18 Viking River Viking Delling Europe - River Cruise Reviews

Our cruise on the Delling down the Rhone from Lyon to Avignon had many excellent features (like service, food, and accommodations on the ship) but also some disappointments. There were about 185 passengers; any more would have been too ... Read More
Our cruise on the Delling down the Rhone from Lyon to Avignon had many excellent features (like service, food, and accommodations on the ship) but also some disappointments. There were about 185 passengers; any more would have been too many for us. The first thing to be said about it is that there was very little cruising and a lot of walking and bus-riding. In retrospect, we suppose this was to be expected since the distance is only about 150 miles. During shore excursions, one sees some very nice aspects of this region in France, especially Roman ruins, wineries, a canyon, and farms. But during the few hours we were actually cruising during daylight, we weren’t passing the beautiful castles one sees in the ads, but rather a lot of factories, nuclear power plants, etc. As senior citizens, one of us having had recent knee surgery, we were pleased about the “leisure” and “easy” tour offerings. Still, there was a lot of walking. Our cruising was further limited by an accident involving another boat that closed down the river for many hours, so we were bused to Arles rather than sailing there on the Viking Delling. We also spent a lot of time in locks: the first time was technically interesting, but later times were boring. Further detracting from use of our veranda were the frequent times that we looked out onto another vessel a few feet away, tied up to ours, rather than looking out to the river. We heard that Budapest to Amsterdam cruising was much better. On the positive side, our large stateroom (with adjoining living room) was excellent as a generally docked, small hotel room. There were many modern, attractive features and the bathroom was superior. The service was generally excellent. We were brought champagne, fresh fruits, flowers, and wine. The meal service was excellent almost all the time, whether picking items up from the buffet or ordering them from the menu (the chef was German; he did superbly on French cuisine and less so on occasional German cuisine). The only exception was sub-standard orange juice; why don’t they offer fresh-squeezed? The expedition leader, Mia, was exceptional with a marvelous sense of humor; she should be offered a big raise. The waiters were generally very good, only occasionally serving items to the wrong person. Most of the tour guides were very informative and professional; the buses were Mercedes-Benz. Entertainment in the lounge was high quality, including a fine talk about the French Resistance during WW II. So the Delling as a fine hotel was distinctly superior to our other decent first Viking experience on the Yangtze River in China. We signed up for three optional excursions at extra cost. One was excellent, despite the long bus ride: Beaujolais and Truffles, which visited a winery in a castle, a truffle farm featuring a delightful dog, and a goat cheese farm. However another excursion, said to be one of the most popular offerings, was poor: on the Chateauneuf-du-Pape tour, we were left standing for a long while in an uninteresting town square while the guide was gone…and then taken to a new winery with no place to sit as we stood listening to long lectures in French that were briefly summarized by our guide in English. The included tour in Vienne failed to go near the most important ruin in the town, the huge Roman amphitheater. We walked to it on our own and found out why: The view from the base is deliberately blocked by opaque screening, which has the evident purpose of forcing you to pay to enter a small venue from which you can glimpse the amphitheater through dirty, foggy windows. One negative feature of the included excursions is a feature of France: few and terrible toilets. Often you either have to pay (at a turnstile or by buying coffee in a café) or instead use what the guides pejoratively called “Turkish toilets,” which were holes in the ground. The buses had mini-toilets in compartments that were too small for large adults. We were glad that we didn’t purchase the expensive Silver Spirits beverage package. Given all the free alcohol otherwise available (e.g. during ship-wide cocktail parties) and the wine freely available during lunches and dinners, we wouldn’t have come close to getting our money’s worth. Our stateroom had two fancy screens, but they were inadequately managed. They showed us the weather forecast in Arles when we were in Avignon, and the forecast for Avignon when we were visiting Arles. And the forecast was totally turned off for the 24 hours preceding the day it would have been most useful: the day we departed the ship. We were also unhappy about the failure of a promise on our departure: a group of about two dozen of us on a bus to the Marseille Airport were promised that we would be met by a Viking agent who would accompany us all the way to Security. We were met, but the woman left us on the sidewalk outside the terminal. Upon entering the terminal, there were no indications of what to do and she was long gone. All things considered it was a fine way to see aspects of Lyon and Provence, with luxurious comfort and meals on our usually-docked ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Having resisted river cruising for many years, we finally capitulated (ran out of excuses for not taking one) and booked a Provence cruise on the Viking Delling. The booking and upfront experience was good. The website was easy to ... Read More
Having resisted river cruising for many years, we finally capitulated (ran out of excuses for not taking one) and booked a Provence cruise on the Viking Delling. The booking and upfront experience was good. The website was easy to navigate and the cruise materials arrived in plenty of time with luggage tags, cruise book and other information. Good first impression. Our package included free air arranged by Viking. As a first timer was not real informed on their customization program that carries an add on cost. Wish I had as that way would have had more controlled over the connecting flights. The outbound flights Viking booked carried high risk of missed connections (via IAD and FRA) and sure enough we missed the flight from FRA to LYS. No problem though as the airline rebooked us. However the real issue is that apparently Viking doesn't monitor their passenger's while in transit (which other companies we have used do and modify transfers without being contacted). Viking's materials say to contact them should we experience a delay and give numbers to call and the