40 Porto (Leixoes) River Cruise Reviews

This was our third Scenic river cruise. All have been great but this one was the best. Great boat, friendly crew, fantastic food and excellent day tours. Portuguese food and wine is superb, and the cruise focus on local dishes, ... Read More
This was our third Scenic river cruise. All have been great but this one was the best. Great boat, friendly crew, fantastic food and excellent day tours. Portuguese food and wine is superb, and the cruise focus on local dishes, ingredients and wines was well placed. At each daily brief the chef and tour director highlighted that night’s recommended local dish and wines. As always with Scenic there was lots of choice on the menu, but the local dishes were our favourites. We had a little trouble with high water given the heavy rains before we arrived and were required by the Portuguese authorities to dock at unplanned locations. But Scenic did a great job of keeping us informed, arranging for day trips when we were docked unexpectedly, and making sure everyone got to the airport to get on to their next destination. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone who likes history, food and wine. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
After several longer river cruises (i.e., Budapest to Amsterdam) we thought that we might like what would be a much shorter trip (Douro river is only what, 125 miles long?) and kind of quirky itinerary; small towns and wineries with time ... Read More
After several longer river cruises (i.e., Budapest to Amsterdam) we thought that we might like what would be a much shorter trip (Douro river is only what, 125 miles long?) and kind of quirky itinerary; small towns and wineries with time to walk and explore. Wow did we like it! Beautiful countryside in Fall colors, visits to often tiny towns, and so on. Castelo Rodrigo, for example, is a hilltop hamlet with about 48 residents. We had time on our own in some very small towns to just wander. Very restful, actually Quite different from say, Vienna! I don't recommend this for one's "first cruise". Take a longer one, or several, with Viking and then try The Douro. Doing that really helped us notice the differences and fully appreciate the laid back leisurely nature of this trip. It is very well thought out and complete. I think you'll find it wonderful. As always with Viking there are little extras; to be met back at the ship with a Port wine toast, local foods acquired almost every day, and some unique entertainments. Portuguese Fado music. for instance. I HIGHLY recommend the post-river add-on trip to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. The shrine of Saint James is not only the ending point of "The Way" pilgrimages, but also a UNESCO Heritage center. We loved the city and its foods. Tapas three times a day! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose Emerald because of recommendations on line. They were offering good on board credit and other discounts. The Radiance is a beautiful ship and the staterooms are stunning. The lounge is good but the bar is too big leaving only room ... Read More
We chose Emerald because of recommendations on line. They were offering good on board credit and other discounts. The Radiance is a beautiful ship and the staterooms are stunning. The lounge is good but the bar is too big leaving only room for sitting. There was no space if anyone wanted to dance. The bar is the wrong place. The Entertainment could have been better . There was the resident pianist and one evening a local group played. Having travelled with other river cruise companies this was poor compared with them. The crew however were amazing and made the trip very enjoyable. It is a full on trip with a very busy programme during the day. The weather was amazing which greatly enhanced our enjoyment. The food was very good but it is necessary to enjoy meat. Servings of meat were huge although vegetables were in short supply at the evening dinner. Fish was available as an alternative. We purchased a drinks package which meant drinks were available all day. Other than this we spent very little, which meant while the trip might have appeared expensive everything was included for us. We spent 3 extra days in Lisbon which was great and wished we had stayed longer in Porto as it is quite beautiful. Transfers between Cities, hotels and the ship went very smoothly. I would recommend the Douro as the countryside was some of the most stunning we had seen. Not too many locks and all praise for the Captain as the river in some areas was very narrow and navigation must have been difficult. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This was a lovely cruise on a smallish classy boat, with a hugely attentive and friendly local crew, Food and cabin were good, but most important of all the ambiance and feeling on the trip was wonderful with the Douro being a truly ... Read More
