106 Viking River Viking Heimdal Cruise Reviews

This was our second Viking Cruise. Everything is so effortless. We have very little to concern ourselves with because Viking thinks of everything. Once again the only problem that we encountered was the level of the water. This time it was ... Read More
This was our second Viking Cruise. Everything is so effortless. We have very little to concern ourselves with because Viking thinks of everything. Once again the only problem that we encountered was the level of the water. This time it was too much water. We had to disembark a day earlier because otherwise; there could have been a problem with getting everyone off of the ship. We like Viking because they have small ships. It is much more intimate and not as stressful as the megaships. The cabins at not very big but, how much time do you really spend in it? The food was very good. The waiters at our dinner were Alex and Mario and what a pleasure those two young men were. They tried there hardest to please us and make us feel comfortable. The tours were very good. The only drawback was the rain. I think it rained every day. We would definitely take another Viking Cruise. We are thinking that maybe next time we will take an ocean cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
The ships was good, the staff great. The Rhone River cruise a massive disappointment. The day before flying to France we called to make sure the river was not a problem, again. We had to reschedule when the Rhine was too low to sail a ... Read More
The ships was good, the staff great. The Rhone River cruise a massive disappointment. The day before flying to France we called to make sure the river was not a problem, again. We had to reschedule when the Rhine was too low to sail a year earlier. We were assured no concerns. When we arrived we even paid to upgrade to a balcony room. Half an hour later it was announced we were going to skip our first two days sailing entirely and be bused from Lyon for hours instead. The Rhone was high and we could not get under a bridge, something that has been known for days. Then there was a concern for a strike and we skipped another landing, finally we got to Avignon and were forced to spend the last night in a hotel because the river was flooding. That made sense, but the two hour/7 mile bus ride scheduled at the peak of rush hour did not. The hotel was cheap and the dinner low grade banquet food. All in all we were lied to, not given most of the cruise we signed up for, and then cheaply handled on the last night. A request for even the upgrade being refunded was met with a small credit for another cruise (never happening). All trust in Viking Cruises is lost. Some cruises may go as planned. Twice ours didn't. Checking didn't help this time. Think twice before believing what you are told or promised. If the company cared as much as the crew, all would have been different. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We wanted to sail down the Rhone River and sample Rhone wine. We like Viking cruises but we were disappointed with not getting to taste the various Rhone wine during our meals as we thought. They kept serving us this Merlot almost every ... Read More
We wanted to sail down the Rhone River and sample Rhone wine. We like Viking cruises but we were disappointed with not getting to taste the various Rhone wine during our meals as we thought. They kept serving us this Merlot almost every night. The excursions were all excellent. The night town tour in Viviers was excellent except the tour guide was going so fast, she left my husband and me behind. I just had knee surgery 7 months before so I was bit slow and they didn't have a leisure tor for this one. I found out that the French balcony was better value for us. I had a balcony this time and it was not worth it. We were also facing the street side rather than the river which was where the view was. All the places we visited were excellent. We stayed 3 extra days at the end in Nice and that was fabulous. We had an incredible view from our room of the Mediterranean Sea. We could see the sunrise and sunset from our balcony room. We took a day tour to St Paul de Vance and 2 other medieval towns and it was wonderful experience and our driver/tour guise was so accommodating. It was Viking's back up tour. The major one they used would not take just the 2 of us but their back up co. did. We had a private tour. When we left the Viking rep accompanied us to the airport right to the correct counter. I wasn't expecting that. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was in celebration of a 30th wedding anniversary. We loved the attention to detail, the food and the excursions. The scenery was amazing. All the staff on board were super friendly and did everything that they could to fulfill any ... Read More
This was in celebration of a 30th wedding anniversary. We loved the attention to detail, the food and the excursions. The scenery was amazing. All the staff on board were super friendly and did everything that they could to fulfill any requests. The ship was extremely clean, modern, and we had plenty of room to move around. We loved the excursions. They were well planned and just the right length. There was plenty of time to get out on your own and wander the local sights as the docks were right in the middle of the towns and cities. The meals were exceptional with many choices and very tasty. Even the "house" wines were of very good quality. We would definitely recommend this cruise and would go again. The weather in early November was just a little chilly, but not really bad. There were a few showers, but nearly all were at night or when we were traveling on the ship to another destination. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We decided to try the Viking River Cruise in France for our 30th wedding anniversary. We are not "cruise people" - the only one we had ever been on had been a disaster. However, we kept hearing how wonderful Viking River Cruises ... Read More
