Even though we technically didn’t cruise very far on our still wonderful cruise with Viking River Cruises, we absolutely enjoyed every minute on the gorgeous Viking Delling Longship. From the moment we arranged our cruise with Viking, we experienced nothing but completely professional service. One of the first clues we had that we were going to enjoy a really First Class cruise was when we received our beautiful, leather luggage tags. Nothing plastic or tacky about these babies.
Although we did have issues with the cruise not departing from Avignon, that was completely beyond the control of the Viking folks, and they did everything within their power to make us comfortable in Avignon in a very nice hotel, and provided us with all the local experiences on which we had planned.
During this time, the crew of the Viking Delling who were with us were nothing but professional, friendly, patient (even in trying circumstances and with some very trying passengers), humorous, and quite frankly, a wonderful introduction for us to the Viking company.
As soon as humanly possible, we actually boarded the Delling in Vienne for what would be a short cruise to Lyon and what turned out to be the only time we spent cruising the entire week. We were immediately impressed when we boarded the beautiful longship. Gorgeously decorated, open and airy, sumptuously comfortable…well. Here, watch this. Then I’ll tell you about our experience.
We were welcomed by the crew into the beautiful atrium of the Delling where we checked in and were then escorted to our stateroom. The atrium is open and airy with big windows, the check-in desk where you can get help if needed, and the entrance to the dining room.
Up the stairs (or the elevator) there is comfortable seating, the library, the lounge and entrance to the Aquavit Terrace, an outside dining area, and more staterooms.
Although there is free Wi-Fi everywhere on the ship, we didn’t find it particularly good which is pretty common on river cruise ships, but we found the best connection in the library area.
The lounge area is truly lovely with floor to ceiling windows, lots of seating, a nice bar area, and a piano player who was often there.
The Delling has 95 outside staterooms and we had a perfectly lovely Verandah Stateroom with comfy beds, a spacious bathroom with very nice bath products, a fridge with bottled water which was replenished daily, floor to ceiling glass sliding doors which opened to the verandah, plenty of space under the bed for our suitcases, and several outlets which included American outlets – so easy for all our electronic gear!
Our favorite thing in our stateroom was probably the television which was a wonderful Sony 40-inch flat screen with a premium entertainment package, including several channels, a view from the bridge camera, and videos on demand. Because we love to cozy up in our stateroom in the evenings after dinner in our pajamas, we loved the videos on demand and watched several movies during the week.
After checking out our stateroom, we proceeded the explore the rest of the ship. On the upper deck, we walked through the lounge to discover the Aquavit Terrace. This is an outside dining area and we made a huge mistake by not eating out there earlier in the cruise. We waited until the last couple of days to have lunch and dinner there and should have dined out there more as it is perfectly lovely. The only disadvantage is that you don’t get the entire dinner menu options if you dine there but that was fine with us on our last day. Lunch is probably the nicest meal to have out there.
Up another deck is a sun deck with fabulous views and a shaded area to sit and relax, a herb garden (!), a putting green, a shuffleboard court, and a walking track.
At some point, during our explorations, we began to cruise. We enjoyed the view from the top deck, especially the rainbow which brightened the first day of our actual cruise!
We decided to enjoy our verandah during our short cruise to Lyon and it’s fortunate we did as it was the one and only time we enjoyed it. The rest of the time we were docked right up against another ship and our view was the white metallic side of their ship!
Aside from not actually cruising very far, we enjoyed everything else about the Viking Delling. A daily newspaper kept us up on what was happening the next day.
And the crew kept us entertained with thoughtful little touches.
Shore excursions were all included in the price of the cruise, which is a huge savings, and they were awesome in every way. The tour guides were friendly, knowledgeable, and fluent in English. We each had listening devices so we could hear every word, even if we were not right beside the guide.
The crew was truly one of the best parts of the cruise and they were there at every turn with their friendly, smiling faces.
One of the other truly wonderful things about the cruise was the food. Truly gourmet quality, served professionally, and in a lovely dining room, it made the cruise really over the top. When I went over our photos, I realized I had way too much to say about the food to put that in this post, so I’ll devote an entire post to it soon.
Suffice it to say that the food was marvelous in every way. As was our experience on the Viking Delling.
You should book your cruise right now. This very minute.
You won’t regret it.
Full disclosure: Our cruise was provided by Viking River Cruises , but as always, I will share my honest opinion about any travel experiences I have.