Vigo Santiago de Compostela Excursion Reviews

Appreciate the Romanesque and Gothic architecture of Santiago de Compostela as you learn about the city's roots.
Santiago de Compostela is a beautiful with a magnificent cathedral.
Sail Date: January 2019
Santiago de Compostela is a beautiful with a magnificent cathedral. Lunch was served at a beautiful hotel in the city square.
Santiago de Compostela is a beautiful with a magnificent cathedral. Lunch was served at a beautiful hotel in the city square. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Viking Ocean Cruises
Great excursion to a place we have always wanted to visit.
Sail Date: December 2018
Great excursion to a place we have always wanted to visit. The only bad things were the travel time and the weather but you can't blame the cruise line for this.
Great excursion to a place we have always wanted to visit. The only bad things were the travel time and the weather but you can't blame the cruise line for this. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Cunard Line
Great excursion.
Sail Date: October 2018
Great excursion. Loved the architecture and learning about the history, also meeting a few people who'd just walked the Camino. It takes just over an hour to reach Santiago de Compostela from Vigo. Very little free time. On talking to ... Read More
Great excursion. Loved the architecture and learning about the history, also meeting a few people who'd just walked the Camino. It takes just over an hour to reach Santiago de Compostela from Vigo. Very little free time. On talking to guide at the end of the tour I asked him why the tour wasn't a little longer. He said they were employed for half a day or full day and the 5h was considered the max for a half day tour. Interesting. I thought they'd just pay by the hour and tours would be as long as they needed to be. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
This was one of my least favorite tours.
Sail Date: September 2017
This was one of my least favorite tours. The church was too busy to get into and just not a very memorable trip at all. I would have saved the money and done something myself at the port. I heard bus tours were going on by locals in Vigo ... Read More
This was one of my least favorite tours. The church was too busy to get into and just not a very memorable trip at all. I would have saved the money and done something myself at the port. I heard bus tours were going on by locals in Vigo and were really good. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Loved the history
Sail Date: October 2016
Loved the history
Loved the history Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Charming old town with time for a lunch on our own.
Sail Date: October 2016
Charming old town with time for a lunch on our own.
Charming old town with time for a lunch on our own. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Royal Caribbean International
This was a truly amazing day!
Sail Date: August 2016
This was a truly amazing day! The bus journey to Santiago is quite long but we still had plenty of time there. First we walked around the town and the outside of the cathedral. So interesting. Some people chose to attend mass at the ... Read More
This was a truly amazing day! The bus journey to Santiago is quite long but we still had plenty of time there. First we walked around the town and the outside of the cathedral. So interesting. Some people chose to attend mass at the cathedral, however others wanted to walk around the town. We explored the town from one end to the other. It's really a lovely place. Clean, lovely people, great coffee etc. Lunch was in a lovely hotel on the square overlooking the cathedral. Lovely local food and it was hard to drag ourselves away. After lunch we toured the cathedral and the museum. Stunning! My overwhelming memory of the day though is seeing pilgrims arriving in time for mass and the joyous way they greeted each other. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Costa Cruises
We booked the Transfer from Vigo to Santiago with HAL since it is a long drive.
Sail Date: May 2016
We booked the Transfer from Vigo to Santiago with HAL since it is a long drive. It was only the transportation but no tour. It is an easy city to tour on your own with everything centered around the Cathedral of St James.
We booked the Transfer from Vigo to Santiago with HAL since it is a long drive. It was only the transportation but no tour. It is an easy city to tour on your own with everything centered around the Cathedral of St James. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Holland America Line
Very interesting day
Sail Date: May 2016
Very interesting day
Very interesting day Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Holland America Line
Stupendous tour/terrible guide.
Sail Date: May 2016
Stupendous tour/terrible guide. So much to see but our tour guide lost half of us and never gave us maps. We missed out on two of the four squares because of tour guide. Please do this tour though-just ask for map before you begin.
