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57 Viking River Lisbon Cruise Reviews

Friends had recommended the Douro cruise and we had enjoyed our 2 previous Viking cruises so we embarked on this holiday. We flew from London to Lisbon for a couple of lovely days and then took the coach to Porto for another couple of ... Read More
Friends had recommended the Douro cruise and we had enjoyed our 2 previous Viking cruises so we embarked on this holiday. We flew from London to Lisbon for a couple of lovely days and then took the coach to Porto for another couple of days. The outing to Guimares was wonderful. The cruise itself started the next day. The river is not long so 2.5 days to the Spanish border and 2.5 days back. The locks are fascinating - the boat just fits after the crew knock down the housing that will not go under the bridge! Excursions were interesting and enjoyable, particularly our day in Salamanca in Spain. All the travel arrangements were excellent, we met delightful people including 2 previous cruise friends. The food was excellent, the service good and a lovely atmosphere on board. Of course the weather helped - no rain and not too hot - lovely for cruising. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Having already river cruised before with viking and knowing this itinerary was exactly what we wanted we had no hesitation in booking this holiday. We opted to do the pre cruise extension in Madrid and this proved to be another good ... Read More
Having already river cruised before with viking and knowing this itinerary was exactly what we wanted we had no hesitation in booking this holiday. We opted to do the pre cruise extension in Madrid and this proved to be another good choice as we got to know our small group of 16 other travelers well and they turned out to be our core group of friends for the rest of the trip. On transferring to Lisbon this group soon expanded and by the end of the holiday we were a very happy and integrated bunch on mainly British and American travelers. If you like meeting new people and seeing new places then this is a great way to do it. After a fascinating stop in Cohimbra we arrived in Porto and got promptly onto the viking Hemming and straight into our cabins. 36hrs later we were on our way. Sad to say it was all over too soon but everyone left with wonderful memories,new friendships and hundreds of photos.Oh and a number of bottles of the various drinks we had sampled along the way,and this was quite a few,all of which were splendid. I will leave it to others perhaps to describe in more detail the actual trip. My advice to first time cruisers (repeat cruisers will be aware of any downsides to any european river cruise ) is do some research and if you don't mind the multiple docking possibilities,bus rides to sights etc and if the thought still appeals then sailing on the viking Hemming won't disappoint. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I choose this cruise for a Christmas Holiday. It was disappointing because the schedule was changed do to the maintenance on the locks. This could not have been avoided. However, it make for a disappointing Christmas cruise. Instead of ... Read More
I choose this cruise for a Christmas Holiday. It was disappointing because the schedule was changed do to the maintenance on the locks. This could not have been avoided. However, it make for a disappointing Christmas cruise. Instead of visiting the Bakery on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas was a big let down. For Christmas day we just cruised back and forth. There was not any big celebration on this particular day. My husband hates bus tours and this trip it seemed like that was all we did. He was not happy and expressed his dissatisfaction to me daily. I kept apologizing to him. This made my vacation stressful. He does not want to take another cruise with Viking. This was our third cruise and he loved the first two. I do have to mention the crew was outstanding. The program director could have planned a little better for Christmas day since all we did was cruise up and down. The food was great. The room was great. The staff paid attention to detail. I love Viking because they take care of you from the time you book until the time you fly home. However, I am dealing with a husband that is not a happy customer. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Excellent cultural education. Excellent guides who knew their history and culture of the regions Cuisine was fabulous and often of the region we were visiting Crew was wonderful. All directions as to what to do and expect were ... Read More
Excellent cultural education. Excellent guides who knew their history and culture of the regions Cuisine was fabulous and often of the region we were visiting Crew was wonderful. All directions as to what to do and expect were detailed Ship was great 2 hotels were lovely first class. Airline travel totally arranged Stateroom was cleaned twice daily. There is absolutely nothing I can speak except high praise for this cruise and Viking. Our contractor Pamela Reible even made sure that we had staterooms near the couple with whom we were traveling as well as informing us how to arrange airline seating to be close together. She was fabulous, a wealth of information. The places the cruise arranged for us to visit were very educational culturally. The Viking guides were all very informative about everything we were seeing and every trip that we made in each port. Road travel from port to site was in very comfortabvle coaches. We hope to take many more Viking trips with our friends, in fact have already contracted for a 2020 River cruise. Our trips will always be with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We watch some TV networks where Viking advertise all the time and we have always talked about a River Cruise. 2 years earlier on a Viking Ocean Cruise (Best cruises in the world) we met a couple that had done 7 River Cruises - they met us ... Read More
