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Peregrina651

Everything Viking France: Normandy, Paris, Provence

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22 minutes ago, editor@cruisecritic said:

Beyond the Monoprix (which I'm absurdly excited about), is there anything to see in Le Pecq? Is there a good walk?

 

And one more question (leave tonight for Paris, excited!): On our last day we stop in Mantes de Jolie -- is that just to let shore excursions off as the ship continues back to Le Pecq?

 

Thanks again for all the great conversation and advice.

 

Carolyn

 

 

Mantes les Jolie is just to let the tours off in the morning. I think they have decided that the rush hour traffic is better starting from there.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, editor@cruisecritic said:

Beyond the Monoprix (which I'm absurdly excited about), is there anything to see in Le Pecq? Is there a good walk?

 

And one more question (leave tonight for Paris, excited!): On our last day we stop in Mantes de Jolie -- is that just to let shore excursions off as the ship continues back to Le Pecq?

 

Thanks again for all the great conversation and advice.

 

Carolyn

 

Forget LePecq.  1st day Viking takes you up the hill by your ship to beautiful St Germain an Lay.  Well worth visiting.
Last day @Mantes you can take 9:30AM shuttle into Paris and catch 5:30 shuttle back to the ship which moves to LePecq.
 

Edited by philw1776

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Some people walked into the town by Le Pacq and said there were shops, we took the afternoon ( after morning train from Lyon to Paris) to chill at Le Pacq, but needed to pick up a few things so Monoprix was the answer, and there is a pharmacy, and little pastry/coffee shop too. By the boat there is a Walking/bike track by the river.

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On 7/19/2019 at 7:42 PM, philw1776 said:

Forget LePecq.  1st day Viking takes you up the hill by your ship to beautiful St Germain an Lay.  Well worth visiting.
Last day @Mantes you can take 9:30AM shuttle into Paris and catch 5:30 shuttle back to the ship which moves to LePecq.
 

Thanks everyone, for the LePecq info. I'm going to spend the day in Paris and head over to the ship later this afternoon.

 

This afternoon! Excited.

 

If there's anything you all want to know while I'm onboard, please let me know....

 

Carolyn

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I would like to know if Viking plans to change the itinerary on the Honfleur end of it when the new ships arrive. Other than docking in Paris can they do something that the 135m ships cannot? But this might be too early to ask...

 

Thank you for your efforts.

Have a great time.

 

notamermaid

 

 

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3 hours ago, notamermaid said:

I would like to know if Viking plans to change the itinerary on the Honfleur end of it when the new ships arrive. Other than docking in Paris can they do something that the 135m ships cannot? But this might be too early to ask...

 

Thank you for your efforts.

Have a great time.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

My understanding is that only French ships are permitted to go further downstream than Rouen. Whether that is true or that is simply the excuse, I don't know.

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2 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

My understanding is that only French ships are permitted to go further downstream than Rouen. Whether that is true or that is simply the excuse, I don't know.

The answer I got was that beyond where the ships dock now outside Rouen, you're into Maritime Rules.  Need a pilot onboard plus additional permissions & certifications.  If this be so,  unlikely that a river ship will go there.  Maybe Viking has a special plan for this though I doubt it.

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6 hours ago, editor@cruisecritic said:

Thanks everyone, for the LePecq info. I'm going to spend the day in Paris and head over to the ship later this afternoon.

 

This afternoon! Excited.

 

If there's anything you all want to know while I'm onboard, please let me know....

 

Carolyn

We're having serious cruise withdrawals since arriving home Thursday.  Miss the ship, the crew, the food and the French ports.

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1 hour ago, philw1776 said:

We're having serious cruise withdrawals since arriving home Thursday.  Miss the ship, the crew, the food and the French ports.

