A River Cruise to Normandy has been high on our bucket list. Having been on previous Viking cruises, we chose Viking due to price and our previous great experiences with them. Our cruise originated in Paris. We did not do a Paris pre-Cruise extension as we had previous been in Paris 2 previous times. We did have a very nice day two included tour of Paris highlights before departing for Normandy. For our River Cruise the embarkation process is very simple, unlike large ocean cruise ships. Our ship, the Viking Rolf is named after the actual Viking conquerer Rolf who plundered the Normandy region of France until the King of France finally negotiated a treaty with him and gave him the Normandy region of France and renamed him Robert, the Duke of Normandy , a little trivia. Anyway the ship cabins are typical of most River Cruise ships, in general very nice and accommodating. Very comfortable for a week long cruise. The dining of the ship was very good, from the breakfast buffets in the morning to lunches on the terrace or in the dining room and finally the evening meals. We fully enjoy the local cuisine options on the dinner menu but you always have many other options for the evening. Unlike large ships, the evening entertainment was limited to primarily a piano player in the lounge but this was just fine. During a couple of days there were some daytime lecturers that were excellent. One of favorite things with Viking is their included shore excursions. Our tour guides were all excellent providing interesting insights into each of our visited stops. All of the crew, waiters, bar tenders provided fantastic service during our cruise making it extra enjoyable. For this cruise only my wife and I traveled, no children. Our experience on most European river cruises is that most travelers are older and generally no children. This cruise certainly meet our expectations with the highlight being our entire day of visiting the Normandy invasion beaches and of course the American Cemetery was a very serene moment of the trip. We will definitely continue to travel with Viking in the future based on our wonderful experiences.
For this cruise we specifically chose to be on the lower ship level with only a port hole. For this cruise very little time was spent in our cabin and there were not many days of daytime cruising that needed a room view. Having said that, the room was just as spacious as higher level rooms and the beds and room accommodations were very good. Overall a good choice for this cruise.
Vernon was a very small town, so the walking tour was fairly short, but the tour guide made it interesting .