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Queen Isabel Review

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Queen Isabel
4.5 / 5.0
53 reviews

Pros
Cons
Bottom Line

About

Passengers
118

Crew
40

Passenger to Crew
2.95:1

Launched
2013

Shore Excursions
0
Sails To
Sails From
Uniworld Cruise Deals
Gabriella Le Breton
Cruise Critic Contributor

Queen Isabel Overview

Editors Note: Queen Isabel will be replaced in 2020 by Uniworld's new vessel, S.S. São Gabriel.

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Queen Isabel launched in spring 2013 as the newest and one of the most luxurious ships on Portugal's Douro River. The ship is owned by DouroAzul, one of Portugal's leading river cruise companies, with an impressive portfolio of riverboats and ships (including the Spirit of Chartwell), as well as extremely smart new coaches, which coordinate with the ships for shore excursions. Queen Isabel is currently chartered by boutique cruise line Uniworld Cruises for all its cruises along the Douro.

Built in Portugal, furnished with locally crafted furniture and staffed by Portuguese crew (with the exception of the Dutch chef), the ship is reassuringly authentic. It's relatively small when compared with other European ships. At just 260 feet long by 37 feet wide, Queen Isabel's dimensions are dictated by the relatively short and narrow locks that pepper the Douro. As a result, the ship's 59 cabins are fairly small, particularly in comparison with those found on Uniworld ships on, say, the Rhine and Danube. However, cabins on the lower deck have large windows, and all the cabins and suites on the upper two decks offer balconies that are beautifully appointed. There are also good bathrooms and adequate storage space.

Queen Isabel further boasts an excellent restaurant, with a small, separate, alfresco dining area; a spacious lounge with an open-air bar, where light lunches are served and can be enjoyed out on deck; and a large sun deck with elegant furniture and a small (thigh-deep) heated swimming pool. There's a shop stocked with tasteful local merchandise, a tiny yet functional spa and gym, and broadband Internet that's both fast and reliable, accessed via numerous public Wi-Fi hotspots and in cabins.

Passengers familiar with Uniworld's ships will find the decor reassuringly familiar: Beatrice Tollman, the president and founder of The Travel Corporation, parent company of Uniworld, and winner of the Hotelier of the Year Award 2012, played a leading role in the creation of Queen Isabel's interiors. Expect lavish fabrics in muted colors, moderately ornate furnishings and high-tech in-cabin facilities.

Finally, Queen Isabel features a 1,679-square-foot area equipped with solar panels on the sun deck, which generate a significant proportion of the energy used by the ship.


Top Queen Isabel Itineraries

View All Uniworld Queen Isabel Itineraries (0)

Fellow Passengers

Passengers aboard Queen Isabel are typically well traveled, fairly experienced cruisers and range in age from 40s to 70s. The majority tend to hail from North America with a smattering of Britons, Europeans, South Americans and South Africans. Given that exploration of the port wine growing area and vineyards is a major focus of voyages on the Douro, many passengers already possess significant knowledge of wine and are eager to learn more.


Uniworld Queen Isabel Dress Code

The dress code for the duration of the cruise is casual, bar two evenings deemed smart casual. The captain's welcome dinner has been replaced with a less formal evening with a smart casual dress code.


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Queen Isabel Ratings

CategoryEditorMember
Cabins4.03.7
Dining4.03.9
Entertainment3.03.4
Public Rooms4.03.9
Fitness Recreation3.02.9
Family2.0N/A
Enrichment1.03.4
Service4.04
Value For Money4.03.5

