59 Porto (Leixoes) Senior Cruise Reviews

It was part of our ski trip summer trips. This is a fantastic cruise for people who love scenery,wine vineyards especially port wines, olives and churches. It also is an area that tells you about cork and cork trees. The entertainment was ... Read More
It was part of our ski trip summer trips. This is a fantastic cruise for people who love scenery,wine vineyards especially port wines, olives and churches. It also is an area that tells you about cork and cork trees. The entertainment was okay...it is a small ship maximum 113 guests and is very fun. The ship is 2 years old and Emerald has made this small ship seem larger with mirrors everywhere. It is bright and gleaming and the rooms are adequate for cruising. We were on the lowest deck of 3 floors and it even has a large window at the water level. Service was superb and so was the food. Great variety and very tasty and colorful. The breakfast and lunch menu was full of variety and choices. Dinner menu was elegant and 3 to 4 courses with just enough to satisfy the palate. Wine and drinks with every meal was included.The shore excursions led by the Emerald tour leaders and they were very knowledgeable. We saw churches, wine tastings ,food market, city tours , historical bridges and got free time to shop and try out the local foods. Overall, this was one of the best river tours we have done. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The cruise was to celebrate our Diamond Wedding Anniversary and it was a great success. We found Emerald Waterways and excellent company and they and their staff went the extra mile to make the trip enjoyable. We liked the small ship which ... Read More
The cruise was to celebrate our Diamond Wedding Anniversary and it was a great success. We found Emerald Waterways and excellent company and they and their staff went the extra mile to make the trip enjoyable. We liked the small ship which meant we got to know the fellow passengers and met and made some lovely friends. The crew and staff were very effecient and friendly, the food and dinning room service were excellent. The cabin (303),although small, was comfortable and always turned out immaculately by the cabin staff. The trip along the Douro was lovely and the shore excursions well organised and successful.There are probably lower cost river cruises but you get what you pay for. The no cost, free flowing drinks were a bonus. Thank you Emerald Waterways for make our trip memorable. The fact that we were celebrating a very special event was remembered and made even more special by the members of the crew and, of course, the good friends we made. We thank you all! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was a wonderful cruise. Having never been to Portugal or never been on a river cruise, we feel we started at the top. Staff was very good and attentive. Food was exceptional. Land based activities well thought out. Fairly new ship ... Read More
This was a wonderful cruise. Having never been to Portugal or never been on a river cruise, we feel we started at the top. Staff was very good and attentive. Food was exceptional. Land based activities well thought out. Fairly new ship and they have really taken care of it. With 36 staff and 112 people there is bound to be something you like. Remember this is the Douro river, drinking fine wine and port will be involved. Seeing lots of barren and agricultural land will be involved. There is no industry on the Douro so the scenery is awesome. The cabin is a little small but everything is well done and laid out. The one night to the the Pacheca Winery dinner was a flop. No one said a nice word about the wine dinner. If you did not want to do an off ship activity, staff was able to take care of you. Love the little towns and big cities. Captain you are a brave sailor through those locks and canyons. I would do this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Day 1 - Flew by Air Portugal from Toronto to Lisbon then to Porto. TAP did not allow us to change or select seats online, but we were able to do so at airport. Flight to Lisbon was cramped and uncomfortable. Flight to Porto was delayed ... Read More
Day 1 - Flew by Air Portugal from Toronto to Lisbon then to Porto. TAP did not allow us to change or select seats online, but we were able to do so at airport. Flight to Lisbon was cramped and uncomfortable. Flight to Porto was delayed 45 min. This flight had much more legroom. Arrived around 5 pm at the Scenic Azure just as the Port Talk was starting in the lounge. Butler did not take us to our room after and we never met him for entire trip. Our room was on the cheapest floor, room 102. It was spacious and well organized and organized very nicely, with lots of storage and clothes closet space. This contrasted big time with our Scenic Moselle cruise last year on the Scenic Jewel. Day 2 -Porto > Entre-os-Rios. Highlights: Historic Porto. discover the unique historic treasures of Porto, including a visit to Palacio da Bolsa. Then enjoy a relaxing afternoon of cruising as your luxury Scenic Space-Ship meanders its way to Entre-os-Rios. Tour of the Stock Exchange Palace was very interesting. Local guide did not appear to like her job. Later toured the train station to see all the tiles on the walls. Very unique. Guide was from the Scenic Azure and she was good. Day 3 -Entre-os-Rios. Highlights: Quinta Aveleda. This afternoon, enjoy a blissful cruise to Regua where you have the chance to explore the Douro Museum at your leisure. Learn about the culture, history and identity of the people living in this wine growing region of the Douro Valley. Freechoice: Guimarães was the seat of the first King of Portugal and is dominated by the impressive Ducal Palace, which dates back to medieval times. It’s a great tour to kickstart your interest in this fascinating region. Alternatively, you could choose a tasting at the fairytale property of Quinta Aveleda. Located in the famous Vino Verde region and a renowned regional sparkling wine producer, the incredible gardens alone make the