Sail Date: April 2017
We decided to see France in style and comfort, and we certainly did! - We arrived at Charles de Gaule at 9 AM on Easter Sunday, and were met by a Viking driver in a black Mercedes--just for us. Then, off to the pre-cruise hotel, the ... Read More
We decided to see France in style and comfort, and we certainly did! - We arrived at Charles de Gaule at 9 AM on Easter Sunday, and were met by a Viking driver in a black Mercedes--just for us. Then, off to the pre-cruise hotel, the 5-star (in my view) Hotel Rochester Champs Elysees, Paris. This hotel, on Rue La Boetie, is perfectly situated: 1/2 block to a bakery, 1/2 block to an ATM, 1/2 block from the Saint Phillipe du Roule metro stop (get the 10 metro/bus ride carnet pack), and 1/2 block to St. Phillipe Church for Easter morning services! The Rochester staff is helpful and very accommodating, the rooms perfect, and the morning breakfast was great. Note to Viking HQ: keep this hotel in your stable of Paris hotels--and at the top of the list!! - The provided Viking Walking tour the next day of the Bastille-St Paul-Hotel de Ville areas and the Jewish Quarter were outstanding. Our Swedish-American-Parisian tour guide was as informative as he was hilarious. That night we opted for 4-hour evening dinner on the Seine with Bateaux Mouches. The sun set as we began the cruise, and the lighted Eiffel Tower at 10 PM is spectacular. The next day we took at full day bicycle tour of Versailles town and market, the Palace gardens and Palace itself with Fat Tire Tours. I cannot imagine a better tour of Versailles. - Yes, we boarded the Viking Rinda in the suburbs at Le Pecq, 45 minutes of town. A very nice suburb, beautiful museum and gardens, and a direct RER line to downtown Paris. The staff of the Rinda were great, and our next 6 days were wonderful. Highlights: Giverny and the Gardens; Rouen and the optional Countryside tour to a Sheep Farm/Apple Orchards; Normandy and Omaha Beach visit; and Napoleon and Josephine's Chateau at Malmaison. Our tour guide in Normandy was the granddaughter of a "D-Day" family, whose farm traded sides that day, twice. She made the tour very special, and very personal. This individual touch is something Viking is noted for, and should be recognized for their forethought. Our private tour of Malmaison and its gardens closed out a great experience in Paris and the Heart of Normandy Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise to see Paris and to experience the D-Day beaches at Normandy.. The ship was very comfortable and the on board service was very good. The room was clean and very comfortable with a great shower. The food was ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see Paris and to experience the D-Day beaches at Normandy.. The ship was very comfortable and the on board service was very good. The room was clean and very comfortable with a great shower. The food was excellent. We were well taken care of by the staff. Several of the optional and included tours on shore occurred simultaneously meaning that we had to make a choice and in at least one case missed an included tour. A cruiser should be able to attend all included tours. When compared to other tours and river cruises this tour was a little light on cultural experiences. We go on tours for the cultural and historic experiences. The tour of Pais and Versailles were very good with an excellent local guide. I don't remember his name ( perhaps, Lief?) but he was excellent - a Swedish man. The Normandy beaches tour was a bit rushed and the local guide provided little insight as to the war experience.His information was unenthusiastic, and he was difficult to understand. He only began to add additional information about the countryside, etc, when the program director switched to our bus. We did get to walk on Omaha Beach and visit the American Cemetery. This was a cool experience on a personal level. The use of name tags on the ship would have been useful in making connections with fellow tourists. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
We had been receiving viking literature regarding their cruises for a couple of years,... Then decided this would be perfect for our honeymoon,...and it was,... Everything was wonderful including the crew and staff on our ... Read More
We had been receiving viking literature regarding their cruises for a couple of years,... Then decided this would be perfect for our honeymoon,...and it was,... Everything was wonderful including the crew and staff on our boat,...perfect ! I didn't realize france was so beautiful,...especially along the river,... The excursions were well organized and the staff handled all these people with great care and concern,...the bus was comfortable so the several excursions were a joy to participate as well as interesting,...while on the excursion to normandy,...the staff brought us to a lovely restaurant for lunch,...the food was wonderful and the service was very efficient,... So we could be on our way after we ate,... We also Extended our Trip by coming to Paris 4 days early before the Cruise started,...Viking put us up at The Hotel Rochester which was only 2 blocks from the Champs elysee,...we got to sample some absolutely great french restaurants,... All in all,...everything was perfect because viking handled every aspect of our trip,...and i couldn't say enough about the incredible staff at the hotel and on the boat,... when all situations of your trip are handled so professionally,..it makes it such a joy In dealing with viking,...kudos to viking and all their amazing staff,... Thank You, Thank you,...thank you ! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
We had heard many people rave about river cruising and especially Viking so we wanted to experience it ourselves. We are not 'big' ship cruisers. We liked that there were under 200 passengers. We had a comfortable feeling with ... Read More
