22 Viking River Viking Delling Romantic Cruise Reviews

Avignon has been on my bucket list since high school. Everything about this lived up to our expectations and in fact surpassed them. When I called to make the reservations, Damian Tulloch spent and hour and a half on the phone with me to ... Read More
Avignon has been on my bucket list since high school. Everything about this lived up to our expectations and in fact surpassed them. When I called to make the reservations, Damian Tulloch spent and hour and a half on the phone with me to make sure that everything I was looking for was taken care of. The staff on the cruise was top notch, especially the Program Manager, Oliver. He was truly amazing. I don't know how he did it, but he managed to be with every single group during every tour, to make sure that everyone had everything they needed. We signed up for two of the special tours, Flavors of Provence, and a Taste of Lyon. Both were excellent. All of the tour guides were well versed on their areas. We were really pleased with all of the shore excursions, especially the steam train in Tournon, such a beautiful area. Our cabin was a perfect size for our needs and was kept spotless by the cleaning staff. On the 18th, we returned to our room to find a "cake" made of towels and a note from the staff wishing my husband Happy Birthday. Such incredible thoughtfulness. Viking truly is the best. They made it a very special trip for us. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
highly recommended by others and was a part of France we wanted to get to know and the Viking experience satisfied and exceeded all expectations. the tours at all stops were well guided by folks who knew all the subject matter and ... Read More
highly recommended by others and was a part of France we wanted to get to know and the Viking experience satisfied and exceeded all expectations. the tours at all stops were well guided by folks who knew all the subject matter and sufficient time was provided to get a rich experience on each tour. would rate the staff as exceptional on this cruise and found them all extremely helpful and knowledgeable. if someone did not have an immediate answer which was rare, they soon found someone to help us out. this was a worry free adventure in the south of France for sure. highly recommend the pre and post elements in Nice and in Dijon. this was our 50th anniversary celebration cruise and found the river boats just perfect we have cruised on many large ships and will favour the viking small ships on european rivers in the future. in summary you should be proud of your product, service and staff Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I have been suggesting this particular river cruise on the Rhone for the last couple of years and my wife surprised me for our anniversary and my birthday to gift this to me. Since I am a culinarian/foodie, I believed this was one of ... Read More
I have been suggesting this particular river cruise on the Rhone for the last couple of years and my wife surprised me for our anniversary and my birthday to gift this to me. Since I am a culinarian/foodie, I believed this was one of the best opportunities to cover a lot of ground in a short week, and we did. Three of our excursions were to different wine regions with the first being in Beaujolais, the second in Cruzes Hermitage and the third in the Chateneuf de Pape . Stopping in Viene, I was able to stop by La Pyramid, the heart of where modern cuisine started in the 1950's with Fernand Point, the great chef of this restaurant that trained the great chefs of the time including Paul Bocuse, Roger Verge and the Troisgras brothers.. Of course, Bocuse's restaurant is in Lyon which is the gastronomic center of French Cuisine today. Viene also had an incredible farmers' market which we were told is the second largest in France. We were not disappointed with many offerings of cheese and charcuterie that were over the top. Besides culinary history of our cruise being front and center for me, I loved the historic significance of our river cruise as well especially as we headed south to the Provence area visiting Arles, the home of many impressionist such as Van Gogh and Avignon with the Palace of the Popes. While the very worthwhile hectic travel schedule we created for ourselves, it was amazing the incredible service and hospitality we received on the Delling. The staff couldn't do enough for us and made us feel very welcomed and comfortable. I am in the hospitality business and the Delling staff represented the quintessential expression of hospitality. All personnel on the ship were so down to earth and non-pretentious contributing greatly to our unforgettable experience at all levels of management. There light-hearted play amoht the staff was welcomed and tasteful. The entertainment on board was enjoyable. Generally the food was very good with a very wide selection at all times and the ease in which a special dietary request was made. I can only think of 2 minor examples of where I thought the food fell a little short which is a minor complaint since it was excellent overall. The first dinner found some of the items over seasoned, and on the second evening the crab cakes were short of their mark especially after they described by the Chef. Again, over all, the chef and his staff did an excellent job. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise, because we have travel with Viking before, we did the Danube Budapest to Bucharest, and we enjoy it very much, this time we one.. We love the history, the towns we visit were very interested, the Tour guide were ... Read More
