1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Europe Cruises
  4. Europe Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise was chosen because of the itinerary which turned out to be as expected. The visits to WW1, WW2 Battlefuelds and Giverney were good. However the on-board experience was not as expected - overpromised but underdelivered. The ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because of the itinerary which turned out to be as expected. The visits to WW1, WW2 Battlefuelds and Giverney were good. However the on-board experience was not as expected - overpromised but underdelivered. The 'personal butler' was hardly seen during the 10 day cruise and the services to be given by that person did not happen. Many people had difficulty with the app for a smart phone that was to be used with one's own personal device when on guuded excursions. It either did not work, or the quality of the sound was poor. There were a very limited supply of devices from Scenic, but one was not available when the app did not work on my phone. It was after 3 requests from 3 different people that the technical problems were largely resolved. The waiting staff were attentive but at times appeared to be more interested in refilling wine glasses than providing other services. As one who does not drink alcoholic beveriges, requests for alternatives at times were not met. As with many enterprises, the plans and intentions were good but some staff did not perform to expectations. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because we have wanted to go on a river cruise vacation and at the same time experience France. My husband and I could not have been more pleased, actually we were blown away. We arrived in Paris Saturday morning, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have wanted to go on a river cruise vacation and at the same time experience France. My husband and I could not have been more pleased, actually we were blown away. We arrived in Paris Saturday morning, departure was Sunday and was seamless. The staff went above and beyond to make our trip enjoyable and memorable; to name a few Francoise, Coco, Vita, Danika, Christian, David, Eduardo, Irena and Alexandro! The manager Thomas and Valerie our cruise director were outstanding. Our cabin was room 322. It was a balcony suite and I would highly suggest that. The storage was very cleverly thought out and the bathroom was very ample for a ship this size. Meals were delicious! The ports and shore excursions were first rate as were our tour guides. Our favorite being Monet's Garden and Normandy. The towns we visited (Les Andeleys, Rouen, Honfleur especially) were beautiful and just to walk around was so enjoyable. We stayed at the Westin Hotel before and after our cruise and that too was a great experience. It was in a great location. I cannot give a negative and highly recommend Scenic. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our third Viking River Cruise (previously did 7 day Rhine and 7 day Danube, both of which I cannot recommend highly enough). Viking does an outstanding job, somethings I wish I had taken into consideration before leaving (which ... Read More
This was our third Viking River Cruise (previously did 7 day Rhine and 7 day Danube, both of which I cannot recommend highly enough). Viking does an outstanding job, somethings I wish I had taken into consideration before leaving (which are completely out of Viking's control). 1. Our cruise began on the Thursday before Easter, this led to crowds and closures at various points of our trip. 2. In preparation for the 2024 Olympic games, Paris has construction projects taking place everywhere, traffic getting in and out of the heart of the city is absolutely dreadful (this from someone born and raised in Los Angeles) 3. Another factor for crowds, a European explained to me, springtime is when many school children take field trips to various locations. 4. Finally, the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral led to increased tourist traffic at other locations. The Viking staff from booking to final departure were fantastic. We did not take the extension on either side of the trip, but booked our flight to arrive in Paris in the late morning. This allowed us to get our bags on the boat and spend several hours at the Louvre, which otherwise (due to other booked excursions) we would not have been able to see. Embarkation was great, the ship staff are outstanding. Excursion highlights, we took every included excursion (except those that conflicted with paid excursions) - several stops (after leaving Paris) include houses built in the Middle Ages that are incredible to see (Vernon and Rouen). Monet's Garden is beautiful. Out of Rouen we paid for the Farm and Country Tour which was a nice view of the Normandy country side, the farm is a neat experience. The excursion to the beaches of Normandy will leave you with a sense of profound gratitude for the soldiers of the D-Day Invasion. Having studied the history, then touring the site, I still cannot fathom the courage of the men that day. Paris at night was a treat, especially seeing the Eiffel Tower lit up at night. Our cabin steward Filip was great, the room was always perfect. I've seen other reviews where people complain of the size of the cabin, it is not spacious, but sufficient. The only time we are in our cabin is basically to sleep. I cannot speak to the entertainment options in the lounge in the evening, we never attended. We try to stay in town as long, doing as much as we can, after dinner, we're ready for bed. Several people we talked to mentioned the different