8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Uniworld was great. The room was beautiful and the bed was extremely comfortable. The service was amazingly attentive and all of the staff were very professional. If anything, they were too attentive! My husband would sometimes get wine ... Read More
Uniworld was great. The room was beautiful and the bed was extremely comfortable. The service was amazingly attentive and all of the staff were very professional. If anything, they were too attentive! My husband would sometimes get wine and not even drink it, just so people would stop asking him if he wanted some! Our cruise director was Thierry and our hotel manager was Yann. They are both French and were very visible during the entire trip, and made sure everything was running smoothly and that everyone was happy. The head chef and restaurant manager were also extremely visible and attentive. The food was really good, albeit heavy, and the wines were nice. The only downside on our trip was that my husband ended up getting food poisoning, I think from a restaurant we ate at in Lyon before getting on the ship. Nobody else got sick (including me) so I doubt it was anything he ate on the ship. He was down and out for almost 3 days, which left me exploring a lot of the ports on my own. While he was sick, all of the staff on the boat was very attentive to his needs. They were always asking how he was doing, arranged for a doctor to come onto the ship to look at him, and picked up prescriptions for him. The restaurant manager made me plates of crackers, rice, and plain chicken to bring him. I wish he did not get sick but I was glad he was in good hands on the ship. I really loved Provence. My favorite port was Avignon. I actually did not even do the included tour there because I opted for the optional included tour of Pont du Gard (it no longer costs extra!) which was also amazing. We had a whole afternoon free in Avignon though so I explored on my own. I thought they fortified city was beautiful and really enjoyed the Pope's Palace. I definitely would like to return to Provence again, hopefully bring my kids once they are a bit older. I would highly recommend Uniworld to anyone going on a river cruise. The staff is incredibly attentive and make you feel like no request is too large. Although we were one of the youngest on the ship (mid to late 30s), we still enjoyed it and felt it was not too slow-paced. We were expecting the age gap anyway. The only thing that is a bit lacking is the entertainment on the ship, although we are not really into that sort of thing anyway so it didn't bother us. I pretty much got off the boat and went exploring whenever we were docked. The nice thing about a river cruise is that you can do that since you dock right at the towns! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
Boarded Viking Buri in Chalon sur Saône 11/8/15 for the Portraits of Southern France for 8 day cruise and optional 3 day extension in Nice. We were first time cruisers. Met at airport in Lyon by staff and transferred to Chalon. ... Read More
Boarded Viking Buri in Chalon sur Saône 11/8/15 for the Portraits of Southern France for 8 day cruise and optional 3 day extension in Nice. We were first time cruisers. Met at airport in Lyon by staff and transferred to Chalon. Found the Buri to be very comfortable and the staff to be very professional. The service was a highlight for us. We wanted to arrange a special anniversary meal in Lyon and the Concierge was especially helpful in looking over information we had gathered, doing her own research and making arrangements. It was a fantastic meal. Found the shore excursions to be well organized by local guides and liked the headsets used by the guides were a real plus as we walked. Meals were outstanding on-board and we appreciated the change in cuisine from central France to Provencal as we sailed south. We found the wine list good and also appreciated being able to choose from local wines. The serving staff was outstanding at meals. Activities offered after dinner were not our "cup of tea" but others seemed to enjoy them. Our only complaint was that we did a lot of travel by night, and that cut down on being able to sit on-deck and enjoy the scenery. I would have opted for less time on excursions and more time cruising - perhaps a different itinerary would better provide for this. Disembarkation at Avignon and transfer to Nice was smooth. Le Meridien Hotel in Nice was ideally situated, but the rooms were a little dated and disappointing. Excursions were we'll done. Weather was fantastic during our stay in France - could not have asked for better. Our air travel was arranged by Viking and we enjoyed our flights on Lufthansa. We opted for premium economy for the trans-atlantic legs of the journey and would recommend this upgrade. Our flight from Nice to Frankfurt was on-time but the transfer time to our connecting flight was under an hour and that is a mistake at Frankfurt, especially with Passport Control. We had to literally run to make the connection - travel agents should know better than to schedule things this tight. We very much enjoyed our trip and look to book another river cruise in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Our trip started in Lyon and ended in Nice. (We did the extension.) The Staff and Crew of the Buri paid attention to virtually every detail with warmth and friendliness. The accommodations were lovely. The bed was very comfortable and ... Read More
