1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Viking Heimdal
For context we are a couple in our mid forties who have taken many ocean cruises. We took the "France's Finest" trip which is two 1 week itineraries combined. This is a review of Portraits of Southern France on the Viking Heimdal. Viking handled the transfer between Paris and Chalone sur Saone to get us from the Viking Neptune to the Heimdal. It was handled very smoothly. The lunch stop in Dijon included a brief city tour by foot and a small amount of time for shopping. It is a long journey on the bus but it isn't too bad. Upon arrival at the Heimdal we were shown straight to our cabin. Our stateroom was a good size. It seemed smaller than our room on the Neptune but the ship is obviously fairly new and everything was in very good shape. The bathroom was large and modern and had heated floor and glass door shower. There was ample hot water and good water pressure. We had ample storage space. We were happy we hadn't paid for a balcony because the way the ship docked most days (right up against the pier or tethered to another ship) there would have been few opportunities to comfortably use it. We did have a french balcony and it was nice to be able to open the door for fresh air. The cabin had many outlets, both north american and european as well as a USB port. The bed was large and comfortable. There was a mini fridge in the room. The supplied toiletries had a very strong citrus scent. They provide a hair dryer and face cloths. The room did not have black out curtains. The ship was very stable and there was little noise in the room. The staff are very friendly. We appreciated the availability of a concierge to assist with land arrangements. Program director was not very engaging and could not read or control a crowd. Twice daily housekeeping was well done and we never saw our room steward, they were very efficient and discreet. We found the ship was very well organized, everything ran much more smoothly than a standard ocean cruise. Less paperwork, less lining up and waiting, less bureaucracy. We were celebrating our anniversary while onboard and we got special cake one night at dinner. The itinerary was well paced and included one morning and one afternoon (on different days) of sailing which was very relaxing. Also there was never a requirement to participate in any of the included tours so you could spend the entire week relaxing on board if you so chose. There were many tours included in the price plus some optionals at extra cost. We did not do most of the provided city tours because the pace was much too slow for us. They did offer "leisurely tours" for those who were of limited mobility which kept the pace of the other tours up a bit. I think the average age on this cruise was 65. The ship provides a detailed map of each port and the ship generally docks in the center of town so you can easily walk to all of the sights if you prefer to explore independently. The night walk in Viviers was wonderful. The tour of Avignon was very interesting. We were unable to dock in Tarascon as outlined on the itinerary so we spent an extra night docked in Avignon. Viking ensured that the excursions went on as planned and they also sailed up the river to the famous bridge after dinner one of those nights for a photo op. The optional excursion to Pont du Gard was very good, well worth seeing. There is an included possible tour in Vienne of the Gallo Roman museum...DO NOT DO IT! The amount of time spent at the museum is not worth the trouble of going. The museum itself is nice but the best part is the yard which is full of actual ruins. The tour does not include time to explore the yard however and you are told this upfront. We decided to leave the group and tour the yard ourselves while the others were inside. Also, be aware that this tour does not include a visit to the roman amphitheatre but you will see the temple of Augustus and Livia in town. The food was okay but nothing spectacular. Our largest complaint about the entire cruise was the dinners in the dining room. Each evening was a 2 hour ordeal. We enjoy a nice dinner out but sometimes you just want to eat and then relax. The cruise is meant to be social with one seating for dinner and no assigned seats. You sit with different people each night and socialize. It becomes tiring night after night. Thankfully they do offer an alternative to the long dinner, you can dine on the terrace. There is a set menu of 5 or 6 items that does not change during the week and the nightly dessert is available. There is limited seating but it is casual and faster than the dining room. Tips do not automatically go on the bill but you can charge them to your room when you settle your account. There were cool towels on arrival, bottled water available for each excursion, umbrellas available to borrow, free wifi which was slow in the cabin, coffee machine, cookies in the afternoon, turn down service, free wine with lunch and dinner, a daily briefing on upcoming events, prompt laundry service, water is provided in room daily but not enough for 2 people. This is not a cruise for children which adds to relaxing vibe of the ship. We were surprised to learn that Viking does not offer much for customer loyalty. Returning guests get $200 off the price (which amounts to nothing) and it's only valid if you travel within 2 years. The service and product are very good and are enough to bring guests back but we are used to much better perks for repeat business.

