Lisbon was the first city that we visited on the European continent during our transatlantic crossing. The Celebrity Eclipse docked in the industrial port of Lisbon and therefore not within walking distance to downtown. From our balcony we had a wonderful view of two sights of Lisbon: the bridge of the 25th April and the huge Christ statue. We were curious to see what else Lisbon has to offer.
Since we forgot to inform us in advance about possible shore excursions or to discover the city on your own, we booked an excursion by Celebrity Cruises. It was a panoramic tour of Lisbon.
Our trip began with a drive over the Ponte de 25 Abril. The Bridge of the 25th April is a red suspension bridge across the Tagus River. It reminded us of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. While crossing the bridge we saw on the one side Lisbon city and port with the Celebrity Eclipse and on the other side of the Tagus the big Cristus statue on the mountain.
The Cristo del Rei statue was our first photo stop at the panoramic tour. It recalls the statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro. From here you had a wonderful view of Lisbon, the harbor and of course the gorgeous Celebrity Eclipse cruise ship. This place is really worth a visit because of the wide view of the city and the fantastic views over the Tagus river.
Then we drove to the city centre of Lisbon. On that day was a marathon in the city. The bus had to make some detours to reach the city. We got the impression that Lisbon has a wonderful maritime flair. From our next photo stop, the Parque Eduardo VII de Inglaterra, you could take wonderful pictures of the city. The views of the park and down to the Tagus river were fascinating. We continued our trip through Lisbon and saw a typical yellow tram and an elevator, which looked like the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The elevator – Santa Justa – in downtown Lisbon was built by a student of Gustavo Eiffel. Unfortunately, we could only take pictures of it while passing.
Later on we held in the Belem district. Here we were able to get off the bus and take a walk through the park in front of the Hieronymites Monastery – Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. The monastery was richly decorated. The park in front of it is very nice, has lots of flowers and shrubs and several benches in the shade. Close to the Tagus river was also the wonderful Monument to the Discoveries.
We admired the Monument to the Discoveries – Padrão dos Descobrimentos. It is a big limestone sculpture with ship routes and many people carved into it.This monument celebrates the 15th and 16th century in Portugal also called as Age of Discovery. During this time different people such as monarchs, missonaries, explorers and others explored the sea and began to trade with Asia. From here you also have a beautiful view of the Tagus river, the Ponte 25 de Abril and the Torre de Belem. All cruise ships leaving to the Atlatic Ocean pass by at this place. After this impressive stop we returned to the ship.
You should not miss the moment the cruise ship leaves Lisbon. From the outdoor deck you have a wonderful view of all the sights like the Torre de Belém, the Monument to the Discoveries and the Christ statue. The most incredible moment is when the cruise ship passes beneath the bridge of the 25th of April. Even if it seemed almost too close, the Celebrity Eclipse fit well under the suspension bridge.
Next stop: Vigo!