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Sail Date: May 2019
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
This was our second Viking river cruise....plan to go on another in the next year or two. Overall we enjoyed the many ports and efficiently organized and informative shore excursions. Tour guides were all very knowledgeable. Winery ... Read More
This was our second Viking river cruise....plan to go on another in the next year or two. Overall we enjoyed the many ports and efficiently organized and informative shore excursions. Tour guides were all very knowledgeable. Winery tours were excellent. Country side beautiful. Meals were on board very good and varied. Always fresh and many options to choose from, but if you have an ample appetite suggest asking for larger portions. Wine pairings included with cruise meals were selected from the region visiting and had we no complaints there. Enjoyed them all! On ship entertainment and activities are low key in comparison to large ocean cruises. At some ports Local entertainers were brought on board to perform in the lounge. Other nights we enjoyed a fun game of trivia and the on ship piano player. Many an afternoon there were enrichment lectures and unique demonstrations. All activities, tours and entertainment are outlined in detail in the Viking daily schedule delivered daily to your cabin. Ship has 24 hour coffee station and pastries. Great for the early riser! The post Paris extension was great. Covered a lot in a short time. The viking rep,(Emma) at the Hotel Ampere was a delight and very helpful. 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: April 2019
We were looking for a cruise to fit in a small window of time. Our travel agent had been a Viking employee, so he booked us on a cruise of the Rhône in southern France. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise! The accommodations were ... Read More
We were looking for a cruise to fit in a small window of time. Our travel agent had been a Viking employee, so he booked us on a cruise of the Rhône in southern France. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise! The accommodations were comfortable, the food plentiful and delicious, and the ‘free’ wine and beer with lunch and dinner and mimosas with breakfast were generously served. The daily included excursions were excellent and the offerings of additional excursions plentiful and also excellent. Beginning the cruise in ancient Arles, where Van Gogh painted, cut off his ear and was hospitalized, was an impressive place to start. Throughout the week we walked many cobblestone streets, heard interesting historical and cultural facts from well-trained English speaking guides, most of whom had a great sense of humor and enjoyed marvelous views. The tour ended in Lyon, with a mixture of old and impressive modern structures. This was our first Viking cruise. We were so impressed, we’ve already booked a Mediterranean Ocean cruise for November. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a beautiful trip up the Rhone river from Avignon to Lyon, France. First, the flight from the USA to France. If possible upgrade your seats and connections. We upgraded our seats to United’s economy plus, which was fairly ... Read More
This was a beautiful trip up the Rhone river from Avignon to Lyon, France. First, the flight from the USA to France. If possible upgrade your seats and connections. We upgraded our seats to United’s economy plus, which was fairly comfortable. Wish we had upgraded our connections for a more direct flight both ways. Learned in Brussels that the common practice in Europe seemed to be to post the next connection about twenty minutes prior to the plane door closing. Once in Marseille we were met at baggage claim by Viking staff, and shepherded to the bus for the forty minute ride to the riverboat. Unless you’re a very experienced European traveler, use the Viking transfer service at both ends of your cruise. Another suggestion, especially at the start of your trip, do the trip extension to help with the jet lag. Viking river does not post departure times or arrival times on their website as other ocean cruise lines do. I suspect they must stay as flexible as the rivers are. Check your daily planner each night for the next days timing for everything. For our stop in Arles we moored in Tarascon, and were bussed a half hour south. The light is amazingly special there. No wonder van Gogh painted there. The Roman amphitheater was amazing. Got back to the riverboat in time for lunch. The garlic soup was wonderful! All the food was top notch cruise quality. Each day Chef Alex had a regional recommendation, using local ingredients, and herbs grown on the top deck! One of my standards is a smoked salmon benedict. So good I had it twice. As with most cruise ships, they offered some standards available every day. They even made a hotdog for my wife that looked awesome. On Friday for Lent, They made us her favorite, a peanut butter, lettuce, and mayo sandwich. I was glad we had the first day in Avignon to rest from the trip over the ocean. When we returned Tuesday, we had the first of many long