Our trip started in Lyon and ended in Nice. (We did the extension.) The Staff and Crew of the Buri paid attention to virtually every detail with warmth and friendliness. The accommodations were lovely. The bed was very comfortable and details such as 110-120v outlets in key places in the state room were so helpful. The food was outstanding as was the service in both the dining room and the lounge. The daily excursions were so well organized with top notch guides and "quiet boxes" so you didn't miss anything. We were delighted with visits to several wineries, beautiful towns, the many opportunities to meet local residents, visit historic sites, and just take in the Burgundy and Provençal regions. The extension to Nice was enjoyable. Accommodations were satisfactory (although we were spoiled by the level of luxury on the Buri). Nice is beautiful, but we truly enjoyed the day trips to the surrounding medieval towns. We love visiting France anyway, but the river cruise was uniquely special. I cannot overstate what a wonderful time we had. I strongly recommend Viking and this specific trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
This was our first Viking Cruise. We have another booked based on our most excellent experience with this cruise. The staff and courtesy is a continuous extension of the outstanding shipboard management and facilities. Always ready to help ... Read More
This was our first Viking Cruise. We have another booked based on our most excellent experience with this cruise. The staff and courtesy is a continuous extension of the outstanding shipboard management and facilities. Always ready to help and genuinely interested in your comfort, the staff of the Hermod was a joy. Both the cruise director and the hotel manager made a concerted effort to get to know all of the patrons. I particularly noted the preparation and planning that went into every event. The behind the scenes coordination and the professional execution were top notch. The River Cruise highlights that were of most interest to me were: the offering of multiple options on daily tours; the ability to meet other shipmates, and the ability to actually relax and enjoy the scenery. The crew and staff made this trip exceptional. Granted, the ship was first class, but it is the crew that makes the difference and this crew is the best! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
My husband and I have been on many cruises, but this was our first river cruise. We were really looking forward to the experience of sitting on the top deck (or our own balcony which we paid extra for) and watching the French countryside ... Read More
My husband and I have been on many cruises, but this was our first river cruise. We were really looking forward to the experience of sitting on the top deck (or our own balcony which we paid extra for) and watching the French countryside and drinking some good French Wine. Our first day was just that - a beautiful views from the sun deck with a good glass of wine. On our second day in Lyon after a nice city tour, we were informed during our daily review that there was a problem with a critical part of the ship and our departure would be delayed. We were disappointed but were expecting the delay to be a half a day at most. This delay became 3 days. The cities and towns that we were supposed to be crusing to became bus tours of over 2 hours each direction and terrible rush hour traffic on return to Lyon. (where we were parked for 4 days with a view of a stone wall and a bike path). Once the part was replaced, we only cruised at night when we were sleeping. We never had the use of our balcony for river cruising. To top it off, the cruise before ours (on another ship) had the norovirus and those passengers were allowed to board our ship. We had no coffee bar, no access to public restrooms, no salt and pepper, or sugar and cream on the tables, no bar snacks. We had to be served at the buffet breakfast (3 or 4 people serving several hundred passengers). We were not offered any renumeration for our inconvenience - not even a token bottle of champagne. The basic attitude was "it is out of our control - not our fault". Since we paid significantly more for a river cruise than we would have for a land tour (and a "hotel room" on the ship that was significantly smaller than a normal hotel room) we asked Viking for a partial refund. Our request was refused with an offer for a discount on a future cruise. We will NOT be taking another Viking Cruise. As an IT professional where we have disaster recovery plans for "critical systems" I would have expected Viking to be able to replace a part in the heart of Europe in less than 3 days - particularly for a cruise for 6 nights. The ship was nice, the food was good but not exceptional. Overall the personnel were professional and competent. The itinerary was good - we really would have loved the ability to walk on and off the ship to the small towns instead of being ferried on a bus with limited time to really appreciate the local culture. We saw plenty of other cruise lines on the same itinerary - I would recommend considering one of them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
