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13 Avignon to Europe - All Cruise Reviews

My husband and I chose this cruise because we could pair it with the cruise that followed that departed Paris on the Seine. We wanted to see the southeast area of France and had never taken a river cruise before. The rooms were very ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because we could pair it with the cruise that followed that departed Paris on the Seine. We wanted to see the southeast area of France and had never taken a river cruise before. The rooms were very comfortable, the ship well laid out with plenty of seating options during the day. Dining was exceptional - staff fun and very well trained and interested, wonderful food that provided many options and overall the ship we experienced great service. Entertainment surprised us with the quality of voices and instrumentalists, not the 'normal' cruise ship shows, but intimate concerts and fun programs. Also the live music at the piano was always enjoyable. Excursions are also exceptional - Viking chooses experienced, knowledgeable and personable guides who could answer any question and provide us with so much information as to where we are and what we are seeing. So many memorable views, fascinating buildings, walks through medieval France - marvelous options! We would definitely go again, and are looking at other itineraries for our next trip! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this trip per our plan to see France from the south to the north. The Viking Cruise was in the front end and could not have worked out better. We were treated like family from the the moment we stepped on the ship. Our cabin was ... Read More
We chose this trip per our plan to see France from the south to the north. The Viking Cruise was in the front end and could not have worked out better. We were treated like family from the the moment we stepped on the ship. Our cabin was very nice and dining was fun and delicious every meal. Onboard entertainment at night was light and could be improved but it was okay as we were usually exhausted after a long day anyway. The ports were perfect and every excursion we went on was well planned with an excellent guide. We made many new friends of the crew while onboard, they truly would go the extra mile to accommodate the customers anyway they could. We had the Captain handing out Hot Chocolate as we came back onboard after an excursion on a cold, wet windy day. Very nice surprise! We will definitely go on another Viking Cruise and are making plans now to do so. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was my 1st river cruise. I would do it again with Viking. The staff and crew were all great. We were able to finish our cruise on the Rhone River without a problem. We met a couple that had spent the same week on the Danube. They ... Read More
This was my 1st river cruise. I would do it again with Viking. The staff and crew were all great. We were able to finish our cruise on the Rhone River without a problem. We met a couple that had spent the same week on the Danube. They had low water levels and their river cruise turned into a bus trip. I enjoyed all of the included shore excursions and went on 2 extra excursions that were exceptional. The Secrets of the Chateau de Flecheres was amazing. One of the owners had a question/answer time in his living room at the end of the tour. He offered us bubbling wine, orange juice and water plus a piece of praline tart that was delicious. When we came back to the ship after an excursion or shopping, we were met with something to drink that got alcohol added to it (you could opt out of the addition to your drink). There were often warm moist towels also. They were welcome with the cold weather we had in late November. All of the cities and towns we visited were great. The things they offered to tourist were amazing. The ancient Roman ruins were incredible. Embarkation and debarkation went very smoothly. The staff makes sure you know exactly where to go. We were met near baggage claim when we arrived and a staff member walked us through the airport to the correct area after debarkation. The food on the ship was always good and a variety of choices were offered. I was part of a group of 10. We had dinner at a large table in the back of the dining room by the kitchen. It was quite noisy there so I would opt to sit near the front of the dining room if a large table is not required. The servers always had a smile. One of my favorite on board events was the program director's talk on the French culture. She made it funny but very educational. The boat seemed to do most of its traveling when we were off the boat on excursions, while we were sleeping or during meals. Suddenly you would realize you were in a lock but you're in the middle of lunch or dinner. We cut lunch short one day to go outside and watch the process of going through the lock. I have been on many ocean cruises and enjoy the sea days. I will be trying my 1st Viking ocean cruise in 2020. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Our second cruise with Viking was as excellent as our first. It started the day before we left with the wonderful surprise that instead of the standard stateroom we had booked, we'd been moved to a French balcony on the third level. ... Read More
