1 Helpful Vote
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: September 2018
We chose this cruise mostly for the itinerary, and because we had such a great time on Viking's "Grand European". This was the first leg of "France's Finest" for us. While the trip was enjoyable, I ... Read More
We chose this cruise mostly for the itinerary, and because we had such a great time on Viking's "Grand European". This was the first leg of "France's Finest" for us. While the trip was enjoyable, I wasn't impressed with some of the included excursions. I think I've toured enough churches, castle ruins and palaces to last the remainder of my life! There wasn't enough free time at some of the ports. Favorite stops were Giverny; Rouen; and the beaches at Normandy, but there was not nearly enough time at the D-Day Museum. I would love to return to that area at a more leisurely pace. The food on the Rolf was good, but not memorable. I found the Program Director to be overbearing, sometimes to the point of being annoying. The majority of fellow passengers were older (we are in our early 60s). Our pre-cruise extension in Paris was delightful. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
Our family, of four, wanted to take a special trip to celebrate our high school senior's graduation. She chose France. As a senior citizen I wanted a relaxing tour, yet one which included the famous monuments, museums, and palaces. ... Read More
Our family, of four, wanted to take a special trip to celebrate our high school senior's graduation. She chose France. As a senior citizen I wanted a relaxing tour, yet one which included the famous monuments, museums, and palaces. We found the perfect combination in the Paris-Normandy Viking River Cruise. We took the extended cruise and spent three days in Paris, visiting the special attractions in The City of Light. By chance we were there on Bastille Day and the day France won the World Cup! When we boarded the Rolf, we were delighted to find our ship and cabins to be just what we needed: immaculately clean, comfortable and with adequate storage space. We enjoyed eating in the lovely dining-room and on the more casual aquavit terrace It was fun to experience delicious new foods and delicacies while watching the shore roll by. We had cautioned our teen that she might be the only young person on the ship, but were amazed to find many of high school and college age on board. The activities and excursions were outstanding. I appreciated that while the younger members of the family could go on those that required more energy and endurance I could chose those that were easier or even remain on the ship with friends. Surprisingly, one of the excursions I enjoyed the most and will always remember was to the Monet Gardens. They were absolutely gorgeous. Normandy, Omaha Beach and the American Military Cemetery were very meaningful for each of us, but especially to me, since I was a child during WWII. The entire trip was definitely beyond expectations. I have been recommending Viking to all my friends. Our family would love to go on another river cruise and have even been discussing it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
After having many friends sing the praises of Viking, we scheduled our first river cruise with them. From the moment we landed at the airport to time we boarded the flight to come home we were treat to first class service. We were blown ... Read More
After having many friends sing the praises of Viking, we scheduled our first river cruise with them. From the moment we landed at the airport to time we boarded the flight to come home we were treat to first class service. We were blown away with the way we were pampered. From the housekeeping to the food service, we had never experienced such service. The daily excursions were excellent, every detail was obviously improved based on guest feedback. The itineraries were structured to maximize our time with the highlights. The daily briefing by the Cruise Director prepared us for the following day. One example was informing us of what we would see on the beaches of Normandy. She explained the beaches would be populated with French vacationers, which many thought was disrespectful...until she explained that the French government surveyed the people who fought there and all indicated they wanted people to enjoy the beaches, that’s what they fought for. Viking listens! We were so impressed, that after being home less than a week we booked our 2019 cruise to Switzerland and Germany.308 Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Nothing Compares to Paris in the spring. My sister and I had planned a different cruise the year before but due to an accident we cancelled the trip. (A word of advice BUY insurance). This cruise meant so much to both of us. I cannot ... Read More
Nothing Compares to Paris in the spring. My sister and I had planned a different cruise the year before but due to an accident we cancelled the trip. (A word of advice BUY insurance). This cruise meant so much to both of us. I cannot praise the crew enough. From the moment we landed we were treated like VIP’s. The ship was beautifully decorated,the food outstanding,the staff excellent. A special shout out to Mimi our cruise director, Nicky who sang and played every evening. The tours were delightful,especially the Giverny where the home of Monet gardens are located. Words cannot begin to describe the beauty there. After the cruise my sister and I spent 5days in Paris, we arranged this on our own. Paris,what’s not to love about Paris, it pulses life, culture , architecture,history, the people were very kind and friendly. Viva la France. Ship come and ship go, there are large ships and small ships but friendship is the best ship of all. Thank you for a memorable time. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We are priot Viking cruisers. We love the river ships. Just the right size and cabins are great. Enjoyed the various ports and tours. Normandy was exceptional. Food and food service is amazing. Great opportunity to meet new friends. ... Read More
