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: 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
It was on our bucket list and appealed to us on so many levels :-Historic(and different periods of history):- we learned on boat and then saw sites related to Joan of Arc, learned about the French Revolution and then of course, Dday ... Read More
It was on our bucket list and appealed to us on so many levels :-Historic(and different periods of history):- we learned on boat and then saw sites related to Joan of Arc, learned about the French Revolution and then of course, Dday visiting the beaches of Normandy Art & Cultural- saw the Tapestry of Bayeux(which is unbelieveable in it's detail and story-telling); sampled many many local cheeses; learned that cheeses served in France are unpasteurized while anything exported to North America has to be pasteurized; Monet's garden at Givenchy-another highlight. It's amazing to visit places which artists have immortalized on canvas Every port excursion and disembarkation was so organized-nothing seems to be left to chance. It takes the stress out of travelling-it seems as if all our needs, wants are identified and provided for. All guides used in ports were excellent! The staff are only too eager to provide assistance and deal with any concerns that might arise On ship we toured the wheelhouse with the captain, enjoyed a cooking demonstration, a French lesson, were able to do laps on top of the boat, watch our boat going through locks and enjoy music by various musical groups in the evening. The food was good and plentiful -the dining room can get noisy at times which makes it difficult to hear when sitting at long tables. There was 1 themed buffet where the staff all dressed in traditional costumes-it was very chaotic and the lines were long-it really wasn't as enjoyable as it could have been(On our next cruise, we had the option of having our waiter bring us a sample plate instead of lining up, which was much better in my opinion) Our room held no surprises-was clean. And of course there was Paris. We had added onto our trip and spent 5 days there beforehand (but not through Viking). You would need to add on extra days to get a good 'feel' for Paris. I would have like to have known in detail the exact itinerary of our included Panoramic tour of Paris but was not able to find out. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
My sister and I wanted to see some of the sights our father had seen in Paris during WWII. He always had wonderful memories and now we will as well. As our 2nd river cruise, the amenities, dining, and staff were as wonderful as the ... Read More
My sister and I wanted to see some of the sights our father had seen in Paris during WWII. He always had wonderful memories and now we will as well. As our 2nd river cruise, the amenities, dining, and staff were as wonderful as the first trip. We chose a room without a balcony, however, and found less drawers available for our clothes. Shelves in the closet had to accommodate us instead. The shore excursions which we purchased were excellent with our wonderful guide, Edith on three of them. We loved the Taste of Paris and the Opera Garnier plus Galleries Lafayette Department store; the view from the roof of Paris was amazing! One disappointment was the long bus ride to Normandy beaches. However, our wonderful guide gave us a fantastic European history lesson leading us up to the Normandy Invasion. The bus ride was not clearly stated in any of the information about the trip. One wonderful feature was the day in Les Andelys, a lovely little town along the Seine. This was the only small town, however. The Rouen Countryside tour was interesting especially because of our wonderful guide who, as a transplant from England, chatted about the big changes her family had gone through in their move to France! The 17th century farm buildings and its charming owner gave us a wonderful tour of the organic apple farm with sheep dog demonstration as they herded the sheep. We did a lot of homework, pre-trip for our extension in Paris. Learn to use the Metro; it's easy and helps you get around so much faster. Be prepared for lots of traffic and sirens. Get your Eiffel Tower tickets online before you go! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
My family and I wanted to visit Normandy and its historical involvement of WW2. And we also wanted to visit Paris and all that it has to offer. The cruise personnel are top notched. The food is to die for and the variety of the food ... Read More
My family and I wanted to visit Normandy and its historical involvement of WW2. And we also wanted to visit Paris and all that it has to offer. The cruise personnel are top notched. The food is to die for and the variety of the food offered it great. Paris was beautiful especially at night. The hotel in Paris was centrally located and we were able to walk to the subways and to walk other venues that were close by. The other tour stops were just as beautiful. My only negative thing is you were not allowed enough time to spend at each scheduled stop. Also, please, please do not penalize single travelers by having them pay full price plus for another nonexistent passenger for the same cabin. You offer two for one but nothing for single travelers. On a positive note the staff during the meals are very professional and they make you feel welcomed. The personnel at the front desk are so very helpful Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Definitely a top-notch cruise ship and cruise line. The pros included friendliness of all staff, ports and scenery (the light presentation at Rouen cathedral at night is a must-see!). Aquavit Terrace for dining in the evening is ... Read More
Definitely a top-notch cruise ship and cruise line. The pros included friendliness of all staff, ports and scenery (the light presentation at Rouen cathedral at night is a must-see!). Aquavit Terrace for dining in the evening is apparently a well-kept secret. We actually dined there almost as many nights as in the formal dining room....a fabulous experience to enjoy gourmet food al fresco on the bow of the ship while cruising at dusk.....however less than a dozen fellow passengers partook in this option on the nights we dined outside. The cons included having a few tour guides that almost ruined our experience: one on Giverny excursion who liked to hear himself talk, dragged the group along and whose French-accented English was very difficult to understand (and I even speak French). We finally broke away from group and toured garden and house on our own. The second guide on the Normandy excursion was completely offensive as she opted to use the long bus ride to get on her soapbox and offer political opinions that were clearly inappropriate. It takes a lot to offend my husband and he was livid. As much as I would like to say that I would recommend a Viking Cruise to adults over 50 I really feel that if we ever have the opportunity to experience Viking again (and we hope to), it'll be at least ten years before we do so. We're both 56 and were often frustrated by older passengers for whom we had to wait, and slowed down our excursions. I love and enjoy senior travelers but we wanted to pack as much as we could in this once-in-a-lifetime trip, and felt we could have easily done more if we hadn't felt pulled back. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This cruise was chosen as a retirement gift to ourselves for my travel companion and me. She wanted to travel and see France and take a Viking cruise. So, I found a cruise that allowed us time in Paris and gave us a taste of the northern ... Read More
