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528 Viking River Paris Cruise Reviews

My wife and I have been on numerous cruises (22+) throughout the world on various cruise lines over the years. This was our fourth cruise with Viking; the previous cruises were in China, Egypt and the Grand European Tour. The Paris to ... Read More
My wife and I have been on numerous cruises (22+) throughout the world on various cruise lines over the years. This was our fourth cruise with Viking; the previous cruises were in China, Egypt and the Grand European Tour. The Paris to the Swiss Alps Cruise started in Paris on July 20, 2019. Our flight from Florida was arranged by Viking and flew through Frankfort, then to Paris. No problems. The Viking representative was waiting for us at the airport in Paris. We didn't add the Paris extension because we had been to Paris a few times previously. The Hotel in Paris was one block from the Eiffel Tower … great location. There were many good restaurants in the area and lots of touristy things to do. The Panoramic Tour of Paris was a whirlwind tour with some free time near Notre Dame to walk around. It was a nice tour that included most of the highlights of Paris from a bus. In the afternoon, we had lots of time to tour on our own or to just walk around the Eiffel Tower area. We added the Paris Cabaret with Dinner tour. It was great. The dinner was very good and the entertainment excellent … the type of show you would expect in a Paris Cabaret. The bus trip from Paris to Trier include a stop in Luxembourg then on to Trier. Luxembourg is an interesting city with an good economy and a large World War II cemetery. We learned a lot about the war and also about Luxembourg. Trier too was interesting … a very historic city. The city tour was very nice, as was the free time to tour around on our own. The ice cream in town is excellent. Boarding the Viking Kvasir was very easy in Trier; they were waiting for us. Our room was on the lower level towards the rear of the ship, room 125. This was near a stairway and an ice maker. Most points of interest are on 2 (dining room), 3 (lounge) or the sun deck (the roof). The crew resides on this deck too. Actually, there are no bad locations. The ship was a few years old and was very nice; very clean. The staff was great and the food was excellent. The chef would provide a little discussion of the dinner menu every night and appeared to be excited about the food and his staff. Breakfast was available in the dining room and also on deck 3 in the lounge in a reduced menu. It was similar for lunch. Beer and wine were provided during dinner and lunch. Coffee and cookies were available in two locations 24/7. Food was almost always available someplace. The ship provided complimentary water prior to every tour. The Program Director, Devin, provided information about tours and timing and basically everything you need to know on a timely basis. He even provided entertainment in the evenings when local entertainers were not on board. The ship had one entertainer on board who performed in the lounge several times during the day and in the evenings. He was very professional and an excellent musician. We generally just took the included tours, although we did pay to add the Bernkastel-Kues Wine Tasting. We tasted four wines … nice wine tasting and an interesting winery … cute town. The visited Ports of Call follow. Cochem, Germany – This tour included an entertaining wine tasting. The tasting was divided into two groups, so a lot of people were in one room. The owner ran the tasting and was comical. The city is very clean and very German looking … like of a tourist trap. The tour of the castle was especially interesting from the exterior but nothing too especial from the interior. Koblenz, Germany – The included tour was a walking tour of the city. Koblenz is just another nice looking German city. It was really hot during these tours (104 degrees F). After the tour, all we wanted to do was go back to the ship and cool off in our rooms. The temperature set the tone for the tour. Mainz, Germany – The included tour was primarily the Gutenberg Museum. It was very impressive with an interesting demonstration of the operation of the press. The tour include a few great churches too. Again, it was hot! Speyer, Germany – The included tour was similar to the Mainz walk around. Just another nice German town along the river with huge churches. It was HOT. Strasbourg, France – It's beginning to cool off a bit. Strasbourg is a very German city, but in France. It is different from the prior river cities visited, more interesting huge cathedrals. This is a good city to just walk around and explore. Strasbourg has great pastries. Basel, Switzerland – The weather is much better. The included tour of the city, both the bus and walking tours were very nice. A local guide conducted the tour. We had a nice lunch in town and enjoyed a Swiss beer. We then had a one hour bus ride to Zurich. It's interesting that the wages are high in Switzerland, the shopping is cheap in Germany and the living costs are lowest in France. Basel, being on the border of all three countries, benefits from all three. Zurich, Switzerland – The included tour included a tour of the lake in the morning … very nice. The city tour was interesting and we had lots of free time to explore the city in the afternoon. We are now off the boat and staying in a very nice hotel. Zurich is a nice city to visit. For many people, this was the end of the tour. We continued on to explore the mountains. This is a must do! The Glacier Express – We started the day on a bus to Chur to board the train. Our new guide, Astrid, was fantastic. She was from The Netherlands, but spoke perfect English, in addition to I don't know how many other languages. The train went through mountains and valleys that were just beautiful. It even stopped a few times for us to get out and take photos. The day started out cloudy but as we got closer to Zermatt, the skies cleared. Fantastic Day! Zermatt – The day started with another train; a cog-wheel to Gornergrat. The top of the mountain was over 10,000 feet and the views were out of this world. This was an unbelievably beautiful experience. The skies were a clear blue and the Matterhorn was so close you could almost touch it. Our photos are beautiful. Our guide, Astrid, showed us the most important views and also, took us to a lake to take photos of the Matterhorn. Some of us walked with her down to a little restaurant for a nice lunch in the mountains … next to the Matterhorn. Again, the photos are fantastic. This tour is a must do! Geneva, Switzerland – We left Zermatt on a train and then transferred to a bus to Geneva. On the way we stopped at a winery. This winery is at a beautiful location, the wines were good as was the lunch. The views from this winery were fantastic. Continuing to Geneva was on a bus. The hotel was very nice and the extension included tour on the lake. The tour included a bus and walking tour of the city. We also toured the Red Cross Museum. In the afternoon, we were free to explore on our own. We took a bus to France and took a gondola to an overlook of the city. On the overlook we had a nice lunch and also watched people hang gliding. Geneva is a fun city in Switzerland, surrounded by France. An easy city to get around by bus. Overall, the cruise and additional time in Switzerland was wonderful. You will see too many locks, vineyards, palaces, churches and castles; but you will meet many very nice people on the ship and also, tour guides and locals. You will also walk …. a lot. The joke on the ship was that this tour included the three Cs: Churches, Castles and Cobblestones. Most cities in this tour are paved in cobblestone … so bring good walking shoes. Viking really took good care of us; they were always there to make sure everything was taken care of during the trip. They really seemed to care. A great trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Just returned from our first cruise with Viking. In all, there were amazing and some disappointing parts to the trip. On the positive, the food was close to the best I have ever had on a cruise. This was our first river cruise but we ... Read More