walks in our ports. Spoiler alert, the palace of the popes was neat to see, but had most statuary and church decor removed. Don’t be too concerned about the 200 step warning as there are plenty of stops on the walk to rest. Back for a late lunch, including another standard of mine, bouillabaisse, and it was great. We wanted to walk out onto the Pont d’Avignon bridge, just north of our mooring. Not easy to do. When you get close, you need to go through the city wall, and follow the signs to the left. You’ll see the ticket office eventually. It costs four euros to get in, after a wand search. Yes it is worth it. You’ll see a chapel and have a unique view of your riverboat. My favorite food of the cruise, crepes suzette. It doesn’t get more french, or delicious than chef Alex’s version. Our next stop, Viviers, was the most classic town we visited. It rained hard at times, but was still neat. At the tour end we stayed in town and visited the pottery shop. The couple that owns the shop signs their art before firing it. My wife’s bowl made it home , my cup is being glued. Each evening we were well entertained in the lounge by a great piano player. Big note here, every town had cobblestone streets, as I learned shortly into our first walk in Arles. Be sure to watch your step so you don’t twist your ankle! The included tour in Tournon was a steam train ride that was fun. As we got further north on our trip the weather got cooler. We were ready with layers. The next day we spent most of doing scenic cruising, which we enjoyed. We made an unscheduled stop due to a fallen tree, and arrived late in Vienne. Our next two days we spent in Lyon. The included tour on Friday was a great bus tour of the city with a stop at the Basilica of Notre Dame. (there are several Notre dame cathedrals in France). Our last day was one of our highlights, with a trip to the countryside to visit a Beaujolais vineyard. Wine was great, but the dog stole the show! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because of country/route/itinerary, size of ship, Viking's reputation, and the excellent price of the cruise and airfare. My husband and I have traveled extensively but had never been on a cruise before. Based on ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of country/route/itinerary, size of ship, Viking's reputation, and the excellent price of the cruise and airfare. My husband and I have traveled extensively but had never been on a cruise before. Based on Viking reviews, our expectations were very high and we weren't disappointed in any respect. The food was outstanding, plentiful, aesthetically presented, characteristic of local French cuisine, and the service was excellent. The ship, common rooms, and cabins were well-equipped. The cabin was clean and had all the amenities we needed. The daily excursions were excellent -- all the tour guides were knowledgeable, helpful, and spoke excellent English. The staff was friendly and accommodating. We enjoyed meeting the diverse staff, many of whom were from Eastern European countries. Without exception, staff members did their best to accommodate individual needs and requests. We also met many passengers that we enjoyed, many of whom we have kept in touch with. We have already booked our next Viking cruise and will continue to go on as many cruises as our health and finances allow. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
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: October 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We, husband (75) and wife (62), have completed three Viking River cruises; Bordeaux (16), Rhine (17) and lastly Rhone (18). Our latest Viking cruise was up the Rhone River in France, from Avignon to Lyon, 28 October - December 4, 2018. ... Read More
We, husband (75) and wife (62), have completed three Viking River cruises; Bordeaux (16), Rhine (17) and lastly Rhone (18). Our latest Viking cruise was up the Rhone River in France, from Avignon to Lyon, 28 October - December 4, 2018. Our ship was the Buri, and as far as we could tell, it was virtually identical to our previous ships, the Forseti and the Hlin; all relatively new, extremely nice ships. In 2016 and again this year, we had one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest, cabins on the lowest level, with the small, elevated windows because the cabins were half-underwater. Last year we had a cabin on the top deck with a balcony, but since we almost did not use the balcony, and primarily only used our cabin for sleeping, we think our Category E, 150 square feet cabin was sufficient. Our cabin number was #150, the most forward of the cabins. This was an advantage, since it was close to the dining room and lounge, and everything else, and we did not have to walk down a long hall to get to our cabin. Unless we get some super deal on a "better" cabin in the future, I will book a Standard cabin as far forward as possible. We extended three days in Dijon; a wonderful city. Last year we did a pre-extension in Amsterdam. The year before in Bordeaux, we did not extend; and we regretted it. I highly recommend one extends (always three days I think) pre or post cruise, if