41 Viking River Viking Osfrid Cruise Reviews

We have traveled on 2 other Viking cruises and had a wonderful time. Great wine choices, lots of local food offerings and beautiful ports of call that we were able to explore in the evening. Since we had heard so many wonderful things ... Read More
We have traveled on 2 other Viking cruises and had a wonderful time. Great wine choices, lots of local food offerings and beautiful ports of call that we were able to explore in the evening. Since we had heard so many wonderful things about Portugal, we thought the Douro would be a good choice. None of these things held true for this trip. The same wine was served every night. Food was average. We were a group of 10 that were linked in our reservation - but we still needed to fight for a decent table each evening for dinner. Why couldn't we sit at the same table that fit us all? Excursions consisted of long bus rides and several times we drove longer to meet up with the boat in a different location. Not really the "luxury experience" Viking said they would provide. The biggest hassle was with Viking and Iberia Air. We paid the fee to work directly with Air Plus, so that we could get the flights we wanted. I received email confirmation of flights and seat assignments. But on departure day found out that Iberia does not hold seats unless they are paid for - which Viking does not do, even though we had paid the trip off months in advance. Why don't they pay for the seat and avoid the customer getting stuck by the bathroom or in a middle seat, especially when they paid to work with the Air Dept. Lack of transparency. Totally not luxury and very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The breakfast choices were not as expansive as other river cruises and coffee was poor. Lunch choices as well were limited. Dinner choices were limited and some menus were good but small portions with protein. Deserts were average in ... Read More
The breakfast choices were not as expansive as other river cruises and coffee was poor. Lunch choices as well were limited. Dinner choices were limited and some menus were good but small portions with protein. Deserts were average in taste. If you don’t upgrade to silver spirits your wine will be poor. The ship service was good with the exception of dinner. The staff was slim for this sitting. The ship is very sparse in decor and looked a little worn out. Excursions were good and tour guides had good expertise. However the excursions could have had better tours in many of the locations because they had great material. I didn’t like paying the tips in advance and then being asked to give additional tips. Before booking Viking look at all the additional charges for the options. I felt nickel and dimed!! The boat had a window boarded up during the cruise in the dinning room. Also the ventilation seemed poor. The Thermostat in the state room did not appear to work. WiFi is pretty poor. Entertainment was just poor in comparison to other river cruises. I don’t like hearing about the history of Portugal as entertainment. Also if I hear about cork again I may ask someone to cork it!!! Not sure that I will become a Viking groupie Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We started the trip with a non-stop flight from Newark to Lisbon. We upgraded to Economy Plus for the extra leg room and enjoyed a smooth flight. We landed in the early morning and after clearing passport control we were met by Viking and ... Read More
We started the trip with a non-stop flight from Newark to Lisbon. We upgraded to Economy Plus for the extra leg room and enjoyed a smooth flight. We landed in the early morning and after clearing passport control we were met by Viking and transported to the Hotel Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa. It was a lovely hotel and we enjoyed our stay. We arrived so early we had to wait a little until our rooms were ready. Since I am useless with no sleep we just sat in the lobby until our room was ready. Our room was facing the interior courtyard and there was some noise from the nightclub on the roof but I was so jet lagged I was able to sleep. The hotel was very nice and clean and the included breakfast was terrific. We found a very nice seafood restaurant down the street from the hotel and we enjoyed dinner there. The second night we ate at a place recommended by the hotel but that was not exactly what we wanted. The food was tasty but floating in a bowl of gravy. Our transfer to Porto was quite a ride but we did make 3 stops to break it up, a comfort stop , a stop for lunch and a visit to Coimbra University. The tour buses were very comfortable and equipped with a rest room and wifi. This made the trip easier to bare. Our arrival at the ship was smooth and we were given our room keys as we got off the bus. The cabins were all ready and everyone was happy to arrive and unpack finally. The meals on the ship were all very good, the weather was perfect. Cool in Lisbon and Porto and the much warmer as we got into the Douro Vally. One thing about the meals was that if you didn’t take then Chef’s suggestion he took it personally. I had duck one day and did not want the gravy. He became so upset and insisted the duck needed the gravy. It was just a personal thing I don’t care for gravy but he was acting like I suggested we go club baby seals. One night my husband ordered from the always available side of the menu. The waitress again was horrified and tried to get him to order something else. I just found that strange. The tours were all very nice my favorites were the dinner at Grahams and the Bread Bakery tour. When we were riding up to Grahams the tour guide told us that we probably didn’t know each other yet but when she picked us up at the end of the dinner we would be great friends and we were. A beautiful dinner in a beautiful place. The bread bakery was amazing. I love bread and this was the best bread I ever tasted. The lady took it right out of the oven and handed it to me. I had to grab some napkins to stop from burning my hand. I enjoyed the warm bread with butter and homemade jam. We did several wine tasting at wineries. The Sanderman winery was interesting though the ride up there was very scary. There was nothing bad that happened but I was nervous. The Viking drivers were very skillful and careful. How they negotiated the hairpin curves and the narrow roads in the big bus was truly amazing. They always got applause and a handshake when we returned. The day in Salamanca ,Spain was very nice. Plaza Mayor reminded us of Venice. We enjoyed a lunch there . Delicious and reasonable priced. We enjoyed the ship probably even more because we received an upgrade to a Veranda Suite. I am afraid I have been spoiled. The bed was comfortable and the room was spotless. Our cabin steward was perfect. She kept our room in tip top condition. The final day we were sadly transported the Porto airport for another direct flight to Newark. It was a wonderful vacation. I cant wait for my next Viking trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our first river cruise so we asked friends for their recommendation. They had no hesitation in recommending Viking and particularly the river Douro. We departed Manchester on a KLM flight, changing at Amsterdam then onward to ... Read More
