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If CroisiEurope River Cruises doesn’t sound familiar yet, it soon will. Founded in 1976 by Gerard Schmitter, CroisiEurope has more than 50 river ships in its fleet plying the rivers and waterways in Europe and around the world. Still family-owned and operated, their growth spurt continues.
In Porto, Portugal this week, another CroisiEurope innovative ship was christened on the Douro River. On the hillside bank of the Douro, the Miguel Torga was the festive scene of a traditional ceremony that included the extended Schmitter family, two priests (one from Portugal and the other a family friend), dozens of Portuguese officials and media.
The Miguel Torga is the fifth ship that CroisiEurope has cruising the Douro. With only 132-passengers and three decks, the ship is considered one of their finest to date. On the Sun Deck, the ship sports a hydraulic pool that can be lowered and raised to accommodate tight passages beneath bridges.
Designed to optimize the scenic views, all the cabins’ beds face the windows with only a handful of cabins that do not have floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors and a French balcony. There are a couple of suites with verandahs.
Public spaces on the Miguel Torga include the main lounge with a panoramic view, a main dining room for all meals, a small library and sitting area. The Sun Deck features an outdoor pool, shaded lounge chairs. There is an elevator to the main passenger decks but not the Sun Deck.
Included in the price of the cruise is complimentary wifi, all meals, beer and wine and non-premium alcoholic drinks plus shore excursions for North Americans.
Itineraries for the Miguel Torga for 2017 are eight-nights, cruising round-trip from Porto. Port calls from Porto are: Regua, Pinhao, Barca D’Alva, Vega de Teron, Senhora de Ribeira and back to Porto. Excursions into Spain can be purchased as optional tours.
Who would love this cruise?
Anyone who appreciates a truly international experience, enjoys French and regional Portuguese cuisine, wine and cheeses. The sleepy Douro is flanked by both steep and gently sloping vineyards and of course wine tastings. If you’re a wine enthusiast, this is your cruise.