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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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MSC Virtuosa
MSC Meraviglia Plus
MSC Virtuosa

15 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

18 Reviews
Leaving:Liverpool
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Riviera
Riviera
Riviera

11 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Bliss
Norwegian Bliss (Photo: Cruise Critic)
Norwegian Bliss

16 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

1,202 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Star
Norwegian Star
Norwegian Star

11 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Eurodam

27 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Escape

16 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Eurodam

15 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Celebrity Infinity

10 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Riviera

10 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Getaway

13 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Leaving:Southampton
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Emerald Princess

15 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Getaway

17 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Island Princess

111 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Celebrity Beyond

12 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Sky Princess

16 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Island Princess

111 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Gem

14 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Virtuosa

9 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Marina

14 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Sirena

14 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Celebrity Infinity

9 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Seaside

14 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Virtuosa

9 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Nautica

7 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Virtuosa

13 Night
Cruise to LisbonDetails

Leaving:Liverpool
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
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 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
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geoffstravels
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
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CruiseCoupleX
Tend to do most ports on my own. Use Google Maps and look up Places to See when I get there. Always works out well loved Lisbon. A lot of steps.....be prepared.... Read More
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dogdental
We loved Lisbon. Unfortunately my husband got sick and we did not get to do what we had hope to do, so we have to go back. We loved the city, the people, the food...... Read More
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cruisernm

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