Our second cruise with Viking was as excellent as our first. It started the day before we left with the wonderful surprise that instead of the standard stateroom we had booked, we'd been moved to a French balcony on the third level. The transfer from the Marseilles airport was easy, even though our flight was delayed over an hour, and Viking took us directly to the Delling. As we arrived late, lunch was over, and yet the bartender was able to find us a sandwich and a cool glass of wine to settle in. Our (upgraded) cabin was smaller in square feet than we had a few years ago on the Viking Sun but was designed nicely so there was plenty of room to store our clothes and toiletries and tuck the suitcases under the bed. We never felt cramped during the cruise, even though the only place to sit was on the bed. We really appreciated the ability to open the slider during the cruise and breathe the fresh air of Southern France or peek out at the locks we went through. The crew and staff on the Delling were fantastic. Our cruise director, Michael, was funny at the right times and serious when he needed to be. We had hoped to go the limestone caves outside of Arles and Michael did everything he could to try to arrange it, but as the late November sailing was after the "season", it was impossible. Still, we appreciated the effort. The food was fantastic with excellent chef's choices every day and plenty to choose from besides. My husband described the duck at the Flavors of Provence dinner as the best he'd ever had and I loved the varying selection of cheeses every day at breakfast. Since most of our meals were on board, we really appreciated all the regional specialties that were part of the menus. We had everything from escargot to Chateaubriand and each meal seemed to be better than the last. We chose to purchase the Silver Spirits package and that meant that we were able to enjoy a different bottle of wine each night. There was a nice selection of regional wines, which we mostly stuck to, and also selections from other wine areas. Our waiters were always quick to bring us the wine menu and keep our glasses full. For those without the package there was a generous supply of wine each lunch an dinner and many treats throughout the cruise. One thing I really like about Viking is how they will always welcome you back to the ship after a day of touring with some regional drink. Since it was November, ours were always warm and so toasty! The best entertainment was Les Gitans, a gypsy group that was fantastic. We also enjoyed the lecture on the French resistance. We learned so much! Viking's service is without parallel. They did their best not to disrupt any of the tours despite the French strike which closed down or slowed down many of the roundabouts. They were able to reroute or adjust so that everyone got to do everything they wanted and more! I think the only disappointment on this cruise was that there is actually very little cruising and it mostly happens during dinner. Also be aware that disembarkation is very early, in our case 3:30 a.m. That said, the cruise was fantastic and I can't wait to go with Viking again. Avignon: The gothic cathedral in Avignon is amazing and so well preserved. We also enjoyed walking along the river to the Pont and up to the gardens next to the Palace. We happened to be in town for a wine festival and so enjoyed some wine tasting at Les Halles that wasn't expected. Chateauneuf du Pape Wine Tasting: This was a fun little tour where we learned what makes Chateauneuf du Pape wines so delicious and also had a chance to do a tasting. Arles: We walked in the footsteps of Van Gogh and the ancient Romans. After the tour there was enough time to try Du Bar a l'Huitre where we had a nice fish stew on the terrace and watched the people walk by. Viviers: This ancient village was a lovely surprise, complete with cobblestone alleyways and a cathedral. Our guide, like all the guides, was so knowledgeable and really brought this little town to life. It's so fun to explore a place you've never heard of before and learn so much. Rhone Valley Vineyard Hike: This hike took us up the slopes near the Hermitage wine region of the Rhone where we learned what makes Hermitage special and how the wines nearby are made. It also felt good to stretch our legs on a beautiful day. The wine tasting here was also very delicious but because we had to reroute our walk to catch the bus (the strike interfered) we didn't have time to make purchases. Beaujolais Wine Country: This cruise is a wine lover's delight. More information on viniculture made our day so enjoyable. Lyon: We had two chances to eat off the ship in Lyon, one at Merle in Les Halles (oysters!) and another at a Bouchon. These meals were memorable and worth skipping the also delicious meals on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We wanted to see the south of France. It was amazing and beautiful. We were very surprised by the amount of Roman ruins. We loved seeing those structures. The Aqueduct was huge and so well preserved. I had no idea that silk was made in ... Read More
We wanted to see the south of France. It was amazing and beautiful. We were very surprised by the amount of Roman ruins. We loved seeing those structures. The Aqueduct was huge and so well preserved. I had no idea that silk was made in France for many years. That is something we learned on the cruise. Each time we travel with Viking we learn so much. The guides on each tour really know a lot and pass it along well. Of course we always amazed at the good food we get on the cruise. We enjoy exploring the world through Viking. I came home a lot smarter about France than before I left. The bonus of the trip was extending our stay in Nice through Viking. It has to be the most beautiful city I have ever visited. It was the first time we had extended through Viking, but it won't be our last. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Exceeded all my expectations of a river cruise. Very relaxing and educational trip. This being my first river cruise, I felt spoiled the overall experience of the laid-back atmosphere and all that it included. Food and wine ... Read More
