The river Tagus is one of the city’s main features. So, why not use it to see the capital from a different perspective? Lisbon boat tours are a must and we know a lot about them.
Imagine that you have only a few hours in Lisbon and want to see as much as possible. Doing a walking tour is a good option, but you have another great choice: a boat tour.
Enjoy the Sunset
In Lisbon, the sun drops on the Atlantic Ocean. If you happen to be on a boat, during this magical golden hour, it is possible to experience the sky “catching fire”, while seeing some of the city’s main monuments.
At Your Friend in Lisbon, we have organized unforgettable Sunset Sailing Tours and helped to create many cherished memories. Depending on our guests wishes, we can start from several piers. The Doca do Espanhol and the Estação Sul e Sueste are our favorites: it’s easy to get there, and the sailing experience starts the moment you step foot onboard.
The Tagus Bridge dominates the landscape, but there are many other spots and views to enjoy. When leaving the pier, the vessel can go towards Belém, to the west, or Parque das Nações, to the east. In between both places, Lisbon spreads out in front of your eyes! And, on the opposite site, the so-called South Bank, the crew can pinpoint some interesting landscape sites that you would easily miss, even on a land tour by the riverside.
While on board, the crew and the tour guide that sails with you will make sure that you get to know Lisbon’s waterside main attractions: in Belém, we are talking about the Jerónimos Monastery, the Discoveries Monument, the Tower of Belém, the wave-shaped amazing building of the MAAT Museum or the Presidential Palace.
Crossing below the Golden Gate lookalike 25th of April Bridge is another highlight of this tour. The moment the vessel does just that, be sure not to miss the Cristo Rei statue, located opposite Lisbon and very near the bridge. This monument is a replica of the Cristo Redentor of Rio de Janeiro and has a past that links Portugal to World War II.
Power and romance
And then, the Praça do Comércio, or Terreiro do Paço. Build in the aftermath of the devastating 1755 Great Earthquake, it is one of the biggest squares in Europe and the ultimate political show off. Absolutely elegant, it still hosts some governmental offices. It’s easy to imagine how travelers arriving from the Atlantic would both impressed and amazed by the “reborn” and powerful Lisbon.
One of the main features of the Praça do Comércio, that you can see really well from the river, is the Cais das Colunas, or Columns Wharf. Build as a regal docking place, it is also known as the Royal Pier and was mainly used by kings, queens and VIP visitors. The last grand arrival in Lisbon, by the Tagus, was Queen Elizabeth II, in 1957.
In any of our boat tours, like in every single experience that we create at Your Friend in Lisbon, our guests are the main focus. That’s why we only do private tours and make sure to cater to people’s uniqueness. This means that a boat tour with us can be enriched, for example, by amazing food and wine, special onboard decorations, a birthday or anniversary cake, “that” bottle of wine, “those” chocolates or even a special way of pulling of a marriage proposal. We have witnessed a few of that!
For many centuries, the Tagus estuary – one of the biggest in Europe – has been filled with all kinds of different boats. Some say that the design and triangular sails date back to Greek or Phoenician times. The colorful traditional vessels used to bring all kinds of products to the city. Today, we can organize river cruises with a traditional twist. And you can even have a meal on board.
One of our favorite vessels is the 100 years old “Amoroso”. Like most of the Tagus traditional ships, it is painted with bright colors. These decorations are not only beautiful, but they were also a means of protection: they made the boat more visible, specially in foggy days at the Tagus.
The “Amoroso” is owned by the city council of Seixal and it is available for river cruises. In addition to the experience of sailing the Tagus in the most traditional way, you can also visit a XV century tidal mill.
We are sailing
Portugal is a maritime nation. So, no wonder that a lot of Lisbon boat tours are done with sailing boats. The experience in the Tagus is one made of mostly mild breezes and currents. However, you can always have a taste of the Atlantic. Leave the mouth of the river and enter the Ocean. When you come back to the shore, imagine that you are an explorer, returning from the New World.
So, are you excited to discover Lisbon’s sites, history and landscape from the river perspective? Leave it to us. You just have to reach out Your Friend in Lisbon and we will create a unique, private and unforgettable experience. Welcome aboard!