62 Viking River Viking Torgil Cruise Reviews

This was a wonderful small-boat cruise on the Duoro river. We thoroughly enjoyed it. We were expecting some walking tours of the ports where we docked each day, but were almost always met by Viking buses that took us to other interesting ... Read More
This was a wonderful small-boat cruise on the Duoro river. We thoroughly enjoyed it. We were expecting some walking tours of the ports where we docked each day, but were almost always met by Viking buses that took us to other interesting sites in Portugal. It was a combination riverboat and bus tour. The buses were nice, but it seemed we spent a lot of time on them. One of the highlights was the Sandeman winery. We were re-introduced to Port wine, and have continued to indulge after our return home. Viking is very generous with the local wines at every lunch and dinner in the dining room. The Viking Torgil is a baby longboat with less than 100 passengers, so we got to meet all of the crew and most of the other passengers during our time on the boat. I was fascinated at how well organized was our passage through the Duoro river locks - five going upstream, and five returning downstream. The passengers were mostly post-retirement age, with no children at all on board. This was the oldest average age of any cruise we've been on. However, infirmity didn't seem to be an issue with any of the passengers, so embarkation and bus loading wasn't a problem. We did the pre-tour in Lisbon and the post-tour to Santiago Spain, and highly recommend both of these. The Tivoli Hotel was a bit of a walk to the city center near the waterfront, so we ended up eating a number of our meals in the hotel restaurants. The food was excellent, but I prefer dining at local restaurants when I can, rather than at the hotel. The Palacio del Carmen hotel in Santiago was very nice, but also a bit of a walk to the city center. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our fourth Viking River Cruise, ( plus one ocean vcruise), and our first that included a tour before the boat. The hotel in Lisbon was elegant, one of the best we’ve stayed at. The included excursions were great, as almost all ... Read More
This was our fourth Viking River Cruise, ( plus one ocean vcruise), and our first that included a tour before the boat. The hotel in Lisbon was elegant, one of the best we’ve stayed at. The included excursions were great, as almost all Viking included excursions are. On the third morning we bussed to Vila Nova de Gaia, across the Douro from Porto, with a stop in the university town of Coimbra. Getting on the ship was smooth as silk, as was disembarking. Our cabin was pristine, as we have experienced on every Viking cruise. Housekeeping was efficient and friendly. I have a CPAP machine and they delivered distilled water right away. There were plenty of power outlets available as well as a couple of USB ports. We were docked across the River from Porto, but you can easily walk across a bridge to explore Porto on your own, which we did after being bussed in the morning. (Our only complaint was the morning rush hour traffic. It would be quicker to take a ferry across the River.) we then sailed up the River Douro. Each stop included a fantastic excursion, with some breathtaking scenery during your bus rides. The terraced hillsides with vineyards and olive groves are beautiful. Our ride up to the Sandeman vineyard was exhilarating, with multiple hairpin switchbacks as we climbed to the sky. My heart races even now when I think of it. The trip to Salamanca Spain was scenic, and the town itself was another special highlight. There are too many highlights about the other stops to go into specifics, but not one day was a disappointment. The staff on the Torgil were pleasant, professional and informative. The guides on the excursions knew what they were talking about. They were either local or experienced. We really enjoyed the meals on the Torgil. There was always a local dish that was available, as well as some of the standard steak and pasta dishes if you weren’t feeling adventurous that day. The chef was around all the time, making sure the food was meeting your expectations. The wait staff was great as well. I highly recommend the Viking River of Gold cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Friends had recommended the Douro cruise and we had enjoyed our 2 previous Viking cruises so we embarked on this holiday. We flew from London to Lisbon for a couple of lovely days and then took the coach to Porto for another couple of ... Read More
Friends had recommended the Douro cruise and we had enjoyed our 2 previous Viking cruises so we embarked on this holiday. We flew from London to Lisbon for a couple of lovely days and then took the coach to Porto for another couple of days. The outing to Guimares was wonderful. The cruise itself started the next day. The river is not long so 2.5 days to the Spanish border and 2.5 days back. The locks are fascinating - the boat just fits after the crew knock down the housing that will not go under the bridge! Excursions were interesting and enjoyable, particularly our day in Salamanca in Spain. All the travel arrangements were excellent, we met delightful people including 2 previous cruise friends. The food was excellent, the service good and a lovely atmosphere on board. Of course the weather helped - no rain and not too hot - lovely for cruising. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I choose this cruise for a Christmas Holiday. It was disappointing because the schedule was changed do to the maintenance on the locks. This could not have been avoided. However, it make for a disappointing Christmas cruise. Instead of ... Read More