Just returned from our first cruise with Viking. In all, there were amazing and some disappointing parts to the trip. On the positive, the food was close to the best I have ever had on a cruise. This was our first river cruise but we have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Regent Seven Seas, Disney, and Norwegian. The cabins were nice and our cruise director, Jerome, was hilarious and great at what he does. The itinerary was good and if you get the chance to go to Prague, don't miss out. Absolutely fantastic. I took my wife and two teenage sons on the trip and I would say that the first strike against a Viking cruise is the focus on an older age group. My wife and I are in our mid 40's and we were very near the youngest people on the ship and most of the ship board activities and excursions were geared around an older age group. In fact, I heard but never asked, that Viking is not allowing people under 18 to cruise on their ships after this season. Not sure but I do believe they are going to steer the middle age group with families away from their product if they don't address this. I would not recommend this for anyone under the age of 40 unless they are traveling with a group of friends. We enjoyed all the people we met on the ship but there were not many people our age and only one other family with kids near our teenagers age. A second strike against Viking was never having enough time in each port to do things on your own. It seemed that we were always late to pull into a port and when there was free time allotted, it was usually only 30-60 mins at most. EVERY person we spoke to on the ship was disappointed in the lack of time to actually spend shopping and exploring. Each excursion included a lunch but European restaurants are not in a hurry to feed you and we would spend 1.5-2 hours at a meal which took all the free time away. I would strongly encourage them to offer a lunch box option for people who go on excursions and don't want to sit all afternoon for a meal. The worst example was Rothenberg. I was so excited to revisit this town that I remembered going to as a young boy growing up. We were late leaving the ship again, hit traffic, had a 1.5 hour lunch and were left with 45 mins to explore the city. We quit eating with the group and broke free on our own. We also played second fiddle to multiple other Viking cruises that pulled into port on the same day. For example, on our trip to Marksburg Castle, we actually left on time, got to the castle and the first of our groups to tour went into the castle. Then another Viking boat with a 50-60 people arrived late and they moved them ahead of us. This caused the remaining people in our group to have to wait outside in the 90 degree heat for about an hour until the other Viking tour group went through. Then came our final stop in Bamburg where other Viking ships ported before us and we were sent to a shipping yard outside of the city to tie up for the night. Had a beautiful view of metal shipping containers with something rotten in them that smelled awful. We couldn't get off the ship to explore Bamburg at night and didn't want to be on deck because of the smell and view. Not everything was bad but it was not what we were told to expect which was why I gave it a 3* rating. Excursions that we did..... 1) Panoramic Paris- great overview by bus. Problem was Paris traffic which makes a bus tour strenuous and we were supposed to have 1-1.5 hours on our own at Notre Dame (which reopened to view but not go inside) and St. Chappell. We actually had only 25 mins so we didn't explore 2) Luxembourg and American Cemetery- Amazing experience and the walking tour of the town was nice 3) Trier city tour- part bus and part walking and very nice with time to explore which was great. 4) Bernkastle-krus wine tour- great wine tasting but very little time left to explore the town which would have been amazing. 5) Koblenz Marksberg Castle- fantastic castle but being stuck as mentioned above in the heat because another Viking ship got to the castle late was frustrating for everyone. 6) Heidelberg- neat town but we finally realized that if we want to explore the town, we would have to quit eating the provided lunches so we left the group and toured it ourselves and had a blast. Heard the lunch was good but restaurant was not air conditioned well and very hot. 7) Rothenberg- as mentioned, was really looking forward to this and was very disappointed in the amount of time spent in the city. The boat was an hour late arriving to port so that removed all the time we could have had to see it. The trip to Wurzberg Castle was perfect but very few people on the Rothenberg itinerary went to the Castle and missed it. I thought it was great and would strongly encourage people to go. 8) Versailles- amazing castle but it is VERY crowded. Not Vikings fault but really difficult to enjoy when each room is packed with 80-100 people. Would have liked time to spend in the gardens but only had 30 mins sooooo...... 9) Cochem- castle was beautiful and had a bit more time to explore the city which was nice. 10) Nuremberg- bus tour as well as walking tour of city which was nice and we were given a bit of time on our own to explore. 11) Prague- this was truly the highlight of the trip. The hotel was spectacular ( Hilton Prague). The old city is spectacular and the tour to the Palace and downtown was worth the trip. If you get a chance, there is a fantastic 1930's style bar in old ruins under the city called the "Black Angel Bar" which was a real find and worth a stop in. We did the silver package and think it was worth the purchase but remember that house wines and beer are included with lunch and dinner. Top shelf wines are not and liquor is not included so many people choose not to get it and remember that all people in a cabin must be on the package. We stayed in a Veranda room but no balcony. The windows are full length and slide open for a nice view. Rooms were larger than most cruise ships with nice full showers and heated floors. Musical entertainment was a nice married couple that sounded great but all of the music was based around an older crowd as mentioned above. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our first river cruise, first time with Viking, and first trip to Europe. Throughout the entire journey, the Viking staff was very attentive, well-trained and polite. They truly want their passengers to have a good experience. ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, first time with Viking, and first trip to Europe. Throughout the entire journey, the Viking staff was very attentive, well-trained and polite. They truly want their passengers to have a good experience. The room: We were in Veranda Cabin 339 toward the end of the ship, but still convenient to everything. The room was clean, and up-to-date, with everything working properly. (same with the rest of the ship). We chose to have the balcony room, but I think we would have been fine with the lower level small upper window. However, it was nice to have a view of the shore, and keep an eye on the weather. Good sound-proofing; rarely heard any outside noise. The bathroom is small, thick and thirsty towels, and good bath products. Water pressure was fine, even to wash and rinse my long hair. Hairdryer is provided. The food: Food was very good, featuring the regional favorites, which I enjoyed since almost all our meals for the 8 days would be onboard, and I wanted some French cuisine. Each night there are varying chef specialties on the right hand side of the menu. The Chateaubriand was incredible. My favorite was the Goat Cheese Souffle. I ordered two! Order them while you can, because they are not repeated. The left side of the menu has more basic items, that are repeated each night. A similar light buffet is also an option. Alcoholic Beverages: We opted not to get the Silver Spirits Beverage package, but those who did, said it's a better value than other cruise lines. We occasionally ordered a drink, since I like sparkling wines, and they were not offered in the free wine that comes with lunch and dinner. In addition, there are times the crew provides free bubbly for toasting, or a small cocktail sample as we returned from a shore excursion. There were also free mimosas on the breakfast buffet. Crowding: There is none. You don't have to rush anywhere to save a seat. Getting on and off the ship is a breeze. Not like the cattle call of an ocean liner. Just show up where you need to be and there will be room for you. We booked our excursions in advance, but I believe that on most of them, you could still sign up the day of. Onboard Entertainment. There is a low-key piano man in the lounge. Plus a few other nightly programs such as learning French phrases, learning about cheeses, and one we didn't do: a watercolor painting class. Also dancing one night. The entertainment is one area that could use some improvement, however, it was not a high priority for us. As for in-room TV, I watched a few travel videos, but didn't spend any time watching TV or movies. Hey, it took me 58 years to get to France, and I'm not going to watch movies. In our limited free time, I planned our next day and wrote down our adventures in my travel journal. Wi-fi was not great, but this was my time to disconnect. Shore Excursions: We did the following included tours: Napoleon's Chateau de Malmaison (very interesting), Vernon Walking Tour (visited a Cathedral, with a little free time to shop), Monet Foundation Giverney (my absolute HIGHLIGHT of this trip--the Gardens were SPECTACULAR! with enough time to enjoy them), Normandy Beaches US. (good overview, but not much time spent at each stop). Panoramic Paris day trip (saw some highlights of the City, but yikes, only 15 minutes at the Eiffel Tower !?!). We paid extra for some upgraded tours: Rouen Farm and Countryside (toured the apple farm, watched a border collie herd sheep, sampled hard cider and Calvados apple brandy with a few light bites including a small apple tart.) La Roche Guyon (nice ride in the countryside to tour a Chateau, probably the least memorable of our excursions) and Paris by Night (hmm...City of Light? Saw many of the same buildings as the day trip, and only 10 minutes at the Eiffel Tower) Tour