44 Bordeaux Romantic Cruise Reviews

As an all inclusive cruise we liked knowing what we paid up front was the bottom line, no hidden extras. We have travelled with Scenic before so not a difficult decision. Lovely comfortable beds light airy and clean cabins. This time ... Read More
As an all inclusive cruise we liked knowing what we paid up front was the bottom line, no hidden extras. We have travelled with Scenic before so not a difficult decision. Lovely comfortable beds light airy and clean cabins. This time travelling to a region of France we have not seen before and wanted to learn more about. On board attentive staff, great food , friendly fellow passengers made the ten days most enjoyable and we learned a lot about wine, the grape varieties and wine making. Starting and finishing in Bordeaux which we found to be a delightful city and had adequate time for exploring. Other ports of call included Libourne, Pauilliac, Fort Medoc, Cadillac, Bourg sur Garrone and Blaye, we also took a side excursion to Cognac, a lovely town and of course we just had to see how its namesake spirit is made and tasted at Remy Martin. Recommend to anyone not just wine enthusiasts. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Arrived in Bordeaux 3 days before cruise and explored thoroughly. Great B&B (La Maison Fernand) above Place Fernand Lafague - very close to restaurants and Rue Saint-Catherine boutique shops. Scenic Diamond was a beautiful floating ... Read More
Arrived in Bordeaux 3 days before cruise and explored thoroughly. Great B&B (La Maison Fernand) above Place Fernand Lafague - very close to restaurants and Rue Saint-Catherine boutique shops. Scenic Diamond was a beautiful floating hotel for our 11 day cruise - with excellent managing staff and tours run by an exceptional Cruise Director. A very well organised and paced tour with a good variety of attractive destinations: not always wineries. Scenic offer a complete tour experience with cultural and artistic events interspersed with in-depth guided tours of many beautiful villages and towns. Highlights were: String Quartet Classical concert at Chateau d'Agassac; St Emilion, with its underground cathedral; Bergerac's lovely streetscapes and its pioneering 19th century hydroelectric facility; Bordeaux's Cite du Vin wine museum; cycling through the vineyards; and, the Remy Martin tour in Cognac. The ship-board entertainment lead by our highly entertaining Cruise Director Sonja was excellent, as was the extensive menu and the hotel service. Local wines were featured, but could have been more mature, with more higher quality regional alternatives offered. A thoroughly enjoyable discovery tour of the Bordeaux region from Scenic who, once again, provided an exceptional river cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Scenic asked for our opinion after our first ever cruise. Here it is. The Bordeaux Affair was a fabulous cruise experience except for the total failure of the sanitation system on the ship, and partial for the remainder of the week. ... Read More
Scenic asked for our opinion after our first ever cruise. Here it is. The Bordeaux Affair was a fabulous cruise experience except for the total failure of the sanitation system on the ship, and partial for the remainder of the week. This failure was complete at times (leaving cabin toilets full of waste and no working toilets at all for an ENTIRE DAY). Sometimes the blockage was partial, however as our week went on, the smell of human waste increased in the hallway and was unsanitary and distressing. Our cruise director promised the entire ship would receive compensation - however for Scenic, this only amounted to an offer of 20% off everyone’s next cruise. The Scenic promise is a disappointment. We chose Scenic because of their reputation for excellence - and the cruise was excellent - however when an issue as large and disruptive as this happens - the customer should be compensated AND offered a discount on their next Scenic Cruise. The cruises are very expensive and with such poor customer service it is too risky to invest that amount of money again. It is a shame and we are very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Loved the boat and got to experience Paris for 4 days post cruise. Visiting the different wineries was awesome. We came as a group of 3 couples. We were all celebrating anniversaries. The staff was not only great, but made us feel we had ... Read More
Loved the boat and got to experience Paris for 4 days post cruise. Visiting the different wineries was awesome. We came as a group of 3 couples. We were all celebrating anniversaries. The staff was not only great, but made us feel we had become friends by the end of our week. The drink package was a nice addition to our enjoyment. We liked the fact that our French balcony was just above river level. Slept with window open to here the water going by. We were alway offered water when going on shore. The excursions were always interesting and lead by professional and knowledgeable tour guides. We enjoyed all excursions and our time in Bordeaux on our own. The cruise director was a great addition to our already great time. Our dinner table was always perfect and we met another couple that made for great conversations. Keep up the high quality of Viking cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This cruise was taken with the intent of visiting wineries. If someone is interested in "cruising", then this is not their cruise. There was a little too much emphasis on the city of Bordeaux, a total of 2 1/2 days were spent ... Read More
This cruise was taken with the intent of visiting wineries. If someone is interested in "cruising", then this is not their cruise. There was a little too much emphasis on the city of Bordeaux, a total of 2 1/2 days were spent there, partially because of low river flow and the ship could not travel to one of the destinations. The dining was great: lots of fabulous choices at breakfasts and dinners. Servers were charming and accomodating. Food portions were large and plentiful. The singer & pianist in the lounge who performed before & after dinner were really good--the singer had a fabulous voice. The tour guides varied from excellent to poor' We were lucky that we had the excellent one for three of our tours and the poor one for only one tour. I expected a guide to be able to answer basic questions and the poor guide could not, and she was a French native. The excellent guide had booklets with pictures and sketches showing how people dressed during the times she was talking about. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our 30 year anniversary celebration so we decided to take the cruise. My wife had never been to France and I really wanted to have a memorable celebration. This cruise provided an intimate setting, great food, great wine, great ... Read More