We are priot Viking cruisers. We love the river ships. Just the right size and cabins are great. Enjoyed the various ports and tours. Normandy was exceptional. Food and food service is amazing. Great opportunity to meet new friends. Actually reconnected with friends we had not seen in twenty plus years. Would like to have a little more evening entertainment. Piano player was good and the tour director was very informative and enjoyable to hear their comments. Table servers were the same each day. We got to know them and they called us by name. Also we’re willing to do special food orders when requested. We have recommended Viking many times to other friends and have already book another river cruise over a year in advance. I would recommend you reduce the number of words required in the feedback section otherwise travelers will probably avoid providing feedback. Generally one can express their positive comments in less than 150 words. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Had never been on river cruise before. Picked this cruise because wanted to go to Normandy. The staff were all very friendly and wanted to do anything to help you. The food was super good, well presented whether buffet or table service. ... Read More
Had never been on river cruise before. Picked this cruise because wanted to go to Normandy. The staff were all very friendly and wanted to do anything to help you. The food was super good, well presented whether buffet or table service. Viking handled air arrangments. Met us at the Paris airport and quickly got us to the ship.The excursions included in the tour package were all we needed to keep us well occupied. The tour guides were very knowledgable of the areas where they were leading. The only extra excrusion we booked was "Paris at Night" because we wanted to see the Eiffel Tower at night. This was one of the highlights of the entire trip. The most impressive part of the trip was the opportunity to see Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery, certainly a moving experience. We are glad to recommend Viking and hope some day to do another Viking cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Paris is always a draw but we were particularly focused on seeing Normandy. This cruise did all of this and more. The time spent in Paris was fun and well spent. We were quickly caught up on France's great history. The Louvre and ... Read More
Paris is always a draw but we were particularly focused on seeing Normandy. This cruise did all of this and more. The time spent in Paris was fun and well spent. We were quickly caught up on France's great history. The Louvre and Notre Dame were great. Traveling on the river to Normandy presented great excursions. Visiting the farm in Rouen was a particular highlight and Monet's gardens and home were a real treat. Normandy was a very special experience, especially the visit to Omaha Beach. Looking at the geography of the beach, one has to wonder how our great soldiers were able to overcome the odds by making it up that wide expanse of a beach and then up the hills beyond. This has to be seen to understand how difficult a time they must of had. The ceremony at the Memorial and the walk through the cemetery fulfilled our purpose for taking this cruise. As always, the food was wonderfully prepared and served. Our servers quickly became our friends and their entertaining capability made each meal more than just a food experience. The ease of coming and going throughout the whole trip is much appreciated. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
I have always had Paris and Normandy on my list of places to visit and this cruise combined both of them into one trip. I learned from our first cruise on the Rhine that I wanted to do the pre-stay this time as well and I was not ... Read More
I have always had Paris and Normandy on my list of places to visit and this cruise combined both of them into one trip. I learned from our first cruise on the Rhine that I wanted to do the pre-stay this time as well and I was not disappointed. The service on board ship was excellent once again and the hosts on the excursions were great as well. the included excursions were great and further enhanced by the optional ones that we signed up for. My Wife is eager to go on another one perhaps to Russia and I would like to do the Rhine again but continuing down to Budapest to see sites in Germany and Austria as well as Hungary. This trip for my Wife and I this year also marked our 35th Wedding Anniversary as well as my 60th Birthday. We will keep doing these as long as our health permits. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
My family likes to have annual summer vacations and this year it was decided we would take a river cruise in Europe, specifically the "Paris and the Heart of Normandy" itinerary that sails the Seine river in France. We had a ... Read More
