Portuguese Minister of the Economy visits Navalria to watch the construction of the new DouroAzul hotel boats

The Portuguese Minister of the Economy, Álvaro Santos Pereira, has visited today Navalria's shipyard, a part of the Martifer Group, to check the evolution of the construction of the two hotel boats, comissioned by DouroAzul, a leading company in the river cruises in Douro.

Álvaro Santos Pereira was welcomed by the presidents of DouroAzul and Martifer, Mário Ferreira and Carlos Martins, respectively.

DouroAzul comissioned in March the two hotel ships to Navalria, which leads a consortium constituted also by the portuguese companies VianaDecon and Pilar Paiva the Sousa. This represents an investment of 22 million euros.

The first hotel ship, Queen Isabel, should be delivered in February 2013 and the second, Amavida, in the following month, still in time to start operating in the touristic season that occurs between March and October.

DouroAzul, leader in the national river cruises market, has already assured contracts with international tour operators for the occupation of these two vessels.

"It is a satisfaction for DouroAzul that these two ships are built in Portugal and by Navalria. This company has already shown in the past the quality of its work and its completion with the forecasted works schedule", said Mário Ferreira, President of DouroAzul.

Carlos MArtins, President of Martifer, refers: "DouroAzul is a company recognized by the quality of its tours and that is a responsability for Navalria, as the consortium leader. That's why it commited to this project, in order to ensure the construction develops smoothly and within the defined deadlines".

These two hotel ships will be equiped with the most recent technology in terms of engines and navigation systems, with the energy efficiency also in the concerns of the project designer.

The vessels will have 54 and 59 double cabins (at Amavida and Queen Isabel, respectively), gym, entertainment rooms, restaurant and entertainment areas on the deck.

Navalria has around 400 employees working in the construction of the two hotel ships. PPS is responsible for the interior decoration of the vessels, and VianaDecon develops the electricity, thermal insulation, cabins and air conditioned areas.

In 2010, DouroAzul had already awarded to Navalria the construcion of DouroSpirit, a vessel 80 metres long and 11.4 metres wide, composed by 65 double bedrooms, with a capacity for 130 passengers.