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Peregrina651

Everything Viking France: Normandy, Paris, Provence

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25 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

Viking did offer a tour the first afternoon but it was not of St. Denis. Instead, they chose to bus those who were interested to Enghien-les-Bains. 

 

In  spite of being within walking distance of Basilica St. Denis, Quai St. Ouen is not a great place to be docked. It is in an industrial area, right on a busy street with limited parking for the buses. It is not a great area for walking off the ship because of the traffic and because of the lack of sidewalks. 

 

I think the answer to your question is yes, the crypt was open. 

 Looks a bit remote too.  Did Viking have any extra security considering past problems w that area?

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8 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

Giverny this afternoon. A few observation for those to whom a visit to Giverny us one of the reasons or choosing this itinerary, to help you to determine the timing of your cruise. 

 

Let me start by saying that we really enjoyed our afternoon at Giverny. 

 

If you are coming because you absolutely must see the waterlillies in bloom, DO NOT come in March. Try May, June but also note that these are very busy months and you will be sharing the Gardens with more than just your fellow Viking passenger. 

 

If like me, you can't stand the heat, at least be aware that if you chose to travel at the beginning or end of the season that you not see the bold colors, many flowers will not be in bloom and many of the trees will be without leaves.  

 

 

 

All the more reason to visit L’Orangerie to see the water lily murals!

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12 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

The people I talked with who did the truffles tour liked it. 

Same here. We did the included winery tour. We thought it was a big nothing. I would suggest ( and many people did this) that people pay for either a full day tour or do one of the afternoon half day tours and enjoy the morning in Lyon. Additionally, the winery to which we went ( different buses went to different wineries) was not accessible and the stairs were made of uneven stone. It was really a challenge to some on our bus. 

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28 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

Giverny this afternoon. A few observation for those to whom a visit to Giverny us one of the reasons or choosing this itinerary, to help you to determine the timing of your cruise. 

 

Let me start by saying that we really enjoyed our afternoon at Giverny. 

 

If you are coming because you absolutely must see the waterlillies in bloom, DO NOT come in March. Try May, June but also note that these are very busy months and you will be sharing the Gardens with more than just your fellow Viking passenger. 

 

If like me, you can't stand the heat, at least be aware that if you chose to travel at the beginning or end of the season that you not see the bold colors, many flowers will not be in bloom and many of the trees will be without leaves.  

 

 

We went the end of July. Giverny was breathtaking but hot and crowded. It’s a trade off. 

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35 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

Viking did offer a tour the first afternoon but it was not of St. Denis. Instead, they chose to bus those who were interested to Enghien-les-Bains. 

 

In  spite of being within walking distance of Basilica St. Denis, Quai St. Ouen is not a great place to be docked. It is in an industrial area, right on a busy street with limited parking for the buses. It is not a great area for walking off the ship because of the traffic and because of the lack of sidewalks. 

 

I think the answer to your question is yes, the crypt was open. 

Sounds better than LePecq (IMHO) which isn't near much of anything although it doesn't lack for bus parking space (just did a satellite view of LePecq using Google Maps and a Viking ship is there). In terms of 'scenic' views .. the worst i got was one morning with a barge fully loaded with trash.  On our last morning, I managed a few pix that one could call "scenic" from the upper deck.  When you get to Rouen, you'll be docked near where the trains run by.  You can't see them (somewhere under the road) but boy can you FEEL them rumbling by.

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1 hour ago, Peregrina651 said:

Giverny this afternoon.

 

We're in Paris (on our own) for a few days in mid-May before we head to Lyon (by way of Dijon) for our cruise. We have already booked our morning trip to Giverny. 🙂  

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1 hour ago, Cairn Mom said:

Same here. We did the included winery tour. We thought it was a big nothing. I would suggest ( and many people did this) that people pay for either a full day tour or do one of the afternoon half day tours and enjoy the morning in Lyon. Additionally, the winery to which we went ( different buses went to different wineries) was not accessible and the stairs were made of uneven stone. It was really a challenge to some on our bus. 

 

Where was the winery?  Thanks!  Carol

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1 hour ago, Cairn Mom said:

Same here. We did the included winery tour. We thought it was a big nothing. I would suggest ( and many people did this) that people pay for either a full day tour or do one of the afternoon half day tours and enjoy the morning in Lyon. Additionally, the winery to which we went ( different buses went to different wineries) was not accessible and the stairs were made of uneven stone. It was really a challenge to some on our bus. 

 

Is this the included Beaujolais Wine Country (Day 3)? 

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35 minutes ago, peabody304 said:

 

We're in Paris (on our own) for a few days in mid-May before we head to Lyon (by way of Dijon) for our cruise. We have already booked our morning trip to Giverny. 🙂  

 

Versailles is also very easy to do on your own.

