Viking Osfrid Review

Enjoying the Douro River

Review for Europe River Cruise on Viking Osfrid
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GoseetheWorld49
10+ Cruises • Age 70s

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Sail Date: Jul 2023
Preparing to lock through Carrapatelo Dam
Golden hour of sunlight on the terraced hillsides
Grapes that will go into the making of Porto wines
Tight turns on the terraced hillside

We've done many Viking cruises; this was one we hadn't yet done so Post-COVID, we were ready to get back to cruising. We had the misfortune to have our cruise start at the same time as the imminent arrival of Pope Francis in Lisbon for World Youth Day celebration. Viking notified us only a couple weeks before the cruise, but they had to have known this months in advance. The panoramic city bus tour was canceled; the included Cosmopolitan Lisbon and Jeronimos Monastery excursion on August 1 was canceled. We saw basically nothing of Lisbon - a disappointing start to a not-inexpensive trip. The company did offer train transit passes for folks willing to explore on their own amid thousands of people in the city center for the World Youth events. Viking did substitute a bus excursion to Obidos, a tiny village. Lengthy bus rides throughout to see villages...described as quaint, unique, charming. We were used to stepping off the boat with the town of interest close at hand. Douro River navigation requires docking at night, offloading passengers onto buses during the day and then moving the ship during the day. Being a small ship, it has no fitness center. Those were negatives.

The positives: This was absolutely the best crew overall that we've ever had the pleasure of sailing with. The Program Director Raquel, a native of Portugal, was amazing. The Executive Chef Andrea came into the dining room and visited with people, making sure their dietary needs were being met. Captain Diogo Martins kept us entertained with his stories of navigating the river and locks, much skill and knowledge needed. From the room stewards to the waiters to the tour guides, everyone was genuinely friendly and giving his/her best effort. Since the locations visited were hilly and usually paved with cobblestones, the crew worked hard to offer modified tours for those with mobility issues. The dams, especially Carrapaleto, were very interesting to lock through, the hillsides with their terraced rows of vineyards as far as the eye could see were stunning, and the river itself was like sailing on glass. The best excursion was staying on the boat, relaxing, and just enjoying the river ride, feeling like you had a yacht to yourself as most people were out, riding up into the hills on the buses.

Compared to other Viking cruises, the Douro River of Gold comes up short on the "Wow" factor.

Cabin Review

We had an A Veranda cabin, and it was well laid-out, fine in all aspects.

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