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4 France River Cruise Reviews

I booked this trip as a RIVERBOAT CRUISE. The boat was only able to cruise for 1 1/2 days due crew error (crew on the boat informed us the boat was damaged the first night by backing into an object). Starting the fourth day of our trip the ... Read More
I booked this trip as a RIVERBOAT CRUISE. The boat was only able to cruise for 1 1/2 days due crew error (crew on the boat informed us the boat was damaged the first night by backing into an object). Starting the fourth day of our trip the boat became a very expensive hotel room and then things got worse. On day five we were offered the opportunity spend an entire day on a bus for the included tour and on day 6 we were bused to Avignon to stay in a hotel that is on par with a Holiday Inn. The trip did not meet what was promised by Viking in the following areas: 1. We were not provided with the scheduled river cruising for the majority of the trip. 2. We did not stay on the ship for 2 of the 7 nights. The hotel accommodations were significantly inferior to the suite we had booked on the ship. The food at the hotel was completely unacceptable and this is something that has been commented on numerous times by previous travelers so Viking is well aware of this fact. 3. We lost a complete day of our vacation by being bused from Lyon to Avignon. We wanted to spend time on the boat and river cruising, we had no intention of participating in the Arles tour but were forced to spend the entire day on a bus. 4. Starting on day 3 of the cruise we were constantly worried about what was occurring and how things were being handled. Having a very junior crew member handle the situation was completely unacceptable and stressful for the guests on the boat. 5. After the captain announced that the boat was ‘having problems’ we never saw her again until we were leaving the boat to be bused to Avignon. When asked where the captain was crew members responded that they did not know. We thought she had left! Having her stand at the end of the ramp as we were disembarking was laughable, she doesn’t speak English, the vast majority of the guests were English speaking and no one was there to translate. So the only interaction the captain had with guests during this entire time was to tell us the boat was broken and good bye. 6. We were assured by crew members numerous times that Viking would fully compensate us for our losses and ‘take care of us’. 7. We were advised by crew members that the hotel accommodations in Avignon would be similar to our room on the boat. The hotel accommodations were completely unacceptable, the room rate was in the range of 150 euro per night. 8. The hotel room in Avignon had 2 twin beds that could not be made into a single bed. No other rooms were available. We were advised that this was an error Viking made when booking our room. When we booked this cruise we requested a single bed, upon arrival we found that our room had 2 twin beds and we asked our stateroom attendent and reception to have the beds made into a single. The staff could not explain why this error occurred and just continued to apologize and assure us that Viking would ‘make things right for us’. The trip and Viking’s handling of this situation has been extremely disappointing. What is going on with Viking. We travel extensively having cruised many times with Azamara, Wind Star, Regent Seven Seas and Oceania. We have always had wonderful experiences and expected the same from Viking. I know Viking is attempting to break into this cruising market, however, with this type of customer service, I doubt this will be successful. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Six of us booked the 14 days titled France's Finest. We got only as far as Lyon on day two of the second half of that trip on the Viking Hermod. As told by other people, the ship was rendered not able to continue because the ship ... Read More
Six of us booked the 14 days titled France's Finest. We got only as far as Lyon on day two of the second half of that trip on the Viking Hermod. As told by other people, the ship was rendered not able to continue because the ship hit something.. We all felt the jolt during the nite and even light in our bathroom went out. That was the end of our cruising. After two more nights aboard, we were bused to Avignon to different hotels. 1. There was obviously no set plan when an emergency occurs...it would seem that Viking would have a written Disaster Plan. It would have been helpful to crew and passengers! 2. The hotels and food offered were sub par and again not what we had experienced before. 3. The weather was very hot and many people had a really hard time as many of us are older! 4. We were told we would be compensated....and first we got a wrong email talking about water levels and offering 25 per cent off any Viking Cruise. Then we received an email saying first email was wrong and we would be receiving a voucher. We did receive a voucher for $663.88!!! We divided cost of this part of cruise and divided by seven and then multiplied by four and was $2800! We expected that compensation at least or a voucher for a future cruise...we spoke with another couple who experienced water level problem last year and they did not expect anything and received a 75 per cent voucher for another cruise.. 5. Not sure what has happened to Viking and their reputation. They have grown so much in last year and it seems quality of care of their passengers has really declined. Not sure about cause of accident, but what happened to us after that was not what we expected from Viking. 6. This was a special trip for us and we do not do a lot of trips and planning a year in advance is what we do. I do hope Viking reconsiders their small compensation. We were very disappointed Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Viking's advertising misleading. Promises of food and comfortable river cruise experience far from truth. This is a coach tour disguised as river cruise! More time spent in being herded and rushed on and off buses than river cruising. ... Read More
