First time river cruisers, we had looked at three lines before deciding on Viking. The reason for choosing Viking was that they offered the most included and optional trips that we wished to experience.
We included the transfer request (pick up and drop off to the airport (CDG north of Paris)) and once away (delayed by lost luggage of 1/3 of the flight, after a bit of a wait they decided to send us off alone) we traveled in a luxurious Mercedes transport to the dock near the Eiffel tower. The driver was most courteous and professional, giving us an impromptu tour of Paris as we went.
The Viking Spirit and her sisters (Neptune & Pride) were built in 2001 and this is their last year of service with Viking. They are smaller than the newer longship class, but newer and bigger does not always translate into better! Our cabin was better laid out than our hotel room in Paris despite being smaller! Never felt cramped, and enough storage space even for the traveling pack rat that I am.
The staff are superb. The ship crew (and officers), the Hotel crew (and officers) and most exceptionally our program director Feliz Temur. She was so great! Also our chambermaid was equally so. Both ladies were cheerful, being up before us and still working when we chose to retire.
The excursions were good, the guides knowledgeable. One thing to note that out of 170 passengers, 166 were from the USA. As a Canadian, I felt disappointed that we wouldn't be able to do the commonwealth/UK tour (because who would make a special trip only for 4 people!?). I was wrong. Viking provided us with a full bus, guide, and our own trip. Because of the distances involved (the Canadian and UK beaches were closer) we also enjoyed a stop at the Bayeux tapestry, as well as visiting Juno and Pegasus Bridge. The Canadian war dead grave site was moving, and they provided us with a fresh rose to place.
Being too long already, all I can really say is YOU HAVE TO GO!
Excellent lay out of the cabin, felt spacious, everything away and out of sight
The foods, the Cidre... the music and places... all wonderful
Cathedral? Cathedrals.... Rouen is famous for its cathedrals. Richard the Lionheart and Rollo (first Duke of Normandy) are buried here.
The grand clock, the square where Jean D'Arc was burned, the cobblestone streets and modern shops...
Feliz (the program director) took us out late at night to see a light show that used the cathedral as the screen. It was stunning and so glad we didn't miss it. It was impromptu, no charge, and just another indication of how wonderful Viking is.
About 3 different tours, all guided, all very good. 1 by Bus, 2 by cars and 1 walking/metro
Viking was great, for 4 people we had our own full sized bus, our own guide, and we did the UK/Canadian beaches and the Juno war graves, pegasus bridge, and other areas.
Unbelievable!View All 81 Monet at Giverny Gardens Reviews
So crowded... so little time!View All 50 The Louvre Reviews
Crowded but didn't feel as crowded as the Louvre. Magnificent.View All 64 Versailles Reviews