13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
XMAS CRUISE 2018 PORTO TO PORTO , DOURO RIVER PORTUGAL. itinerary changed so many times even the staff could not tell me where or what we were doing have the time. Spent 10% on the ship ( sleeping , eating ) 90% on buses this is a ... Read More
XMAS CRUISE 2018 PORTO TO PORTO , DOURO RIVER PORTUGAL. itinerary changed so many times even the staff could not tell me where or what we were doing have the time. Spent 10% on the ship ( sleeping , eating ) 90% on buses this is a bus trip not a river cruise. I feel we were deceived as the excursions were changed / canceled repeatedly. if xmas is not a good time for attractions to be open , then do not offer this cruise. All other cruise lines not operating douro river at this time ( wonder why ) we were dropped off at mateus palace for a 30 min tour/ then 2.5 hrs free time to do absolutlety nothing !, whole day wasted for this ! as bus ride took up the rest of the day. Meals were not very good compared to our other cruises (ama was better ) restaurant had a hole in front entrance floor ( not appealing to look at ) same wine served every night , which was not the greatest they ran out of lots of things after 3 days of cruise( lemons , milk , ketchup, jam , coke to name a few.) We were not impressed with this cruise at all ! ( the douro valley is very beautiful to see ) Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Xmas on the douro river portugal, dec 21 2018. Itinerary changed , completely different than what we paid for. No river cruise here, just a bus tour, had i known this i would not have booked this so called river cruise. Dining was ... Read More
Xmas on the douro river portugal, dec 21 2018. Itinerary changed , completely different than what we paid for. No river cruise here, just a bus tour, had i known this i would not have booked this so called river cruise. Dining was poor , menu did not reflect what was actually being served. Meals were poor! Was served ice cold eggs benny with a mouldy english muffin, no apology from the kitchen. Same cheap wine every night with dinner ( 3 euros per bottle as we seen it in the market) no real cappucino machine on board , but cappucinos made with powered mixes from a machine. SHIP RAN OUT OF SEVERAL THINGS EARLY ON IN CRUISE, Lemon tea, lemons, milk/cream, coke , stawberry jams, ketchup , oatmeal , poor selection of fresh fruit to name a few. I expressed my cruise experience with viking & agent begged to differ on a few things , argued that i was there , you were not ! Viking offered me a future cruise credit of $ 400.00 . Obviously they could care less if we cruised with them again. As i will not! ( THIS CRUISE COST OVER $ 18,000.00 FOR MY FAMILY OF 4 ) PLEASE BE ADVISED , I HAVE EXPERIENCED MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE RIVER CRUISES WITH OTHER OPERATORS ( AMMA BEING ONE ) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This cruise was a Christmas/birthday present for my sister, who had never been to Portugal. It was my fourth visit to the country, but first to the Douro region. I have never "cruised", opting for more active adventures, on ... Read More
This cruise was a Christmas/birthday present for my sister, who had never been to Portugal. It was my fourth visit to the country, but first to the Douro region. I have never "cruised", opting for more active adventures, on land. But my sister's limited mobility made this a better choice. We were not disappointed. The ship was comfortable, with an elevator for those who preferred. It was spotlessly maintained. This was one of the final cruises of the season, yet the crew members were as fresh and enthusiastic as I would expect on the first cruise of the season. We enjoyed the attentive housekeeper assigned to our comfortable cabin. I was initially concerned regarding the Portuguese cuisine, but the ship's kitchen offered tastes of Portugal as well as standard simpler offerings, including vegetarian options. The guides for shore excursions were knowledgeable and enjoyable. I appreciate their sensitivity to those few with mobility limitations. A highlight was the overnight excursion to Salamanca, which did involve a long bus ride due to lock maintenance closures. Other than that, I did not find bus travel dominant. On-shore hotels (Lisbon and Salamanca) were excellent. As a first time cruiser, I especially liked the opportunity to enjoy the lounge, meet new people or be alone with a book. Even though this was a December voyage, thus cooler temperatures, my hours on the cabin veranda/patio were a delightful way to enjoy the river bank scenery. The flexibility appeals to different interests. Activities/entertainment in the lounge were educational and/or just fun. I would definitely go on a VRC again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Excellent cultural education. Excellent guides who knew their history and culture of the regions Cuisine was fabulous and often of the region we were visiting Crew was wonderful. All directions as to what to do and expect were ... Read More
