Q: Dear Peter, my husband and I are planning on taking a trip to Spain in September of 2010. We're in the preliminary planning stages now, but we were thinking it would be fun to take a riverboat cruise to see the country. Can you suggest any? We'd really love one that stops in Barcelona.
–Meta Jeremias, Chicago
A: Unfortunately, there aren't any river boat cruises of Spain that have stops in Barcelona. In fact, there are slim pickings when it comes to any riverboat cruises in Spain. They're really more common along the Danube or the Rhine.
But I was able to track down a riverboat cruise of Portugal that has a few stops in Spain. A company called Circa Tours has an eight-day, seven-night cruise along the Douro River through the vineyards of northern Portugal. The cruise has stops in the Porto, Regua, and Lamego in Portugal and Salamanca and Vega Terron in Spain.
Please note that your budget may be an issue with this cruise. Including meals and guided tours, the fare runs about $4,300 per person. Keep in mind that Barcelona is on the eastern side of Spain, while Salamanca is on the western side.
If you had your heart set on seeing Barcelona and taking a cruise, there are a number of Mediterranean ocean cruises that depart from or have stops in Barcelona. If that doesn't appeal to you, you can always try to charter your own boat to take you along Spain's rivers, or see Spain on land.