I choose this cruise for a Christmas Holiday. It was disappointing because the schedule was changed do to the maintenance on the locks. This could not have been avoided. However, it make for a disappointing Christmas cruise. Instead of visiting the Bakery on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas was a big let down. For Christmas day we just cruised back and forth. There was not any big celebration on this particular day. My husband hates bus tours and this trip it seemed like that was all we did. He was not happy and expressed his dissatisfaction to me daily. I kept apologizing to him. This made my vacation stressful. He does not want to take another cruise with Viking. This was our third cruise and he loved the first two. I do have to mention the crew was outstanding. The program director could have planned a little better for Christmas day since all we did was cruise up and down. The food was great. The room was great. The staff paid attention to detail. I love Viking because they take care of you from the time you book until the time you fly home. However, I am dealing with a husband that is not a happy customer. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We have travelled with Viking several times and believe what they offer is good value for money, excellent quality and immerses us in the culture of the places visited. David Wander the Programme Director was excellent in every respect. ... Read More
We have travelled with Viking several times and believe what they offer is good value for money, excellent quality and immerses us in the culture of the places visited. David Wander the Programme Director was excellent in every respect. He led the included excursions superbly with good communication, appropriate humour and looked after the needs of a disparate group in an expert fashion. His on board talks were excellent and his depth and breadth of knowledge added so much to our holiday experience. The autumn colours were superb and despite some rain we enjoyed all the included excursions. The food and drink on board provided a range of choices and we enjoyed every meal. We included a Silver Drinks package in our cruise which provided a wider choice of wines with the meals and included all drinks from the bar. This removed any concerns about how much we might spend as this had been paid up front. We found that all the included excursions gave a variety of experiences and enabled us to feel we had a better understanding of culture in the villages and towns of Portugal and in Salamanca in Spain. The coaches were Viking's own so were of a hight standard of comfort. We had a veranda stateroom and were worried that the smaller size of the Douro ships, necessary to negotiate the locks and water depth, would mean we were very cramped in the state room. This was not the case. We can thoroughly recommend Viking, the ship and their "Portugal's River of Gold" itinerary. Travelling in November avoids the excessive heat of the summer and provides lovely autumn colours. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
A cruise of a lifetime. We were so excited, per advertisements on PBS station. Was recommended to us and so my family booked this cruise a year ago. The disappointment, I understand was due to mother nature, however I have since learned ... Read More
A cruise of a lifetime. We were so excited, per advertisements on PBS station. Was recommended to us and so my family booked this cruise a year ago. The disappointment, I understand was due to mother nature, however I have since learned that the low water happens occasionally and unfortunately we hit peak time. If we had know of this possible occurrence we would have postponed our trip to another season. We received a notice just the day before we left that this might be the case, but what were we to do with such late notice. We had to changed ships (pack everything up bright an early), were bused for hours, walked what seems for miles, missed 3 or our desired excursions and other smaller things, such as the head set that didn't work, etc Yes, we saw some beautiful cities, and did enjoy the excisions we did make, but other it was not the trip we had planned on. I did express my concerns with Viking and they listened politely and gave us a $250 voucher (kinda a laugh really), but unfortunately that money was spent and gone now. So check before you leave, make sure it is not at low water, and then it should be fine. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This trip was wonderful. Our group, of four, did the pre-cruise stay in Lisbon. This gave us a chance to explore the city and learn about the history and culture. We also went to visit Our Lady of Fatima before we embarked the River Boat. ... Read More
This trip was wonderful. Our group, of four, did the pre-cruise stay in Lisbon. This gave us a chance to explore the city and learn about the history and culture. We also went to visit Our Lady of Fatima before we embarked the River Boat. This visit to the shrine was very spiritual to be on Holy ground. From there we embarked the River Boat, Torgil. From the moment we embarked to the disembarkation the crew was very friendly and very accommodating. The dinning was a great experience. All the food that I had ordered was fantastic and we did try the Portuguese entrées. But what made the meals special was the wait staff. The waiters and waitresses were all excellent and formed a special bond with them. All of the Staff were excellent from the Captain to the Executive Staff to the maids were All very Special. We loved Maria our cabin maid!! The entertainment was just great. We all had fun playing the games and listening to the piano player. The shore excursions were also great and just sailing on the river and taking in all the beautiful scenery of all the vineyards. The whole trip was wonderful. One way I can explain my experience is that I laughed a lot, ate a lot, drank a lot of wine and met many great people. What else could anyone ask for in a trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I had wanted to visit the Duoro for some time. I have not interest in port, but the red wines of the region are sensational, but little known. We enjoyed the cruising, great crew onboard. You need to get a balance between coach trips ... Read More