This was our first river cruise so we asked friends for their recommendation. They had no hesitation in recommending Viking and particularly the river Douro. We departed Manchester on a KLM flight, changing at Amsterdam then onward to Lisbon. The flights were comfortable and kept to the scheduled times. On arrival in Lisbon we were welcomed at the airport by the Viking representative who escorted us to the Viking coach for transfer to our hotel. We stayed 2 nights at the sumptuous Tivoli Hotel and , during our stay enjoyed a most informative conducted coach tour of Lisbon and the surrounding area. Following our stay in Lisbon, we traveled by coach to Porto where we were welcomed on board the "Osfrid" and ushered to our individual staterooms. The whole process of embarkation and disembarkation was handled with great care, Viking staff helping and guiding at every point. Our Journey took us up the river Douro, calling at vineyards, castles, places of worship, places of learning and all within a very informative and interesting environment. The guides were very experienced and knowledgeable. In addition to the inclusive excursions it was also possible to book additional ones to other places of interest, however, we never felt the need as the inclusive coach excursions proved to be more than enough to keep us occupied during the entire holiday. Our cruise took us toward the border with spain. We boarded our coach which crossed into spain to the stunning city of Salamanca. A city steeped in culture, history and with lots of interesting places to explore. A real gem. This being our first cruise, we weren't quite sure what to expect of the ship itself and were very pleasantly surprised to find that the ship glided so quietly and gently when underway and the docking/undocking at the various "ports" was so smooth that one was completely unaware that we had cast off! Travelling through the enormous locks was awe inspiring to say the least, such magnificent structures that raised the ship some 30metres on the larger locks. Life on board was idylic, the food was plentiful, the menus varied with lots of choice and the friendly staff were most helpful in every way. We enjoyed on board entertainment ranging from a demonstration of cork artwork to spectacular flamenco dancing. On our final day, after leaving for Porto airport one of our party suffered an injury just prior to boarding our aircraft which meant that we weren't allowed to fly. We rang the "Osfrid" explained our predicament and the staff arranged for a taxi to bring us back to the ship where we were welcomed back on board. As we relaxed over dinner the very caring staff (one of our tour excursion guides) spent the whole evening arranging for hotel accommodation in Porto, flights back to the UK and all transfers back to Manchester. I cannot speak too highly of the trouble taken to smooth our return journey. Would we go again? Most certainly, we really would love to repeat the same "River of Gold" cruise as there is still so much that we did not get to see that a repeat visit would solve. However, we decided to "expand our horizons" next year and have already booked a Viking river cruise to Eastern Europe. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Cabin had sewer gas coming out of the shower drain. Made a terrible odor. Ship personnel knew about the situation but continued to book this and several others with the same issue. Apparently the sewer pipes gather under these cabins ... Read More
Cabin had sewer gas coming out of the shower drain. Made a terrible odor. Ship personnel knew about the situation but continued to book this and several others with the same issue. Apparently the sewer pipes gather under these cabins for the entire ship and the gases and odor rise up through the shower drains is several cabins on several decks. Ship was completely booked so no where to move us. We slept with the veranda doors open when we could.. The excursions were very interesting, The countryside was beautiful. As usual Viking did a great job on the food and entertainment. The pre-extension to Madrid was wonderful. It is such beautiful city. Lisbon and Fatima were equally impressive. The crew and staff of the ship did a great job making us feel welcome. They just could not overcome the unpleasantness of sleeping in our cabin each night with that horrible odor. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Portugal is a beautiful country. The people we met were delightful and hospitable; the mountainous scenery is gorgeous, the wine is magnificent, and the history is inspiring. Our Viking trip along the Douro River gave us the opportunity ... Read More
Portugal is a beautiful country. The people we met were delightful and hospitable; the mountainous scenery is gorgeous, the wine is magnificent, and the history is inspiring. Our Viking trip along the Douro River gave us the opportunity to see, hear and taste much of this lovely country. The Viking River Cruise staff - all of them - from the housekeeping staff, to the waiters and waitresses, to the cruise management couldn't seem to do enough for us and to make our trip aboard ship much more than merely pleasurable. They saw to just about every one of our needs, from start to finish. And the food....delicious! Then there was our bus tour leader (forgive me, I can't recall her name - JoAnna or Jo Anne perhaps) was a delight, giving us so much information in her own inimitable and humorous manner. Finally, and here I cannot pay enough compliments, our most wonderful Program Director, Raquel. So attentive to our needs, so accommodating and such a lovely person. I felt as if she were my own granddaughter. My wife and I could not have been happier. The Viking Douro River Cruise was, overall, outstanding. It was our fourth Viking River Cruise, all of which have been outstanding. Our next one is scheduled for the spring where we will be cruising through Eastern Europe. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We are regular Viking river cruisers and had never been to Portugal so this was an ideal way to see the area being sure of great accommodation and food en route ! Our first night in hotel in Lisbon proved a bonus with visits to the area ... Read More
