Not that our Bucket List isn’t crammed full, but really – a river cruise anywhere in France seems a “must”. During a recent visit with our French friends, they described several river journeys that sounded pretty heavenly. We do know ourselves well enough to realize the smaller boats would be more appealing.
If you don’t know, the “Bucket List” term was inspired by the movie of the same name. The main stars fashioned a list of things they wanted to do, before they ‘kicked the bucket’…like skydiving, driving a Shelby Mustang and dining at the Chevre d’Or overlooking the Mediterranean.
All things considered, we think a Viking River Cruise through France might be a nice addition. In the so-called “long and short of it”, there is a short cruise from Paris through Normandy and a rather indulgent 15-day excursion that extends that particular cruise to take you to Avignon, Arles and beyond. Naturally that’s not the extent of cruise offerings.
You can go from Paris to Lyon or Zurich or go west to cruise around the Bordeaux wine region on the Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde Rivers. The accolades for the Viking cruises are noteworthy. National Geographic, for one, features Viking in their “The 10 Best of Everything” awards. In 2012, Viking launched six new longships earning significant praise from Cruise Critic Editors. Viking exceeds expectations with state-of-the-art engineering, balcony cabins, suites and expansive, atrium-style common areas. Add more than 175 years of cruise experience and carefully-planned itineraries, and you understand the allure.
So back to our Bucket List addition, we might as well go all out with the combo cruise that runs, in essence, the length of France. Viking combines a Normandy adventure with cruises through the southern regions of Burgundy and Provence and visits to Avignon, Arles and Lyon. Can you imagine a more delightful itinerary? Touches of Monet and Van Gogh. Cuisines of Lyon and Avignon. Cobblestone streets and soaring Gothic architecture. And the magnificent sights of Paris need no description.
I can allow my imagination to take hold, picturing a spacious stateroom, outside – of course – with our own balcony. They have thought of everything – spacious observation lounges and bars with panoramic windows. Wireless internet service, boutique and library.
Talented chefs present a cuisine of fresh, seasonal local vegetables, regional specialties and menus adapted to your tastes. From pleasant and complete breakfast choices to a five-course dinner, we shall be well prepared for active days and pleasant evenings.
Though we tend to strike out on our own and avoid set tours, we believe the Viking experience might be quite worthy of the “Bucket List”.
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