95 Viking River Viking Buri Cruise Reviews

This by far the best cruise we have been on. When it came time to review the experience not one of us could come up with anything that could have been better. The staff were outstanding, welcoming, helpful and always there with a smile ... Read More
This by far the best cruise we have been on. When it came time to review the experience not one of us could come up with anything that could have been better. The staff were outstanding, welcoming, helpful and always there with a smile - all credit to David, the Hotel Manager. The food was awesome, varied and full of flavour - not one average meal for the whole trip, they were all 5 star! The boat was always pristine and extremely well presented at all times. Anyone thinking of a river cruise would be well advised to put this cruise line on the top of their list. WELL DONE VIKING! and thank you. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Viking Longboats are very convenient and feature floor to ceiling windows everywhere. We took all the included (morning) tours and added the optional afternoon tours every day but one. Food was excellent. We ate the buffet lunch on the ... Read More
Viking Longboats are very convenient and feature floor to ceiling windows everywhere. We took all the included (morning) tours and added the optional afternoon tours every day but one. Food was excellent. We ate the buffet lunch on the open air Aquavit terrace rather than seating in the restaurant. Found a nice shaded area on the couches with plenty of room. Viking cruises feature delicious local cuisine yet they outdid themselves with their Provencal lunch, decor, presentation and most important, the food itself. Outstanding! Tours were up to their excellent standards. The optional tour to the Pont du Garde aqueduct was a favorite. The informative museum and the magnificent aqueduct with walkways made a great afternoon. The post dinner evening tour through the cobblestone streets of Viviers was an adventure, not for the waling impaired. The ancient Roman port town Vienne was another favorite plus we added a museum tour which was wonderful. Took the post cruise extension to Nice which despite my initial reluctance I enjoyed thoroughly. Le Meridien hotel had a very convenient location to the old town. Viking's escort to airpot departure did an excellent job browbeating officials to get us through when the new passport scanners failed to work with our passports. Tour director did a good job. My only complaint is their last evening haranguing guests for tips and not including staff tips in Viking's high prices. Port of embarkation was CHALON-SUR-SAÔNE, FRANCE. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Air travel to France while tiring was without incident. The bus ride to the ship was our first view of France and was interesting. We were pleasantly surprised at the number of Roman antiquities that were part of the tour. The ... Read More
Air travel to France while tiring was without incident. The bus ride to the ship was our first view of France and was interesting. We were pleasantly surprised at the number of Roman antiquities that were part of the tour. The spring weather was beautiful and sunny all but one cloudy day. All of the tours of the old French villages were great and we could see the Alps from some locations. We were offered maps and water to take on every trip to the villages. The ship was really clean and modern and the 110 volt outlets in the room was really appreciated. The staff were always helpful and cheerful. A very well organized cruise. While there were a few menu items we had to ask "what is that?" over all dining was excellent and varied. The daily update meetings kept us informed and aware of what was happening. Our departure was very early in the morning but we were thankfully escorted to the air port because there were opportunities to get lost. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This Viking River Cruise way exceeded our expectations. The scenery, the ship, the staff, and the meals were outstanding. Tour guides were great and knowledgeable. Very satisfied with our economy cabin. I highly recommended this event to ... Read More
This Viking River Cruise way exceeded our expectations. The scenery, the ship, the staff, and the meals were outstanding. Tour guides were great and knowledgeable. Very satisfied with our economy cabin. I highly recommended this event to all our friends and family. What we liked was the limited number of guests on board. You got to make friends with many. Unlike a cruise ship that might have thousands on board. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Our first Viking cruise. We stayed for 4 nights at the Le Meridien in Paris prior to boarding the Buri in Chalon. I wish we would have stayed another 2 nights. Great hotel, very close to all the attractions. At the Buri checking in was ... Read More
Our first Viking cruise. We stayed for 4 nights at the Le Meridien in Paris prior to boarding the Buri in Chalon. I wish we would have stayed another 2 nights. Great hotel, very close to all the attractions. At the Buri checking in was quick as the paperwork was done at the hotel. Our cabin was comfortable and more than adequate with two large portholes. We were on the lowest deck and it was nice and quiet. No engine noise. We didn't miss the balcony and found it funny we never saw anyone using theirs during the whole cruise. There is plenty of outside open areas and the top deck to watch the scenery go by. The crew is multi-national, speak english, and very friendly. The included shore activities were great and we never needed to purchase another excursion. I was amazed at the number of Roman ruins in southern France. The food was good and service excellent. Entertainment was satisfying, pretty much what you can expect on a river boat. Bus travel was comfortable and well organized, the guides well versed. We enjoyed the trip and are looking forward to another. There were no negatives to report. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Everything about this cruise was excellent. I am used to the embarkation process on a large cruise ship as a major hassle. On this trip my friend and I got out of the taxi and 4 cruise assistants greeted us with warm wash clothes (in ... Read More
