150 Paris Senior Cruise Reviews

A River Cruise to Normandy has been high on our bucket list. Having been on previous Viking cruises, we chose Viking due to price and our previous great experiences with them. Our cruise originated in Paris. We did not do a Paris ... Read More
A River Cruise to Normandy has been high on our bucket list. Having been on previous Viking cruises, we chose Viking due to price and our previous great experiences with them. Our cruise originated in Paris. We did not do a Paris pre-Cruise extension as we had previous been in Paris 2 previous times. We did have a very nice day two included tour of Paris highlights before departing for Normandy. For our River Cruise the embarkation process is very simple, unlike large ocean cruise ships. Our ship, the Viking Rolf is named after the actual Viking conquerer Rolf who plundered the Normandy region of France until the King of France finally negotiated a treaty with him and gave him the Normandy region of France and renamed him Robert, the Duke of Normandy , a little trivia. Anyway the ship cabins are typical of most River Cruise ships, in general very nice and accommodating. Very comfortable for a week long cruise. The dining of the ship was very good, from the breakfast buffets in the morning to lunches on the terrace or in the dining room and finally the evening meals. We fully enjoy the local cuisine options on the dinner menu but you always have many other options for the evening. Unlike large ships, the evening entertainment was limited to primarily a piano player in the lounge but this was just fine. During a couple of days there were some daytime lecturers that were excellent. One of favorite things with Viking is their included shore excursions. Our tour guides were all excellent providing interesting insights into each of our visited stops. All of the crew, waiters, bar tenders provided fantastic service during our cruise making it extra enjoyable. For this cruise only my wife and I traveled, no children. Our experience on most European river cruises is that most travelers are older and generally no children. This cruise certainly meet our expectations with the highlight being our entire day of visiting the Normandy invasion beaches and of course the American Cemetery was a very serene moment of the trip. We will definitely continue to travel with Viking in the future based on our wonderful experiences. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise as it was something my elderly mother and father had always wanted to do. My father passed away before they had the chance to go so we did a mother daughter trip. The ship was beautiful and the staff were incredible ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was something my elderly mother and father had always wanted to do. My father passed away before they had the chance to go so we did a mother daughter trip. The ship was beautiful and the staff were incredible with their service no matter what role they had on the boat. The food was amazing - as was the wine selections it was truly a wonderful experience and a wonderful way to see the Seine and its rich history. The organised trips were good although my only feedback on these were some were very arduous for any one really elderly or with mobility impairments. Although in saying this the cruise director was very good at describing each tour option the evening before. This was a lovely experience and total "all inclusive" so the price covered everything except the hairdresser or the massage, no tipping required. We could not really fault this except the weather could have been a little kinder :-) Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Suberb,clean,modern,well organized ship.Armin, room steward and Michael cruise director were charming helpful and kind.Great staff, meals and itinerary.ThanksCaptain Stamen for great leadership! The included on shore trips were great. ... Read More
Suberb,clean,modern,well organized ship.Armin, room steward and Michael cruise director were charming helpful and kind.Great staff, meals and itinerary.ThanksCaptain Stamen for great leadership! The included on shore trips were great. HOWEVER, those with canes, or disabilities don't have equal access to sites which require extensive walking,climbing .However, staff at the sites eg Vienna private show helped with special access to elevators and seating. The music shoe in Viea was outstandin and worth every penny. Loved the Hungarian band and dancers on board the Sky Glad to have all tips included in price.Easy! The buses to and from sites were well organized . Luggage handled by staff boarding and debarking. Weathe was great for the end of August on the Danube from Nuremberg to Budapest except a bit tpp warm om Aug 30 to Aug 31. I would recommend this trip and itinerary. Just add more otions for those with disabilities and perhaps seat these people first on buses. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This cruise was a present from my parents and for a range of reasons I took my son, so our family group ranged from 16-76 years old. I was a bit anxious about this, assuming (rightly) that he was going to be decades younger than most ... Read More
