23 Porto (Leixoes) Romantic Cruise Reviews

I chose Emerald as i always wanted to visit Portugal and heard great things about Emerald Waterways. This cruise did not disappoint. The ship was beautiful, the staff was incredible and the cruise was sensational..I enjoyed my time ... Read More
I chose Emerald as i always wanted to visit Portugal and heard great things about Emerald Waterways. This cruise did not disappoint. The ship was beautiful, the staff was incredible and the cruise was sensational..I enjoyed my time sailing. The room was amazing and the food was great, I loved the excursions. We met the nicest people on board as well. THe food on the ship was so good and the coffee machine which is opened 24 hours was unbelievable. I loved the service especially Cornel who is the Food and Beverage director. He really made the trip very enjoyable. The ports of call were great, although we wish we had more time in each city to walk around. We did have some time, but I think I would have enjoyed more. The cruise was a mix of old and young and we were on the younger side, but it didn't bother us as the people we met were so gracious and welcomed us into their groups.What a fantastic cruse. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We were looking for a five star experience on a River that had been recommended to us by fellow travelers on the Danube. The river scenery is indeed five stars. But the boat itself, while new, is not. Laminate throughout. The cruise ... Read More
We were looking for a five star experience on a River that had been recommended to us by fellow travelers on the Danube. The river scenery is indeed five stars. But the boat itself, while new, is not. Laminate throughout. The cruise also has major flaws. Not worth the price paid. The crew was very good to outstanding. But when you contrast that with an amazingly poorly organized dinner service - not the servers fault - and other serious flaws, you get a less than could have been experience. The small ports stopped at are pleasant enough, but really no suggestion was made by the crew to get off the boat and visit them. Instead of visiting a local restaurant or two, we were bussed to large wine estates. Interesting, but instead of a 45 min bus ride each way, surely there were closer local options. Pastry - 5 stars. Had 7-8 outstanding offerings each lunch... Breakfast - 4 stars. Nice variety in the buffet, but not all was fabulous. Nice cook to order stuff tho, and great bread and pastries. Dinner - 2 to 3 stars. Mostly hit or miss. Some items four stars, some inedible. But the real negative was the system for ordering, and delivering the food. Negative 2 stars. How can it take 1 3/4 hours to deliver three items to a dining room.? There were only 75 people on our boat and limited choices. .....plenty of dining room staff.... The rooms were a little strangely laid out but ok. Ours had a balcony, but there definitely is a better way to design same. Beds comfy, and cabin service good. This boat has a great top deck, but it was rarely used by other guests, or promoted by the crew. No lunches or events there, in spite of the wonderful scenery we were passing by. Oh what our fellow travelers missed.. The local entertainment brought on Board was outstanding, especially a Tuna band, but more could have been done here. Again, not the crew’s fault, as they worked with what was given them. The average age of those on board was probably 75. Options were offered on tours for slower walkers, which was nice, and needed. Overall, plenty of potential with the Amadouro, but AMA has a long way to go to get this boat to a five star level. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this river cruise because it was highly recommended by our travel agent and other collegues who have gone on other river cruises. (The Douro river valley is very picturesque with its vineyards and old vineyard buildings dominating ... Read More
We chose this river cruise because it was highly recommended by our travel agent and other collegues who have gone on other river cruises. (The Douro river valley is very picturesque with its vineyards and old vineyard buildings dominating the landscape). We had a 3 day stay in Lisbon before our departure. Hotel Jupiter Lisboa was excellent. The included bus tour of the city was very good. but we thought the excursion to Sintra the second day should have been included in our price. The trip to Porto from Lisbon was somewhat long....we spent too much time in the resort town of Navarre where there was little too do but shop for trinkets. The ship was very attractive and clean, but tended too be a bit too small. Cabin was tight even though we had a Panorama view suite. Bed was very comfortable, and steward service was excellent. We were somewhat disappointed in the size of the ship...only one dining room and lounge area..tended to be too intimate and small. The sundeck's walking track was too crowded and there was no putting green. The entertainment on the ship after supper was barely there...no piano music on the grand piano...trivia game with the activity director. Embarkation of the ship went fairly smoothly, but we were very disappoointed in the evening sunset cruise that was suppose to happen in Porto. There was no announcement and the ship did a sail while still light, no where near sunset and everyone was just getting settled and ready for dinner. Ports and included excursions were very good and enjoyable. Most tour directors knew their information. Service was very good and friendly. However, communication was somewhat difficult. Employees could speak English but some appeared to have a hard time understanding questions. On board activiites like bracelet making and tile painting were good ideas but instructors tended to take over and do the project for you. Meals on the Radiance were good. Breakfasts and lunches were very good but the supper dining experiences were somewhat disappointing. Soups tended to be bland and some of the entrees lacked taste. Presentation was excellent. We are not big drinkers, but I thought the included beer and wine, at no cost, was a nice gesture. We have no intention on going on another river cruise because we found it too relaxing, and ( I hate to say it but somewhat boring' especially on the sea days). We heard such wonderful things about river cruises, and it was good, but maybe our expectations were too high. On one last note, having all gratuities included up front, made it much easier. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Been wanting to see the Douro for sometime and our travel against recommended Emerald. What a Find! Brilliant modern ship, superbly comfortable, and the Portugese crew were the most smiley and helpful people we have ever come across in any ... Read More
Been wanting to see the Douro for sometime and our travel against recommended Emerald. What a Find! Brilliant modern ship, superbly comfortable, and the Portugese crew were the most smiley and helpful people we have ever come across in any holiday destination. Add to this the beauty of Europe’s most unspoilt and beautiful river and you have all the ingredients of a holiday made in heaven. Go for it! The shore excursions were well chosen and uncrowded, with guides who treated us like adults and kept us entertained as well as informed. The onboard cruise manager, Marie Helena was so friendly, helpful , knowledgeable and unfazed, I suggested she join the queue to be Prime Minister of England. Dining room served excellent local and beautifully presented dinners with waiting staff who were unfailingly friendly and helpful Look no further - if you want to cruise the magical Douro, this has to be the ship for you. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Portugal is a beautiful country. The people we met were delightful and hospitable; the mountainous scenery is gorgeous, the wine is magnificent, and the history is inspiring. Our Viking trip along the Douro River gave us the opportunity ... Read More
Portugal is a beautiful country. The people we met were delightful and hospitable; the mountainous scenery is gorgeous, the wine is magnificent, and the history is inspiring. Our Viking trip along the Douro River gave us the opportunity to see, hear and taste much of this lovely country. The Viking River Cruise staff - all of them - from the housekeeping staff, to the waiters and waitresses, to the cruise management couldn't seem to do enough for us and to make our trip aboard ship much more than merely pleasurable. They saw to just about every one of our needs, from start to finish. And the food....delicious! Then there was our bus tour leader (forgive me, I can't recall her name - JoAnna or Jo Anne perhaps) was a delight, giving us so much information in her own inimitable and humorous manner. Finally, and here I cannot pay enough compliments, our most wonderful Program Director, Raquel. So attentive to our needs, so accommodating and such a lovely person. I felt as if she were my own granddaughter. My wife and I could not have been happier. The Viking Douro River Cruise was, overall, outstanding. It was our fourth Viking River Cruise, all of which have been outstanding. Our next one is scheduled for the spring where we will be cruising through Eastern Europe. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We wanted to go on the Douro river and explore the Portuguese countryside. It was an amazing experience. Amalia Rodrigues is a new ship. Very modern and welcoming. We loved the crew. The staff was very hardworking, friendly, humorous and ... Read More
We wanted to go on the Douro river and explore the Portuguese countryside. It was an amazing experience. Amalia Rodrigues is a new ship. Very modern and welcoming. We loved the crew. The staff was very hardworking, friendly, humorous and caring. They worked as a perfect team. Special thanks to the cruise director Sonya and the entertainer Diogo. The evening entertainment, shows and different kinds of trivia contests were a lot of fun. Comfortable cabins and common areas. This cruise is for foodies and wine experts. The French cuisine was elaborate and the wines and drinks on the ship were very good and wine tasting on tours was great. We loved shore tours and the tour guides that were contracted by Croisi. Those people were passionate about their country and history. The natural beauty of the Portuguese country side is breathtaking. We liked all tours, but the best ones were in Salamanca (Spain) and Lamego. It was not our first river cruise, but the most successful thanks the detailed planning and perfect organization of all activities by the crew and the cruise company especially the staff in New York office Ms. Manipon and Mr. Erickson. The atmosphere on the ship was very pleasant. The staff was Portuguese, but spoke French and English. We were with the group of English speaking tourists from New Zealand and Denmark. We highly recommend this cruise to American tourists. Thanks to CroisiEurope we had an unforgettable vacation. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The ship is stunning and very well laid out. There is a large lounge and the sun deck has ample space for all 100 guests and has a (0.7 metre deep) pool. Cabins are a good size, well-appointed, and comfortable, but with no-where to sit, ... Read More