We are regular Viking river cruisers and had never been to Portugal so this was an ideal way to see the area being sure of great accommodation and food en route ! Our first night in hotel in Lisbon proved a bonus with visits to the area around the city. The ship was typically Viking so, although slightly smaller than Viking's superb longship it was comparable in style and comfort. As usual the tour guides were superb making the daily included tours very good. The tour to visit Salamanca was particularly interesting as we had a brief foray into Spain. The Douro river was exceptional with stunning scenery and so narrow in places that you felt you touch each bank with on highlight being the passage through the second deepest lock in Europe. All in all this was a superb river cruise that we would unconditionally recommend to all and happily typical of the Viking quality and service. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We had already traveled multiple rivers in Europe. This time we chose the Douro in Portugal. We had a great time learning about the production of port wine, viewing the gorgeous vineyards, and enjoying wonderful food. I caught a terrible ... Read More
We had already traveled multiple rivers in Europe. This time we chose the Douro in Portugal. We had a great time learning about the production of port wine, viewing the gorgeous vineyards, and enjoying wonderful food. I caught a terrible cold, but the cruise was fabulous. We had 2 lovely days in Lisbon before boarding the ship. Then traveled the Douro. Beautiful scenery and interesting stops like Fatima shrine, Rodrigo Castelo, Salamanca, Spain. Along the way we visited vineyards and port sellers. I had no idea how interesting port production was—and tasty, too. The food was wonderful. We always enjoy the communal dining and getting to know so many new people. This trip was no exception. In addition, it is nice to taste regional specialties and local wines. The cultural presentations were interesting as well as hearing local musicians on board. One of the highlights of the trip was dinner at the Graham port wine company. Their museum is so interesting and we saw port made 150years ago. They also had excellent food. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We really enjoyed this Viking River of Gold cruise along the Douro. We have travelled before with Viking as a few years ago we did the Yangtze River cruise which was amazing and so we expected a lot from Viking. We were not disappointed. ... Read More
We really enjoyed this Viking River of Gold cruise along the Douro. We have travelled before with Viking as a few years ago we did the Yangtze River cruise which was amazing and so we expected a lot from Viking. We were not disappointed. Everything was wonderful from start to finish. We flew from Heathrow to Lisbon on October 20th 2018 and spent 2 days there in the Tivoli Hotel. The hotel was about 10 minutes walk from the centre and was very good. In fact it was so good that the King of Belgium was staying there! Security was high but never affected our stay. The room was lovely as was breakfast. We had to provide our own dinners whilst in Lisbon but we were spoilt for choice by the many local restaurants. The first day we had a guided tour of Lisbon provided by Viking. Our first stop was Belem Tower and then on to Jeronimos Monastery where we arrived, of course, at the same time as the King of Belgium. Next we visited the Alfama old district of Lisbon and then had an afternoon’s free time.We really enjoyed Lisbon although it does not have the wow factor of a city such as Rome. The weather was warm and sunny. Left for Porto the next morning. This is a longish coach journey but we stopped at Coimbra and visited the oldest university in Portugal and then went for a great lunch accompanied by Faldo which is the local guitar music. Arrived at the Viking Osfrid at 4 o’clock. The ship is built especially to go through the locks on the Douro and is, therefore, quite small. There were 93 guests on board. Our cabin was also small but excellent. We had paid for a cabin with a French balcony which in hindsight was a mistake as we only opened the balcony window a few times and spent very little time in the cabin. We sailed along the Douro on the first evening and then back to our mooring. During our cruise we visited some wonderful places, drank lots of port (naturally) and ate great food. The food on board was all of a very high standard and was accompanied by wine at lunch and dinner. We did buy a drinks package although not many on board did but we like to drink a good quality wine at meals and we certainly had our money’s worth. I drank lots of Veuve Cliquot! Dinner was at 7.15 most evenings. The entertainment was low key but ideal for us. There was a pianist who played and sang but who also provided dance music later in the evening. I need to add though that there was often only a very few dancing. This isn’t a trip for a wild nightlife! Many people went to bed early although most took part in a Majority Rules quiz and a music quiz, nothing too demanding. We also had brief talks on our destinations and a demonstration on how to open a vintage port. I was a bit disappointed that people didn’t particularly get dressed up in the evenings. I don’t mean dinner jackets and cocktail dresses but that many didn’t even get changed for an evening. I am on holiday and like to get ready for dinner! The crew are all excellent and the service we had was first class. Viking usually use a system of gratuities paid in an envelope handed in at the end of the cruise but they are trialling a new system of adding the tips to your final bill. I like to tip individuals and so I took the gratuities off the bill and tipped separately. Yes I know all the arguments about tipping and I change my opinion on the best way to go all the time! The Douro is only a small river. The locks were amazing as was the scenery but the river can only get you to a limited number of places. This meant that we often went on quite long coach trips e.g Salamanca. It was certainly worth it. Viking try to ensure that you see the local life and culture. We visited port cellars, churches, villages and even a local bakery. We walked lots of cobbled streets and was glad of comfortable shoes. One evening was a Portuguese dinner and the crew all wore local costume. We added an extension visit to Santiago de Compostela and travelled by coach. There were only 10 of us who took this