I had wanted to visit the Duoro for some time. I have not interest in port, but the red wines of the region are sensational, but little known. We enjoyed the cruising, great crew onboard. You need to get a balance between coach trips and appreciating the scenery as it passes by. Our main criticism of this cruise was the quality of the food, our expectation of restaurant quality food did not occur. On a £8,000 trip we expected better. Also, if you are thinking of going, book soon. The river is starting to get congested with boats, it can only get worse. This will mean more boats mooring alongside each other, this affects use of balcony and diesel fumes coming in the intakes for the air conditioning. But the crew will do everything in their power to help. Captain Placido, Alvaro, David, Monica, right down to the newest member of staff - Tazim, thank you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We enjoyed the Viking River of Gold trip but would rate this a 3.8-4.0 versus other European river cruises. Sightseeing in Lisbon and Porto was pleasant and interesting but not at the level of other major capitals. The Douro River valley ... Read More
We enjoyed the Viking River of Gold trip but would rate this a 3.8-4.0 versus other European river cruises. Sightseeing in Lisbon and Porto was pleasant and interesting but not at the level of other major capitals. The Douro River valley was delightful, scenic and quiet but devoid of sightseeing. Side trips to small towns and historic sites required lengthy bus time. Highly recommend the add-on trip to Santiago de Compostela for its historic significance and architectural beauty. Also enjoyed the visit to Salamanca. Note that Viking hotel stays were excellent. Staff and guides were top notch. As for the dining room, food and service was certainly good but not great (if you want fabulous dining take Tauck). In general I would recommend taking all the other river cruises first (Danube, Rhine, Rhone) which have superior sightseeing itineraries and save the Douro for last if you enjoy the river cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our fourth Viking cruise and I think they just get better and better. Embarkation was so impressive! Seriously, I thought it would be a long process, but we walked aboard the boat, was immediately greeted by a person that took us ... Read More
This was our fourth Viking cruise and I think they just get better and better. Embarkation was so impressive! Seriously, I thought it would be a long process, but we walked aboard the boat, was immediately greeted by a person that took us straight to our stateroom, handed us keys and showed us how to work everything. Our luggage was delivered in minutes. We had a Veranda Suite (#204), which we've had before but this one had a walk in closet!!! Loved our little rooms. Didn't fall in love with Lisbon (so much graffiti) but loved the cruising part of the cruise through lush, green, vineyard covered regions. Great little ports along the way and knowledgeable tour guides every place we went. We were on the same bus, with the same people, same driver and Viking escort everyday, which made it very simple and not confusing. Breakfast was my favorite, always so good with plenty of choices. Didn't enjoy the dinners near as much as previous Viking cruises but it was okay, nothing memorable. The service from each department was first class. No complaints about a single staff member. David Wonder, the cruise director, was incredible and we even had the privilege of having him for our Viking escort each day. That kid will go far in life and really should be aboard one of Viking's ocean liners just so more people and be in awe of his knowledge. We haven't been on a mega cruise ship (we've sailed 16 times on them) since our first cruise with Viking and we won't return to that style of cruising. I highly recommend everyone try river cruising. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I chose this cruise because Viking has a great reputation as a stellar cruise line. This was to be a memorable and expensive trip for my mom and me and we wanted to go first class! The service was excellent. The river boats are somewhat ... Read More
I chose this cruise because Viking has a great reputation as a stellar cruise line. This was to be a memorable and expensive trip for my mom and me and we wanted to go first class! The service was excellent. The river boats are somewhat small due to the size regulations of ships on the river (but not the guest rooms!) which made for a very intimate feel on board. It seemed that the entire staff learned each passenger's name by the end of the cruise, which was a nice touch. The food was superb and there was nothing that was missing. One could remain health conscious if they wanted to, but we went for it and enjoyed the amazing dessert foods too. I would totally do a river cruise again. I loved being in a new location each day and I really enjoyed traveling by boat on the beautiful Duoro River to each location. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Sailing on the Duoro River through the cultural heart of Portugal was a new, remarkably exciting, and luxurious journey for me and my husband. From the morning smiles, to our carefully crafted daily adventures, to our on-board lectures, ... Read More