This was our 30 year anniversary celebration so we decided to take the cruise. My wife had never been to France and I really wanted to have a memorable celebration. This cruise provided an intimate setting, great food, great wine, great crew, and so relaxing. The food was wonderful every meal. We got to know several of the staff and actually sat at the same table every evening for dinner. We received the best treatment from everyone. The staff knew us by name and even remembered some of our favorite wines. The food was divine. Perfectly cooked every time and the presentation was fabulous. The chef told us every night what he was preparing and it made the wait delicious and difficult. The planned excursions were very entertaining and exciting. They were well planned and informative. The tour staff were so knowledgeable and helpful. We had plenty of free time to explore on our own. Our cabin was perfect. Always cleaned and well kept. The staff again knew us by name and were very accommodating to our needs. My wife and I would definitely go on this same cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I want to go To a Truffle hunt, vist the Bordeaux Region along with Taste some great Bordeaux Wine & most of all visit a Prehistoric Cave! I was able to accomplish all these things on a luxurious cruise. Also celebrate a special ... Read More
I want to go To a Truffle hunt, vist the Bordeaux Region along with Taste some great Bordeaux Wine & most of all visit a Prehistoric Cave! I was able to accomplish all these things on a luxurious cruise. Also celebrate a special Birthday. All the staff was friendly and provided excellent service. The entertainment was the best on my the last night when they had people arrive from the Bordeaux Opera Company. They performed many wonderful opera favorites along with interacting with the audience. The ship also offered a few Wine Tastings which I felt provided a good education on Bordeaux Wines. I have found a few bottles of my favorite wines when I returned back from my trip. I served them with a pasta dish I made with the authentic Truffles I purchased at the Truffle farm we visited. It gave me an opportunity to relive this wonderful trip with a Fabulous dining experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Fabulous cruise with delicious local fresh food and very well presented. Plenty of variation to choose from each day. The red and white French wines were great however when we asked for French Champagne on arrival we were only offered ... Read More
Fabulous cruise with delicious local fresh food and very well presented. Plenty of variation to choose from each day. The red and white French wines were great however when we asked for French Champagne on arrival we were only offered sparkling wine. It wasn't until we enquired further that the sommelier then offered us French Jacquart Champagne. I would have expected French champagne to be offered as a staple when travelling in France on a 4/5 star all inclusive luxury cruise. The entertainment was very disappointing. The singer who sat at the piano singing voiceovers and occasionally playing a couple of notes would finish well before patrons had left the bar/lounge area each evening. We had expected lively entertainment that encouraged people to get up on the dancefloor and dance. The speaker sound system in the lounge/bar didn't work properly as we had to resort to playing music from our iphones once the entertainment had left for the night. Overall the staff were very friendly and helpful on board, particularly our sommelier and dining room manager, Plaman who arranged a special evening for us on the top deck with our selection of vintage French Champagne and canapes. Our tour manager, Adrian (AJ) was outstanding. We thoroughly enjoyed all of the tours. The Chateaux owners were very passionate about their wine making and incredibly generous with sharing their knowledge with us. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
What a fun, relaxing cruise and if you love wine, this is the cruise for you! Wine tours, wine tastings and wine pairings. Mimosas in the morning, wine for lunch and dinner, sauternes and port for dessert. We didn't get the ... Read More
What a fun, relaxing cruise and if you love wine, this is the cruise for you! Wine tours, wine tastings and wine pairings. Mimosas in the morning, wine for lunch and dinner, sauternes and port for dessert. We didn't get the additional beverage package but the house wines served with lunch and dinner were excellent and we didn't have a lot of Bloody Marys and Martinis so we didn't really need it. The staff was fun and very attentive, always making sure our every wish was met. We had never been in a room without a balcony but since we booked last minute, we got the standard room downstairs. It really was very acceptable and wouldn't hesitate to book it again. The tours were interesting and informative, but some of our favorite memories were just relaxing on the sun deck or watching the captain and first mate masterfully dock the ship. We would recommend this cruise to everyone. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Being wine lovers, we wanted to visit Bordeaux, 'the wine capital of the world'. Our trip started with a pre-cruise two night package at the Intercontinential Bordeaux, in an upgraded executive room. The pre-cruise package was an ... Read More