option. We left the ship at 9 o’clock and travelled by coach. As it is quite a long trip Viking as always make sure you get value for money and we stopped on the way to visit Bom Jesus and Braga. We arrived at Santiago at 5 o’clock and stayed in another lovely hotel. Our guide took us for a stroll to the cathedral to orientate us and showed us the main streets for restaurants. We loved our stay in Santiago visiting the cathedral and seeing the walking pilgrims. The only disappointment of this trip cannot be placed at the door of Viking, although if they had the power I am sure they would deal with it. The weather! We arrived in Lisbon to 25 degrees. The first few days were warm and sunny. I even went for a dip in the small but pleasant pool on the first day aboard. After that it was cold. Even very cold! 3 degrees one particular morning. Yes it did warm up to 10 degrees but I was completely unprepared for the weather. My research and according to Viking’s website said it would be low 20s although 50% chance of rain. I, along with most people on board, had packed the wrong sort of clothes. Those who had flown from snowy Canada and even America had warmer coats. The evening the Programme Director said to take gloves and scarves the next day was a bit of a shock. We were, however, very lucky and managed to avoid most of the rain. All in all this was a fantastic trip and I can thoroughly recommend Viking. Our fellow travellers had lots of recommendations for other trips with Viking. I would love to do a Viking Ocean Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The ship is stunning and very well laid out. There is a large lounge and the sun deck has ample space for all 100 guests and has a (0.7 metre deep) pool. Cabins are a good size, well-appointed, and comfortable, but with no-where to sit, ... Read More
The ship is stunning and very well laid out. There is a large lounge and the sun deck has ample space for all 100 guests and has a (0.7 metre deep) pool. Cabins are a good size, well-appointed, and comfortable, but with no-where to sit, except for the balcony. There are no cabin Tea or Coffee facilities, although there is a 24 hour coffee & snack station outside the restaurant. Our cabin steward was probably the best that we have ever had, and we appreciated the Towel Elephant & Duck. The restaurant has plentiful selection of food, but with a variable quality. Breakfast is the most disappointing, with no freshly squeezed juices, poor fresh fruit and warm cooked food. The Eggs Benedict was my favourite choice, always piping hot and tasty. The Omelettes & Eggs were cooked fresh and looked good.Cremated Bacon was supplied for our American cousins. Wine was free-flowing, but sometimes they needed a little encouragement. There was a good Port Talk each evening before Dinner and the obligatory Newsletter, both of which were really helpful. Most of the Shore Excursions were really good, especially Salamanca and Lamego. Otheres were 'average' or 'poor'. Paid for ones were always excellent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We had been with Viking before and generally appreciated their level of organisation and the standards they set on their vessels. We had two nights in Lisbon after flying out from Machester and then embarked the Viking Osfrid at Vila Nova ... Read More
We had been with Viking before and generally appreciated their level of organisation and the standards they set on their vessels. We had two nights in Lisbon after flying out from Machester and then embarked the Viking Osfrid at Vila Nova de Gaia on the left bank of the Douro, opposite Porta. Very friendly crew and very high standards of cleanliness and cuisine. Three Viking buses (massive legroom) met us at every port for the day's included excursion led by one of the three highly competent Programme Directors. All days worked well and each excursion was well thought out and nicely balanced, especially the trips to the wine producing "Quintas".. Downsides are the tiny cabins (riverboats on the Douro are not close to the size of the boats that operate on the Rhine and Danube. Nevertheless they are ergonomically designe and everything packs away amazingly well. Just nowhere to sit which means you rely heavily on the public areas, which are numerous and comfortable. Dining was by a single sitting in the restaurant and the food was generally imaginatively prepared and tasty with plenty of choice. There is a comfortable bar/lounge which is also used for port/excursion briefings and the information on each following day's activities was accurate and detailed. Also used for evening entertainment when local musicians etc would occasionally perform. All in all a thoroughly satisfying cruise experience run by a very professional team. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
After our first river cruise (Waterways of the Tzars) and then two big-ship-cruises (Viking Homelands, Empires of the Mediterranean), we decided to book the Douro river cruise with our courteous booking agent who also took care of all ... Read More
After our first river cruise (Waterways of the Tzars) and then two big-ship-cruises (Viking Homelands, Empires of the Mediterranean), we decided to book the Douro river cruise with our courteous booking agent who also took care of all flight arrangements. Viking was the right choice for us again. Before departure Viking sends the 'Cruise Documents' booklet, containing all travel info for flights, transfers, hotels, cruise summary, info for needed personal documents, packing hints, dress code on board, and tipping. Thus we were aware of the suggestion how much to tip the crew and of the tips to the different tour guides and bus drivers, thus we knew the right amount of dollar bills to bring before departure. On all our Viking cruises we handled our luggage only at departure and upon arrival at our home airport. Viking organizes all transfers, including pick-up from and to the airports as well as delivery/pick-up of luggage to and from hotel room or cabin. Our pre-cruise accommodation was Madrid's InterContinental; a very good choice. The Viking representative took care of all questions and gave advice freely. Our local guide was extremely informative, an art historian, perfect for guiding us in the Prado Museum and within Toledo. We always had enough free time to visit places of personal interest. After the flight to Lisbon the main-program started. We stayed in the Tivoli Hotel, another very good choice, learned of Lisbon's and Portugal's history on guided city tours, and tasted tappas with local wine. A comfy bus ride brought us to Porto and to our ship Osfrid. Our cabin was spacious with a