149 Viking River Viking Rolf Cruise Reviews

We had done the Danube on a previous trip. The decision to choose Paris and the heart of Normandy was my husband’s wish to visit the Normandy beaches. It was a good decision. There was lots of interesting tours, both included and ... Read More
We had done the Danube on a previous trip. The decision to choose Paris and the heart of Normandy was my husband’s wish to visit the Normandy beaches. It was a good decision. There was lots of interesting tours, both included and optional. As expected, everything was perfect. Even though a first impression is the cabin is small, it works! The layout is efficient, it may take a bit of thought and organization though! There are not enough adjectives to adequately describe the service that is provided by every member of the staff. Everything anyone could have possibly wanted was provided, almost to the point of appearing as if by magic, anticipating everything! The food was out of this world. No one could have lost an ounce on Viking cruises. There were so many choices on the menu, local specialties, items that were available daily, as well as an ever changing dishes. Everyone on the staff should be commended. Each member of the staff treated us with kindness, taking time to stop and talk, or answer questions. No one was ever too busy to spend time with guests. This is the reason we will continue traveling with Viking. I can’t say enough glowing, wonderful, awesome, things. I just smile when I think of our trips and always, always tell people they MUST experience it for themselves. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Could not have asked for a better trip. Smooth sailing, The ship was so easy to relax in. The service was above and beyond, friendly, accommodating and entertain and activities fit the bill. Room was comfortable and always kept clean. ... Read More
Could not have asked for a better trip. Smooth sailing, The ship was so easy to relax in. The service was above and beyond, friendly, accommodating and entertain and activities fit the bill. Room was comfortable and always kept clean. Ports and shore excursions were very well done Our favorite was visiting Normandy It was wonderful. I would highly recommend it to all My husband, who never travels, loved every moments. I must say the staff could not have been more wonderful. If you want a trip of a lifetime, take a Viking Cruise. The tour guides were so informatve and you were fillled with so much new knowledge. Food was excellent and your server made the food was to your taste. You will not be disappointed if you decide to embark on this wonderful cruise. We went with two other couples and they felt the same way. We are talking about another one next year. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We wanted to see Normandy, the D-Day Memorial and visit Paris again. We did not stay in Paris before the cruise, as we have been to Paris three times. Our Embarkation and Disembarkations went very well. We had no delays or problems. ... Read More
We wanted to see Normandy, the D-Day Memorial and visit Paris again. We did not stay in Paris before the cruise, as we have been to Paris three times. Our Embarkation and Disembarkations went very well. We had no delays or problems. The ship was as we expected, as this was our third cruise with Viking. We like Viking because the crew is very helpful, the cabins are clean and the food is excellent. The dining was excellent. We knew what was being served. Viking always posts the menu outside the dining room everyday. We were on Emerald Waterways and they did not post the menus. The food was hot, appetizing and they have many choices. The head chef came out every evening and told us what his specialty was for that night and the wait staff were courteous and friendly. The entertainment was excellent. I loved the Opera singers, the games that we played, and Mia our cruise manager was excellent. All the major crew members were so much fun, as well as, informative. The crew on the Rolf were one of the best of the previous Viking Cruises we were on. The service was also excellent. Everyone was accommodating to our needs. The excursions were wonderful. Viking allows you to visit each town or city on your own and they ran shuttles to Paris from our mooring site. This is something that means a lot to us. On our cruise with Emerald Waterways, we were moored outside Amsterdam and they did not offer shuttles into the city. If you wanted to go on your own you had to get a taxi. Viking always seems to get it right. We enjoyed all the ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
A River Cruise to Normandy has been high on our bucket list. Having been on previous Viking cruises, we chose Viking due to price and our previous great experiences with them. Our cruise originated in Paris. We did not do a Paris ... Read More
A River Cruise to Normandy has been high on our bucket list. Having been on previous Viking cruises, we chose Viking due to price and our previous great experiences with them. Our cruise originated in Paris. We did not do a Paris pre-Cruise extension as we had previous been in Paris 2 previous times. We did have a very nice day two included tour of Paris highlights before departing for Normandy. For our River Cruise the embarkation process is very simple, unlike large ocean cruise ships. Our ship, the Viking Rolf is named after the actual Viking conquerer Rolf who plundered the Normandy region of France until the King of France finally negotiated a treaty with him and gave him the Normandy region of France and renamed him Robert, the Duke of Normandy , a little trivia. Anyway the ship cabins are typical of most River Cruise ships, in general very nice and accommodating. Very comfortable for a week long cruise. The dining of the ship was very good, from the breakfast buffets in the morning to lunches on the terrace or in the dining room and finally the evening meals. We fully enjoy the local cuisine options on the dinner menu but you always have many other options for the evening. Unlike large ships, the evening entertainment was limited to primarily a piano player in the lounge but this was just fine. During a couple of days there were some daytime lecturers that were excellent. One of favorite things with Viking is their included shore excursions. Our tour guides were all excellent providing interesting insights into each of our visited stops. All of the crew, waiters, bar tenders provided fantastic service during our cruise making it extra enjoyable. For this cruise only my wife and I traveled, no children. Our experience on most European river cruises is that most travelers are older and generally no children. This cruise certainly meet our expectations with the highlight being our entire day of visiting the Normandy invasion beaches and of course the American Cemetery was a very serene moment of the trip. We will definitely continue to travel with Viking in the future based on our wonderful experiences. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Ship was clean and great. Ship’s captain was very friendly and informative. Was very interesting when the ship went through the water locks, and how the wheel house can be lowered when going under a very low bridge. The crew was top ... Read More
