1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
The availability fit our personal schedule. Travel to meet the ship was comfortable and no problem. Viking arranged our airline connections, then met us at the embarkation city and took us by bus the relatively short distance to the ... Read More
The availability fit our personal schedule. Travel to meet the ship was comfortable and no problem. Viking arranged our airline connections, then met us at the embarkation city and took us by bus the relatively short distance to the ship. They even handled our luggage from the bus to our cabin. We very much enjoyed the open seating arrangement at meals that meant we could meet many different people. My wife and I are in our early 70s, and it was easy to meet so many others who were approximately our age. We especially liked the range of people on the trip, from vacationers to retirees. The walking tours were excellent and informative. The guides were all top-notch and had wonderful senses of humor. The preview of next day's activities each evening was very informative and well thought out. Overall, the ship was very comfortable and the crew was excellent. Our cabin was comfortable and quiet, and the housekeeping staff very courteous and thorough. 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
Viking's advertising misleading. Promises of food and comfortable river cruise experience far from truth. This is a coach tour disguised as river cruise! More time spent in being herded and rushed on and off buses than river cruising. ... Read More
Viking's advertising misleading. Promises of food and comfortable river cruise experience far from truth. This is a coach tour disguised as river cruise! More time spent in being herded and rushed on and off buses than river cruising. Food adequate, mass produced, certainly not the delights advertised. Signed up for premium liquor service but choices not available. Top suite category (AA) under running track. Only sailed one of seven days as "river too high to sail under bridges". The river is often too high, wrong boat. No information from crew, Captain didn't speak English. Last two days spent moored against sister Viking ship so view from Starboard side was looking into another ship. No explanation or apology. The list goes on but suffice it to say that we would not advise anyone to make the very expensive mistake which we made, at a cost of US Dollars $12,000 excluding airfares. Viking offered us a derisory US$500 each off our next Viking cruise with them, but even if they offered us a free cruise we would never go with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
A. Excellent 1. All staff on board. Mainly eastern European. Captain Swiss. All spoke excellent English and nothing was too much trouble. 2. Programme Director Mark Poisson, a Channel Islander. Worked very hard intellectually and ... Read More
A. Excellent 1. All staff on board. Mainly eastern European. Captain Swiss. All spoke excellent English and nothing was too much trouble. 2. Programme Director Mark Poisson, a Channel Islander. Worked very hard intellectually and physically for us. 3. Tour guides to Beaune (+ wine tasting), Lyon, Vienne, Tain L'Hermitage ( + wine tasting + chocolate tasting at Valrhona's boutique), Viviers, Arles and Avignon, also paid 49 euros per person for Pont du Gard. We love history, architecture and French wine. It was our 3rd visit to the Pont du Gard in 45 years, and apart from the the tourist infrastructure thankfully it has not changed. B. Good 1. Quantity, quality and variety of food. 2. On board activities, talks about cheese and life in France, musical evening, visit to the Bridge etc. C. Adequate Cabin cramped, I am only 5 feet 7 inches (1.7 metres) and my wife 5 feet (1.52 metres) and neither of us is over weight. My head would switch on the room lights if I moved it, unless my feet stuck out below the quilt. The safe was useful but standard in most decent hotels. Internet worked well in the lobby, erratic in the cabins. Bathroom modern, functional and cramped. An average hotel room would have been more comfortable and quite a bit cheaper, and this proved the main function of this cabin. Poor 1. Balcony which was not cheap. We spent 3 days and 3 nights moored up in Lyons alongside and level with a noisy, crowded public quay below the main hospital. No privacy or security so we couldn't leave window open. We spent 2 days and 1 night parked against another ship in Avignon. It was dark, and we thought initially we were in a lock, no privacy, terrible smell of raw sewage. Couldn't use balcony or open window. 