Joie de Vivre – The Joy Of Life
“One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters…but with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you choose. But get drunk.”
– Charles Baudelaire
November 23, 2014
Our first full day aboard Viking River Cruises’ Viking Forseti began on a decidedly relaxing note. Unlike many river cruises that kick into high gear straight away, Viking’s Chateaux, Rivers & Wine itinerary began with a leisurely departure from Bordeaux in the early morning hours, followed by a morning of scenic cruising up to Pauillac, France.
Whenever people ask me why I like river cruising so much, I always point out mornings like this. The first thing I saw when I drew open the curtains of my stateroom was the beautiful grapefruit-pink colour of the sky as the sun tried to peek between the clouds. When I opened the balcony door and took a step out, I could hear dogs barking in the distance and roosters calling out. What you don’t hear on a river cruise – at least, not on a Viking Longship – is the ship itself. Even now, nearly three years after the first Longships were introduced, I am still amazed at how quietly these operate. Rather than being drowned out by a series of exhaust blowers or engine vibrations, all you can here on a Viking Longship is the soft rippling of the water as it passes along the hull.
After showering and dressing, I made my way down to The Restaurant on Deck 1 for breakfast. Once again, nearly every river cruise line offers a tremendous spread of goodies for breakfast, but Viking’s homemade fruit yogurt and fresh-baked breads really do the trick for me. I hear the muesli is pretty darn good, too.
I was onboard Viking Forseti for two short nights back in March as part of Viking’s massive 2014 Christening celebrations that saw 18 ships welcomed into the fleet in a single week, and it’s really nice to see so many familiar faces among the crew. The 2014 river cruise season is quickly drawing to a close; like the year itself, river cruising typically halts in January for a three-month hiatus before resuming in March. The crew of the Viking Forseti surprises me; although the end is in sight, they seem as upbeat and fresh as if the season has only just begun.