Viking's advertising misleading. Promises of food and comfortable river cruise experience far from truth. This is a coach tour disguised as river cruise! More time spent in being herded and rushed on and off buses than river cruising. Food adequate, mass produced, certainly not the delights advertised. Signed up for premium liquor service but choices not available. Top suite category (AA) under running track. Only sailed one of seven days as "river too high to sail under bridges". The river is often too high, wrong boat. No information from crew, Captain didn't speak English. Last two days spent moored against sister Viking ship so view from Starboard side was looking into another ship. No explanation or apology. The list goes on but suffice it to say that we would not advise anyone to make the very expensive mistake which we made, at a cost of US Dollars $12,000 excluding airfares. Viking offered us a derisory US$500 each off our next Viking cruise with them, but even if they offered us a free cruise we would never go with them again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
My wife and I love cruises in general and European river cruises in particular. These cruises are a great way to explore Europe with the benefit of staying in the 1st class hotel (your state room). We had done many different cruises and ... Read More
My wife and I love cruises in general and European river cruises in particular. These cruises are a great way to explore Europe with the benefit of staying in the 1st class hotel (your state room). We had done many different cruises and know a bad one when we "see" it. The one on Viking was our first with them and it was BAD. It went wrong right away. When our large group arrived to the embarkation port of Chalon-sur-Sa'ne our ship wasn't there. The Viking's rep informed us that due to the high level of Sa'ne the ship couldn't get there, so it is waiting for us in Lyon. And how are we supposed to get there? Well, we didn't book our transfers with Viking, so our group lead had to negotiate with the bus company that arranged for our transfer from Paris to take us to Lyon. Shouldn't it be Viking's responsibility? Under the normal circumstances Viking's buses should have been waiting for us right there, but they weren't. We finally got on board. The ship looks OK, nice size, clean state room. We were exited. Until dinner time. The menu variety was yucky, but the food was even worse. Our appetizer told us everything there was to know about a quality of food and head chef's abilities. Unfortunately our first impression was the right one. We are not snobs, but we do know our food - Viking's food was of poor variety and quality. One would expect great French cuisine experience on the river cruise in France. We've got neither French, nor good one. They couldn't cook over-easy eggs in that kitchen without overcooking them. That's how bad it was. The only thing I can't complain about were breads and smocked salmon - thanks God they didn't need to prepare it, or they would mess it up too. Entertainment was virtually non existent. Sure they had a piano player/singer on board. But the guy had a personality of a tofu (if you know what I mean), with the cheap musical repertoire of the "YMCA" and "Celebration Times". We felt like at a cheap wedding every time he "entertained" us. Not sure if he made his own music choices, or Viking forced him to play this garbage, but either way it was not pretty. They did bring a French band once - the lady singer was very good. On our other river cruises (we sailed with Uniworld previously), local musicians were entertaining us almost every night. Cruise director on the cruise was doing his job, but to the minimum. There was no "going extra mile" in him. His MO was "I do what they require of me and that's it". Although itinerary was pretty decent, most of the local city guides were of a poor quality with very bad English. We made best effort to listen to them, but some of them were so bad we just turned off our ear pieces. There were some exceptions though. Sure there were positives. The ship, although fairly old, was nice and clean, with plenty of well appointed common areas. State rooms were nice sized, well maintained, clean, with high-end bathroom stuff (soap, lotion, etc.). Most of the crew were absolutely great folks. State room stewards were invisible while doing great job of keeping our room in order. Waiting staff was friendly and tried very hard to make our meals enjoyable. Too bad they couldn't make up for the bad food. Purser desk personnel was friendly and helpful. So no complaints here. They offered free WiFi, which was great. But, unfortunately, it was very unstable. I don't blame Viking for that - satellite connection can be tricky - but think I should mention it. To sum up our cruise experience - we weren't happy with Viking and will think twice before booking our next cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013

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