ship's email address. When we arrived in Lyon, we were a bit surprised to find no Viking rep and no transfer there. So we tried to call Viking (we don't have an international calling plan and both help centers at the airport were unable to call for us). Sent an email to the address given but no response there. So ended up face timing daughter back in the States who called Viking and was told we could take a taxi and be reimbursed. Had thought of that earlier but in our documents, Viking identified three potential berths for the ship. Equipped with the berthing info, we grabbed a cab and four days later (after three tries), we got our fare refunded. Not a great first impression. But apart from that: Room was good. We booked the least expensive and it was fine. The steward (Peter) did a great job keeping it tidy, replenishing towels). Easy access to the restaurant. Small shower but good water pressure and little fluctuation in temperature. TV reception was ok (only channel that consistently was not available was FOX). Food was ok. Breakfast selections was good, Liked cooked to order eggs. The french toast was a tad bit soggy for me. Oatmeal was good and they do bacon well. Lunch in the restaurant typically had a pasta selection and a daily special. Ate a lot of hot dogs and french fries. Dinner also had a daily special, an alternative and then every day available ones. The quality varied day by day so. The service though was excellent. Front Desk: indifferent at best. Being a bit cold outside, I asked at the front desk if they had blankets we could use outside the Aquafit area. Was told they were up there to which I told them I just came from there and didn't see any. I was dismissed with a 'oh well'. On my way back I did locate them hidden behind a chair. But would have been nice if they had helped me rather than wave me off. Tour Director: was good and worked hard and long hours. Included Tours: very good. Lots of walking though would not recommend this trip for anyone with mobility issues. Busses used were all top notch. Itinerary/Rhone River: would have preferred to spend more time in Avignon and less time in Lyon. Would not recommend this for first time travelers to Europe as there's not a lot of variety in the area (do Rhine or Danube). Hotel Manager: so by now you know I was not too impressed with how he handled my transfer issue (day one - I needed to complete a form but he didn't have one), day two - waited for him to give me the form, day 3 - got a form from the desk, told to come back after 5 when manager would be there, he didn't have the money (it was 'upstairs') come back tomorrow, day 4: got money.). Other staff: everyone else went out of the way to say something. Good job there. Glad we went and experienced river cruising. Will we do it again? Most likely not. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Viking was highly recommended by friends, and a river cruise you get to see many different towns near the river, and the tour guides tell you the history of each stop. The nice thing about a river cruise is that you have not only the ... Read More
Viking was highly recommended by friends, and a river cruise you get to see many different towns near the river, and the tour guides tell you the history of each stop. The nice thing about a river cruise is that you have not only the hotel, all the meals, and the tour guides for each port. Relaxing, it was not, because each morning you were up early, first to get your breakfast, then to get ready for your guided tour, most tours started at 9am. Then after the tour, back to the ship for lunch. Sometimes the were tours in the afternoon right after lunch. Some tours ended up quite late, so the dinner was a late one. We saw a lot, however, despite the busy schedule. Regarding the shore excursions, some of the guides were very difficult to understand, especially with their heavy french accent. The cabin was rather small, but considering that this was a river ship, it was adequate for us as we are small, but for large people it would be rather very compact, especially the shower. The service was great. Dining was good, especially the breakfast and lunch buffets. We were disappointed with the quality of the dinners, as for a ship of this caliber, the dinners could use some improvement. The entertainment was not like in the ocean cruises, we had one or two outside singers/entertainers for the whole week. There was a ship piano player every night. We opted to include air as part of the package; From Northern California. Viking did a fabulous job of organizing the whole trip, from getting the airfare to providing transportation to the ship, and meeting us with Viking personnel at the airports. We are already booked on another Viking cruise, an ocean cruise to the British Isles, Ireland and Scotland. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Overall cruise, April 2018, was lovely but forewarned is forearmed. BTW, I submitted the following to Viking and have yet to receive a response: First and most egregious- On the first evening of our cruise, I misplaced a brand new ... Read More
Overall cruise, April 2018, was lovely but forewarned is forearmed. BTW, I submitted the following to Viking and have yet to receive a response: First and most egregious- On the first evening of our cruise, I misplaced a brand new iPhone X, purchased specifically for this trip at a cost of $1000+. How I lost it, was probably due to my carelessness and I want to say upfront that I strongly believe it was NOT taken from my room onboard. My sister and I had spent time on the top, outside deck when we first embarked and took several photos there. That was the last time I saw my phone until I was able to track it down through the use of technology. That same evening after searching every pocket, piece of luggage, drawer, closet, under bed area, etc. many times over, my sister went to the main desk to ask if anyone had turned in a phone, that mine was missing. She returned to the room to say that no phone had been turned in. I asked her if either person at the desk (a man and a woman) had asked her for our names or room number. She said no. We both thought that was odd. Not one to panic, I went to bed and the next morning took a camera on our first tour. We were gone until dinner. At this point I was feeling anxious, sad, and concerned that my phone was gone for good- the phone I had purchased specifically for this trip because of its avowed camera features and all the pictures I intended to take. In desperation, after dinner I searched the same places multiple times once again. I happen to have an Apple watch which has an icon to touch when you want to “ping” your phone. My sister and I both noticed that the icon was barely visible, and unrecognizable