We had heard many people rave about river cruising and especially Viking so we wanted to experience it ourselves. We are not 'big' ship cruisers. We liked that there were under 200 passengers. We had a comfortable feeling with the staff; like family! The food was outstanding; service impeccable; tours and local tour guides very good. Normandy was definitely our reason for selecting this cruise. It was humbling to view the monument and stand for the service. Nice that they acknowledged anyone who had been in service. I wish when we made the first stop (where we had lunch) that we had more time and that we knew this was probably the only place to purchase souvenirs. Lunch was good! The ship was immaculate and we saw it being maintained everyday with window washing, etc. We were lucky to have 7 days of the most beautiful weather and thoroughly enjoyed the outside area on top deck. There is nothing negative I can say about our whole week on the Rinda! We are just sorry that we have to fly to Europe to go on river cruises especially after the horrendous experience we had getting home! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We were told by others that this cruise line is excellent and seeing Paris and this particular itinerary, gave us everything we wanted. We were not disappointed. The excursions were excellent. The tour guides on the whole were ... Read More
We were told by others that this cruise line is excellent and seeing Paris and this particular itinerary, gave us everything we wanted. We were not disappointed. The excursions were excellent. The tour guides on the whole were informative, friendly and friendly. The people of France we met were helpful and friendly. The meals were excellent. From breakfast, where you were able to get what ever you wanted, to a full delicious lunch to an outstanding dinner, you felt like you were being spoiled.The young men would always go out of their way to get what ever we needed or asked for. They always had a smile on their face. The food was out of this world. I have never tasted better wine. The relaxing evening listening to soft music or having a drink with new friends made the atmosphere even more rewarding. When we arrived back from each excursion, we were greeted by a crew member with a special drink and another cheerful smile. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise for value, itinerary, timing. We opted for the three night extension in Paris at the lovely Hotel Rochester, 2 blocks from the Champs Elysee, which was expensive but included transportation, a concierge, and a terrific ... Read More
We chose this cruise for value, itinerary, timing. We opted for the three night extension in Paris at the lovely Hotel Rochester, 2 blocks from the Champs Elysee, which was expensive but included transportation, a concierge, and a terrific walking tour, so a good value. It gives you time to make sure your flight arrives in time, a chance to catch up on sleep, and an orientation. I didn't know the docking was in a distant suburb when we booked, but Viking provided a shuttle and we discovered the RER train is about a mile from the ship and much faster. Having been to Paris previously we knew the train/metro/bus system which is really easy to navigate. This was our first river cruise and friends had recommended Viking. Another positive about the pre-extension was that we met a great group of people that we loved and hung out with the whole time. We became such food friends that we have just booked another Viking cruise with the whole group for next year. Our ship had mechanical problems which delayed leaving le Pecq, but Viking added activities (kudos to them, they produced them pretty much on the spot), and made up tours we missed. The crew and service staff was absolutely flawless. We had only praise for them. The food was fabulous. Can't say enough good things about everyone. One negative is the long amount of bus time, especially on Normandy day when there are no stops in a 21/2 hour bus ride - a problem in a bus full of seniors who have to pee frequently! If you take this tour, watch your fluids for 24 hours before you go! Some of the included walking tours were not very exciting. In addition the guides have to sync with a device that didn't always work well. We left a couple of tours and went off on our own because they were slow or boring. The best were the guide in Normandy (fantastic) and the guide who walked us through the Marais in Paris on our first morning (extremely detailed and interesting). Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
Everything about this river cruise was wonderful. The waiters, cabin stewards, captain, chef, manager of the ship, etc. Couldn't have been better, other than better airline accommodations. Met the most wonderful people. We had the ... Read More
Everything about this river cruise was wonderful. The waiters, cabin stewards, captain, chef, manager of the ship, etc. Couldn't have been better, other than better airline accommodations. Met the most wonderful people. We had the best table and the best waiter who kept us laughing. The scenery on this Paris to Paris trip was so beautiful and we were soooo lucky that the weather cooperated. Monet's house was stunning and the Eiffel Tower at night was spectacular. T Seeing the Mona Lisa was exciting. Wish there was more entertainment other than just the piano player A singer to accompany the piano player would be nice. We played some cute games. Can't wait for my next cruise. This was my second Viking cruise and I am planning my next one very soon. I would like to suggest that Viking make an effort to accommodate single travelers. I am a retired lady who is not able to afford the single supplement of 100%!!! I think you would attract more singles if you charged a 25% markup. After all, isn't it better to fill a room with one person rather than none? Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
