1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Viking River Cruises
  4. Viking River Cruises Cruise Reviews

130 Viking River Avignon Cruise Reviews

My plan for this year is to take a river boat cruise on AMA, Uniworld and Viking. Decide which I like best for planning future river trips. Loved AMA all around and of course the Prague to Budapest Danube tour is exciting with lots of ... Read More
My plan for this year is to take a river boat cruise on AMA, Uniworld and Viking. Decide which I like best for planning future river trips. Loved AMA all around and of course the Prague to Budapest Danube tour is exciting with lots of great ports. Uniworld is scheduled for the Fall doing the Mekong River. Will not travel on Viking again. We travel on the Viking Buri on the Rhone River. My husband feels that a large part of my discontent was the boring cruise we took...Southern France from Avignon to Lyon on the Rhone River. With the exception of Avignon, Ailes and Lyon, the other ports offer nothing. Even the tour guides indicated that very few residents stay in these locations because they offer nothing. The only "tour" takes you to a crumbling Roman ruin. I would not recommend this itinerary regardless of company as they all stop at the same ports. Other major issues: Viking indicates this is a 8 day CRUISE. In fact it is 4 days of cruising with the balance of the time being BUSED, with long bus rides, into the areas that were indicated on the itinerary as part of the cruise itinerary. They say that the waters are too high for their riverboat to get under the bridge in Lyon. This has been going on for YEARS! All of the other riverboat companies have no problem getting under the fixed bridge and continuing their cruising tour as advertised. Really believe that Viking misrepresents this cruise. We were on a French wine riverboat tour, but every night all they served was Argentina Melbac wine!!!! I called them on it and they unapologetically stated that they serve what they receive. Had we upgraded our liquor package, there were some French wines on that package. We just don't drink enough to justify paying an additional 300 euros for 7 days. French wine is not expensive and it's inexcusable not to serve local wine on a cruise that is advertised as a wine tour! On AMA, we had both morning and afternoon tours. On Viking, we were only provided a short morning tour (with the exception of the very long bus trip). They offered additional afternoon tours at extremely high rates. For example, I had looked into a culinary tour in Lyon as an individual couple and decided the price tag was just too high for the two of us and expected a similar tour to be offered by Viking. Shockingly, Viking offered the exact same tour at the same price!. Absolutely no reduction in price for a group tour or passing on the savings to their guests. The folks I spoke to who did go on the "extra tours" felt ripped off. Finally the cabins. We travel light, with only two carry on bags and are not big people. The room is so small that, other than the bed and the desk on the opposite wall, there is less than 1 feet of space between the two pieces of furniture. You can't put your feet down flat from the bed as there is only 3-4 inches from the bed to side walls. Not even enough room for a chair. One of us had to leave the cabin for the other one to have enough room to dress! The first and second decks have exactly the same square footage cabins...don't know about the suites. So, as you can see, we were not happy campers. Their one saving grace was the quality of the food...it was excellent and regional. Better than even some of the high end cruise ships we have been on. But the staff need training! Their heart is not in providing great dining experiences!!! Nice but untrained. FYI, this is the first time I have written such a negative cruising experience. I love traveling, am flexible and almost always have a fabulous experience! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We were attracted by the destination and itinary and we have travelled with Viking before. As always, the accomodation, food, service and tours were all excellent. Very nice ship, light and airy and well kept. Excellent staff, excellent ... Read More
We were attracted by the destination and itinary and we have travelled with Viking before. As always, the accomodation, food, service and tours were all excellent. Very nice ship, light and airy and well kept. Excellent staff, excellent organisation. Trips in every port were varied, interesting and enough free time to explore independently. Chef's and Maitre d's daily food and wine reccomendation were always reliable. Live pianist in the lounge provided excellent background to pre and post dinner drinks! Near the end of the cruise my wife fell in Lyon. We were accompanied to hospital by the Hotel Manager, Chris. As surgery was required, Chris arranged accommodation and rebooked travel for us. Every member of the crew, from the Cruise Director to kitchen staff, were aware of our predicament and did everything possible to help and make life easier. This was service way beyond what could have been expected. We are already planning our next Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Itinerary 29/03/17 Fly from London Heathrow to Marseille then coached to Avignon to embark on “Viking Heimdal” for 7 night cruise to Lyon. 30/03/17 Moored in Tarascon and coached to Arles. 31/03/17 Return to Avignon. ... Read More
Itinerary 29/03/17 Fly from London Heathrow to Marseille then coached to Avignon to embark on “Viking Heimdal” for 7 night cruise to Lyon. 30/03/17 Moored in Tarascon and coached to Arles. 31/03/17 Return to Avignon. 01/04/17 Viviers. 02/04/17 Tournon and Vienne. 03/04/17 Lyon. 04/04/17 Lyon. 05/04/17 Disembark ship and fly from Lyon to London Heathrow. Ship The “Viking Heimdal” is one of Viking's new Longships and first entered service in 2014, so is quite new. She is 443 ft (135 metres) long, is designed to just fit in the Rhone's locks and has 4 decks (but only an elevator between decks 2 and 3). The Ship is a very comfortable base for 190 passengers in 85 cabins and has a crew of 51. Diesel-Electric Hybrid engines provide ample whisper quiet propulsion with extremely low emissions. Heimdal was the name of the guardian of the Norse Gods. Fellow Passengers I would estimate that vast majority of passengers were either North American/Canadian and British, with a split of around 50/50. The age profile was very similar to most of our sea cruises, with a large percentage of senior citizens. Many of the North Americans were going on to Paris after the cruise, either by air or by train. It was a very amiable cruise and we didn't witness a single serious argument or notice any over indulgence of the included wine or beer. The Crew The crew were mostly European with the majority of the housekeeping and dining room staff being from Eastern European countries. Having experienced many sea cruises, we have never had a better or more (professionally) friendly crew than on this ship. Nothing was too much trouble for them and they always had a smile on their faces. The Hotel Manager, Englishman Chris Harrington, was very professional and had a very good sense of humour. He was able to transfer us from our cabin on deck 1 to a cabin on deck 3 when some passengers did not turn up. My wife Chris had a very painful left knee and negotiating the stairs between decks 1 and 2 several times a day would have been very difficult and painful for her. We had asked Veronika Etenyi of Guest Services if this would be possible and together with Chris Harrington they made the cabin on deck 3 available to us. We were very grateful to them both for this. The Programme Director, Christine Couper was an excellent organiser and kept us well informed of the following day's programme at a pre-dinner talk in the lounge each evening. Although originally from England, Christine now lives in France. Like most of the crew she seemed to be busy from first thing in the morning to last thing at night. Dining There were two dining areas on the ship, the Main Dining Room on deck 2 aft and the Aquavit Terrace Buffet on deck 3 fore. We thought that the Main Dining Room was very elegant and had tables for 4 and 8 people. The Aquavit buffet had tables for 2 or 4 and had an inside section and an outside section. The UPVC sliding doors separating the 2 sections could be opened right up in warm weather. We ate all our dinners in the Main Dining Room but had some lunches in the Aquavit Buffet – it was very pleasant to sit and eat outdoors in the sun when possible. Rather stupidly I had expected the standards of the meals on a river cruiser to be somewhat