Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
ninaks

Portraits of Southern France Advice

Recommended Posts

We will be taking the Portraits of Southern France Viking Cruise later this year and we are so excited. This is our second Viking cruise and I am hoping it lives up to how wonderful the first one we did going down the Rhine.

 

There is an optional tour to the town of Cluny. Has anyone taken this tour and is it worth going to? Any other information about Portraits of Southern France tour would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on this cruise in October 2012 from N-S, Chalon Sur Saone to Avignon. If the opt trip to Cluny left from Chalon then, on our cruise, it was cancelled for lack of interest. We were told that Viking needed at least 20 passengers for an opt tour and not enough had signed-up.

 

I think it was because it was the first day and the tour took place while we were sailing and most people wanted to experience being on the top deck and sailing through a lock. All other opt tour did take place. We enjoyed the one to les Bas that also included the stop where Van Gogh was hospitalized.

 

This was our first RC and we fell in love with it - came home to book 2 more!

 

Lyon is a fabulous city - docked there - right in town - a day and a half! We ate lunch in town the first day - wonderful! And the silk stores - fantastic!

 

If you enjoy wine, this is a great cruise - not much "wine centered" activity on board but 2 vineyards visited and one wine-town, tour included a stop at a store's wine celler - very good!

 

I think I still have links on my lap top, will send some later today.

 

Have a great cruise!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank You so much for the information! We aren't going until September, and while I don't want to wish my year away, I just can't wait....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know exactly how you feel!!! We booked two cruises in the fall of 2012 - a Christmas Market's cruise of Dec. 2013 and a Bordeaux cruise for Oct. 2014. I couldn't wait either! But now one is done - just a fabulous time! But I'm SO happy we have another to look forward to!!!! Hope you'll feel the same!!!

 

Anyway - Portraits of Southern France ~ here's my slide show - sorry if I'm a complete bore - but just loved this cruise SO much!!!

Cruise SlideShow

 

We were on an older ship - The Neptune. Because of the low bridges only certain ship can sail on the Rhone - but I believe they'll be new ship in 2014 - so disregard photos of the ship!

 

Some links - Hope these work and are somewhat helpful!

Lyon: Soierie Saint Georges - Lyon Tourist Office and Convention Bureau

L'Atelier - restaurant we had lunch at - there's lots of great ones in town!

Why Lyon is food capital of the world Travel The Observer

CafeComptoirAble

Chez Mounier Restaurant Reviews, Lyon, France - TripAdvisor

LeTibouren

La mere Jean, Lyon - Restaurant Reviews - TripAdvisor

Optional Tours (don't know if these have changed):

Site du Pont du Gard

Château des Baux de Provence - Monument historique en Prov

Les Baux de Provence - Tourism office, official website

Cluny Abbey - Cluny, France

Medieval Village of Pérouges, France. Photo Gallery by Eric Pouhier at pbase

 

Locks:

Day 9 - Viviers - CruiseReport

River Rhone - 'le Rhone' Cruising in Detail Aboard in France

 

Blogs:

BLOG Portraits of Southern France

BLOGProvence and Burgundy on the River Royale - Home

 

Anything else just post and I'll try and help!! I do have some paper info!

 

Have a great time!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello ninaks,

 

We will be taking the Portraits of Southern France Viking Cruise later this year and we are so excited. This is our second Viking cruise and I am hoping it lives up to how wonderful the first one we did going down the Rhine.

 

There is an optional tour to the town of Cluny. Has anyone taken this tour and is it worth going to? Any other information about Portraits of Southern France tour would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

 

If medieval history interests you I would definitely go to Cluny. It was a European centre of Christianity and the abbey is still famous architecture. I would love to see it.

 

FotoPeg, I am sure, is right in assuming that you will have a different ship. You might be on the new Viking Buri. The Viking "baby" which has not even been christened yet is currently sailing upstream on the Rhine to Basel together with its two siblings. :D

 

http://www.travelweekly.com/River-Cruising/Viking-Uniworld-to-christen-new-vessels-in-France-in-March/

 

notamermaid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ninaks,

We will be on the Portraits of Southern France starting Mar 30 on the new Viking Hermod. I'm hoping to do live posts as we go.

 

Becki

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peg,

Thank you for those links! I just was able to view your slide show (couldn't view on my Nook, so had to get at my PC). Fabulous photos! Makes me so excited for our cruise at the end of March! We will be doing a reverse itinerary, from Avignon to Lyon, so I'm really excited to now know what to look for.