We chose this cruise, because we have travel with Viking before, we did the Danube Budapest to Bucharest, and we enjoy it very much, this time we one.. We love the history, the towns we visit were very interested, the Tour guide were great, except we have one that did not speak very good English. but it was ok.. Avignon, we enjoy the Palace of the Popes, and the other towns as well , the tour guide were very informative. We were sorry we did not bring a good pair of shoes, due to the stone they use to build the streets. roads. we wish we had more bus tours. The ship was great, food was ok, no much variety, the cheft need it a little more creativity. to mix with the meat. Also we did not like that dinner was so late in the evening. we went to bed with a full belly, Entertaiment was ok, we would have like when they, more culture , ones. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Love the south of France! Loved my previous Viking cruises on the Rhine and Danube! My husband had never visited this part of the world before. Everything was perfect: our cabin with its veranda, the food, the immaculate state of ... Read More
Love the south of France! Loved my previous Viking cruises on the Rhine and Danube! My husband had never visited this part of the world before. Everything was perfect: our cabin with its veranda, the food, the immaculate state of everything! The crew was incredible! Loved, love, loved this cruise! The itinerary was well-chosen, and the shore excursions excellent. Got to see many small towns I'd never known about! My only criticism is that I would have liked to spend more time sailing - not just lying in the port of Lyon. That is what is making us hesitant about some other cruises we're thinking of: too much time in Paris. Or Moscow/St. Petersburg or Beijing/Shanghai. The point of a river cruise s to spend time sailing on rivers, no? That said, everything was always taken care of, the planning was extraordinary. The food was always fantastic. But, I repeat - I cannot praise the wonderful crew enough! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We wanted a relaxing cruise after two weeks of sight-seeing ihn Spain. Viking gave us many options; each day we were on a walking tour of the city we docked at, or a bus tour of the region. In the afternoon they offered other tours for ... Read More
We wanted a relaxing cruise after two weeks of sight-seeing ihn Spain. Viking gave us many options; each day we were on a walking tour of the city we docked at, or a bus tour of the region. In the afternoon they offered other tours for an added fee. We enjoyed the small size of the ship, with fewer than 200 guests. One dinner seating at any table we chose, so we met most of the other guests. Service was impeccable; staff quickly learned our preferences. House wine was free with meals. As we were in Provence, the meals were regional specialties. Evening entertainment was limited: a dance performance, some singing performers. Other nights were game nights. It was a low-key, relaxing experience. I was impressed with the attention to detaIl-the timing of meals related to the times of tours, tour guides were all knowledgeable. On our last day, the plan to get us to the airport was extremely well orgainzed and executed-we had to leave the ship at about 3 a.m., but breakfast was available prior to boarding the bus! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Food, wine, service, accommodations, activities all exceeded our expectations. It was our first cruise and we are already looking forward to our next river cruise with Viking. Every aspect of the cruise was wonderful, from the waiters, the ... Read More
Food, wine, service, accommodations, activities all exceeded our expectations. It was our first cruise and we are already looking forward to our next river cruise with Viking. Every aspect of the cruise was wonderful, from the waiters, the bartenders, the chefs, the entertainment, the shore excursions to the porters who cleaned the rooms. Viking goes out of their way to make their cruise is special for everyone and they succeed every step of the way. I commend all of the Viking staff for their hard work, their engaging personalities and their readiness to go that extra step to ensure that all their guests are happy with every aspect of cruise life. It clearly is not an easy task to spend the time and effort to make sure every Viking guest is happy, but we did take notice that every staff member did just that. Also loved all the ports we visited along the way on our cruise down the Rhone. Kudos to Viking River Cruises and to the wonderful staff who make it the perfect cruise line. We will be back !! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
While the weather was rotten, cold and wet more than sunny and warm, the trip was excellent thanks to a great crew and an fantastic trip director. The sights along the river were awesome, with lots of Roman ruins to explore and delightful ... Read More
While the weather was rotten, cold and wet more than sunny and warm, the trip was excellent thanks to a great crew and an fantastic trip director. The sights along the river were awesome, with lots of Roman ruins to explore and delightful shops to visit. The best part of the trip was a surprise, a night walk in Vivier. The Roman collosium in Arles was a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately we were not quite prepared for the weather, but the ship was always warm and comfortable, and being greeted wiith a warm cloth or hot drink on our return was appreciated by all. The entire trip was full of new experiences and places to visit. My husband and I are seasoned travelers but with this river cruise, there was always something new around the next bend. The local guides were all well versed in their communites and presented us with just enough information to give us a taste of each community, but not so much as to overloaded. We recommend it highly to all who appreciate the way Viking treats its travelers as family. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Our 3rd Viking cruise (our first that wasn't Danube or Rhine Christmas Markets) and always a real pleasure. Spent some time in Marseille and Aix them off to Avignon to begin the cruise. Service, food, ports, and shore activities ... Read More
