Tauck has released the first photos of its new river boat, the Andorinha, which is set to launch on Portugal's Douro river in March.

The ship, which is currently undergoing sea trials in the Netherlands, has been purpose-built for the Douro, which is unique compared to Europe's other popular rivers, said Tauck CEO Dan Mahar.

"Unlike other rivers, the Douro is closed to navigation at night, so all cruising is done during daylight hours," said Mahar. "Also, the Douro has fewer towns and cities along its banks than other major rivers, so the landscapes are more pastoral and scenic. Finally, the Douro Valley is renowned for its beautiful warm and sunny weather.

The pool on the Andorinha.
The pool on the Andorinha.

"When you combine those three factors -- extensive daytime cruising through gorgeous landscapes in wonderful weather -- you have a unique opportunity to create a ship that really embraces the local climate and showcases the surrounding environment," Mahar said.

To that end, he added, the ship's sun deck features a large pool, a pop-up restaurant, canopied day beds, shaded lounging and an outdoor grill and bar.

The Andorinha will have a pop-up restaurant, Arthurs, when it launches in March.
The Andorinha will have a pop-up restaurant, Arthurs, when it launches in March.

The ship also features a glass-ceiling atrium, a special air conditioning system and design touches and amenities that highlighting Portugal. 

As with Tauck's other riverboats, the Andorinha offers more suites and larger public areas than the average river ship. The Andorinha will accommodate just 84 guests, about 33% fewer than other Douro ships of the same size, Tauck said. 

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