Amawaterways Douro 2018


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#1
Fl
75 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Ama offers two seven night cruises on the Douro. "Port Wine & Flamingo" sails one way between Porto and Vega Terron. "Enticing Douro" sails round trip Porto to Porto. Does anyone have thoughts/recommendations on choosing one over the other?

Thanks in advance.
#2
FL
14,454 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
We chose round trip Porto as we opted for the wine themed cruise offered on that date. We loved Porto and wish we had more time there.
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143 cruises since 1964, 16 on the river.
Looking forward to:
MS Joy - Magic of Advent, December 2017

Amadeus Silver III, May 2018
AmaStella, Christmas Markets, December 2018
Scenic Eclipse, April, 2019

Our river cruising history:
Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016, October 2017
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017

Recent ocean cruises:
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
#3
Fl
75 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Originally posted by caviargal
We chose round trip Porto as we opted for the wine themed cruise offered on that date. We loved Porto and wish we had more time there.
Thanks Caviargal. I know you've cruised a lot, did this one rank high with you? We've been on 6 river cruises, 4 with AMA, 1 each with Uniworld and Tauck. We're looking for new regions/rivers we have not visited and are considering Porto and Bordeaux with AMA back-to-back.
#4
1,517 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
I did roundtrip Porto and loved it. Porto is absolutely stunning. When we boarded there was a great craft market on the pier so,I started shopping right away.
The trip Salamanca was my favorite. What a lovely town. The cruising along the river and the views of the vineyards were stunning. I have been on 7 river cruises and cruised on every river in Europe and I think that scenically this was right up there with the Mosel and Lower Rhine.
#5
New York
8,407 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
I have planned this trip but not taken it yet. I would take the Madrid to Lisbon version because it includes all the stops of the round trip (including Salamanca) but adds Madrid as a starting point. Following the cruise we plan to rent a car and drive across the South of Spain and ultimately back to Madrid.
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Email me: [email protected]
Blogs: Jazzbeaux Blogs

I am not an employee of Cruise Critic and I don't speak for Cruise Critic. All opinions are mine alone. Also, I'm only a Host on the various River forums -- everywhere else I'm "just plain Jazz."

Booked:
Azamara Quest Costa Rica 1-2018
AMA Discover Africa 5-2018
Viking Sun British Isles Explorer 8-2018
Celebrity Edge Caribbean B2B / Celebrity Equinox Caribbean B2B 1-2019 [will choose one!]

Completed:
Crown Princess Classic Canada & New England 10-2017
Norwegian Pride of America Hawaii 10-2016; Azamara Quest Norwegian Fjords 8-2016; Celebrity Constellation Greek Isles 5-2016; AmaDagio Provence 9-2015; Celebrity Xpedition Galapagos 5-2015; Celebrity Eclipse Southern Carib 3-2015; Fresco Tours A Kinder Camino walking tour 9-2014; Crystal Serenity Mediterranean 5-2014; Coral Princess Panama Canal 1-2014; AmaCello Rhine 8-2013; Coral Princess Alaska 6-2013; Ireland Fly-Drive 9-2012; Norwegian Dawn Caribbean 3-2013 / Celebrity Summit Caribbean 1-2012 / Oceania Insignia Mediterranean 5-2011 / Fair Dinkum (Erie Canal bareboat) 7-2003 / Costa Italia Caribbean 5-1974
#6
South Carolina
364 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
We will be cruising with AMA once again Porto to Porto. We are arriving Lisbon 4 days early (Fatima one day) and staying in Porto another so we can visit Santiago de Compostela. Thought about the Madrid one but wanted to spend time in some smaller towns.
#7
Nashville, Tennessee USA
1,016 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
We just booked the Douro for next spring with Vantage. They're probably a step below AMA, but we liked their itinerary--two nights in Madrid, bus to the ship with a city tour in Salamanca, then 7 nights on the ship sailing to Porto, followed by 3 nights in Lisbon. The real clincher was a 3-night extension on the island of Madeira! I think that Vantage may be the only line offering this extension. Also Vantage's Douro Serenity is a new ship this season.