Sailing on the Duoro River through the cultural heart of Portugal was a new, remarkably exciting, and luxurious journey for me and my husband. From the morning smiles, to our carefully crafted daily adventures, to our on-board lectures, we were treated to one great day after another! It is hard to identify the best part of our cruise since every day brought new adventures. However, we loved the day at the Bread Museum, could not get enough of the delicious food, wine and atmosphere at the winery, and felt that learning about cork, wine and olive oil enriched our lives! We were always told that everyone loves a Viking Cruise. Frankly I found that hard to believe ... until...I had my first-hand experience. It is true and more. Our Viking Cruise left us with great memories, new friends, and a desire to go on many more Viking River Cruises. Thank You, Anne and Walt Spector Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Curious about Portugal and port wines, the small ship was ideal. Having cruised with Viking before, it was a natural to choose this cruise. Unfortunately, my pocket was picked in Lisbon, but the crew rose to the challenge and helped beyond ... Read More
Curious about Portugal and port wines, the small ship was ideal. Having cruised with Viking before, it was a natural to choose this cruise. Unfortunately, my pocket was picked in Lisbon, but the crew rose to the challenge and helped beyond our wildest expectations. In particular, Raquel Miranda, Anabel Silva, Rafael Camerlengo, and Marta Azevedo showed the highest professionalism and assistance ever seen in a hospitality environment. Viking is very fortunate to have them on the team. Dining room staff was excellent as well; very attentive to our preferences and always there to serve us with class and aplomb. Of course, the ship is exceptionally well cared for, and Captain and deck crew excellent. Due to high waters, our itinerary was modified slightly, and the crew responded with flying colors. Most of the guests embarked on an overnight to Salamanca, but we stayed on board at Pinhao and had a wonderful time! So easy to make new friends on a smaller ship, yet still have quiet time alone. Both my wife and I can't imagine having a more enjoyable experience river cruising! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Chose this cruise for its cruise destinations, size of the ship which is not overcrowded. The delicious cuisine on board and at local stops. Excellent wines from local vineyards. The comfort of the cabins on board were excellent. Great ... Read More
Chose this cruise for its cruise destinations, size of the ship which is not overcrowded. The delicious cuisine on board and at local stops. Excellent wines from local vineyards. The comfort of the cabins on board were excellent. Great entertainment nightly. Excursions were fantastic with free time. All bus transportation was second to none, drivers very professional. Our cruise director Patricia made our whole experience the best. What a wonder she was. She was our tour guide on all of our excursions. We chose for the extension before the cruise started in Lisbon which we toured on our own. when we arrived in Porto we handled by Patrica who was Vikings Cruise Director. She gave us a wonderful tour of Porto which she is a native and gave us a lot of information and a lot of great places to visit. Through the whole cruise she always had a smile on every tour and would also participate in activities on and off the ship. At night she would MC the nights entertainment, which was always fun.At the end of the cruise she was also stationed at the airport to make sure everything went smoothly. All of this has made this a wonderful cruise that you will cherish for a life time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
The cruise was excellent. Food, guides, staff, program directors, wines, etc. I will like to talk to somebody about the “extended tours”, specifically the FATIMA tour. As you may know FATIMA is one of most important pilgrimage ... Read More
The cruise was excellent. Food, guides, staff, program directors, wines, etc. I will like to talk to somebody about the “extended tours”, specifically the FATIMA tour. As you may know FATIMA is one of most important pilgrimage site for Catholics. The Fatima tour included three stops, FATIMA, BELEM or BATALHA and Nazarene. I feel the FATIMA tour should only include two stops and most the time in FATIMA, the FATIMA tour should have enough time so that the participants could attend a mass there, the Belem visit was fine. The Nazarene visit could be eliminated, this just the typical European cute beach town, we had lunch there and a quick stroll on the tourist souvenir shops and the up to Porto. Lunch could be done after mass in Fatima or after the quick tour of BELEM. The majority of the FATIMA participants were catholic and expressed the same desire to have had the opportunity to attend mass in FATIMA. The Santiago de Compostela extended tour was awesome it should be two full days. The program director/guide was awesome- Ricardo- very professional and knowledgeable, the local guide Eva packed a lot of information on the time allotted to her. Santiago de Compostela is another catholic pilgrimage site, time should be allowed/included to attend mass and then continue the guided tour. The hotels in Lisbon and Santiago de Compostela are first rate, impeccable service. Also, at least in this cruise the majority of the participants were on their winter of their life, the tours should be a slower pace, and allow for more shopping/browsing time. The VIKING experience is for people that want to learn and enhanced their knowledge about the history of the places being visited. I will say is like adult field trips/camp. I more likely do another one VIKING CRUISE, probably the one in France, Bordeaux, etc. Hopefully 2019. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This cruise was a retirement cruise, as I retired August 31, and we left for Lisbon just a week later. We purposely scheduled an extra three days in Lisbon on our own, and we scheduled private tours using Viator for 1 1/2 days. We booked ... Read More
