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Sail Date: July 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
It was a present from my son for our birthdays. The food was A+ and the service was A+. I have Crohn's and could not leave the ship very often. I wish they would have had a shuttle once we got to Lyon to get to the shopping areas. ... Read More
It was a present from my son for our birthdays. The food was A+ and the service was A+. I have Crohn's and could not leave the ship very often. I wish they would have had a shuttle once we got to Lyon to get to the shopping areas. The views were beautiful from the top deck and the waiters treated you like royalty. The wines were fantastic - every meal. Go, enjoy and love what you see in France. Avignon was my favorite place to visit. I did get to go there and it was superb. The people all treat you fantastic in France. I LOVED the people. If you enjoy sightseeing and shopping this is the cruise for you. Be ready to be pampered. I would love to do another cruise in Italy if they had one, but as of now, they do not. Thanks for all you have given my family. Mihai - the waiter was the highlight of my cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We had friends recommend Viking Cruises and this trip in particular. We wanted to experience France without the bother of driving and unpacking more than once. We wanted a curated experience that we could just enjoy without any travel ... Read More
We had friends recommend Viking Cruises and this trip in particular. We wanted to experience France without the bother of driving and unpacking more than once. We wanted a curated experience that we could just enjoy without any travel hassles. Our ships suite was perfect. We chose a suite with sitting room and balcony. We did not use the balcony. Too chilly and never any time to use it. The food was exceptional with great choices. The service in both the lounge and the restaurant was first class. All the staff was so friendly and helpful. The excursions were amazing. The guides were very knowledgeable and engaging to be with. We really enjoyed the cocktail hour before dinner, chatting with other passengers about their day and learning what was in store for the following day. We really liked the size of the ship. Big enough to accommodate 180 people but not feel crowded, even when everyone was in the lounge or dining room for dinner. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
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
Prior trips to France were in the north and west. This was a nice opportunity to view the arts, ruins and food of a culturally rich region. The staff was flawless and provided us with opportunities to relax as well as sight-see. ... Read More
Prior trips to France were in the north and west. This was a nice opportunity to view the arts, ruins and food of a culturally rich region. The staff was flawless and provided us with opportunities to relax as well as sight-see. Dining was excellent, and excursion guides, especially in Paris, were well educated and entertaining. Our Notre Dame/Left Bank guide was especially amazing. Few have been so entertaining and well educated! It would have been nice to have more available lectures and other background briefings. Years we enjoyed a small British line staffed in part with classical scholars. There the food was quite simple but the history and culture most enriching. Our stateroom was a bit small but adequate Food was good and we enjoyed the French wines with meals and available espresso drinks between meals. The staff was friendly and accomodating. This was our third Viking cruise. We especially enjoyed the large ship cruise from Montreal to NYC. Viking seems to fill a niche occupied primarily by Lindblad. We missed the "big ship" facilities for lectures and floor shows but Viking guides were fine (esp. Paris Notre Dame). We were blown away by the prior Montreal voyage, featuring Edvard Muench art & accompanying music. We are likely to take Viking whenever possible. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
My husband and I booked our first river cruise with Viking because of the fabulous stories we heard from many friends and acquaintances. The Rhone trip to Provence and Lyon really appealed to us and a September sailing date promised fine ... Read More
My husband and I booked our first river cruise with Viking because of the fabulous stories we heard from many friends and acquaintances. The Rhone trip to Provence and Lyon really appealed to us and a September sailing date promised fine weather. Our trip was a perfect experience! Our Viking crew was certainly dedicated to making every detail seamless and enjoyable - from travel assistance to dining experiences, shore excursions to personal comforts aboard ship. Dining on board was so wonderful that we rarely stayed ashore for meals. The ports we visited were great choices for cultural and educational experiences and the local guides added personal stories and a sense of pride in describing the histories of their towns and cities. After eight days, we could say that there was never a single glitch. Upon our return home, we joined the chorus of those who sing the praises of Viking River Cruises. We're looking forward to our next cruise...the Rhine? Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our first trip to Europe and with the optional tours provided by Viking, we felt like we really got to see the South of France. Instead of stopping at only the big cities, the Viking Delling stopped at smaller locations. The ... Read More