Stupendous tour/terrible guide. So much to see but our tour guide lost half of us and never gave us maps. We missed out on two of the four squares because of tour guide. Please do this tour though-just ask for map before you begin. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Pleasant journey with informative guide.
Sail Date: April 2016
Pleasant journey with informative guide. We had a walking tour of Santiago then visited the cathedral. Great historic place.
Pleasant journey with informative guide. We had a walking tour of Santiago then visited the cathedral. Great historic place. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
Execellent, good guide too.
Sail Date: April 2016
Execellent, good guide too.
Execellent, good guide too. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
A beautiful ride through the Spanish country side and saw many "muscle" farms in the river as we ...
Sail Date: April 2016
A beautiful ride through the Spanish country side and saw many "muscle" farms in the river as we drove to Santiago. The town was so interesting and old and the cathedral magnificent. It was truly an experience to be in the 3rd ... Read More
A beautiful ride through the Spanish country side and saw many "muscle" farms in the river as we drove to Santiago. The town was so interesting and old and the cathedral magnificent. It was truly an experience to be in the 3rd most important place in Catholic history and to learn it was the pilgtrimage to Santiago that was the reason for the world's first travel guide. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Celebrity Cruises
This was slightly disappointing due to the fact that we only got 10 minutes in the cathedral - main ...
Sail Date: September 2015
This was slightly disappointing due to the fact that we only got 10 minutes in the cathedral - main reason for going! The guide seemed to have got his timings wrong. Refreshments in the old Parador gave us a chance to see a beautiful old ... Read More
This was slightly disappointing due to the fact that we only got 10 minutes in the cathedral - main reason for going! The guide seemed to have got his timings wrong. Refreshments in the old Parador gave us a chance to see a beautiful old and famous Spanish building. Will come again on our own if possible. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: P&O Cruises
Wonderful place to visit.
Sail Date: September 2015
Wonderful place to visit. Would recommend it.
Wonderful place to visit. Would recommend it. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: MSC Cruises
Very nice ride to Santiago de Compostela, a beautifully preserved medieval Spanish town of great ...
Sail Date: September 2015
Very nice ride to Santiago de Compostela, a beautifully preserved medieval Spanish town of great religious importance to Roman Catholic pilgrims. A great guide and lots of time to explore this intriguing town.
Very nice ride to Santiago de Compostela, a beautifully preserved medieval Spanish town of great religious importance to Roman Catholic pilgrims. A great guide and lots of time to explore this intriguing town. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
We went on the 'S de C on your own'.
Sail Date: July 2015
We went on the 'S de C on your own'. Given wrong directions by our coach guide for entering the cathedral but other than that it was a good trip.
We went on the 'S de C on your own'. Given wrong directions by our coach guide for entering the cathedral but other than that it was a good trip. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: P&O Cruises
Quite a long drive to get to Santiago de Compostela, but the bus had air con.
Sail Date: June 2015
Quite a long drive to get to Santiago de Compostela, but the bus had air con. and the driver was excellent. We had an excellent guide who spoke very good English. Very enjoyable trip, if not a little bit too hot. Just about the right ... Read More
Quite a long drive to get to Santiago de Compostela, but the bus had air con. and the driver was excellent. We had an excellent guide who spoke very good English. Very enjoyable trip, if not a little bit too hot. Just about the right amount of free time to do a bit of shopping and looking around on your own. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Royal Caribbean International