below that of the big sea going ships we had sailed on – how wrong could I have been? Greek Executive Chef Daniel Papadimus and his small staff (a sous chef, 8 chefs and two dishwashers) produced meals that would have graced the table of any top restaurant. We were given a conducted tour of the galley by Chef Daniel and were surprised how small it was – about 4 times the size of our kitchen at home. Gas cooking is not allowed on these ships so induction hobs are used instead. Some of them very powerful. There are only 2 ovens in the galley, but they are computer controlled and state of the art, each costing more than a BMW car! The choice of dishes for each course was perhaps smaller than some of the bigger ships, but there was always a good choice. For guests who did not like anything from the main courses on the menu there were always alternatives that were available every day :- Caesar's Salad, Chicken, seared salmon fillet or prime rib eye steak. The daily soup was unbelievably good and a lot of the passengers congratulated Chef Daniel on producing the best soups that they had ever tasted (and I wouldn't argue with them, they were superb). The dishes were all very well seasoned and it was rare to see people using the condiments on the tables. On the top sun deck, aft, there is a very healthy looking herb garden which ensures that only the freshest herbs are used in the galley. Wines and beers were complimentary during lunch and dinner in both eating venues and were of a very acceptable quality and the waiters were very generous in their topping up. I like red wines and the complimentary red wines during the week were Argentinian Malbec, a French Shiraz and a French Bordeaux – I was not disappointed. The Maitre D', Imre Kalmar, was first class and ensured that all guests enjoyed their meals to the full. He would put many of the big ship Maitre D's to shame, he was always available and happy to give advice when asked. It was very clear that he was well respected by his staff. On the 3rd April, our penultimate day, we were treated to a 'Taste of Provence' lunch with typical Provence dishes, bouillabaisse, various breads and cheeses. It was absolutely delightful and was enjoyed by everyone, including the staff who dressed up in French costume. Just one small negative – it was on the same day as our lovely 'Farewell Dinner' – there is only so much food I can eat in one day!!!! Entertainment There was a well tuned grand piano in the ship's lounge and very talented pianist Daniele kept us entertained with a wide range of music. Together with Christine Couper he also did some musical quizzes on some evenings. On the second evening a local man playing a piano accordion played tunes for us and we saw him the next day playing outside the Palace de Papes. On another evening a group of four musicians/singers (a male pianist/singer, a female saxophonist/singer a male singer and a female singer) gave us a concert in the lounge. They were very good and were much appreciated by us passengers. The ship is far too small to have any production shows like the big ships but, to be fair, we didn't find that we missed them. By the time we had showered and changed in the early evening, attended the 7:15pm briefing by Christine, eaten a very leisurely and enjoyable dinner, sat for a while in the lounge, we were ready to retire to our cabins, tired but very happy. Most excursions started at 9:00am, one at 8:30am, so we didn't have any late nights. Public Areas Virtually the whole of the top sun deck (deck 4) is available to passengers and has a good selection of seating and sunbeds, many under a shaded awning. At the rear of this deck there are 2 small putting practice greens and a floor shuffle-board game. Between them is the chef's herb garden where a good variety of herbs are growing, allowing the chefs to collect fresh herbs as necessary. There always seemed to be ample seating on this deck for passengers. All equipment on the top sun deck including the seating, railings, awnings and parasols has to be collapsible in order to allow the ship to pass under certain very low bridges. Even the wheelhouse is lowered to the deck below, with a sunroof for the crew to be able to see to navigate. During these (very infrequent) times passengers are obviously excluded from this top deck. The front of deck 3 has the Aquavit Terrace Buffet Restaurant with tables and chairs, half being outside at the very front of the ship and the remainder being under a glazed roof, so very airy. Between the two sections are UPVC sliding doors that can be fully opened up to allow fresh air into the whole area. Outside of mealtimes these areas are available to passengers to relax in or out of the sunshine and there are even some rocking chairs available. At the very front of this area is the ship's bell and this is surrounded by flowering plants and shrubs, making a it very pleasant area. Behind the Aquavit Terrace is the ship's lounge which is very light and airy due to the large picture windows and light, modern décor. There is a well stocked bar here, with the bar wood built in a clinker fashion, like the original Viking longships. There is a variety of comfortable chairs and tables which seemed to accommodate most if not all of the ship's passengers. A baby grand piano, played by excellent pianist Daniele provided music in the evening and occasionally during the day. Each evening, at around 7:00pm, the Programme Director, Christine Couper, gave a brief talk about the following day's programme and excursions and this lounge was also the venue for performances by visiting local entertainers. Self serve coffee and tea stations are provided on decks 2 and 3, two per deck and had machines dispensing various types of coffee, hot chocolate and hot water (for tea). Cookies and madeleines and occasional meringues were available at all times at these stations. A small library on deck 3 amidships had a selection of books, most of which covered the areas that the ship would be visiting, i.e. Provence and the Rhone River areas. They were excellent if anybody wanted to learn a lot more about any of the places we would be visiting. Below the library, on deck 2, is the reception desk , manned 24 hours a day, and a small shop which sold mainly “Viking” branded goods including polo shirts and jackets. Our Cruise 29/03/17 - Avignon By the time that we had embarked on the ship we were very tired. We had left home at 3:00am, Chris had managed a couple of hours sleep the previous afternoon, but I had not slept at all. Because of this we decided to stay on the ship and relax. 30/03/17 – Tarascon (for Arles) Today we were booked on the included 'Arles City Walk' which involved a short coach journey from Tarascon where we were berthed to the ancient town of Arles. Veronika of the ship's Guest Services had told us that 'Leisurely Group' tours were available for the walking excursions, designed for people who had reduced mobility. These were ideal for us, as I walk with a walking stick and so was Chris who had a very sore knee. These tours visit most of the sights of the main tours but have their own guide who makes sure that steps, steep hills and uneven ground are avoided where possible. We signed up for the 'Leisurely Group' for all our walking tours. The town was captured by the Romans in 123 BC and turned it into an important City, with a canal to the Mediterranean being constructed in 104 BC. It is famous for its well preserved Roman remains. Our coach dropped us near the centre of Arles and we divided into two groups, our 'Leisurely Group' being led by our excellent guide Anna. We made our way to the Amphitheatre (aka the Arena) which reminded us very much of the one in Rome. Built in 90 AD the Arena was designed to seat 20,000 spectators. In Medieval times it was turned into a defensive fort with four towers although only three remain today. It still hosts bullfighting, although it would certainly not appeal to us! From the Arena we moved on to the Church of St. Trophime which has an amazingly ornately carved frontage. Built between the 12th and 15th centuries it is in the Romanesque style. The carvings on the frontage represented a lot of stories from the Bible and Anna was able to explain what they all represented. After leaving the church we passed the Hotel de Ville (the Town Hall). We then moved on to the former Arles Hospital (now offices and shops) where the artist Vincent Van Gogh was hospitalised for a period after he cut his ear off. The gardens were very recognisable from a couple of paintings that Van Gogh did whilst there. We also passed the famous 'Yellow Cafe' also made famous in one of his paintings. After we had met up with the other group and