We choose the cruise because of the D Day beach on the agenda. We thought the ship was wonderful, accommodations and food outstanding. We enjoyed the fact that it was a smaller ship and could see the shore throughout the trip. We enjoyed ... Read More
We choose the cruise because of the D Day beach on the agenda. We thought the ship was wonderful, accommodations and food outstanding. We enjoyed the fact that it was a smaller ship and could see the shore throughout the trip. We enjoyed the open seating arrangements as we got to meet many new friends. I took full advantage of the walking track to offset the wonderful food. There were a few nights when the dinner service was slow but courteous. This was the first cruise of the season, so still in a learning curve. The program director was a fountain of knowledge. I commend his historical knowledge and lectures. The tours were wonderful. It was disappointing to have the union strike delay one visit. Other than that, it was all wonderful. We have already booked another trip based on recommendations from some breakfast companions. We are going on the Rhine Getaway in December. My husband does not care for ocean cruises, but we are sold on Viking River Cruises and have added many more cruises to our bucket list. This was our first cruise with Viking. Our other cruise experiences were with another company and ocean cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
This Cruise suited our "away time" and Paris in the Spring time was enticing. The trees and flowers were in bloom!!!! and the weather was lovely. Our visits to Normandy were well planned and most educational, respectful ... Read More
This Cruise suited our "away time" and Paris in the Spring time was enticing. The trees and flowers were in bloom!!!! and the weather was lovely. Our visits to Normandy were well planned and most educational, respectful and in some situations very emotional.The crew were exceptionally well versed in the history and gave appropriate, special attention to Canadian and British guests on this specific cruise. The flowers for the graves at the Cemetaries was an added symbol of "caring". Our on board ship experience was very good. My "two new knees" worked very well and tolerated our easy access to the stairway well, while knowing the elevator was always available. The Crew were very friendly and helpful in every circumstance!!! We thoroughly enjoyed family atmosphere and company aboard the ship. Our time did not allow us to go to Vimy but that will have to be another visit. We both enjoyed the meals on board and as always, gained weight. All in all it was a very enjoyable and much needed time away!! Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We chose Viking's The Heart of Normandy in the fall in order to see Paris without the heavy tourist population of warmer weather and also to travel in Normandy. First of all, the ship's crew and the cruise director were all ... Read More
We chose Viking's The Heart of Normandy in the fall in order to see Paris without the heavy tourist population of warmer weather and also to travel in Normandy. First of all, the ship's crew and the cruise director were all faultlessly polite and efficient. They performed flawlessly and were superb. The issue is that this is the cruise that wants to be a cruise but isn't. This was our 3rd Viking cruise. We previously sailed on the Danube and the Rhine with Viking. On those cruises there was local, highly talented local entertainment brought on board each night. Where those 2 ships docked was right in the town or city we were visiting. Bus rides were 30 minutes at the most, if even that, IF we had to take a bus. On those cruises we typically walked out of the ship right up to our guides and we took off on our walking tours. However, The Heart of Normandy offered the best guides of all 3 cruises. The guides were passionate and well informed and spoke English perfectly. There were no university students as guides, as on other Viking cruises. The guide narrations on The Heart of Normandy were the best in my Viking experiences. The down sides of The Heart of Normandy are: 1. You dock in Le Pecq, where there is nothing and no metro station to get into Paris. Le Pecq was an hour minimum by bus from Paris in the late evening and much, much longer by day due to city traffic. 2. We spent so much time in buses on this cruise. The time spent on location sightseeing was disportionate to the amount of time spent on buses. 3. The trip to the Normandy Beaches was 1.5 hours one way. We had only 15 minutes in the cemetery before the ceremony where over 11,000 souls are buried or recorded on the wall. There was no time to go into the museum there. The remembrance ceremony was nice. For being a highlight of the tour, we had scant time at the cemetery. The 2 stops to see German pillboxes and bunkers along Omaha Beach were well worth it but again we saw little compared to what all there is to see. We simply had so little time overall for the WW2 Normandy aspect of the cruise. 4. Monet's Giverny was closed for the season and Vernon was substituted. We saw actually nothing of Van Gogh and his work except his grave. We were in his town, yes, but it was hardly an art experience. 5. Les Andelys was a rugged upward walk for the older passengers, and many could not do it. Once up to the castle ruins, the view of the Seine and village is pretty, but the ruins of the castle bear such little resemblance to the paintings and drawings the guides show you that you cannot make any connection between the ruins and what the castle supposedly looked like originally. There is not enough of the castle left for this to be a full day on the cruise. 6. Les Andelys was the only opportunity for any shopping. There were 3 or 4 little shops in this village. If you did not want tablecloths or homemade jewelry, you were out of luck. There is not enough in this village to substantiate time there. 