excursion worthwhile. We chose the tour of Guimarães. We toured the Ducal Palace and ancient town. Grapes were grown on fence borders. Our guide was the ship’s cruise director Filipe. He was very good and interesting. Later we left the ship again and walked over to the Douro museum and learned the evolution of port wine industry on the Douro. It was very interesting. Local guide was OK. Day 4 -Regua. Highlights: Ucanha and Varosa Valley. his afternoon, you’ll discover the captivating Varosa Valley and visit the charming village of Tarouca where you’ll get to explore the restored Monastery of Saint John of Tarouca. En route walk the fortified bridge of Ucanha, Portugal’s first toll bridge, spanning the crystal clear waters of the Varosa River. Freechoice: Tour the elegant town of Lamego, with its many fine Baroque structures, or enjoy a guided visit of Mateus Palace, the historic icon depicted on the labels of Portugal’s famous Mateus rosé wine. Our tour guide was Miguel from our ship, who was very good. The fortified bridge of Ucanha was very scenic and interesting. The Monastery of Saint John of Tarouca was not interesting to us as all that was there was foundations of buildings. Our Freechoice selection was the town of Lamego with our cruise director Filipe as guide. He was very good. There we toured the Sanctuary dos Nossa Sanhora dos Remedios and 365 steps. This was very scenic and a highlight of our trip. After walking down the 365 scenic steps there was an option of touring the Lamego Museum. This was a waste of time and we exited as soon as we could. Day 5 - Regua > Vega de Terron. Highlights: Cruising Vinhateiro. Today, enjoy a full day cruising the Douro Valley’s Vinhateiro wine growing region. Classified a World Heritage-listed Site, Vinhateiro has a history of wine production that stretches back for 2000 years. We spent most of the day on top of the ship enjoying the spectacular scenery. Our Tailormades explained what we were looking at. Day 6 -Salamanca Spain. Highlights: Spanish dining and Flamenco. Take your time absorbing the sheer architectural splendour of Salamanca, a city as visually striking as it is historically intriguing. Explore the city on a guided tour before some time at leisure followed by a delicious lunch accompanied by an energetic Flamenco dance performance. It was a 2-hour bus ride to Salamanca. Our guide on the bus was our cruise director Filipe who provided commentary for the entire 2 hours. He made the trip very interesting and enjoyable. Countryside was very dry. It was very hilly at the beginning and then much flatter once up on the plateau with crops to view. Had a local guide in Salamanca who was good. Restaurant meal was very good and Flamenco dance was enjoyable. Salamanca was very scenic. Day 7 -Pocinho > Pinhão. Highlights: Côa Valley. Over breakfast, you’ll enjoy a leisurely cruise to nearby Pocinho for our Côa Valley discovery. This afternoon, enjoy your picturesque cruise to Pinhão and tonight be entertained by a traditional Portuguese musical performance on board. Freechoice: Visit the award-winning Côa Valley Museum and enjoy a pre-historic workshop. If you’re more adventurous at heart, take a canoeing excursion on the Sabor River. Alternatively, you could join the ‘Tastes of the Côa Valley’ excursion and visit Casa Painova for a sweet almond workshop and a tasting of their almond, olive and fruit products. For our Freechoice we took a Scenic bus to the village of Freixd de Numao to house of Casa Painova with our excellent tour director Filipe. We toured the house and had an almond cooking and tasting demo. Local guide had a booming voice, so we did not need our Tailormades. A very enjoyable, scenic and interesting trip. Day 8 -Pinhão. Highlights: Scenic village experience. Today you’ll visit the remarkable village of Provesende, showcasing the Portugal of yesteryear. Wander the atmospheric streets of this quaint village with the locals as they proudly introduce you to their way of life – including their local bakery. This is a specially choreographed experience only open to Scenic guests. You’ll also visit the church for a special recital, and enjoy wine tasting at the restored manor house of Morgadio da Calçada. What better way to immerse yourself in the local culture. Freechoice: Top off a truly unforgettable day with a visit to the estate of Quinta Roeda for a tasting of their famous export. Or, if you’re feeling energetic, you could choose a walk through the hillside vineyard for a unique tasting among the vines. Our guide was Carla from the ship. She was very good. Tour of the bakery was a waste. We had an interesting tour of a port winery called Morgadio Da Calcada Manor House who served us the best port we had on the entire trip. Our Freechoice was a visit to the estate of Quinta Roeda. We chose a walk through the vineyard. Our local guide was in a hurry to get the tour over with and rushed through the vineyard, so if you stopped to take a picture, you had to run to catch up. It was very interesting and very scenic. Day 9 -Pinhão > Porto. Highlights: Scenic Enrich at São Francisco Church. Having spent the previous eight days discovering the treasures of the Douro, Varosa and Côa Valleys, enjoy an exclusive Douro Valley Wine Review, as well as on board activities, including a cork jewellery workshop. Otherwise, simply enjoy the beauty of the region as you cruise back into Porto. Enrich: The sheer beauty of São Francisco Church is sure to impress. From the outside the facade is a mixture of Gothic and Baroque architecture and inside the interior glows with its intricate wood carvings swathed in gold. Immerse yourself in the heart and soul of Portuguese music as you witness a spectacular private concert in this wondrous surrounding. This was a very enjoyable cruising day seeing the locks and scenery from the opposite direction. The evening Enrich was very enjoyable. Day 10 -Porto. Our Freechoice was a visit to Santa Maria Da Feira Paper Museum. This was a very interesting place. They demonstrated many of the old ways paper was made. Day 11 - Trip home