5 Viking River Viking Heimdal Luxury Cruise Reviews

Everything on the boat was excellent. The food, the staff and service were top shelf. We stayed in a Veranda Suite. The tours were average but the scenery was not very interesting while cruising, unlike our previous Viking tour from ... Read More
Everything on the boat was excellent. The food, the staff and service were top shelf. We stayed in a Veranda Suite. The tours were average but the scenery was not very interesting while cruising, unlike our previous Viking tour from Budapest to Amsterdam. Every place we stopped was over crowded with tourists. At several stops we had to stand in long lines to see the attraction. It was extremely hot most of the week (this was our fault for choosing mid July). On one tour, after walking around the city we were taken the top of a very high site, by a tram, that overlooked the city and river which was very interesting, but it started raining at the top of the hill. The tram took us about 1/3 of the way back to the boat and dumped us off in pouring rain. Only 1 couple had an umbrella so everybody got 'soaked to the bone' walking back to the boat. On our next cruise we will go either early or late in the season, but definitely on Viking. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We were three couples booked on the Viking Heimdal going from Chalon to Avignon over seven days at the beginning of July. The cruise was recommended by friends, but was extremely expensive, so perhaps we were expecting great things. ... Read More
We were three couples booked on the Viking Heimdal going from Chalon to Avignon over seven days at the beginning of July. The cruise was recommended by friends, but was extremely expensive, so perhaps we were expecting great things. Extensive tv advertising also boosted our expectations. We caught a very early morning flight from Heathrow to Lyon. We had to wait a long time at Lyon because other passenger's luggage had been mislaid on the flight. Eventually we were loaded onto a second coach (the first one having long departed) for a 1 hour 45 minute ride north to Chalon. However it was 100+ degrees and no water was supplied. So several of us trooped back into the terminal to buy water for all the passengers. Eventually we arrived and were allocated our cabins. I cannot fault the friendliness of the staff. We then stayed moored in Chalon for almost two days with daily coach trips offered to see local sights. On the second night we departed back in the direction of Lyon! Each day basic coach trips were offered; some requiring very early starts. The places of interest were of very mixed quality. With one exception all of the extra cost excursions were rejected by the passengers. When we did move down river we were often removed from the top deck where we were sleeping or sun-bathing because the super-structure had to be lowered to negotiate the numerous low bridges. The food was at best average; certainly not compatible with the overall price paid. For the last three days of the cruise the air-conditioning on the boat failed. It was well over 100 degrees on each day. Eventually the captain apologised, said that all four Viking boats in the area had the same problem and it was related to the temperature of the water in the river! Essentially the design of the cooling systems could not cope with the ambient temperatures. Regardless of the exorbitant price paid we were given a recommended scale of gratuities. A quick calculation showed that if followed, the tour director would receive £2000 for her efforts. When we settled our extras bill we were asked if they could add the recommended gratuities. We declined. One week prior to boarding there was a serious terrorist attack in Lyon with loss of life. Regardless of this the security on the boat was non-existent requiring a letter to the management. On only one occasion subsequently were shore tickets collected at the head of the gangplank. On all other occasions anyone could have walked on or off of the boat and committed any kind of atrocity. We felt there was no point in complaining to Viking because the most we would be offered would be a credit on another cruise. No thank you! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We also had a disappointing trip on the Southern France Cruise. We stayed in lyon from Wed to Sunday and then the boat went to Avignon. We were bussed around every day instead of cruising down the river as the water levels were too high. ... Read More
We also had a disappointing trip on the Southern France Cruise. We stayed in lyon from Wed to Sunday and then the boat went to Avignon. We were bussed around every day instead of cruising down the river as the water levels were too high. Viking knew this but took our money $8,400.00 which we paid $1,000.00 for a balcony, which we did not use and found out that a ship is parked next to you the whole time we were docked. They give you a little book just before you go and it has all this covered in small print, after you have paid for your trip. What an expensive lesson learned. Viking sent a letter which has the Customer Service Manager name and number, when you call, she does not take calls, what a joke for Customer Service, the rep told us all they would do is 15% off a future cruise, good only for l year. She also said very snarky comment that is you go to Hawaii and it rains all week you do not get your money back, not the same. Very expensive lesson learned about this cruising down the rivers, I was also told that sometimes the river levels are too low. Be Warned. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I booked with Viking Australian office. I said I would use flyer points to get an upgrade, which should be possible as I was booking 8 months ahead. The 'manager' seemed quite helpful. Closer to the cruise date my wife had ... Read More