Guides & Devices: All of our tour guides did a good job, definitely looking out to not lose anybody in narrow streets and passageways. Helping those with mobility issues. You're provided an audio device to wear for each guided tour that you keep charged up in your room. Considering retirees are not always the sharpest in learning electronics, these were pretty easy to use, with minimal problems getting people hooked up, and we could hear well throughout each excursion. Weather: there is a reason Europe is so green and beautiful. It rains a lot. So be prepared with layers. Viking crew members hand you an umbrella as you depart for each excursion, if you want one. We knew the forecast for our trip was not great, but decided to have a great time anyway, and never really got poured on. Only had about a day and half of sunshine. Shipmates: At age 62 & 58, my husband and I were one of the youngest couples onboard. Almost all retirees, but fun, active, well-behaved pleasant people we enjoyed getting to know. Almost all of them had taken multiple Viking cruises! It's open seating, so use the opportunity to get to know some wonderful people and find out about their travels. Their are no children on Viking ships. I also noticed that not one person had any complaints about anything not working properly in their rooms or on the ship. Everyone seemed to be very happy. Crew: None stood out at huge personalities, but all were attentive and if anyone had a need, they were on it. Magali, our activities director, was working hard around the clock to make sure everyone was happy with their experience. Oftentimes, the Captain himself and other crew members greeted us as we returned each day. The Executive Chef was always present too, with food demos, explaining the specials, and even helping load luggage as we departed. Everyone seemed to be very happy. If there were any behind-the-scenes problems, we were never aware of them. What you don't have on the Rinda: No spa, no pool, no fitness center, no casino, no sales pitches. Negatives: The itinerary for Paris and Normandy lists Paris three times. The reality is that you will be nowhere near the heart of the city on the first two days. Timing was bad to have the only full day and night there on the last day of the cruise. If you really want to explore the main attractions in the heart of the city, you would need to add additional days. Tips to Viking: A photographer would be a nice addition to capture trip highlights. Although I don't need a full-service spa, a couple massage therapists with a massage chair would be awesome to work out those aches and pains. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the extension of Zermatt and Geneva. We had been to Zermatt years before and the call of the Matterhorn was before us, We were not so interested in the small towns in Germany along the way so because of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the extension of Zermatt and Geneva. We had been to Zermatt years before and the call of the Matterhorn was before us, We were not so interested in the small towns in Germany along the way so because of cold weather and rain, we stayed with the ship and did not go on walks in those towns. We disembarked in Basil and did a city bus tour. Places we have visted before have all, for better or worse, changed. Our last stop was Zurich before the extension. For the better part of the river cruise, I developed a cough. Passengers were very concerned and offered cough drops and we very caring. I asked our tour director, Boris, when we arrived at our hotel in Zurich, about where I could find a doctor. He didn't know and offered no assistance to answer my question. By then my condition was much worse. It was Raphael at our hotel who guided us to a pharmacy where physicians were great. After exrays and a blood test, my diagnosis was Pneumonia. The physician there warned that we were not to go on the extended trip and we did not. Viking found us a flight with Air Canada to Toronto and then to Philadelphia. It is the people who make your trip. It's not the sights, or the entertainment, but we have found that it is always people. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our third Viking River Cruise (previously did 7 day Rhine and 7 day Danube, both of which I cannot recommend highly enough). Viking does an outstanding job, somethings I wish I had taken into consideration before leaving (which ... Read More
This was our third Viking River Cruise (previously did 7 day Rhine and 7 day Danube, both of which I cannot recommend highly enough). Viking does an outstanding job, somethings I wish I had taken into consideration before leaving (which are completely out of Viking's control). 1. Our cruise began on the Thursday before Easter, this led to crowds and closures at various points of our trip. 2. In preparation for the 2024 Olympic games, Paris has construction projects taking place everywhere, traffic getting in and out of the heart of the city is absolutely dreadful (this from someone born and raised in Los Angeles) 3. Another factor for crowds, a European explained to me, springtime is when many school children take field trips to various locations. 4. Finally, the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral led to increased tourist traffic at other locations. The Viking staff from booking to final departure were fantastic. We did not take the extension on either side of the trip, but booked our flight to arrive in Paris in the late morning. This allowed us to get our bags on the boat and spend several hours at the Louvre, which otherwise (due to other booked excursions) we would not have been able to see. Embarkation was great, the ship staff are outstanding. Excursion highlights, we took every included excursion (except those that conflicted with paid excursions) - several stops (after leaving Paris) include houses built in the Middle Ages that are incredible to see (Vernon and Rouen). Monet's Garden is beautiful. Out of Rouen we paid for the Farm and Country Tour which was a nice view of the Normandy country side, the farm is a neat experience. The excursion to the beaches of Normandy will leave you with a sense of profound gratitude for the soldiers of the D-Day Invasion. Having studied the history, then touring the site, I still cannot fathom the courage of the men that day. Paris at night was a treat, especially seeing the Eiffel Tower lit up at night. Our cabin steward Filip was great, the room was always perfect. I've seen other reviews where people complain of the size of the cabin, it is not spacious, but sufficient. The only time we are in our cabin is basically to sleep. I cannot speak to the entertainment options in the lounge in the evening, we never attended. We try to stay in town as long, doing as much as we can, after dinner, we're ready for bed. Several people we talked to mentioned the different events were a good time. The food is always top notch and the dining staff attentive to your orders and requests. The guides at each of the locations are always outstanding, usually locals who give you some much more than a guide who read a book about where you are going. At the tour in Versailles, it was absolutely packed, (literally shoulder to shoulder, front to back with people in some rooms), almost impossible. Our guide (I forgot her name) went out of her way trying to keep us together, inform us about the artwork, history, etc, and made the most out of the trip, she was phenomenal there. We will undoubtedly taking Viking again (Portugal, Rhine at Christmas, and the Norwegian Fjords for starters). It was the crowds that took the shine off this trip for us. So if that is an issue for you, the Fall would probably be a better time to book this trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My husband and I have taken two Holland American ocean cruises in the past, but this was our first Viking cruise. Even though we enjoyed our HA cruises and would sail with them again, we will always look at Viking first to see if they have ... Read More