Being wine lovers, we wanted to visit Bordeaux, 'the wine capital of the world'. Our trip started with a pre-cruise two night package at the Intercontinential Bordeaux, in an upgraded executive room. The pre-cruise package was an excellent deal as it included all transportation and full breakfast. The Scenic Diamond was moored about a thirty minute walk from the hotel. We ventured over there for a look where we met Mauricio, the hotel manager. He welcomed us to board early and have lunch on-board. As we booked the Royal Owner Suite, we felt we received amazing service from all of the staff, especially Aron, our butler. Our newly renovated two room suite was beautifully, appointed including an amazing outdoor balcony and two person bathroom. The meals prepared by our executive French chef were all nicely varied, hot and very tasteful.We opted for a combination of the breakfast buffet and a la carte entree service (eggs Benedict was excellent). We usually enjoyed the light lunch, served in the restaurant, beside the main bar. Dinners were excellent and varied, although some of the daily special entrees were usually overdone. Most of the wines offered were from the Bordeaux region, good but not exceptional. However, the bar selection left nothing to be desired and included top shelf liquor and after dinner drinks. Ship amenties included a small gym, a relaxing salt room, a spa and a hot tub (on the upper deck). The circular track allows guests to burn off some of the calories consumed on board. One of the best features of Scenic is leave your wallet at home as drinks, excursions and tipping, are all included. This makes for a very relaxing vacation. On board service was quick, effecient and genuine. Everyone makes you feel special. On shore tours were interesting and led be excellent guides who were the same for the entire cruise. They were very knowledgeable, informative and spoke English very well. The ship's cruises were the weak point. Travelling up and down the rivers around Bordeaux was not as exciting as was our previous river cruise, along the Danube. We were unable to cruise to ports south of Bordeaux, due to low bridges and high water. hat made for longer bus rides to and from the well planned excursions. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Scenic and Bordeaux appealed to us for its luxury, interesting itinerary, wine tours and all-inclusive approach to travel. They delivered on all levels. Our stateroom (Junior Suite) was compact - as you would expect on a river cruise - but ... Read More
Scenic and Bordeaux appealed to us for its luxury, interesting itinerary, wine tours and all-inclusive approach to travel. They delivered on all levels. Our stateroom (Junior Suite) was compact - as you would expect on a river cruise - but really well designed so there was plenty of room in wardrobes and bathrooms and the bed was huge and really comfortable. This theme continued throughout the ship. The common areas were excellent and the staff were consistently superb - friendly, attentive, helpful and all with a good sense of humour. Trips ashore provided excellent variety and range of choice and all the vineyard visits were excellent. A major highlight was the quality of the food and wine for every meal. Plenty of choice and a great size allowing you to easily taste four or five courses without feeling stuffed. Entertainment onboard was fun and engaging. Best of all was not ever worrying about how big the onboard account was growing - everything was included. Wow!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Friends who are regular Viking guests recommended this cruise. The experience was first class from beginning to end. The atmosphere was casual and comfortable on board. The food was excellent and service superb. We loved being able to dine ... Read More
Friends who are regular Viking guests recommended this cruise. The experience was first class from beginning to end. The atmosphere was casual and comfortable on board. The food was excellent and service superb. We loved being able to dine with new friends everyday. The cruises are definitely for the able bodied and active. We walked about 7 to 8 miles daily, which was awesome. We appreciated staying active in order to enjoy the excellent food and wine. The local guides were a delight and provided a true insiders perspective on the historical sights. We added on the Loire Valley to the beginning of our trip and enjoyed it immensely. Viking chooses beautiful historical sights to visit. The entertainment was average. One night we were treated to beautiful opera by singers who came on board, it was my favorite.I would recommend a Viking cruise to anyone. We already booked our next one for the Christmas markets 2019. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This was our third Viking river cruise, chosen because this is an area we had not previously visited. From our previous Viking cruises we expected quality experiences and services-- we were not disappointed. The evening walking tour of ... Read More
This was our third Viking river cruise, chosen because this is an area we had not previously visited. From our previous Viking cruises we expected quality experiences and services-- we were not disappointed. The evening walking tour of Bordeaux oriented us to the city where the ship was docked several evenings during the week. The guides at all ports were excellent and provided a balanced mix of structured and free time at each port. Our visits to many of the small cities coincided with the market days that gave opportunity to interact with the residents. We found the included excursions met our expectations. On many of the included tours the groups were divided among various wineries or other destinations to further enhance the small ship experience. The cruise director's lively pre-dinner port talks in preparation for the next day meant that we were about to experience another outstanding dinner. The daily menu selections highlighted the regional cuisine, were well-prepared and served by personable wait staff. We also enjoyed the al fresco lunches served on the deck that provided lighter midday options. The focus of this cruise is immersion in the culture and history of this beautiful region and the optional tours provided opportunity to learn about truffles, cognac and oysters in addition to the wine. From the initial boarding to final disembarkation, we loved our time on the Forseti. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We had a family event in Europe and I wanted to add a river cruise to our trip. We booked just three months before departure, and my only regret is that I am still not on the ship ! I was very attracted to Uniworld's small size ... Read More