I booked with Viking Australian office. I said I would use flyer points to get an upgrade, which should be possible as I was booking 8 months ahead. The 'manager' seemed quite helpful. Closer to the cruise date my wife had a back problem. Her doctor said she should not travel long distance without being able to lie down. So I asked Viking for help. The Australian office contacted HQ but they said no. It was then that I discovered that the Viking flight tickets are 'O' class. That's how they get the cheap airfares. Trouble is, there's no changes allowed. None at all. Of course, it's all there in the fine print, but I was relying on the fact that the Viking guy didn't mention this at the time of booking. So my wife had to fly business class on a different airline to get to Rome via Hong Kong, while her Viking ticket was wasted. However, my wife's seat was sold to someone else for part of the way. My complaint about the no-changes-to- flights received a response that the agent had fully informed me. He had, but only when I asked for help, not at the time of booking. That's why I say, "Beware!" Another thing. Viking says all tipping is included in the cruise price. We received vouchers saying that all gratuities had been paid. However, when we showed the vouchers to local guides, they claimed not to know about it. It was very embarrassing that some passengers were tipping; we had some strange looks. When I complained to Viking, the response was that all guides know about the arrangement. Be very, very aware. By the way, the cruise was supposed to start at Chalon and finish at Tarascon. It didn't. It started at Lyon because of 'high water' and finished at Avignon because of 'construction works'. This shortened the cruise by almost half. It's all covered in the fine print, of course. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Viking, well yes, they have great advertisements, and gorgeous photos of the new 'longboats', however here are the facts. 1). They must have your whole entire cruise fee payable immediately payable upon booking. 2). Watch out, ... Read More
Viking, well yes, they have great advertisements, and gorgeous photos of the new 'longboats', however here are the facts. 1). They must have your whole entire cruise fee payable immediately payable upon booking. 2). Watch out, depending upon where your cruise goes, look at the following : River swelling, lock strikes, time of year for river swelling ( and/or depleting) etc. ALL of those affect your cruise. 3). Speaking of which: those nice photos of your upper deck cruising through those lovely rivers, ahem, on our 8 day cruise recently, only ONE DAY was the upper deck open. Check it out people , Viking is misrepresenting their cruises, letting you think you can sit 'above the ship ' and watch the scenery, when in fact, on our last 2 Viking cruises,the UPPER DECK WAS 'CLOSED'. Yes, that means, NO nice viewing, cruising scenery like they show in their advertisements. And, if there are ANY swollen river delays, that can happen, well, guess what, you are put onto a ghastly bus , no fun, and bussed to the next destination, Our advise is: CAREFULLY CHECK, where are you going on your river cruise, what time of year, what are the rivers like ( heavy rains affect river cruise travel, people !!!), that means your boat STOPS until the river cooperates. I'd like to say that Viking is great, however I think they treat passengers like us ( active adult ) like children. I.e: not telling us "what is happening & when ". This , in my opinion , is their most serious flaw. For an example, our cruise was supposed to start in Chalon, France. So, we purchased the 3-day pre cruise Paris stay. Then, they told us at the Paris hotel, that instead of traveling to Chalon that we now would be bussed to Lyon,, due to ( take note : River swelling !). Okay. We were told 4 hours bus ride. We got on the bus and the lady told us 9-10 hour bus ride. ******VIKING: NOT OKAY! ***** We are not children ! and many people were upset by this. We could have just calmly had a quiet bus ride to Lyon, but no, a talkative ( microphone) lady kept us awake the whole time. And, because English was her second language, every 2nd word was ' uh uh uh ' .....it was PAINFUL. We finally arrived in Lyon missed 3 days of our cruise, people : watch out, that means Viking is dependent on RIVER WATER LEVELS!!!! They do not tell you this as you are sending them your full deposit amount $$$.... In addition, if Viking had told us that the bus ride was 9-10 hours, we would have taken the train(3+hours) and with no loud , bad, tour guide microphoning us for the whole way. On a positive note: the crew of the Viking Heimdal was superb. We do think, however, that the Viking Heimdal crew was very hard working and maybe overworked ? It seemed to us that they did not have enough crew members for that was required. The staff worked incredibly hard , many hours every day and night, however, we, as cruise guests, think they could use more staff. It almost seemed like they had a skeleton crew, just making due, until more staff could come aboard. Kudos to Kornelia, awesome hard work. Our suggestion is: check out Viking, but first, check out when , time of year, are you going, and what other river cruise line does the same itinerary, because , we saw river cruise boats that had their upper deck open while ours on Viking , was closed. Big thing as you are cruising European rivers ! Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Viking Heimdal Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.6
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 3.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 N/A

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