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Overview

Personal Information

Author:
rjscott

Did you do a river cruise before:
Yes

Number of previous cruises:
1

Summary:
Excellent experience. Loved the itinerary, ship, food and crew. Guides were very knowledgeable and fun. Included tours were great and optionals were worthwhile and well-priced. Viking was on top of airport transfers with assistance with arrivals and departures.


General Questions

Why did you select this particular cruise itinerary?
Wanted to see France, and Paris/Paris was sold out. Glad we chose this one, as I think Paris/Paris might have been a bit too hectic for us.

Why did you select this particular cruise line?
We had a great experience on our first Viking cruise and so looked at no other line when it came to choosing another river cruise

Did you book with or without airfare?
0

How would you rate the service provided by the cruise line from the day you booked until the cruise started?
10

How would you describe the service provided by the cruise line from the day you booked until the cruise started?
Booked thru a cruise agency and my TA provided excellent service at every step, contacting Viking as necessary to ensure all my needs were met.

How would you rate the service provided by the cruise line from your disembarkation until you where back home?
10

How would you describe the service provided by the cruise line from your disembarkation until you where back home?
I was very pleased that Viking had a rep at the departure airport to assist until we were checked in. That bit of extra service is what gives Viking a '10'.

How would you rate the quality of your cruise director / program manager(s) during the cruise?
8

How would you describe the quality of your cruise director / program manager(s) during the cruise?
The Program Manager did his job, and I have no complaints. I really cannot explain my rating. I guess it is that, based on my one river cruise and 17 ocean cruises, he seemed more like an ocean cruise director than a river cruise Program Director in his demeanor, which is the reason for my rating.

Did you experience any problems during the cruise?
-

How did your cruise line handle the crisis management?
-

How did your cruise line handle the crisis management?
-

How often was your ship double docked to another?
0


Viking Hermod Ship Rating

Ship Tech: Please rate the ships cabins, elevator and all other technical installations.
9

Ship Tech: Please describe the ships cabins, elevator and all other technical installations.
I would like to give a '10', but there were a few technical glitches on our ship the first couple of days. The internet was down our first day and our TV didn't work at all for the first couple of days. It took a couple of tech guys to get it fixed. The reason I would still give a '10' is those two things were not big issues in my mind. The TV didn't bother me at all, and the internet was fine by the next day. Otherwise, our cabin was lovely. We had a veranda cabin. Having the veranda took away some of the floor space in the cabin and bath. However, the cabin was well designed with good storage in both the cabin itself and the bath. Luggage fit nicely under the bed. Good space for hanging clothes in one half of the closet, and shelves and a safe on the other side. There was also a long counter across from the bed under which were drawers for storage and a mini-fridge. Above the counter was a flat screen TV and a mirror. At each end of the counter were both 110 and 220 outlets. There was also a bench under the counter to sit and do hair and makeup in front of the mirror. There were also 110 outlets at each side of the bed. > There was a small elevator for handicapped use.

Ship Equipment: Please rate the other rooms and and their equipment on board.
10

Ship Equipment: Please describe the other rooms and their equipment on board.
The Aquavit Terrace is a very pleasant spot at the bow of the ship to have a continental breakfast, a light lunch or a light dinner if the weather is nice. The lounge is very pleasantly designed with comfortable sofas, chairs and a few table and chairs at the back of the room. It has floor to ceiling windows and is a lovely place to enjoy a drink before dinner. It can get crowded and hard to find seating during presentations for all passengers. The main dining room has tables for a minimum of 6 and, although the sound levels have been improved since the launch of the first longships, it can get hard to hear anyone but the person next to you as dinner goes on. I found that tables near the panel nearest the front of the room or tables along the wall have the best sound absorption, and therefore better for conversation. > The Sun Deck is a wonderful spot to enjoy a sunny day while cruising if it is not closed due to bridges. It is outfitted with very nice lounge chairs, as well as tables and chairs. There is a walking track and a small golf putting green, shuffleboard and an herb garden.

Ship Service: Please rate the on board service.
10

Ship Service: Please describe the on board service.
The staff was exceptional. Very friendly, helpful and professional, from front desk to servers to room stewards. I was especially impressed to see that the dining room servers would help each other if one got backed up or had an especially large order. They obviously were cognizant of making sure the passenger's needs were met.

Ship Food: Please rate the food, restaurant, restaurant service and cuisine while on board.
9

Ship Food: Please describe the food, restaurant, restaurant service and cuisine while on board.<
Again, I would like to give a '10' and would except for the lack of sound-deadening in the dining room. Otherwise, the restaurant service, food and atmosphere are a solid '10'.


