2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
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
, The Scenic Team has responded
Dear Ctener668 Thank you for your review and wonderful to hear that you have cruised with us before and that this one was the best. We are pleased to hear you enjoyed your time on Scenic Azure, alongside the food, wine and our on shore excursions. It's also great to hear even though there was high water, this did not ruin your holiday with us. Thank you again for cruising with us and we look forward to seeing you again soon. Best wishes, The Scenic Team
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 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
1 Helpful Vote
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
, The Scenic Team has responded
Dear Ewartcope, thank you for your review, we are pleased to hear that our staff were attentive and friendly. We hope to see you again in the future. Best regards, The Scenic Team
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
5 Helpful Votes
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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
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
4 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
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

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