I'll try to help if I can, philw1776 🙂

 

Dinner was lovely. Had it on the Aquavit Terrace. Was surprised by two things; one is that the waitstaff seems to expect everyone to arrive at the beginning (rather than operate more like a restaurant); that surprised me a little bit. And there's no separate menu there (used to be the more casual dining option at night). Curious.

 

Also, for future travelers on Viking Rolf, note that the nearly adjacent Monoprix closes at 1 p.m. or so on Sunday. I didn't make it 🙂

 

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7 hours ago, notamermaid said:

I would like to know if Viking plans to change the itinerary on the Honfleur end of it when the new ships arrive. Other than docking in Paris can they do something that the 135m ships cannot? But this might be too early to ask...

 

Thank you for your efforts.

Have a great time.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

I'll ask around, notamermaid. Great question. I'm with the other poster who said that only French lines can go as far as Honfleur; on our other Seine cruise about 8 years ago or so, we also didn't go past Rouen (different line), and did the bus trip to Honfleur. I've also been lucky enough to visit on ocean cruises, but never overnight -- that's on the list.

 

Carolyn

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1 hour ago, philw1776 said:

The answer I got was that beyond where the ships dock now outside Rouen, you're into Maritime Rules.  Need a pilot onboard plus additional permissions & certifications.  If this be so,  unlikely that a river ship will go there.  Maybe Viking has a special plan for this though I doubt it.

 

Fascinating, philw1776. I'll track down the details....

 

Carolyn

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5 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

My understanding is that only French ships are permitted to go further downstream than Rouen. Whether that is true or that is simply the excuse, I don't know.

Post #12 on this thread says that the cruiser docked in Honfleur on a Grand Circle cruise. 

 

 

 

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I had been under the impression that length was the problem getting into the harbor at Honfleur and that Croisi was only able to do it because their older ships are only 100 meters long.  But now I'm confused: Grand Circle uses MS Bizet for this itinerary (length = 110 meters) and Croisi uses ships that are 110 meters as well as the older 100 meter design.  So length alone doesn't explain why all the other cruise lines with 110 meter ships can't get in to Honfleur.  Nevertheless,  Viking's new ships are reportedly going to be 125 meters which is surely too large for Honfleur. 

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On 7/21/2019 at 9:11 PM, editor@cruisecritic said:

 

Fascinating, philw1776. I'll track down the details....

 

Carolyn

So I've asked around, and actually this morning (noon) as we came into Rouen, we actually went past the bridge that is the demarkation point for maritime, as philw1776 says -- and there was a Cruise and Maritime vessel docked just behind. It looked so big compared to our darling Viking Rolf!

 

I'd forgotten that it's not just French lines that can go to Honfleur -- Uniworld goes. I was told today by one of the officers that it has to do with getting a maritime license, in addition to what you have to get for river cruising on the Seine, and it is a lot. I'm still trying to nail this down, but it's definitely not the size of the riverboat.....

 

Carolyn

 

PS The pic is of us turning in the basin....

two ships.jpeg

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On 7/21/2019 at 11:54 PM, Host Jazzbeau said:

I had been under the impression that length was the problem getting into the harbor at Honfleur and that Croisi was only able to do it because their older ships are only 100 meters long.  But now I'm confused: Grand Circle uses MS Bizet for this itinerary (length = 110 meters) and Croisi uses ships that are 110 meters as well as the older 100 meter design.  So length alone doesn't explain why all the other cruise lines with 110 meter ships can't get in to Honfleur.  Nevertheless,  Viking's new ships are reportedly going to be 125 meters which is surely too large for Honfleur. 

 

Also, I've been on ships (ocean ships) that called at Honfleur, though come to think of it I think we anchored 🙂 -- one ship was Swan Hellenic's R-class vessel. And it was many moons ago.

 

Carolyn

 

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2 hours ago, editor@cruisecritic said:

 

Also, I've been on ships (ocean ships) that called at Honfleur, though come to think of it I think we anchored 🙂 -- one ship was Swan Hellenic's R-class vessel. And it was many moons ago.