We had a family event in Europe and I wanted to add a river cruise to our trip. We booked just three months before departure, and my only regret is that I am still not on the ship ! I was very attracted to Uniworld's small size (there were 119 passengers on our cruise) and all inclusive price, and it was wonderful not to have to think about tipping all the service people and guides, paying for shore excursions or paying for a pre-dinner cocktail or my beloved Diet Coke in the salon or on the sundeck. I think this encouraged people to mingle more before, and after dinner. Lovely dining salon and lounge, with a grand piano and comfortable tables and sofas. The ship was immaculately clean. We were blessed with great weather and enjoyed some cruising topside on the sun deck on very comfortable padded lounge chairs. There are also tables available. The waiters were quick to take drink orders and keep them coming if you desired, along with little silver bowls of salty snacks. My husband enjoyed trying a variety of different beers and scotches. There was a small hot tub we never used on this deck. There was also a small work out room with a nice view at the front of the ship, and morning exercise classes were offered. The food was outstanding. I was told they would be featuring 43 different kinds of cheeses during the cruise. I love cheese, and they did not disappoint. Breakfast and lunch buffets with made to order omelettes and other goodies. Dinner was multi course table service with at least three choices for all courses. If you did not care for what was being offered, there were other choices that were always available including steak, salmon and a vegetarian dish as well as different starters and salads. I am allergic to mussels, and they went out of their way to make sure I had a satisfactory substitution when these were offered. The desserts were incredible, and the sweet pastry chef was standing by to describe each one and encourage you to try several. You could also book a dinner in The Blue Fox which was an intimate room for 12 serving the same menu as the regular dining room or a glass enclosed room for about 20 on top of the ship which served the same set menu the whole trip. This was very pleasant on a beautiful fall evening while cruising and watching the beautiful sunset. We did both and enjoyed them. I would recommend signing up for these on the first day, before the general announcement. They fill up quickly. Casual dining was also available on the sun deck with a limited menu of items. We did not try this. The service was top notch in every way. A nice touch was the stewards standing by when you came in from an excursion to hand you a cool cloth with silver tongs to refresh yourself, and another with a tray of fresh squeezed juice or iced tea. Sharon, our cruise director was wonderful, as was the hotel manager Sebastion. The dining room servers and housekeepers could not do enough for you. I think they have been trained to never say no. If you want something, they will make find it, or make it happen. Since this was a Vineyards and Chateaux cruise, there was a lot of focus on wines. We explored several wine making regions. I never knew such different wines were produced so close together. I enjoyed the winemakers lunch we had in a Chateaux where we were greeted by the owner and had a three course lunch with three different wines to complement each course. This was the only the only excursion we all went to together, the others were broken up into smaller groups.The guides were very good. I particularly enjoyed Sarah, an Irish girl married to a French national and raising a family in Bordeaux. The tours never felt crowded and the buses to transport us were very comfortable. There were three different days where there was an option to do a bike tour, which my husband loved. Bikes were available at all ports to explore on your own if you did not wish to do the excursions. He enjoyed the Bordeaux by bike tour, while I went on the walking tour. This is not a tour for children or teens, and there were none on the ship. Ages ranged from mid 30's to upwards of 80, I would have to guess. There were two guests with walkers, there is an elevator on board and they do have "gentle walking" excursions. The guest were primarily Americans, with Canadians, English, Australians, Brazilians and Spanish in the mix. We enjoyed most of the passengers and became friends with a couple who we hope to meet up with again. Would I go again ? IN A HEARTBEAT ! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
It was 20 years or so since we last took a river cruise. Scenic's reputation, first class ships, advertising and website hyperbole convinced us to travel with them. 'Beautiful Bordeaux' seemed to fit the bill. In most ... Read More
It was 20 years or so since we last took a river cruise. Scenic's reputation, first class ships, advertising and website hyperbole convinced us to travel with them. 'Beautiful Bordeaux' seemed to fit the bill. In most respects our decision was vindicated. The all-inclusive nature from airport check-in at our local airport to return 11 days later was exceptionally well organised. Our flights with Air France went almost to schedule. The meet-and-greet at Bordeaux by a very smart young driver with a black Mercedes minibus for us and two others was spot on and we were on-board in about 30 minutes of baggage reclaim. The recommendation from the Scenic agent in Manchester, to take the earliest flight of the day so that we could 'start eating and drinking' sooner, really did pay off. There was a light lunch in the River Café waiting for early arrivals. At the end of the cruise, we were escorted by bus to Bordeaux airport and taken to the correct terminal for check-in: an exercise of almost military precision. We had a balcony suite on Diamond Deck. It might best be described as small but perfectly formed. It was a tight squeeze around the king size bed for more than one to be near the wardrobe, to pack and unpack, or by the desk. But all the details were catered for: plenty of hangers and hanging space, shelves and drawers, TV/computer, bottled water replenished as used, minibar (which we barely touched since there was so many other opportunities to consume on and off the ship). And the bathroom had plenty of cupboard space for wash bags and the like, constant hot water, plenty of Occitan bath amenities, towels, robes and slippers. We did not have many opportunities to use the balcony/sun lounge, because we were either sailing or (unfortunately) tied up facing the quay or another cruise ship. We enjoyed the lounge/bar with its large floor to ceiling windows, sufficient seating, and multiplicity of uses - lectures about shore excursions, music, River Café for light lunches and afternoon tea, and l'Amour tasting menu. The only gripe from my arthritic wife was the lack of higher backed and higher seated chairs, which would have been more comfortable than the low sofas and easy chairs. Likewise, the large dining room was also well lit with day light (unless we were parked alongside another cruise ship, when the blinds and drapes were pulled), comfortable and offered a surprising amount of space between tables. What about dining? Being on the Diamond Deck, we had our evening in L'Amour with its five course tasting menu and La Table