to Toronto. Our flight to Lisbon was not till evening, so Scenic let us stay on the ship for the day then took us to the airport at the appropriate time, You don’t get this perk on ocean cruises as they just take you straight to the airport and leave you there all day. Our friends who travelled with us were told that the flight was oversold and they had no seats for them. Our friends explained that we drove them to the airport in Toronto and if they do not travel with us, they cannot get home. Air Portugal then agreed to let them on and bump someone else. Our flight to Lisbon was on time and on the same comfortable plane we came on. Our flight to Toronto was not on the same uncomfortable plane we came on thank goodness. It was on a new Airbus with lots of legroom and very comfortable and modern entertainment system. The Ship Scenic Azure This was our 4th Scenic cruise. Our first was from Budapest to Amsterdam on the Scenic Saphire. Our 2nd cruise was Vietnam and Cambodia on the Scenic Spirit. Our third was from Amsterdam to Basel on the Scenic Jewel. Everything was top notch on the Saphire and Spirit. Vietnam and Cambodia were full of spectacular things to see compared to what you can see in Europe. The Jewel was a disappointment as far as food and service and the tiny room. This cruise on the Scenic Azure was over the top for food and service. Every meal seemed like it was the best meal we had ever had. The service was exceptional and not only in the restaurant and lounge. The TV in the bedroom was also a computer. Wi-Fi was all through the ship. The Tailormades are so useful for tours and cruising on the river. The new ones do not have the range that the old ones did, so you cannot get far from the guide. The buses had beautiful Scenic murals and had Wi-Fi and were very comfortable. They also had USB charges at your seat for your phones and tablets. All the guides from the ship were very knowledgeable and made tours very interesting and enjoyable. Another feature we liked is you did not hear people hacking and coughing like you do on most ocean cruises. We really liked the choices we had for tours. Other cruise lines don’t seem to have any choice at stops. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We went on the AmaDouro in June 2019 as part of a three week trip through Portugal. It is by far the most expensive cruise we have done....much more expensive per day than SilverSea or Seaborne. The Douro cruise was between 27% and 100% ... Read More
We went on the AmaDouro in June 2019 as part of a three week trip through Portugal. It is by far the most expensive cruise we have done....much more expensive per day than SilverSea or Seaborne. The Douro cruise was between 27% and 100% more expensive that our cruises on SilverSea and Seabourne. We are happy to pay for quality, but we expect companies to live up to their promise. The Douro River was beautiful and the locks were amazing. This cruise is probably better for the older crowd as there is not much walking except in Porto. There are no bicycling excursions. And there is a LOT of food. Also be aware that the boat quite often docks with boats on either side; this means you have another cabin just outside your cabin! So needless to say, no view. Also be aware that the dock may be the same height as your cabin, so be sure to be dressed (or curtains pulled) when docking! The boat was new and the cabins were standard river boat cabins. A bit of a tight squeeze to get in the desk seat. The excursions and the guides were good. The food was good, with plenty of healthy options. There were some excellent shows on board. BUT the service on the boat was seriously sub-standard, and this slowly wore us down. We had an onboard credit that took a few days to resolve. What struck us was that reception were quite content to tell us that the credit wasn’t there and apparently to take no further action. It took a number of emails between us and our travel agent to resolve this. For the front desk staff, the problem was ours alone. Drinks are not included outside of meal times, so no drinks included during the shows. No herbal tea unless you walk down a deck and get it from the coffee/tea machine. Also, no room service, even for a coffee in the morning...only out of the machine. So at 6am (we woke early to get work done) we had to get dressed and walk down a deck to the coffee machine. There was virtually no service on the top deck. Generally the attitude of the staff seemed to be that they expected us to come to them. This was strange because in the rest of Portugal we had amazing service. I think with some of the staff this was a training issue; but with many it was just their attitude. I would suggest hire a small boat privately for 2-3 days on the Douro. A week is a long time...especially when the staff are not keen! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We love the mediterainan coast, Portugal to Salamanca Spain fabulous , The Portuguese staff highly trained lovely calm people, all down to the Hotel Manager Joao Paula Oliveira. we felt comfortable from getting on and getting off at the ... Read More
We love the mediterainan coast, Portugal to Salamanca Spain fabulous , The Portuguese staff highly trained lovely calm people, all down to the Hotel Manager Joao Paula Oliveira. we felt comfortable from getting on and getting off at the end of the tour, the cruise down the river Duro was green and calming with houses dotted amongst the hills , you could do as much or as little as you wished at each place they anchored. The director Of touring staff Carla you felt you had know for years, and anyone of the staff who took you on tours was knowledgeable and looked after each person and answered all questions. We have learned more about Portugal and there history than I ever could imagine. and I am so grateful for that . Not forgetting all the other staff who are there to make your cruise a happy relaxing time, Butlers, Bar staff, Cabin attendants , Managers of dinning rooms, Chefs, Waiters, cleaners. plus all above and below deck, most important of course the Captain , not forgetting the evening entertainment . None of our 1st. Time experience would have been so good but for all those people pulling together. All we did was enjoy each and every moment of it and let them guide us to what we could achieve to make this our cruise. not knowing how hard they must have worked together to make such a lovely cruise. Thank you scenic Azure.x Read Less
