Skip to navigation Skip to content
< back


Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

16th July, 2015

You may not have heard of Leixoes, the port for Porto, and it’s probably quite unlikely that you will be able to pronounce it, because you need to think more French than Portuguese. It is Le Shoise and there is a brand new very contemporary passenger terminal just inside the harbour. It will be officially opened by the President in a few weeks’ time and I do believe it will encourage some of the biggest cruisers to put the port, and more importantly, put Porto, onto their itinerary.

After a morning of ‘ship’s business’ I managed to snatch a few hours ashore, taking the shuttle bus to meet Mrs R who had ventured off much earlier with the ‘advance party’ of shuttle bus experts. The thirty minute ride along the promenade that joins Leixoes with the entrance to the River Douro then follows the river, passing under the first of the magnificent arched bridges and up into the city. It is a great way to enjoy the scenery, which included passing several splendid houses built at a time when there was obviously a certain degree of affluence. Most left standing are now owned not by well to do families but have become corporate offices.

The city was busy, not only with the inevitable open top tourist buses, but also ‘tuc tucs’, where, for 10 Euros each, tourists could have a one hour guided tour that apparently took in all there was to see (as I was reliably informed). With the limited time available I initially preferred to take a more leisurely view from a street side café, watching the hectic day to day activity, before venturing further. 

There are some grand buildings which, despite being constructed from rather ‘cold’ grey granite, are architecturally quite stunning. Off the main Liberation Square, where boulevard meets hustle and bustle, some buildings are more of a French style. Then there are others whose sides are covered in the blue and white hand painted tiles that are typical of the country. In my wife’s quest to buy a certain local cheese we find ourselves facing a charming old tram coming down the hill in the opposite direction. The lady driver had a smile of someone who really enjoys her job as tourists and locals alike hastily moved aside to avoid the bell ringing antique.

Captain Philip Rentell

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.