events were a good time. The food is always top notch and the dining staff attentive to your orders and requests. The guides at each of the locations are always outstanding, usually locals who give you some much more than a guide who read a book about where you are going. At the tour in Versailles, it was absolutely packed, (literally shoulder to shoulder, front to back with people in some rooms), almost impossible. Our guide (I forgot her name) went out of her way trying to keep us together, inform us about the artwork, history, etc, and made the most out of the trip, she was phenomenal there. We will undoubtedly taking Viking again (Portugal, Rhine at Christmas, and the Norwegian Fjords for starters). It was the crowds that took the shine off this trip for us. So if that is an issue for you, the Fall would probably be a better time to book this trip. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
My wife, 12 y/o granddaughter and I had a trip of a lifetime on the AmaLyra last month. The planning and execution by AmaLyra staff throughout the cruise experience was exemplary. Their transfer services were well worth the money. ... Read More
My wife, 12 y/o granddaughter and I had a trip of a lifetime on the AmaLyra last month. The planning and execution by AmaLyra staff throughout the cruise experience was exemplary. Their transfer services were well worth the money. During our arrival at CDG Paris we were met by AmaLyra reps and driver and proceeded easily to our transportation. Vehicle we rode in was very comfortable. Arrival at our hotel Paris Renaissance Parc du Trocadero was just right. Rooms were ready and while waiting to register we were greeted by Ama's sensational cruise manager Christian (more on him shortly). When we learned about our hotel change (Intercontinental to Renaissance) we were disappointed but we were highly satisfied with our experience at the Renaissance (Marriott property). Super location, rooms were well appointed, good breakfast and nice garden area for afternoon coffee/tea. We enjoyed the tours of Paris and the guides selected were quite impressive. I have visited Paris over 50 times on business but never took the time to learn about all the rich historical aspects of the city. Our tour guide/hostess was fabulous. She led us through Notre Dame (just 4 days before the fire) and our Paris at Night guide Annie, could not have been more gracious, funny and charming during our evening visit to Monmartre. She accepted our invitation to dinner and we enjoyed a wonderful discourse about the culture of France, things the French people value, life in general, etc. etc. Upon completing the two days in Paris, arrival on AmaLyra was perfect. Cabins were clean, orientation swift and all the passengers seemed to enjoy the wonderful welcome to AmaLyra's welcome aboard buffet of light snacks, drink and dessert. During the Captain's welcome reception I realized a river cruise was going to be much more intimate than your standard ocean cruise. The ship's officers were introduced which seemed to delight the passengers. The Hotel/Restaurant manager Violetta stole the show. She has an effervescent personality and was highly visible throughout the cruise. My wife particularly enjoyed the white wine (Sauvignon Blanc) served during the welcome reception and Violetta made sure it was available to my wife at lunch and dinner for the rest of the cruise (same goes for the Merlot offered at the welcome reception). The remainder of staff was excellent and we offer high kudos to several staff members. First goes to Wellness Director, Vladimir. He has enormous credibility by virtue of his study of anatomy in university. Having trained numerous world class athletes and being a former professional basketball player himself, Vladimir kept our attention as he demonstrated how to do particular core strengthening and stretching exercises but also added the why they are done a certain way and the benefit of following his technique. Since many of the early morning classes weren't highly attended it felt like a personal training session for the 4-5 regulars. Outstanding! Our head waiter Ioan, who was assisted by bar waitress Alexandra, made our meal times so special. Both were extremely accommodating in honoring our requests. Their people skills are exceptional and I was so impressed with how they handled insensitive remarks and unusual requests. Our granddaughter thoroughly enjoyed her interactions with Ioan. He really made her feel special which delighted my wife and me. Having been in the people business for almost 40 years, I especially appreciated the high level of professionalism in which they served the AmaLyra passengers. We sat in their section for every single meal - - that's how much we enjoyed our week with them. We were very sad to say goodbye to Ioan and Alexandra. Our dining experience really could not have been better. Our cabin attendant George was excellent as well and we loved his dry Romanian sense of humor. He worked very hard during our week and our cabins looked like Day 1 newly made - - every single day - - which wasn't easy considering some of the messes the girls made in their cabin - - LOL. I don't remember the name of the head chef but he and his staff did an excellent job with menu selection and overall food prep. We gravitated to the chef's recommendations each night and were especially impressed with the high standard of roasted/rotisserie meat preparation at dinner. Some of the entree offerings at lunchtime were wonderful surprises. I loved the champagne and oyster reception hosted by the captain on our 6th day prior to lunch and then the delicious