PORTS OF CALL: Paris, France; La Roche-Guyon & Vernon, France; Rouen, France; Normandy Beaches; Les Andelys, France; La Pecq & Paris, France; Paris, France
EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION: Viking makes the travel process as easy and seamless as possible, handling everything from flight arrangements to airport transfers in both directions, and communicating effectively and quickly.
Our flight to Paris arrived early in the morning, well before check-in, but we were allowed on Viking Fjorgyn to enjoy breakfast and wait for our stateroom. By the time we finished eating, our cabin was ready and we squeezed in a nap before lunch.
Disembarkation was much the same. Our flight departed in the afternoon, so we enjoyed breakfast, said goodbye to friends we’d made, took a final walk to the Eiffel Tower and lounged around the boat watching new passengers arrive until our scheduled pickup, when we walked outside where our driver and bags awaited.
GUEST QUARTERS: Built in 2020 and named for Norse mythology’s Mother Earth, Viking Fjorgyn hosts 168 guests with 46 crew. Our veranda stateroom on the middle deck featured 205 square feet of space. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors opened to a full-sized veranda. Ample drawer and closet space made the smaller accommodations feel bigger once we unpacked and stored our suitcases under the bed. The comfortable queen-sized bed, flanked by built-in nightstands and storage, sat across from a mounted flat-screen television. The bathroom, small but efficient as on most cruise ships, boasted a glass-enclosed shower, heated floor and anti-fog mirror.
Other cabin amenities included free WiFi, 110/220-volt outlets and USB ports, Freyja toiletries, robes and slippers, telephone, safe, refrigerator, individual climate control, water replenished daily and a closet with wooden hangers.
SERVICES/AMENITIES: In each port, Viking offers one included shore excursion each day plus options for purchase. We did both, taking the included morning tour in Paris and adding an afternoon food tour, for example. The complimentary excursions are just as well-run as those available for purchase.
On the ship’s Sun Deck find 360-degree views, shaded sitting areas, solar panels and a walking track. Aquavit Terrace & Lounge is an indoor/outdoor viewing area at the bow for alfresco dining just off the Lounge & Bar, which hosts evening entertainment; the bar staff excels at espresso martinis and Aperol spritzes. There’s also a restaurant with panoramic views, a library and an onboard shop.
With Viking Inclusive Value, beer, wine and soft drinks are included with onboard lunch and dinner, as are 24-hour coffees, teas and bottled water; port taxes and fees; ground transfers and shore excursions; and enrichment lectures and Destination Performances.
All our meals were tasty. Daily breakfast includes buffet and à la carte options. For lunch and dinner, guests choose from a standard daily menu and one that changes each day featuring specialties of the region. One dinner was a buffet celebrating French cuisine.
PORTS OF CALL: Our home for the week docked in Paris within walking distance of the iconic Eiffel Tower. After lunch, we joined a complimentary walking tour of the surrounding neighborhood before unpacking and enjoying dinner. Day Two, we explored more on an included morning tour of city highlights and on a delicious afternoon food tour. Day Three began with a drizzly morning in La Roche-Guyon, where we climbed hundreds of steps to the top of the Castle of La Roche-Guyon and rewarded ourselves with freshly baked croissants. That afternoon we docked in Vernon before taking a bus to Auvers-sur-Oise, Vincent Van Gogh’s final resting place. (In season, the cruise visits Claude Monet’s home in Giverny instead.) We docked in Rouen for two days; our first afternoon included a walking tour past the jaw-dropping cathedral to the town center where a church stands in honor of Joan of Arc. Rouen served as the starting point for an emotional day visiting the beaches of Normandy. Start in Caen at Caen Memorial Museum before visiting Normandy American Cemetery and Omaha Beach. Our incredible journey on the Seine River ended in Le Pecq, a Paris suburb, with a visit to Château de Malmaison, home of Napoleon Bonaparte and his first wife, Josephine, before returning to Paris after an afternoon visit to the opulent Palace of Versailles.
- Cruisers can choose to add pre- or post-cruise extensions.
- My husband and I are big fans of river cruising in Europe. Unpacking once and waking up each morning in a new destination can’t be beat. Most river cruise ships can dock in smaller towns and villages you might miss otherwise, and the smaller number of fellow passengers means you leave with true friends.
- I cannot say enough about the beautiful ceremony Viking arranges at Normandy American Cemetery, with a flower wreath laying, the playing of “Taps” and “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and a touching tribute to cruise guests who served in our Armed Forces during any conflict.
The Saronic or Argo Saronic Islands of Greece call travelers to explore its seven small islands and islets brimming with history, natural sites and more. With most easily accessible by boat, the islands’ proximity to ports of Athens make the Saronic Islands an ideal destination for those preferring shorter boat rides. In fact, trips from Athens ports to the islands take only between 10 minutes and two hours, depending on the island you choose, making them perfect for day or weekend trips. From Piraeus port, you can access Hydra, Spetses, Aegina and Poros directly. Come explore these stunning islands with us and find the inspiration to plan your next trip to these islands. Hydra Hydra town curves around a slope overlooking the Argosaronic Gulf like an amphitheater and is considered one of the most romantic destinations in Greece. Most unique to the island is its lack of vehicles. People on the island get around on mules and donkeys as well as water taxis, making for a peaceful and laid-back day. Hydra lies a two-hour ferry ride from Piraeus port in Athens.
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