unless you knew it was supposed to be there. I then went down to the desk to ask again if anyone had turned in a phone. The two people behind the desk briefly looked and said no. I was about to leave but asked if they knew if the Apple watch faded icon was significant and proceeded to look at my watch and, to my great surprise, noticed that the icon was brightly lit. So, I asked them if they thought THAT was significant and they both shrugged their shoulders which I took to mean they didn’t know about the feature. Interestingly, the male staff member walked through a nearby open door and almost immediately returned with my phone in his hand, saying it was in the safe. At this point I’m maintaining my composure but feeling very perturbed 1) that the safe wasn’t the FIRST place they looked, 2) that clearly my phone had been turned in and why hadn’t that been announced over the PA system, 3) that had I NOT had the Apple watch, most likely I would never have seen the phone again. I was so aghast that I was afraid of what might come out of my mouth if I started venting so I simply said that I was thankful for a positive outcome. Fast forward to a day or two later, when I found I was still too upset to let things go. I went down to the desk and said what a great cruise but I felt I had to let them know how upsetting it was that I could have lost my phone due to an apparent lack of constructive concern and assistance on my behalf. the head of the cruise overheard my comments and came over to ask who had been behind the desk. I pointed to the woman and said that she had been but the man who recovered the phone from the safe was not there. Later, she said she was taking the phone incident very seriously, however, I have not heard anything since. Here’s the funny thing. I was not at all suspicious of any nefarious intent until the phone “miraculously” appeared and even more so when upon recounting my experience to friends at home, invariably the reaction has been: “They were trying to steal it”. Second My sister and I signed up for the Silver Drinks Beverage Package. We were so busy during the day that the only time we could take advantage was at dinner. That is not my complaint. My complaint is that there was NEVER a wine/drink list offered at our dinner table, EVER. We always had to ASK for it so the scenario went something like this. Waiter comes to table extolling the quality of the house wines (nothing special- one, served several times, was Le Vielle Ferme, a cheap wine available at my local grocery) and pours glasses for those who want it. My sister and I say we have the package and ask for a wine list. 10 minutes later, give or take, the waiter returns with the wine list and goes away. 10 minutes later he returns to take our wine order. 10 minutes later he returns with out wine. We are now 30 minutes into the dinner when we finally get our wine. I spoke to another passenger about this and he said he gave his waiter money up front and got excellent service. Is 300 dollars “up front” not sufficient for good service?! When I returned home and told a neighbor who had recommended the package she was stunned. We had time to have a glass, maybe two, at dinner and often the bottle was removed so we had to ask the waiter to go get the bottle. This also made it challenging to take the remaining wine back to the room which my neighbor had said was never an issue on their cruise. I repeat, we ALWAYS had to ask for the wine list. Did we think we would consume $300 worth of drinks in a week? No. Did we think we would get excellent service and attention? Yes. Were we not recognized as Silver Package people after several days on board? Was it because we are female? Was it because we didn’t pass money under the table to the wait staff? I don’t know. I do know the end result was a feeling of being cheated. Third The trip to Camargue was one my sister and I were looking forward to because of the horses. The Camargue horses are well known and were pictured in the Viking summary of that tour. We didn’t see ANY in the wild. AND spent virtually the entire tour listening to a talk on bull races which was of little or no interest to us. Okay. That’s it, except to say were it not for the problems outlined above, the first and second in particular, we would have recommended the Viking Rhone River Cruise without reservation. https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g187265-d628900-r594439529-The_Rhone-Lyon_Rhone_Auvergne_Rhone_Alpes.html# Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
What went wrong or how we were mislead: Situation #1: Silver Beverage Package - very poor service (too many trips back and forth to the table before upgrade choices are served) - Solution- have the Wine List available at each table BEFORE ... Read More
What went wrong or how we were mislead: Situation #1: Silver Beverage Package - very poor service (too many trips back and forth to the table before upgrade choices are served) - Solution- have the Wine List available at each table BEFORE guests sit down. Situation #2: A mis-placed iPhone was not returned to my sister for over 24 hrs - not until a 2nd trip to the Front Desk AND a"blinking" Find My Phone iWatch app showed that said phone was close at hand - very, very "mysterious" circumstances. Solution: With the "finding/locating" of significant valued items, perhaps a Notification via Intercom would shorten the time the guest worries about what "really was going on" and/or your guests are reunited with their possessions. Situation #3: "Unspoiled Camargue" Excursion - not enough time looking/viewing the "wild" horses - as in not seeing anything remotely similar to the picture presented for the event. Most of the time was spent "exchanging glances" with a herd of steers/bulls used for arena events. Solution: schedule the excursion to include riding in these "wild" marshes. The food experiences were marvelous - The Excursions (except where noted above) were excellent - The flight connections and service to and from the airports were above reproach. The cleanliness of the room and the ship were commendable. The guides and local Viking representatives were very knowledgeable and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The whole cruise was wonderful, loved the ship design and layout, we had great views from our veranda, the room was very functional and the bed very comfortable. Breakfasts are the best. If we were on board for lunch we almost always eat ... Read More