Rive, with its six course menu. These were culinary highlights of the cruise, with their dedicated wait staff, descriptions of each course and, in the case of Rive, a new wine to go with each course. The website blurb implies that l'Amour also has wine pairings, but on our night, there was one red and one white, after a small glass of champagne to start. Also, whereas the website implies that invitations come automatically for these nights, we were advised by our butler on her welcome chat to go to reception and ask for an invitation! Breakfasts were excellent, with a wide menu of juices, cereals and fruits, yoghurts, cold cuts, hot dishes, and omelettes, fried and poached eggs, eggs benedict, steaks and lamb cutlets cooked to order. Think Hilton or Crowne Plaza then add a notch or two. Lunches, too, had a reasonable selection of salads, soups, hot and cold food, deserts and cheese, but gradually over the ten days, there was a degree of repetition. It was the dinners that disappointed us. Scenic use words like 'sumptuous food' and 'gourmet cuisine'. I know these epithets are subjective, but barely were we offered dishes that fit words like 'sumptuous' or 'gourmet'. We were in France, near some of best sea food and cheeses in the world. So where were the fruit de mer? We had an oyster evening when an oyster merchant came before dinner from Arcachon with more than enough oysters. We had mussels twice, once when they were almost under-cooked because of demand and once when they were over-cooked. We had prawn cocktails with a very modest sprinkling of frozen prawns on a bed of lettuce. And the inevitable lobster tail on the Captain's farewell menu. Where were the langoustines, the fresh prawns and shrimps, the bulots, and the rest? When it came to cheeses, there were probably less than ten out of which three were permed for each meal: how often did we need brie, bleu d'Auvergne and Compte, when there are so many other cheeses available. And where we the distinctly French dishes, such as a proper bouillabaisse (the one we had was basically a thin fish stock), boeuf bourgignon, sautéed foi gras, cassoulet, and the rest? Sadly, there seem to be three answers to some of these questions. One is that the menus were at the unexciting end of the spectrum to cater for the masses (whether the masses really wanted such safe food or not). They were not a patch on menus on some of the small luxury cruise liners. The other is that almost all the food on board is trundled in chilled trucks all the way across Europe from a central point in Germany, so that as the ten days went one, some items reduced in selection. And the third is no doubt the bean counters fetish for central control on menus, as happens also on many cruise lines and hotel chains. We chose one day to forego lunch on-board and treated ourselves to an assiette de fruit de mer at a waterside café in Bordeaux to get a true taste of French cuisine. Enough of the gripes. The chef and his staff worked wonders in the small space they are required to call a galley, and the wait staff were friendly, professional and wonderfully knowledgeable about the wines they were serving - and these were generally very good wines. We didn't indulge much in the entertainment, except the three piece jazz band that came on-board on evening: magical. The ports on this cruise were generally neat little French local towns close to vineyards and historical UNESCO sites. The excursions were exceptionally well organised and the guides better than most we have met anywhere in the world. The number of wine tastings (why else would one go on this cruise?) must have done nothing for our livers for a day or two! Most were easy even for wheel-chair users, with one or two towns, such as St Emillion having cobbled streets and hills to negotiate. Overall, yes, we had an excellent time and the cruise had many very good features. But please, Scenic, either prove you can meet some of the hyperbole about the dining experience, or alter the epithets you use to be less misleading. And, on reflection, we would probably use Scenic again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My wife and I have now completed four river cruises with Scenic and yet again we have not been disappointed, it was excellent. The cabin was clean and tidy at all times by the housing keeping service, the butler service was great being on ... Read More
My wife and I have now completed four river cruises with Scenic and yet again we have not been disappointed, it was excellent. The cabin was clean and tidy at all times by the housing keeping service, the butler service was great being on call at all times, the balcony is unique to Scenic with the electric opening and closing windows that allow for you to sit out there regardless of the weather. The dining as usual was first class from the light lunches to the speciality table restaurants on board and being remembered by the crew for drinks and other services was especially great. As for the activities as we have come to expect from Scenic they were all great and well timed to not be totally exhausting but very informative and a wonderful experience each time. And we will always recommend Scenic for those who want luxury and an exceptional adventure that is value for money. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We loved the Bordeaux area cruise aboard Viking Forseti. The optional 2 day pre-cruise tour of the Loire valley and chateaus was terrific. Outstanding guide. Meridien hotel in Paris had nice rooms. We walked 100 yards/meters to a family ... Read More
We loved the Bordeaux area cruise aboard Viking Forseti. The optional 2 day pre-cruise tour of the Loire valley and chateaus was terrific. Outstanding guide. Meridien hotel in Paris had nice rooms. We walked 100 yards/meters to a family run restaurant ORESTO for an excellent meal with a carafe of wine reasonably priced. Great service by the young owner. Highly recommended. The Clarion Hotel Chateau Belmont in Tours had nice clean & modern rooms across from the older chateau/dining area; the food was just OK. A frenzied waiter spilled 2 dinners, one on a woman's dress next to me. Next night, several couples walked down the street to a fun modest dinner at the nearby restaurant Bistro de la Tranchee recommended by our guide. Folks need to know that because the Bordeaux area is subject to ocean tides, the exact sequence of tours posted is likely subject to change. Each week the Captain gives the Tour Director the ship sailing schedule and the TD re-plans accordingly. For example, because of tides we could