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We booked our family river cruise through Viking and it started to unravel from day one. The cruise was due to depart from Chalon-sur-Saone, I suspected something was wrong when the taxi driver and hotel receptionist (all locals) said Viking have trouble starting from this port at this time of the year as the river is high and they expected we would be bussed to Lyon (where I had paid the day before EUR 250 to transfer from), they were right. After a monty-python type transfer back to Lyon arranged by Viking that at one stage had a group of passengers standing with bags in some far flung Lyon tennis club we were eventually transferred to the boat after close to 3 hours in a bus. We were stuck on the boat in Lyon for around 3.5 days staring at a graffiti decorated dock with teenagers urinating around us on what turned out to be a concert site over a bank holiday weekend. The rest of the Lyon experience was one of a bus vacationers dream (not a river cruise). Some five hours total time on a bus to visit Beaune for instance. The crew point to disclaimers in the ticket, however, given that high water on the Rhone is usual for this time of year the cruise line could have foreseen this, interestingly they have taken Chalon-sur-Saone out of their 2016 destination list. On day 6 we were due to sail to Tarascon for a visit to Arles, this did not happen so another port struck from the experience. We missed out on this port because of "too many vessels in the port"!!!!, so back on the bus for more shuttle misery. The staff on board worked hard and tried to make up for the shortfalls and I have no quarrel with them. The boat is just fine as a vessel. The cruise company did not plan an itinerary that they could reasonably deliver against and they don't seem to care about throwing their guests on miserable long bus rides to make up. I will look into my Australian consumer rights to see what can be done to claim. One last delightful point, we booked a suite to use the well-advertised balcony and look out over the river. As we are tied up in Avignon all I can see is into the bedroom of another Viking ship tied up alongside, I hope they enjoy the view of the river I paid for. I flew my family from Australia for this experience, I advise other travellers to be very careful of this company and avoid this particular cruise like the plague (unless you like bus holidays).

Viking River Cruises; Portrait of Southern France Bus Vacation

Viking Delling Cruise Review by JMcG

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Trip Details
We booked our family river cruise through Viking and it started to unravel from day one.

The cruise was due to depart from Chalon-sur-Saone, I suspected something was wrong when the taxi driver and hotel receptionist (all locals) said Viking have trouble starting from this port at this time of the year as the river is high and they expected we would be bussed to Lyon (where I had paid the day before EUR 250 to transfer from), they were right. After a monty-python type transfer back to Lyon arranged by Viking that at one stage had a group of passengers standing with bags in some far flung Lyon tennis club we were eventually transferred to the boat after close to 3 hours in a bus. We were stuck on the boat in Lyon for around 3.5 days staring at a graffiti decorated dock with teenagers urinating around us on what turned out to be a concert site over a bank holiday weekend. The rest of the Lyon experience was one of a bus vacationers dream (not a river cruise). Some five hours total time on a bus to visit Beaune for instance. The crew point to disclaimers in the ticket, however, given that high water on the Rhone is usual for this time of year the cruise line could have foreseen this, interestingly they have taken Chalon-sur-Saone out of their 2016 destination list.

On day 6 we were due to sail to Tarascon for a visit to Arles, this did not happen so another port struck from the experience. We missed out on this port because of "too many vessels in the port"!!!!, so back on the bus for more shuttle misery.

The staff on board worked hard and tried to make up for the shortfalls and I have no quarrel with them. The boat is just fine as a vessel. The cruise company did not plan an itinerary that they could reasonably deliver against and they don't seem to care about throwing their guests on miserable long bus rides to make up. I will look into my Australian consumer rights to see what can be done to claim.

One last delightful point, we booked a suite to use the well-advertised balcony and look out over the river. As we are tied up in Avignon all I can see is into the bedroom of another Viking ship tied up alongside, I hope they enjoy the view of the river I paid for.

I flew my family from Australia for this experience, I advise other travellers to be very careful of this company and avoid this particular cruise like the plague (unless you like bus holidays).
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