This was a lovely cruise on a smallish classy boat, with a hugely attentive and friendly local crew, Food and cabin were good, but most important of all the ambiance and feeling on the trip was wonderful with the Douro being a truly unspoilt and magnificent destination. The excursions were well organised with entertaining and knowledgeable guides. It of course helped that the weather (October) was neither too hot nor too cold. In summary we would highly recommend - it wasn't cheap but the inclusive nature, alcohol and tours, made it better value for money than it seemed on the ticket price. The flights were via Portuguese airlines, which were both surprisingly pleasant and punctual. The transfers were fine, albeit the traffic from Porto airport to the ship was awful. Overall highly recommended on this our second scenic tour - they have developed a way of employing good staff who seem genuinely to enjoy helping all their passengers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Dear community, we really had a fantastic cruise lately on Viking Osfrid. It is our 3rd Viking Cruise already and this time we decided to see Portugal, started in Lisbon and finished in Madrid. The Lisbon part was Hotel and Bus only ... Read More
Dear community, we really had a fantastic cruise lately on Viking Osfrid. It is our 3rd Viking Cruise already and this time we decided to see Portugal, started in Lisbon and finished in Madrid. The Lisbon part was Hotel and Bus only and ok, its rather a city trip but once you board the ship in Porto the feeling changes. Porto what a great city to explore and if you love wine and port than this is a must cruise. Don’t expect too much of an entertainment on those small ships but look forward to the tours. The landscape you see from the ship is not comparable with any other cruise and the fact that there is a lot of daytime sailing makes it even better. Our Cabin had a balcony which is a must I would say, keep in mind its quiet hot in the valley and rather colder in Porto. Food was exceptional compared to previous cruises and always with a local touch. Crew went out of their way to serve us and did a great job. They seem to be less personal than on other viking ships but really surprised us with their smile and service. Generally we felt this was the best viking cruise so far after we did the Rhine and China before. Thanks to the Osfrid team, job well done – we are coming back…. The Fellons Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was a last- minute booking. We knew the ships could be outdated - and this one was (gaudy orange walls, green carpet and shiny gold ceilings) and that the majority of people on board would be French but decided to give this company a ... Read More
This was a last- minute booking. We knew the ships could be outdated - and this one was (gaudy orange walls, green carpet and shiny gold ceilings) and that the majority of people on board would be French but decided to give this company a try. Unlike other lines, Croisi Europe does not include any trips although they say that all drinks are included - this is true unless you want any liqueurs, branded spirits, decent wine or anything but very basic port. There are daily cocktails which appear to come ready mixed and don't seem to contain much alcohol. The wine we got with meals was cheap and nasty- we found one of the bottles for €3 in a local shop. Trips are expensive and you get the impression that things are included as time-fillers rather than because they are interesting. There are no allowances for slower walkers, as there are on other lines. Smoking is allowed in all outside areas which means that everyone has to suffer when someone smokes at the front of the sun deck, which they do all the time. There is nowhere to escape from the constant noisy chatter on board. There is no choice at mealtimes, although they try to offer alternatives if you let them know you don't like something. They do try to include regional specialities. Breakfast is largely continental and is the only meal served buffet style. There were eggs and a variety of weird sausages and we even had bacon one one occasion. The river is stunning with wild, remote areas and five dams with huge locks. The canopy on the sun deck had to be lowered each time we went through the locks and for low bridges and you have to be careful not to get wet when the ship passes under the guillotine gates from which water pours as you leave the locks. The only places where there is anything to see when you stop are Regua and Pinhao. Both are small places with a few shops and cafes but neither is anything special. If you go on the excursions, the ship moves on and you miss a lot of the beautiful scenery. Porto is interesting but very hilly. It has 30-odd port houses. We didn't feel that this cruise was good value because the trips were extra. By the time you add flights and transfers onto the basic cost, it didn't work out much different from other far superior lines and would have been more expensive if you went on the trips. We did see other Croisi Europe ships which appeared to be much nicer than ours and we were told that the ship is due a re-fit at the end of the 2017 season. This is long overdue! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
What a great trip and the itinerary was perfect. We opted for the additional excursion to Cascais and Sintra which turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip. The walking tour of Lisbon was special - such a beautiful city and ... Read More
