Strasbourg-based CroisiEurope was founded in 1976 and is one of Europe’s largest river cruise specialists, running trips along the Rhine, the Rhône, the Seine, the Danube, and more. The company is christening a new Douro Valley ship in 2015, decked out with MissoniHome textiles and furnishings and with berths for 132 passengers.
The Douro River begins in north-central Spain (where it’s known as the Duero) and flows west through Spain and Portugal before meeting the sea in Porto. The Douro Valley in Portugal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s most charming but lesser-known wine regions, notable primarily for its production of port. The landscape is characterized by terraced vineyards spread over rolling hills, with plenty of woodland, and the region is dotted with picturesque old towns with exquisite architecture.
CroisiEurope’s Douro Valley tours all begin and end in historic Porto, and as well as winetasting and other activities there are optional excursions to towns such as Braga, Vila Réal, and even Spain’s Salamanca, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tours last 6–8 days and prices start at $1,145.