Sail Date July 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
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
We arrived in Porto Friday April 5 after the pre-cruise package in Lisbon. Lisbon was fine, but Porto is truly an amazing place. Definitely worth a visit! The inaugural cruise on the AMA Douro was supposed to be Saturday April 6. We ... Read More
We arrived in Porto Friday April 5 after the pre-cruise package in Lisbon. Lisbon was fine, but Porto is truly an amazing place. Definitely worth a visit! The inaugural cruise on the AMA Douro was supposed to be Saturday April 6. We were initially told via email the ship wasn't ready and it will now be Sunday April 7. They put us up at the Yeatman-- a 5 Star hotel in Porto and paid for everything including our scheduled shore excursion. Then they announced we are delayed another day. (Don't ever do an inaugural cruise-- even if the owners of AMA are on board.) So we got on busses and followed the incomplete ship down the river to another hotel that was 4 Star at best. We finally met the ship 1/3 of the way down the Douro River on day 3 Monday April 8. Most of the ship was complete, but there were plenty of cosmetic issues that were worked on throughout the week. By now, the ship is probably decorated and 95% as it was intended. The other issue with the inaugural cruise is that many of the servers didn't know what they were doing and our dinners were regularly incorrect. Most of the staff was very pleasant and tried to do everything they could. For an expensive river cruise the breakfasts were excellent at 5/5, lunch 4/5, but dinners only 3/5. I'd say the biggest issue going forward is with the Douro River itself. Excursions required long bus rides and most ports had nothing to offer, but a dock and maybe a café. Salamanca Spain was the highlight and that was 2 hours each way by bus. There were no bikes available and no reason to go out at night. You were either on the boat or on a bus. This was not the Danube or Rhine where cities and castles are right by the ports. We are in our mid 50s and were by far the youngest people on the ship. The piano player was very good, but there was little to do and this is clearly a cruise for retired folks. We did get three great surprises at the end. We were offered 1/2 our money back in cash or a future free cruise credit; they paid for all our drinks (not just the free wine/beer during meals); and the Christening event on Friday was really special. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We managed to have a nice time but upon further reflection, I’d have to say it didn’t meet our expectations and couldn’t compare to our experience with AMA and the Normandy trip. Some of that is driven by the totally different ... Read More
We managed to have a nice time but upon further reflection, I’d have to say it didn’t meet our expectations and couldn’t compare to our experience with AMA and the Normandy trip. Some of that is driven by the totally different venue....the makeup of the Seine vs the Douro but a lot of it was just a poorly orchestrated itinerary. As I’m sure you’re aware, unlike the Seine, the river boats can’t cruise the Douro at night which probably presents some logistical issues. That said, as a more upscale provider, I would have expected UniWorld to have figured out how to compensate and address this. The other issue is that while the Douro is lovely and the scenery beautiful, there isn’t tons to do. Unlike the Seine, there are few cute little villages (except Porto) to explore along its banks so understandably, every sight or at least most, we were bused to. However, they did these bus rides/tours in the morning which meant rising at 6/6:30 to dress and get breakfast so we could be on the bus usually by 8:30 (one morning may have been 9). Then they’d get us back on the bus and back on the boat midday for lunch and an afternoon of sailing. Nothing of real substance to do except drink (btw the wine is delicious!). I should note that one day was a full day trip to Salamanca so of course we had to be up and out early but the others were half day excursions. If memory serves me, 3 of those morning / half day excursions involved wine tastings! Really....at 10am!!!!! Had they flipped the schedule and allowed for more leisurely mornings to eat breakfast and watch the countryside go by, the whole experience would have been more enjoyable and relaxing. We finished the cruise depleted and exhausted! Two other points. Lisbon. They put us up at the Corinthia Hotel on the outskirts of the city. The hotel was fine but the location made it difficult to get out and easily enjoy the city. On the return we stayed in the heart of the city (unfortunately it was only for one night). How much more delightful our Lisbon experience would have been had we been there for 3 days at the front end! I’m not sure if other tour companies offer a more centrally located hotel. If this is typical then I would urge you to suggest that people make their own hotel arrangements in Lisbon so they can take advantage of the city. There are plenty of local guides and a hop on hop off bus to get an overview of the city and then people can get out on their own and explore. The Douro is very dependent on the weather. Our week was cloudy, cold and rainy. The week before was lovely. But since there is so little to do, it’s extra important to have good weather. I wouldn't book beyond mid October. The food was inconsistent so disappointing. The buffet food at lunch was not always hot. Ama had a few things you could order from the kitchen, such as pasta, that came out hot. Uniworld was only buffet and carving station. Seafood was usually over