This was our first trip to Europe and with the optional tours provided by Viking, we felt like we really got to see the South of France. Instead of stopping at only the big cities, the Viking Delling stopped at smaller locations. The optional tours were always first class and covered a wide range of options. They left on time and returned on time. The guides were amazing in their local knowledge and ability to share interesting facts. Their use of the English language made it easy to understand. The food was amazing and the dining became a highlight of the day ~ actually at every meal. Optional seating arrangements allowed us to meet many different people from all over the world. The food was very well done and there were choices for appetizers, salads, main course, wine and dessert at EVERY meal. The service was top notch. Our stateroom was the most efficient use of space and design we could imagine. Storage was plentiful and we were impressed with the cleanliness throughout the cruise. The sheets were high quality and the bed was comfortable. The bathroom was well laid out. What a great way to see France for the first time. We look forward to our next Viking River Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We love history, we love Roman history, and we love wine. We had never been to France before, and this trip gave us everything. Viking organization is impeccable; the shore tours are extremely well conducted. The tour guides are always ... Read More
We love history, we love Roman history, and we love wine. We had never been to France before, and this trip gave us everything. Viking organization is impeccable; the shore tours are extremely well conducted. The tour guides are always first class. There is never any ambiguity about where and when events are going on. I am impressed with how the crew gets everyone to participate, and enjoy themselves. We love the food on board. We really appreciate the local cuisine offerings. We also appreciate the portion sizes - just right. There's never any problem enjoying all the courses and the dessert. The house wines are always good. I know the staff must be working very hard to keep things running smoothly and on time, but they always have a smile and are polite and friendly. They get to know you, even in a trip as short as one week. I have encouraged my friends and acquaintances to consider a Viking trip, even if they think it's only for the well-off, as there are frequent special offers. Read Less
Sail Date: April 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: March 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Our friends invited us to go and gave us the contact of Colley Croteau. We are first time cruisers and just loved everything. The room was lovely. The bathroom floor was heated which was beyond wonderful. The food delicious and ... Read More
Our friends invited us to go and gave us the contact of Colley Croteau. We are first time cruisers and just loved everything. The room was lovely. The bathroom floor was heated which was beyond wonderful. The food delicious and plentiful. The service exemplary. We enjoyed every tour. I especially loved the locks; which were totally unexpected and thrilling. I would have appreciated more educational information about the locks - when and how they were built. The ship was absolutely lovely. I would have liked more time on the sundeck which seemed to be closed more than it was open. Our welcome bus was parked extremely far from the airport so it was a bumpy welcome after a long plane ride. Noone let us know that we would be shlepping 1/2 mile to the bus (from deplaning through terminal to greeting to bus probably >1 mile.) We were disappointed that the ship could not go past Lyon due to high water which made our commute to our last tour over 90 minutes one way. The buses were very well appointed, comfortable and offered great views through clean windows. Back to our room - everything was perfect, clean, new, comfortable, well-lit. The excursions were perfectly organized and very interesting. The entertainment was okay - nothing much; but, enjoyable. We were made to feel very very special and it was lovely to have only 170 people on the ship. Easy in and out. Can't wait for our next river cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
I wanted to go to Avignon and wasn't disappointed. The other ports of call Vienne, Lyon, Arles, etc. were lovely and interesting. The winery excursion was interesting and fun. Really all of the excursions were excellent - the tour ... Read More
I wanted to go to Avignon and wasn't disappointed. The other ports of call Vienne, Lyon, Arles, etc. were lovely and interesting. The winery excursion was interesting and fun. Really all of the excursions were excellent - the tour guides were knowledgeable and entertaining. The dining room crew in particular were excellent. Viking is organized and attentive to detail so that everything runs seamlessly. The cabin was nice and pretty much as expected. Everyone on board seemed to be focused on ensuring a great trip for every passenger. The dining room crew, in particular, were excellent -- they helped to make meals fun. The food was great - I do recommend the drinks package. As mentioned earlier the dining room personnel were beyond excellent and attentive. One major issue - a virus - was addressed quickly but could have been communicated better. I will definitely try another river cruise and am looking forward to planning one in 2018, Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise because we had never been to France on river cruise. This trip was in our top three favorite vacations of all time. Viking Cruises, in our opinion, is the best way to travel abroad and get the most bang for your ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had never been to France on river cruise. This trip was in our top three favorite vacations of all time. Viking Cruises, in our opinion, is the best way to travel abroad and get the most bang for your buck. The Cruise personal are second to none. They seem to make it their mission to get to know every passenger and try to meet all of their needs. The boat, in our second experience, only holds 190 passengers so we get to meet lots of fun and interesting individuals. We have made lasting friends on both of our cruises. We are in the process of planning our third cruise with a couple we met on our most recent cruise. All of the cruise personnel are professional, kind, friendly and very helpful in every way. They sincerely care that you have the best experience possible on their cruises. The food and service and service personnel are second to none. Everyone needs to experience a Viking Cruise. We are planning our third cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
