Sail Date: April 2018
The ship and crew were fabulous. We had a wondeful cruise but it was way too sedentary for us. We like to exercise which there wasn’t any and we love to see entertainment which there was very little, if any. The food was good but ... Read More
The ship and crew were fabulous. We had a wondeful cruise but it was way too sedentary for us. We like to exercise which there wasn’t any and we love to see entertainment which there was very little, if any. The food was good but really nothing to write home about. If you love excursions though this is what it is all about. We had cooking classes, saw history that was made over 2000 years ago. They offered many free excursions but we upgraded and did a lot that cost an additional fee. They were the ones that we enjoyed the most. Seeing the countryside, wine tasting in the basement of a castle. Watching a dog find truffles, goat farmers make goat cheese, exploring the many foods that were made by top notch bakers, chocolatiers, cheese makers and sausage makers was what made the trip. We also enjoyed the many people that we met on the ship. They were wonderful and the many stories they had made it great. Not enough activity for me but I do think I will try one of their ocean cruises next. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
The Viking cruise is one that I would highly recommend for those that love history, tours, new experiences, relaxing and great company. I would not recommend for those that are very active non readers. Or if you fall into the non reader ... Read More
The Viking cruise is one that I would highly recommend for those that love history, tours, new experiences, relaxing and great company. I would not recommend for those that are very active non readers. Or if you fall into the non reader category travel with friends who like to play cards or games. I absolutely loved the tours and loved meeting all the wonderful people from different countries that you travel with. Being an avid exerciser who does is on the go most of the time, it was a little laid back for me. There was no exercise facilities along with very little onboard activity. The food and drink were very good and very available. We had upgraded to a 2 room suite so it was very nice but the television had very little English speaking channels. (Mainly news and only one Australian western show) I will still try another Viking cruise but it will be a larger more active ship with a spa and exercise facility because of the tours, food and service. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was out first river cruise, after several ocean cruises previously (Seabourn, HAL, Celebrity, Cunard). We selected this particular cruise because it synched up with business travel and included Avignon as a port of call. Talk about ... Read More
This was out first river cruise, after several ocean cruises previously (Seabourn, HAL, Celebrity, Cunard). We selected this particular cruise because it synched up with business travel and included Avignon as a port of call. Talk about hot! 95+ every day and when we embarked, the AC was not working. Once repaired, our cabin remained comfortable. However, whenever the Lounge and Dining room were occupied for group events (read dinner), the AC could not keep up and the room became very uncomfortable. With less heat, this would not be a problem. The boat is in excellent shape and very pleasing to the eye. The crew was exceptional. The excursions (included and optional) were extremely well organized and the fellow passengers were nearly always on time (if that were always the case....). We had one technical issue with a steam train excursion (train ahead of us had engine troubles and our train was delayed, no fault of Viking) and the Viking team brought in the coaches and returned us to the boat on time. Well done Viking! The food was good, not exceptional. The dining service was well above average and the staff friendly. The public spaces were constrained by the limitations of a river boat, so if you want public space variety, stick with ocean cruising. The on board entertainer was average at best, with one act brought on board below average and another exceptional. The cabin is as you would expect, tight on a river boat. The bathroom was also small by ocean cruise standards, but well laid out and very functional. If you set your expectations correctly, you will be very pleased. At age 60, we were perhaps the youngest on board except for a family group with 20 somethings included. Many of the fellow travels were spry, but several were not. The energy level was low based on this demographic and is the only reason we would not hurry back to Viking River Cruising. We will likely return once our energy level matches the demographic served. River cruising is nice (in cooler weather) and perfect for many. It does not match our current style. Perhaps in a decade we will return to the rivers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2016
This was our first Viking cruise and first trip to France. We enjoyed our cruise very much and would definitely choose Viking again. From the first moment we pulled up in the taxi in front of the ship, until we were flying home, Viking ... Read More
This was our first Viking cruise and first trip to France. We enjoyed our cruise very much and would definitely choose Viking again. From the first moment we pulled up in the taxi in front of the ship, until we were flying home, Viking covered every aspect of transportation, luggage, accommodations. We were always cared for by a Viking representative, whether on a tour, making train connections, traveling to hotels. From embarkation until we got the plane to go home, our luggage was handled by Viking. We never had to worry about transporting bags. They made our trip effortless. Our cabin was roomy and well designed. The food was great, and the service impeccable. The staff was always there to help, and they were all extremely personable. The shore excursions were well done, and all of our tour guides were exceptionally knowledgeable. Do yourself a favor and take a Viking cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This was our 6th river cruise with Viking. So, we have found them to provide excellent cruises. Because I have a particular interest in medieval European history, I chose this tour because it provided an opportunity to see the Abbey at ... Read More