My family likes to have annual summer vacations and this year it was decided we would take a river cruise in Europe, specifically the "Paris and the Heart of Normandy" itinerary that sails the Seine river in France. We had a total of 8 people: two in their young teens (12 and 16) two in their late 20's (myself and brother at 28 and 29) two in their 40's (my sister and brother-in-law) and our parents, in their late 60's and early 70's. To give some perspective, my brother and I have done multiple ocean cruises so we have some experience with cruising. This was a whole 'nother animal though, and for the most part, we all loved it. Demographics: Going into it, we knew that the demographics would be way off what we are used to. Most people were in their 50's and 60's with a few past that. There were a few children, and maybe a total of 6 teenagers, all with their families. My brother and I were definitely the only ones in their mid-to-late 20's (besides the staff) and if we were there for a "party" atmosphere and vacation, we would have been disappointed. This time however, we knew it would be port intensive and we would be sticking with the family for the most part. This allowed us to enjoy the food and sights (and drinks) more so than on ocean cruises. For the most part, all of the passengers were very friendly. We met a few people that we would talk to everyday and quickly became friends with. There were a few however that I could tell really did not like the idea of young people being around. One passenger walked up to my 12 year old niece and yelled at her for running around on the deck after 10 p.m. and ruining his sleep (turns out, it was different younger girl) and it really struck a nerve with us, he never apologized after he realized his mistake and we made a habit of staying away from him. Other than that, everyone was really nice, and in the evenings once the crowd had some drinks in them, it could get "lively" in the lounge, until about 11 p.m. After this time, the ship is pretty much dead and there is no real late-night entertainment. Ship and Cabin: The boat was very nice. We knew it wouldn't be a mega-liner and would be used mostly for sleeping and eating, which it was more than adequate for. I stayed in the inside cabin, it was small but comfortable. I would say it was about 75% the size of a standard inside ocean cruise cabin. The bathroom however was MUCH nicer. Heated floors, a real shower, and plenty of toilet space really made it much nicer than the typical inside stateroom. It did have a small window, though it did not get much use as we were rarely in the cabin. My sister and brother-in-law had the french balcony, which was pretty much the same as the standard cabin, just with a bigger window you could open. The parents got an actual balcony cabin, and it was very swanky. The top deck of the boat had two mini-golf holes and a shuffleboard station, that was about it other than some chairs. Once again, it was port-intensive cruise so this was not really an issue. Staff and Dining: This is where the cruise really shined. All the staff members were fantastic, especially our waiters, bartenders and customer service reps. I would like to give a shout-out to Drago, Alex, Milen, Alexie (I know I spelled that wrong, sorry!) Peter, and Alexandra who all provided fantastic service while we were there. The cruise director was also fantastic (I am so sorry I forgot her name!) They worked ridiculously hard to keep everyone happy and I witnessed first hand just how some of them were thanked for their hard-work (not so nice). I understand some of the people are used to being waited on hand and foot, but a little recognition seems the least they could do. The food was absolutely fantastic, and I made sure to go out of my comfort-zone on some nights. I did not order from the "always available" section once, though a few of my family members did, and they reported it was still very good. I took a ton of photos which I will try to upload at some point, but everything was very good. I would die a happy man if I could have some of that fried-brie one last time. A few of us managed to get sick (not Noro!) while we were there, and Alexandra made sure we had some chicken soup waiting for us in our cabins when we needed it. I truly believe that without this crew and staff, it really would not have been the same. Entertainment: Dave the piano man was the only real entertainment on the boat, and he did not disappoint. Going from modern songs like Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars to the classics was no problem for him, and he really kept the boat alive until around midnight. I would see him on the top deck when he was not on the clock and he was always super friendly and would make sure we were having a great time. Other than that, there was not much entertainment to be had on the boat outside of drinking in the lounge (great service by Dragos and Peter!) and relaxing on the sun deck. There were a few enrichment programs while we were there, though we did not attend any of them, so I cannot speak to how they are. As mentioned before, the ports were the real draw of the boat, so this was once again not a problem. Ports and shore excursions: So this is what most people come on these trips for, and for the most part they were pretty great, with some caveats. It should be noted that most of the included excursions are walking tours and may require a bus ride. For Paris, our family skipped the walking tour and did our own thing. As such, I can't speak to how the official excursion went, but Paris was a fantastic day trip for us just walking around and seeing the sights. The next day was Giverny and a tour of Monet's house. The property itself was amazing, the gardens are a true sight to behold. The tour however was a little rough, though this is no fault of Viking. It was absolutely packed, with tour groups everywhere making it impossible to stay together and taking your time to see everything. We were whisked around and so thoroughly stuffed together that if you have problems with tight spaces, you may get a little antsy. It was cold that day, which was probably a blessing, since I could only imagine being stuffed with so many people on a hot and humid morning. Rouen was next, and Notre Dame did not disappoint. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and led us on a walking tour of the city of Rouen that was absolutely fantastic. The sights of the city truly made this a great excursion. I missed the light show that was apparently amazing (I've seen my family member's videos!) unfortunately because I had started to feel pretty sick.The next day was Normandy, and I have to preface this by saying this was the peak of my sickness on the trip. I was running on two hours of sleep and had a fever, but I still made the trip. The beaches and museums were very cool and the cemetery was absolutely beautiful. Viking had a special ceremony and gave out flowers for us to put on a grave of our choice, which was very nice. The cemetery really put things into perspective and I truly felt humbled being there. As such, I feel bad complaining at all about this excursion, but the one problem was the time in the bus. As I mentioned, I was feeling terrible so this definitely exacerbated the issue, but in total, we were probably sitting in the bus more than outside of it. It's 2 and a half hours (at least) each way, plus multiple shorter trips (one about 45 minutes, a few others in the 20-minute range) between stops. This meant we were couped-up in the bus for about 6 hours, which was absolutely exhausting. I absolutely think it was worth-it to see Normandy, and I understand that this may not be avoidable, but I still think it is worth mentioning. After Normandy was Les Andelys, which was my favorite stop. The trek to Chateau Gaillard took about 30 minutes, which meant we got to walk through the picturesque town and see the sites. Our tour guide, Fred (a woman), was great and joined us for a drink at the the local cafe after the tour. The castle was amazing, and the views were top-notch. The last tour we went on was Chateau de Malmaison. It was a very pretty property with some cool things to see, however this may have been the least eventful tour. Worth the longish bus ride, but compared to the rest of the excursions, not my favorite. All in all, I was very happy with the tours, and I would only try to lessen the amount of time on the buses, which I understand may not really be possible. All the tour guides were great (though the one from Normandy totally thought I just did not want to be there and glared at me the entire time, I think she thought I was hung-over or something....nope, just really sick thank you very much!) Most tours required a listening device where you follow a lolly-pop holding guide, but you are also free to explore on your own if you choose. In conclusion, as a family vacation, this was great. I know my niece and nephew had a great time as well, and really enjoyed seeing France. The food, both on the ship and off, was amazing. The staff and crew were great and the boat was very nice. Cruising the river was very relaxing and I enjoyed the little entertainment they had on board. The ports were great and the people of France were very nice. This has made us want to go on another trip with Viking, and we are looking at one in Germany, particularly sailing the Rhein. If you are looking for a family trip for all ages (and you don't mind the cost!) where you know your kids, I would say 12 and up, can appreciate the ports and lack of real on-board entertainment, then this would be a great pick. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
We wanted to visit Normandy. Plus experience a Viking River Cruise. The staff was fantastic AS WAS THE FOOD. The only negative was was how hard it was to get to the ship from CDG. Way out of the city/ cost a fortune by taxi. The same ... Read More
We wanted to visit Normandy. Plus experience a Viking River Cruise. The staff was fantastic AS WAS THE FOOD. The only negative was was how hard it was to get to the ship from CDG. Way out of the city/ cost a fortune by taxi. The same getting back into Paris at the end of the cruise. When it is that far out Viking should provide transportation for those of us who did not buy their air package. Also the only entertainment was a piano player and there was no gym on board. But all in all it was a pleasant experience and we would consider another Viking River Cruise. We expecially loved Giverny and the American cemetery at Normandy. I found the grave of my father's cousin. The fact that most of the shore excusions were free offset the expensive taxis to and from the ship. Don't buy the expensive wine package. The house wines were great! 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
We choose this trip because we wanted to visit Normandy and because there was an optional post cruise option to take the Eurostar train to Oxford and Highclere Castle. As always, from the moment we were met at the airport until we left ... Read More
We choose this trip because we wanted to visit Normandy and because there was an optional post cruise option to take the Eurostar train to Oxford and Highclere Castle. As always, from the moment we were met at the airport until we left our group for some private exploring, the trip was perfection. All of our excursions were wonderful, but especially our visit to the beaches of Normandy and the American cemetery. Service, food, wines, and entertainment were all first rate. Of course our cabin was small, but perfect in every detail. Our extension trip was absolutely amazing, with a before public hours tour of Downton Abbey, as well as an interesting visit with a family in the area. We did our air through Viking, as well, and were well accommodated even with the add on of two extra weeks. With each cruise we take on Viking, we like it even more. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