Ship was clean and great. Ship’s captain was very friendly and informative. Was very interesting when the ship went through the water locks, and how the wheel house can be lowered when going under a very low bridge. The crew was top notch, from the restaurant staff to the front desk. Food was outstanding itinerary was awesome. Monet garden, Eiffel Tower, Normandy Beaches, Joan of arch. To name a few. The country side was beautiful, the small towns were quaint, loved the pre war buildings and the locals were very nice. Many of the shops were rustic. Castles were beautiful. The sights along the river was beautiful Looking forward to cruising again. Other passengers were great. Weather was ok, couple of days was raining but what can you do. It still didn’t discourage from exploring. The only negative thing, was night in Paris. The bus driver, almost hit a couple of cars. Drove past a few sights to fast and we couldn’t see them. The tour guide couldn’t keep up. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Highly recommend Viking River Cruise!! The staff was amazing, food was fabulous, organization was superb, housekeeping was perfect!!! Everything was wonderful! Embarking and disembarking were very smooth. Shore excursions were ... Read More
Highly recommend Viking River Cruise!! The staff was amazing, food was fabulous, organization was superb, housekeeping was perfect!!! Everything was wonderful! Embarking and disembarking were very smooth. Shore excursions were wonderful, with excellent guides, very informative. Cabin was wonderful, always clean and well taken care of. Margarite, our program director was fabulous!! Bartenders were excellent. Chef was fantastic - offering wonderful selections every meal, every day. Evening entertainment was wonderful, something for everyone. We did not travel with children, it was an adult only cruise, but very enjoyable. I would definitely take another Viking Cruise in the future and have recommended Viking to my in laws, uncles and aunts and many others. I was most impressed with the way the entire Cruise was organized and the trip was executed so smoothly. The daily briefings left in our room with the agenda for the next day were perfect. I highly recommend Viking River Cruises to any one interested in a top notch travel experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife Joan and I went on our first river cruise this summer, The Paris and Heart of Normandy. From being met at the airport to our farewells it was the best vacation we have ever had. Everyone on the ship were so thoughtful and ... Read More
My wife Joan and I went on our first river cruise this summer, The Paris and Heart of Normandy. From being met at the airport to our farewells it was the best vacation we have ever had. Everyone on the ship were so thoughtful and professional. We felt like we were part of a family while on the cruise and many tours we took. The food at any meal was exceptional and it was intertwined with meeting many people of varying interest. As for the services on the ship we were quite happy with the staff whether it was the person attending our cabin, the exceptional wait staff, or the social director and cruise director. All were just wonderful. Our tours of the small cities and villages gave a a real insight of the French culture. The day trip to the beaches of Normandy were the highlight of an eight day cruise filled with memories that will last a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We wanted to see the sights and tour Normandy especially since 2019 was the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Also, wanted to experience a river cruise and it was exceptional!! Can't say enough about the service, the food, friendly staff, ... Read More
We wanted to see the sights and tour Normandy especially since 2019 was the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Also, wanted to experience a river cruise and it was exceptional!! Can't say enough about the service, the food, friendly staff, wonderful stateroom--was all first--class!! We enjoyed stopping at Claude Monet's home and gardens, taking walks in the small cities along the river and getting to meet some of the local residents. . Was great to sit on the deck and watch the scenery pass by. We stood and watched as we passed through several locks--amazing to see how that works. Meals were always something to look forward to each day from the variety of food choices,, the attentiveness of the waitstaff and the generous wine provided! Got to try lots of food from the region and many, many wonderful desserts. Our stateroom with veranda was great. The bathroom was compact, but had lots of extras that we enjoyed and plenty of room for our things. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We had heard about Viking from friends that had traveled with you previously. It didn’t disappoint. We purchased the 3 day pre excursion time in Paris. The Marriott Hotel in downtown was clean but old and tired. I was disappointed ... Read More