Our 3rd Viking cruise (our first that wasn't Danube or Rhine Christmas Markets) and always a real pleasure. Spent some time in Marseille and Aix them off to Avignon to begin the cruise. Service, food, ports, and shore activities were excellent. Travelled with (new) friends we met on the earlier Danube cruise and made new friends on this cruise. What made this cruise particularly special was the wonderful food and wine in each city, notably Lyon and Arles (as well as the excellent food served onboard). Tour of Chateauneuf du Pape vineyards were a highlight as well as Avignon Castle of the Popes and city tour of Lyon (an amazing city). Used Viking for airline reservations and transfers and everything went off without a hitch. Considering another Christmas Markets cruise on Viking or trying Viking Ocean Cruises for a different experience. Crew and cruise director were excellent. Highly recommend Viking. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We booked the "France's Finest" cruise which is a combination of the 7 day Lyon and Provence cruise and the 7 day Paris to Normandy cruise. We had never been on a river cruise and did so on the recommendation of friends who ... Read More
We booked the "France's Finest" cruise which is a combination of the 7 day Lyon and Provence cruise and the 7 day Paris to Normandy cruise. We had never been on a river cruise and did so on the recommendation of friends who had. We arrive in Marseilles and there was a Viking representative waiting for us to take us to the port in Avignon. We boarded, secured our room key and were able to get into our room promptly. We booked the lowest level room because we had read that the balconies were not necessary on such a busy cruise and for the fact that sometimes the ships were stacked against each other in port which means you would be looking into another ship's rooms. That and being October, we weren't sure what sort of weather we would have. On ocean cruises we always book a balcony but it is usually summer and I do not regret not having a balcony. Our stateroom was 118 and was very nice. All rooms are pretty small, but storage is not an issue as there is room under the bed for suitcases, plenty of drawers and a nice closet. There is always a bottle of water, you get you own ice, the listening devices for the tours on the counter that you must always remember to charge and take with you. The window is large but high and set back from the room so there is a large shelf there. If you are in port and against the docking area, you will have to close your drapes. I liked with room because we were usually facing the river in most ports. The bathroom is small, of course, but there is plenty of area for toiletries and a nice size shower with great water pressure. Lunch was being served so we took advantage of that as we were tired and needed to freshen up before dinner. After resting, we made it to dinner even though we were exhausted. Met wonderful people and had an excellent meal. We purchased the beverage package even though you do get wine and beer included with dinner. I'm glad we did but not sure I would do again unless it was part of a promotion. Let me say at this point that the staff and crew of this ship were amazing. It did not matter if you met up with the captain or the kitchen staff, they all would greet you, wish you a nice day or ask your plans. Our room was spotless as was the entire ship. Our Program Director was Patricia on this leg of the cruise and she was truly special. She knew everything and was on pretty much every excursion. I don't know when she sleeps! And the food! Oh my! The selection is amazing and the quality even more so. The wait staff is helpful and fun. We usually tried to sit in the same area for dinner on both cruises and these people go to know us and did things without having to be asked. They are truly wonderful! Here is a rundown of the ports. I would suggest you do the included walking tours at each port. There is a wealth of information available through these guides and it will still leave you time to do other things. As with everything, there are guides who are better than others. The headsets are great but sometimes the accents are heavy and it might be a little hard to understand at times. Arles: We did the waking tour at 9:00 AM where we visited many of the town's sites. Beautiful town and October was such a great time to visit. The town is beautiful and the connection to van Gogh makes it very special. Weather perfect. In the afternoon we chose to do the Les Baux and Carrieres de Lumieres Show. The show was amazing and the town of Les Baux was worth the trip. Avginon: Even though we boarded here, we cruised to Arles first and then returned to Avignon. We also did the walking tour which included the Pope's Palace, a must see in this town, as well as a stop at Les Halles, the great market. We were able to spend time here, sample many treats and gaze longingly at amazing pastries! After lunch we did the Chateauneuf du Pape tour and tasting. I learned more at this tasting than I have at any other. Wine was amazing and we taken to the vineyards to see the vines and how they grow in rocks.The view from the castle ruins is beautiful and the stop in the small town allowed us to grab a coffee or do some shopping. Loved this excursion! Viviers: The walking tour here looks intimidating as you walk to the cathedral above the town, but it is very leisurely and beautiful. The view from the cathedral is very pretty and again, the weather was perfect. We were sailing not long after our return, but during the afternoon there was a cooking demonstration, galley tour, French tea time and and French lesson. I did them all and so enjoyed every one! Tournon: Short tour of the town and then on to the Tournon Steam Train tour. Again, the weather was perfect and this train ride was beautiful. Returned to the ship docked in Vienne and did the walking tour in the afternoon. This town was probably my least favorite but the tram ride to the to the cathedral provided beautiful views of the town and the river. Lyon: What a beautiful city! We did the city tour which included time in the old town. Plenty of shopping and eating here. You could return to the ship or stay and get back on your own. We were spending the night so many folks returned in the afternoon. The next day was disembarkation day. Since we were going on the Paris to Normandy cruise, we were taken to the train station and took the high speed train, first class, into Paris. Took about 2 hours and it was a very relaxing trip! Once off the train we were met by a Viking representative who took us to our next ship, the