What a great trip and the itinerary was perfect. We opted for the additional excursion to Cascais and Sintra which turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip. The walking tour of Lisbon was special - such a beautiful city and learning about the history was memorable, thanks to the local guide. The cruise on the Douro was wonderful and the excursions to the Sandeman winery and to Favaios were special. The scenery along the Douro was reminiscent of the Mosel River - you know you're in wine country. We enjoyed the excursions to Lamego and the the Mateus Palace. Salamanca and Santiago de Campostella are not to be missed, they added so much to the travel experience we enjoyed. We owe a special thanks to Bruno, our Viking rep. in Lisbon for his help and guidance for the first two days. All in all, the local guides were great for each of the excursions. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This cruise met our requirement to stay away from central Europe yet experience a part of the old world that we had not yet discovered completely. The air travel to and from overseas I could do without. Even though we had up-graded seats ... Read More
This cruise met our requirement to stay away from central Europe yet experience a part of the old world that we had not yet discovered completely. The air travel to and from overseas I could do without. Even though we had up-graded seats the space was very tight in both width and knee room. The food left a lot to be desired. There was a problem with providing our travel documents and they did not arrive until six days before we left. We stayed in Lisbon for two days and the hotel was very nice and we managed to do and see a lot that was new to us. At the end of the cruise we stayed two days in Santiago, Spain. The hotel was very nice and again an awful lot to see that was a new experience for us. Both hotels were withing reasonable walking distance to the major attractions. We included these stays as we do not believe it is cost effective to fly/visit Europe for less than 15 days. The ship was new and in very good condition. Boarding was easy and we were treated well by all crew and staff members. The cruise director assisted us in rearranging our return flight to eliminate a 4 hour drive at two in the morning to catch a plane home. Our cabin was clean and well appointed and our needs there were well taken care of. The food served was very good and the all male, older waiters were something new and they did a magnificent job. However, for some reason the wine service came up a bit short and not what we have experienced on other Viking cruises. I could almost call this a bus tour, as almost every port required a bus ride of from one to three hours each way to reach the site of our visit. The locations were amazing and the scenery along the river was some of the best that we have experienced. A Viking staff member accompanied us (a group of about 10) from our hotel to the airport, took us inside, led us to the processing for our flights, helped us through security and wished us a good voyage home. Overall it was a very enjoyable experience and we look forward to our next cruise with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We have always had an excellent experience with Viking and this trip on the Duoro river was no exception. We knew very little about Portugal except for its explorers, but this cruise gave us a better appreciation of the country, its ... Read More
We have always had an excellent experience with Viking and this trip on the Duoro river was no exception. We knew very little about Portugal except for its explorers, but this cruise gave us a better appreciation of the country, its people, and history. Its wine making area was a real surprise with some fine reds and whites, plus their famous Port wines. The cabin was always clean with no interference with our schedule. All the excursions we took were included. We also appreciated Vikings recommendations for reasonable and good quality restaurants while we were in Lisbon. We were surprised to find a lot of gift articles made from cork which were different than we have seen outside of Portugal. The Tivoli hotel where we stayed in Lisbon had an excellent restaurant on the 9th floor with a super view of the city. We had dinner there one evening,which was a real romantic spot! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
"Following a short illness, my husband experienced difficulty walking. After motoring down from France, we reached the ship only to find it was moored down a steep slope. Our hearts sank. But we needn't have worried. The ... Read More
"Following a short illness, my husband experienced difficulty walking. After motoring down from France, we reached the ship only to find it was moored down a steep slope. Our hearts sank. But we needn't have worried. The excellent staff swung into action. A wheelchair was produced, our cases carried and we were quickly and comfortably settled on board. The cabins were small and when moored next to the sister ships, all glistening with chrome and glass, the Fernao did feel a little like Thomas the Tank Engine but we grew to love our friendly, comfortable little boat. True, the entertainment is geared to the French taste and the moorings are a little isolated but our little group of six English speakers was treated like royalty. Ricardo, the purser was incredible, he looked after the needs of the diverse mix on board with consummate skill, making sure everyone was happy. He arranged that we should have our own six seater Merc, with it's own English speaking guide, so we could fully enjoy the interesting excursions. On board, the food was very good, the impeccable service - kind and relaxed and the folk evening on the last night - fabulous. We had a great time." Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Having heard Uniworld was supposed to be a large cut ahead of the rest, I decided to explore Spain and Portugal on a cruise tour from Madrid to Lisbon. The tour director and organization of the sightseeing were outstanding. The Duoro River ... Read More