sitting area and a balcony, a good sized closet and drawer space, a well appointed bath room, and enough outlets (american and European) to recharge our phones. We also liked the selection of TV programs available when we relaxed in the cabin. Our room service team was excellent and had a sense of humor: the towel elephant they had made wore at times one of our sun glasses or a hat -- the elephant was good company. We sailed by day and enjoyed the cities, landscape and vine-yards 'passing by'. Of great interest were the river locks through which we passed. These transits we observed from the top deck. At times we came upon a low bridge, and to pass underneath, the wheel house got lowered and the captain stuck his head out from an opening in the top - amusing. Our 'Cruise Documents' booklet described all included and optional tours and guests had the option to book or cancel tours in a timely fashion while on board. Furthermore, the distribution of the 'Viking Daily' was very helpful, as it detailed the next day's happenings and informed of the weather situation, the boat's departure and arrival time, as well as local history; it was delivered the evening before. Two four-page-leaflets, one US the other British, with recent articles from newspapers, were also available daily. The local guides, the program directors and Viking guides were very knowledgeable, always friendly and helpful. We also praise the bus drivers for they handled a bus like we would a small car. It is an art to drive so skillfully up and down on the serpentine roads clinging to the sides of the hills on both sides of the Douro river. The on-board-entertainment included info on upcoming destinations and excursions, a scenic sailing during our first dinner, cocktail parties also for returning Viking travelers, live piano music, dancing, quiz-evenings, cooking demo, info on Portugal's cork industry as well as olive oil production, informal gatherings with finger food, and folkloric music. We were very happy with our choices of included and optional excursions, learned a lot about wineries, wine-makers, Port Wine and its production, storage and ageing; we tasted Porto of different ageing stages in several Quintas and wine cellars and noted the various patterns in terracing on the hills. On board, too, we had plenty of wine with our meals. Breakfast was in a self-serve-style, but the Chef himself, prepared orders for omelettes, eggs Benedict and eggs any-style. At lunch and dinner all cruise participants ate together and always several choices of dishes, sometimes local cuisine, were offered. Our trip to majestic Madrid, historic Lisbon, the University town Coimbra, Porto and the 'azulejo' Portuguese blue tiles depicting large scenes of the country's history, Guimares, the amzing Quinta da Avessada, Regua and the Quinta do Seixo, Regua and the Mateus Palace and Gardens, Pinhao and our rustic-elegant lunch in the country-side setting, our wine tasting and pic-nic amid the grape-vines high up on a terrace with a grand view, beautiful Salamanca, charming Lamego - we truly enjoyed, as well our post-extension to Santiago de Compostela, a UNESCO World Heritage site and destination for us and of many devout pilgrims, young and old, since the Middle Ages. In both pre- and post-extension programs a Viking representative welcomed the participants, answered the where-what-when-questions and was available throughout our stay in hotels. We appreciate Viking how well it is organized for our arrival and departure, in all aspects of our travels and cruising, and not to forget, for the good food and service...... and our next river cruise (Provence) is already booked. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Poor expensive cruise on the Duoro River, Portugal 1. Food of poor quality -first night I had grilled prawns which were focally raw in the cehter. I think they grill without thoroughly defrosted the prawns. -last night, it was ... Read More
Poor expensive cruise on the Duoro River, Portugal 1. Food of poor quality -first night I had grilled prawns which were focally raw in the cehter. I think they grill without thoroughly defrosted the prawns. -last night, it was chateaubriand. It was sliced, and seemed to be microwaved! No taste and tough. -at lunch, canned sardines were served! -cake/custard dessert was partly frozen in the center, crunchy with ice crystals. -lots of cheap wine (3/4 euros a bottle). Make you drunk so you can forget the bad food. -we were served cheap white port mixed w tonic water and ice. The last day we were served 10 year old late vintage port, not real vintage port, although they opened a bottle of vintage port. However they did not served that to us, but to the maitre D and other staff only! We thought that being on the wine region, we would be having meals in the vineyards, but we had only eaten in the vineyard once. It was the only decent meal. 2. Servers were inexperienced -I was drenched in orange juice by the server once, and sprinkled in beer a second time. The ship even had the nerve to bill me for laundry of my soiled clothing. Adding insult to injury! -On the whole, they crew try to be helpful, except one bar tender, Marcio, who has a racist attitude. There were only a handful of non-whites on board. Initially I kept this to myself. Later independently, another non-white mentioned the same thing to me! 3. facilities The "swimming pool" is only a one foot deep kiddie pool. I was the only one who tried to swim before realizing the actual depth. Nobody else used it. Might as well eliminate this useless decoration! No fitness facilities. 4. Don't use their air service. They will put you on the cheapest way possible, except if you want to get more miles. E.g. flying back from Porto to LA, they fly you first to Frankfurt, then Vancouver, then LA! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
After a wonderful stay in Lisbon, we transferred to Porto, where we boarded the Osfrid. This boat cruised across Portugal on the Douro River to the border with Spain. The voyage certainly met Viking's high standards for service, ... Read More
