3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
It is really hard to criticize this company. It would be like kicking a puppy. They are just so eager and try so hard. Before selecting this cruise we saw some river cruise shows on the travel channel. We were put off by the passengers ... Read More
It is really hard to criticize this company. It would be like kicking a puppy. They are just so eager and try so hard. Before selecting this cruise we saw some river cruise shows on the travel channel. We were put off by the passengers being one step form a nursing home and the lame entertainment. No, all our well-traveled friends assured us. Viking is nothing like that. Hate to say it, but that's exactly what it was. Initially on board, we thought this would be our first and last river cruise. During the week, the amazing staff and service grew on us, and now we can easily envision another such adventure. The great parts were the included tours and the afternoon lectures. I was expecting super-gourmet food, and although they attempted authentic cuisine, it was a bit more plebeian than imagined. Still, quite tasty and excellent choices. The passengers were mostly American with a few scattered Brits and Canadians. I might have appreciated more diversity, but we met some very interesting people nonetheless. We mostly just took the included tours and walked around each town on our own after lunch. You can get plenty of exercise this way if you want to. After exhaustion sets in, we found it very pleasant chatting with folks in the lounge, sipping wine or tea along with delicious homemade cookies and watching the scenery pass by. A French friend recommended Les Baux and Lumieres. Thank goodness I took his advice and sprang for this optional excursion. It was the most amazing part of the trip by far. The worst part was the air route home selected by Viking, supposedly free. You get what you pay for. They scheduled us to leave the ship at 3:30 am. The car that took us to the airport broke down on the highway soon thereafter. The driver made us get out for fear of our vehicle being hit in the pitch dark. We waited in the freezing cold for about 45 minutes, climbing over the highway barrier to be safe, while the driver frantically called everyone he knew to come get us. Viking redeemed themselves by meeting us at the airport and whisking us through the first class check-in even though we were flying steerage. Three exhausting flights later, we were home. Next time, I will pay more attention to the flights and times they offer me, and pay extra to not run the gauntlet. Overall, the experience was excellent even with the aforementioned downsides. Just do it! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because of country/route/itinerary, size of ship, Viking's reputation, and the excellent price of the cruise and airfare. My husband and I have traveled extensively but had never been on a cruise before. Based on ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of country/route/itinerary, size of ship, Viking's reputation, and the excellent price of the cruise and airfare. My husband and I have traveled extensively but had never been on a cruise before. Based on Viking reviews, our expectations were very high and we weren't disappointed in any respect. The food was outstanding, plentiful, aesthetically presented, characteristic of local French cuisine, and the service was excellent. The ship, common rooms, and cabins were well-equipped. The cabin was clean and had all the amenities we needed. The daily excursions were excellent -- all the tour guides were knowledgeable, helpful, and spoke excellent English. The staff was friendly and accommodating. We enjoyed meeting the diverse staff, many of whom were from Eastern European countries. Without exception, staff members did their best to accommodate individual needs and requests. We also met many passengers that we enjoyed, many of whom we have kept in touch with. We have already booked our next Viking cruise and will continue to go on as many cruises as our health and finances allow. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This was my 1st river cruise. I would do it again with Viking. The staff and crew were all great. We were able to finish our cruise on the Rhone River without a problem. We met a couple that had spent the same week on the Danube. They ... Read More
This was my 1st river cruise. I would do it again with Viking. The staff and crew were all great. We were able to finish our cruise on the Rhone River without a problem. We met a couple that had spent the same week on the Danube. They had low water levels and their river cruise turned into a bus trip. I enjoyed all of the included shore excursions and went on 2 extra excursions that were exceptional. The Secrets of the Chateau de Flecheres was amazing. One of the owners had a question/answer time in his living room at the end of the tour. He offered us bubbling wine, orange juice and water plus a piece of praline tart that was delicious. When we came back to the ship after an excursion or shopping, we were met with something to drink that got alcohol added to it (you could opt out of the addition to your drink). There were often warm moist towels also. They were welcome with the cold weather we had in late November. All of the cities and towns we visited were great. The things they offered to tourist were amazing. The ancient Roman ruins were incredible. Embarkation and debarkation went very smoothly. The staff makes sure you know exactly where to go. We were met near baggage claim when we arrived and a staff member walked us through the airport to the correct area after debarkation. The food on the ship was always good and a variety of choices were offered. I was part of a group of 10. We had dinner at a large table in the back of the dining room by the kitchen. It was quite noisy there so I would opt to sit near the front of the dining room if a large table is not required. The servers always had a smile. One of my favorite on board events was the program director's talk on the French culture. She made it funny but very educational. The boat seemed to do most of its traveling when we were off the boat on excursions, while we were sleeping or during meals. Suddenly you would realize you were in a lock but you're in the middle of lunch or dinner. We cut lunch short one day to go outside and watch the process of going through the lock. I have been on many ocean cruises and enjoy the sea days. I will be trying my 1st Viking ocean cruise in 2020. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Did the Rhine and now wanted to see France. Exceptional arrangements made by viking to stay in Nice for three days prior to departure. Flights could have been scheduled better. Long waits.The service was unbelievable. Everyone was so very ... Read More
