15 Viking River Viking Heimdal Romantic Cruise Reviews

This was our fourth Viking river cruise, this one traveling the Rhône River from Avignon to Lyon. Each river cruise has been very different due to the location, theme, and staff. All have been excellent. The Heimdal is a typical Viking ... Read More
This was our fourth Viking river cruise, this one traveling the Rhône River from Avignon to Lyon. Each river cruise has been very different due to the location, theme, and staff. All have been excellent. The Heimdal is a typical Viking longboat: spacious, inviting, spotlessly clean, and well run. Food on this cruise was outstanding.we had the pleasure of being upgraded to one of the two explorer suites on board, and we could not have been happier. Our cruise director was Lorin, whom we met on our first cruise in Bourdeau, and he is outstanding. Local guides were excellent. We particularly enjoyed the optional excursions to Chateauneuf de Pape, including a visit to Chateau Beaucastel, and the full-day excursion to the Ardeche region. Avignon is a great small town for walking...shopping is great. Arles was quite interesting, and we enjoyed lunch on our own at L’Entrevue, recommended by Viking. We highly recommend that restaurant. Loved Lyon, great city, like Paris, but clean. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The timing was right and we had never visited any of the towns in France before. Viking was recommended to us by neighbors and friends. The large cruise ships had become too crowded, impersonal and not very relaxing. The cabin was ... Read More
The timing was right and we had never visited any of the towns in France before. Viking was recommended to us by neighbors and friends. The large cruise ships had become too crowded, impersonal and not very relaxing. The cabin was immaculate and roomy. We enjoyed having a balcony on which to relax between meals, tours or with a glass of wine after dinner. The staff could not have been more accommodating and pleasant. The tours were excellent. We are history buffs as well as wine lovers. Both interests were peaked on our tours. And the guides were wonderful. The entertainment on board was fun; informative and well done. This cruise answered all our wants and needs. We have since sung Viking ‘s praises to everyone we know who is considering a cruise. This is truly the only way to go and we are already considering our next Viking cruise in Portugal next year. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
okay, lets get right to it. my wife and i just got back from our firsr river cruise on the rhone 1 week ago and it was awesome. i had many concerns based on previous negative reviews, all of which were unfounded. our trip was great, we ... Read More
okay, lets get right to it. my wife and i just got back from our firsr river cruise on the rhone 1 week ago and it was awesome. i had many concerns based on previous negative reviews, all of which were unfounded. our trip was great, we already scheduled our next one. some of the negative comments are just inherent in a river cruise , many locks, sail alot at night, tie up to other ships at ports in which case you may be looking right into another persons cabin. if this bothers you, dont do a river cruise. it is a different way travel, accept it. once you do the experience is awesome. so different from an ocean cruise of which we've done many. we liked the small group and the smaller ship, it fostered intimacy and togetherness, you would get to know your fellow travelers better than on an ocean liner. they are an older crowd, no kids on our trip although there was a newly married young couple celebrating their honeymoon. very high end, everything was great, rooms very clean, food was wonderful with many options, wines were plentiful, included shore excursions and guides were all top notch. the roman ruins, the medievil villages, the winerys, the vibrancy of lyon, were truly one of a kind experiences. we did 3 extra excursions which were also great. four of our 7 stops were right in town, 3 we had to take a bus. we didnt consider this a problem, some may see it as so. it was a wonderful experience, cant wait to go again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This was our very first cruise of any kind, so we have nothing to compare it with. We had considered the South of France for a honeymoon when we got married 4 years ago-neither of us had been to France before. When we saw the deal for this ... Read More
This was our very first cruise of any kind, so we have nothing to compare it with. We had considered the South of France for a honeymoon when we got married 4 years ago-neither of us had been to France before. When we saw the deal for this cruise, we booked it right away and are so glad we did! It was hot, but France was beautiful-we loved it and look forward to going back! Highlights for me were Avignon and Tournon-the walled city was so charming, and Tournon was just really cool-I fell in love the minute we walked into town-the scenery, the architecture, the forests, the steam train-and our guide, Philippe. I could live there! Another highlight was our excursion into the Ardeche region-unlike anything I have ever seen and fascinating. We loved Cluny, too-gorgeous countryside and impressive abbey. I liked Paris but not as much as the smaller towns in Southern