Becki

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for sharing your pictures. It looks fantastic and I can't wait to go. RJScott, please do post a trip report. There are very few entries about Portrait of Southern France cruise. I think there are all new ships for this cruise in 2014.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking forward to all reviews of this cruise as my DH and I are scheduled for this cruise in November. I have already sailed on a longship in Germany, which I enjoyed. Becki, looking forward to your live comments/reviews in March. FotoPeg, I saved your comments and reviews and enjoyed your pictures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone else posted that the upper lounge deck is closed much of the time while sailing - due to the low bridges.

 

Is that true? Was there much day sailing time, and the upper deck open for sitting?

 

Thanks for assist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are taking this cruise from south to north on April 27. This is our second Viking cruise and we are very exciting. Our first was on the Viking Sky and we loved the experience. This longship looks much nicer!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you're in Lyon, see if you can get a guide to take you to the traboules. We saw a couple on our own, but the local guide knows the great ones.

 

If there is a guided tour of the city, ask him/her to take you into one; everyone else on your tour will thank you!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What wonderful inspiration from all. Peg, your slide show was fantastic. Makes me want to do some of my own. We'll be there in less than a month and can't wait. We'll be watching for Becki's posts with keen anticipation as we'll be on the same route that she is taking shortly after her. We'll be on our 6th Viking cruise and we're just as excited as the first. We have found we love river cruising and only wish there were more itineraries especially in Europe.

We did the Douro over Christmas and loved it. In fact, we're going back to Lisbon on our own before the France cruise with a stopover through Viking's air. We first visited a year ago after a Tulip & Windmill cruise to find some warmer weather. It was delightful - so much history and so much to see. The Douro cruise gives you a taste (literally and figuratively) for more, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to FotoPeg, Becki, Bill and others for sharing their experiences. We leave in one month and are very excited! I have seen comments on some of the optional tours but not others. We are going North to South and the following tours are listed in our booklets:

-Cluny

- Pérouges

- Les Baux

- Chateauneuf du pape

- Pont du Gard

 

Can anyone comment on the Pérouges tour from Lyon? Worthwhile versus more time wandering Lyon?

Thanks'

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry can't comment on the Perouges tour since it was canceled on our cruise because of lack of interest. But in all fairness, I don't think it had anything to do with the tour but more that it conflicted with sailing - I think most people, ourselves included, wanted to be aboard for the sailing and going through the locks!!

 

Have a fabulous trip!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having been to Cluny, I found it a disappointment. What one sees to day is how large the abbey was back in the day, with just a wall left of the old facility. Cute town, but not worth the bucks and van ride to see. I'm floating on down the river and enjoying the Macon and Beaujolais countryside on my Sept cruise. Probably drinking a nice Burgundy (pinot) as I'm doing so! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We will be taking the Portraits of Southern France Viking Cruise later this year and we are so excited. This is our second Viking cruise and I am hoping it lives up to how wonderful the first one we did going down the Rhine.

 

There is an optional tour to the town of Cluny. Has anyone taken this tour and is it worth going to? Any other information about Portraits of Southern France tour would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

 

I just saw this question. In case you haven't gone yet, here is my take:

 

We took this cruise in May 2014. We happened to very much enjoy the optional Cluny tour. It's a delightful town, interesting tour and there was an outdoor market the day we were there, which was a treat mingling with locals and tourists alike.

 

We did not enjoy the optional wine tasting in Chateau Neuf du Pape as much as the 2 wine tastings that were included in the other towns. The tasting itself was enjoyable but not worth the time spent in travel and the money. There was much time spent on looking at vineyards. I felt viking was just trying to fill up a few hours after the tasting. Although the town itself was so beautiful and quaint, there was nothing to do there as most shops were closed( except for a few wine stores)because it was a national holiday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks to FotoPeg, Becki, Bill and others for sharing their experiences. We leave in one month and are very excited! I have seen comments on some of the optional tours but not others. We are going North to South and the following tours are listed in our booklets:

-Cluny

- Pérouges

- Les Baux

- Chateauneuf du pape

- Pont du Gard

 

Can anyone comment on the Pérouges tour from Lyon? Worthwhile versus more time wandering Lyon?

Thanks'

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

Have just returned from a 20 day B2B Rivercruise (Paris-Normandy-Paris-Provence) which includes stops or tours at all of the places you mentioned. here's my 2 cents! ( always factor in weather, what day it is...shops are closed on Sundays but there are often markets open, and whether you are tired and just need a break from touring--- check how long the bus ride is!!)