I ended up on this my first river cruise by default. My cousin's friend was returning from New Zealand and it seemed too short a turn around to go on the cruise so she asked her to see if she could find someone to take her place. I ... Read More
I ended up on this my first river cruise by default. My cousin's friend was returning from New Zealand and it seemed too short a turn around to go on the cruise so she asked her to see if she could find someone to take her place. I was the lucky person and was not disappointed. It was my first but it will not be my last. The Buri staff was wonderful. I was so impressed by the food and the service. By the second sitting, even though there was open seating, staff knew preferences. I was impressed with the portion control and the organization of the kitchen under the direction of Executive Chef Dimitris Sidiropoulos. I was even more impressed after a tour he led of his kitchen and a subsequent trip to the market with him and the Programme Director Jean-Pierre Enguix. My family had a restaurant for 55 years so I certainly appreciate that part of the cruise very much. Everything from port and shore excursions and life on board was well done. We were well treated from the time of arrival at the airport until our departure. Unfortunately we were the first group off the boat and had to get a 6:30 a.m. flight from Lyon but we still had the opportunity to be offered a good breakfast. The organization of the departure was impressive but then the whole cruise was superbly organized. Jean Pierre was an excellent Programme Director and everywhere making sure we were well looked after. Top marks to all. My previous travels have taken me to land travel in Bolivia, Venezula, U.S., China, trekking & camping in Tibet and living in a gur camp in Mongolia . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2016
Heard so many rave comments we chose Viking. Also Viking allowed some free time but not too much compared to other companies and that appealed to us. Very knowledgeable staff from Program Director to the person making up our bed in the ... Read More
Heard so many rave comments we chose Viking. Also Viking allowed some free time but not too much compared to other companies and that appealed to us. Very knowledgeable staff from Program Director to the person making up our bed in the cabin, Viking representatives met and transported us everywhere and the food was great. We thoroughly enjoyed learning about France, particularly walking around on our own and exploring. We immediately booked another trip for next year to different countries. We met wonderful people from other countries that made the learning experience so much more. We suggest Americans not be clique-ish and hang around with the same people/relatives/friends they grew up with and mix in more. Liked the idea of reading the menu a couple of hours before going into the dining area. We always ordered from the left side of the menu, the one with the very regional foods! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
This is my second river cruise and it is the best. Everyone from the cruise staff, tour guides and drivers to traveling passengers, all were so friendly and had made my cruise very enjoyable. The itinerary is very well organized and ... Read More
This is my second river cruise and it is the best. Everyone from the cruise staff, tour guides and drivers to traveling passengers, all were so friendly and had made my cruise very enjoyable. The itinerary is very well organized and everything was very timely, exception of the rainy weather, most of the days. The ship is big enough (~174 passengers) and by the end of the week, we pretty much have met most of the people. The food we had daily were outstanding and the Maitre'd and Executive Chef were being seen all the time, making sure everyone is taken care of and if the food is okay, etc.. They are very personable and friendly. The wait staff were on their toes and very efficient. Every time I turned around the water or wine has been refilled without my noticing. The shore excursions were excellent and pretty much covered the highlights of each port and yet gave us some leisure time. The entertainment in the evening was so-so. Had a couple of locals do some entertainment, but due to some people in attendance, that came as a group, were a little bit too loud, so we cannot hear the entertainment. That was the only thing a little annoying and causes a minor confrontation too with other passengers. All0in-all, I had a great time and will be back again. The Viking Longship is the way to go. I would like to try the new Viking Ocean Cruise soon. Keep up the good work!!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
A friend chose this trip because it find into her working schedule. I had taken a Viking cruise before and knew that it would be well run, have interesting side trips. At the last minute my friend had to cancel because of illness and ... Read More