We decided to try the Viking River Cruise in France for our 30th wedding anniversary. We are not "cruise people" - the only one we had ever been on had been a disaster. However, we kept hearing how wonderful Viking River Cruises were. People said to go, we would love it, it wasn't like 'large ship cruising' - and they were right. Having a ship that only held 190 passengers made the trip more of a 'boutique experience' rather than a gathering of the masses. It was just amazing. From the moment they met us at the Lyon airport, everything was top-drawer. Our stateroom was perfect. We decided on a veranda room and it was a great decision. Having the space to go out and sit on our own deck was so peaceful. The meals were delicious, with fresh foods. cooked to perfection. We had a wonderful opportunity to meet, and dine with, interesting and insightful people. The excursions were wonderfully informative and very professionally done. At no time were we made to feel like cattle being moved along. (One friend's description of a four- thousand person ocean cruise they took.) The lectures and cultural events on the ship were superb: the opera performers were excellent; the silk scarf demonstration was divine; the lecture on Provencal painters was enlightening. Everything and everyone connected with the cruise was perfect. The entire week was truly amazing. We are already planning for our next Viking River Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I have always wanted to visit France. We chose the Paris, Burgundy, and Provence Trip. 4 days in Paris, 2 in Dijon, 1 in Lyon, then a week on the Viking Heimdal. The 6 days on land were absolutely wonderful. Paris is a beautiful city ... Read More
I have always wanted to visit France. We chose the Paris, Burgundy, and Provence Trip. 4 days in Paris, 2 in Dijon, 1 in Lyon, then a week on the Viking Heimdal. The 6 days on land were absolutely wonderful. Paris is a beautiful city full of fascinating history. Once on the ship, we found the crew was absolutely wonderful, the food was delicious at every meal, the ship was spotless, the room was very nice, the shore excursions very enjoyable. We had a much better time than we could have imagined. There were 171 passengers, and 54 staff. Do the math, we could not have had better service, and I think most of the staff we came into contact with knew our names within the first few days, and catered to our individual needs. The ship does not come with spas, pools, nightclubs, exercise rooms, or line dance competitions. I didn't go to France for those "perks". What it does have is individual attention, small, casual entertainment, and the best of everything else you could get in a cruise. The shore excursions were well planned, the guides very knowledgeable, and I felt I got introduced and exposed to the best in each port/destination. I am looking forward to more Viking cruises, and would recommend this to everyone. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise based upon the ports of call - we really wanted to see Avignon and Lyon. We were not disappointed both towns were wonderful as were all of the others. We enjoyed walking the cobble stone streets and learning more ... Read More
We chose this cruise based upon the ports of call - we really wanted to see Avignon and Lyon. We were not disappointed both towns were wonderful as were all of the others. We enjoyed walking the cobble stone streets and learning more about the history - from Roman times to the Medieval to current. From the moment we arrived we were thrilled with the ship, our stateroom and ship's personnel. The crew were fantastic - helpful, accommodating and thoughtful. The food was excellent and we were pleased that we opted for the silver drinks package. Our morning excursions were interesting as were the optional afternoon excursions. The tour guides were excellent. Everything on the ship ran like clockwork and we felt well taken care of. We added the post trip extension in Paris and totally enjoyed the train from Lyon to Paris. Once again, our travel was engineered perfectly by Viking personnel and our transfers worked perfectly. Our Paris hotel was in a great location close to the Eiffel Tower and provided a great ending to our trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I wanted to go to Avignon and wasn't disappointed. The other ports of call Vienne, Lyon, Arles, etc. were lovely and interesting. The winery excursion was interesting and fun. Really all of the excursions were excellent - the tour ... Read More
I wanted to go to Avignon and wasn't disappointed. The other ports of call Vienne, Lyon, Arles, etc. were lovely and interesting. The winery excursion was interesting and fun. Really all of the excursions were excellent - the tour guides were knowledgeable and entertaining. The dining room crew in particular were excellent. Viking is organized and attentive to detail so that everything runs seamlessly. The cabin was nice and pretty much as expected. Everyone on board seemed to be focused on ensuring a great trip for every passenger. The dining room crew, in particular, were excellent -- they helped to make meals fun. The food was great - I do recommend the drinks package. As mentioned earlier the dining room personnel were beyond excellent and attentive. One major issue - a virus - was addressed quickly but could have been communicated better. I will definitely try another river cruise and am looking forward to planning one in 2018, Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our third Viking cruise and we've never been disappointed.Having just come from an 11 day bus tour of Spain, it was nice to be able to unpack my suitcase and hang my clothes The food and wine were very good and the ports ... Read More
