Lisbon is the richest region of Portugal by GDP per capita, and as such it is a busy commercial city. Trying to find a good map that is not designed to sell you something is not easy. The wealth of tourist leaflets may swamp you, so we advise some research, a plan and a route worked out before you visit Lisbon. The tourist offices will be busy especially if there are lots of ships in. Lisbon is on many cruise routes, to the Med, to Africa, to the Canary Islands and beyond. Lisbon is normally even on a world cruise and some routes across the Atlantic. All because of it’s position. So, expect building works and delays, the port is undergoing works and constant improvements. On the other side of the dock sea front road are excavations, vast excavations. In short, the buses and coaches cannot turn left as they wish, out of the dock into the town. They have to turn right, travel, turn round and come back. It can take 40 minutes to get back level to where you left the ship, so, if you can avoid the free shuttle, consider the short walk into town. See, it is best to be forewarned about Lisbon! Novel Virgin Voyage takes place on a Canary Island cruise and in Lisbon. Click book cover for details.

Aurora Ship Tour  Azura Ship Tour  Britannia Ship Tour  Arcadia Ship Tour

Rise early and see some of the best views as your ship approaches the Portuguese capital along the Tagus River. You will pass the Belem Tower and the impressive Monument to the Discoveries with its statue of Henry the Navigator, then go for breakfast as the ship docks and prepares for you to disembark. You will also sail under the second-longest bridge in Europe. Although small for a European capital, this city does sprawl a little so you would do best to concentrate on three districts – Baixa, Bairro Alto and Alfama, each with its own distinctive style, making Lisbon a cruises must see.

    • Baixa has busy streets of inviting shops, cafés, and restaurants.
    • Alfama is the atmospheric old town with narrow cobblestone streets, medieval and Moorish-style buildings, wrought-iron balconies with trailing flowers and a mix of small shops and bars.
    • Bairro Alto is another historic district with narrow streets and is a steep climb from Baixa so look out for the 100-year-old lift (Elevador do Carmo) near Rossio Square.

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Segway Tour. We decided to do a Segway tour of Alfama which was good fun and we covered much more ground than we would have had we been walking. This was great for easy and fast orientation as we found the map quite difficult to follow and self-discover the town. The Segway was so worth it, though finding that from the map was not easy either. A good starting place is Commercial square.

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Alfama is beautiful and as the city is built on 7 hills there are viewpoints everywhere. St Georges castle is worth a visit and we found a lovely restaurant which was made from an original number 28 tram. Tram 28 is famous and it is an easy cheap ride through the city which we can recommend. Our time went much too quickly and I can’t wait till the next visit to Lisbon, watch the film and see what we saw.

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BOOK A SHIP ARRANGED CRUISE HERE – GO TO YOUR PERSONAL P&O CRUISE PLANNER HERETours available from your ship will probably include

  1. Lisbon by Land and River
  2. Walking Tour of the City
  3. Lisbon by Tram and Coach
  4. Lisbon Highlights and Coast of Estoril
  5. Sintra, Guincho, and Cascais
  6. Charming Obidos
  7. Free (on your own)  time at 3 sites
  8. Jeep Safari
  9. A Journey to Fatima – Small Group Tour
  10. City Drive and Oceanarium
  11. Views of Lisbon and Estufa Fria Garden
  12. Calores Winery and Cape Roca

Cruises that take in Lisbon can be very diverse, for example to the Aegean.click here for the New Canary Island cruise menu including West Africa & Cape Verde

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