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130 Viking River Avignon Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
Sail Date September 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
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
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 August 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 July 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
I wanted to see more of the French countryside and this provided an opportunity to explore the southern portion. Excursions covered a nice variety of expierences from ancient Roman sites to modern wine making. Not as much of actual river ... Read More
I wanted to see more of the French countryside and this provided an opportunity to explore the southern portion. Excursions covered a nice variety of expierences from ancient Roman sites to modern wine making. Not as much of actual river cruising as others but it offered extra time to go out and explore different towns at your leisure. The dining room offerings were excellent and offered a nice variety to suit all tastes and the service offered by the the staff was superb as was to be expected. Several various local talents offered a nice diversion on many pleasant evenings in the lounge. I can not even begin to extoll the excellence of the expierence. From the beginning where they pick you up at the airport, through the entire voyage to the end, the professionalism exhibited by all members of the Viking staff was always on display. We are already planning our next trip. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Viking Buri, 2018 Avignon to Lyon We wanted a short river cruise in France (8 days). This was a perfect start to our vacation. It provided us a time to enjoy southern France while being able to unwind from our at home activities. ... Read More
Viking Buri, 2018 Avignon to Lyon We wanted a short river cruise in France (8 days). This was a perfect start to our vacation. It provided us a time to enjoy southern France while being able to unwind from our at home activities. After the cruise we were refreshed and ready for our time in Paris. The staff on the ship was extremely attentive. We enjoyed the personal service. Our cabin steward knew exactly what our preferences were and prepared our cabin accordingly. The towns, shore excursions and meeting great people created a special experience. The shore excursions, included and optional, provided us the opportunity to learn and enjoy the towns we visited. The guides on both types of excursions were exceptional in their knowledge of the areas we toured. Viking is excellent at meeting passengers at the airports and transporting them to their hotel/ship. Also, when we flew to Paris from Lyon the Viking representative stayed with us through the whole check-in process at the Lyon airport. Those "touches" help made our start and finish to the trip was "icing on the cake." Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Our first river cruise! Really enjoyed this Viking experience. Very nice touches by the staff- Champagne in our room, water bottles every day, smoothies on top of a hill by the summer palace of the Pope, drinks upon every return from ... Read More
Our first river cruise! Really enjoyed this Viking experience. Very nice touches by the staff- Champagne in our room, water bottles every day, smoothies on top of a hill by the summer palace of the Pope, drinks upon every return from the free tours of each day, and ice cream treats!!! Great food, buffet gourmet breakfast, yummy lunches, wine with every meal and wonderful services. Attentive staff. We Enjoyed the options of eating outdoors or inside. Met nice folks from all different places - mostly the states. The entertainment was good- not an ocean cruise extravaganza, but fun enough! The free tours were terrific and very informative and fun. Viking provided us with transfers after the cruise to the airport. They were very helpful with our luggage before, during and after the cruise. And always on time ! They worked effortlessly to make sure we were satisfied with everything! Would definitely do another Viking cruise! 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
We chose this cruise at the urging of one of my wife's best friends, who had booked the cruise with her husband and wanted our company. Due to a packing mistake, I left my passport at home, and so had to send my wife without me, and ... Read More