Did the Rhine and now wanted to see France. Exceptional arrangements made by viking to stay in Nice for three days prior to departure. Flights could have been scheduled better. Long waits.The service was unbelievable. Everyone was so very friendly,helpful, especially our cabin cleaner. She must love her job because she was always there with a big smile. Thank you. We met so many wonderful people and certainly hope we get the chance to see them again on another viking river cruise. We have shared our experiences with many people about what to expect from viking. We told them that they would not be disappointed if they chose viking river cruises. We have no complaints, only compliments. Oh yes there is one concern, VERY EASY TO GAIN WEIGHT. The food is outstanding and always available. Very difficult to resist. I wish there would be a workout room. Yes one could walk the upper deck for exercise but this does not work well when it is raining. Thank you VIKING RIVER CRUISES. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We booked our Viking cruise to celebate our 30th weddng anniverrsary, and our joint 70th birthdays. From our first encounter with your Viking rep in Amsterdam we were pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was a total pleasure and ... Read More
We booked our Viking cruise to celebate our 30th weddng anniverrsary, and our joint 70th birthdays. From our first encounter with your Viking rep in Amsterdam we were pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was a total pleasure and definitely set the tone for the begiinning of our trip. Luggage was completely handled and promptly delivered to our cabin. Check in at reception was quick, and efficient. Upon being escorted to our cabin our steward was polite, and very helpful in answwering our questions. Ah the cabin. We thought the space was very well appointed and although small in size was quite efficient. Big disappointment discoverintg we were below water level! Truly feel the pics of this cabin do not represent what it actually is. I had several discusions with reps about choosintg this cabin and was never told this was the case. We would not book this particular level again. Major part of a cruise is enjoying the scenery not staring at a water line. That being said the cabin was fine in itself. Kept spoltlessly clean, and worked fine. Bathroom again small but very nice, On that note please think about SOFTER towels.We felt like we were using cardboard they were so rough. Dining was lovely,we loved the different areas of the ship were one could dine for lunch, or dinner. We would rate the food as consistently good, but not gourmet. Choices were good so there was something for every palate. As two people travelling alone we noticed there were many group parties. From the first evening people could not have been friendlier in inviting us to join them at any given time at any part of the ship. Wonderful friendly group. Entertainment was fabulous. I wondered without the usual shows aboard a cruise how we would be entertained for 7 days.. Christine our cruise director was fabulous, from Flamenco dancing to the Beatles we had it all. Our piano player was so talented and could play just about anything he was asked. Christine also did a fantastic job getting all of us to interact. Very pleased with other activities offered such as some lectures, and my favorite a cooking class. The ship itself was an absolute delight very peaceful, and serene. Loved the different small areas where one could read a book or sip a glass of wine. Staff excellent always there to answer quesions or supply service. Very satisfied with our excursion choices, great guides and again run efficiently, and on time. We extended our trip with your Paris package. Once again disembarkation was extemely efficient.. Our hotel in Paris very nice, and excursions there well run. One extemely big disappointment was our last booked excursion. It was to see Paris at night. Somehow the van that was ordered could not accomodate the number of people there. They did attempt to get a larger van which proved fruitless. Needless to say this ruined our last night in that beautiful city because they took so much time it was to late to do anything else. We received your refund but quite honestly some kind of good will gesture would have been nice. Even a voucher for another cruise, losing our last night was a bummer. Last but not least would we go again. Yes with pleasure it was overall a wonderful experience. We hope our review has been helpful. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Viking charged a 400% greater airfare upgrade than what was available from the airline directly. Charges to upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy Air France website = $378 pp Viking = $1495 pp. We booked ... Read More
Viking charged a 400% greater airfare upgrade than what was available from the airline directly. Charges to upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy Air France website = $378 pp Viking = $1495 pp. We booked our river cruise 7 months before sailing at 50% off list price plus $445 per person for international airfare (supposed to be savings). We were charged $445 pp for round trip airfare + $50 pp for "Air Plus" to allow changes to our itinerary as we wanted to spend a few extra days in France at the end of our trip. We were booked by Viking Air Department on Air France approximately 12 weeks before our trip. We immediately requested a change to Premium Economy (slightly larger economy seat - NOT business class or first class). For this we were charged AN ADDITIONAL $1495 per person which was broken out as follows: (1) Premium Economy upgrade: +$1195 round trip per person (Houston - Marseille). On Air France Website the cost to upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy at the time of booking was $378.45 pp round trip including insurance for the same flights. This is $800+ pp above Air France's rate. (2) Charge to extend 3 days: +$100 per person - even though we had had already paid $50 pp to have the option to change our flights so we were surprised that we were paying again. (3) Insurance charge for upgrade: +$200 per person (At time of booking, Air France offered insurance for $95.75 per person for same flights with Premium Economy seats). We had already paid Viking $419 pp for travel insurance for cruise and original flights. Thus, Viking charged $619 pp for travel insurance! Please note that Viking does not assign airfare until approximately 90 days before the cruise. Thus, it is difficult to effectively comparison shop at the time of booking (which often is a year before the cruise). We could have booked flights with miles or larger savings had we booked ourselves directly 7 months before the cruise when we booked the cruise. We would hope that a company reliant on repeat travelers would handle upgrades in a competitive manner. Our experience has proved otherwise - upgrade at 4x the airline's quoted website fees. Additional Tours. We paid for the additional tour - Timeless Town of Perouges. We thought it was quaint, but in hindsight we could have passed on that tour and would have enjoyed spending some more time in Lyon. We had not been to Lyon before, and had the morning included bus tour / walking tour which was very informational and we really enjoyed. Lyon is a very large beautiful city. We wish we had the afternoon to go back to Lyon and explore. We paid for the additional tour - Walking Tour of Vienne. There was a Renaissance Festival going on at the time of our tour and the town was very crowded. Our tour guide was quite dull and we aborted the tour mid-way through and just walked around ourselves. We paid for the additional tour Chateaneuf-Du-Pape. We loved the tour and the wine tasting at the Perrin Family Vineyards. Highly recommend this tour. We paid for the Beaujolais & Truffles tour. We loved this tour and highly recommend. We had a wine tasting, a goat cheese making tour and lunch and truffle hunting! Very long day, but we felt like we truly got to experience the French countryside. All of our hosts were lovey and very interesting. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our fourth Viking river cruise, this one traveling the Rhône River from Avignon to Lyon. Each river cruise has been very different due to the location, theme, and staff. All have been excellent. The Heimdal is a typical Viking ... Read More
This was our fourth Viking river cruise, this one traveling the Rhône River from Avignon to Lyon. Each river cruise has been very different due to the location, theme, and staff. All have been excellent. The Heimdal is a typical Viking longboat: spacious, inviting, spotlessly clean, and well run. Food on this cruise was outstanding.we had the pleasure of being upgraded to one of the two explorer suites on board, and we could not have been happier. Our cruise director was Lorin, whom we met on our first cruise in Bourdeau, and he is outstanding. Local guides were excellent. We particularly enjoyed the optional excursions to Chateauneuf de Pape, including a visit to Chateau Beaucastel, and the full-day excursion to the Ardeche region. Avignon is a great small town for walking...shopping is great. Arles was quite interesting, and we enjoyed lunch on our own at L’Entrevue, recommended by Viking. We highly recommend that restaurant. Loved Lyon, great city, like Paris, but clean. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
Everything on the boat was excellent. The food, the staff and service were top shelf. We stayed in a Veranda Suite. The tours were average but the scenery was not very interesting while cruising, unlike our previous Viking tour from ... Read More
Everything on the boat was excellent. The food, the staff and service were top shelf. We stayed in a Veranda Suite. The tours were average but the scenery was not very interesting while cruising, unlike our previous Viking tour from Budapest to Amsterdam. Every place we stopped was over crowded with tourists. At several stops we had to stand in long lines to see the attraction. It was extremely hot most of the week (this was our fault for choosing mid July). On one tour, after walking around the city we were taken the top of a very high site, by a tram, that overlooked the city and river which was very interesting, but it started raining at the top of the hill. The tram took us about 1/3 of the way back to the boat and dumped us off in pouring rain. Only 1 couple had an umbrella so everybody got 'soaked to the bone' walking back to the boat. On our next cruise we will go either early or late in the season, but definitely on Viking. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We previously cruised the Rhine with another company. Relatives had done the same river with Viking and highly recommended it. We traveled with them on the Heimdal. For my husband and myself, we had been to Paris more than once and ... Read More
We previously cruised the Rhine with another company. Relatives had done the same river with Viking and highly recommended it. We traveled with them on the Heimdal. For my husband and myself, we had been to Paris more than once and wanted to explore more of France. We did enjoy our Rhine River cruise with another company, but prefer the Viking cruise. Of course, the itinerary was different so a completely fair comparison can't be made, but I will say some of the things that put Viking on top. For one, I would say dinner was better. There were more choices. On our previous cruise, chicken was never an option and it is something that we normally eat a lot of at home. The desserts were better on the Heimdal and the chef who gave a preview of his dinner offerings every night was always so enthusiastic. The entire staff of the Heimdal was great. This continued with the guides on all the port excursions. The ship was large enough to accommodate people on the deck at all times, even