not both. Why not extend to enjoy some interesting city/town once you have flown all the way to your destination, and then take a relatively short seven-day cruise? If at the end of a cruise, you will otherwise be rushed off the ship to a bus after arriving, and will be directly transferred to the airport for your flight home without giving you the chance of visiting your departure port. At the initial departure port, you will usually have the opportunity to see something of your departure city. Adding a pre or post extension adds three days to your seven-day cruise, so your vacation will last at least ten days if not 13 days for both. Another suggestion is to sign up for at least one, if not two, excursions every day. Viking usually offers included (aka free) walking tours at every docking site. We usually take these excursions except when they conflict with a more interesting Optional (aka expensive) excursion. Yes, the Optional tours can be expensive, but they are usually great experiences. Not once have we regretted paying for Optional tours. In fact, our best memories, and most spoken experiences to others have been these Optional excursions. Most of the Optional excursions include nice bus rides in very nice buses to get you to desired sites. On our last trip, they always had a "Leisure" walking group, among the 2-3 total groups for the Included excursion, which I took because of my age/arthritis. My younger, healthier wife always went with the other walking groups that walked faster, and climbed more stairs. We still had breakfast and lunch together; it just meant that for two hours we were separated in different walking groups. We really enjoyed all the towns/cities we visited. My favorite was the very pretty, interesting, completely walled medieval city of Perouges. We also liked Avignon, Lyon and especially Dijon, and actually all points between. On the negative side, I would suggest not going in late October as we did, even though the cruise/cabins are cheaper at that time (that is why we did it). It rained at least half the time, but was not too cold. The ship has enough large umbrellas for all. We took umbrellas with us on the bus, as well as our walking tours, and if not needed simply left them on the bus when we were out of the bus. To add to the sometimes bad or marginal weather, there is the famous "Mistral" wind. Look it up on the internet. In southern France, it blows 120-160 days a year, from 54 mph to 90 mph, averaging 65 mph. I can attest that it can be a challenge walking in the rain when the Mistral is blowing. However, we survived, and were not significantly bummed-out by the weather during our trip. Some passengers sometimes stayed on-board rather than brave the bad weather, but they missed a lot. In conclusion, we once-again enjoyed our cruise + extension, and hope to book another cruise in 2019, this time on Portugal's Douro River with extension in Lisbon or possibly Spain if we can find a real sale (it always 2 for 1, so that is not a sale) price that includes free air from the West Coast. If you have not already figured it out, probably every other River cruise company is cheaper, and many have very high ratings. We will wait a couple of months for Viking to offer a good deal on the internet on a Portugal cruise, and if not forthcoming, will start investigating with Tauck, AmaWaterways, Crystal, Uniworld, and Scenic River Cruises as well as Overseas Adventure Travel and Grand Circle travel. These all provide quality River cruises, and likely at more reasonable prices than Viking. I really like Viking so I just hope I can find a Portugal trip that I can afford. There is only thing about Viking that I do not like. It is their automated flight scheduling computer program. When you book with Viking, and get the discounted or free flights, unless you pay $100 extra for each passenger for Viking's Air Plus, their computer will do all the scheduling, and it could be horrible! This is what happened to us this year. As I have written, we paid for the three-day Dijon extension. This required a two-hour bus/car transfer from Lyon to Dijon and then three days later back to Lyon where the airport is. Their computer system booked us on an early morning flight out of Lyon, so in order to make that flight; we would have had to get up in the middle of the night (actually very early morning!) in our Dijon hotel to take a bus/car to Lyon airport in time to make our flight. This was ridiculous. We paid for a three-night extension in Dijon, not a 2-1/2 night extension. I complained loudly, received no relief, paid the $200 for the Air Plus, got my flight schedules revised to be reasonable, wrote some negative reviews on line, and ended up with Viking reimbursing me for the Air Plus charges; thank you Viking. There were 14 of us from the cruise that booked the Dijon extension. Everyone but us had the same or similar problem, but had not complained and got it corrected. Therefore, 12 of them had to leave our nice Dijon 5-star hotel in the middle of the night to get to Lyon in time for their flights. I will definitely gladly pay the $100/passenger for Air Plus next time to either initially get a reasonable schedule, or perhaps only pay if they screw it up again. I guess I know what to expect now; and so should you. Well, I hope you have a good cruise. I hope Viking will allow us to make a fourth cruise with them, next year to Portugal. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We had taken a Viking River Cruise on the Rhone River last year, and we thoroughly enjoyed that river cruise. Service on this Viking Rhone River Cruise in France (Avignon to Lyon) was excellent. The staff members we encountered were ... Read More