We loved the Viking Delling Southern France River cruise. The ship is perfect for relaxing cruising and stops along the river for tours. The ship layout feels very spacious when your in the dining, lounge or deck areas and you spend very ... Read More
We loved the Viking Delling Southern France River cruise. The ship is perfect for relaxing cruising and stops along the river for tours. The ship layout feels very spacious when your in the dining, lounge or deck areas and you spend very little time in your room except to sleep. The cabins are small but efficient and sure meet out needs. You want to be out visiting the towns along the river on the free tours provided by Viking and the tours are very well done by Viking experts in each town. The ship activities were top notch each day and things like Frances cheese tastings gave you knowledge of the making of cheese and then the tasting of each of the cheeses and how each region in France has different tastes. The best thing about Viking Delling is that you are pampered by an excellent staff on a ship that is perfect for river crusing. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We truly enjoyed our time in Provence and on AmaDagio! AMA delivers a great cruise, starting with the design of their ships [which proved itself in the 2013 flooding and again in this year’s low-water on the Danube] and carrying through ... Read More
We truly enjoyed our time in Provence and on AmaDagio! AMA delivers a great cruise, starting with the design of their ships [which proved itself in the 2013 flooding and again in this year’s low-water on the Danube] and carrying through with the food and drink, entertainment and shore excursions, and the staff and crew. Almost everything is top notch, and if it isn’t they will bend over backward to make it right. And as noted below the level of inclusiveness fits our needs just fine. [B]Food[/B]: AMA is known for their food [the Berlitz guide to River Cruising in Europe says they spend more per passenger on food than any other river cruise line] and it showed on this cruise. The daily line-up of food offerings went like this: • Early Risers’ Pastries in the Lounge • Breakfast (buffet, omelet station plus menu for Eggs Benedict, waffles, etc.) • Late Risers’ Pastries in the Lounge • Lunch (buffet plus menu with different items each day) • Light Lunch in the Lounge • Afternoon Tea in the Lounge • Dinner (served, many menu choices) • Late night snacks in the Lounge • 24-hour self-service coffee/tea in the Lounge There were also four special theme-meals: • Welcome Dinner • Lyonnais Delight Lunch • Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Dinner • Farewell Dinner Plus each passenger had one opportunity [at no extra cost] to dine at the Chef’s Table restaurant. [B]Drink[/B]: AMA is not all-inclusive, but I was never tempted to spend my own money for drinks outside the complementary fare so the bartender got no work from me. Here’s what’s included: Daily: • bottled water in cabin (replenished faster than you could drink it) • breakfast: sparkling wine • lunch: wine (same red and white all cruise), beer, soft drinks • dinner: wine (different red and white each night, or they will serve any night’s selection that you like better), beer, soft drinks Special: • Welcome Cocktail on first evening before dinner • Past Passengers’ Reception • Chef’s Table pre-dinner reception • Farewell Cocktail [B]Laundry[/B]: Some cruise lines offer laundry machines [who wants to take time for that on a cruise?], but AMA has a laundry service that is very fast and reasonably priced. [B]Gratuities[/B]: This is a bone of contention for some Cruise Critic posters, but with our history of mass-market cruises we are used to it and follow the cruise line’s guidelines. And this time it didn’t feel like it cost us anything, because our TA had given us enough OBC to cover the gratuities with some left over to cover our laundry bills. We left the ship with an onboard charge of 0 [zero, nada, nil, zilch] – can’t ask for better than that. [B]Entertainment[/B]: two afternoons [a silk painting and printing presentation; and a wine tasting], and five evenings [a French chanteuse; a music quiz; a classical trio; choice of Viviers Ghost Walk or Limited Edition Boulangerie Experience; sail-by the lights of Avignon followed by a pianist/singer with dancing. No hairy legs or wet t-shirt contests, but no adult should complain about a lack of activity on this cruise! [B]Shore Excursions[/B]: We enjoyed this cruise tremendously in all aspects, but I have to give AMA extra top marks for the shore excursions because every option on this cruise was complementary and many are the same excursions that I have read about on other cruise lines as extra cost. Also everyone was accommodated for every one of their choices: gentle walkers [every day], bicycle tours [two, plus free use of bicycles any other time you want], hike [one – we took this], wine tastings [in Beaujolais, onboard while we sailed to Tournon, and the two options in Tournon], Pont du Gard [as an alternative to Avignon, after the general morning tour to a truffle farm and the village of Grignan], Carrières de Lumières [along with the Van Gogh asylum in Saint-Rémy, as an alternative to Les Baux and an olive oil farm, before the general