My husband and I have taken two Holland American ocean cruises in the past, but this was our first Viking cruise. Even though we enjoyed our HA cruises and would sail with them again, we will always look at Viking first to see if they have an itinerary to meets our desires first. All the positives you have heard are true: the service was excellent and exceeded expectations, everything was very well-organized, the food was superb, and the staff on the ship and the tour guides were helpful and knowledgable. Although Viking is more expensive than HA, we truly felt we received our money’s worth and that the value is greater. Rather than paying for expensive shore excursions and receiving a large bill on the last day, we knew exactly what we were paying ahead of time and, once we boarded the ship, we didn’t spend a penny except on souvenirs (we had pre-paid our gratuities and we didn’t purchase any hard liquor onboard). Others have written how wonderful Viking is, so here are some things I was curious about/looking for information about before the cruise but had trouble finding answers to. Perhaps others are wondering the same. Paris vs. Le Pecq: We were on the Paris and Normandy cruise which docked in Le Pecq. I understand Viking now has newer, smaller ships that are going to dock in “downtown” Paris, but I noticed the Le Pecq dockings are less expensive. I love Paris and have been several times. Let me clear: this cruise, regardless of where it docks, is not enough time to see Paris. If you really want to see Paris, you should book a hotel in Paris for several days and sightsee on your own. That is what we did. I would only plan on seeing Paris from a river cruise if that was absolutely the only way I was ever going to see it. You need at least an entire day (from opening to at least 5 pm) at the most popular attractions like the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, Versailles, etc. On the first full day of the cruise, there was an all-day included Paris tour. If you preferred, you could take the bus into Paris with the tour group but then get off and spend the day on your own, which is what we did. I believe we were dropped off around 9:30 or 10 and we had to meet back at 3:30. I know from experience that this is not enough time to see any of the major attractions, so we choose to visit two smaller attractions. We also had our Metro pass from our time at the hotel before the cruise. The RER does travel to Le Pecq, and there are two stations about 15 minutes each walk from the ship. I had mapped these locations ahead of time and we bought the Metro pass that included Zone 5 for this reason. However, because of the provided bus, we did not need to use the RER. Yes, the bus was slower than the RER, but we would have to include the 15-minute walk into our travel time so we considered it a wash. Even with the RER, we would not have gained more time in Paris as the bus left right after breakfast and the ship left the dock right after the bus returned. There was also a similar bus into Paris on the last day if you didn’t want to do the included Malmaison excursion, but we did Malmaison. However, I remember hearing the times were about the same. My conclusion: Le Pecq is fine if you are doing Paris on your own before or after the cruise (which I recommend). If a river cruise is the only possible way you will ever visit Paris, then perhaps it might be worth more money to dock “downtown” as that would decrease your travel time into the city proper. Demographics/pace: This is definitely a cruise geared toward older adults. We are 40 and 44, and we were by far the youngest people on the ship. We anticipated this and weren’t bothered by it because, when we’re not sight-seeing, we like to sit and read and watch the scenery. While on board, we enjoyed the calm and the quiet. Room: We choose a French balcony room due to cost and we would do so again. Yes, the room is very tight with less floor space than even an interior room on HA but there was more storage. The Veranda rooms appeared to have very small balconies with two small, straight-backed uncomfortable-looking chairs. There was more than enough comfortable seating in the common areas - both indoors and out - that we never had any trouble finding a quiet seat in which to relax. WiFi: The WiFi was excellent, much better than on an ocean cruise. I had no trouble uploading pictures to Instagram. There was only one evening it was slow. Shore Excursions: Again, the guides were excellent, the buses were well-maintained, everything was well-planned and organized, and I especially liked the earpieces so that I could walk around and take photos while still hearing the lecture clearly. The best feature is that they were included in the cost of the cruise. I am removing a star, however, for the length of the excursions. Often, the ship would be docked at least half a day in a town and the excursion would only be a couple of hours including travel time. In fact, the only optional excursion we booked was because the included tour was only an hour (and that was the only tour that day), and we wanted to spend more time off the ship. The tours themselves were of a good length, but that left very little free time at the end to explore or shop. Usually, we only had about 15-20 minutes and you also had to walk back to the bus during that time. I’m not sure if this was a function of the older demographic and someone at Viking assumes one can’t or doesn’t want to walk around for another hour. Or perhaps it’s a matter of paying the guides/drivers by the hour. Regardless, there were many towns, shops, gardens, etc. that I would have loved to have visited and didn’t have time. (For the sake of completeness, when the ship is docked in a town, you may get off and explore on your own, which we did. I’m referring to other locations that we were bused to.) Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Wanted to revisit Normandy and visit Monet's home. As always Viking is very efficient and once on-board you can relax and enjoy all the wonderful amenities! We had been traveling on our own for a couple of weeks and loving it, but ... Read More
Wanted to revisit Normandy and visit Monet's home. As always Viking is very efficient and once on-board you can relax and enjoy all the wonderful amenities! We had been traveling on our own for a couple of weeks and loving it, but walking into our room and unpacking was like coming home! Experienced Paris by letting Viking do all the planing and as always a great job. I would just caution travelers not to go during Europe's spring break time! I also think Viking should warn travelers that the crowds will be much more intense during this time. Food and service is excellent, We loved our room. It is kept spotlessly clean and equipped very well. And if you need anything it will be delivered quickly. My only complaint this trip was the nightly "oversell" by the crew. I at times felt I was listening to a timeshare presentation. Please, not every night over dinner. Keep up the great work and we are looking forward to our next Viking trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We had always wanted to see France and had been receiving information on Viking tours for years without paying much attention. However almost a year before sailing, as we entered our 45th year of marriage, we started talking about what we ... Read More
We had always wanted to see France and had been receiving information on Viking tours for years without paying much attention. However almost a year before sailing, as we entered our 45th year of marriage, we started talking about what we should do for our 50th. About that time we received another brochure and realized that with advanced booking, we could see Paris and much more at a pretty reasonable price and decided we shouldn't wait and looked into booking. Our travel agent had nothing but good things to say and we decided on an early April departure with a 3 day add on in Paris prior to embarkation. It turned out to be one of the best decisions we ever made. Viking saw to every detail, from plane reservations to safely returning us to the airport for the trip home. The ship was immaculate and the staff and crew was helpful and friendly. The cabin was well laid out and didn't seem crowded at all. The bed was really comfortable, the shower had plenty of hot water at any hour of the day and was really nicely lit. There was plenty of storage space for luggage and clothing and the Wi-Fi was as good as at home with no interruptions that we noted. The food and onboard entertainment were beyond excellent, it was like eating in a Michelin star restaurant for every meal. The shore excursions were wonderful, the local guides really made a big difference and they gave wonderful insights as well as facts about each port. Our pre-tour extension in Paris was amazing, in great part because of Viking staff at the hotel to greet us, give us the lay of the land upon arrival and suggest and arrange daily activities, restaurants etc. We really loved the trip and cannot say enough nice things about Viking. They made sure every aspect of our trip was as good as it could be, we felt very "taken care of". We would certainly like to take another trip with this amazing cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We wanted to see the Normandy battlefield and see more of Paris. We loved the smaller towns we docked at and toured. Highlights were the Normandy beaches, Monet home and grounds, and seeing Notre Dame before the fire. The food and ... Read More
We wanted to see the Normandy battlefield and see more of Paris. We loved the smaller towns we docked at and toured. Highlights were the Normandy beaches, Monet home and grounds, and seeing Notre Dame before the fire. The food and staff on board were both excellent. We appreciate the right sized food portions that let us indulge in appetizers and dessert. We went on almost every included tour and continue to be impressed with the quality of the guides. I also like the large tables in the dining room where we met a lot of fun and interesting people on board. We paid extra to set our own departure airfare and spent an extra week outside Paris and saw much more in the area including Reims Verdun and Provins which I would highly recommend We’ve enjoyed both Viking river cruises we’ve taken and are looking forward to another one. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I did in depth research of cruise lines for guest services, itinerary and value. Viking offered the best of everything I was looking for, especially visiting Omaha Beach and Normandy in general. I particularly enjoyed Rouen, Vernon, and ... Read More