for meals (unfortunately, the weather was so hot we never did dine there). One thing I especially have to rave about was our post excursion to Nice. We have done a few tours of various places in Europe and anytime we added an extension, we were on our own. Here we had an included tour and a couple of optional ones. The guide in charge of the extension (I believe his name was Bart, if memory serves me well) actually met us at the airport to insure an easy departure. This has NEVER happened before and was especially great because the computers in the terminal went down before we could check in. Bart spent time with each of the travelers in our group and waited with us until things were up and running again (over an hour later) and we went through security. We will definitely sail with Viking again. My husband doesn't even care what the destination is; he just finds it a very relaxing way to travel. It is and allows us to see the world in a less hectic way. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This was my 70th cruise, first time on Viking, first river cruise. Our cruise was 7 nights from Avignon to Lyon, in France. I booked the cruise with Viking as well as the air transportation from Washington DC to France. Before the ... Read More
This was my 70th cruise, first time on Viking, first river cruise. Our cruise was 7 nights from Avignon to Lyon, in France. I booked the cruise with Viking as well as the air transportation from Washington DC to France. Before the cruise I was impressed with all the notifications and booking process from Viking, receiving many emails with updates. Some shore excursions are included others you must pay extra for. We booked nine shore excursions., three were additional cost. Our air with Viking required us to leave the night before at 9PM. We arrived at the airport at 6PM (3 hours before the flight) and were told by British Air Lines that we were "stand by".. I was shocked. The staff at the desk tried to help us find other flights, they said 3 seats were still not claimed but we had to wait. I immediately called Viking and they offered no help. 30 minutes before the flight BWI airport was nearly empty 3 people approached and yes, there went our seats. British Air Lines continued to look for flights but could not help. I kept calling Viking, got cut off several times, no one could offer help. By 11 PM both British Air Lines and Viking said "go home". On the drive home I tried to get help from Viking one last time. After talking to a few people from Viking I asked for a supervisor, he told me it was my fault for not buying the insurance. Insurance is for when I can not go, due to a problem on my part, I was ready, willing and able to travel, it was not my fault Viking booked me on an over booked flight. Almost home I got a call from Viking saying they found us a flight at 9 AM. We get home after midnight, got 4 hours sleep and headed back to the airport. After two transfers and long layovers, 24 hours of travel time we finally arrive in France at noon the next day. Vikings rep was there at the airport waiting for us, to wisk us to the ship. Check in was easy. The ship is spotless clean. Our cabin was water view on deck one, very small at 135 square feet, you must plan moves with your cabin mate. Water is replenished daily, you must get your own ice down the hall from a machine. Shore excursions - You have these hearing devices in your cabin that you take on the excursions to hear the tour guide. Every day my device stopped working within 15 minutes of the tour, I went to the tour guide to get my device replaced, and 15 -20 minutes later that unit died. After 4 days of this happening I went to the guest services desk and asked for my two last days of tours to be cancelled. Then said they would let me know. They did NOT. The next morning after breakfast I went to the desk and they said ....Oh here is a new unit, it should work. I went on the remaining tours and it did work. We purchased the beverage package and I thought is was well worth the added cost. Phillipe, Dimi, and Robert were always there to pour my favorite drink. They were fantastic employees. Food - For breakfast there is a light breakfast served in the casual area, and full breakfast served in the dining room. The dining room breakfast needs help. There are two stations, one for hot, the other for cold items. The hot section has an egg station. Every morning 10 or more people are lined up to get eggs cooked to order, this blocks the entire hot area, so if you want some scrambled eggs, bacon, or other hot item you must wait. The egg station should be its own station away from other food. AND, there is no clear order in line for the egg station, do you enter from this side or that side, people are entering both ways, which just complicates things even more. Also the seating is odd at breakfast. If you arrive 30 minutes before breakfast closes you must learn the "routine". Some tables are set, others are not. But you must go to a table that is set for breakfast, not for lunch or you will sit there and not be served. Once a table has been used for breakfast it is done or closed and the staff are eagerly cleaning and setting it up for lunch. If you show up 30 minutes or less before closing time they are not thrilled with you. 10 minutes before closing they come around and tell you....the buffet will be closing soon. There is a breakfast menu, but you do not receive the menu.....kind of odd. I ordered the eggs benedict one morning, from the menu. I have had this thousands of times, and I must say they were the strangest ones I have ever had, there was not a nice creamy Hollandaise sauce on top, more of a curd like flavorless topping. Dinner is available in the dining room or the casual area. This was the first week they decided to have the same food available in the casual area that is served in the dining room. I liked the casual area because you have great views of the river while dining. The food at dinner was good, not great, but good. I would say the food is the same level as Celebrity Cruise Line. The Rib Eye Steak was good and cooked correctly. The Salmon was poached, boring and dry. Caesar Salad was fantastic with actual slices of Anchovies on top. Scallops were excellent. Everything else was average. I have had far superior food on Oceania and Azamara Cruise Lines. Lunch in the casual area also needs help. Outside they cook burgers....ok fine, what goes great with a burger, that almost everyone wants??? French Fries.....they are inside, and people are squeezing and butting in the line to get some fries. Why are fries not in both places? The guy playing the piano in the evening was great, good music and always smiling. The staff try very hard, the majority of them smile and say hello in all places except at breakfast in the dining room. At a cost of about $9,000 for a one week vacation for two people I do not believe this to be a good value. I am glad I tried Viking. Would I travel with Viking again, Most likely not. Happy Sailing.! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise expecting an experience commensurate with TV and brochure hype. Big mistake. Instead we experienced tandem docking with no river views. We expected leisurely dinners with regional French cuisine. Big mistake, the ... Read More
We chose this cruise expecting an experience commensurate with TV and brochure hype. Big mistake. Instead we experienced tandem docking with no river views. We expected leisurely dinners with regional French cuisine. Big mistake, the dining experience was a big disappointment and food quality was not so good. The food service at dinner was rushed and noisy. My wife and I have been on more than 30 trips on many cruise lines and for the cost of this trip we expected much more. The hotel service was very nice and the cabin adequate. The shore excursions terrific and guides were very knowledgeable. Our post cruise hotel stay in Paris was excellent which included free tours. I purchased tickets on line for a private tour of the Louvre which was also a memorable experience. The entertainment on board was non existent unless you are a drinker. We did NOT have a romantic river view cruise through southern France. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
The timing was right and we had never visited any of the towns in France before. Viking was recommended to us by neighbors and friends. The large cruise ships had become too crowded, impersonal and not very relaxing. The cabin was ... Read More
The timing was right and we had never visited any of the towns in France before. Viking was recommended to us by neighbors and friends. The large cruise ships had become too crowded, impersonal and not very relaxing. The cabin was immaculate and roomy. We enjoyed having a balcony on which to relax between meals, tours or with a glass of wine after dinner. The staff could not have been more accommodating and pleasant. The tours were excellent. We are history buffs as well as wine lovers. Both interests were peaked on our tours. And the guides were wonderful. The entertainment on board was fun; informative and well done. This cruise answered all our wants and needs. We have since sung Viking ‘s praises to everyone we know who is considering a cruise. This is truly the only way to go and we are already considering our next Viking cruise in Portugal next year. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise because of Viking's reputation and our desire to explore this part of France at the time offered. We were very impressed with the reliability of Viking's personnel. They met us at the Marseille airport as ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of Viking's reputation and our desire to explore this part of France at the time offered. We were very impressed with the reliability of Viking's personnel. They met us at the Marseille airport as promised and took us promptly to the ship. We were immediately impressed by the quality of the ship. We stayed in a French Balcony cabin and it was surprisingly roomy. Equally impressive was that every time we left the room, staff entered to clean the room or leave important material about the upcoming events. Staff were very attentive and responsive. Dining service was always prompt, and the food is good. Staff were very attentive about beverage needs. We also enjoyed the happy hour that occurred before dinner, and the briefings by the chef about the upcoming dinner, and the announcements of the events that were available the next day. We participated in after dinner entertainment most nights. The ports are located right in the heart of the interesting parts of the destinations, and we were free to explore them if we wanted. The shore excursions were expertly led with experienced local guides, who could not have been better. We especially appreciated the opportunities to participate in the more active shore excursions. We have already made reservations on another Viking cruise for later this year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise at the urging of one of my wife's best friends, who had booked the cruise with her husband and wanted our company. Due to a packing mistake, I left my passport at home, and so had to send my wife without me, and ... Read More
We chose this cruise at the urging of one of my wife's best friends, who had booked the cruise with her husband and wanted our company. Due to a packing mistake, I left my passport at home, and so had to send my wife without me, and the embarkation process went very smoothly for her. Thanks to some quick work on the part of our travel agent, I was able to fly to Europe the next day and joined the cruise boat a day late; the captain of the boat apparently held the boat 2 hours past its normal departure time and waited for my embarkation. The boat and cabin were pristine, and the food was very good. My wife has a lot of food allergies, but she was able to work with our waiter and the chef to get good lunches and dinners (breakfast is a buffet, so among the dozens of choices she was able to find ones that she could have). The service throughout the cruise was outstanding, as were the on-shore tours and excursions. We can't speak to evening entertainment because we rarely availed ourselves of what was offered; we did enjoy the afternoon lectures and slide shows that we attended. The one part of the cruise I was disappointed with was that, with the exception of one lock transit, we were not allowed outside on deck for any other lock transits and very rarely at other times. My wife and her friends were quite taken with the cruise and are already planning another for spring 2019. I found that I didn't care for the cruise experience, so I will continue to make my own individual adventures and not revisit river (or ocean) cruises ever again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I have done another Viking River cruise a few years ago and was quite satisfied so chose Viking to do another one. I have a garlic intolerance/allergy which was very well addressed last cruise but not so this time. With being a French ... Read More