We watch some TV networks where Viking advertise all the time and we have always talked about a River Cruise. 2 years earlier on a Viking Ocean Cruise (Best cruises in the world) we met a couple that had done 7 River Cruises - they met us on this one. This was Viking Hemming Rivers of Gold and we spent 2 nights in Lisbon in a great hotel and then embarked The Hemming in Porto Portugal 2 days later. We had been advised that since we have done ocean cruises - on Viking - that we should be careful not to "compare" because they are different. I both agree and disagree with this statement. Yes, the river cruises are different in many ways, but the Viking service standard is what stood out as the same to the ocean cruises. The river ships are obviously smaller and on the Douro River it is an even shorter ship than the typical long ships in other European destinations, but the ship was great. It had all that we needed for sure. I think that one thing I will comment on is that Viking have their own busses in Lisbon and Portugal - every excursion that you go on during this cruise is on a Viking branded bus. Viking reconfigured these busses to have more leg room and they are beautifully clean and comfortable. The busses even have "emergency toilets" in them if you need... The hotel Tivoli in Lisbon was centrally located and everything that we wanted to see in central Lisbon was just out the door of the hotel. The hotel was welcoming and accommodating and had amazing staff, food, and overall service. I would not or could not ask for more in the hotel. Our luggage was expertly handled out of the hotel and on to the busses for our trip to Porto and our embarkation to the ship was fast and really simple and it was only a matter of minutes before our luggage was at our room. No the river ships do not have expansive gyms and spa facilities but that was not expected either on these ships. There is a walking track on the top deck and that was enough for sure. The staff were overall - awesome. From the welcome to the meals to the cabin service to the excursions... all was fantastic. Here is the kicker and what more than sealed the deal for us with Viking - not that we had not already voted Viking OUR favourite cruise line (we have two more booked and looking at another one now too...) We are Vegan. This is a choice that we make for health. We are not animal activists and we don't talk about it unless someone asks. I called Viking 90 days before as I was worried on the river ships that there would not be as much option for us as there are on the Ocean ships. Stay with me here because there is a good end... Viking's response to me was: "We don't do Vegan, but we can do Vegetarian." I did not fight them on this but asked if they can list us as Vegan non-dairy. They said they would. On embarkation we went to talk to the Maitre D (Gabor) and he was more than accommodating and asked us questions. Later we met the Chef (Pedro) and he as well was more than accommodating and asked us questions. We had the most fantastic experience from that point forward. Viking - Gabor and Pedro - wowed us daily. Each day Gabor would come to our table with a menu that had been "marked up" by the Chef and it listed what was already suitable for us, or what could be modified for us. In some circumstances the main course option did not have a modification option and in these circumstances Gabor would ask if we would trust the Chef to prepare something special for us. We agreed each time and the special preparation by the Chef and his team was exceptional. We were a group of 8 travelling together and most every meal we sat together. Our friends were actually jealous of what we were served many times... All in all - Gabor (Maitre D) and Pedro (Chef) and team went way over our expectations to accommodate us. For this we are so grateful and we will continue to rate Viking our highest travel experience because of this. Excursions - as we have mostly so far - we have always gone with the included excursions and we did on this cruise as well with the exception of one. We have always found the included excursions to be EXCELLENT and have not felt the need to pay for optional. It is not the cost, we are not trying to be cheap, we just feel that the included excursions are so well planned in content and activity that we don't need anything else. We also feel that the tour guides are more than expected on Viking cruises. Silver Spirits. We love wine and champagne. We are not satisfied with the daily house wines - not because they are not good choices, because they are. We don't like to be restricted to the 2 they have each day. On this cruise, we got our cost of Silver Spirits back in a couple of days just based on the Champagne we were drinking. (by the bottle) We highly recommend Silver Spirits. Entertainment. We were curious and anticipating the entertainment. On the river cruise, the entertainment is more "home grown" and although we had an excellent piano player every night and a couple of guest performers, most of the entertainment was directed by the staff and it was all quite fun and more intimate with the small group - 102 Guests. You will see below that the only elements that I am not giving "excellent" rating are the entertainment and the fitness and recreation. The entertainment just off the top rating because it was as I said above - home grown - but well done. The fitness I rated low because there was no real fitness or recreation available on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was a huge celebration trip. Declared cancer free, 30th wedding anniversary, husband's 65th birthday, husband's retirement. We had a blast. Service, food, tours, amenities all up to our expectations and more. Our suite ... Read More
