1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a beautiful trip up the Rhone river from Avignon to Lyon, France. First, the flight from the USA to France. If possible upgrade your seats and connections. We upgraded our seats to United’s economy plus, which was fairly ... Read More
This was a beautiful trip up the Rhone river from Avignon to Lyon, France. First, the flight from the USA to France. If possible upgrade your seats and connections. We upgraded our seats to United’s economy plus, which was fairly comfortable. Wish we had upgraded our connections for a more direct flight both ways. Learned in Brussels that the common practice in Europe seemed to be to post the next connection about twenty minutes prior to the plane door closing. Once in Marseille we were met at baggage claim by Viking staff, and shepherded to the bus for the forty minute ride to the riverboat. Unless you’re a very experienced European traveler, use the Viking transfer service at both ends of your cruise. Another suggestion, especially at the start of your trip, do the trip extension to help with the jet lag. Viking river does not post departure times or arrival times on their website as other ocean cruise lines do. I suspect they must stay as flexible as the rivers are. Check your daily planner each night for the next days timing for everything. For our stop in Arles we moored in Tarascon, and were bussed a half hour south. The light is amazingly special there. No wonder van Gogh painted there. The Roman amphitheater was amazing. Got back to the riverboat in time for lunch. The garlic soup was wonderful! All the food was top notch cruise quality. Each day Chef Alex had a regional recommendation, using local ingredients, and herbs grown on the top deck! One of my standards is a smoked salmon benedict. So good I had it twice. As with most cruise ships, they offered some standards available every day. They even made a hotdog for my wife that looked awesome. On Friday for Lent, They made us her favorite, a peanut butter, lettuce, and mayo sandwich. I was glad we had the first day in Avignon to rest from the trip over the ocean. When we returned Tuesday, we had the first of many long walks in our ports. Spoiler alert, the palace of the popes was neat to see, but had most statuary and church decor removed. Don’t be too concerned about the 200 step warning as there are plenty of stops on the walk to rest. Back for a late lunch, including another standard of mine, bouillabaisse, and it was great. We wanted to walk out onto the Pont d’Avignon bridge, just north of our mooring. Not easy to do. When you get close, you need to go through the city wall, and follow the signs to the left. You’ll see the ticket office eventually. It costs four euros to get in, after a wand search. Yes it is worth it. You’ll see a chapel and have a unique view of your riverboat. My favorite food of the cruise, crepes suzette. It doesn’t get more french, or delicious than chef Alex’s version. Our next stop, Viviers, was the most classic town we visited. It rained hard at times, but was still neat. At the tour end we stayed in town and visited the pottery shop. The couple that owns the shop signs their art before firing it. My wife’s bowl made it home , my cup is being glued. Each evening we were well entertained in the lounge by a great piano player. Big note here, every town had cobblestone streets, as I learned shortly into our first walk in Arles. Be sure to watch your step so you don’t twist your ankle! The included tour in Tournon was a steam train ride that was fun. As we got further north on our trip the weather got cooler. We were ready with layers. The next day we spent most of doing scenic cruising, which we enjoyed. We made an unscheduled stop due to a fallen tree, and arrived late in Vienne. Our next two days we spent in Lyon. The included tour on Friday was a great bus tour of the city with a stop at the Basilica of Notre Dame. (there are several Notre dame cathedrals in France). Our last day was one of our highlights, with a trip to the countryside to visit a Beaujolais vineyard. Wine was great, but the dog stole the show! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We, husband (75) and wife (62), have completed three Viking River cruises; Bordeaux (16), Rhine (17) and lastly Rhone (18). Our latest Viking cruise was up the Rhone River in France, from Avignon to Lyon, 28 October - December 4, 2018. ... Read More
We, husband (75) and wife (62), have completed three Viking River cruises; Bordeaux (16), Rhine (17) and lastly Rhone (18). Our latest Viking cruise was up the Rhone River in France, from Avignon to Lyon, 28 October - December 4, 2018. Our ship was the Buri, and as far as we could tell, it was virtually identical to our previous ships, the Forseti and the Hlin; all relatively new, extremely nice ships. In 2016 and again this year, we had one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest, cabins on the lowest level, with the small, elevated windows because the cabins were half-underwater. Last year we had a cabin on the top deck with a balcony, but since we almost did not use the balcony, and primarily only used our cabin for sleeping, we think our Category E, 150 square feet cabin was sufficient. Our cabin number was #150, the most forward of the cabins. This was an advantage, since it was close to the dining room and lounge, and everything else, and we did not have to walk down a long hall to get to our cabin. Unless we get some super deal on a "better" cabin in the future, I will book a Standard cabin as far forward as possible. We extended three days in Dijon; a wonderful city. Last year we did a pre-extension in Amsterdam. The year before in Bordeaux, we did not extend; and we regretted it. I highly recommend one extends (always three days I think) pre or post cruise, if not both. Why not extend to enjoy some