This cruise was a present from my parents and for a range of reasons I took my son, so our family group ranged from 16-76 years old. I was a bit anxious about this, assuming (rightly) that he was going to be decades younger than most people. It didn't make a difference! We had an absolute ball. We were picked up efficiently, fed on arrival and then the secret luggage fairies delivered our bags to our room...with check in being earlier than expected. The cabins were a delight - the window came down to give the impression of a balcony...beds were comfy, shower strong and loads of storage space. The food was brilliant - obviously we ate too much and I had plenty of excellent wine. I bought the extended drinks package, so for a small additional amount, had free flowing wine and beer.Without this, the drinks were slightly expensive. The staff were just brilliant - a special mention to Miguel - the hotel manager - he was everywhere - loading bags, serving ice cream, moving bikes. The company is lucky to have him. Our excursion guides were all slightly' quirky' - funny, knowledgable and at no point turgid or boring. There were a range of walking groups, from a bit of a hike to gentle walking - so catering for everyone. We were rubbish at the quizzes, but at least there were plenty we could try. There is a swimming pool and gym (not huge, but OK) on board, lots of cycles, yoga and aqua. It didn't make a dent on the food I ate - but it could have been much worse! So I have gone from being slightly anxious to discussing our next trip with Emerald! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose Scenic as we had travelled with them once before. We were not disappointed. The whole time we felt cared for and nurtured. The cabin was beautifully appointed with an airy balcony and plenty of space. Dining options were numerous ... Read More
We chose Scenic as we had travelled with them once before. We were not disappointed. The whole time we felt cared for and nurtured. The cabin was beautifully appointed with an airy balcony and plenty of space. Dining options were numerous and all food and drink was fantastic quality. Entertainment included an onboard pianist, in addition to performers being brought aboard from various ports. We were even treated to a recital by a classical quartet in a Château, where Scenic docked just for the evening performance, then sailed on. Very special! Most of all, the staff were welcoming, attentive, competent and caring, which always makes a trip. There was always a personal touch. The cruise director was amazing - a French national who was full of wonderful insights into her native country. Hotel Manager ensured all F&B ran seamlessly. Food and drink choices were incredibly varied and top quality. Highly recommend! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Summary over a cruise on the Haute Seine and Yonne on a barge. As seasoned cruisers, knowing well all aspects of cruising on seas and rivers, we had no experience about traveling on a barge in a canal. It was also time to overcome this ... Read More
Summary over a cruise on the Haute Seine and Yonne on a barge. As seasoned cruisers, knowing well all aspects of cruising on seas and rivers, we had no experience about traveling on a barge in a canal. It was also time to overcome this lack. A number of companies offer this kind of cruising on barge with 8 to 16 passengers, however very often at exorbitant prices. Luckily, we discovered that the company CroisiEurope offers one week cruise on various canals in Europe, at very decent price, especially considering that all is inclusive (full board, all alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and all excursions) on modern barges with a maximum of 22 passengers. We opted for the barge Ms Deborah, which cruises on the canal de la Loire, with the Briare to Nevers’ route. We were looking forward to this itinerary because the proposed excursions particularly suited us. Unfortunately, only a few days before departure, we were informed that due of a lack of water in the Loire canal the Ms Deborah was switched over to the Haute Seine and Yonne for a new itinerary from Paris to Sens. Despites the fact that this new itinerary didn’t really meet our desires, especially the excursions, we decided to accept the change. Our group of 6 persons from Switzerland was very warmly greeted by all members of the crew when arriving on the quai de Grenelle in Paris where we see the MS DEBORAH for the first time, our floating home for the week. With its two dominating colours blue and white, it is difficult not to fall in love with this beautiful small ship. We were invited immediately for the welcome cocktail during which we met officially the crew and the other six individual passengers originating from New Zealand, England and the USA. With less time than it needs to tell, the relation between us was created, so that everyone felt part of a bunch of friends knowing each other for long time. There is no need to present here the MS Deborah itself, as this is already thoroughly done on the Cruise Critic page. The crew of 6 persons is composed of a captain, a sailor, a cruise director, a chef, a waitress and a cabin hostess who put all their efforts to satisfy the passengers and offer them the best possible service. The captain as well as the sailor are always trying to make passengers at ease, answer questions or even bring a drink. The lady cruise director is omnipresent, taking care of the passengers better than a mother hen would do. The talented young French chef aims to produce dishes which please everybody. His outstanding sauces and excellent desserts should be particularly praised. However, referring to comments we made during a cruise on the Seine Princess two years ago, we cannot understand that why today it is not possible to offer the choice of a light buffet at lunch instead a three or even four course menu! The always smiling and friendly Hungarian waitress was very caring and attentive, without forgetting the cabin hostess doing a great job in the cabins, the public