Good luck on your planning!
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FuelScience

2018: The Douro: Portugal's River of Gold & Spain w/Madeira extension, Vantage Douro Serenity (April)
2017: Burgundy & Provence, Avalon Poetry II
2016: Canals, Vineyards, and Paris, Avalon Affinity II
2015: Switzerland & the Heart of the Rhine & Moselle, Vantage River Navigator
2014: Tulips & Windmills, Viking Atla
2013: Romantic Danube, Viking MS Vienna (leased)
2012: Cities of Light, Viking Sky
#8
FL
14,454 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Originally posted by pbeach
Thanks Caviargal. I know you've cruised a lot, did this one rank high with you? We've been on 6 river cruises, 4 with AMA, 1 each with Uniworld and Tauck. We're looking for new regions/rivers we have not visited and are considering Porto and Bordeaux with AMA back-to-back.
Those two itineraries were not among our favorites.

The scenery on the Douro was stunning but there were a LOT of bus rides, some on very steep, hairpin turns, some quite long. Also, we were never docked in a place at night where we could walk off the boat after dinner, which is something we really enjoy doing. Since this is not really an AMA ship, there were noticeable differences in the onboard experience as well (food being a big one). We definitely want to go back to Portugal but next time we will either rent a car and explore the Algarve or take a small ship ocean cruise and enjoy the coast, with some time pre or post in Portugal. The wines were lovely, the food very good and the prices reasonable.

Bordeaux (the city) we very much enjoyed; we spent 4 days there and will return. The scenery and river are not very attractive and the ports for us less were appealing. We went for the wine and that was wonderful! There was a bit too much bus time on this one as well and we were rarely docked anywhere interesting over night. If you love wine, this may be a good trip for you. Otherwise, I am not sure of the appeal.

Our #1 itinerary ever is the Rhone. It had everything we enjoy. Lots of port time in towns and cities we enjoyed; overnight stays that allowed us to walk around after dinner; one the best crews ever (this was Amadagio). We also very much enjoyed Tulip Time and the Christmas markets are always a favorite. The lower Danube is on our to do list.
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143 cruises since 1964, 16 on the river.
Looking forward to:
MS Joy - Magic of Advent, December 2017

Amadeus Silver III, May 2018
AmaStella, Christmas Markets, December 2018
Scenic Eclipse, April, 2019

Our river cruising history:
Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016, October 2017
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017

Recent ocean cruises:
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
#10
California
2,254 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Originally posted by caviargal
Our #1 itinerary ever is the Rhone. It had everything we enjoy. Lots of port time in towns and cities we enjoyed; overnight stays that allowed us to walk around after dinner; one the best crews ever (this was Amadagio). We also very much enjoyed Tulip Time and the Christmas markets are always a favorite. The lower Danube is on our to do list.
Hi caviargal,
Did you write a review for the Rhone river cruise? I know you have done many river cruises.
How did the Rhone compare to the Rhine & Moselle?
We're trying to decide which river cruise to do next.
Thanks!
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Ocean Cruises:
• Viking Sagas and Norse Legends - Koningsdam • July 2016
• Greece, Turkey & Italy Medley - Emerald Princess, July 2015
• California Coastal - Golden Princess, Oct 2014 • California Coastal - Golden Princess, Nov 2013 • Alaska RT Seattle - Golden Princess, August 2012 • Pacific Coastal San Diego to Vancouver - Zuiderdam, May 2012 • Greek Isles - Star Princess, July 2011 • Pacific Coastal - Golden Princess, September 2010 • Western Mediterranean - Holland America Noordam, August 2010 • Baltic - Emerald Princess, August 2009 • Alaska Cruisetour Southbound - Coral Princess, August 2008 • Mexican Riviera - Diamond Princess, November 2006 •Mexico Cabo San Lucas- Carnival Elation, 2008 • Mexico Baja - Royal Caribbean Monarch, 2007

River Cruises:
• Danube Budapest to Prague - AmaLyra, August 2013
• Seine Paris to Normandy - AmaLegro, July 24, 2014

• Port Wine & Flamenco Douro River Cruise -AmaVida • July 2017
#11
FL
14,454 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Originally posted by bobalink
Hi caviargal,
Did you write a review for the Rhone river cruise? I know you have done many river cruises.
How did the Rhone compare to the Rhine & Moselle?
We're trying to decide which river cruise to do next.
Thanks!
I actually did but apparently Cruise Critic has pulled all reviews for the Amadagio from the site. I only found a comparison thread where I compared AmaDagio on the Rhone to the same itinerary on SS Catherine.