interesting city/town once you have flown all the way to your destination, and then take a relatively short seven-day cruise? If at the end of a cruise, you will otherwise be rushed off the ship to a bus after arriving, and will be directly transferred to the airport for your flight home without giving you the chance of visiting your departure port. At the initial departure port, you will usually have the opportunity to see something of your departure city. Adding a pre or post extension adds three days to your seven-day cruise, so your vacation will last at least ten days if not 13 days for both. Another suggestion is to sign up for at least one, if not two, excursions every day. Viking usually offers included (aka free) walking tours at every docking site. We usually take these excursions except when they conflict with a more interesting Optional (aka expensive) excursion. Yes, the Optional tours can be expensive, but they are usually great experiences. Not once have we regretted paying for Optional tours. In fact, our best memories, and most spoken experiences to others have been these Optional excursions. Most of the Optional excursions include nice bus rides in very nice buses to get you to desired sites. On our last trip, they always had a "Leisure" walking group, among the 2-3 total groups for the Included excursion, which I took because of my age/arthritis. My younger, healthier wife always went with the other walking groups that walked faster, and climbed more stairs. We still had breakfast and lunch together; it just meant that for two hours we were separated in different walking groups. We really enjoyed all the towns/cities we visited. My favorite was the very pretty, interesting, completely walled medieval city of Perouges. We also liked Avignon, Lyon and especially Dijon, and actually all points between. On the negative side, I would suggest not going in late October as we did, even though the cruise/cabins are cheaper at that time (that is why we did it). It rained at least half the time, but was not too cold. The ship has enough large umbrellas for all. We took umbrellas with us on the bus, as well as our walking tours, and if not needed simply left them on the bus when we were out of the bus. To add to the sometimes bad or marginal weather, there is the famous "Mistral" wind. Look it up on the internet. In southern France, it blows 120-160 days a year, from 54 mph to 90 mph, averaging 65 mph. I can attest that it can be a challenge walking in the rain when the Mistral is blowing. However, we survived, and were not significantly bummed-out by the weather during our trip. Some passengers sometimes stayed on-board rather than brave the bad weather, but they missed a lot. In conclusion, we once-again enjoyed our cruise + extension, and hope to book another cruise in 2019, this time on Portugal's Douro River with extension in Lisbon or possibly Spain if we can find a real sale (it always 2 for 1, so that is not a sale) price that includes free air from the West Coast. If you have not already figured it out, probably every other River cruise company is cheaper, and many have very high ratings. We will wait a couple of months for Viking to offer a good deal on the internet on a Portugal cruise, and if not forthcoming, will start investigating with Tauck, AmaWaterways, Crystal, Uniworld, and Scenic River Cruises as well as Overseas Adventure Travel and Grand Circle travel. These all provide quality River cruises, and likely at more reasonable prices than Viking. I really like Viking so I just hope I can find a Portugal trip that I can afford. There is only thing about Viking that I do not like. It is their automated flight scheduling computer program. When you book with Viking, and get the discounted or free flights, unless you pay $100 extra for each passenger for Viking's Air Plus, their computer will do all the scheduling, and it could be horrible! This is what happened to us this year. As I have written, we paid for the three-day Dijon extension. This required a two-hour bus/car transfer from Lyon to Dijon and then three days later back to Lyon where the airport is. Their computer system booked us on an early morning flight out of Lyon, so in order to make that flight; we would have had to get up in the middle of the night (actually very early morning!) in our Dijon hotel to take a bus/car to Lyon airport in time to make our flight. This was ridiculous. We paid for a three-night extension in Dijon, not a 2-1/2 night extension. I complained loudly, received no relief, paid the $200 for the Air Plus, got my flight schedules revised to be reasonable, wrote some negative reviews on line, and ended up with Viking reimbursing me for the Air Plus charges; thank you Viking. There were 14 of us from the cruise that booked the Dijon extension. Everyone but us had the same or similar problem, but had not complained and got it corrected. Therefore, 12 of them had to leave our nice Dijon 5-star hotel in the middle of the night to get to Lyon in time for their flights. I will definitely gladly pay the $100/passenger for Air Plus next time to either initially get a reasonable schedule, or perhaps only pay if they screw it up again. I guess I know what to expect now; and so should you. Well, I hope you have a good cruise. I hope Viking will allow us to make a fourth cruise with them, next year to Portugal. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We wanted to see the south of France. It was amazing and beautiful. We were very surprised by the amount of Roman ruins. We loved seeing those structures. The Aqueduct was huge and so well preserved. I had no idea that silk was made in ... Read More