not sail to Cadillac and were bussed instead, no big deal. Of course your Viking Daily and the briefings cover this. Optional Tours: onboard we signed up for the Home hosted Chateau Siriac tour. Great tour, the inside of the chateau (a home) is gorgeous as was the beautiful setting and food of lunch for the 30 of us. You'd think my wife would be old enough not to fall for it, but the owner invited her upstairs to tour his bedroom. Nice wines tasted and consumed for lunch. Well worth it. Unstated in the pre-cruise documents, but this tour ALSO takes you to Saint-Emilion so you do not miss that included tour. The other optional: oyster tasting @ the beautiful Arachon estuary was excellent. Several folks did not eat oysters but still loved the tour. First stop onshore was an oyster farming 10 minute explanation, followed by oysters & wine in a seaside nice setting. Then back on the boat for 10 minutes to an excellent lunch at a seaside restaurant, with the always included tons of Viking wine. Fun aboard the boat and the sailings were broken into 3 stops, one for oyster tasting, one for lunch, and finally the sail back to the marina for the bus. Others aboard liked the pricey optional cognac tour. We skipped that one. The numerous included walking tours and wine tastings were all well done, keeping us busy. Too many great choices at breakfast, made to order omelets, and especially fine French breads and cheeses. Lunch for us when not away touring was the buffet on the bow's Aquavit Terrace. Dinners were very good with half a dozen entree choices each evening. A superb highlight is the included hosted dinner at the beautiful facilities of Chateau Kirwan, after a wine tasting at a different chateau. Viking caters the dinner but the wines are from Chateau Kirwin, another gorgeous dining facility (like Chateau Siriac) and setting. Ended the cruise with our last night dinner out on the Forseti's Aquavit Terrace at sunset. In effect we had private service for 4 tables of 2. Met 2 couples whom we really, really liked, sadly just as we were to depart. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My wife and I planned a vacation to France for our 35th anniversary. We wanted to spend a week in Paris and a week in the French countryside, but we didn't want to take a bus tour where we would be checking into and out of hotels ... Read More
My wife and I planned a vacation to France for our 35th anniversary. We wanted to spend a week in Paris and a week in the French countryside, but we didn't want to take a bus tour where we would be checking into and out of hotels every day. Our solution was a river cruise, where our "hotel" could travel with us. After reviewing a number of river cruises in France, we decided on the Ama Waterways Taste of Bordeaux, and we were very happy with our choice. This was our first river cruise, and we found the intimacy of the AmaDolce a refreshing change from large ocean cruises. The food was wonderful, among some of the best meals we've had our lives. The service was impeccable. We grew quite fond of our ebullient Bulgarian waiter Nicolai. The excursions were very good and, unlike ocean cruise excursions, almost all of them were included in the cruise price. True to the title of the cruise, we visited a number of wineries and sampled some good wines in the Sauternes, Pauillac, and St. Emilion regions. The guides and winery hosts were all very knowledgeable and helpful. There were also excursions to local chateaux and other historical sites, including Roquetaillade Castle, the Citadel at Blaye, the Château de Vayres and the Château de Montaigne. A high point for us was a weekend craft fair in the Blaye Citadel, where we got to talk to some very nice artists. We were also happy to spend some time in the city of Bordeaux. Despite its size, the AmaDolce had both laundry service and a hair salon, both of which were surprisingly reasonable. Since we needed to get back to Paris for our return flight, we decided to add the Loire Valley post-cruise extension, and we were happy with that tour as well. The chateaux we visited -- Chenonceau, Amboise, Chambord, and Blos -- were fantastic. It was a special treat to see Clos Luce, the last home of Leonardo Da Vinci, and his grave in the St. Hubert Chapel at Amboise. Our Sorbonne-trained guide Claude was excellent -- he gave us both the historical background and the juicy details of the French Renaissance kings. The cruise director Elia accompanied us on the extension and took good care of us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
From turning up on our first day to leaving in the taxi for the airport, the staff and fellow travelers made our trip a fantastic experience. Captain Danny and his team worked tirelessly to ensure that we had a 5star trip all day, every ... Read More
From turning up on our first day to leaving in the taxi for the airport, the staff and fellow travelers made our trip a fantastic experience. Captain Danny and his team worked tirelessly to ensure that we had a 5star trip all day, every day. The food and wines were outstanding as was Mike, our resident musician. Nikolai ensured that our dining experience was excellent an Kristian, Angel and Vasil ensured that everyone had a full glass of our preference. The daily excursions were extremely well organised with excellent tour guides providing a fantastic insight into the wine region. The only issue we had was that whilst all drinks in the restaurant were free, the drinks in the lounge were charged. This meant that you spent more time in the restaurant at night rather than go upstairs to the lounge where you paid for drinks. Ama Waterways should look at an all inclusive rate for the trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this trip because it was an area of France that we had never visited, and we do like wine and like to learn about it . We were not disappointed. Relaxing. Informative. Great mix of tours. Great fun. The cruise director ... Read More
We chose this trip because it was an area of France that we had never visited, and we do like wine and like to learn about it . We were not disappointed. Relaxing. Informative. Great mix of tours. Great fun. The cruise director was fabulous. Very entertaining. Very informative. Very helpful. Well organized. The food was just what we wanted. Good variety. Local cuisine. Wonderful service. The tours took us to a number of different wine venues and provided great information. The trip to St. Emilion was amazing. It is a beautiful city with such heritage and such a wine history. One alternative tour that was a highlight was the trip to Cognac, and the cognac tasting at the Camus distillery. I learned a lot and the blending of my own cognac was a special treat. The bottle of my cognac that I created came home with me and will probably be enjoyed for a couple of years. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was our first cruise, we chose Scenic as it had excellent reviews. They did not disappoint, it was 5* all the way. We had our butler, the cabin was spotless as was the whole ship, the food was excellent, the bar was always open, and ... Read More