This was a huge celebration trip. Declared cancer free, 30th wedding anniversary, husband's 65th birthday, husband's retirement. We had a blast. Service, food, tours, amenities all up to our expectations and more. Our suite was wonderful with the balcony and plenty of space. Very clean and our room steward was excellent - as were all the crew! This is not a cruise for people with limited walking abilities. Portugal is VERY hilly and the footing of cobblestones is tough. I disagree with one review that says you spend more time on the bus than the boat. You have options. As we headed down the river we decided not to go on the tour and sailed all day on the bow with champagne, cheese, Iberian ham and yummy bread, we'd bought in Spain, and our books. We really got to see the river this way, experience the amazing scenery and going through the locks. We did this for two days and loved the experience. Whole ship to ourselves, pretty much. We went early November and it was cool and not very crowded - perfect time to travel. Can't wait to do another trip! Thanks Viking! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We really enjoyed this Viking River of Gold cruise along the Douro. We have travelled before with Viking as a few years ago we did the Yangtze River cruise which was amazing and so we expected a lot from Viking. We were not disappointed. ... Read More
We really enjoyed this Viking River of Gold cruise along the Douro. We have travelled before with Viking as a few years ago we did the Yangtze River cruise which was amazing and so we expected a lot from Viking. We were not disappointed. Everything was wonderful from start to finish. We flew from Heathrow to Lisbon on October 20th 2018 and spent 2 days there in the Tivoli Hotel. The hotel was about 10 minutes walk from the centre and was very good. In fact it was so good that the King of Belgium was staying there! Security was high but never affected our stay. The room was lovely as was breakfast. We had to provide our own dinners whilst in Lisbon but we were spoilt for choice by the many local restaurants. The first day we had a guided tour of Lisbon provided by Viking. Our first stop was Belem Tower and then on to Jeronimos Monastery where we arrived, of course, at the same time as the King of Belgium. Next we visited the Alfama old district of Lisbon and then had an afternoon’s free time.We really enjoyed Lisbon although it does not have the wow factor of a city such as Rome. The weather was warm and sunny. Left for Porto the next morning. This is a longish coach journey but we stopped at Coimbra and visited the oldest university in Portugal and then went for a great lunch accompanied by Faldo which is the local guitar music. Arrived at the Viking Osfrid at 4 o’clock. The ship is built especially to go through the locks on the Douro and is, therefore, quite small. There were 93 guests on board. Our cabin was also small but excellent. We had paid for a cabin with a French balcony which in hindsight was a mistake as we only opened the balcony window a few times and spent very little time in the cabin. We sailed along the Douro on the first evening and then back to our mooring. During our cruise we visited some wonderful places, drank lots of port (naturally) and ate great food. The food on board was all of a very high standard and was accompanied by wine at lunch and dinner. We did buy a drinks package although not many on board did but we like to drink a good quality wine at meals and we certainly had our money’s worth. I drank lots of Veuve Cliquot! Dinner was at 7.15 most evenings. The entertainment was low key but ideal for us. There was a pianist who played and sang but who also provided dance music later in the evening. I need to add though that there was often only a very few dancing. This isn’t a trip for a wild nightlife! Many people went to bed early although most took part in a Majority Rules quiz and a music quiz, nothing too demanding. We also had brief talks on our destinations and a demonstration on how to open a vintage port. I was a bit disappointed that people didn’t particularly get dressed up in the evenings. I don’t mean dinner jackets and cocktail dresses but that many didn’t even get changed for an evening. I am on holiday and like to get ready for dinner! The crew are all excellent and the service we had was first class. Viking usually use a system of gratuities paid in an envelope handed in at the end of the cruise but they are trialling a new system of adding the tips to your final bill. I like to tip individuals and so I took the gratuities off the bill and tipped separately. Yes I know all the arguments about tipping and I change my opinion on the best way to go all the time! The Douro is only a small river. The locks were amazing as was the scenery but the river can only get you to a limited number of places. This meant that we often went on quite long coach trips e.g Salamanca. It was certainly worth it. Viking try to ensure that you see the local life and culture. We visited port cellars, churches, villages and even a local bakery. We walked lots of cobbled streets and was glad of comfortable shoes. One evening was a Portuguese dinner and the crew all wore local costume. We added an extension visit to Santiago de Compostela and travelled by coach. There were only 10 of us who took this option. We left the ship at 9 o’clock and travelled by coach. As it is quite a long trip Viking as always make sure you get value for money and we stopped on the way to visit Bom Jesus and Braga. We