We wanted to see the south of France. It was amazing and beautiful. We were very surprised by the amount of Roman ruins. We loved seeing those structures. The Aqueduct was huge and so well preserved. I had no idea that silk was made in France for many years. That is something we learned on the cruise. Each time we travel with Viking we learn so much. The guides on each tour really know a lot and pass it along well. Of course we always amazed at the good food we get on the cruise. We enjoy exploring the world through Viking. I came home a lot smarter about France than before I left. The bonus of the trip was extending our stay in Nice through Viking. It has to be the most beautiful city I have ever visited. It was the first time we had extended through Viking, but it won't be our last. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We had taken a Viking River Cruise on the Rhone River last year, and we thoroughly enjoyed that river cruise. Service on this Viking Rhone River Cruise in France (Avignon to Lyon) was excellent. The staff members we encountered were ... Read More
We had taken a Viking River Cruise on the Rhone River last year, and we thoroughly enjoyed that river cruise. Service on this Viking Rhone River Cruise in France (Avignon to Lyon) was excellent. The staff members we encountered were always cheerful, courteous and helpful. Our room was kept neat and clean. The lobby and other common areas were always in tip-tip shape. Shore excursions were well planned, and were led by knowledgeable guides. The shore excursion venues that were selected by Viking were thoughtfully chosen. We would had like to have had some additional 'free time' during our trip to explore on our own. Meals on board were always excellent! The preparation and presentation were top notch! Evening entertainment was good. We traveled with my brother and sister-in law, but we also met many interesting people on the boat. The scenery was beautiful. We highly recommend this river cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
A wonderful itinerary through beautiful Provence, highlighting both well-known and not-so-well known spots along the Rhône. Activities director Feliz amazing and the entire crew so welcoming and professional. Food, excursions, and ... Read More
A wonderful itinerary through beautiful Provence, highlighting both well-known and not-so-well known spots along the Rhône. Activities director Feliz amazing and the entire crew so welcoming and professional. Food, excursions, and on-board events all excellent and fun. We loved the ship’s atmosphere which always felt relaxing yet energized and focused on providing us with the finest river cruise experience possible. Excursions were always well-explained the evening before and meticulously organized to be on-time and give us the promised experience. Tour guides on the whole were expert and spoke fluent English. Dining on the ship was such a pleasure and so delicious! Evening dining was always fabulous. It is such a treat to be graciously served a wonderful meal in courses ( plenty of menu choices available). I can’t say enough about the dining room staff— they were amazing! Actually, all the staff and crew were great: they worked hard but made it feel as though they enjoyed helping you! The outdoor dining area on the ship was really nice for lunch and continental breakfast. Nothing like a great coffee and breakfast pastry while sailing serenely past the lovely wine country of Provence, sunlight and shadow on the ancient hills. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Exceeded all my expectations of a river cruise. Very relaxing and educational trip. This being my first river cruise, I felt spoiled the overall experience of the laid-back atmosphere and all that it included. Food and wine ... Read More
Exceeded all my expectations of a river cruise. Very relaxing and educational trip. This being my first river cruise, I felt spoiled the overall experience of the laid-back atmosphere and all that it included. Food and wine selections were over the top and the service was excellent. Every port of call was interesting and we were able to spend time without rushing to see everything and still have time for leisure. The tour guides were very knowledgeable at each location without being boring. Everyone seemed to see to our every need and sometimes without asking. Very attentive staff. I really liked the open seating in the dining room and was able to meet some very interesting people. This way of travel was so relaxing that it spoiled me of the mega liners I have been on before with all the thousands of people. I will certainly look forward to another river cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this particular cruise for the time of year (less crowds), climate conditions (temperatures) at that time of year, the historical aspects of the region, as well as the availability of cabins on board. With respect to these reasons ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise for the time of year (less crowds), climate conditions (temperatures) at that time of year, the historical aspects of the region, as well as the availability of cabins on board. With respect to these reasons everything turned out to be above our expectations. Our cabin was comfortable, spotless and cabin service five star! The entire ship from topside viewing, bow lounge area, dining areas was comfortable and accommodating and made relaxation a great experience. On board entertainment was enjoyed by all and made additional time to meet and interact with fellow passengers from all over and to share experiences - great time! Dining at tables of six to eight created an opportunity to again meet new people and share experiences - we met some fantastic fellow passengers. we partook of several shore excursions every day and they were extremely interesting and informative - not to be missed are the city of Avignon and the points of interest on the tour, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, winery tours, city of Arles, L'Ardeche and its Vallon-Pont-d'Arc, city of Vienne and many other towns. This is an area well worth returning to - a river cruise is definitely the way to go! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