This cruise was chosen as a retirement gift to ourselves for my travel companion and me. She wanted to travel and see France and take a Viking cruise. So, I found a cruise that allowed us time in Paris and gave us a taste of the northern French countryside. This cruise allowed us to begin a few days early in Paris to enjoy that wonderful city. Those few days were special and made more special by the Viking assistance in the hotel. The hotel was ideal as a base of operations on those few days and both the Viking representative and the hotel staff went out of their way to allow us to have a great Paris visit. My friend has a gluten allergy and the hotel staff went out of its way to find us restaurants where she could eat. Amazingly, one that they found was about a block from the hotel and wonderful. And, the hotel was convenient to the Metro so all of Paris was within our grasp. The ship was well beyond what I had been told to expect. It was modern, comfortable and inviting. The crew was friendly and attentive and the service was beyond compare. A couple of incidents will explain this feeling. As I mentioned earlier, my friend has a gluten allergy and we informed Viking beforehand about this. From the first meal that we had on board [and on excursions], she was recognized and taken care of. She never had to explain that she had an allergy; it appeared every staff member was aware and sensitive to her needs. She felt like she was being treated like royalty. Also, one of the days of the cruise, my friend was ill and could not participate in the planned excursions. I informed the desk that she would be in bed for the day and they went out of their way to make her comfortable and to make certain that she was fed and provided with water and the beverages to stay hydrated. At one point, I found the cruise director delivering a bowl of soup to her personally. The entire cruise was a journey into the beauty of northern France. Each port, each excursion was eye-opening. The beauty and history of the cities were what I had hoped for and more. I was a history teacher and I learned much from the tour guides. One part of the cruise was a visit to the Normandy Beaches. Even though we were Americans, we decided to take the Commonwealth version of the excursion as we wished to see the Bayeux tapestry. The tapestry was all that I expected it to be; but, I had a profound experience visiting the Commonwealth [Canadian] beaches. The group that we were with was smaller than the American tour; so it allowed us to interact with people who had a deeply personal contact with the D-Day experience. I was moved by their depth of feeling and of the atmosphere that this visit engendered. I would like to add a word of praise for the concierge. Our flights had been arranged through Viking with Air France. On the final days of the cruise, I was informed that there was an Air France strike and our flight arrangements would need to be changed. Working along with the Viking travel office, our concierge spent the better part of two days making certain that our new flight arrangements would "work." He went out of his way for us. One final memory that I will take with me is flowers. The cities were filled with flowers, Monet's Garden was filled with flowers, Versailles and Malmaison were filled with flowers. Flowers were a beautiful background to the entire trip. My friend and I were so pleased with the voyage that we are taking another. This time, though, we are heading to central Europe and the Danube and the Rhine. We are expecting nothing but the best. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We choose the cruise so we could see Paris and cruise to the Normandy beaches which I wanted to see. We did run into a couple of glitches where we went on a walking tour to one of the castles and it was not an easy hike. I was fine but I ... Read More
We choose the cruise so we could see Paris and cruise to the Normandy beaches which I wanted to see. We did run into a couple of glitches where we went on a walking tour to one of the castles and it was not an easy hike. I was fine but I ended up helping a few of the older and more feeble customers up the hill to the top. One person had to be taken off the hill and ended up going to a local hospital. I do not believe that it was advertised as a harsh climb or something similar. We also ran into a problem with the concierge desk since we had deviation on our flight and were extending it in Barcelona. There was some confusion when we were talking to the desk and I felt as if the Concierge was going to leave us on our own to get to the airport which was not close or find us a cab which she said would not come for some reason. Michael, the Cruise Director, jumped in and got us a ride to the airport but even to the last minute when we walked off the ship, the concierge I felt was holding a grudge. As far as the general cruise, it was great and my wife enjoyed it very much. It is unfortunate when things like that cloud your memories of what could have been a another perfect trip. Yes, we have purchased dollars for our next trip which we hope will be soon and we are hoping for the Scandanavian trip. I will think twice about ever trying a deviation again however. Not worth it! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Airport transfers ( to/from) left a lot to be desired, i.e. poor. Bad first impression, made only worst with the last the last impression. Waited at the airport for almost two hours ( after having our luggage) before we left for the ship. ... Read More
Airport transfers ( to/from) left a lot to be desired, i.e. poor. Bad first impression, made only worst with the last the last impression. Waited at the airport for almost two hours ( after having our luggage) before we left for the ship. Still going back and forth with Viking on the transfer back to the airport. Viking made a mistake and they have yet to admit it. - very frustrating. Crew and the ship were great. Being on only the third cruise with this "new" ship was good. Meals were excellent. on board service excellent. The land tour guides were mixed; some were excellent others poor. Quite a distraction from the on board excellence service on the ship to some very poor tour guides who made you feel as though they were doing you a favor. When we did a river cruise with Avalon, every tour guide was " excellent". Viking needs to "up their game" Read Less
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