40 Lyon Viking River Viking Heimdal Cruise Reviews

It is really hard to criticize this company. It would be like kicking a puppy. They are just so eager and try so hard. Before selecting this cruise we saw some river cruise shows on the travel channel. We were put off by the passengers ... Read More
It is really hard to criticize this company. It would be like kicking a puppy. They are just so eager and try so hard. Before selecting this cruise we saw some river cruise shows on the travel channel. We were put off by the passengers being one step form a nursing home and the lame entertainment. No, all our well-traveled friends assured us. Viking is nothing like that. Hate to say it, but that's exactly what it was. Initially on board, we thought this would be our first and last river cruise. During the week, the amazing staff and service grew on us, and now we can easily envision another such adventure. The great parts were the included tours and the afternoon lectures. I was expecting super-gourmet food, and although they attempted authentic cuisine, it was a bit more plebeian than imagined. Still, quite tasty and excellent choices. The passengers were mostly American with a few scattered Brits and Canadians. I might have appreciated more diversity, but we met some very interesting people nonetheless. We mostly just took the included tours and walked around each town on our own after lunch. You can get plenty of exercise this way if you want to. After exhaustion sets in, we found it very pleasant chatting with folks in the lounge, sipping wine or tea along with delicious homemade cookies and watching the scenery pass by. A French friend recommended Les Baux and Lumieres. Thank goodness I took his advice and sprang for this optional excursion. It was the most amazing part of the trip by far. The worst part was the air route home selected by Viking, supposedly free. You get what you pay for. They scheduled us to leave the ship at 3:30 am. The car that took us to the airport broke down on the highway soon thereafter. The driver made us get out for fear of our vehicle being hit in the pitch dark. We waited in the freezing cold for about 45 minutes, climbing over the highway barrier to be safe, while the driver frantically called everyone he knew to come get us. Viking redeemed themselves by meeting us at the airport and whisking us through the first class check-in even though we were flying steerage. Three exhausting flights later, we were home. Next time, I will pay more attention to the flights and times they offer me, and pay extra to not run the gauntlet. Overall, the experience was excellent even with the aforementioned downsides. Just do it! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The entire staff was the best, always available if we had any questions, and able to help with anything. The food and wine were excellent, and we had great local guides on our outings. My adult daughter and I had a terrific time, and ... Read More
The entire staff was the best, always available if we had any questions, and able to help with anything. The food and wine were excellent, and we had great local guides on our outings. My adult daughter and I had a terrific time, and enjoyed every minute. We met some lovely people on board, and we both loved the smaller sized ship. Our cabin was perfect for us - but we really didn't spend much time there. We didn't partake of the entertainment, as after a leisurely dinner, we were ready to relax and get ready for the next day's adventure. Shore excursions were diverse and very interesting. We particularly loved the hike through the vineyard (with a wine tasting afterward, of course!), and our cooking class. We loved learning some of the history and sampling food and wine in the smaller towns along our route on the Rhone River. We are ready to go again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Everything on the boat was excellent. The food, the staff and service were top shelf. We stayed in a Veranda Suite. The tours were average but the scenery was not very interesting while cruising, unlike our previous Viking tour from ... Read More
Everything on the boat was excellent. The food, the staff and service were top shelf. We stayed in a Veranda Suite. The tours were average but the scenery was not very interesting while cruising, unlike our previous Viking tour from Budapest to Amsterdam. Every place we stopped was over crowded with tourists. At several stops we had to stand in long lines to see the attraction. It was extremely hot most of the week (this was our fault for choosing mid July). On one tour, after walking around the city we were taken the top of a very high site, by a tram, that overlooked the city and river which was very interesting, but it started raining at the top of the hill. The tram took us about 1/3 of the way back to the boat and dumped us off in pouring rain. Only 1 couple had an umbrella so everybody got 'soaked to the bone' walking back to the boat. On our next cruise we will go either early or late in the season, but definitely on Viking. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We previously cruised the Rhine with another company. Relatives had done the same river with Viking and highly recommended it. We traveled with them on the Heimdal. For my husband and myself, we had been to Paris more than once and ... Read More
