8 Porto (Leixoes) Family Cruise Reviews

The Douro River was a cruise we had not yet taken. We have experienced a number of other River Cruises and Cruise lines. The Emerald Radiance is the best we have experienced. We particularly appreciated their all inclusive policy. ... Read More
The Douro River was a cruise we had not yet taken. We have experienced a number of other River Cruises and Cruise lines. The Emerald Radiance is the best we have experienced. We particularly appreciated their all inclusive policy. We were traveling with a group of 14 all were pleased with the great service provided by a welcoming and knowledgeable staff. The meals were varied and delicious. I particularly want to thank HOTEL Manager Manuel for his excellent service .Emerald will be at the top of my cruising list. This is a fairly new boat on the river, equipped with Wi-Fi in every room. Instead of a balcony or a patio door there. Is a window the width of your room the top half of which folds down into the bottom half at their touch of a button to give you an open air view. The visits to wine Estates are extremely well done with experienced guides. Try it you'll like it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Excellent previous experience. I like the river cruises. Viking has given us great experience all around: service, meals, rooms, tours, etc. We will try the ocean cruise next. It is hard to put in words but I will try: from the ... Read More
Excellent previous experience. I like the river cruises. Viking has given us great experience all around: service, meals, rooms, tours, etc. We will try the ocean cruise next. It is hard to put in words but I will try: from the moment we embarked, in Porto, Portugal, we we treated like VIP's. All of the personal was very attentive. I had a medical problem and receive very good attention with appointments, transportation and follow ups. The dinning experience was excellent with very good food, truly nice (not fake) service from everyone. There was no place where I did not receive the best attention. Highly recommended!!!! The tours were all planned ahead and well executed with excellent guides very fluent in English. And all the tours were included in the price, therefore I did not pay extra. The rooms has nothing else I will add. During the cruise in the river we had a fantastic view of nature. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I was really skeptical coming into this trip. My grandma had told me that she loved the river cruises she had been on but that people my age don't typically go- that there would be all old people. BUT, within the first couple hours in ... Read More
I was really skeptical coming into this trip. My grandma had told me that she loved the river cruises she had been on but that people my age don't typically go- that there would be all old people. BUT, within the first couple hours in the city of Lisbon I fell in love. The food was incredible and the people taught me so much. We boarded the ship and I immediately was on first name basis with 30 of the 34 crew members. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! I was not surprised my energy and youth kept the boat alive. Everyone from Marcio the bartender to Vitor the waiter who put up with my dairy allergy, to Jens, the manager, to Leandro the security night guard, was so welcoming, funny and nice. I could be myself. I also learned so much from the older people, having gone through so much of life already. We went all over the place but the hemming was unforgettable, we danced sang, ate, tasted olive oil and made custard. I fell IN LOVE with the crew and the people.I also got close to the bus driver Azy, and everyone on the ship. I don't know what I have to say to make you book your hemming cruise but all you need to know was that I made 32 family members on this trip and 100 friends. I cried my EYES OUT when I left and I am having withdrawal still. I eat at 7 (breakfast) and stick to the schedule even off the boat. I am going to miss Emanuel's playing or dancing the waltz with Marcio.The country is incredible. Also, I was fortunate enough to have my birthday on the last day (when we headed home) but they threw me a celebration the night before, Christovao and Vitor (crew members) decorating my table and giving me gifts. I WANT TO GO BACK!!!! Best experience of my entire life. Prettiest country. THE ROOMS ARE SO NICE TOO! And the food!!!! Jan, best dishes ever (the chef is also hilarious). Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Thanks to the crew of the Viking Ship Torgil, A bad situation was salvaged and made into a great Journey. The Portuguese River Authority would not let us sail the Rio Douro, because the river was too high. Excessive rains and the ... Read More
