The Tourist Company of Douro, Lda, is a company dedicated to the organization, and promotion Cruises and Sightseeing Tours. In a region of excellence that is the Douro Wine Company is the purpose of disclosing the region, basing its action on three pillars: the vineyard, the wine and the river. This is the initial concept, which is well cemented. That is, it is from here that people will know the Douro region because we have a service offering that covers the entire region. The discovery of the Douro is made through boat trips, the train rides, visits to farms, the wine tasting, combining and involving cultural components that provide the tourists an asset that only found on site.

We have the experience of several years in respect of sightseeing in the Douro since we operate in this river since 1993. The Company's headquarters is located in Pinhão, the geographical center of the demarcated region and UNESCO. We have a shipment of space and disembarkation of passengers in Pinhão pier in a privileged environment where our vessels maintain permanence throughout the year.

We have established partnerships with the region's hotels and tourism agencies and seek always the most appropriate solution for each customer in a personalized way, seeking their complete satisfaction.

We are completely flexible in terms of logistics, organizing programs and excursions, we have a diverse and adequate fleet to different budgets, including Rabelo and speedboats boats. We have also deeply knowledgeable crew of the river, the region and the Douro Culture and fluent in English and French.

 

Companhia Turística do Douro, Lda

Rabelo

 

Rabelo Boat

 

 

Quinta de Ventozelo 

 

Quinta de Ventozelo Boat

   

    

Barão Forrester

 

Barão Forrester Boat

 

 

Douro Tawny

 

Douro Tawny Boat

 

 

Tedo I

 

Tedo I Boat

The Douro river rises in the Sierra de Urbión, northern Spain, about 2000 meters high. It is the second largest river in Portugal with a total length of 927 km; in Portuguese territory, the river is only 207 km long and is navigable throughout this journey, thanks to the five dams that are nowadays also an attraction because of its unevenness: dams Pocinho, the Valeira of Bagaúste, Carrapatelo and the Crestuma. The Carrapatelo Dam has a difference in water level of 35 meters, one of the biggest gaps in Europe.

It was this river that once was very narrow and dangerous, which brought prosperity to the region, since through it that he was transporting the precious nectar, Port Wine. In past centuries the river was a challenge and a danger to those who sailed in it. I was filled with very strong currents and submerged half stones. At that time only a small wooden boat - Rabelo - could navigate these waters and make the transport of wine from the Douro Valley to its mouth, on whose shores lie the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia.

The boat Rabelo was a typical boat of Douro river used to transport barrels of wine, with a mountain river boat with a length between 19 and 23 meters. The Rabelo had no keel and were flat-bottomed built with overlapping planks.

Square sail was usually handled by six or seven men. As for the masts, the first only used one, coming up later some masted fore and aft a long oar - the espadela. When necessary, these boats were pulled from tow paths by men or oxen.

Capable of carrying up to 100 barrels of wine, Rabelo were instantly recognized by their long, elegant steering oar. incredibly brave and strong men made up the crew of each Rabelo, all of them knowing that the next day could be your last. In order to navigate once the Rabelo needed to be positioned with great precision on the river, since once caught in the current, there was nothing left to the crew than to have hope and pray that they emerge unscathed in the calm waters that followed, there the master quadrant freed the steering oar, took his cap and then crossed his arms exclaiming, "Now go with God."

After the commitment and interest of Mrs Antonia Ferreira or Ferreirinha , the first train of the Douro via ended in 1887. Leaving the rabelo to be the only option for transporting wine and bulky goods to the coast. Still, these brave vessels remained in business for many more decades. It was the coming of the roads that forever changed this reality. The last commercial voyage of a Rabelo is believed to have occurred in 1964 .

However , we all know that without the Rabelo and their brave crews , wine trade would never have prospered , so that all the Douro have been united in order to save the Rabelo from extinction. Many were the ones who built Rabelo to remember his glory days , spreading them by the flow of the river Douro . Currently , they are still used by tourists for rides on the Douro River.

 

Image alluding to the history of the Rabelos