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5 Tauck Lyon Cruise Reviews

This cruise was not a good match for us. We have been to France many times, most recently in April of this year, always on our own, and are both reasonably fluent in French. What we thought would be a spectacular voyage along the Saone ... Read More
This cruise was not a good match for us. We have been to France many times, most recently in April of this year, always on our own, and are both reasonably fluent in French. What we thought would be a spectacular voyage along the Saone and Rhone was overall a disappointment. The trip started and ended with excellent transfers provided by Tauck, and our first encounter was at the Intercontinental Grand, accommodations which were below what we normally book. In Paris we started with dinner at Fouquets which was quite good, but oddly enough there was no pre-dinner gathering so we could get acquainted with our fellow travelers. The next day was a useless bus ride around the sights of Paris at the height of the rush hour, an odd choice for travelers who had all been to Paris. This was followed by a brief trip to the museum of your choice. The guide there was excellent, as were all of the Tauck guides and cruise staff. The next day the TGV train was fine and we arrived in Lyon and boarded our boat. The boat was excellent, state of the art and new, and our level 7 cabin was outstanding. There were only 71 passengers on the boat the advantages and disadvantages I will leave to the reader to contemplate. Service aboard the boat was quite good, but we soon faced our greatest disappointment: the quality of the food. There was almost always one, meat, one fish, and one vegetarian choice for dinner along with the usual backup of steak, salmon and chicken. One problem was the awful quality of the fish. Tilapia being served on a cruise that was $10,000 a person? Salmon that was farmed? Rolled cod that was made from small pieces of fish? We would not eat this at home; why should we settle for less on a luxury vacation? Most dishes were served in a variety of heavily creamed sauces, which we always try to avoid. While the fresh fruit was good, simple green salads were rare. Even the croissants for the next 9 days were awful. The drinks in the bar were good, as were the wine selections. While the buses were new and the drivers excellent, we would have preferred more walking and less riding in buses. These bus trips invariably started at 9 AM (unless they started at 8:30). When we asked why, we were told that people wanted to be back on the ship for lunch. Few of the trips were memorable, the exceptions to the ranch in the Camargue and sites associated with Van Gogh. Typical of the poor planning was the bus ride from where the ship docked in Avignon to Monte Carlo. We stopped for 2 ½ hours in Nice, about a mile and a half from the Matisse and Chagall Museums (why not there???) and told to walk around and to get lunch on our own. They never even provided us with a list of good restaurants. Being able to get along in French, we used Yelp to find a nice restaurant away from the tourist dives and had a lunch that was better than what we had on the boat. We checked in to the Fairmont in Monte Carlo and were given an ocean view room on the smoking floor; in fact all of the rooms that Tauck booked were on this floor. While the hotel was excellent, and the food in the restaurants was expensive but good; the Tauck farewell dinner was so-so. We did not take any of the Tauck activities, but enjoyed walking around on our own, visiting the Palace, Aquarium, and shopping districts. This Tauck river cruise was a bad match for us. We are better suited to an ocean cruise where relaxing sea-days, great food and evening entertainment are joined by days in ports where we can explore on our own. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Excellent ship on French Waterways (Rhone) with Tauck. Once you are on the ship, everything is included (well, we don't ask for laundry, so can't comment on it). But all drinks (soft/hard/wine) are included. Food are excellent ... Read More
Excellent ship on French Waterways (Rhone) with Tauck. Once you are on the ship, everything is included (well, we don't ask for laundry, so can't comment on it). But all drinks (soft/hard/wine) are included. Food are excellent and tasty, available in dining room (menu for dinner/buffet for B/L) and Bistro for dinner with reservation. Lounge/Bedroom/Restaurant are beautiful and tastily decorated. Staffs are eager to please and speak English. Land excursion and guide are excellent, divided into smaller groups and usually one 'leisurely' group for those with limited mobility. The only area of improvement is the entertainment and presentation. But, with majority travellers at retirement age, people don't seem to mind. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We booked a French waterways cruise south from Lyon to Monaco. Poor weather interrupted the boat and prohibited the ship from sailing. We booked a category 7 cabin and added the additional stay in Paris. After the second day on the boat we ... Read More