General thoughts
This would be the field for any general comments on the itinerary, the countries or the season of the year your cruise took place.
Loved the itinerary! It was a great mix of small towns mixed with larger cities. Also a good mix of historical with opportunities for wine, shopping and culture. Our weather was very good, with only one day having a bit of rain for about an hour in the morning during our walking tour. Temps could have been a bit warmer, so perhaps going a week or two later in the year would have been nicer. But, we were comfortable with our spring jackets and travel umbrellas.

Day 1: City Marseille

How would you rate the city?
-

Tags for this City:
-

In case you had a tour, how would you rate the quality of your tour guide?
-

Tour Type
-

Please describe the city and your activity:
-


Day 1: City Avignon

How would you rate the city?
10

Tags for this City:
Ancient History   Photo Opportunities   Religion   

In case you had a tour, how would you rate the quality of your tour guide?
10

Tour Type
Walking Tour

Please describe the city and your activity:
This was an introductory walking tour to clear the jet lag. Our guide was friendly and informative. The tour lasted about 1 1/2 hrs. As we walked, she pointed out the streets for shopping, although it was Sunday, and noted many shops would not be open. She took us to Market Square and pointed out the Clock Tower, the Opera House and double-decker carousel. All very wonderful sights. She pointed out that this square is very busy normally, with many sidewalk cafes. We then went to the next square and saw the Papal Palace. We did not go in, as that would be on our next tour. But, it was a beautiful day, and we had ample opportunity for photos. She then offered to walk us down past souvenir shops and back to the ship or leave us on our own to return to the ship later. We decided to return on our own.


Day 2: City Arles

How would you rate the city?
10

Tags for this City:
Ancient History   Art   Photo Opportunities   

In case you had a tour, how would you rate the quality of your tour guide?
10

Tour Type
Combined Drive & Walk

Please describe the city and your activity:
Arles is a larger city and can be hilly in spots. We went first to see the Roman arena. This is a magnificent structure and is still in use for bullfights. This holds up to 20,000 spectators and was used for Roman gladiators. We also saw ruins of Roman baths. Next, we walked to see the site of Van Gogh's "Yellow House". It is no longer standing, but a similar-looking restaurant is now on the site, and it makes for a nice photo op. We returned to the ship for lunch and afterward took the optional tour to St Remy and Les Baux. St Remy is the hospital where Van Gogh was a patient for a year and where he painted over 100 of his most famous works. Copies of his paintings are displayed along the walk to the hospital grounds, and we saw the room where he spent his year. Les Baux is a fortress on a hill that housed a village that now also has cleverly accommodated some shops and restaurants. Our bus could only go so far up the hill, and then we had to hike the rest of the way, so this tour is not for the mobility challenged. But, it was so worth it. A very unique experience and amazing views.


Day 3: City Avignon

How would you rate the city?
10

Tags for this City:
Ancient History   Photo Opportunities   Religion   

In case you had a tour, how would you rate the quality of your tour guide?
10

Tour Type
Walking Tour

Please describe the city and your activity:
This tour of Avignon centered on the Papal Palace. This is a magnificent building and it is huge. We were allowed to see only a portion of it, but that was a lot. Photos were allowed in most of it as well. It was a very interesting tour to know that the Popes have not always been in Rome, but then again, I am not Catholic.


Day 3: City Chateauneuf-du-Pape

How would you rate the city?
-

Tags for this City:
Religion   Food   Meet the Locals   

In case you had a tour, how would you rate the quality of your tour guide?
-

Tour Type
Other

Please describe the city and your activity:
My husband went on this tour alone. He said that it was more of a lesson in wine tasting than a tour per se. But, that said, he enjoyed the experience very much as he learned some things about wine and wine tasting he had not learned previously. He applied those things in our later wine tastings on the cruise.


Day 3: City Viviers

How would you rate the city?
-

Tags for this City:
-

In case you had a tour, how would you rate the quality of your tour guide?
-

Tour Type
-

Please describe the city and your activity:
We did not get to do our night walk on our cruise, as we were late getting in.


Day 4: City Tournon-sur-Rhone

How would you rate the city?
10

Tags for this City:
Photo Opportunities   Meet the Locals   19th Century   

In case you had a tour, how would you rate the quality of your tour guide?
10

Tour Type
Walking Tour

Please describe the city and your activity:
Walking tour around the city. There is a huge castle built into the rock overlooking the river. We walk the streets and see some beautiful buildings; churches, schools, shops now occupying space where a convent once was.


