A number of providers offer boat trips and experiences along the River Tejo. But which boat trip is best?
There are several types of boats ranging from ferries to traditional boats to motor yachts. There are romantic tours as well as tours that take you past Lisbon’s most famous historic sites, while others go beyond Lisbon on bird- and dolphin-watching trips.
To help you out, here are some of the Tejo experiences available throughout the year, so that you can discover Lisbon at a leisurely pace on a river trip or sightseeing cruise.
1. Ferry Boat
Although Transtejo ferries are part of Lisbon’s public transport system (not a tourist service), they are a cheap alternative to see Lisbon from the river. Use your Viva Viagem card to get from Cais do Sodré station to Cacilhas by ferry, and visit Cristo Rei, the statue of Christ, for less than €6.
Yellow Boat River Tour
The Yellow Boat is a restored “Cacilheiro” ferry boat that offers the chance to see amazing views of the famous buildings along the Tejo – São Jorge Castle, the Sé Cathedral, Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower – and now also includes a stop in Cacilhas on the southern bank to visit Cristo Rei. With the hop-on hop-off system, you can explore the city from the river at your own rhythm. Price: from €18.
2. Amphibious Sightseeing Tour
Hippotrip is a fun tour for the whole family, especially designed for kids. A lively guide / entertainer takes you on a bus tour of the city, pointing out historic facts and buildings, and then for a ride on the River Tejo in the same bus, which turns out to be no ordinary bus but an aquatic vehicle. Expect a highly interactive experience. The tour takes about 90 minutes. Price: €28 adult, €16 children and seniors.
3. Traditional Boat Cruise
Get stunning views of Lisbon on board of a classic wooden yacht. Halcyon has daily historic sunset cruises leaving from Alcântara Harbour (Doca do Espanhol) at specific times, ranging from 3.30pm (winter) to 6pm (summer). The cruise covers the main sights from Belém to Alfama, and includes sparkling wine and nibbles. This sightseeing tour is available all year for individual travellers and groups. Price: from €45.
Nosso Tejo announces a regular service ranging from 45 minutes to 2-hour daily tours on restored historic boats. The cruise consists of views of all the big sites, with commentary on the places of interest, the history of the boat and fun facts. Price: from €15.
4. Sailing and Motor Yacht Cruise
BYX offers cultural and scenic sightseeing on the River Tejo, ranging from themed tours – Tejo Sunrise, Sunset Sensations and Lisbon Night – to romantic and family boat trips. Whether to explore Lisbon’s history, or simply to enjoy its beauty, certified professionals will deliver you a unique experience. BYX also organises sailing courses and tours as well as regattas on the River Tejo. Price: from €35.
Lisbon By Boat
Lisbon by Boat offers “Historic Lisbon”, a 60-minute tour on motor boat, where you enjoy stunning views of Lisbon’s top landmarks, including Belém Tower, 25 April Bridge and Cristo Rei, Lisbon’s statue of Christ. There’s a corresponding tour on a sailing yacht. Another popular tour is “Lisbon Sunset”. Price: from €35.
Lisbon Sight Sailing
With Lisbon Sight Sailing, youl’ll see Lisbon’s landmarks in 150 minutes on a sailing boat. The tour includes a welcome drink and some Portuguese specialties, commentary on points of interest and free WiFi.
Pypas Cruises offers two- or four-hour cruises on the River Tejo on well-maintained yachts that accommodate 2 to 10 people. A yacht cruise is yet another chance to enjoy the cityscape and Lisbon’s historic landmarks.
Taguscruises offer trips on a sailing boat that take 2 hours and up to 12 people. Private sailing tours are also available. Price: from €38.
5. The Tejo Beyond Lisbon
Birds & Nature Tours
Birds & Nature organises private tours to enjoy amazing wildlife and a fantastic scenery in a bird watching day trip on the Tejo estuary. Whatever the season, winter, summer, or during the migratory periods, your tour guide will be able to spot a wide variety of birds, from the greater flamingo to the black-shouldered kite, the squacco heron, or the little bustard. This company organises day and half-day tours. Price: from €110 (1 person half-day tour) to €360 (4 people full-day tour).
Outside the busy Lisbon, the silent electric vessel Rio-a-Dentro is used for nature and bird watching on the River Tejo. This two-and-a-half-hour tour departs from the Escaroupim’s Pier (Salvaterra de Magos’ Marina), 40 minutes away from Lisbon, and takes you on a visit to Tejo’s many islands.
This experience will get you very close to bird species that inhabit this part of the river, including egrets and herons. Price: €25. Daily at 10.30am, 2.30pm and 5.30pm (summer), minimum 6 people.
SeaEO Tours provides nature boat trips lasting two to three hours during which you’ll be able to watch dolphins and a variety of birds not very far from Lisbon. Departure is from Doca de Santo Amaro, close to the city centre. Also available are one-hour cultural tours on a speedboat. You’ll see the city’s landmarks while enjoying a glass of regional wine. Price: from €40.