MS Infante don Henrique
Named after Henry the Navigator – a famous icon from the Portuguese Empire – it’s fitting that the MS Infante don Henrique sails the River Douro, soaking up the sights and attractions of Portugal, a stunning part of the world with areas of unspoilt and untouched beauty. Operated by Croisi Europe, this impressive three deck vessel was built in 2003 and has been carefully renovated to reflect modern amenities as the years have passed.
As a family-run French company, it’s natural for Croisi river cruises to predominantly attract French travellers - but they are also popular with English, and English-speaking, guests too. Most of the staff and expert guides speak good English, and the announcements and notices onboard are provided in English as well as French.
As with other river cruises, most holidaymakers will have a keen interest in sightseeing, excursions and enjoying all the facilities and activities the MS Infante don Henrique offers onboard. The ship runs at a maximum capacity of 142 passengers.
The onboard restaurant, found on the Main Deck, offers all guests breakfast, lunch and dinner options that make up the full board river cruise. Passengers are usually allocated a table on the first evening, and are often seated with others who share the same nationality or language. This seating arrangement will usually remain the same for the rest of the cruise, if all guests are happy with their dining companions.
Breakfast is a buffet style arrangement, with a range of Continental and Western choices including hot and cold options, using fresh, local produce. For both the lunch and dinner service, there is a set three course menu that includes regional specialities and traditional alternatives. A wine list is also available.
Dress code is casual and comfortable during the days, with more elegant and smart-casual dress worn in the evenings, particularly for Gala evenings when many guests take the opportunity to dress up.
Beverages onboard, including beer, wine, spirits, mineral water, soft drinks and hot beverages are included in the price, so there’s no need to worry about keeping track of your bar tab.
There’s a good, varied selection of entertainment onboard, which caters for all passengers as well as ensuring there is plenty of time to relax following a busy day of sightseeing. The main Lounge Bar can be found on the Middle Deck, but there is also a smaller lounge bar and terrace on the Upper Deck.
Most guests are happy with low-key evenings, which could include quizzes, folk evenings, games, crew team shows, and music and dancing – including traditional flamenco shows or Portuguese Fado music - before retiring to their staterooms at their leisure. A highlight of every cruise is the Gala Dinner that takes place towards the end of the cruise.
Every cruise itinerary includes carefully selected activities, tours and excursions to ensure every guest can make the most out of their experience on the Douro River. Wireless audio systems are provided for some itineraries to ensure all travellers can gain the same information, regardless of where they are in the crowd. While guided excursions are encouraged, independent exploration of the local cities and sites close to the mooring ports are also possible. Typical tours on the MS Infante don Henrique’s Douro itineraries include manor houses, palaces, historic towns, and wine and port tasting tours of vineyards.
Back onboard, guests can relax on one of the sunloungers or deckchairs on the partially-covered Sun Deck. The small library is a haven for bookworms, there’s a gift shop to browse and the onboard Wi-Fi can be used to keep in touch with home or research the next destination on the list. Guests can also make use of complimentary Samsung Galaxy Tablets.
Every one of the 71 staterooms onboard is situated above the water level and outside to benefit from views of the river via the panorama window or French balcony. They are all the same size, spacious, comfortable and well-appointed, with twin beds/double configuration available (other than a few staterooms, which have a fixed double bed).
Amenities include ensuite bathroom with shower, satellite TV, radio, hairdryer, in-room safe, towels, air-conditioning and telephone.
The MS Infante don Henrique operates a number of enthralling itineraries that focus on the Douro River in Portugal, including the ‘From Porto to Spain’ voyage that takes guests along the Porto wine trail to Salamanca in Spain. Another popular itinerary is the ‘Pleasant Portugal’ voyage that allows guests to discover some of the country’s most beautiful regions, including Porto, the Douro Valley, Vila Real, Lamego and Guimaraes.
Typical itineraries tend to be planned around eight days, depending on which one is booked.