This was our 6th river cruise with Viking. So, we have found them to provide excellent cruises. Because I have a particular interest in medieval European history, I chose this tour because it provided an opportunity to see the Abbey at Cluny and the Papal Palace at Avignon. (In addition to being huge, the Abbey exercised nearly as much influence in its time as Rome. The Papal Palace was the home of seven Popes during the so-called "Babylonian Captivity" of the Papacy.) My wife and I found the excursions to both locations to be well-conducted and interesting. The Abbey visit is the only added cost option we chose. The other shore excursions were much as expected with the exception of the Timeless Town of Perouges. Perouges felt too much like a tourist creation. As usual, the food aboard the ship was excellent and the staff attentive. Although Viking includes wine with meals, we opted for the premium wine package and feel this to have been money well-spent. (We're not "wine snobs", but we do enjoy both a better wine and a broader selection.) At the tour's conclusion, we chose to add a couple of nights in Avignon. It's a charming town and the Papal Palace was well-worth a second visit. If you choose to stay, check out the laser light show in the Palace courtyard. The later showing is offered with English narrative on some nights. It's impressive! So, why did I not award the Cruise 5 stars? Because, while uniformly excellent, I did not think it was truly exceptional. (My wife and I are admittedly spoiled and would give this rating only to our Viking Yangtze River cruise several years ago.) And, I admit being annoyed by Viking's payment policy requiring full payment long before the cruise in order to take advantage of their sale prices. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
Staff was excellent and we enjoyed socializing with some of crew such as chef, seu chef, Bursar. We met many fellow travelers we enjoyed. We had a strange experience with a cooking lesson in Lyon where we did not have the chef we were ... Read More
Staff was excellent and we enjoyed socializing with some of crew such as chef, seu chef, Bursar. We met many fellow travelers we enjoyed. We had a strange experience with a cooking lesson in Lyon where we did not have the chef we were scheduled for. The results of the dish were not good, and we both are experienced cooks. We had paid extra for this excursion and felt it was not worth the price. Also, disembarking was very early with a long plane ride home. We both came down with Type B flu which we felt our resistance was down from too little sleep for older people. Port and shore excursions were very good. Dining was lovely and very varied in the menu. Entertainment was very nice, as well. This was our first River Cruise, but we plan now to take others. Recommend this one very much. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
The longship accommodation was excellent bearing in mind limited space and my partner and I had no trouble in storing clothes and belongings. The food was excellent and always well presented. It was never of the "steak and ... Read More
The longship accommodation was excellent bearing in mind limited space and my partner and I had no trouble in storing clothes and belongings. The food was excellent and always well presented. It was never of the "steak and chips" variety although we did have a beautifully tender "chateaubriand" one night. The excursions were well planned and organised and very interesting. The lady who took us round Cluny was a quite brilliant communicator and very knowledgeable. The captain and staff were charming and always helpful. My only complaints were the fault of "Head Office"s lack of communication. You failed to tell us that we could have had three days to start with on the "cote d'azure" You changed the time of the first outward plane because we did not have time to make the connection at Schiphol: this resulted in us setting off at 3.00am and hanging about in Amsterdam for three hours. On the return journey at Lyon no-one explained that the coach could not enter the airport and had to stop at the TGV train station. You can imagine the confusion this caused. I was the only one in the group who spoke French and fortunately could grasp the situation and what needed to be done! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Our second river cruise in Europe was on the Viking Buri, perhaps one of the nicest river boats afloat. One of the newer Viking longboats, the Buri has the best of everything a boat could have. The finest furnishings, fixtures, and decor. ... Read More