spaces and even the kitchen. It wouldn’t be fair to name a single person as all members of the crew, without any exception, do all they can to make the cruise unforgettable. Our one-week cruise on the barge Ms Deborah enables us today to make the following comments: ~ a cruise on a barge cannot be compared to any other kind of cruise ~ despite all the comfort offered on modern barge, one must be very aware that life on board happens at a restraint space, requiring therefore much flexibility and understanding in all aspects from all passengers ~ in our case, being only 12 passengers, we had the opportunity to take our meals on the terrace. We also never had the feeling that the boat was overcrowded. This can be different when the ship is full, especially by bad weather ~ the state of mind between the passengers who are mostly of foreign nationalities, who don’t know each other and don’t speak French, must function well right from the beginning ~ if the interrelation works, it is difficult to find a more relaxing and enjoyable way of travelling ~ the success on a barge is mainly due on the quality of its crew. Ms Deborah’s crew members have quickly created a family spirit on board, showing also that they genuinely like what they do ~ excursions can play a major role in choosing an itinerary. Not speaking French or English can be a handicap Do we recommend to do a cruise on a barge? Yes, definitively! It’s affordable, the atmosphere on board is unique, the routes can be very interesting. In our case, this second try with CroisiEurope gives them a better note. We would also consider again if some improvements are made in a certain sector Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We wanted to see the sights and tour Normandy especially since 2019 was the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Also, wanted to experience a river cruise and it was exceptional!! Can't say enough about the service, the food, friendly staff, ... Read More
We wanted to see the sights and tour Normandy especially since 2019 was the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Also, wanted to experience a river cruise and it was exceptional!! Can't say enough about the service, the food, friendly staff, wonderful stateroom--was all first--class!! We enjoyed stopping at Claude Monet's home and gardens, taking walks in the small cities along the river and getting to meet some of the local residents. . Was great to sit on the deck and watch the scenery pass by. We stood and watched as we passed through several locks--amazing to see how that works. Meals were always something to look forward to each day from the variety of food choices,, the attentiveness of the waitstaff and the generous wine provided! Got to try lots of food from the region and many, many wonderful desserts. Our stateroom with veranda was great. The bathroom was compact, but had lots of extras that we enjoyed and plenty of room for our things. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Having cruised the Rhine also with Scenic, we needed another holiday where we would also be spoilt, and so we decided to go with them on the river Seine, visiting WW1 and 2 battlefields, and many other interesting historical places. The ... Read More
Having cruised the Rhine also with Scenic, we needed another holiday where we would also be spoilt, and so we decided to go with them on the river Seine, visiting WW1 and 2 battlefields, and many other interesting historical places. The crew of the Gem are brilliant, and there is honestly nothing bad that can be said about them, they are attentive, dedicated staff who will do anything for you. Lots of great wine and cheese to be tasted. Watch your waistline on this cruise, as France is famous for it food, and the Gem's chefs are brilliant, and produce some absolutely great meals, and of course if you don't like what's on the menus they will make you anything. Once your on-board put your wallet and CC's in the safe, you will not need them. Everything on this cruise was included, including alcoholic drinks, and by the way there is a massive range of cocktails, which can be skippered or slurped on the upper deck in a light breeze as you sail down the river. Scenic Gem can get into harbours other cruise ships can not visit, so you are alone sometimes whilst docked, brilliant! Try this you will not be disappointed, but you will be spoilt. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I did explore Paris before embarkation. Saw all the local attractions and enjoyed the local restaurants. Did not like having people smoking in restaurants, hopefully this will be addressed in the near future. Welcome dinner was lovely ... Read More
I did explore Paris before embarkation. Saw all the local attractions and enjoyed the local restaurants. Did not like having people smoking in restaurants, hopefully this will be addressed in the near future. Welcome dinner was lovely with the beautiful city as a backdrop. . Dining experience was very good. Entertainment was good and enjoyed Chef’s cooking experience. Service was excellent. Some of the ports were littered with rubbish but that was not Scenic’s problem, local authorities should look into this problem. Shore excursions were very good , except the day of the Somme Battlefields excursion, the restaurant that day was not up to standard, food was terrible and were not offered anything other than the local cheap red wine. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, thanks to the Cruise Director. Cabin was clean and very comfortable , servicing the cabin was prompt , with friendly service by staff. All in all, a very enjoyable cruise and I would highly recommend this trip. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Our cruise was wonderful! From the moment we stepped on board we were treated like royalty by the staff. We especially enjoyed Patricia, our cruise director. Her attention to us and our needs was top notch, and Viking if lucky to have her ... Read More