Exceeded all my expectations of a river cruise. Very relaxing and educational trip. This being my first river cruise, I felt spoiled the overall experience of the laid-back atmosphere and all that it included. Food and wine selections were over the top and the service was excellent. Every port of call was interesting and we were able to spend time without rushing to see everything and still have time for leisure. The tour guides were very knowledgeable at each location without being boring. Everyone seemed to see to our every need and sometimes without asking. Very attentive staff. I really liked the open seating in the dining room and was able to meet some very interesting people. This way of travel was so relaxing that it spoiled me of the mega liners I have been on before with all the thousands of people. I will certainly look forward to another river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We had visited Provence before and thought this would be a different slant as well as introducing us to some new places. We were not disappointed with the itinerary and the peaceful way of viewing the countryside along the Rhone . We were ... Read More
We had visited Provence before and thought this would be a different slant as well as introducing us to some new places. We were not disappointed with the itinerary and the peaceful way of viewing the countryside along the Rhone . We were impressed with the guides; their knowledge and personalities and the variety of excursions offered. Cannot say enough about the professionalism of the Buri crew, they were so willing and helpful and clearly wanted one to have the best experience. The dining experience was first class and we appreciated the options available to us. As this was our first river cruise we were curious as to how spacious we would find the stateroom. We were very pleasantly surprised at the amount of storage and level of comfort and loved having a veranda! While on the cruise, we learned of the death of my mother and the staff could not have been more helpful about arranging a later flight home to the US in order for us to attend the funeral in London. We cannot say enough times how much we appreciated how Viking handled this, truly a first class operation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our fourth Viking river cruise, this one traveling the Rhône River from Avignon to Lyon. Each river cruise has been very different due to the location, theme, and staff. All have been excellent. The Heimdal is a typical Viking ... Read More
This was our fourth Viking river cruise, this one traveling the Rhône River from Avignon to Lyon. Each river cruise has been very different due to the location, theme, and staff. All have been excellent. The Heimdal is a typical Viking longboat: spacious, inviting, spotlessly clean, and well run. Food on this cruise was outstanding.we had the pleasure of being upgraded to one of the two explorer suites on board, and we could not have been happier. Our cruise director was Lorin, whom we met on our first cruise in Bourdeau, and he is outstanding. Local guides were excellent. We particularly enjoyed the optional excursions to Chateauneuf de Pape, including a visit to Chateau Beaucastel, and the full-day excursion to the Ardeche region. Avignon is a great small town for walking...shopping is great. Arles was quite interesting, and we enjoyed lunch on our own at L’Entrevue, recommended by Viking. We highly recommend that restaurant. Loved Lyon, great city, like Paris, but clean. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This cruise was my wife and I third cruise with Viking. It started out great. The flight from Los Angeles to Frankfurt, Germany left on time and we had TSA pre-screen at no extra cost. We arrived in Frankfurt on time and got to our gate ... Read More
This cruise was my wife and I third cruise with Viking. It started out great. The flight from Los Angeles to Frankfurt, Germany left on time and we had TSA pre-screen at no extra cost. We arrived in Frankfurt on time and got to our gate for the connecting flight to Marseilles. That's when things went downhill from there. Our flight to Marseilles was cancelled just before boarding time. Now this is not Vikings fault or the airline's. The problem was at Marseilles airport. The earliest flight out was 4:30PM the next day to Munich then to Marseilles. We did notify Viking about our flight changes to have someone take us to the ship. We were told that someone would be there to pick us up. Nobody was there. After a second call to Viking Customer Relations we got the address where the ship was docked and had a taxi take us to the ship. We got there at 3:00AM the next day. We were reimbursed by Viking for the cab fare of 229 Euros. After all that the trip was really great except for the hot weather. The food, staff and crew were great. Some of the staff were from another ship on our first cruise back in 2015. The guides and the excursions were all very good. We always book a veranda stateroom. The room was always kept clean and is roomy enough for the two of us. We booked the post cruise extension in Paris. The hotel was right next to the Eiffel Tower. The room was big and the bed was comfortable. The breakfast was also good. The lobby layout was bad and the staff was OK. The WI-fi was lousy. We always enjoy traveling with Viking River Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was my 70th cruise, first time on Viking, first river cruise. Our cruise was 7 nights from Avignon to Lyon, in France. I booked the cruise with Viking as well as the air transportation from Washington DC to France. Before the ... Read More