This was our third Viking cruise and we've never been disappointed.Having just come from an 11 day bus tour of Spain, it was nice to be able to unpack my suitcase and hang my clothes The food and wine were very good and the ports were enjoyable. The staff was excellent, they were very friendly and kept you well informed. I would have given it 5 stars except that the tours aren't as good as they were on the first trip. They have more 'optional tours' which used to be included. We did have to take a lon bus ride for a wine tour due to the low water in the river but the scenery was beautiful so it wasn't too bad. We did have one small problem with our toilet but mentioned it to someone and it was fixed almost immediately. Next we're off on a Viking Ocean Cruise and really looking foreard to that. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Viking does great cruises and we enjoyed ours a lot, but there was one thing that bothered us. We paid extra to have a suite with balconies, but several times during the 8-day cruise we had other ships docked right alongside us, making the ... Read More
Viking does great cruises and we enjoyed ours a lot, but there was one thing that bothered us. We paid extra to have a suite with balconies, but several times during the 8-day cruise we had other ships docked right alongside us, making the balconies useless and blocking the view when we were in port. Our only other comment is about the cabin. We did back-to-back cruises (Viking calls that a "Butterfly" reservation), so it was hard not to compare the two ships and two cruises. We took the Rhine cruise on the Tialfi first and then the Rhone cruise on the Heimdal four days later. This is a review of the Rhone cruise on the Heimdal. The Heimdal is about four years older than the Tialfi. There were noticeable differences between the two ships due mainly to the age difference. Viking made numerous improvements to the cabins in the newer ship. Some of the design changes should be brought into the older ship when it is renovated, like more closet space and storage and a medicine cabinet in the bathroom. The newer design was fantastic, especially in comparison to the older design. The older ship, the Heimdal, also had a minor wastewater problem in that the cabin smelled a little of sewer for parts of the first couple of days. Other than that, the service, the food, the excursions, the guides, etc. were all exceptional. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was our second cruise with Viking. The first one was Budapest to Amsterdam which we enjoyed so much we decided to book this one. It was a lovely cruise through the French wine region. Our only negative was the fact that too often ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Viking. The first one was Budapest to Amsterdam which we enjoyed so much we decided to book this one. It was a lovely cruise through the French wine region. Our only negative was the fact that too often we were not docked close to towns and often way out in the boonies requiring buses to get into town. I understand this is not Viking's choice but the French government who determines which cruise line docks where each week. All the tours were good. The buses they hire are excellent and walking tours well done. We saw lovely scenery along the way and the stops to enjoy the wineries were excellent. When at the end we didn't dock in Avignon but quite a distance away again in the boonies, Viking hired taxis and buses to take us to final destination. The food was great. The staff all excellent and helpful. Rooms are tiny but have everything you need and all amenities are first class. I would recommend this river cruise from Lyon to Avignon or vice versa. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was our second cruise the first being the Elbe. The boat was very well laid out,dining area was well equipped,very good lounge area and first class cabin. The cruise was along the Rhone although not as picturesque as the Elbe it ... Read More
This was our second cruise the first being the Elbe. The boat was very well laid out,dining area was well equipped,very good lounge area and first class cabin. The cruise was along the Rhone although not as picturesque as the Elbe it was still a very pleasant way to see the countryside. The staff on board where exceptional and could not do enough for us, the food was first class and the entertainment was very good. Our only issue was the first part of the cruise could not be carried out due to high river levels,all on board excepted that was out of Vikings control, however after this we did not seem to dock at any of the towns on route we seemed to moor in remote area's and where coached to the towns this was fine but it did not give us the option to walk ashore to view area's ourselves unguided. We still really enjoyed the trip and we will use Viking again Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was a multi-generational vacation, and we considered the location, number of days, ease of traveling to and from, and ship size. Viking River cruises have a great reputation, and this trip certainly lived up to all of our ... Read More
