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When I saw some of the scathing comments about customers’ experiences on the Hermod and we were about to set off to cruise on her, I was extremely concerned. However a very prompt reply to my email to the hotel manager on board assured me all was well. After an extremely enjoyable cruise up the Rhone and Saone I can confirm that all is very well with the boat and all the crew, all of whom from the Captain down did everything to ensure we had the best possible cruise experience. Transfers to and from the boat I always find the transfers the most stressful part of any holiday and I have nothing but praise with the way we were shepherded to and from the boat. There was always at least one Viking Representative with us and we were never left wondering what to do next. In fact at Lyon Airport, where there were confusing automatic check-in machines for our return flights, the Viking Representative did all the work for us! The Boat After three different cruises with Viking, I have no hesitation in saying, this was by far the best boat and one that all the staff made sure stayed that way. For example I noticed one of the cabin attendants on her hands and knees removing a tiny scuffmark on the wall and this was symptomatic of the attention to detail of all the crew. The Food and Wine As usual on a Viking Cruise the food was delicious as were their choice of wines. We were invited on a tour of the galley and all of us were amazed that such high quality food could be cooked for 190 guests in such a compact area. Of course when you are dining with new and interesting people you overlook how often your glass is being re-filled, which had its effect the following morning as we were preparing for the day’s visits! The Excursions In general the excursions were very good. I particularly liked the way there was always a gentle and less strenuous trip for those that find walking more difficult. Cruise Director briefed us well before our dinner and frankly it was incredible, even though there could be four different tours occurring at the same time, how often he popped up to make sure our tour was going well Was it perfect? Well in the 36 to 39 degree heat the Air Conditioning did struggle and there are a couple of other points. One that is out of Viking’s hands and that was the height of the bridges we had to pass under. Because the headroom was so limited access to the upper deck was far less available than on other cruises. Even with the handrails down the headroom could be as low as 30cm. The second point was a paid optional tour and tasting in Chateauneuf-Du-Pape. For the cost of the tour I was expecting to taste three wines of exceptional quality that I would not be able to afford to buy. Instead of which we had a good tutored tasting of the sort of wines I buy at home. I have to say it was disappointing. Would I book with Viking again? We already have – we go on the Douro River of Gold cruise in the autumn. Now which Viking cruises shall we pick for 2016?

Portraits of Southern France; Another Great Cruise

Viking Hermod Cruise Review by MichaelPeak

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2015
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Stateroom
When I saw some of the scathing comments about customers’ experiences on the Hermod and we were about to set off to cruise on her, I was extremely concerned. However a very prompt reply to my email to the hotel manager on board assured me all was well.

After an extremely enjoyable cruise up the Rhone and Saone I can confirm that all is very well with the boat and all the crew, all of whom from the Captain down did everything to ensure we had the best possible cruise experience.

Transfers to and from the boat

I always find the transfers the most stressful part of any holiday and I have nothing but praise with the way we were shepherded to and from the boat. There was always at least one Viking Representative with us and we were never left wondering what to do next. In fact at Lyon Airport, where there were confusing automatic check-in machines for our return flights, the Viking Representative did all the work for us!

The Boat

After three different cruises with Viking, I have no hesitation in saying, this was by far the best boat and one that all the staff made sure stayed that way. For example I noticed one of the cabin attendants on her hands and knees removing a tiny scuffmark on the wall and this was symptomatic of the attention to detail of all the crew.

The Food and Wine

As usual on a Viking Cruise the food was delicious as were their choice of wines. We were invited on a tour of the galley and all of us were amazed that such high quality food could be cooked for 190 guests in such a compact area. Of course when you are dining with new and interesting people you overlook how often your glass is being re-filled, which had its effect the following morning as we were preparing for the day’s visits!

The Excursions

In general the excursions were very good. I particularly liked the way there was always a gentle and less strenuous trip for those that find walking more difficult. Cruise Director briefed us well before our dinner and frankly it was incredible, even though there could be four different tours occurring at the same time, how often he popped up to make sure our tour was going well

Was it perfect?

Well in the 36 to 39 degree heat the Air Conditioning did struggle and there are a couple of other points. One that is out of Viking’s hands and that was the height of the bridges we had to pass under. Because the headroom was so limited access to the upper deck was far less available than on other cruises. Even with the handrails down the headroom could be as low as 30cm.

The second point was a paid optional tour and tasting in Chateauneuf-Du-Pape. For the cost of the tour I was expecting to taste three wines of exceptional quality that I would not be able to afford to buy. Instead of which we had a good tutored tasting of the sort of wines I buy at home. I have to say it was disappointing.

Would I book with Viking again?

We already have – we go on the Douro River of Gold cruise in the autumn. Now which Viking cruises shall we pick for 2016?
MichaelPeak’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Stateroom
Cabin F 121
Ignoring the suite’s, we actually chose this cabin, because apart from the fact it has a half height window it’s the same size as all the rest and a lot cheaper and after all we only sleep in it. The finish is outstanding; there are plenty of drawers and hanging space; the shower arrangement with the two glass doors works very well and the lighting is very effective.
Main Deck Outside Cabins