7. The paid excursions were basically stay-on-the-bus-the-whole-time tours. The Night Tour of Paris was just that except for 10 minutes at the Eiffel Tower. The Highlights of Paris Tour was on-the-bus-the-whole-time, save Notre Dame. The Louvre Tour, while good for showing you the major art pieces and with an excellent guide, pushed you to the bus afterwards with nary a minute for a Louvre gift shop. 8. We had entertainment as in performers coming onboard only one night of the cruise. The other nights the Viking piano player played games with us. 9. Our Viking booking agent booked us with a "guaranteed upgrade" for our room. Every time we called her to ask about our room, she'd say, "Oh, don't worry, you will get the upgrade and you won't get a small veranda room." We did not get the upgrade. We had a tiny room with 3 drawers for 2 people's things and a tiny closet. We had no chair to sit on in the room and no desk area. The room was very small and we received no upgrade. Beware, consumers, of this booking angle. However, the room and bathroom were maintained flawlessly to be clean. Again, I want to stress that the Viking crew and program director--who I imagine were given this route, this dock at Le Peqc, the schedule and the route with no input from them--did the best that they could. However, the cruise was very sparse on entertainment and even sparser on cultural lectures or a simple lecture about life in France--because there were no such lectures. In closing, the Seine is too far from Normandy for Viking to feature the WW2 beaches as a vital part of this cruise, and Paris is too far from Le Pecq and Paris traffic is too congested for Viking to emphasize the Paris aspect of the trip. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
Our cruise took us on two different Viking longships. Our first, the Rinda, was on the Seine. We took an excursion to the beaches of Normandy, which was an outstanding experience. Very poignant and moving. We also cruised on the Viking ... Read More
Our cruise took us on two different Viking longships. Our first, the Rinda, was on the Seine. We took an excursion to the beaches of Normandy, which was an outstanding experience. Very poignant and moving. We also cruised on the Viking Delling. Between both ships, we stopped at several cities for wine tours, city tours, and wonderful local food! We learned a great deal about Van Gogh and his paintings, saw the wheat fields he painted, and visited the house where he died, as well as the cemetery where he and his brother were buried. We also visited Lyon, Arles, Avignon and more. All were wonderful and the people we met were friendly and warm.. Viking, as usual, did everything perfectly. Our guides were knowledgeable and very interesting. The food on board, as usual, was excellent, and the overall service superb. We have always been thoroughly happy with every Viking cruise we have taken, and this was no exception. It was a wonderful 14 days!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
I wanted to see where WWII was fought and won and American servicemen's final resting place. The tour was very meaningful and our guide was very knowledgeable. The staff on board was helpful and the food was very good. Our tour ... Read More
I wanted to see where WWII was fought and won and American servicemen's final resting place. The tour was very meaningful and our guide was very knowledgeable. The staff on board was helpful and the food was very good. Our tour director did every thing he could to help us have a meaningful experience. The tours were all very good and we were busy every day. While on board the lectures were also fun and interesting. We met interesting people; some of these we are still in contact with. The pick up at the airport was smooth as well as the drop off for departure. This trip was on our bucket list and it certainly met all my expectations. I was very impressed with all the excursions and the fact that it is all inclusive makes it a very good value. I would recommend the tour and have to many of them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
Dining: The food was AMAZING! There were three choices for an appetizers, main course and dessert done in a local style every night. The menu also had more simple fair like steak and chicken for those that weren't able or ... Read More
Dining: The food was AMAZING! There were three choices for an appetizers, main course and dessert done in a local style every night. The menu also had more simple fair like steak and chicken for those that weren't able or interested to try local fare. The staff on the boat made you feel very welcome. There were major delays on the road the day we arrived. We were many hours late arriving on the boat. The staff were busy with dinner but the bar tender happened past and went out of his way to get staff for us and showed us to our cabin himself. He also made sure we well fed and comfortable when we were finally ready to join the rest of the guests. The fitness and recreation was mostly on the top level of the ship. There is a walking track and a few small games. We found that we got more than enough exercise on our daily adventures. The shore excursions were excellent. The listening devices made every tour feel more intimate and allowed us the freedom to walk slightly away from the group for photo opportunities. There were a couple of tours that were completely private because the location was closed but opened especially for the Viking. The day in Normandy is touching and emotional and full of excellent experiences that you really can't put a price on. My husband and I both agreed that when you factored in hotel, food, drink, tours, guides and transportation each day was well worth the amount we paid. We are looking forward to booking another river tour. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
The Staff was so attentive, knowledgeable and pleasant to be around. The Ship was clean, Food was excellent. When you left for an excursion they handed you a bottle of water to take and upon coming back to the boat you were greeted with ... Read More