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Awards and Recognition

Uniworld Queen Isabel Member Reviews

Queen Isabel
lhoward2018
Sail Date: Nov 2018
Thanks to the entire staff and crew of the Queen Isabel for a relaxing and memorable vacation!... Read More
Queen Isabel
philw1776
Sail Date: Jun 2018
Like all ships on the Douro river the Queen Isabel is by necessity undersized. Our cabin was necessarily very small but somehow the shower was big enough.... Read More
Queen Isabel
Weegie123
Sail Date: Apr 2018
The issue with our room was so serious that I don't recommend Uniworld's Queen Isabel.... Read More
Queen Isabel
P and A from Leeds
Sail Date: Mar 2018
We choose Uniworld for our first river cruise as it is supposed to be I boutique ship.The ship the Queen Isabel wasn't in Porto as planned when we got on as the river was too high.... Read More

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection Fleet

River Empress
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

56 reviews

River Empress is one of the older ships in Uniworld's fleet, dating back to 2002. It's also a one-off (not part of a "class").

Uniworld River Empress Cruises to Europe View All Uniworld River Empress Cruises
River Princess
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


River Princess' ambiance is different from that of sister ship River Empress, with starker and bolder decor, honey-colored woods, aluminum accents and a jewel-toned palette.

River Duchess

Uniworld's River Duchess features three passenger decks plus a sun deck. Unlike other ships in the fleet, staterooms have no windows that open.

River Queen

Uniworld's River Queen, launched in 1999, set the standard for the company's new-builds; it's the first to boast an elevator and launderette.

River Tosca
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Holding 82 passengers, River Tosca brings Uniworld's brand of luxury cruising to the Nile River, with experienced tour guides that show you the best of Egypt.

River Countess
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

The most luxurious river cruise on Italy's Po, the 134-passenger River Countess surpasses any other river vessel based in Venice.

S.S. Antoinette

S.S. Antoinette launched in March 2011. The 164-passenger vessel offers a serious wow factor with its unique-to-river-cruising features, including suites with clever open-air balconies.

River Victoria

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises re-launched River Victoria in 2011 after an extensive refurb (it was built in 1982). The 206-passenger boat sails Russia's Volga River between Moscow and St. Petersburg.

S.S. Catherine

The 159-passenger S.S. Catherine is elegant, comfortable, colorful and whimsical, with some some staterooms having both private balconies and French verandahs.

Queen Isabel
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Built in Portugal, furnished with locally crafted furniture and staffed by Portuguese crew (with the exception of the Dutch chef), the ship is reassuringly authentic.

Century Legend (Uniworld)

Uniworld's chartered vessel carries 398 passengers and sails on China's Yangtze River.

S.S. Maria Theresa
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


One of Europe's most elegant river ships; onboard attractions include a cinema, fitness centre, spa, salon and swimming pool.

Joie de Vivre
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Uniworld's Joie de Vivre lives up to its name, bringing together the joys of life: fabulous food, wine, music, art, design and travel with family and friends.

Ganges Voyager II
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Since 2016, Uniworld has put the Ganges Voyager II under exclusive charter, offering two-week trips that combine a land tour of India's Golden Triangle cities -- Delhi, Agra and Jaipur -- with seven nights on the Ganges.

S.S. Bon Voyage
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

The re-imagined River Royale joins the ranks of Uniworld's Super Ships, offering supreme comfort and luxury on Europe's waterways.

S.S. Sphinx

Nile river luxury cruiser S.S. Sphinx debuts January 2020, as one of the destination's more lavish luxury ships with 42 suites, an onboard swimming pool and interior decor reflecting the beauty and history of Egypt.

Mekong Jewel

Entering service in January 2020, Mekong Jewel will run Uniworld's river voyages through Vietnam and Cambodia, with the latest luxury touches and some of the region's most striking decor.

S.S. La Venezia

Debuting March 27, 2020, as a revamped ship, S.S. La Venezia returns to sail Italy's Po River, complete with new touches designed to better represent its Italian itineraries.

S.S. Sao Gabriel

Uniworld's new 100-passenger S.S. Sao Gabriel, which debuts in spring 2020, will offer larger and more lavish suites and introduce butler service for suite passengers for the first time on Uniworld's Douro river cruises.

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