been transported back to our ship at Tarascon by coach we had lunch in the Aquavit Buffet restaurant. Chris was rather tired, so decided to rest her knee in the afternoon, but I decided to go out and take some photographs of the castle in the town. The castle, built in the 15th century to protect Provence from attack is a very strong castle built on solid rock to prevent undermining during a siege. We left Tarascon at around 6:45 pm to return to Avignon, arriving between 9:00 and 10:00 pm. 31/3/17 – Avignon After breakfast, at 9:00 am, we left the ship and met our guide Isabelle for our included leisurely walking tour of Avignon. We entered the city by going under the busy road via an underpass and then through a small gate in the city walls. Our first stop was at the Place de la Republique where we saw the beautiful Hotel de Ville building. We then continued on to the huge Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) which was an amazing sight. Construction began in 1252 AD and the Papacy was relocated here in 1309 by Pope Clement V when life became rather dangerous in Rome. It housed a total of 7 Popes, not all officially accepted, until the Papacy was returned to Rome in 1377. The Palace was sacked by the revolutionaries during the French Revolution and was further damaged when it later became a prison and military base. The amazing huge and defensive palace is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is slowly being repaired and renovated. We were glad that we were on the leisurely tour as the other tour had to negotiate around 120 steps on their visit to the interior of the palace. Our next stop was to the Basilique Saint-Pierre, rebuilt in 1385, has magnificently carved 4 metre high twin walnut doors. From here we moved on to a large indoor market with stalls selling almost any type of food or spice that you could think of. We left the rest of the party there and made our way back to the ship, stopping only for coffees, as we were booked on an afternoon tour. After lunch on the ship we went on the optional Pont du Gard Aqueduct Tour led by a guide name Mary who had a trainee named Camille shadowing her. We had a very pleasant coach drive of about 35 minutes through some very pretty countryside. Arriving at the complex we had to wait for a short time whilst Mary purchased 38 tickets and then visited the site's museum which was very interesting. We then walked to the aqueduct which was an amazing structure. The aqueduct, built in the 1st century AD was part of the 50km (31 mile) water supply to the city of Nimes from a spring at Uzes, requiring just a gradient of 1 in 18,241 over the distance. Although mostly underground the system required to span the Gardon River and so a bridge 160ft high with 3 tiers of arches was built without concrete, the stones fitting precisely where needed. The water supply delivered 200,000 m³ (44,000,000 imp. gallons) of clean water to Nimes every day! In the 18th century a road bridge was added to the structure and it still used by pedestrians today. Close to the bridge are some very old olive trees that were planted in 908 AD and are still very healthy today. Amazing to think that these trees were 158 years old when the Normans invade England in 1066. We had some free time to get drinks/snacks, visit the gift shops or revisit the museum before we had to climb back into our coaches for the drive back to our ship. 01/04/17 - Viviers This morning we had a bit of a lie in as our included Viviers Leisurely Walking Tour did not start until 9:30 am. Our guide was a very amusing chap named Pierre who was also a ballroom dancing teacher. Together with his wife they had been ballroom champions and, during the tour, he mostly walked backwards, which I thought may have been useful in his dancing days. Viviers proved to be a most delightful Medieval town with many old buildings and narrow streets. There is the ruins of a castle and city walls together with the smallest Cathedral in France in the town but these were up a very steep hill, so our tour did not include this. However, us leisurely walkers were more than happy exploring the little medieval streets with a very knowledgable and amusing guide. It rained twice during our tour but we had our own umbrellas (the ship also supplies them if required) and we still had a very good time. We spent the afternoon on the ship, watching the lovely countryside and watching the ship pass through 2 locks. On this journey we would rise up 120 metres via around 11 locks. 02/04/17 – Tournon & Vienne We got up this morning to persistent drizzle which was a shame as we were going on a steam train ride through the unspoilt Doux Valley where there are no roads. After a 20 minute coach drive we got off at the Gare de Tournon St-Jean where we had about 20 minutes to visit the gift shop or visit the toilets whilst the engineers prepared our Mallet locomotive. These locomotives are articulated in order that they can negotiate the tight bends of the 1 metre gauge track. Our locomotive, No. 403, had been running on this route since 1903! The track runs from Tournon to Mastrou with a length of 33 km, but we would just be going from Tournon to Colombier le Vieux and back today. Our guide was named Phillipe and was a doppelgänger for Jeremy Corbyn, but had a much better sense of humour! Our group had been allocated the last carriage, No. 8, which had rather small windows which could be lowered with a leather strap (like the trains of my youth), but we kept them closed as the rain was still falling. The journey was quite interesting but would have been much more so had we been able to open the windows to take photographs. The countryside was beautiful and at one stage a canal, designed just to deliver water to a hydro-electric power plant, ran alongside the track. This had been built by German soldiers during World War 1. When we arrived at the Columbier le Vieux station we got out whilst the locomotive was uncoupled, run onto a turntable and manually turned through 180 degrees by the footplate man. There was a rather wet stall where a local farmer was selling goat's cheese and honey products and a rather elaborate hen house, resembling a child's doll house. When the locomotive was re coupled to the train we found that we were now the first carriage, directly behind the locomotive. We sat on the opposite side of the carriage on the way back to Tournon, so that we got a somewhat different view from our little windows. Once back at Tournon we re boarded our coaches for the drive to Andance – our ship had repositioned whilst we were on our train tour. It had been a very enjoyable morning's excursion, but could have been much better had it not been so wet. The ship stopped in Andance just long enough to take all the excursionists on board and then set sail towards Vienne whilst we enjoyed lunch. At 2:30 pm the ship made a brief stop at Chavanay to discharge the passengers, including us, who were going on the included Vienne walking tour. Our coach took us into the small city of Vienne. Our guide for the Leisurely Tour was named Lytse (pronounced Litsee). Fortunately the rain had stopped. Our coach dropped us alongside a tractor unit, disguised as a train, pulling 3 carriages and, once aboard, we set off through the town and then started to climb up a steep hill to Mont Pipet. The road was very narrow, with extremely tight turns and we could see why the coaches would be unable to take this route. On top of Mont Pipet we stopped to visit the chapel there and also to admire the fantastic views over the city and the River Rhone from a large viewing area, Directly below us was a Roman semicircular theatre built into the hillside, which could seat 8,000. We re boarded our tram unit and were taken down the hill back into the town and were discharged close to Temple Square, where we went on a walking tour. We visited the Temple of Augusta and Livia, a rectangular building of the Corinthian order, which was erected by the emperor Claudius (10 BC to 54AD). The temple is in amazing condition, mainly due to its being converted to a church in the 4th century. It looked as if it would have been more at home in Rome or Athens. Leaving the temple we made our way to the huge Gothic Cathedral of St. Maurice which is a French Heritage site. Work on the present building started in 1130 AD and it now has 3 aisles and an apse. We spent quite a lot of time inside the Cathedral and Lytse was a very knowledgable guide. The Cathedral is currently being renovated whereby half of it was bright and clean whilst the other half still had the grime of centuries. After this visit we joined up with the other excursion party and we boarded our coach for the short ride to a quay at Vienne where our ship, having relocated, was now waiting for us. A very busy day, but very enjoyable. 