The Staff was so attentive, knowledgeable and pleasant to be around. The Ship was clean, Food was excellent. When you left for an excursion they handed you a bottle of water to take and upon coming back to the boat you were greeted with smiles, a glass of something or a hot soup. Lovely! The evening meal was always fantastic and had a lot of options. Our state room though small, was always clean, the shower fantastic and beds comfy. I only have 2 suggestions. It would have been nice to have a room with tables in it for those who enjoy games....i.e. Dominoes to spread out. There were several times when we had to leave the lounge area due to an meeting or cooking demonstration. 2ndly, I went on this cruise because I had never been to Normandy. They had a delightful sit down lunch, but not enough time for us to spend in the Museums on the beach. All in all I would highly suggest this cruise, and have scheduled the "Romantic Danube" for my beaux and me in 2017 Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was the second part of the France's Finest 14 day cruise we booked. The first leg was from Avignon to Lyon. We were taken to the train station in Lyon for the high speed train trip, first class, to Paris. This took about 2 ... Read More
This was the second part of the France's Finest 14 day cruise we booked. The first leg was from Avignon to Lyon. We were taken to the train station in Lyon for the high speed train trip, first class, to Paris. This took about 2 hours. We were met by a Viking representative and taken by small luxury van to the port in Le Pecq outside of Paris. Our embarkation was smooth and within minutes we were in our room. Lunch was also being served for the new passengers and it was nice to be well rested and able to take advantage of the ship at this time. This leg we also chose the lowest category as we did not wish to have a balcony due to the time of year (October) and being told that sometimes the ships are stacked and you are facing another ship. Considering how little time we spent in our room, we are glad we did not spend the extra money. We were in room 123, which was the opposite side from our room on the Delling the previous week. We preferred the even side as in most ports we were facing the river, not the port. The room is well planned and lit. There is room under the bed for luggage, a water bottled filled daily on your desk, small listening devices for the tours (make sure they are always charged and take them with you for every tour), as well as a real hair dryer, not like some that we have had on ocean cruises. The bathroom is small but plenty of room for toiletries and great water pressure in the shower. The room is impeccably clean and remained that way throughout the cruise. Let me say now that the staff on the Rinda was wonderful. From the captain to the kitchen staff, to the great Program Director, Susann, they could not have been more friendly or helpful. The; ship is beautiful and clean. The food is outstanding with so many choices. The wait staff if also amazing. We tried to keep the same server thoughout and we had the most wonderful waiter, Paul. He took care of our table of 5 women and one man with humor and perfect service. I highly recommend taking advantage of the included walking tours. They are filled with good information and will provide you a glimpse of the town where you may choose tor return on your own. Paris: We opted for the Paris City Tour with Louvre Optional Excursion, but you could simply do the city tour for free and stay in the city until the shuttle returned. By bus we drove through the city seeing the Champs-elysees, a photo stop at the Eiffel Tower and a stop at Notre Dame Cathedral. Here we had a tour and time to explore on our own. Due to the timing of this excursion, rather than returning to the ship for lunch, we had lunch at a local cafe which was included. It was cool but nice enough to sit outside. Nothing like sitting in an outdoor cafe in Paris! From here we continue on to the Louvre. We had a tour guide who showed us the highlights. We actually got to see the Mona Lisa up front as the crowds were so small in October. We had some time to visit an amazing chocolate shop within the Louvre, La Maison du Chocolat. Wow! Some of the best chocolate ever. Great tour. Vernon: We oped for the Monet Foundation tour in Giverny that included the house and gardens. We were concerned that in October there might not be much to see in the garden but we were wrong. Beautiful colors everywhere! We had plenty of time to shop both in the Monet shop and in the town and visit the church where Monet is buried. This was a fabulous, included excursion. In the afternoon we took the walking tour of Vernon. This turned out to be one of our favorite towns. Our guide was wonderful and the shopping was really good! Very scenic. Rouen: Took the walking tour of Rouen in the afternoon and it is a beautiful town where you can get right off the ship and explore on your own. Beautiful architecture and history and great shopping, too! The cathedral is beautiful and the church dedicated to St. Joan of Arc is modern but also beautiful. There was a festival going on and it was extremely busy and crowded but that didn't take away from our enjoying of Rouen. Rouen, day 2, to Normandy: The Normandy beaches tour is an all day tour and included. We began in Arromanches for a tour of the museum that included a movie about the Normandy invasion. Very informative and sobering. Lunch was included here and we did have time to shop in this beautiful seaside town. Next we drove to Longues sur Mer to see the various gun batteries along the sea. Many still remain and it is hard to believe such ugliness could have been in the beautiful place. We then went to the American cemetery. It is hard to describe this place and all that it means. When we got off the bus we were given long stemmed roses to place on a grave. My husband