This cruise was a retirement cruise, as I retired August 31, and we left for Lisbon just a week later. We purposely scheduled an extra three days in Lisbon on our own, and we scheduled private tours using Viator for 1 1/2 days. We booked our hotel the same as the one used by Viking so that we would not have to change hotels. The Lisbon part was land-only, and they did a good job of getting the large coach around Lisbon's narrow and curvy streets. We hit some of the highlights of the city, and we deliberately did not do these during our three days prior to Viking. We paid extra for a really nice "Foodie" walking tour, which was in the early evening and visited three true neighborhood bars/wine bars/local watering holes. Nothing fancy, but a very nice time and a delightful walk. On route to Porto, we stopped in Coimbra where we had some time in the downtown to do some walking and shopping, then spent time at the hilltop University. This was a highlight of the trip, where we got to visit the magnificent library (no pictures) and the chapel, after which we were treated to a lovely lunch that included men Fado musicians, which was wonderful. We boarded the ship in Porto and had some time to shop or to visit one of the many port centers. We opted to visit the Sandeman port house, which was good. And all of this was before the actual cruise started. The ship was beautiful, and we upgraded to a small suite with a balcony, which was really nice. Everything was spotless and fresh. The crew on this ship was the best we have encountered...very friendly, helpful, and obviously enjoy their work. Food was outstanding, as we have come to expect from Viking. Stops on the cruise were beautiful, small towns, lovely estates, and great scenery all the time. We especially enjoyed our day in Favaous. We truly had not one complaint. We have already booked our fourth Viking cruise. We don't know why people complain about the lack of outdoor dining and other specifics that are necessitated by the river locks' requirement for shorter boats. Folks should be well aware of this, as it is clearly disclosed. And all accessibility issues should be discussed with the cruise line BEFORE booking is done. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This cruise was on a smaller river cruise ship of a little over a hundred passengers plus about 30 crew. Service was very attentive without being too intrusive. The crew, particularly the guides were very well versed on the history and ... Read More
This cruise was on a smaller river cruise ship of a little over a hundred passengers plus about 30 crew. Service was very attentive without being too intrusive. The crew, particularly the guides were very well versed on the history and culture of the area. We took every shore excursion possible and learned a lot about viticulture, history, art, architecture, local food and wine. It was a fully immersed tour of the Duoro river. Upon arrival, we were shown to our cabin, which was on the very lowest level was quite comfortable. All of our luggage were there waiting to be unpacked.So convenient to unpack/pack just once! Since we were always on the go, whether on shore excursions or watching the scenery and the ship go through locks, we hardly spent much time in the cabin other than to rest up. Meals on board were very well planned. There were always options that included local fare. At meal times, we always had the option to sit at a table to meet other passengers or sit by ourselves. We enjoyed meeting a lot of the other passengers, and made new friends. The cruise director always had after dinner entertainment programs that gave us a glimpse of local culture, music, and arts. And they had a briefing every evening as to what we were to expect at our shore excursions the next day. Everything was orchestrated efficiently and on time - bus transfers, embarkation, disembarkation, etc. Planning on taking another Viking river cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Picked the cruise up at Porto for our anniversary. The first 2 nights service and food was 5 star. After that things went downhill quickly, allegedly the chef was taken to hospital. This should not have made any difference. Service in the ... Read More
Picked the cruise up at Porto for our anniversary. The first 2 nights service and food was 5 star. After that things went downhill quickly, allegedly the chef was taken to hospital. This should not have made any difference. Service in the restaurant was slow, if you don't order a starter your main course can arrive an hour later! Plates were not cleared from the previous course or cutlery not replaced. Orders were mixed up or the wrong thing arrived. The staff kept smiling throughout but really was not 5 star. Free flowing wines and drinks available with the meal or from the café bar outside the restaurant. Loved the cakes on offer 24 hrs. Many guests entered the restaurant without sanitizing their hands or even changing from their day clothes ...surely a member of staff could be employed at the door. Hygiene should be a priority on a boat. Free water in cabin and able to bring wine bought ashore to the evening meal. The scenery was stunning the further we got up the river. The boat docked in remote places with no cafes or shops but added to the charm. BUT I did get left behind...serious breach of security. I was not going on the day trip and the boat moved upstream. It did not move far I was told once rescued, but I didn't know how far when I saw it moving up river. The staff should have warned me the boat was moving. Even if only just few meters. Something is wrong with their check out system, not aware where their guests were. I could have been miles away and on returning the boat had gone! Expect better for an expensive holiday. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was our 4th Viking River Cruise. At the end of the previous 3, we have left the ship with vouchers towards our next cruise. Not this time. Unless something dramatic happens to change our minds, there will not a be a 5th. We chose ... Read More
