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23 Viking River Lyon Cruise Reviews

Our cruise on the Delling down the Rhone from Lyon to Avignon had many excellent features (like service, food, and accommodations on the ship) but also some disappointments. There were about 185 passengers; any more would have been too ... Read More
Our cruise on the Delling down the Rhone from Lyon to Avignon had many excellent features (like service, food, and accommodations on the ship) but also some disappointments. There were about 185 passengers; any more would have been too many for us. The first thing to be said about it is that there was very little cruising and a lot of walking and bus-riding. In retrospect, we suppose this was to be expected since the distance is only about 150 miles. During shore excursions, one sees some very nice aspects of this region in France, especially Roman ruins, wineries, a canyon, and farms. But during the few hours we were actually cruising during daylight, we weren’t passing the beautiful castles one sees in the ads, but rather a lot of factories, nuclear power plants, etc. As senior citizens, one of us having had recent knee surgery, we were pleased about the “leisure” and “easy” tour offerings. Still, there was a lot of walking. Our cruising was further limited by an accident involving another boat that closed down the river for many hours, so we were bused to Arles rather than sailing there on the Viking Delling. We also spent a lot of time in locks: the first time was technically interesting, but later times were boring. Further detracting from use of our veranda were the frequent times that we looked out onto another vessel a few feet away, tied up to ours, rather than looking out to the river. We heard that Budapest to Amsterdam cruising was much better. On the positive side, our large stateroom (with adjoining living room) was excellent as a generally docked, small hotel room. There were many modern, attractive features and the bathroom was superior. The service was generally excellent. We were brought champagne, fresh fruits, flowers, and wine. The meal service was excellent almost all the time, whether picking items up from the buffet or ordering them from the menu (the chef was German; he did superbly on French cuisine and less so on occasional German cuisine). The only exception was sub-standard orange juice; why don’t they offer fresh-squeezed? The expedition leader, Mia, was exceptional with a marvelous sense of humor; she should be offered a big raise. The waiters were generally very good, only occasionally serving items to the wrong person. Most of the tour guides were very informative and professional; the buses were Mercedes-Benz. Entertainment in the lounge was high quality, including a fine talk about the French Resistance during WW II. So the Delling as a fine hotel was distinctly superior to our other decent first Viking experience on the Yangtze River in China. We signed up for three optional excursions at extra cost. One was excellent, despite the long bus ride: Beaujolais and Truffles, which visited a winery in a castle, a truffle farm featuring a delightful dog, and a goat cheese farm. However another excursion, said to be one of the most popular offerings, was poor: on the Chateauneuf-du-Pape tour, we were left standing for a long while in an uninteresting town square while the guide was gone…and then taken to a new winery with no place to sit as we stood listening to long lectures in French that were briefly summarized by our guide in English. The included tour in Vienne failed to go near the most important ruin in the town, the huge Roman amphitheater. We walked to it on our own and found out why: The view from the base is deliberately blocked by opaque screening, which has the evident purpose of forcing you to pay to enter a small venue from which you can glimpse the amphitheater through dirty, foggy windows. One negative feature of the included excursions is a feature of France: few and terrible toilets. Often you either have to pay (at a turnstile or by buying coffee in a café) or instead use what the guides pejoratively called “Turkish toilets,” which were holes in the ground. The buses had mini-toilets in compartments that were too small for large adults. We were glad that we didn’t purchase the expensive Silver Spirits beverage package. Given all the free alcohol otherwise available (e.g. during ship-wide cocktail parties) and the wine freely available during lunches and dinners, we wouldn’t have come close to getting our money’s worth. Our stateroom had two fancy screens, but they were inadequately managed. They showed us the weather forecast in Arles when we were in Avignon, and the forecast for Avignon when we were visiting Arles. And the forecast was totally turned off for the 24 hours preceding the day it would have been most useful: the day we departed the ship. We were also unhappy about the failure of a promise on our departure: a group of about two dozen of us on a bus to the Marseille Airport were promised that we would be met by a Viking agent who would accompany us all the way to Security. We were met, but the woman left us on the sidewalk outside the terminal. Upon entering the terminal, there were no indications of what to do and she was long gone. All things considered it was a fine way to see aspects of Lyon and Provence, with luxurious comfort and meals on our usually-docked ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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