The whole cruise was wonderful, loved the ship design and layout, we had great views from our veranda, the room was very functional and the bed very comfortable. Breakfasts are the best. If we were on board for lunch we almost always eat out in the open air deck. Diners on this trip were not up to par with our other Viking River Cruises. Maybe our expectations for French cuisine set our standards too high but in general I'd say the dinners were just okay, sort of a mid-west (slightly bland) style using local food products. That said the wait staff, as always, were great, food came in a timely fashion, drinks were always full and yet we never felt rushed. Evening entertainment was good, the wife and I danced almost every night. We took all the standard excursion for the most part. And only availed ourselves of one extended excursions. All of our excursions were fun and enjoyable. The guides were knowledgeable and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
THIS WAS OUT FIRST CRUISE EXPERIENCE. On the plus side, Olivier, the Tour Director is energetic and very talented and entertaining as this Viking cruise provides little outside entertainment coming on to the ship. I was expecting 2 ... Read More
THIS WAS OUT FIRST CRUISE EXPERIENCE. On the plus side, Olivier, the Tour Director is energetic and very talented and entertaining as this Viking cruise provides little outside entertainment coming on to the ship. I was expecting 2 things and was disappointed. I expected a French speaking crew on the Rhone in France. I expected Cote du Rhone wine on a Rhone river cruise in France and was served German table wine of poor quality. The room and bathroom was well appointed for the space. Although we did not sit but once on the balcony, I would not want a room with just a port window. The entire staff was extremely friendly and energetic which was definitely a plus. I had looked forward to a port visit to Macon as it was the only city on the itinerary I had not visited before but were told it was impossible due to water levels. The cuisine was plentiful but average in quality. The beef was tough and inedible. The cream soups all tasted the same. The French pastry tea was very nice. With a basically German crew and Greek chef, German wine, I did not really feel I was in France for 7 nights. The ordinary cookies available with coffee or tea was disappointing. Although a relatively new ship, the lounge and dining chairs are showing wear. We enjoyed the experience and especially not packing up for 7 nights but there were downsides. Haven't decided if we will try another cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We started out in Paris and were bused to Dijon and Lyon, we were supposed to board the vessel and sail to Macon, but the Soane was flooded so we were bused there. The people on the buses were terrific, the food and ship's crew were ... Read More
We started out in Paris and were bused to Dijon and Lyon, we were supposed to board the vessel and sail to Macon, but the Soane was flooded so we were bused there. The people on the buses were terrific, the food and ship's crew were exceptional. The food was excellent. I was a little disappointed that the river was so commercial, not as scenic as I would,have liked. I was getting a little tired,of all the bussing. We enjoyed all the sights and places we saw. The local guides are very knowledgeable and spoke good English. We extended our stay with additional time in Nice, which is a beautiful city. We took a side trip to Eze and Monaco driving along the Riviera, it was gorgeous. Most of the hotels were top rate. Except for the Mercure, not what I expected from Viking Overall I would recommend Viking to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose Lyon and Provence for food and wine experiences and were not disappointed. The food and wine on the Delling were both quite nice, and we dined at a brasserie in Lyon run by Paul Bocuse, a three-star Michelin chef. I have to ... Read More
We chose Lyon and Provence for food and wine experiences and were not disappointed. The food and wine on the Delling were both quite nice, and we dined at a brasserie in Lyon run by Paul Bocuse, a three-star Michelin chef. I have to admit that we were somewhat spoiled by our prior Viking cruise on the Forsetti since we had a sommelier, Frankie to help us with our local purchases. We were on our own this time, although the front desk and concierge were somewhat helpful in finding decent wine shops. We had some really good shore excursions, but the night tour in Vivier was not so nice since we could not see much and photography was pretty much a waste of time. The ship was essentially identical on each of the two cruises, which gave us a sense of comfort since we knew where everything was. As usual, the crew was most excellent and helpful. We really enjoyed the service of Gabor in the dining room. We travelled with another couple with no children. The cruise director, Oliver, who doubled as "Pierre" was the best we have ever had! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
we wanted to join a couple we traveled with before. We like France. But not up to our expectations. Service was very good, but no one was from France and so really didn't know the france culture. We had trouble with our ships ... Read More
we wanted to join a couple we traveled with before. We like France. But not up to our expectations. Service was very good, but no one was from France and so really didn't know the france culture. We had trouble with our ships engine, so that difficinetly caused a nnegative feeling among the people on the ship. The locations we visiste were graet. Some of the guides were very noligable and some were just mediocure. The food was very good, as ussal but some of the "local" menu could have been better. Too much time was spent on busses traveling to diffent locations. We took a cruise down the Danube inthe prior year, it was much better as the German commander wea much more in control and knowlegfable about our area and destination. the Cruise director was better. These little things made a differnce. We are going on a cruicse next year in May, I hope it more like the first cruise and not the second./ Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose Viking because of friends who have traveled previously and enjoyed it. This was their fourth Viking tour with plans to travel again next year. The attention to personal detail by staff was a priority. From "good ... Read More
