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I would like to know when is the best time to do a cruise on the Douro river, relating to price and weather. Also, what's the best duration? I saw that there are from 1 day to 7 day programs. 1 day seems short, but 7 days a bit too long. Anyone had experience with this?

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'Best' duration? This will differ for everyone and is very subjective. Like any travel, some people like to pop in and out, while others frown at less than 6 months in a country to 'appreciate it'. The time of year though, that's acceptable. –  Mark Mayo Jan 15 '13 at 0:48
    
There's also 10 day tours as well, for example: vikingrivercruises.com/rivercruises/… –  Mark Mayo Jan 15 '13 at 0:50
    
And thinking about it, even weather is subjective. As is price. Weather - some will want the heat of the summer, others not so much, or they want to be in season for the fall colours, or to avoid the rain. And price - by paying more, you avoid crowds. Could you indicate what YOUR preference is? Are you wanting the lowest prices? Hot weather? Or a tradeoff? –  Mark Mayo Jan 15 '13 at 0:51
    
I Mark, I think it's clear... "relating to price and weather" so in fact I am asking for a tradeoff between weather and price. I am sure there is an High season, when everybody goes there (I suppose the summer, but that I want to find out) and it will be more expensive I can assume. Relating to duration, Douro is long but not that long. I know it's possible to do the cruise in 1 day so I am interested in knowing what people do in 7 days (or any other period) and if it's worth it. –  nsn Jan 15 '13 at 10:36
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1 Answer

I would no go there in midsummer. If Porto is still okay, due to its situation on the Atlantic Ocean, temperatures can get very high inland. Spring and autumn are the best moments to travel. Prices for longer cruises (7-10 days) tend to be a bit lower in summer.

How long?

A 1 day cruise is ideal if you are on a city trip and you want to quickly escape Porto for a moment to see something else.

There are also formulas of 2 days. They are done with excursion boats as well. You will e.g. go from Porto to Régua on the first day. You will spend the night in an hotel over there. On the second day, it goes back to Porto.

If you want to get the most of it, and you want something less bustling, opt for a 7-10 days cruise. These trips will take place on real cruise boats. You will sleep and (very often) eat on board. Just like an ocean cruise. You will have plenty of time to do sightseeing and to enjoy the quietness of the region.

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