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Cruises to Lisbon

3 Awards
Lisbon (Photo:Sean Pavone/Shutterstock)

About Lisbon

Lisbon, Europe's westernmost capital and Portugal's cultural hub, lies on the Atlantic coast at the mouth of the Tagus River. The city is a delightful mix of must-see museums, castles and cathedrals. Its charming neighborhoods feature residences decorated with colorful tiled facades, sidewalk cafes along pedestrian thoroughfares and enchantingly original boutiques. The sidewalks are often paved with black and white volcanic stones in patterns specific to this city.

Lisbon has a refreshingly noncommercial feel, old-fashioned and relaxed, and exploring on foot is a delight. Portugal enjoyed its heyday long ago, and some of the older buildings that reflect this era are as opulent as they get. However, much of the city was leveled in the devastating earthquake of 1755, so visitors will notice that the city's architecture is not as old as that found in some European capitals. Prices tend to be lower than in the rest of Europe, especially in the moderately priced meals, wine and entrance fees to the main attractions. If you like fish and shellfish, you've come to the right city. Pastry shops abound, many with lovely storefronts, providing sit-down respite for coffee, tea and something sweet.

Lisbon is a city of hills, and the up-and-down geography adds to its charm. One of the best ways to experience it is via a tram ride through the medieval Alfama district, Baixa (the central business district) and the Bairro Alto (the major restaurant and nightlife area). Both the Alfama and Bairro Alto districts have wonderful miradoures, or viewpoints, to take in the city below, the nearby hills and the wide Tagus River that provides ships such easy access to the city.

For cruise visitors, Lisbon is also a jumping-off point for daytrips to Portugal's resort towns -- such as Estoril, near the mouth of the Tagus and lovely Sintra with its palaces up in the hills -- or a Catholic pilgrimage to Fatima.

  • Why go to Lisbon?

  • Lisbon Cruise Port Facilities?

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Queen Mary 2 (QM2)
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Leaving:New York
Cruise Line:Cunard Line
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No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Emerald Radiance
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Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Emerald Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Celebrity Beyond
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Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
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No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Sky Princess
Sky Princess (Image: Princess Cruises)

14 Night
Transatlantic CruiseDetails

Leaving:Southampton
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Oct 29, 2022
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Oceania Cruises

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Leaving:New York
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
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No prices currently available for this sailing.
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16 Night
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Leaving:Southampton
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
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10 Night
Mediterranean CruiseDetails

Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
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21 Night
Repo - TransatlanticDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
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No prices currently available for this sailing.
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11 Night
Lisbon To Miami VoyageDetails

Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Azamara
Nov 20, 2022
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11 Night
Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Nov 26, 2022
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9 Night
Best Of Spain & Portugal CruiseDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite

21 Night
Western Africa VoyageDetails

Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Azamara
Nov 29, 2022
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14 Night
Repo - TransatlanticDetails

Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Nov 27, 2022
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9 Night
Europe - OtherDetails

Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Dec 7, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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16 Night
Europe - OtherDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Nov 1, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Why go to Lisbon?

Pros:

The seaside city and its outskirts are a playground for foodies, culture lovers and history buffs

Cons:

Lisbon's hilly cobblestone streets, especially where there's decorative pavement, can get slippery

Bottom Line:

Unlike many capital cities, Lisbon maintains a noncommercial, timeless feel

Lisbon Cruise Port Facilities?

The Alcantara terminal at the commercial port has shops, taxi ranks, a few restaurants, cafes and other facilities.

Santa Apolonia's port has a more modern terminal building. There are few services inside, but once out of the secured dock area, there are restaurants, cafes with Wi-Fi, ATMs and stores for necessary sundries. It is close to the city center.

Good to Know?

Pickpockets are stealthy and omnipresent, especially on public transit or along busy sidewalks and pedestrian-only streets. Leave your valuables onboard, and secure any credit cards and money you take along.

On the positive side, nearly every museum gives a free entry or 50 percent discount to seniors older than 65, making it a better deal for this age group than the Lisboa Card. You will have to show an ID card when purchasing tickets with a discount.

Getting Around?

Some cruise lines offer a shuttle service to Praca do Comercio, an elegant 18th-century square facing the riverfront near the Baixa (central business district in the lower town). From the square, many of the major tourist attractions are within walking distance as well as "Main Street," Avenida da Liberdade, which lies to the northwest and is a broad boulevard with upmarket hotels and chic shops.

From Santa Apolonia, a Blue Line Metro stop is located across the street from the terminal entrance alongside the Santa Apolonia railroad station. It's just two stops to the city center at Baixa-Chiado or three to Restauradores Square just north of the Rossio, the main plaza.

The metro, buses and trams are relatively easy to navigate, with unlimited-use daily passes available at ticket machines. In addition, the Rossio train station offers frequent service to the out-of-town destination of Sintra (40 minutes). Cais do Sodre station, just downriver from the city center, runs frequent trains to the riverside towns of Estoril (30 minutes) and Cascais (35 minutes), stopping near the Alcantara cruise terminal en route. From Santa Apolonia, trains run to Fatima (1.5 to 2 hours).

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Portugal's currency is the euro. For current exchange rates, check www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. You'll find plenty of ATMs and exchange bureaus in town. Be sure to change some money if you plan to pick up snacks or ride the buses, trams or metro.

Language?

Portuguese is spoken in Lisbon, though many people understand and can speak English.

Where You're Docked?

Cruise ships dock in four locations along the Tagus River.

The commercial port of Doca de Alcantara, with its traditional passenger liner terminal, lies just east (upriver) of the 25th of April bridge (a dead ringer for San Francisco's Golden Gate). It's about a 90 minute walk from here into town, but some cruise lines provide shuttle services into the center. Also, there is an efficient rail, bus and tram system -- or take a taxi to the center and to Belem.

The port of Rocha Conde Obidos is also a bit of a distance from the city center; about an hour walking distance. There's no metro or subway nearby.

A newer port with three berths, Santa Apolonia (or Alfama) is near the city center and conveniently sits next to Alfama, a neighborhood popular with visitors. Nearby, Jardim Tabaco Quay is the closest to the main city center and is the best port for walking downtown. It can take one ship.


Lisbon Cruise Reviews
Lisbon is not as interesting as Porto - Sorry LisbonRead More
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DAS247
Been to Lisbon before and really like the use of the trams in the very narrow streets in the Alfama district. Great food and the amount of English spoken with the people there is amazing. Very easy to get around LiRead More
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sabre635
Had a walk around Lisbon in the daytime & because we were there overnight we showered and went back out in the evening. We had a fantastic night in Lisbon enjoying the music & vibe around ‘Barrio Alto’ district.Read More
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night4420
Lisbon is Metropolitan but culturally rich and a long (and often overlooked) history of global exploration by the Portuguese. Read More
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CTTravelerUSA

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