Rhinda. Everything about this cruise was perfect. Fellow cruisers are well-traveled and for the most part in their 50's and 60's. There were some young people but they are definitely in the minority. If this makes you think quiet and stodgy, you are wrong. These people love to party and everyone is so friendly that even if you are traveling alone or as a couple, you will meet people you will come to know very well through meals and excursions. That was one of the highlights of this cruise! This is the first time we have vacationed in October and it could not have been a better time. Crowds are small, weather might be cool in the morning but wonderful in the afternoon. Even the evenings were warm enough to be out and about. I loved being here in October. There is an elevator aboard but it only goes between the 2nd and third levels, not the bottom level where our cabin was. If you are in any unable to use stairs, you might want to check on this before you book a room on this level. This was a wonderful cruise from beginning to end mainly because of the wonderful staff and lovely ports. I will continue the review of the Rhinda on that page. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our first experience of any cruise and it will not be our last. There was attention to detail in all aspects of our week in Provence. The staff and the programme director Patricia were all so helpful and always charming. A good ... Read More
This was our first experience of any cruise and it will not be our last. There was attention to detail in all aspects of our week in Provence. The staff and the programme director Patricia were all so helpful and always charming. A good balance of included excursions along free time or optional additional trips. The ship being fairly new was modern and always clean. The food was very good with options to eat all meals in the main restaurant as well as the closed or open lounge areas. The cabin while small was well designed with good use of space. We were in the lower deck with only a window but this was not an issue for us as its only a flight of stairs to the other decks. We met some great people and the seating at tables or 6 or 8 means everyone chats and shares experiences . There were daily updates on the events for the following day and a written page in the cabins as a reminder of times etc. I must say everyone kept to the agreed schedule at all times so no hanging around for 1 or 2 people at coach or pick ups. The Quitevox and earpiece was great for following the commentary of the guides . The only minor niggle was the absence of rose wine for most or the trip which in Provence is surprising but we made do with champagne instead! Many thanks to all at Viking and we hope to see you again soon. PM Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
best vacation i've had in years. crew was excellent as was the dining experience.i must say, the entire cruise was a pleasure. we've met many guest who will be friends for life.i hope to take another Viking cruise next year.Our ... Read More
best vacation i've had in years. crew was excellent as was the dining experience.i must say, the entire cruise was a pleasure. we've met many guest who will be friends for life.i hope to take another Viking cruise next year.Our cabin was very comfortable and clean with daily care.we always had hot water for showers and personal needs. great having a small refrig. for snacks and wine for our evening rest on our veranda.The food choices were on a par with our dining experiences in Paris. we had a great time singing and dancing in the evening after dinner. i must say, the wine selection at dinner was excellent.Our cruise will be a fond memory for many years.Our excursions upon leaving fhe ship were well thought out and comprehensive. We found the guides were extremely friendly and had great knowledge of each tour we experienced. In short, i must say my wife and friends had a most pleasurable time on our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
When discussing our next vacation we decided to visit France. Since we had previously sailed with Viking we decided that a river cruise in the southern part of France would be exactly what we wanted. Having enjoyed our previous cruise ... Read More
When discussing our next vacation we decided to visit France. Since we had previously sailed with Viking we decided that a river cruise in the southern part of France would be exactly what we wanted. Having enjoyed our previous cruise through The Netherlands & Belgium we had high expectations for this cruise which went from Lyon to Arles with many stops along the way. I am happy to say that all our expectations were not only met but greatly exceeded. All of our arrangements were made directly through Viking. Our flight, which had two connections went smoothly. Someone met us at the airport in Lyon and within two hours we were on board the Viking Delling. From that point everything from the friendliness and attentiveness of their entire staff was refreshing. The stops and tours were all exactly what we hoped for. We could not have been more pleased. As you will see I have rated everything as excellent to rate any category less would not be a fair representation of how we felt about our trip. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Wanted to see Avignon and Arles and also Monaco and Nice. The food and service were terrific. Was hoping for a more scenic trip, but it is what it is. The tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and helpful. We got many good tips ... Read More
Wanted to see Avignon and Arles and also Monaco and Nice. The food and service were terrific. Was hoping for a more scenic trip, but it is what it is. The tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and helpful. We got many good tips where to. Have lunch from the guides. The waiters and bartenders were also extremely attentive and we had a good time with them. I hope more people have the opportunity to travel with Viking. I've made arrangements for our fourth trip for next spring on the Danube and we can't wait. All the places we visited were easily accessible even for those with mobility problems. We really enjoyed walking thru all the old towns with their narrow streets and great restaurants. The town squares are really good for people watching and having a cold beer or glass of wine. The side trip to Nice and Monaco were well worth the cost. Great hotels and tour guide. 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