walking tour of Arles]. I think the brochure overstates the amount of bus time, although the return trips were always "nap time" so maybe I undercounted? Anyway, they seem to mention two hours of bus rides on many days, but it never felt that long. For one thing almost all the tours included two stops, so the ride was split into three sections. Also AMA never fills the coaches, so there's plenty of room to spread out. Each guide had 15-20 people [this will vary because AMA lets you sign up based on gentle walkers, regular, fast-paced, and the occasional bike or late risers tour]. This cruise also involved more daytime sailing than our Rhine cruise: often we would wake up somewhere, do a tour and return to the ship for lunch during which it would sail somewhere else where we would have an afternoon tour. The overall experience was one fully-packed day after another. [I was very glad for the opportunity to nap while driving to Marseille after the cruise!] [B]Staff & Crew[/B]: Working on a river ship is no easier than ocean cruises, so I take my hat off to all the hard-working staff and crew of AmaDagio. Every seven days they have to say goodbye to one group of passengers, quickly clean and refit the ship, and welcome the next group – and there don’t seem to be any days off. We had very little to complain about over the entire week, and any complaints that we did make were quickly attended to. [I’m still amazed at the immediate acquisition of EVOO that enhanced our table’s dining experience.] [B]Dress[/B]: River cruises are by nature informal, and the world seems to be getting more informal with each passing year. I brought a sport coat and never took it out of the closet. The dining room was cool, but dress was informal enough that I used a chamois shirt instead. DW says she wore black slacks and a fancy blouse for the Captain's dinner. The only skirt she packed was a print peasant skirt which she wore twice. We like to freshen up and change into nicer clothes for dinner, but she thought that dining attire on this cruise was more casual than on our 2013 AMA Rhine cruise [e.g. men wearing shorts to dinner, even though it wasn't really hot] and many people seemed to wear their sightseeing clothes to dinner. [B]Planning[/B]: My planning bible for this trip, as usual, was Rick Steves. I think the France book is a high point even for his always-excellent series. Every hotel and restaurant recommendation proved worthy, the sightseeing selections are high on everyone’s list but Rick gives more depth to his inclusions including guided tours of the major churches and museums and walking tours of many towns and cities, and the planning sections [e.g. “Whirlwind Three-Week Tour of France by Car”] are an invaluable starting point. My only complaint about Rick’s coverage of France is that you need to buy at least three books to get everything [the Paris book is more comprehensive than the Paris chapter in the France book, and the Provence book is much more comprehensive than the France book for that area]. [B]The French[/B]: We had no problem at all with the famous French “attitude” – we always started with a Bonjour and tried our creaky French, sometimes the conversation could conclude that way and other times they would steer us into English, but almost everyone was very helpful. In Paris we got the brushoff a few times when asking for directions in the street, but that just felt like being home in NYC and it was probably either that the person didn't really know the neighborhood or was in a hurry – we can relate to that, so we weren't offended. In Marseille [also not known for its friendliness] a young man realized that his directions to the nearest gas station were quite complicated, so he jumped in his car and led us there! Our guides were all properly ambivalent about the famous 28-hour work week and long vacations and holidays that sap French productivity [they after all are independent contractors who have to work hard for their income], but we never felt that anyone gave us less than good service and attention. Perhaps the biggest surprise to me was how totally the Académie française has failed in its effort to keep the French language pure: le weekend, le parking, le camping. And at every intersection you see a red octagon-shaped sign with the letters “STOP,” not “arrêt” [although that is apparently not a recent trend: our guide said that her grandmother remembers such signs from her youth]. [B]DW’s Observations[/B]: The French (all ages) smoke like chimneys. Is it cultural? Are they just trying to stay skinny? I think they could exist on tobacco, wine and bread. I can understand the bread part! Their plumbing sometimes leaves a lot to be desired, especially the public toilets along the highway. Gross! (Needed my SheWee). It was only on the ship and in Giverny that we had a fully-enclosed shower and washcloths. (We always bring our own washcloths to Europe). If there is a toiletry or health-related product you really might need, bring it with you. (We couldn’t find Zicam or any zinc cold remedy in the many pharmacies; Vicks cough drops, yes.) Safes for personal belongings were rare to come by in lodgings. Traveling with Jazzbeau is like one of Caesar’s forced marches in the Gallic War or the Death March to Bataan – this is what I told him in the beginning of the trip – however, he did ease up as we progressed on our way through Brittany and actually eliminated sights from our punch list – Jazzbeau is flexible (who knew!) [B]Conclusion[/B]: we loved every minute of this trip, and renewed our appreciation of France [after those tense moments of “freedom fries” and President Sarcastic]. Every province has its charms, and even with three weeks we could only scratch the surface. Paris especially demands a return visit(s). And AMA will definitely be getting a return visit. We plan to book the Port Wine & Flamenco trip as soon as the 2017 schedules come out. The loyalty benefits are great: 5% discount for buying a Future Cruise Benefit, 5% early-booking discount, $100 per person discount starting with the second cruise [plus free airport transfers and 50% discount one-category upgrade starting with the third cruise – increasing to free one-category upgrade starting with the fourth]. But that would mean nothing to me if the product wasn’t also great. Thankfully it is. We had a great time, loved France – and mirabile dictu – neither us of gained a pound, despite eating [and in my case, drinking] very well! You can find a detailed blog of this cruise on the River Cruising forum: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2264109 Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
Boy did we have a great time! The food was unbelievable. The chef made a real effort to ensure we were experiencing the fruits, cheeses and wines of the season and area we were travelling through. No request was too small and nothing was ... Read More
Boy did we have a great time! The food was unbelievable. The chef made a real effort to ensure we were experiencing the fruits, cheeses and wines of the season and area we were travelling through. No request was too small and nothing was overlooked. We had a silver package which meant we could imbibe with the appropriate wines and before dinner cocktails without worry of an enormous bar tab at the end. The entertainment was all good; a nice variety of music and musical programs to listen to, sing along with and dance to if the mood took. A nice size boat; so we got to know quite a few fellow travellers and were on nodding terms with the rest. Our state room was well maintained through-out the cruise and I enjoyed coming back to the room at the end of the evening to discover new towel sculptures, flowers and fresh fruit! We really enjoyed the shore excursions; just the right combination of walking, sightseeing and commentary. Once again, there was variety, steam train, vineyards, art galleries etc - a good mix - something for everyone Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Our first and last river cruise with Scenic. I totally agree with the poor review on this website. Our cruise was supposed to be a gastronomique and wine cruise in France. Well the classical French dishes were nowhere to be seen let alone ... Read More
Our first and last river cruise with Scenic. I totally agree with the poor review on this website. Our cruise was supposed to be a gastronomique and wine cruise in France. Well the classical French dishes were nowhere to be seen let alone resemble classical French dishes. Bouillibaise, French Onion soup, mussels, crepes suzettes, coq au vin etc where did they get the recipes from? The cabin was small in comparison with cruise ships. The waiters understood little English. One night we asked to see the Maitre D and got a pot of tea. We complained to the hotel manager about the food and was told that we cater mainly for Australians. Is that an insult to Australians or is it an insult to Brits, Canadians and Americans who were on the ship. As like the poor review we paid in excess on £11000 for what is classed as a luxury cruise and by far this is the worst cruise we have been on. This was our 15 cruise but our first river cruise. The company advertisers itself as top market. I would have thought that being if France the food would be as advertised in brochure, no where near. The chefs hands are tied by a moron in head office. The housekeeping and reception were excellent along with literally one or two waiters/butlers. Would I recommend Scenic, never in a month of Sundays Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
The cruise Having done six sea cruises in various parts of the world, this was our first river cruise. We cruised on the ‘Scenic Emerald’ for 13 nights, on the Soane and the Rhone from Chalon sur Soane, throughTornus, Mâcon, Lyon, ... Read More
The cruise Having done six sea cruises in various parts of the world, this was our first river cruise. We cruised on the ‘Scenic Emerald’ for 13 nights, on the Soane and the Rhone from Chalon sur Soane, throughTornus, Mâcon, Lyon, Tournon, Viviers, Château Neuf du Pape, Avignon, to Tarascon. Weather was sunny most of the time, but a cold Mistral blowing ruled out the upper deck for sun bathing. There were 50 crew members aboard and around 130 guests - 80% Australians, the rest equally British and North American. Facilities Predictably on a river boat, the rooms are small, but very well appointed, with a shower room, and a balcony. The in-room entertainment system provided UK TV news, films, and on-board information. On the down side – the Rhone has become so popular that there are now far more cruise boats than