The ship is stunning and very well laid out. There is a large lounge and the sun deck has ample space for all 100 guests and has a (0.7 metre deep) pool. Cabins are a good size, well-appointed, and comfortable, but with no-where to sit, except for the balcony. There are no cabin Tea or Coffee facilities, although there is a 24 hour coffee & snack station outside the restaurant. Our cabin steward was probably the best that we have ever had, and we appreciated the Towel Elephant & Duck. The restaurant has plentiful selection of food, but with a variable quality. Breakfast is the most disappointing, with no freshly squeezed juices, poor fresh fruit and warm cooked food. The Eggs Benedict was my favourite choice, always piping hot and tasty. The Omelettes & Eggs were cooked fresh and looked good.Cremated Bacon was supplied for our American cousins. Wine was free-flowing, but sometimes they needed a little encouragement. There was a good Port Talk each evening before Dinner and the obligatory Newsletter, both of which were really helpful. Most of the Shore Excursions were really good, especially Salamanca and Lamego. Otheres were 'average' or 'poor'. Paid for ones were always excellent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our first river cruise. It exceeded our expectations. The Duoro river and river valley were beautiful. Never knew there were so many grapes grown in this region. Our ship was in excellent condition and our standard cabin was what ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. It exceeded our expectations. The Duoro river and river valley were beautiful. Never knew there were so many grapes grown in this region. Our ship was in excellent condition and our standard cabin was what I expected. All the meals were great and the wine never ending. We also purchased the premium beverage package which was not a bad value. The ship staff really made this trip memorable. Some of the people that did an exceptional job were: Maria, cruise director; Manuel, hotel director; Cornell, restaurant director; Claudia, guest services; Miguel and Tiago, bar service; and not but least, our housekeeper, Vanessa. Each of them worked tirelessly to make this cruise one of our best. We enjoyed the shore excursions included and opted to purchase two others that were worthwhile. Did a dinner one night at a working vineyard that was a lot of fun. Did you know that many wineries in the Duoro Valley actually stomp grapes with their feet for the premium wines? Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
It was our Emerald wedding anniversary so wanted to go on the Emerald Radiance to celebrate on the day. We were presented with Champagne, chocolates and a bouquet of flowers from the company which was a pleasant surprise. We were met at ... Read More
It was our Emerald wedding anniversary so wanted to go on the Emerald Radiance to celebrate on the day. We were presented with Champagne, chocolates and a bouquet of flowers from the company which was a pleasant surprise. We were met at the airport and transported to the dock at Porto with relevant ease and escorted to our cabin after being greeted on board by Manuel. All the staff were very friendly and helpful nothing was too much trouble. The Radiance was a beautiful ship and a pleasure to be on. Cabin was a little noisy when starting the engines and the shower was a little small to get in and out for a large person but very clean. Excursions were very informative and not too long. Entertainment was varied and mainly good especially the Quiz nights and we were luckyto win both of them. I would definitely travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
It was on my Mum’s bucket list of cruises she wanted to do. I had seen the itinerary and liked it but when we booked we were unfamiliar with Emerald Waterways. We were not disappointed in any way. Mum who had cruised with Viking ... Read More
It was on my Mum’s bucket list of cruises she wanted to do. I had seen the itinerary and liked it but when we booked we were unfamiliar with Emerald Waterways. We were not disappointed in any way. Mum who had cruised with Viking before said she actually preferred Emerald because it was less formal but 5* quality. We felt relaxed, and comfortable on board and the crew went out of their way to make sure that we had everything we could possibly desire. The restaurant was superb and the food exquisite. Everything was beautifully presented and having unlimited Portuguese wines that were carefully selected every evening meant we could sample everything. The barbecue lunch on deck was fantastic with all the crew joining in (I even danced with the head chef Nuno and Manuel the Hotel Manager) The bar staff were all lovely and took time to chat and get to know you. We all learned a little about each other which made us feel like part of their family. The cruise director Luis kept us well informed daily on what was happening on and off the ship, so we didn’t miss any of the things we wanted to do. The gala night and farewell dinners were gorgeous and gave us the opportunity to have a chat with the captain and show our appreciation for all the crew (all 38 of them) We loved the cruise. Portugal itself was lovely but it was the ship and crew that made the holiday special. I would definitely recommend Emerald Waterways and hope to sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We selected the River Douro cruise because of love of Portugal and Spain.After doing a little research,we selected the Emerald Radiance and we were delighted with our choice.The ship was built in 2017,and everything was spick and span..The ... Read More