Having resisted river cruising for many years, we finally capitulated (ran out of excuses for not taking one) and booked a Provence cruise on the Viking Delling. The booking and upfront experience was good. The website was easy to ... Read More
Having resisted river cruising for many years, we finally capitulated (ran out of excuses for not taking one) and booked a Provence cruise on the Viking Delling. The booking and upfront experience was good. The website was easy to navigate and the cruise materials arrived in plenty of time with luggage tags, cruise book and other information. Good first impression. Our package included free air arranged by Viking. As a first timer was not real informed on their customization program that carries an add on cost. Wish I had as that way would have had more controlled over the connecting flights. The outbound flights Viking booked carried high risk of missed connections (via IAD and FRA) and sure enough we missed the flight from FRA to LYS. No problem though as the airline rebooked us. However the real issue is that apparently Viking doesn't monitor their passenger's while in transit (which other companies we have used do and modify transfers without being contacted). Viking's materials say to contact them should we experience a delay and give numbers to call and the ship's email address. When we arrived in Lyon, we were a bit surprised to find no Viking rep and no transfer there. So we tried to call Viking (we don't have an international calling plan and both help centers at the airport were unable to call for us). Sent an email to the address given but no response there. So ended up face timing daughter back in the States who called Viking and was told we could take a taxi and be reimbursed. Had thought of that earlier but in our documents, Viking identified three potential berths for the ship. Equipped with the berthing info, we grabbed a cab and four days later (after three tries), we got our fare refunded. Not a great first impression. But apart from that: Room was good. We booked the least expensive and it was fine. The steward (Peter) did a great job keeping it tidy, replenishing towels). Easy access to the restaurant. Small shower but good water pressure and little fluctuation in temperature. TV reception was ok (only channel that consistently was not available was FOX). Food was ok. Breakfast selections was good, Liked cooked to order eggs. The french toast was a tad bit soggy for me. Oatmeal was good and they do bacon well. Lunch in the restaurant typically had a pasta selection and a daily special. Ate a lot of hot dogs and french fries. Dinner also had a daily special, an alternative and then every day available ones. The quality varied day by day so. The service though was excellent. Front Desk: indifferent at best. Being a bit cold outside, I asked at the front desk if they had blankets we could use outside the Aquafit area. Was told they were up there to which I told them I just came from there and didn't see any. I was dismissed with a 'oh well'. On my way back I did locate them hidden behind a chair. But would have been nice if they had helped me rather than wave me off. Tour Director: was good and worked hard and long hours. Included Tours: very good. Lots of walking though would not recommend this trip for anyone with mobility issues. Busses used were all top notch. Itinerary/Rhone River: would have preferred to spend more time in Avignon and less time in Lyon. Would not recommend this for first time travelers to Europe as there's not a lot of variety in the area (do Rhine or Danube). Hotel Manager: so by now you know I was not too impressed with how he handled my transfer issue (day one - I needed to complete a form but he didn't have one), day two - waited for him to give me the form, day 3 - got a form from the desk, told to come back after 5 when manager would be there, he didn't have the money (it was 'upstairs') come back tomorrow, day 4: got money.). Other staff: everyone else went out of the way to say something. Good job there. Glad we went and experienced river cruising. Will we do it again? Most likely not. 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
The ship and crew were fabulous. We had a wondeful cruise but it was way too sedentary for us. We like to exercise which there wasn’t any and we love to see entertainment which there was very little, if any. The food was good but ... Read More
The ship and crew were fabulous. We had a wondeful cruise but it was way too sedentary for us. We like to exercise which there wasn’t any and we love to see entertainment which there was very little, if any. The food was good but really nothing to write home about. If you love excursions though this is what it is all about. We had cooking classes, saw history that was made over 2000 years ago. They offered many free excursions but we upgraded and did a lot that cost an additional fee. They were the ones that we enjoyed the most. Seeing the countryside, wine tasting in the basement of a castle. Watching a dog find truffles, goat farmers make goat cheese, exploring the many foods that were made by top notch bakers, chocolatiers, cheese makers and sausage makers was what made the trip. We also enjoyed the many people that we met on the ship. They were wonderful and the many stories they had made it great. Not enough activity for me but I do think I will try one of their ocean cruises next. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The Viking cruise is one that I would highly recommend for those that love history, tours, new experiences, relaxing and great company. I would not recommend for those that are very active non readers. Or if you fall into the non reader ... Read More