This was a multi-generational vacation, and we considered the location, number of days, ease of traveling to and from, and ship size. Viking River cruises have a great reputation, and this trip certainly lived up to all of our expectations! The ship was the perfect size, and the staff made it easy on all of us to travel, dine, relax and enjoy the entire experience. The suite was beautiful and a comfortable haven for mom, and the cabins for the rest of us had everything we wanted. The dining was fabulous, and every single meal was a fun adventure. What made the cruise exceptional and memorable, though, was the crew and service. Every single person we met went above and beyond to make the experience enjoyable, and their fun-loving nature and professionalism were a delight! The excursions were okay, and we look forward to booking our next Viking River cruise to new locales! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was our first river cruise after about 18 ocean cruises so a totally different experience. We traveled as a group of 6 adults (brothers and wives) and I can say it was a great cruise and look forward to other river cruises. ... Read More
This was our first river cruise after about 18 ocean cruises so a totally different experience. We traveled as a group of 6 adults (brothers and wives) and I can say it was a great cruise and look forward to other river cruises. Itinerary: 7-Night Avignon to Lyon. Could not sail from Lyon to Macon on the 6th day due to concerns about water level so we took a bus from Lyon on our wine country trip. Not a big deal since we were going to return to Lyon anyway after the sail to Macon. Embarkation: Arrived by train in Avignon and took short cab ride from train station to the ship...on board by 11:00 am. The cabin was ready and bags delivered so we immediately went to the buffet lunch. Ship: The Heimdal is one of the Viking Longboats and we were very impressed with the layout and design of the ship. The verandah cabin was probably the best designed cabin we have experienced on any cruise liner. While slightly smaller, it was very well thought out with plenty of storage space and great lighting. The public areas like the dining room, lobby area and lounge were also very well thought out and comfortable. Did not spend as much time on the sun deck as expected as there are so many locks and bridges on the Rhone that it seemed to be closed during sailing times. Service: The staff were all exceptional. With a small ship, you get to recognize and know much of the service staff and they were all very accommodating, cheerful and helpful. Food and Drink: All of the dinner entrees were good to excellent. The Coq au Vin was especially good one evening. Breakfast and lunch were buffet with some items available from a menu. The special Provence Lunch was a nice offering one day. While the menu may not have as many choices as an ocean liner, there was still enough variety to make most people happy. Wine, beer and soft drinks were served at no cost during lunch and dinner (and Mimosa's at breakfast) and they kept the glasses full. I thought we would be experiencing a different wine each evening but the white wine never changed (Chardonnay) and 4 of the 7 nights the red was a merlot. But with being in wine country you can bring your own back on board to enjoy. Shore Excursions: The fact that a tour is included in each port makes a river cruise much more inclusive than an ocean cruise. We had great guides in Arles, Viviers, Lyon, Vienne and for our Wine excursion. The wine tasting and subsequent bus ride thru vineyards was some amazing scenery. Program Director: Our program director was Christine from England and she seemed to have clones...she was everywhere. I was impressed with the way everything was organized and the hard work she put in. Entertainment: We knew not to expect much in the form of entertainment. We had a piano player/singer who had full computerized music background accompaniment who was enjoyable and quite a bit of dancing took place....even a conga line one evening. On one evening a group of local talent from Lyon performed and an accordion player was aboard another evening during dinner and drinks. Debarkation: Even though we did not have Viking transfers, they took care of having a taxi reserved for us at 7:00 am to take us to the train station and even loaded our bags. Much different and so much easier than on an ocean cruise. Impressed with the extra service. Conclusion: We had read that Viking was the "Ford or Chevy" of river cruises. Not sure if it was meant as a put down of Viking, but we were very impressed with everything on this cruise and definitely want to do another river cruise. And Viking delivered a really good product. One brother did miss the casino from large ships but we were mostly tired, full of food, and ready to rest up for the next day's adventure. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We had visited northern France before, but never southern France. Friends had told us great praises about the Avignon area and we had relatives living on the southern coast of France, so we wanted to combine the great experience of a ... Read More