We selected the River Douro cruise because of love of Portugal and Spain.After doing a little research,we selected the Emerald Radiance and we were delighted with our choice.The ship was built in 2017,and everything was spick and span..The ship had been built to navigate the Dour and to pass through the locks. We were greeted on arrival by Manuel,the Hotel Manager and his team,and from that moment we were made to feel very honoured guests.Our cabin was a Panorama Balcony Suite and although not large,was more than adequate for our needs.The wall of glass that opened up to further enjoy the landscape .Every inch of space had been used creatively to enhance the experience. The food and drink was of an exceptional high standard under the watchful eye of the Executive Chef Nounou and his team.Special mention to Manuel,our waiter who always went the extra mile.I and the rest of the passengers enjoyed the experience of sampling both local and international dishes,and to sample the wonderful wines of the Douro region. Special mention must go to Luis,the cruise director.We were fortunate to have him with us for several excursions and he was both informative and amusing.The coaches and the drivers were excellent. River Cruises are not cheap but we felt that we were given 5 star tratment from start to finish.We also enjoyed the company of people of different nationalities,and this certainly added to the enjoyment of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Price & itinerary were what we were looking for. Also had read that the Radiance was a new ship (built in 2017). Ship very modern and clean with much chrome & glass. Found that layout of public areas (restaurant & ... Read More
Price & itinerary were what we were looking for. Also had read that the Radiance was a new ship (built in 2017). Ship very modern and clean with much chrome & glass. Found that layout of public areas (restaurant & bar/lounge) were quite crowded, with furniture almost on top of each other. Food was pretty good, although some foods at breakfast buffet were cold when they should not have been. Service was very good, as were shore excursions and local guides. Cruise tour Director (Luis Gomes) was excellent. Cabin layout was disappointing as it was advertised as "balcony". However, turned out to be simply a pull down half picture window. Overall cabin layout was very crowded, with access to bathroom quite restricted. Much prefer balcony cabin layout on AMA Waterway ships; which are true "French Balconies". Overall, cruise was enjoyable as onboard service was very good as were the excursions and local tour guides. Read Less
Sail Date June 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
Wanted to learn about Portugal and the port wine region of the Duoro Valley. Lisbon extension with included excursions and side trip to Salamanca, Spain were added bonuses. Great weather did not hurt. Day time cruising on the Duoro, ... Read More
Wanted to learn about Portugal and the port wine region of the Duoro Valley. Lisbon extension with included excursions and side trip to Salamanca, Spain were added bonuses. Great weather did not hurt. Day time cruising on the Duoro, because river boats can not travel at night, gave us lots of sightseeing opportunities on this beautiful river. Fantastic locks and excellent included excursions along the way. Splurged for the dinner at Graham's Vinum restaurant and was not disappointed. Thoroughly enjoyed the smaller ship. Viking always does an excellent job. The way they helped a man who was injured on one of the excursions was noteworthy. A security/translator and medical staff member went with the man and his wife to seek medical treatment and rejoined the boat later in the day. They even allowed them to stay an extra night on the boat to recuperate prior to leaving for home. When we were ready to leave on an earlier bus to the airport, Viking recommended that we relax in the lounge so we did not have to spend so much time at the airport. They then took just the two of us in a bus to the airport. The only negative was that the hotel was having an extremely noisy function until 2:00am on the night before embarkation - no sleep and no help from hotel staff in spite of calling the front desk multiple times - we were in an inside room overlooking the lobby/ballroom area. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This was the second to last cruise of the year. Things ran smoothly, and the crew were a well-oiled machine. They were faultless, professionalism and enthusiasm were apparent. We felt cared for. Food was to a very high standard. Not ... Read More
This was the second to last cruise of the year. Things ran smoothly, and the crew were a well-oiled machine. They were faultless, professionalism and enthusiasm were apparent. We felt cared for. Food was to a very high standard. Not classic but excellent which is what you want on an unpretentious cruise like this. Evenings were smart but laid back and most of all fun. I expected to find the staff looking forward to their break and being a little bored with the guests, but that was not the case. Ana in the dining area is exceptional, Ricardo as cruise director knows his stuff and the Captain very professional and caring. I had one issue. The crane above our cabin was used at 2am to shift the gangplank. Only one night and once explained we got on with it. I would say a cruise on the Duoro is perfect early autumn like this. Temperatures were cool but good enough for anyone from the UK. 20c being the average. The trips off the ship were excellent. I particularly liked the visit to Sandeman and Mr Bean (Go, you will understand). The river is just stunning at this time of year. The colours were amazing. It must be one of the most picturesque of all river cruises as you are always in touch with the riverbank and wildlife. Thanks, Uniworld, I loved it..... Keep up the good work! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We were welcomed on board and we're treated like family from the start. Food not your usual "international cuisine" but included real Portuguese gems. Fish was so well cooked, as we're the meat dishes. One of our party ... Read More