We booked a French waterways cruise south from Lyon to Monaco. Poor weather interrupted the boat and prohibited the ship from sailing. We booked a category 7 cabin and added the additional stay in Paris. After the second day on the boat we were advised that we would not be able to sail, hence we began a "coach tour", Most definitely not what we had signed up for. We consulted with Tauck staff to ascertain what remedial options we had. They put us off for 3 days saying we would be leaving in the evening, no, we would be leaving in the morning, no. Etc. each day the coach travel became longer and longer until we were on buses for up to 7 hrs a day. Each day we inquired we were told to wait. Having purchased the Tauck insurance we felt we might have recourse, the stress and anxiety was overwhelming. Finally at 6 pm on Day 4 they announced an alternate arrangement that required we decide immediately and leave the ship by 8am. When we asked if we had other options we were told yes but they had no details as to what they were. What kind of answer is that? We were completely held hostage! Tauck provided little compensation, merely a 1500. 00 cruise credit towards future travel with an expiry date attached. Regardless of your trip investment everyone received the same compensation. Category 7 or category below water! Itinerary was not fulfilled and the customer service post cruise has been unresponsive and complacent. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We recently returned home from our 40th Anniversary adventure that included Tauck’s French Escapade from Paris to Monte Carlo. Everyone knows I’m a big Tauck fan and I found this cruise package to be up to their usual high standard but ... Read More
We recently returned home from our 40th Anniversary adventure that included Tauck’s French Escapade from Paris to Monte Carlo. Everyone knows I’m a big Tauck fan and I found this cruise package to be up to their usual high standard but I have to say the trip really fizzled at the end in Monte Carlo. More on that later. This was our first “Package Cruise” and I have to admit that I wouldn’t do anything similar in the future. If we can afford to venture out again it would be on a river cruise only deal. This adventure starts in Paris and Tauck put you up in the very opulent InterContinental Hotel le Grand where we were treated like royalty. The accommodation and meals were first class. Tauck’s three TD’s seemed to be everywhere and were always available to answer questions and point you to the right bus. Our time in Paris with all its included sightseeing was highlighted by our welcome dinner at Fouquet’s brasserie. Then it was off to Lyon via the very fast, high speed train. We travelled first class in airline type seats and Tauck even supplied us with chocolates on the journey. Then came the part we really wanted to do and that’s river cruise. Our boat the Scylla crewed Swiss Emerald has just undergone a re-fit and looked and felt brand new. The partnership between Tauck and Scylla is perfect with these vessels specifically built for Tauck. This cruise was fully booked yet with only 118 passengers aboard you’d never know. There is always room to sit and talk and this lack of crowding is one of the main reasons I prefer Tauck over other all-inclusive companies that pack 169 people into a similar area. This cruise covered both the Saone and Rhone rivers with history and grandeur at every stop. Whilst some itineraries, Tauck included, are specifically designed for either wine tasting, food tasting or history cruises this one gave us something of everything. On the Saone our first stop was at Chalon-sur-Saone and we had the first of our Tauck surprises. On our local walk through town in groups of around 20 Tauck included stops at a bakery where we were all given bags of the bakers various products to sample and at the end of the tour a stop at a local chocolate shop where we had a brief history of chocolate and then more samples than the average person could eat. By the time we got back on board the baker had joined us to show us how to make Croissant – more eating and best of all I now know how to tell the difference between a machine made one and one made by hand. That afternoon we went and sampled the wines at Chateau Chamirey and Chateau Rully. There would be an abundance of food and wine tasting still to come. There was the history of the Chateau de Cormatin, the medieval houses of Macon, the Cluny Abbey and the Haras Equestrian Centre, an outstanding lunch in the gardens of Chateau de la Barge all that before we reached Lyon on a mad Sunday. Why mad I hear you ask well there will probably be others here that can comment as well but on Sunday 31st August 2014 it seemed that every boat on the Rhone stopped at Lyon on that day. The parking area around the Basillca Notre Dame de Fourviere was packed. It seems that Viking, Avalon,AMA, Uniworld, GCT, CrosiEurope and Tauck picked this morning to hit Lyon. Travelling is fun and you never know who you’ll run into and sure enough we came across a couple from our home town of Mackay. We spent a coffee checking out each others choice of cruise line and I’m happy to say Tauck came out in front. Even though it was Sunday with all those boats docked in town you’d never know with most of the shops open for your