We had visited northern France before, but never southern France. Friends had told us great praises about the Avignon area and we had relatives living on the southern coast of France, so we wanted to combine the great experience of a river cruise ( we had a great previous two-week cruise experience with Viking) with a visit to a part of France that we had never previously experienced. This cruise exceeded our expectations in almost every regard. River cruise boats have less than 200 passengers, so this is small by cruise standards, but this is just right for river cruising. The staff is very friendly and you get to know the cruise (program) director and many of the other staff personally. The executive chef on this cruise was outstanding. His selection of local specialties was great and the preparations were outstanding. Every evening meal was outstanding. The breakfasts and lunches were also very good. Embarkation was easy and disembarkation was very smooth and organized. Viking includes at least one free shore excursion at every stop. The tours we liked best were the Beaujolais Wine tour, the Lyon city tour, the Tournon steam train, and the Avignon Walk and Popes Palace. We also paid for optional tours of Pont du Gard Aqueduct (outstanding!) and Arles in Van Gogh's Footsteps (also outstanding!) . Although Viking carefully advises which tours require walking and some physical effort, and on most tours, Viking offers a "less demanding" option, some passengers overestimate their physical ability and they don't take the more leisurely tour, this they tend to hold back some groups on these tours. On this cruise we paid for, but were very disappointed in only one tour - to the timeless town of Perouges. There are numerous scenic old walled mountain towns/cities in France, and this is not among the best! Skip this one! Every Viking ship had its piano player who entertains nightly, and we have enjoyed the piano player and his music on this and previous cruises. Viking also brings on board entertainment one to three times a week, and these small entertainment groups are usually very good. The 4 person vocal group on this cruise was very entertaining one evening. Our experiences with Viking River Cruises have been great and we are already planning another river cruise for next year. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was the second cruise my wife and I have taken with Viking, the first one being the Danube 4 years ago and this one certainly matched, if not bettered the first. From the moment you step on board the service from the staff is first ... Read More
This was the second cruise my wife and I have taken with Viking, the first one being the Danube 4 years ago and this one certainly matched, if not bettered the first. From the moment you step on board the service from the staff is first class and that standard never slipped throughout the week. One of my major concerns was how I would be treated in respect of my gluten free diet. I need not have worried. After introducing myself to the female maître di and waiters at the first dinner, they recognized me at each meal time and were excellent at providing gluten free bread, specially prepared breakfasts such as French toast and pancakes and overall were just so knowledgeable and keen to get things just right. If you are coeliac you will understand how important it is to have that peace of mind on holiday. The only part of cruising which we couldn't undertake was the first short trip on the Saone river to Macon as the water levels were too high. As it turned out we went by coach to the vineyard travelling through amazing countryside and was probably more scenic than being on the boat. It also meant we spent a little bit longer in Lyon which is a beautiful historic city to explore on foot. The entertainment manager Christine was on top of her game - a real people person with a wicked sense of humour and all the other staff were extremely friendly and efficient. There are a lot of optional excursions on this cruise so you will never be without something to do or you can remain on the boat and chill out as we often did. The only downside of our trip was due to a late flight home, still being on board ship when the next lucky passengers arrived to start their week, we did think about trying to stowaway! All in all I would highly recommend this cruise, obviously try and pick the time of year when the rivers are less likely to be too high (or even too low) which can be difficult but if you are lucky as we were it is a very enjoyable experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was my first river cruise, and my travel companion had previously enjoyed a Viking cruise. Our Viking Travel Agent helped us find the best deal that would fit the sort of journey we were looking for. Everything on board fully met my ... Read More
This was my first river cruise, and my travel companion had previously enjoyed a Viking cruise. Our Viking Travel Agent helped us find the best deal that would fit the sort of journey we were looking for. Everything on board fully met my best expectations - indeed, I was very pleasantly surprised to discover my (very comfortable and well appointed) stateroom received attention no less than 3 times per day. The Viking newsletter, daily briefings and announcements assured that being on time for all excursions was effortless. I particularly enjoyed the Silver Spirits package and highly recommend it. We experienced a variety of included and optional shore excursions and was very happy with how everything was geared to making the experience as enjoyable and informative as possible. And the food! Yay for Chef Max! Rarely did I vary from the chef's recommendations, as they were always a delight. At first I was concerned that my travel buddy and I would feel a bit strange at a table with folks we didn't know, but we very quickly made some lovely acquaintances and by the third day were seeking each other out for a lively, completely enjoyable evening - we were, I believe, the last to leave the dining room on more than one occasion. Our regular server, Zuzan, I think is how it was spelled, was so informative and helpful that I fully belive that my