arrived at Santiago at 5 o’clock and stayed in another lovely hotel. Our guide took us for a stroll to the cathedral to orientate us and showed us the main streets for restaurants. We loved our stay in Santiago visiting the cathedral and seeing the walking pilgrims. The only disappointment of this trip cannot be placed at the door of Viking, although if they had the power I am sure they would deal with it. The weather! We arrived in Lisbon to 25 degrees. The first few days were warm and sunny. I even went for a dip in the small but pleasant pool on the first day aboard. After that it was cold. Even very cold! 3 degrees one particular morning. Yes it did warm up to 10 degrees but I was completely unprepared for the weather. My research and according to Viking’s website said it would be low 20s although 50% chance of rain. I, along with most people on board, had packed the wrong sort of clothes. Those who had flown from snowy Canada and even America had warmer coats. The evening the Programme Director said to take gloves and scarves the next day was a bit of a shock. We were, however, very lucky and managed to avoid most of the rain. All in all this was a fantastic trip and I can thoroughly recommend Viking. Our fellow travellers had lots of recommendations for other trips with Viking. I would love to do a Viking Ocean Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We enjoyed the Viking River of Gold trip but would rate this a 3.8-4.0 versus other European river cruises. Sightseeing in Lisbon and Porto was pleasant and interesting but not at the level of other major capitals. The Douro River valley ... Read More
We enjoyed the Viking River of Gold trip but would rate this a 3.8-4.0 versus other European river cruises. Sightseeing in Lisbon and Porto was pleasant and interesting but not at the level of other major capitals. The Douro River valley was delightful, scenic and quiet but devoid of sightseeing. Side trips to small towns and historic sites required lengthy bus time. Highly recommend the add-on trip to Santiago de Compostela for its historic significance and architectural beauty. Also enjoyed the visit to Salamanca. Note that Viking hotel stays were excellent. Staff and guides were top notch. As for the dining room, food and service was certainly good but not great (if you want fabulous dining take Tauck). In general I would recommend taking all the other river cruises first (Danube, Rhine, Rhone) which have superior sightseeing itineraries and save the Douro for last if you enjoy the river cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Poor expensive cruise on the Duoro River, Portugal 1. Food of poor quality -first night I had grilled prawns which were focally raw in the cehter. I think they grill without thoroughly defrosted the prawns. -last night, it was ... Read More
Poor expensive cruise on the Duoro River, Portugal 1. Food of poor quality -first night I had grilled prawns which were focally raw in the cehter. I think they grill without thoroughly defrosted the prawns. -last night, it was chateaubriand. It was sliced, and seemed to be microwaved! No taste and tough. -at lunch, canned sardines were served! -cake/custard dessert was partly frozen in the center, crunchy with ice crystals. -lots of cheap wine (3/4 euros a bottle). Make you drunk so you can forget the bad food. -we were served cheap white port mixed w tonic water and ice. The last day we were served 10 year old late vintage port, not real vintage port, although they opened a bottle of vintage port. However they did not served that to us, but to the maitre D and other staff only! We thought that being on the wine region, we would be having meals in the vineyards, but we had only eaten in the vineyard once. It was the only decent meal. 2. Servers were inexperienced -I was drenched in orange juice by the server once, and sprinkled in beer a second time. The ship even had the nerve to bill me for laundry of my soiled clothing. Adding insult to injury! -On the whole, they crew try to be helpful, except one bar tender, Marcio, who has a racist attitude. There were only a handful of non-whites on board. Initially I kept this to myself. Later independently, another non-white mentioned the same thing to me! 3. facilities The "swimming pool" is only a one foot deep kiddie pool. I was the only one who tried to swim before realizing the actual depth. Nobody else used it. Might as well eliminate this useless decoration! No fitness facilities. 4. Don't use their air service. They will put you on the cheapest way possible, except if you want to get more miles. E.g. flying back from Porto to LA, they fly you first to Frankfurt, then Vancouver, then LA! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
After a wonderful stay in Lisbon, we transferred to Porto, where we boarded the Osfrid. This boat cruised across Portugal on the Douro River to the border with Spain. The voyage certainly met Viking's high standards for service, ... Read More
After a wonderful stay in Lisbon, we transferred to Porto, where we boarded the Osfrid. This boat cruised across Portugal on the Douro River to the border with Spain. The voyage certainly met Viking's high standards for service, fine food, and comfort. This was our seventh river cruise with Viking and they do a consistently excellent job. Anyone who fancies fine wine should consider this cruise - there were winery visits in every stop. The cabins tend to be small, but the food is excellent. The enrichment lectures about llocal customs and culture were interesting. At the conclusion of this voyage, we took the optional extension to Santiago de Compostela, which we thought was exceptional. We enjoyed the various parts of Portugal a lot more than we expected to. In the past ten years, we have visited more then 110 countries and we had not previously had a high interest in Portugal, but we found the country interesting and the people very friendly and hospitable. We highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our fourth Viking cruise and I think they just get better and better. Embarkation was so impressive! Seriously, I thought it would be a long process, but we walked aboard the boat, was immediately greeted by a person that took us ... Read More
