This was our third cruise with Viking, and once again they did well. For this cruise we used Viking air with transfers, and were not disappointed with the arrangements. We flew from the US to Brussels, then on to Marseilles. There were about 20 of us that were picked up at the airport, for our ride down to Avignon our starting point for the cruise.
Arriving at the boat about 3:30pm, check-in was fast, and we went directly to our room. After unpacking, we both grabbed an hour or so catnap to make an attempt to keep going after a very long day. At dinner, it appeared that several people were late getting in as there were a lot of empty seats and the cruise had been sold out.
If you have ridden the Viking Spirit, you have ridden the Europe. They are exactly the same even down to the (in our personal opinion only) hideous multicolored chandelier in the lobby area. This was the first cruise of the season for the boat, and they had several new crew on board. We were impressed overall with the enthusiasm of the crew, and while there were some very minor glitches along the way, they were quickly fixed.
We must especially make note of our dinning room attendant Carmin, who provided excellent service throughout the cruise. We found out the last night that this was her first cruise ever, and you would never had known it.
The walking tours provided were very good, and the local guides some of the best we have had. We only did one optional tour, and that was the tour to Chateauneuf-du-Pape which we completely enjoyed.
The weather was absolutely delightful, with plenty of sun, temperatures in the high 60's, and the wine flowed freely for lunch and dinner. What more good you ask for? Highly recommend this cruise if you want to see the Southern part of France.
To read about some of the ports, I did a daily blog while cruising, that can be found at http://vikingcruise3.blogspot.com/.