We chose this cruise at the urging of one of my wife's best friends, who had booked the cruise with her husband and wanted our company. Due to a packing mistake, I left my passport at home, and so had to send my wife without me, and the embarkation process went very smoothly for her. Thanks to some quick work on the part of our travel agent, I was able to fly to Europe the next day and joined the cruise boat a day late; the captain of the boat apparently held the boat 2 hours past its normal departure time and waited for my embarkation. The boat and cabin were pristine, and the food was very good. My wife has a lot of food allergies, but she was able to work with our waiter and the chef to get good lunches and dinners (breakfast is a buffet, so among the dozens of choices she was able to find ones that she could have). The service throughout the cruise was outstanding, as were the on-shore tours and excursions. We can't speak to evening entertainment because we rarely availed ourselves of what was offered; we did enjoy the afternoon lectures and slide shows that we attended. The one part of the cruise I was disappointed with was that, with the exception of one lock transit, we were not allowed outside on deck for any other lock transits and very rarely at other times. My wife and her friends were quite taken with the cruise and are already planning another for spring 2019. I found that I didn't care for the cruise experience, so I will continue to make my own individual adventures and not revisit river (or ocean) cruises ever again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
What went wrong or how we were mislead: Situation #1: Silver Beverage Package - very poor service (too many trips back and forth to the table before upgrade choices are served) - Solution- have the Wine List available at each table BEFORE ... Read More
What went wrong or how we were mislead: Situation #1: Silver Beverage Package - very poor service (too many trips back and forth to the table before upgrade choices are served) - Solution- have the Wine List available at each table BEFORE guests sit down. Situation #2: A mis-placed iPhone was not returned to my sister for over 24 hrs - not until a 2nd trip to the Front Desk AND a"blinking" Find My Phone iWatch app showed that said phone was close at hand - very, very "mysterious" circumstances. Solution: With the "finding/locating" of significant valued items, perhaps a Notification via Intercom would shorten the time the guest worries about what "really was going on" and/or your guests are reunited with their possessions. Situation #3: "Unspoiled Camargue" Excursion - not enough time looking/viewing the "wild" horses - as in not seeing anything remotely similar to the picture presented for the event. Most of the time was spent "exchanging glances" with a herd of steers/bulls used for arena events. Solution: schedule the excursion to include riding in these "wild" marshes. The food experiences were marvelous - The Excursions (except where noted above) were excellent - The flight connections and service to and from the airports were above reproach. The cleanliness of the room and the ship were commendable. The guides and local Viking representatives were very knowledgeable and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Overall cruise, April 2018, was lovely but forewarned is forearmed. BTW, I submitted the following to Viking and have yet to receive a response: First and most egregious- On the first evening of our cruise, I misplaced a brand new ... Read More
Overall cruise, April 2018, was lovely but forewarned is forearmed. BTW, I submitted the following to Viking and have yet to receive a response: First and most egregious- On the first evening of our cruise, I misplaced a brand new iPhone X, purchased specifically for this trip at a cost of $1000+. How I lost it, was probably due to my carelessness and I want to say upfront that I strongly believe it was NOT taken from my room onboard. My sister and I had spent time on the top, outside deck when we first embarked and took several photos there. That was the last time I saw my phone until I was able to track it down through the use of technology. That same evening after searching every pocket, piece of luggage, drawer, closet, under bed area, etc. many times over, my sister went to the main desk to ask if anyone had turned in a phone, that mine was missing. She returned to the room to say that no phone had been turned in. I asked her if either person at the desk (a man and a woman) had asked her for our names or room number. She said no. We both thought that was odd. Not one to panic, I went to bed and the next morning took a camera on our first tour. We were gone until dinner. At this point I was feeling anxious, sad, and concerned that my phone was gone for good- the phone I had purchased specifically for this trip because of its avowed camera features and all the pictures I intended to take. In desperation, after dinner I searched the same places multiple times once again. I happen to have an Apple watch which has an icon to touch when you want to “ping” your phone. My sister and I both noticed that the icon was barely visible, and unrecognizable unless you knew it was supposed to be there. I then went down to the desk to ask again if anyone had turned in a phone. The two people behind the desk briefly looked and said no. I was about to leave but asked if they knew if the Apple watch faded icon was significant and proceeded to look at my watch and, to my great surprise, noticed that the icon was brightly lit. So, I asked them if they thought THAT was significant and they both shrugged their shoulders which I took to mean they didn’t know about the feature. Interestingly, the male staff member walked through a nearby open door and almost immediately returned with my phone in