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
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: May 2018
I have been on many ocean cruises and I enjoyed the Amawaterways Christmas Market cruise so I expected about the same from the Viking Buri Rhone river cruise. I give the Buri's staff 5 STARS as well as all Viking tour guides, escorts ... Read More
I have been on many ocean cruises and I enjoyed the Amawaterways Christmas Market cruise so I expected about the same from the Viking Buri Rhone river cruise. I give the Buri's staff 5 STARS as well as all Viking tour guides, escorts etc. I paid for the transport from the airport to the hotel [I stayed a few days in Paris before the cruise] and it was money well spent! It was very easy to find the Viking Reps after clearing customs. All very very friendly and were very helpful. I celebrated a special birthday on the Viking Buri and they made it fun! BUT....the cruise was very overpriced. The breakfast buffet area was very tight. The food was fine for breakfast, but the portions were small. If you order pancakes or french toast you may want to order doubles. I got 2 siver dollar sized pancakes! I looked forward to meeting the Captain. All of the hors d'oeuvres were gone when it started and they did not replenish them. I guess repeat passengers knew to show up early. This is the ONLY cruise that I had to pay for my own cocktail at the captain's party. Later, they passed around champagne. Overall, the dinner food and wine selections and portions were very disappointing. On Amawaterways we enjoyed a different wine every night. On the Viking Buri, we had the same wine every night except one. $7.99 wine! The menus were strange. The food didn't "flow" e.g. the soup had an Indian curry flavor, followed by something with spaghetti sauce. The beef bourguignon was delicious, but there were 5 or 6 small pieces of beef. The age of the passengers varied, but most were senior citizens as expected. The Viking Buri had a few evening walks when it was dark, walking on uneven ground and cobblestones. This just doesn't make sense except to fill a square! When I received my flight itinerary, generated by a computer, it was outrageous, spending two nights in different airports on the return trip. HOWEVER, by paying $50 per person I was able to talk to a Viking rep in person to get a more realistic flight schedule. Viking should be ashamed to associate themselves with Air France. They are well aware of multiple labor strike actions by Air France. My flight from Marseilles to Paris was delayed an hour just as we were ready to board. I received a phone call last week informing me that Air France was not accountable for this because the Air Traffic Controllers called a strike! I had to RUN to make my connecting flight in Paris as they were paging me overhead ready to close the doors of the plane. When I finally arrived in Miami, I was 1 of 120 passengers whose luggage was not loaded onto the plane. The Air France customer service rep's attitude was "I don't care". I had to file a report online [they were well aware of the passengers names and baggage numbers since the rep had a clipboard with this information.] Every day I checked to see when my bag would be delivered. "Still searching" was the message I received. There are 3 direct flights/day from Paris to Miami. By day 5 I lost hope! My luggage was delivered 6 days and 18 flights later to my sister's house down the street! I filed a complaint with the department of transportation. The airline is required to respond within 30 days. I had to purchase some basic necessities--I had 12 days of clothes, cosmetics, etc in my suitcase and I am waiting for reimbursement. Air France said the check is in the mail! I met some great people on the cruise and this is one birthday I will always remember!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
Since returning from my April 15, 2018, Viking River cruise, on the BURI, I have spoken to so many people about my experience and my disappointment with Viking. My reasons for taking this Viking cruise: 1. Delicious French food and ... Read More
Since returning from my April 15, 2018, Viking River cruise, on the BURI, I have spoken to so many people about my experience and my disappointment with Viking. My reasons for taking this Viking cruise: 1. Delicious French food and French wines 2. Being pampered while on vacation 3. Touring cities and towns in France 4. Taking a river cruise Viking provided only one of the four reasons I took this trip. The tours and tour guides were excellent. Everything else with Viking was a poor experience at a high cost. I sent back two uneaten dinners, (both fish) the wait staff did not ask why they were going back after a single bite. The reason was that the fish was unseasoned, over cooked, cold, and inedible. Lamb was overdone and all gristle, steak was what you would find at an inexpensive diner in the states. None of our food was cooked to order, it was prepared well in advance, and tasted like it. I was very hopeful when the Viking Executive Corporate Chef came on board that the food would improve. By the end of the week a THIRD Executive Chef came to assist. Seems like Viking knew there was a problem, but the food quality did not improve. Often there were dirty plates and bowls used on the buffet. The customers were noticing the