This was our 4th Viking River Cruise. At the end of the previous 3, we have left the ship with vouchers towards our next cruise. Not this time. Unless something dramatic happens to change our minds, there will not a be a 5th. We chose this cruise because of the location and past great experience with Viking. At the end of the cruise, we were asked to rate the cruise according to a scale of Below Expectations/Met Expectations/Exceeded Expectations and Far Exceeded Expectations. The crew tried to persuade us to ignore the wording and treat the words as meaning Not Acceptable/OK/Good/Excellent. I reminded them that Viking Cruises are expensive holidays at the upper end of the market and based on the priced paid and previous Viking Cruises, our expectations were very high. To be honest in most areas, this cruise fell below our expectations. Our cabin Other than for full suites, we chose the most expensive cabin type on the ship a category A veranda on the upper deck. This proved to be a WASTE of money. For 4 nights out of 7, and the extended docking period in Porto, we were docked alongside another ship, rendering the room dark and making the balcony virtually unusable. On one night, we were next to a very loud diesel generator which produced fumes that got into our room. For much of the cruise, the air conditioning in the room was not effective, with temperature usually at around 77F. The reaction of the customer service staff was that these things were out of their control. This is probably true, but does not make the situation any more acceptable to the customers.. We were advised that the temperature in our cabin would be more acceptable if we kept the blind completely closed. With the blind closed it is not possible to access the balcony. The stateroom plan on the Viking website shows a chair in veranda staterooms. There was no chair, nor space for a chair. Dining Service There were clearly not enough staff to provide a reasonable service for dinner. Sitting for 40 minutes before the order was taken is simply not acceptable. The menu was wrong for the first might. The advertised rack-of-lamb was not available and the replacement chateaubriand was poor and served cold. (I understand that there were some problems with staff illness, particularly at the start of the cruise, but it is unfortunate if that has an impact on customers). The dining room was quite a depressing place when our ship was docked alongside another ship, and particularly on the last evening when we were docked between two other ships. The “floor to ceiling” windows were not an asset in this situation. Other than the first night, the food varied from good to excellent. Decks The ship plan on the Viking website shows two buffet stations on the Sun Deck. There was no evidence of buffet stations on the Sun Deck. Apart from a single occasion near the end of the cruise, there was not even a bar service on the sun deck, and the bar on the lower deck refused to serve drinks other than to people sitting in the bar. Brochure: “The Observation bar and lounge feature .. glass doors that lead on to the Aquavit Terrace. In fine weather, the doors roll aside for alfresco dining.” The onboard crew told me that there was never alfresco dining on the Aquavit Terrace. Cruise Director On every previous Viking Cruise, there has been a single Cruise Director who has clearly been the person making decisions and the single point of contact in the event of problems. On this cruise, there was a team of three. Each bus had its own tour director, who seemed to be little more than the tour guide. Each evening one of the tour directors did the briefing for the following day and the others were nowhere to be seen. The River The star of the cruise was undoubtedly the Duoro River, which is spectacular and has some of the most impressive dams and locks to be encountered anywhere. Viking really needs to exploit this a great deal more. The daily schedule of events focussed on bus tours and “enrichment” lectures in the enclosed lounge. The river was hardly mentioned at all. There was no commentary when we were cruising. Our tour director (guide) promised us that the captain had a special surprise for us at the end of the last day. It turned out that this was cruising to the point where the river meets the ocean. Unfortunately, this was not announced and happened while dinner was being serviced, which meant that very few people were even aware that is happened. The Itinerary The itinerary was changed with just two weeks notice, with a special dinner at a monastery dropped. The Viking brochure for 2018, published six months earlier did not feature this, so it would appear that Viking knew about this much more than 2 weeks in advance. My wife and I received individual personal e-mails about this addressed as Dear Guest, telling us that we would get £50 compensation for the itinerary change. We understood this to mean £50 each. In fact, the compensation was per cabin. So, there were lots of aspects of this cruise which were not satisfactory. Individually, the majority of them were relatively trivial, but the cumulative effect was to seriously undermine our views about Viking Cruises. What went well? In terms of staff, the performance of two individuals need to be recognised: • The Maitre’d, who understood that there were issues • The Chef (Nuno), who spent many hours talking to EVERYONE every night Embarkation and disembarkation were relatively smooth, although our cases did not make it off the ship at the end of the cruise. The pre-cruise stay in Lisbon was excellent. Viking does a good job in selecting hotels and the Tivoli Hotel in Lisbon was no exception. The post-cruise extension to Santiago de Compostela was also excellent, as was the Hotel Palacio del Carmen in Santiago. The included cruises were well organised, although the Duoro River suffers from a lack of appropriate destinations for tours. The tours did involve a significant time sitting in a motor coach. We were not convinced that some of the destinations were actually worth the effort. On past Viking cruises we have commented on two aspects of the excursions and the same issues arose this time round. Guides on coaches do not seem to realise that the majority of passengers on the coach cannot actually see what they can see through the front window. Viking passengers tend not to be in the full flush of youth and there are always people with mobility problems. The guide never seemed to check that everyone was off the coach and ready to walk before striding off. This cruise featured a new model of the Quiet-Vox devices used for the guide to communicate. These seemed to be a great improvement and the earpieces seemed much more comfortable than the previous model. Drinks Package The Silver Spirits drink package represents excellent value and you don't need to drink to excess to get value from it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I would call this a "popular" range cruise. The buffet was average, not inspired. The ship lacked a quiet room and the "coffee station" was often reduced to paper cups. I could not fault the staff, enthusiastic, ... Read More
I would call this a "popular" range cruise. The buffet was average, not inspired. The ship lacked a quiet room and the "coffee station" was often reduced to paper cups. I could not fault the staff, enthusiastic, courteous and keen. The Duoro river is quite short so not a lot of time is spent cruising, a lot of time is spent on the bus making visits. This we were aware of when booking. It is likely the best practical way to see the Duoro. At 105 passengers the company was good, pleasant and restrained. No raucus, noisy or stroppy characters and many repeat customers so Viking must be doing most things right. I would have liked the option to pay for a private transfer on disembarkation if only to gain an extra hour in bed. Some new silent earpieces would be a good investment. Not quite top of the range but pretty good cruise Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We were looking for a Spring, nice weather river cruise, and an earlier cruise with Viking in Russia sold us on this line. We had never been to Portugal -- so their River of Gold seemed like a perfect fit, and it was. - Excellent ... Read More
We were looking for a Spring, nice weather river cruise, and an earlier cruise with Viking in Russia sold us on this line. We had never been to Portugal -- so their River of Gold seemed like a perfect fit, and it was. - Excellent pick-up at the Lisbon Airport at 9:30 AM Lisbon time, and 55 minutes after landing we were at the Hotel Tivoli Lisboa on Avendia da Liberdade, in the heart of the city. What a great hotel selection by Viking! The hotel staff was great, and the location is perfect. 2 blocks from the Metro, 2 blocks from outdoor restaurants and cafes. Even better, they were able to get us in a room by noon, in time for a power nap and then off to 6 hours of sight-seeing. - Lisbon is now my new "favorite" city in Europe, and we are very glad we opted for the extra 2 days upon arrival. It gave us the opportunity to see much of Lisbon, + we had 2 days for side trip to Sintra and Fatima on our own. Note: the Viking provided walking tours of the city were exceptional; their guides are true pros. - Next, we boarded our ship in Porto after an enjoyable bus ride via the University in Coimbra. - Up the Duro River: Castles, Cathedrals and Wineries. Each from a different perspective. Our favorite experiences: Dinner and Fado show at the Alpendurada Monastery and the tour of Mateus Palace and gardens. Also, the Douro Museum in Peso da Régua is a superb regional museum. I found it via my own research; I wish it had been recommended by Viking for all. On board, the dinners were superb -- and Port wine flowed each evening. I was very pleased to see the majority of the wines served were local from northern Portugal. Again, the staff went above and beyond. - Special note: On Day 9, my wife came down with a stomach aliment. Viking provided chicken noodle soup and Gator Aid delivered every 4 hours--in in 2 days she was up and running. - Post trip: we opted for the post-trip to Santiago de Compostela, and we were glad we did. The opportunity to see the Cathedral of St. James, mingle with the pilgrims and dine on Galacian cuisine were a perfect ending to a perfect trip. So much so, I am ready to do the Camino Pilgrimage myself. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I had heard from family and friends that Portugal was a great country to tour: beautiful, safe, tons of history, warm, and Mediterranean. Also, the American dollar has strong purchasing power. We had loved a previous self-toured trip of ... Read More
