My Douro River Bucket List Adventure

Joyce Landry Avalon Alegria Douro R8ver cruise

Ship Report by Joyce Landry, CEO, Landry & Kling Global Ship Solutions

The idea of exploring the Douro River in Portugal has long captivated me. I was drawn to images of green vineyards cascading down terraced hillsides, rural countryside villages, and the opportunity to taste some of the world’s best wines from this historic wine-producing region. All good things come in time, so it was with great pleasure that I recently had the chance to experience one of the first cruises on Avalon Waterways’ purpose-built Douro River Vessel, the Avalon Alegria.
Joyce Landry with Pam Hoffee, President Avalon Waterways
With Pam Hoffee, President of Avalon Waterways
This vessel is slightly smaller than other Avalon vessels (102 passengers) but necessary to traverse the awesome locks on the Douro. The Alegria is designed beautifully with their trademark Panorama Suites and a new added bonus—an infinity pool and a deck with misters for the warm summer weather in this region. This is an Avalon first.
Avalon Alegria lounge
Those who know me were not surprised to hear that I indulged in the “Active Discovery” program on this cruise. Every day, an intrepid group of like-minded guests were either kayaking, hiking, or cycling. It was a great balance to all the wine tastings and pastries (!)
What truly left a lasting impression on me was the serene atmosphere of this unspoiled part of the world. Here, people still work the land in a personal way, and their spirits beat to a different rhythm. The river is free from commercial traffic, and as you delve deeper into the region, it transforms into a pastoral paradise. This natural beauty was perfectly complemented by the delicious cuisine on board and the added bonus of local entertainment-classical artists from the region.
Joyce Landry on Avalon Alegria Douro River cruise
My journey on the Avalon Alegria was a delightful and intimate experience. I couldn’t have asked for a better guide to ‘The River of Gold’ than Avalon Waterways. The Alegria, with its ideal charter size and ability to meet all my expectations, is a vessel I highly recommend for a truly memorable experience.

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