dirty dishes NOT the wait staff. The wines were mediocre and repetitive and were left in my glass night after night. I had expected, as advertised, wines that were to be paired with the food. This was not the case. It was the same mediocre wine every night, I mean we are in France! The sun deck was closed more often than open. The advertising shows walking the deck and cruising the river, both of which I had looked forward to. The deck was never open when I wanted to be outside and this was a huge disappointment. As far as entertainment - there was one OK piano player, every night! Lastly, the wait staff was unprepared and unexperienced. They seemed totally overwhelmed at the thought of serving meals. Bread would arrive after the meal was served, sauces were forgotten, getting coffee at the end of the meal was a 20 min. wait, etc. I have covered the major points that were most disappointing on my Viking River cruise in hopes that future passengers would benefit from my experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
Out of all of our VIKING RIVER BOAT Cruises, this was by all counts, the worst. The staff seemed tired and not very friendly, ship had a bad odor, it must be needing a re-do, the Wifi was terrible. All of our other long ships have ... Read More
Out of all of our VIKING RIVER BOAT Cruises, this was by all counts, the worst. The staff seemed tired and not very friendly, ship had a bad odor, it must be needing a re-do, the Wifi was terrible. All of our other long ships have been new and beautiful. The BURI must be a much older ship. It had a sewer problem all week, nasty smell all over the ship. Dining room staff were very slow to take orders & get the food out. The PA system on the ship didn't work for the first 3 days, so no announcements were announced. The wifi system was terrible, all the other ships have had excellent wifi. I would recommend VIKING takes a good look at this ship and make some much needed improvements, the food was mediocre. They offered a night time walking tour, we did not go, but 2 ladies fell and were hurt quite badly. They had no flash lights to walk with, one lady broke her glasses, and hurt her shoulder and face and had multiple bruises, the other lady was taken to the hospital and needed a leg brace when she was returned to the ship, she alo was quite badly hurt. I would suggest they discontinue this night tour. We have 2 more Viking cruises coming up in 2018, hope the ships are better maintained than the BURI. We are booked on their RHINE GET AWAY cruise & the MAGNIFICENT MEKONG, an update to our cabin from VIKING would be very nice, if possible! 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
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
This cruise was a great disappointment. We only sailed 3 out of 7 days! The first delay was because of river conditions. No other explanation. We were bused to see the sites. The next delay was because the lock operators were on strike. ... Read More
This cruise was a great disappointment. We only sailed 3 out of 7 days! The first delay was because of river conditions. No other explanation. We were bused to see the sites. The next delay was because the lock operators were on strike. Not Vikings fault and it only meant a delay of 3-4 hours. The next delay was amazing. Many passengers had gone on an excursion. We were to meet them downriver at our next destination. I thought the boat was going very fast. Some of the passengers were watching out the window and saw the boat go straight into the bank! One passenger was knocked off her feet, but luckily was not hurt. The bow was covered in broken trees. The glass around the bow was broken. The captain was able to get the boat off the bank after 20" of going back and forth in reverse. We went back to Avignon to be inspected by a team from Basil. There we stayed. This accident was referred to as "the incident". Our compensation for this was free drinks before and after dinner. Also..the captain was there to say goodbye the next day! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Boarded Viking Buri 9/27/15 from Chalon France for Portraits of Southern France 8 day cruise. Checked in, welcomed, and then unpacked in our stateroom. Later we reviewed the cruise materials. Read a notice: Opening paragraph, "As ... Read More
Boarded Viking Buri 9/27/15 from Chalon France for Portraits of Southern France 8 day cruise. Checked in, welcomed, and then unpacked in our stateroom. Later we reviewed the cruise materials. Read a notice: Opening paragraph, "As you have already been informed by our Program Director, a few passengers on board are currently suffering from gastrointestinal illness." We'd been on board maybe an hour. First time we were informed. Didn't know who the P. Director was. (Anyone boarding at Chalon didn't either.) The notice stated it is highly contagious especially among 65+ populations. Can lead to complications due to severe dehydration. They listed the protocols the staff was taking to contain the outbreak and recommended we continuously wash our hands and not to touch our face. 3 days later we called the desk to inform them I was ill. We knew we would be quarantined in our room. Quickly realized there is not one staff member assigned to monitor the condition of infected guests nor to gather pertinent medical history. No checking whatsoever. 