2. Sun decks closed for 2 or 3 days because of low bridges, when the weather was sunny with refreshing breeze. Closure probably inevitable on this route. Be aware. 3. Much cruising was replaced by bus trips. Chalon-sur-Saone to Lyon (whole of Saone Cruise one third of total) was omitted. 1st Sunday. Chalon-sur-Saone to Lyon by bus. 1 hour and 40 minutes including stop to pick up another group. Monday. Lyon to Beaune 1 hour and 40 minutes each way instead of Chalon-sur-Saone to Beaune 20 minutes each way.This loss of cruising was attributed to high water levels preventing the ship from getting under the Saone Bridges. But many other ships seemed to be functioning normally, and after 55 years travelling as an adult in France, the water levels did not seem unusual at the time of the spring thaw. The adjacent Loire and Allier rivers appeared lower than average for the time of year. The Saone and Rhone were obviously level at the Confluence. This was the first season of a new larger ship which was not in active service when we booked. It will probably get under the bridges in late summer and early Autumn when river levels are lower, as well as before the thawing of the Alpine snow. Friday morning. Avignon to Arles, (40 minutes by bus) instead of Tarascon to Arles (20 minutes by bus). We were given no explanation for this change. Terrible. Lack of communication from head office. We had driven to Chalons sur Saone and stayed the night prior to the cruise at a hotel overlooking the docking site for the ships as indicated by the Viking Web site at the time of our booking. When our final paper work arrived 2 weeks before we left home, it indicated a docking site about 1000 metres from the hotel, across the river, a short taxi ride with baggage, but no problem. The lady owner of the hotel also told us the night before of this new arrangement, caused by the new ship being too large to use the dock in front. By chance on the Sunday morning we met at breakfast at about 9.30 a.m. an Australian couple staying at the hotel for the same reason as us. They had received an Email on the Friday evening saying that the cruise would start in Lyon. They were given a phone number functioning office hours Monday to Friday. We received no such Email during or after our travels, but continued to receive advertising EMails. I was in due course able with my French cell phone to contact a +49 (Swiss) phone number and was told that a bus would collect us in less than an hour with our bags about 500 metres away across a busy dual carriageway from the hotel. We did not have long to check out of the hotel, find somewhere secure to park our car for 8 days and get ourselves and our bags to the rendezvous, and take a sequence of auto route (motorway) bus drives rather than "Enjoy the scenery along the Saone River as you cruise. Enjoy cruising through lovely Burgundy and Beaujolais landscapes, passing lush vineyards, farms and quaint villages" as spelled out in the brochure. We were told on board than Chalon-sur-Saone is a boring industrial town, which is clearly untrue and there was very little to see on the riverside between Chalon and Lyon. Again this is quite untrue and contradicted their brochure. Conclusions 1. Be careful about reserving and paying for a balcony on this trip unless you like lack of privacy and the smell of raw sewage and looking straight into someone else's cabin. 2. Don't book this trip between mid April and mid June unless you like the risk of long bus trips rather than cruising. 3. Phone the Swiss company number at least every 24 hours 3 or 4 days before embarkation. Viking must have known by the Thursday night that this ship was not going to get under the bridges, yet a number of independent, international travellers were not notified in time. 4. A decent hotel would have been much more comfortable and considerably cheaper (we spent 4 nights out of 7 in 2 unsuitable locations) and the organised coach tours we did much cheaper. These could have been supplemented by boat rides in boats suitable for the rivers and bridges. A great saving and much more enjoyable. Passengers appeared approximately 48% US, 40% UK, 5% Canadian, 5% Australian, 2% Dutch. Age 40 to 80, average late 60s. All good English speakers. Upper-middle income and education. When we returned home we received a letter of apology and an offer of 20% off one of Viking Cruises for 2015. This makes the false assumption that we would wish to repeat the disappointing and sometimes atrociously mismanaged experience, and ignores the fact that many international travellers have made their travel arrangements for 2015. In consequence the offer was derisory. 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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