A friend chose this trip because it find into her working schedule. I had taken a Viking cruise before and knew that it would be well run, have interesting side trips. At the last minute my friend had to cancel because of illness and surgery, but another friend took her place. She is disabled and had an extremely difficult time walking. The crew could not have been more helpful to her and supportive of her disability and saw to it that she participated as much as any other traveller on the cruise. Kudos to Viking and their staff!! Cabin was lovely, dining was fine; service was wonderful [attentive and friendly but not hovering]. The best shore excursion was a tour of a vineyard and a sublime luncheon on the estate. Also was lots of fun was the trip to the cognac chateau and the crafting of our own blend. All in all, I never regret traveling on a Viking trip and will do it as often as possible. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
We went on the Portraits of Southern France cruise on October 11, 2015. It was our 3rd Viking Cruise, and we have one more booked and others in planning. In short, we love Viking. In fact, our trip to China with them (May 2015) was the ... Read More
We went on the Portraits of Southern France cruise on October 11, 2015. It was our 3rd Viking Cruise, and we have one more booked and others in planning. In short, we love Viking. In fact, our trip to China with them (May 2015) was the best vacation we've ever taken, and we've been on 39 other vacations to foreign countries. But, now you know a little bit about us, a couple near 70, let me go over some of my thoughts about our France trip, which included a 3-day post-extension to Paris with Viking. The best part, as it always is on the Viking cruises, were the people we met. With open seating at the long, leisurely meals and with a small ship, meeting people becomes very easy to do, and the Viking travelers are quite varied in (generally retired) occupations and home towns. We made many good friends. Our tour director Julian was wonderful. The best things about him were his humor as well as his clear explanations of many choices we had each day. Actually the most fun we had on the cruise were a couple of crazy group games Julian lead on two nights. We all laughed hard as we competed vigorously in competitions that as best I can remember had no prizes whatsoever. The rest of the crew were fantastic and the service was great. They made us really feel at home. Ok, so you are expecting in a review to hear about places, not people. It's the wrong thing to look for, but I'll humor you by listing the cities visited in order of how much we enjoyed them. And, I'll throw a couple non-cities into the mix. They are (with the best first): Lyon, Avignon, Cruising on the rivers, Cluny, Paris, Auxerre, Beaune, Vienne, Steam train, Arles and Tournon. The food at breakfast, as it is on every Viking cruise, is always fantastic. The lunches and dinners on this cruise were a bit hit-and-miss but definitely mainly hits. The local guides varied widely. The best, as the guide in Vienne, knew how to entertain and to tell stories. The worse, as the guide in Paris, tried to machine-gun facts into our ears as rapidly as dryly as possible lest we fail the pop quiz that they appeared to be preparing us for. Sometimes, I turned off the headset and admired the wonderful views all around us. Viking could use a good guide training program. Overall we had an absolutely wonderful time. There were only two major drawbacks. One, don't go in the fall or later unless you have to. In mid-October, we frequently froze with temps starting in the upper 30s many days and only warming up to the 40s. We wore down jackets and sometimes thermal underwear. More than the cold, the skies were mainly overcast, which can turn pretty landscapes into pretty dreary landscapes. Second, until Viking changes hotels from the Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel, don't book the Paris extension. The room was tiny and in bad shape and had all the charm and uncomfortable furniture of a college dorm room. The breakfast room was hot, in a windowless basement with mediocre food and coffee that was never, ever hot. A terrible way to start each day. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
My sisters and I decided to take our aging mother to France and this was the perfect choice for us all! From start to finish, the service and the personnel were the best! Having traveled a lot having been an international flight ... Read More
My sisters and I decided to take our aging mother to France and this was the perfect choice for us all! From start to finish, the service and the personnel were the best! Having traveled a lot having been an international flight attendant, I totally enjoyed every aspect of this trip. Our ship, Hermod was immaculate, the food was delicious and plentiful,the staff was so friendly and attentive, the tours were so well organized and the tour guides were top-notch! The beauty of cruising this way is you can do as much as you'd like (me) and as little as you can handle (my elderly mom). There is so much to see and enjoy along the way. We took advantage of almost all the tours and excursions. We were definitely very lucky to have perfect weather. This was my first river cruise but it won't be my last. We went on the recommendation of one of my sisters that traveled on Viking last year. What a great recommendation it was! You are truly taken cared of from the moment you come out of customs to the moment you check back in to return home. Thank you Viking for a most memorable trip for my sweet mother, my sisters and me! C'etait MAGNIFIQUE! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
When I saw some of the scathing comments about customers’ experiences on the Hermod and we were about to set off to cruise on her, I was extremely concerned. However a very prompt reply to my email to the hotel manager on board assured ... Read More