France. We loved the local guides, too. Our crew was stellar, especially Christine, our cruise director-she was simply fabulous! We also loved the young people who served us meals-so friendly and nice. I wish I had had the chance to practice my French a bit more, but that is a minor thing. Overall, the service was exceptional. The food was good, but there were a few "misses"-I did see some regional food, but it appeared that some meal choices were the chef's interpretation of regional specialties. The Provencal luncheon was wonderful-from the tablecloths to the food served that day. Overall, the food was very good and we liked having choices for all our meals. The shore excursions were great, and I'm glad we were able to add on the ones to the Ardeche and Cluny-I just wish we hadn't missed one of the towns because of the Ardeche excursion. It was hard to choose some of them! We loved the ship and look forward to our next river cruise! It was the trip of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We stayed in Nice for 3 days prior to the cruise, which was a great way to see a wonderful city, while acclimating to the time difference. Viking met us at the airport and shuttled us to our hotel, where we met our Viking staff who ... Read More
We stayed in Nice for 3 days prior to the cruise, which was a great way to see a wonderful city, while acclimating to the time difference. Viking met us at the airport and shuttled us to our hotel, where we met our Viking staff who took care of us on our Nice visit. The Le Meridian was a comfortable hotel and convenient to the sea and downtown. We also got top enjoy a Jazz festival the coincided with our time there. We were comfortably transported to our ship by motor coach and greeted warmly once onboard the Viking Heimdal in Avignon. We stayed in a suite which I would recommend. The service on Viking is fabulous. This was our second cruise with them, and we are already planning another. Everyone speaks english buy do learn a bit of the local language. We might have planned too many excursions and will plan on spending more time onboard next time. The food is plentiful, fresh and deliciously prepared. Great wines as well. Good idea to buy the Spirits package. There are some wonderful excursions with guides that truly know each port that you visit. I cannot Compliment Viking enough for their extremely professional experience at every level. I forgot my IPhone on the coach and the quickly found it and got it back to me. We made many friends on this cruise who we remain in touch with and plan on cruising with them again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
The ship and crew were exceptional. They both have our highest recommendation. The food was delicious. It was perfectly prepared and served with style and elegance. The ship was kept clean and well maintained at all times. The ... Read More
The ship and crew were exceptional. They both have our highest recommendation. The food was delicious. It was perfectly prepared and served with style and elegance. The ship was kept clean and well maintained at all times. The excursions were very educational and enjoyable. We new river cruises had less entertainment than ocean cruises; but were pleasantly surprised by the amount and quality of entertainment. We found the river cruise more relaxing than the ocean cruises we have been on. We enjoyed having fewer people on the ship than ocean cruises. We had the drink package and thought the wines were excellent. We had never been through locks before and found them very interesting. I'm an engineer so you may not feel the same. And if all that weren't enough, every crew member acted like they truly cared about us the entire time. This was the first Viking cruise we have ever been on and it was easily the best cruise we've ever been on. We stayed in Paris a few days after this cruise and thoroughly enjoyed that too. It was a perfect combination with the cruise. The history and architecture in Paris was breathtaking. Very romantic--if you can't get a little action from your wife or hubby in Paris you really need to see a therapist :). Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Having so enjoyed the Rhine River Viking Cruise last Fall, we contacted our expert travel agent Jeffrey Elkin at VacationsToGo.com for booking our Provence cruise and air fare. My husband and I flew from Fort Myers, Florida to Lyon and ... Read More
Having so enjoyed the Rhine River Viking Cruise last Fall, we contacted our expert travel agent Jeffrey Elkin at VacationsToGo.com for booking our Provence cruise and air fare. My husband and I flew from Fort Myers, Florida to Lyon and joined our close friends arriving from Boston. Every hour of every day on the Rhone River was just as the Viking River cruise brochure and the website had described. We were very pleased with the ambiance and friendliness of the staff and crew onboard our longship Heimdal. A large painting acquainted us with the ship's namesake: The Norse god Heimdal is the ever-vigilant guardian of the gods. Our river view cabin was cozy and we only were there to shower and sleep. Once we unpacked, the empty suitcases went under the bed and we were ready to join our friends for drinks and dinner. Our 3 meals a day were carefully prepared and artistically served. Everything on the ship was pleasing to