03/04/17 – Lyon Our ship had departed from Vienne and we were able to watch her sail into Lyon whilst we had breakfast. The plan had been to moor at the quay and another Viking ship would be mooring alongside us. However, when we got to the quay, we found that the other ship had beaten us to it and we had to moor alongside them. We were booked on the Lyon City Tour and, as we exited our ship, we had to pass across our sister ship, the “Viking Delling” to reach the gangplank to the quay. It was rather odd to be passing across another ship that was exactly the same as our ship (in design and décor etc.) but with different staff. Our coach took us up to the top of a hill where the beautiful Fourvieres Bascilica was situated. This minor Basilica was built between 1872 and 1884, so not as old as most of the religious buildings that we had visited on this cruise. There were a lot of steps to reach the entrance but our guide, Celine, took us to a doorway on the side where there was an elevator to take us up into the ground floor of the Basilica. The interior was amazing, with a myriad of small mosaics depicting scenes from the Bible, one of the most beautiful interiors that I have ever seen. Close to the Basilica there is a metal tower that bears more than a passing resemblance to the Eiffel Tower of Paris. The Tour Metallique de Fourviere was erected between 1892 and 1894 and is 85.9 metres high, weighs 210 tons and, at 372 metres, is the highest point in Lyon. During the Exposition Universelle of 1914 it had a restaurant and an elevator taking 22 persons at a time to the summit. It was used as an observation tower until 1953 but is now just a television tower. In front of the Basilica there is a viewing site that gives amazing views over the city of Lyon and the River Rhone. After a few minutes free time there we re boarded our coach to continue our conducted tour of Lyon. We stopped for a photo opportunity at a high rise building that's side had been painted with windows and balconies with figures from Lyon's history on show. These figures are repainted every few years and most are aged to show them a little older. We then went on a walking tour of the older parts of the city with our guide Celine which mainly consisted of large blocks of high Renaissance apartment buildings with very narrow streets between them. Celine pointed out that some of the doors in these buildings, identified by small seals, could be opened to reveal passages that ran right through the buildings to the other sides. Spiral staircases along these passages gave access to the apartments above them. These 'secret' passages were used by silk merchants to go to and from the markets safely and were called 'traboules'. During World War II the French Resistance members used these traboules to harass the Nazi occupiers and escape from them when chased. Only a few of these passages are open to the public nowadays, but I found these passages to be very interesting and was very glad to have been able to visit them. We then had some free time to further explore the old quarter before we boarded our coach for the short ride back to our ship. We found that another ship, the “Swiss Corona” was moored where we had been on the quay and our ship was now moored alongside her. Both ships were very different in design and so we couldn't get across to our ship by walking through the other. As all the river ships are the same height, we had to climb up the stairs to their sun deck, pass across to our sun deck and then go down the stairs to deck 3 on our ship. Great fun (but not if you have a sore knee!). 04/04/17 – Lyon This morning we were up fairly early again as we were booked on the Beaujolais Wine excursion leaving at 08:30 am. We boarded our coach and met our guide, another Phillipe and we started driving off into the hilly Beaujolais countryside which was absolutely beautiful. We passed through some lovely little villages and everywhere looked well cared for and neat, a pleasure to visit. After a really enjoyable ride we arrived at the Chateau de Chasselas Winery which was just stunning. A beautiful four storey house was within a rectangular walled courtyard with four towers with turrets and several outbuildings. We were met at the entrance by the owner Jean-Marc Veyron la Croix who showed us his vineyards and explained how the grapes were grown. Jean-Marc produces a very high quality wine and only one branch of each vine remains unpruned and this is looped down and tied. Fewer grapes will result from this method but they will be of a higher quality and produce better wine (this is not the inferior Beaujolais nouveau wine). Jean- Marc explained that he had not started life as a winemaker, he had been in the fashion business, but had bought the chateau and business in 1999 after a previous owner had partially renovated it. He had spent a year studying winemaking but had found that there was no substitute for hands on experience. After visiting the vineyards Jean Marc took us into a tasting cellar where we sampled 4 separate wines – a red, two whites and a champagne type wine – and they were delicious. We were also given some nibbles to eat with them and I only saw one person use the 'spit bowls' that were provided, most of us quaffed the lovely wine down.. After the tasting Jean-Marc led us to his little shop where he had various wines, wine drinking accessories and books etc. for sale. I would have loved to have purchased some of his wines but we were flying home the next day, so it was impossible. (The passengers on the next cruise, from Lyon to Avignon,would have been able to buy wines to consume on the ship, Viking do not charge any corkage fees). We were a little reluctant to leave the chateau and its interesting owner, but at least we had some more lovely countryside to look at on our way back. Back on the ship we learned that other coaches on our Beaujolais Wine Tour had gone to other wineries and ours seemed to be the best, I think we were rather lucky. Disembarkation A couple of days before we were due to leave the ship we were allocated a leaving time and suitcase labels, we were to put our suitcases outside our door at 5:15 am and would be leaving the ship at 6:15 am. The previous evening I settled our account by credit card and paid gratuities for the crew. The following morning we were up early, packed our nightclothes inside our suitcases and then put them outside the cabin door. We went to the Aquavit Buffet for a continental breakfast and then, at 6:15 am, said farewell to the lovely ship and headed for a waiting coach on the quay. We identified our luggage which was then put on the coach and we boarded it for the journey to Lyon Airport. At the Airport we were met by two local Viking representatives who guided us to the check-in desk for our British Airways flight to London Heathrow which was scheduled to take off at 10:00 am. Unfortunately the check-in did not open until 8:00am, so we had quite a long wait. After standing for some time we decided to find a seat where we could still keep an eye on our queueing luggage (most passengers did this). The check-in opened on time and we were soon issued with boarding passes for an aisle and middle seat in row 22. Again, the flight was not fully booked and we found that we had all 3 seats to ourselves. We took off on time and had a very pleasant flight, arriving at Heathrow Terminal 3 on time. As usual, it seemed to be miles and miles of walking before we reached Immigration, but once there we were fast tracked through because we both had walking sticks. We then passed through to the baggage reclaim area and I could see both our cases already on the carousel. We phoned our taxi and he picked us up from outside the Arrivals Hall after a few minutes wait. Conclusions This was our first river cruise and, in the main, it exceeded most of our expectations. The ship was very well designed and maintained and the staff very friendly, but always efficient. Compared with our sea cruises it seemed a little expensive but, when you factor in the included excursions at every place we visited, the complimentary (and generous) wine or beer with lunch and dinner, tea and coffee (with cookies and other biscuits available 24/7) and free Wi-Fi, then you begin to realise that the cruise is actually good value. There were a lot of small things which, although of no great importance in themselves, nevertheless increased our feelings that this was a quality company and product. Complimentary bottled water in our cabin was replenished as necessary and, each time we left the ship to go on an excursion, complimentary bottles of water were handed out by the staff, Similarly, if the weather looked to be possibly inclement, Viking umbrellas were also available for all passengers. The excursions were all well organised, ran to time and had excellent and very knowledgeable guides. Viking use mainly their own coaches and they were always very comfortable and clean and driven by excellent drivers. But it was the staff that really made our holiday. Captain Scheen has a great team with Programme Director Christine Couper, Hotel Manager Chris Harrington and Maitre d' Imre Kalmar heading a very happy and efficient crew. We did not find river cruising as relaxing as sea cruising, perhaps due to having no 'sea days' and the fact that we did at least one excursion each day and two on some. We did however love visiting so many different places in such a short time. Will we continue river cruising? A big resounding YES! The River Douro in Portugal looks very tempting, so that might be our next adventure. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We selected this cruise based on Viking's reputation and itinerary. It lived up to all our expectations by delivering a great river experience, shore excursions and gourmet dining. We booked a Veranda A based on the square footage ... Read More