We previously cruised the Rhine with another company. Relatives had done the same river with Viking and highly recommended it. We traveled with them on the Heimdal. For my husband and myself, we had been to Paris more than once and wanted to explore more of France. We did enjoy our Rhine River cruise with another company, but prefer the Viking cruise. Of course, the itinerary was different so a completely fair comparison can't be made, but I will say some of the things that put Viking on top. For one, I would say dinner was better. There were more choices. On our previous cruise, chicken was never an option and it is something that we normally eat a lot of at home. The desserts were better on the Heimdal and the chef who gave a preview of his dinner offerings every night was always so enthusiastic. The entire staff of the Heimdal was great. This continued with the guides on all the port excursions. The ship was large enough to accommodate people on the deck at all times, even for meals (unfortunately, the weather was so hot we never did dine there). One thing I especially have to rave about was our post excursion to Nice. We have done a few tours of various places in Europe and anytime we added an extension, we were on our own. Here we had an included tour and a couple of optional ones. The guide in charge of the extension (I believe his name was Bart, if memory serves me well) actually met us at the airport to insure an easy departure. This has NEVER happened before and was especially great because the computers in the terminal went down before we could check in. Bart spent time with each of the travelers in our group and waited with us until things were up and running again (over an hour later) and we went through security. We will definitely sail with Viking again. My husband doesn't even care what the destination is; he just finds it a very relaxing way to travel. It is and allows us to see the world in a less hectic way. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise expecting an experience commensurate with TV and brochure hype. Big mistake. Instead we experienced tandem docking with no river views. We expected leisurely dinners with regional French cuisine. Big mistake, the ... Read More
We chose this cruise expecting an experience commensurate with TV and brochure hype. Big mistake. Instead we experienced tandem docking with no river views. We expected leisurely dinners with regional French cuisine. Big mistake, the dining experience was a big disappointment and food quality was not so good. The food service at dinner was rushed and noisy. My wife and I have been on more than 30 trips on many cruise lines and for the cost of this trip we expected much more. The hotel service was very nice and the cabin adequate. The shore excursions terrific and guides were very knowledgeable. Our post cruise hotel stay in Paris was excellent which included free tours. I purchased tickets on line for a private tour of the Louvre which was also a memorable experience. The entertainment on board was non existent unless you are a drinker. We did NOT have a romantic river view cruise through southern France. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The timing was right and we had never visited any of the towns in France before. Viking was recommended to us by neighbors and friends. The large cruise ships had become too crowded, impersonal and not very relaxing. The cabin was ... Read More
The timing was right and we had never visited any of the towns in France before. Viking was recommended to us by neighbors and friends. The large cruise ships had become too crowded, impersonal and not very relaxing. The cabin was immaculate and roomy. We enjoyed having a balcony on which to relax between meals, tours or with a glass of wine after dinner. The staff could not have been more accommodating and pleasant. The tours were excellent. We are history buffs as well as wine lovers. Both interests were peaked on our tours. And the guides were wonderful. The entertainment on board was fun; informative and well done. This cruise answered all our wants and needs. We have since sung Viking ‘s praises to everyone we know who is considering a cruise. This is truly the only way to go and we are already considering our next Viking cruise in Portugal next year. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I have done another Viking River cruise a few years ago and was quite satisfied so chose Viking to do another one. I have a garlic intolerance/allergy which was very well addressed last cruise but not so this time. With being a French ... Read More
I have done another Viking River cruise a few years ago and was quite satisfied so chose Viking to do another one. I have a garlic intolerance/allergy which was very well addressed last cruise but not so this time. With being a French river cruise, I was hoping for a French chef but this chef was from Poland and he put garlic in almost everything so my choices were very limited and in fact on the French Buffet night I had bread and cheese and went to my cabin. The shore excursions were very well organized and I was happy with all but one of our tour guides and made a point of letting the desk ladies know they were excellent. I believe positive feed back is as important as negative. Our cabin, a French balcony was very small, like 135 sq. Feet which I think included the bathroom. I wondered if a heavy person could turn around or get into the shower but the heated floor was lovely. My friend and I had twin beds, mine up against the wall, hers up against the window, a 2 foot space between the beds. We had to take turns getting from one place to the other in the cabin. It was nice to open the large floor to ceiling door and the A/C automatically turns off when the door opens which was good, and we had a nice breeze while sitting on our beds admiring the scenery floating past. Unfortunately we were to late returning from our Lyon shore excursion to enjoy the silk screening demonstration, perhaps this could be better planned. We had one evening shore excursion which many said they would have preferred to see in the daylight. Would I book another Viking river cruise? The jury is still out on that one! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our first river cruise.Service aboard was outstanding. Our Program Director, Nikolas, remembered everyone's name every time he saw you! The excursions we're great and the tour guides were very informative and nice I ... Read More
