Viking Fjorgyn Seine / Normandy River Cruise, a Fabulous Journey – All Issues Cruise


Paris, the Metropolis of Mild, entices with its energetic Joie de vie, exceptional structure, artwork, style, meals, and historical past. Think about strolling the banks of the Seine, exploring the world-class museums, or sipping espresso at a sidewalk café.

The Viking Seine/Normandy River Cruise begins and ends in Paris however makes noteworthy stops in picturesque Normandy. Guided excursions embrace Rouen, the capital of Normandy, the port metropolis of Honfleur, immersion into Impressionist artwork, a day dedicated to WWII historical past and the D-Day touchdown websites, and picturesque small rural villages.


Earlier than my departure, Viking despatched me a useful packet of journey paperwork that answered all my questions. They supplied emergency contact numbers simply in case.

Like most People, I arrived in Paris by way of an in a single day flight. After clearing baggage declare, I noticed a lady holding a Viking Cruises signal. That was reassuring as a result of I knew she would maintain my transportation wants. Nevertheless, I hoped to satisfy up with my daughter-in-law, Amy, arriving about the identical time however on a special flight. No worries; the Viking workers and the van driver discovered Amy after which joined me together with two different passengers. Quickly afterward, we left the airport and headed towards the cruise ship.

Our cabins have been naturally not prepared once we arrived dockside (nonetheless earlier than 10 am). However we have been warmly welcomed onboard, and our baggage was stowed. Employees led us to the eating room, and we revived ourselves with tasty breakfast objects from the buffet.

Regardless of the dearth of sleep, Amy was prepared for her first Parisian journey, and I used to be excited to hitch her. We postponed exploring the ship and set foot towards the Eiffel Tower. (The Viking dock is shut sufficient to make the stroll.)

The enduring 1083-foot metal tower, constructed for the 1898 World’s Honest, stands as a beloved landmark. Guests take the elevators up and gaze down upon the sprawling metropolis. They take many photographs and stroll across the adjoining discipline referred to as the Champs du Mars and the encircling gardens. Amy and I did all that, however I used to be dragging on the stroll again to the Viking ship.

The Viking Fjorgyn

Fortuitously, the Viking crew welcomed us once more, and this time, they escorted us to our cabin on the higher degree. We discovered the room with two single beds, floor-to-ceiling home windows that slide open, and a small balcony with two chairs and a bistro desk. The closet was sufficiently big for us each, and we might stash our baggage underneath the beds.

Count on a small however practical lavatory. When not having a shower, the doorways open inward, offering more room, or at the very least it feels that approach. Heated flooring provides an oh-so-nice contact when getting out of the bathe.

The ship’s higher degree contains the Aquavit Lounge with full-length home windows and a preferred, well-stocked bar. Exterior the lounge, an espresso and cappuccino-making machine stay open 24/7 for self-service. Elves appear to replenish the complimentary pastries steadily.

The Viking Fjorgyn appeared new because it was in-built 2020 particularly for the Seine River (and never used in the course of the pandemic). The Scandinavian inside design feels glossy. She carries a most of 168 passengers in 84 exterior staterooms (22 Customary Staterooms, 18 French Balcony Staterooms, 35 Veranda Staterooms, 7 Veranda Suites, and a couple of Explorer Suites). The ship measures 410 toes in size and maintains a crew of 46. River cruise boats carry far fewer passengers than mega ocean liners. The restricted variety of company shortly turn into mates as they collect at meals and on excursions.

There isn’t any spa on this boat, as most Viking company are extra within the historic and cultural excursions. Viking offers pre-excursion info and glorious guides. Company depart the cruise having skilled and realized a lot about France. But, they’re pampered and catered to by the workers. The mix is right.

If you’re questioning, Viking names their longships (river cruisers) after Norse sagas. Fjorgyn is the Norse Goddess of the Earth. In Norse mythology, Mom Earth, Fjorgyn has been related to the beginning of the rising season. She was the mom of Thor, the mighty thunder god, and the son of Odin.

After nibbling on a late lunch, we took a couple of moments to unpack and settle. One of many important benefits of cruising is just not having to switch baggage and continually pack and unpack.

Everybody was referred to as to their Muster Stations for a follow drill with life preservers. The Seine is just not extensive, and I believe one might swim to both aspect with out problem. Nevertheless, Viking is sensible to follow security measures.

Afterward, all aboard sipped a champagne cocktail to formally begin the cruise, adopted by a calming, multi-course meal. The primary restaurant rests on the mid-deck, beneath our cabin. Image home windows line the eating room, giving company an nearly 360-degree view. The central space stays prepared for breakfast and lunch buffets.

Viking’s coverage is open seating, in order that they don’t assign tables. Every meal gives a alternative of day by day alternatives and at all times contains the choice for fashionable favorites, like Eggs Benedict, hamburgers, and steak or salmon. Wine and beer are complimentary at meals, and people with the Silver Spirits package deal could select higher-priced drinks and wine anytime.