enjoyment of my meals and accompanying wine choices were largely due to her advice. My cruise was before the unfortunate accident in September, but having spent time on the sun deck, walking laps or snapping pics of the Heimdal's passage through the locks, I had ample opportunity to observe first hand the undivided attention the captain and crew gave to each lock and bridge. I always felt my safety, and that of all passengers, was in good hands with our Viking crew. My only complaint has nothing to do with the cruise itself. When in the planning stages, I asked about flight booking possibilities for the additional leg I needed (from Bangor, ME to Philadelphia) as I don't live near a hub. I opted to book it myself since the estimated range of price given was more than what I could do myself directly with American. However, and this is a BIG however, because I booked the Bangor - Philadelphia round trip leg myself, it was a SEPERATE itinerary, which meant that I could NOT check my bag through from Bangor to Lyon (and back)...which meant I had to pay $25 for each leg ($50 total) to check my bag since Bangor to Philadelphia round trip is domestic....which ALSO meant I had to retrieve it from baggage claim in Philadelphia, actually LEAVE the airport building, walk 30 minutes to the furthest terminal from where I had landed (landed at terminal F, British Airways was terminal A East), check my bag and hope to get to my gate on time. It was not fun, especially since I had injured my left foot 2 days before departure and American Airlines told me I could expect NO assistance getting my bag from Terminal F to A East because that was outside security AND my flight from Bangor was nearly 2 hours late in arriving in Philadelphia. I would much rather have paid a bit extra for that part of the trip and been able to have it all on the same itinerary Next time (we are working on a possible 2 cruises in 2017) I will know better about how to handle flight booking, but it would have been SO helpful AND anxiety reducing if the booking agent had given me that VERY important bit of information. Bottom line, well done! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Our cruise party consisted of myself, my oldest daughter, my youngest sister and her oldest daughter. It started out being an opportunity to get together to go over genealogy information for our family. We did actually discuss genealogy, ... Read More
Our cruise party consisted of myself, my oldest daughter, my youngest sister and her oldest daughter. It started out being an opportunity to get together to go over genealogy information for our family. We did actually discuss genealogy, but the cruise had so much going on that it became secondary. We did have some excitement on this cruise--my daughter accidently got off the HEIMDAHL as it was leaving port--she went upstairs to watch the departure on the first night. There was a German ship tied closely to the HEIMDAHL and when she went up the steps, she was on the German ship. She had her glass of wine and no identification on her. None of us knew she was missing because the rest of our party went to bed. Fortunately, the ship administration eventually got her back by taxi in the middle of the night. Thanks to them for taking care of her. Later, she had the opportunity to repay with her nursing skills when another passage collapsed on the dance floor. This cruise took me to places where I have always wanted to visit, but only dreamed about previously. The weather in southern France was a bit too hot for me at that time of the year. Next time, I'd choose a different month. The dining was superb, service was outstanding. The ports and shore excursions were just the best ever. Our cabin was larger than I thought it would be. Ship entertainment was just that, "entertaining." I would love to go again. This was a trip to remember! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
The level of service and personal attention (without being intrusive) on this cruise was wonderful! In a very short time the crew members have learned your preferences and make every effort to anticipate your needs. I was very impressed ... Read More
The level of service and personal attention (without being intrusive) on this cruise was wonderful! In a very short time the crew members have learned your preferences and make every effort to anticipate your needs. I was very impressed with the excellent way they handled an unexpected situation. There was a small but annoying problem with our stateroom. As soon as I told someone they were very responsive, sending people to try to fix the situation. After a couple of tries it seemed like this could not be quickly corrected. Several members of the crew collaborated and came up with a wonderful suggestion that positively delighted us. We are very grateful to Desi, Bea and the several other members of the crew behind the scenes who were quickly able to make this happen. They have made me a very loyal Viking Cruise fan. They really do sweat the details. The programs are put together very thoughtfully, yet our Program Manager, Nicholas, also encouraged us to go out on our own, and helped with recommendations. The food and special events were fun and often delicious. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our fourth Viking cruise (supposed to be fifth but low water forced an unexpected cancelation previous year). All of our Viking cruises have been superb, this particular cruise exceeded that. Crew was incredible, condition of ... Read More
This was our fourth Viking cruise (supposed to be fifth but low water forced an unexpected cancelation previous year). All of our Viking cruises have been superb, this particular cruise exceeded that. Crew was incredible, condition of vessel couldn't have been better, food out of this world and the sites spectacular. Viking takes unbelievable care of it's guests without micromanaging them. The bang for the buck, even coming from the U.S. is excellent. My wife an I are both still in the active workforce, yet we already have two more Vikings on the books already. We also did an add on in Paris pre cruise and post cruise in Nice. We were well taken care of in both of these locations as well, touring both on our own and with Viking leadership. We always had a Viking representative close by that had a wealth of local knowledge. Our Nice representative even assisted us in getting a luggage repair from the hotel maintenance crew. We are very much fans of Viking. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our first cruise (of any kind), and our expectations were mixed. We utilized Viking air service on both ends of the trip and the embarkation and disembarkation were flawless. We arrived at the ship just in time to get settled and ... Read More
This was our first cruise (of any kind), and our expectations were mixed. We utilized Viking air service on both ends of the trip and the embarkation and disembarkation were flawless. We arrived at the ship just in time to get settled and ready for dinner. The ship was marvelous. Our stateroom with balcony was well appointed and contained all of the necessities. It was not overly spacious -- but then we didn't spend a lot to time there. The lounge was comfortable and the staff friendly and welcoming. We particularly liked the open seating at meals, as that gave us the opportunity to meet and get to know a number of other couples. Some we enjoyed several meals with, others only one -- but all were enjoyable. We learned a lot form these experiences. Shipboard entertainment was limited, and that suited us just fine. The piano bar in the lounge was fun and entertaining. The service on board ship was excellent. From the Captain, to the Program Director, Concierge, to the wait staff and the housekeepers -- all were friendly and extremely helpful. One evening, in celebration of Viking's Travel and Leisure #1 ranking we had an opportunity to celebrate with the "whole" crew, including kitchen staff that we seldom saw. That was a particularly memorable evening. The ports of call, Arles, Avignon, Viviers, Tournon, Vienne, and Lyon were delightful. Having the opportunity to "drop out" and explore on our own was great. Several cities we visited were in the midst of festivals that added excitement -- but also crowds. Local shopping opportunities were a fun past time. My wife and I look forward to traveling with Viking again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Had not spent a lot of time in provence wanted to see provencal life. Food on board was always fabulous. The tours for the most part were great. Viver was a bore as was the guide. Loved the no pressure on board. When you river cruise ... Read More
Had not spent a lot of time in provence wanted to see provencal life. Food on board was always fabulous. The tours for the most part were great. Viver was a bore as was the guide. Loved the no pressure on board. When you river cruise you must be prepared for the locks, high water, and climbing over other boats something we learned but Viking made everything happen smoothly. We obviously enjoyed the cruise because was are taking another one in 2017 this time in Portugal. We have been on several ocean cruises but really liked the small ship cruise much better. If we ever take another ocean cruise it will be on a small ship with only a few hundred passengers. Viking is always there to serve the customer as it should be since the cost of a river cruise is not low end, We are really looking forward to the next river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Traveling with Viking has always been a pleasure. This was our 3rd cruise with Viking. Our Cruise Director was incredible! He greeted us at the entrance to the boat and learned our names immediately. We suspect he knew everyone's name ... Read More
Traveling with Viking has always been a pleasure. This was our 3rd cruise with Viking. Our Cruise Director was incredible! He greeted us at the entrance to the boat and learned our names immediately. We suspect he knew everyone's name on the ship. We were most impressed with this young man. All of the staff were exemplary and went out of their way to see that we had a good time and that our needs were met. Our Chef was from Austria and prepared some very good dishes and you could always see him about the ship talking and getting feedback from passengers. Excursions were really well done with knowledgeable and friendly guides. Excursions are the highlight of our travel with Viking as well as the dining! We arrived in Marseille two days early on our own and had a local guide show us Aix en Provence. Delightful day and money well spent. We had paid for a transfer from Marseille to Avignon and that went fairly smoothly. The most frustrating portion of the transfer was pre-arrival when trying to get the logistics down with Viking customer service. That portion could have been more expedient without having to call numerous times to determine the transfer location and time. Once the transfer was in progress all went well and arrival at the ship was timely and we had a comfortable mini-van. We are Viking lovers and have four more cruises on the books over the next two years. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Viking River Cruise, Viking Heimdal, Lyon to Avignon, May 4-11, 2016 Viking River Cruises presents an attractive, even seductive, face. From the alluring advertising to the handsome “long boats” decked out in understated ... Read More