We had taken a Viking River Cruise on the Rhone River last year, and we thoroughly enjoyed that river cruise. Service on this Viking Rhone River Cruise in France (Avignon to Lyon) was excellent. The staff members we encountered were always cheerful, courteous and helpful. Our room was kept neat and clean. The lobby and other common areas were always in tip-tip shape. Shore excursions were well planned, and were led by knowledgeable guides. The shore excursion venues that were selected by Viking were thoughtfully chosen. We would had like to have had some additional 'free time' during our trip to explore on our own. Meals on board were always excellent! The preparation and presentation were top notch! Evening entertainment was good. We traveled with my brother and sister-in law, but we also met many interesting people on the boat. The scenery was beautiful. We highly recommend this river cruise. 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
A wonderful itinerary through beautiful Provence, highlighting both well-known and not-so-well known spots along the Rhône. Activities director Feliz amazing and the entire crew so welcoming and professional. Food, excursions, and ... Read More
A wonderful itinerary through beautiful Provence, highlighting both well-known and not-so-well known spots along the Rhône. Activities director Feliz amazing and the entire crew so welcoming and professional. Food, excursions, and on-board events all excellent and fun. We loved the ship’s atmosphere which always felt relaxing yet energized and focused on providing us with the finest river cruise experience possible. Excursions were always well-explained the evening before and meticulously organized to be on-time and give us the promised experience. Tour guides on the whole were expert and spoke fluent English. Dining on the ship was such a pleasure and so delicious! Evening dining was always fabulous. It is such a treat to be graciously served a wonderful meal in courses ( plenty of menu choices available). I can’t say enough about the dining room staff— they were amazing! Actually, all the staff and crew were great: they worked hard but made it feel as though they enjoyed helping you! The outdoor dining area on the ship was really nice for lunch and continental breakfast. Nothing like a great coffee and breakfast pastry while sailing serenely past the lovely wine country of Provence, sunlight and shadow on the ancient hills. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
First, we tried to take advantage of their low airfares. However, they charged us extra to come in early and stay later since we didn’t want to use their overpriced extensions. Also, their travel group was Very difficult to deal with. ... Read More
First, we tried to take advantage of their low airfares. However, they charged us extra to come in early and stay later since we didn’t want to use their overpriced extensions. Also, their travel group was Very difficult to deal with. The good: The staff was, by far, the highlight of the trip. They are extremely well trained, friendly and quick to help. The French balcony room was very well designed and made excellent use of space. We liked the bed and the design of the shower. The bad: The “included tours” were too large (38-42 people). In hindsight, we would have preferred no included tours, at a lower price and booked our own. In addition, some tours were not that great, even with if it had been a small group. Viviers, in particular, was a sad little forgotten town with not much to see. You had to pay a premium to get a smaller group. One such “optional” tour was 120 euros per person and the group size was 22 people. The food was so so. We expected excellent food and got mediocre. The pre-cruise information talked of three venues, but in reality, there were two with basically the same menu. Tandem docking, ships docked side by side, was the norm at each port, taking away the view from our French balcony on a regular basis. There were only four ports on an 8 day cruise and very little daytime cruising. The sundeck was closed 90% of the cruise. The overall experience: We paid a premium to take a Viking river cruise and didn’t receive a premium experience. How anyone can give this cruis 5 stars is absurd. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
For my sister's 65th birthday, we decided to cruise southern France with Viking. She & her husband started with the pre-cruise stay in Nice (which they loved), and my cousin and I joined them on the ship at Avignon for the cruise ... Read More