Itinerary and Shore Excursions

Paris- Day 2

A panoramic metropolis tour of Paris started after breakfast. We, cruisers, boarded a bus and listened to a information describe the well-known websites as we handed. We stopped close to Notre Dame to see the restoration work progressing on the cathedral. Our information gave us free time to discover, store, or seize a espresso in a close-by café.

The tour additionally included a cease for photographs on the Eiffel Tower earlier than returning to the ship for lunch. Within the afternoon, Amy selected an tour to Montmartre and Sacre Coeur, and I went on a Flavors of Paris outing, a scrumptious foodie tour. Others opted for the full-day tour: Scenic Paris and Highlights of the Louvre.

That night the glittering Eiffel Tower within the distance took heart stage. It’s a pinch-me second to see the illuminated icon glowing like fireworks. Merely gorgeous.

La Roche- Guyon and Vernon – Day 3

The Fjorgyn sailed in the course of the evening; we reached La Roche-Guyon the next morning. An historic fortress and chateau hover on white chalk hills dominating a tiny village (inhabitants roughly 500).

Our cruise director, Mimi, led us on a strolling tour by way of the gardens towards Chateau de La Roche-Guyon. The fortified maintain, which overlooks the valley, is linked to the château by way of a mysterious stairway dug into the rock. The Château was constructed within the twelfth century and featured a mixture of medieval, Renaissance, and classical types, together with a proper kitchen backyard. Numerous homeowners added rooms to the chateau over lots of of years.

We climbed many stairs inside the chateau, taking in panoramic autumnal views. Amy climbed the darkish, secret stairway to the highest of the maintain.

Some journey lists embrace La Roche-Guyon as one among France’s “Most Stunning Villages,” and I are inclined to agree. I appreciated the chance to discover it.


The captain moved our boat to close by Vernon, and most company took a day tour that included a drive-by glimpse of Monet’s Home and Backyard named Giverny. His colourful dwelling was closed for the season, so we went to Auvers-Sur-Oise. Auvers is the place Vincent Van Gogh lived his previous couple of months in 1890. The situation gave him such a supply of artistic inspiration he accomplished 80 work in seventy days.

A information led us by way of the little city that appeared like a nineteenth-century time capsule. We strolled cobblestone pathways previous shuttered properties, flower packing containers, greenery, and outlets. We paused on the Eglise Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption, the church painted by Van Gogh. I beloved evaluating the Gothic constructing to the well-known portray.

We continued up a hill to the cemetery with the graves of Vincent and his brother Theo. The graveyard lies throughout from the fields that impressed one other van Gogh masterpiece, The Wheatfield and Crows.

We ended the go to at Auberge Ravoux, the artist’s ultimate dwelling. Solely two or three at a time might enter his tiny rented attic bed room. It appeared to be stuffed with disappointment. Afterward, the group watched a superb video/slideshow of his artwork from the realm.

Again onboard, the day ended with a particular dinner: The Style of France, the one buffet dinner on the cruise. The huge collection of scrumptious cheeses, entrees, and desserts overwhelmed me. I turned in with a full abdomen and fond reminiscences of two pretty small villages filled with historical past and artwork, plus an excessive amount of tremendous meals.

Rouen and Environment – Day 4

Rouen, the biggest metropolis in Normandy, gives one of the vital stunning Gothic cathedrals on this planet. The intricate designs on the outside appear like lace. Guided strolling excursions of the town communicate of the city’s lengthy historical past and Joan of Arc. Joan was burned on the stake in Rouen after her trial. A contemporary church stands on the positioning, the inside aglow with a ravishing wall of stained glass home windows.

Amy took the afternoon tour to Honfleur, a medieval port village with slim cobblestone alleys and a central rectangular harbor within the center. Sadly, it was raining your complete time, so she didn’t get the photographs she had hoped.

I ventured previous the bucolic countryside to a country previous farm. As soon as there, I watched a educated sheepherding canine corral and transfer the animals in regards to the discipline. This conduct was fascinating and enjoyable.

Normandy is understood for apples, apple cider, and the liqueur Calvados. My tour group strolled by way of the property’s apple orchard and cidery/distillery. We entered the tasting room to be taught all about cider. To the French, cider means an alcoholic drink, whereas a non-alcoholic alternative is apple juice. Calvados is stronger than cider.

D- Day- Day 5

The  D-Day touchdown websites are a big draw to the area, and Viking gives two full-day excursions. The tour geared toward People visits the Caen Memorial Museum and features a documentary movie. Our information was a professor of historical past, so he gave us definitive info on the occasions throughout WWII.

We drove on to the  172-acre American Cemetery, with 9,387 American graves. The peaceable cemetery with white crosses stretches so far as the attention can see. It honors the People misplaced within the Normandy battles. It’s an emotionally troublesome place to go to, however one which retains alive the reminiscence of those that fought bravely to defend international freedom. We owe them a lot.