Our second river cruise in Europe was on the Viking Buri, perhaps one of the nicest river boats afloat. One of the newer Viking longboats, the Buri has the best of everything a boat could have. The finest furnishings, fixtures, and decor. The locks on the Eurpoean rivers dictate the maximum size these boats can be but Buri's designers managed to get more in the same space with a few design changes. Balconies were added to one side of the ship which gives Viking more revenue but no more passenger space. I feel the balconies are not necessary as the French balcony provides an excellent view and who needs to sit out on a 30 inch balcony? I did not see many passengers using the balconies and they take a foot or more of space from cabins on both sides of the boat. We boarded the boat in Chalon-sur-Saone after flying through Paris to Lyon where we spent the night before taking the train to Chalon the morning we sailed. Upon arrival in Lyon we took the Rhone Express from the airport (every 20-30 minutes and no need for advance purchase) to downtown Lyon where we stayed at the Mercure Lyon Part Dieu, just across the street from the terminus of the Rhone Express and not 70 meters from the train station. The Mercure is an excellent hotel for someone making these connections because of its location and the fact that it is a modern, beautiful hotel with a good restaurant and very reasonably priced rooms with king beds. A quick walk to the train mid-morning for our ride to Chalon on the train designated Lyon-Paris (no mention of Chalone but a red shirted information girl told me which train to catch.) We arrived in Chalone for a quick (15 Euro) cab ride to the ship and since it was after 3PM (1500) we were able to go to our cabin. As wonderful as the ship was, I wish I could say the same about the itinerary. My first River cruise was from Amsterdam to Budapest and there is no comparison to that scenery with what is in Provance. First you docked in beautiful European cities everyday while on this ship we were bused to most of the cities. Also, the countryside in Provance is just not the same as on the Rhine, the Mein and the Danube. One of the stops was at night for A 9-10 PM walk but we got there late and the walk did not end until 11:00; too late for me. Boat sailed, missed that city. Seemed to spend more time in some cities with less in others with no reason. One optional tour that I feel should be missed is the tour to Peroges an almost deserted medieval town. In my opinion a complete waste of time and money. Take the tour to Le Baux a very active medieval town at the top of a hill, if you like medieval cities. It is well worth your time and money. We took all the included tours but no other optional ones as we generally don't like to tour all day, everyday. We like free time to go back and see the cities on our own. Entertainment was an attractive piano player singing popular songs which I find more enjoyable than local folk dancers and musicians. The food was exceptional, the best of any of the three river cruises we have taken, and as good as or better than the food on the 35+ ocean cruises we have taken. The menus had three main courses with salmon and steak as always available options. I usually opted for the fish but had the veal and chateaubrian (sp) - all excellent. Our last day and night was in Avignon, one of the few cities where we actually docked. It was easy to go into town after the morning tour to the Pope's Palace. Our departure after seven nights was at 6AM (11 Euro cab ride with meter started at 7.50 - language differences precluded me from getting an explanation of why the meter started so high) from Avignon in order to catch the 6:45 train to the Marseille airport an hour and one-half away. We had bought train tickets in advance but could not print them until we got to the train station. Use the YELLOW ticket (Billet) machine; the only one with a keyboard to type your name and e-ticket confirmation code. I might add that we had no trouble getting tickets for all the trains and would not have needed to buy them in advance. But you can never be sure what traffic will be. Flight from Marseille to Paris and home. If you have never taken a European river cruise, take the Amsterdam to Budapest or a one week portion of it before you take this one. Then you won't need to take this one because you will have already seen the best of what the European rivers have to offer. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
This was our second river cruise - first on Viking. We were luckier than a lot of people in that we had excellent weather and no problems with locks or high water, etc. Would not cruise the Rhône again - quite industrial with many locks ... Read More
This was our second river cruise - first on Viking. We were luckier than a lot of people in that we had excellent weather and no problems with locks or high water, etc. Would not cruise the Rhône again - quite industrial with many locks and not as pretty as the Seine. The transfers were excellent; the ship was very nice; cabins comfortable; service excellent and the included side trips were fine; we also did not have much access to the sun deck - and the outside seating area at the bow of the ship is quite small. Dining - oh what a disappointment. We were looking forward to local dishes and wines - not so. The buffet lunch consisted every day of pasta tossed with olive oil, spinach and tomatoes - with accompanying salads - every day. Dinners were hit and miss - Quality and quantity just not there - seems that Viking was trying to cut corners - at least on this ship. Breakfasts were good - eggs cooked to order, smoked salmon. Cheeses, cold cuts, etc. The complimentary wines were inferior. Definitely below expectations. We spent three days in Paris at the end of the cruise at the Meridien Etoile - nice room and very central to the metro and the Air France office across the street - very kindly pointed out to us by Bernard, Viking's host at the hotel. Convenient to walk across the street to print out boarding passes and check seats. Our transfer from hotel to de Gaulle airport was brilliant - our Viking host was on top of everything and stayed with us until we went through security. No standing in line whatsoever. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
This is our second cruise with Viking and we were delighted to see that the wonderful customer service continued on this trip. Before we left we were informed that our boat had been changed from the one originally listed. (not a problem ... Read More