For my sister's 65th birthday, we decided to cruise southern France with Viking. She & her husband started with the pre-cruise stay in Nice (which they loved), and my cousin and I joined them on the ship at Avignon for the cruise to Lyon. I have been on several river and a couple of ocean cruises with Viking, so it was no surprise that the week was delightful. The staff catered to us & made us happy every day. The cruise director was personable & perky; it was always a joy to have her company. This was southern France, so I wasn't sure if the food could live up to expectations, but no problem pleasing us & reminding us that we were in France. The young chef did not disappoint. Good food, good cheese, good wine. Happiness. Three excursions exceeded my expectations: Flavors of Provence in Avignon, the included tour in Lyon with Christian, and the all day Lyon tour Truffles and Beaujolais. In Avignon, Maison de Fogasses with Chef Luigi Baptiste was the best of the best! I think he enjoyed us as much as we enjoyed him & his lunch! Christian took us into "secret" passageways & shared his Lyon. And the truffle dog Chinook was as delightful as the truffle inspired dishes served to us on the truffle farm! No disappointment on this trip; the only problem is that I want to repeat the experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this particular cruise for the time of year (less crowds), climate conditions (temperatures) at that time of year, the historical aspects of the region, as well as the availability of cabins on board. With respect to these reasons ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise for the time of year (less crowds), climate conditions (temperatures) at that time of year, the historical aspects of the region, as well as the availability of cabins on board. With respect to these reasons everything turned out to be above our expectations. Our cabin was comfortable, spotless and cabin service five star! The entire ship from topside viewing, bow lounge area, dining areas was comfortable and accommodating and made relaxation a great experience. On board entertainment was enjoyed by all and made additional time to meet and interact with fellow passengers from all over and to share experiences - great time! Dining at tables of six to eight created an opportunity to again meet new people and share experiences - we met some fantastic fellow passengers. we partook of several shore excursions every day and they were extremely interesting and informative - not to be missed are the city of Avignon and the points of interest on the tour, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, winery tours, city of Arles, L'Ardeche and its Vallon-Pont-d'Arc, city of Vienne and many other towns. This is an area well worth returning to - a river cruise is definitely the way to go! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Did the Rhine and now wanted to see France. Exceptional arrangements made by viking to stay in Nice for three days prior to departure. Flights could have been scheduled better. Long waits.The service was unbelievable. Everyone was so very ... Read More
Did the Rhine and now wanted to see France. Exceptional arrangements made by viking to stay in Nice for three days prior to departure. Flights could have been scheduled better. Long waits.The service was unbelievable. Everyone was so very friendly,helpful, especially our cabin cleaner. She must love her job because she was always there with a big smile. Thank you. We met so many wonderful people and certainly hope we get the chance to see them again on another viking river cruise. We have shared our experiences with many people about what to expect from viking. We told them that they would not be disappointed if they chose viking river cruises. We have no complaints, only compliments. Oh yes there is one concern, VERY EASY TO GAIN WEIGHT. The food is outstanding and always available. Very difficult to resist. I wish there would be a workout room. Yes one could walk the upper deck for exercise but this does not work well when it is raining. Thank you VIKING RIVER CRUISES. Read Less
Sail Date: September 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We booked our Viking cruise to celebate our 30th weddng anniverrsary, and our joint 70th birthdays. From our first encounter with your Viking rep in Amsterdam we were pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was a total pleasure and ... Read More
