Designed specifically to navigate the narrow Douro river in Portugal, the all-new S.S. Sao Gabriel brings the best of the region to life with public rooms, decor and cuisine all designed to highlight this famous epicenter of port wine production.
Carrying 100 passengers in 50 cabins, all of which offer river views, S.S. Sao Gabriel offers cruisers plenty of niceties, like an onboard swimming pool, a small spa and fitness center, and a small gift shop.
A panoramic lounge situated all the way forward offers 180-degree views of the Douro River Valley, and like all Uniworld vessels, all beverages onboard are offered on a complimentary basis.
Meals are taken in the ship's main restaurant on Cape Verde Deck, which features open seating and cuisine inspired by Portuguese favorites alongside international and North American dishes.
Breakfast and lunch are typically served over several hours, while dinners tend to start at a set time, usually around 7 p.m.
Lighter fare and afternoon snacks can be found in the ship's lounge on Azores Deck, which also houses a full-service bar offering specialty coffees, and alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages throughout the day.
S.S. Sao Gabriel offers five grades of cabin accommodations, from economical river-view staterooms to the ship's four lavish Grand Suites.
Deluxe and Classic staterooms are all located on the Madeira Deck, and all feature fixed half-height window views of the passing river.
Moving up one deck, French Balcony staterooms are similarly sized but replace the small picture window with a French balcony that can fully open.
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The uppermost accommodations deck, Azores Deck, houses only Suites and Grand Suites. These boast French balconies and enlarged living space compared with other cabin categories onboard. In a first for Uniworld's Douro river cruises, passengers booking suites aboard S.S. Sao Gabriel will be entitled to the same butler service found aboard Uniworld's other European-based river cruise vessels.
While Uniworld has not announced specific cabin details, features like hand-crafted Savoir of England beds, Egyptian linens, L'Occitane toiletries (or Hermes at the suite level) and interactive flat-panel television entertainment systems with complimentary movies and television shows are pretty much standard issue across the fleet.
S.S. Sao Gabriel's Sun Deck features an outdoor swimming pool that is perfect for cooling off in the heat of the Douro, which can get hot, particularly during the summer months. Other niceties include plenty of shaded seating, and unshaded options for those looking to work on their tan.
In addition to daily briefings, cooking classes, demonstrations and the odd guest lecture make up the majority of the entertainment onboard. S.S. Sao Gabriel sails a port-intensive itinerary through the Douro River Valley, so expect to be off the ship for much of the day.
At night, a piano player entertains in the ship's main lounge, while passengers mingle over cocktails. Between the heat and the copious amounts of port wine to be enjoyed while on-tour, many cruisers elect to retire to their cabins shortly after dinner.
Uniworld's S.S. Sao Gabriel operates year-round on river cruises out of Porto, Portugal. The vessel can be found on Uniworld's 11-day cruise tour, "Portugal, Spain and the Douro River Valley" that travels from Lisbon to Porto.