This was my 70th cruise, first time on Viking, first river cruise. Our cruise was 7 nights from Avignon to Lyon, in France. I booked the cruise with Viking as well as the air transportation from Washington DC to France. Before the cruise I was impressed with all the notifications and booking process from Viking, receiving many emails with updates. Some shore excursions are included others you must pay extra for. We booked nine shore excursions., three were additional cost. Our air with Viking required us to leave the night before at 9PM. We arrived at the airport at 6PM (3 hours before the flight) and were told by British Air Lines that we were "stand by".. I was shocked. The staff at the desk tried to help us find other flights, they said 3 seats were still not claimed but we had to wait. I immediately called Viking and they offered no help. 30 minutes before the flight BWI airport was nearly empty 3 people approached and yes, there went our seats. British Air Lines continued to look for flights but could not help. I kept calling Viking, got cut off several times, no one could offer help. By 11 PM both British Air Lines and Viking said "go home". On the drive home I tried to get help from Viking one last time. After talking to a few people from Viking I asked for a supervisor, he told me it was my fault for not buying the insurance. Insurance is for when I can not go, due to a problem on my part, I was ready, willing and able to travel, it was not my fault Viking booked me on an over booked flight. Almost home I got a call from Viking saying they found us a flight at 9 AM. We get home after midnight, got 4 hours sleep and headed back to the airport. After two transfers and long layovers, 24 hours of travel time we finally arrive in France at noon the next day. Vikings rep was there at the airport waiting for us, to wisk us to the ship. Check in was easy. The ship is spotless clean. Our cabin was water view on deck one, very small at 135 square feet, you must plan moves with your cabin mate. Water is replenished daily, you must get your own ice down the hall from a machine. Shore excursions - You have these hearing devices in your cabin that you take on the excursions to hear the tour guide. Every day my device stopped working within 15 minutes of the tour, I went to the tour guide to get my device replaced, and 15 -20 minutes later that unit died. After 4 days of this happening I went to the guest services desk and asked for my two last days of tours to be cancelled. Then said they would let me know. They did NOT. The next morning after breakfast I went to the desk and they said ....Oh here is a new unit, it should work. I went on the remaining tours and it did work. We purchased the beverage package and I thought is was well worth the added cost. Phillipe, Dimi, and Robert were always there to pour my favorite drink. They were fantastic employees. Food - For breakfast there is a light breakfast served in the casual area, and full breakfast served in the dining room. The dining room breakfast needs help. There are two stations, one for hot, the other for cold items. The hot section has an egg station. Every morning 10 or more people are lined up to get eggs cooked to order, this blocks the entire hot area, so if you want some scrambled eggs, bacon, or other hot item you must wait. The egg station should be its own station away from other food. AND, there is no clear order in line for the egg station, do you enter from this side or that side, people are entering both ways, which just complicates things even more. Also the seating is odd at breakfast. If you arrive 30 minutes before breakfast closes you must learn the "routine". Some tables are set, others are not. But you must go to a table that is set for breakfast, not for lunch or you will sit there and not be served. Once a table has been used for breakfast it is done or closed and the staff are eagerly cleaning and setting it up for lunch. If you show up 30 minutes or less before closing time they are not thrilled with you. 10 minutes before closing they come around and tell you....the buffet will be closing soon. There is a breakfast menu, but you do not receive the menu.....kind of odd. I ordered the eggs benedict one morning, from the menu. I have had this thousands of times, and I must say they were the strangest ones I have ever had, there was not a nice creamy Hollandaise sauce on top, more of a curd like flavorless topping. Dinner is available in the dining room or the casual area. This was the first week they decided to have the same food available in the casual area that is served in the dining room. I liked the casual area because you have great views of the river while dining. The food at dinner was good, not great, but good. I would say the food is the same level as Celebrity Cruise Line. The Rib Eye Steak was good and cooked correctly. The Salmon was poached, boring and dry. Caesar Salad was fantastic with actual slices of Anchovies on top. Scallops were excellent. Everything else was average. I have had far superior food on Oceania and Azamara Cruise Lines. Lunch in the casual area also needs help. Outside they cook burgers....ok fine, what goes great with a burger, that almost everyone wants??? French Fries.....they are inside, and people are squeezing and butting in the line to get some fries. Why are fries not in both places? The guy playing the piano in the evening was great, good music and always smiling. The staff try very hard, the majority of them smile and say hello in all places except at breakfast in the dining room. At a cost of about $9,000 for a one week vacation for two people I do not believe this to be a good value. I am glad I tried Viking. Would I travel with Viking again, Most likely not. Happy Sailing.! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Have now been on several Viking cruises. Every time the crew has been fabulous, friendly, helpful. Conditions on the ship are always prime. Meals excellent. Did not participate in too many evening entertainments preferring to wind ... Read More