Everything about this cruise was excellent. I am used to the embarkation process on a large cruise ship as a major hassle. On this trip my friend and I got out of the taxi and 4 cruise assistants greeted us with warm wash clothes (in case we needed a refresher from the plane ride), took our luggage and that was it. We walked on the longship, showed our passports, and we were escorted to our room where our luggage awaited us! After lunch it was announced if anyone onboard wanted to take an escorted walk around Lyon, we could meet at the main desk (which was right by the gangway) and off we went for an enjoyable and unexpected walking tour of Lyon. The included tours were wonderful and lots of fun. They were varied and included a train ride, visits to a winery, museums,outdoor relics, palaces, arenas, etc. Dining was fun, sit wherever you want, the tables were for 6 or 8 (I forgot) and larger long tables. Wine was flowing, after one sip someone came around to fill up the glass! Food was delicious. Breakfast and lunch included a small buffet along with the menu. Everything was presented in French style, even the food at the buffet, i.e., no huge bowls of fruit, there was fruit on small plates presented beautifully. Cabin was small but everything was new so it was gorgeous. We had a veranda and that was a plus. I was worried about two women in a cabin both wanting the bathroom amenities. Not to worry. Plenty of stuff for both of us! No entertainment to speak of but we didn't go for that reason. One night we took a walk (after checking if it was safe to do that) and we had fun walking over bridges and seeing castles at night). There was a piano player in the lounge every night in which we didn't participate. Umbrellas were given out on rainy days on the shore excursions, service was excellent. It was all so good. My friend was not happy with the WiFi which was free but so spotty it was almost non-existent but I didn't blame the ship for that. I just can't rave about Viking enough. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Cruising to Alaska was fun with 3,000 other guests. Who knew it could be better? Not to mention the food on a Viking boat, I was impressed and not surprised by the quality and presentation, as a former French Bistro owner in a town ... Read More
Cruising to Alaska was fun with 3,000 other guests. Who knew it could be better? Not to mention the food on a Viking boat, I was impressed and not surprised by the quality and presentation, as a former French Bistro owner in a town outside of Montreal, Canada. Sailing with Viking and 189 other guests is an absolute dream. My life long partner and I are just discovering cruising in our retirement. In our early 60's we have the energy to explore new places, and now with Viking, return to old haunts in a far more leisurely way. Our Boat (BURI) was comfortable and beyond our expectations. Viking makes it very easy to mingle and meet others from around the world and make new friends. Viking chooses not to bother you with commercialization - Boutiques of all nature. The organization of shore excursions and the pick-up and delivery to and from the Ports/ Airports was made simple and efficient. This all speaks to Vikings years in the business and their employee selection process. It is also there with their tour guides - very knowledgeable. You expect a certain level of quality from Viking. Service staff are on the job and get to know you. This includes the kitchen staff. As an early riser I was on the Aquavit deck early with a coffee waiting after the second morning. WOW. We would, though, like to be as involved in the booking of the plane. We got notification too close to departure and had to scramble to make certain seat changes. The only complaint. Can hardly wait for our cruise to Holland in 2016, and our Ocean cruise with Viking soon to be planned. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
A week before we left, we got an email saying that we would be aboard the Buri, with no further details. It turns out that the Viking Hermod, our chosen ship, was trapped at the northern end of the route behind a bridge due to high water, ... Read More
A week before we left, we got an email saying that we would be aboard the Buri, with no further details. It turns out that the Viking Hermod, our chosen ship, was trapped at the northern end of the route behind a bridge due to high water, and we would be switching ships. That’s a lot better than the Buri passengers, who remained on the Hermod for the entire week, being bussed to various villages and cities – they probably have a few things to say about that! (and a pretty good compensation in the form of a future cruise discount in addition). The Buri was trapped at the south end for the previous week and docked at Avignon, but the water had gone down somewhat, so we could do MOST of our trip. I agree with Viking that switching ships had to be done, due to flight arrangements. As it was, Lisette on the reception staff had to change a batch of rail connections from Chalon to Lyon, including us. Day 1: We flew to London for a couple of days before to see the sights, then off to Marseilles on Sunday, Nov 9 to board the ship in Avignon. Met at baggage claim by the Viking representative, who called up our taxi – we figured we’d have to wait for a bus, but that was over an hour later. Danielle pulled up, and off we went to Avignon for an hour. Booked transfer through Viking, and the taxi pulled up to the