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9 hours ago, MURPHY27 said:

 Looks a bit remote too.  Did Viking have any extra security considering past problems w that area?

 

No. 

 

Nor did we feel unsafe as we walked from the ship to the Basilica and back. Out of place, maybe but never unsafe. We even stopped at the Post Office ATM for cash. 

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8 hours ago, CharTrav said:

Sounds better than LePecq (IMHO) which isn't near much of anything although it doesn't lack for bus parking space (just did a satellite view of LePecq using Google Maps and a Viking ship is there). In terms of 'scenic' views .. the worst i got was one morning with a barge fully loaded with trash.  On our last morning, I managed a few pix that one could call "scenic" from the upper deck.  When you get to Rouen, you'll be docked near where the trains run by.  You can't see them (somewhere under the road) but boy can you FEEL them rumbling

8 hours ago, peabody304 said:

 

We're in Paris (on our own) for a few days in mid-May before we head to Lyon (by way of Dijon) for our cruise. We have already booked our morning trip to Giverny. 🙂  

 

There is a shuttle bus that runs from Vernon  to the Giverny for those who want to DIY. 

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15 hours ago, peabody304 said:

 

Is this the included Beaujolais Wine Country (Day 3)? 

Yes, in my opinion it was not worth it. Our time would have been better spent exploring Lyon. There were many wonderful optional tours which we passed on.

We’ll have to do this again lol

We visited Vienne today and absolutely loved it. It would have been nice to have the whole day there. After the included 1.5 hr walking tour we went to the archeological museum and walked around the ruins. It’s a really fascinating place within walking distance of where we were docked. However, there are steps and uneven surfaces. Please keep that in mind if you have mobility issues.

https://www.vienne-condrieu.com/en/4817-museum-and-archaeological-site-of-saint-romain-en-gal-vienne.html

For the included walking tour, there were both advanced and slow groups which need to be requested from the concierge. 

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6 minutes ago, Cairn Mom said:

Yes, in my opinion it was not worth it. Our time would have been better spent exploring Lyon. There were many wonderful optional tours which we passed on.

 

That's good info, thanks! 
What time did you leave Lyon yesterday? 

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1 minute ago, peabody304 said:

 

That's good info, thanks! 
What time did you leave Lyon yesterday? 

The ship left Lyon around 2 PM but passengers could have stayed in Lyon DIY until 5 PM. Viking supplied a shuttle to the ship which was very nice. Overall, IMHO, Viking really tries to please it’s clientele.

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On 3/28/2019 at 4:56 AM, Peregrina651 said:

Okay. So where am I in the narrative? Yesterday was Day 2 in Paris. In the a.m., we walked to St. Denis to see the church were the French kings are buried (more or less). The ship was telling people to take the metro but we walked. It was not a bad walk but it is a working class, immigrant, low income neighborhood--and you are going to see what life is really like in Paris when you can't afford to live in ritzy neighborhoods. Whether you walk, metro or cab, dont let the neighborhood stop you because the church is well worth the visit. 

 

Afternoon visit to Malmaison was nice. An interesting comparison to Flecheres. Also interesting to note that the current king of Norway traces his lineage back to Josephine and her first husband. 

 

Thank you for this valuable information!  ~Carol

 

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4 hours ago, Cairn Mom said:

Yes, in my opinion it was not worth it. Our time would have been better spent exploring Lyon. There were many wonderful optional tours which we passed on.

We’ll have to do this again lol

We visited Vienne today and absolutely loved it. It would have been nice to have the whole day there. After the included 1.5 hr walking tour we went to the archeological museum and walked around the ruins. It’s a really fascinating place within walking distance of where we were docked. However, there are steps and uneven surfaces. Please keep that in mind if you have mobility issues.

https://www.vienne-condrieu.com/en/4817-museum-and-archaeological-site-of-saint-romain-en-gal-vienne.html

For the included walking tour, there were both advanced and slow groups which need to be requested from the concierge. 

Let me second the recommendation to explore Vienne & tour the museum there.  Lots of great exhibits & info on the former Roman port.

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4 hours ago, Cairn Mom said:

The ship left Lyon around 2 PM but passengers could have stayed in Lyon DIY until 5 PM. Viking supplied a shuttle to the ship which was very nice. Overall, IMHO, Viking really tries to please it’s clientele.

This is great info, thanks! 
Any chance you plan to post the Viking Dailies from this cruise? (Please?) 🙂

 

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1 hour ago, peabody304 said:

This is great info, thanks! 
Any chance you plan to post the Viking Dailies from this cruise? (Please?) 🙂

 

Sorry, no dailies. I think Peregrina has a link to CharTrav’s live. She went from Lyon to Avignon if I remember correctly. Peregrina, I can’t wait to hear about your Commonwealth tour. When do you go to the D Day Beaches?

i want to say a few words about the crowd about ship. They are mostly 70+ , in good physical condition and well informed. Since we are traveling ourselves, we always sit with at least one other couple at dinner. So far, everyone has been very nice.