The Viking cruise is one that I would highly recommend for those that love history, tours, new experiences, relaxing and great company. I would not recommend for those that are very active non readers. Or if you fall into the non reader category travel with friends who like to play cards or games. I absolutely loved the tours and loved meeting all the wonderful people from different countries that you travel with. Being an avid exerciser who does is on the go most of the time, it was a little laid back for me. There was no exercise facilities along with very little onboard activity. The food and drink were very good and very available. We had upgraded to a 2 room suite so it was very nice but the television had very little English speaking channels. (Mainly news and only one Australian western show) I will still try another Viking cruise but it will be a larger more active ship with a spa and exercise facility because of the tours, food and service. Read Less
Sail Date April 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 out first river cruise, after several ocean cruises previously (Seabourn, HAL, Celebrity, Cunard). We selected this particular cruise because it synched up with business travel and included Avignon as a port of call. Talk about ... Read More
This was out first river cruise, after several ocean cruises previously (Seabourn, HAL, Celebrity, Cunard). We selected this particular cruise because it synched up with business travel and included Avignon as a port of call. Talk about hot! 95+ every day and when we embarked, the AC was not working. Once repaired, our cabin remained comfortable. However, whenever the Lounge and Dining room were occupied for group events (read dinner), the AC could not keep up and the room became very uncomfortable. With less heat, this would not be a problem. The boat is in excellent shape and very pleasing to the eye. The crew was exceptional. The excursions (included and optional) were extremely well organized and the fellow passengers were nearly always on time (if that were always the case....). We had one technical issue with a steam train excursion (train ahead of us had engine troubles and our train was delayed, no fault of Viking) and the Viking team brought in the coaches and returned us to the boat on time. Well done Viking! The food was good, not exceptional. The dining service was well above average and the staff friendly. The public spaces were constrained by the limitations of a river boat, so if you want public space variety, stick with ocean cruising. The on board entertainer was average at best, with one act brought on board below average and another exceptional. The cabin is as you would expect, tight on a river boat. The bathroom was also small by ocean cruise standards, but well laid out and very functional. If you set your expectations correctly, you will be very pleased. At age 60, we were perhaps the youngest on board except for a family group with 20 somethings included. Many of the fellow travels were spry, but several were not. The energy level was low based on this demographic and is the only reason we would not hurry back to Viking River Cruising. We will likely return once our energy level matches the demographic served. River cruising is nice (in cooler weather) and perfect for many. It does not match our current style. Perhaps in a decade we will return to the rivers. Read Less
Sail Date June 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 choice of optional and regular excurisions were not as great as other cruises we have been on. Otherwise, the ship was great, service was great and the food was good. It seemed to me that Viking wanted to put a river boat on the Rhone ... Read More
The choice of optional and regular excurisions were not as great as other cruises we have been on. Otherwise, the ship was great, service was great and the food was good. It seemed to me that Viking wanted to put a river boat on the Rhone river and then tried to come up with things to show their passengers. Some of the tours were too long. Some were too boring others were very good. The tour that sticks out in my memory is when we went to tour the Papal Palace. That was interesting and about the right length of time. The first day we went to an abbey. That tour was long and then we were given too much free time with noghting to do. It was a long day and we had to drive all the waay back to Lyon. We were beat by the time we returned to the ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 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 6th river cruise with Viking. So, we have found them to provide excellent cruises. Because I have a particular interest in medieval European history, I chose this tour because it provided an opportunity to see the Abbey at ... Read More