We selected this cruise based on Viking's reputation and itinerary. It lived up to all our expectations by delivering a great river experience, shore excursions and gourmet dining. We booked a Veranda A based on the square footage of 205 sf. and were not disappointed. The appointments in the room were comfortable and exquisite at the same time. We highly recommend Viking with its wonderful on board staff. Embarkation and disembarkation were easy - just get on and off with ease. The entertainment highlights were the night a French accordion player was brought onboard to provide delightful French accordion music as we sailed from Avignon and under the very famous Avignon bridge; and the night a group of entertainers, including two singers, a keyboard player, and a soprano saxophone played French opera arias and then switched to iconic French cabernet tunes - all while dressed in costume. The entire week was delightful! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Our 3rd Viking cruise (our first that wasn't Danube or Rhine Christmas Markets) and always a real pleasure. Spent some time in Marseille and Aix them off to Avignon to begin the cruise. Service, food, ports, and shore activities ... Read More
Our 3rd Viking cruise (our first that wasn't Danube or Rhine Christmas Markets) and always a real pleasure. Spent some time in Marseille and Aix them off to Avignon to begin the cruise. Service, food, ports, and shore activities were excellent. Travelled with (new) friends we met on the earlier Danube cruise and made new friends on this cruise. What made this cruise particularly special was the wonderful food and wine in each city, notably Lyon and Arles (as well as the excellent food served onboard). Tour of Chateauneuf du Pape vineyards were a highlight as well as Avignon Castle of the Popes and city tour of Lyon (an amazing city). Used Viking for airline reservations and transfers and everything went off without a hitch. Considering another Christmas Markets cruise on Viking or trying Viking Ocean Cruises for a different experience. Crew and cruise director were excellent. Highly recommend Viking. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this cruise because it had the itinerary we were interested in. We had seen the advertisements for the Viking cruises and were always impressed by the color, the sights and the ports. The ship was exactly as advertised. Our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it had the itinerary we were interested in. We had seen the advertisements for the Viking cruises and were always impressed by the color, the sights and the ports. The ship was exactly as advertised. Our cabin was compact but very efficient. Both embarkation and disembarkation could not have been better handled. At all times we felt that all details had been covered. Dining was excellent. There were always choices and food for all appetite levels, you could have as much or as little as you wanted. The wait staff was always available and helpful. The daily updates were informative and often very comical. The entertainment was fine the entertainer who played piano could have been better and certainly more upbeat. However, Oliver the program director, was an incredible talent. He made the cruise most enjoyable. We found all the crew and staff to be hard working and helpful, always pleasant and outgoing. They were always around if you needed something and they answered any questions we may have had. Our room was always cleaned timely. We were surprised at how everyone worked so hard. Staff from all departments always out greeting and working to keep everything clean and tidy. We enjoyed our ports of call and our tour leaders. We felt that we learned a lot about the places we visited and that the tour guides were very knowledgeable about subject matter. We have highly recommended Viking to our friends and family. We look forward to another cruise in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Having seen TV ads for Viking River Cruises over six seasons of Downton Abbey we were intrigued but had never actually considered booking a cruise until we saw an email offering a last minute deal and decided to go for it. It turned out ... Read More
Having seen TV ads for Viking River Cruises over six seasons of Downton Abbey we were intrigued but had never actually considered booking a cruise until we saw an email offering a last minute deal and decided to go for it. It turned out to be the best snap decision that we ever made! Everything - the ship, the crew, the food, the tours and the local guides - were absolutely fantastic. Because we were cruising the lower Rhone River which is dotted with vineyards as far as the eye can see, they took great care to pair the evening dinner with fabulous local wines. We took the post cruise extension to Paris and were so impressed with how seamless the process was. We put our luggage outside our stateroom on the ship and were escorted to our reserved seats on the bullet train, picked up at the train station in Paris and driven to the hotel where our luggage had already been placed in our room. This might have been our first Viking cruise but it certainly won't be our last! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We traveled with our parents for their 50th wedding anniversary. We enjoyed the included shore excursions each morning and the guides were excellent as was the scenery. We also chose 3 optional tours and they were fantastic. The truffle ... Read More
We traveled with our parents for their 50th wedding anniversary. We enjoyed the included shore excursions each morning and the guides were excellent as was the scenery. We also chose 3 optional tours and they were fantastic. The truffle farm, goat cheese farm and two wineries. We were unable to cruise to our stop in Macon but the ship made arrangements to bus us to the city and in between the tours, we enjoyed a lunch of local fare! Every aspect of the ship and its crew were top notch. This includes the food!! The service was impeccable! Our waiter at all of the meals on the ship (Sasha) could not have made our time on the boat more special. The entertainment was fun and the onboard activities were perfect. The embarkation and disembarkation flowed smoothly. I have been a few ocean cruises but this was my first river cruise(and my husbands FIRST cruise!) Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Smaller, more intimate trip. The crew, including the captain greeted you. The food was exquisite. The chef would go out to the markets and pick up fresh items to serve when we in a port. Since their were only 180 guest on board it was very ... Read More
Smaller, more intimate trip. The crew, including the captain greeted you. The food was exquisite. The chef would go out to the markets and pick up fresh items to serve when we in a port. Since their were only 180 guest on board it was very easy to meet and talk to interesting people. The daily excursions, that were included in the price of the cruise, were very informative led by a guide from the area we were visiting. The walking was not difficult, in fact there was a group for a more leisurely walks. In fact there was a lady in a wheelchair that had no trouble getting around the sites. The steward for the room set it up twice a day, once while we were at breakfast then turned our beds down at night. I was a little disappointed with the room, it was smaller than I expected. We had two beds with only a small space between them that you had to walk sideways to get out. We got a french balcony room and there was no chair or even room for one to watch the scenery go by as you sailed. For that you had to go up to more public spaces. I think that was the only downside for me. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Friends told us how wonderful the Viking cruises were and they were absolutely correct. The accommodations, food, and service were outstanding. Libations were great too! We could not imagine a better experience cruising. Embarking was so ... Read More