the eyes! Chris Harrington, Hotel Manager, was attentive to everyone's wants and needs 24/7 and always with a kind word, smile, or perhaps a joke to brighten our day. We enjoyed the cheese tasting, musical entertainment, French cooking lesson of molten lava chocolate cake, and highly informative silk painting class. History and French culture were emphasized daily and it was refreshing to learn in such a relaxed setting. Passing through locks was fun to watch from the Aquavit Terrace as we continued cruising on the Rhone River. Having time to relax on the upper deck, snuggle into a comfy chair to read a chapter in our books, or take a quick nap in the afternoon left us refreshed for our evening Cruise Director's informative talk in the lounge. From there we went downstairs for our satisfyingly delicious dinners next to the floor to ceiling windows that allowed us to enjoy the passing river views and vineyards.. Chef Daniel and our Maitre D' made sure we were well fed and that there were regional favorites paired with wine as well as several entree choices. Best of all was our terrific "Taste of Provence" dinner. It was also nice to have round the clock availability in two locations of make-it-yourself hot tea, coffee, or cocoa plus cookies. Our morning tours were superb and our English-speaking guides were extremely knowledgeable. Having the ear piece and receiver was very helpful in hearing everything that was being described. Our full day in Lyon began with a bus trip up to the Basilica of Norte-Dame de Fourvieres and hilltop view of the sprawling city below us . The city walking tour featured architecture and the trompe l'oeil frescoes on several buildings. Then we were allowed to enter through doorways that led us via hidden passageways (' traboules ') along the ground level of stair-cased buildings all with interesting designs. This allowed us to go from a main street to other small streets and shops. Of course there was time for a quick cafe au lait and people watching at a local cafe. Lyon now reminds us of Paris 40 years ago when life was not so hurried as it is now. Pont du Gard was enthralling when looking at the remains of the Roman aqueduct built in 1st Century AD. Their museum was well worth the time spent beforehand and the olive trees scattered about on the grounds are still thriving there. Oh, how I loved walking in the old Medieval walled towns of Perouges known for the Three Musketeers, Viviers with the spectacular view from Belvedere de Pipet, Vienne for a moonlit walk, and majestic Avignon. Beaujolais wine tasting at Chateau Ravatys was a delightful outing in the French countryside and their 5 tasty wines paired with 2 kinds of breads was wonderful. The old-fashioned steam train de l'Ardeche provided us with hidden vistas and the turn-around was interesting to watch before we took the return trip. Arles was a fascinating city with Roman ruins and cobble stone streets. However, the highlight of my trip to Provence was the 8 hour special tour there walking "In the Footsteps of Van Gogh". Philippe Monnier and his wife welcomed ten of us into his studio where we were immersed in classical music as we each used acrylic paints and a variety of brushstrokes to paint in the style of Van Gogh. We also looked at Vincent's various scenes of Arles and the surrounding countryside before we walked along and saw the yellow Night Cafe, the hospital where he was treated in town, and at the riverside where he painted the Starry Night. Color, light, and composition were key to Vincent as he painted portraits as well as scenes of still life and landscapes especially during his 15 months in Arles. Here he discovered and was inspired by the light of the south in Provence! Our gourmet 3 course luncheon at Hotel Jules Cesar was included. Philippe met us there after dessert to give each of us our painting that had dried and was wrapped in brown paper for our trip back to the ship. A short bus ride next took us out into the countryside to the quaint town of St. Remy. The restoration of the buildings and Van Gogh's bedroom at Saint Paul's Hospital was heart-warming. To see Vincent's iron bedstead and then gaze out his window at numerous fields of flowers was breath-taking. Such a variety of flowers and many shades and types of iris were plentiful in the May sunshine. Having large reproductions of Vincent's work at the locations where they were painted was awe-inspiring. This restoration work is based on sketches and descriptions in Vincent's letters to his brother Theo Van Gogh. A sign told us "Thank you for respecting the tranquility of this site. Patients and residents are still housed and cared for in a contemporary way according to the traditions, values, and vocations of the place and caretakers from the times of Vincent Van Gogh." Not only did Vincent love painting the various floral scenes and buildings here, he tried to capture the beauty of the flowering olive trees against the cloud strewn sky with mountains and moonrise in the background. Thank you, Vincent! We have found that each of our two Viking River Cruises provided us with many delightful experiences while we were making new memories. Now we have had Jeffrey Elkin from Vacations To Go book another trip for us: this time it's a 2 week Viking Ocean Cruise to Panama and Central America. Stay tuned for details when we return! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose the French Provence cruise because we wanted to explore southern France and end it in Paris. Every port gave us an opportunity to see the cities and villages of France. While giving a wonderful place to return to on board the ... Read More
