Viking River Cruise from Switzerland to Paris
Planning a cruise from Switzerland to Paris? Today I’m sharing our recent trip: Viking River Cruise from Switzerland to Paris, on the Longship Viking Hild.
Friends, at the end of October and early November last year, Paul and I were able to go on a dream trip to Europe, sponsored by Viking Cruises. We cruised the Rhine and Moselle rivers!
Viking River Cruise from Switzerland to Paris
We went on a river cruise from Switzerland to Paris, and it was absolutely lovely. This was our first river cruise, as the last Viking trip we took was the Viking Homelands Ocean Cruise with my friend RecipeGirl and her husband. [Our traditional picture on the bus, on our way to the boat!]
Cruising along these beautiful rivers …. a dream!
Where does this river cruise take you? We were gone 12 days, with 10 tours, in 4 countries!
This Switzerland to Paris cruise is one of Viking’s most popular itineraries, on their award-winning Viking Longships.
The boat has a streamlined design, with an understated elegance, for the most comfortable river cruise experience available! We loved every minute of it.
Itinerary of Viking River Cruise, from Switzerland to Paris
DAY 1-2: Check in, Renaissance Zurich Tower Hotel; Embark in Basel on Viking Hild Strasbourg, France
DAY 3: Speyer, Germany
DAY 4: Mainz, Germany
DAY 5: Koblenz, Germany
DAY 6: Middle Rhine Scenic Cruising
DAY 7: Cochem, Germany
DAY 8: Bernkastel, Germany
DAY 9: Trier, Germany
DAY 10-12 Disembark in Trier. Check in, Le Meridien Etoile, Paris
From vineyard-flanked slopes and historic cities, to hotel stays in Paris and Zürich, we highly recommend to anyone this 12-day cruise.
On a side note, we now see why Viking is the world’s leader in river cruising!
With this our second time to cruise with Viking, one thing we learned from other passengers about their river and ocean cruising is that passengers are very loyal to Viking, and many have cruised with them for years. We can totally see why.
The boat – Viking Hild
One of the award-winning Viking Longships, The Viking Hild is one of the sleekest river cruise ships in Europe! “Hild” means “Giver of Everlasting Life.” Also known as Hildr, the great and powerful Norse goddess Hild was one of the legendary Valkyries.
For this river cruise you can either start in Switerland and end in Paris, or visa versa. How cool is that? For us, it worked out well to begin our trip in Switzerland, where we stayed two nights at the Renaissance Zurich Tower Hotel.
We cruised through Germany and France, ending in Paris for the last leg of the trip.
We got to the boat, after spending two lovely days in Switzerland, embarking in Basel.
It was nighttime, so the boat was all lit up, and was so cozy when we got on and settled into our room.
We stayed in a Veranda Stateroom. I love how they think of everything, making use of every inch of the room. On the last day, Paul and I had grown to love our small space of coziness, all organized with our clothing and everything we needed.
The room has a bed, two nightstands and the area across from the bed with some drawers for clothes. There is a closet and shelves and a bathroom. You can upgrade to a French balcony stateroom, with a little more room and a sitting area. We aren’t in our room much, so a comfortable bed and good-size bathroom is all we need :)
The veranda was a great spot for morning espresso and room service breakfast, especially when the ship was sailing, or we arrived to port right as the sun was rising. Beautiful!
Or, did I mention breakfast in bed? With your coffee, of course. Paul and I would take turns getting coffee for each other in the mronings.
The bathroom is huge, with a giant shower, excellent water pressure, and plenty of hot water. You can’t even tell you are on a ship!
Each room comes with a box of Lindt chocolates. And, guess what was playing on TV? Every episode of Downton Abbey! What this means is you could literally stay in your room all day long and binge on the Crawley family! HA!
The Viking Daily
Never a dull moment, there is always something to do. Every morning we would read through the Viking Daily, to see what activities we wanted to do that day.
Oh, and just in case, they provide epic red umbrellas, in true Viking Style.
Here’s what’s included in the room:
- Stateroom size: 205 sq ft
- River-view stateroom with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door opening to a full-size veranda
- Hotel-style bed 79 in x 63 in (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows
- Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)
- 40″ flat-screen TV with infotainment system featuring Movies On Demand, plus CNBC, CNN, FOX, National Geographic & more
- 110/220 volt outlets & USB ports
- Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control
- Private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror
- Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers available upon request
- Bottled water replenished daily
- Stateroom steward & twice-daily housekeeping
- Space under bed for storing suitcases
- Roomy wardrobe with wooden hangers
What to do on the boat
First of all, we started our morning with espresso … every single morning. In bed. One of us would go to the coffee area (on the same floor) and grab coffee and pastries. THE BEST!