This was our first river cruise.Service aboard was outstanding. Our Program Director, Nikolas, remembered everyone's name every time he saw you! The excursions we're great and the tour guides were very informative and nice I recommend not taking every extra excursion so as not to feel too scheduled. Wandering around on your own in each location after your morning excursion is best The food was fantastic! We met nice people that we will remain friends with. During our trip, the water level on the Rhone was high so we were rarely able to sit on the upper deck due to all the bridges that we passed under. We ended up playing poker in the lounge during the days when we were moving down the river. Spend as much free time wandering around Lyon and Avignon as possible! They are both beautiful in very different ways. If you like churches, you will love this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Last year we reported a disappointing Duoro Cruise on Viking. Because we were offered a credit towards a future cruise, we decided to give Viking a chance to redeem themselves. This cruise, overall, was excellent. We will almost ... Read More
Last year we reported a disappointing Duoro Cruise on Viking. Because we were offered a credit towards a future cruise, we decided to give Viking a chance to redeem themselves. This cruise, overall, was excellent. We will almost certainly cruise with Viking again in the future. As far as I am concerned, there are two major factors which influence my enjoyment of cruise, the attitude of the crew and the places visited. This cruise ticked both boxes for me. Airport transfer, both on embarkation day and disembarkation day, fell short what I have come to expect. Both ends involved length walks, with luggage to and from the parking place for the shuttle. No assistance with luggage was offered or available. Embarkation exceeded expectations. We arrived mid-morning with the prospect of waiting until 3pm to get access to our cabin. In fact, the cabin was ready by 11:30am. The crew on board was outstanding and contributed greatly to the overall experience. The program director, Nikolas, was the best we have ever experienced. He appeared totally unruffled despite lots of problems caused by strikes by Air France, SNCF and Lufthansa. He is a natural communicator. His briefings were informative and included just the right amount of humour. He also greeted every single passenger by name, which really made us feel welcome on board. The ship was in good condition and kept very clean. Food: Good variety, good quality, attractively served. Drink: We took the Silver Spirits package. Unlike on some ocean cruises, getting value out of the package does not require excessive drinking. One cocktail before dinner, one glass of premium wine with lunch and dinner and one nightcap would have cost more than the package. Waiter service: Mostly excellent. Seemed to be a little overworked at times. Destinations: Every single destination was interesting and the local guides used were outstanding. Downsides: Because river levels were very high, the sun deck was closed for almost the whole period that the ship was moving. We were docked against other ships for 5 nights out of 7. TV: Don't sail on Viking for the TV entertainment. For long periods several of the channels were unavailable and all of the Sky channels were in German. If you were expecting premier league football, you will have to settle for handball. Viking do need to sort out the guest survey we were asked to complete at the end of the cruise. We were asked to rate everything on a scale of Did not meet expectations - Met expectations - Exceeded expectations - Far exceeded expectations. Our cruise director helped us "interpret" these to mean Bad - fair - good - excellent. I object to this. As someone who has cruised Viking before, my expectations were high. Most of them were met and in some cases exceeded, which means that this was a great cruise. However, I don't want Viking to use my feedback in advertising to state that they far exceeded my expectations, which they didn't. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I went with a friend who needed someone to go with, I didn't think I would really like cruising and wow I was wrong, I am an active person and found that it was wonderful! I could run on trails right next to the River at most stops, ... Read More
I went with a friend who needed someone to go with, I didn't think I would really like cruising and wow I was wrong, I am an active person and found that it was wonderful! I could run on trails right next to the River at most stops, people were friendly and it was safe. The optional tours were wonderful, the highlite for me was going to a farmers wonderful house, having a great lunch and then truffle hunting in the woods with his great dog! I was totally thrilled! I am going on another cruise this year and can hardly wait! I also eat vegetarian and the food was beyond my expectations, it was great and they accommodated my needs.The staff was excellent, they went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed and also helped us with anything we wanted. This will probably be a yearly habit for me! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I chose Viking for it's reputation! The Captain & 2nd Captain were amazing! The entire crew in itself are beyond words! My cabin was fantastic & clean, the ship was very clean! And OMG the food on the ship was incredible ... Read More