Viking arranges a particular ceremony at “The Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves” statue. The taking part in of the Star Spangled Banner, adopted by Faucets, introduced tears to nearly everybody’s eyes. It was a really transferring tribute and made me a proud American. We realized that the typical age of the troopers buried within the cemetery ranged from 19-22 years.

The tour moved on to Omaha Seaside, one other U.S. touchdown web site. The lengthy sandy expanse sat empty on this chilly and dreary November day. A shocking memorial stands on the seashore, honoring the essential occasions alongside this waterfront in 1944. One other monument memorializes the occasion within the open city sq..

A second Viking day tour started with a cease on the well-known Bayeux Tapestry, one thing I might have beloved to see. It continues to Gold Seaside and Arromanches,  British and Canadian battle websites, Juno Seaside, and the British cemetery in Ranville.

Les Andelys – Day 6

Whereas the ship sailed within the morning, many attended a lighthearted cooking class from the chef and his assistant. They ready a Tarte au Citron or Lemon Tart with ease. We acquired copies of the recipe; I’ll strive replicating it at dwelling.

The day was heat sufficient to sit down exterior on the Aquavit Terrace at lunchtime. Fortuitously, we completed our meal earlier than the rain began. Because the boat approached the village of Les Andelys, we noticed the fortress referred to as Chateau Galliard. The buildings are ruins of Richard the Lionhearted fortress, constructed between 1196-1198.

The group tour started within the rain, however as we climbed up the hill, a considerably difficult stroll, a rainbow appeared. We explored the ruins with excellent panoramic views. When prepared, we strolled downhill into the charming city with half-timbered buildings. There, a few of us lingered for buying.

After dinner, many of the company participated in a enjoyable recreation within the lounge. Cruise Director Mimi defined that we’d know the solutions however needed to choose the more than likely response. The energetic recreation ended with a celebration, music, and dancing. FYI: Don’t count on a lot skilled leisure on this cruise; most company retire after dinner.

Paris Environment- Day 7

Our final full day started in La Pecq with a morning journey to Chateau de Malmaison, the magnificent dwelling of Josephine and Napoleon. The home sits on the outskirts of France, however most vacationers miss it (being too far for a taxi, and no direct bus route). Due to Viking, we have been dropped off on the gate.

The tour included an interesting dialogue on Josephine’s life, dwelling, and gardens. Massive shock – this dwelling was additionally the place the Louisiana Buy was laid out and signed. I’m so glad I might go to this fascinating web site. I now have the need to be taught extra about Josephine.

After lunch, many selected to go to the Palace of Versailles, the flamboyant, over-the-top property of Louis XIV, the Solar King. The extravagance in his property makes you perceive why the French Revolution occurred. Whereas Louis XIV dominated competently throughout his lengthy life, he spared no expense on himself,  and later Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette took the intense way of life over the sting.

Tip: The Palace is value seeing, however at all times crowded. The King’s mattress chambers, the Chapel, and the Corridor of Mirrors don’t disappoint, apart from the hordes of vacationers. The gardens unfold over 2,000 acres (you’ll stroll miles), however sadly, this cruise was in November, and the greenery might have been higher (and we would have liked extra time). In the event you plan to go to Versailles, prepare to go when the fountains are working. You received’t be disillusioned. In any other case, count on crowds and extra gold leaf than you’ve ever seen!

Sadly, we neared the top of our time collectively. The boat moved whereas we have been at Versailles, so the bus returned us to the dock in Paris. Company, now mates, lingered over a beautiful final dinner and ready to journey dwelling.

Disembarkment- Day 8

Viking distributed color-coordinated baggage tags to get everybody’s baggage to the suitable spot. In addition they assigned us to one of many frequent buses or vans leaving for the airport. The workers rechecked our baggage and loaded it into the automobile.

In fact, some passengers selected to remain in Paris, and I needed I’d made that alternative. However off to the airport I went, Viking workers staying with all till we have been within the right airplane check-in line. Au revoir.

I cherish reminiscences of this fabulous cruise with my daughter-in-law and our adventures in France. If you’re contemplating the Viking Seine cruise, go!

Many due to Viking River Cruises for internet hosting this implausible voyage and for his or her help.

Images credit score Debi Lander

  • American Cemetery
  • Bayeux Tapestry
  • Chateau Gaillard
  • Chateau La Roche- Guyon
  • Church Painted By Van Gogh In Auvers-Sur-Oise
  • Entrance Foyer
  • Rouen Cathedral (cowl photograph)
  • Van Gogh Graves
  • Veranda Suite
  • Viking Fjorgyn Docked In Les Andelys
  • Viking-Ships-In-Paris

Ed. Notes: Please see cruises …

7 Night time – Paris & the Coronary heart of Normandy : Paris.. Viking Fjorgyn (

Viking Fjorgyn Cruises (

Viking River (

Viking Ocean (


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