and I looked for soldiers from our state. There was a ceremony at the memorial where all veterans in our group participated. It was moving and very sad. When they played taps, there was not one person with dry eyes. Our program director was probably the most emotional and she isn't American. We had time to visit the museum here, too, and it is heartbreaking and moving but a must see. We then went to Omaha Beach were we could walk on the beach and view the beautiful memorial there. This is one of the most important tours we have ever taken. There is also a tour for Canadians and Brits. Highly recommended. It is a long day, but worth it. Les Andelys: Beautiful town. We did not take the walking tour as my husband got a virus and wasn't feeling up to climbing to the castle, which was OK by me! We walked the town on our own and did some shopping and returned to the ship. It was another beautiful day so I found a nice spot and read looking out over this picturesque town! Getting back to my husband, he did not make it to dinner that night because he wanted to feel better for our trip to Versailles the next day. I went to dinner and saw they were serving French onion soup and I asked our waiter if I could get a bowl to take to my husband. Not 2 minutes later, Susann, our Program Director, came to my table with a tray with soup and break and butter for him. I walked with her to our room to give it to him and he was so shocked an happy. From then on every time she saw us she would ask how he was. That is the kind of service you receive on this ship! Paris: We opted for the Versailles excursion. We drove to Versailles where we were put into groups for the tour. We had a great tour guide who was British and really knew his way around! His tour was informative and fun. We toured the gardens first and they were beautiful but Paris had recently had a frost and all the flowers were gone. Still beautiful in the October sun and blue sky! The inside tour was very informative and beautiful. If you don't want to pay for this excursion, the staff will happily show you how to get a bus from the port to Versailles. There you can pay your own admission but in busy times, this may not be the best way to go. We were there in October and it was still very busy and having a guide was very helpful. We returned to the ship for lunch. You could also opt to get a shuttle into the city and do your own thing all day until the shuttle returned at 6:00 PM. There were many folks who did this. There is a Paris by Night excursion and our friends had told us it was just drive by's. I guess if you haven't seen Paris at night it would be worth it, but just know you do not stop anywhere. Disembarking was quick and we were transported to the airport. Some were opting for an extension in Paris or on their own. There are many presentations throughout the week as well as food sampling and special menus for both lunch and dinner. There are games in the bar at night, music playing and many fun things to do. The majority of the people on this cruise are in their 50's or 60's although you may find younger people. But this doesn't mean quiet and stodgy! These people like to party! Most are very well traveled and very friendly. On such a small cruise you are bound to meet people that you will enjoy dinner with as well as the excursion. This was one of the best things about this cruise! We had the beverage package even though you do have wine and beer included for lunch and dinner. I'm glad we did but not sure I would to it again. We loved this entire cruise. People ask if we preferred the southern cruise over the northern and there is no way to answer that. They are both spectacular in the sites and experiences. We are so looking forward to our next Viking River Cruise next December for the Christmas markets. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
We initially were going on the rhine getaway but due to surgery had to postpone. This was our second choice but so glad we chose it! All venues/tours were outstanding. That said, we didn't enjoy Versailles - it was just too ... Read More
We initially were going on the rhine getaway but due to surgery had to postpone. This was our second choice but so glad we chose it! All venues/tours were outstanding. That said, we didn't enjoy Versailles - it was just too incredibly crowded. The entire staff of the rinda was fantastic. The food was spectacular! We upgraded to the silver spirits package just to avoid the hassle of a tab and enable us to have top shelf spirits. We took advantage of every tour offered but paid for a couple extras. We had little "down time" but that was okay - the evening cocktail hour and dinners made up for it. We kept a journal while there and picked up books at venues....lourve, giverney, etc. so we will be able to revisit our fun times. Be sure you layer your clothing. We were cooler than anticipated. We plan to cruise again with Viking....maybe an ocean cruise.. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
First time cruise for my husband and I . Loved Loved the whole experience . Will do again in the near future . Totally impressed upon arrival in France when we were met by staff and immediately taken to a clean modern shuttle that took us ... Read More
First time cruise for my husband and I . Loved Loved the whole experience . Will do again in the near future . Totally impressed upon arrival in France when we were met by staff and immediately taken to a clean modern shuttle that took us straight to the ship , Same with disembarking , luggage was collected and dispatched to the proper transportation vehicle depending where people were going next , staff stayed with us thru airport until we checked in . The cruise staff was first class , attentive , friendly , courteous . From a personal experience they went above and beyond to get the attention I needed. Our Program Director was exceptional . All onshore excursions were staffed with knowledgeable , friendly guides . Every evening the next day activities were reviewed , questions answered and accommodations made. Viking River Cruises are worth every penny . First Class Thank you for a wonderful experience Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
