Invited by friends to join them on a Viking River cruise from Paris to Normandy, we happily signed on. Not only was this our first trip to Europe, it was our first river cruise. From the moment we set foot on the Rinda, we knew this was going to be a fabulous experience. We were right. The stateroom was exceptionally well appointed with the most important factor, a comfortable bed, meeting the highest standards. Every member of the staff from Captain to stewards were professional, attentive, and personable. The food rivaled that of the city, and the complementary house wines very good. The low-key entertainment, particularly the opera duo, exceeded expectation.
Having previously taken only ocean cruises, I was particularly charmed by the intimacy of the ship and the personal attention of the staff.
Every excursion was exceptional. The "big" venues, Versailles, Giverny, etc., were as magnificent as expected, but to my surprise, equally enjoyable were the less well-known places we visited, e.g., Malmason, Les Andelys. Of particular note is that every one of the tour guides resides in the area they showed, and their love of their hometown was evident and engaging.