This was another fabulous Viking River Cruise!!! We enjoyed two nights in Berlin at a MOST amazing Hotel, central to everything. The tour of the city was fabulous and most educational. Such history! Of course we had to buy the traditional ... Read More
This was another fabulous Viking River Cruise!!! We enjoyed two nights in Berlin at a MOST amazing Hotel, central to everything. The tour of the city was fabulous and most educational. Such history! Of course we had to buy the traditional pair of Birkenstock Sandals found near Checkpoint Charlie to bring home!!!!! We then boarded Viking Rolf and cruised for 7 nights to the most fascinating cities/ towns en route. The shore excursions were amazing, informative and varied. The crew, while on board, was friendly and attentive. The food was amazing!!! We quite enjoyed the specialty night of German Food! We met some people from England (we are Canadians) and enjoyed ourselves so much that we have signed up to go on another cruise together next year. Friendships are always made on Viking River Cruises! The cabins were very comfortable and the ship was so clean and easy to navigate! Very organized! We then stayed in Prague for two nights...beautiful city...and flew home. We totally enjoyed our cruise and will be back again! Thank you Viking!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This was our first trip on a Viking river cruise. We have done 30+ ocean cruises on many different lines and other river cruises. "Rolf" was quite new when we sailed on it and the ambiance was most pleasant. The most ... Read More
This was our first trip on a Viking river cruise. We have done 30+ ocean cruises on many different lines and other river cruises. "Rolf" was quite new when we sailed on it and the ambiance was most pleasant. The most exceptional and enjoyable parts of the trip were the excellent service and food. The entire staff was most friendly and hospitable. The cuisine was comparable to or even superior to that which we have enjoyed on other luxury cruises. Both rate among the highest levels we have experienced in 40+ years of vacation travel. Our cabin was on the lower deck and although there was nothing wrong with it, next time we will move to an upper deck with a larger window or balcony. Based upon this experience we will definitely use Viking for future river cruises and I will also explore the ocean cruises Viking offers expecting that the value and quality will be equal to that on "Rolf". Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise due to our previous positive experience with a Viking River Cruise. We found the cruise line to be value priced considering the included tours, included beverages, included evening educational talks, demonstrations ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to our previous positive experience with a Viking River Cruise. We found the cruise line to be value priced considering the included tours, included beverages, included evening educational talks, demonstrations and entertainment. Any problems or issues with the timing of river locks, or tours were no problems for the guests. The on board staff had work around plans and deftly implemented no plans seamlessly and with no interference to the guests. The ship was very accommodating about tours of the kitchen and the bridge. The dinner staff went out of their way to enhance the dining experience. While the dining room is open seating, after several meals on board some couples would tend to look for one another at dinner time, but this did not preclude your joining different groups throughout the cruise. We found a lot of commonality with other couples and dinner conversations flowed well past the end of the meal. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
We had traveled with Viking before (Danube) and were very satisfied. My husband"s mother is very frail and the risk free offer really meant a lot to us. Paris was one of the few international cities that we had not visited. First ... Read More
We had traveled with Viking before (Danube) and were very satisfied. My husband"s mother is very frail and the risk free offer really meant a lot to us. Paris was one of the few international cities that we had not visited. First time on a Long Boat (Rolf). We were met with a smile at Charles DeGaulle Airport. Crew went out of their way constantly. The cabin was well appointed and the bed was so comfortable. The ship was quiet at night so sleeping was a real nice dream. Dining was just wonderful. Food was fabulous! We like picking a different group to dine with each meal if we wanted. We met so many wonderful people. Entertainment was small but really well done. Loved the piano in the bar. The player was really talented. The crew was so helpful and cheerful. Loved the shore excursions. Especially the trip to Josephine and Napoleon's house and Normandy. Monet's Garden was just lovely. The Lourve was crowded and the many stairs were difficult to maneuver, but glad we saw the Mona Lisa, although anticlimactic. Dress was business casual or casual. My husband brought a sport coat and never wore it. No fancy dress for the capitan's dinner. I have told friends and family that we will travel only with Viking. 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This trip was a special present to my wife who was celebrating a milestone birthday and special it was thanks to the people at Viking! We had never on been on a river cruise so this was somewhat of an experiment. We had heard about ... Read More
This trip was a special present to my wife who was celebrating a milestone birthday and special it was thanks to the people at Viking! We had never on been on a river cruise so this was somewhat of an experiment. We had heard about Viking river cruises from the ads and in conversations with friends who had been on Viking river cruises before (including the very one we took--Paris to Normandy with the 3 day extension in Paris) and gave nothing but rave reviews. We chose this particular route because we had been in Paris briefly many years ago and wanted to return. Also, being a gardener, my wife wanted to see Monet's gardens and the gardens at Versailles, as well as the gardens in Paris. The day trip to the Normandy Beaches and the American Cemetery was a plus for me as my father served in Europe after D-Day--it should not be missed by any American, Brit or Canadian. The stops along the way--Giverny, Vernon, Rouen, Les Andelys--and the time spent on the upper deck or on the cabin's veranda were wonderful. (Don't miss the nighttime light show in Rouen). Start to finish the trip was first class--the Viking website is a great resource and if used properly, greatly facilitates the trip; transfers to and from the ship were well organized and minimized the stress usually accompanying foreign travel; the ship was immaculate and well suited to relaxation; the cabin with veranda was comfortable and accommodating; the crew was friendly and eager to help; the food was plentiful, high quality, delicious and included many special dishes (including a special birthday cake on my wife's birthday); the tours were well-planned and well executed with excellent local guides and we didn't feel like we were being rushed around just for the sake of checking off "must see" sites (there was often time available to explore the towns on your own). The 3 extra days in Paris were all we hoped they would be thanks to the friendly guidance of the Viking concierge at the hotel (Ampere). The hotel was small and somewhat removed from the hustle and bustle, but that was no problem. The plus was that a lovely park (Parc Monceau) was within walking distance and we spent our last evening there. There was a Metro station within a block of the hotel and we were able to get around the city with ease after an in-station tutorial by the Viking concierge. She was also of great help planning our days and managed the departure to the airport very efficiently. An unexpected bonus was being greeted at the airport by a Viking representative who literally walked us though the check-in process, saving us time and possibly some grief. All-in-all, the best trip we have ever taken. We've already signed up to take the Lyon & Provence cruise and French Riviera extension next spring. Thanks Viking! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We choose this cruise because it went to the Normandy Beach landings. All the other excursions were icing on the cake. We have told all our friends and family what a wonderful cruise it was. The customer service by all the employees was ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it went to the Normandy Beach landings. All the other excursions were icing on the cake. We have told all our friends and family what a wonderful cruise it was. The customer service by all the employees was outstanding. The daily update meeting for what the next day would bring was very informative. The food was THE BEST EVER!. I enjoyed the wine that was recommended to drink at each dinner too! We are currently planning on a next cruise with Viking. We have done ocean cruises in the past, but I prefer the river cruise. It was more quaint and we got chances to meet many wonderful people that we currently are still in touch with. This river cruise was I feel that best value for the money spent. It included the excursions, the airport transfers, breadfast, lunch & dinner. The complimentary wine with lunch and dinner was over the top! In the best way!!. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Never having been anywhere else in France besides Paris, we wanted to particularly see Normandy and all the history. Totally enjoyed the overnights in several ports and the included shore excursions. Paris to Normandy round trip was ... Read More
Never having been anywhere else in France besides Paris, we wanted to particularly see Normandy and all the history. Totally enjoyed the overnights in several ports and the included shore excursions. Paris to Normandy round trip was fabulous. From the start at embarkation, which there were no lines and only to show your passport and get your room key was out of the norm and greatly appreciated. The ship is new and well done in terms of layout and design and colors. The cabin was beautiful. Service on the entire cruise was outstanding. Food extraordinary, better than the last time we had sailed on Viking. They have upped their game. Entertainment was ok, nothing spectacular, but just enjoying dinner and the night air was enough for us. The only con I can think of is that a plunge pool would've been a nice touch. Even though the weather was slightly inclement, being able to take a quick dip would have been nice. Or even have a couple of hot tubs to ease those aching walking muscles. Definitely would recommend this to anyone who wants to see northern France and the WW2 history. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose this tour so I could see the Normandy Beaches and the American Cemetery. It also allowed my wife to see and experience Paris. The cruise was great, especially the food and hospitality of the Viking Rolf staff. The food was the ... Read More
