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Cruises to Lisbon

Lisbon (Photo:Sean Pavone/Shutterstock)
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.

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DAY 1: New York

15 Night
Cruise to Lisbon

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
King's Wharf, Ponta Delgada ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Galveston

18 Night
Cruise to Lisbon

Leaving:
Galveston
Visiting:
Gran Canaria, Lisbon ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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DAY 1: New York

18 Night
Cruise to Lisbon

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
King's Wharf, Ponta Delgada ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Lisbon

20 Night
Cruise to Lisbon

Leaving:
Lisbon
Visiting:
Seville, Lanzarote ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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15 Night
Cruise to Lisbon

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Ponta Delgada, Lisbon ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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164 Night
Cruise to Lisbon

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Kauai, Honolulu ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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17 Night
Cruise to Lisbon

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Florence, Cannes ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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10 Night
Cruise to Lisbon

Leaving:
Lisbon
Visiting:
Porto, Seville ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Lisbon

Leaving:
Lisbon
Visiting:
Barbados ...
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Cruise Line:
Windstar Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Lisbon

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Cartagena, Lisbon ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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16 Night
Cruise to Lisbon

Leaving:
Galveston
Visiting:
Madeira, Lisbon ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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Cruise Critic Favorite

12 Night
Cruise to Lisbon

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Brugge, Le Havre ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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23 Night
Cruise to Lisbon

Leaving:
Barcelona
Visiting:
Motril, Malaga ...
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Cruise Line:
Windstar Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Lisbon

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

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Puerto Plata, San Juan ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Lisbon

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

Leaving:
Barcelona
Visiting:
Alicante, Malaga ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Lisbon

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Saint-Malo, Bordeaux ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Lisbon

Leaving:
Barcelona
Visiting:
Valencia, Malaga ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Lisbon

Leaving:
St. Maarten
Visiting:
Ponta Delgada, Lisbon ...
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Cruise Line:
Windstar Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite

14 Night
Cruise to Lisbon

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
London, Brugge ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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9 Night
Cruise to Lisbon

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Bilbao, La Coruna ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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11 Night
Cruise to Lisbon

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

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

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Gibraltar, Cartagena ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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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.


Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination

  • 2017 Top-Rated British Isles & Western Europe Destinations
  • 2016 Top-Rated British Isles & Western Europe Destinations
  • 2015 Top-Rated British Isles & Western Europe Destinations

Lisbon Cruise Reviews

DONALD SHEDD
Sail Date: May 2018
Lisbon in our opinion is one of the prettiest cities in Europe. We walked from top to bottom.... Read More
geoffstravels
Sail Date: Jan 2020
Lisbon is a great place to stroll around, taste the unique food and try the local drinks. Despite being a capital city it is small enough to walk to the major sites.... Read More
CruiseCoupleX
Sail Date: Nov 2019
We loved Lisbon! The ship was berthed at Lisbon Cruise Port - Jardim do Tabaco Quay and you can walk into the main part of the old town easily. Tram 28 is a great ride to an old cemetery and back after a walk and a... Read More
Crystal Serenity
ervlynn
Sail Date: Nov 2019
We left the ship in Lisbon and spent 3 days there at a charming B & B called Casa do Barao. We navigated pretty much on our own, with the help of a 3 day ticket from the Yellow Bus Co., which included several... Read More
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