10 hours of unrelenting diarrhea and vomiting, I asked to obtain a prescription to control the vomiting due to preexisting chronic kidney condition. Concierge was sent into Lyon. Couldn't obtain the medication as it required a prescription. I asked for a doctor. 4 hours later one arrived. He wrote 2 prescriptions in which my roommate was temporarily released into Lyon to get them filled (she doesn't speak French). This was an hour before dusk. I recovered. Later earned that 7 infected passengers had boarded from a previous Viking cruise days before. At the end of our cruise (10/3) 22 people had contracted the illness. I asked the Hotel Director 1. Why weren't arriving guests informed before going to their staterooms, thus it would be their decision to take the gamble? 2. What would have been Viking's response if someone had said they did not want to board given the active breakout? 3. Was I correct in assuming no Viking staff was assigned to monitor ill guests (not treat, just to check every 4 hours, keep a list of concerns, etc.)? He confirmed that was correct. (Second unfortunate circumstance was the ship broke down in Lyon - 2 day fix, lots of buses to towns, foreshortened tours and a stretch of night cruising to catch-up.) I wrote Viking (Woodland Hills, California). Their email expressed sympathy and they would forward my concerns to the Western European office. They emphasized the illness can occur where there are large numbers of people in a self-contained space. Wouldn't directly answer my question about informing guests of an active out breakout before boarding, or assigning a person to oversee ill guests. My AAA office also contacted Viking which resulted in Viking offering my travel mate and I a voucher (approx. $1000 each) toward another cruise. We declined as it meant gambling again and another $5-6000 from us to pay the balance. Had they wanted this to be a goodwill offer, it should simply be in cash. I've traveled on land tours (Road Scholar and OATS). Both times impressed with their tour directors as they clearly knew how to engage medical assistance when needed. Not locked in a room with no one checking. One large cruise (Holland America) that given it's size, does provide medical support Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our second Viking River Cruise and we were excited at the beginning because our first cruise had been such a delight. We took the Portraits of Southern France cruise in late September/early October 2015. We were warmly welcomed ... Read More
This was our second Viking River Cruise and we were excited at the beginning because our first cruise had been such a delight. We took the Portraits of Southern France cruise in late September/early October 2015. We were warmly welcomed when we boarded the Viking Buri in Chalon sur Saone. Within hours, the ship’s management informed us that passengers boarding from another Viking cruise had contracted and/or been exposed to Gastroenteritis. As a result, Viking suspended coffee station service and lunch buffet service, and passengers were not permitted to serve themselves anything at any meal. On day six of the cruise, the program director announced that GI illness was no longer a concern. Notwithstanding, Viking never resumed those services. Things went seriously awry on day 3 as a result of the failure of one of the ship’s engine generators. It took 36 hours for the program director to advise the passengers that there was an issue and how it would be resolved. As a result, the ship spent three days docked in Lyon while we waited for a part to arrive to effect the repair. Viking arranged for us to visit the other scheduled stops on the itinerary, which meant they put us on buses and bused us around France. For example, part of the appeal of this cruise’s itinerary was a full-day visit to Arles. Instead we spent almost 2-1/2 hours on a bus to Arles and almost two hours, again on a bus, to re-board the Buri. Because the ship was continually a day behind the schedule and not docked at the places we were visiting, passengers did not have access to the ship during most of the shore excursions. As a result, quite a few passengers elected not to take the shore excursions because the bused versions of the excursions were too physically demanding – not because of the sites visited but because of the extensive periods of time on the bus. In an effort to make up time after finally leaving Lyon, the Buri cruised at night, which meant we never got to enjoy sitting on deck and watching the river during the day. On the positive side, the Buri, like the other Viking long ship we traveled on, is comfortable, clean and well-organized. The staff is very professional, and everyone extended themselves to make us comfortable. The food was excellent as were the guides for shore excursions. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
My husband and I have been on many cruises, but this was our first river cruise. We were really looking forward to the experience of sitting on the top deck (or our own balcony which we paid extra for) and watching the French countryside ... Read More