business. The cruise down the Rhone gives you the opportunity to see Roman history almost everywhere but particularly in Vienne and Arles where the examples are magnificent. There’s the history of Avignon and the French Popes own vineyard the Chateauneuf du Pape where I tasted some of the best reds I’d drunk in all of France and even a Roman influence here as the cellars are part of the Roman system. AND then there’s Viviers the little village that time seems to have forgotten with its narrow streets and well preserved medieval houses. I’m very glad I got to see and explore Viviers even if I found I’m a lousy Petanque player. The highlight of this trip came almost at the end where you get to see a working bull and horse ranch in the Camargue. A Tauck exclusive. We were treated to an outstanding lunch and then a demonstration, a training exhibition really, of the art of bull fighting where the bull is never hurt and wins many of the competitions and thus the prize money. After the final dinner on board we left for Nice and our last stop Monte Carlo and this IMO was where the trip fizzled out. WE said farewell to our crew and were bussed to Nice where we had quite a few hours to explore this great city then it was off to Monte Carlo and the 5 star Fairmont Hotel. I quickly found that Monte Carlo is not for me. Not only is it full of very rich pretentious people of all ages it is very, very hilly and getting around on foot is very difficult. Our hotel the Fairmont was of similar ilk. It had a 400,000 Euro Ferrari on display in the lobby but it treats tour group people as if they all have leprosy. We didn’t eat with the regular clientele instead we were herded into our own room for eating. The breakfasts were deplorable with the only egg choice powdered scrambled eggs and the pastries on offer looked and tasted like leftovers. Even the Tauck farewell dinner which is usually of high class was very poor. I’m sure I’m not the only one who informed Tauck of these problems. I’m sure it would have been better to stay in Nice with a day trip to Monte Carlo. You are on a high, or at least I am, when I’m cruising on the rivers and leaving the boat is always a let down but to me leaving the boat to continue a tour was an anti-climax. I’m most likely in the minority here and my feelings should not deter anyone from considering this otherwise outstanding cruise. Tauck are truly all-inclusive from the Moet anytime you want it to having snacks delivered to your cabin. I realise others have their favourite river cruise companies but I’m afraid you’ll never convince me that you get more from your cruise than I got from mine. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
My husband and I and two other couples enjoyed The Taste of France Cruise on the Swiss Emerald May 4 through 12. We began in Paris with Tauck's included transfer from the airport to the hotel Intercontinental Le Grand. It is a lovely ... Read More
My husband and I and two other couples enjoyed The Taste of France Cruise on the Swiss Emerald May 4 through 12. We began in Paris with Tauck's included transfer from the airport to the hotel Intercontinental Le Grand. It is a lovely hotel right across the street from L'Opera. Our room was small (typically European) with large windows that opened in both the bedroom and bath. A huge buffet breakfast was included each morning. Wi-Fi and use of the internet was also included. We were part of the Taste of France sailing that featured many special food and wine activities. Included in Paris was a hands on cooking class. Our welcome dinner was at Fouquet's -- a lovely experience. Our Tauck Tour Managers Anne Peault, Veronika Finollo, and Lydia Adler were fabulous from the moment we met them. After a first class TGV train to Lyon, we boarded the newly refurbished Swiss Emerald. She is a beautiful small vessel. The common areas are elegant. Our small cabin was comfortable with a French balcony that made it seem larger. Our favorite part of the ship was the Sun Deck. The six of us spent every evening before dinner on that upper deck sipping cocktails watching the beautiful scenery and experiencing the locks. Food on board was excellent and I am known to have very high standards. There were many choices for all meals. The food in the small special restaurant, the Bistro was not as good as in the main dining room. Wines were also excellent. If we did not like one, we just asked for another. Service was great. After the first evening, the waiter always brought me the cocktail I ordered the first night. Note: the ship is owned and staffed by a Swiss company Scylla. They operate it to Tauck's standards. The included shore excursions in every port were super with a focus on food and wine. The special lunch and afternoon at the bull ranch in the Camargue was amazing. The unlimited chocolate tasting at Valrhona was a chocoholic's dream come true. The walk across the Pont du Gard and dinner on the terrace overlooking the ancient viaduct was really special as the cooking class at Scook. Absolutely everything was included. Yes, the experience was expensive, but worth every penny. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
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