We had heard about Viking from friends that had traveled with you previously. It didn’t disappoint. We purchased the 3 day pre excursion time in Paris. The Marriott Hotel in downtown was clean but old and tired. I was disappointed in this. I spoke with someone who purchased the upgraded hotel option. I would have been willing to pay for this hotel as the standard. The Viking representatives doing our tours were wonderful. If you have time, I would strongly suggest seeing Paris before boarding. Off to the ship 3 days later. Magnificent is the word I have. The staff, the food, the service were impeccable. Our cabin was small but efficient. Our next trip on Viking, we upgraded one cabin to have a little more room. However, I would stay in the same state room again, this is a personal preference. The dining provided me choices to eat of things I’ve never had. The chefs would go into each town where we were in port and get fresh local culinary items. If you’re worried about not having enough to do, you will be fine. We never stopped. Each of the ports and excursions did not disappoint. The highlight of the trip for most was the day in the Normandy beaches. However, Rouen and Monet’s home and gardens are not to be missed. We are traveling again this year doing the Rhine Getaway. The last thing is that when you arrive at the airport, once you get through customs, you never have to worry about another thing until they take you to your gate upon departure. If you have the chance, travel Viking Cruise Lines. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Everything was wonderful, from the time we embarked in Paris until the end of our cruise. The ship is beautiful with spacious public areas and our cabin was very comfortable. I really enjoyed our own little balcony ! Dining was delicious. ... Read More
Everything was wonderful, from the time we embarked in Paris until the end of our cruise. The ship is beautiful with spacious public areas and our cabin was very comfortable. I really enjoyed our own little balcony ! Dining was delicious. We quickly made new travel friends and started dining together. We had good entertainment, and learned about the local culture in the process. We could not have had better service. We particularly appreciated Jorge, who always seemed to enjoy wherever we needed him! The ports and shore excursions were terrific! They were well planned and executed. I remember how we felt seeing the beach at Normandy and visiting the cemetery where so many Americans lie. It was so special, as we were there the week before D-Day and we actually have relatives who landed there 75 years ago. Paris is beautiful, but the best was seeing Monet’s gardens. What gorgeous flowers and the kitchen was to die for, with the blue and white tiles and copper pots. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Wanted to revisit Normandy and visit Monet's home. As always Viking is very efficient and once on-board you can relax and enjoy all the wonderful amenities! We had been traveling on our own for a couple of weeks and loving it, but ... Read More
Wanted to revisit Normandy and visit Monet's home. As always Viking is very efficient and once on-board you can relax and enjoy all the wonderful amenities! We had been traveling on our own for a couple of weeks and loving it, but walking into our room and unpacking was like coming home! Experienced Paris by letting Viking do all the planing and as always a great job. I would just caution travelers not to go during Europe's spring break time! I also think Viking should warn travelers that the crowds will be much more intense during this time. Food and service is excellent, We loved our room. It is kept spotlessly clean and equipped very well. And if you need anything it will be delivered quickly. My only complaint this trip was the nightly "oversell" by the crew. I at times felt I was listening to a timeshare presentation. Please, not every night over dinner. Keep up the great work and we are looking forward to our next Viking trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our first river cruise and it did not disappoint. It was for the 75th anniversary of D-day. Our cruise experience was excellent throughout the entire itinerary. From our first meeting when we were transferred to our ship until ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and it did not disappoint. It was for the 75th anniversary of D-day. Our cruise experience was excellent throughout the entire itinerary. From our first meeting when we were transferred to our ship until the trip back at the end, we were impressed with the high level of service. Viking hits the mark with everything they do. The Viking Rolf was well appointed with a comfortable feel and easy vibe. Our cabin was spacious and comfortable. The food and food service excellent as well. The chef explained everything he was presenting with locally provisioned fare. The mostly Eastern European staff was extremely attentive and learned our preferences quickly and ensured our happiness and needs were met. All the shore excursions were well planned and extremely informative. Everything went off like clockwork. Guides were well prepared and entertaining. I can not think of anything that detracted from the experience. Overall: five stars Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We wanted to see the Normandy battlefield and see more of Paris. We loved the smaller towns we docked at and toured. Highlights were the Normandy beaches, Monet home and grounds, and seeing Notre Dame before the fire. The food and ... Read More
We wanted to see the Normandy battlefield and see more of Paris. We loved the smaller towns we docked at and toured. Highlights were the Normandy beaches, Monet home and grounds, and seeing Notre Dame before the fire. The food and staff on board were both excellent. We appreciate the right sized food portions that let us indulge in appetizers and dessert. We went on almost every included tour and continue to be impressed with the quality of the guides. I also like the large tables in the dining room where we met a lot of fun and interesting people on board. We paid extra to set our own departure airfare and spent an extra week outside Paris and saw much more in the area including Reims Verdun and Provins which I would highly recommend We’ve enjoyed both Viking river cruises we’ve taken and are looking forward to another one. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This cruise was our second, booked our first night aboard our first Viking cruise, Romantic Danube in late March 2018. We wanted to take advantage of a Viking offer and a couple we met recommended this one as an excellent way to see France ... Read More