Having heard Uniworld was supposed to be a large cut ahead of the rest, I decided to explore Spain and Portugal on a cruise tour from Madrid to Lisbon. The tour director and organization of the sightseeing were outstanding. The Duoro River is definitely not a tourism area, so there was no local entertainers; in fact, there was nothing to do after dinner. Women would dance together in the lounge. That is the one negative. Food and sevice were excellent for the size of the crew. Dinner could be very slow. Travel companions were fun and interesting, about a third American and Canadian, one third British and the other third Australian and New Zealanders. The sites were beautiful. The wineries looked beautiful but the product was only fair. Tours in metropolitan areas were very interesting and enjoyable. We saw a variety of towns from medieval times and contemporary. We saw two impressive universities. We saw where and got an idea of how Jews were excluded during the Inquisition. I enjoyed the cruise but would appreciated a larger room with better storage. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We cruised on a river cruise with VIKING TORGIL from july 28th to august 4th 2016. it was our first river cruise on we enjoyed evry moment of it. We arrived in Lisbon for a two night stay before the cruise, the Hotel Tivoli is very well ... Read More
We cruised on a river cruise with VIKING TORGIL from july 28th to august 4th 2016. it was our first river cruise on we enjoyed evry moment of it. We arrived in Lisbon for a two night stay before the cruise, the Hotel Tivoli is very well situated so we can walk evrywhere in the city from the Hotel...Lisbon is very nice city (great food, very clean, etc,). The tour included with the cruise in Belem is worth while. Then we had a transfert to Porto to embark the ship. In the way to Porto we stop in Coimbra which is a very nice town, there we enjoyed a tour of the university and we at lunch with FADO music. We embark the ship around 4h00 PM. The ship is very nice and the staff was amazing. All towns (Regua, Barca D'Alva, Salamanca, Pinhao, Lamego) visited during the cruise were very nice. We eat a lot of lunch and dinner on special restaurants, (monastary converted in a hotel with Fado Music, in the wineries with very good traditionnal food and shows, in Salamenca we were entertained by the owner of the place and he is very funny). We taste a lot of Porto and wines during all those tours and it was very good. On the ship you can drink wine as much as you want during lunch and dinner. During those cruise you can be very active if you want, for us we are very active people and we walk a lot during our free time and we visited a los of things which most of the inactive people did not saw. Like in Lamego we walk up the stairs at the Santuary of Our Lady of Remedies and there is a lots of murals to see and there are very nice and we wlked the way down in the way back to see the views of the town and is very nice (we were the only 2 person to walk both way and we enjoyed it...the other person stayed in the bus and they visited only the sanctuary) and in thies town we also walked to a castelo Rodrigo which is very nice with very beautiful views of the town (we were the only persons to walk there and the guide told us we are the first persons since he is a guide to walk all those places in this tour).....so on this cruise you can be active as much as you want........The entire staff were amazing throughout the entire cruise and they try to help as much as they can....On the ship we also enjoyed a Portuguese folkloric show and another night we had a flamenco Show which were very colorful and fun. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We took the Torgil for a cruise on the Douro. I commend the staff who executed the Viking program with professionalism and efficiency. I also will say that the cabin was quite nice although I would have liked the bird poop and other ... Read More
We took the Torgil for a cruise on the Douro. I commend the staff who executed the Viking program with professionalism and efficiency. I also will say that the cabin was quite nice although I would have liked the bird poop and other dirt to have been washed off the veranda. Beyond that I have little positive to say. The scenery was redundant. And the excursions required lengthy bus trips. The places that we traveled to had little things of interest and the lunches and dinners provided during these excursions were terrible. The trip was very structured and there was little free time. Everything was mapped out, which may be good for the average guest who was around 75 years old and not very active. The guides were friendly but we found that TripAdvisor offered more information on what to see in locations and where to shop than the guides. Food on the ship was not exceptional and not really consistent with the Portuguese food that we experienced when we ate off the ship. (We were the only ones who explored the restaurants in the area, which made the trip much more interesting.) The evenings were dull and boring, as were most of the guests. People weren't really warm and friendly. Forget about partying. The worst is that Viking limits Wi-Fi access without disclosing it and we almost had a major problem at work as a result. They never disclose this, which to us is false advertising. The other bad thing is that the program director on the ship insisted that we write that the trip exceeded our expectations, driving the importance of saying this in the questionnaire which I think was totally uncalled for and unprofessional. I would never take a Viking trip again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose this cruise because the scenery is beautiful and because we love Portuguese food. The Duoro River in northern Portugal is spectacular: steep banks that have terraced vineyards right to the top, also olive and almond trees. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the scenery is beautiful and because we love Portuguese food. The Duoro River in northern Portugal is spectacular: steep banks that have terraced vineyards right to the top, also olive and almond trees. The Scenic Azure is a lovely brand new ship, contemporary design with spacious cabins, very comfortable. All the staff are Portuguese, many from Porto where we set sail. The service is very professional but friendly and relaxed. 96 guests and 39 crew. Guests were mainly from Australia and UK with about a dozen Canadians and half as many Americans, mostly couples and mostly active seniors from ages early 60’s on up. There were interesting excursions, many of which required some level of fitness due to the steep hills and cobblestones .... Guests who were not as able could be accommodated by bus tours. Buses were new and very comfortable. The tour guides use communication systems which guests wear so that when they dial in they can hear the commentary without the guides’ having to yell. We sailed during the day so were able to appreciate the scenery --- we docked at interesting places and there are stretches of the river that are not heavily populated. The Duoro is becoming popular but so far not over-run --- we were only rafted a few times and the other ships tended to leave early in the morning in many cases, allowing us to have our coffee on the balcony. There were no noticeable exhaust fumes from the engines. The crew were friendly and professional, and not obtrusive. They all spoke fluent or almost fluent English. We were disappointed with the food. Meals were beautifully presented and professionally served with plenty of choices, but rather bland for the most part, lacking acid balance and seasoning. We were hoping for some more strongly flavored Portuguese specialties. This certainly did not spoil our experience and we recognize that chefs must accommodate many tastes – but other guests stated the same concern, one offering the opinion that the food lacked "zest". This is an all-inclusive cruise, with no added charges and no tipping. We recommend this luxury cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was our 4th riverboat cruise, 2nd with Viking. We selected "Portugal's River of Gold" itinerary for our 50th Anniversary celebration because we had never been to Portugal before. Our pre cruise stay at Hotel Tivoli ... Read More
This was our 4th riverboat cruise, 2nd with Viking. We selected "Portugal's River of Gold" itinerary for our 50th Anniversary celebration because we had never been to Portugal before. Our pre cruise stay at Hotel Tivoli Lisboa in Lisbon was excellent, the hotel, hotel staff, and it's location could not have been better. The thing we like best about river cruising is how everyone on board, including the staff, gets to know each other and feel more like a family than just passengers traveling together. The food and presentation was wonderful. The Cruise Manager and her staff made every effort to make our cruise enjoyable, entertaining, and informative. Everything about the Riverboat Viking Torgil and it's staff exceeded all our expectations. Our post cruise extension in Santiago de Compostela was great and we want to return to this beautiful city again some day. We highly recommend Viking River Cruises for all who want to see and feel apart of European history. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
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
Our 7th river cruise with Viking and quite possibly the best. It's difficult to grade river cruises against each other as itineraries and scenery are so different but this one was truly fantastic. Starting in Lisbon a day prior to ... Read More
Our 7th river cruise with Viking and quite possibly the best. It's difficult to grade river cruises against each other as itineraries and scenery are so different but this one was truly fantastic. Starting in Lisbon a day prior to meeting up with the group we were glad VRC had chosen the Tivoli Lisboa as their hotel as the location was excellent with everything we wanted to see on our 3rd visit to Lisbon within walking distance. It was a quick and easy (and inexpensive) ride on the Metro to the stop one block from the hotel. The people of Lisbon were friendly with a gentleman assisting us with our luggage up to street level from the Metro station. Heads up when eating on the economy...some restaurants will bring a plate of starters you have not ordered and make you think its complimentary but its not, just send it back when it arrives at the table. Only gripe with the hotel was the untimely pickup of trash in the wee hours of the morning that woke me up each of the 3 nights we were there. Sightseeing on our own was easy and fun. We hired (40 euros) a tuk-tuk to give us an hour tour of some of the best viewing points overlooking the city, some nice churches, the Alfama