Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Peregrina651

Everything Viking France: Normandy, Paris, Provence

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, lackcreativity said:

Sorry for such detailed questions, I am just trying to pass the time until April!

 

 

You would be amazed by the amount of information you can get on Google Maps and their directions. Now it isn't just point to point by car but also by public transportation, walking and even by bicycle. Then there are websites that can tell us how much it will cost point to point by taxi.

 

The Metro and RER probably have website in English to answer questions about timing and ticketing.

 

 

2 hours ago, lackcreativity said:

Our overnight nonstop flight from Philadelphia arrives at 10:50 AM on a Saturday. Would it be too ambitious to try to do both of those on arrival day?

 

You arrive at 11 am, have to go through border control, get your luggage, find your transportation, drive to the ship/hotel -- and maybe a minimum of two hours just to get to the ship/hotel and possibly longer, all depending on how efficient passport control is and the traffic. So 2pm by the time you finally are able to leave the hotel to head off to the touring -- and at that point you only have a couple of hours until closing time.  Maybe you can get to one of them but not both and still do them justice.

 

Hotel to San Chappelle is half hour by Metro but only 15 min by taxi. IMHO, take a cab.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mhb, Murphy, and Peregrina,

Thanks so much for your input, and for reminding me how much time it takes once you land before you actually get situated at a hotel. I can't claim that we are very good fliers, especially in those lovely economy class seats, so I think I better scale back my plans. Maybe d'Orsay on arrival day, since it is open until 6, and then go to Sainte Chapelle in the morning of our first day of the tour. I think we will have enough time to do that and still get back to the hotel for our 2:15 tour.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, lackcreativity said:

for reminding me how much time it takes once you land before you actually get situated at a hotel.

 

I sometimes think that the time and effort spent on getting to and from the airports, not to mention the time spent waiting in the airport, is more wearing than the flight itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/2/2019 at 11:29 PM, Peregrina651 said:

 

We used the included tour bus to get us to the Notre Dame area and then at the end of the day, took the shuttle back to LePecq. The return shuttle at 4pm was from the Winston Churchill Statue by the Petit Palais ( just off the left side of the map below).

 

The first stop of the included tour was the Place de la Concorde (for a pit stop and some picture taking). The bus then drove right past the Louvre, and pulled in so that we could all see the Pyramid. You have two options. Leave the group at the bathroom stop (marked with a B on the map) or find out if you can be dropped at the Pyramid (ask the Cruise Director in advance so you don't waste time). Whatever you do, make sure that the guide knows you are leaving the group.

 

HOWEVER, take note that the Place de la Concorde is right by the Musee de L'Orangerie, which is where the huge Monet waterlilies canvases are housed -- and even if that is all you see at that Museum, you are getting the full Monet.  From there, you can take a cab to the Louvre.

 

 

image.png.c55ebd21ac97224ea067c74e49b0eaa9.png

 

 

Thank you very much. Your information is very helpful. 

 

We will be in Paris two days (Wednesday 4 November 2020 - Day 2 at the beginning of our trip and Monday 9 November 2020 - Day 7 at the end of the first cruise before taking the train to Lyon. We will not be able to visit the Louvre on our arrival day (Tuesday 3 November 2020 - Day 1) since the Louvre is closed on Tuesday.

 

Shore excursions are available for booking on My Viking Journey, and the Paris excursions seem to be reversed from the generic schedule. The included excursion on Day 2 is Napoleon's Chateau de Malmaison and the included tour on Day 7 is Panoramic Paris. I believe the included tour you referenced was the Panoramic Paris tour on our Day 7, so that wouldn't work for us on Day 2. Do they have a shuttle going into Paris in the morning, since the included tour on Day 2 won't take us there?

 

We may want to go to the Louvre on both Day 2 and Day 7, since I don't think we can see it all in one day - and it is the main thing we want to see in Paris.

 

Since we won't know until we're on the boat what time we will get to the Louvre, I currently do not plan to purchase tickets in advance. Since we will be using the Blue entrance line, I suspect we wouldn't save much time with an advance ticket.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

I sometimes think that the time and effort spent on getting to and from the airports, not to mention the time spent waiting in the airport, is more wearing than the flight itself.

Not to get too far off the track here, but you are so right. We are much closer to the Baltimore airport than the one in Phildelphia, but the available international flights from Philly are far more. So sometimes we choose to make that drive for a nonstop. That adds a two hour drive, plus extra for the terrible traffic,  plus extra time for the circling the constantly overcrowded long term parking lot there, just to arrive three hours before our flight!