My husband and I have been on many cruises, but this was our first river cruise. We were really looking forward to the experience of sitting on the top deck (or our own balcony which we paid extra for) and watching the French countryside and drinking some good French Wine. Our first day was just that - a beautiful views from the sun deck with a good glass of wine. On our second day in Lyon after a nice city tour, we were informed during our daily review that there was a problem with a critical part of the ship and our departure would be delayed. We were disappointed but were expecting the delay to be a half a day at most. This delay became 3 days. The cities and towns that we were supposed to be crusing to became bus tours of over 2 hours each direction and terrible rush hour traffic on return to Lyon. (where we were parked for 4 days with a view of a stone wall and a bike path). Once the part was replaced, we only cruised at night when we were sleeping. We never had the use of our balcony for river cruising. To top it off, the cruise before ours (on another ship) had the norovirus and those passengers were allowed to board our ship. We had no coffee bar, no access to public restrooms, no salt and pepper, or sugar and cream on the tables, no bar snacks. We had to be served at the buffet breakfast (3 or 4 people serving several hundred passengers). We were not offered any renumeration for our inconvenience - not even a token bottle of champagne. The basic attitude was "it is out of our control - not our fault". Since we paid significantly more for a river cruise than we would have for a land tour (and a "hotel room" on the ship that was significantly smaller than a normal hotel room) we asked Viking for a partial refund. Our request was refused with an offer for a discount on a future cruise. We will NOT be taking another Viking Cruise. As an IT professional where we have disaster recovery plans for "critical systems" I would have expected Viking to be able to replace a part in the heart of Europe in less than 3 days - particularly for a cruise for 6 nights. The ship was nice, the food was good but not exceptional. Overall the personnel were professional and competent. The itinerary was good - we really would have loved the ability to walk on and off the ship to the small towns instead of being ferried on a bus with limited time to really appreciate the local culture. We saw plenty of other cruise lines on the same itinerary - I would recommend considering one of them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
The Good: The crew, the staff, the boat. We splurged on an Executive Suite and didn't regret it for a moment. Spacious and well laid out, the stateroom easily allowed this earlier-riser husband to avoid disturbing late-sleeper ... Read More
The Good: The crew, the staff, the boat. We splurged on an Executive Suite and didn't regret it for a moment. Spacious and well laid out, the stateroom easily allowed this earlier-riser husband to avoid disturbing late-sleeper wife. The views from the wrap-around balcony were sensational throughout the cruise. The OK: Considering the limits of time and space, the kitchen crew did a remarkable job three meals a day. A few of the dishes were exceptional, but no one would mistake the Buri for a three-star restaurant. We took Viking's offer of a three-day pre-cruise Paris stay. The hotel located two Metro stops west of La Place de L'Étoile, was relatively, if not optimally, convenient and well-appointed. It was rated four stars. I hadn't previously been aware of the chasm that exists between the fourth and fifth stars. The Bad: The travel arrangements: We had Viking arrange all our travel plans, to, from, and within France. For the trans-Atlantic flights we upgraded to business class. We had no choice of airline, and found Air France's version of "classe affaires" to be shockingly substandard. Both flights were on old planes with obsolete technology. On both flights there were glitches with the entertainment system; it didn't work at all on the flight to Paris and had to be rebooted twice at twenty minutes a shot on the return flight. The comfort and "extras" both in the air and on the ground didn't hold a candle to those of almost any Asian airline or, say, Virgin "Upper Class." The transfer from Paris to Chalon-sur-Sâone, the point of embarcation for the cruise, was via a FOUR-AND-A-HALF HOUR BUS TRIP!! Really!!! There's a 1.5 hour TGV from Paris to Dijon, where the bus stopped for a brief tour anyway, but that was apparently not an option with Viking. Compared to others, our flights to and from France were relatively painless. A couple from England with Viking-arranged travel plans had to be bussed to Marseille from Avignon, fly to Amsterdam, endure a five-hour layover before hopping a puddle jumper to Manchester. Total time: about the same as ours to Washington DC. The excursions. Most excursions started between 8-9 AM and lasted almost exactly four hours. Most involved uncomfortable bus trips; all involved following guides carrying identifying "lollipops" and individual electronic devices as, because of the size of the group (usually 30+) the guide would have otherwise been inaudible. The feeling of being rounded up and herded each morning was inescapable. The one-size-fits-all approach was not what I had hoped for on a "no compromises" vacation. In the 9 years since I've been retired I'd always been able to say I had never been bored. This, sadly, is no longer true. Conclusion: We take one major, blow-the-budget, no compromise trip a year. This was the eighth since my retirement and by far the least memorable. We gave it a shot: I had never wanted to go on a cruise, but was convinced that a river cruise with Viking would change my mind. It didn't. Big trips take lots of planning. The genesis of this trip was to see how well we could do leaving the planning to others. It won't happen again. I will NEVER AGAIN ride on an inter-urban bus nor be rendered a passive gawker on a tour made as impersonal and generic as possible by an "audio device" (a term that by the end of the tour had become an expression "that will live in infamy" with me) that all-but-precludes any meaningful interaction with the guide. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
