Porto Boat Tours: 13 Unforgettable Adventures on the Douro


You’re in the right place, as this article will outline 13 of the best Porto boat tours that you can take when visiting this magnificent city. 

Did you know that the Douro River stretches for 897 kilometers, flowing from its source in Spain to its mouth in Porto, Portugal 🤯? The river has been important to the development of these cities for thousands of years. 

Without it, we wouldn’t have port wine — can you believe that?! 

Don’t have time to read the whole article?

The best Porto boat tour is this Douro Valley Cruise with a Winery Visit and Lunch Tour, with a near perfect ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating 😊❤️

Beyond its historical significance, the Douro River is a looker. Whether you are taking a boat trip around Porto or want to discover the terraced vineyards of the Douro Valley, a boat trip is a must-do when visiting Porto. 

Trust me, I’ve lived in Portugal since 2020, and one of my favorite things to do when visiting Porto is to go on a boat trip. And if you can swing it, a trip to the Douro Valley is an unforgettable experience. Ready for the 13 best Porto boat tours and cruises to enjoy the local scenery? Let’s go.

Top 3 Picks: Best Porto Boat Tours


Best of Porto Experience

→ Tram & Boat Ride (2h)
→ Lunch + coffee & tea

Our #2 PICK

Douro Valley Cruise with Winery Visit

→ Explore the Douro on a private boat
→ Visit 2 small family-run wineries

Our #3 PICK

Private Luxury Douro Yacht Cruise 

→ Private and customizable tour 
→ Alcohol, beverages & snacks provided

Should you go on a Douro River or Douro Valley tour?

What’s the difference between a Douro River and a Douro Valley? It mainly comes down to location and duration.

A Douro River tour is focused around Porto, typically lasting 2-3 hours. This tour, primarily by boat, lets you see the city’s landscapes and historic sites but doesn’t include the Douro Valley.

On the other hand, a Douro Valley tour is a full-day experience, usually 8 to 9 hours long. This tour takes you into the Douro Valley, known for its winemaking. It often features a visit to a vineyard where you can participate in wine tasting and enjoy a lunch with local flavors set against the backdrop of the valley’s vineyards.

So the difference? While the river tour offers a quick overview of Porto, the valley tour provides a deeper exploration of the region’s wine culture. Keep that in mind as you scan the best Porto boat tours that are listed below.

13 Best Porto Boat Tours 

1. Best of Porto Experience With Boat Trip & Lunch

Looking for one of the best boat tours Porto has to offer? This Best of Porto experience covers all of the basics.

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 8 hours | 🛥️ BOOK NOW

Discover Porto’s hidden gems on foot, by tram, and on a boat along the Douro River on this Best of Porto day tour.

On this Best of Porto experience, you’ll start off with a guided tour of Palácio da Bolsa — a 19th century neoclassical palace. From there, you’ll head down to the Douro River to board the boat, which will take you on a leisurely cruise toward the sea.

If you want a personalized tour by a local who will show and tell you about great local spots this is the tour for you.


You’ll get a chance to take in the beautiful scenery of both Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia from this unique perspective. Lunch of fresh grilled fish is served in Afurada. You’ll return back to Cais de Ouro, but the tour doesn’t finish before you have the chance to enjoy a closing glass of Port.

The colorful houses sparkle under the sun in the Afurada neighborhood, where the smell of grilled seafood fills the air for lunchtime on this incredible Porto boat ride experience.


2. Douro Valley Cruise with Winery Visit and Lunch

The best Douro Valley boat tour from Porto for a local experience, this cruise includes a visit to the guide’s own winery with lunch booked by his wife.

⭐️ RATING: 4.9 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 8.5 hours | 🍷 BOOK NOW

Discover the perfectly picturesque Douro Valley, Portugal’s renowned wine region, on this Cruise with a Winery Visit and Lunch.

The area is famous for its lush green terraced vineyards. On this cruise, you’ll visit two family-run wineries throughout the day and taste a total of 11 delicious local wines.

Mind-blowing!! This was the most memorable and fabulous experiences of our Portugal trip!


Your tour guide — owner of one of the wineries — will tell you more about the history and fun stories about the area. Lunch is served fresh from the fire, cooked by your tour guide’s wife.

This intimate, authentic Porto boat trip Douro tour shows you the beauty of the region and its people. Your day is split between a van and a Porto river cruise 1 hour long along the Douro River.