 

I think that the drive back from the Philadelphia airport is the worst part of all. All the anticipation and fun are over, and only the traffic and the laundry remain!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, lackcreativity said:

I think that the drive back from the Philadelphia airport is the worst part of all. All the anticipation and fun are over, and only the traffic and the laundry remain!

 

Think of it this way: You could be driving back from Dulles, which while possibly closer, isn't as simple as getting on I95 at the airport and getting off a few miles from home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have used Philadelphia for the convenience of a non stop to Europe and a morning arrival (giving us most of the day there).  For London we have used the BA flight from BWI.  Last time we flew from BWI we had a 10 hour layover in Toronto, which wasn't enough.  It was after that the drive from Philly made up for the time we spent transferring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, NavyVeteran said:

Thank you very much. Your information is very helpful. 

 

We will be in Paris two days (Wednesday 4 November 2020 - Day 2 at the beginning of our trip and Monday 9 November 2020 - Day 7 at the end of the first cruise before taking the train to Lyon. We will not be able to visit the Louvre on our arrival day (Tuesday 3 November 2020 - Day 1) since the Louvre is closed on Tuesday.

 

Shore excursions are available for booking on My Viking Journey, and the Paris excursions seem to be reversed from the generic schedule. The included excursion on Day 2 is Napoleon's Chateau de Malmaison and the included tour on Day 7 is Panoramic Paris. I believe the included tour you referenced was the Panoramic Paris tour on our Day 7, so that wouldn't work for us on Day 2. Do they have a shuttle going into Paris in the morning, since the included tour on Day 2 won't take us there?

 

We may want to go to the Louvre on both Day 2 and Day 7, since I don't think we can see it all in one day - and it is the main thing we want to see in Paris.

 

Since we won't know until we're on the boat what time we will get to the Louvre, I currently do not plan to purchase tickets in advance. Since we will be using the Blue entrance line, I suspect we wouldn't save much time with an advance ticket.

 

 

 

FYI There is a special exhibit at the Louvre commemorating the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci. It's been years in the making and is a once in a lifetime opportunity see his works, some of which are never on exhibit.

Advance tickets are recommended.

https://www.louvre.fr/en/expositions/leonardo-da-vinci

 

Edit: Oops. I thought you were going this year. Exhibition ends this February.

 

Edited by OneSixtyToOne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, OneSixtyToOne said:

FYI There is a special exhibit at the Louvre commemorating the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci. It's been years in the making and is a once in a lifetime opportunity see his works, some of which are never on exhibit.

Advance tickets are recommended.

https://www.louvre.fr/en/expositions/leonardo-da-vinci

 

Edit: Oops. I thought you were going this year. Exhibition ends this February.

 

I'm sorry we will miss it, but we're not going until November 2020.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, mskaufman said:

We have used Philadelphia for the convenience of a non stop to Europe and a morning arrival (giving us most of the day there).  For London we have used the BA flight from BWI.  Last time we flew from BWI we had a 10 hour layover in Toronto, which wasn't enough.  It was after that the drive from Philly made up for the time we spent transferring.

We have done both, with various degrees of success, and a couple failures. While you learn from your experiences ( will NEVER accept a 55 minute layover in Frankfurt again, and I don't even want to hear your too short 10 hour Toronto story ), sometimes you can't predict the things that can go wrong and have to just make the best of things. If it wasn't so nice when we got there, I doubt many of us would continue to accept the aggravation of the travel part of traveling!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, lackcreativity said:

We have done both, with various degrees of success, and a couple failures. While you learn from your experiences ( will NEVER accept a 55 minute layover in Frankfurt again, and I don't even want to hear your too short 10 hour Toronto story ), sometimes you can't predict the things that can go wrong and have to just make the best of things. If it wasn't so nice when we got there, I doubt many of us would continue to accept the aggravation of the travel part of traveling!

 

 

The more I read it, the more I think 10 hours is a typo. I'm thinking that it was a 1 hour layover.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

The more I read it, the more I think 10 hours is a typo. I'm thinking that it was a 1 hour layover.

 

I wouldn't assume that.  We had a 5 hour layover in AMS that wasn't enough.  But the real lesson was never book any flight that's the only one each day – if you miss it, you have just bought yourself a 24-hour delay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

I wouldn't assume that.  We had a 5 hour layover in AMS that wasn't enough.  But the real lesson was never book any flight that's the only one each day – if you miss it, you have just bought yourself a 24-hour delay.

 

I try hard to avoid last flight of the day as well.  Flying earlier usually can find space on a later flight if need be; if a problem w one flight, generally, a lot are affected w missed connections, etc.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, NavyVeteran said:

Thank you very much. Your information is very helpful. 