We chose this tour so I could see the Normandy Beaches and the American Cemetery. It also allowed my wife to see and experience Paris. The cruise was great, especially the food and hospitality of the Viking Rolf staff. The food was the best we have ever had on a cruise. The staff interacted with each other in a humorous respectful way. The shore excursions were very interesting and enjoyable. The only glitch was the tour of the Normandy beaches was poor in the morning. But great after lunch for the second part of the day. Since the cruise targets people interested in the Normandy beaches I believe they need to fix this. Viking did a good job of shuttling us in and out of Paris to spend some time both at the beginning of the tour and the end so we got to spend the time we wanted. . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
The accommodations, we were in room 217, were larger than we expected. the food was gourmet every meal. much better than what we are used to here in the USA. the guided tours were all top notch and are included in the cruise. we took two ... Read More
The accommodations, we were in room 217, were larger than we expected. the food was gourmet every meal. much better than what we are used to here in the USA. the guided tours were all top notch and are included in the cruise. we took two optional tours and they were worth the money, especially the Palace of Versailles. the thing we enjoyed the most was the service and attention we received from the Viking staff. we stayed in Paris, (pre and post cruise extension) and had a fantastic time. stayed at the Hotel Ampere, a very good choice. the transportation to and from the hotel, ship and airport were on time and excellent. the service we received on board the ship was one of the best parts of the trip. our server, Hugo (From Portugal) was outstanding. we are going on another Viking cruise next year and cant wait. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
My husband and I chose a Viking cruise because it combined Paris and Normandy. We travel internationally at least once a year and have taken many cruises. Through Viking, we arrived three days early for an optional, pre-cruise stay. ... Read More
My husband and I chose a Viking cruise because it combined Paris and Normandy. We travel internationally at least once a year and have taken many cruises. Through Viking, we arrived three days early for an optional, pre-cruise stay. Although we stayed in a suburban hotel 30 minutes Metro travel time from the heart of Paris, it was a quiet, clean hotel close to Metro, train, and excellent restaurants. Viking has a desk at the hotel to answer any questions and to help guests plan optional outings on the optional days before and after the cruise. The Viking ship was only three weeks old. The staff was attentive and enthusiastic; the excursions were outstanding with excellent guides who spoke flawless English. The average age of the passenger was 60+, and most guests were seasoned, international travelers. There were two families on board with well behaved teenagers. Our only criticism is in reference to the cabin, where there are under cabinet lights shining 24 hours a day in the bathroom; we managed to cover them fairly well with a towel. I would suggest that travelers sensitive to light bring eye masks. One of the best parts of the cruise was embarkation and disembarkation. A Viking representative met us at the airport and quickly, efficiently took us to our hotel. On the day of our departure, our flight did not leave until four pm. We were allowed to stay on the ship for both breakfast and lunch. A van took departing guests to the airport, where a Viking representative guided us through the baggage check-in process and did not leave us until we were in the actual line to check in ourselves. On many other cruises, the included, round-trip air trip ended up with air connections too close together in time, our running from terminal to terminal, and then no assigned seats with our having to beg for seats together on the particular air trip. Viking leaves the traveler with wonderful memories. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We have traveled with Viking on two other river cruises and were greatly pleased with the ports, tours, and attention of the staff to keep us informed and address any questions. The ship (being new) was in excellent condition, as the ... Read More
We have traveled with Viking on two other river cruises and were greatly pleased with the ports, tours, and attention of the staff to keep us informed and address any questions. The ship (being new) was in excellent condition, as the other ships we have occupied. Our cabin, while not large, was clean and comfortable. The lounge provided a pleasant area to relax, read and enjoy the scenery as we traveled. The dining was quite good, as was the staff who waited on our table. The opportunity to choose from dining areas other than the dining room was appreciated. It was pleasant to find that staff members would acknowledge us by name and show an appropriate level of personal interest. We have, and will continue to recommend Viking as an excellent way to not only see various cities in Europe, but also gain a better understanding of their history and significance. We look forward to traveling with Viking in the future. Read Less
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