Buri with 240 euros showing on the clock – Danielle had taken a load to the airport before us, then waited. Promptly signed in, after the crew had carried our luggage and assisted us in crossing a ditch next to the dumpsters where we were moored (poor location a result of the floods the previous week). Found out that we had been upgraded from the bilge deck to a balcony, an appreciated luxury – opened the door to the balcony exactly once the whole week…. Rumor was that there had been some cancellations due to the itinerary change. The welcoming champagne tasted good. Unpacked a bit, then went up to the lounge for some meat and cheese to recover from the journey, snatching another champagne on the way. Viking had a bonus walking tour in the afternoon, and all 8 of us enjoyed the cold driving rain and got soaked. Most utilized the Viking umbrellas, but I thought my Tilley hat and GoreTex could handle it (I was wrong….). Dinner was a good clam chowder, salad Nicoise, choice of sea bass or lamb chops, and we got acquainted with the Elegant white and red wines. The amuse bouche was a interesting pesto something. The white was pretty good, and we had it for the rest of the week – the red varied. Presentation on the schedule, introducing the program director Nicholas, the dining manager Nuno, the chef Lars, etc. No mention of changing ships or any changes to the itinerary for the week. Day 2: Arles Day Up for my first batch of smoked salmon, and today we had baked beans to put on the scrambled eggs (soon to run out). Pastry chef knows how to make croissants. Bus to Arles (40 minutes) park a few blocks out from the old city, then tour. Talky, knowledgeable gal and a good visit to the amphitheatre still in use for non-lethal bull fights. Back at noon for carrot soup (exc) and frutti di Mare (not too good). Choice in the afternoon is the optional tour (my wife) or back to Arles(me). Walk around the left side of the amphitheatre to the small chapel of Notre Dame (interesting, good view of city, some old Roman walls), then down to the park, back through the Roman Theatre (used, but not restored – a lot of carved pieces laying around like a jigsaw puzzle). Look for the walkway on the side – totally free! Back to the Plaza of the Republic and St Tropheim church – which is interesting with carved altars and the side chapel of the Saint’s relics, nicely exhibited in gold chests, etc. Then down for a lookover of the Roman Baths and a walk along the river back to the bus to finish off the 3 hours. Dinner was Scallops/Avocado, then a Chateaubriand (exc) with an amuse bouche of a bacon wrapped date/almond/blue cheese that was very tasty. Day 3: Avignon City Tour in tolerable weather, nice walk through the Papal Palace (they took all the furniture when they left), and a visit to Les Halles market. Buy olives, cheese, wine, and a baguette for afternoon snack. Lunch of Garlic Soup(exc) and a French Dip (poor). Optional tour to Chateauneaf du Pape – fine, take the walk down from the tower if you’re able (somewhat slick but downhill) and stop in the chapel for a quick visit. Tasting at Maison Bouchard went well, and we ordered a half case @ $50/bottle to be delivered. Back to the ship for snack – olives and Roquefort, bottle of wine in the lounge with some ship supplied glasses under the amused glances of our fellow passengers who didn’t think of that themselves. (We did it a couple more times). Dinner was squash soup(good), turkey(f) ceviche(g, got another). If Viking wants to cook turkey, have some of the Americans on board help out in the kitchen so it doesn’t get dried out. Amuse was a smoked salmon tortilla with orange sauce, better without the tortilla, and the red wine was a Bourgogne(g). Late night talk on the history of Provence. Day 4: Cruising up the Rhone, through locks in the rain and drizzle, doing about 10 Km/hour by my stopwatch. Lunch of Roast Beef/remoulade (ex, had 5) and Potato-leek soup (ex, had 2). Docked in Tain L’Hermitage/Tournon, and skipped Viviers on the itinerary due to high water, which no one on the ship mentioned. 1:30 “Stay in your cabin, the buses are delayed”. At 2:00, my wife went down to reception to find the buses gone! Nicholas made up for this, and that’s all I’m going to say about it. Dinner was and amuse of a shrimp ball (g), curry carrot soup (EX+) pepper salmon/coq a vin, choc tart (ex) and the red wine is switched to a good Macon. Day 5: Vienne in the morning. Tour good, cathedral and top of mountain, Roman temple and forum, amphitheatre in good shape, although the first groups found the top of the mountain in the fog and an invisible town. Limited free time. Lunch was lamb soup (g) smoked fish with horseradish sauce (ex), as we leave the dock for the cruise to Lyon in the rain again. OK – here’s your hint. The meeting in the lounge tonight signs you up for the chef’s tour in Lyon. Ask for the signup sheet on your way passing reception – it’s in high demand! Shuttle to Place Bellacour with shopping surrounding. We’re docked a block from Confluence Mall and about 40 years too old for the shops it contains, but the market has Kinder Eggs to smuggle into the USA for the grandkids. (Hint: list them as “chocolate” on your customs form). Dinner was the walk-around in the kitchen, and we get to personally thank Gary the soup guy and the gal who was the pastry chef for doing outstanding jobs. Excellent Lamb with au jus, ham en crute, salads, desserts, Brussels sprout soup, and the red is Ogier Cotes du Rhone (g). We are moored on the outside of another ship, and leaving involves going up to the top deck, crossing over the other ship, and going down a steep staircase, than a slippery ramp to the dock. If you’re somewhat handicapped (more than cane level), you’re trapped aboard. Day 6: Lyon. Since the bridge still blocks us, the trip to Cluny or Beaune now involves a bus trip of two hours each way, so we skip out