This cruise was our second, booked our first night aboard our first Viking cruise, Romantic Danube in late March 2018. We wanted to take advantage of a Viking offer and a couple we met recommended this one as an excellent way to see France for the first time. (My stepmother, with whom I travel, has French ancestors and somehow had not yet been to visit this country.) After only a few hours aboard our Viking longship Var, we knew we should arrange to make a second trip in 2019. We also added a post-cruise extension trip to the Loire Valley. We thoroughly enjoyed this tour from Paris into Normandy despite less than perfect weather (an atypically cold, rainy and late spring) and some disappointing shore excursions. The post-cruise trip was also good despite the indifferent weather and our guide becoming ill. On our arrival at the quayside, Viking hosts escorted us to our cabin and supervised the arrival of our luggage soon thereafter. The cabin and the public areas were as we expected from our previous cruise. The staff were friendly, courteous, and helpful. The cruise director was excellent and during the trip made a presentation on the life of Joan of Arc, a special interest of his. The only exception to the high standard was the pianist in the lounge, who seemed out of his depth performing in public. It was odd, perhaps first cruise nerves, as his sets did improve markedly over the week. Most of the many shore excursions we enjoyed were excellent. The local guides were outstanding. One of these was also our guide for the post-cruise trip but was taken ill, although soldiered on despite her bad cold. Two of the excursions were marred by having too little time to make the most of our visit. The outing to the Bayeux Tapestry Museum and luncheon were great. But the afternoon visit to the D-Day Commonwealth beaches and cemeteries was hurried. It was simply not possible to see even the main things without rushing. At the Palace of Versailles, our tour of the palace was hampered by faulty security equipment (out of Viking's control). The ensuing delay meant we were unable to see much of the palace grounds other than the gardens immediately behind the palace. Viking did their best to salvage the visit but it was disappointing nevertheless. Even had all gone according to schedule, I think we would have pushed to make much of a tour in the gardens. This outing also proved so tiring that we cancelled the outing to Malmaison we had planned for the afternoon. At the conclusion of the cruise, we travelled to the Loire Valley for a three day post-cruise extension. It was very well done, although the beautiful hotel was located in the countryside and their restaurant dinner service was very slow. The churches, chateaux, and vineyard we visited were interesting and absorbing. We enjoyed this cruise despite less than perfect weather and the glitches encountered on some of the excursions. For anyone interested in visiting Normandy, this is an excellent way to see a great many things in a short amount of time. We plan to return to Normandy On our own to spend more time at some of the places we learned about during this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I did in depth research of cruise lines for guest services, itinerary and value. Viking offered the best of everything I was looking for, especially visiting Omaha Beach and Normandy in general. I particularly enjoyed Rouen, Vernon, and ... Read More
I did in depth research of cruise lines for guest services, itinerary and value. Viking offered the best of everything I was looking for, especially visiting Omaha Beach and Normandy in general. I particularly enjoyed Rouen, Vernon, and Giverny (Monet home and gardens). Viking staff greeted us on arrival at CDG airport and the transportation to our ship was effortless. Viking staff again greeted us at the ship and were escorted to our cabin and given an overview of the accommodations and services available. The Viking ship “Rolf” and it’s crew provided a very friendly and accommodating atmosphere. The cabin was extremely comfortable. The food and wines were incredible and worth the price of the trip by itself. We were provide information at the end of each day about the next day’s scheduled activities - including a description of the available tours and brief history of the places we would visit. Overall, this was the best vacation I have ever experienced and am planning another trip for late 2021. I highly recommend this particular cruise (Paris to Normandy) and the Viking cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Cruise staff was amazing! We arrived by taxi and Viking staff took over as soon as we stepped out of the car. They immediately took our bags and welcomed us on board. Fabulous treatment from the get-go. We stayed in 301 on the Rolf, ... Read More
Cruise staff was amazing! We arrived by taxi and Viking staff took over as soon as we stepped out of the car. They immediately took our bags and welcomed us on board. Fabulous treatment from the get-go. We stayed in 301 on the Rolf, and it was an excellent location. I would absolutely request it next time. Beds were a bit lumpy. Viking should fix that. Stefi did a fabulous job keeping our room clean and orderly. We hardly ever saw her, but she took great care of us. Food was fabulous at every meal. Look to sit at Georgi's table. He is delightful and will make sure your meal is perfect. Be sure to visit the lounge and hear Chris on the piano. He is amazing. The two ladies working the front desk are so pleasant and helpful. They made arrangements for a taxi to pick us up upon disembarkation and take us to the Saint Germain-en-Laye train station for our next adventure. Cost was 20 euros plus tip for the 2 of us. Felt very safe. Easy train ride to Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, even with bags (just be sure you can manage them on and off the trains). The cruise director also did an amazing job!!!! He worked tirelessly to arrange the tours, keep the schedules, and coordinate communications. When Versailles closed due to the Yellow Jacket protests, the Vesailles excursion was canceled. Within hours, Viking arranged an alternate excursion to Chateau Chantilly at no expense to the passengers. Chantilly was fabulous! Kudos to Viking for going above and beyond! Travelling in December was tough because it was cold and rained almost every day. Days are short. Sunrise was around 8:30 a.m. with sunset around 4:45 p.m. Tours to Normandy Beach and the American Cemetery were rushed. We were disappointed, but that was not Viking's fault. Just the time of year. We will go back when we can have more time. Bus ride to the Normandy beaches was very long. No potty break on the way back, so be forewarned. Because of the full tour schedules, attire for dinner was casual and relaxed. Sometimes our tour bus would return just