Viking Rinda

The Viking Rinda. For scale, notice the railroad tracks and family on land in the foreground.

On November 2 we said au revoir to the Viking Rinda and her crew, thankful for the vacation in France along the Seine River from Paris to the heart of Normandy. My spouse Pete and I were among the repeat customers of Viking River Cruises, and this trip confirmed the reasons we are attracted to this brand of water travel. I chose this cruise for this specific ship and its itinerary. Here’s why.

The Viking Rinda is new and pretty, a small ship, yet the maximum size to fit under bridges and into locks. The bow has been squared off to allow more outdoor seating. Designed and built in Germany, it is very tastefully decorated with attention to details and passenger comfort.

We unpacked and packed once during our entire trip. Someone else drove while we admired the autumn scenery on the shore.

One of the scenes through the wide cabin (vs. stateroom) porthole on the bottom passenger deck.

One of the scenes through our wide cabin (vs. stateroom) porthole on the bottom passenger deck.

From time to time the boat docked (usually at a town established long ago, for the first settlements of people were along rivers), and we went on an excursion on foot or by bus with an interpretive guide to learn about the place, explored on our own, or stayed on board to enjoy life.

Red-carpet service, ship to shore

Our interpretive guide leads our group with her lollipop toward the golden gates of Versailles.

Our interpretive guide leads our group with her lollipop toward the golden gates of Versailles.

For us the highlights were Paris and Normandy, of course, and the stop at Vernon to see Giverny and the gardens of Claude Monet. New experiences all.

With approximately 180 passengers, the on-board experience was friendly. We were not as alone as when we traveled independently, nor did I feel we were invisible as was the tendency on an ocean liner with 3,000 folks. Viking’s on-board hospitality crew (hotel accommodations, food and beverage, and amenities), ship’s crew (running the boat), and tour personnel (land excursions) were first class and personal.

Passengers are together in the dining room, and frequently we could take our meals in the lounge where there was buffet service and lighter fare.

Tables are not assigned in the dining room. This is where we met interesting people and could have lively conversations, if we chose.

Tables are not assigned in the dining room. This is where we met interesting people and could have lively conversations, if we chose.

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Blue, silver, and white touches

Table centerpiece of rosemary. The chef had an herb garden on the sun deck, too.

Table centerpiece of rosemary. The chef had an herb garden on the sun deck, too.

Modern French cuisine. For example, this is escargot in (a puff pastry) shell.

Modern French cuisine. For example, this is escargot in (a puff pastry) shell.

Delicious

Delicious

Appetizers and desserts

Appetizers and desserts

Scallop

Scallop

Chocolate mousse plus

Chocolate mousse plus

Tending the bar

All in all, we had a great time! I hope you enjoyed my sharing of this trip to France. Please scroll down to see previous posts. Merçi and I’ll see you back at Rebekah’s Studio. There is where I will post more photos of Monet’s gardens; I promise! Au revoir and aloha! ~ Popo

Swans and ducks greet us

Swans and ducks greet us

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