district, and we ended up at the Castle of St. Jorge at the top of the hill. Don't walk to the castle as its steep and you'll be pooped when you arrive. The walk down is easy but be careful on the cobblestones. Sightseeing in Lisbon with VRC was good but we started after breakfast and by the time we arrived at the sights many tourists were already there and taking photos was not easy. We saw the Belem tower, the Monument to the Discoveries, some city sights and the Jeronimos Monastery which was amazing. We walked through the Alfama in the late afternoon on our own, ate a pizza with a cold beer, and found some wonderful little shops with crafts that made excellent souvenirs and gifts. We sampled the local cherry liquor, Gingha, and it was quite good. The bus ride to Oporto was nice and we made a good stop in Coimbra to see the university and have lunch. The library at the university is incredible and the view from the courtyard is great. Arriving at the ship we were pleasantly surprised when we received an upgrade to a veranda suite cabin. The Douro was beautiful. We only sailed during the day and we were taken to stops where we boarded busses that took us to towns and wineries nearby. The ship moved a number of times as we were touring. Our driver and daily guide were both stellar. The river was narrow and winding and the hillsides quite steep with vineyards all along the route. We went through several locks some of which raised us 100 ft. The food and service onboard were exemplary and the wines provided at lunch and dinner were quite acceptable. The port and wine tastings were a highlight each day we did those activities. Viking Torgil is a small ship. There were 83 passengers onboard. As with most river boats the lounge is not set up to make group meetings comfortable for everyone and if one wants a "good " seat you must show up early. Daily excursions were generally good with some lengthy bus rides but not too bad. Lots of legroom on the bus and our leader was pleasant as she told us all about the country, people, and sights we were seeing along the way. We had a cruise in the Oporto harbor on the first night and the scenery was very nice. On day 2 we went to the Alpendurada Monastery for a nice dinner and fado music...very nice evening. The visit to the Mateus Palace brought back memories of 60's and 70's college parties where Mateus was a popular drink. A visit to 13th century Castelo Rodrigo was interesting and good for shopping. We chose not to go to Salamanca opting to walk around the Barca d'Alva area instead. Those who went to Salamanca seemed to enjoy themselves. The final day of the cruise was a great visit to the gothic structured Our Lady of the Remedies shrine at Lamego. The dual staircase (686 steps with 9 terrace stopping points) was a highlight of the cruise. The tile murals here are wonderful as are all the tile murals throughout the trip. The VRC program director, Carmen, and the young chef, Pedro, both did a great job for us during the cruise. Highly recommend the "River of Gold" itinerary! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We have nothing but praise for the quality of our River Cruise experience. From start to finish he Viking staff demonstrated extremely professional and knowledgeable skills both on and off the ship. The food was excellent and so was the ... Read More
We have nothing but praise for the quality of our River Cruise experience. From start to finish he Viking staff demonstrated extremely professional and knowledgeable skills both on and off the ship. The food was excellent and so was the wine! We were impressed with the spaciousness of the staterooms, even though we were in an E group room. It was all we needed because we spent most of our time on shore or on deck. We loved the intimacy of having only 100 passengers on board. The educational side of the cruise was very good too. Music is a matter of taste and I did not personally enjoy the type of music played on board, but it's my own fault for being a classically trained professional musician! We would like to do another Viking cruise in the future and have already decided which one! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My sister and I did the River of Gold itinerary in Portugal's Douro River valley. I enjoyed the smaller ship designed for the river as at 108 passengers it was a nice size - not too small and certainly not too many. The crew was ... Read More
My sister and I did the River of Gold itinerary in Portugal's Douro River valley. I enjoyed the smaller ship designed for the river as at 108 passengers it was a nice size - not too small and certainly not too many. The crew was exceptional; I can't say enough about how they took care of every minor request or need and remembered details of each passenger's likes and dislikes. The room was small but had enough space to be comfortable and the bathroom was a good size and had plenty of shelf space which is saying a lot for two women! The excursions were very interesting. This itinerary involves a fair bit of time on buses and there aren't cities built right along the river as there are in so many other countries where Viking sails. There's a small pool - kind of a plunge pool - on the sun deck and that was a real delight and unexpected! The chef was excellent - probably the best cuisine I've experienced on a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Slightly nervous because the ship is French and the vast majority of passengers are French. The Douro river is wonderful. The ship spent 3 night in Porto which was too long and passengers wanted to cruise...the joke was it was a ... Read More