There are also great places to hang out and chill with a book!
We were so impressed with the cozy sitting and lounging areas on the ship. There are board games and cards, movies and shows, enrichment lectures, port talks, and everything you need to learn more about the countries you are visiting.
We also loved walking the top deck, even in the rain. The fresh air and views were out of this world!
The delicious food on the boat
The food was fantatic. There are two different dinner times, and it’s more fun and casual on a smaller boat. The food selection isn’t quite as large as the ocean cruises, but the food was fantastic.
Beverages: Don’t forget the beverages! Here’s just a few of our favorites! Trying different kinds of beer, an occasional Coke with a burger, and then of course their power juice every morning filled with Vitamin C.
Breakfast: Every morning we’d try something new, from Eggs Benedict to melt-in-your-mouth waffles!
Lunch: You can eat up top, or down in the dining room. We always chose the sunshine!
Dinner: They have main courses that are always on the menu, like Angus Ribeye steak, salmon, and the chef’s favorite roasted chicken (so good).
Remember, everyone eats together on a river cruise. It’s a much smaller boat, with fewer guests, so you can really get to know people. And, did I mention, every night we tried something new? We also tried to sit with new people, too. It didn’t happen all the time, but we did make an effort.
You can also upgrade to the “silver package” if you want to indulge with finer wines and a wider range of cocktails in the lounge.
Depending on the port or country you’re sailing through, the menu always has a “local” dish to try!
When sailing through the vineyards (yes, on this day it was a little chilly), we snuggled up to hot chocolate.
My favorite daily snack? Coffee on the balcony with a couple Madeleine cookies.
Spend time immersed in excursions
This is one thing we loved about a smaller boat, and the river cruise experience: You spend less time on the boat, and more time on land.
That’s right, even though we sailed the Rhine and the Moselle, there was one complimentary excursion at each port.
You can also choose for-fee outings throughout the cruise, which we did a few of. The one that stands out was the Foodie Tour in Strausborg, France.
The excursions were one of our favorite things about this cruise. So much culture and good food.
And the castles? Be still my heart!
And we loved our tour guides! Plus, you travel in a comfy coach with wifi, water, and bathrooms!
In my next posts on Switzerland, Germany, and France, I’ll be sharing how Viking Cruises offers exceptional excursions, and there is something for everyone!
The 50’s Crowd
As mentioned above, my husband and I are in our 50’s, and we really enjoyed the entertainment on the ship. There were a few of us couples in our 50’s, though it always varies, and we met some lovely people that we really enjoyed seeing over and over again.
We loved the lounge with live music, dancing, entertaininent and even games in the evening, or just visiting with friends.
A few nights they brought in local entertainment, according to the town and country we were in.
Travel and Friendships
I think about people that we meet in life, in our travels or in our home town. I love this quote by C.S. Lewis, how friendship is born:
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” – C.S. Lewis
Here are the boat features, as it’s a much smaller boat than the ocean boats:
- 95 comfortable outside staterooms (25 Standard Staterooms, 22 French Balcony Staterooms, 39 Veranda Staterooms, 7 Veranda Suites, 2 Explorer Suites)
- All suites feature two full-size rooms, with a veranda off the living room & a French balcony in the bedroom
- Sun Deck with 360-degree views & shaded sitting area; organic herb garden & solar panels; putting green & walking track
- Aquavit Terrace & Lounge, a revolutionary indoor/outdoor viewing area at the bow of the ship for al fresco dining
- Viking Lounge & Bar with floor-to-ceiling glass doors
- Restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows for panoramic views
- Library & onboard shop
- Elevator from Middle to Upper Deck only; no elevator access for categories E & F
- Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)
- Laundry service
- Ecologically friendly hybrid engines producing fewer vibrations for a smoother ride
- 40″ flat-screen TV with infotainment system, featuring Movies On Demand, plus CNBC, CNN, National Geographic & more
Here’s a peek at where the longships sail:
Did you know you can take a tour of the different boats? Videos, HERE.
Check out all of Viking Cruises River and Ocean Voyages!
I love this, because you can really study the boat ahead of time and see if it works for you!
Next up, be watching for my post of our time in Zurich, Switzerland, then Germany and France! Such great memories! You can read Lori’s post, Viking River Cruises Zurich and the Swiss Alps, if you want a sneak peek.
Friends, please email me any questions. You can follow me on Instagram too, where I have a “highlight” of the trip! Viking is amazing, and I’m so grateful for this opportunity to go on this trip.
Viking sponsored this trip, and as always, all opinions are my own. We look forward to our next Viking cruise! Thanks for following along!