This was our second Viking River cruise and we chose France because we wanted to see more of France. We did the pre-cruise in Paris for 3 nights and the post cruise in Nice for 3 nights. The ports were wonderful. The pace was perfect. ... Read More
This was our second Viking River cruise and we chose France because we wanted to see more of France. We did the pre-cruise in Paris for 3 nights and the post cruise in Nice for 3 nights. The ports were wonderful. The pace was perfect. We especially like the fact that the shore excursions are a half day and are included in the cruise cost. Also drinks are included. There was plenty of time to relax in the afternoon or go on optional tours if we were interested. Oftentimes, we preferred to relax on the boat and read and rest so we didn't feel like we needed another vacation when we arrived home! The service was the best and the staff made the cruise so memorable. We're thinking about doing our next cruise on a Viking Ocean cruise to the Baltic. Otherwise, we'll look forward to another Viking Cruise - maybe Portugal and Italy. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose a Viking River Tour because ocean cruises have too many people. They feel like being in a crowded mall. This was our first trip to Europe. Viking was amazing. The ship was small and intimate. The crew was attentive. The ... Read More
We chose a Viking River Tour because ocean cruises have too many people. They feel like being in a crowded mall. This was our first trip to Europe. Viking was amazing. The ship was small and intimate. The crew was attentive. The concierge helped us make dinner reservations in Lyon based on our desire to have steak tartar. The concierge also helped us find a restaurant supply store when my husband expressed an interest in purchasing a French made frying pan. The included excursions were an excellent overview of the area. Our favorite was the trip to the wine chateau. The cabin was small (expected since this is a ship) but comfortable. Very little time was actually spent in the cabin. The dining was excellent. The food was predominately the local cuisine. It was a extreme cut above any all-inclusive we have gone to in Mexico or Jamaica. Of course the plane ride was very long and the jet leg was hellish. Large time change. The awful part was the long layovers. This trip was intended as a once in a lifetime deal. It's more expensive than our usual vacations. With that being said...we were so impressed that we have every intention of going again in a few years. We'll have to save up. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
The ship was wonderful. great layout and cabins are large. Crew could not have been more wonderful and helpful. Shore excursions are always very well organized and very informative. Food was exceptional. We will never go back to the ... Read More
The ship was wonderful. great layout and cabins are large. Crew could not have been more wonderful and helpful. Shore excursions are always very well organized and very informative. Food was exceptional. We will never go back to the larger cruise ships again This was our 2nd Viking River Cruise.. Stayed 3 nights in Nice prior to the cruise. Hotel was a great location rooms were nice and hotel staff was very helpful. We had picked this ship because of the itinerary and it was one of the new Viking fleet. The buffet selections at both breakfast and dinner were exceptional as always. wait staff was always available when needed and checked on everyone continually. The chef could not have been more friendly and was always out and about speaking with passengers. Our cabin was always kept clean and we were always given several bottles of water each day in our fridge. Local entertainment at some ports was brought on board for the passengers both during the day and in the evening. Each of our ports of call were different and where most cruise lines want you to shop on your shore excursions Viking focuses more on the history and culture of each port but of course there was always some free time for shopping. We will choose Viking for our next cruise vacation sometime in the near future. Again what a wonderful experience this company gives each passenger from the time of your initial booking to days following your return with a phone call asking how your experience was. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was our second viking cruise. We wanted to spend time in southern france without packing and unpacking. We had been to some cities there before but wanted to see more . Overall we liked it a lot. The cruise was as advertised. ... Read More
This was our second viking cruise. We wanted to spend time in southern france without packing and unpacking. We had been to some cities there before but wanted to see more . Overall we liked it a lot. The cruise was as advertised. It was low key and comfortable. Food was excellent. Biggest concern is tipping. We have found that tipping early and often during the cruise makes a big difference in getting needed attention during meals. All nd then they guilt you into a large big tip at the end that supposedly is divided among the crew. Why not just pay them a fair salary and let us personally tip those who merit it? There were lots of pretty views. Much of the time the sun deck is closed due to low bridges so it's worth getting a cabin with good views. We enjoyed the tour of the kitchen. It's amazing what they do in that small place Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Based on a number of reviews on this site, I decided to book this river cruise from Avignon north to Chalon sur Saone in Summer rather than Spring. There is less chance of the river level being too high for the ship to go under low ... Read More