Excellent cultural education. Excellent guides who knew their history and culture of the regions Cuisine was fabulous and often of the region we were visiting Crew was wonderful. All directions as to what to do and expect were detailed Ship was great 2 hotels were lovely first class. Airline travel totally arranged Stateroom was cleaned twice daily. There is absolutely nothing I can speak except high praise for this cruise and Viking. Our contractor Pamela Reible even made sure that we had staterooms near the couple with whom we were traveling as well as informing us how to arrange airline seating to be close together. She was fabulous, a wealth of information. The places the cruise arranged for us to visit were very educational culturally. The Viking guides were all very informative about everything we were seeing and every trip that we made in each port. Road travel from port to site was in very comfortabvle coaches. We hope to take many more Viking trips with our friends, in fact have already contracted for a 2020 River cruise. Our trips will always be with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We watch some TV networks where Viking advertise all the time and we have always talked about a River Cruise. 2 years earlier on a Viking Ocean Cruise (Best cruises in the world) we met a couple that had done 7 River Cruises - they met us ... Read More
We watch some TV networks where Viking advertise all the time and we have always talked about a River Cruise. 2 years earlier on a Viking Ocean Cruise (Best cruises in the world) we met a couple that had done 7 River Cruises - they met us on this one. This was Viking Hemming Rivers of Gold and we spent 2 nights in Lisbon in a great hotel and then embarked The Hemming in Porto Portugal 2 days later. We had been advised that since we have done ocean cruises - on Viking - that we should be careful not to "compare" because they are different. I both agree and disagree with this statement. Yes, the river cruises are different in many ways, but the Viking service standard is what stood out as the same to the ocean cruises. The river ships are obviously smaller and on the Douro River it is an even shorter ship than the typical long ships in other European destinations, but the ship was great. It had all that we needed for sure. I think that one thing I will comment on is that Viking have their own busses in Lisbon and Portugal - every excursion that you go on during this cruise is on a Viking branded bus. Viking reconfigured these busses to have more leg room and they are beautifully clean and comfortable. The busses even have "emergency toilets" in them if you need... The hotel Tivoli in Lisbon was centrally located and everything that we wanted to see in central Lisbon was just out the door of the hotel. The hotel was welcoming and accommodating and had amazing staff, food, and overall service. I would not or could not ask for more in the hotel. Our luggage was expertly handled out of the hotel and on to the busses for our trip to Porto and our embarkation to the ship was fast and really simple and it was only a matter of minutes before our luggage was at our room. No the river ships do not have expansive gyms and spa facilities but that was not expected either on these ships. There is a walking track on the top deck and that was enough for sure. The staff were overall - awesome. From the welcome to the meals to the cabin service to the excursions... all was fantastic. Here is the kicker and what more than sealed the deal for us with Viking - not that we had not already voted Viking OUR favourite cruise line (we have two more booked and looking at another one now too...) We are Vegan. This is a choice that we make for health. We are not animal activists and we don't talk about it unless someone asks. I called Viking 90 days before as I was worried on the river ships that there would not be as much option for us as there are on the Ocean ships. Stay with me here because there is a good end... Viking's response to me was: "We don't do Vegan, but we can do Vegetarian." I did not fight them on this but asked if they can list us as Vegan non-dairy. They said they would. On embarkation we went to talk to the Maitre D (Gabor) and he was more than accommodating and asked us questions. Later we met the Chef (Pedro) and he as well was more than accommodating and asked us questions. We had the most fantastic experience from that point forward. Viking - Gabor and Pedro - wowed us daily. Each day Gabor would come to our table with a menu that had been "marked up" by the Chef and it listed what was already suitable for us, or what could be modified for us. In some circumstances the main course option did not have a modification option and in these circumstances Gabor would ask if we would trust the Chef to prepare something special for us. We agreed each time and the special preparation by the Chef and his team was exceptional. We