We chose Viking because of friends who have traveled previously and enjoyed it. This was their fourth Viking tour with plans to travel again next year. The attention to personal detail by staff was a priority. From "good morning" to service at mealtime to dealing with changing onshore tours. Everything was clean and neat with extra attention to the rooms. The balcony was appreciated, however, our weather did not warrant its use. The room was an adequate size. The food was country appropriate and very delicious and the wine kept coming. Meal time was looked forward to because of the view, the organization, and the friendliness of staff. The tour directors during land excursions were very knowledgeable and, for the most part, very understandable. The information discussed during bus rides was appreciated. We did spend way too much time on buses because of difficulties by Viking. We did not get the Cruising part of the journey. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Wanted a wine oriented cruise and the Agent Lynne suggested this as an alternative to the Burgandy tour, which included Paris and Dijon, both of which I had visited before.The staff and service were excellent. Our weather saw rain clouds ... Read More
Wanted a wine oriented cruise and the Agent Lynne suggested this as an alternative to the Burgandy tour, which included Paris and Dijon, both of which I had visited before.The staff and service were excellent. Our weather saw rain clouds and cold,every day, though not a Viking problem. Entertainment a pleasant surprise. Guides and tours first rate. Minor problem areas: (1) need instructions on shower operation (2) regular wines very good but upscale wines (Silver Spirit) should be upgraded.Ship is beautiful and well laid out..All dining provided excellent experience with variety and quality that could not have been better. As a widower travelling alone I was still made welcome and comfortable by the staff and other guests.Naturally, I enjoyed the wine tastings in the Beaujolais and Chateauneuf-duPape to taste these wines and see the beautiful areas proved rewarding. Also I particularly enjoyed our market tour with the chef.All in all a great trip and a top value. I would consider another wine related trip, such as your bordeaux trip Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We originally booked because of a referral from a friend. After doing some research, we found that the line had many satisfied guests, our experience met and exceeded our expectations. The service was friendly and very good but not ... Read More
We originally booked because of a referral from a friend. After doing some research, we found that the line had many satisfied guests, our experience met and exceeded our expectations. The service was friendly and very good but not overbearing, the food was excellent, and the excursions were interesting and enjoyable. My constructive remarks are that the cabins are a bit small, especially the shower but very acceptable. The wifi was slow and sometimes had no service making it difficult to stay connected to work. Also wifi related, if the cabin would allow for a wifi connected TV device like an Amazon Fire Stick or a Chrome-cast (HDMI connected to the TV), so travelers can stream news from their respective countries, states and cities. The selection of standard channels on-board were very limited. We would absolutely travel with Viking again, maybe opt for one of the suites next time for more room (We chose Veranda B room), but overall, a very enjoyable cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Our third Viking River cruise. Service , food and staff usual high standard. Ship was beautiful - modern , airy and clean. New outside terrace too - fortunately we had good weather so ate outside several times . Tables were quickly taken ... Read More
Our third Viking River cruise. Service , food and staff usual high standard. Ship was beautiful - modern , airy and clean. New outside terrace too - fortunately we had good weather so ate outside several times . Tables were quickly taken at lunch time but everyone appeared sociable and were willing to share . Perhaps a few tables for two are needed as sometimes we didn't feel like chatting and would have preferred a romantic lunch together. Oliver the director was outstanding- chatty, fun and had some clever acts up his sleeve which were displayed several evenings . [ His background was a professional in the circus/ entertainment field]. Itinerary was a little disappointing .. to many visits to Roman remains for us . We enjoyed the wine tastings and learnt a great deal about wine . [ It all gets you drunk whatever you pay for it !!] We felt more free time for wandering or shopping was needed but lunch beckoned on board .Morning excursions were included , afternoon ones were optional and charged for. We didn't go on the afternoon excursions. We went for a walk along the river or relaxed on board . We had the 'drinks' package. We totted up our daily alcohol and fancy coffees and it definitely worked out cheaper for us than paying[ individually ] as a total at the end of the cruise. Our cabin was 106, with a small high window [lower deck ] and suited us perfectly,we wouldn't have sat outside on a balcony on October. Luxurious toiletries as usual. Bed comfy and with the climate control adjusted to out desired room temperature at night , we slept well. Disembarkation was smoothly organised and transfer to Marseilles airport on a luxury coach . Met at the airport by a Viking rep. who steered us through check in and answered any queries. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Weather. Our cruise happened to coincide with a severe heat wave in France. High temperatures each day were 90-100+ degrees for the entire cruise. This would have been tolerable if the ship’s air conditioning hadn't started ... Read More
Weather. Our cruise happened to coincide with a severe heat wave in France. High temperatures each day were 90-100+ degrees for the entire cruise. This would have been tolerable if the ship’s air conditioning hadn't started breaking down on Saturday and had pretty much failed completely by Monday in much of the ship. Cabins were only slightly cooler. We were eating in 95+ degree temps in the dining room at dinner Sunday-Tuesday. People brought pillows and bedding up on the sun deck at night to escape the heat in their cabins. The crew did not acknowledge the problem until Monday at the evening briefing. They did declare an open bar, but that was all and then they ran out of ice. The problem was not fixed until 2am Wednesday morning just before we got off. Viking is giving everyone a 25% refund on the cruise in the form of a voucher to be used within 1 year for another cruise. Reasonable if not generous compensation. It is interesting to note that other reviews mentioned that another Viking ship on this route, the Hermod, also had A/C trouble on this route during this time. There may be a fleet wide design problem that needs to be addressed. In the mean time, you can add heat waves/air conditioning failures to high rivers/low bridges as risks to be assessed when thinking about taking this cruise. Embark/debark notes. Wednesday embarkation was quick and easy. A light Lunch was available from 11 am. A short city walk