Based on a number of reviews on this site, I decided to book this river cruise from Avignon north to Chalon sur Saone in Summer rather than Spring. There is less chance of the river level being too high for the ship to go under low bridges in the Summer. We passed under many bridges during our cruise and even with the Rhone and Saone "below normal levels" there was not a lot of room between the top deck and the bridge, but we got through them all OK. We reviewed the included and optional tours when we first boarded the ship and made our tour decisions then. I would recommend doing that as some optional tours filled up quickly. We found the included and optional tours to be worth it and well run. Because of the average age of the river cruise passenger (see below) there was always a "Leisurely Group" for the included tours for folks with mobility issues. The Program Director (Mia), the Chef and the dining staff were exceptional. Great food; friendly, professional service (when my wife mentioned that she was on a gluten-free diet, they provided gluten-free croissants - which were delicious). Mia's late afternoon and post-dinner sessions were informative and entertaining. Special thanks go to Doro, our concierge, who was up to any challenge including finding my wife's luggage that Air France lost for two days (tip - if you are traveling with a spouse/partner - pack half of each person's stuff in each checked bag in case one gets lost.) Doro also found a way to package and mail an oversize poster that I purchased back to the states during one of our stops. Eve, the Hotel Manager was also very helpful, offering encouragement friendship and any assistance she could (complimentary clothes laundering,etc.) while my wife was luggage-less. At one point I mentioned to Eve that I had bought an African mango in Avignon. the next day 3 mangoes appeared in our room. There were several "pleasant surprises" like this from the staff throughout our vacation. I also observed both Doro and Eve expertly helping many guests with a number of varied requests/situations during our cruise. Our ports of call were interesting, safe & varied. The staff did a great job of keeping everyone on schedule; pointing out interesting sights and things to do and leaving enough free time for strolling and shopping. There were a couple of ports where we were parked right next to another Viking ship overnight. Other than opening your curtains and being surprised by looking at the window of someone else's room, it wasn't realy much of a negative. The overnight ports are about 50-50 - some in fairly nice areas (Avignon, Lyon, Arles) others in less attractive industrial areas (Chalon sur Saone). We found that the transfers to & from the airport provided by Viking were very efficient. Viking has employees assist you with luggage pickup and other issues (like lost luggage) and checking in to the airline at the airport. You definitely feel you are being well taken care of by Viking. We did find that, while there were some passengers in their 40's and early 50's; and some teens and 20's with families - the majority of our fellow passengers were in their 60's and 70's. Americans, Aussies, Scots and Brits mostly, which made for interesting conversations. We would definitely do another river cruise with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Viking Cruise reference: Viking Delling River Cruise - Portraits of Southern France – Avignon to Chalon sur Saone July 1 to July 8, 2105 I am a retired USAF officer and still do occasional consulting work for DOD focused contractors. ... Read More
Viking Cruise reference: Viking Delling River Cruise - Portraits of Southern France – Avignon to Chalon sur Saone July 1 to July 8, 2105 I am a retired USAF officer and still do occasional consulting work for DOD focused contractors. My wife and I live on a lake in NC and enjoy birding and traveling. We recently went to South Africa on a 21 day birding “safari.” We have been on a number of cruises on the Cunard, Celebrity and Abercrombie and Kent cruise lines – enjoyed them all. We are both in our early 70s, are still very active and in good health. We enjoy walking tours, and regularly participate in long birding trips in some challenging terrain. During my Air Force career, I was stationed in Europe a few times, and was fortunate enough to have an exchange officer assignment with the French Air Force. Given my enjoyable experience in France, we thought a cruise in Southern France would be a great introduction to European river cruises. After reading a good number of reviews, my wife and I decided to take our first Viking river cruise. We opted for first/business class air travel to Marseilles and reserved a Veranda suite (AA). The Viking arranged Delta/KLM/Air France flights were fine, but the Viking transfer from the Marseilles airport to the embarkation location was a bit of a goat rope, in that the Viking greeters seemed overwhelmed by the number of arrivals. The luggage transfer from the airport to the ship went well. The Veranda suite cabin was physically quite good - two rooms, a little balcony and a large bathroom (heated floors) – the shower was exceptional (great water pressure). Cabin and laundry service were exceptionally good – thanks to Denis! The boat (Delling) is large and quite well appointed. They serve dinner in one “open” seating, so dinner can produce an interesting traffic jam with passengers and servers jockeying for space, seating and service. The meals were a shade above mediocre and the served wines the same. The servers worked very hard at meeting a seemingly never-ending flow of customers’ demands, but it appeared to us that they were understaffed. As the cruise progressed and it got hotter, service in the dining room slowed perceptibly, requiring us to sit in that overheated facility for extended periods. Our final dinner on board began at 7:45pm and concluded with dessert being served at nearly 10:00pm – nearly two and one half hours spent sitting in a room with the temperature over 95° F. We speculated that the kitchen staff had succumbed to the heat! If your table were on the sun side of the boat, the curtains needed to be closed – so much for the view. For breakfast and lunch, the queue at the grill was slow and unpleasant, as people felt compelled to cut in and reach through the line. The shore