Viking Cruise France's Finest Portaits of Southern France

Viking Heimdal Cruise Review by alapbs2

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2015
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: French Balcony
For context we are a couple in our mid forties who have taken many ocean cruises. We took the "France's Finest" trip which is two 1 week itineraries combined. This is a review of Portraits of Southern France on the Viking Heimdal.

Viking handled the transfer between Paris and Chalone sur Saone to get us from the Viking Neptune to the Heimdal. It was handled very smoothly. The lunch stop in Dijon included a brief city tour by foot and a small amount of time for shopping. It is a long journey on the bus but it isn't too bad. Upon arrival at the Heimdal we were shown straight to our cabin.

Our stateroom was a good size. It seemed smaller than our room on the Neptune but the ship is obviously fairly new and everything was in very good shape. The bathroom was large and modern and had heated floor and glass door shower. There was ample hot water and good water pressure. We had ample storage space. We were happy we hadn't paid for a balcony because the way the ship docked most days (right up against the pier or tethered to another ship) there would have been few opportunities to comfortably use it. We did have a french balcony and it was nice to be able to open the door for fresh air. The cabin had many outlets, both north american and european as well as a USB port. The bed was large and comfortable. There was a mini fridge in the room. The supplied toiletries had a very strong citrus scent. They provide a hair dryer and face cloths. The room did not have black out curtains. The ship was very stable and there was little noise in the room.

The staff are very friendly. We appreciated the availability of a concierge to assist with land arrangements. Program director was not very engaging and could not read or control a crowd. Twice daily housekeeping was well done and we never saw our room steward, they were very efficient and discreet. We found the ship was very well organized, everything ran much more smoothly than a standard ocean cruise. Less paperwork, less lining up and waiting, less bureaucracy. We were celebrating our anniversary while onboard and we got special cake one night at dinner.

The itinerary was well paced and included one morning and one afternoon (on different days) of sailing which was very relaxing. Also there was never a requirement to participate in any of the included tours so you could spend the entire week relaxing on board if you so chose. There were many tours included in the price plus some optionals at extra cost. We did not do most of the provided city tours because the pace was much too slow for us. They did offer "leisurely tours" for those who were of limited mobility which kept the pace of the other tours up a bit. I think the average age on this cruise was 65.

The ship provides a detailed map of each port and the ship generally docks in the center of town so you can easily walk to all of the sights if you prefer to explore independently. The night walk in Viviers was wonderful. The tour of Avignon was very interesting. We were unable to dock in Tarascon as outlined on the itinerary so we spent an extra night docked in Avignon. Viking ensured that the excursions went on as planned and they also sailed up the river to the famous bridge after dinner one of those nights for a photo op. The optional excursion to Pont du Gard was very good, well worth seeing. There is an included possible tour in Vienne of the Gallo Roman museum...DO NOT DO IT! The amount of time spent at the museum is not worth the trouble of going. The museum itself is nice but the best part is the yard which is full of actual ruins. The tour does not include time to explore the yard however and you are told this upfront. We decided to leave the group and tour the yard ourselves while the others were inside. Also, be aware that this tour does not include a visit to the roman amphitheatre but you will see the temple of Augustus and Livia in town.

The food was okay but nothing spectacular. Our largest complaint about the entire cruise was the dinners in the dining room. Each evening was a 2 hour ordeal. We enjoy a nice dinner out but sometimes you just want to eat and then relax. The cruise is meant to be social with one seating for dinner and no assigned seats. You sit with different people each night and socialize. It becomes tiring night after night. Thankfully they do offer an alternative to the long dinner, you can dine on the terrace. There is a set menu of 5 or 6 items that does not change during the week and the nightly dessert is available. There is limited seating but it is casual and faster than the dining room.

Tips do not automatically go on the bill but you can charge them to your room when you settle your account. There were cool towels on arrival, bottled water available for each excursion, umbrellas available to borrow, free wifi which was slow in the cabin, coffee machine, cookies in the afternoon, turn down service, free wine with lunch and dinner, a daily briefing on upcoming events, prompt laundry service, water is provided in room daily but not enough for 2 people. This is not a cruise for children which adds to relaxing vibe of the ship.

We were surprised to learn that Viking does not offer much for customer loyalty. Returning guests get $200 off the price (which amounts to nothing) and it's only valid if you travel within 2 years. The service and product are very good and are enough to bring guests back but we are used to much better perks for repeat business.
alapbs2’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Viking Heimdal price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.