3. Private Douro River Yacht Tour 

If you are looking for a private boat tour Porto experience, this private yacht experience is the perfect choice.

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2 hours | 🛥️ BOOK NOW

Head west from Porto and watch the peaceful beaches of the Cabedelo Natural Reserve pass by on this Private Yacht Tour along the Douro River.

🌅 This is the perfect place to experience a stunning sunset if you book a late-afternoon cruise. 

Loved the small group, wine and the sunset. Overall wonderful way to see all the bridges.


You’ll make your way all the way out to the westerly-most point in Porto, right where the river touches the sea and the Barra do Douro lighthouse guides ships safely into the harbor. The sea’s deep blues and the lighthouse’s reds create a picture-perfect scene. 

On this yacht tour, you’ll get a welcome drink of Brut or Port plus a tasting platter of local products.


4. Douro Valley Boat, Lunch and Wine Tasting Experience

On this Porto boat trip Douro Valley experience. you’ll visit two wineries and have a delicious local lunch.

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 9 hours | 🍷 BOOK NOW

Looking for the ultimate Douro Valley winery experience? Enjoy this Porto to Pinhao boat trip, which will bring you to Peso da Régua’s historic town in the Douro Valley’s heart. You’ll also visit Pinhão, which is full of traditional wineries. 

During this Douro river boat tour Porto experience, you’ll also have the chance to visit two wineries.  At the wineries, you’ll learn all about how the wine is made, from the vines through the processing and into the bottles. 

I had an amazing time on this Douro valley wine tour. It was a very small group so it was intimate and we all became friends after a few drinks!


With a combination of travel by land and by sea, om this Pinhao Porto boat, you’ll pass by Amarante, where green wine is made, go through one of the largest tunnels in Europe in Serra do Marão, and visit Vila Real, one of the main cities in the region — full of history and culture.

In addition to wine tasting, this wine boat tour Porto experience day includes an all-inclusive lunch as well as a tasting of regional olive oil and other products.


5. Douro River Sunset Sailboat Experience

This boat cruise Porto Portugal sunset experience is the perfect romantic option in Porto.

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2 hours | ⛵ BOOK NOW

Enjoy the unparalleled beauty of a sunset on the Douro River as the sky turns into a tapestry of golds and yellows, pinks, and reds on this incredible Sunset Sailboat Experience.

This sunset cruise brings you west from Porto towards the ocean. Your captain will keep an eye on the weather and scope out the perfect spot to enjoy the best sunset.

Guides were excellent sailors, funny, kind and shared such good info about Porto. I highly recommend this tour!


During this Douro Porto boat cruise, you’ll enjoy learning about the landmarks you pass by on both sides of the river. You’ll also have the chance to sample local wines and a small platter of local snacks.


6. Douro Valley Private Day Trip by Car & Boat

Looking for one of the best Douro boat trips from Porto? This Douro Valley private trip is the perfect option.

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 8 hours | 🍷 BOOK NOW

Want to experience a traditional boat tour Porto experience? Enjoy this cruise along the Douro River tour Porto in a Rabelo, a traditional Portuguese boat. These boats were traditionally used to transport wine along the river. 

As you cruise, you’ll learn all about the history of the region from your tour guide. The tour will stop for lunch along the river at a local restaurant. 

Oh my gosh, this trip is a MUST!! We had the most fabulous time with our Guide Luis! 


This Porto boat wine tour includes a visit to a stunning winery offering sweeping views across the valley. There, you can try a variety of ports and learn all about the process the winemakers go through to make these wines.


7. Porto: Douro River Boat Cruise with Port Wine

Looking for Porto wine tours by boat? This Douro River Cruise includes a wine tasting on board.

⭐️ RATING: 4.8 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2 hours | ⛵ BOOK NOW

Experience the heart of Porto from the water on this Douro River Boat Cruise, where history, taste, and stunning views come together.

Spanning the Douro River between Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia, there are six bridges — the most famous of which is Dom Luis I, which was designed by Teófilo Seyrig, the business partner of Gustave Eiffel.

I cannot recommend this tour enough! 10/10 experience.


On this 6 bridges boat tour Porto cruise, you’ll pass under all six of the bridges, giving you a unique perspective on their iconic designs. 

Throughout the tour, your guide will tell you more about the region’s history and traditions, as well as stories of local fishermen and information about the architecture you pass. You’ll have a chance to sample local ports and try some small snacks such as a pastel de nata.