I have done another Viking River cruise a few years ago and was quite satisfied so chose Viking to do another one. I have a garlic intolerance/allergy which was very well addressed last cruise but not so this time. With being a French river cruise, I was hoping for a French chef but this chef was from Poland and he put garlic in almost everything so my choices were very limited and in fact on the French Buffet night I had bread and cheese and went to my cabin. The shore excursions were very well organized and I was happy with all but one of our tour guides and made a point of letting the desk ladies know they were excellent. I believe positive feed back is as important as negative. Our cabin, a French balcony was very small, like 135 sq. Feet which I think included the bathroom. I wondered if a heavy person could turn around or get into the shower but the heated floor was lovely. My friend and I had twin beds, mine up against the wall, hers up against the window, a 2 foot space between the beds. We had to take turns getting from one place to the other in the cabin. It was nice to open the large floor to ceiling door and the A/C automatically turns off when the door opens which was good, and we had a nice breeze while sitting on our beds admiring the scenery floating past. Unfortunately we were to late returning from our Lyon shore excursion to enjoy the silk screening demonstration, perhaps this could be better planned. We had one evening shore excursion which many said they would have preferred to see in the daylight. Would I book another Viking river cruise? The jury is still out on that one! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
This was our first river cruise.Service aboard was outstanding. Our Program Director, Nikolas, remembered everyone's name every time he saw you! The excursions we're great and the tour guides were very informative and nice I ... Read More
This was our first river cruise.Service aboard was outstanding. Our Program Director, Nikolas, remembered everyone's name every time he saw you! The excursions we're great and the tour guides were very informative and nice I recommend not taking every extra excursion so as not to feel too scheduled. Wandering around on your own in each location after your morning excursion is best The food was fantastic! We met nice people that we will remain friends with. During our trip, the water level on the Rhone was high so we were rarely able to sit on the upper deck due to all the bridges that we passed under. We ended up playing poker in the lounge during the days when we were moving down the river. Spend as much free time wandering around Lyon and Avignon as possible! They are both beautiful in very different ways. If you like churches, you will love this cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
Last year we reported a disappointing Duoro Cruise on Viking. Because we were offered a credit towards a future cruise, we decided to give Viking a chance to redeem themselves. This cruise, overall, was excellent. We will almost ... Read More
Last year we reported a disappointing Duoro Cruise on Viking. Because we were offered a credit towards a future cruise, we decided to give Viking a chance to redeem themselves. This cruise, overall, was excellent. We will almost certainly cruise with Viking again in the future. As far as I am concerned, there are two major factors which influence my enjoyment of cruise, the attitude of the crew and the places visited. This cruise ticked both boxes for me. Airport transfer, both on embarkation day and disembarkation day, fell short what I have come to expect. Both ends involved length walks, with luggage to and from the parking place for the shuttle. No assistance with luggage was offered or available. Embarkation exceeded expectations. We arrived mid-morning with the prospect of waiting until 3pm to get access to our cabin. In fact, the cabin was ready by 11:30am. The crew on board was outstanding and contributed greatly to the overall experience. The program director, Nikolas, was the best we have ever experienced. He appeared totally unruffled despite lots of problems caused by strikes by Air France, SNCF and Lufthansa. He is a natural communicator. His briefings were informative and included just the right amount of humour. He also greeted every single passenger by name, which really made us feel welcome on board. The ship was in good condition and kept very clean. Food: Good variety, good quality, attractively served. Drink: We took the Silver Spirits package. Unlike on some ocean cruises, getting value out of the package does not require excessive drinking. One cocktail before dinner, one glass of premium wine with lunch and dinner and one nightcap would have cost more than the package. Waiter service: Mostly excellent. Seemed to be a little overworked at times. Destinations: Every single destination was interesting and the local guides used were outstanding. Downsides: Because river levels were very high, the sun deck was closed for almost the whole period that the ship was moving. We were docked against other ships for 5 nights out of 7. TV: Don't sail on Viking for the TV entertainment. For long periods several of the channels were unavailable and all of the Sky channels were in German. If you were expecting premier league football, you will have to settle for handball. Viking do need to sort out the guest survey we were asked to complete at the end of the cruise. We were asked to rate everything on a scale of Did not meet expectations - Met expectations - Exceeded expectations - Far exceeded expectations. Our cruise director helped us "interpret" these to mean Bad - fair - good - excellent. I object to this. As someone who has cruised Viking before, my expectations were high. Most of them were met and in some cases exceeded, which means that this was a great cruise. However, I don't want Viking to use my feedback in advertising to state that they far exceeded my expectations, which they didn't. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Recommended by friends and family, who went on other cruises with Viking. We had a great time . We enjoyed the off shore tours ,the guides were excellent. They knew so much about the area. There was a good variety of activities , ... Read More