This was our fourth Viking cruise and I think they just get better and better. Embarkation was so impressive! Seriously, I thought it would be a long process, but we walked aboard the boat, was immediately greeted by a person that took us straight to our stateroom, handed us keys and showed us how to work everything. Our luggage was delivered in minutes. We had a Veranda Suite (#204), which we've had before but this one had a walk in closet!!! Loved our little rooms. Didn't fall in love with Lisbon (so much graffiti) but loved the cruising part of the cruise through lush, green, vineyard covered regions. Great little ports along the way and knowledgeable tour guides every place we went. We were on the same bus, with the same people, same driver and Viking escort everyday, which made it very simple and not confusing. Breakfast was my favorite, always so good with plenty of choices. Didn't enjoy the dinners near as much as previous Viking cruises but it was okay, nothing memorable. The service from each department was first class. No complaints about a single staff member. David Wonder, the cruise director, was incredible and we even had the privilege of having him for our Viking escort each day. That kid will go far in life and really should be aboard one of Viking's ocean liners just so more people and be in awe of his knowledge. We haven't been on a mega cruise ship (we've sailed 16 times on them) since our first cruise with Viking and we won't return to that style of cruising. I highly recommend everyone try river cruising. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise specifically to experience the Douro river valley and vineyards. Unfortunately, this cruise was not an ideal way to do so. The navigable part of the river is relatively short, two days of cruising each way. To make ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically to experience the Douro river valley and vineyards. Unfortunately, this cruise was not an ideal way to do so. The navigable part of the river is relatively short, two days of cruising each way. To make up the additional time Viking starts the trip with a full day in Lisbon followed by a full day riding a bus to Porto to meet the ship. You spend another full day in Porto before the ship sails. That leaves five days on the river, or so it would seem. The daily tours involve riding a bus to the attraction and then meeting the ship at a different location so you have about half a day of cruising. The third day is an all day excursion to Salamanca, Spain; two hours on the bus each way and returning to the ship at the same location. The following day is another long bus ride to visit Favois and long stop for lunch at a vineyard and a bus ride to catch up to the ship at Pinhao (or in our case, Regua). The last day is a morning bus trip and finally a long cruise from Regua back to Porto. If you really want to experience the Douro river valley consider renting a car and staying in the small hotels along the way. The roads are excellent and you'll see much more of the local culture on your own. All this having been said, Viking does provide excellent service and accommodations. The veranda suite we booked included laundry service and complimentary mini-bar. The crew was attentive, program director terrific, and the chef presented excellent regional menu choices every day. Considering we were in a wine region, the daily offerings of wine were particularly disappointingly dull. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My wife and I booked the Portugal's Rive of Gold (booking No 483693). We flied 21 hours from Australia to join the river cruise. On the first embarkation day, we were told that one of the engine failed. As a result, the river cruise ... Read More
My wife and I booked the Portugal's Rive of Gold (booking No 483693). We flied 21 hours from Australia to join the river cruise. On the first embarkation day, we were told that one of the engine failed. As a result, the river cruise turned into coach tours, and the ship Osfrid became our hotel. At first, a coach took us to Caldas De regos, a Portugal small town where the ship had docked. On the following days, we had to travel on the winding hill road 4 to 7 hours a day, and hurried back to sleep in the vessel. One day, the coach's air-condition stopped working at the inside temperature as hot as 84'F(29"C). We were very sick while one guest started vomiting. Meanwhile our veranda cabin 203 was on the middle deck, diesel stink and engine noise annoyed us all the times. We are totally dissatisfied with this cruise, and request for compensation. Although the manager promised at the meeting that their customer relations would contact us on this issue soon, we have not heard from them. We sent an email to Viking, there is no any response. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My experience of my first river cruise totally turned me off from going to future river cruises. Not only for 3 consecutive days, my mini suite cabin with balcony, is in total darkness because the boat double-parked with another and ... Read More
My experience of my first river cruise totally turned me off from going to future river cruises. Not only for 3 consecutive days, my mini suite cabin with balcony, is in total darkness because the boat double-parked with another and blocking all the sunlight into the cabin. As a result, there was no river scenery to enjoyed. In addition, my cabin had the odor of diesel fume and the noise of the engine plus the water discharge sounds made sleeping difficult at times. Even though this is the maiden voyage after its refurbishment, Osfrid was acting funny. For the first day, my cabin door could not open. Then the reading lights turned on by itself in the middle of the night. Next, due to the rising water level of Douro River and the multiple locks that control the water level of the river, the boat could not reach the towns we were supposed to go. As a result, most of us were bused to our destinations through winding roads. Even so, I enjoyed the land tours and the predetermined site visits, etc., due to the tremendous efforts made by the Viking program staff who arrange the itinerary to satisfy the unhappy crowd. I must say the night spent in a hotel in Salamanca, Spain was one of the highlights of this river cruise. Food was much better on shore than on boat. However, compliments to all the serving staff on the boat, especially Manuel, who tried his best to make dinners happy with their requests. Perhaps, the chef on boat needed to know many of the dishes were cold when they reached the tables. For this river cruise, I think the air fares they arranged far exceeded my upcoming trip with Smithsonian, same business class. Did I get my money's worth for this cruise, I should say "no". Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
The cruise was excellent. Food, guides, staff, program directors, wines, etc. I will like to talk to somebody about the “extended tours”, specifically the FATIMA tour. As you may know FATIMA is one of most important pilgrimage ... Read More
The cruise was excellent. Food, guides, staff, program directors, wines, etc. I will like to talk to somebody about the “extended tours”, specifically the FATIMA tour. As you may know FATIMA is one of most important pilgrimage site for Catholics. The Fatima tour included three stops, FATIMA, BELEM or BATALHA and Nazarene. I feel the FATIMA tour should only include two stops and most the time in FATIMA, the FATIMA tour should have enough time so that the participants could attend a mass there, the Belem visit was fine. The Nazarene visit could be eliminated, this just the typical European cute beach town, we had lunch there and a quick stroll on the tourist souvenir shops and the up to Porto. Lunch could be done after mass in Fatima or after the quick tour of BELEM. The majority of the FATIMA participants were catholic and expressed the same desire to have had the opportunity to attend mass in FATIMA. The Santiago de Compostela extended tour was awesome it should be two full days. The program director/guide was awesome- Ricardo- very professional and knowledgeable, the local guide Eva packed a lot of information on the time allotted to her. Santiago de Compostela is another catholic pilgrimage site, time should be allowed/included to attend mass and then continue the guided tour. The hotels in Lisbon and Santiago de Compostela are first rate, impeccable service. Also, at least in this cruise the majority of the participants were on their winter of their life, the tours should be a slower pace, and allow for more shopping/browsing time. The VIKING experience is for people that want to learn and enhanced their knowledge about the history of the places being visited. I will say is like adult field trips/camp. I more likely do another one VIKING CRUISE, probably the one in France, Bordeaux, etc. Hopefully 2019. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Picked the cruise up at Porto for our anniversary. The first 2 nights service and food was 5 star. After that things went downhill quickly, allegedly the chef was taken to hospital. This should not have made any difference. Service in the ... Read More
Picked the cruise up at Porto for our anniversary. The first 2 nights service and food was 5 star. After that things went downhill quickly, allegedly the chef was taken to hospital. This should not have made any difference. Service in the restaurant was slow, if you don't order a starter your main course can arrive an hour later! Plates were not cleared from the previous course or cutlery not replaced. Orders were mixed up or the wrong thing arrived. The staff kept smiling throughout but really was not 5 star. Free flowing wines and drinks available with the meal or from the café bar outside the restaurant. Loved the cakes on offer 24 hrs. Many guests entered the restaurant without sanitizing their hands or even changing from their day clothes ...surely a member of staff could be employed at the door. Hygiene should be a priority on a boat. Free water in cabin and able to bring wine bought ashore to the evening meal. The scenery was stunning the further we got up the river. The boat docked in remote places with no cafes or shops but added to the charm. BUT I did get left behind...serious breach of security. I was not going on the day trip and the boat moved upstream. It did not move far I was told once rescued, but I didn't know how far when I saw it moving up river. The staff should have warned me the boat was moving. Even if only just few meters. Something is wrong with their check out system, not aware where their guests were. I could have been miles away and on returning the boat had gone! Expect better for an expensive holiday. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
After cruising on the Grand European last year I joined this year the Rivers of Gold in Portugal. The Scenery is stunning and amazing. Besides wonderful excursions to Porto, Salamanca, Lamego, Mateus Palace, Sandeman, Pinhao and great Port ... Read More