I did in depth research of cruise lines for guest services, itinerary and value. Viking offered the best of everything I was looking for, especially visiting Omaha Beach and Normandy in general. I particularly enjoyed Rouen, Vernon, and Giverny (Monet home and gardens). Viking staff greeted us on arrival at CDG airport and the transportation to our ship was effortless. Viking staff again greeted us at the ship and were escorted to our cabin and given an overview of the accommodations and services available. The Viking ship “Rolf” and it’s crew provided a very friendly and accommodating atmosphere. The cabin was extremely comfortable. The food and wines were incredible and worth the price of the trip by itself. We were provide information at the end of each day about the next day’s scheduled activities - including a description of the available tours and brief history of the places we would visit. Overall, this was the best vacation I have ever experienced and am planning another trip for late 2021. I highly recommend this particular cruise (Paris to Normandy) and the Viking cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We planned this cruise as a commemoration of my late father-in-law's D-day service. My husband had spoken of taking such a trip for several years and we finally decided to just do it. So happy we did. As someone who finds war ... Read More
We planned this cruise as a commemoration of my late father-in-law's D-day service. My husband had spoken of taking such a trip for several years and we finally decided to just do it. So happy we did. As someone who finds war disturbing on every level, I must admit the Normandy Beaches outing was surprisingly moving. The sincere appreciation demonstrated by the French people is touching, as was the reaction of many of our fellow travelers. With Viking taking care of all the logistics, we were able to relax and appreciate the experience. The dining was exceptional, with outstanding menu selections tailored to the regions we were traveling through, as well as attentive staff to keep us fed and entertained all at the same time. All in all, the Viking experience has spoiled us, and we're looking forward to determining where we should go next. The warmth of the staff and fellow travelers made all our original reservations melt away and we would highly encourage anyone who is "one the fence" to just jump in and try it. We are so happy we did. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Viking River Cruises can best be described as affordable elegance. The Longships are clean, modern, nicely furnished- and all identical. The French Balcony cabin was small, comfortable, and cozy. The food was good and meals feature local ... Read More
Viking River Cruises can best be described as affordable elegance. The Longships are clean, modern, nicely furnished- and all identical. The French Balcony cabin was small, comfortable, and cozy. The food was good and meals feature local cuisine. Viking represents a good value for the money since a tour in every port is included; and unless you are a drinker, the soft drinks, wine, and beer provided at lunch and dinner- as well as coffee, tea, and hot chocolate available 24/7- means that you can do without paying extra for a drink package. You also save money since there are no speciality restaurants- there are plenty of options available in the dining room and Aquavit Terrace. Day One: Flight to Paris with Air France DD and I were picked up at the airport by Viking, meeting up after exiting the baggage claim area, and taken to the Rolf which docks in Le Pecq, a suburb of Paris. Our cabin was ready, so we dropped off our luggage and walked about a mile to the RER and took the train to Paris. We were able to see some of the sights before returning to the ship for dinner. Our favorite place to eat onboard was the Aquavit Terrace. The same menu is used in both the Aquavit Terrace and dining room, so as we like a more relaxed, casual dining experience, we ate most of our dinners there. Peter took great care of us during the cruise, and always kept our glasses full of Coke. Day Two: Paris We skipped the Paris tour in order to go to Disneyland Paris on our own. For Disney fans, it is a must-see, but don’t expect it to be the same as Disneyland or Disney World. A worker carrying a broom and dustpan walked right by some trash without picking it up. There are designated smoking areas, however, one guy walked by smoking a cigar, others smoked cigarettes as their walked along past attractions and shops. Lots of gum littering the streets, too. However, it is Disney- and Disney is always lots of fun. Note: make sure you know when your ship is leaving for the next port. On this day, we had to leave Disneyland at 3 in order to make it back in time before the ship left Le Pecq. Day Three: Auvers-sur-Oise and Vernon Since it was December, instead of going to Claude Monet’s home and viewing his gardens, we traveled to Auvers-sur-Oise and got to see the room in which Vincent Van Goth spent the last 70 days of his life, and where he also died. We saw a moving film about his life, and then walked to the graveyard where he is buried next to his brother, Theo. In the afternoon, we went on another walking tour, this time in Vernon, and viewed many lovely half-timbered homes centuries old. Day Four: Rouen This is the town in which Joan of Arc was sentenced to death and was burned at the stake. You will visit a church built near the site of her execution, as well as Notre Dame Cathedral, a favorite subject of Claude Monet. Many more beautiful half-timbered homes can be admired while walking through the town. Day Five: Normandy Beaches We were taken on an all-day trip to a museum at Gold Beach, a lunch at Le Meridien, the Normandy American Cemetery, and Omaha Beach. Very moving experience. We were given roses to be placed on a grave of our choice at the American Cemetery. Day Six: Les Andelys Lovely little town which is easy to walk through. We took a tour to Chateau Gaillard, built in the 12th century by Richard the Lionheart. Day Seven: Le Pecq We had to skip the port of Mantes-la-Jolie due to an impending strike announced by the lock workers so that we would make it back to Le Pecq before the workers walked off the job. Due to the demonstrations by the Yellow Jackets, the Palace of Versailles was closed. A visit to Chateau Chantilly was substituted. It was so nice of Viking to go out of their way to substitute the canceled excursion with something else. Many thanks to our Program Director, Michael, for putting the excursion together. The chateau is very impressive and majestic. The horse stables seen off to the distance could be mistaken for another chateau. After a visit here, President Nixon asked why he had always been taken to Versailles before, if he had know about Chantilly he said, he would have stayed there instead during his previous visits. In the afternoon, we visited Napoleon’s Chateau de Malmaison, which, although not as impressive as Chantilly, is an elegant manor house oozing with history. We took the optional tour, Paris by Night, after dinner which was a perfect way to end our trip. Day Eight: Flight home via Delta We liked the airlines and flights chosen by Viking, and the price we paid for the flights represented a great value. Having Viking pick us up at the airport and drop us off again for our return flight meant that we had an easy, no-stress way to start and end our vacation. Fellow passengers, scheduling, and concluding thoughts The passengers are mostly in their 60s and 70s, with a few young adults traveling together or with family. Most people were happy with the service onboard, however, there are always a few complainers. One passenger was unhappy that he couldn’t order another dessert after dinner since there was no remaining food left over at the end of the meal. You can order multiple desserts- but make sure that you order everything you want at the start when your order is taken. It definitely pays to be on time for meals: for example, our French Tea started at 4:00, by 4:07, I picked up the only remaining watercress sandwich, after which, the waiter took the sign and tray away. Cleaning up started at 4:30, and two ladies arriving at 4:45 were disappointed to find that everything tea related had been cleaned up. In general, know if there is another event scheduled in the same venue shortly after yours. That means that the crew will have to clean up quickly in order to set up for the next event, so get there early. This is true no matter what type of cruise you are on- river or ocean. There are vegetarian options, but rather limited. Breakfast buffets in the dining room offered the best options for vegetarians to enjoy a good meal, so make sure you eat a hearty breakfast. Also, enjoy some of the local options- the bakeries are wonderful! Make sure that you check when the ship is due to sail. Always pick up your disembarkation cards before leaving the ship so that the front desk knows that you are not onboard and won’t sail off without you, hopefully. Pick up a card which has the ship’s current location printed on it so that you can give this card to a taxi if you should get lost or are pressed for time while returning to the ship. The cabins have a fridge so you can buy your own beverages if you want to. You will receive two Cokes waiting for you the first day, along with bottles of water (replenished daily). Keep lots of Euros handy to use to tip your tour guides and drivers. All of the tours were wonderful. We enjoyed all of them very much and learned so much about the people and places related to each tour. The guides all did a fabulous job. The tours are tailored according to physical ability. There was always an easy walk option for people with mobility issues. We were always warned by our program director as to whether an excursion would be physically challenging or not. The tour guides always told us how to get back to the ship and ended the tour in a shopping district. Get your shop on! This was my first Viking cruise and I have already booked my next Viking cruise. Can’t wait. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Cruise staff was amazing! We arrived by taxi and Viking staff took over as soon as we stepped out of the car. They immediately took our bags and welcomed us on board. Fabulous treatment from the get-go. We stayed in 301 on the Rolf, ... Read More
Cruise staff was amazing! We arrived by taxi and Viking staff took over as soon as we stepped out of the car. They immediately took our bags and welcomed us on board. Fabulous treatment from the get-go. We stayed in 301 on the Rolf, and it was an excellent location. I would absolutely request it next time. Beds were a bit lumpy. Viking should fix that. Stefi did a fabulous job keeping our room clean and orderly. We hardly ever saw her, but she took great care of us. Food was fabulous at every meal. Look to sit at Georgi's table. He is delightful and will make sure your meal is perfect. Be sure to visit the lounge and hear Chris on the piano. He is amazing. The two ladies working the front desk are so pleasant and helpful. They made arrangements for a taxi to pick us up upon disembarkation and take us to the Saint Germain-en-Laye train station for our next adventure. Cost was 20 euros plus tip for the 2 of us. Felt very safe. Easy train ride to Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, even with bags (just be sure you can manage them on and off the trains). The cruise director also did an amazing job!!!! He worked tirelessly to arrange the tours, keep the schedules, and coordinate communications. When Versailles closed due to the Yellow Jacket protests, the Vesailles excursion was canceled. Within hours, Viking arranged an alternate excursion to Chateau Chantilly at no expense to the passengers. Chantilly was fabulous! Kudos to Viking for going above and beyond! Travelling in December was tough because it was cold and rained almost every day. Days are short. Sunrise was around 8:30 a.m. with sunset around 4:45 p.m. Tours to Normandy Beach and the American Cemetery were rushed. We were disappointed, but that was not Viking's fault. Just the time of year. We will go back when we can have more time. Bus ride to the Normandy beaches was very long. No potty break on the way back, so be forewarned. Because of the full tour schedules, attire for dinner was casual and relaxed. Sometimes our tour bus would return just in time for dinner. Not having to get gussied up for dinner after a long day of sight-seeing was a relief. Sit at a large table and get to know folks. Dinner was a lot of fun. We got Euros before leaving USA because we didn't want to get caught without. We found that we could get euros in France from ATMs without paying the exchange fee. Cruise Director was helpful with advice on local matters such as this. Also, we bought several tour books before our trip, because we did some pre and post cruise traveling on our own. Of all the books we bought, Rick Steves' books were the best. Everything recommended in his books were spot on (and be sure to download his app). I could have eliminated the rest and saved the money. When we returned home, we wondered if we would want to try another cruise line for our next cruise. We knew we loved our Viking Cruise, but since it was our first river cruise, we wondered if there was something even better. We researched other lines and compared everything we got from Viking with what they offered. We were so impressed with what we got comparatively, that we decided to stick with Viking. Can't wait to take our next Viking cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I was leafing through a catalogue of Viking River Cruises that had arrived in the mail, and noticed the description of a trip from Paris to Rouen and back. I had toured and loved Normandy as a teenager long ago, and was sure that my ... Read More
I was leafing through a catalogue of Viking River Cruises that had arrived in the mail, and noticed the description of a trip from Paris to Rouen and back. I had toured and loved Normandy as a teenager long ago, and was sure that my husband (who had never been to France before) would also find it very interesting. After seeing Viking ads on PBS for so many years, he and I agreed that this was the moment to give one of Viking's cruises a try. We felt well-cared for right from our initial phone call to book, with Viking regularly sending us useful e-mailed updates and documentation. Every moment of the trip was thoughtfully organized and well-planned. We chose a lower-deck cabin, knowing that a balcony wouldn't be a must in December weather! Our room was quiet and comfortable, with reliable WiFi. We spent most of our time elsewhere in the ship in any case, meeting fellow guests, and enjoying the lounge and scattered seating areas. The food aboard was superb, the best we've ever had on any cruise. The staff were all friendly and very helpful. We loved the evening entertainment ... as one example, I never expected to hear Delibes' Flower Duet from Lakmé, exquisitely performed by talented singers, the very first night aboard! The Rolf's own pianist was great as well; my husband and I enjoy ballroom dancing, and the pianist provided a nice variety of dance melodies. Excursions were excellent throughout. Our guides were uniformly good, and I loved the headsets provided for the tours that made it possible to hear our guides without any difficulty. Each tour brought experiences I had never in my life expected: seeing the 25,000-year-old Venus of Brassempouy at the national archaeological museum in St-Germain-en-Laye; the delightfully crookedy half-timbered houses of Vernon; Van Gogh's wind-swept grave, and the very room where he passed away; the Bayeux tapestry; white bluffs along the Seine; an isolated monument to a fallen aircraft in a field near the beautiful cemetery at Bény-sur-Mer; I could just go on and on. It was so lovely that Viking gave us each a rose to put on a soldier's grave of our choice at Bény-sur-Mer. Let me also mention a tour that Viking arranged at the last minute, when the "gilets jaunes" prompted the closing of Versailles and the cancellation of an optional tour there. Viking refunded the fee for the Versailles tour, and then offered to all passengers a complimentary tour to Chantilly instead. Kudos to our Program Director, Michael, and his staff! The Château de Chantilly and Condé Museum were a revelation and absolute delight. I can hardly wait til our next cruise with this company. And it won't be long, because we have already booked another trip :-) Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Concierge at the hotel for 3 days in Paris prior to embarkation was very sweet and helpful, she suggested great restaurants and sights to visit. Definitely recommend the three days in Paris before the cruise. Take the time to adjust to ... Read More
Concierge at the hotel for 3 days in Paris prior to embarkation was very sweet and helpful, she suggested great restaurants and sights to visit. Definitely recommend the three days in Paris before the cruise. Take the time to adjust to the jet lag and just enjoy some sights one on one. The crew was unbelievable on board and the staff made every effort to get to know us and make all dining fun and enjoyable. My wife has a gluten allergy, and they always had something special for her without her having to ask. I recommend the drink package upgrade, bartenders are amazing. Excursions were well planned out and breaks were planned out perfectly, you never felt overwhelmed or rushed. I was skeptical about doing this type of cruise, but we thoroughly enjoyed all aspects from rooms to service to excursions to local cuisine aboard the Rolf, we enjoyed everything so much, we have already booked our next cruise in Germany, and can not wait to go. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
7 days, Good destinations. Normandy was incredibly worth going to. The only big disappointment was the 3 hour bus tour in Paris. I had expected to be able to stop more often for photo opportunities - not just the Eiffel Tower. The ... Read More
