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We recently returned from the Viking Hemming "River of Gold" cruise of the Duoro river. We were 2 couples. Let me start by saying every employee of Viking and it's Duoro river partner (Duoro Azul), were amazing. Viking seems to employ the Cruise Director and a few other employees and the rest are from Duoro Azul. They all give great service and made the trip wonderful. We added 2 days in Lisbon and 2 days in Santiago de Compostela. It was great to get over jet lag before we started cruising. Our room was beautiful and made every inch count. We were in Veranda suite 304. Great location on the ship. Our cabin steward, Sara, was fabulous. She not only kept our cabin spotless and well stocked. She did it while keeping a low profile. It was fun to come back to the cabin each day and see what towel sculpture would await us. This girl is good with towels! The daily excursions were very well planned and our buses were very comfortable. We were divided up onto 3 buses that each had their own tour guide. We had George. He was very informative and made the tour fun. He also would go the extra distance to make sure we were well taken care of. We had Carmen as our tour director. She basicly made sure it all ran smoothly. This she did while making everyone feel like their needs came first. It is a talent to balance so many peoples needs and wants. She made it seem effortless. Viking is lucky to have her. The food was good and plentiful. They had a small herb garden on the top deck. So we were lucky to have lovely fresh herbs. I took the Galley tour. It is amazing to see how 5 people in a very small space could put out our 3 meals and snacks a day. Quite impressive. I also found the bartenders to be fabulous. They whipped up our drinks and gave us recommendations of good wines. We signed up for the alcohol upgrade. Well worth the extra expense. The cruise itself is great. The Duoro River valley is some of the prettiest scenery I have ever seen. Going thru the locks was thrilling. The only complaint about the excursions is: because of the timing of going thru the locks, we ended up arriving in towns during siesta. Most shops were closed. So not a great shopping cruise. The ship has arranged for a shop in most towns to be open. But that makes for 106 people shoving into a small shop at one time. Not fun. I would also caution that their is no medicaly trained person or any first aid equipment on the ship. My friend had a allergic reaction and their were no epi pens or any oxygen tanks. So bring your own. The crew was very good about getting her to a hospital and George stayed with her and Carmen kept us informed. But it could have been avoided if we could have had basic medical supplies on board. Just saying… I would not go on the extension to Santiago de Compostela with Viking. The hotel was not good (unfunctioning air conditioner) and the bus was substandard. Rent a car and drive yourself. Stay at the Parador in town. Overall this was a amazing cruise and I would give Viking lots of kudos for great thought and personalization of this cruise. The ship is definitely first class and has a first class staff. I miss it already.

Viking a class act

Viking Hemming Cruise Review by beckergm

Trip Details
We recently returned from the Viking Hemming "River of Gold" cruise of the Duoro river. We were 2 couples. Let me start by saying every employee of Viking and it's Duoro river partner (Duoro Azul), were amazing. Viking seems to employ the Cruise Director and a few other employees and the rest are from Duoro Azul. They all give great service and made the trip wonderful. We added 2 days in Lisbon and 2 days in Santiago de Compostela. It was great to get over jet lag before we started cruising. Our room was beautiful and made every inch count. We were in Veranda suite 304. Great location on the ship. Our cabin
steward, Sara, was fabulous. She not only kept our cabin spotless and well stocked. She did it while keeping a low profile. It was fun to come back to the cabin each day and see what towel sculpture would await us. This girl is good with towels! The daily excursions were very well planned and our buses were very comfortable. We were divided up onto 3 buses that each had their own tour guide. We had George. He was very informative and made the tour fun. He also would go the extra distance to make sure we were well taken care of. We had Carmen as our tour director. She basicly made sure it all ran smoothly. This she did while making everyone feel like their needs came first. It is a talent to balance so many peoples needs and wants. She made it seem effortless. Viking is lucky to have her. The food was good and plentiful. They had a small herb garden on the top deck. So we were lucky to have lovely fresh herbs. I took the Galley tour. It is amazing to see how 5 people in a very small space could put out our 3 meals and snacks a day. Quite impressive. I also found the bartenders to be fabulous. They whipped up our drinks and gave us recommendations of good wines. We signed up for the alcohol upgrade. Well worth the extra expense. The cruise itself is great. The Duoro River valley is some of the prettiest scenery I have ever seen. Going thru the locks was thrilling. The only complaint about the excursions is: because of the timing of going thru the locks, we ended up arriving in towns during siesta. Most shops were closed. So not a great shopping cruise. The ship has arranged for a shop in most towns to be open. But that makes for 106 people shoving into a small shop at one time. Not fun. I would also caution that their is no medicaly trained person or any first aid equipment on the ship. My friend had a allergic reaction and their were no epi pens or any oxygen tanks. So bring your own. The crew was very good about getting her to a hospital and George stayed with her and Carmen kept us informed. But it could have been avoided if we could have had basic medical supplies on board. Just saying… I would not go on the extension to Santiago de Compostela with Viking. The hotel was not good (unfunctioning air conditioner) and the bus was substandard. Rent a car and drive yourself. Stay at the Parador in town. Overall this was a amazing cruise and I would give Viking lots of kudos for great thought and personalization of this cruise. The ship is definitely first class and has a first class staff. I miss it already.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 304
Great location right off the reception and next to the bar. One deck up to the pool and deck lounge. One deck down to restaurant. Very well laid out. Good black out drapes and a comfortable bed. They use Octiane products! Love it!
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