on the bus ride. My wife has been asking for green onions in her omelet, and Paul the chef in the morning finally got restocked and proudly presented her with her very own bowlful, which he had hidden under the counter for the occasion. Lunch was a chilled cucumber soup, beef burgundy (ex), rice pudding. Pass on the cold soup on this chilly day Actually nap in the afternoon, although there’s a tram stop a couple blocks away to access the city in the rain. Dinner was the Captain’s farewell dinner, and the best meal I’ve had in four Viking trips, which is really saying something. Mushroom soup, a deconstructed Wellington, and some Crème Brulee – all top notch. Day 7: Lyon Tour of the Basilica overlooking the old town and the chapel beneath, then the old town itself. Free time to check out the cathedral, and you can use the free toilets in the information booth next to it. Lunch of lamb shank(ex) and some kind of subway sandwich (f). . Chef’s tour is great, and we buy some truffle oil for our gourmet daughter, and some snacks and wine for this afternoon back on the ship. Dinner was Escargot (lousy, in a cream sauce), what passes for French Onion Soup but is broth, good fish and a good apple crumble, and plentiful wine. Overall: the heated bathroom floors are a genius idea on Viking ships in the fall, but the placement of the light switches next to the headboards not so genius (only turned it on twice this trip). Ivana and Eva treated us like family in the dining room, Nicholas was an excellent Program Director in difficult high-water circumstances, listening patiently to passengers carping about minor annoyances. Nuno did his job well as Dining Manager, and Lars the head chef had the kitchen running like a top. The reception staff got everyone rebooked for leaving from Lyon as far as I know. We will never go on a fall cruise again due to the crummy weather, but that and the high water are not the fault of Viking. The cabins are small but well organized – and only one person can walk around at a time. Bring an old card of some kind (I use a casino card) to plug into the European style light switch, then just lift it when you leave to turn off all the lights. Otherwise, you’re forever switching cards – one has to be in the light switch. The 24/7 coffee machine on the 3rd deck is a beauty, and I always get my coffee from there rather than the dining room. Beside it are muffins in the morning and cookies in the afternoon. After the cruise: we took the TGV from Lyon to Paris, and spent a couple of days seeing the sights and enjoying the excellent meals before returning home to Colorado. The weather remained lousy, and we both got colds.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
To celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, my husband and I researched many options. We had done ocean cruises, but had never been on a river cruise. After consideration, we decided to take the Viking River Cruise on the Rhone and Saone ... Read More
To celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, my husband and I researched many options. We had done ocean cruises, but had never been on a river cruise. After consideration, we decided to take the Viking River Cruise on the Rhone and Saone Rivers in France. Along with our son, his wife, our daughter and her husband, we sailed on the Viking Buri for seven days from Avignon to Chalon-sur-Saone. The Buri was put into service in 2013. The ship is beautiful and for a long, narrow ship, quite spacious. There are numerous seating areas, both inside and outside. The ship provides a variety of games and books--particularly books on the region being visited. Breakfast and lunch are served in the main dining room as well as the lounge and the Aquavit Terrace which is an inside/outside area at the bow of the ship. Dinner is served in the dining room and there is one seating with no reserved tables. The lounge has a lovely bar area and very comfortable sofas and chairs. Most activities onboard the ship are centered around the land excursions with talks, question/answer sessions, and information about the passing scenery and towns. The Program Director was terrific and very, very knowledgeable. Each evening he would discuss the next day's shore or on board activities and accompanied the groups on the shore excursions. Although my husband and I did not participate in the later evening activities, there was a pianist who our children said was very good and enjoyable. From fore and aft, from top to bottom, from port to starboard, the service was impeccable. Our cabin was always immaculate; the Concierge and Reception were welcoming, efficient, and helpful; and the dining room and additional dining area staff were gracious, good humored, and delightful. We could not have asked for better treatment. The shore and port excursions were well planned and executed. Guides were informative, friendly, and with good humor which made the trips more enjoyable. The antiquities visited were surprising and beautiful. Much more interesting than we might have imagined. Our cabin, while small by hotel standards, was well laid out with plenty of storage and closet space. The bathroom was particularly well thought out. We certainly did not feel cramped or confined. The bed and bedding were high quality and very comfortable. Our daughter and her husband had the French Balcony and were quite pleased with that accommodation. The additions of a Veranda Suite, Explorer Suite or Standard Stateroom made for appropriate options although we were in our cabin so little, we were glad we had decided on the Veranda Stateroom. All meals were available on board, although in Lyon some passengers opted for dinner ashore. The meals were excellent with a variety of menu items as well as buffet selections. At dinner a meat, vegetarian, or fish selection was always available in addition to complementary starches, vegetables, fruits