 

Carolyn

 

Yes, they have to anchor and tender in.  River ships can't do that (anchor in the ocean)!

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3 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

Yes, they have to anchor and tender in.  River ships can't do that (anchor in the ocean)!

I was on the then P&O Adonia (another R-Class, now Azamara Pursuit) which docked at Honfleur four years ago. There's even a dinky cruise terminal for ocean ships. https://goo.gl/maps/SCXFzrPHQ2da3YgC7

 

I remember seeing the river cruise boats in the East Basin and thinking they looked like an interesting alternative to ocean cruising...

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1 hour ago, kentchris said:

I was on the then P&O Adonia (another R-Class, now Azamara Pursuit) which docked at Honfleur four years ago. There's even a dinky cruise terminal for ocean ships. https://goo.gl/maps/SCXFzrPHQ2da3YgC7

 

I remember seeing the river cruise boats in the East Basin and thinking they looked like an interesting alternative to ocean cruising...

 

The ocean-ship terminal seems to be on a river, so I wonder why river ships don't dock there?  But it isn't nearly as convenient as the East Basin, since the Vieux Bassin is the center of town.  But you can clearly see why ship size is so limited in the East Basin:  it doesn't look like the ship in this picture could turn around, and the basin would quickly choke up with more than 1 or 2 ships.

Screen Shot 2019-07-24 at 7.51.07 PM.png

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We visited Honfleur & Bordeaux on the Crystal Serenity. That was an amazing cruise!!

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8 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

The ocean-ship terminal seems to be on a river, so I wonder why river ships don't dock there?

The maximum recorded tidal range at Honfleur is a touch over 28 feet (8.56m) and even the less extreme tides would presumably be a bit challenging for a river ship.

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DH and I have no desire to visit the Pont Du Gard. Is Avignon an interesting town to walk around on our own? We figure we would do the included walking tour then eat lunch in town and walk around on our own . 

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16 minutes ago, dolllover said:

DH and I have no desire to visit the Pont Du Gard. Is Avignon an interesting town to walk around on our own? We figure we would do the included walking tour then eat lunch in town and walk around on our own . 

 

That is what we did.  Short walking tour and walked around.  Here is a link to some pictures.

 

https://southerneurope.shutterfly.com/pictures/661

 

 

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We did the walking tour in the morning, although we were not that impressed with the Pope's Palace. If I did it again I would just walk around on my own. We also did the optional tour, Chateauneuf-du-Pape. We enjoyed winery, had a short stop in the town, but mostly we enjoyed the beautiful countryside drive.

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1 hour ago, dottythecat said:

We did the walking tour in the morning, although we were not that impressed with the Pope's Palace. If I did it again I would just walk around on my own. We also did the optional tour, Chateauneuf-du-Pape. We enjoyed winery, had a short stop in the town, but mostly we enjoyed the beautiful countryside drive.

 

If you do the Palace on your own, you can get an iPad to carry along with you. When you hold it up, it shows you what the room looked like in the days of the Popes. This, to me, sounds like a more interesting way of touring the building than with a guide and a group.

 

The St. Benizant Bridge (of song fame) was a lot of fun. It's history is interesting and the audioguide which is part of the entrance fee is very informative. From the bridge, we walked up the steps in the tour (turn left as you exit the Bridge entrance gate and you will see it). From here we wandered back down into the city, enjoying the views of the city and the countryside, as well as checking out the Cathedral that is not part of the morning included tour.

 

We also wandered around the city. We wandered as far as the Place Pies, which is full of open air cafes and a bit less crowded than the places near the Popes Palace. Les Halles and also the Carrefours are also right there. We bought wine and goodies for afternoon snacks (which we carried into the Lounge to enjoy). My sister was very good at finding things -- charcuterie, tapenades, and all sorts of interesting things to spread on a cracker.

 

If you want a fancy lunch, try Restaurant L'Epicerie.

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