After cruising on the Grand European last year I joined this year the Rivers of Gold in Portugal. The Scenery is stunning and amazing. Besides wonderful excursions to Porto, Salamanca, Lamego, Mateus Palace, Sandeman, Pinhao and great Port wine tastings I enjoyed every single minute on board the Viking Hemming. The Crew has been incredible friendly and caring - they gave a home away from home feeling. Carolina and Milan were the waiters that took so good care of me. Chef Jan and his team prepared wonderful food with many local tastes. I fell in love with the Spanish Paella, the Pork Cheeks or the wonderful Chateaubriand. Furthermore I met wonderful people from around the world. For the entertainment we had wonderful shows like Flamenco and group of young students providing an great flair of Portuguese music. I am already planning on the next Viking Cruise - Thank you Viking. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We were looking for a Spring, nice weather river cruise, and an earlier cruise with Viking in Russia sold us on this line. We had never been to Portugal -- so their River of Gold seemed like a perfect fit, and it was. - Excellent ... Read More
We were looking for a Spring, nice weather river cruise, and an earlier cruise with Viking in Russia sold us on this line. We had never been to Portugal -- so their River of Gold seemed like a perfect fit, and it was. - Excellent pick-up at the Lisbon Airport at 9:30 AM Lisbon time, and 55 minutes after landing we were at the Hotel Tivoli Lisboa on Avendia da Liberdade, in the heart of the city. What a great hotel selection by Viking! The hotel staff was great, and the location is perfect. 2 blocks from the Metro, 2 blocks from outdoor restaurants and cafes. Even better, they were able to get us in a room by noon, in time for a power nap and then off to 6 hours of sight-seeing. - Lisbon is now my new "favorite" city in Europe, and we are very glad we opted for the extra 2 days upon arrival. It gave us the opportunity to see much of Lisbon, + we had 2 days for side trip to Sintra and Fatima on our own. Note: the Viking provided walking tours of the city were exceptional; their guides are true pros. - Next, we boarded our ship in Porto after an enjoyable bus ride via the University in Coimbra. - Up the Duro River: Castles, Cathedrals and Wineries. Each from a different perspective. Our favorite experiences: Dinner and Fado show at the Alpendurada Monastery and the tour of Mateus Palace and gardens. Also, the Douro Museum in Peso da Régua is a superb regional museum. I found it via my own research; I wish it had been recommended by Viking for all. On board, the dinners were superb -- and Port wine flowed each evening. I was very pleased to see the majority of the wines served were local from northern Portugal. Again, the staff went above and beyond. - Special note: On Day 9, my wife came down with a stomach aliment. Viking provided chicken noodle soup and Gator Aid delivered every 4 hours--in in 2 days she was up and running. - Post trip: we opted for the post-trip to Santiago de Compostela, and we were glad we did. The opportunity to see the Cathedral of St. James, mingle with the pilgrims and dine on Galacian cuisine were a perfect ending to a perfect trip. So much so, I am ready to do the Camino Pilgrimage myself. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this cruise to compliment our Portugal vacation and Viking did not disappoint. After a start in Lisbon that provided great tours, the under construction Tivoli hotel had great breakfasts; but some rooms had no wifi and no hot ... Read More
We chose this cruise to compliment our Portugal vacation and Viking did not disappoint. After a start in Lisbon that provided great tours, the under construction Tivoli hotel had great breakfasts; but some rooms had no wifi and no hot water on the second day. The Viking hotel manager quickly provided shipboard credit that gave us a luxurious experience free from worries about any charges. The Viking Hemming is a smaller river ship river. Clean, comfortable, happy staff ready to say yes to your request and with terrific meals provided by the chef and restaurant staff. The Douro River has stunning vistas and is a photographers paradise. The tours are well organized, the buses near new and never crammed full. The tour guides were some of the best we have experienced. Very knowledgeable and their pace never rushed the small groups we were divided into. A 5 star cruise we would recommend to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I had heard from family and friends that Portugal was a great country to tour: beautiful, safe, tons of history, warm, and Mediterranean. Also, the American dollar has strong purchasing power. We had loved a previous self-toured trip of ... Read More
I had heard from family and friends that Portugal was a great country to tour: beautiful, safe, tons of history, warm, and Mediterranean. Also, the American dollar has strong purchasing power. We had loved a previous self-toured trip of Spain, but missed seeing the Northwest corner, including Santiago de Compostela. We went in early May, so Portugal was warm but not stifling, and outside of forest-fire season. This trip allowed us to add on a couple of days in Lisbon (beautiful city) and to also see medieval Sintra through a Viking one-day special on the front end, and then add to our 8-day trip on the back end with a trip into NW Spain for Santiago de Compostela, famous medieval site for pilgrimages to see St. James' holy relics. Portugal is not large, so we had plenty of time on our coach from Lisbon to Porto for a lovely stop and tour (included in the price) at Coimbre, site of a medieval university and town where J.K. Rowling lived