I did find Jazz's detailed review of the same cruise: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...light=amadagio

The Rhine and Moselle was our first AMA cruise and we very much enjoyed it, especially the scenery.

For us, it is usually all about the food, wine and easy accessibility of the towns we visit, so that we can come and go as we please. The Rhone delivered on all of the things we enjoy. Even though AmaDagio was the oldest of the AMA ships we have sailed, she was in excellent form and her staff and crew were outstanding. We loved the entire experience and would do it again, especially on an AMA wine theme cruise.
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143 cruises since 1964, 16 on the river.
Looking forward to:
MS Joy - Magic of Advent, December 2017

Amadeus Silver III, May 2018
AmaStella, Christmas Markets, December 2018
Scenic Eclipse, April, 2019

Our river cruising history:
Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016, October 2017
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017

Recent ocean cruises:
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
#12
California
2,254 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Originally posted by caviargal
I actually did but apparently Cruise Critic has pulled all reviews for the Amadagio from the site. I only found a comparison thread where I compared AmaDagio on the Rhone to the same itinerary on SS Catherine.

I did find Jazz's detailed review of the same cruise: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...light=amadagio

The Rhine and Moselle was our first AMA cruise and we very much enjoyed it, especially the scenery.

For us, it is usually all about the food, wine and easy accessibility of the towns we visit, so that we can come and go as we please. The Rhone delivered on all of the things we enjoy. Even though AmaDagio was the oldest of the AMA ships we have sailed, she was in excellent form and her staff and crew were outstanding. We loved the entire experience and would do it again, especially on an AMA wine theme cruise.
Thanks, caviargal. I will look at the review that you provided the link for.
I agree with you that it is important to have easy accessibility to the towns, because we love to explore on our own, too.
We've only done river cruises with AmaWaterways and we've been happy with them.
I always enjoy reading your posts. Thanks for providing helpful information.
Bobbie
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Ocean Cruises:
• Viking Sagas and Norse Legends - Koningsdam • July 2016
• Greece, Turkey & Italy Medley - Emerald Princess, July 2015
• California Coastal - Golden Princess, Oct 2014 • California Coastal - Golden Princess, Nov 2013 • Alaska RT Seattle - Golden Princess, August 2012 • Pacific Coastal San Diego to Vancouver - Zuiderdam, May 2012 • Greek Isles - Star Princess, July 2011 • Pacific Coastal - Golden Princess, September 2010 • Western Mediterranean - Holland America Noordam, August 2010 • Baltic - Emerald Princess, August 2009 • Alaska Cruisetour Southbound - Coral Princess, August 2008 • Mexican Riviera - Diamond Princess, November 2006 •Mexico Cabo San Lucas- Carnival Elation, 2008 • Mexico Baja - Royal Caribbean Monarch, 2007

River Cruises:
• Danube Budapest to Prague - AmaLyra, August 2013
• Seine Paris to Normandy - AmaLegro, July 24, 2014

• Port Wine & Flamenco Douro River Cruise -AmaVida • July 2017
#13
New York
8,407 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Bobbie -- there is another version of my blog -- with pictures -- at https://jazzbeauxfranceblog.wordpress.com
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Email me: [email protected]
Blogs: Jazzbeaux Blogs

I am not an employee of Cruise Critic and I don't speak for Cruise Critic. All opinions are mine alone. Also, I'm only a Host on the various River forums -- everywhere else I'm "just plain Jazz."