Day 4: City Tain l'Hermitage

How would you rate the city?
10

Tags for this City:
Food   Photo Opportunities   Art   

In case you had a tour, how would you rate the quality of your tour guide?
10

Tour Type
Combined Drive & Walk

Please describe the city and your activity:
We cross the bridge from Tournon to Tain l'Hermitage and the bus takes us to a farm/vineyard for a wine tasting; Domaine du Murinais. It is a very pleasant little place, and there are 4 different wines to taste and wines to purchase. From there we go to Musee Pierre Palue, a private home that has been turned into a museum of paintings. This home is owned by the daughter of the painter Pierre Palue, whose paintings are on display, but she also has paintings by other noteworthy artists, including a stunning Picasso scarf. She sells some prints and other items in order to keep this museum going in tribute to her father. She also has a lovely garden. From the museum, we go the Valrhona store. This place is chocolate heaven! At first, it is hard to focus. It is really busy, and hectic inside. But, with a bit of patience, you will leave with some really good chocolate, and the cashier will reward your patience with some additional goodies.


Day 5: City Vienne

How would you rate the city?
9

Tags for this City:
Ancient History   Photo Opportunities   

In case you had a tour, how would you rate the quality of your tour guide?
10

Tour Type
Combined Drive & Walk

Please describe the city and your activity:
Our walking tour began in front of the ship. It was a bit rainy, but the rain stopped shortly after we began our tour. We walked a short distance from the ship, and stopped in front of a cathedral that faced the river. From there, we walked into the town, and were surprised to see, again, some Roman buildings. There was a magnificent Roman forum very close to the river, very much intact, and further inland, ruins of a Roman circus. We boarded the mini-train for a ride to the top of Mt Pipet. That was a fun ride and we were rewarded with outstanding views of the town below and the river. At the top of Mt. Pipet were a church and a monument.


Day 6: City Lyon

How would you rate the city?
10

Tags for this City:
Food   Ancient History   Photo Opportunities   

In case you had a tour, how would you rate the quality of your tour guide?
10

Tour Type
Combined Drive & Walk

Please describe the city and your activity:
We had a walking tour of the old city. The ship was docked about 15 min outside of the city, so we had a bus ride into the city. First we went up on the hill to see the church there and to see the view from the top. The church there, while not the largest I've seen, is probably the most elaborate. I believe every square inch is covered with something; a mosaic, a frieze, stained glass, something. It has to be seen. And, the views from the top are amazing. From the hill, we drive back to town, to take our walking tour of the city. This is really an incredible city. Our guide makes sure we see some of the 'traboules', the hidden passageways that were designed for the silkweavers to have safe passage to carry their wares to market. We are given free time after our walking tour to shop, have a coffee, whatever, before meeting back at the bus.


Day 7: City Lyon

How would you rate the city?
-

Tags for this City:
-

In case you had a tour, how would you rate the quality of your tour guide?
-

Tour Type
-

Please describe the city and your activity:
-


Day 7: City Beaune

How would you rate the city?
10

Tags for this City:
Food   Meet the Locals   

In case you had a tour, how would you rate the quality of your tour guide?
10

Tour Type
Walking Tour

Please describe the city and your activity:
This tour was a combined walking tour, wine tasting and visit to the museum Hotel Dieu, a former hospital for the poor. I think this was my favorite tour. Our guide was fantastic, Beaune was a lovely city, the wine tasting was terrific and the hospital tour was excellent.


Day 7: City Cluny

How would you rate the city?
-

Tags for this City:
-

In case you had a tour, how would you rate the quality of your tour guide?
-

Tour Type
-

Please describe the city and your activity:
-


Day 7: City Chalon-sur-Saone

How would you rate the city?
-

Tags for this City:
-

In case you had a tour, how would you rate the quality of your tour guide?
-

Tour Type
-

Please describe the city and your activity:
We did not dock in Chalon-sur-Saone. We docked outside the city, so do not have info on the city.


Day 8: City Chalon-sur-Saone

How would you rate the city?
-

Tags for this City:
-

In case you had a tour, how would you rate the quality of your tour guide?
-

Tour Type
-

Please describe the city and your activity:
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Day 8: City Lyon

How would you rate the city?
-

Tags for this City:
-

In case you had a tour, how would you rate the quality of your tour guide?
-

Tour Type
-

Please describe the city and your activity:
-