24 OCT (THU) CRUISE DAY 10: VIGO, SPAIN (8:00AM – 3:30PM)Most people who visit Vigo ...
Sail Date: October 2013
24 OCT (THU) CRUISE DAY 10: VIGO, SPAIN (8:00AM – 3:30PM)Most people who visit Vigo (www.turismodevigo.org/en) for the first time use it as the gateway to Santiago De Compostela (www.santiagoturismo.com), a destination for pilgrims since ... Read More
24 OCT (THU) CRUISE DAY 10: VIGO, SPAIN (8:00AM – 3:30PM)Most people who visit Vigo (www.turismodevigo.org/en) for the first time use it as the gateway to Santiago De Compostela (www.santiagoturismo.com), a destination for pilgrims since the Middle Ages. These pilgrims (pelegrinos) walk or ride bicycles or horses for hundreds of miles and many weeks (or even years) in order to visit the cathedral that houses the remains of St. James Major (Santiago). We had watched a movie about the pilgrimage (“The Walk,” staring Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez) before the trip.Despite Liza Doolittle's assertion that “The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain,” the Galicia region is the rainiest part of Spain. Today was no exception as it rained steadily the entire day with only a few breaks –- another challenge for our poor umbrellas. Because of the short port time and the inconvenient train/bus schedules, it was not feasible to take public transportation to Santiago. Renting a car (with gas, parking and tolls) was slightly cheaper than a Princess tour for two. However, we would have had to allow time to pick the car up in downtown Vigo, return it to the rental point and return ourselves to the ship before the all aboard time. We finally decided that a Princess tour would give us the most time in Santiago with the least hassle.The tour we chose was “Santiago on Your Own,” which is simply transportation to and from Santiago with a little commentary along the way. We left the ship well before sunrise for the 75-minute drive to Santiago. Although it was too dark to see much, our guide, Laura, tried to point out interesting features of the area such as the oyster farms in the estuaries and the old stone storage buildings raised up on stone pillars.The bus dropped us off in the Juan XXIII parking lot. We followed Laura down Avenida Juan XXIII and Rua de San Francisco into Plaza Obradoiro (~10 min walk). As we walked along, storekeepers were touting their local specialty, almond cookies. Our meeting spot was under the arcade of the Pazo de Raxoi. We would have 3:40 h to explore Santiago on our own before reuniting there to return to the bus.John and I headed straight across the plaza to the ticket office for the Cathedral Museum, which is in the crypt under the double staircase leading to the main entrance. Admission to the Cathedral itself is free. However, we got the General Individual Ticket (4 euros pp, senior price) that gives admission to the Museum and the temporary exhibitions in the Gelmirez Palace. There is an audioguide available at additional cost that we did not rent.Laura had told us that if Mass was going on, we would have to enter through the Puerta de las Platerias on the south side of the Cathedral. Otherwise, we would be able to enter through the Obradoiro facade (the main entrance on the west side) and the famous Portico de la Gloria. However, the Portico de la Gloria is currently under renovation and no one is being allowed in through the main entrance; the Portico de la Gloria cannot be viewed without a museum ticket.John and I sloshed over to the Puerta de las Platerias and started our counterclockwise tour of the Cathedral. We walked past several chapels to the stairs leading to the statue of St. James that is above the high altar. Pilgrims traditionally embrace the statue at the end of their journey. Coming down the other side, we found the stairs down to the crypt where a silver casket contains the saint's remains; climbing up the other side brought us back up to where we started. We continued along the ambulatory behind the high altar, passing chapel after chapel and the Puerta Santa (Holy Door), which is only opened during designated Holy Years. The oldest existing chapel is Santa Maria de la Corticela, which was originally a separate church and is now attached to the transept; it is still a separate parish from the Cathedral.Under the Cathedral dome is the device for swinging the huge censer or Botafumeiro. The censer is more than 1-1/2 meters high and weighs about 100 kg when it is full of coal and incense. It takes a team of eight men to set the censer swinging until it is almost parallel to the floor at the height of its swing. The Botafumeiro is only used on certain feast days or when a substantial donation is made. Our port lecturer had shown a video of the Botafumeiro swinging and it is indeed an impressive sight (hwww.youtube.com/watch?v=mtxuvtZqOog).We continued around the Cathedral to the Museum entrance. The Museum has four levels; this level houses the Treasury in the Chapel of San Fernando, with an