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19 minutes ago, Cairn Mom said:

Sorry, no dailies. I think Peregrina has a link to CharTrav’s live. She went from Lyon to Avignon if I remember correctly. Peregrina, I can’t wait to hear about your Commonwealth tour. When do you go to the D Day Beaches?

i want to say a few words about the crowd about ship. They are mostly 70+ , in good physical condition and well informed. Since we are traveling ourselves, we always sit with at least one other couple at dinner. So far, everyone has been very nice.

We also travel by ourselves, and love to share dinner tables with others. Not that I don't like dinner with my husband, but we eat dinner together the other 350 days of the year, and have done so for over 40 years, so we enjoy the company. I agree that other Viking guests tend to be very pleasant and often really interesting companions.

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Posted (edited)

@Cairn Mom and all others -- There is a link to the Dailies I scanned for France's Finest starting in Avignon from last Summer provided in my signature block  They're posted in the Viking River folder.  No DropBox account required.  Instructions for how to download a single file are provided as well.  And yes -- Peregrina kindly provided a link to where I was posting live from our tour last Summer. It's somewhere higher up in this thread.

Edited by CharTrav

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Today in Tournon we went on the included walking tour and train ride. We enjoyed both activities. The train was from the early 1900s. Many of the men were enthralled with it lol. Our guide made the trip interesting. The tour was nicely done.

 However, it would have been even better  if the train ride was first and the walking tour was later.Nothing was open in Tournon during our walk.

Tonight there is a 9:30PM walking tour of Viviers which I think we are going to skip. We have both a morning and afternoon tour tomorrow so I think we’ll make it an early night. 

I want to clarify, on a river cruise it is virtually impossible to sit at a table for two. It is not that kind of experience. If you enjoy being just with your partner  then IMHO  river cruising isn’t a good fit.

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On 3/28/2019 at 10:02 PM, MURPHY27 said:

 

All the more reason to visit L’Orangerie to see the water lily murals!

 

Have already seen them. 

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4 hours ago, Cairn Mom said:

Today in Tournon we went on the included walking tour and train ride. We enjoyed both activities. The train was from the early 1900s. Many of the men were enthralled with it lol. Our guide made the trip interesting. The tour was nicely done.

 However, it would have been even better  if the train ride was first and the walking tour was later.Nothing was open in Tournon during our walk.

Tonight there is a 9:30PM walking tour of Viviers which I think we are going to skip. We have both a morning and afternoon tour tomorrow so I think we’ll make it an early night. 

I want to clarify, on a river cruise it is virtually impossible to sit at a table for two. It is not that kind of experience. If you enjoy being just with your partner  then IMHO  river cruising isn’t a good fit.

 

Just to clarify, things are slightly different when you sail up river. Walking tour was first, then the steam train ride, just like on the down river but the ship departs Vivier and meets us further upriver. Later that afternoon, we arrive in Vienne, where we have a walking tour in the late afternoon. 

 

 

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Arrived in Rouen yesterday. Walking tour when we arrived which I skipped so that I could go see the Rouen cathedral and take a million and one pictures of the interior and exterior for my daughter.  

 

Weather has been sunny and warmer than expected. Not complaining. 

 

Today was Normandy.

 

We did the Commonwealth tour that includes the Bayeux tapestry, which is the first stop. By the end of the narration, I was 10 panels behind. There is no stop button. No rewind either. A bit frustrating. But I was right along the railing and saw everything. Fortunately not crowded and could move slowly. Lunch was in Bayeux at the Lion D' Or. Good lunch. Nice venue. 

 

After lunch was D-Day time. Drive by Gold beach on the way to the Canadian Museum on Juno beach, with time to get walk on Juno beach. I only went into the museum to use the bathroom. Then to the Canadian cemetary to lay a wreath and visit the cemetary. Next stop, the Pegasus Memorial, the bridge that we see captured near the beginning of the movie The Longest Day. Finally stop, the British cemetary at Ranville.   

 

20190330_162604.thumb.jpg.4d52461bcc220547c41e1e2ca90dde79.jpg

 

 

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I have been away from the board for a few weeks and WOW what I missed...lots of questions for our mid October cruise.  thanks to Peregrina for the live blog...awesome information!

 

As an American will I be satisfied with doing the Commonwealth tour?  I would like to see the tapestry (especially after Viking Ocean cruise introduction on the staircase )?

 

Ronni....can you please post your great Paris rental?  We are traveling with another couple so may be too small.  Murphy 27 ...who did you use for your driver to lePecq and how was fountainbleau?

 

Was Uber easy to use in Paris?  and to LePecq...still figuring that out.

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