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Into the Douro Valley with Avalon Alegria

Avalon Alegria Douro Valley Cruise

If you had asked me 10 years ago if I enjoyed a river cruise, my answer would have been a hard no. But a decade later, river cruises have come a long way, baby! We recently boarded the Avalon Alegria in Porto, Portugal, for a cruise into the Douro Valley. This European River cruise felt more like the small ship expeditions we’ve taken in the past than the old standard river cruises that stopped at packed ports and spent more time on the bus than exploring the destination.

What’s it Like on a Douro Valley River Cruise

Avalon Alegria Douro Valley Cruise

We boarded our all-suites ship in Porto, where we began our journey into the stunning hills of the Douro Valley. The Avalon Alegria was designed to utilize the most space while creating the ultimate relaxing and luxurious experience.

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The Ship – Avalon Alegria

The Avalon Alegria ShipThe Avalon Alegria Ship

The Avalon Alegria is the newest of Avalon’s ships. It is an all-suites ship with 14 deluxe staterooms or 37 Panorama Suites. We toured all of the rooms, and no matter which room you choose, you will be happy. All rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows that open to turn your room into one huge balcony, and all beds face the water.

Avalon Alegria Top Deck PoolAvalon Alegria Top Deck Pool

Onboard amenities include a bar and dance floor, nightly entertainment, a dining room, a club lounge, and a gym. The Sky Deck has a swimming pool, outdoor grill and bar, and plenty of lounge chairs and tables. If the weather is good, this is the place to be to take in the gorgeous vistas of the Douro Valley.

Avalon Alegria Suites

Avalon Alegria SuitesAvalon Alegria Suites

Let’s begin with the suites. With a maximum capacity of 102 people, every room is spacious and luxurious. We stayed in one of the fourteen 200-square-foot panorama suites, which was perfect for our trip.

While other cruise lines we’ve taken line their beds up against a wall with a view of the other wall, the Avalon Alegria ship sets each bed facing the floor-to-ceiling windows for views of the river. We enjoyed afternoon siestas in our room while watching the Douro River views go by.

Avalon Alegria StateroomAvalon Alegria Stateroom

But that’s not all. Most people want a balcony when river cruising, but it’s difficult to give everyone one due to the size limitations of the river and the locks. Avalon has fixed this problem by creating floor-to-ceiling windows that open wide, transforming your suite into an open-air balcony. By taking away…

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