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“Great views, terrible service and boat”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of DouroAzul

Ranked #60 of 150 Tours in Porto
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Attraction details
Owner description: DouroAzul is a Portuguese cruising company based on Porto that offers the possibility to cruise the beautiful Douro River Valley landscape, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, from Porto to Barca d'Alva on the Spanish border. DouroAzul offers a wide range of services going from one hour cruises on typical Rabelo boats within the limits of the city of Porto, to seven nights riverboats cruises within the most luxurious and sofisticated ships that navigate the Douro River stream.
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
61 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Great views, terrible service and boat”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2011

I went from Porto to Pinhão. The views are great, but the quality of the boat of Douroazul is very bad. Both breakfast and lunch were very poor, service is terrible, unfriendly staff.

The boat is not comfortable at and there are not enough seats outdoor for everyone.

The return we came on a train with no air condition and very hot.

The views are worth the visit, however perhaps is better to choose another company rather than Douroazul, is expensive and not worth it.

Visited August 2011
4 Thank jpfcoelho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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45 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
76 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Overrated discoboat & rather poor service”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2011

Cruising the Douro is considered one of the must-do things when in Porto. There are a number of companies offering small local tours that stay close to the city, trips that gobetween Porto and the city of Régua (more than 100 km upstream), and apparently some further up from Régua. We compared a bit and followed a suggestion from friends to go with Douroazul on a day trip. We chose the downstream cruise as it was a bit shorter. You meet at about 8:30 at teh train station in Porto, take the train (more than 2 hours) to Régua, from where one of those large boats that seat maybe 100-150 people cruises back to Porto in little over 6 hours. This makes for a long day, and lunch is served on the boat (included, together with water and [cheap] wine). Don't expect any culinary extravagance.

We tried to book online, but the payment tool dind't work. We ended up booking in the office in the S. Bento train station in Porto. Only 2 staff, one entirely clueless, the other struggling to deal with queing people. Our voucher was collected in Porto, thus to get onboard the 100+ people had to queue again in Régua to find their names on a long list - very inefficient. A table is assigned, and this is where luck kicks in - about 80%+ of the people on our boat were Spanish above age 50, who clearly thought they owned the boat, or at least had to entertain everyone - there was thus a mix of karaoke and blaring Spanish pop music.

It's a long way down to Porto (there are also 2 locks, which together take an hour to get through). The scenery is nice but only some isolated places are spectacular. In fact, one has a better view from the train that runs close to the river for about have the distance from Porto, and one looks down into the vineyands - from the boat the perspective is far less exciting, and thus it becomes a very long and tiring journey. I'd recommend doing the shorter 6-bridges tour from Porto (an hour or so), the train trip to Régua, and perhaps a local boat trip around there. Better think twice before booking with Douroazul.

Visited June 2011
9 Thank nkerle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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