We went on a morning boat trip in Lisbon
By Bo, co-founder of SeaBookings, working from Lisbon:
When my colleague Lianne was visiting us for a few days in Lisbon, of course, we wanted to go on a sailing trip in Lisbon. We contacted one of our newest tour operators in Lisbon, to grab this opportunity to meet them and their boats in person. We scheduled a morning boat trip in Lisbon, departing from Belém.
Most boat tours on the Tagus River in Lisbon depart from Belém. From the city center, you can reach Belém by several means. There are a train, a bus and a tram. Or you can go by Uber or even be more adventurous and go by bike or one of the many electric kick scooters you can find around town. I and Lianne went on an even more original way to Belém. Lianne went on my bike and I went running. Like that, I’d have my daily exercise done, with about 7K 🙂
About our morning boat trip in Lisbon
At the gate in Belém, we were welcomed by our skippers and guides, Zé and Luís. They guided us to the boat. Lucky us! It was one of the biggest and fanciest sailing yachts in the dock! The boat was a Bavaria 36 Cruiser of 11,50m. After a small briefing of which route we’d be taking, we were ready to go out to the Tagus River. In a small group, you have a more intimate experience and can ask the captains everything you like.
Actually, this was my first morning boat trip in Lisbon as the ones before were all sunset tours. A sunset cruise is great as the colors of the sky can become really impressive. But I really appreciated seeing my beautiful city with this different morning light. We first cruised in Western direction to observe the Monument of Discoveries and the Belém Tower. Luís, one of the guides, is an enthusiastic local who proudly explained who were the main figures represented on the Monument of Discoveries as well as the history behind the Belém Tower. In fact, I never had such a detailed explanation of these two landmarks of Lisbon. I’m not going to tell all to you here, but if you’re interested, just book this sightseeing tour to discover Lisbon 😉
After the turn in direction of Lisbon’s downtown, we had the wind in our back and managed to feel the art of sailing for a while. While passing by some other boats, Luís showed me how the AIS (Automatic Identification System) worked. Quite cool how you can see a lot of information about each boat, like its ID, brand, owner and even next destination in some cases.
On the way to Praça do Comércio, we passed by “Cordoaria Nacional”. Luís explained that the Cordoaria, is a former naval rope-making factory. It now functions as an exhibition centre. Then, we sailed by the Electricity Museum, which was a charcoal power plant back in the days. Next to it, you’ll find the famous MAAT museum with its characteristic architecture. Praça do Comércio, or Terreiro do Paço, was one of the highlights of this morning boat trip in Lisbon. You get a great perspective over this majestic square. From a sailing boat, you get unique views of Lisbon.
On our way back to the dock, along the South bench of the River, it started raining a bit. The rain was quite unexpected in June, but fortunately, the skippers had already prepared the boat with a cover in the back. Like this, we could still sit outside and enjoy the views of the city despite the rain. We could see the famous Cristo Rei and the 25th of April Bridge too.
Once we arrived at the dock, we were rather hungry and asked the skippers to recommend a restaurant. Well, that was a great recommendation. We had a delicious Golden Bream with white wine and a view over the Tagus River at “O Pedrouços”.
On our way back home, I was a bit too full to run, so along with the bike, we rented a kick scooter and had a lot of fun! A perfect morning I would say! I actually even learned a lot about my city! This program is also a nice day trip if you’re staying in Cascais.