8.  Porto City Tour with Six Bridges Cruise and Lunch

Looking for a Rabelo boat Porto trip? This Rabelo boat trip Porto also includes a trip to a port wine cellar

⭐️ RATING: 4.9 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 6 hours | 🛥️ BOOK NOW

Your full day tour will start with a guided walk through the famous sites of Porto — from the stunning tiled interior of Sao Bento Railway Station to the elegant architecture of Batalha Square.

Before you finish, you’ll stop at a port wine cellar to learn more about the iconic local drink and try a few samples. 

The tour was an amazing experience of Porto and the Six Bridges!! Love the food and the cultural!! Highly recommend.


Once you make your way down to the river, you’ll board a Rabelo boat that will take you along the river and under its six famous bridges. 

This 6 bridge boat tour Porto experience finishes at lunchtime when you’ll join your group for a Francesinha.


9. Private Yacht Cruise in the Douro River

This private boat tour Porto experience includes a port and green wine tasting.

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2 hours | 🛥️ BOOK NOW

Set out on this Porto Douro boat trip to explore the calm waters of the river as you make your way west to where it meets the Atlantic. 

As you sail, you’ll see the captivating Ribeira do Porto neighborhood, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the charming fishermen’s village of São Pedro da Afurada. All the while, your tour guide and captain will share stories and the history of the landmarks you pass by.

Adriano and Iñez took excellent care of us.


On this Porto private boat tour, you’ll be offered a bottle of vinho verde (green wine), as well as a bottle of port to enjoy alongside a tasting of regional products.


10. Private Sailing Lesson in Porto

Cruise Porto Portugal while learning how to sail on this private sailing experience.

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2.5 hours | ⛵ BOOK NOW

Ready to learn the ropes of how to sail your very own sailboat? Then this is this Private Boat Porto Sailing Lesson perfect activity for you.

You’ll be guided by a seasoned and accredited sailing instructor through the dos and don’ts of navigating the boat. You’ll learn everything from the basics of where things are and what they are called all the way to how to execute different maneuvers. 

Wow, this was such a brilliant experience. It was truly amazing getting to sail in a beautiful area while learning the ropes.


Throughout the class, you’ll navigate the Douro, having the opportunity to see the city of Porto from a unique perspective out on the water. The class runs for about two and a half hours and is held privately with one or two people only.


11. Porto: Douro Speedboat Tour

Want a unique river sightseeing Porto experience? Try this speedboat tour.

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 45 minutes | 🚤 BOOK NOW

Feel the wind in your hair as you travel on this Porto boat tour Douro at high speed on a speedboat for 45-minutes. You’ll be led by a crew of friendly and knowledgeable locals who will ensure you are safe, comfortable, and having fun the entire time.

Great fun speed boat ride. Professionally run yet informal and fun. Great crew who looked after us very well.


One of the best boat tours Porto Portugal offers for adrenaline junkies. Be prepared to get a bit wet as you bump up and down the river and even travel out onto the Atlantic.

Of course, moving through the city this way, you’ll have many chances to see amazing scenery on both banks of the river as you pass by.


12. Porto Sailboat Tour

The best Porto Portugal boat tours? This sailboat experience is a great relaxing option to see Porto’s sights.

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2 hours | ⛵ BOOK NOW

Enjoy this peaceful opportunity to cruise Porto on an intimate sailboat.

You’ll see many of the top highlights of both the Porto and the Vila Nova de Gaia sides of the river as you make your way west to the mouth of the river and onto the open ocean. 

Our skippers were knowledgeable, friendly and went above and beyond to make it a memorable experience.


You will pass by amazing landmarks like the Arrábida Bridge and the famous Dom Luis I Bridge as well as the Baroque-style Clerics Church with its famous tall steeple. 

Plus, look up on the hills at the port wine cellars where your welcome glass of port wine was made.


13. Porto Cruise on the Douro River

Porto wine tours by boat usually include a couple of glasses of Port wine from the famous Douro Valley wineries.

⭐️ RATING: 4.7 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2 hours | ⛵ BOOK NOW

This cruise takes you out on a 15-meter sailboat (about 50 feet) with a small group and an experienced guide. You’ll get to enjoy a glass of wine while on board and learn more about the attractions and neighborhoods you are cruising past. 

Our guides were amazing! They were so helpful and friendly!


On this Porto River Cruise, take the chance to snap photos of all of the most picturesque spots in Porto. Looking up from the river offers a unique perspective on the wine cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia and the famous six bridges.