Our cruise was wonderful! From the moment we stepped on board we were treated like royalty by the staff. We especially enjoyed Patricia, our cruise director. Her attention to us and our needs was top notch, and Viking if lucky to have her on staff. The service was excellent and we even made some friends with staff and guests! I loved the dining options...al fresco, nothing but great views, small and large tables depending on your mood. Kind of felt like a place "where everybody knows your name" and I can't wait to go again. Best part is, you feel like a tourist but get a relaxing vacation all at the same time. Many times we opted out of excursions just to sit on top of the boat and watch the beautiful scenery slide by! Don't miss booking a room with a "juliet" balcony. The option to open the sliding glass door and watch the world go by morning, noon and night was amazing! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Everything was wonderful, from the time we embarked in Paris until the end of our cruise. The ship is beautiful with spacious public areas and our cabin was very comfortable. I really enjoyed our own little balcony ! Dining was delicious. ... Read More
Everything was wonderful, from the time we embarked in Paris until the end of our cruise. The ship is beautiful with spacious public areas and our cabin was very comfortable. I really enjoyed our own little balcony ! Dining was delicious. We quickly made new travel friends and started dining together. We had good entertainment, and learned about the local culture in the process. We could not have had better service. We particularly appreciated Jorge, who always seemed to enjoy wherever we needed him! The ports and shore excursions were terrific! They were well planned and executed. I remember how we felt seeing the beach at Normandy and visiting the cemetery where so many Americans lie. It was so special, as we were there the week before D-Day and we actually have relatives who landed there 75 years ago. Paris is beautiful, but the best was seeing Monet’s gardens. What gorgeous flowers and the kitchen was to die for, with the blue and white tiles and copper pots. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We just returned from another perfect cruise with Uniworld but it’s what we expected being return customers. Every time we get on board it’s like coming home again, we always see some cruise members from a previous cruise on other ... Read More
We just returned from another perfect cruise with Uniworld but it’s what we expected being return customers. Every time we get on board it’s like coming home again, we always see some cruise members from a previous cruise on other boats. This time it was the head chef and our waiter Alexander. This particular cruise pays special attention to the D-Day landing sites in Normandy. For those of you interested in history and the sacrifices our young men made to free the world of terror, this is the cruise to take. Being there in person gives you a whole different perspective than what you got from the history books. On board we enjoyed a plethora of gourmet meals accompanied by a superb selection of quality wines. Try the La Cave du Vin for cozy, hands on, fine dining in the boat’s wine cellar. Book as soon you get on board because it fills up quickly. There is an extra charge for this but worth it. And the bar in the Salon Toulouse will amaze you with the selection of fine beverages from all over the world. Cleanliness on board is beyond reproach as is the friendliness and the service of the entire crew. Special thanks for service above and beyond go to our Hotel Manager Maria and our waiters Nikolay and Alexander. And the shore excursions are always well orchestrated and professionally guided through interesting places. But as with everything in life there are always some glitches, minor in this case but annoying. This boat was just refurbished so they added some “improvements”. The faucet in the bathroom sink has separate hot and cold water controls. The hot water is scolding hot so it takes you a while to temper it to a usable temperature with the two handles. But the bigger problem is the water spout which comes out from the wall and almost to the outside edge of the sink. It makes it impossible to bring your face over the sink and to bring the water to your face to wash it. You have to stand back and the water goes over your feet and the floor. Hint to the designers; shorten the spout by at least six inches. The other goof is the new “Do not disturb” notification. They’ve done away with the door handle sign and replaced it with an electronic touch pad inside the cabin. However, this very sensitive unit is just below the wall slot where you insert the key card to turn on the room utilities. It is almost certain that you will touch it inadvertently and alter the setting when you insert and remove the key card. And when the card is in the slot it hides the indicator light. So when we didn’t get our cabin made up for two days I went to the reception desk for an explanation. They knew immediately what was going on because it has happened to others and they very kindly explained how this new system functions. And lastly, the room thermostat control is another touch pad unit. It is preset to 23 degrees Celsius and has a wide range of temperature settings. But regardless of what temperature you change it to the room temperature never changes from the preset temp. But these minor glitches will not deter us from sailing on Uniworld again. As a matter of fact, while on board we booked the Bordeaux cruise for May 2020. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We wished to learn about the Normandy Invasion and enjoy another river cruise. The Normandy day trip was quite emotional and many passengers were there to honor relatives and veterans. The itinerary, staff, Program Directors and food ... Read More