in time for dinner. Not having to get gussied up for dinner after a long day of sight-seeing was a relief. Sit at a large table and get to know folks. Dinner was a lot of fun. We got Euros before leaving USA because we didn't want to get caught without. We found that we could get euros in France from ATMs without paying the exchange fee. Cruise Director was helpful with advice on local matters such as this. Also, we bought several tour books before our trip, because we did some pre and post cruise traveling on our own. Of all the books we bought, Rick Steves' books were the best. Everything recommended in his books were spot on (and be sure to download his app). I could have eliminated the rest and saved the money. When we returned home, we wondered if we would want to try another cruise line for our next cruise. We knew we loved our Viking Cruise, but since it was our first river cruise, we wondered if there was something even better. We researched other lines and compared everything we got from Viking with what they offered. We were so impressed with what we got comparatively, that we decided to stick with Viking. Can't wait to take our next Viking cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Concierge at the hotel for 3 days in Paris prior to embarkation was very sweet and helpful, she suggested great restaurants and sights to visit. Definitely recommend the three days in Paris before the cruise. Take the time to adjust to ... Read More
Concierge at the hotel for 3 days in Paris prior to embarkation was very sweet and helpful, she suggested great restaurants and sights to visit. Definitely recommend the three days in Paris before the cruise. Take the time to adjust to the jet lag and just enjoy some sights one on one. The crew was unbelievable on board and the staff made every effort to get to know us and make all dining fun and enjoyable. My wife has a gluten allergy, and they always had something special for her without her having to ask. I recommend the drink package upgrade, bartenders are amazing. Excursions were well planned out and breaks were planned out perfectly, you never felt overwhelmed or rushed. I was skeptical about doing this type of cruise, but we thoroughly enjoyed all aspects from rooms to service to excursions to local cuisine aboard the Rolf, we enjoyed everything so much, we have already booked our next cruise in Germany, and can not wait to go. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I was leafing through a catalogue of Viking River Cruises that had arrived in the mail, and noticed the description of a trip from Paris to Rouen and back. I had toured and loved Normandy as a teenager long ago, and was sure that my ... Read More
I was leafing through a catalogue of Viking River Cruises that had arrived in the mail, and noticed the description of a trip from Paris to Rouen and back. I had toured and loved Normandy as a teenager long ago, and was sure that my husband (who had never been to France before) would also find it very interesting. After seeing Viking ads on PBS for so many years, he and I agreed that this was the moment to give one of Viking's cruises a try. We felt well-cared for right from our initial phone call to book, with Viking regularly sending us useful e-mailed updates and documentation. Every moment of the trip was thoughtfully organized and well-planned. We chose a lower-deck cabin, knowing that a balcony wouldn't be a must in December weather! Our room was quiet and comfortable, with reliable WiFi. We spent most of our time elsewhere in the ship in any case, meeting fellow guests, and enjoying the lounge and scattered seating areas. The food aboard was superb, the best we've ever had on any cruise. The staff were all friendly and very helpful. We loved the evening entertainment ... as one example, I never expected to hear Delibes' Flower Duet from Lakmé, exquisitely performed by talented singers, the very first night aboard! The Rolf's own pianist was great as well; my husband and I enjoy ballroom dancing, and the pianist provided a nice variety of dance melodies. Excursions were excellent throughout. Our guides were uniformly good, and I loved the headsets provided for the tours that made it possible to hear our guides without any difficulty. Each tour brought experiences I had never in my life expected: seeing the 25,000-year-old Venus of Brassempouy at the national archaeological museum in St-Germain-en-Laye; the delightfully crookedy half-timbered houses of Vernon; Van Gogh's wind-swept grave, and the very room where he passed away; the Bayeux tapestry; white bluffs along the Seine; an isolated monument to a fallen aircraft in a field near the beautiful cemetery at Bény-sur-Mer; I could just go on and on. It was so lovely that Viking gave us each a rose to put on a soldier's grave of our choice at Bény-sur-Mer. Let me also mention a tour that Viking arranged at the last minute, when the "gilets jaunes" prompted the closing of Versailles and the cancellation of an optional tour there. Viking refunded the fee for the Versailles tour, and then offered to all passengers a complimentary tour to Chantilly instead. Kudos to our Program Director, Michael, and his staff! The Château de Chantilly and Condé Museum were a revelation and absolute delight. I can hardly wait til our next cruise with this company. And it won't be long, because we have already booked another trip :-) Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Viking River Cruises can best be described as affordable elegance. The Longships are clean, modern, nicely furnished- and all identical. The French Balcony cabin was small, comfortable, and cozy. The food was good and meals feature local ... Read More