and cheeses. The food was well prepared and presented with top tier service. While beer, wine, and soft drinks were available at no extra charge at lunch and dinner, our family selected an upgraded beverage package which allowed us to sample some very good wines and beer on the trip which we might otherwise not have had. Our son and daughter are in their 40's, and although most reviews will say these cruises are for the over 50 crowd, our children and their spouses had a wonderful time as well and I think would consider another cruise of this type again. Obviously, any trip is 90% what you make of it. Viking makes embarkation and disembarkation simple and hassle free. If you arrive at the ship prior to the availability of your stateroom, they have a buffet luncheon set up which makes the time go rather quickly. On disembarkation, luggage is appropriately marked and set out at specific times so the passageways are not crowded and passengers can collect their items quickly and easily once on shore. There is no question that my husband and I, as well as our children, would take another Viking River Cruise. Our hope for the next one would be the Rhine River. One caveat: Through no fault of the cruise line, the water level on rivers may be too high or too low for the ships to travel beyond a certain point; and in some cases, passengers are moved to another ship to continue the journey. We were fortunate on our trip that the rivers were at just the right height and we were able to traverse both with no difficulty. The Viking River Cruise Line does its utmost to provide the adventure each passenger envisioned with the least amount of effort on the part of the passenger. For us, they accomplished that with flying colors. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Cruising: scenery beautiful w no restrictions due to water levels. Smooth w just a bit of noise at locks Ship: Beautiful and brand new. Light and airy Food: absolutely superb w wide range of choices. Evening meal make take 2 hours since ... Read More
Cruising: scenery beautiful w no restrictions due to water levels. Smooth w just a bit of noise at locks Ship: Beautiful and brand new. Light and airy Food: absolutely superb w wide range of choices. Evening meal make take 2 hours since almost everyone fed at same time beginning at 7. Main dining room noisy but well appointed. Some alternatives in bar. Wine and beer free Excursions: excellent free excursions w knowledgable local guides. Some optional excursions as well. Roman history and artifacts unexpected. Wonderful churches Cabin: we got upgraded to Explorer Suite somehow. It is roomy w coffee maker and mini fridges. Two rooms and wraparound balcony Pre-cruise pkg in Nice: well worth the cost. 3 days in Le Meredien, right on the beach. Multiple small restaurants and chocolate shops. Outstanding pizza. Lots of great walks So good we will book again on Viking Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was our third Viking River cruise, although the first one during the summer months. Everything went smoothly. Food and service were great, as was the Viking Longboat. Scenery is not as "rich" as on the Rhine, but the ports ... Read More
This was our third Viking River cruise, although the first one during the summer months. Everything went smoothly. Food and service were great, as was the Viking Longboat. Scenery is not as "rich" as on the Rhine, but the ports were very nice and the winery tours were terrific. Weather was in the lower 80s, and had one day with light rain - although the region had more rain than normal, so when we got to Lyon, we could not go up river to our last stop because of the bridges. This actually worked out fine since Viking had their first class buses take us to Beaune - our last tour stop, and then we were able to go back and stay in Lyon on our last night - which was where we flew out of the next day - so got to sleep in a little longer. Highly recommend the five minute walk to the castle in Tarascon in the afternoon instead of going back into Arles for shopping, Get a card for the Viking reception for a discount on the castle tour. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We truly enjoyed our visits to the cities of Arles, Vienne, Perouges, Nice and Monte Carlo, not necessarily in that order! We were unable to reach our final destination of Chalon sur Saone due to high water levels so our visit to Lyon was ... Read More
We truly enjoyed our visits to the cities of Arles, Vienne, Perouges, Nice and Monte Carlo, not necessarily in that order! We were unable to reach our final destination of Chalon sur Saone due to high water levels so our visit to Lyon was extended. We however did partake in a tour to Perouges which was not on the schedule...... but turned out to be an amazing town! The tour guide even sang Ave Maria for us in the church, which gave us chills! A beautiful end to our day along with the flat bread in the square. Prior to boarding in Avignon, we spent a few days in Nice, a pre-extension, and enjoyed the restaurants, the scenery's and the shopping. Arles (with Van Gogh) had so much to offer, as did Vienne (with numerous Roman ruins), Nice (Garibaldi's birth place) and Monte Carlo - a pocket of beauty and sunshine! Food and service on board was awesome as we experienced during a past Viking Cruise and the wine, need I say more. Quality dry reds! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Using Viking Air we flew from Newark Liberty to Amsterdam and then on to Marseille. We were met by Viking representatives and taken by bus to the Buri in Avignon. Check in was fast and we went straight to our cabin. The cabin was small but ... Read More