We were welcomed on board and we're treated like family from the start. Food not your usual "international cuisine" but included real Portuguese gems. Fish was so well cooked, as we're the meat dishes. One of our party was a veggie who confirmed the range of food available was fab for non meat eaters. Complementary wine, beer and soft drinks with meals was not stunted. All wine served was local to the region and was a real complement to the food. A drinks package was off set by on board credit and gave unlimited access to branded drinks. Discovery of the trip was chilled pink port. Ship was extremely clean and comfortable, and the staff couldn't do enough for us. Vessel was stable when moving and it was wonderful to watch the countryside go by. Locks were great fun especially as you could get really close to the walls. Sundeck was lovely with partly covered areas which helped prevented me from burning. Pool was only thigh deep and you could sit on the floor and keep your head above water. Would have been nice if a little deeper. Trips away from the ship were very interesting and the guides had a very good knowledge of their subjects. I'd recommend the evening event to the local vineyard as the wines, port and food excelled themselves. It could do with being a bit longer so you can soak up more of the atmosphere. Holiday not suitable for young children or young families as the average age of the fellow passengers was late 60 ' s at the youngest. We're all in our 50 ' s so managed to cope; any younger and you'll not have as much fun. Less able bodied people will enjoy the whole experience but you may struggle at times, although the crew will do their best to help. Overall a very comfortable enjoyable cruise with a very friendly crew, superb food and a great introduction to Portugal. Shout out to Luis, Carla, Elizabeta, Carlos, Francisco, Eduardo, Roberta, Bruno, Cornel and Captain Alphonso Rivera. X X X Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was our 6th Viking cruise and certainly one of the best we had so far. We started in Lisbon which was ok as we been there before but when we embark the ship in Porto for the actual cruise the have been overwhelmed. The boat is ... Read More
This was our 6th Viking cruise and certainly one of the best we had so far. We started in Lisbon which was ok as we been there before but when we embark the ship in Porto for the actual cruise the have been overwhelmed. The boat is very small and intimate which we really enjoyed, the crew took good care of us and made this trip really special. What a small world it is within the Viking family as we had the same Hotel Manager as last year in Russia. Rebekka from Germany really made us feel like home. She managed the ship really well and you could see that she did this with passion. Food was great as always with Viking, could have been a bit more with local touches as always. Our Cabin was really specious with fantastic views every day. We book one of the Veranda suites this time. Our cabin girl was from Porto and gave us really good inside hints, we really enjoyed the mix of international crew with the local touch. Tours are fantastic but due to the longer bus rides sometimes we skipped some as the weather in Spain was already reaching the highs. Our only criticism of this trip was the entertainment as this was not as ever before on Viking, perhaps due to cruise director team who seemed not to be Viking and entertaining, also they are 3 and so far we always had 1 only. They always escorted the busses but would have been nice if they also comment on something at least. Well I guess Viking needs to improve this but the rest of the team was superb as always. We really enjoyed this cruise and booked another one and since this is our first online comment ever, thanks to Rebekka who ask us to do so, we would like to spread our positive experience herewith. March and Jean Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We had previously taken the Viking Bordeaux cruise in 2015, and shortly after getting home signed up for the November 2016 Rivers of Gold cruise on the Douro River. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and the land portions - we started with ... Read More
We had previously taken the Viking Bordeaux cruise in 2015, and shortly after getting home signed up for the November 2016 Rivers of Gold cruise on the Douro River. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and the land portions - we started with two nights in Lisbon with well planned and interesting tours of the city over the two days. Then a comfortable bus trip up the coast of Portugal to Porto, where we boarded our vessel in Vila Nova de Gaia, across the Douro from Porto. November is not shirtsleeve weather in Portugal, we had rain on the first day in Lisbon, but Lisbon takes on another sort of beauty in the rain and soft contrast of an overcast day. We arrived in Porto to sunshine and two beautiful days of incredible light and fascinating tours. Then the Viking Osfrid headed up the Douro, the weather turned more rainy and cold - but the river valley was so beautiful with the vineyards and mountains rising out of the mist. As we'd experienced in France in 2015, the Viking crew and staff were unfailingly helpful, cheerful and knowledgable. On this cruise, the guides were engaging and fun to spend time with, and the tours were excellent. This is another cruise, like the Bordeaux cruise, in which there are significant motor coach tours away from the ship, while some passengers didn't care for that, we recognized that it was the only way to get to the many fascinating places we visited, many of which were on the tops of the surrounding mountains. The food and wines were fabulous as usual, the staterooms were comfortable, the fellow passengers were interesting and diverse. We had a fabulous time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Expected to see much more, although the writing up of the cruise was quite accurate in the brochure. A lot of time is spent sitting on board a coach for up to two hours and the sights and excursions are all very, very samey. Food was only ... Read More