there are berths. Consequently boats moor alongside each other: so you suddenly find yourself looking into another bedroom two feet away (closer than tenements in Hong Kong), which makes the balcony useless. Food Breakfast and lunch were self-service from a buffet with a wide range of dishes. There was champagne for breakfast for those who wanted it. But the problem with buffet service was the crowds and, sometimes, their behaviour. At a special fish buffet one guest walked away with a soup bowl piled high with at least 30 oysters, meaning that I had neither oysters nor scallops- and by the time I reached the salmon it was a smashed heap of bones. But overall the food was imaginative, varied, and good. The regional fare produced each day was a high-light. Dinner was waiter service from a varied and well planned menu. The service was varied, a particular difficulty was encouraging waiters to top up wine glasses. On the final night the entire serving staff paraded through the restaurant, plates held high, to serve the captain and the guests at his table. There were complaints that, consequently, the other guests had to wait. What a farce – the pilot of a river boat being treated as though he was the captain of the Queen Mary. The tasting menu in the tiny specialist restaurant was excellent. All drinks on-board were free, with a mini bar in the cabin, stocked by your own butler according to your wishes -although spirits only came in miniatures. Excursions There were choices of excursions each day, often involving a coach trip. Enjoyable visits included a wine cellars, a truffle farm, the Château de Cormatin, a Beaujolais wine tasting, the Castle of Touron, and the Pope’s palace at Avignon. Less exciting was a trip on a toy train around some salt flats. We cruised slowly past the ruins of the Pons d’ Avignon and moored nearby. Entertainment On board entertainment was provided each evening, sometimes with a visiting artist from the location Travel Travel was by Eurostar from London to Lyon. But we were not picked up at Lyon, as the itinerary promised, but had to take the local train to Chalon, where a van was waiting outside; that meant we had to lug all our baggage down stairs from the platform and up again to the van. Not quite the five star treatment we had expected. We returned to London from Avignon, though were surprised when the company refused to pay for the taxi (Euro70) from the boat to Avignon station. Eurostar from London to Lyon was fine, but the return Avignon to London involved getting off the train at Lille with all our suit-cases and standing in a queue for nearly an hour for a security check and passport control: there has to be a better way to manage this border crossing. Conclusions We paid £8,500 for two for the travel and cruise, which included all onboard food, wine, and tips. In the final debriefing, however, it was made clear that tips were in order ‘for exceptional service’. Our overall impression was that this was a good but not great experience. Undoubtedly many of the guests had a great time. We shall stick to sea cruises in future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We also had a disappointing trip on the Southern France Cruise. We stayed in lyon from Wed to Sunday and then the boat went to Avignon. We were bussed around every day instead of cruising down the river as the water levels were too high. ... Read More
We also had a disappointing trip on the Southern France Cruise. We stayed in lyon from Wed to Sunday and then the boat went to Avignon. We were bussed around every day instead of cruising down the river as the water levels were too high. Viking knew this but took our money $8,400.00 which we paid $1,000.00 for a balcony, which we did not use and found out that a ship is parked next to you the whole time we were docked. They give you a little book just before you go and it has all this covered in small print, after you have paid for your trip. What an expensive lesson learned. Viking sent a letter which has the Customer Service Manager name and number, when you call, she does not take calls, what a joke for Customer Service, the rep told us all they would do is 15% off a future cruise, good only for l year. She also said very snarky comment that is you go to Hawaii and it rains all week you do not get your money back, not the same. Very expensive lesson learned about this cruising down the rivers, I was also told that sometimes the river levels are too low. Be Warned. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
High water on both the Rhone and Saone from flooding (heavy rain and snow melt) altered our itinerary. Viking emailed us one day prior to tell us to meet the boat in Lyon instead of Chalon-sur-Saone. We never did get to see Chalon. Then we ... Read More