We chose the French Provence cruise because we wanted to explore southern France and end it in Paris. Every port gave us an opportunity to see the cities and villages of France. While giving a wonderful place to return to on board the ship. The rooms were very comfortable and the cuisine was delicious. Entertainment was entertaining. The pianist was very good. All of the staff was friendly and helpful with whatever was needed. We travel with our malienial daughter and she thoroughly enjoyed the river cruise up the Rhone and Saone. She really enjoyed the food and drinks provided by Viking. And the cuisine was geared to give everyone a taste of France. The smaller size ship gives a more intimate feeling and enables the guests to mist and mingle. She found the cruise very enriching and would definitely cruise with Viking in the further, saying it is not just a cruise for older people. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We were intrigued by the combination ability on this particular cruise. We wanted to see a lot of France and so we started on the Heimdal on the Rhone but after that week was over we took the high speed train to Paris and joined the ... Read More
We were intrigued by the combination ability on this particular cruise. We wanted to see a lot of France and so we started on the Heimdal on the Rhone but after that week was over we took the high speed train to Paris and joined the Viking Rinda for a second week, this time on the Seine. Both were excellent. Our cabin was lovely and comfortable and even the weather co-operated (both cruises) and we were able to sit out on our verandah and relax when we didn't feel like going up to the upper deck and join the masses. The food, service, crew, etc are top notch. And so many "extras" are included so we didn't feel nickel & dimed to death like on all the ocean cruises (big ships) we've been on. Loved it! This was our 4th & 5th cruise with Viking River Cruises and it won't be our last. We've also been on one of Viking's ocean cruises and won't go back to the "big" ships after such a lovely inclusive and intimate trip. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was in celebration of a 30th wedding anniversary. We loved the attention to detail, the food and the excursions. The scenery was amazing. All the staff on board were super friendly and did everything that they could to fulfill any ... Read More
This was in celebration of a 30th wedding anniversary. We loved the attention to detail, the food and the excursions. The scenery was amazing. All the staff on board were super friendly and did everything that they could to fulfill any requests. The ship was extremely clean, modern, and we had plenty of room to move around. We loved the excursions. They were well planned and just the right length. There was plenty of time to get out on your own and wander the local sights as the docks were right in the middle of the towns and cities. The meals were exceptional with many choices and very tasty. Even the "house" wines were of very good quality. We would definitely recommend this cruise and would go again. The weather in early November was just a little chilly, but not really bad. There were a few showers, but nearly all were at night or when we were traveling on the ship to another destination. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We wanted to sail down the Rhone River and sample Rhone wine. We like Viking cruises but we were disappointed with not getting to taste the various Rhone wine during our meals as we thought. They kept serving us this Merlot almost every ... Read More
We wanted to sail down the Rhone River and sample Rhone wine. We like Viking cruises but we were disappointed with not getting to taste the various Rhone wine during our meals as we thought. They kept serving us this Merlot almost every night. The excursions were all excellent. The night town tour in Viviers was excellent except the tour guide was going so fast, she left my husband and me behind. I just had knee surgery 7 months before so I was bit slow and they didn't have a leisure tor for this one. I found out that the French balcony was better value for us. I had a balcony this time and it was not worth it. We were also facing the street side rather than the river which was where the view was. All the places we visited were excellent. We stayed 3 extra days at the end in Nice and that was fabulous. We had an incredible view from our room of the Mediterranean Sea. We could see the sunrise and sunset from our balcony room. We took a day tour to St Paul de Vance and 2 other medieval towns and it was wonderful experience and our driver/tour guise was so accommodating. It was Viking's back up tour. The major one they used would not take just the 2 of us but their back up co. did. We had a private tour. When we left the Viking rep accompanied us to the airport right to the correct counter. I wasn't expecting that. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I have always wanted to visit France. We chose the Paris, Burgundy, and Provence Trip. 4 days in Paris, 2 in Dijon, 1 in Lyon, then a week on the Viking Heimdal. The 6 days on land were absolutely wonderful. Paris is a beautiful city ... Read More