Viking River Cruises can best be described as affordable elegance. The Longships are clean, modern, nicely furnished- and all identical. The French Balcony cabin was small, comfortable, and cozy. The food was good and meals feature local cuisine. Viking represents a good value for the money since a tour in every port is included; and unless you are a drinker, the soft drinks, wine, and beer provided at lunch and dinner- as well as coffee, tea, and hot chocolate available 24/7- means that you can do without paying extra for a drink package. You also save money since there are no speciality restaurants- there are plenty of options available in the dining room and Aquavit Terrace. Day One: Flight to Paris with Air France DD and I were picked up at the airport by Viking, meeting up after exiting the baggage claim area, and taken to the Rolf which docks in Le Pecq, a suburb of Paris. Our cabin was ready, so we dropped off our luggage and walked about a mile to the RER and took the train to Paris. We were able to see some of the sights before returning to the ship for dinner. Our favorite place to eat onboard was the Aquavit Terrace. The same menu is used in both the Aquavit Terrace and dining room, so as we like a more relaxed, casual dining experience, we ate most of our dinners there. Peter took great care of us during the cruise, and always kept our glasses full of Coke. Day Two: Paris We skipped the Paris tour in order to go to Disneyland Paris on our own. For Disney fans, it is a must-see, but don’t expect it to be the same as Disneyland or Disney World. A worker carrying a broom and dustpan walked right by some trash without picking it up. There are designated smoking areas, however, one guy walked by smoking a cigar, others smoked cigarettes as their walked along past attractions and shops. Lots of gum littering the streets, too. However, it is Disney- and Disney is always lots of fun. Note: make sure you know when your ship is leaving for the next port. On this day, we had to leave Disneyland at 3 in order to make it back in time before the ship left Le Pecq. Day Three: Auvers-sur-Oise and Vernon Since it was December, instead of going to Claude Monet’s home and viewing his gardens, we traveled to Auvers-sur-Oise and got to see the room in which Vincent Van Goth spent the last 70 days of his life, and where he also died. We saw a moving film about his life, and then walked to the graveyard where he is buried next to his brother, Theo. In the afternoon, we went on another walking tour, this time in Vernon, and viewed many lovely half-timbered homes centuries old. Day Four: Rouen This is the town in which Joan of Arc was sentenced to death and was burned at the stake. You will visit a church built near the site of her execution, as well as Notre Dame Cathedral, a favorite subject of Claude Monet. Many more beautiful half-timbered homes can be admired while walking through the town. Day Five: Normandy Beaches We were taken on an all-day trip to a museum at Gold Beach, a lunch at Le Meridien, the Normandy American Cemetery, and Omaha Beach. Very moving experience. We were given roses to be placed on a grave of our choice at the American Cemetery. Day Six: Les Andelys Lovely little town which is easy to walk through. We took a tour to Chateau Gaillard, built in the 12th century by Richard the Lionheart. Day Seven: Le Pecq We had to skip the port of Mantes-la-Jolie due to an impending strike announced by the lock workers so that we would make it back to Le Pecq before the workers walked off the job. Due to the demonstrations by the Yellow Jackets, the Palace of Versailles was closed. A visit to Chateau Chantilly was substituted. It was so nice of Viking to go out of their way to substitute the canceled excursion with something else. Many thanks to our Program Director, Michael, for putting the excursion together. The chateau is very impressive and majestic. The horse stables seen off to the distance could be mistaken for another chateau. After a visit here, President Nixon asked why he had always been taken to Versailles before, if he had know about Chantilly he said, he would have stayed there instead during his previous visits. In the afternoon, we visited Napoleon’s Chateau de Malmaison, which, although not as impressive as Chantilly, is an elegant manor house oozing with history. We took the optional tour, Paris by Night, after dinner which was a perfect way to end our trip. Day Eight: Flight home via Delta We liked the airlines and flights chosen by Viking, and the price we paid for the flights represented a great value. Having Viking pick us up at the airport and drop us off again for our return flight meant that we had an easy, no-stress way to start and end our vacation. Fellow passengers, scheduling, and concluding thoughts The passengers are mostly in their 60s and 70s, with a few young adults traveling together or with family. Most people were happy with the service onboard, however, there are always a few complainers. One passenger was unhappy that he couldn’t order another dessert after dinner since there was no remaining food left over at the end of the meal. You can order multiple desserts- but make sure that you order everything you want at the start when your order is taken. It definitely pays to be on time for meals: for example, our French Tea started at 4:00, by 4:07, I picked up the only remaining watercress sandwich, after which, the waiter took the sign and tray away. Cleaning up started at 4:30, and two ladies arriving at 4:45 were disappointed to find that everything tea related had been cleaned up. In general, know if there is another event scheduled in the same venue shortly after yours. That means that the crew will have to clean up quickly in order to set up for the next event, so get there early. This is true no matter what type of cruise you are on- river or ocean. There are vegetarian options, but rather limited. Breakfast buffets in the dining room offered the best options for vegetarians to enjoy a good meal, so make sure you eat a hearty breakfast. Also, enjoy some of the local options- the bakeries are wonderful! Make sure that you check when the ship is due to sail. Always pick up your disembarkation cards before leaving the ship so that the front desk knows that you are not onboard and won’t sail off without you, hopefully. Pick up a card which has the ship’s current location printed on it so that you can give this card to a taxi if you should get lost or are pressed for time while returning to the ship. The cabins have a fridge so you can buy your own beverages if you want to. You will receive two Cokes waiting for you the first day, along with bottles of water (replenished daily). Keep lots of Euros handy to use to tip your tour guides and drivers. All of the tours were wonderful. We enjoyed all of them very much and learned so much about the people and places related to each tour. The guides all did a fabulous job. The tours are tailored according to physical ability. There was always an easy walk option for people with mobility issues. We were always warned by our program director as to whether an excursion would be physically challenging or not. The tour guides always told us how to get back to the ship and ended the tour in a shopping district. Get your shop on! This was my first Viking cruise and I have already booked my next Viking cruise. Can’t wait. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Since we were on this cruise 6 years ago on one of the smaller ships we thought we would try it again. We stayed on our own in Paris for three days with another couple. Took a cab to Le Pecq, which only cost 44 euro. Le Pecq was a nice ... Read More