Friends told us how wonderful the Viking cruises were and they were absolutely correct. The accommodations, food, and service were outstanding. Libations were great too! We could not imagine a better experience cruising. Embarking was so easy compared with other cruises. The included shore excursions were excellent too. There were plenty of variety of experiences to get a taste of the French country side.They were well paced for we senior citizens. Moreover, the guides were very articulate and well informed. Overall the experience was very relaxing and informative. Just what we hoped for. We look forward to another cruise with Viking. Our only complaint about the Viking cruise were the flight arrangements. Fortunately we were seasoned travelers, otherwise it would have been disastrous experience. We had to go through security several times as a result of the booking. Moreover, we had to get new boarding passes for our connecting flights. This experience was very taxing and anxiety producing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise to be with friends. It was also a birthday cruise for 2 of our group. The wait staff sang happy birthday to them on our last night. That was very sweet. We wanted a smaller crowd. It was wonderful! We has taken a ... Read More
We chose this cruise to be with friends. It was also a birthday cruise for 2 of our group. The wait staff sang happy birthday to them on our last night. That was very sweet. We wanted a smaller crowd. It was wonderful! We has taken a cruise on a big ship the year before, and felt lost on such a large ship! We enjoyed meeting other people. We enjoyed sitting in the lounge in the afternoon after the excursions and watching the river flow by. It was beautiful! All service staff were very polite and accommodating. The food was incredible! Every meal was delicious! By the second day the bat tenders knew us and knew what drinks we preferred. The entertainment at night was a lot of fun, not too involved, just enough time to relax after dinner before going to bed. The excursions were very informative and just enough to give us the background for what we were to experience. The countryside was breathtaking! The cities were so historic! We are planning our next trip with friends soon! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise based upon the ports of call - we really wanted to see Avignon and Lyon. We were not disappointed both towns were wonderful as were all of the others. We enjoyed walking the cobble stone streets and learning more ... Read More
We chose this cruise based upon the ports of call - we really wanted to see Avignon and Lyon. We were not disappointed both towns were wonderful as were all of the others. We enjoyed walking the cobble stone streets and learning more about the history - from Roman times to the Medieval to current. From the moment we arrived we were thrilled with the ship, our stateroom and ship's personnel. The crew were fantastic - helpful, accommodating and thoughtful. The food was excellent and we were pleased that we opted for the silver drinks package. Our morning excursions were interesting as were the optional afternoon excursions. The tour guides were excellent. Everything on the ship ran like clockwork and we felt well taken care of. We added the post trip extension in Paris and totally enjoyed the train from Lyon to Paris. Once again, our travel was engineered perfectly by Viking personnel and our transfers worked perfectly. Our Paris hotel was in a great location close to the Eiffel Tower and provided a great ending to our trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We booked the "France's Finest" cruise which is a combination of the 7 day Lyon and Provence cruise and the 7 day Paris to Normandy cruise. We had never been on a river cruise and did so on the recommendation of friends who ... Read More
We booked the "France's Finest" cruise which is a combination of the 7 day Lyon and Provence cruise and the 7 day Paris to Normandy cruise. We had never been on a river cruise and did so on the recommendation of friends who had. We arrive in Marseilles and there was a Viking representative waiting for us to take us to the port in Avignon. We boarded, secured our room key and were able to get into our room promptly. We booked the lowest level room because we had read that the balconies were not necessary on such a busy cruise and for the fact that sometimes the ships were stacked against each other in port which means you would be looking into another ship's rooms. That and being October, we weren't sure what sort of weather we would have. On ocean cruises we always book a balcony but it is usually summer and I do not regret not having a balcony. Our stateroom was 118 and was very nice. All rooms are pretty small, but storage is not an issue as there is room under the bed for suitcases, plenty of drawers and a nice closet. There is always a bottle of water, you get you own ice, the listening devices for the tours on the counter that you must always remember to charge and take with you. The window is large but high and set back from the room so there is a large shelf there. If you are in port and against the docking area, you will have to close your drapes. I liked with room because we were usually facing the river in most ports. The bathroom is small, of course, but there is plenty of area for toiletries and a nice size shower with great water pressure. Lunch was being served so we took advantage of that as we were tired and needed to freshen up before dinner. After resting, we made it to dinner even though we were exhausted. Met wonderful people and had an excellent meal. We purchased the beverage package even though you do get wine and beer included with dinner. I'm glad we did but not sure I would do again unless it was part of a promotion. Let me say at this point that the staff and crew of this ship were amazing. It did not matter if you met up with the captain or the kitchen staff, they all would greet you, wish you a nice day or ask your plans. Our room was spotless as was the entire ship. Our Program Director was Patricia on this leg of the cruise and she was truly special. She knew everything and was on pretty much every excursion. I don't know when she sleeps! And the food! Oh my! The selection is amazing and the quality even more so. The wait staff is helpful and fun. We usually tried to sit in the same area for dinner on both cruises and these people go to know us and did things without having to be asked. They are truly wonderful! Here is a rundown of the ports. I would suggest you do the included walking tours at each port. There is a wealth of information available through these guides and it will still leave you time to do other things. As with everything, there are guides who are better than others. The headsets are great but sometimes the accents are heavy and it might be a little hard to understand at times. Arles: We did the waking tour at 9:00 AM where we visited many of the town's sites. Beautiful town and October was such a great time to visit. The town is beautiful and the connection to van Gogh makes it very special. Weather perfect. In the afternoon we chose to do the Les Baux and Carrieres de Lumieres Show. The show was amazing and the town of Les Baux was worth the trip. Avginon: Even though we boarded here, we cruised to Arles first and then returned to Avignon. We also did the walking tour which included the Pope's Palace, a must see in this town, as well as a stop at Les Halles, the great market. We were able to spend time here, sample many treats and gaze longingly at amazing pastries! After lunch we did the Chateauneuf du Pape tour and tasting. I learned more at this tasting than I have at any other. Wine was amazing and we taken to the vineyards to see the vines and how they grow in rocks.The view from the castle ruins is beautiful and the stop in the small town allowed us to grab a coffee or do some shopping. Loved this excursion! Viviers: The walking tour here looks intimidating as you walk to the cathedral above the town, but it is