After a wonderful stay in Lisbon, we transferred to Porto, where we boarded the Osfrid. This boat cruised across Portugal on the Douro River to the border with Spain. The voyage certainly met Viking's high standards for service, fine food, and comfort. This was our seventh river cruise with Viking and they do a consistently excellent job. Anyone who fancies fine wine should consider this cruise - there were winery visits in every stop. The cabins tend to be small, but the food is excellent. The enrichment lectures about llocal customs and culture were interesting. At the conclusion of this voyage, we took the optional extension to Santiago de Compostela, which we thought was exceptional. We enjoyed the various parts of Portugal a lot more than we expected to. In the past ten years, we have visited more then 110 countries and we had not previously had a high interest in Portugal, but we found the country interesting and the people very friendly and hospitable. We highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our first trip to Portugal and it didn’t disappoint. Visiting Lisbon and Porto allowed us to enjoy the wonderful things that historic, urban cities in Europe can offer. The cruise down the Douro gave the opportunity to ... Read More
This was our first trip to Portugal and it didn’t disappoint. Visiting Lisbon and Porto allowed us to enjoy the wonderful things that historic, urban cities in Europe can offer. The cruise down the Douro gave the opportunity to experience the beautiful countryside and unique vineyards in the area with the beautiful terracing. The service provided by all staff members was simply outstanding. They were attentive, friendly, and fun without being intrusive. Our needs were sometimes anticipated before we realized we had them. They also worked well as a team and presented as a cohesive unit. Our program director had the great combination of being extremely knowledgeable about history and a talented presenter with a great sense of humor. He was very entertaining. This is not a trip that I would recommend for people with mobility issues. This section of Portugal isn’t a good one for people aren’t steady on their feet. This area of Portugal requires bus transportation to get to many sites. The roads are very windy and people prone to motion sickness may wish to have some treatment with them (e.g. Dramamine). Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
The Douro river was one of the ones on our "to do" list we had yet to experience so we chose this one by Viking. My wife and I had travelled with Viking 5 times before so we knew their strengths - and their weaknesses. Their ... Read More
The Douro river was one of the ones on our "to do" list we had yet to experience so we chose this one by Viking. My wife and I had travelled with Viking 5 times before so we knew their strengths - and their weaknesses. Their organisation is usually brilliant and this trip was no exception. We were all asked to wear stick-on Viking badges on exiting Lisbon airport arrivals so we were spotted immediately and directed towards two more Viking reps. Our luggage was taken from us and we were whisked to the Tivoli hotel, probably one of the best in Lisbon, where we were due to spend two nights. There was an included coach tour in Lisbon and we were given plenty of free time to ourselves. No meals were included apart from breakfast and this was superb. After our second night we were taken with our luggage to Porto, where we were to embark our ship. I really must say this was one of the best coaches in which I have travelled, with on board wifi and masses of legroom. The driver, in fact every driver of every coach we used, was so considerate for our comfort. There was a stop in Coimbra en route where we had a splendid lunch with entertainment. Unfortunately, as we were to discover, it was probably the best meal we were going to get for the next week - on the ship at any rate. On arrival at Porto we joined our ship. First great surprise - we were given a cabin upgrade. Details about the cabin follow. One slight downside about an upgrade is that your cases are fitted with the original labels so there was a small delay before they arrived but it gave us a chance to explore the ship. First impressions were very good although it was obvious that there wasn't much to do on board. There was a small putting green and a pool measuring five metres by three and 0.7 metres deep. That might sound useless but it was equipped with a powerful pump and I found you could swim against the pump indefinitely - or at least until your stamina ran out. The temperature was 32°C. After settling in we had dinner - the first of many disappointing ones. There was nothing on the menu I particularly fancied so I settled for the available everyday steak. It was only partly edible, containing far too much fat and gristle. That happened all too often throughout the cruise and I think I saw only one person who managed to eat the whole of his. Breakfast next day was also disappointing when I saw the poor choice of cereals. Muesli was available but only as the Bircher variety. A very nice banana pancake was on the menu but if you ask for it be prepared to wait for anything up to 20 minutes for it. Oh, and if you are kept waiting don't mention it to the staff - they don't like it one bit. Throughout the cruise we had a number of included tours but I found most of them boring. The saving grace was the scenery. I've travelled a fair bit and I found the Portuguese countryside amongst the most spectacular I've seen. One particular trip was over 9 hours long which was just too much. The trips are optional, of course, even though you've effectively paid to go on them, and a few people decided to stay on the ship. I wish I'd done so once or twice. There were a few lectures and demonstrations on board during the cruise. How much you would like these would depend on your interests but I enjoyed the one given by the head chef on how to make Pastel de Nata. Evening entertainment was pretty dire. I just had to walk out on one (claimed) musical group. There was one quiz evening run, not particularly well, by cruise director Matthew. At the end of the cruise you are asked to complete questionnaires. These are written so badly that I refused to fill mine in. So many of the options were not applicable. We were asked to comment on our Cruise Director. The problem was that there was more than one so how are you supposed to answer that? The one who accompanied us on all our tours, Henry, was superb. Another one, Matthew, probably the senior one, I found uninformative and not nearly as amusing as he seemed to think he was. The one thing he was good at was touting for tips and this if one of the worst features of every Viking cruise I've been on. In Russia the recommended rate was an obscene $25 per person per day. Even in the Grill Suites on Cunard's Queens the rate is only $13 per day. Here there was a more or less compulsory 15 euros per day added to every guest's bill and Matthew was still suggesting we give more. Tipping is the subject of many conversations at the end of any Viking cruise and most guests seem to dislike the current situation. I have a suggestion for Viking. I used to go to a restaurant