When I saw some of the scathing comments about customers’ experiences on the Hermod and we were about to set off to cruise on her, I was extremely concerned. However a very prompt reply to my email to the hotel manager on board assured me all was well. After an extremely enjoyable cruise up the Rhone and Saone I can confirm that all is very well with the boat and all the crew, all of whom from the Captain down did everything to ensure we had the best possible cruise experience. Transfers to and from the boat I always find the transfers the most stressful part of any holiday and I have nothing but praise with the way we were shepherded to and from the boat. There was always at least one Viking Representative with us and we were never left wondering what to do next. In fact at Lyon Airport, where there were confusing automatic check-in machines for our return flights, the Viking Representative did all the work for us! The Boat After three different cruises with Viking, I have no hesitation in saying, this was by far the best boat and one that all the staff made sure stayed that way. For example I noticed one of the cabin attendants on her hands and knees removing a tiny scuffmark on the wall and this was symptomatic of the attention to detail of all the crew. The Food and Wine As usual on a Viking Cruise the food was delicious as were their choice of wines. We were invited on a tour of the galley and all of us were amazed that such high quality food could be cooked for 190 guests in such a compact area. Of course when you are dining with new and interesting people you overlook how often your glass is being re-filled, which had its effect the following morning as we were preparing for the day’s visits! The Excursions In general the excursions were very good. I particularly liked the way there was always a gentle and less strenuous trip for those that find walking more difficult. Cruise Director briefed us well before our dinner and frankly it was incredible, even though there could be four different tours occurring at the same time, how often he popped up to make sure our tour was going well Was it perfect? Well in the 36 to 39 degree heat the Air Conditioning did struggle and there are a couple of other points. One that is out of Viking’s hands and that was the height of the bridges we had to pass under. Because the headroom was so limited access to the upper deck was far less available than on other cruises. Even with the handrails down the headroom could be as low as 30cm. The second point was a paid optional tour and tasting in Chateauneuf-Du-Pape. For the cost of the tour I was expecting to taste three wines of exceptional quality that I would not be able to afford to buy. Instead of which we had a good tutored tasting of the sort of wines I buy at home. I have to say it was disappointing. Would I book with Viking again? We already have – we go on the Douro River of Gold cruise in the autumn. Now which Viking cruises shall we pick for 2016? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
I had my doubts about river cruising. The Viking cruise was first class all the way. The ship was modern, clean and spacious. Although our standard room was small, we spent very little time in it so it didn't make a difference. Opt ... Read More
I had my doubts about river cruising. The Viking cruise was first class all the way. The ship was modern, clean and spacious. Although our standard room was small, we spent very little time in it so it didn't make a difference. Opt for a less expensive room. The food was great. The chef was always available and each night gave his recommendations. There was always a choice of appetizers, entrees and dessert. Wine, beer and soft drinks are no extra cost at meals. The excursions were well planned and very organized. It was like clock-work. We would definitely do another Viking cruise. One thing- most of the passengers were retirement age like us. We enjoyed that. The people were mature and respectful and quite interesting. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
Based on a wonderful Rhine cruise on Viking last year, we booked the Portraits of Southern France river cruise for this year. What a mistake. We arrived in France at the tail end of the European heat wave. The temperature was in the upper ... Read More
Based on a wonderful Rhine cruise on Viking last year, we booked the Portraits of Southern France river cruise for this year. What a mistake. We arrived in France at the tail end of the European heat wave. The temperature was in the upper 90s. The air conditioning on the ship was not functioning properly and the cabins/restaurant areas were very warm to the point of being uncomfortable. We were never addressed by the Captain to explain the problem. Various crew members gave different reasons. It was obvious that there had been some instruction not to comment to guests. I felt so sorry for the restaurant servers who had to work so hard in the heat. The problem was finally fixed on Day 5 of the trip. Thank goodness the weather broke and became cooler. On the evening before the problem was fixed, however, our cabin was 81 degrees. We could not open our doors because there was an invasion of spiders. The ship had to call for pest extermination. The we could not use the veranda since it had been sprayed with pesticide. The other not so great part was dinner in the restaurant. Again, some offerings were hit and miss. The serving portions were also very small. There was nothing available for snacks for that 9PM hunger attack. We were fortunate that we had a suite that was supplied with fruit. The ports of call were mostly great. Lyon was fantastic. The small French villages and cities were beautiful. We especially enjoyed our excursion to Beaune. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
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
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