Using Viking Air we flew from Newark Liberty to Amsterdam and then on to Marseille. We were met by Viking representatives and taken by bus to the Buri in Avignon. Check in was fast and we went straight to our cabin. The cabin was small but efficient designed. We never felt cramped. The French balcony was enjoyable and while occasionally we had another ship parked next to us blocking our view, it never bothered us. We just closed the curtains until the ship moved. It was never an all day situation. We had a nice lunch on the Aquavit Terrace and when we returned to our room our luggage was there. Our clothes fit easily into the closet and the luggage stored under the bed. After a short nap we were rejuvenated to explore the ship. There was an orientation talk and we were able to sign up for the optional tours that evening. Dinner was enjoyable and the included wine was very good and plentiful. The open seating allowed us to meet many people from different countries. The included tours and the 2 optional tours we took were very good. The guides were informative and the buses were comfortable and clean. We took the Les Baux tour and also the Chateauneuf du Pape tours. The one tour in Tain L’Hermitage could have skipped the art museum we visited. The woman who ran it was lovely but the art was not interesting or really noteworthy. The chocolate factory was nice and a source of many souvenirs but also way too many calories with all the samples. I could have skipped it. When we reached Lyon we were told that due to water levels we would be unable to continue north on the river. Alternative arrangements were made and they really did all they could to make up for the change. Those who were flying home from the Lyon airport at the end of the cruise really benefitted from the change as they avoided hour bus ride back from Chalon sur Saone. The rest of us that continued on to Paris at the end had an extra hour for that trip. I think with the river cruise you have to learn to go with the situations. We have been on many ocean cruises that have had to change their itinerary due to adverse conditions. It happens. We could see that the river was high and we barely fit under some of those medieval bridges. The top deck had railings flattened and all equipment stowed while we were moving. The bridge was even on a hydraulic lift so it could be lowered for the ship to fit. When the ship was docked they put the safety railings and chairs and shade tents back up so we could enjoy the top deck. When the ship was moving there was no way you could be up there without risking getting your head knocked off by a low bridge. I have read many reviews where people were upset by this but I don’t know what Viking could do to change this. The food and wine were very good. The limited staff worked very hard and did all they could to accommodate everyone’s needs. Dinner service was sometimes slow but with the full dining room they were stretched pretty thin. On Sunday we continued on to the post cruise trip to Paris. The bus ride was long and we all would have rather skipped the lunch stop in Auxxerre and have continued on to Paris but the hotel did not want us to arrive before 3PM so we had to stop. When we did arrive in Paris we were dropped off at the hotel and told to go in to the Viking Desk and we would get room assignments. This is where Viking goofed. The desk was empty. We all stood there waiting for someone from Viking. About 20 minutes later a woman arrived and herded us out to the patio. She said she thought after the bus ride we would want fresh air. It was a nice thought but not under the current conditions. It was very cool and there was a stiff breeze blowing. Our luggage was still being delivered so we had no extra sweaters to put on. The wind was blowing all the papers she had for us all over the patio. It was a bad idea. Most of us just grabbed the keys and left after we chased the orientation papers around the patio. We were assigned a Starwood Preferred room which was very nice sleeping area however I will never understand French plumbing ideas. The toilet was in a room by itself but the sink to wash your hands was in the next room with the tub and shower and bidet. It wasn’t an impossible situation but seemed cumbersome to me. The room itself was large. There was no drawer s in the room so we had to live out of suitcases. The electric in the room was only European and a Schuko adapter was needed. There was a safe in the room and it was easy to operate. The included breakfast was very good and there were plenty of choices. The transfers to the airport were on time and comfortable. The driver was a speed demon and drove at breakneck speed. I was glad to get out of the car alive and in one piece at the airport. It was a great trip and I will definitely river cruise again.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Our Viking River Cruise from Avignon to Chalon-sur-Saone was nothing less than super. This was the best of the three Viking Cruises we have taken which is saying much because the other two were also excellent. The Buri has the nicest and ... Read More
Our Viking River Cruise from Avignon to Chalon-sur-Saone was nothing less than super. This was the best of the three Viking Cruises we have taken which is saying much because the other two were also excellent. The Buri has the nicest and hardest working staff and crew we have ever seen. They kept our cabin and the boat spotless. They were always friendly and went above and beyond in caring for the passengers. Like the other two cruises the shore excursions were outstanding and met our needs. Viking offers a leisurely paced group in each town. This is very important to us because my wife has a leg condition which slows her walking pace. We were able to keep up with the group without being rushed. The food and service were also outstanding. The wait staff were friendly and clearly answered our questions about the menus. They were very timely in filling our drink glasses. We did not go thirsty. The head chef Larss was outgoing and friendly. He should have his own show on the "Food Network." My only constructive comment is changing the docking port in Chalon-sur-Saone. It is at a run-down industrial area on the edge of town and can be difficult to find if you are starting the cruise there. My wife and I can not be more pleased with " The Portraits of Southern France" river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
