Spirit of Chartwell
Teeming with elegance and finery, the vessel’s design evokes a classic luxury yacht with touch of Pullman railway grandeur. This intimate barge has a high staff-to-guest ratio, meaning every need is discreetly anticipated and attended to – so you’ll not want for anything as you sail Portugal’s Douro River.
As you glide past picturesque towns and verdant vineyards, you’ll indulge in onboard wine tastings, folk shows, cooking demonstrations and informative talks from local experts. Take in the views from the open-air sundeck, or enjoy an evening tipple (or two) in the piano bar.
MV Spirit of Chartwell is a luxury hotel barge owned and operated by the Portuguese company Douro Azul. The former Queen’s Jubilee barge was bought in September 2012 by Mario Ferreira – president of Mystic Invest Group and CEO of Douro Azul. The ship was revamped to a luxury riverboat for Douro River cruises in Portugal.
The vessel was initially a Rhine cruise ship (MS Vincent van Gogh). In 2010, MV Spirit of Chartwell was refitted and refurbished as luxury Thames River barge cruise ship by the Dutch Kooiman Group. The ship was back then owned and operated by “Magna Carta Steamship Company” for deluxe cruising on Thames River in England. In late 2011, Spirit of Chartwell was selected to be the “royal barge” as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of HM Queen Elizabeth II. On June 3, 2012, the vessel transported the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh along with a flotilla of over 1000 vessels during Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. In June 2012, the ship was sold to Douro Azul.
During its UK service, Spirit of Chartwell was designed in the style of Cote d’Azur Pullman Express deluxe train. The ship still carries artifacts from the authentic train and ocean liners, like SS France, RMS Windsor Castle, and RMS Kenya Castle.