This is our second cruise with Viking and we were delighted to see that the wonderful customer service continued on this trip. Before we left we were informed that our boat had been changed from the one originally listed. (not a problem as all the new ships are the same). This had to do with logistics as there had been extensive flooding in the area - certainly not their fault. We also missed some ports due to the high river levels which prevented the boat from getting under the bridges. Everyone on the staff did their best to overcome these obstacles and we were able to see all of the included and optional sites with minimal bussing. Towards the end of the cruise we had to stay in Lyons instead of heading north, but they did a great job of - as the cruise director diplomatically stated "making sure that anyone who wanted to have a good time would be able to do so." As the boat was too far for us to return for lunch they arranged for a meal at a lovely local restaurant. They even set up an unscheduled excursion for those who wanted to spend less time on a bus (although our bus ride was through lovely countryside). It is unbelievable that one person talked about the mundane towns visited as we are seasoned travelers and thought that all the villages were beautiful and our tour guides entertaining and informative. There were 3 wine tastings, but each was totally different. One of our stops was at the factory outlet store of a major chocolate company where we could have unlimited access to samples of every type of chocolate imaginable. On another day we toured a small art museum in a beautiful old building - I am not even an "art" person but the experience of meeting the owner and taking in the atmosphere made us feel as though we were in an old movie. Most of the guests understood the problems caused by the flooding and appreciated how things were handled. We also discussed how some - in the minority - would be posting horrified reviews on the internet. Having now read some of these I felt the need to respond. True travelers realize that part of the experience includes the unexpected and nobody guarantees perfection because you are on vacation. When something does go wrong you just want to know that the company is doing their best to handle the situation and we absolutely felt that in term of Viking in general and the staff on the Viking Buri. One addition - they actually had a staff member accompany our bus to the airport at the end of the trip. She stayed with our group and did not leave until we were all checked in and about to go through security. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2014
Although all details of our outward and homeward journeys from and to Bristol went according to plan, felt that as we lived in Bristol and had an airport that flew direct to Marseille, the fact that we had to go via Amsterdam which ... Read More
Although all details of our outward and homeward journeys from and to Bristol went according to plan, felt that as we lived in Bristol and had an airport that flew direct to Marseille, the fact that we had to go via Amsterdam which incorporated 2 flights each way was definitely not in our best interest. The 'Buri' was indeed all that we had hoped for and more in that it was kept immaculately clean and well maintained and the staff were all very friendly and willing to help in any way they could. The food was definitely all that we had anticipated with wine flowing freely during lunch and dinner periods. We had previously spent a river cruise on the Rhine not with Viking, and were disappointed that when we docked we then had to be coached to places of interest, whereas on the Rhine we actually docked at the places of interest and were able to wander at will and not constantly being put onto coaches. The guides that were provided for these on shore excursions were excellent and very knowledgeable, and although my husband is hard of hearing, with the 'walkie talkie' devices we were given, he was able to heard all the relevant information, which certainly helped with his enjoyment of this holiday. However, we were not impressed that the sun deck was not accessible for quite a large amount of the time we were on board,and also that the latter part of our 'cruise' we were berthed in Lyon and had to be coached to the latter destination as the ship couldn't navigate under the bridges owing to the swollen river! We felt that the Viking ships were too large for this particular river and would have been better being one deck less, thus allowing people to enjoy the advertised river cruise and not glorified coach trip. Perhaps a suggestion to remedy this complaint might be to make use of local day excursion boats instead of coaches, thus still having a river view of the surrounding countryside. Our friends had paid £800 more than us for a balcony and spent 3 days not being able to pull their curtains back as we were moored alongside another Viking ship until such time as the river allowed the inside ship to sail. and their cabin looked directly into the other ship, which reading other reviews appears to be a common complaint. All in all we did enjoy the trip - staff and ship first class, but feel that the above issues do need to be resolved before we will be taking a cruise with Viking again, or in fact any river cruise line if this is common practice. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Having traveled with Viking before, our expectations were high. Unfortunately, we were disappointed. Part of the problem was that we did not do enough homework ahead of time. We chose the worst time of year ( due to work schedules) and did ... Read More
