Our friends and I had heard of Viking and liked the small ship size of a river cruise. We decided on France due to the offerings and highlights. It exceeded our expectations - everything was perfect: the room, the food (extraordinary!), the staff (amazing!), the comfort of the ship, the regular and extra excursions, the smooth sailing, and the guides (very knowledgeable and personable). I learned so much about France, its history and the present culture. Everyone made us feel so special. It was a wonderful balance of city and countryside. The only things that could be tweaked are: more variety of entertainment in the lounge in the evenings (though there were several nights with special entertainers) and more time during our shore excursions for browsing - often that was rushed. It was the best trip I have ever taken and am already considering another. We could never have planned this ourselves. Kudos to everyone who made this a fabulous experience!