Since we were on this cruise 6 years ago on one of the smaller ships we thought we would try it again. We stayed on our own in Paris for three days with another couple. Took a cab to Le Pecq, which only cost 44 euro. Le Pecq was a nice surprise. A Mono Prix store was right across the street from the ship for any items you may have forgotten, a full grocery, clothes, toiletries etc. Up the hill is St. Germaine en Laye, lovely town. Easy to walk to or back, but need to use quite a bit of stairs. They had a small but nice Christmas Market. The Rolf is the same long ships that we have been accustomed to, comfortable and easy to navigate. The Chef, Restaurant manager were excellent, both from Greece. The restaurant staff was excellent too! We were able to take the Normandy Beaches Commonwealth tour and it was fabulous. We had done the US tour 6 years ago. We saw the Bayeaux Tapestry and that in itself was amazing and so was the town of Bayeaux. The Canadian museum was touching especially the movie at the end, all staffed by young Canadians. Our guide was a professor at the University and he was very, very good. In all another great Viking cruise, next year the Duoro! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
7 days, Good destinations. Normandy was incredibly worth going to. The only big disappointment was the 3 hour bus tour in Paris. I had expected to be able to stop more often for photo opportunities - not just the Eiffel Tower. The ... Read More
7 days, Good destinations. Normandy was incredibly worth going to. The only big disappointment was the 3 hour bus tour in Paris. I had expected to be able to stop more often for photo opportunities - not just the Eiffel Tower. The staff on board were superb. The program director was marvelous. Everyone really seemed to care about our journey. It was December and cold, and whenever we returned to the boat from an outing, the crew welcomed us with hot soup or cider or something like that. They provided bottled water constantly when we got off the boat. Some of the local guides were hard to understand (dialects) but some were excellent. I was very disappointed that we did not get to stop at the artist Monet home and gardens, as they said it was closed. There was one experience that was superb. At one of the shore excursions we went into a small art gallery. I wanted to buy a small piece of art, but the gallery owners spoke no English. We rushed back to the ship with the telephone number of the artist, and I asked if someone could possibly call the artist to be sure we were understanding one another. The wonderful gal concierge said yes. The captain of the boat was standing nearby, so she asked him! The Captain called the artist, we understood everything, and returned to purchase the art. Now THAT was something very special, and sets the tone for the rest of the staff. The onboard experience was simply lovely. The longboard do not have fitness, no children under 18, specialties or entertainment, other than a pianist who played from time to time during cocktail hour. The lounge was a very comfortable place to socialize or read or just enjoy being. The daily briefings were well done and extremely helpful. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Viking came very highly recommended by very dear friends. I was not disappointed for one second..we did a pre trip extension & it was wonderful. Our flight was on Air France & took off without a hitch. Arrived in Paris & we ... Read More
Viking came very highly recommended by very dear friends. I was not disappointed for one second..we did a pre trip extension & it was wonderful. Our flight was on Air France & took off without a hitch. Arrived in Paris & we were greeted & escorted to hotel. Le Meridian Hotel way perfectly located in heart of Paris. We walked the streets & felt very safe. At one point I looked up & there was Arch de triumph! Couldn’t believe we were actually in Paris and walking the same streets as Audrey Hepburn. We took tour through Viking & went to Momartre & Notre Damn (please excuse my spelling) it was like heaven...all the artists, flowers, shops...This is where u should shop. If u see anything that strikes your fancy...buy it! Our 3 days in hotel were fabulous. We even rode Metro which was easy as pie...and I have no sense of direction. We met 2 couples that we would continue on river cruise with & I think we might be friends forever! We ate at local restaurants. Food, breads, wines, fish, cheeses & service was wonderful. Waiters were accommodating & fun. They bent head over heals to make us happy campers! Then it was on to ship...I have no words to describe how beautiful this was. We had a standard room. I was afraid of size...but it all worked out. Room was very efficiently arranged & lovely. Beautiful decor on ship & room. Very clean. Room was stocked w many amenities & efficiently serviced twice a day. If we needed anything we called & it was delivered in seconds. They didn’t know what to do first for us. These river boats are not huge & very easy to get around. Our room was right off concierge desk. So we just walked out of our room & up stairs to restaurant. (I think). Anyway you cannot get lost & it’s very easy. By the end of trip we knew practically everyone on board. everyone was so friendly. Staff always greeted us w big smiles, were so courteous & accommodating. The food was amazing. All meals were so elegantly served. For breakfast, lunch & dinner we felt as if everything was being prepared for us individually...the waiters remembered our preferences exactly. We had perfect meats, steakes, veal, pork, poultry, fish. Fresh vegetables..pasta, sauces, cheeses, wines breads. The desserts were excellent, pies, cakes, ice creams Then all the tours...with the expertise of the tour guides we were taken on a dream come true. They explained details in such interesting ways. We were taken through the Lourve in a dream come true of alll the masterpieces. Unbelievable to see all these indescribable works of art up close & personal w