This was our 6th river cruise with Viking. So, we have found them to provide excellent cruises. Because I have a particular interest in medieval European history, I chose this tour because it provided an opportunity to see the Abbey at Cluny and the Papal Palace at Avignon. (In addition to being huge, the Abbey exercised nearly as much influence in its time as Rome. The Papal Palace was the home of seven Popes during the so-called "Babylonian Captivity" of the Papacy.) My wife and I found the excursions to both locations to be well-conducted and interesting. The Abbey visit is the only added cost option we chose. The other shore excursions were much as expected with the exception of the Timeless Town of Perouges. Perouges felt too much like a tourist creation. As usual, the food aboard the ship was excellent and the staff attentive. Although Viking includes wine with meals, we opted for the premium wine package and feel this to have been money well-spent. (We're not "wine snobs", but we do enjoy both a better wine and a broader selection.) At the tour's conclusion, we chose to add a couple of nights in Avignon. It's a charming town and the Papal Palace was well-worth a second visit. If you choose to stay, check out the laser light show in the Palace courtyard. The later showing is offered with English narrative on some nights. It's impressive! So, why did I not award the Cruise 5 stars? Because, while uniformly excellent, I did not think it was truly exceptional. (My wife and I are admittedly spoiled and would give this rating only to our Viking Yangtze River cruise several years ago.) And, I admit being annoyed by Viking's payment policy requiring full payment long before the cruise in order to take advantage of their sale prices. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose Lyon and Provence for food and wine experiences and were not disappointed. The food and wine on the Delling were both quite nice, and we dined at a brasserie in Lyon run by Paul Bocuse, a three-star Michelin chef. I have to ... Read More
We chose Lyon and Provence for food and wine experiences and were not disappointed. The food and wine on the Delling were both quite nice, and we dined at a brasserie in Lyon run by Paul Bocuse, a three-star Michelin chef. I have to admit that we were somewhat spoiled by our prior Viking cruise on the Forsetti since we had a sommelier, Frankie to help us with our local purchases. We were on our own this time, although the front desk and concierge were somewhat helpful in finding decent wine shops. We had some really good shore excursions, but the night tour in Vivier was not so nice since we could not see much and photography was pretty much a waste of time. The ship was essentially identical on each of the two cruises, which gave us a sense of comfort since we knew where everything was. As usual, the crew was most excellent and helpful. We really enjoyed the service of Gabor in the dining room. We travelled with another couple with no children. The cruise director, Oliver, who doubled as "Pierre" was the best we have ever had! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose Viking because of friends who have traveled previously and enjoyed it. This was their fourth Viking tour with plans to travel again next year. The attention to personal detail by staff was a priority. From "good ... Read More
We chose Viking because of friends who have traveled previously and enjoyed it. This was their fourth Viking tour with plans to travel again next year. The attention to personal detail by staff was a priority. From "good morning" to service at mealtime to dealing with changing onshore tours. Everything was clean and neat with extra attention to the rooms. The balcony was appreciated, however, our weather did not warrant its use. The room was an adequate size. The food was country appropriate and very delicious and the wine kept coming. Meal time was looked forward to because of the view, the organization, and the friendliness of staff. The tour directors during land excursions were very knowledgeable and, for the most part, very understandable. The information discussed during bus rides was appreciated. We did spend way too much time on buses because of difficulties by Viking. We did not get the Cruising part of the journey. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Wanted a wine oriented cruise and the Agent Lynne suggested this as an alternative to the Burgandy tour, which included Paris and Dijon, both of which I had visited before.The staff and service were excellent. Our weather saw rain clouds ... Read More
Wanted a wine oriented cruise and the Agent Lynne suggested this as an alternative to the Burgandy tour, which included Paris and Dijon, both of which I had visited before.The staff and service were excellent. Our weather saw rain clouds and cold,every day, though not a Viking problem. Entertainment a pleasant surprise. Guides and tours first rate. Minor problem areas: (1) need instructions on shower operation (2) regular wines very good but upscale wines (Silver Spirit) should be upgraded.Ship is beautiful and well laid out..All dining provided excellent experience with variety and quality that could not have been better. As a widower travelling alone I was still made welcome and comfortable by the staff and other guests.Naturally, I enjoyed the wine tastings in the Beaujolais and Chateauneuf-duPape to taste these wines and see the beautiful areas proved rewarding. Also I particularly enjoyed our market tour with the chef.All in all a great trip and a top value. I would consider another wine related trip, such as your bordeaux trip Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We originally booked because of a referral from a friend. After doing some research, we found that the line had many satisfied guests, our experience met and exceeded our expectations. The service was friendly and very good but not ... Read More