very leisurely and beautiful. The view from the cathedral is very pretty and again, the weather was perfect. We were sailing not long after our return, but during the afternoon there was a cooking demonstration, galley tour, French tea time and and French lesson. I did them all and so enjoyed every one! Tournon: Short tour of the town and then on to the Tournon Steam Train tour. Again, the weather was perfect and this train ride was beautiful. Returned to the ship docked in Vienne and did the walking tour in the afternoon. This town was probably my least favorite but the tram ride to the to the cathedral provided beautiful views of the town and the river. Lyon: What a beautiful city! We did the city tour which included time in the old town. Plenty of shopping and eating here. You could return to the ship or stay and get back on your own. We were spending the night so many folks returned in the afternoon. The next day was disembarkation day. Since we were going on the Paris to Normandy cruise, we were taken to the train station and took the high speed train, first class, into Paris. Took about 2 hours and it was a very relaxing trip! Once off the train we were met by a Viking representative who took us to our next ship, the Rhinda. Everything about this cruise was perfect. Fellow cruisers are well-traveled and for the most part in their 50's and 60's. There were some young people but they are definitely in the minority. If this makes you think quiet and stodgy, you are wrong. These people love to party and everyone is so friendly that even if you are traveling alone or as a couple, you will meet people you will come to know very well through meals and excursions. That was one of the highlights of this cruise! This is the first time we have vacationed in October and it could not have been a better time. Crowds are small, weather might be cool in the morning but wonderful in the afternoon. Even the evenings were warm enough to be out and about. I loved being here in October. There is an elevator aboard but it only goes between the 2nd and third levels, not the bottom level where our cabin was. If you are in any unable to use stairs, you might want to check on this before you book a room on this level. This was a wonderful cruise from beginning to end mainly because of the wonderful staff and lovely ports. I will continue the review of the Rhinda on that page. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Being met by smiling hostesses at the Marseille's airport set the tone for the week of cruising on the Rhone. Each day more than lived up to our expectations as we enjoyed the company of our fellow passengers, learned about the ... Read More
Being met by smiling hostesses at the Marseille's airport set the tone for the week of cruising on the Rhone. Each day more than lived up to our expectations as we enjoyed the company of our fellow passengers, learned about the history of the area, explored new places with very knowledgeable guides, dined on choice food carefully presented to reflect the area specialities and soaked up the ambiance of a select area of France. The ship was very clean, spacious enough to give the feeling of freedom and functional for the canal journey. The exploration of the canal system alone was an enlightening journey. Cabin was well appointed with every amenity needed and inconspicuous service given. On board evening entertainment crowned days that were full with, again, entertainers that reflected the particular region. All inclusive excursions were very carefully organized, consideration given to different walking abilities and local guides who were both entertaining and very knowledgeable. The use of portable listening devices made it possible to hear the guides very well. The additional excursions were varied and exceptional. Throughout all of this, the staff remained welcoming, accommodating and in good spirits; especially tour director, Patricia. Another river cruise is certainly in the offing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Almost 3 years ago my friends and I took our first VRC to the Netherlands (Tulips & Windmills) to celebrate a milestone birthday I was having. We loved it, so for 2016 we booked another cruise for 2 friends' milestone Bdays, The ... Read More
Almost 3 years ago my friends and I took our first VRC to the Netherlands (Tulips & Windmills) to celebrate a milestone birthday I was having. We loved it, so for 2016 we booked another cruise for 2 friends' milestone Bdays, The Bday person gets to pick, and they chose the South of France. Viking longships are beautiful and so well laid out, and the Delling was no exception. They meet you at the airport, from then until the end of your trip, whether you go from the ship back to the airport, or to another destination that Viking offered. We spent 3 days in Europe post-cruise, and the VRC team had someone at the hotel every day. Since they source local food, it was exceptionally good! We opted for the Silver Spirits package because we enjoy a couple of cocktails now & then, but if you are happy with beer & wine at meals, it is included. The entertainer was a very good musician and played/sang extremely well. The included enrichment/excursions were very well executed, and we included a couple of extra. I highly recommend the Chateauneuf-du-Pape tour & tasting. Fabulous! The goat cheese & truffle farm tour was also great. (I'd skip The Camargue unless you find our it is better in warmer weather.) The service was excellent, as we experienced before, from every single staff member we encountered. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our third Viking River Cruise. We had done the Danube and the Rhine and loved both. So booking a third was a no brainer. The food was marvelous at every meal. The cabin was made spotless several times a day. We love the fact that ... Read More
This was our third Viking River Cruise. We had done the Danube and the Rhine and loved both. So booking a third was a no brainer. The food was marvelous at every meal. The cabin was made spotless several times a day. We love the fact that there are included tours in every port city and optional tours to extend our experience. The apointments on all three river vessels were impeccable. The Viking staff are unmatched in their attention to detail and top flight service. We especially appreciated the attention that our tour directors provided each day. We were able to go to him/her with any issues or questions and get sound appropriate guidance. On our last tour our chef became part of the hospitality crew on a daily basis. We first encountered him on-loading luggage as we boarded. He was visible at every meal and even provided some wonderful entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Traveling with two other couples having little prior river cruise experience, we suggesed the Avignon to Lyon cruise, and all had a great time. We landed in Marseilles and were met after claiming our bags by the Viking representatives. ... Read More
Traveling with two other couples having little prior river cruise experience, we suggesed the Avignon to Lyon cruise, and all had a great time. We landed in Marseilles and were met after claiming our bags by the Viking representatives. After being joined by a few other couples, we were transported by motorcoach on about an hour's journey to board the ship in Avignon. The ship was beautiful, well maintained and very clean. Cabins are small but organized so well that space is not an issue. The dining is superb as always and the service throughout the ship is excellent. The scheduled excursions hit the high lights of the region and with free time you can visit several other important spots. The cruise is a very good value, especially if you book early. . After a wonderful cruise, we rented a villa in Avignon for a week so we could explore more of the French countryside. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our third Viking cruise and we've never been disappointed.Having just come from an 11 day bus tour of Spain, it was nice to be able to unpack my suitcase and hang my clothes The food and wine were very good and the ports ... Read More