in Avignon started at 2:30. The following Wednesday departure included breakfast. The night before, they figure out when you need to leave based on your travel plans. Some people had to leave at 2 am! You can stay on the ship in the morning until you are scheduled to go but everyone needs to be out of their cabins by 9 am and off the ship by noon. If you stay on the ship until after 11 am, you can grab some of the lunch probably meant for the new passengers. Ports of call. The itinerary was ok, but not spectacular in regard to scenery and sites. I would call it a real second string list. Several of the small towns in the middle seemed identical without much to distinguish them. I can’t even remember their names. I wish they had included Marseille on the coast and eliminated one of the others. There were Roman ruins in several locations that were a high light. The scenery on the river while cruising varies a little bit. Going north, you start out in the flats for a couple of days. Trees line the bank, so you can't see much. It is pretty, but not spectacular. As you go north, the country gets hillier, but no mountains, gorges, or castles. At the end, Burgundy is flatter again. It starts to get light at about 5:30 am. A special treat is to get up the mornings you are cruising and watch an incredible sunrise as you glide down the river. There are lots of swans on the river. An unexpected delight. Unlike ocean cruising, there is absolutely no rocking or sense of motion. We would wake up and have to open the curtains to see if we were moving. The engines are super quiet and smooth. The only time we felt anything was when the ship bumped the sides of the locks. Many of the locks are only a few inches wider than the ship. You can reach out your window and touch the walls. The locks are a minor interruption. Each takes 20 min or so and it is interesting to see the ship rise in each one. Shipboard info. Staff was uniformly excellent. They were hard working, gracious, and provided excellent service. Times for all activities vary from day to day. There is no set schedule like on a large ship. You really need to go to the daily briefing just before dinner to find out what is happening the next day and when. This info is also printed out each evening and left in your cabin. After the briefing, dinner is served. Because there are about 8 waiters for 150 people, they want everyone to arrive at dinner at the same time, not straggle in over the next hour like on big ships. Drinks in the dining room are included. Any drinks purchased in the lounge upstairs need to be paid for. The Delling is 1 year old and still in immaculate condition. Only trouble in our room was toilet flush button was difficult to work. Also, the cabin door would not lock unless pulled shut. Huge expanses of glass everywhere on the ship are great except when it is sunny it can get hot even with the A/C working. There are sheer curtains but no blackout curtains in the public areas. Cabins have blackout and sheer curtains. Hallways are relatively narrow. Two people cannot pass without turning sideways and making room for each other. In our room, there was 18" between 2 sides of bed and the window or cabinets. 2 people could not pass each other to get to the other side of the bed. The bathroom was very small, but had an amazingly efficient layout. The shower stall is long, but very narrow, about 4’ x 2’, but the shower head is very adjustable. We had no problems with water on floor. Lighting for the big mirror in the bath made everything look orange. L'occitane products were a plus. Cabin attendants were very attentive, but unobtrusive. The Aquavit Terrace up front is mostly without a cover and can get hot when the sun is out. It is well shielded from wind and is a great place to watch the scenery go by. This is the only place you can be outside when the sun deck is closed. A continental breakfast and light lunch & dinner are served there. Up on the sun deck, there is some shade, but much if it is open and uncovered. Cruising speeds are slow, so there is not much wind. Reliable, sort of fast Wifi is really only available in the center common areas of the ship. Trying to do anything In your stateroom is irritatingly slow. Near the reception desk is best. You have to log on each day with your cabin # and name, no password. Going north, a cabin on the left side of the ship will face away from the dock most of the time with the exception of Charon where you see a concrete wall 2 ' away. Nice way to end the cruise. Viking does not always have the best docking spots. Maybe because their ships are so big. In Arles, we were a 20 minute bus ride away from town while other ships were docked in town. In Chalon, the dock is an abandoned wharf with rusting warehouses and 20 minutes from town. This was the worst spot of the cruise and it is unfortunate that it came on the last (or first) day of the cruise depending on your direction. Much has been written about the sun deck being closed a lot due to low bridges. I would estimate it was unavailable about 1/4 to 1/3 of the time. There are just chairs and loungers, umbrellas, putting course, shuffleboard, and the herb garden up there. Nothing else, you have to bring up food and drinks from below as there are no waiters. It was hot and kind of desolate up there anyway. Food and Dining. In the dining room, tables are set for 4, 6, 8, or 10. No tables for couples. Tables around the outside of the room are a bit quieter than those in the center. In the center of the dining room is a buffet line. There can be quite a bit of congestion there with people queuing up for breakfast eggs and hot lunch entres. I would avoid sitting near it except at dinner when it is not used. The tables near the edge may or may not have a view depending on what is going on. If they are in the sun, they can be quite hot, even with the sheer drapes closed. Get in early to get the most desirable tables. They fill up quickly. If you sit at the same table you can get to know your waiter and they will remember your preferences. There are no assigned seats, but after a couple of days we ended up looking for people we knew and sitting with them. Meeting new people at each meal the first couple of days can be exhausting. The food on board was generally very good, but there wasn't nearly the variety of a large ship. Some of the dishes were themed around the area we were cruising. I'm sorry, but there was no Baked Alaska Parade. Much but not all of the food is made on board with exceptions like bread. We saw the executive chef in the local markets shopping for local delicacies . There are usually 3 courses plus cheese plate with 3 selections per course. Menus always had meat, fish, and vegetarian options with salmon and rib eye always