assortment of precious liturgical items. Across the hall is the Chapel of Relics, with hundreds of reliquaries including a bust containing the skull of St. James Minor. This chapel also contains the tombs of some kings of Leon and Galicia from the 12th and 13th centuries.Exiting out into the cloister, we found the Sala Capitular (Chapterhouse) with some tapestries and the Biblioteca (Library). The Library contains two Botafumeiros and a Museum worker showed two girls the padded wooden bar that is used to carry it (two men are needed) into the Cathedral. The Library is lined with ancient books and display cases of illuminated manuscripts and hymnals.From the Treasury level we climbed up to the top level, the Tapestry Museum. It houses a large collection of tapestries including some designed by Rubens and Goya. This level also provides access to a balcony that overlooks the Plaza del Obradeiro.Now we descended to the level below the Treasury. This level contains the Cathedral's art collection. There are three sections: art from the 13th through the 15th century, art from the 16th through the 18th century and art related to St. James.The lowest level of the Museum contains exhibits from the archaeological excavations under the Cathedral. The highlight of this level is the partial reconstruction of the elaborate stone choir, carved by Maestro Mateo in the 13th century and destroyed in 1603, replaced by a wooden choir that was removed in 1946. Although huge sections of the choir are missing, it displayed the kind of intricate designs and statues that we would see later in Maestro Mateo's Portico de la Gloria. This level also has an exhibit about Maestro Mateo.From here we had to go back to the Treasury level of the Museum to cross over to the Gelmirez Palace and view the Portico de la Gloria. The Pilgrim's Mass had started and visitors are not allowed to view the Portico de la Gloria during the Mass. We toured the temporary exhibits in the Gelmiriz Palace and then prayed during the last part of the Mass. When the Mass ended, we were almost the only people around the Portico de la Gloria; we saw many people who wanted to see it turned away because they did not have a Museum ticket. Although scaffolding obscured sections of Maestro Mateo's triple doorway with its 200 Romanesque statues, we could see the famous central column with Jesus on top, St. James below Him and Hercules below St. James; Maestro Mateo is at the bottom on the opposite side of the column. It is traditional for pilgrims to place their fingertips in the five holes worn in the column above Hercules' head and to bump heads with Maestro Mateo. However, there is now a railing to prevent anyone from touching the column and causing further damage to it. We could also see many of the other statues including the only woman, Queen Esther. Legend has it that her stone breasts were originally much larger and local leaders had them filed down to a more respectable size. The townspeople retaliated by creating Galicia's iconic tetilla cheese (titty cheese) in Esther's honor. That's the story anyway!Our final stop in the Cathedral was the crypt where we originally bought our tickets. The crypt, also built by Maestro Mateo, is dedicated to St. James Minor. The main features of interest are the huge columns supporting the weight of the Portico de la Gloria and the Obradoiro facade and the keystones of the vault that depict two angels bearing the sun and the moon. Today the crypt is the gathering spot for group tours but Museum ticket holders can be admitted on request.By now we had spent about three hours in the Cathedral and Museum and the rain was much lighter than earlier in the day. We had some time to walk around the old town. We stopped in at the Galicia tourist office to obtain maps and information on the wine routes for our scheduled (but later canceled) visit to Vigo on the next leg of the cruise.Next we walked over to the Paseo de la Herradura and up to the 12th century church of Santa Susana. The park has several viewpoints that provide classic views of the Cathedral. After that we walked around the Cathedral to see the other facades and met up with the rest of the group, huddled under the arcade of Pazo de Raxoi.Once back at the Alberto Duran Nunes Cruise Terminal, it was too close to sailing time even to check out briefly the large shopping center right next to the terminal. We did not depart on time though because several of the tours were quite late returning to the ship. I later overheard a person saying that his bus had waited 45 minutes for a couple and finally left without them; maybe they got on the wrong bus. Another woman's name was called repeatedly to report to Passenger Services. I hope no one was left behind in Vigo!Hint: Soaking wet walking/running shoes will dry overnight if you put them directly on top of the stateroom refrigerator (inside the cabinet). Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
Our guide made this trip very enjoyable.