This was our first cruise, we chose Scenic as it had excellent reviews. They did not disappoint, it was 5* all the way. We had our butler, the cabin was spotless as was the whole ship, the food was excellent, the bar was always open, and nothing was too much trouble. From the moment we got picked up at the railway station, until we were deposited back at end of cruise, we felt like pampered pooches. Highly recommend Scenic, if you need a little vacation or wish to see out of the way places, they make it seem effortless, and always have a smile for you. Daily program for visiting vineries, historical places, depending on what you chose, were all organised and proceeded smoothly with local English speaking guides. I loved visiting St Emilion as well as Remy Martin where they make a fine Cognac, we also visited Archacon, on the coast, places that are not easy to get to unless you have a car, cruising along the river then being driven by a luxury tour bus made it very simple and enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
On whole, the trip met our expectations and we will most likely take a future river cruise with Viking, but there were some quirks that folks should understand if they are not familiar with Bordeaux or if they are new to river cruises (or ... Read More
On whole, the trip met our expectations and we will most likely take a future river cruise with Viking, but there were some quirks that folks should understand if they are not familiar with Bordeaux or if they are new to river cruises (or Viking river cruises in particular). From prior posters' reports, we knew in advance that there would not be much cruising on this trip. If that had been a surprise, we would have been very disappointed. We spent 3 of 7 nights docked in the city of Bordeaux, and the other 4 nights in tiny ports with virtually nothing to distinguish themselves by other than their proximity to shore excursions and the opportunity to witness the crew docking the vessel. Bordeaux is a beautiful city with accessible public transportation, and the vessel's dock was adjacent to a tram stop, making it very easy to get around independently while in port. In hindsight, I'd have preferred that we just stayed in port in Bordeaux each night, and integrated the cruising element by some day cruising up and down the rivers. This was my husband's second Viking River Cruise, and my first. He oversold me on the culinary experience based on his first cruise on the Rhine. We were both underwhelmed by most of the food on the Bordeaux cruise (although there were some notable exceptions) and I disliked the rigidity of the dinner service. On several days we had private all-day winery tours that included lovely three course meals in local restaurants. The last thing we could handle was a full-on heavy dinner on board ship at 7pm sharp. It would have been nice to have the option of having a light meal served later in the evening. We were also somewhat disappointed by the Chateau Kirwin meal on Thursday. The venue was nice, but Chef thought it would be fun for the Americans to serve them turkey on Thanksgiving, not realizing that you can't replicate a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal for 120 people and that many of us traveled over Thanksgiving to get away from tradition. The Chateau Kirwin wine they served was disappointing and the wait staff refused to open the superior wine that we'd brought with us. I realize in hindsight that it would have been in poor taste to drink someone else's wine at the Chateau Kirwin but I resent having been forced into that situation in the first place. If we'd been docked in Bordeaux instead of Pauillac that night, we could have just gone into town and had a nice dinner on our own instead, but that wasn't an option. If you prefer the group travel experience to independent travel (and frankly, that is the demographic that Viking is reaching out to), you would certainly have enjoyed this trip and would find my disappointments a bit puzzling. For the group traveler, the choice of shore excursions was varied and comprehensive. I think that is one of the things that Viking really does well. The program director on this cruise, Lorin, is a gem and Viking should be commended for its employment of his many talents. He was entertaining, thought-provoking, hard working and genuinely engaged in the mission of bringing local culture to the Viking guests. The ship was very clean, our stateroom had plenty of storage capacity and the staff was hard-working and friendly. We chose this Viking cruise as a marital compromise (I dislike group travel of any sort, and especially boats, but my husband does not share my feelings. More than anything, he hates to pack and unpack and the pressure of selecting a restaurant to dine in each night, and he enjoys the socialization that is available on-board). The trip met or exceeded my low expectations, and it also met or exceeded my husband's higher expectations. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
It was our first Viking river cruise and second river cruise. We had wonderful time. It was probably the best cruise we ever took and I 've been on more than 30 ocean cruises. From the minute we were met in the airport, till the last ... Read More