We booked our Viking cruise to celebate our 30th weddng anniverrsary, and our joint 70th birthdays. From our first encounter with your Viking rep in Amsterdam we were pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was a total pleasure and definitely set the tone for the begiinning of our trip. Luggage was completely handled and promptly delivered to our cabin. Check in at reception was quick, and efficient. Upon being escorted to our cabin our steward was polite, and very helpful in answwering our questions. Ah the cabin. We thought the space was very well appointed and although small in size was quite efficient. Big disappointment discoverintg we were below water level! Truly feel the pics of this cabin do not represent what it actually is. I had several discusions with reps about choosintg this cabin and was never told this was the case. We would not book this particular level again. Major part of a cruise is enjoying the scenery not staring at a water line. That being said the cabin was fine in itself. Kept spoltlessly clean, and worked fine. Bathroom again small but very nice, On that note please think about SOFTER towels.We felt like we were using cardboard they were so rough. Dining was lovely,we loved the different areas of the ship were one could dine for lunch, or dinner. We would rate the food as consistently good, but not gourmet. Choices were good so there was something for every palate. As two people travelling alone we noticed there were many group parties. From the first evening people could not have been friendlier in inviting us to join them at any given time at any part of the ship. Wonderful friendly group. Entertainment was fabulous. I wondered without the usual shows aboard a cruise how we would be entertained for 7 days.. Christine our cruise director was fabulous, from Flamenco dancing to the Beatles we had it all. Our piano player was so talented and could play just about anything he was asked. Christine also did a fantastic job getting all of us to interact. Very pleased with other activities offered such as some lectures, and my favorite a cooking class. The ship itself was an absolute delight very peaceful, and serene. Loved the different small areas where one could read a book or sip a glass of wine. Staff excellent always there to answer quesions or supply service. Very satisfied with our excursion choices, great guides and again run efficiently, and on time. We extended our trip with your Paris package. Once again disembarkation was extemely efficient.. Our hotel in Paris very nice, and excursions there well run. One extemely big disappointment was our last booked excursion. It was to see Paris at night. Somehow the van that was ordered could not accomodate the number of people there. They did attempt to get a larger van which proved fruitless. Needless to say this ruined our last night in that beautiful city because they took so much time it was to late to do anything else. We received your refund but quite honestly some kind of good will gesture would have been nice. Even a voucher for another cruise, losing our last night was a bummer. Last but not least would we go again. Yes with pleasure it was overall a wonderful experience. We hope our review has been helpful. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Viking charged a 400% greater airfare upgrade than what was available from the airline directly. Charges to upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy Air France website = $378 pp Viking = $1495 pp. We booked ... Read More
Viking charged a 400% greater airfare upgrade than what was available from the airline directly. Charges to upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy Air France website = $378 pp Viking = $1495 pp. We booked our river cruise 7 months before sailing at 50% off list price plus $445 per person for international airfare (supposed to be savings). We were charged $445 pp for round trip airfare + $50 pp for "Air Plus" to allow changes to our itinerary as we wanted to spend a few extra days in France at the end of our trip. We were booked by Viking Air Department on Air France approximately 12 weeks before our trip. We immediately requested a change to Premium Economy (slightly larger economy seat - NOT business class or first class). For this we were charged AN ADDITIONAL $1495 per person which was broken out as follows: (1) Premium Economy upgrade: +$1195 round trip per person (Houston - Marseille). On Air France Website the cost to upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy at the time of booking was $378.45 pp round trip including insurance for the same flights. This is $800+ pp above Air France's rate. (2) Charge to extend 3 days: +$100 per person - even though we had had already paid $50 pp to have the option to change our flights so we were surprised that we were paying again. (3) Insurance charge for upgrade: +$200 per person (At time of booking, Air France offered insurance for $95.75 per person for same flights with Premium Economy seats). We had already paid Viking $419 pp for travel insurance for cruise and original flights. Thus, Viking charged $619 pp for travel insurance! Please note that Viking does not assign airfare until approximately 90 days before the cruise. Thus, it is difficult to effectively comparison shop at the time of booking (which often is a year before the cruise). We could have booked flights with miles or larger savings had we booked ourselves directly 7 months before the cruise when we booked the cruise. We would hope that a company reliant on repeat travelers would handle upgrades in a competitive manner. Our experience has proved otherwise - upgrade at 4x the airline's quoted website fees. Additional Tours. We paid for the additional tour - Timeless Town of Perouges. We thought it was quaint, but in hindsight we could have passed on that tour and would have enjoyed spending some more time in Lyon. We had not