his hand, saying it was in the safe. At this point I’m maintaining my composure but feeling very perturbed 1) that the safe wasn’t the FIRST place they looked, 2) that clearly my phone had been turned in and why hadn’t that been announced over the PA system, 3) that had I NOT had the Apple watch, most likely I would never have seen the phone again. I was so aghast that I was afraid of what might come out of my mouth if I started venting so I simply said that I was thankful for a positive outcome. Fast forward to a day or two later, when I found I was still too upset to let things go. I went down to the desk and said what a great cruise but I felt I had to let them know how upsetting it was that I could have lost my phone due to an apparent lack of constructive concern and assistance on my behalf. the head of the cruise overheard my comments and came over to ask who had been behind the desk. I pointed to the woman and said that she had been but the man who recovered the phone from the safe was not there. Later, she said she was taking the phone incident very seriously, however, I have not heard anything since. Here’s the funny thing. I was not at all suspicious of any nefarious intent until the phone “miraculously” appeared and even more so when upon recounting my experience to friends at home, invariably the reaction has been: “They were trying to steal it”. Second My sister and I signed up for the Silver Drinks Beverage Package. We were so busy during the day that the only time we could take advantage was at dinner. That is not my complaint. My complaint is that there was NEVER a wine/drink list offered at our dinner table, EVER. We always had to ASK for it so the scenario went something like this. Waiter comes to table extolling the quality of the house wines (nothing special- one, served several times, was Le Vielle Ferme, a cheap wine available at my local grocery) and pours glasses for those who want it. My sister and I say we have the package and ask for a wine list. 10 minutes later, give or take, the waiter returns with the wine list and goes away. 10 minutes later he returns to take our wine order. 10 minutes later he returns with out wine. We are now 30 minutes into the dinner when we finally get our wine. I spoke to another passenger about this and he said he gave his waiter money up front and got excellent service. Is 300 dollars “up front” not sufficient for good service?! When I returned home and told a neighbor who had recommended the package she was stunned. We had time to have a glass, maybe two, at dinner and often the bottle was removed so we had to ask the waiter to go get the bottle. This also made it challenging to take the remaining wine back to the room which my neighbor had said was never an issue on their cruise. I repeat, we ALWAYS had to ask for the wine list. Did we think we would consume $300 worth of drinks in a week? No. Did we think we would get excellent service and attention? Yes. Were we not recognized as Silver Package people after several days on board? Was it because we are female? Was it because we didn’t pass money under the table to the wait staff? I don’t know. I do know the end result was a feeling of being cheated. Third The trip to Camargue was one my sister and I were looking forward to because of the horses. The Camargue horses are well known and were pictured in the Viking summary of that tour. We didn’t see ANY in the wild. AND spent virtually the entire tour listening to a talk on bull races which was of little or no interest to us. Okay. That’s it, except to say were it not for the problems outlined above, the first and second in particular, we would have recommended the Viking Rhone River Cruise without reservation. https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g187265-d628900-r594439529-The_Rhone-Lyon_Rhone_Auvergne_Rhone_Alpes.html# Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We have done numerous Viking River Cruises and had never been to the south of France. This was an outstanding river cruise in the middle of the wine region. All the stops along the way were outstanding. Started off at Tarascon, then on ... Read More
We have done numerous Viking River Cruises and had never been to the south of France. This was an outstanding river cruise in the middle of the wine region. All the stops along the way were outstanding. Started off at Tarascon, then on to Arles and the Arenes d'Aries, the Pope's Palace in Avignon. Of course we saw the famous bridge there. Visited and did a wine tasting in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Did a Steam train ride from Tournon up thru the Douz Valley. Saint Vincent's Cathedral in Viviers. A suspension bridge over the Rhone River by Marc Seguin. Wine tasting in Beaujolais- Villages. The Temple of Augustus and Livia in Vienne. All the city tour guides were the best. They were so knowledgeable. One of the the guides sang to us in the smallest cathedral above Mont Pepit to demonstrate to us the sound quality of the cathedral. Van Gogh had a significant presence along the Rhone River. Viking River Cruises are the best. The staff on board is fantastic. They make you feel like family. When you arrive back at the ship from a city tour, they are there to greet you with some sort of treat, cookie, wine, apertiff, etc. The food on Viking is excellent, but this cruise went far and above their normal quality. We look forward to doing our next Viking River Cruise in the Spring of 2019. We will be travelling from Budapest to Buckarest. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Recommended by friends and family, who went on other cruises with Viking. We had a great time . We enjoyed the off shore tours ,the guides were excellent. They knew so much about the area. There was a good variety of activities , ... Read More