were a group of 8 travelling together and most every meal we sat together. Our friends were actually jealous of what we were served many times... All in all - Gabor (Maitre D) and Pedro (Chef) and team went way over our expectations to accommodate us. For this we are so grateful and we will continue to rate Viking our highest travel experience because of this. Excursions - as we have mostly so far - we have always gone with the included excursions and we did on this cruise as well with the exception of one. We have always found the included excursions to be EXCELLENT and have not felt the need to pay for optional. It is not the cost, we are not trying to be cheap, we just feel that the included excursions are so well planned in content and activity that we don't need anything else. We also feel that the tour guides are more than expected on Viking cruises. Silver Spirits. We love wine and champagne. We are not satisfied with the daily house wines - not because they are not good choices, because they are. We don't like to be restricted to the 2 they have each day. On this cruise, we got our cost of Silver Spirits back in a couple of days just based on the Champagne we were drinking. (by the bottle) We highly recommend Silver Spirits. Entertainment. We were curious and anticipating the entertainment. On the river cruise, the entertainment is more "home grown" and although we had an excellent piano player every night and a couple of guest performers, most of the entertainment was directed by the staff and it was all quite fun and more intimate with the small group - 102 Guests. You will see below that the only elements that I am not giving "excellent" rating are the entertainment and the fitness and recreation. The entertainment just off the top rating because it was as I said above - home grown - but well done. The fitness I rated low because there was no real fitness or recreation available on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This was a huge celebration trip. Declared cancer free, 30th wedding anniversary, husband's 65th birthday, husband's retirement. We had a blast. Service, food, tours, amenities all up to our expectations and more. Our suite ... Read More
This was a huge celebration trip. Declared cancer free, 30th wedding anniversary, husband's 65th birthday, husband's retirement. We had a blast. Service, food, tours, amenities all up to our expectations and more. Our suite was wonderful with the balcony and plenty of space. Very clean and our room steward was excellent - as were all the crew! This is not a cruise for people with limited walking abilities. Portugal is VERY hilly and the footing of cobblestones is tough. I disagree with one review that says you spend more time on the bus than the boat. You have options. As we headed down the river we decided not to go on the tour and sailed all day on the bow with champagne, cheese, Iberian ham and yummy bread, we'd bought in Spain, and our books. We really got to see the river this way, experience the amazing scenery and going through the locks. We did this for two days and loved the experience. Whole ship to ourselves, pretty much. We went early November and it was cool and not very crowded - perfect time to travel. Can't wait to do another trip! Thanks Viking! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Our Douro cruise was very good. the Douro river is quite scenic but we only cruised two days up river and two days back to Porto. The remainder of the cruise is spent on busses visiting places sometimes up to two hours each way. Every day ... Read More
Our Douro cruise was very good. the Douro river is quite scenic but we only cruised two days up river and two days back to Porto. The remainder of the cruise is spent on busses visiting places sometimes up to two hours each way. Every day the bus excursions were long and tedious. This was our third Viking cruise and you could not book with a better company. The entire crew are outstanding. Yet we will never take another river cruise for the following reasons. 1River cruises are very expensive for obvious reasons. 2 For about 6 to 8 weeks every year the rivers are too low to cruise. You won't know this until you arrive in Europe. Your 5 star luxury leisurely cruise will be a 2 star bus trip either staying at other ships moored at strategic locations or 3 star hotels. You will be exhausted moving every day with your luggage. 3 Balcony's are useless as you will be sandwiched between two other ships...no light, no view, no privacy. 4 You may no longer berth in the town but at an industrial mooring several km away from the action. You are totally reliant on Viking getting you into town on a bus. Now if you can handle this and be happy please book with Viking. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
No! I'm not being funny with the title just honest. You will spend much more time on busses than you will cruising on the Douro. If like us, you understand that before you go you will not be disappointed. In fact the Douro is lovely ... Read More
