A-Rosa River Cruises has made its debut in Portugal with the naming of a new vessel.

The 126-passenger A-Rosa Alva will be offered for sale via the UK trade with packages through Newmarket Holidays and Shearings Holidays for 2020.

The vessel, the smallest in the fleet, will run a seven-night itinerary on the Douro river from Porto to Barca d’Alva and back, with an excursion to the Spanish city of Salamanca.

Features include a spa with sauna and treatment rooms, a gym, pool and sundeck.

A-Rosa,owned by UK private equity firm Duke Street since January 2018, has further unspecified projects planned in the coming years in addition to modernisation of the existing fleet and a new-build vessel on the Rhine in 2021.

CEO Joerg Eichler said: “The christening of the A-Rosa Alva further demonstrates the rise in popularity of contemporary European city-to-city holidays.

“Six years ago we started to invest in product innovation, marketing and sales and we have thus started to change the entire river cruise sector.

“River cruises have developed in recent years to become a more experience-led holiday for the entire family.

“After six years of investment, the A-Rosa Alva enables us to introduce both a new ship and a new destination and we will continue our expansion journey in this way.”

UK and Ireland managing director Lucia Rowe added: “We are delighted that for 2020 the ship will be on sale in the via Newmarket Holidays and Shearings Holidays.

“Our UK partners have asked for Portugal as a destination and the Douro as a sailing region for many years and we are so pleased that we can now fulfil this demand and expand into this popular region.”