First, we tried to take advantage of their low airfares. However, they charged us extra to come in early and stay later since we didn’t want to use their overpriced extensions. Also, their travel group was Very difficult to deal with. ... Read More
First, we tried to take advantage of their low airfares. However, they charged us extra to come in early and stay later since we didn’t want to use their overpriced extensions. Also, their travel group was Very difficult to deal with. The good: The staff was, by far, the highlight of the trip. They are extremely well trained, friendly and quick to help. The French balcony room was very well designed and made excellent use of space. We liked the bed and the design of the shower. The bad: The “included tours” were too large (38-42 people). In hindsight, we would have preferred no included tours, at a lower price and booked our own. In addition, some tours were not that great, even with if it had been a small group. Viviers, in particular, was a sad little forgotten town with not much to see. You had to pay a premium to get a smaller group. One such “optional” tour was 120 euros per person and the group size was 22 people. The food was so so. We expected excellent food and got mediocre. The pre-cruise information talked of three venues, but in reality, there were two with basically the same menu. Tandem docking, ships docked side by side, was the norm at each port, taking away the view from our French balcony on a regular basis. There were only four ports on an 8 day cruise and very little daytime cruising. The sundeck was closed 90% of the cruise. The overall experience: We paid a premium to take a Viking river cruise and didn’t receive a premium experience. How anyone can give this cruis 5 stars is absurd. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
For my sister's 65th birthday, we decided to cruise southern France with Viking. She & her husband started with the pre-cruise stay in Nice (which they loved), and my cousin and I joined them on the ship at Avignon for the cruise ... Read More
For my sister's 65th birthday, we decided to cruise southern France with Viking. She & her husband started with the pre-cruise stay in Nice (which they loved), and my cousin and I joined them on the ship at Avignon for the cruise to Lyon. I have been on several river and a couple of ocean cruises with Viking, so it was no surprise that the week was delightful. The staff catered to us & made us happy every day. The cruise director was personable & perky; it was always a joy to have her company. This was southern France, so I wasn't sure if the food could live up to expectations, but no problem pleasing us & reminding us that we were in France. The young chef did not disappoint. Good food, good cheese, good wine. Happiness. Three excursions exceeded my expectations: Flavors of Provence in Avignon, the included tour in Lyon with Christian, and the all day Lyon tour Truffles and Beaujolais. In Avignon, Maison de Fogasses with Chef Luigi Baptiste was the best of the best! I think he enjoyed us as much as we enjoyed him & his lunch! Christian took us into "secret" passageways & shared his Lyon. And the truffle dog Chinook was as delightful as the truffle inspired dishes served to us on the truffle farm! No disappointment on this trip; the only problem is that I want to repeat the experience. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We had visited Provence before and thought this would be a different slant as well as introducing us to some new places. We were not disappointed with the itinerary and the peaceful way of viewing the countryside along the Rhone . We were ... Read More
We had visited Provence before and thought this would be a different slant as well as introducing us to some new places. We were not disappointed with the itinerary and the peaceful way of viewing the countryside along the Rhone . We were impressed with the guides; their knowledge and personalities and the variety of excursions offered. Cannot say enough about the professionalism of the Buri crew, they were so willing and helpful and clearly wanted one to have the best experience. The dining experience was first class and we appreciated the options available to us. As this was our first river cruise we were curious as to how spacious we would find the stateroom. We were very pleasantly surprised at the amount of storage and level of comfort and loved having a veranda! While on the cruise, we learned of the death of my mother and the staff could not have been more helpful about arranging a later flight home to the US in order for us to attend the funeral in London. We cannot say enough times how much we appreciated how Viking handled this, truly a first class operation. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We had never been to France and this was a special trip. Our 40th Anniversary. Viking was the right choice in every respect. We added two extensions, both through Viking. The French Riviera (Nice, Monaco, Cannes & Paris as a Grand ... Read More
We had never been to France and this was a special trip. Our 40th Anniversary. Viking was the right choice in every respect. We added two extensions, both through Viking. The French Riviera (Nice, Monaco, Cannes & Paris as a Grand Finale). Accommodations, Hosting, Dining and Transportation were outstanding. The ship was well appointed and modern. The staff extremely courteous and professional in every respect. The river, villages and sites were pristine, historical and stunning. If you choose to go out on your own and explore, you can do so and the staff will offer pointers. If you choose to remain in a your group and gain insight from the host tour director then that is also a fine way to enjoy the history and various sites. The option is entirely yours. From meeting you at the airport to recommending fine dining on shore, the list is endless of the assistance that Viking offers each passenger. We will most definitely be traveling with Viking again in the future and highly recommend to the traveler wishing to encorporate quality, comfort, convenience, information, fine dining, luxury and value. Viking, in our opinion is simply one of the very best if not the very best all around cruise experiences in the industry. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