excursions were OK, but nothing like Viking’s advertising. Lots of bus and walking time, with the tour guide “herding cats.” On the positive side, the tour guides were well informed, had a good sense of humor and handled English well. Recommend you look very carefully at the itinerary and tours to be sure it includes somethings of genuine interest to you. Onboard activities varied from the interesting to sophomoric quiz games. The nightly piano player/singer was something out of an old “B-movie,” and his repertoire got old very fast. The passenger dress norms ranged from gym clothing to sport coat. Most of the time we wore high-end golf shirts and shorts with comfortable walking shoes and we felt very comfortable dressed that way on board and on the tours. Don’t kid yourself about your ability to walk on cobblestone streets and climb large flights of stairs – some of the tours were arduous and a few passengers with canes and walkers could not keep up. We’d recommend bring a good supply of Euros, with a generous amount of small denominations bills and change for tour guide and bus driver gratuities. The onboard concierge desk has a limited amount of change for larger Euro currency. Onboard internet was a bit intermittent, but if you were persistent, it worked OK. The number of 120v outlets is minimal; recommend you bring 120v plug multipliers (3 in 1), and adapters for 220v outlets. The Tour Director (Sam), was informative, and entertaining, except when it came to providing timely and accurate information about the boat’s malfunctioning air-conditioning system. The cruise began with what I’d characterize as a marginally effective air-conditioning system that got progressively worse until at about the 3rd evening, when it was totally ineffective. During the ensuing four days without air-conditioning, the on-board temperatures reached ~100ᵒF. One passenger we traveled with signed up for an optional tour just so he could sit in the air-conditioned bus and not participate in the walking tour– clever guy! A good number of on-line reviews have referred to our cruise as the cruise from hell. While that descriptor is hyperbolic, from a passenger’s perspective, it is quite accurate. Constant sweating and wet clothes were the norm; an environment in which virtually all activities were unpleasant, to include the most rudimentary such as sleeping and eating. From the onset of the air-conditioning problem, the Tour Director seemed to be in denial, even though it was obvious to anyone on-board that the air-conditioning was not functioning properly. He blamed the unusually hot weather, and said that since the ship was made of metal, it was unavoidable that it would get this “warm.” Warm is not a descriptor I’d use when the on-board temperatures hovered around 100ᵒF!! One night another Viking ship of a parallel design docked alongside us, and we were invited to visit their lobby and lounge areas, since their air-conditioning was functioning very well – so much for the Delling’s design and climatological situation explanation! What surprised and disappointed us the most was that there was no attempt made to make the best of a difficult situation; for example, buying a few fans to at least get some air movement in the dining room and bar area. I suggested that to the Tour Director and he told me he didn’t have that authority?! If he doesn’t have that authority, who on-board does? The boat’s captain was nowhere to be found during the “heat wave.” On the final night when the Tour Director finally announced what was obvious to all, he blamed UPS for losing the needed repair part, so the on-board steam bath continued unabated, until the morning of debarkation, when the air-conditioning miraculously began to function effectively Since 1967, I’ve flown and fixed aircraft all over the world and I think Viking’s inability to get a part to its boat in Europe is pitiful. They could have delivered the part via car or train, or put someone on a commercial flight to hand carry the part, or put it in their luggage. The fact that they didn’t even buy a few readily available fans for at least the public areas is unfathomable; after all, we weren’t in the middle of the ocean! On the day of debarkation, we had to have our bags ready for pick up at 6:00am – so we packed in the heat for a good part of the night prior. The queue for the final bill clearing took about 30 minutes – the staff seemed overwhelmed and it was HOT!!. The transfer to the Lyon airport via bus was OK, but then there was a significant “bag-drag” from where the bus dropped us off to the terminal. On the positive side, the Viking transfer rep stayed around to be sure we were checked in OK. The Viking arranged flight to Paris went OK, but sure wasn’t first or business class – just wasn’t offered on that model of Airbus. In summary, we believe the Portraits of Southern France cruise is just a lousy itinerary – there are so many low bridges, the sun deck is lowered and off-limits most of the time, so we could rarely enjoy that aspect of the cruise. They did most of the sun deck reconfiguring at night, so in addition to the heat, the noise of the workers was considerable – like trying to sleep in a steamy bowling alley! Many of the in route stops were in small nondescript French towns, ensuring max bus ride time to see something worthwhile. Many of the docking locations were old rundown piers, replete with graffiti. When docked, most times our suite veranda looked directly onto the side of a rundown pier or old warehouse. Despite the heat, at night we kept our sliding doors closed out of concern for someone stepping off the pier right onto our veranda and into our room. Most of the cruise itinerary shore line was an endless succession of scrub trees, deteriorating ancient ruins, most well out of visual range and floating debris. The locks in-between the different river levels were filthy and smelled as bad as they looked. Lock passage was interesting once, but after the 3rd or 4th time it got very old. We paid a lot of money for this cruise, with the expectation of participating in a cruise and sojourn that was enjoyable; instead, we had to endure a situation that was the complete opposite, a