Previously, we had river cruised with Viking on the Danube/Rhine 15 day holiday which we thoroughly enjoyed. Had seen the adverts for Emerald Waterways and thought we would try a shorter cruise with them. The whole booking procedure was done by telephone and could not have been easier. As we had made and paid for our reservations of a Grand Balcony Suite early we also received the Premium Drinks package. This was of little value to my wife and me as we are not "big drinkers" and would not have been worth the cost if we had had to purchase it. At the outset, the ship is as luxurious as advertised except we found our suite to be somewhat small. The staff without exception are excellent as was the food. The service provided was first class including the bar staff remembering our preferred tipples. The suite was kept spotless as was the rest of the ship. Our walking tours were interesting and as I have hip and knee problems was pleased with the pace set by the guide. The evening entertainment was as expected and we enjoyed it during the nights we were not too tired from the day's activities. We did not use the swimming pool, exercise area or ladies hairdresser etc but overall considered the cruise good value for money. So why not 5*? On arrival at Lyon airport we were met as arranged by a young man who, after checking off his list set off across a cobbled space at a pace it was almost impossible for many of us to keep up. He stopped at the station for the rest of the party to arrive and then off again to the coach. We waited over 35 minutes in the coach for a couple whom we assumed had got lost. Surely it would have been better for him to go at a pace more relating to that of the ages and obvious infirmities of many of the guest. I would single out Yana and the Captain for special mention as memorable on our cruise.
We had a veranda and I can appreciate the thinking behind it. However, the weather was good so neither my wife nor I used it. The veranda took useful space from the rest of the cabin to the extent that there was only about one foot of space between the bed and the shower room. The room and shower room were kept spotlessly clan with regular linen changes.
Had been through Tournon many times while driving to the South of France but never really stopped. The guide and tour were first class.
Apart from having to listen to discordant versions of "Sous le Pont d' Avignon " we both really enjoyed this tour - our second favourite one. The guide was very knowledgeable and was anxious that we had a good grasp of the town's history and the reason why the Papacy moved there from Rome.
This was our favourite tour for which we had been waiting for the duration of the cruise. Both my wife and I are art lovers and I have written thesis on Van Gough and Paul Nash so we were delighted to find an exhibition featuring both artists. Our guide, again was excellent and showed us many of the places associated with van Gogh.