Everything on our cruise was wonderful. Enjoyed the cabin, the public spaces. Tours off ship were great. Really enjoyed Ken's talks & the commentary on the tours. Also, thank him for his pictures, we bought the thumb drive ... Read More
Everything on our cruise was wonderful. Enjoyed the cabin, the public spaces. Tours off ship were great. Really enjoyed Ken's talks & the commentary on the tours. Also, thank him for his pictures, we bought the thumb drive & really enjoyed them. Food was terrific, the best scrambled eggs EVER! (Any chance getting the recipe??) Thanks so much. We're looking forward to doing the Rhone Lyon to Marseilles at some future date. We especially enjoyed the time at Omaha Beach & the American Cemetary. It was very special that day as it was Sunday, 9/11/16, and in addition to the little ceremony for the veterans (about half the passengers) they did a similar ceremony for the victims of the 9/11 attacks on New York, timed to coincide with when the first plane it the towers. Not a dry eye in the house! And having the roses to place on the tomstones was a very nice gesture. We've since talked with friends who did a similar cruise and went back to stay locally and see more of the sights. We would have enjoyed seeing St. Malo. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
Neighbors recommended Viking and have been on many Viking ships including Ocean Cruises. My husband and I have done extensive ocean cruising and were mainly interested in the river cruises. We did back to back cruises, called ... Read More
Neighbors recommended Viking and have been on many Viking ships including Ocean Cruises. My husband and I have done extensive ocean cruising and were mainly interested in the river cruises. We did back to back cruises, called France's Finest. Both of the ships we were on were wonderful. We were aboard the Delling and the Rinda. We did enjoy the Delling a bit more than the Rinda. The cruise director, Oliver, aboard the Delling was outstanding. Both ships were great and we had the same room on each cruise which was nice. Our room stewards were wonderful but the best part of our cruise on the Delling was our waiter, George. I suffer from some food allergies and George was wonderful. He made sure we were able to sit in his area every meal. He explained the menu in detail to me nightly and when something was being served that I was allergic to he brought me out a special dish or dessert. His excellent service was what really made the trip exceptional. Read Less
Sail Date: August 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Our first river cruise with Viking...we were met at CDG airport upon arrival by the Viking staff, whisked to the motor coach for transfer to the Viking Rinda docked in Le Pecq, outside of Paris. Lovely location for walking on your own. A ... Read More
Our first river cruise with Viking...we were met at CDG airport upon arrival by the Viking staff, whisked to the motor coach for transfer to the Viking Rinda docked in Le Pecq, outside of Paris. Lovely location for walking on your own. A wonderful lunch was served and then our cabin was ready. Our cabin had a French Balcony on the second floor which I highly recommend. It is easy to make new friends because at all your meals it is open seating. At breakfast we met folks from Maine, Colorado, Canada etc. The staff is another reason the trip was so wonderful. Always a smile, there to help with any requests and Peter Jr. the bartender was fantastic and makes a mean Mojito. Some of the friends we made decided to sit together each evening when possible and Martina our wait staff was delightful, funny, and a real professional. A special thank you to all the Viking staff. Now a word about the Program Director, Ken, every evening before dinner we met in the Lounge for a briefing about the upcoming day tours etc. always a joke, always entertaining, always on top of everything while on board, on tours and he had a lot on his plate with 180+ guests to take care of. I hope Viking is aware of what a gem they have in having him on board and all the staff that we met while on this cruise from Paris to Normandy. Magnifique! Je vous remercie! a la prochaine! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We are seasoned ocean cruisers with 24 cruises under our belts and wanted to try River cruising. We’ve sailed on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, Costa, Princess and Holland America. Needless to say this was our first ... Read More
We are seasoned ocean cruisers with 24 cruises under our belts and wanted to try River cruising. We’ve sailed on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, Costa, Princess and Holland America. Needless to say this was our first Viking River Cruise . . . we purchased it over a year in advance, paid in full, due to the special deal (it was a great deal) we decided on making it an, “all inclusive”, by purchasing air and so glad we did. We had great flights, Kansas City to Detroit, Detroit to Rome on Delta all on time. We did not upgrade to the Comfort Plus seats but considered it but by the time we got our air flight information the Comfort Plus seats were sold out. Not a big deal our seats were fine. Food was served and in flight movies made the time go by quickly. CDG airport is huge and we seemed to taxi for at least 30 minutes before we arrived at the gate. We got our steps in (fitbit cult members) from the gate to immigrations/passport stamped and on our way to baggage claim. Once we had our bags we located the Viking staff that had our names on their list and we were directed to a seating area to wait for others. Once everyone arrived (not long) we were walked to the bus and drove