Slightly nervous because the ship is French and the vast majority of passengers are French. The Douro river is wonderful. The ship spent 3 night in Porto which was too long and passengers wanted to cruise...the joke was it was a cruise that did not cruise,cruise. We were put on an English speaking table of 8 people which saved the day. Croisieurope are trying to break into the English speaking clients around the world and they tried hard to keep us informed. The ship is brand new and very light and airy with bright colors. Cabin on the top deck was also bright with it's floor to ceiling windows. The beds faced outwards which was a nice touch( laying in bed with moving scenery). The cabins are small. One sitting at all meals on an assigned table. Food was adequate and not French cuisine as described and how you might expect. Some poor meals and generally lunch was better with 4 courses and 3 courses at diner...strange. "all inclusive"drinks apart from some wines, Champagne and fresh Orange juice...weird. Entertainment below average. Excursions ( extra price) were good and well organised. What was wrong:- tiny sink in bathroom, which was next to the toilet roll holder...result wet toilet paper. (Designed by an idiot). No tissues in room. Telephone did not work( reported but ignored). No orange juice at breakfast ( unless you paid). Occasional "egg station" at breakfast..why not every day? 2 bad dinners where the food was almost inedible, perhaps the chef was having a day off? All in all we had a good time and would recommend but ignore their own 5* rating it is no better than 4*. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Viking cruises are all top notch. I have sailed China with them before. Riverboats are small, food is excellent, service exceptional. Having said that, this cruise is of any interest ONLY if you are really into wine. Ports are very small ... Read More
Viking cruises are all top notch. I have sailed China with them before. Riverboats are small, food is excellent, service exceptional. Having said that, this cruise is of any interest ONLY if you are really into wine. Ports are very small villages with virtually nothing of consequence with the exceptions of Porto where you embark and Salamanca in Spain. The country-side is beautiful and the trip very relaxing. If we hadn't spent a week in Madrid and four days in Lisbon prior to the cruise, I would have been disappointed. There were no real port talks and no entertainment. I say this because on a Danube cruise (with a competitor) we had string quartets from the Vienna and Brataslava symphonies and art historians and historians talking about each country we sailed through. This is NOT that type of tour and if that is what you expect, you will be disappointed. A bread museum the size of my living room does not compare to museums in Vienna or Budapest. Having said all that, I learned more about wine (and drank far more than I normally do) than I ever would have thought possible. Moscatel (the cheap wine of my youth and the homeless) is really a delicious wine in Portugal and the vineyard & winery you tour is a highlight of the trip, as much because of the vintner himself as the delicious meal and wine we had there. The Mateus, another "cheap" wine from my youth was also far superior in Portugal and the Mateus estate is beautiful. Delicious, relaxing yes! Cultural not very much. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This is the second time we have taken a Viking cruise and it was extremely enjoyable, in parts. Firstly the holiday is named a river cruise, so the nature of the activity is a river cruise. When you get very little of that activity you ... Read More
This is the second time we have taken a Viking cruise and it was extremely enjoyable, in parts. Firstly the holiday is named a river cruise, so the nature of the activity is a river cruise. When you get very little of that activity you have to ask questions. The ship did very little cruising, about one day in all and was tied up in the dock of an unremarkable town for long periods. We were given various reasons as to why the boat did not proceed up the river, high water levels, fast currents from tributary streams etc. Most of which seemed unusual in that the Douro has numerous dams which control the level of water to a fine degree. We told by an employee from another company working on the river system that the reason not to cruise was incorrect and that the river conditions did not vary to any great extent. Another employee was apologetic but stated that this is what they had been told to say. We took a train up river and I must admit that the water levels did not look particularly high. I also note that of the many cruise boats using the Douro, only Viking were still using their two boats to cruise at this time of year. I wonder how much they were being charged to use the impressive lock systems? The crew were as usual were absolute stars who could not do enough for the passengers, the food was good, but nowhere near as good as Viking cruises I have previously taken and the accommodation was comfortable and adequate. The trips were pretty good,one to a Monastery was particularly good as was a visit to a wine co-operative. Another trip was a bit impractical, it involved 8 hours travel on a bus to visit Salamanca