooking the Douro River.
Uniworld’s 11-day Portugal, Spain & the Douro River Valley package includes three nights in Lisbon; the cruise; and transfers, priced from $2,999 per person, excluding airfare. Guests who pay in full at the time of booking by Oct. 31 receive up to $400 in savings per person, depending on the stateroom category booked.