and the following was written on the menu: "Our staff are adequately remunerated and no additional gratuity is expected or should be given. Your simple thanks are enough." If Viking would do this I would be delighted, even if it added £100 to £200 to the upfront cost of the cruise. It would cut out all the uncertainly and the constant fishing for change at the end of every excursion. Overall, though, I'm glad I took the cruise. I liked the ship and I loved the scenery and you couldn't fault most of the staff. The food seemed to disappoint nearly everyone and I can't remember any cruise I've been on, river or sea, where it has been so dull. I suggest you research the places you are going to visit on the excursions and see if they are really for you. There are plenty of Douro cruises to choose from so it might be prudent to shop around if you are thinking of doing one especially if the food is important to you Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose is cruise to explore northern Portugal, starting in lisbon with a few nights stay at the hotel Tivoli and then onto porto for our river cruise. The room that we were alicated on-board was clean and well designed although we did ... Read More
We chose is cruise to explore northern Portugal, starting in lisbon with a few nights stay at the hotel Tivoli and then onto porto for our river cruise. The room that we were alicated on-board was clean and well designed although we did notice a low drone of engines/generators running. The meals onboard were average at best. The evening entertainment was poor even by river cruise standards. The trips were well organised and with Vikings own coaches which were very nice. The problem for us was that we were in room 221 and at 05.30 the next morning the main engines started and the noise was terrible the whole room was vibrating. This is a veranda room which we found unusable as when we were going along the river the noise was unbearable and when docked was usually next to another ship. I wrote to Viking about the room and noise over five weeks ago but they never replied a bit disappointing really. The other thing about Viking is they never mention gratuities until you get your final documents and then charge 15 euros per person per day automatically to your bill on our cruise there was 103 guests and 35 crew so over a week that's 309 euros per member of staff and the staff at the Tivoli were quick to tell us that they were not part of the scheme and that we should tip them separately. I have booked my next river cruise with a company that has let me chose my room and gratuities are included in the price Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise specifically to experience the Douro river valley and vineyards. Unfortunately, this cruise was not an ideal way to do so. The navigable part of the river is relatively short, two days of cruising each way. To make ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically to experience the Douro river valley and vineyards. Unfortunately, this cruise was not an ideal way to do so. The navigable part of the river is relatively short, two days of cruising each way. To make up the additional time Viking starts the trip with a full day in Lisbon followed by a full day riding a bus to Porto to meet the ship. You spend another full day in Porto before the ship sails. That leaves five days on the river, or so it would seem. The daily tours involve riding a bus to the attraction and then meeting the ship at a different location so you have about half a day of cruising. The third day is an all day excursion to Salamanca, Spain; two hours on the bus each way and returning to the ship at the same location. The following day is another long bus ride to visit Favois and long stop for lunch at a vineyard and a bus ride to catch up to the ship at Pinhao (or in our case, Regua). The last day is a morning bus trip and finally a long cruise from Regua back to Porto. If you really want to experience the Douro river valley consider renting a car and staying in the small hotels along the way. The roads are excellent and you'll see much more of the local culture on your own. All this having been said, Viking does provide excellent service and accommodations. The veranda suite we booked included laundry service and complimentary mini-bar. The crew was attentive, program director terrific, and the chef presented excellent regional menu choices every day. Considering we were in a wine region, the daily offerings of wine were particularly disappointingly dull. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My wife and I booked the Portugal's Rive of Gold (booking No 483693). We flied 21 hours from Australia to join the river cruise. On the first embarkation day, we were told that one of the engine failed. As a result, the river cruise ... Read More
My wife and I booked the Portugal's Rive of Gold (booking No 483693). We flied 21 hours from Australia to join the river cruise. On the first embarkation day, we were told that one of the engine failed. As a result, the river cruise turned into coach tours, and the ship Osfrid became our hotel. At first, a coach took us to Caldas De regos, a Portugal small town where the ship had docked. On the following days, we had to travel on the winding hill road 4 to 7 hours a day, and hurried back to sleep in the vessel. One day, the coach's air-condition stopped working at the inside temperature as hot as 84'F(29"C). We were very sick while one guest started vomiting. Meanwhile our veranda cabin 203 was on the middle deck, diesel stink and engine noise annoyed us all the times. We are totally dissatisfied with this cruise, and request for compensation. Although the manager promised at the meeting that their customer relations would contact us on this issue soon, we have not heard from them. We sent an email to Viking, there is no any response. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Excellent previous experience. I like the river cruises. Viking has given us great experience all around: service, meals, rooms, tours, etc. We will try the ocean cruise next. It is hard to put in words but I will try: from the ... Read More