I chose Viking for it's reputation! The Captain & 2nd Captain were amazing! The entire crew in itself are beyond words! My cabin was fantastic & clean, the ship was very clean! And OMG the food on the ship was incredible - if anyone was hungry after any meal it was their own fault, and the wines just kept coming! The entertainment was also wonderful on the ship. I had such a amazing time on all the shore excursion tours that we did, how well planned everything was. I traveled solo but I was never alone for any length of time because you meet so many wonderful people on the ship and the crew never leaves you out of anything. If you ever need anything at all, the crew is on top of it immediately. I really did not want to come home when my trip was ending, France is absolutely beautiful and thank you to Viking because they made me feel welcome and safe. I am already planning for 2 more Viking River cruises for next year (2018). Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was our second cruise with Viking and our experience was every bit as good as the first! The crew was fantastic and provided a wonderful atmosphere. You could tell they liked being with each other which translated to the guest having ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Viking and our experience was every bit as good as the first! The crew was fantastic and provided a wonderful atmosphere. You could tell they liked being with each other which translated to the guest having a wonderful time. Our room was great and the attention to detail that the room steward gave was fantastic. My husband and I were there for our anniversary and we exchanged cards in the morning and the next thing we know there was special touches in our room and a special treat that night at dinner! The dining is fantastic and again they will bend over backwards if that's what it takes to please you. The food is excellent and always served with a smile. The open seating is great as it gives you the chance to meet more people. The tours are very good and having the audio boxes are great as you can wonder from your guide( always very knowledgeable) to get the pictures you want and not miss a word they are saying. We did the extended stay both pre in Paris and post in Nice. The accommodations at both locations were very good. We got to ride the high speed train from Paris to Lyon which was an added bonus. The tours in Paris and Nice were every bit as good as the ones provided while on the cruise. Also would like to say that being greeted at the airport by a Viking rep and then taking to the departure airport by them as well takes a lot of the worry away. We are already looking forward to our next cruise. Thinking about an ocean cruise next. The thought of only 930 passengers vs 3,000 - 5,000 is very appealing. We also met some wonderful people and hope to sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Having so enjoyed the Rhine River Viking Cruise last Fall, we contacted our expert travel agent Jeffrey Elkin at VacationsToGo.com for booking our Provence cruise and air fare. My husband and I flew from Fort Myers, Florida to Lyon and ... Read More
Having so enjoyed the Rhine River Viking Cruise last Fall, we contacted our expert travel agent Jeffrey Elkin at VacationsToGo.com for booking our Provence cruise and air fare. My husband and I flew from Fort Myers, Florida to Lyon and joined our close friends arriving from Boston. Every hour of every day on the Rhone River was just as the Viking River cruise brochure and the website had described. We were very pleased with the ambiance and friendliness of the staff and crew onboard our longship Heimdal. A large painting acquainted us with the ship's namesake: The Norse god Heimdal is the ever-vigilant guardian of the gods. Our river view cabin was cozy and we only were there to shower and sleep. Once we unpacked, the empty suitcases went under the bed and we were ready to join our friends for drinks and dinner. Our 3 meals a day were carefully prepared and artistically served. Everything on the ship was pleasing to the eyes! Chris Harrington, Hotel Manager, was attentive to everyone's wants and needs 24/7 and always with a kind word, smile, or perhaps a joke to brighten our day. We enjoyed the cheese tasting, musical entertainment, French cooking lesson of molten lava chocolate cake, and highly informative silk painting class. History and French culture were emphasized daily and it was refreshing to learn in such a relaxed setting. Passing through locks was fun to watch from the Aquavit Terrace as we continued cruising on the Rhone River. Having time to relax on the upper deck, snuggle into a comfy chair to read a chapter in our books, or take a quick nap in the afternoon left us refreshed for our evening Cruise Director's informative talk in the lounge. From there we went downstairs for our satisfyingly delicious dinners next to the floor to ceiling windows that allowed us to enjoy the passing river views and vineyards.. Chef Daniel and our Maitre D' made sure we were well fed and that there were regional favorites paired with wine as well as several entree choices. Best of all was our terrific "Taste of Provence" dinner. It was also nice to have round the clock availability in two locations of make-it-yourself hot tea, coffee, or cocoa plus cookies. Our morning tours were superb and our English-speaking guides were extremely knowledgeable. Having the ear piece and receiver was very helpful in hearing everything that was being described. Our full day in Lyon began with a bus trip up to the Basilica of Norte-Dame de Fourvieres and hilltop view of the sprawling city below us . The city walking tour featured architecture and the trompe l'oeil frescoes on several buildings. Then we were allowed to enter through doorways that led us via hidden passageways (' traboules ') along the ground level of stair-cased buildings all with interesting designs. This allowed us to go from a main street to other small streets and shops. Of course there was time for a quick cafe au lait and people watching at a local cafe. Lyon now reminds us of Paris 40 years ago when life was not so hurried as it is now. Pont du Gard was enthralling when looking at the remains of the Roman aqueduct built in 1st Century AD. Their museum was well worth the time spent beforehand and the olive trees scattered about on the grounds are still thriving there. Oh, how I loved walking in the old Medieval walled towns of Perouges known for the Three Musketeers, Viviers with the spectacular view from Belvedere de Pipet, Vienne for a moonlit walk, and majestic Avignon. Beaujolais wine tasting at Chateau Ravatys was a delightful outing in the French countryside and their 5 tasty wines paired with 2 kinds of breads was wonderful. The old-fashioned steam train de l'Ardeche provided us with hidden vistas and the turn-around was interesting to watch before we took the return trip. Arles was a fascinating city with Roman ruins and cobble stone streets. However, the