Recommended by friends and family, who went on other cruises with Viking. We had a great time . We enjoyed the off shore tours ,the guides were excellent. They knew so much about the area. There was a good variety of activities , excursions off shore , bus travel and food. on the ship we meet so many interesting people and we have remained in touch with some of them. We may be planning additional trips together. The food served on the ship was very good and a lot of variety. I especially like the scrambled eggs and learned how to make them at home. My family and friends really like the way they taste also. Dinners were fun we sat with mostly the same couples each night and our waiters were very good and accommodating . We all enjoyed the variety of food available for breakfast, lunch and dinner . We also celebrated a couples at our tables 50th wedding anniversary. The head waiter and table waiters helped with the festivities. Lounge; We enjoyed each other's company , music and variety of alcoholic beverages. The bartenders were willing to learn new ways to make the drinks we like. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
This was a great first impression of France and Viking River Cruises! As a gay couple, I was concerned about the atmosphere and how we would be received, but it was absolutely wonderful! The Heimdal was lovely, warm, and welcoming! ... Read More
This was a great first impression of France and Viking River Cruises! As a gay couple, I was concerned about the atmosphere and how we would be received, but it was absolutely wonderful! The Heimdal was lovely, warm, and welcoming! There was one minor hiccup while we were cruising with a lock gate that was closed due to a France national holiday, but it led us to a charming small town (La Voute) we would have never seen otherwise, and the locals met us with open arms- some local shop owners even opened on the holiday just for us! I can't speak highly enough of Viking, everyone was so welcoming and made us feel like family. The cruise director was hilarious and really helped us find local spots to see after hours. Each port held its own unique charm and local flare, but I have to say my favorite stop on the Rhone River was in Lyon. The city was full of energy and had so many great shops, sights, and transportation was a breeze (outside of rush hour). We extended our stay with a 3 night stay in Paris, and we are so glad we did! We had a full time Viking host that helped us find local sights, and the hotel staff were amazing and treated us wonderfully- they even helped us make dinner reservations, given we are not fluent in French. Viking gets an A+ from us!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
First river cruise. - everything was efficient, well-organized, great staff, interesting on-board activities (silk industry / wine tasting / piano player in lounge - very talented and amiable) inspiring excursions with knowledgeable tour ... Read More
First river cruise. - everything was efficient, well-organized, great staff, interesting on-board activities (silk industry / wine tasting / piano player in lounge - very talented and amiable) inspiring excursions with knowledgeable tour guides. Very pleasant to have only about 180 fellow travellers, a more personal experience. I would definitely cruise with Viking again. We were made welcome even before boarding - as we walked toward the ship, staff came to take our baggage. Attention to detail included a special rich chocolate drink on our return to the ship after a chilly day on shore; another day we were treated to a local aperitif; on another day, we were presented with a Provençal lunch comprised of various cheeses, several entrees including ratatouille, many desserts including eclairs, and tables set with Provençal tablecloths (and staff dressed in French fashion). Wines and beers were provided in abundance at lunches and dinners; table staff were friendly and helpful and did their best to enrich our dining experiences - getting to know these people certainly added to our cruise experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
okay, lets get right to it. my wife and i just got back from our firsr river cruise on the rhone 1 week ago and it was awesome. i had many concerns based on previous negative reviews, all of which were unfounded. our trip was great, we ... Read More
okay, lets get right to it. my wife and i just got back from our firsr river cruise on the rhone 1 week ago and it was awesome. i had many concerns based on previous negative reviews, all of which were unfounded. our trip was great, we already scheduled our next one. some of the negative comments are just inherent in a river cruise , many locks, sail alot at night, tie up to other ships at ports in which case you may be looking right into another persons cabin. if this bothers you, dont do a river cruise. it is a different way travel, accept it. once you do the experience is awesome. so different from an ocean cruise of which we've done many. we liked the small group and the smaller ship, it fostered intimacy and togetherness, you would get to know your fellow travelers better than on an ocean liner. they are an older crowd, no kids on our trip although there was a newly married young couple celebrating their honeymoon. very high end, everything was great, rooms very clean, food was wonderful with many options, wines were plentiful, included shore excursions and guides were all top notch. the roman ruins, the medievil villages, the winerys, the vibrancy of lyon, were truly one of a kind experiences. we did 3 extra excursions which were also great. four of our 7 stops were right in town, 3 we had to take a bus. we didnt consider this a problem, some may see it as so. it was a wonderful experience, cant wait to go again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