Excellent previous experience. I like the river cruises. Viking has given us great experience all around: service, meals, rooms, tours, etc. We will try the ocean cruise next. It is hard to put in words but I will try: from the moment we embarked, in Porto, Portugal, we we treated like VIP's. All of the personal was very attentive. I had a medical problem and receive very good attention with appointments, transportation and follow ups. The dinning experience was excellent with very good food, truly nice (not fake) service from everyone. There was no place where I did not receive the best attention. Highly recommended!!!! The tours were all planned ahead and well executed with excellent guides very fluent in English. And all the tours were included in the price, therefore I did not pay extra. The rooms has nothing else I will add. During the cruise in the river we had a fantastic view of nature. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My experience of my first river cruise totally turned me off from going to future river cruises. Not only for 3 consecutive days, my mini suite cabin with balcony, is in total darkness because the boat double-parked with another and ... Read More
My experience of my first river cruise totally turned me off from going to future river cruises. Not only for 3 consecutive days, my mini suite cabin with balcony, is in total darkness because the boat double-parked with another and blocking all the sunlight into the cabin. As a result, there was no river scenery to enjoyed. In addition, my cabin had the odor of diesel fume and the noise of the engine plus the water discharge sounds made sleeping difficult at times. Even though this is the maiden voyage after its refurbishment, Osfrid was acting funny. For the first day, my cabin door could not open. Then the reading lights turned on by itself in the middle of the night. Next, due to the rising water level of Douro River and the multiple locks that control the water level of the river, the boat could not reach the towns we were supposed to go. As a result, most of us were bused to our destinations through winding roads. Even so, I enjoyed the land tours and the predetermined site visits, etc., due to the tremendous efforts made by the Viking program staff who arrange the itinerary to satisfy the unhappy crowd. I must say the night spent in a hotel in Salamanca, Spain was one of the highlights of this river cruise. Food was much better on shore than on boat. However, compliments to all the serving staff on the boat, especially Manuel, who tried his best to make dinners happy with their requests. Perhaps, the chef on boat needed to know many of the dishes were cold when they reached the tables. For this river cruise, I think the air fares they arranged far exceeded my upcoming trip with Smithsonian, same business class. Did I get my money's worth for this cruise, I should say "no". Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This refurbished ship had its maiden voyage in March. This is relatively a small flat bottom boat. Our suite with open view balcony is on the second level of the ship. The foods on board was not up to standard. Cold dishes were served ... Read More
This refurbished ship had its maiden voyage in March. This is relatively a small flat bottom boat. Our suite with open view balcony is on the second level of the ship. The foods on board was not up to standard. Cold dishes were served in the dining room. However, the officer of the dining room did his best to accommodate the diners. Entertainment was minimal. Due to the water level of Douro River, our ship after passing several locks could not advance to the border of Spain. Lucky we had a young and energetic program officer who planned our land trips with success. The sleeting, cold and rainy weather did not help either. We sat in the bus for hours on winding roads to reach a destination. But the buses were comfortable and spacious. We enjoyed an overnight stay in a hotel in Salamanca and got to see more of the universities of Salamanca, and the great cathedrals. The land cruises and the foods served on land were very impressive. This trip is totally over priced and the business class airfares with a so called discount is totally unreal. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
After several longer river cruises (i.e., Budapest to Amsterdam) we thought that we might like what would be a much shorter trip (Douro river is only what, 125 miles long?) and kind of quirky itinerary; small towns and wineries with time ... Read More
After several longer river cruises (i.e., Budapest to Amsterdam) we thought that we might like what would be a much shorter trip (Douro river is only what, 125 miles long?) and kind of quirky itinerary; small towns and wineries with time to walk and explore. Wow did we like it! Beautiful countryside in Fall colors, visits to often tiny towns, and so on. Castelo Rodrigo, for example, is a hilltop hamlet with about 48 residents. We had time on our own in some very small towns to just wander. Very restful, actually Quite different from say, Vienna! I don't recommend this for one's "first cruise". Take a longer one, or several, with Viking and then try The Douro. Doing that really helped us notice the differences and fully appreciate the laid back leisurely nature of this trip. It is very well thought out and complete. I think you'll find it wonderful. As always with Viking there are little extras; to be met back at the ship with a Port wine toast, local foods acquired almost every day, and some unique entertainments. Portuguese Fado music. for instance. I HIGHLY recommend the post-river add-on trip to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. The shrine of Saint James is not only the ending point of "The Way" pilgrimages, but also a UNESCO Heritage center. We loved the city and its foods. Tapas three times a day! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Past cruises were on Viking. We are spoiled, we wouldn't choose any other. The hotel in Lisbon was first class and the little outdoor market yielded some unusual treasures.Our cabin was fine and ingeniously designed, although we ... Read More
Past cruises were on Viking. We are spoiled, we wouldn't choose any other. The hotel in Lisbon was first class and the little outdoor market yielded some unusual treasures.Our cabin was fine and ingeniously designed, although we missed having a chair - something that was provided on previous cruises. Having a veranda is great for relaxing and watching the scenery. The dining is exquisite, with many many menu choices. The service is excellent. Waiters and waitresses go out of their way to be of assistance. The shore excursions were fine, and Fatima and Our Lady of Remedies were particularly appealing. There was one very scary trip up a mountainside and I think the cruise director should warn people ahead of time that it will be alarming. Many of us were unnerved, some to the point that they did not want to go back down. Anyone who is afraid of heights would be terrified. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Viking Osfrid Ratings
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