We originally booked because of a referral from a friend. After doing some research, we found that the line had many satisfied guests, our experience met and exceeded our expectations. The service was friendly and very good but not overbearing, the food was excellent, and the excursions were interesting and enjoyable. My constructive remarks are that the cabins are a bit small, especially the shower but very acceptable. The wifi was slow and sometimes had no service making it difficult to stay connected to work. Also wifi related, if the cabin would allow for a wifi connected TV device like an Amazon Fire Stick or a Chrome-cast (HDMI connected to the TV), so travelers can stream news from their respective countries, states and cities. The selection of standard channels on-board were very limited. We would absolutely travel with Viking again, maybe opt for one of the suites next time for more room (We chose Veranda B room), but overall, a very enjoyable cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Our third Viking River cruise. Service , food and staff usual high standard. Ship was beautiful - modern , airy and clean. New outside terrace too - fortunately we had good weather so ate outside several times . Tables were quickly taken ... Read More
Our third Viking River cruise. Service , food and staff usual high standard. Ship was beautiful - modern , airy and clean. New outside terrace too - fortunately we had good weather so ate outside several times . Tables were quickly taken at lunch time but everyone appeared sociable and were willing to share . Perhaps a few tables for two are needed as sometimes we didn't feel like chatting and would have preferred a romantic lunch together. Oliver the director was outstanding- chatty, fun and had some clever acts up his sleeve which were displayed several evenings . [ His background was a professional in the circus/ entertainment field]. Itinerary was a little disappointing .. to many visits to Roman remains for us . We enjoyed the wine tastings and learnt a great deal about wine . [ It all gets you drunk whatever you pay for it !!] We felt more free time for wandering or shopping was needed but lunch beckoned on board .Morning excursions were included , afternoon ones were optional and charged for. We didn't go on the afternoon excursions. We went for a walk along the river or relaxed on board . We had the 'drinks' package. We totted up our daily alcohol and fancy coffees and it definitely worked out cheaper for us than paying[ individually ] as a total at the end of the cruise. Our cabin was 106, with a small high window [lower deck ] and suited us perfectly,we wouldn't have sat outside on a balcony on October. Luxurious toiletries as usual. Bed comfy and with the climate control adjusted to out desired room temperature at night , we slept well. Disembarkation was smoothly organised and transfer to Marseilles airport on a luxury coach . Met at the airport by a Viking rep. who steered us through check in and answered any queries. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We were aboard the Portraits of Southern France cruise to nowhere on the flooded Rhone. Firstly, Viking are not responsible for water levels; that being so all of the staff made the very best of a bad situation. We enjoyed comfortable, ... Read More
We were aboard the Portraits of Southern France cruise to nowhere on the flooded Rhone. Firstly, Viking are not responsible for water levels; that being so all of the staff made the very best of a bad situation. We enjoyed comfortable, well organised, coach trips to Beaune, Vienne and Arles and when it became clear the river levels were not dropping (indeed the authorities closed the river) we swopped ships with the Northbound Buri. Same cabin number, same layout and even the Programme Director and Concierge transferred with us - thus providing continuity. Lunch en route to Avignon was organised (at short notice) at the beautiful four star Domaine de Clairefontaine, excellent food and service, as was the case on both ships. On our return home a letter of apology from Viking was waiting for us offering a discount on a future cruise. We will be taking up their offer as the overall service and care from Viking is truly first class and, all things considered, worth the money. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
The Viking Hermod was a great ship with a crew that, in general, was very accommodating. This would have been a 5 star rating except for several things, one of which Viking had no control. The water level in the Roan was very high, not ... Read More