 

We will be in Paris two days (Wednesday 4 November 2020 - Day 2 at the beginning of our trip and Monday 9 November 2020 - Day 7 at the end of the first cruise before taking the train to Lyon. We will not be able to visit the Louvre on our arrival day (Tuesday 3 November 2020 - Day 1) since the Louvre is closed on Tuesday.

 

Shore excursions are available for booking on My Viking Journey, and the Paris excursions seem to be reversed from the generic schedule. The included excursion on Day 2 is Napoleon's Chateau de Malmaison and the included tour on Day 7 is Panoramic Paris. I believe the included tour you referenced was the Panoramic Paris tour on our Day 7, so that wouldn't work for us on Day 2. Do they have a shuttle going into Paris in the morning, since the included tour on Day 2 won't take us there?

 

We may want to go to the Louvre on both Day 2 and Day 7, since I don't think we can see it all in one day - and it is the main thing we want to see in Paris.

 

Since we won't know until we're on the boat what time we will get to the Louvre, I currently do not plan to purchase tickets in advance. Since we will be using the Blue entrance line, I suspect we wouldn't save much time with an advance ticket.

 

 

 

 

Will you be docked in Le Pecq?  If you take the panoramic bus tour, you will have a few hours free time for lunch.  Many leave the tour at this point & tour independently in the afternoon; several museums are within walking distance.  If you want to stay late & return on your own rather than the shuttle, Louvre is open until 9:45pm on Wednesdays and not crowded. Napoleon’s Apartments are only open then and are amazing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

10 hours was not a typo.  We had planned to go to the Hockey Hall of Fame with our time there.  Obviously didn't happen.  I'll spare you the details.  In the end we arrived in Barcelona only five hours late.  Luckily we were there two days pre-cruise.  There were people on our flight who were catching a cruise that afternoon.  Not sure how they made out. 

 

The advantage of Philly (for us) is that we do not have to make a connection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, MURPHY27 said:

 

Will you be docked in Le Pecq?  If you take the panoramic bus tour, you will have a few hours free time for lunch.  Many leave the tour at this point & tour independently in the afternoon; several museums are within walking distance.  If you want to stay late & return on your own rather than the shuttle, Louvre is open until 9:45pm on Wednesdays and not crowded. Napoleon’s Apartments are only open then and are amazing.

Thank you. Yes, we will be in Le Pecq. I'm thinking now that we will go to the Louvre on our own. I've been looking at the Louvre's website, and they have a lot of information there for pre-planning our time there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The following was posted by @dolllover in another thread ( Another great trip with Viking!) and is re-posted with permission:

 

 

My DH and I just came back from an excellent Rhone cruise with Viking. Our second river cruise with Viking. Loved everything about this trip. We upgraded thru Viking our pre cruise hotel to the Prince de Galles hotel which was walking distance to the Seine and the Arc de Triumph. Great location! Our post cruise hotel was the Le Meridian hotel in Nice and was close to the sights as well with the added bonus of a fantastic view of the mediterranean. The crew was fantastic and was always ready to top your drink off and with anything else that you needed. Loved eating quite a few of our meals on the Aquavit Terrace. It was wonderful having our meal looking out on the Rhone or the town we were docked in that day. Food was very good. Local wines were served as well. We didn't have a drink package and were satisfied with the wines that Viking provided. As far as tours we had excellent guides. Most of the time we had 3 levels of walking tours, easy pace, normal and fast pace. We had a mixture of passengers on this trip with age ranges from 40 on up including singles. We will be trying out Uniworld for the first time next Sept. sailing on one of their Italy cruises. Quite a bit more money than our Viking trips. It'll be interesting to see if Uniworlds service justifies the added cost of this upcoming trip. I don't do full reviews just a quick summary. If anyone has any questions ask away.

Edited by Peregrina651

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/4/2019 at 12:01 AM, NavyVeteran said:

Thank you very much. Your information is very helpful. 

 

We will be in Paris two days (Wednesday 4 November 2020 - Day 2 at the beginning of our trip and Monday 9 November 2020 - Day 7 at the end of the first cruise before taking the train to Lyon. We will not be able to visit the Louvre on our arrival day (Tuesday 3 November 2020 - Day 1) since the Louvre is closed on Tuesday.

 

Shore excursions are available for booking on My Viking Journey, and the Paris excursions seem to be reversed from the generic schedule. The included excursion on Day 2 is Napoleon's Chateau de Malmaison and the included tour on Day 7 is Panoramic Paris. I believe the included tour you referenced was the Panoramic Paris tour on our Day 7, so that wouldn't work for us on Day 2. Do they have a shuttle going into Paris in the morning, since the included tour on Day 2 won't take us there?