No! I'm not being funny with the title just honest. You will spend much more time on busses than you will cruising on the Douro. If like us, you understand that before you go you will not be disappointed. In fact the Douro is lovely but only navigable for a short distance. Thus you cruise 2 days upstream from Porto, turn around and cruise 2 days back to Porto. This was our third Viking river cruise and we would gladly do a fourth. The staff and attention to detail leaves little to be desired. But please don't confuse this trip with the Rhine/Main/Danube. For a start there are no cute towns to explore along the way just small settlements often without a single shop, so you must take the excursion or remain on board and be bored to death. Another difference is that over the years whole fleets of ships are on the rivers. this means when you berth you may be sandwiched between two other ships. No natural light or view and you can't use the balcony. This applies to all ships. Meals were good but on this smaller ship of 106 passengers beware of the groups that can dominate such a small number of passengers. At times my wife and I were invisible at the dinner table as all our fellow diners were members of a book club and were discussing the books read during the year. Our valiant attempts to contribute drew a silent stare that said 'if we want your opinion we will ask for it'. Then there was the medical group that really did not want extra table companions but had to suffer them, then the group of two couples from the same English village that went to school together. I'm sure you get the point. This never happens on a large cruise ship. We solved it by rushing to the dining room to snare a table for four. Despite these minor problems we loved the bus trip with cruise extension. Viking are flawless and to be highly recommended. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
The cruise through the beautiful Douro Valley in Portugal was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The scenery is breathtaking- in places the river is so narrow you can almost touch the shore - a major navigational feat for the captain. ... Read More
The cruise through the beautiful Douro Valley in Portugal was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The scenery is breathtaking- in places the river is so narrow you can almost touch the shore - a major navigational feat for the captain. Since the Douro is a major wine producing region the shores are filled with almost continuous terraced vineyards. In spite of the hot summer the landscape was very green. The ship is small, accommodating only 106 passengers but it provides a feeling of a small community. The stops along the river offer opportunities to taste and observe the manufacture of the famous port wine as well as other wines, including moscatel. One stop included a trip into Spain for a day in Salamanca, home of the oldest university in Europe. There are included excursions every day as well as additional optional excursions so lots of activity to keep passengers busy. Or you can opt to enjoy the beautiful scenery and weather from the sun deck. Food on board was excellent; buffet service as well as menu options at breakfast and lunch and table service at dinner. As with every Viking river ship there is open seating at every meal. One dinner offered a complete Portuguese menu and was interesting. There was high quality service in every aspect from the cabin stewards to the dining room staff. Several educational activities were offered during the sailing periods - an informational talk on cork, olive oil tasting and a demonstration by the chef on how to make the addictive egg tarts. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
I had been to Portugal a few years ago and when I saw a Viking river cruise in Portugal, I immediately wanted to go. Even better, the next day this cruise was on sale and we were able to upgrade to a veranda suite which made the trip that ... Read More
I had been to Portugal a few years ago and when I saw a Viking river cruise in Portugal, I immediately wanted to go. Even better, the next day this cruise was on sale and we were able to upgrade to a veranda suite which made the trip that much more enjoyable. The hotel in Lisbon was outstanding as were the day tours. the coaches were impressive as well. Always immaculate and the drivers were not only well versed with the area, their driving skills were also impressive. On the ship, our crew was first class from the moment that we stepped aboard. The food was delicious with a special meal prepared each day along with the set menu that allowed you to always find something that you would truly enjoy at every meal. Every time I see a Viking commercial on TV, I immediately want to book another cruise. Read Less
Viking Hemming Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 1.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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