We wished to learn about the Normandy Invasion and enjoy another river cruise. The Normandy day trip was quite emotional and many passengers were there to honor relatives and veterans. The itinerary, staff, Program Directors and food were all outstanding. Christophe Leger was our leader and a passionate traveler, historian, and all around good guy. His concern for our welfare, attention to details, and his enthusiasm for French culture and history all contributed to a very enjoyable cruise. A nice touch was the added shuttle bus for those of us who arrived a day early to give us 2-1/2 hours in Paris for a walk-about and a café lunch. This was a nice surprise. Also on departure day, GCT provided an employee to greet us at CDG to point us to the correct departure counters. That place is humongous! I nearly hugged the guy! I suggest asking for a top deck cabin on the right-hand side, as we tied up 3 times to another boat and had to keep our curtain closed during the day. Also when the Eiffel Tower lights up, you can't see it from your port-side cabins. Another suggestion: for the wonderful home-hosted visit, the bar staff onboard had gift wrapped bottles of wine. Our family was enthusiastic to collect various wines and this was an easy solution to bringing a hostess gift. We booked this cruise at the last minute and yet all details were handled well. You can't go wrong with Grand Circle Tours. This is go-to tour company! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Since we were on this cruise 6 years ago on one of the smaller ships we thought we would try it again. We stayed on our own in Paris for three days with another couple. Took a cab to Le Pecq, which only cost 44 euro. Le Pecq was a nice ... Read More
Since we were on this cruise 6 years ago on one of the smaller ships we thought we would try it again. We stayed on our own in Paris for three days with another couple. Took a cab to Le Pecq, which only cost 44 euro. Le Pecq was a nice surprise. A Mono Prix store was right across the street from the ship for any items you may have forgotten, a full grocery, clothes, toiletries etc. Up the hill is St. Germaine en Laye, lovely town. Easy to walk to or back, but need to use quite a bit of stairs. They had a small but nice Christmas Market. The Rolf is the same long ships that we have been accustomed to, comfortable and easy to navigate. The Chef, Restaurant manager were excellent, both from Greece. The restaurant staff was excellent too! We were able to take the Normandy Beaches Commonwealth tour and it was fabulous. We had done the US tour 6 years ago. We saw the Bayeaux Tapestry and that in itself was amazing and so was the town of Bayeaux. The Canadian museum was touching especially the movie at the end, all staffed by young Canadians. Our guide was a professor at the University and he was very, very good. In all another great Viking cruise, next year the Duoro! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We had received brochures from Viking for several years, but until we both retired we didn’t take them “seriously”. Once we made the decision to book a cruise we researched the options, spoke with friends who had taken Viking trips ... Read More
We had received brochures from Viking for several years, but until we both retired we didn’t take them “seriously”. Once we made the decision to book a cruise we researched the options, spoke with friends who had taken Viking trips and chose the Rinda Cruise along the Seine. The trip was beyond our expectations...the food, the accommodations, the attention to detail. We felt so comfortable on the excursions, liked the “audio-box” communication on the excursions, the staff were terrific, the food great. The itinerary sheets delivered to our room for the next day were very helpful and the evening meetings pertaining to the next days’ excursions were very appreciated. We intend to take another Viking Cruise in the future, although at this time we have not booked a trip....personal health issues have a bearing.....We highly recommend the Viking Cruise excursions! We hope to take a cruise along the Rhine River and maybe a Southern France trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was actually our 2nd Viking River Cruise as two years ago, my classmate and I also did the Viking River Cruise to Eastern Europe. Obviously, we enjoyed our pre-cruise stay in Prague and the cruise itself to Budapest, Croatia, Serbia ... Read More