This was our third Viking cruise and we've never been disappointed.Having just come from an 11 day bus tour of Spain, it was nice to be able to unpack my suitcase and hang my clothes The food and wine were very good and the ports were enjoyable. The staff was excellent, they were very friendly and kept you well informed. I would have given it 5 stars except that the tours aren't as good as they were on the first trip. They have more 'optional tours' which used to be included. We did have to take a lon bus ride for a wine tour due to the low water in the river but the scenery was beautiful so it wasn't too bad. We did have one small problem with our toilet but mentioned it to someone and it was fixed almost immediately. Next we're off on a Viking Ocean Cruise and really looking foreard to that. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Viking does great cruises and we enjoyed ours a lot, but there was one thing that bothered us. We paid extra to have a suite with balconies, but several times during the 8-day cruise we had other ships docked right alongside us, making the ... Read More
Viking does great cruises and we enjoyed ours a lot, but there was one thing that bothered us. We paid extra to have a suite with balconies, but several times during the 8-day cruise we had other ships docked right alongside us, making the balconies useless and blocking the view when we were in port. Our only other comment is about the cabin. We did back-to-back cruises (Viking calls that a "Butterfly" reservation), so it was hard not to compare the two ships and two cruises. We took the Rhine cruise on the Tialfi first and then the Rhone cruise on the Heimdal four days later. This is a review of the Rhone cruise on the Heimdal. The Heimdal is about four years older than the Tialfi. There were noticeable differences between the two ships due mainly to the age difference. Viking made numerous improvements to the cabins in the newer ship. Some of the design changes should be brought into the older ship when it is renovated, like more closet space and storage and a medicine cabinet in the bathroom. The newer design was fantastic, especially in comparison to the older design. The older ship, the Heimdal, also had a minor wastewater problem in that the cabin smelled a little of sewer for parts of the first couple of days. Other than that, the service, the food, the excursions, the guides, etc. were all exceptional. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We love the south of France and have traveled there on several occasions.After watching the Viking commercials on Downton Abbey, we finally decided to do a river cruise and we were most pleasantly surprised.Viking has river cruising down ... Read More
We love the south of France and have traveled there on several occasions.After watching the Viking commercials on Downton Abbey, we finally decided to do a river cruise and we were most pleasantly surprised.Viking has river cruising down pat! Every aspect of the trip was outstanding and seamless. We elected to spend a week in Nice before taking a train to join the boat in Avignon. Once on the boat, we unpacked our bags for the duration of the trip.What a treat to travel without re packing and lugging luggage! Our cabin (Veranda A) was compact, but, very efficiently designed and comfortable. From our very first encounter to our departure, every interaction with the Viking crew was wonderful. The daily complimentary tours were informative and managed in a way that prevented you from feeling "herded". Each night there was an update of the next days activities prior to dinner. Oh and the food, where to begin....great quality and quantity. We alternated between the Dining room and the more casual Aquavit terrace. As I look back on a great experience,the most memorable part of the trip was the wonderful people that we met and the friends that we made. We are already planning our next Viking Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
THIS WAS OUT FIRST CRUISE EXPERIENCE. On the plus side, Olivier, the Tour Director is energetic and very talented and entertaining as this Viking cruise provides little outside entertainment coming on to the ship. I was expecting 2 ... Read More
THIS WAS OUT FIRST CRUISE EXPERIENCE. On the plus side, Olivier, the Tour Director is energetic and very talented and entertaining as this Viking cruise provides little outside entertainment coming on to the ship. I was expecting 2 things and was disappointed. I expected a French speaking crew on the Rhone in France. I expected Cote du Rhone wine on a Rhone river cruise in France and was served German table wine of poor quality. The room and bathroom was well appointed for the space. Although we did not sit but once on the balcony, I would not want a room with just a port window. The entire staff was extremely friendly and energetic which was definitely a plus. I had looked forward to a port visit to Macon as it was the only city on the itinerary I had not visited before but were told it was impossible due to water levels. The cuisine was plentiful but average in quality. The beef was tough and inedible. The cream soups all tasted the same. The French pastry tea was very nice. With a basically German crew and Greek chef, German wine, I did not really feel I was in France for 7 nights. The ordinary cookies available with coffee or tea was disappointing. Although a relatively new ship, the lounge and dining chairs are showing wear. We enjoyed the experience and especially not packing up for 7 nights but there were downsides. Haven't decided if we will try another cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was our first Viking cruise and first trip to France. We enjoyed our cruise very much and would definitely choose Viking again. From the first moment we pulled up in the taxi in front of the ship, until we were flying home, Viking ... Read More
This was our first Viking cruise and first trip to France. We enjoyed our cruise very much and would definitely choose Viking again. From the first moment we pulled up in the taxi in front of the ship, until we were flying home, Viking covered every aspect of transportation, luggage, accommodations. We were always cared for by a Viking representative, whether on a tour, making train connections, traveling to hotels. From embarkation until we got the plane to go home, our luggage was handled by Viking. We never had to worry about transporting bags. They made our trip effortless. Our cabin was roomy and well designed. The food was great, and the service impeccable. The staff was always there to help, and they were all extremely personable. The shore excursions were well done, and all of our tour guides were exceptionally knowledgeable. Do yourself a favor and take a Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We have been on Viking cruises previous to this one......sailed from Amsterdam to Budapest 2 years ago and enjoyed that trip very much. We felt the quality of the food, service, and just the overall condition of the boats was better on our ... Read More
We have been on Viking cruises previous to this one......sailed from Amsterdam to Budapest 2 years ago and enjoyed that trip very much. We felt the quality of the food, service, and just the overall condition of the boats was better on our 1st trip We booked two trips...northern and southern France....and found the boats were in need of some attention. Our cabin had an odor of sewage that was really never resolved and also was in need of some updating. For the most part, the ports and shore excursions were wonderful. We did have a problem with the bus in Normandy that caused us to miss part of our tour. Nothing was done to make up for this, nor was an an apology offered. Also, we found any meal that was provided off the boat was just not good. I would compare it to cafeteria food. Embarkation and disembarkation for all trips were very well organized. We would consider booking another Viking cruise if it was on a newer boat. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
What a wonderful experience! We've been on a number of ocean cruises with various cruise lines but this was our first river cruise and our first Viking cruise. The visit to the small towns with walking tours included was a highlight ... Read More
What a wonderful experience! We've been on a number of ocean cruises with various cruise lines but this was our first river cruise and our first Viking cruise. The visit to the small towns with walking tours included was a highlight of our trip.The tour guides were knowledgeable and personable and the towns were charming. On board, the service was warm, inviting, and seemed personal. The bar staff remembered our orders and preferences after the very first night. The cruise director had a great sense of humor, was warm, and friendly. She seemed to be everywhere - on board and on the tours, in the towns. Although the cabin was tiny, it was well designed with a place for all of our luggage, etc. The food was excellent in taste and variety. We also enjoyed the casual style of dress, not requiring more formal clothes as on some cruises.. We loved it all and this will not be our last Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click