Thursday, October 13, 2022

Lisbon's Tagus Cruises showcases spectacular coastline, monuments

Tagus Cruises offers an appealing variety of sailings off Lisbon's lovely shores. Here, new friends
from three continents enjoy a morning sail around Lisbon's iconic monuments and bridges. 



The striking, monumental PadrĂ£o dos Descobrimentos -- Monument to the
 stands 170 feet tall and is a major attraction by land or sea.

Bruce Keller and Christene "Cookie" Meyers at the
marina ready to board Tagus Cruises for a "double header."

IF YOU want a few hours away from it all, and love being on the water, you'll find no more relaxing outing than a sail with Tagus Cruises in Lisbon, Portugal.
Tagus uses a variety of sailing vessels -- from graceful sailing yachts, to sailing and power catamarans. Your choice.
There are also appealing  options for small and middle-sized groups looking for a peaceful time on the water with someone else in the "driver's seat." 
We booked a sightseeing cruise, then were so happy we signed on for  a second cruise to enjoy the spectacular Lisbon sunset.

 PRIVATE CHARTERS are also available, and booked regularly by locals.  We sailed on our first Tagus outing with a working couple from Lisbon, and a tourist couple from Australia.  The locals were celebrating a quiet day in their home town by taking a sail.

Tagus Cruises is easy to find on the marina near Altis Hotel. 
The gentleman said his high-tech business uses Tagus for company holiday parties as well as business meetings.  Hard to imagine concentrating on work with beautiful statues and bridges competing for attention. But Tagus Cruises has a popular following among businesses, as well as the tourist trade, and with faithful locals who love being on the water and sharing their city's architecture and variety with guests.

OUR CAPTAIN honored the Tagus promise to show off Lisbon's famous bridges and monuments.  First, he made certain we had a close-up view of Lisbon's Christ statue, patterned after the famous, larger Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

He spent a good 15 minutes giving us a splendid view of "Cristo Rei," one of the most iconic monuments in Lisbon. The statue of Christ stands high above the southern banks of the Tejo Estuary, which we also viewed.  It is teeming with protected bird life and ranks as the largest wetland in the country and one of the most important in Europe.  Our nature loving crew explained that it is also a sanctuary for fish, mollusks and crustaceans.

WHILE GETTING unique views of the bridges, beaches, even the industrial area, we learned a bit about Lisbon's colorful history.

It is one of the oldest cities in western Europe. Like many other European cities, it has been home to many and varied peoples and has seen its share of war and conquest. After the region was settled by the Celts, it was founded by those well traveled Phoenicians around 1200 BC, making it 400 years older than Rome.
Passing under Lisbon's beautiful bridges.
These highly educated people established a settlement called Ulissipo, becoming successful merchants, traders and colonizers until they were conquered by the Greeks and Carthaginians. 
As a thriving capital city of Portugal, today's Lisbon maintains its strategic geographical position at the mouth of the Tagus, the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula and the river from which the cruise company takes its name.

TAGUS CRUISES earns its reputation for excellence. Besides being well maintained, its boats are new, shiny and small enough that we never felt cramped or crowded.  We had the run of the vessels on two separate outings with spectacular, smooth, sight-filled experiences on the water.  Best part:  we actually sailed on both outings, a pleasure since the winds were just right and we motored only briefly.

SAILING HAS become one of my favorite  hobbies, since my lifelong sailor partner introduced me to it 16 years ago. Here are some of the reasons we love to sail: Being on a boat slows down time and helps one ponder. On a sailboat, we truly feel we're "getting away from it all."

 Lisbon's sights are muted and lovely on a sunset cruise.

Sailing also offers the opportunity to learn.  It's fun to watch the crew man -- "and woman" the ropes and sails. Just watching, I've learned much about the technical skill and expertise necessary to be a good sailor.

Bruce Keller and Christene "Cookie" Meyers on
a sunset cruise, framed by Lisbon architecture. 

As mentioned, we liked our morning sail so much that we booked a sunset sail for the next day.  Again, we tied it in with the excellent Lisbon City Card and convenient "hop on, hop off" bus connection.

 A Tagus cruise also includes a beverage and the crew offered beer, iced tea or soft drinks. Don't forget: you'll want to tip the crew. A reasonable tip is 10 or 15 per cent of what you paid. Prices range from a reasonable 25 Euros for the one-hour tour on up to several hundred Euros for private  charters, if you're feeling flush or want to treat 15 or so of your favorite people.

Remember the Lisbon city card will save you Euros, wear and tear and help with myriad museum admissions. We recommend the 3-day card.

We can't wait to return to one of our favorite cities -- in a favorite part of a country we've come to know and love.

More information on Lisbon, or to book:


Cookie eyes the camera with a still warm bag of freshly roasted peanuts
from Lisbon's delightful market. Fresh fruit, vegetables, cheeses,
meats and a large offering of Portugal's famous port wine are sold.

UP NEXT: "Taste Porto." While we're in Portugal, we move north to Porto, where we sample local a tasty variety of local dishes -- including the country's famous cod.  We also take you shopping in a beautiful market and learn about Porto's rich history, architecture and culture. We play a piano in a centuries old restaurant, and buy a bag of freshly roasted peanuts. We'll even share a recipe for a delectable Portuguese sausage and bean stew.  Meanwhile, remember to explore, learn and live and catch us weekly for a fresh spin on travel, the arts, nature, family and more: www.
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  1. Enjoy your travel yarns. Portugal is high on our "must see" list, so this is an encouragement.

  2. We follow your travels with enthusiasm. We love Portugal, too. Back in June.

  3. Great water- connected stories.

  4. We always look for interesting sailing opportunities. Tagus and the beautiful Lisbon monuments sound great.