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Douro Elegance Review

Find a Douro Elegance Cruise from £1,449

Douro Elegance
-- / 5.0
6 reviews

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Passenger to Crew


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Riviera Travel Cruise Deals
Jeannine Williamson
Cruise Critic Contributor

Douro Elegance Overview

Douro Elegance is one of two identical sister ships launched on Portugal's Douro River in 2017. U.K. tour operator Riviera Travel charters the ship and also offers cruises on the sibling vessel Douro Serenity.

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The 126-passenger vessel, classified by Riviera as "five star" was built by the Portuguese company DouoAzul, which has been operating for more than 25 years and retains ownership of the vessels that it charters to various river cruise lines.

In order to fit into the Douro's five locks, Douro Elegance -- in common with other vessels on the river -- is smaller than the typical ships that sail on the Rhine and Danube. However, it contains all the facilities you would expect on an upmarket riverboat. It also boasts a high ratio of 3:1 passengers per crew member, ensuring personal service and the friendly small ship feel that is a trademark associated with Riviera Travel's cruises.

All cabins are river facing and spread across three decks. The smallest cabins are situated on the lower deck and measure 151 square feet. They all have fixed windows. The standard cabins on the middle and upper decks all measure 161 square feet and have floor-to-ceiling windows that slide down halfway. Standard amenities in all cabins include marble bathrooms with a shower and fully frosted screen, and elegant polished hardwood finishes complemented by a warm Mediterranean color scheme. There are comfy hotel-style beds, with individual duvets, which can be configured as twins or doubles.

The cabins all have individually controlled air conditioning, a desk and two chairs, flat-screen high-definition satellite TV, hair dryer, safe, telephone and tea and coffee making facilities. The onboard voltage is European two-pin 220v, so passengers need to bring adapters.

The ship's suites are all located on the upper deck. The six Superior Suites measure 237 square feet, and have a larger living area and bathroom with twin wash basins. The pair of Deluxe Suites measure 323 square feet, and in addition to the standard floor-to-ceiling window they have a second full-length window that opens down halfway to create the feel of a balcony within the suite, with two chairs and a table.

Public areas include a lounge bar with panoramic windows, a small fitness room, spa and a sun deck with plenty of lounge chairs and a splash pool. All meals are served in the restaurant, which can seat all passengers in one sitting at tables for four, six and eight. There is an open-seating arrangement so passengers can choose where they want to sit and with whom they want to dine. Breakfast and some lunches are served buffet style, and an early riser's breakfast is served in the lounge. Dinner is a combination of buffet and menu items. Self-serve coffee and tea are available 24/7 and tea and coffee are served to the table with meals. Red and white wine, beer and soft drinks are included at every dinner, and complimentary water is served with lunch. Bottled water, speciality coffee and alcoholic drinks are available at additional cost. The onboard currency is the euro.

Special dietary requirements, including low salt, low fat, gluten-free and diabetic, can be catered for if requests are made at the time of booking.

There is no doctor onboard, however a crew member trained in first aid is always available and medical personnel can be summoned aboard quickly in a case of emergency.

The recommended gratuity is 10 euros per person, per day. This covers tips for the crew and local guides and drivers on shore excursions.

Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship and laundry and ironing services are provided for a fee. There is an elevator to all three passenger decks and, notably, there is a chair lift to the sun deck, which is a rare feature on river vessels.

Douro Elegance sails seven-night round trip cruises from Porto, situated at the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean, to the Spanish border and includes a day trip into Spain to visit the historic university city of Salamanca.

Top Douro Elegance Itineraries

Douro Elegance
the douro, porto & salamanca - ms douro elegance

Porto (Leixoes), Porto (Leixoes), Porto (Leixoes), Porto (Leixoes)

The Douro, Porto & Salamanca - MS Douro Elegance

Douro Elegance

View All Douro Elegance Itineraries (2)
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Where does Douro Elegance sail from?

Douro Elegance departs from

Where does Douro Elegance sail to?

Douro Elegance cruises to Porto (Leixoes)

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Cruises on Douro Elegance start from £1,449 per person.

Awards and Recognition

Douro Elegance Member Reviews

Douro Elegance
Sail Date: Jun 2019
On our delayed arrival in Porto we were taken by coach to a quay further up river to join Douro Elegance. The ship has defined booking times at the five locks on this river so she had to move.... Read More
Douro Elegance
Sail Date: Aug 2018
Then a 20 minute transfer to Villa Nova de Gaia, where MS Douro Elegance was birthed. To get to our ship we had to cross another ship, this appears to be quite normal for river cruising.... Read More
Douro Elegance
Charm London
Sail Date: Nov 2019
This was my first river cruise and a solos cruise with 64 singles, although some friends booked together. The boat was stunning and lower cabin was very comfortable and quiet. L'Ocitane toiletries, towelling robe... Read More
Douro Elegance
Sail Date: Aug 2017
Elegance was a new ship.... Read More

Riviera Travel Fleet

William Shakespeare
11 reviews

The 140-passenger William Shakespeare, which operates cruises on the Rhine River, features contemporary decor with sustainably sourced tropical hardwoods and brass and wrought-iron fittings.

Riviera Travel William Shakespeare Cruises to Europe View All Riviera Travel William Shakespeare Cruises
Jane Austen
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

The 140-passenger Jane Austen offers an intimate, premium feel with British touches; it sails Danube and Rhine River cruises as part of Riviera Travel's program of escorted tours.

Charles Dickens

The 140-passenger Charles Dickens offers river cruises through the heart of Europe and features contemporary decor that includes sustainably sourced hardwoods and brass and wrought-iron fittings.

Emily Bronte

Emily Bronte continues Riviera Travel's tradition of naming its ships after famous authors. Sailings on Emily Bronte are available exclusively to the U.K.

Thomas Hardy

The 169-passenger Thomas Hardy entered service with Riviera Travel in April 2017, joining sister ships Emily Bronte and Oscar Wilde as part of the line's expanding river fleet.

Oscar Wilde

Riviera Travel welcomed the 169-passenger Oscar Wilde to its growing fleet of river ships in May 2017. The Swiss-built ship is exclusive to the British market.

Douro Elegance

Built in 2017 and chartered to Rivera Travel, Douro Elegance has splash pool, open seating at meals and a la carte drinks.

Lord Byron

With 140 passengers, Lord Byron has a high crew-to-passenger ratio on weekly Burgundy, Rhone and Provence itineraries.

Robert Burns
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Coming in 2018 from U.K.'s Riviera Travel, Robert Burns will sail the Rhine, Main and Danube on river cruises that are open to Americans, Brits and Australians.

Swiss Corona

This 144-passenger vessel, twin to Swiss Tiara, has a sauna, splash pool and putting green; all drinks are extra.

Douro Splendour

Aimed at British tastes, this well-equipped ship has excellent facilities and is particularly good for solo travelers. 

Geoffrey Chaucer

Coming in 2020, Riviera River Cruises' 176-passenger Geoffrey Chaucer has a few new touches, including a small splash pool and a second restaurant.

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