steamed mussels finished in a garlic cream sauce served at lunch. Unbelievable how good that dish was! Lastly the cruise director, Christian, offered a level of enthusiasm and professionalism that would be hard to match at any cruise line (Ocean or River). He was exceptional. He never took anything for granted. His briefings on board about shore excursions were highly useful; his attention to detail to ensure nothing was overlooked (by staff or passengers) was world class. One of my favorite expressions throughout my sales leadership career was, "People don't care how much you know - - until they know how much you care". Every passenger on the AmaLyra knew Christian cared deeply about each of us having a special experience. This was best highlighted by Christian's extraordinary behind the scenes actions to ensure that one of the AmaLyra passengers injured during a biking tour, was well cared for in a Rouen hospital while the ship continued to sail. He also made sure the injured passenger's wife was updated on a regular basis and ensured she was well cared for while her husband was in hospital. If the owners of AmaLyra could have seen Christian in action, they would have been so proud. Just amazing, and inspiring. It was a wonderful, unforgettable memory we made with our granddaughter. We look forward to sailing with Ama again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
7 days, Good destinations. Normandy was incredibly worth going to. The only big disappointment was the 3 hour bus tour in Paris. I had expected to be able to stop more often for photo opportunities - not just the Eiffel Tower. The ... Read More
7 days, Good destinations. Normandy was incredibly worth going to. The only big disappointment was the 3 hour bus tour in Paris. I had expected to be able to stop more often for photo opportunities - not just the Eiffel Tower. The staff on board were superb. The program director was marvelous. Everyone really seemed to care about our journey. It was December and cold, and whenever we returned to the boat from an outing, the crew welcomed us with hot soup or cider or something like that. They provided bottled water constantly when we got off the boat. Some of the local guides were hard to understand (dialects) but some were excellent. I was very disappointed that we did not get to stop at the artist Monet home and gardens, as they said it was closed. There was one experience that was superb. At one of the shore excursions we went into a small art gallery. I wanted to buy a small piece of art, but the gallery owners spoke no English. We rushed back to the ship with the telephone number of the artist, and I asked if someone could possibly call the artist to be sure we were understanding one another. The wonderful gal concierge said yes. The captain of the boat was standing nearby, so she asked him! The Captain called the artist, we understood everything, and returned to purchase the art. Now THAT was something very special, and sets the tone for the rest of the staff. The onboard experience was simply lovely. The longboard do not have fitness, no children under 18, specialties or entertainment, other than a pianist who played from time to time during cocktail hour. The lounge was a very comfortable place to socialize or read or just enjoy being. The daily briefings were well done and extremely helpful. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We sailed on two Uniworld cruises prior to our first Viking River Cruise. The itinerary and date on the Viking Rolf matched what we were looking for to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. The only low point was that several excursions ... Read More
We sailed on two Uniworld cruises prior to our first Viking River Cruise. The itinerary and date on the Viking Rolf matched what we were looking for to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. The only low point was that several excursions were cancelled, including Versailles, due to the riots in Paris. Most attractions were closed during the organized demonstrations on the weekends in December. Highlights of this Cruise were: Touring all the sights with no Summer crowds; Normandy, Vernon, Rouen; Cruise Director Michael Brightman — hIs genuine enthusiasm for this area of France is contagious; Meeting great people! The best part was the post-excursion to The Loire Valley — a must do! We ended up having a “semi-private” tour of this wonderful area. There are no words to describe Château de Chenonceau at Christmas! Thank you Viking Rolf for your attention to detail, outstanding service, and making this an extra special trip! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
My husband and I had enjoyed one previous Viking river cruise (Danube Waltz), and we planned and booked this trip nearly 21 months in advance. I have a particular interest in World War II history and have visited Pearl Harbor several ... Read More