It was our first Viking river cruise and second river cruise. We had wonderful time. It was probably the best cruise we ever took and I 've been on more than 30 ocean cruises. From the minute we were met in the airport, till the last minute when Viking representative walked us to the security check point in the airport on the way home ,we were amazed with the service and how wonderful the organization was and how professional and friendly the people were.The program director Felice was excellent, all the tour guides we had were great. The food on the ship was probably the best food I've ever had on the cruise ship. The passengers on the ship were very friendly and there were people of different ages,majority50-65,but there were a few younger people as well. I was pleasantly surprised with the age diversity, because our last river cruise people were 70+,so this was very nice to meet people of different age groups. Most passengers were from UK and USA. The evening programs were very good, so as a piano man, who played excellent music and created a very nice atmosphere on the ship. The room we had was very small, but had everything we needed, excellent shower, very comfortable bed, and we did not spent a lot of time in the room anyway. The schedule of excursions was pretty busy and we really did not have any free time, because we wanted to explore the beautiful region of Bordeaux and see as much as possible. I just wish we had more free time during the excursions,because30-40 min is not enough to do anything on your own. Overall it was an excellent cruise and we had great time and I strongly recommend this cruise to anyone who wants to have amazing experience and see beautiful region of France and sample world famous wines. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We had an excellent experience on the Wine Region River Cruise. We embarked on our river journey on time but had a few delays due to water level being a problem in order to get through some bridges. The ship was in perfect shape and ... Read More
We had an excellent experience on the Wine Region River Cruise. We embarked on our river journey on time but had a few delays due to water level being a problem in order to get through some bridges. The ship was in perfect shape and the staff was excellent. The captain and crew could not have been better. Very attentive and hard working! The outside entertainment and tours were expertly hosted by professional guides and the extra side trips to Cognac, Truffle Hunting and Archenon were absolutely worth every penny and so fun and interesting. I highly recommend these three excursions. The food options were perfect - one being lighter and healthier fare and the other being a more complete meal with lots of options. The wine with every meal flowed, so we did not feel the need to buy the extra beverage package. You do spend more time off the boat than on, which is what we enjoyed. So I would recommend this trip for people who like to be off the boat and enjoying the tours and cities rather than cruising. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise and company based on recommendations of friends and the iitinerary of the trip. The trip and experience were marvelous and i would highly reccommend it . The ship holds a maximum of 146 passengers, but only 104 ... Read More
We chose this cruise and company based on recommendations of friends and the iitinerary of the trip. The trip and experience were marvelous and i would highly reccommend it . The ship holds a maximum of 146 passengers, but only 104 passengersd were aboard for this cruise.The cabins, while small when compared to most ocean liners, were larger than many river cruises; quite adequate and well decorated. The beds were very comfortable and the cabin staff attentive to the nth degree, especially Georgiana. The bathrooms were quite roomy and well supplied with toiletries and the all important hair dryer for my wife. The in-cabin entertainment system was good, although to be honest we did not use it a great deal other than to watch some news, but they did have a large assortment of films and music available,. Wi-fi is gratis and to my surprise worked very well; much better than on larger ships. Food and dining were quite good overall. Breakfast was buffet style, but with a young lady making terrific omlets and eggs to order as well as the usual breakfast items and some less than usual items for most Americans.. Breads and pastries were excellent and required a bit of self control in order not to overdo it. The highlight for foodies was the special Chef's dinner to which all guests are entitled to attend. The menu is fixed for all seven nights and only 24 people are accommodated at a time. The items are all cooked in one location and served to each table as the food is ready. The service was superb and most of the items very good. The cod could have used a bit more seasoning.Wine, a nice selection of different reds and whites from the Bordeaux region as well as beer, are complimentary at all meals. Most entrees at the dinners were quite good, but the stand outs for me were the filet mignon and the prime rib.Each night there was always a Chef's Choice menu as well as several other items from which to choose.. If none of the menu choices for that day were appealing, one could always order a steak, salmon or chicken. One of the best ideas the line has instituted is to have a light lunch served buffet style in the lounge rather than the main dining room. Selections are limited, compared to the main dining room, but by no means lacking in many good choices. Salads and soups were always available as well as frog's legs and escargot at one of the lunches. Surprisingly I do not think they offered onion soup st any time. We did have some delicious deserts and the chocolate crepes were outstanding. The entertainment was limited as one would expect on a very small ship, but they did have a pianist who was quite good and brought aboard several entertainers; Frankly, I found this line offered better entertainment than most river cruises. The highlight of the cruise was an incredible staff-Kriss the cruise manager was unbelievable even getting up to see us off the boat at 4:15 am and providing us with a packed lunch. The front desk staffed by Ivan and Yasmina, during the day and a night attendant whose name I can't recall, were most helpful at all times and made us feel welcome and important addressing our every request with a smile. The bar staff and all of the waiters and waitresses were attentive, warm and friendly. The tours were excellent and our regular tour guide, Elisabeth, was beyond belief. She even managed to find us a local person on Bordeaux to take three of us on a special tour of the local synagogue. For the biking enthusiasts, they have quite a few bicycles and helmets and a bike tour led by Chris almost every day. We loved virtually all of the ports and excursions, but the highlight for us was St. Emilion. Not only a great wine producing regions with world famous wineries, but a delightful and charming village retaining much from the Middle Ages , including the catacombs and underground churches. I have no doubt we would go again and surely will consider another cruise with Ama Waterways Read Less
Sail Date October 2016

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