All in all, this was a wonderful cruise. We were impressed especially with the superlative service from the crew members. They all seemed to love their jobs and were pleased to offer extra help — even to the point of sewing up a tear in ... Read More
All in all, this was a wonderful cruise. We were impressed especially with the superlative service from the crew members. They all seemed to love their jobs and were pleased to offer extra help — even to the point of sewing up a tear in a hat! The accommodations were fine with amenities we didn't expect, like Champagne in the room when we arrived and free laundry service. (Unbeknownst to us, this was part of the package we booked. Not available for all bookings.) The food was very good and the choices were broad, altho we were hoping that more of it was local. For example, the lamb was from New Zealand, not France. There were numerous side trips offered, some included in the price, others optional at an extra cost. As a wine lover, I particularly enjoyed the trip up the hill of Hermitage, where I could see and walk thru these noble vines. At the end of the walk we visited the Cave de Tain l'Hermitage, a coop that produces much of the wine from the winegrowers of the area. One of the great enjoyments was meeting fellow food and wine lovers onboard from other parts of the U.S. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Viking Buri, 2018 Avignon to Lyon We wanted a short river cruise in France (8 days). This was a perfect start to our vacation. It provided us a time to enjoy southern France while being able to unwind from our at home activities. ... Read More
Viking Buri, 2018 Avignon to Lyon We wanted a short river cruise in France (8 days). This was a perfect start to our vacation. It provided us a time to enjoy southern France while being able to unwind from our at home activities. After the cruise we were refreshed and ready for our time in Paris. The staff on the ship was extremely attentive. We enjoyed the personal service. Our cabin steward knew exactly what our preferences were and prepared our cabin accordingly. The towns, shore excursions and meeting great people created a special experience. The shore excursions, included and optional, provided us the opportunity to learn and enjoy the towns we visited. The guides on both types of excursions were exceptional in their knowledge of the areas we toured. Viking is excellent at meeting passengers at the airports and transporting them to their hotel/ship. Also, when we flew to Paris from Lyon the Viking representative stayed with us through the whole check-in process at the Lyon airport. Those "touches" help made our start and finish to the trip was "icing on the cake." Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
Loved the ship and always love the included walking tours. You really see and learn a lot that way. As soon as you get to the boat the crew is on hand to help check you in and make sure you really feel welcomed and are ready for the ... Read More
Loved the ship and always love the included walking tours. You really see and learn a lot that way. As soon as you get to the boat the crew is on hand to help check you in and make sure you really feel welcomed and are ready for the adventure. I wouldn't advise taking children as there seems to be a more mature group of people on these cruises. They are all ready to have fun though and are very inclusive if younger people do happen to be on board. The food is always good and plentiful and wine is always included with lunch and dinner at no cost if that is an issue. Overall really love Viking and have been on 2 cruises but may be looking at the Viking Ocean cruises next. We shall see as there are still many river cruises that are on our wish list so...either way, I'm sure it will be just as fine. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
My husband and I chose this trip for my birthday because I wanted to return to France after having gone on the Viking Paris & the Heart of Normandy cruise 4 years ago. (And before that, I wasn't particularly interested in France, ... Read More
My husband and I chose this trip for my birthday because I wanted to return to France after having gone on the Viking Paris & the Heart of Normandy cruise 4 years ago. (And before that, I wasn't particularly interested in France, but some friends had asked then, so we said yes.) After 2 previous cruises with Viking, there was no doubt that they were going to be part of the 2017 celebration. In spite of world events the day of our arrival (knife attack in the Marseilles train station shortly before we arrived at the Marseilles airport), our transfer guide was there to greet us and get us to the ship as scheduled. Once we arrived, our luggage was transferred to our room, for us and we headed to the lounge and deck to meet some of our fellow travelers. It was great to unwind after the trip-before-the-vacation. As usual, everything met our expectations from the start. After that first evening, I think we joined in all but one of the included tours and added a couple of extra tours that particularly appealed to us. Every single guide that we had was fabulous, from the singing Camille in the Avignon Pope's Palace to the great story-teller Frances in Viviers to Christian in Lyon (who very poetically explained that 'it's French; it's complicated'). It says a lot when I'm writing this 3 months later and I still remember the guide's names and personalities! While the rooms on the ship are small, they are arranged well, have everything we needed including space for everything (with a small fridge to keep some water in). And honestly, we really didn't spend much more time than sleeping, showering and changing in it. Even when we weren't on an excursion, we enjoyed the sundeck and the lounge area. It was great to come back to the room one day and find the maid had included our small, stuffed cow traveling companion with some hand towel animals on the bed. I also used the laundry service on this trip--nowhere near as expensive as I expected and the clothes were done perfectly. Okay, about the food--sensational and enough variety for anyone. I tend not to be too adventurous when it comes to food, but I tried a lot of new things on this ship and was hugely happy that I did. Chef Josef and his work are incredible. We were also impressed with the entire staff on the ship. Everyone was incredibly cordial and sometimes quite humorous (Manuel!) After the first or second day, many of the main staff knew a lot of people by name, what your drink preference might be, and what you might be interested in. The evenings offered a variety of entertainment but wasn't so loud and distracting that we couldn't sit in a corner in the lounge with some friends and have a quiet conversation. We love the Viking ships because they're large enough to have something for everyone and small enough that you get to actually get to know (not merely meet) some new people. We're still friends with people we met on our first Viking trip 5 years ago. I would love to go on this cruise again or any other Viking cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Everything was performed with CH precision! Ship was immaculate and tours excellent throughout. Everything was flawless!! Food-excellent and ample. Viking post add-on to Paris performed perfectly. Airport transfers executed without ... Read More
Everything was performed with CH precision! Ship was immaculate and tours excellent throughout. Everything was flawless!! Food-excellent and ample. Viking post add-on to Paris performed perfectly. Airport transfers executed without problems. We enjoyed the lounge aboard ship and spent a good deal of time relaxing there. Viviers was a surprise and gave us a good appreciation of what it must have been like to live in France during the middle ages. We felt that we finally got to know Lyon and had enough free time there to fully explore the area. The only negative was the air transportation. We went comfort class but were disappointed in the stateside portion of the flight. We would have preferred a more direct flight. I was told (after the fact) that we could have worked with Viking to improve the flight selection. We will try doing that next time AND THERE WILL MOST DEFINATELY BE A NEXT TIME!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Dear friends asked if we'd like to join them on a Viking River Cruise. We had not been to Europe before and thought if ever now would be a great time with our friends who travel extensively. We were very pleased with Viking Buri ... Read More
Dear friends asked if we'd like to join them on a Viking River Cruise. We had not been to Europe before and thought if ever now would be a great time with our friends who travel extensively. We were very pleased with Viking Buri shipand crew. They made us feel lke honored guest. The cabin we chose was a French Balcony with sliding door to the outside I would recommed this type room, they are small and the slider gives you the open feeling and you can get fresh air. If you are heading North I would suggets the Starboard side rooms as they face rive river when docked. The dinning was fobulous great selections and well served. Wine, beer and soft drinks included with your meals. The overall service was terrific fromthe cabin attendents to the lounge, dinning room and front desk. The tours were very good, we recommend the Pont Du Guard trip to see this Roman Aquiduct over 2000 years old and still standing! Avignon and Lyon where our favorinte ports easy to walk around and very friendly atmosphere. I recommend at least trying to speak some French like bonjour and merci it goes a long way just trying is appreciated by the locals. Just a heads up, you must move your luggage from the buses to and thru the airports which are quite large, be sure you have rolling bags! Viking is a class act I can not imagine any other line doing as well. WQe will do another river cruise in the future with them. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We had a terrible experience on our Viking River Cruise in Southern France. We were alerted about 1 week in advance that our 7 night river cruise would be reduced to 5 nights because the Viking Buri ship needed scheduled maintenance. We ... Read More
We had a terrible experience on our Viking River Cruise in Southern France. We were alerted about 1 week in advance that our 7 night river cruise would be reduced to 5 nights because the Viking Buri ship needed scheduled maintenance. We would be moved to a Sofitel Hotel in Lyon France for the last 2 nights of the cruise. As retribution, Viking gave us a voucher for $250 per person to use on a future cruise. This in itself was a major inconvenience. We take cruises for the simple reason of not having to pack and repack our belongings, while moving from city-to-city. This cruise was all inclusive including meals. So we paid for these meals. While on the ship, Viking provided several meal and drink choices. While at the Sofitel Hotel, Viking included breakfast, lunch and dinner. The problem was that the two dinner meals were terrible. The first night, the only offering on the menu was veal. We cannot eat veal. Viking refused to provide any other meal choices. So we went to a restaurant at our own expense. The second night, the only dinner offering on the menu was lamb. We cannot eat lamb either. So, again we went to a restaurant at our own expense. On the second night, people were totally disgusted. At least 60 out of 180 people followed suit and went to restaurants. Viking refused to reimburse us for our restaurant expenses. A voucher for $250 per person is an embarrassment. We asked that Viking increase their voucher of $250 per person to cover our inconveniences and additional dinner expenses. They refused. The bottom line is that unless Viking compensates us for this our inconveniences and additional expenses, we are cancelling our Viking Southern Mediterranean Ocean Cruise that is already booked and paid for next year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
We have been planning to go to the South of a France for a long time. We were very disappointed with the trip in general. We spent over $6,000.00 for a trip that was underwhelming and at times quite unpleasant. Our cabin consistently ... Read More
We have been planning to go to the South of a France for a long time. We were very disappointed with the trip in general. We spent over $6,000.00 for a trip that was underwhelming and at times quite unpleasant. Our cabin consistently smelled of raw sewage, even with the staff cleaning it daily. The smell was consistent and very hard to tolerate. We visited the lounge to escape the smell, but very difficult for the 8 days. The food was disappointing in general. The meals were a great disappoint for us as well. The welcome lunch featured tuna salad on pita bread and pasta seemed to be the theme of the entire trip.The snack area consisted of two types of cookies everyday, every time. The French themed lunch was fantastic! That was what we expected. We were exhausted from traveling the first day and fell asleep in our cabin. We were late to dinner and was scolded and told we could only have the soup, lamb and desert, because we were late. Very embarrasing...other people heard the conversation. This was our second riverboat cruise and our first was fantastic!! This past trip was a huge disappointment for us. It was not special. It seemed like business as usual instead of understanding that people have waited for a long time to have this experience. We went home very sad, underwhelmed and extremely disappointed. Stephanie and a Doug Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
The cruise was all well done with attention to detail. The ship and cabins were clean and well kept. Rooms were done quickly and efficiently. In fact they were done twice daily with a turn down service every night. Smiling and inviting ... Read More
The cruise was all well done with attention to detail. The ship and cabins were clean and well kept. Rooms were done quickly and efficiently. In fact they were done twice daily with a turn down service every night. Smiling and inviting service was there all the way through the cruise. The entertainment was well done and interactive with some real fun on board with the crew getting in on the fun. We really enjoyed the different towns we stopped in. It was so nice to wake up and open the curtains in places like Tournon, which was just beautiful and we had a great tour of this delightful city. Having the boat in the harbour makes for some real flexibility as you could come and go for lunch and you did not have to commit for a whole day on a bus for the majority of tours as they are right off the boat. The shore excursions were varied, interesting and informative. From great city tours, to wine tastings and truffle hunting, we enjoyed them all. The great service by the Viking crew during cruise was truly appreciated. We can't wait for our next journey! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
We have done a few Viking trips and quite frankly we are working our way through every itinerary. We find Viking are one, no sorry, the best experience you can buy. Their choice of staff is superlative, unfailingly friendly, efficient and ... Read More
We have done a few Viking trips and quite frankly we are working our way through every itinerary. We find Viking are one, no sorry, the best experience you can buy. Their choice of staff is superlative, unfailingly friendly, efficient and proud of the job they do. They also have the knack of having wonderful memories, what you like dislike etc. The trips ashore are very well organised, you never feel as if you are left behind or alone, they have done it dozens of times before and it shows. Food is interesting, plentiful and varied, trying to let you see the different specialities. Wine at meals, thou unfortunately I have to skip lunch!!! Is fine. They have no trouble in refilling your glass. Then you go home with your favourite airline/ not ++ Lyon airport was a nightmare, thou that is not Vikings fault, is a disaster disaster. Many many thanks to Viking, they actually upgraded out cabin and it was wonderful, they MADE out holiday. Thanks. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
Had a good river cruise previously. this one was even better. We spent 5 weeks in France and the cruise was planned for the middle of our travels. We met another couple from our home city (Santa Barbara, CA) for the cruise which added to ... Read More
Had a good river cruise previously. this one was even better. We spent 5 weeks in France and the cruise was planned for the middle of our travels. We met another couple from our home city (Santa Barbara, CA) for the cruise which added to our enjoyment. The food menu complimented the areas of France we visited and all was excellent. The crew offered friendly consistent excellent service treated us as friends, not just patrons. The on-shore excursions we're generally good although a bit slower pace than we would otherwise like but that was acceptable owing to the variety of travelers. We consciously sat with and met a variety of other travelers who were previous strangers to us. Some of these have become friends who we will continue to communicate with. We did not meet anyone who wasn't friendly & welcoming. We look forward to another Viking cruise and essentially "bet on it" by purchasing discounted vouchers. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
My plan for this year is to take a river boat cruise on AMA, Uniworld and Viking. Decide which I like best for planning future river trips. Loved AMA all around and of course the Prague to Budapest Danube tour is exciting with lots of ... Read More
My plan for this year is to take a river boat cruise on AMA, Uniworld and Viking. Decide which I like best for planning future river trips. Loved AMA all around and of course the Prague to Budapest Danube tour is exciting with lots of great ports. Uniworld is scheduled for the Fall doing the Mekong River. Will not travel on Viking again. We travel on the Viking Buri on the Rhone River. My husband feels that a large part of my discontent was the boring cruise we took...Southern France from Avignon to Lyon on the Rhone River. With the exception of Avignon, Ailes and Lyon, the other ports offer nothing. Even the tour guides indicated that very few residents stay in these locations because they offer nothing. The only "tour" takes you to a crumbling Roman ruin. I would not recommend this itinerary regardless of company as they all stop at the same ports. Other major issues: Viking indicates this is a 8 day CRUISE. In fact it is 4 days of cruising with the balance of the time being BUSED, with long bus rides, into the areas that were indicated on the itinerary as part of the cruise itinerary. They say that the waters are too high for their riverboat to get under the bridge in Lyon. This has been going on for YEARS! All of the other riverboat companies have no problem getting under the fixed bridge and continuing their cruising tour as advertised. Really believe that Viking misrepresents this cruise. We were on a French wine riverboat tour, but every night all they served was Argentina Melbac wine!!!! I called them on it and they unapologetically stated that they serve what they receive. Had we upgraded our liquor package, there were some French wines on that package. We just don't drink enough to justify paying an additional 300 euros for 7 days. French wine is not expensive and it's inexcusable not to serve local wine on a cruise that is advertised as a wine tour! On AMA, we had both morning and afternoon tours. On Viking, we were only provided a short morning tour (with the exception of the very long bus trip). They offered additional afternoon tours at extremely high rates. For example, I had looked into a culinary tour in Lyon as an individual couple and decided the price tag was just too high for the two of us and expected a similar tour to be offered by Viking. Shockingly, Viking offered the exact same tour at the same price!. Absolutely no reduction in price for a group tour or passing on the savings to their guests. The folks I spoke to who did go on the "extra tours" felt ripped off. Finally the cabins. We travel light, with only two carry on bags and are not big people. The room is so small that, other than the bed and the desk on the opposite wall, there is less than 1 feet of space between the two pieces of furniture. You can't put your feet down flat from the bed as there is only 3-4 inches from the bed to side walls. Not even enough room for a chair. One of us had to leave the cabin for the other one to have enough room to dress! The first and second decks have exactly the same square footage cabins...don't know about the suites. So, as you can see, we were not happy campers. Their one saving grace was the quality of the food...it was excellent and regional. Better than even some of the high end cruise ships we have been on. But the staff need training! Their heart is not in providing great dining experiences!!! Nice but untrained. FYI, this is the first time I have written such a negative cruising experience. I love traveling, am flexible and almost always have a fabulous experience! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
Having seen TV ads for Viking River Cruises over six seasons of Downton Abbey we were intrigued but had never actually considered booking a cruise until we saw an email offering a last minute deal and decided to go for it. It turned out ... Read More
Having seen TV ads for Viking River Cruises over six seasons of Downton Abbey we were intrigued but had never actually considered booking a cruise until we saw an email offering a last minute deal and decided to go for it. It turned out to be the best snap decision that we ever made! Everything - the ship, the crew, the food, the tours and the local guides - were absolutely fantastic. Because we were cruising the lower Rhone River which is dotted with vineyards as far as the eye can see, they took great care to pair the evening dinner with fabulous local wines. We took the post cruise extension to Paris and were so impressed with how seamless the process was. We put our luggage outside our stateroom on the ship and were escorted to our reserved seats on the bullet train, picked up at the train station in Paris and driven to the hotel where our luggage had already been placed in our room. This might have been our first Viking cruise but it certainly won't be our last! Read Less
Viking Buri Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.4
Family 1.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.3
Enrichment 4.0 4.2
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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