Recommended by friends and family, who went on other cruises with Viking. We had a great time . We enjoyed the off shore tours ,the guides were excellent. They knew so much about the area. There was a good variety of activities , excursions off shore , bus travel and food. on the ship we meet so many interesting people and we have remained in touch with some of them. We may be planning additional trips together. The food served on the ship was very good and a lot of variety. I especially like the scrambled eggs and learned how to make them at home. My family and friends really like the way they taste also. Dinners were fun we sat with mostly the same couples each night and our waiters were very good and accommodating . We all enjoyed the variety of food available for breakfast, lunch and dinner . We also celebrated a couples at our tables 50th wedding anniversary. The head waiter and table waiters helped with the festivities. Lounge; We enjoyed each other's company , music and variety of alcoholic beverages. The bartenders were willing to learn new ways to make the drinks we like. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This was a great first impression of France and Viking River Cruises! As a gay couple, I was concerned about the atmosphere and how we would be received, but it was absolutely wonderful! The Heimdal was lovely, warm, and welcoming! ... Read More
This was a great first impression of France and Viking River Cruises! As a gay couple, I was concerned about the atmosphere and how we would be received, but it was absolutely wonderful! The Heimdal was lovely, warm, and welcoming! There was one minor hiccup while we were cruising with a lock gate that was closed due to a France national holiday, but it led us to a charming small town (La Voute) we would have never seen otherwise, and the locals met us with open arms- some local shop owners even opened on the holiday just for us! I can't speak highly enough of Viking, everyone was so welcoming and made us feel like family. The cruise director was hilarious and really helped us find local spots to see after hours. Each port held its own unique charm and local flare, but I have to say my favorite stop on the Rhone River was in Lyon. The city was full of energy and had so many great shops, sights, and transportation was a breeze (outside of rush hour). We extended our stay with a 3 night stay in Paris, and we are so glad we did! We had a full time Viking host that helped us find local sights, and the hotel staff were amazing and treated us wonderfully- they even helped us make dinner reservations, given we are not fluent in French. Viking gets an A+ from us!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
okay, lets get right to it. my wife and i just got back from our firsr river cruise on the rhone 1 week ago and it was awesome. i had many concerns based on previous negative reviews, all of which were unfounded. our trip was great, we ... Read More
okay, lets get right to it. my wife and i just got back from our firsr river cruise on the rhone 1 week ago and it was awesome. i had many concerns based on previous negative reviews, all of which were unfounded. our trip was great, we already scheduled our next one. some of the negative comments are just inherent in a river cruise , many locks, sail alot at night, tie up to other ships at ports in which case you may be looking right into another persons cabin. if this bothers you, dont do a river cruise. it is a different way travel, accept it. once you do the experience is awesome. so different from an ocean cruise of which we've done many. we liked the small group and the smaller ship, it fostered intimacy and togetherness, you would get to know your fellow travelers better than on an ocean liner. they are an older crowd, no kids on our trip although there was a newly married young couple celebrating their honeymoon. very high end, everything was great, rooms very clean, food was wonderful with many options, wines were plentiful, included shore excursions and guides were all top notch. the roman ruins, the medievil villages, the winerys, the vibrancy of lyon, were truly one of a kind experiences. we did 3 extra excursions which were also great. four of our 7 stops were right in town, 3 we had to take a bus. we didnt consider this a problem, some may see it as so. it was a wonderful experience, cant wait to go again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
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