highlight of my trip to Provence was the 8 hour special tour there walking "In the Footsteps of Van Gogh". Philippe Monnier and his wife welcomed ten of us into his studio where we were immersed in classical music as we each used acrylic paints and a variety of brushstrokes to paint in the style of Van Gogh. We also looked at Vincent's various scenes of Arles and the surrounding countryside before we walked along and saw the yellow Night Cafe, the hospital where he was treated in town, and at the riverside where he painted the Starry Night. Color, light, and composition were key to Vincent as he painted portraits as well as scenes of still life and landscapes especially during his 15 months in Arles. Here he discovered and was inspired by the light of the south in Provence! Our gourmet 3 course luncheon at Hotel Jules Cesar was included. Philippe met us there after dessert to give each of us our painting that had dried and was wrapped in brown paper for our trip back to the ship. A short bus ride next took us out into the countryside to the quaint town of St. Remy. The restoration of the buildings and Van Gogh's bedroom at Saint Paul's Hospital was heart-warming. To see Vincent's iron bedstead and then gaze out his window at numerous fields of flowers was breath-taking. Such a variety of flowers and many shades and types of iris were plentiful in the May sunshine. Having large reproductions of Vincent's work at the locations where they were painted was awe-inspiring. This restoration work is based on sketches and descriptions in Vincent's letters to his brother Theo Van Gogh. A sign told us "Thank you for respecting the tranquility of this site. Patients and residents are still housed and cared for in a contemporary way according to the traditions, values, and vocations of the place and caretakers from the times of Vincent Van Gogh." Not only did Vincent love painting the various floral scenes and buildings here, he tried to capture the beauty of the flowering olive trees against the cloud strewn sky with mountains and moonrise in the background. Thank you, Vincent! We have found that each of our two Viking River Cruises provided us with many delightful experiences while we were making new memories. Now we have had Jeffrey Elkin from Vacations To Go book another trip for us: this time it's a 2 week Viking Ocean Cruise to Panama and Central America. Stay tuned for details when we return! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Wonderful experience. We went with my parents who are older and had been on several of these cruises. The fact that they offered a slower paced tour in every port for those who were not as mobile was great. My parents were able to enjoy ... Read More
Wonderful experience. We went with my parents who are older and had been on several of these cruises. The fact that they offered a slower paced tour in every port for those who were not as mobile was great. My parents were able to enjoy the entire trip that way. The food was out of this world. I know I gained wait with all that I ate. There were activities in the evenings for those who wanted to participate and they were lots of fun. The cabin was small but more than adequate for our needs. We only slept and bathed there so it was not problem. There was plenty of room for our clothes, suitcases and the other things we brought. The tours into town both those provided and the extra ones were all amazing. We learned so much about French history and culture that we were not aware of. I would recommend this trip for anyone who loves history, good food, great service and a relaxing trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We took the Viking "Paris, Burgundy, and Provence" land tour and cruise. It was a wonderful experience! The land portion included two days (nights) in Paris and two in Dijon. We didn't participate in any excursions in ... Read More
We took the Viking "Paris, Burgundy, and Provence" land tour and cruise. It was a wonderful experience! The land portion included two days (nights) in Paris and two in Dijon. We didn't participate in any excursions in Paris, preferred to "do our own thing," but did like the hotel (Le Meridien Etoile) - good location near the Metro, easy access to the rest of the City of Light. The trip to Dijon was great - our tour director, Charles, was excellent, lots of knowledge about the Burgundy region and its history. We toured the city of Dijon including the Duke's Palace, had a wine tasting in Burgundy, visited the city of Beaune and the Hotel-Dieu, and learned about Bresse and the famous chickens. We also visited the medieval town of Perouges - a lot of touring packed into a couple of days, very interesting and enjoyable. We arrived at the Viking Heimdal docked in Lyon in the afternoon, enough time to unpack, change our clothes, and lead for the lounge for a drink.....and the safety briefing. The Viking Heimdal is one of the older longships, and has some wear and tear - we could tell that the carpets were a little worn, and there were some spots and stains. But the ship was very comfortable, and since this was our 4th cruise with Viking, it met all of our expectations. We had a Veranda A stateroom and had plenty of storage room, three drawers each and a nice sized closet. We loved the balcony and used it often, especially when we were docked in a great scenic location like Avignon or Tournon.. The service was outstanding - all the staff were friendly and accommodating. The wine list was very good and we had some excellent bottles of wine on this cruise - we had the Silver Spirits package and enjoyed choosing a different bottle of wine each night for dinner. We appreciated the efforts of Dida in the lounge and Mihai in the restaurant to help us with the right choices. If we had to rate one thing lower, it would be the food. There were few memorable dinners (lamb chops on night one), and some strange ones (fried chicken and waffles in France?). We had to send our eggs Benedict back one morning because they were seriously undercooked. Escargots appetizer was way too salty