Avalon Waterways adding Douro Suite Ship

102-guest Avalon Alegria to debut in 2024

Avalon Alegria, Panorama Suite

Avalon Waterways will make its Douro debut with a new itinerary in Portugal and Suite Ship – Avalon Alegria – in 2024, the cruise line has confirmed today [Friday 16 September 2022].

Avalon Alegria – like the rest of the company’s fleet of Suite Ships – will feature signature, Panorama Suites on two full decks. Each Suite provides guests 200 square-feet of living space, Open-Air Balconies and beds facing the views for which Avalon river cruising is famous. In addition, the Alegria, will provide guests with a pool on the Sky Deck to bask in the sun and soak-in the beauty of Portugal while sailing from a new, poolside point-of-view.

This new Suite Ship, built exclusively to sail the Douro, will have a total of 14 Deluxe Staterooms and 37 Panorama Suites, accommodating just 102 guests and 33 crew members.

Avalon Alegria Panorama Suite

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Pam Hoffee, president of Avalon Waterways, said: “We’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to add Portugal to our robust holiday portfolio and that day has finally arrived. Inviting our guests to sail the Douro for the first time, we’re bringing the Suite Ships of Avalon, the grandest views in cruising and whim-powered itineraries to Southwestern Europe. And we couldn’t be more excited,” Hoffee said.

Avalon Waterways will offer an eight-day cruise – Vida Portugal: Vineyards & Villages Along the Douro – that will start and end in Porto. The itinerary will ‘Classic,’ ‘Discovery’ and ‘Active’ excursion choices for guests. Featuring everything from ancient Amarante – in the picturesque Minho region, known for its golden church that dates back to 1530 – to the sandstone architecture in Salamanca Spain; rock art to riding bikes from Porto to the sea, this new cruise offers an array of ways to soak up the splendour – from medieval castles to cinematic scenery and all the vinho, baked bread, olives and cheese a traveller could desire.

Deck plan of Avalon Alegria, per Avalon Waterways website

Day-by-day sneak peek:

Day 1: Welcome to Porto with an optional food tour, embarkation and overnight in the city.

Day 2: Excursion choices include stepping back in time in Guimarães’ historic city centre or cruising along the coast, on bike, from Porto Ribeira to the sea. The ship overnights in Porto Antigo.

Day 3: Choice of excursions includes a visit to one of the Douro Valley’s oldest farms, with food tasting near Peso da Régua and an overnight in Pinhão.

Day 4: Experience a guided tour of Freixo de Numão, a charming village nestled between the nearby mountains, complete with regional wine-tasting or rock art in Vila Nova de Foz Côa. Tonight, Avalon Alegria docks in Barca d’Alva.

Day 5: Choose from classic sightseeing in Freixo de Espada à Cinta or a visit to Salamanca in Spain. Learn to bake traditional Portuguese pastries (florinhas) during a hands-on optional excursion.

Day 6: Paint a typical azulejos tile guided by a professional painter during a relaxing morning sail. Spend the afternoon in Amarante and fado the evening away. Guests overnight in Porto with plenty of free time to peruse the city.

Day 7: UNESCO the day away exploring Porto – with optional excursions ranging from a canal cruise to celebratory Portuguese traditions – before spending one more night in the city.

Day 8: The cruise comes to an end in Porto.

Learn more about the Avalon Alegria here.

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