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Viking River Cruises leisurely excursion tours

Viking River Cruises leisurely excursion tours

Postby judgegeoff » 07 Apr 2017 13:32

Prior to our recent Viking river cruise along the Rhone Chris and I visited the Viking website, viewed the available excursions and booked those which appealed to us. Many of those we chose were walking tours that involved climbing steps and walking on uneven ground.

Unfortunately, shortly before the cruise Chris developed a very painful left knee (as yet undiagnosed) and we thought that we might have to cancel some of our booked tours. However, when we actually got onto the ship, the "Viking Heindal", we found that the ship were offering a 'leisurely group' version of all their walking tours. These groups would have their own guide who would ensure that the tour was not too strenuous, whilst still visiting the majority of sites.

A typical tour was in Avignon which included a visit to the Palace of the Popes and involved over 100 steps inside the building. Our leisurely group visited the impressive outside of the Palace only, but that gave us time to see other things with our guide that the other group did not see. Both groups used the same coach for travel to and from the sites.

We were not aware of these leisurely group tours until we were actually on the ship, but considered them to be an excellent idea. Over lunch a couple who had completed several cruises with Viking advised us that these tours had been available on all the cruises that they had done.

I thought that I would share this with the forum members, but would urge them to check with Viking before they book a cruise that relies on these leisurely tours for their enjoyment.
Geoff

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Viking River Cruises leisurely excursion tours

Postby bobbyoscar » 07 Apr 2017 14:41

Geoff, this sounds very much like the 'Easy' excursions (wheelchair accessible) which we have booked with Celebrity for our forthcoming Baltic cruise.
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Re: Viking River Cruises leisurely excursion tours

Postby khkate » 07 Apr 2017 18:19

These sound an excellent idea and glad that you were still able to enjoy the sights. An excellent idea too, to have this type of excursion, but what a shame it is not more widely publicised.
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Viking River Cruises leisurely excursion tours

Postby grannyM » 08 Apr 2017 10:56

It's always disappointing when you have booked something that you later think is not going to be possible to do. Glad you were both able to enjoy more leisurely excursions Geoff & Chris. :)
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Viking River Cruises leisurely excursion tours

Postby judgegeoff » 08 Apr 2017 15:11

We were delighted with this unexpected excursion group. I really do think that had we gone on the other (advertised) excursions Chris would have tried to keep up with the pace of the other members of the group, which would have been very painful and tiring for her. We had, before we left home, decided that we would probably have to cancel some excursions, depending on how her knee stood up to pace. In the event, having signed up to the 'Leisurely Group' for each excursion, we were able to complete all the excursions that we had planned. The guides were excellent and were clearly used to guiding people with reduced mobility - they altered routes so that we avoided steps in many places and we used elevators where these were available. At no point did anybody feel that they were holding everybody up. We did miss a few sights (like the interior of the Popes Palace with its 120+ steps) but we did see alternative sights that the other excursions missed.

I thought that I would highlight it on the forum as I know some of our members have mobility issues, although it would be prudent to confirm that Viking have this facility on the cruise that they are considering.
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