I have always wanted to visit France. We chose the Paris, Burgundy, and Provence Trip. 4 days in Paris, 2 in Dijon, 1 in Lyon, then a week on the Viking Heimdal. The 6 days on land were absolutely wonderful. Paris is a beautiful city full of fascinating history. Once on the ship, we found the crew was absolutely wonderful, the food was delicious at every meal, the ship was spotless, the room was very nice, the shore excursions very enjoyable. We had a much better time than we could have imagined. There were 171 passengers, and 54 staff. Do the math, we could not have had better service, and I think most of the staff we came into contact with knew our names within the first few days, and catered to our individual needs. The ship does not come with spas, pools, nightclubs, exercise rooms, or line dance competitions. I didn't go to France for those "perks". What it does have is individual attention, small, casual entertainment, and the best of everything else you could get in a cruise. The shore excursions were well planned, the guides very knowledgeable, and I felt I got introduced and exposed to the best in each port/destination. I am looking forward to more Viking cruises, and would recommend this to everyone. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our second cruise the first being the Elbe. The boat was very well laid out,dining area was well equipped,very good lounge area and first class cabin. The cruise was along the Rhone although not as picturesque as the Elbe it ... Read More
This was our second cruise the first being the Elbe. The boat was very well laid out,dining area was well equipped,very good lounge area and first class cabin. The cruise was along the Rhone although not as picturesque as the Elbe it was still a very pleasant way to see the countryside. The staff on board where exceptional and could not do enough for us, the food was first class and the entertainment was very good. Our only issue was the first part of the cruise could not be carried out due to high river levels,all on board excepted that was out of Vikings control, however after this we did not seem to dock at any of the towns on route we seemed to moor in remote area's and where coached to the towns this was fine but it did not give us the option to walk ashore to view area's ourselves unguided. We still really enjoyed the trip and we will use Viking again Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was our fourth Viking cruise (supposed to be fifth but low water forced an unexpected cancelation previous year). All of our Viking cruises have been superb, this particular cruise exceeded that. Crew was incredible, condition of ... Read More
This was our fourth Viking cruise (supposed to be fifth but low water forced an unexpected cancelation previous year). All of our Viking cruises have been superb, this particular cruise exceeded that. Crew was incredible, condition of vessel couldn't have been better, food out of this world and the sites spectacular. Viking takes unbelievable care of it's guests without micromanaging them. The bang for the buck, even coming from the U.S. is excellent. My wife an I are both still in the active workforce, yet we already have two more Vikings on the books already. We also did an add on in Paris pre cruise and post cruise in Nice. We were well taken care of in both of these locations as well, touring both on our own and with Viking leadership. We always had a Viking representative close by that had a wealth of local knowledge. Our Nice representative even assisted us in getting a luggage repair from the hotel maintenance crew. We are very much fans of Viking. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was my 2nd river cruise with Viking and I have already booked my next one with them. Boat and service was up to the normal Viking standard, very good. Viking didn't recognise that we were 2nd time travellers. We were told ... Read More
This was my 2nd river cruise with Viking and I have already booked my next one with them. Boat and service was up to the normal Viking standard, very good. Viking didn't recognise that we were 2nd time travellers. We were told we would find something in our room. It was sent to another room, when it did turn up it was a bottle of the same free wine that we had been drinking all week. The last port we docked at was Chalon-sur-Saone, which is a very nice town, but we docked in a unused run down port. Opposite the boat when we docked was a make shift bar that looked very rough. People I spoke to on our trip also felt like myself, which was uneasy to be in this area and didn't want to go for a walk after dinner, and it is a quite a walk into town. Other boats of the same size were using the water edge dock nearer the town centre. We booked this cruise after looking at out flight times, but Viking gave us later flights. On the walking tour of Lyon we had a local guide who seem to know very little about the town and seem to keep looking at her mobile. I am hoping the next trip is of a better standard. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
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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