On March 30th, CroisiEurope inaugurated its fifth ship on the Douro in Portugal.
Hence, the brand-new MS Miguel Torga is joining the MS Fernao de Magalhaes, Infante Don Henrique, Vasco Da Gama and Gil Eanes to meet the ever-increasing demand of the CroisiEurope community to sail along the "Golden River".
Measuring 80 meters long and 11m40 wide, the MS Miguel Torga is 5 meters longer than its predecessors and is equipped with a real pool installed on the sun deck to offer maximum comfort to its lucky passengers.
The whole ship has truly been designed with that same will to combine charm and modernity. The interior, from the cabins to the restaurant via the lounge-bar, displays a plain but princely mixture of white and red shades referring to linen and Port wine.
Of course, the inauguration of a new cruise ship is always a great milestone for the company.
For you, we've lived the event on site, and shared all the key moments on social networks.
As if you were there...
Most of those attending the event – officials, guests and journalists – arrived on the eve of the inauguration. No sooner had night fallen than buses were already waiting for us on the quays for a riveting visit of Porto’s lit up streets. It only took us ten minutes to reach Gaia, high above town, to contemplate the panorama from the southern tip of the Dom Luís I Bridge, imagined by one of Gustave Eiffel’s disciples. From here, a breathtaking and grandiose view. The two cities and their ports shined in the evening gleam, illuminating the ancient buildings with their wrought-iron balconies. The time for everyone to enjoy this striking scene and immortalize the moment, and we set off again as another stop had been scheduled for us, lucky devils! Porto’s railway station is the most beautiful in Portugal, and probably one of the most remarkable in whole Europe. Indeed, the walls of its entrance hall are covered with lavish ceramic tiles recounting some of the greatest moments in the history of the country.
The inauguration ceremony of the MS Miguel Torga began the next day on the quays of Gaia at 11 am. Whilst we were sitting on the pontoons, Mr. Christian Schmitter positioned himself facing us and gave us a moving speech. He thanked all those who had made the trip and handed over to the vicars who ensured to bless the ship in respect of the Christian tradition. The Schmitter family then held a pair of scissors out to the sponsors so that they could cut the ribbon holding the customary bottle of champagne, which perfectly broke against the hull, loudly applauded by the audience.
Once the ceremony was completed, the guests headed to the lounge-bar where they were served a generous buffet with an impressive diversity of drinks and dishes – including local culinary delicacies – by a very amiable crew.
In order to offer all guests an unforgettable visit of gorgeous Porto, a Rabelo (the typical wooden boats of the region used to transport Port wine on the Douro) brought us from the docks to the harbour shoreline, in the very heart of the city center. From there, we embarked on an old 1928 tram line still in operation, which drove us along the old railway networks to our destination: the Tramway Museum. Housed in the city’s old power station, the high-ceiling structure had been separated between two sections.
Lastly, and as the finest way to finish off such an exceptional day, an ultimate surprise awaited us that evening, back on board. The MS Miguel Torga itself set sail in the direction of the mouth of the Douro. The ship glided under the numerous glittering night-lit bridges which connect Porto to Gaia, allowing us to rediscover this truly enchanting spectacle from another perspective…