Have now been on several Viking cruises. Every time the crew has been fabulous, friendly, helpful. Conditions on the ship are always prime. Meals excellent. Did not participate in too many evening entertainments preferring to wind down from the day in my cabin. Enjoyed our choice of shore excursions. They were timed nicely around meals. Buses top notch. Also, the luggage brought by my travel friend was lost along the way. The ship purser was exceptionally efficient in tracking it down and arranging transport to our boat at the next stop. He handled every detail. We booked our air travel through Viking as well. Just a day or two prior to departure we were notified by Viking that there was a possibility of a strike at one of our airport stops. They immediately rerouted us, managing the seating we wanted on our flights etc. It was luxurious having someone handle all that detail. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because of Viking's reputation and our desire to explore this part of France at the time offered. We were very impressed with the reliability of Viking's personnel. They met us at the Marseille airport as ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of Viking's reputation and our desire to explore this part of France at the time offered. We were very impressed with the reliability of Viking's personnel. They met us at the Marseille airport as promised and took us promptly to the ship. We were immediately impressed by the quality of the ship. We stayed in a French Balcony cabin and it was surprisingly roomy. Equally impressive was that every time we left the room, staff entered to clean the room or leave important material about the upcoming events. Staff were very attentive and responsive. Dining service was always prompt, and the food is good. Staff were very attentive about beverage needs. We also enjoyed the happy hour that occurred before dinner, and the briefings by the chef about the upcoming dinner, and the announcements of the events that were available the next day. We participated in after dinner entertainment most nights. The ports are located right in the heart of the interesting parts of the destinations, and we were free to explore them if we wanted. The shore excursions were expertly led with experienced local guides, who could not have been better. We especially appreciated the opportunities to participate in the more active shore excursions. We have already made reservations on another Viking cruise for later this year. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was my first time traveling alone. I chose UniWorld because I wanted to be taken care of and they did not disappoint. There were other solo travelers because UniWorld offers single supplement waiver. But even the couples were open and ... Read More
This was my first time traveling alone. I chose UniWorld because I wanted to be taken care of and they did not disappoint. There were other solo travelers because UniWorld offers single supplement waiver. But even the couples were open and welcoming. I liked the fact that guests were from several English-speaking countries. At first I hung out with New Zealanders, then partied with the Australians. I flew into Marseilles. UniWorld supplied me with easy-to-follow instructions to call the hotel shuttle that promptly picked me up at the airport and took me to the hotel. The next morning a van picked me up along with some other guests and brought us to the ship. We got to know each other during the drive. They take your photo when you check in and by the second day they know your name. On my cruise there were 56 crew for 88 passengers. In the lounge they knew what I liked to drink and it was in front of me without having to ask. The only "complaint" is that it was easier to get a glass of wine than an iced tea. The liquor flowed freely making for a very friendly atmosphere. I loved the food onboard. Breakfast and lunch are buffets. The scrambled eggs on the buffet were the best I've ever had. I don't know what they do to them but they are a must eat. The eggs Benedict was also good. At lunch I looked forward to the French cheeses. Hot options, soup, salad, and panini options at lunch. I thought the dinners were great. Just the right amount of food and very high quality. I got to try fois grois. Desserts were a little too sweet for my taste. If you are looking for nightly entertainment like ocean cruisers you are not going to find it. After dinner most of us headed for the lounge where there is music, lots of liquor, and fun guests. I would just walk up to the group that looked like it was having the most fun and ask to join. I was always welcome. By the end of the cruise most of us knew each other. One guest remarked she felt like she was leaving her family. The excursions were excellent. There were only a few that you can pay extra. I had a shipboard credit that I used to attend a cooking demonstration and lunch at the Paul Bocuse culinary school in Lyon. We assisted the chef and had a wonderful lunch. I loved the audio systems used on the excursions. They allowed me to wander away to look at things that interested me and still hear what the guide was saying. Almost every excursion included a sampling of local wines and delicacies. Most excursions were no more than ½ day allowing time to venture into town. The ship docks right at the town so it was easy to walk into town and shop or explore. One afternoon we took the bicycles available onboard and cycled around town. When they say all inclusive they mean it. One couple had a $500 shipboard credit and could not find a way to spend it. I was so spoiled that it took adjusting when I returned home and realized I had to plan my own meals and activities. The best part of this cruise was that after all the tastings, food and liquor, somehow I managed to lose a pound! I can only guess it was all the walking we did in the excursions. I met terrific people and would recommend this highly. I just contacted my travel agent to book my next UniWorld cruise. Highly looking forward to it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017

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