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This is our second river cruise with Viking and once again, we were very happy with the whole experience. The trip started at Lisbon where we booked a 2 days pre-extension. The Tivoli Hotel where we stayed, while not a fancy one, it is more than adequate, has everything needed and it is very well located. Staff, languages, food, amenities, were all impeccable. Additional concierge services by Viking was much appreciated. The city tour was incredible, thanks in big part to Sandra, our entertaining local guide. Lisbon is great no matter what, yet she was very knowledgeable and fun to follow at the same time. The bus drive through Coimbra on our way to Porto was excellent. The visit to the University and the fado show at lunch were all unforgettable. We embarked at Porto aboard the Hemming, a nice little ship constructed to fit the navigational limitations of the Douro river. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the entire staff aboard the Hemming was local Portuguese people. We have to say there is no comparison between the level of service of a Portuguese crew with some international crews we have sailed with before. No offense here but we felt like being taken care of and pampered at every little detail, from food services, to music entertaining, at reception, with the tourist escorts, etc. For one thing, the crew spoke fluently English, Spanish, of course Portuguese, and many even were fluent in French. For another, the Portuguese people are really friendly while remaining low key. They are very well educated as well, and attentive to all the passengers so as to satisfy any request, no questions asked. The Program Director was unbelievable! Suffice it to say we couldn't find anything he could have improved on in his role as the Director of the whole thing. The guy is a winner! We could elaborate on and on about the side tours, the wine tastings, etc., which were all extraordinaire. However if anything needs to be highlighted here is the major difference friendliness, competence, and communication can make! Kudos to the local crew with Douro Azul and a big Thanks to Jorge Leitao, the Viking's Program Director, for a job well done. Keep it up!

Lisbon, Porto, the Douro, and then some ...

Viking Hemming Cruise Review by cubafarinas

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2015
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Veranda
This is our second river cruise with Viking and once again, we were very happy with the whole experience.

The trip started at Lisbon where we booked a 2 days pre-extension. The Tivoli Hotel where we stayed, while not a fancy one, it is more than adequate, has everything needed and it is very well located. Staff, languages, food, amenities, were all impeccable. Additional concierge services by Viking was much appreciated.

The city tour was incredible, thanks in big part to Sandra, our entertaining local guide. Lisbon is great no matter what, yet she was very knowledgeable and fun to follow at the same time.

The bus drive through Coimbra on our way to Porto was excellent. The visit to the University and the fado show at lunch were all unforgettable.

We embarked at Porto aboard the Hemming, a nice little ship constructed to fit the navigational limitations of the Douro river. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the entire staff aboard the Hemming was local Portuguese people. We have to say there is no comparison between the level of service of a Portuguese crew with some international crews we have sailed with before. No offense here but we felt like being taken care of and pampered at every little detail, from food services, to music entertaining, at reception, with the tourist escorts, etc. For one thing, the crew spoke fluently English, Spanish, of course Portuguese, and many even were fluent in French. For another, the Portuguese people are really friendly while remaining low key. They are very well educated as well, and attentive to all the passengers so as to satisfy any request, no questions asked.

The Program Director was unbelievable! Suffice it to say we couldn't find anything he could have improved on in his role as the Director of the whole thing. The guy is a winner!

We could elaborate on and on about the side tours, the wine tastings, etc., which were all extraordinaire. However if anything needs to be highlighted here is the major difference friendliness, competence, and communication can make!

Kudos to the local crew with Douro Azul and a big Thanks to Jorge Leitao, the Viking's Program Director, for a job well done. Keep it up!
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Cabin Review

Veranda
Cabin B 203
Very nice cabin considering the space limitations of this particular ship. The housekeeping was stellar: Thank you Suzi!
Middle Deck Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins