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We thoroughly enjoyed our first river cruise with Viking, and have already booked another for next year. The ship is one of the new ones, and it was great. The staff is always doing whatever they can to lkeep you happy. We booked the air transportation with Viking - we might have gotten a slightly better airfare on our own, but Viking provides free transfers, which were convenient and avoided the necessity of booking and paying for trains, cabs or whatever. Had some free time in Avignon the first day, after boarding. We liked the idea of everyone dining at the same time but without table assignments. We sat with 3 different groups the first 3 nights, then spent the rest of the dinners with two couples whose company we thoroughly enjoyed. The food was good, not fantastic, but they did have something special each night from the region we were visiting. Breakfast buffet in the dining room with made to order omelets was much better than the breakfast on the terrace. That was frequently out of stock, which never happened in the dining room. Lunches also were fine. The excursions were uniformly great. The tour guides were extremely well informed and entertaining. The places we visited were great. Saw amazing tings and learned a great deal. There were multiple tour guides at each stop so the groups were small. You each get a listening device (recharges overnight in your room) and you set the frequency to the one being used by your tour guide. This allows you to hear everything even if you are lagging behind a bit. We did get some free time to explore a couple small villages - we found the best croissants ever on a side street in Cluny. Cruising sometimes happened in the afternoon, often during dinner. It was great to sit and watch the beautiful scenery go by. (See the note in the cabin review regarding cruising and the veranda.) Probably the only real negative was that we were supposed to switch from the Rhône River to the Saone River on day 5. But high water levels on the Saone and low bridges meant we had to stay docked in Lyon on the Rhone the last 2 days. We still did the excursions, but the bus ride home from the one on the last day was 2 hours - quite long. A couple weeks later we received a credit on a future cruise equal to 15% of the amount we paid. Didn't truly make up for the loss of 2 days of cruising, but you can't really hold Viking responsible for the water level in the river. Overall a great cruise and we would highly recommend both Viking and this itinerary.

Portraits of Southern France on a very new ship

Viking Heimdal Cruise Review by Santagrandpa

Trip Details
We thoroughly enjoyed our first river cruise with Viking, and have already booked another for next year. The ship is one of the new ones, and it was great. The staff is always doing whatever they can to lkeep you happy. We booked the air transportation with Viking - we might have gotten a slightly better airfare on our own, but Viking provides free transfers, which were convenient and avoided the necessity of booking and paying for trains, cabs or whatever. Had some free time in Avignon the first day, after boarding. We liked the idea of everyone dining at the same time but without table assignments. We sat with 3 different groups the first 3 nights, then spent the rest of the dinners with two couples whose company we thoroughly enjoyed. The food was good, not fantastic, but they did have something special each night from the region we were visiting. Breakfast buffet in the dining room with made to order omelets was much better than the breakfast on the terrace. That was frequently out of stock, which never happened in the dining room. Lunches also were fine. The excursions were uniformly great. The tour guides were extremely well informed and entertaining. The places we visited were great. Saw amazing tings and learned a great deal. There were multiple tour guides at each stop so the groups were small. You each get a listening device (recharges overnight in your room) and you set the frequency to the one being used by your tour guide. This allows you to hear everything even if you are lagging behind a bit. We did get some free time to explore a couple small villages - we found the best croissants ever on a side street in Cluny. Cruising sometimes happened in the afternoon, often during dinner. It was great to sit and watch the beautiful scenery go by. (See the note in the cabin review regarding cruising and the veranda.) Probably the only real negative was that we were supposed to switch from the Rhône River to the Saone River on day 5. But high water levels on the Saone and low bridges meant we had to stay docked in Lyon on the Rhone the last 2 days. We still did the excursions, but the bus ride home from the one on the last day was 2 hours - quite long. A couple weeks later we received a credit on a future cruise equal to 15% of the amount we paid. Didn't truly make up for the loss of 2 days of cruising, but you can't really hold Viking responsible for the water level in the river. Overall a great cruise and we would highly recommend both Viking and this itinerary.
Santagrandpa’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin
We had a Veranda A room, third level, port side, amidships. The cabin was a bit small with just a little room at the foot of the bed. So it was not easy to open the dresser drawers, and only one person could pass by the foot of the bed at a time. The bed was fine, and there was enough closet and storage space. The bathroom was again small, but not really a problem. Music on the TV was very good, with many genres to choose from and at least 1,000 individual pieces of music. On this itinerary, a veranda stateroom is almost a must. Because of low bridges, the observation deck was never open when we were cruising. And the terrace only holds about 1/4 of the passengers. We were able to sit on our veranda with some nice music playing on the TV, which made cruising great. But others without veranda staterooms did complain about the closed sundeck.
  Viking Heimdal Deck Plans