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11 Viking River Avignon Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
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
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
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 started out in Paris and were bused to Dijon and Lyon, we were supposed to board the vessel and sail to Macon, but the Soane was flooded so we were bused there. The people on the buses were terrific, the food and ship's crew were ... Read More
We started out in Paris and were bused to Dijon and Lyon, we were supposed to board the vessel and sail to Macon, but the Soane was flooded so we were bused there. The people on the buses were terrific, the food and ship's crew were exceptional. The food was excellent. I was a little disappointed that the river was so commercial, not as scenic as I would,have liked. I was getting a little tired,of all the bussing. We enjoyed all the sights and places we saw. The local guides are very knowledgeable and spoke good English. We extended our stay with additional time in Nice, which is a beautiful city. We took a side trip to Eze and Monaco driving along the Riviera, it was gorgeous. Most of the hotels were top rate. Except for the Mercure, not what I expected from Viking Overall I would recommend Viking to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Had not spent a lot of time in provence wanted to see provencal life. Food on board was always fabulous. The tours for the most part were great. Viver was a bore as was the guide. Loved the no pressure on board. When you river cruise ... Read More
Had not spent a lot of time in provence wanted to see provencal life. Food on board was always fabulous. The tours for the most part were great. Viver was a bore as was the guide. Loved the no pressure on board. When you river cruise you must be prepared for the locks, high water, and climbing over other boats something we learned but Viking made everything happen smoothly. We obviously enjoyed the cruise because was are taking another one in 2017 this time in Portugal. We have been on several ocean cruises but really liked the small ship cruise much better. If we ever take another ocean cruise it will be on a small ship with only a few hundred passengers. Viking is always there to serve the customer as it should be since the cost of a river cruise is not low end, We are really looking forward to the next river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
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