Porto Boat Tours: Frequently Asked Questions

Porto boat tours are on the Douro River.

Is it worth doing a river cruise in Porto?

Yes — it is absolutely worth doing a river cruise while you’re in Porto.

A river cruise along the Douro River offers a unique perspective of Porto, showcasing its stunning landscape and architectural beauty from a vantage point that can’t be experienced on land.

You’ll glide past famous landmarks like the Dom Luís I Bridge, the picturesque Ribeira district, and the historic Vila Nova de Gaia, known for its port wine cellars.

Additionally, there are various types of cruises available, ranging from short trips to extended excursions, some even including meals and wine-tasting sessions. This variety ensures that there’s a cruise to suit everyone’s interests, whether you’re looking for a quick sightseeing tour or a leisurely exploration with local flavors and wines.


How long is the river cruise in Porto?

River cruises in Porto range from short two-hour cruises all the way up to full daylong trips which take you all the way up into the Douro Valley.

Pinhão in the Douro Valley – one of the stops you’ll probably make on a Douro River Cruise from Porto.

The river itself is nearly 900 km, over 500 miles, so you could spend days slowly traveling all the way up its entirety. 


Is the 6 Bridges cruise worth it in Porto?

Yes — Porto Six Bridges boat tours are totally worth it. The bridges spanning the Douro River are all architecturally unique and interesting, and cruising under them offers a fun perspective of their structures.

On many of the Porto boat tours, you’ll pass this bridge, one of the six bridges in Porto

One of the bridges (the Dom Luis I) was built by the business partner of Eiffel and is an architectural wonder in its own right. So yes, Porto boat trip 6 bridges are totally worth it.


Where do the river boats leave from Porto?

The majority of Porto boat cruises leave from the Douro Marina. The marina is on the Vila Nova de Gaia side of the river just west of the Ponte da Arrabida.

The view of Porto from the other side of the river (in Gaia) – some of the best river cruises Porto has to offer depart from this side of the river.

Do check the info on your tour carefully, though, as some Porto boat trip groups will meet at a different spot in the city before heading to the marina together as a group.

But not every one of the best boat tour Porto has to offer departs from the marina. So make sure to double-check the departure location before leaving your accommodations.


What is the best time of year to cruise the Douro River?

There is no bad time to visit Porto or to cruise the Douro — it’s always a guaranteed stunning experience.

A lot of the Porto boat trips also include some sort of Porto by car or tram experience.

That being said, from late spring into early autumn, you’ll find the most stunning scenery with lush, deep greens everywhere you look. Long summer days also mean beautiful golden hours and lively happenings all throughout the neighborhoods. 


What do you wear on a Douro River cruise?

The best outfit to wear on a Porto river boat tour depends both on the time of year you visit as well as the type of cruise you’ll be taking.

Walking around Porto in the month of November – make sure to bring something warm and an extra jacket in the winter months.

If your Portugal river cruise includes a Porto wine boat tour, you may be asked not to wear casual summer clothes such as flip-flops or tank tops. If you’re headed out on the speedboat tour, you can expect to get a bit wet, so you’ll want to wear lighter clothing that will dry quickly.

Any time of year, wearing plenty of sunscreen is important. If you’re going on Portuguese river cruises in the autumn or winter months or a sunset cruise Porto experience, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got some layers to stay warm.


What are the boats in Porto called?

The classic old boats from Porto are called Rabelos. These boots were originally used to transport wine along the river.

A lot of Porto river cruises include an experience on a Rabelo, which is a traditional Portuguese boat.

Some of the cruises mentioned here are Rabelo boat tour Porto companies and they use refurbished rabelos. So a Rabelo boat tour Porto is a great option if you are looking for something a little more traditional.

But many river cruises Porto offer trips in more modern boats like yachts, sailboats, or speedboats. 

Final Thoughts: Porto Boat Tours

A Porto boat tour is an activity not to be missed. The Douro river and the valley it runs through are some of the most stunning parts of Portugal, so a Douro boat trip Porto departure is a perfect way to see a whole lot of the region in a relaxing but packed day.

Are you ready to go on the best Porto river cruise? Whether you choose a Porto river cruise 2-hour experience or want to take a river cruise Porto to Douro Valley to explore wineries and do a Portoriver cruise wine tasting, this article is chock full of some of the best river cruise Porto experiences that you can find.

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