and had chunks of rock salt in the sauce (ugh - thought they were glass at first). Beef bourgignon very tough, had to cut it with a knife. We didn't starve, but expected better food in France! Program Director Christine and Hotel Manager Chris were very enjoyable and funny, and we loved the cooking demonstration/comedy routine with Chef Daniel and Maitre D' Imre. There weren't too many other activities on board - a cheese tasting, a silk printing demonstration, French lesson, nautical talk. Excursions were wonderful! Starting with the city tour of Lyon, Beaujolais wine tasting, tour of Vienne, Tournon and the train de l'Ardeche, Avignon, and Arles, all tour guides did an excellent job, providing interesting and enjoyable information. We chose two optional excursions, a wine tasting at Chateauneuf-de-Pape. and the afternoon to the Carrieres des Lumieres and Les Baux. In general, the wine tastings on this trip were not very good, nice people and well set up, but the wines were not to our taste. The best thing was the Carrieres des Lumieres - a huge quarry full of art and music, an incredible experience, highly recommended. If I had to skip one tour, I would choose the steam train, sort of a "meh" experience, especially since we live in the Rockies and have similar scenery nearby. The walking tour of Arles was a little arduous - busses could not get close to town due to an Easter weekend carnival and it was a long trek back to the bus after the tour. And......we chose the "leisurely" walking group on all tours due to some minor mobility issues, but our group spent more time looking for bathrooms than we did touring. I don't understand how someone can go on a 20-minute bus ride from the ship and immediately have to find a rest room. I felt a lot of our time was wasted on every tour because so many people had bathroom issues. Maybe skip the second cup of coffee at breakfast, or leave yourself enough time to go before leaving the ship? Also - how rude can some people be? We had one group on our tours who were not at all interested in the history of anything, all they wanted was to go shopping. They actually rudely interrupted a guide inside one of the churches because they had to know where the shopping area was. The same group was rude on the ship, talking through most of the presentations and telling people to "go to hell" when asked to quiet down. Ugh. Guess there's always some on every trip, but they give us Americans a bad name. Overall, we loved this trip. We learned a lot and thoroughly enjoyed all the excursions. Loved the staff on the ship, couldn't ask for better service. We would recommend this itinerary to anyone interested in history, especially Roman and medieval. We also had some good wines, chocolate, and beautiful scenery. Can't wait for our next Viking cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our second Viking Cruise. Everything is so effortless. We have very little to concern ourselves with because Viking thinks of everything. Once again the only problem that we encountered was the level of the water. This time it was ... Read More
This was our second Viking Cruise. Everything is so effortless. We have very little to concern ourselves with because Viking thinks of everything. Once again the only problem that we encountered was the level of the water. This time it was too much water. We had to disembark a day earlier because otherwise; there could have been a problem with getting everyone off of the ship. We like Viking because they have small ships. It is much more intimate and not as stressful as the megaships. The cabins at not very big but, how much time do you really spend in it? The food was very good. The waiters at our dinner were Alex and Mario and what a pleasure those two young men were. They tried there hardest to please us and make us feel comfortable. The tours were very good. The only drawback was the rain. I think it rained every day. We would definitely take another Viking Cruise. We are thinking that maybe next time we will take an ocean cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
The ships was good, the staff great. The Rhone River cruise a massive disappointment. The day before flying to France we called to make sure the river was not a problem, again. We had to reschedule when the Rhine was too low to sail a ... Read More
The ships was good, the staff great. The Rhone River cruise a massive disappointment. The day before flying to France we called to make sure the river was not a problem, again. We had to reschedule when the Rhine was too low to sail a year earlier. We were assured no concerns. When we arrived we even paid to upgrade to a balcony room. Half an hour later it was announced we were going to skip our first two days sailing entirely and be bused from Lyon for hours instead. The Rhone was high and we could not get under a bridge, something that has been known for days. Then there was a concern for a strike and we skipped another landing, finally we got to Avignon and were forced to spend the last night in a hotel because the river was flooding. That made sense, but the two hour/7 mile bus ride scheduled at the peak of rush hour did not. The hotel was cheap and the dinner low grade banquet food. All in all we were lied to, not given most of the cruise we signed up for, and then cheaply handled on the last night. A request for even the upgrade being refunded was met with a small credit for another cruise (never happening). All trust in Viking Cruises is lost. Some cruises may go as planned. Twice ours didn't. Checking didn't help this time. Think twice before believing what you are told or promised. If the company cared as much as the crew, all would have been different. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We wanted to sail down the Rhone River and sample Rhone wine. We like Viking cruises but we were disappointed with not getting to taste the various Rhone wine during our meals as we thought. They kept serving us this Merlot almost every ... Read More