which I would loved to have seen, but eight hours on a bus is not something I undertake lightly. The return flight which had been booked as part of the package had to be changed at the last minute involving a 24 hour delay and a hotel was provided at the end of the trip. Unfortunately the local Viking people knew nothing about the problem so it took a fair bit of organisation to sort out. No meals were included for our 24 hour enforced extension. My thoughts are that Viking should caution customers when booking so that they are aware that cruises may not take place (I understand both the previous and next cruises were also severely curtailed) and need to communicate with local staff regarding changes. I like Viking and have booked another cruise with them, but I do hope they pay attention to these details and consider the practicalities of cruising certain rivers. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was a cruise of the Douro River and since we had gotten a super good price, decided to take this cruise . The ship is actually ran by a Douro Azul which owns several other ships that cruise from a Porto . The good: The staff were ... Read More
This was a cruise of the Douro River and since we had gotten a super good price, decided to take this cruise . The ship is actually ran by a Douro Azul which owns several other ships that cruise from a Porto . The good: The staff were amazing, so personable and always smiling The food was excellent as well as the wines served with dinner The excursions were hit and miss with a couple that could be rated as Fantastic and others just do-so The bad: The temp in room could not seem to get regulated from being HOT to warm to ok, not consistent . Not getting to go to Salamanca because were told two licks were closed due to rain BUT they did do a 3 1/2 hour bus ride into Spain at Santiago . Some felt cheated since it would have only been another 30 min. to have gone on to Salamanca. We would try Uniworld again but not this cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
My wife and I recently completed or first river cruise and ver much enjoyed Portugal. We had previously been on two ocean cruises with Carnival and found the experience to be overwhelming due to the size of the ship and the continuous ... Read More
My wife and I recently completed or first river cruise and ver much enjoyed Portugal. We had previously been on two ocean cruises with Carnival and found the experience to be overwhelming due to the size of the ship and the continuous lines for everything because of the large number of guests. The river cruise was more to our preferences for number of guests, size of ship, quality of the included excursions, food quality and options. I also prefer to have everything included in the price at the time of booking. We are fit couple that walk regularly and recently retired. We opted for the three days in Lisbon prior to the cruise. The hostess/ manager/ guide - Pilar was excellent. This provide a time to adjust to the time changes and enjoy a very nice city. The hotel was very good and the included breakfast was enjoyed each morning before a full day. The hotel was accessible to do some sight seeing by walking to this area of the city. We did one afternoon walk around the hotel area and an afternoon at the Gulbenkian Museum. An included excursion in the city was excellent. We also did the optional excursion to Sintra and Cascais by bus - very good. The tree days in Lisbon were unseasonably warm between 25-27 C. We walked to very good restaurants around the hotel area each evening and felt safe and only required a long sleeved shirt for comfort. The bus trip to Porto was long, but managed well with a few stops. We enjoyed the visit to the University in Coimbra especially the library and chapel. At Porto, we had a city tour walk during a very rainy afternoon. Overall the weather in Northern Portugal during Porto and the river cruise was reasonable with one day low of 14C and most days at approximately 20C. The ship was very good with the low point being the compact cabins. We opted for the mid grade cabins that include the french balcony. This was very good with sufficient light and a wonderful view during a few afternoon cruises. The wash room was a good size and the shower very good size compared to ocean cruise cabins. You could actually move without hitting something. The food each day was excellent with the chef participating in the dining room each meal. Dennis was very friendly and welcoming. The dining room manager and staff were excellent, as well. The views of the river were picturesque, stunning and relaxing. The small towns and villages were laid back and easy to navigate on foot. The wine served with meals were very good in quality and choices were available. The include excursions were excellent with very good guides, especially Ricardo. The buses were clean and the distances not too long, except the two hour drive to Salamanca a university city in Spain, that we believe was worth the time. There was never any more than three people in a line ahead of you on the ship. My only criticism was the shortage of on board evening entertainment. The first night on board was excellent - singer and piano. The evening visit to Quinta da Avessada family winery and restaurant was also excellent. The Flamenco session in Salamanca was also very good.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014

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