cooked. They didn’t have some Portuguese specialties like shrimp in garlic or large prawns. Or even lobster. I expected this on a luxury line. It did seem like they were serving less expensive foods. The pork tenderloin the first night was excellent. The rest of the dinners were not memorable. Red Wines were excellent even though they were pretty inexpensive (we looked In stores). Our waiter, we had the same table all week, was outstanding. The Sandeman trip was a highlight - beautiful ride up. Would recommend the duo the last night in Porto be put on the first night in Porto - they we’re outstanding. Kirsten, the cruise director, was ok but a little misleading on what a disabled person could do. Also, the wine guy who explained the wine was worthless. It didn’t really tell us anything so I’d just eliminate that part. I would also recommend that Uniworld send more information in advance of the cruise. We skipped the dinner at the local winery, because we didn’t want the bus ride in the dark, or more cabbage soup. The dinner on the ship that night was mediocre. People said the winery dinner was not very good but the evening was fun. Coimbra was lovely, even though it poured. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The Douro River was a cruise we had not yet taken. We have experienced a number of other River Cruises and Cruise lines. The Emerald Radiance is the best we have experienced. We particularly appreciated their all inclusive policy. ... Read More
The Douro River was a cruise we had not yet taken. We have experienced a number of other River Cruises and Cruise lines. The Emerald Radiance is the best we have experienced. We particularly appreciated their all inclusive policy. We were traveling with a group of 14 all were pleased with the great service provided by a welcoming and knowledgeable staff. The meals were varied and delicious. I particularly want to thank HOTEL Manager Manuel for his excellent service .Emerald will be at the top of my cruising list. This is a fairly new boat on the river, equipped with Wi-Fi in every room. Instead of a balcony or a patio door there. Is a window the width of your room the top half of which folds down into the bottom half at their touch of a button to give you an open air view. The visits to wine Estates are extremely well done with experienced guides. Try it you'll like it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This trip was wonderful. Our group, of four, did the pre-cruise stay in Lisbon. This gave us a chance to explore the city and learn about the history and culture. We also went to visit Our Lady of Fatima before we embarked the River Boat. ... Read More
This trip was wonderful. Our group, of four, did the pre-cruise stay in Lisbon. This gave us a chance to explore the city and learn about the history and culture. We also went to visit Our Lady of Fatima before we embarked the River Boat. This visit to the shrine was very spiritual to be on Holy ground. From there we embarked the River Boat, Torgil. From the moment we embarked to the disembarkation the crew was very friendly and very accommodating. The dinning was a great experience. All the food that I had ordered was fantastic and we did try the Portuguese entrées. But what made the meals special was the wait staff. The waiters and waitresses were all excellent and formed a special bond with them. All of the Staff were excellent from the Captain to the Executive Staff to the maids were All very Special. We loved Maria our cabin maid!! The entertainment was just great. We all had fun playing the games and listening to the piano player. The shore excursions were also great and just sailing on the river and taking in all the beautiful scenery of all the vineyards. The whole trip was wonderful. One way I can explain my experience is that I laughed a lot, ate a lot, drank a lot of wine and met many great people. What else could anyone ask for in a trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
No! I'm not being funny with the title just honest. You will spend much more time on busses than you will cruising on the Douro. If like us, you understand that before you go you will not be disappointed. In fact the Douro is lovely ... Read More
No! I'm not being funny with the title just honest. You will spend much more time on busses than you will cruising on the Douro. If like us, you understand that before you go you will not be disappointed. In fact the Douro is lovely but only navigable for a short distance. Thus you cruise 2 days upstream from Porto, turn around and cruise 2 days back to Porto. This was our third Viking river cruise and we would gladly do a fourth. The staff and attention to detail leaves little to be desired. But please don't confuse this trip with the Rhine/Main/Danube. For a start there are no cute towns to explore along the way just small settlements often without a single shop, so you must take the excursion or remain on board and be bored to death. Another difference is that over the years whole fleets of ships are on the rivers. this means when you berth you may be sandwiched between two other ships. No natural light or view and you can't use the balcony. This applies to all ships. Meals were good but on this smaller ship of 106 passengers beware of the groups that can dominate such a small number of passengers. At times my wife and I were invisible at the dinner table as all our fellow diners were members of a book club and were discussing the books read during the year. Our valiant attempts to contribute drew a silent stare that said 'if we want your opinion we will ask for it'. Then there was the medical group that really did not want extra table companions but had to suffer them, then the group of two couples from the same English village that went to school together. I'm sure you get the point. This never happens on a large cruise ship. We solved it by rushing to the dining room to snare a table for four. Despite these minor problems we loved the bus trip with cruise extension. Viking are flawless and to be highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This cruise was chosen as part of an overland Spain/Portugal tour. Everything about the cruise as a part of EverGreen tours was well organised and professional.The rooms were well decorated and appointed. Everything was exceptionally ... Read More