High water on both the Rhone and Saone from flooding (heavy rain and snow melt) altered our itinerary. Viking emailed us one day prior to tell us to meet the boat in Lyon instead of Chalon-sur-Saone. We never did get to see Chalon. Then we remained docked in Lyon for four nights, taking a bus to Beaune, Vienne, and Tournon. Cruise director then announced that cruise itself was "cancelled" and that we could go to all of our remaining sites by bus instead. Quite a few folks accepted Viking's offer to refund the UNUSED portion of our non-cruise. Then, the next night, the message changed that the Heimdal would indeed proceed down-river the next morning. We could choose to skip the next tour by remaining onboard for the first cruise of the week or take a bus to Tournon. We took the bus option and were glad we did because it was the highlight day of our trip. We never got to see Viviers either because the ship needed to get to Avignon while the water and bridges were cooperating. To be fair to Viking, the meals were wonderful (same white wine every day though) and quite varied, and they had no control over water levels. But they did know that the high waters would not recede quickly and that our "cruise" was in jeopardy. A cruise-by-bus was not what we paid for. And the short five hour (4-9 pm) cruise that we enjoyed was overpriced. We await a response from Viking about compensation or incentive for another cruise at this time. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
This Viking River Cruise way exceeded our expectations. The scenery, the ship, the staff, and the meals were outstanding. Tour guides were great and knowledgeable. Very satisfied with our economy cabin. I highly recommended this event to ... Read More
This Viking River Cruise way exceeded our expectations. The scenery, the ship, the staff, and the meals were outstanding. Tour guides were great and knowledgeable. Very satisfied with our economy cabin. I highly recommended this event to all our friends and family. What we liked was the limited number of guests on board. You got to make friends with many. Unlike a cruise ship that might have thousands on board. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
We sailed from Avignon upriver on the Rhone on the Viking Delling. The weather turned out warmer and sunnier than we had anticipated. We didn't do any extra days before or after the cruise, but had we known what this part of France ... Read More
We sailed from Avignon upriver on the Rhone on the Viking Delling. The weather turned out warmer and sunnier than we had anticipated. We didn't do any extra days before or after the cruise, but had we known what this part of France was like, we would have stayed a couple extra days in Lyon. Almost all the land tours, whether free or paid were worth it. The free city tour of Arles was better than the extra fee Van Gogh tour, as they overlapped most of the same places. We skipped the extra fee Chateanueuf du Pape land tour, as the Chateau was just ruins and it was more focused on the winery. We took the extra fee land tour to Les Baux and St. Remy (the sanitarium where Van Gogh painted many of his works. Les Baux was a fasinating mountain village well worth the bus trip. We explored most of the city of Avignon on foot for a whole day. We couldn't get on the extra fee Vienne Mini-train trip as there weren't enough seats on the train, but the free city tour of Vienne was good. The free city tours of Lyon were definitely worth the time. We also took the free bus tour of Beaune, which had a beautiful hospital built in 1443. Food and wine on the cruise was excellent. The staff were attentive and friendly. Viking took care of us getting from Marseille airport to Avignon (our flight was delayed several hours because of an air traffic controller strike in France) and from Chalon-sur-Saone to Lyon airport. One recommendation is to book returning flights for after 10 AM, or you might be getting up at 4 AM to catch your flight home. Overall, we would highly recommend this river cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
My cruise on the Rhone River from Lyon to Avignon, France with 3 days in Paris to start, was perfect. I have zero complaints regarding anything whether it be about the ship or the excursions. I have traveled little and am from the Midwest ... Read More
My cruise on the Rhone River from Lyon to Avignon, France with 3 days in Paris to start, was perfect. I have zero complaints regarding anything whether it be about the ship or the excursions. I have traveled little and am from the Midwest USA. Our initial stay was at the Marriott Rive Gauche in Paris where concierge service, by Viking, was provided and appreciated. Our transfers from airport arrival to ship to airport return were dependable and perfect. The ship was fabulous- well appointed, comfortable with service "over the top." Daily information meetings during cocktail hour were needed and appreciated. Every excursion was delightful. I bought 3 extra excursions. A small complaint here would be that I would like "shopping" time in the towns and villages. I'm not a souvenir collector, but, having a fine arts back ground, I would appreciate time to scout out authentic French products and creations. On board food was so fabulous I had not desire to dine elsewhere! Evening entertainment was professional and fun. As I said at the start, this cruise was perfect in every way. I recommend Viking River Cruises to everyone knowing I will be thanked. And thank-you, Viking, for helping me have an experience of a life time. The end result is that I have plans to return to France! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
There were four of us in our small group of older women and I can honestly say we had the best time. From the moment you are welcomed on board until the time you leave you are made to feel very special. We loved every minute, the staff ... Read More