Sail Date: May 2013
Our guide made this trip very enjoyable.
Our guide made this trip very enjoyable. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Worth a trip and very historic site with pleasant town to visit alongside the cathedral.
Sail Date: December 2012
Worth a trip and very historic site with pleasant town to visit alongside the cathedral.
Worth a trip and very historic site with pleasant town to visit alongside the cathedral. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: P&O Cruises
We took just over an hour to get there passing many mussel farms in Vigo Bay along the way.
Sail Date: November 2012
We took just over an hour to get there passing many mussel farms in Vigo Bay along the way. We were dropped off at a bus depot and walk up to the Cathedral Plaza. We took a brief walk along the NE road and looked at some shops before ... Read More
We took just over an hour to get there passing many mussel farms in Vigo Bay along the way. We were dropped off at a bus depot and walk up to the Cathedral Plaza. We took a brief walk along the NE road and looked at some shops before heading to the Cathedral for noon Mass. We watched the Mass till its completion and noticed many pilgrims who made the long journey to the cathedral. We started for the public market and got ourselves lost but many of the locals volunteered to help. When we finally arrived at the market it was closing down as they are only open till siesta time. Many of the shops were closed for siesta but many stayed open for the cruise tours. We headed back to the Cathedral area shortly after 2:00 pm and spent the remaining time visiting the tomb of St. James and shopping near the plaza area. At 3:00 pm we were missing 2 passengers and had to wait before making the journey back to the ship. The 2 finally showed up at 3:15 and we managed to just make the 4:30 all aboard. Santiago De Campostela has its origin in the shrine of Saint James the Great, now the city's cathedral, as destination of the Way of St. James, a leading Catholic pilgrimage route originated in the 9th century. In 1985 the city's Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
Good tour of Santiago and the Cathedral where St.
Sail Date: November 2012
Good tour of Santiago and the Cathedral where St. James was buried.
Good tour of Santiago and the Cathedral where St. James was buried. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
Sadly, I was unwell and unable to take our booked tour, but my husband went and found it very ...
Sail Date: October 2012
Sadly, I was unwell and unable to take our booked tour, but my husband went and found it very interesting (and even took some photographs for me!). The tour guide was most informative, and gave a lot of background and cultural information. ... Read More
Sadly, I was unwell and unable to take our booked tour, but my husband went and found it very interesting (and even took some photographs for me!). The tour guide was most informative, and gave a lot of background and cultural information. As it was a public holiday / Catholic Holy Day of Obligation the tour had to work around services in the cathedral, but he was very happy with the whole tour. I did manage to walk off the ship for a short time, and was pleasantly suprised at how picturesque Vigo is - I had expected a fairly industrialised port but found delightful buildings and picturesque squares. I gather Vigo is the third largest fishing port in the world, but it is obviously zoned to protect their historical heritage. I would be very happy to visit this port again on another cruise. However, because of the public holiday most of the shops were closed - except many 'tourist traps' selling entertainingly bad-taste souvenirs, the likes of which I have not seen in many years in other resorts! Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
Our day of touring in Vigo and Santiago de Compostela was in the pouring rain.
Sail Date: October 2012
Our day of touring in Vigo and Santiago de Compostela was in the pouring rain. Despite the crazy weather, we loved Santiago and the charming streets of the area. We hired a private guide; unfortunately, her English wasn't very good ... Read More
Our day of touring in Vigo and Santiago de Compostela was in the pouring rain. Despite the crazy weather, we loved Santiago and the charming streets of the area. We hired a private guide; unfortunately, her English wasn't very good and we wasted a lot of time trying to help her out with words. She was able to get us into the cathedral during a service and we got to see the giant incense burner swing through the church. Amazing! It was a lovely day, capped off by lunch a very traditional Spanish restaurant. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Celebrity Cruises