and was influenced for her imaginary Hogwarts Wizarding School. Lunch included live, haunting fado performance. The Douro River is short, so you spend more time in ports touring (or shopping). Viking arranged several interesting presentations on board--history, Port wine, olive oil, a cork merchant (great gifts in jewelry, hats and bags), two entertaining musical groups (Don't miss the male college performers)--in addition to exciting architectural tours and wine tastings on land. We enjoyed our fellow travelers--many from Britain, as well as U.S. Our coach Portuguese tour guide, George, was very knowledgeable and interesting. We recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We wanted to see Santiago de Compostela and were not disappointed. We were a little disappointed in the food, however; the service was outstanding. Our cabin shower had mold growing around the perimeter and was not dealt with. Our ... Read More
We wanted to see Santiago de Compostela and were not disappointed. We were a little disappointed in the food, however; the service was outstanding. Our cabin shower had mold growing around the perimeter and was not dealt with. Our excursions were excellent, notably Fatima, Lamego, Salamanca, Mateus and Favaios bakery. The scenery along the Douro river was amazing. We were delighted to have a wonderful PD group. Boris, Jens and the guides were very knowledgeable and informative. Eva did an outstanding job in Santiago. The flamenco show could be replaced with something else, perhaps some cultural events. Overall the excursions were great with one exception. The onshore guide at Fatima was less than average. She did little to inform us while on the bus to Fatima and very little when we arrived. The ship overall was good. The staff was very friendly and attentive. We will continue to use Viking as our cruise carrier of choice both river and ocean. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise because we were on grand European tour 2yrs before and loved every minute of it.The service is amazing and the tour guide extraordinary actually spoiled us for any other guide. Food out of this world hard to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were on grand European tour 2yrs before and loved every minute of it.The service is amazing and the tour guide extraordinary actually spoiled us for any other guide. Food out of this world hard to resist. We're thinking of booking another one probably in the fall of 2018 or spring of 2019. In 2015 it was our very first river cruise we had done 10 ocean cruise so we were not sure what to except . We love the big ship but now I'm not sure which one I like best because they're very different vacation. For the attention you get on Viking you can't do better. I remember one day my sister in law and I were having lunch on deck and the waiter came to tell us our husband were waiting for us in the dining room. You would never get that special attention on the big ship. In others words IT'S THE BEST VACATION ever. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We so much enjoyed our previous Viking cruise, Amsterdam to Budapest, that we were eager to try a second Viking cruise. We had never been to Portugal, and we had heard others praise its beauty. Also, this was at the perfect time, because ... Read More
We so much enjoyed our previous Viking cruise, Amsterdam to Budapest, that we were eager to try a second Viking cruise. We had never been to Portugal, and we had heard others praise its beauty. Also, this was at the perfect time, because it started just after we finished a convention elsewhere in Europe. The Duoro river is beautiful. Because the ship is small, we got to know our tour guide well. The first day in Lisbon was a highlight. Another other major highlight was the very old library, where they let bats live behind the stacks because the bats eat moths that would eat the books! The ancient college in Salamanca was another highlight, with a very informative guide. The only weak spot was that because this was the first cruise of the year, the kitchen had a little trouble getting organized for dinner... sometimes ran out of a popular food, or had slower than expected service. But Viking did everything they could to remedy the problems, including hiring some extra staff after a day or two. We learned much about Portugal and its history and culture. We are big fans of Viking, and we have already signed up for another cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Superior ship with suites and outstanding staff. Each staff member was friendly, capable, and very helpful. The excellent food and beverages enriched the experience as did the scenery and port visits but the thing that makes Viking ... Read More
Superior ship with suites and outstanding staff. Each staff member was friendly, capable, and very helpful. The excellent food and beverages enriched the experience as did the scenery and port visits but the thing that makes Viking my river cruise of choice is the roomy, airy, modern, and light cabins and public areas. The ship accomodation and roominess was especially key in a cold weather time such as we sailed. The Chief Bar Tender was extraordinary both in his mixology skills and in his welcoming and helpful attitude. The staff recommendations of things to do and see in port were unerringly perfect and clearly based upon extensive knowledge of the port and perceptive measure of the guests! Based on this experience we have already sailed again on Viking (Douro River) and simply throw out all the other river cruise letters and circulars that we get! Viking is the TOP river cruise experience without exception. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
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