stories behind the scenes of how they were created. Then at the end to see Mona Lisa in all her humble glory. Will neve4 forget this—as little as she is! We docked in a town where u could have taken a tour to Versailles. We opted out of this tour & instead walked into the town where we were docked. Well, this was such a sweet stop for us because we felt like we were getting a true taste of France. It was a short walk from ship. There were amazing cute shops, outdoor vegetable, fruit, meat, cheese, fish & bread stands. No supermarkets! Beautiful flower stands. Buy a little of this & some of that...just enough...the French way. It was a great way to get a real taste of France. We went to Richard the Lionhearted castle & town of Gailliard. Beautiful countryside landscaping. The town was so charming, beautiful church, cute shops, coffee shops, pubs. Cobblestone streets. Monet’s home/town was so beautiful. I couldn’t believe that the scenery we were in the middle of was actually his masterpieces. The lily ponds, the flowers, the trees, the pond, the little row boat. I had seen it all before on canvas but now I was really seeing it through Monets eyes. Our guide was precious. She was an environmentalist & knew all the flowers, trees, bushes etc by name. His house was so beautiful & every window situated w a view so he could paint. So many paintings—Too many to count. Cute strore to shop for souvenirs and gifts. Then to Normandy. Learned so much about invasion. How it came about. What France experienced w the invasion. Sacrifices that were made by families that had to host Germans. Our guide in Normandy had ancestors that were forced to accommodate German officers & what the family had to endure for 4 years. So real...to see the bunkers, bullet holes in walls. How they built a port for ships to dock & then actual invasion. So many young lives lost, but for a victory on foreign shores. Quite an emotional experience we will n3ver forget. We had no idea we would experience so much emotion... After each day of touring we were greeted by crew & Captain and offered wine, cocktails, & cheeses and then a delicious dinner. Food service was very elegant & comfortable...meaning that after a day of amazing tours we could relax, be served a perfect dinner with fabulous wines & all the trimmings of very special dinner. The staff was constantly there for us. They couldn’t do enough for us and we always felt very cared for & protected. You know sometimes when you are in a foreign country you might feel insecure. But not with Viking. They are there for you 24/7!!! I loved this Viking cruise. In fact we have booked another in 2020 to Greece! Bon voyage❤️ Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I enjoyed the cruise very much. Even with the rioting in Paris, Viking kept everyone safe and comprimised with excursions to everyone’s satisfaction. Staff was wonderful,as was all the excursions they offered. The ceremony at Normandy ... Read More
I enjoyed the cruise very much. Even with the rioting in Paris, Viking kept everyone safe and comprimised with excursions to everyone’s satisfaction. Staff was wonderful,as was all the excursions they offered. The ceremony at Normandy Beach was very moving. I don’t have any negative comments to give about this cruise. The ports and all the sights were very enjoyable. The ship was very clean and laid out very well. The food served was excellent. The embarkation and disembarkation all was very smooth, and handled very well by the ship staff. I have sailed Viking before and have two additional cruises booked right now. I would very highly recommend Viking to anyone and everyone. I recommend both the river cruises as well as the ocean cruises. The service and ports of call are all well thought out and are offered at no cost in most instances, also the free WiFi and the beverages offered for no additional cost at meal times is a great plus. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We sailed on two Uniworld cruises prior to our first Viking River Cruise. The itinerary and date on the Viking Rolf matched what we were looking for to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. The only low point was that several excursions ... Read More
We sailed on two Uniworld cruises prior to our first Viking River Cruise. The itinerary and date on the Viking Rolf matched what we were looking for to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. The only low point was that several excursions were cancelled, including Versailles, due to the riots in Paris. Most attractions were closed during the organized demonstrations on the weekends in December. Highlights of this Cruise were: Touring all the sights with no Summer crowds; Normandy, Vernon, Rouen; Cruise Director Michael Brightman — hIs genuine enthusiasm for this area of France is contagious; Meeting great people! The best part was the post-excursion to The Loire Valley — a must do! We ended up having a “semi-private” tour of this wonderful area. There are no words to describe Château de Chenonceau at Christmas! Thank you Viking Rolf for your attention to detail, outstanding service, and making this an extra special trip! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We saw Viking advertisements while watching Downtown abbey on PBS. We felt it best served our needs to the countries we wanted to see and they had wonderful food and excursion choices. We absolutely had a fantastic time. Our cruise ... Read More
We saw Viking advertisements while watching Downtown abbey on PBS. We felt it best served our needs to the countries we wanted to see and they had wonderful food and excursion choices. We absolutely had a fantastic time. Our cruise director, chefs etc were amazing!!! They were so kind!! The small things they did really impressed me! When arriving back from an excursion they offered hot lemon towels and hot broth or juice! I thought that was just a special touch! The food was absolutely amazing. We had a chef helping on our cruise I believe from Serbia and he would recommend certain dishes each night that we always tried and they were amazing! Along with a special thanksgiving dinner as well!! The accommodations were amazing, the captain and crew were amazing. Loved Bea, Mia, martins , the captain and all of them!!!!! We are planning on another cruise in the fall!! Thanks for the wonderful experience!!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
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