On our way to the airport on May 5 we received an email from Viking River Cruises telling us that because of rising water levels, our ship, the Delling, would not be able cruise. We would be housed in a hotel, the Novotel, for at least 1 night in Avignon. While we were disappointed we understood that this was something out of Viking's control. However, I was concerned that the Novotel would not meet the standards of a Viking Cruise and I called Viking from the airport asking them for more information and what steps they were taking to make sure we got our money's worth from this trip. The representative I spoke with would not give me any further information.
Upon arrival in Avignon we were brought to the hotel via bus. The hotel was adequate the food less than adequate. We were served 5 meals at the Novotel, none of them close to the quality we expected from a Viking cruise. We spent 2 1/2 days at the hotel and instead of cruising to our daily destinations, we were bussed everywhere. Our guides were good but the trips to and from our destinations seemed interminable and were exactly what we hoped to avoid when we booked a river cruise.
We finally were brought to the Delling on the 3rd night. The next morning it was back on the bus with lunch at a restaurant - not at all what was promised in the itinerary. We finally cruised from Vienne to Lyon for 2 1/2 hours. That was the full extent of being moving on the water. The bus trips were long and arduous, not at all relaxing. Again, we had lunch at restaurants that were just adequate.