Viking River Cruise on the Rhone River

friendly crew onboard viking river cruise ships
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I recently returned from my second Viking river cruise line experience. This time sailing on board a Viking Longship, Viking Heimdal, through the Provence region of France, between Lyon and Avignon.  To my delight, I received the same friendly and courteous service that I had experienced on the Viking Beyla.  The consistent high service level is obviously an integral part of the Viking culture.  The ship’s cleanliest was impeccable and again the food was excellent, with one exception, the crêpes.  My tablemates and I experienced a range of crepes that had the consistency of a flour tortilla. 
 
The cabins were the same size as on the Beyla, which is to say small...Being a larger ship, there were just more of them as well as a few larger cabin categories than on the smaller ship of my first Viking river cruise on the Elbe river.
 
Again, the included excursions were adequate but unexceptional. Unlike on the Elbe itinerary, however, which was pretty all-inclusive, Viking offered many optional excursions at an added cost on this trip.  These optional excursions were superlative!  One example of my experience was a full-day excursion to the Camargue region from Arles at $159.00. This natural region south of Arles, between the Mediterranean Sea and the two arms of the Rhône River delta, is known for its flamingos, bulls and white horses.  We experienced them all on our day excursion. 
 
Here we are boarding a tractor to be pulled out to a bull enclosure for a close-up bull inspection.                                                                        
We saw the famous Camargue white horses  and flamingos during our ride through the Camargue.                                                                           
In summary, Viking is a great value for the right customer.  Cabins are quite small, unless you book in the highest categories; gratuities are not included; alcoholic beverages are not included; there is no room service, no gym, no alternate dining options.  
And even though fellow guests who I shared time with were not bothered by having to sign for drinks or pay gratuities, they did, in hindsight,  wish they had spent a little more to sail on a river cruise line that had everything included.  Nonetheless, Viking River Cruises definitely offers value for the right customer.