We wanted to sail down the Rhone River and sample Rhone wine. We like Viking cruises but we were disappointed with not getting to taste the various Rhone wine during our meals as we thought. They kept serving us this Merlot almost every night. The excursions were all excellent. The night town tour in Viviers was excellent except the tour guide was going so fast, she left my husband and me behind. I just had knee surgery 7 months before so I was bit slow and they didn't have a leisure tor for this one. I found out that the French balcony was better value for us. I had a balcony this time and it was not worth it. We were also facing the street side rather than the river which was where the view was. All the places we visited were excellent. We stayed 3 extra days at the end in Nice and that was fabulous. We had an incredible view from our room of the Mediterranean Sea. We could see the sunrise and sunset from our balcony room. We took a day tour to St Paul de Vance and 2 other medieval towns and it was wonderful experience and our driver/tour guise was so accommodating. It was Viking's back up tour. The major one they used would not take just the 2 of us but their back up co. did. We had a private tour. When we left the Viking rep accompanied us to the airport right to the correct counter. I wasn't expecting that. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was in celebration of a 30th wedding anniversary. We loved the attention to detail, the food and the excursions. The scenery was amazing. All the staff on board were super friendly and did everything that they could to fulfill any ... Read More
This was in celebration of a 30th wedding anniversary. We loved the attention to detail, the food and the excursions. The scenery was amazing. All the staff on board were super friendly and did everything that they could to fulfill any requests. The ship was extremely clean, modern, and we had plenty of room to move around. We loved the excursions. They were well planned and just the right length. There was plenty of time to get out on your own and wander the local sights as the docks were right in the middle of the towns and cities. The meals were exceptional with many choices and very tasty. Even the "house" wines were of very good quality. We would definitely recommend this cruise and would go again. The weather in early November was just a little chilly, but not really bad. There were a few showers, but nearly all were at night or when we were traveling on the ship to another destination. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We decided to try the Viking River Cruise in France for our 30th wedding anniversary. We are not "cruise people" - the only one we had ever been on had been a disaster. However, we kept hearing how wonderful Viking River Cruises ... Read More
We decided to try the Viking River Cruise in France for our 30th wedding anniversary. We are not "cruise people" - the only one we had ever been on had been a disaster. However, we kept hearing how wonderful Viking River Cruises were. People said to go, we would love it, it wasn't like 'large ship cruising' - and they were right. Having a ship that only held 190 passengers made the trip more of a 'boutique experience' rather than a gathering of the masses. It was just amazing. From the moment they met us at the Lyon airport, everything was top-drawer. Our stateroom was perfect. We decided on a veranda room and it was a great decision. Having the space to go out and sit on our own deck was so peaceful. The meals were delicious, with fresh foods. cooked to perfection. We had a wonderful opportunity to meet, and dine with, interesting and insightful people. The excursions were wonderfully informative and very professionally done. At no time were we made to feel like cattle being moved along. (One friend's description of a four- thousand person ocean cruise they took.) The lectures and cultural events on the ship were superb: the opera performers were excellent; the silk scarf demonstration was divine; the lecture on Provencal painters was enlightening. Everything and everyone connected with the cruise was perfect. The entire week was truly amazing. We are already planning for our next Viking River Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I have always wanted to visit France. We chose the Paris, Burgundy, and Provence Trip. 4 days in Paris, 2 in Dijon, 1 in Lyon, then a week on the Viking Heimdal. The 6 days on land were absolutely wonderful. Paris is a beautiful city ... Read More
I have always wanted to visit France. We chose the Paris, Burgundy, and Provence Trip. 4 days in Paris, 2 in Dijon, 1 in Lyon, then a week on the Viking Heimdal. The 6 days on land were absolutely wonderful. Paris is a beautiful city full of fascinating history. Once on the ship, we found the crew was absolutely wonderful, the food was delicious at every meal, the ship was spotless, the room was very nice, the shore excursions very enjoyable. We had a much better time than we could have imagined. There were 171 passengers, and 54 staff. Do the math, we could not have had better service, and I think most of the staff we came into contact with knew our names within the first few days, and catered to our individual needs. The ship does not come with spas, pools, nightclubs, exercise rooms, or line dance competitions. I didn't go to France for those "perks". What it does have is individual attention, small, casual entertainment, and the best of everything else you could get in a cruise. The shore excursions were well planned, the guides very knowledgeable, and I felt I got introduced and exposed to the best in each port/destination. I am looking forward to more Viking cruises, and would recommend this to everyone. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our second cruise with Viking. The first one was Budapest to Amsterdam which we enjoyed so much we decided to book this one. It was a lovely cruise through the French wine region. Our only negative was the fact that too often ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Viking. The first one was Budapest to Amsterdam which we enjoyed so much we decided to book this one. It was a lovely cruise through the French wine region. Our only negative was the fact that too often we were not docked close to towns and often way out in the boonies requiring buses to get into town. I understand this is not Viking's choice but the French government who determines which cruise line docks where each week. All the tours were good. The buses they hire are excellent and walking tours well done. We saw lovely scenery along the way and the stops to enjoy the wineries were excellent. When at the end we didn't dock in Avignon but quite a distance away again in the boonies, Viking hired taxis and buses to take us to final destination. The food was great. The staff all excellent and helpful. Rooms are tiny but have everything you need and all amenities are first class. I would recommend this river cruise from Lyon to Avignon or vice versa. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was our second cruise the first being the Elbe. The boat was very well laid out,dining area was well equipped,very good lounge area and first class cabin. The cruise was along the Rhone although not as picturesque as the Elbe it ... Read More
This was our second cruise the first being the Elbe. The boat was very well laid out,dining area was well equipped,very good lounge area and first class cabin. The cruise was along the Rhone although not as picturesque as the Elbe it was still a very pleasant way to see the countryside. The staff on board where exceptional and could not do enough for us, the food was first class and the entertainment was very good. Our only issue was the first part of the cruise could not be carried out due to high river levels,all on board excepted that was out of Vikings control, however after this we did not seem to dock at any of the towns on route we seemed to moor in remote area's and where coached to the towns this was fine but it did not give us the option to walk ashore to view area's ourselves unguided. We still really enjoyed the trip and we will use Viking again Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was a multi-generational vacation, and we considered the location, number of days, ease of traveling to and from, and ship size. Viking River cruises have a great reputation, and this trip certainly lived up to all of our ... Read More
This was a multi-generational vacation, and we considered the location, number of days, ease of traveling to and from, and ship size. Viking River cruises have a great reputation, and this trip certainly lived up to all of our expectations! The ship was the perfect size, and the staff made it easy on all of us to travel, dine, relax and enjoy the entire experience. The suite was beautiful and a comfortable haven for mom, and the cabins for the rest of us had everything we wanted. The dining was fabulous, and every single meal was a fun adventure. What made the cruise exceptional and memorable, though, was the crew and service. Every single person we met went above and beyond to make the experience enjoyable, and their fun-loving nature and professionalism were a delight! The excursions were okay, and we look forward to booking our next Viking River cruise to new locales! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We had visited northern France before, but never southern France. Friends had told us great praises about the Avignon area and we had relatives living on the southern coast of France, so we wanted to combine the great experience of a ... Read More
We had visited northern France before, but never southern France. Friends had told us great praises about the Avignon area and we had relatives living on the southern coast of France, so we wanted to combine the great experience of a river cruise ( we had a great previous two-week cruise experience with Viking) with a visit to a part of France that we had never previously experienced. This cruise exceeded our expectations in almost every regard. River cruise boats have less than 200 passengers, so this is small by cruise standards, but this is just right for river cruising. The staff is very friendly and you get to know the cruise (program) director and many of the other staff personally. The executive chef on this cruise was outstanding. His selection of local specialties was great and the preparations were outstanding. Every evening meal was outstanding. The breakfasts and lunches were also very good. Embarkation was easy and disembarkation was very smooth and organized. Viking includes at least one free shore excursion at every stop. The tours we liked best were the Beaujolais Wine tour, the Lyon city tour, the Tournon steam train, and the Avignon Walk and Popes Palace. We also paid for optional tours of Pont du Gard Aqueduct (outstanding!) and Arles in Van Gogh's Footsteps (also outstanding!) . Although Viking carefully advises which tours require walking and some physical effort, and on most tours, Viking offers a "less demanding" option, some passengers overestimate their physical ability and they don't take the more leisurely tour, this they tend to hold back some groups on these tours. On this cruise we paid for, but were very disappointed in only one tour - to the timeless town of Perouges. There are numerous scenic old walled mountain towns/cities in France, and this is not among the best! Skip this one! Every Viking ship had its piano player who entertains nightly, and we have enjoyed the piano player and his music on this and previous cruises. Viking also brings on board entertainment one to three times a week, and these small entertainment groups are usually very good. The 4 person vocal group on this cruise was very entertaining one evening. Our experiences with Viking River Cruises have been great and we are already planning another river cruise for next year. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Viking Heimdal Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.6
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 3.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 N/A

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