been to Lyon before, and had the morning included bus tour / walking tour which was very informational and we really enjoyed. Lyon is a very large beautiful city. We wish we had the afternoon to go back to Lyon and explore. We paid for the additional tour - Walking Tour of Vienne. There was a Renaissance Festival going on at the time of our tour and the town was very crowded. Our tour guide was quite dull and we aborted the tour mid-way through and just walked around ourselves. We paid for the additional tour Chateaneuf-Du-Pape. We loved the tour and the wine tasting at the Perrin Family Vineyards. Highly recommend this tour. We paid for the Beaujolais & Truffles tour. We loved this tour and highly recommend. We had a wine tasting, a goat cheese making tour and lunch and truffle hunting! Very long day, but we felt like we truly got to experience the French countryside. All of our hosts were lovey and very interesting. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We had never been to France and this was a special trip. Our 40th Anniversary. Viking was the right choice in every respect. We added two extensions, both through Viking. The French Riviera (Nice, Monaco, Cannes & Paris as a Grand ... Read More
We had never been to France and this was a special trip. Our 40th Anniversary. Viking was the right choice in every respect. We added two extensions, both through Viking. The French Riviera (Nice, Monaco, Cannes & Paris as a Grand Finale). Accommodations, Hosting, Dining and Transportation were outstanding. The ship was well appointed and modern. The staff extremely courteous and professional in every respect. The river, villages and sites were pristine, historical and stunning. If you choose to go out on your own and explore, you can do so and the staff will offer pointers. If you choose to remain in a your group and gain insight from the host tour director then that is also a fine way to enjoy the history and various sites. The option is entirely yours. From meeting you at the airport to recommending fine dining on shore, the list is endless of the assistance that Viking offers each passenger. We will most definitely be traveling with Viking again in the future and highly recommend to the traveler wishing to encorporate quality, comfort, convenience, information, fine dining, luxury and value. Viking, in our opinion is simply one of the very best if not the very best all around cruise experiences in the industry. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 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
We picked this cruise because it was the first part of the France's Finest double cruise. The ship was immaculate and the crew was fantastic. The pre-dinner meeting was an entertainment in itself. The program director was witty ... Read More
We picked this cruise because it was the first part of the France's Finest double cruise. The ship was immaculate and the crew was fantastic. The pre-dinner meeting was an entertainment in itself. The program director was witty along with the chef and the maitre d' . They made a fantastic show. The meals were very well presented and tasted even better. The cabin was very clean and well supplied. The shore excursion were varied and they did take into account leisurely walkers. The towns that we visited we steeped in history whether it was Roman or Medieval, Interesting to find both in the same city. Don't forget to visit the Roman Aquaduct It is amazing that it is standing after 2000 years. Take time to roam the streets of the towns. You will find them quaint and very historic.. My husband and I would strongly recommend the France's Finest cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
All in all, this was a wonderful cruise. We were impressed especially with the superlative service from the crew members. They all seemed to love their jobs and were pleased to offer extra help — even to the point of sewing up a tear in ... Read More
All in all, this was a wonderful cruise. We were impressed especially with the superlative service from the crew members. They all seemed to love their jobs and were pleased to offer extra help — even to the point of sewing up a tear in a hat! The accommodations were fine with amenities we didn't expect, like Champagne in the room when we arrived and free laundry service. (Unbeknownst to us, this was part of the package we booked. Not available for all bookings.) The food was very good and the choices were broad, altho we were hoping that more of it was local. For example, the lamb was from New Zealand, not France. There were numerous side trips offered, some included in the price, others optional at an extra cost. As a wine lover, I particularly enjoyed the trip up the hill of Hermitage, where I could see and walk thru these noble vines. At the end of the walk we visited the Cave de Tain l'Hermitage, a coop that produces much of the wine from the winegrowers of the area. One of the great enjoyments was meeting fellow food and wine lovers onboard from other parts of the U.S. Read Less
Sail Date: June 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
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