Having traveled with Viking before, our expectations were high. Unfortunately, we were disappointed. Part of the problem was that we did not do enough homework ahead of time. We chose the worst time of year ( due to work schedules) and did not realize how much of the cruise would be spent on a bus. Viking hides the fact that for many of the excursions you will have to ride a crowded, uncomfortable bus. There was no scenic views along the highways. We also spent much of the time waiting for the very slow walkers to catch up to the group. Viking does offer a "leisure" group for those passengers but most insisted on signing up for the regular groups ensuring that all of us would forgo the opportunity for free time. Toward the end of the trip, we gave up and just went on our own. This meant we missed out on a few attractions that we could only get into as part of the group tour. Another problem was the weather. We had several days of rain. The boat could not make it under some bridges, therefore we boarded in Lyon and sat docked in the industrial part of tow by an "American style mall" for 3 days. We were told this is a frequent problem. There was no suitable plan B. We were loaded on to busses every day and rode for hours to the town's we were scheduled to visit. There were some good things_ staff was friendly and pleasant, food was good, rooms were small but nice. Our previous trip with Viking was much better. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
Paris, 3 day add-on at the beginning. Hotel Meridien Etoile, very plain, small, but comfortable rooms, pretty good service, and wonderful breakfast buffets. Metro stop less than a block away, and lots of taxis available. Across the street ... Read More
Paris, 3 day add-on at the beginning. Hotel Meridien Etoile, very plain, small, but comfortable rooms, pretty good service, and wonderful breakfast buffets. Metro stop less than a block away, and lots of taxis available. Across the street from a nice urban shopping center. A very nice bar with good music in the evenings. Chalons-sur-Saone was the advertised embarkation point. On arrival we were informed that with high water on the Saone, the ship couldn't safely sail under bridges, and we would bus to Lyon, with a stop in Dijon on the way. The bus ride was several hours long, but in a nice bus with a friendly, informative tour guide along the way. Dijon was perfectly lovely, with a lunch stop and a nice variety of interesting restaurants from which to choose. Beautiful medieval buildings, Marielle was great at telling us about the sights we saw, and a pleasant walk through the town. Embarkation in Lyon was smooth, and the staff welcomed passengers warmly. We were 3 days in port at Lyon, so the cruise had a good long start as a stay in a floating hotel. The ship was comfortable, the staff wonderful, and if I ever have to be "stuck" someplace, I would freely choose Lyon. A fabulous old city, and at the same time, a vibrant, modern, liveable place. Magali, our tour guide, was engaging, helpful, and exceptionally interesting and informative. On our own, we arranged dinner at Auberge du Pont de Collonges, the flagship restaurant of world-famous Chef Paul Bocuse. Fabulous! A geat foodie experience, and we won't be buying a new car for a few years, as a consequence. We particularly liked the cathedral on the hill, the old-city pedestrian way, and the public market. While in Lyon, we had bus tours to Perouges, a quaint medieval village, the Cluny Abbey, and Beaune, with a most interesting hospital museum dating from 1443, Tremendously interesting places, with engaging, informative tour guides, but long bus rides, sometimes in stalled city traffic. Finally underway, we cruised in an afternoon to Vienne, with a walking and portable train tour. The walk was a bit of a hurry-up, but interesting, with 2 beautiful churches and lots of Roman ruins. Cruised the evening to Tournon, stayed overnight. In the AM was a walking tour of Tain l'Hermitage, a winery, and chocolate shop; fun and interesting. Then followed the only real daytime cruise of the journey, from Tournon to Viviers. Charming, picturesque, quant riverside villages, churches, castles, a wonderful Taste of Provence dinner aboard, and a nighttime walk in Viviers, a medieval village. The cruise was a bit disappointing in that the upper deck was closed due to low bridges. Cruised on to Avignon during the night, and docked in the middle of the city, next to another ship. Can't say enough good about Avignon, and tours to Arles a short distance away. The walking tours were, again, a bit like Rawhide (Keep 'em rollin', rollin', rollin') but so many interesting sights to see, fine restaurants, lively street scene, Papal Palace, etc. Disembarkation was painless, and again, a somewhat long bus ride to the Marseilles Airport. Lots of plusses on this cruise. We're quite experienced France tourists, and we saw so many new placers, an experience greatly enhance by Viking tours, both included and optional, and the excellent guides who led them. A couple of the shipboard meals were truly excellent. Cannot say enough nice things about the Viking Buri Staff, from the Captain and First Officer, to the Tour Director and Concierge, to the dining room and housekeeping staff, and a most excellent musician to entertain us. The ship was comfortable and well laid-out. Objectively, and not too critically, some things were sub-optimal. The cruise actually encompassed very little cruising. There was a lot more bus-riding than cruising! PBS Viking ads show svelte Ralph Lauren/Saks 5th 40-50-somethings sipping wine while cruising on the top deck along picturesque waterways. On our cruise, the average daily high temp., F, was under 100, but not by much, and the average age of passengers was also under 100, but not by much. Lots of golf shirts, large white tenny-runners, baggy pink polyester pantsuits, floppy-goofy hats, and endless restroom stops. The food and wine on board, with a couple of exceptions, were very ordinary and uninspiring. Overall, a fine experience, due to the location of the cruise, and the superb effort of the Viking staff. Might well do another river cruise in the future. 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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