We spent a couple of days in Paris before the cruise to get ourselves acclimated to the time zone. To get to Lyon, we took the high speed train, which unfortunately was not high speed . There seemed to be some mechanical problem, but there was no communication as to why we were stopped for quite a bit of time, and it was quite hot in the train as there was no ventilation. When we finally got to Lyon, everything went smoothly, including embarkation and all the pre-cruise activities such as the safety drill. We signed up for all the included shore excursions plus several optional tours. All the tour guides were very informative and gave us ample time to go on our own as well.
All the meals, evening entertainment and services were as we had come to expect of a Viking cruise. All staff were very friendly and helpful.
This time we opted for a french balcony stateroom expecting to get to have a great view out of our balcony. Since the vessel was always tied up next to another vessel while on port, we had to keep the drapes closed all the time. We got to have the pleasure of seeing the view only when we were underway, which was a very limited time, since the distances between ports of call were quite short. There was very little cruising time and it was not as scenic as the Duoro river cruise.
The optional shore excursion to Les Baux de Provence was nothing like anything we've ever experienced. It was well worth the time and money. We thought that it was the highlight of our trip.
We are now excited to be planning our next cruise on Viking Ocean Cruises next year.
With large floor to ceiling opening doors, the french balcony stateroom made it feel light, bright and larger than a standard stateroom. The contemporary Scandinavian aesthetic was very appealing. Efficiently planned and thoughtfully appointed to include all the storage and amenities, it was a very comfortable stateroom to be in for 8 days.