This cruise was chosen as part of an overland Spain/Portugal tour. Everything about the cruise as a part of EverGreen tours was well organised and professional.The rooms were well decorated and appointed. Everything was exceptionally clean. The quality of the food prepared by a chef and his team was exceptional . Food provided for breakfast and lunch was also wonderful with a large variety and choice available. Wine was overflowing and good quality. The tours that were an included part of our larger tour were extremely good value showing the particular features of Portuguese life ( eg Port wine, cork ) There were only 107 people on board and getting on and off the boat was easy. There was lots of free time to do our own exploring and guests were able to choose to stay on board if they wished. Staff were amazing Their approach was friendly, engaging & helpful at all times. They were extremely professional in every role that they filled. They were also a lot of fun. activities provided on board were engaging, interesting and informative. We would absolutely recommend Emerald Waterways form our experience of the River Duoro Cruise on Emerals Radiance Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
wanted to cruise the douro. The service and food were excellent,better than 5 star! Nothing too much trouble for us,all staff very friendly and efficient.Manuel and Cornel exceptional! We have cruised with many companies both ocean and ... Read More
wanted to cruise the douro. The service and food were excellent,better than 5 star! Nothing too much trouble for us,all staff very friendly and efficient.Manuel and Cornel exceptional! We have cruised with many companies both ocean and river,emerald is the best by far ! The scandinavian company should look out! Food by the executive chef and his team was wonderful,again the chef came to tables to ask our opinions,never had this before ! Excursions were amazing with good guides ,so helpful and interesting. We like salamanca the best ,a wonderful old city,so colourful and vibrant.The bar and restaurant staff could not be more helpful on board the ship,service with a smile,you do not always get this on other ships. Cabin compact but functional and again very friendly and efficient service ,nothing too much trouble .Manuel and Cornel spent so much time to make sure that everything was just right but never intrusive . We will be back with emerald again next year without doubt,emerald is the best in the fleet! Howard and Christine Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose the Uniworld tour on the Douro River in Portugal because we were looking for another adventure with Uniworld. Three years ago we did a river cruise with Uniworld in France and greatly enjoyed it. When we chose this adventure we ... Read More
We chose the Uniworld tour on the Douro River in Portugal because we were looking for another adventure with Uniworld. Three years ago we did a river cruise with Uniworld in France and greatly enjoyed it. When we chose this adventure we knew very little about Portugal. Our cruise started in Lisbon and this included not only a guided tour of Lisbon but also a day trip to Sintra and Queluz, two very different and interesting castles presenting a very interesting contrast. On our way by bus from Lisbon to Porto we stopped in Coimbra for a tour of the library. Once in Porto we were immediately welcomed aboard the ship and were presented a short introductory talk. When we reached our cabins our luggage was already there. The days were a very comfortable combination of time sailing through the lovely rural scenery and excursions to wineries and other points of interest. Our guides were always knowledgeable and friendly. The dining room was very attractive and always a large array of choices at the breakfast and lunch buffets. Dinner was a little more formal and the menu included an ample number of choices. Some local specialties. Uniworld really takes care of their passengers. Everything is included and it is all topnotch. Their staff members are friendly, and work at making sure their guests are happy. I highly reccomend traveling with Uniworld. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Started Wed June 13 in Lisboa. Met at airport and transferred and given handout for restaurants etc around hotel. Site representative and most folks start the next day. We visited the zoo on Thurs. Briefing was Thurs night. Fri was city ... Read More
Started Wed June 13 in Lisboa. Met at airport and transferred and given handout for restaurants etc around hotel. Site representative and most folks start the next day. We visited the zoo on Thurs. Briefing was Thurs night. Fri was city tour in am and on own in PM (too few picked extra cost optional). Sat was on own or optional extra cost guided tour. Sun transforms to visit with stop at Coimbra Univ. Then finally on ship at Cais Gai. Trip ok. Problem for me is other than visits to Port vineyards and hearing about port wine, there didn't seem much of interest on the Douro. Maybe that is why the start in Lisboa and day trip to Salamanca. And after getting to Salamanca we were mostly by ourselves. Memorable events were the visit to the Archeolgical site at Coa (NOT for folks with mobility issues), going through the Carrapatelo dam (2nd upriver from Porto) the deepest in Europe and "Mr Bean" at the dinner at the Enoteca da Avessada. The most memorable was an accident. The ship was docked at Cais Gai the evening of June 23 before Sai Joao day. Great fire work display at midnight right in front of us from boats in midriver and the bridge. Unlike others I really like the diff Portuguese food. And one could always ask for e.g. the striploin steak and fries etc from the alt menu. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I am a three-time Uniworld cruiser and have been on about a dozen river/ocean cruises and never have I had a more terrible experience than this one. On the first day, my cabin smelled like something had died in there. The crew confirmed ... Read More