I went with a friend who needed someone to go with, I didn't think I would really like cruising and wow I was wrong, I am an active person and found that it was wonderful! I could run on trails right next to the River at most stops, ... Read More
I went with a friend who needed someone to go with, I didn't think I would really like cruising and wow I was wrong, I am an active person and found that it was wonderful! I could run on trails right next to the River at most stops, people were friendly and it was safe. The optional tours were wonderful, the highlite for me was going to a farmers wonderful house, having a great lunch and then truffle hunting in the woods with his great dog! I was totally thrilled! I am going on another cruise this year and can hardly wait! I also eat vegetarian and the food was beyond my expectations, it was great and they accommodated my needs.The staff was excellent, they went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed and also helped us with anything we wanted. This will probably be a yearly habit for me! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We love the all inclusiveness of Viking cruise line! Being picked up at the airport and transferred to our hotel or ship eliminates the confusion and stress when arriving in a foreign airport that you are not familiar with. If you choose ... Read More
We love the all inclusiveness of Viking cruise line! Being picked up at the airport and transferred to our hotel or ship eliminates the confusion and stress when arriving in a foreign airport that you are not familiar with. If you choose a pre or post trip there is most often a city walking tour of the area you are staying, and always a Viking host who can answer any questions you may have as well as help you reserve a special tour you might be interested in. A bus then takes you to your boat and the rooms are beautiful and welcoming. We like unpacking once and our room being cleaned daily. The food and drink are delicious. There is a pre dinner time that guests can meet in the lounge durning which the activities director introduces the next days excursion and the chef talks about the meal choices and identifies his recommendations. The daily tours and guides are most often excellent as is the cruise staff. Because of our past experiences with Viking we most likely will not change cruise lines. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
My husband and I booked our first river cruise with Viking because of the fabulous stories we heard from many friends and acquaintances. The Rhone trip to Provence and Lyon really appealed to us and a September sailing date promised fine ... Read More
My husband and I booked our first river cruise with Viking because of the fabulous stories we heard from many friends and acquaintances. The Rhone trip to Provence and Lyon really appealed to us and a September sailing date promised fine weather. Our trip was a perfect experience! Our Viking crew was certainly dedicated to making every detail seamless and enjoyable - from travel assistance to dining experiences, shore excursions to personal comforts aboard ship. Dining on board was so wonderful that we rarely stayed ashore for meals. The ports we visited were great choices for cultural and educational experiences and the local guides added personal stories and a sense of pride in describing the histories of their towns and cities. After eight days, we could say that there was never a single glitch. Upon our return home, we joined the chorus of those who sing the praises of Viking River Cruises. We're looking forward to our next cruise...the Rhine? Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
As a wine lover, I wanted to travel to the area where the best wine came from. While I could have chosen another cruise that concentrated more on wine country, my wife is a fan of history and this trip combined the two superbly. It ... Read More
As a wine lover, I wanted to travel to the area where the best wine came from. While I could have chosen another cruise that concentrated more on wine country, my wife is a fan of history and this trip combined the two superbly. It was my first experience with Viking River Cruises. I feel the choice could not have been better. From the comfort and condition of the ship, to the attentiveness of the crew, I was made to feel like a long time passenger onboard. The dining was spectacular. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were so varied and exquisitely prepared it would be impossible not to have your taste buds tantalized and a satiating amount to eat. Being that it was a cruise in France, the cuisine followed suit. Gourmet offerings of escargot and frog legs as appetizers highlighted the main courses they accompanied. The food offered was so good, different, and surprising it would take up too much space to describe here. So, all this, and then there was the touring experience at each port of call. Every evening the next day's itinerary in extolled by the cruise director in the comfort of the lounge before dinner. The ships passengers were assigned to small groups of 20-25 people. Each group was led by a seasoned guide for the town. Not only were the guides I experienced knowledgeable, they expressed how much they enjoyed showing you the town. And there is no trouble hearing the guide, because you have a personal earpiece allowing you to hear them even sixty feet away. The value of the cruise is hard to believe until you have the experience. There are other tours that may be lower priced, but I felt that Viking had everything so well planned and executed there was never a concern about fully enjoying myself. I don't yet know when or where, but I look forward to my next cruise with Viking. And also meeting so many other interesting fellow cruisers. Read Less
Viking Heimdal Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.6
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 3.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 N/A

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