 

We may want to go to the Louvre on both Day 2 and Day 7, since I don't think we can see it all in one day - and it is the main thing we want to see in Paris.

 

Since we won't know until we're on the boat what time we will get to the Louvre, I currently do not plan to purchase tickets in advance. Since we will be using the Blue entrance line, I suspect we wouldn't save much time with an advance ticket.

 

 

 

 

In off season, you won’t save much time for ticket line & all have to do security.  High season, could be an hr+.  

 

Just like most other museums in Paris, I have a quickie plan to tour the Louvre.  Plot a course from Winged Victory to Venus deMilo to Mona Lisa- the “big 3”.  Check out & soak up the atmosphere of amazing art along your route but try not to deviate.

And do not even consider the Egyptian rooms since British Museum has all the good stuff!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello All,

 

Our itinerary for the December 3 departure is the same as NavyVeteran's: it would appear that Days 2 and 7 are potentially "Paris" days that would allow independent exploration if one so desired?  Is Napoleon's Chateau a must see?  Would it be possible to include that tour and then wander around Paris?  Thank you for your thoughts?  KS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, katie scarlette said:

Hello All,

 

Our itinerary for the December 3 departure is the same as NavyVeteran's: it would appear that Days 2 and 7 are potentially "Paris" days that would allow independent exploration if one so desired?  Is Napoleon's Chateau a must see?  Would it be possible to include that tour and then wander around Paris?  Thank you for your thoughts?  KS

 

I am probably in the minority here but if you have never been to Paris before, don't waste your time here. IMHO, it is not a must-see. Better to take the time to ascend the Eiffel Tower for a fantastic view of the city or to visit one of the fabulous museums or churches (L'Orangerie, San Chapelle, San Sulpice come quickly to mind) or even just to pick a neighborhood and wander around. If you are adventurous, rent a bike. Or take a cruise on the Seine. Ride the Hop-on-hop-off bus.

 

The only reason to take this Viking tour is if you are not comfortable getting around on public transportation in a city that you are unfamiliar with --and even then I would look at what other tours are available through the ship (or even independent companies).

 

The logistics are not good for combining the Chateau with time in Paris. You see where the Chateau is. The places you want to see are where it says Paris. The ship will be docked right where the L is in Germain-en-Laye (on the left edge of the map). The drive from ship to Chateau was about half an hour. I did not see any metro or RER stations near the Chateau. The ship is a 15 minute walk to a RER station and then an hour ride into Paris with changes of train needed. Cabs are an expensive proposition and there are websites that will estimate the cost for you.

 

image.png.01cf773171813353820ed3470bb51ed2.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

I am probably in the minority here but if you have never been to Paris before, don't waste your time here. IMHO, it is not a must-see. Better to take the time to ascend the Eiffel Tower for a fantastic view of the city or to visit one of the fabulous museums or churches (L'Orangerie, San Chapelle, San Sulpice come quickly to mind) or even just to pick a neighborhood and wander around. If you are adventurous, rent a bike. Or take a cruise on the Seine. Ride the Hop-on-hop-off bus...

 

I agree.  Having spent six months in France in my college days and several trips since, I have seen just about every tourist site in and around Paris.  Neither Château de Malmaison nor Les Invalides would make my top 10 list.  But then, I'm not a big fan of Napoleon (except as a dessert)...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

I'm not a big fan of Napoleon (except as a dessert)...

 

Most assuredly!

image.png.5dd025d6985e0e2c20cf79707a9b566b.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Peregrina651 and Host Jazzbeau for your thoughts.  My companions and I plan to go to Versailles independently on Day 2, stay as long as we like and return to the ship or go to Paris, and then go to Paris on our own on Day 7.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, katie scarlette said:

Thank you Peregrina651 and Host Jazzbeau for your thoughts.  My companions and I plan to go to Versailles independently on Day 2, stay as long as we like and return to the ship or go to Paris, and then go to Paris on our own on Day 7.

 

DAY 7: If the included tour that morning is the guided tour of Paris, then take advantage of the free transportation into Paris (and it is faster than the train). The first stop is usually a bathroom stop at the Place de la Concorde. The return bus to the ship leaves from the Winston Churchill statue by the Petit Palais. When you tell the tour guide that you are leaving the group, ask her what time the return bus is.

 

On the other hand, check on what time sunset is and take in the sunset from atop the Eiffel Tower. Timeanddate.com is the place to go for sunset times. The view at sunset is magnificent.

 

 

image.png

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
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2019
      • Forum Assistance
      • 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...