There were four of us in our small group of older women and I can honestly say we had the best time. From the moment you are welcomed on board until the time you leave you are made to feel very special. We loved every minute, the staff ... Read More
There were four of us in our small group of older women and I can honestly say we had the best time. From the moment you are welcomed on board until the time you leave you are made to feel very special. We loved every minute, the staff are great, the activities are well thought out and the guides on the tours are mines of local information. The cabins are well laid out, there is no wasted space and it has everything needed, the toiletries provided are quite luxurious and the housekeeping staff do an amazing job, we especially loved the laundry service on our cruise! Possibly the best value for a cruise from what we heard from other passengers (this being my first time cruise), we also really enjoyed the silver spirits package we received free because we paid early, so can thoroughly recommend doing that. In fact I enjoyed it so much I have booked another cruise with this company (and this time with the husband), really looking forward to 2016 to do an ocean cruise on one of the new ocean cruise ships around Italy. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
From beginning to end we had a wonderful cruise. Friends have gone on river cruises and raved about them and we were anxious to try one. We chose southern France and it was beyond what we had expected. The Rhone is very beautiful to cruise ... Read More
From beginning to end we had a wonderful cruise. Friends have gone on river cruises and raved about them and we were anxious to try one. We chose southern France and it was beyond what we had expected. The Rhone is very beautiful to cruise and the ports of call are very interesting and we enjoyed the wine tastings. We met the nicest people and yet enjoyed solitude as well. Shared a drink with new friends, read a book or had lunch on the terrace at the front of the boat or took a nap on the upper deck. The staff was nothing short of the best we've ever met--the program director was very, very personable, knowledgeable and did all he could to accommodate our needs. From front desk to housekeepers--everyone was friendly and professional. Nothing lacking here. There was a pianist every day/evening. He was a personable young man with great talent. We have ONE big issue with how docking is managed. When we pulled in to Avignon, another Viking ship was already docked and we pulled up next to it. Soooooooooo for the duration we had to keep our drapes drawn because our view was into the cabin of the ship next to us. We felt claustrophobic and couldn't use the veranda for which we paid extra. It wasn't a big deal to us that we had to cross over through the other ship to disembark when "double docked". We, as others on starboard, shared this major complaint with the captain, front desk personnel, program director and we hope they will report the concern with management. Viking has called us to say this is port authority decision-making, etc. This is the biggest issue we have with river cruising. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Really enjoyed the cruise. Viking had someone there at the airport to pick us up. The ship was lovely. The crew was wonderful. This was my first river cruise with Viking. I especially enjoyed the emphasis on the culture of the parts of ... Read More
Really enjoyed the cruise. Viking had someone there at the airport to pick us up. The ship was lovely. The crew was wonderful. This was my first river cruise with Viking. I especially enjoyed the emphasis on the culture of the parts of France that we visited. The local guides were great and presentations on ship were also good. Food goes without saying wonderful. The standard cabins were a bit tight but you are only there to sleep and shower. Only one incident that I found concerning was an alarm early one morning that had went off and everyone responded with life jackets. What concerned me is the lower staterooms emergency doors closed and everyone on the two lower decks were locked in without an explanation. We were lucky that everyone remained cool headed. The doors were eventually opened, but we never got an explanation of what happened. A bit disappointing was we were unable finish the trip as planned at Chalon-sur-Saone due to the river being to high for us to get under the bridges. We did get to see Beaune and our trip to Paris we had a lovely lunch and walking excursion which broke up the trip. We spend three days in Paris which was lovely. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
This was our fourth Viking Cruise and we have enjoyed every one, matter of fact we have our fifth cruise already booked. We sailed north on the Rhone River leaving from Avignon after enjoying the pre tour in Nice where we visited Monaco. ... Read More