I am a three-time Uniworld cruiser and have been on about a dozen river/ocean cruises and never have I had a more terrible experience than this one. On the first day, my cabin smelled like something had died in there. The crew confirmed this to be true. The terrible hotel director Andre (who seems to have a chip on his shoulder that he isn’t using his law degree) refused to acknowledge or confirm there were any issues on the ship. For the first night they had to put me up in a hotel the smell was so bad. My dad went in my place as he didn’t like the idea of me in a random hotel by myself. The next day the smell was gone because they masked it with a heavy floral perfume scent. No other cabins had this scent. The hotel director offered to put me in a crew cabin instead but the crew member pulled me into her cabin to show me her room smelled too. Although frustrated I didn’t want to spoil my trip so resolved to stay out of my room as much as possible. Unfortunately, there was an Australian couple who told me “they weren’t racist”, but they were inclined to think poorly of my family and friends because we were all Asian. The couple, explained that there were a lot of Chinese people in Sydney, where they were from, who were so rude so they expected us to be the same. Later on, while on tour, the husband got in my face and screamed at me to “go away” and then shoved me. I can only surmise what I did that enraged him but I was speaking to his wife and I think he somehow interpreted it as a threat. Uniworld’s response was ambivalence. So here I was, unable to go into my cabin because of the horrid smell and unable to leave because of fear that this violent racist man (who was located on the same floor as me) would do me further harm. Both during the trip and after, Uniworld corporate lied to our travel agent about what was happening on the ship (they said everything was fine and indicated concessions (a bottle of win, chocolate) were made that only materialized after we showed the email stating they had done so to the hotel director. Additionally when our travel agent told Uniworld to reach out to us directly by phone after the trip they told her they would not. Instead they sent us a form letter apologizing for the lack of A/C . (The A/C was never at issue) and a $250 future cruise credit and $400 check for the inconvenience. I have no desire to spend luxury dollars on a uninhabitable living space only to be shoved by violent racist guests. I understand Uniworld has no choice in their guests but that doesn’t mean I should have to put up with them either. For those who feel inclined, especially if you are a POC, avoid, avoid, avoid. This cruise line doesn’t deserve your business. Additional info: -I did explore Porto before the cruise. It’s a lovely city and deserves plenty of time. -embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly -dining: food was average but service was excellent. All the waiters attempt to outdo each other in service. -entertainment and activities: it’s a small ship and short cruise so there’s not much in the way of activities outside a general pianist/entertainer who plays retro hits after mealtimes. There’s a performance by a “tuna” (Portuguese a capella band) and a pair of singers one other night. -ports and shore excursions are subject to last minute changes but that is the nature of cruising so as long as you aren’t 100% set on the itinerary posted you will enjoy yourself. Our cruise director was thoughtful, well-spoken and kind. The excursions are a nice mix of free time and information making for an overall relaxing experience. -I did not travel with any children -given the other issues mentioned in the bulk of the review, I would not go again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Curious about Portugal and port wines, the small ship was ideal. Having cruised with Viking before, it was a natural to choose this cruise. Unfortunately, my pocket was picked in Lisbon, but the crew rose to the challenge and helped beyond ... Read More
Curious about Portugal and port wines, the small ship was ideal. Having cruised with Viking before, it was a natural to choose this cruise. Unfortunately, my pocket was picked in Lisbon, but the crew rose to the challenge and helped beyond our wildest expectations. In particular, Raquel Miranda, Anabel Silva, Rafael Camerlengo, and Marta Azevedo showed the highest professionalism and assistance ever seen in a hospitality environment. Viking is very fortunate to have them on the team. Dining room staff was excellent as well; very attentive to our preferences and always there to serve us with class and aplomb. Of course, the ship is exceptionally well cared for, and Captain and deck crew excellent. Due to high waters, our itinerary was modified slightly, and the crew responded with flying colors. Most of the guests embarked on an overnight to Salamanca, but we stayed on board at Pinhao and had a wonderful time! So easy to make new friends on a smaller ship, yet still have quiet time alone. Both my wife and I can't imagine having a more enjoyable experience river cruising! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Chose this cruise for its cruise destinations, size of the ship which is not overcrowded. The delicious cuisine on board and at local stops. Excellent wines from local vineyards. The comfort of the cabins on board were excellent. Great ... Read More