This was actually our 2nd Viking River Cruise as two years ago, my classmate and I also did the Viking River Cruise to Eastern Europe. Obviously, we enjoyed our pre-cruise stay in Prague and the cruise itself to Budapest, Croatia, Serbia and Bucharest. And this October, six of us classmates will be doing the Rhine Ruver Cruise. Needless to say, we are happy and enjoy doing the Viking River Cruises! During our first cruise to Eastern Europe, we didn't have the leisurely walk which we joined during our Paris cruise. We hope you will have the leisurely group again for the Rhine Ruver cruise this October as the six of us classmates are 76 years old by then. In both cruises, we were very pleased with the tour guides. Please note that we have done leisure cruises with Holland America, Princess, Norwegian and Royal Carribean cruise ships since 2010. Viking Cruise is the only River Cruise we have joined and are very happy and satisfied overall. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My wife & I chose Scenic & the Scenic Gem as a retirement celebration & going to places on our bucket list in France. The entire experience was superb starting from the pickup at our hotel in Paris at the time designated thru ... Read More
My wife & I chose Scenic & the Scenic Gem as a retirement celebration & going to places on our bucket list in France. The entire experience was superb starting from the pickup at our hotel in Paris at the time designated thru to the final disembarkation. The meals were well done with choices at every meal, great service, friendly polite & professional staff. Our cabin was very clean & looked after every day. The tours were as stated, on time, well organized, with very professional & knowledgeable guides. Off ship meals were well done & with no hiccups. The cruise director was on top of everything & kept the passengers updated daily on the next days activities, in addition to printed itineraries delivered each evening with the turn down service. There is entertainment every evening with some being a resident pianist & other nights bringing other groups on board. Scenic seems to aim at the retired market & hits the mark. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our first river cruise, but we have been on 5 ocean cruises, and this was far more intimate and relaxing. We explored Paris for only one day before the cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation could NOT have gone smoother, with ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, but we have been on 5 ocean cruises, and this was far more intimate and relaxing. We explored Paris for only one day before the cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation could NOT have gone smoother, with the Avalon staff meeting us immediately upon arrival, and seeing us off after the cruise. The ship, Tapestry II is a cozy and comfortable modern home away from home. The cabin and amenities were top notch. Dining was a pleasant experience at EVERY meal with fine food, and a wonderfully attentive staff. Our galley tour was eye opening, and a marvel to behold. Shore excursions were as advertised, with an emphasis on explanations of the sites, a fine selection of sites, knowledgeable, and friendly local tour guides. Our transfer to the airport was professionally handled, with our cruise director making sure that we saw that our luggage was totally on the van. We met many of the other people on board, and they were extremely pleasant. Casual dress was a definite plus, and not a gown or sport jacket were necessary. We would definitely cruise Avalon again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise because it included Paris, Normandy beaches—and then, on part two, Provence—Arles and Avignon. On a prior cruise—“Romantic Danube”—we particularly enjoyed stops at smaller towns along the river. This trip ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it included Paris, Normandy beaches—and then, on part two, Provence—Arles and Avignon. On a prior cruise—“Romantic Danube”—we particularly enjoyed stops at smaller towns along the river. This trip did have those stops, and we liked them a lot! Every tour guide we had was EXCELLENT. The on-board cuisine did well to give us what would be “local fare.” The only meal I really did not like was NOT due to flavor, but due to “logistics”—that is, serving a meal that was totally—i.e. all courses—buffet style was not good. Cumbersome, slow, and not as conducive to a good sampling of the local fare as I think Viking thought it was. All of the included tours we went on were VERY WELL led, with guides who were personable and knowledgeable. Our only “glitch” was not being fully informed about our train “get off” point in Lyon—our guide did tell us to get off at Lyon the last train station, but did NOT tell us that Lyon had. TWO rail stations. So we got off the train when it arrived in Lyon. This was not right! While the subsequent scramble we experienced to get from Lyon rail station #1 to the docking point for our Viking boat was an adventure, I’m not sure all Viking travelers would have recollected it in such amusement as did we! It’s great to “let go and let Viking” in terms of most ALL of the travel details. Thank you! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My wife andI have made many ocean and river cruises. Our latest trip on the Avalon Tapestry II has been the best ever. The route is Paris to Normandy with many charming and informative stops. The guides provided by Avalon were without ... Read More