 

Cluny (we skipped this tour since it was raining and we had seen an Abbey ruins on the first half of our cruise) We spent the morning on our own exploring the town we were docked in (I believe Tournus) and really enjoyed our time. Those who went on the tour got soaked!

- Pérouges--- lovely old medieval town, lots of great photos,enjoyed the "galettes" (looks like pizza, tastes like cake!)

- Les Baux- another medieval town that has mostly is now small shops and cafes (less history than Perouges)

- Chateauneuf du pape-- great winery tour, enjoyed stopping in the vineyards, There was a renaissance -type fair going on in the town which we thoroughly enjoyed.

- Pont du Gard -- a MUST see....amazing Roman aqueduct/bridge from over 2000 years ago

 

IF you only have one day in Lyon, I would definitely spend the time there as it is a gastronomical delight!!

 

Enjoy your trip!

Edited by pbnjrockette

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

We took this cruise last October and had a wonderful time, I also posted a review on this cruise. I enclosed a link on some of the pictures i took on this cruise, the album goes in order of the cruise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife and I booked the 7-day Portraits of Southern France Viking River Cruise during July with a three day extension in Paris. What started out fairly well turned into one nightmare after another, mostly due to Viking’s parsimonious approach to business and an inflexible and non customer oriented attitude.

 

 

After following the planned route for the first three days of the cruise, upon reaching Lyon on Thursday morning, Viking announced that they were suspending the remainder of the northbound cruise activity and accordingly remained docked at a single location in Lyon. Our balcony view from Thursday through Sunday was of a cement wall, filled with graffiti and located just a couple feet from the edge of our balcony.

 

 

The fact that the ship did not continue its northward journey converted the planned daily excursions into a logistical nightmare. Bus rides in excess of two hours each way were necessary just to get to those locations. My wife and I signed on to the Viking River Cruise partly because of the promise of short daily excursions that were included in the price of the package. We wound up trapped in Lyon from Thursday through Sunday, occasionally taking the cruise shuttle into town and also incurring the additional cost of cab rides to reach other parts of Lyon.

 

 

We never did get to Cluny. Viking arranged to send a bus up there, but the excursion would have required a bus ride in excess of two hours each way. A few people from the ship did take the excursion. It killed the entire day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did they bus you from Lyon to Beaune for the tour there?:eek:

 

Was the problem low/high water?

 

All the great restaurants in Lyon, I would have just spent the entire time eating and drinking in town. Lyon is not a bad place to get "stuck". Chalon on the other hand!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very sad that Viking was so lacking in providing alternative activities. All itineraries with an established company should have alternatives at the ready for an enjoyable day even if the activities are not as originally planned. Viking has been doing this route for a long time and has had plenty of experience and prep time. We remember this "scenic-NOT" stop well from our cruise and consider it one of the least desirable. We ended up in Lyon on a holiday (unknown to us till the night before) and little was open or available. Our highlight was the lovely bakery in the nearby, modern-but-very limited shopping center complex. Not a trip/itinerary we would choose again. This area of France is iconic and this particular itinerary doesn't do it justice. How disappointing for you. Viking needs to step up their game to retain customers. We've also had some great trips with Viking so we know they can do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh so sorry to hear of your bad experience, mathspokenhere. While we did enjoy Lyon very much and would have liked more time there, we would not have wanted to miss the rest of the trip or have such difficulty to see the other areas.

What was the reason Viking gave for stopping the rest of the trip? Water levels? Did they do anything to make up for the inconvenience?

 

I agree that with its experience Viking could have done a better job with alternate plans.

 

We had a lower-level balcony and did not especially enjoy looking out to a concrete wall a couple times either! Next time we will splurge on an upper deck. Thank you for sharing your experience. It is a good reminder that anything can happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Did they bus you from Lyon to Beaune for the tour there?:eek:

 

Was the problem low/high water?

 

All the great restaurants in Lyon, I would have just spent the entire time eating and drinking in town. Lyon is not a bad place to get "stuck". Chalon on the other hand!

 

I also would not mind being stuck in Lyon, escially the old town. But I have to defend Chalon a bit!

We spent a day/ night in Chalon. We enjoyed the Sunday morning market, but the rest of the town was closed up. We found only one open shop which was lovely, but most restaurants were closed for lunch and dinner! Not very tourist friendly, but.....we walked across the river and ate lunch and dinner at some fabulous gourmet restaurants. ( there were about 4 open on Sundays.) I would like to return when things are open,as we think it was a lovely place.

 

In fact, we were disappointed a lot of the trip to southern France that many places were closed- on Sundays on Mondays, 2 national holidays and at lunch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...