The Viking Hermod was a great ship with a crew that, in general, was very accommodating. This would have been a 5 star rating except for several things, one of which Viking had no control. The water level in the Roan was very high, not letting the ship travel under some of the bridges, resulting in a very long bus trip from Paris to Lyon where we joined the ship. Eight hours on the bus, not including the time spent for a lunch/visit stop in Dijon, was not comfortable. This was no one's fault, but I felt that if we were going to spend so much time on a bus we should have had some other accommodation (perhaps a free lunch?) from Viking. After we reached the ship we were not greeted appropriately. The ship's captain was very aloof, did not speak English, and the crew who greeted us acted as if we were an afterthought. They did try to make things up to us on the second day (after I'm sure they heard much grumbling). The rest of the trip was very good, the ship and crew (and to a certain extent the captain) leaned over backwards to make this a memorable trip. the cabin crew were excellent as were the front desk concierge and dining crew. The chef was marvelous! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Things got off to bad start when the van that was supposed to pick us up at the airport did not appear for hours...and only came after urgent calls to the ship. So we lost half a day of exploring the embarkation town. (The hotel manager on ... Read More
Things got off to bad start when the van that was supposed to pick us up at the airport did not appear for hours...and only came after urgent calls to the ship. So we lost half a day of exploring the embarkation town. (The hotel manager on the ship did give us a generous drink package in compensation, but we were frazzled even so.) There were similar delays and disorganization on the transfer to the departing airport. As for the cruise itself: Pros: The ship itself was comfortable. The crew relatively friendly. The food was always good and on three occasions extraordinary. I don't think I ever have had such great steak, and I eat a lot of steak. Most of the excursions were very worthwhile--all but one had really knowledgeable and helpful local guides. Only two ports--Avignon and Arles, are major culture rich cities, but all the villages on this cruise had their own special charm and allure. Sometimes that allure was enhanced by the fact they were small and more easy to take in on a short visit. Cons: No onboard fitness room or equipment. Often it seemed Viking had inferior docks at ports-of-call compared to other lines. Very little in the way of evening entertainment. The shore information woman had never been in any of the ports and knew about little more than the offered excursions. Dining room was understaffed--and very noisy. Drinks are VERY expensive if you do not have a package. Most wines were very ordinary--a disappointment on what was a wine country cruise. Perhaps 80% of passengers had been on other Viking cruises and they almost unanimously felt the crew and service on this cruise was well below what they had enjoyed on other Viking ships. Some crew were last minute replacements; others were on their last cruise before their break, so that might have been the trouble. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We are a middle aged couple who went on a cruise which traditionally attracts retirees, so there were only a handful of people our age. The ship was the perfect size, the food was excellent, the bar service was perfect. The entertainment ... Read More
We are a middle aged couple who went on a cruise which traditionally attracts retirees, so there were only a handful of people our age. The ship was the perfect size, the food was excellent, the bar service was perfect. The entertainment was good, but limited only to a single musician most nights. The ship died and went to bed at 10PM which left us a bit bored. This, presumably to catch the early bus for the next day's excursion. The shore excursions were nice, but getting on a bus nearly every day was a bit of a drag. We opted out of two of the excursions due to the busing issue. One bus trip was nearly 2 hours. I can stay home and do that. The quality of the ship and the staff was over the top. We will cruise again, but be a bit more inquisitive as to the amount of bussing is involved. One last note, when a female tour guide smells so bad as to be offensive and leave a lingering smell on the bus and in the group, well, there should be some "discussion" about that. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Having traveled with Viking before, our expectations were high. Unfortunately, we were disappointed. Part of the problem was that we did not do enough homework ahead of time. We chose the worst time of year ( due to work schedules) and did ... Read More
Having traveled with Viking before, our expectations were high. Unfortunately, we were disappointed. Part of the problem was that we did not do enough homework ahead of time. We chose the worst time of year ( due to work schedules) and did not realize how much of the cruise would be spent on a bus. Viking hides the fact that for many of the excursions you will have to ride a crowded, uncomfortable bus. There was no scenic views along the highways. We also spent much of the time waiting for the very slow walkers to catch up to the group. Viking does offer a "leisure" group for those passengers but most insisted on signing up for the regular groups ensuring that all of us would forgo the opportunity for free time. Toward the end of the trip, we gave up and just went on our own. This meant we missed out on a few attractions that we could only get into as part of the group tour. Another problem was the weather. We had several days of rain. The boat could not make it under some bridges, therefore we boarded in Lyon and sat docked in the industrial part of tow by an "American style mall" for 3 days. We were told this is a frequent problem. There was no suitable plan B. We were loaded on to busses every day and rode for hours to the town's we were scheduled to visit. There were some good things_ staff was friendly and pleasant, food was good, rooms were small but nice. Our previous trip with Viking was much better. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Paris, 3 day add-on at the beginning. Hotel Meridien Etoile, very plain, small, but comfortable rooms, pretty good service, and wonderful breakfast buffets. Metro stop less than a block away, and lots of taxis available. Across the street ... Read More
Paris, 3 day add-on at the beginning. Hotel Meridien Etoile, very plain, small, but comfortable rooms, pretty good service, and wonderful breakfast buffets. Metro stop less than a block away, and lots of taxis available. Across the street from a nice urban shopping center. A very nice bar with good music in the evenings. Chalons-sur-Saone was the advertised embarkation point. On arrival we were informed that with high water on the Saone, the ship couldn't safely sail under bridges, and we would bus to Lyon, with a stop in Dijon on the way. The bus ride was several hours long, but in a nice bus with a friendly, informative tour guide along the way. Dijon was perfectly lovely, with a lunch stop and a nice variety of interesting restaurants from which to choose. Beautiful medieval buildings, Marielle was great at telling us about the sights we saw, and a pleasant walk through the town. Embarkation in Lyon was smooth, and the staff welcomed passengers warmly. We were 3 days in port at Lyon, so the cruise had a good long start as a stay in a floating hotel. The ship was comfortable, the staff wonderful, and if I ever have to be "stuck" someplace, I would freely choose Lyon. A fabulous old city, and at the same time, a vibrant, modern, liveable place. Magali, our tour guide, was engaging, helpful, and exceptionally interesting and informative. On our own, we arranged dinner at Auberge du Pont de Collonges, the flagship restaurant of world-famous Chef Paul Bocuse. Fabulous! A geat foodie experience, and we won't be buying a new car for a few years, as a consequence. We particularly liked the cathedral on the hill, the old-city pedestrian way, and the public market. While in Lyon, we had bus tours to Perouges, a quaint medieval village, the Cluny Abbey, and Beaune, with a most interesting hospital museum dating from 1443, Tremendously interesting places, with engaging, informative tour guides, but long bus rides, sometimes in stalled city traffic. Finally underway, we cruised in an afternoon to Vienne, with a walking and portable train tour. The walk was a bit of a hurry-up, but interesting, with 2 beautiful churches and lots of Roman ruins. Cruised the evening to Tournon, stayed overnight. In the AM was a walking tour of Tain l'Hermitage, a winery, and chocolate shop; fun and interesting. Then followed the only real daytime cruise of the journey, from Tournon to Viviers. Charming, picturesque, quant riverside villages, churches, castles, a wonderful Taste of Provence dinner aboard, and a nighttime walk in Viviers, a medieval village. The cruise was a bit disappointing in that the upper deck was closed due to low bridges. Cruised on to Avignon during the night, and docked in the middle of the city, next to another ship. Can't say enough good about Avignon, and tours to Arles a short distance away. The walking tours were, again, a bit like Rawhide (Keep 'em rollin', rollin', rollin') but so many interesting sights to see, fine restaurants, lively street scene, Papal Palace, etc. Disembarkation was painless, and again, a somewhat long bus ride to the Marseilles Airport. Lots of plusses on this cruise. We're quite experienced France tourists, and we saw so many new placers, an experience greatly enhance by Viking tours, both included and optional, and the excellent guides who led them. A couple of the shipboard meals were truly excellent. Cannot say enough nice things about the Viking Buri Staff, from the Captain and First Officer, to the Tour Director and Concierge, to the dining room and housekeeping staff, and a most excellent musician to entertain us. The ship was comfortable and well laid-out. Objectively, and not too critically, some things were sub-optimal. The cruise actually encompassed very little cruising. There was a lot more bus-riding than cruising! PBS Viking ads show svelte Ralph Lauren/Saks 5th 40-50-somethings sipping wine while cruising on the top deck along picturesque waterways. On our cruise, the average daily high temp., F, was under 100, but not by much, and the average age of passengers was also under 100, but not by much. Lots of golf shirts, large white tenny-runners, baggy pink polyester pantsuits, floppy-goofy hats, and endless restroom stops. The food and wine on board, with a couple of exceptions, were very ordinary and uninspiring. Overall, a fine experience, due to the location of the cruise, and the superb effort of the Viking staff. Might well do another river cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
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