There were four of us in our small group of older women and I can honestly say we had the best time. From the moment you are welcomed on board until the time you leave you are made to feel very special. We loved every minute, the staff are great, the activities are well thought out and the guides on the tours are mines of local information. The cabins are well laid out, there is no wasted space and it has everything needed, the toiletries provided are quite luxurious and the housekeeping staff do an amazing job, we especially loved the laundry service on our cruise! Possibly the best value for a cruise from what we heard from other passengers (this being my first time cruise), we also really enjoyed the silver spirits package we received free because we paid early, so can thoroughly recommend doing that. In fact I enjoyed it so much I have booked another cruise with this company (and this time with the husband), really looking forward to 2016 to do an ocean cruise on one of the new ocean cruise ships around Italy. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
I have nothing bad to say. The trip was flawless and wonderful. I had some flight problems on the trip over. With a few phone calls I was on a back up flight and the Viking representatives were there to greet me in Paris. The ship's ... Read More
I have nothing bad to say. The trip was flawless and wonderful. I had some flight problems on the trip over. With a few phone calls I was on a back up flight and the Viking representatives were there to greet me in Paris. The ship's crew, especially the Social Director and girls on the desk, were great. As were the maid, the waiters and staff. This was only the ship's first or second cruise so the cabins were great and the boat was immaculate. All of the tours were well organized and interesting. The food was delicious including the cookies put out for snacks. And our extensions in Paris and Nice were wonderful. Although the rooms in the hotel in Nice felt like they were second class and set aside for cruises. All things considered, I'd go again in a minute ... but it would help someone paid for me. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
After hearing so much about the benefits of river cruising we thought we would give it a go and selected the Uniworld Soane/Rhone wine country cruise. The cruise itself was very good to excellent. Ship was in good condition and very clean, ... Read More
After hearing so much about the benefits of river cruising we thought we would give it a go and selected the Uniworld Soane/Rhone wine country cruise. The cruise itself was very good to excellent. Ship was in good condition and very clean, only exception was tile in our shower that was quite grotty - made no sense when rest of ship was so clean. Crew and staff we friendly and helpful. Food was very good and nice size portions. The local wine served with meals was all excellent. Dining room service was a bit spotty, wondered at one point if they were short crew. Would agree with a previous reviewer that cliques formed quickly, tougher to mix, mingle and meet new people at dinner than we had experienced on other cruises or land tours. On board entertainment was geared to the over 90 set. I am sure the individual artists were very talented but Uniworld is obviously not targeting fit and active baby boomers. Overall I expected better / more from the excursions. We had some excellent guides but we also had a couple of real duds and for what we paid they all should have been top notch. We ended up buying the supplemental tours as we quickly realized that if we did not, there was nothing to do in the afternoon other than sit around the ship, which I am sure is fine for many travellers, but not us. All the supplemental tours were excellent both in content and guides. Included tours were a mix, but the common denominator was that they were all low impact, stair and hill avoidance and in the case of the trip to Les Baux rushed. I am sure buried in the small print of the contract it says that excursions can be cancelled or can be limited in the number of participants. The supplemental excursion to Pont du Gard was cancelled the night before because not enough people had signed up. Because of some new inane policy on Uniworld, the tour director cannot make announcements, so no effort was made to advise passengers that the tour would be cancelled unless more people signed up. Ultimately the tour director arranged for 4 taxis to take 17 of us there, a worthwhile excursion, but I felt overall very poorly handled. Similarly, both "strenuous" walking tours were filled before we had a chance to sign up, limited to 25 persons. So in Lyon we had the choice of a bus tour or doing things on our own, at our own expense. We opted for the later. In Avignon, same, tour filled. We went on the general tour of the Pope's Palace but left it early to follow our own tour plan.Our friends were on AMA, same week, opposite direction. They had previously travelled with Uniworld but felt AMA was a step up and almost all their excursions were included. If you are an active traveller, I would suggest you think twice about a river cruise. We will probably give it another try in 10-15 years. Read Less

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise