Beautiful River of Gold

Viking Hemming Cruise Review to River Cruises - Europe

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 68

Overall rating:

4.6 out of 5
Verified Review
Viking Hemming

9 Night Portugal's River Of Gold (Lisbon To Porto)

Sail date: August 11, 2017

Ship: Viking Hemming

Cabin type: Oceanview

Cabin number: 109

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Review summary

Very good experience. Special thanks to Michelle Warnes, our Travel Agent. She was exceptional! Anticipated our every need and met it in advance.


5 out of 5
This was our fourth Viking River Cruise, and we have found all of them to be exceptional in every way. The River of Gold cruise was no exception. We began with an included two-night stay at the Tivola Lisboa Hotel in Lisbon. The hotel was beautiful, but the food was very expensive. The tours were good in spite of the very hot weather. As we left on Sunday morning and made our way to Coimbra, we were so impressed with our tour guide (who was with us the whole week end). She had a masters degree in Tourism, and was able to give us an in-depth review of the history of Portugal during our bus travel, which was astounding. In Coimbra, we toured the University and had a wonderful lunch with entertainment by local musicians. Then we traveled on, and arrive at the Viking Hemming around 4:30 pm.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
This was our first time on the smaller ship (not a longboat) which is used exclusively on the Douro River. Although of course a little smaller, there were fewer people on board, and the space was adequate. The food was delicious and well-served as always. Note: We did not partake when they served the local delicacy, octopus!

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Being in our 80's, we most enjoyed sitting in the lounge with a cool drink or a glass of wine, and watching the beautiful scenery go by. More so than our other cruises, this cruise was made up of many people in the 65-90 age group.


3 out of 5
The gentleman who played the piano and sang was very talented. We enjoyed dancing on a couple of occasions. The dancers put on a pretty good show, although we had expected to see the famous Flamenco Dancers in Spain - our misunderstanding, I guess. The show in which a group of young men sang and played guitars was not exceptional. The nightly entertainment has been better on other previous cruises.

Children's Programs

No children allowed on the river cruises.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
This cruise was different in that there were three Program Directors, who doubled as tour guides on the side trips. All of the ship personnel were well-trained, pleasant, and eager to please us.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
We were very pleased.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
We were actually in cabin #108, not 109. The stateroom cabins are a little small, but comfortable and impeccably maintained.

Ship tip

Appreciate the good service, and enjoy yourself! One thing I would like to mention: On this cruise, unlike the other three we've been on, there was ample free time provided at several ports to shop. Portugal is know for its vineyards, olive trees, almond trees, tile and pottery making. And everything you see has "made in Portugal" clearly stamped on it, and often the names of the artists. We did not see a single "made in China" item in Portugal!

Ports of call

Lisbon, Portugal

4 out of 5
Hotel Tivola Lisboa was beautiful. Food was very expensive, and not included in the cruise price (except breakfast). Excursions were good. Bought some beautiful enameled tiles at reasonable prices at a stand in the median right in front of the hotel.


5 out of 5
We did the included excursion. Enjoyed it very much. Note: All the streets in Portugal are rough cobblestone, and the sidewalks are narrow and made of tiles, which can be slippery. Be careful!

Regua, Portugal

5 out of 5
We went on the excursion. Enjoyed seeing the cathedral in Lamego. The scenery on the drive back over the mountains looking down on the waves and waves of grapevines terraced around the mountains was probably the most beautiful scenery I have every seen!

Pinhao, Portugal

5 out of 5
This excursion included a visit to a winery in production (interesting), the age-old Favaios Bakery, (delicious) and then lunch at the Quinta da Avessada (winery). This was the highlight of the trip! The meal was a complete soup-to-nuts extravaganza in a beautiful setting, and the owner of the winery, who spoke at the luncheon, was just a hilarious comedian! A wonderful day!

Barca D'Alva, Portugal

5 out of 5
Breathtakingly beautiful scenery. Castelo Rodrigo is an ancient fortress on top of a mountain. Don't miss it!

Vega De Terron (Salamanca), Spain

4 out of 5
Interesting scenery, very unlike Portugal. We enjoyed the excursion.


5 out of 5
It was very nice that we were near the airport, our flight left at noon, so we got to sleep in until 6:00am! We were able to enjoy an as-usual good, relaxed breakfast. Everything is always planned so that you know exactly what to expect. Everyone was very helpful.
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