Thanks to the crew of the Viking Ship Torgil, A bad situation was salvaged and made into a great Journey. The Portuguese River Authority would not let us sail the Rio Douro, because the river was too high. Excessive rains and the release of water into the gorge by Spain made it too hazardous. While only a few opted our, most stayed with the Torgil and their crew was terrific. They went our of their way to adjust our tours and added tours to the schedule and we had the opportunity to take half day or full day tours at no extra charge. This provided even more opportunities not provided by the regular tour schedule. Even under the pressure caused by the situation, the crew remained warm, friendly and full of positive smiles and "Can Do " performance. All the tours were accomplished in new modern buses and the guides were most knowledgeable, friendly and were quick to address any special needs. Of note was a tour of a convent that provided a Portuguese Style home cooked meal that was served by the ships complement in Fryer attire. One of the best and fullest meals of the week. One tour took us across Portugal into Spain to Salamanca with a mid break for a tour and wine tasting. In Salamanca we were put up in a five star hotel with Flamingo traditional entertainment that evening. Most excellent time was had by all Even though the boat never left the dock in Porto, Portugal a monumental effort was made to make us feel at home, welcomed and safe. This Journey turned out to be one of the best informative trips yet. Finally, We disembarked the Torgil, after a busy day, at 3am for our trip to the airport. At the end of the gangway stood the Captain, the Program Director and the Hotel Manager to see us off. There had been an alert given by the authorities that the river may not crest that night and Viking may have to evacuate the boat. Luckily, this did not happen, but that crew stood watch over us and made sure that all was well. It was an 18hr day for the crew of the Torgil. They have may appreciation and thanks. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
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 ... Read More
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! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We had a nonstop flight into Lisbon, were met at the airport by a Viking representative, and taken to the Hotel Tivoli centrally located in LIsbon. Everything went very smooth, as we have come to expect from Viking. We have visited Lisbon ... Read More
We had a nonstop flight into Lisbon, were met at the airport by a Viking representative, and taken to the Hotel Tivoli centrally located in LIsbon. Everything went very smooth, as we have come to expect from Viking. We have visited Lisbon before so we opted out of a half day tour the next morning to go to the seashore with some friends who live just outside of Lisbon. We love Portugal and Lisbon and had a great time, with some wonderful meals and charming walks. We had a pleasant coach ride up to Porto, where we boarded our ship. The ship was great, and the crew treated us like visiting family that they want to see again. The river valley is gorgeous and we thoroughly enjoyed cruising, eating, touring, and eating our way up and back. The food and wines were outstanding, but as good as the head chef was (and he was excellent), I think that most of the men onboard fell in love with the pastry chef - a real sweetie. The side trip to Salamanca was great. It was a major disappointment finally though to realize we ultimately had to leave the cruise. We made it a little easier by adding on the post trip to Santiago de Campostella, which I highly recommend. Our tour director tipped us off to go to the pilgrims mass in the Cathedral - and they swung the Botafumieri from the ceiling of one side of the Nave to the other. Absolutely fascinating. (See the movie "The Way" for scenes.) All in all, this was a perfectly delightful vacation for us. We're already signed up for our next Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We are a family of 14 people (4 generations!) who just completed a cruise of Portugal's Douro River on the ms Douro Spirit with Vantage Deluxe World Travel. It was the first river cruise for all but one of us and was a magnificent ... Read More
We are a family of 14 people (4 generations!) who just completed a cruise of Portugal's Douro River on the ms Douro Spirit with Vantage Deluxe World Travel. It was the first river cruise for all but one of us and was a magnificent experience. Douro River ships are small-ish, because the lock system on the Douro can't accommodate larger ships, but the ship was outfitted very nicely and our rooms were terrific. Vantage distinguishes itself with exceptional service -- everyone was extremely friendly, charmingly helpful, and genuinely kind. Vantage's travelers are a mature group of people, so our family stood out from the rest (ages 10 - 80). Everyone was very friendly and glad to share their cruise with such a relatively young and boisterous group. Vantage managed every detail like clockwork. The 7 day cruise was the centerpiece of a 13 day tour, and our accommodations off the ship were incredible -- Vantage put us up in two of the finest hotels I've ever experienced, including a hotel in Porto, Portugal that is actually a baroque palace built in 1742. This was an incredible experience, and we are now a very happy family! Read Less
Sail Date June 2014

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