My husband and I had enjoyed one previous Viking river cruise (Danube Waltz), and we planned and booked this trip nearly 21 months in advance. I have a particular interest in World War II history and have visited Pearl Harbor several times, so I was very much looking forward to spending time at the Normandy D-Day invasion sites and the American cemetery at Colleville-sur-mer. Our good friends and travel companions, of whom he is a retired U.S. Army brigadier general, had not traveled on Viking before this trip. We were proud to share with them all of the exceptional aspects of quality and attention to detail for which Viking is famous. Our cabin was perfect and always spotless. All of our meals were absolutely delicious, and we appreciated the variety available at each meal. "Blondie," the amazing gentleman who entertained us at the piano, was, by himself, worth going on the cruise. His talent and lovely personality enhanced every evening in the lounge. Nearly every crew member was pleasant and welcoming, and acted as though taking care of the passengers' needs was enjoyable and fulfilling for them personally. I know they all work hard and we tried to be very generous with them at the end of the cruise. Our shore excursions were delightful as well as informative; we particularly enjoyed Montmartre and Lyon. The highlight, of course, was the full day at the D-Day invasion sites. The sites, the commentary from our guide, and my feelings of deep gratitude mixed with sadness, will stay with me forever. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our first-ever river cruise. MUCH prefer the small ship experience to the big cruise ships. The Avalon Paris-Normandy trip itinerary was appealing, especially since my husband is a WWII buff. I really loved the visits to the Monet ... Read More
This was our first-ever river cruise. MUCH prefer the small ship experience to the big cruise ships. The Avalon Paris-Normandy trip itinerary was appealing, especially since my husband is a WWII buff. I really loved the visits to the Monet and Van Gogh home sites. Each stop was fascinating, however. Thoroughly enjoyed every single day! Avalon's service is superb. Cannot say enough good things about the dining and bar wait staff - excellent. Our dining room waiter Andre was charming and super attentive. Marie in the bar knew what we drank and was always a sweetheart. The cruise director Tony was also top notch. No request was too much. He went out of his way to ensure the ship's passengers were happy. The tour guides each day were also extremely impressive; very knowledgeable, organized, and accommodating. And I forgot the food. Very good!! Fresh, creative, and very tasty. One night my husband noted that his portion of lamb seemed small and was quickly offered a double portion, no problem. One criticism: The day trip to Normandy beaches was very rushed. Understandably difficult, since getting there takes 1.5 hours each way. But perhaps instead of a formal lunch, which ate into the day, I would recommend a quick box lunch. Realistically, it would be much better to extend Normandy into a two-day experience. There is so much to see - the one-day tour is but a little taste of what that area offers. But overall, we had an absolutely AMAZING trip. I highly recommend Avalon Waterways, without reservation. They are excellent in pretty much every area. Hard to beat! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our second Scenic cruise. We did the Duoro river in Portugal last fall. We have also been on 3 Uniworld 1 Viking river cruise and an Avalon cruise. .This itinerary - Paris to Paris and the cruise length were ideal. As well, our ... Read More
This was our second Scenic cruise. We did the Duoro river in Portugal last fall. We have also been on 3 Uniworld 1 Viking river cruise and an Avalon cruise. .This itinerary - Paris to Paris and the cruise length were ideal. As well, our previous experience with Viking was reason enough to go with them again. I had been cautioned by an acquaintance that the food on his Scenic cruise in Bordeaux earlier this year was not very good. I have to agree with that. At best the food was medioce. The best meal was the Rack of Lamb. All other meals were forgetable. On our last evening, we ate at the l’amour restaurant. Our table had the duck confit. The flavour was good, but the meat was extremely dry and tough. Everyone I spoke to (who had the duck) had the same comment. It was a good way to end the cruise. In general, the breakfast and lunch buffets were very good. The food was kept hot, was varied and tasty. In all cases the desserts were excellant. The staff on board were extremely efficient and very friendly. Our cabin was made up promptly. Special kudos to Sophia, Daniel, and the rest of the wait-staff. As well, Benjamin was an excellant cruise director. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We’ve never been to Paris and we wanted to experience the beaches at Normandy. We are so happy we chose this trip! We met wonderful people and saw places we’ve always dreamed about. We especially loved Giverny, Rouen and Normandy. Our ... Read More
We’ve never been to Paris and we wanted to experience the beaches at Normandy. We are so happy we chose this trip! We met wonderful people and saw places we’ve always dreamed about. We especially loved Giverny, Rouen and Normandy. Our trip to The Louvre was outstanding! All our guides were so knowledgeable. For us, it was a fabulous anniversary trip. We were tremendously grateful for our experiences onboard as well. Service, helpfulness and friendliness made each day a joy. Also our cabin was comfortable and so spacious! We also loved our heated floors. We are already planning our next trip! We had heard so much about Viking. Nothing was overstated. The food was amazing! Each day we were more delighted than the day before! The menus had so many choices. My husband I would order different items so we could sample more things. Onboard concerts of opera singers and lectures about Impressionism after we visited Giverny enhanced our trip greatly. We enjoyed every minute of our Viking cruise. We have described it to all our friends and family as the trip of a lifetime. I also kept a daily journal of our activities. I’m so glad I did! It allows me to relive our days together in France. Read Less

Find a Cruise

Email me when prices drop