7 days, Good destinations. Normandy was incredibly worth going to. The only big disappointment was the 3 hour bus tour in Paris. I had expected to be able to stop more often for photo opportunities - not just the Eiffel Tower. The staff on board were superb. The program director was marvelous. Everyone really seemed to care about our journey. It was December and cold, and whenever we returned to the boat from an outing, the crew welcomed us with hot soup or cider or something like that. They provided bottled water constantly when we got off the boat. Some of the local guides were hard to understand (dialects) but some were excellent. I was very disappointed that we did not get to stop at the artist Monet home and gardens, as they said it was closed. There was one experience that was superb. At one of the shore excursions we went into a small art gallery. I wanted to buy a small piece of art, but the gallery owners spoke no English. We rushed back to the ship with the telephone number of the artist, and I asked if someone could possibly call the artist to be sure we were understanding one another. The wonderful gal concierge said yes. The captain of the boat was standing nearby, so she asked him! The Captain called the artist, we understood everything, and returned to purchase the art. Now THAT was something very special, and sets the tone for the rest of the staff. The onboard experience was simply lovely. The longboard do not have fitness, no children under 18, specialties or entertainment, other than a pianist who played from time to time during cocktail hour. The lounge was a very comfortable place to socialize or read or just enjoy being. The daily briefings were well done and extremely helpful. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Since we were on this cruise 6 years ago on one of the smaller ships we thought we would try it again. We stayed on our own in Paris for three days with another couple. Took a cab to Le Pecq, which only cost 44 euro. Le Pecq was a nice ... Read More
Since we were on this cruise 6 years ago on one of the smaller ships we thought we would try it again. We stayed on our own in Paris for three days with another couple. Took a cab to Le Pecq, which only cost 44 euro. Le Pecq was a nice surprise. A Mono Prix store was right across the street from the ship for any items you may have forgotten, a full grocery, clothes, toiletries etc. Up the hill is St. Germaine en Laye, lovely town. Easy to walk to or back, but need to use quite a bit of stairs. They had a small but nice Christmas Market. The Rolf is the same long ships that we have been accustomed to, comfortable and easy to navigate. The Chef, Restaurant manager were excellent, both from Greece. The restaurant staff was excellent too! We were able to take the Normandy Beaches Commonwealth tour and it was fabulous. We had done the US tour 6 years ago. We saw the Bayeaux Tapestry and that in itself was amazing and so was the town of Bayeaux. The Canadian museum was touching especially the movie at the end, all staffed by young Canadians. Our guide was a professor at the University and he was very, very good. In all another great Viking cruise, next year the Duoro! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We sailed on two Uniworld cruises prior to our first Viking River Cruise. The itinerary and date on the Viking Rolf matched what we were looking for to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. The only low point was that several excursions ... Read More
We sailed on two Uniworld cruises prior to our first Viking River Cruise. The itinerary and date on the Viking Rolf matched what we were looking for to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. The only low point was that several excursions were cancelled, including Versailles, due to the riots in Paris. Most attractions were closed during the organized demonstrations on the weekends in December. Highlights of this Cruise were: Touring all the sights with no Summer crowds; Normandy, Vernon, Rouen; Cruise Director Michael Brightman — hIs genuine enthusiasm for this area of France is contagious; Meeting great people! The best part was the post-excursion to The Loire Valley — a must do! We ended up having a “semi-private” tour of this wonderful area. There are no words to describe Château de Chenonceau at Christmas! Thank you Viking Rolf for your attention to detail, outstanding service, and making this an extra special trip! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Viking came very highly recommended by very dear friends. I was not disappointed for one second..we did a pre trip extension & it was wonderful. Our flight was on Air France & took off without a hitch. Arrived in Paris & we ... Read More
Viking came very highly recommended by very dear friends. I was not disappointed for one second..we did a pre trip extension & it was wonderful. Our flight was on Air France & took off without a hitch. Arrived in Paris & we were greeted & escorted to hotel. Le Meridian Hotel way perfectly located in heart of Paris. We walked the streets & felt very safe. At one point I looked up & there was Arch de triumph! Couldn’t believe we were actually in Paris and walking the same streets as Audrey Hepburn. We took tour through Viking & went to Momartre & Notre Damn (please excuse my spelling) it was like heaven...all the artists, flowers, shops...This is where u should shop. If u see anything that strikes your fancy...buy it! Our 3 days in hotel were fabulous. We even rode Metro which was easy as pie...and I have no sense of direction. We met 2 couples that we would continue on river cruise with & I think we might be friends forever! We ate at local restaurants. Food, breads, wines, fish, cheeses & service was wonderful. Waiters were accommodating & fun. They bent head over heals to make us happy campers! Then it was on to ship...I have no words to describe how beautiful this was. We had a standard room. I was afraid of size...but it all worked out. Room was very efficiently arranged & lovely. Beautiful decor on ship & room. Very clean. Room was stocked w many amenities & efficiently serviced twice a day. If we needed anything we called & it was delivered in seconds. They didn’t know what to do first for us. These river boats are not huge & very easy to get around. Our room was right off concierge desk. So we just walked out of our room & up stairs to restaurant. (I think). Anyway you cannot get lost & it’s very easy. By the end of trip we knew practically everyone on board. everyone was so friendly. Staff always greeted us w big smiles, were so courteous & accommodating. The food was amazing. All meals were so elegantly served. For breakfast, lunch & dinner we felt as if everything was being prepared for us individually...the waiters remembered our preferences exactly. We had perfect meats, steakes, veal, pork, poultry, fish. Fresh vegetables..pasta, sauces, cheeses, wines breads. The desserts were excellent, pies, cakes, ice creams Then all the tours...with the expertise of the tour guides we were taken on a dream come true. They explained details in such interesting ways. We were taken through the Lourve in a dream come true of alll the masterpieces. Unbelievable to see all these indescribable works of art up close & personal w stories behind the scenes of how they were created. Then at the end to see Mona Lisa in all her humble glory. Will neve4 forget this—as little as she is! We docked in a town where u could have taken a tour to Versailles. We opted out of this tour & instead walked into the town where we were docked. Well, this was such a sweet stop for us because we felt like we were getting a true taste of France. It was a short walk from ship. There were amazing cute shops, outdoor vegetable, fruit, meat, cheese, fish & bread stands. No supermarkets! Beautiful flower stands. Buy a little of this & some of that...just enough...the French way. It was a great way to get a real taste of France. We went to Richard the Lionhearted castle & town of Gailliard. Beautiful countryside landscaping. The town was so charming, beautiful church, cute shops, coffee shops, pubs. Cobblestone streets. Monet’s home/town was so beautiful. I couldn’t believe that the scenery we were in the middle of was actually his masterpieces. The lily ponds, the flowers, the trees, the pond, the little row boat. I had seen it all before on canvas but now I was really seeing it through Monets eyes. Our guide was precious. She was an environmentalist & knew all the flowers, trees, bushes etc by name. His house was so beautiful & every window situated w a view so he could paint. So many paintings—Too many to count. Cute strore to shop for souvenirs and gifts. Then to Normandy. Learned so much about invasion. How it came about. What France experienced w the invasion. Sacrifices that were made by families that had to host Germans. Our guide in Normandy had ancestors that were forced to accommodate German officers & what the family had to endure for 4 years. So real...to see the bunkers, bullet holes in walls. How they built a port for ships to dock & then actual invasion. So many young lives lost, but for a victory on foreign shores. Quite an emotional experience we will n3ver forget. We had no idea we would experience so much emotion... After each day of touring we were greeted by crew & Captain and offered wine, cocktails, & cheeses and then a delicious dinner. Food service was very elegant & comfortable...meaning that after a day of amazing tours we could relax, be served a perfect dinner with fabulous wines & all the trimmings of very special dinner. The staff was constantly there for us. They couldn’t do enough for us and we always felt very cared for & protected. You know sometimes when you are in a foreign country you might feel insecure. But not with Viking. They are there for you 24/7!!! I loved this Viking cruise. In fact we have booked another in 2020 to Greece! Bon voyage❤️ Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I enjoyed the cruise very much. Even with the rioting in Paris, Viking kept everyone safe and comprimised with excursions to everyone’s satisfaction. Staff was wonderful,as was all the excursions they offered. The ceremony at Normandy ... Read More