Booked:
Azamara Quest Costa Rica 1-2018
AMA Discover Africa 5-2018
Viking Sun British Isles Explorer 8-2018
Celebrity Edge Caribbean B2B / Celebrity Equinox Caribbean B2B 1-2019 [will choose one!]

Completed:
Crown Princess Classic Canada & New England 10-2017
Norwegian Pride of America Hawaii 10-2016; Azamara Quest Norwegian Fjords 8-2016; Celebrity Constellation Greek Isles 5-2016; AmaDagio Provence 9-2015; Celebrity Xpedition Galapagos 5-2015; Celebrity Eclipse Southern Carib 3-2015; Fresco Tours A Kinder Camino walking tour 9-2014; Crystal Serenity Mediterranean 5-2014; Coral Princess Panama Canal 1-2014; AmaCello Rhine 8-2013; Coral Princess Alaska 6-2013; Ireland Fly-Drive 9-2012; Norwegian Dawn Caribbean 3-2013 / Celebrity Summit Caribbean 1-2012 / Oceania Insignia Mediterranean 5-2011 / Fair Dinkum (Erie Canal bareboat) 7-2003 / Costa Italia Caribbean 5-1974
#14
Nashville, Tennessee USA
1,016 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
We're very partial to the Moselle. We've done six river cruises and three involved stretches on the Moselle. We generally eat our meals on the ship rather than going out on the town, so we differ from caviargirl in that respect. We like to explore on our own, and we've had opportunity to do that on most of our cruises. For instance, on one of our Moselle cruises I wanted to visit the fabulous Landesmuseum in Trier rather than do the normal walking tour. I just told the tour guide and found out when and where to catch the bus and headed out on my own.

We found the scenery on the Rhone pretty boring compared to the Moselle. We also loved the small towns along the river. To each his or her own.
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FuelScience

2018: The Douro: Portugal's River of Gold & Spain w/Madeira extension, Vantage Douro Serenity (April)
2017: Burgundy & Provence, Avalon Poetry II
2016: Canals, Vineyards, and Paris, Avalon Affinity II
2015: Switzerland & the Heart of the Rhine & Moselle, Vantage River Navigator
2014: Tulips & Windmills, Viking Atla
2013: Romantic Danube, Viking MS Vienna (leased)
2012: Cities of Light, Viking Sky
#15
FL
14,454 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Originally posted by FuelScience
We're very partial to the Moselle. We've done six river cruises and three involved stretches on the Moselle. We generally eat our meals on the ship rather than going out on the town, so we differ from caviargirl in that respect. We like to explore on our own, and we've had opportunity to do that on most of our cruises. For instance, on one of our Moselle cruises I wanted to visit the fabulous Landesmuseum in Trier rather than do the normal walking tour. I just told the tour guide and found out when and where to catch the bus and headed out on my own.

We found the scenery on the Rhone pretty boring compared to the Moselle. We also loved the small towns along the river. To each his or her own.
The Moselle has lovely scenery indeed and it was dramatic in the fall. The Rhone did not offer a lot of scenic sailing but then we are not ones to sit and watch the scenery go by for very long stretches so that is not of great importance to us. We found the towns very scenic and charming on the Rhone. The excursions offered by AMA were also excellent on this itinerary and among our very favorites.

We dine mostly on the ship, especially for dinners, but will not make a trip back to the ship just for lunch aboard when we are in town and there is a possibility of more time in port. Many others choose to do just. If docked and there is something accessible by foot or taxi, we will very often choose a local spot to enjoy. I research ahead of time and often make lunch reservations at interesting restaurants along the way.