available. Portions were European sized, ie small, but adequate. The wine included was ok, nothing special. The red changed from merlot to Burgundy as we sailed north. Several people we knew had the upgraded Silver spirits package and were happy with it. Dinner usually lasted about 2 hours from 7-9. Food is not continuously available except some pastries at the coffee stations, and there is no room service. The bottled mineral water, Harz Quell, handed out for tours, had a pronounced mineral taste that we didn't like. The bottled water provided in the cabins and the water in the dining room was fine. Fellow Passengers. About 90% of people on board were 60+ year old retirees with a couple of extended family groups that included working age adults and school aged kids. About 75% were American with about 20% British/Australian/Canadian, and 5% other. Most were very pleasant and easy going. A word to other Americans, most people on this cruise are relatively successful. Please resist the urge to spew your conservative political views, name drop your famous friends, reveal the square footage of your house(s), etc in the first 10 minutes of sitting down with you at dinner. We don’t care. We are on vacation and will never see you again. Your cringe inducing attempt to establish your social status is really obnoxious. If you want to establish your alpha status in this group, buy your table, or even the whole dining room a round of drinks or something so we can toast your success and hopefully not have to listen to you. On the other hand, one of the joys of cruising is meeting people from around the world. We met 2 lovely couples from Australia and spending time with them was one of the highlights of the cruise. Tours, Entertainment, and Enrichment. The entertainment was ok. The highlight was one evening when a group of young people from Lyon did some classical and jazz songs. The nightly pianist in the lounge was ok. The on board "enrichment" lectures and demonstrations, all 2 or 3 of them, were disappointing in quantity and quality and no where near as good as bigger ships. At least there were no “art” auctions or jewelry sales to avoid. The included walking tours in each town ranged from ok to pretty good. The quality of the tour guides seemed to go up as we went north. In the south, the guides seemed especially lackluster. Generally though, the quality of your tour guide seemed to depend on the luck of the draw at each stop. There are included tours, alternative tours, and optional tours. The alternative tours do not cost. The optional tours do cost extra. Not all optional tours listed on the brochure are available. It depends on the schedule and direction of your ship. Alternative tours can be taken instead of the included tours and generally have a more specific focus like Roman architecture or Van Gogh. Optional tours are at other times so you can usually go after the included tours. They do not explain any of this well and want you to sign up for alternative and optional tours on the first night. If you don't, they may run out of room. They want you to sign up so they will know how many buses and guides they will need. The only optional tour we took to Baux was worth the cost. You are supposed to tip the guides 2€ and drivers 1€,so keep a bunch of change and small bills for that. They don't change money on the ship. Unless you skip a walking tour or ditch it (which may not be possible if you were bussed somewhere and it drives the guides crazy anyway) you will not have much free time at each port. Maybe an hour here and there. On the narrow gauge train ride excursion, they warn about ash from the coal burning engine. Do not wear contact lenses on this trip! A thumb drive of over 500 pictures taken by the cruise director was available at the end of the cruise for about 18 euros. If it is available, it is well worth it and an easy way to get a lot of pictures, but keep in mind that they are not made by a professionally photographer. Summary Despite the heat and A/C failure, we had an entertaining and relaxing time which was what we wanted. We will probably take other Viking river cruises. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I guess from all the television hype you automatically expect something out of this world. I think the cruise is very over rated. Don't misunderstand, we had a fabulous time but we were on this cruise with 8 others, with rooms next to ... Read More
I guess from all the television hype you automatically expect something out of this world. I think the cruise is very over rated. Don't misunderstand, we had a fabulous time but we were on this cruise with 8 others, with rooms next to one another which can make a huge difference. It was nice to have maybe 200 guests on the cruise as it was more intimate than normal and you were able to get to know some very nice people from all over. The ship is small which makes it easy to get around. Aside from sitting in the lounge or upper deck during down time, there isn't too much to do. However, on the up side, because you are on the river, you get to see some beautiful scenery. The crew was outstanding especially the tour director. She was so accommodating. If you wanted to deviate from the morning tour arrangements could be made. Rules on this cruise can be broken and that's only because you are not on board with 3 thousand plus passengers. Every night there was a cocktail hour but you had to pay for these drinks which I wasn't pleased about. The wine,beer,soft drinks,etc...are only free during meal times. During the cocktail hour the tour director would discuss the next days plans so you knew exactly when you had to be up, etc,,, This was very helpful. The food on the ship was inconsistent. Some nights the food was excellent, others not so good. There was one schedule for meals, usually two hours for lunch and two hours for dinner which was fine until one day because of the time of our excursion, lunch started at 11 in the morning. I skipped breakfast that day and went right to lunch. When we got back to the ship after the excursion we were very hungry. The kitchen is closed and all they have during off hours is cookies, coffee,tea, etc.. We were not happy about this. There should be some sort of healthy snack on the boat, something to hold you over before dinner. Previous to this little episode, I was told by the maitre'd that if we are hungry to just go to the bar and they have a menu and we could get something to eat. WRONG! This was how we found out the kitchen was closed. Most of the excursions were very well done with very knowledgable tour guides. Their tipping guide for the crew, we felt was high, however we gave a certain amount for the crew because all tips are divided and then gave certain crew members individual tips. The up side of the crew splitting tips is that, especially at dinner, you can ask anyone to help you out. It doesn't have to be, for example,your waiter. Entertainment or the lack of, consisted of a piano player at night in the lounge. Since the crowd in the lounge wasn't huge, it would have been nice if the piano player interacted more with the passengers. This didn't happen. Would I do a River Cruise again? It's questionable. If you are looking strictly for a rest and relaxing cruise, then this is the way to go. If you are looking to be busy constantly and to be entertained constantly,then this type of cruise is not for you. We had a great time but were traveling with a fun group of people.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Viking Delling was a very organized machine. The whole cruise experience: shore excursions, dining, room service, drinking, check-in & out, waiters; ran like a watch. The crew’s English language skills were excellent for a mostly ... Read More