My wife andI have made many ocean and river cruises. Our latest trip on the Avalon Tapestry II has been the best ever. The route is Paris to Normandy with many charming and informative stops. The guides provided by Avalon were without exception top flight. The only negative was the 5 hour round trip on a bus to get to Omaha Beach. Listening devices were provided fo all guided tours and they worked marvelously l. The personnel on this ship are extraordinarily thoughtful. The food is as good as Oceania and special effort is made to cater to special diets. All the public spaces are well maintained and put the passenger at ease. Our room was well designed with plenty of closet and shelf space. The bathroom was smallish but well designed, with a great deal of space to lay out personal items. Because we booked late we had a room with just a high, not full, window. But there were plenty of comfortable chairs on the upper deck, and the windows in the interior public areas provided a full view of the passing shore line. The cruise director provided a lot of good information without the false heartiness so many of that breed are prone to. The dress code was very relaxed without a sports jacket in sight. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My wife had never been to France even though we’ve travelled on six continents. So we planned this week on the Rhône to be followed by a week on the Seine, and then a week in an apartment in Paris. We arrived in Avignon a day early ... Read More
My wife had never been to France even though we’ve travelled on six continents. So we planned this week on the Rhône to be followed by a week on the Seine, and then a week in an apartment in Paris. We arrived in Avignon a day early and stayed near the dock. In the morning I walked to 5he ship and was pleasantly surprised that our room was ready. The Viking employee that helped us with our luggage was one of our waiters from the Grang European Viking cruise we had taken two years before. Surprisingly, he remembered us! As usual, the tours were well organized and interesting. We didn’t do any of the optional tours but since our ship was well located, we were able to entertain ourselves in the towns we visited. The ship was well maintained. No nicks or scuffs or other signs of wear. The food was outstanding. I also thought the evening entertainment was good, but the tv coverage wasn’t up to the standard of our previous trips with Viking. If you’re interested in France, I’d recommend this trip with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I will openly admit that I was sceptical about why anyone, myself included, would want to take a 10-day Scenic cruise up the Seine River from Paris to the coast, when you can drive it in 2 hours! I thought it would be boring with too much ... Read More
I will openly admit that I was sceptical about why anyone, myself included, would want to take a 10-day Scenic cruise up the Seine River from Paris to the coast, when you can drive it in 2 hours! I thought it would be boring with too much time doing nothing… How wrong I was… Scenic Cruises have once again exceeded my expectations, as has the countryside and places we visited throughout Normandy on this very leisurely ‘must do’ river cruise. Full credit to Scenic for making this a 10-day cruise and not a 7 day, as most other river cruise operators do. Those extra few days turn a short getaway into a genuine relaxing holiday, one that will be remembered for many years to come. The itinerary is very well thought out with a mix of culture, cruising, experiences and diversity that I wouldn’t have thought possible in just the one ‘department’ (state, county) of France. Normandy has so much to see and do. From quaint inland villages to coastal seaside towns. Rolling hills to tidal flats and chalk cliffs. There is something for everyone on this cruise. As always Scenic do it in style. That’s why they are the leaders in River Cruising, all others simply copy. It’s the staff that make your holiday a truly great experience, with attentive care, attention to detail and a smile whatever the time, day or night (do they ever sleep I wonder?). I came on with an old pair of shoes and left with what looked like a new pair – a tribute to the butler service. Some travellers are initially put off by the price but believe me it works out better value than many of the competitors when you take into account all the inclusions. You could give the moths in your wallet a well-earned holiday as everything is included, from meals, drinks, tips, to choices of excursions you could easily go the full ten days without opening your wallet nor spend a single Euro. I was particularly impressed with Scenic’s attention to detail. Their ship ‘The Scenic Gem’ is purpose built for this river, made slightly shorter, with less cabins solely so it can dock in Honfleur instead of Le Havre as many of the other companies are forced to do being as their vessels are too long. Honfleur was a highlight of the cruise and being able to moor up in the quaint historic coastal town centre was a plus. (Le Havre is a major industrial port, no comparison!). The evening concert at the Chateau was also a great experience not to be missed, so unique, something not possible anywhere else in the world. This was my forth Scenic River Cruise and it did not disappoint. I came away feeling totally relaxed and satisfied that I had tasted all Normandy had to offer – and done it in style. Note: If you are under 60 years you will enjoy the cruise but do not expect to meet too many new friends of your age group. It primarily attracts an older crowd, perhaps due to the excellent excursions to WW1 & WW2 battle fields (Somme & Normandy Landing) which catered to not only Australians, but Canadian and American history buffs. But don’t despair, as with all Scenic Cruises there is always a choice of day tours so if these did not rock your boat then you could go explore the spectacular Chalk cliff coast line and its delightful seaside towns, or perhaps a Castle or a culinary experience. The onboard meals are of the highest standard, all made from local produce complimented by a range of fine French wines. The fresh seafood from Honfleur was up there in the ‘yum’ stakes, as were the scrumptious desserts. This raises the question: ‘Has any Scenic passenger ever got off the ship lighter than when they boarded?’ I seriously doubt it. If you did you were a temptation diehard freak with the world’s greatest will power to resist the local French delicacies and pastries on offer every day. This cruise comes highly recommended and would be an ideal add on to any European tour, a great way to end any visit to the continent. Don’t forget to book a couple of extra nights at the beginning or end of your cruise so you can do Paris justice, there is so much to experience in this captivating city. Where to go next on Scenic? Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My travel agent recommended Avalon over the other companies. My wife and I were celebrating our 20th anniversary. The entire cruise experience was great. The food, accommodations, crew, tours, entertainment and services was outstanding. ... Read More
My travel agent recommended Avalon over the other companies. My wife and I were celebrating our 20th anniversary. The entire cruise experience was great. The food, accommodations, crew, tours, entertainment and services was outstanding. The Seine River cruise was exciting, some of the views were great. Side Excursions with guides was very informative about the history of the site and the overall historical events during the time period. The ship built in 2015 was clean and nice. The room was adequate and furnished nicely. Food choices were unbelievable and tasted great, wine with lunch and dinner topped it off. Services were great, staff aimed to please. Had fun talking to them. Loved the entertainment, music tailored to our age group, none of that modern noise. Shore Excursions to various towns again was coordinated with comfortable busses. The only regret is the time spent on the top deck to watch the scenery go by. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The itinerary was beyond our expectations. We loved the tours we took, especially Giverny. The tour guides at each stop were so very informative. The dining service was exceptional. Maitre'd George and the kitchen staff did a ... Read More
The itinerary was beyond our expectations. We loved the tours we took, especially Giverny. The tour guides at each stop were so very informative. The dining service was exceptional. Maitre'd George and the kitchen staff did a wonderful job with avoidance of my food allergens. A special service at the American Cemetary in Normandy honoring fallen Americans was wonderful. The tour of the Normandy beaches was awe-inspiring. Paris is everything we were led to believe. Versailles, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Eifel Tower were exceptional. We did the Eifel Tower tour at night, which was a lot of fun. Vernon was unique. At Rouen seeing their Notre Dame Cathedral light show on the front of the cathedral was amazing. The church and square where St. Joan of Arc was burnt was awesome as well. The whole cruise was well worth the price and a totally wonderful experience for both my wife and me. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We just luv river cruising now 7th in a row.( see other reviews) and we are also scenic tragics..having said that I do hold them accountable for a superior offering. The scenic Gem and the crew we had was a superior offering ,food ... Read More
We just luv river cruising now 7th in a row.( see other reviews) and we are also scenic tragics..having said that I do hold them accountable for a superior offering. The scenic Gem and the crew we had was a superior offering ,food excellent ( though im a difficult person to please ..in a plain way) .Off boat excursions varied as we are used to with on & off board entertainment in line with what scenic does. Now: 1. Crew - just a group of can do people from Bagadan our dining room waiter to karlo bar person & Palen our bulter .They couldnt do enough , attended to my many and varied requests coped with my wierd food combos ( toasted ham & cheese with a choco milk shake..on a scenic fine food boat).We had great interaction and even when i wanted to served myself they cut me off .."at the pass" 2.Food- from made to oder breakfasts ..to my specifications to my special H & C lunch of other items from the cafe to fantastic dinners..again mix & matched to my specifications the food offering is always great.Just didnt indulge as much as I have in the past.Came home only 1kg heavier.They also have special regional lunches incorporating local specials each day. 3.Off boat excursions-a real varity which options each day ( though usually similar themes).I came specifically for the Anzac battle fields Villers Bretonneux & the Normandy beaches.VB comprises leg 3 of my Anzac pilgrimage ( Gallipoli & Kokoda PNG being first two)Unfortunately it rained but we did homage to those who went before.Scenic even have a guest poem that is read every cruise . This plus Chateaus , Monets garden a bike ride all completed the offering 4.On/off board entertainment- river ships struggle here and other than a poor WW1 lecture oldie rocker band (on/b) light quizz off/b clasical quartte round out this part which was quite good overall 5.Gym & wellness- the gym is ok for me small 3 machines does the job. What was interesting & different this cruise had a wellness/excercise coach ( doubling up i believe) which we had never experienced before.While only 5 /84 of us took advantage it is an area that scenic should develop . This is not a family crusie ..couples really only just a great 11 days of " wonder" Next......Scenic Eclipse april 2019..stay tuned. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018

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