Expected to see much more, although the writing up of the cruise was quite accurate in the brochure. A lot of time is spent sitting on board a coach for up to two hours and the sights and excursions are all very, very samey. Food was only O K with some cold dishes being served at room temperature (e.g salad / a prawn starter) and the variety was quite limited, and fairly uninspirational. Portion sizes were, in general, quite small. No lunch buffet - the waiters were absolutely great but very, very overstretched. Meals were described by the Chef as "local" but we have seen the same meals on other Viking cruises. Evening entertainment was to 'care home' standard only. This is a cruise for those who don't mind being treated as children and seeing the 'same old, same old'...Company asks for suggestions but only take notice if money can be saved or if the suggestion meets with their initial approval. Great at saying "it will not work...". Have a suspicion that the Douro River cruise is run / directed by the local Portuguese authorities primarily to enhance the profitability of the local businesses and communities. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
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
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
My husband has a few mobility problems and a couple of years ago we decided that cruising might be our way forward. We were fortunate to chose Marco Polo for our first cruise as the crew really go the extra mile for passengers. We have ... Read More
My husband has a few mobility problems and a couple of years ago we decided that cruising might be our way forward. We were fortunate to chose Marco Polo for our first cruise as the crew really go the extra mile for passengers. We have since returned twice, the latest trip being to the Baltic. Every time we find that there are crew members on board who always remember us and make us feel at home. It has enabled us to visit places that would be unattainable otherwise. The food is varied and the stewards always made sure that we had a nice meal even when the menu offering did not offer something to our taste (that did not happen very often!) Our cabin stewards have all been excellent and looked after us well and you have not lived until you meet the wonderful "Lovely Jubley" our poolside and breakfast chef. He is quite a character and makes everyone feel good with his chat! On arrival at Leith we had our cases taken and were told they would be outside our cabin next time we saw them (and they were) We were then directed to a bus which took us to Rosyth as there had been a last minute change of departure port, there we joined a queue to check in which did not take to long, from there we were taken through the port by bus to the ship and boarded right away. Because of time changes we were directed to Marco's Bistro for lunch before heading to our cabin. All went quite smoothly The ship is well maintained with ongoing maintenance throughout the cruise. Oh! we have just booked another trip to add to the 2 already in the pipeline. Says it all I think. See you soon folks. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
The trip up and back on the Viking Hemming was a real delight. We started with an overnight stay in Portugal and we enjoyed strolling the streets and finding little places to eat. We even took in a local flea market selling all kinds of ... Read More
The trip up and back on the Viking Hemming was a real delight. We started with an overnight stay in Portugal and we enjoyed strolling the streets and finding little places to eat. We even took in a local flea market selling all kinds of items. Upon boarding the Hemming we were treated like honored guests the meals and crushing experience was wonderful. The sights along the river truly take you back to the Roman Empire with the terraced hill side full of grapevines and olive trees. We enjoyed stopping at local sites and hearing the music of Portugal (fado). We found the stop at the Universidad De Coimbra to be inspiring and to see the library and its old books and architure dazzling. But the treat was a stop at a local restaurant with a very professional fado group of three men outstanding. Of course along the way we stopped at port storage sites and tasted their products. We sample port from the big producers to the small in even trying Favaito in a small cooperative town and meeting the look alike of Mr. Bean. Our cabin was just right, close to the dinning room and center of the ship. The staff were exceptional always providing whatever we needed or wanted. The food was enjoyable and the combination of local Portuguese wines that were always available made the trip one of the best we have taken. A Viking Cruise is the world's best way to see and experience a country and culture. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015

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