to the Viking Rinda River Boat docked in Le Pecq. We arrived before cabins were available; bags were stored for delivery to the cabin. We explored the boat, were served a wonderful lunch, did a little more exploring and then our cabin was ready. Unlike any experience on our other cruises, we were escorted to our cabin (115) and explained every feature and how it worked. What a nice touch. We did find out that if the room was too hot you can only adjust the thermostat by 5 degrees. If you turn it down 6 degrees it just goes back to the original temperature. This is GOOD to know. We enjoyed the heated bathroom floor. While the room was small the storage was fine and we selected this cabin knowing the size. We were not in the cabin that much. Our friends had the room across the hall (116) which had a sewer odor but otherwise it was laid out the same as ours. A quick walk to the front and up the stairs was the dining room on deck two. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining room. Breakfast and lunch were served buffet style with menu options. We normally just had the buffet but others at our table did try some menu options at breakfast and lunch and they enjoyed them with salads from the buffet. We also had regional French food served one day at lunch and it was very good. All meals are open seating and we met a couple from Florida the first evening at dinner and we had a nice table for 6 each evening at dinner. The dinners were fantastic the first 3 nights and after that they became just okay. Soda, beer and wine are included with lunch and dinner and flowed freely. Everyone we talked with enjoyed the included drinks. The staff is another reason the trip was so wonderful. They wear many hats. Ivan escorted us to our cabin and did the outstanding job of explaining all the features and functions. He and Norman were our wait staff that did an outstanding job at every meal. Always friendly and funny while being real professionals. Ken, our Program Director, kept us informed every evening with a before dinner briefing of the upcoming day’s events. He was a very busy man keeping on top of everything on the ship, on tours, and all 190 guests. We talked with him one day as he’s American and has lived in France 20 years with his wife and 5 kids! He’s a great guy and takes the time to make sure everyone is taken care of. We took the included and purchased optional tours and all were enjoyable. The walking was just about right. Bottled water was available for all tours. Viking hires great local tour guides for all the city tours. On our final day, the trip to the airport was outstanding, with Viking , not only did we get a bus ride to the airport, but on arrival we were escorted to check-in and assisted with the process. This was WONDERFUL, bag tags, were not printed and additional assistance was needed. Once our bags were checked in we were walked to Security and bid safe travels home... now that was extra service! We enjoyed our River cruise from Paris to Normandy so much we’ve booked a Viking Ocean Cruise on the Sea. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2016
this was our second VRC cruise - my husband surprised me two years earlier with a VRC cruise on the Danube for our 40th wedding anniversary - which was amazing!! so we planned another one and included several family and friends - this ... Read More
this was our second VRC cruise - my husband surprised me two years earlier with a VRC cruise on the Danube for our 40th wedding anniversary - which was amazing!! so we planned another one and included several family and friends - this time from Paris to Normandy and back...we all enjoyed every minute of it - the staff was warm, friendly and engaging...the food was excellent - every night a different French experience!....our cabin was comfortable and always impeccably clean - I love lying in bed every morning with the curtains open, sipping coffee and watching the countryside glide by our balcony!...the excursions were perfect - Monet's gardens!, the Louvre, Notre Dame, Versailles, Rouen, Normandy and so many more!! our only complaints: - too short: we all wished we had at least another day in each port...but it was like an overview - we're all talking about going back and either doing the same cruise all over again or renting a flat in Paris for a month!! - pillows: maybe we Americans are just used to lots of substantial pillows for sleeping, but every one of us were disappointed in the limp pillows on the beds - must be a European thing?!? Read Less
Sail Date: August 2016
We were especially interested in the combination of Paris and the Normandy Beaches aspects. The ship, staff, food, shore excursions, and all travel logistics were excellent! Not as many castles as some other cruises, but very much enjoyed ... Read More
We were especially interested in the combination of Paris and the Normandy Beaches aspects. The ship, staff, food, shore excursions, and all travel logistics were excellent! Not as many castles as some other cruises, but very much enjoyed the Seine River views of French villages and countryside. Had time to explore Paris, both on our own and with guided tours, both before departure and last day before leaving for home. The Normandy Beaches full-day excursion was very educational, emotional, and moving. For us personally it was the best part of the cruise. So much to see, had to pick and choose what we most wanted to see. The tours of The Louvre, Versailles, and Monet's gardens and home were great, both visually and educationally. The tour guides were excellent. This was our first river cruise and it was wonderful. The combination of excellent food and wine, service, and accommodations made the Viking cruise a great experience. Will definitely do it again with Viking! Read Less
Viking Rinda Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 1.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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