Three months into the year and the must-visit destinations for 2016 are starting to take shape. Whilst many people predicted which spots holidaymakers would embrace over the next 12 months, it’s only now that real trends are starting to emerge.
One thing that we have seen a significant increase in is the number of people searching for and booking Douro river cruises. Portugal’s river of gold has always been a great choice for those looking for a relaxing break, but why is 2016 the perfect time to book your trip?
There have always been comfortable and elegant ships sailing along the Douro, but this year sees some notable additions that are specifically designed to traverse this waterway. Later this month, Viking River Cruises will increase its number of ships in this part of the world to three with the arrival of Viking Osfrid, whilst Scenic is set to launch Scenic Azure in April. Both of these ships are built slightly shorter than usual in order to fit through the five locks along the river. Incidentally, Riviera Travel has also recently announced they are building new ship Douro Elegance in time for 2017.
As we pointed out in an earlier blog post, 2016 is the 260th anniversary of the Douro Wine Company. This organisation laid the foundation for fair trading in the Douro Valley and made the fortified wine produced here one of the world’s favourite tipples. What better way is there to celebrate than by sampling a few vintages in the various vineyards along the riverbanks?
Sadly, the horrifying events of 2015 have forced some travellers to reconsider where they choose to go on holiday. With Tunisia and Egypt experiencing devastating attacks, tourists who would normally travel to this part of the world are starting to look closer to home. Sadly, the dreadful incidents in Paris have put many people off visiting France’s capital too and it seems some of these have turned their focus towards Iberia. Holidays to Spain have gone through the roof, with many companies already selling out, and Portugal’s Douro Valley looks to be another desirable destination for concerned holidaymakers.
Airlines announce new flights all the time and 2016 is the year that BA have chosen to double their routes to the city of Porto. Having moved its flights from Heathrow to Gatwick, British Airways is now flying four times a week to Portugal’s second city. These changes came into effect at the beginning of February and the airline has also stated that they will increase this further (to six) in the summer months. Porto is a beautiful destination and the place from which many of our Douro river cruises start. With increased accessibility, it is now even easier to meet up with your ship or plan a couple of days exploring before you set sail.
There has never been a better time to take a cruise on the river Douro. Call our helpful team today to find an itinerary that is perfect for you and start planning your trip to 2016’s must visit destination.
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