Without a doubt this was our favorite River Cruise (5th river cruise) and our second favorite cruise (29th). We booked four days in Paris at a Rick Steves recommended hotel within easy reach of the Javel Port, where the Viking Pride was docked. We were greeted with a smile, our bags were promptly delivered to our room, served lunch (with wine included). We sailed on time into a magic land of small French towns and villages. The itinerary was good and just what we expected. All of the guides selected by viking were just great! Their knowledge of the area and subjects they were talking about was exceptional! If you are interested in WWII and the D-Day landings, this is the cruise for you. They offer two excursions to the 'Beaches', one to 'Bloody' Omaha and one to Juno the Canadian landing beach. Colleville American Cemetery is a stop on the 'Omaha Beach' tour and the Canadian Cemetery on the Juno Beach tour; also on the 'Juno Beach' tour is "Pegasus Bridge" where three British gliders landed and captured this most important objective.
The crew: the captain, Nicolas Pasquereau, mingled with all the passengers and was very easy to talk with; the program director, Sam Teixeira, was more the just a 'cruise director, he helped the crew and wore hats, he also was very kind to us when we were trying to reach our hotel on the last day of the cruise (thank you Sam). There are so many more of the crew, actually all of the crew, that should be mentioned; but we will mention only a few because we did not write down all of the names; hotel manager, Robert Howath; Anaka & Nicole, front deck (and much more); Janka one of the many waitresses; Joanna our room stewardess; and so many more.......... Not enough can be said for the crew, they were GREAT!!!