Viking Delling was a very organized machine. The whole cruise experience: shore excursions, dining, room service, drinking, check-in & out, waiters; ran like a watch. The crew’s English language skills were excellent for a mostly Slovenian crew. There are a few areas for improvement. The biggest shortcoming on the cruise is the lack of use of the top deck, which has the best views and the only exercise track. On the Main-Danube canal and if the Danube is running high (Spring and early Summer), the deck structure is collapsed and the pilot house lowered to clear bridges. Nobody is allowed on the top deck, and the only outside space is a small space forward with glass walls---not many photo ops except through windows. The Downton Abbey film shows the boat in Budapest with the deck awnings up, which wasn’t the case on our cruise. The Viking river cruises cater to a more senior clientele. Later in the cruise the director divided the shore excursions into walkers and non-walkers and this helped. The main problem is a shortage of shore time accentuated by slow moving groups. In Melk and Nuremberg we stuck with the tours, which were back at the boat for lunch. In Regensberg, Passua, and Vienna we did not take the bus back, but struck out on our own and had a better time. In Melk the town and abbey require more time than was available. The food is way above average; the wine and beer are just average. I expected much better beer from the Germans. Nurenberg—The old Nazi sites are disappointing as you don’t enter any of them, just drive by. The Nazi parade grounds are a forest/park. The tour should just go to the castle and provide for a walk from the castle through the town. Regensberg—The Old Stone Bridge is under repair. After a painfully slow morning walk, I broke away from the walking tour, crossed the heavily scaffolded bridge, and using my best German found the biergarten and the brewery and had a memorable lunch with great beer (with the crowds, and for half the price of the “oldest sausage factory” near the boat docks). The ferry trip to Weltenberg Abbey is better than any other part of the regular river cruise! The Abbey is top notch with an excellent historian. There just wasn’t enough time, but otherwise an A+ adventure. Passau—We ditched the tour, used a tour book and a local map, and struck out on our own. Melk—There is not enough time to appreciate this abbey, and no time at all to walk through the town of Melk. Vienna—There is too much to see in Vienna and spending time on the bus in a city is waste as is returning to the boat for lunch (miles from the museums and such). We ditched the bus at the first stop, toured what we could based on a Rick Steves guide, and took the excellent subway home at night. You can’t expect to see Vienna in a day. Budapest—The morning tour for “walkers” worked well, providing perspective and orientation. A tour book lead us to the massive inside market close to the ship. If you are not staying in Budapest a few extra days, this is all the time you’ll have.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We booked this cruise and air travel directly with Viking having previously cruised with Avalon and Uniworld. This was the new vessels fourth cruise since its construction. The ship exterior is all white and it looks rather under-stated. ... Read More
We booked this cruise and air travel directly with Viking having previously cruised with Avalon and Uniworld. This was the new vessels fourth cruise since its construction. The ship exterior is all white and it looks rather under-stated. On board, the public rooms are nicely appointed however the main lounge is somewhat small which led to late arrivers for the daily briefing to sit in folding chairs or stand up--rather odd for a new ship design not to have accommodated the passenger load. Just arrive early to get a comfortable seat. The bow terrace was a nice feature. We had booked a French balcony since we believed the weather would be too cool to enjoy a full balcony. The cabin had a queen bed that was very comfortable and adequate built in storage but there was no room for even a single chair--which would have been nice. The tiny bathroom had top quality plumbing fixtures and the john had tremendous force--definitely not low-flow. WIFI was slooow in our cabin. The ships staff was friendly and responsive. The captain was definitely not a "smoozer," possibly because of limited language skills, but he was a skillful manager of negotiating locks and shore moorings. We took several of the extra shore excursions and the local guides were knowledgeable; however, some were way too verbose. Although the activities director told the passengers that green or red rating cards would be provided after excursions so passengers could evaluate the guides, the cards never appeared. The headphones worked most of the time but if two tour groups got close together the signals got mixed up. The food quality was good and it was very artfully presented. Anyone who didn't get enough to eat really wasn't trying. Since breakfast and lunch were served mostly buffet style, passengers who didn't get enough for dinner could eat until they popped if they wanted ocean cruise size portions. There were no tables set for two people so for the AM feeding we sometimes just sat at an end of the longer tables so we could slowly, quietly wake up. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Viking Delling Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 4.6
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.4
Family 1.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.6
Enrichment 4.0 4.2
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 4.0 4.4
Rates 4.0 N/A

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