Viking River Cruise, Viking Heimdal, Lyon to Avignon, May 4-11, 2016 Viking River Cruises presents an attractive, even seductive, face. From the alluring advertising to the handsome “long boats” decked out in understated Scandinavian hues to the exception people who staff their ships to the fine cuisine and excellent local guides who make each destination come alive, Viking does it right. It is only when something goes wrong, whether due to Mother Nature or mechanical trouble, that Viking's failings come to the fore, and the promised excellence falters. We were a group of four booked on the Viking cruise from Lyon to Avignon, starting May 4, 2016. Arrival at the ship was largely uneventful, even though the arrangements for clients arriving on their own was not ideal. Finding the ship required a last minute phone call; fortunately we had a global phone at our disposal and we able to get the necessary information and get close to the ship to offload luggage. Personnel aboard the beautiful Viking Heimdal were unfailingly helpful, courteous and a pleasure to work with. The first indication that all would not be well came the first evening when the staff announced that high water in the Saone River prohibited sailing to the first stop (Macon). The excursion to Beaujolais would be handled by coach from Lyon, eliminating a half day river cruising each direction. Profuse apologies for the situation but nothing in the way of acknowledgement that a significant attraction of the itinerary was to be missed. It must be reiterated that the personnel aboard Heimdal were top notch and were doing their best within the resources given them by Viking to make everyone happy and give them an excellent vacation. Just one example, is the abysmal internet capacity Viking builds into its ships. Even the staff have great difficulty assisting clients online due to the poor quality of the internet onboard. After the third day in Lyon, we sailed in the early am to Vienne, arriving as most people were just getting up for breakfast. That day and the next couple went as planned in the itinerary, with the excellent local guides providing a fine introduction to their towns and the region. After a day in Avignon, the captain announced before dinner that the planned cruising to Tarascon (for Arles) had to be scrapped as a mechanical problem had developed with the ship. Again, coach tours to Arles had been arranged, but for a second time at least two partial days of river cruising were missed. Also, again, profuse apologies for the change in plans but nothing in the way of accommodation. Close reading of the cruise contract would reveal that such changes in itinerary are totally in the hands of the cruse line and no compensation is required. The total absence of any consideration for the diminution of the cruse offering, however, is a reflection of the corporate culture of Viking. It would have been so easy to simply offer the optional excursions as complimentary, for example, as a show of good will when forces, of whatever origin, caused the total cruise experience to be significantly diminished. We had, after all, booked a river cruise, not a coach tour with river segments. Of the scheduled 8 legs of river cruising, we accomplished 4; of the 6 cities/towns to overnight, we did 4, with three nights in Lyon and another three in Avignon. Then, the final straw, came when, on the penultimate evening of the cruise, the final bill was presented and it contained a credit (“from an outside source”, read our travel agent) that had not been revealed to us at the beginning of the cruise. We were left with a sizable credit balance that Viking policy would not allow to the used for gratuities, and also Viking policy had to be used on the cruise for which it was given. This “take it or leave it” seemed to be firm Viking policy, with no explanation as to why we had not been informed of the credit on boarding. In the end, we arranged a full day excursion for our last day, using up the credit and some extra out of our pocket. We had a great day but would not have chosen this excursion without the circumstances. In fairness, Viking has offered a sizable voucher for use on a future cruise as compensation for this last glitch but given our overall unhappiness with Viking as a company we are unlikely to use it. Finally, should anyone from Viking Heimdal, May 4 Lyon to Avignon, be reading this, nothing here should detract from the excellent service we enjoyed aboard. The staff onboard, from Captain Laurent, Cruise Director Bea, especially Program Director Patricia and Concierge Doru, to the restaurant and bar staffs and housekeeping, all performed superbly within the bounds of Viking policies. It is a shame that such dedicated people, superb ships, top notch cuisine, appealing itineraries and expensive advertising are diminished by a company that, in the face of the unexpected, places its bottom line above the fulfillment of the promise of an exceptional river cruising experience. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but the coach trip with river segments is just not a river cruise. Somehow, Viking should know that an make it right. Instead we were offered a bribe. I cannot recommend Viking. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Viking Heimdal Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.6
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 3.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 N/A

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