I enjoyed the cruise very much. Even with the rioting in Paris, Viking kept everyone safe and comprimised with excursions to everyone’s satisfaction. Staff was wonderful,as was all the excursions they offered. The ceremony at Normandy Beach was very moving. I don’t have any negative comments to give about this cruise. The ports and all the sights were very enjoyable. The ship was very clean and laid out very well. The food served was excellent. The embarkation and disembarkation all was very smooth, and handled very well by the ship staff. I have sailed Viking before and have two additional cruises booked right now. I would very highly recommend Viking to anyone and everyone. I recommend both the river cruises as well as the ocean cruises. The service and ports of call are all well thought out and are offered at no cost in most instances, also the free WiFi and the beverages offered for no additional cost at meal times is a great plus. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We saw Viking advertisements while watching Downtown abbey on PBS. We felt it best served our needs to the countries we wanted to see and they had wonderful food and excursion choices. We absolutely had a fantastic time. Our cruise ... Read More
We saw Viking advertisements while watching Downtown abbey on PBS. We felt it best served our needs to the countries we wanted to see and they had wonderful food and excursion choices. We absolutely had a fantastic time. Our cruise director, chefs etc were amazing!!! They were so kind!! The small things they did really impressed me! When arriving back from an excursion they offered hot lemon towels and hot broth or juice! I thought that was just a special touch! The food was absolutely amazing. We had a chef helping on our cruise I believe from Serbia and he would recommend certain dishes each night that we always tried and they were amazing! Along with a special thanksgiving dinner as well!! The accommodations were amazing, the captain and crew were amazing. Loved Bea, Mia, martins , the captain and all of them!!!!! We are planning on another cruise in the fall!! Thanks for the wonderful experience!!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I absolutely would recommend Viking to anyone. This cruise was spectacular. We had the large cabin, not sure i would go that big again, you really don't spend that much time in your room so you really don't need it. Gia our ... Read More
I absolutely would recommend Viking to anyone. This cruise was spectacular. We had the large cabin, not sure i would go that big again, you really don't spend that much time in your room so you really don't need it. Gia our cruise director was fantastic. The only problem that we had was we were supposed to get early access to our cabin but we were one of the last people to get their cabins. Also when we got to the airport we didn't have a viking rep to help us through the airport and our driver dropped us at the wrong place. The food was excellent the excursions were great. We did miss one of our ports because of the yellow jacket protests. We will most certainly do a viking again. Another thing that was really cool about this cruise was there was a bunch of different age groups. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We have friends that have sailed on Viking and gave us rave reviews and boy they were not kidding. The service, the cruise, the excursions and especially the staff were excellent. Food is my biggest concern especially when away for seven ... Read More
We have friends that have sailed on Viking and gave us rave reviews and boy they were not kidding. The service, the cruise, the excursions and especially the staff were excellent. Food is my biggest concern especially when away for seven days. I was very happy with the food on this boat, there was a huge selection at every meal and the staff was the most accommodating that I have ever experienced and we have stayed at some very nice places. I would also like to comment on the excursions as the staff on board the buses as well as the bus drivers were excellent. I was very impressed with this trip and would highly recommend Viking to anyone who has high standards in a vacation trip and I have been known as a tough critic. I am not, I simply think you should get a true value for the money you spend and this one hit the mark. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
As with most people, we wanted to visit Normandy. Viking delivered on that. As far as comparing it to an ocean cruise there is no way. They are two different things completely. The crew was great. The ship was clean, and the rooms were ... Read More
As with most people, we wanted to visit Normandy. Viking delivered on that. As far as comparing it to an ocean cruise there is no way. They are two different things completely. The crew was great. The ship was clean, and the rooms were quite large enough. I was surprised at the casualness of the whole trip. Embarkation-Just walked in sort of like a hotel. And you just walked on and off any time the ship was docked. I. Could have stepped out my balcony on to the dock. Seating is open-we dined with our friends and some others that we met on board. Food-Cooked and delivered to precision. Entertainment-none at all except a pretty good piano player. Excursions-Most were walking but one was a panoramic of Paris. We went in November The good -the leaves were all changing. By the end of the trip you see end up seeing just about everybody on board. Mostly seasoned citizens on board,mostly American-I fit into both categories The not so good-it was cold so we could not do much on the balcony or view from the top deck. Sept would probaby be better. It snowed the next week. Special note-If you plan to visit Monet's gardens,-the gardens close at the first of November an a lot of people were upset with that. Pick another month. My wish would be that the ship dock in Paris and not 15 miles away. Don't know the reason, but it would make the experience much better. We came to Paris on our own for several days and were able to attend the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI. That was special. The visit to the cemetery at. Omaha beach was very moving and something everybody should do Since you asked-I actually prefer ocean cruises and am sailing to Norway to see the Northern lights on the Viking Sun. But we may take another Viking river cruise again. I felt I got my money's worth on this one. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
My husband and I had enjoyed one previous Viking river cruise (Danube Waltz), and we planned and booked this trip nearly 21 months in advance. I have a particular interest in World War II history and have visited Pearl Harbor several ... Read More
My husband and I had enjoyed one previous Viking river cruise (Danube Waltz), and we planned and booked this trip nearly 21 months in advance. I have a particular interest in World War II history and have visited Pearl Harbor several times, so I was very much looking forward to spending time at the Normandy D-Day invasion sites and the American cemetery at Colleville-sur-mer. Our good friends and travel companions, of whom he is a retired U.S. Army brigadier general, had not traveled on Viking before this trip. We were proud to share with them all of the exceptional aspects of quality and attention to detail for which Viking is famous. Our cabin was perfect and always spotless. All of our meals were absolutely delicious, and we appreciated the variety available at each meal. "Blondie," the amazing gentleman who entertained us at the piano, was, by himself, worth going on the cruise. His talent and lovely personality enhanced every evening in the lounge. Nearly every crew member was pleasant and welcoming, and acted as though taking care of the passengers' needs was enjoyable and fulfilling for them personally. I know they all work hard and we tried to be very generous with them at the end of the cruise. Our shore excursions were delightful as well as informative; we particularly enjoyed Montmartre and Lyon. The highlight, of course, was the full day at the D-Day invasion sites. The sites, the commentary from our guide, and my feelings of deep gratitude mixed with sadness, will stay with me forever. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
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