third-world accommodation and experience. Of the eight day, seven night cruise, four days and nights were without effective air-conditioning and were just miserable. Look closely at how many days you actually “cruise” - time on the front and back ends are taken up with embarkation and debarkation activities; no fun there! This situation was not a force majeure; it was a failure of Viking equipment and the inability or unwillingness of Viking’s crew to take any visible action to ameliorate the incessant and intolerable onboard temperatures. Any contention that given the circumstances, the crew did all they could is just not accurate, as I personally suggested to the cruise director at least twice, the introduction of a few air-circulating fans would have been a major step in the right direction. These could have been purchased in route at any city/village – the Euro outlay would have been well less than what an “open bar” cost and would have had a greater positive impact on the passengers’ cruise experience. I mailed two certified letters to the Viking CEO (Hagen) and Complaints Department (Andre), the first of which were received on 20 July and to date (2 Sep.), there has been no response from the addressees. Viking management’s approach to this particle problem has been to stall; I guess hoping we’d just give up – bad assumption! Based on our experience, for anyone looking at a Viking cruise, as long as all goes well, great; but if there’s a problem, don’t count on Viking management to do much. Our travel agent was finally contacted by a Viking rep and as compensation, we were offered credit on a Viking cruise for a small percentage of what we paid for our Portraits of Southern France cabin – over half the cruise (50%) was without air-conditioning, so offering less seems to be out of sync with basic logic. Readers can judge for themselves if less than 50% is fair compensation for a miserable cruise and the lack of response/courtesy from Viking management. Based on our first Viking cruise experience, it will be our last – Tauck Tours, here we come! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Our tour director referred to our trip as the cruise from hell, so i am not exaggerating. The customer service aspects of how Viking dealt with a catastrophic A/C failure on its ship during a heatwave was telling. First deny the problem, ... Read More
Our tour director referred to our trip as the cruise from hell, so i am not exaggerating. The customer service aspects of how Viking dealt with a catastrophic A/C failure on its ship during a heatwave was telling. First deny the problem, than deflect the blame for the problem, then distract the passengers from the problem. Fixing the problem should have come first. An apology and acknowledgement would have gone a long way, too. First the Good: (1) The fellow travelers were great -- every made the best of a difficult situation. (2) The ships staff and crew - they were troopers and had to put up with the same discomfort that the passengers did, and they did so with charm and good humor. (3) the Itinerary - the towns we visited were well chosen, and the local guides were excellent. (4) The ship (Viking Delling) had everything one would want on a river cruise ship -- the staterooms are well designed, the bathroom is large as far as cruise ships go, and the showers were great (hot water and good pressure). The lounges and common areas were plentiful and well designed. (5) The chef was accommodating to the vegetarians and gluten-free diners in our group. The Mediocre: (1) the food was so-so. It was plentiful, but nothing to write home about. Avoid the soups at all costs. Their version of clam chowder and lobster bisque were watery soups--not a chowder or a bisque. (2) the women in our group complained there was not enough time to shop in the towns we visited. (3) The on board entertainment -- it was basically a Ricky Martin look alike, with a nice voice, at the piano, doing English as a Second Language Karaoke each night in the lounge. The Ugly: (1) the ships air conditioning did not work. The temperature on our trip exceeded 35 C, on some days it got up to 40. Because the ship's A/C didn't work, the temperature in our stateroom exceeded 80 at night, and there were no windows to open so it was impossible to cool down. During dinner, guests at our table took to wrapping ice cubes in napkins, and wrapping the rolled napkins around their necks -- for 3 nights in a row. (2) The Ship and Viking refused to acknowledge that the A/C wasn't working: for a couple days. They blamed the unusually hot weather and said since a ship is made of metal, it was unavoidable that the ship would get this warm. Then one night another Viking ship docked along side us, we were able to walk into their lobby and dining room, and their A/C worked perfectly fine. So instead of fixing the problem, they offered an open bar to distract us. If our crew or Viking had acknowledgment the A/C system failure earlier, it could have called for repairs earlier. Instead they put their head s in the sand and made the passengers suffer. It turns out that the A/C outage was caused by a plastic bag being sucked into a water intake valve. If Viking had sought a repair as soon as the problem was noted, rather than blaming the design of the ship's A/C system or the weather, the problem would have resolved days earlier. (3) The Viking booked air transfers required at least 25-30 passengers to depart the ship at 3 am (luggage out in the hall at 2:15 am) for a 2 hour bus ride to the airport on the last night of the 8 day / 7 night trip. So in effect, it was a 7 day / 6 night trip. Requiring your guests to set alarms at 2 am on the last night of the tour is not a good way to have people remember the trip fondly. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Viking Delling Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.6
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.7
Fitness & Recreation 1.0 N/A
Family 1.0 3.4
Shore Excursions 5.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 5.0 4.8
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

Find a Viking Delling Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click