Chose this cruise for its cruise destinations, size of the ship which is not overcrowded. The delicious cuisine on board and at local stops. Excellent wines from local vineyards. The comfort of the cabins on board were excellent. Great entertainment nightly. Excursions were fantastic with free time. All bus transportation was second to none, drivers very professional. Our cruise director Patricia made our whole experience the best. What a wonder she was. She was our tour guide on all of our excursions. We chose for the extension before the cruise started in Lisbon which we toured on our own. when we arrived in Porto we handled by Patrica who was Vikings Cruise Director. She gave us a wonderful tour of Porto which she is a native and gave us a lot of information and a lot of great places to visit. Through the whole cruise she always had a smile on every tour and would also participate in activities on and off the ship. At night she would MC the nights entertainment, which was always fun.At the end of the cruise she was also stationed at the airport to make sure everything went smoothly. All of this has made this a wonderful cruise that you will cherish for a life time. 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
This was our third cruise with Emerald Waterways and cannot speak highly enough of the luxurious balcony suite, the continual flow of excellent cuisine and above all the fantastic,friendly crew . Have booked the Rhine next June!! .The ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Emerald Waterways and cannot speak highly enough of the luxurious balcony suite, the continual flow of excellent cuisine and above all the fantastic,friendly crew . Have booked the Rhine next June!! .The crew deserve deserve a special mention for the way they conducted themselves in cleaning the ship after going through the bush fires that covered the ship in smoke ash..The crew kept us humourously entertained during this period.It must said that Captain was very welcoming at the start of the cruise and kept this up throughout with a quiet dignity On arrival at the airport at the beginning of the cruise we had rather a long wait to gather all the incoming passengers due different flight times otherwise the transfer went smoothly. The Cruise Director was very good and humourous bit not intrusive.All in all another trip with lots of memories to take home Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This cruise was on a smaller river cruise ship of a little over a hundred passengers plus about 30 crew. Service was very attentive without being too intrusive. The crew, particularly the guides were very well versed on the history and ... Read More
This cruise was on a smaller river cruise ship of a little over a hundred passengers plus about 30 crew. Service was very attentive without being too intrusive. The crew, particularly the guides were very well versed on the history and culture of the area. We took every shore excursion possible and learned a lot about viticulture, history, art, architecture, local food and wine. It was a fully immersed tour of the Duoro river. Upon arrival, we were shown to our cabin, which was on the very lowest level was quite comfortable. All of our luggage were there waiting to be unpacked.So convenient to unpack/pack just once! Since we were always on the go, whether on shore excursions or watching the scenery and the ship go through locks, we hardly spent much time in the cabin other than to rest up. Meals on board were very well planned. There were always options that included local fare. At meal times, we always had the option to sit at a table to meet other passengers or sit by ourselves. We enjoyed meeting a lot of the other passengers, and made new friends. The cruise director always had after dinner entertainment programs that gave us a glimpse of local culture, music, and arts. And they had a briefing every evening as to what we were to expect at our shore excursions the next day. Everything was orchestrated efficiently and on time - bus transfers, embarkation, disembarkation, etc. Planning on taking another Viking river cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The Douro has always been a place we wanted to see. The scenery did not disappoint. It was magical. The staff were very knowledgeable and always helpful. Mealtimes were unforgettable. The variety and quality of each meal on board showed ... Read More
The Douro has always been a place we wanted to see. The scenery did not disappoint. It was magical. The staff were very knowledgeable and always helpful. Mealtimes were unforgettable. The variety and quality of each meal on board showed how much thought and pre planning had been put in by the chef and his staff. Our three couriers on board always had time to listen and were always available for a chat or any additional information with alternative suggestions for on or offboard activities. The layout of the lounge was a little awkward with the large bar in the centre meaning that the staff were only visible to half the passengers in the room while infomation and talks were being given. However staff did their utmost to overcome this. Overall we would highly recommend the Emerald Radiance cruise as it will be remembered as one of our most enjoyable holidays. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Emerald's new cruiser certainly met the mark. Very plush and with everything we needed, the food was outstanding and the all inclusive drinks package had a wide selection of the best brands. The sun deck was well equipped with ... Read More
Emerald's new cruiser certainly met the mark. Very plush and with everything we needed, the food was outstanding and the all inclusive drinks package had a wide selection of the best brands. The sun deck was well equipped with good chairs and lungers and effect sun screens. Staff were outstanding, from a very proud Captain through to the cleaning staff - nothing was too much trouble. Fellow guests were a good mix of English, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand and made for some inetresting discussions. Off shore trips were good using Emerald's own fleet of brand new coaches. The Duoro is a beautiful area and cruising it in both directions was not a negative but a plus - stopping at different spots each way. All the cruising was done in daylight, enhancing the enjoyment. We were expecting good - it was significantly better. Well done Emerald - we'll be back Read Less
Sail Date September 2017

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