My point about food and wine is that these are priorities for us and influence where we choose to go much of the time. AMA has provided us with consistently good to excellent food and good to very good included wines, and we are big fans of the line as compared to the others we have experienced. The Rhone is great for wine lovers and foodies, IMO.
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143 cruises since 1964, 16 on the river.
Looking forward to:
MS Joy - Magic of Advent, December 2017

Amadeus Silver III, May 2018
AmaStella, Christmas Markets, December 2018
Scenic Eclipse, April, 2019

Our river cruising history:
Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016, October 2017
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017

Recent ocean cruises:
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
#16
California
2,254 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Originally posted by Host Jazzbeau
Bobbie -- there is another version of my blog -- with pictures -- at https://jazzbeauxfranceblog.wordpress.com
Originally posted by FuelScience
We're very partial to the Moselle. We've done six river cruises and three involved stretches on the Moselle. We generally eat our meals on the ship rather than going out on the town, so we differ from caviargirl in that respect. We like to explore on our own, and we've had opportunity to do that on most of our cruises. For instance, on one of our Moselle cruises I wanted to visit the fabulous Landesmuseum in Trier rather than do the normal walking tour. I just told the tour guide and found out when and where to catch the bus and headed out on my own.

We found the scenery on the Rhone pretty boring compared to the Moselle. We also loved the small towns along the river. To each his or her own.
Thank you for this information! Researching for our next cruise is half the fun.

We've only been home for a week from our Douro River cruise and I'm already thinking of what our next trip will be.

Bobbie
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Ocean Cruises:
• Viking Sagas and Norse Legends - Koningsdam • July 2016
• Greece, Turkey & Italy Medley - Emerald Princess, July 2015
• California Coastal - Golden Princess, Oct 2014 • California Coastal - Golden Princess, Nov 2013 • Alaska RT Seattle - Golden Princess, August 2012 • Pacific Coastal San Diego to Vancouver - Zuiderdam, May 2012 • Greek Isles - Star Princess, July 2011 • Pacific Coastal - Golden Princess, September 2010 • Western Mediterranean - Holland America Noordam, August 2010 • Baltic - Emerald Princess, August 2009 • Alaska Cruisetour Southbound - Coral Princess, August 2008 • Mexican Riviera - Diamond Princess, November 2006 •Mexico Cabo San Lucas- Carnival Elation, 2008 • Mexico Baja - Royal Caribbean Monarch, 2007

River Cruises:
• Danube Budapest to Prague - AmaLyra, August 2013
• Seine Paris to Normandy - AmaLegro, July 24, 2014

• Port Wine & Flamenco Douro River Cruise -AmaVida • July 2017
#17
Fl
75 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
UPDATE.....

AMA was all booked for April dates, so ended up booking Uniworld on the Douro with Lisbon pre-cruise. Then on to Bordeaux and AMA. Have had great experiences with both lines, so no big deal.
#18
VA, MD & FL
6,277 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Due to Portugese regulations most (all?) Douro river cruisers are owned by Douro Azul, a Portuguese corporation. Boats are then chartered by the week or long term wet leased by various companies, with only a few basic iteneraries. The Douro is not equipped for night sailing and every night you are docked.

I am mystified by the remark posted a number of times here on the River Cruising board that "we were never docked in a place at night where we could walk off the boat after dinner" as EVERY Douro docking location we had within Portugal (Porto, Entre os Rios, Regua, Pinhao, Barca d'Alva) had a pub within several blocks, and I had no impession that boats were docking in the middle of nowhere (and doing it every night!!). Maybe I just missed seeing those remote docking locations, but I don't think so.
#19
FL
14,454 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Originally posted by TravelerThom

I am mystified by the remark posted a number of times here on the River Cruising board that "we were never docked in a place at night where we could walk off the boat after dinner" as EVERY Douro docking location we had within Portugal (Porto, Entre os Rios, Regua, Pinhao, Barca d'Alva) had a pub within several blocks, and I had no impession that boats were docking in the middle of nowhere (and doing it every night!!). Maybe I just missed seeing those remote docking locations, but I don't think so.
I can only speak from my personal experience and Porto was the only time we were docked within walking distance of anything. YMMV.
Expand Signature
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143 cruises since 1964, 16 on the river.
Looking forward to:
MS Joy - Magic of Advent, December 2017

Amadeus Silver III, May 2018
AmaStella, Christmas Markets, December 2018
Scenic Eclipse, April, 2019

Our river cruising history:
Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016, October 2017
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017

Recent ocean cruises:
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017