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Launched in 2011, the magnificent MS Douro Spirit has ushered in a new and luxurious era on Portugal’s most famous river, the Douro, bringing standards of service and on-board facilities of the very best that Europe’s rivers offer. Many decades of experience in construction have been brought to bear in the unique design and materials featured throughout the MS Douro Spirit, creating a top quality, fully air-conditioned four-star superior floating hotel, thus ensuring that your splendid cruise along this most underrated of rivers will be a truly memorable experience.
Purpose built for its home river and accommodating just 128 guests in the stylish surroundings befitting a top quality hotel, the ship's modern design and attention to detail ensures a more spacious and less crowded feel in comparison to similar ships on the river. The excellent ratio of just four guests per crew member ensures first class service and cuisine, plus the friendly “small ship” feel so beloved of Riviera Travel cruise aficionados, enables the ever attentive crew to revel in taking care of all those little things - leaving you to simply sit back, relax and enjoy every minute of your delightful river cruising experience. The most up to date design methods incorporating a commitment to the latest technology and a strong environmental ethic are at the heart of this state of the art vessel, and of course it goes without saying that the highly trained crew just delight in welcoming you aboard their “home from home”.
Boarding via the entrance lobby on the Superior (upper) deck, you will immediately be impressed by the crisp, modern yet stylish décor befitting a four-star superior ship; its discreet lighting, sparkling surfaces and highly polished marble floors give a sophisticated yet light and airy “designer” elegance which is reflected throughout. Ideally located alongside the entrance lobby are the reception and a small boutique. Then forward is the lounge and bar, sumptuously furnished with a perfect blend of elegant semi-circular leather settees, comfortable armchairs complimented by contemporary fittings and high quality, polished hardwood flooring. Tables are decorated with fresh-cut flowers and the well stocked bar is of course at the heart of the lounge, staffed by consummate professionals taking delight in attending to your every wish in sampling local wines or preparing whatever takes your fancy. As on all our vessels, you are surrounded by impressive panoramic windows offering superb viewing as some of the world’s finest river scenery gently slips past. This is also where we hold our informative but informal lectures, giving background information on the regions through which you cruise - their history, culture and a host of different subjects which really enhances your holiday.
As the evening beckons, the ambience subtly metamorphoses into one of understated sophistication, enhanced by soft lighting and the gentle tones emanating from the talented background pianist. What finer spot is there to while away the evening with like-minded travellers or perhaps take a gentle twirl on the dance floor?
The Superior (upper), Main (middle) and Lower decks are connected by a lift and an elegant staircase. The Lower deck has a small fitness room – ideal for working off the ship's wonderful cuisine plus a spa with a range of massage treatments available at an extra charge. Also here is the chic restaurant where your comfort is assured in high backed leather chairs whilst sustainably sourced hardwood tables enhance the sophisticated ambience. Tables sit just four to eight and in common with all our river cruises, we offer “open dining” arrangements giving the freedom to sit wherever and with whoever you wish. Breakfast is a hot and cold buffet with a fine omelette station so your eggs are just how you like them, then lunch is another delicious fine array but if you just want a salad then that’s fine too. The culinary highlight of the day though is the superb four-course dinner served at your table featuring the finest Portuguese, Mediterranean and International cuisine to delight your taste buds. Complimentary coffee and teas are always available in the ship's lounge.
Atop the Douro Spirit, reached by stairs from the Superior (upper) deck, is a spacious sun deck where you can make the most of the beautiful Portuguese weather, perhaps reclining on one of the many comfortable sun loungers, whilst enjoying a 360 degree panoramic view of your stunning surroundings. Some will enjoy a glimpse of the wizardry “on the bridge” as the captain steers the ship smoothly along the twisting river or perhaps take a dip in the pool which is a real rarity on a river cruiser. For many though, just to lean on the ship’s rail, drink in hand whilst casting a relaxed eye over the fascinating life ashore or the inquisitive wildlife of this truly unspoilt river is the perfect solution to the stresses of modern life!