This was our fourth Viking Cruise and we have enjoyed every one, matter of fact we have our fifth cruise already booked. We sailed north on the Rhone River leaving from Avignon after enjoying the pre tour in Nice where we visited Monaco. Viking has really been good to us, for some reason unknown to us we were upgraded in to the Explore Suite. This is a fantastic accommodation with two river views off the stern of the ship. This is a new Long Ship having made its first cruise only four weeks before our trip. Mark our program director was always there to make sure everyone on the ship was taken care of. The itinerary laid out for the trip was perfect, we never felt rushed and enjoyed all of well spoken local guides. Life on the ship was enhanced with great food, free wine for lunch and dinner and friendly staff. The Portraits of Southern France cruise is very relaxing as well as educational if interested in wine. We also extended the trip with the Paris extension where we found the hotel very nice but it would have nicer if it was closer to the inner city, but the Metro station was just out side the hotel. David Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We cruised from Chalon sur Saone to Avignon. Finding the ship was difficult, as it was docked behind an industrial park outside of town that was difficult to see from the road. Thank goodness we had a taxi driver who who cared! Boarding ... Read More
We cruised from Chalon sur Saone to Avignon. Finding the ship was difficult, as it was docked behind an industrial park outside of town that was difficult to see from the road. Thank goodness we had a taxi driver who who cared! Boarding was wonderfully easy, and we arrived early enough for lunch. Our cabins were already ready. The cabins we had were TINY, but well organized. We were with a group so we did not spend much time in our cabins, but if we were alone, I would have wanted a cabin with at least a chair. The food on the ship was fresh and delicious each day. The service was fantastic, and the staff, mostly Eastern European, was attentive and friendly. We upgraded to the premium drinks package at 20 euros per person per day and were happy with our decision, but we were with a group and enjoyed the social time together. The public areas are nicely designed, with large windows and great views everywhere. The top deck is lovely, but was closed for a large portion of the time due to the many bridges. What a shame! The excursions were well planned and we enjoyed most of the tours, except they were often too large, so they were slow and bathroom breaks took a long time. Most of the guides were good, with a few exceptions. Our adult children would not have the patience for this, which is probably why the customer base is older. The biggest criticism we had was the docking location. Like Chalon sur Saone, several of the docking locations were not convenient to town. We had to take a bus onto Arles in the morning, and the return options were not sufficiently frequent. Also, the docking location in Lyon was not near the center of town, and we paid a taxi 20 euros each way to go into town. We did see a few ships parked in town, which we would have preferred. We do not know if the other ships pay more for the location or just had them reserved for longer, but it is something we will ask about and consider when booking future trips. We went on the optional excursion to Cluny. The drive there was scenic and country French beautiful , and I took many photos along the way. Cluny was very interesting, and our guide was lovely. Highly recommend this tour. We missed the cutoff for the tour of Les Hall in Lyon. It is such a big part of the culture that it should have bee included in the morning tour. We wound up taking a taxi there. It was worth the trip, with some of the most delicious food beautifully displayed, but had the ship been parked in town, waking there would not have been an issue. Disembarkment in Avignon was easy and well planned. All in all, we had a fantastic trip, and I would not hesitate to recommend,   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
This was our first Viking cruise, but our fourth river cruise. Our comments: 1. Loved the ship--it is gorgeous.The central atrium was awesome 2. We had a French balcony, and the room was the smallest we have ever had. Ditto for the ... Read More
This was our first Viking cruise, but our fourth river cruise. Our comments: 1. Loved the ship--it is gorgeous.The central atrium was awesome 2. We had a French balcony, and the room was the smallest we have ever had. Ditto for the bathroom. BUT--it really wasn't a problem as they have put so much thought in to the design. There is lots of storage, and the shower configuration really helps create space in the bathroom. Kudos' to the designers. 3. Staff was outstanding. We actually enjoyed the personalities of the staff --young, enthusiastic, and a whole lot of fun with extremely attentive service. 4. Two big negatives however: first, the sun-deck is not available for a good part of this cruise as the bridges are so low. So the only outdoor space available is the small Atrium area at the bow of the ship--which, while it is lovely, is simply not big enough for all the passengers who want to be outside. Second, the docking locations in most of the cities was awful. One of the big advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock in the center of town and walk on and off the boat at will. In both Chalon-sur-Saone and Lyon the docking space was difficult for even the local taxi drivers to find--and you HAD to taxi to and from the ship. 5. We would definitely cruise with Viking again, but would ask more detailed questions about dockages and the suns-deck availability. We've never been on a river cruise where the sundeck was so unavailable..... Lyon we had previously been to so we went to the Paul Bocuse Culinary School restaurant and it was awesome.Beaune had a great included walking tour.Cluny, an optional additional expense tour was outstanding.Viviers night walk, included tour, was also spectacular.Arles--it was very festive for Easter, so we skipped the Viking tour and went to the bullfight. They DO kill the bulls, so some of us left almost immediately.Avignon--outstanding, included walking tour.In general the ports are low key, best for experienced travelers ...... Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
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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