I had heard from family and friends that Portugal was a great country to tour: beautiful, safe, tons of history, warm, and Mediterranean. Also, the American dollar has strong purchasing power. We had loved a previous self-toured trip of Spain, but missed seeing the Northwest corner, including Santiago de Compostela. We went in early May, so Portugal was warm but not stifling, and outside of forest-fire season. This trip allowed us to add on a couple of days in Lisbon (beautiful city) and to also see medieval Sintra through a Viking one-day special on the front end, and then add to our 8-day trip on the back end with a trip into NW Spain for Santiago de Compostela, famous medieval site for pilgrimages to see St. James' holy relics. Portugal is not large, so we had plenty of time on our coach from Lisbon to Porto for a lovely stop and tour (included in the price) at Coimbre, site of a medieval university and town where J.K. Rowling lived and was influenced for her imaginary Hogwarts Wizarding School. Lunch included live, haunting fado performance. The Douro River is short, so you spend more time in ports touring (or shopping). Viking arranged several interesting presentations on board--history, Port wine, olive oil, a cork merchant (great gifts in jewelry, hats and bags), two entertaining musical groups (Don't miss the male college performers)--in addition to exciting architectural tours and wine tastings on land. We enjoyed our fellow travelers--many from Britain, as well as U.S. Our coach Portuguese tour guide, George, was very knowledgeable and interesting. We recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This cruise was on the duoro river in portugal. We probably would have never travelled to this fascinating country except for this viking cruise. It was nice to have 3 days in lisbon to start. We loved the tile museum and the tours of ... Read More
This cruise was on the duoro river in portugal. We probably would have never travelled to this fascinating country except for this viking cruise. It was nice to have 3 days in lisbon to start. We loved the tile museum and the tours of the sandeman wineries. the food was excellent and the crew was terrific! Exploring the harry potter bookstare was an unexpected treat. Salamanca,spain was a treasure! The dress and customs were a delight to experience. We loved how the builders of the library used flying bats to preserve the lbooks in the university library. The students still wear the same style black capes that were worn in the 14th century. Our first viking cruise was in late july 2016. We explored the rhone river in france. The weather was hot but the experience of being totally taken care of more than made up for the hear. i'm done! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We had been to virtually every other place. The cruise was beyond our expectations. The staff was especially attentive to our needs. I had fallen on an excursion, and the cruise director took me back to our ship. She administered first ... Read More
We had been to virtually every other place. The cruise was beyond our expectations. The staff was especially attentive to our needs. I had fallen on an excursion, and the cruise director took me back to our ship. She administered first aid, and saw to it that I was comfortable. On another occasion, my wife was ill, and thr Maiter D brought her chicken broth to our room. We had complimentary wine at lunch and dinner, as well as complimentary water before excursions. Viking does not nickle and dime you to death. the complimentary excursions were exceptional. The pre-cruise experience was wonderful. Someone met us at the hotel, explained what to expect, gave us restaurant recommendations, etc. The trip to our ship in Porto was interrupted by a surprise visit to Coimbra, Portugal to visit one of the oldest universities in Europe. At lunch, we were treated to a concert of Fado music. It was beautiful! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Lisbon stupendous. Needs more time so recommend an extension. Coach to Porto for embarkation - very interesting. Ship=Torgil. The overall cruise couldn't be faulted in terms of service, food and free-flowing wine, Excellent ... Read More
Lisbon stupendous. Needs more time so recommend an extension. Coach to Porto for embarkation - very interesting. Ship=Torgil. The overall cruise couldn't be faulted in terms of service, food and free-flowing wine, Excellent excursions. However, a very BIG worry is that this ship is not safe. It has mechanical/electrical faults which appear to be intermittent and we all know these are the most difficult to find. When we boarded, there was no electricity; hence no air conditioning, refrigeration or lights. This lasted about an hour before they finally fixed it and after 5 minutes, it failed again. Once fixed again, we had no problems until the penultimate day. Two of the engines failed and the captain had to ram the boat head first into the shore to avoid it hitting sideways and doing great damage to staterooms, etc. He was then able to restart everything and we sailed away with no further incidents. Sitting at the front and seeing your boat rapidly going straight at the rocky shore was one of the most frightening moments of our lives. The captain handled it extremely well but when is something going to happen that causes actual bodily injury? The so-called swimming pool is a waste of space. 3 feet deep and very cold. Size of a large hot tub and it would be far better to replace it with a hot tub. No one used the pool but everyone was commenting that they wished they had a hot tub. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Viking Torgil Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.6
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness & Recreation 1.0 N/A
Family 1.0 3.0
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.8
Value for Money 3.0 N/A

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