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Cruises to Vigo

Vigo (Photo:jx1306/Shutterstock)
Vigo (Photo:jx1306/Shutterstock)

About Vigo

Vigo is the main port for Spain's Galicia region, with Portugal to its south and the Spanish mainland to the east. Vigo's location between the mighty Atlantic and snow-topped mountains gives the region a cooler, damper climate than the rest of the country and has earned it the nickname of "The Green Spain."

This makes it a popular retreat for Spaniards keen to escape the searing summer heat, enjoy lush country scenery and tuck into some of the world's freshest seafood. And for cruise visitors, in Vigo you can experience "real" Spanish culture, meet the locals and enjoy a city and countryside still largely unadulterated by mass tourism.

Old Vigo rises in tiers to the 17th century hilltop citadel of El Castro, one of three that originally guarded the city. All were necessary to defend Galicia from successive hordes of invaders including Celts, Romans, Visigoths, Moors, French and British, who regularly invaded between the 14th and 19th centuries. Sir Francis Drake famously took the city (for a while, at least) in 1589.

If you have a strong sense of history, you'll find the ghosts of these ancient and unwelcome guests still lingering in Vigo's gray walls and steep streets. The old Ribera del Berbes fishing quarter -- at the bottom of the hill opposite the port -- dates from the 17th century reign of Philip IV and is well preserved and particularly atmospheric.

Although there is plenty to see and do further afield, first-time visitors to Vigo could simply explore the old city, enjoying its world-class seafood and taking in some of the large sculptures that adorn its cobbled streets and squares. These include El Sireno(The Merman) in Puerta del Sol and Los Caballos (a monument to the horses that once roamed free in Castro Park) in Plaza de Espana.

This art-loving maritime gem of a city -- with its beautiful neoclassical cathedral -- has been proclaimed a Spanish national historical monument. Give it your time, and it will reward you with wonderful memories.

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DAY 1: New York

15 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
King's Wharf, Ponta Delgada ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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12 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Gijon, Vigo ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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10 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Bilbao, Vigo ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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DAY 1: Rome

11 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Florence, Cannes ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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12 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Vigo, Lisbon ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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10 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Genoa
Visiting:
Barcelona, Seville ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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22 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Southampton
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Dublin, Belfast ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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11 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Vigo, Lanzarote ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Cherbourg, Vigo ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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8 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Bilbao, Vigo ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Malaga, Cartagena ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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11 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Kiel
Visiting:
Copenhagen, Southampton ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Lisbon, Vigo ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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14 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Barcelona
Visiting:
Valencia, Alicante ...
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Cruise Line:
Azamara
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12 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Lisbon, Madeira ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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13 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
London
Visiting:
Honfleur, Saint-Malo ...
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Cruise Line:
Silversea Cruises
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11 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Le Havre, Brugge ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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11 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Gran Canaria, Tenerife ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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11 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Hamburg
Visiting:
Southampton, Le Havre ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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16 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Rio de Janeiro
Visiting:
Buzios, Bahia de Salvador ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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23 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Paris
Visiting:
Southampton, Dublin ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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11 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Vigo, Lisbon ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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11 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Porto, Lanzarote ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Hamburg
Visiting:
Southampton, Le Havre ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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24 Night
Cruise to Vigo

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Amsterdam, Brest ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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Why go to Vigo?

Pros:

This beautiful old port town is famous for outstanding seafood

Cons:

Vigo's steep hills can make walking around town a physical challenge

Bottom Line:

Nicknamed "the Green Spain," Vigo has no shortage of history, culture and beautiful scenery, including dozens of beaches

Vigo Cruise Port Facilities?

There is an information kiosk as you come off your ship and a tourist office just across the road from the port. Either will provide you with a map and information on local bus services, including tourist buses.

There's a large and interesting shopping mall right next to the cruise port which is worth browsing through on the way back to the ship after exploring Vigo's old quarter. It has some unusual jewelry and craft stores.

Good to Know?

Traffic is heavy as you cross the Avenida del Castillo from the port.

The fish market features well-stocked but rather pungent stalls.

The town contains steep hills and cobblestones -- wear sensible shoes with a good grip and take a walking pole/stick if necessary.

Be wary of rain showers -- they are why this part of Spain is so green. Take a small umbrella along just in case.

Getting Around?

On Foot: Given that Vigo is so hilly, if you're mobility-restricted, it is wise to take a taxi or bus up to El Castro citadel, which offers great sea views and a pleasant park area that includes the ruins of a pre-Roman settlement. After exploring the park's palm-lined sandy paths, you can enjoy a gentle downhill stroll back to your ship through the old city. The haul up to El Castro takes about 10 minutes by cab.

Don't want to go that far? Just head for old Vigo's historic main streets -- Calle Real and Triunfo -- or its four original squares; Plaza de Pedra, Plaza Almeida, Plaza Princesa or Plaza Constitucion. Lined with elegant buildings, these squares offer easy access to the maze of back alleys and steep stairways leading back to the marina. Princesa and Constitucion have many cafes with outside terraces, where you can take lunch or coffee al fresco and watch the city's life unfold.

By Bus: If time is at a premium, a hop-on, hop-off tourist bus tour of Vigo will show you the main sites, and you can explore on foot whenever you fancy (just leave time to get back to your ship). Buses leave from the tourist information center at the port and run roughly every two hours from 10 a.m. (Check current times inside.)

By Taxi: Taxis gather just outside the port gates, and all are metered (look for the green light, which signals they're free to pick up a fare).

By Car: The main railway station, Plaza de la Estacion, is a five-minute taxi ride away, and there is a Europcar outlet at the station -- though as a cruise visitor it's doubtful you'll have time to need it.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The local currency is the euro. For updated currency-conversion figures, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com.

There are plenty of banks with ATMs in Vigo, and most shops and restaurants take credit or debit card payments. Be aware that the city's streets are steep and, although the town is very close to the port, you might not want to waste valuable time ashore hunting for an ATM. Think ahead and get cash in advance of your port stop if possible.

Language?

Spanish, obviously -- and in this remarkably un-touristy part of Spain you will need a good phrase book or language app because few people speak English. In an emergency, dial 112, a free call from any phone to summon police, ambulance or fire services.

In some rural villages, even a phrase book won't be enough because people speak both Gallego (the local dialect) and Castilian (mainstream Spanish), or a confusing mix of the two.

Where You're Docked?

Ships dock at the Muelle de Transatlanticos. Just cross the palm tree-lined Avenida del Castillo waterfront promenade and you're in the city.


Vigo Cruise Reviews

DONALD SHEDD
Sail Date: May 2018
Vigo surprised us with many modern buildings, shops, and impeccably clean concrete streets.... Read More
Fishgerbil
Sail Date: Apr 2019
We had been to Vigo before and so chose to have a pleasant time walking around the town.... Read More
Independence of the Seas
Tindy2
Sail Date: Oct 2019
We liked Vigo , but very hilly and steps not good for mobility issues... Read More
Celebrity Silhouette
Bubila
Sail Date: Oct 2019
don't miss the mountain in the center of Vigo, you have an option to use the escalators and save yourself half of the climbing up. The scenery is stunning.... Read More
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