Very disappointed in this cruise. Had done Viking before and was very satisfied. Cannot recommend them in the future. The food was not good. The Program Director was awful. We arrived late because of a flight cancellation (they booked ... Read More
Very disappointed in this cruise. Had done Viking before and was very satisfied. Cannot recommend them in the future. The food was not good. The Program Director was awful. We arrived late because of a flight cancellation (they booked our airfare with us not being allowed to have any input as to the selections). They didn't do anything to try to make up the lost days for us. We wanted to cancel once we saw we were going to miss at least the first 2 days and Viking would not allow us to reschedule..... so we had to get on a plane that had at least 5 problems that were being repaired.... or lose our $7,000. No one at Viking would help us. The top deck was almost never opened for the entire cruise. The guided tours were too slow and we saw far too little of each city. Not much to see along these rivers. The cities were nice for the most part but the tours were not good. Missed a lot of time due to being stuck in the locks twice. Did I mention the program directors was awful. She was a "fill in" and didn't seem to care if she did a good job or not. Would not recommend this particular cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
I was extremely disappointed with the Viking River Cruise from which I just returned. The river was too high so we couldn't leave the port. The way the situation was handled left much room for improvement. It was obvious that the ... Read More
I was extremely disappointed with the Viking River Cruise from which I just returned. The river was too high so we couldn't leave the port. The way the situation was handled left much room for improvement. It was obvious that the director was given very little authority as to what to do in such a situation. The passengers were extremely angry and given little opportunity to get questions answered. The front desk was not knowledgable of the area and could give very little information. The food was the worst food I have ever had on a cruise ship, and as for entertainment--there was very little. All in all I will not be taking another Viking Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
The Buri is a beautiful ship with a wonderful staff. Every meal was a great experience and the service was excellent. The Rhone river is another story. The river has a muddy brown color the entire length of the cruise and was overloaded ... Read More
The Buri is a beautiful ship with a wonderful staff. Every meal was a great experience and the service was excellent. The Rhone river is another story. The river has a muddy brown color the entire length of the cruise and was overloaded with branches, trees, logs and trash the first 3 days out of Avignon. If there was anything to see along the waterway you'll never know for the river banks on both sides are lined with tall densely populated trees. Then there are the 11 locks that can take hours to navigate due to heavy river traffic. Lyon was a beautiful city with much to do and see. The rest of the days were spent in quite ordinary towns with little or nothing of significance. We had one tour guide take us to a very ordinary town hall and then to the post office as highlights of her town. It was almost laughable. We have been on many river cruises in Europe and each one has been a terrific experience, unfortunately, the Rhone river is not one of them. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
From the very beginning of this cruise things went wrong. Due to the changing of ports we missed the first nights dinner due to our late arrival, although they did serve us cold soup and a stale sandwich. Captain was aloof, restaurant ... Read More
From the very beginning of this cruise things went wrong. Due to the changing of ports we missed the first nights dinner due to our late arrival, although they did serve us cold soup and a stale sandwich. Captain was aloof, restaurant manager was rude and organization of excursions was day to day. The guides were hard to understand, rushed us through the sites and were not well informed. Some of our excursions took us over 2 hours to arrive. The food on the ship was very inconsistent. Steaks were good, but poultry and fish was overcooked and tasteless. We stayed in Lyon 3 days facing a graffiti riddled building-not the cruising we were promised. Only got to use the sundeck the last day due to high water. The entertainment consisted of a piano player that played the same music over and over again. Only one night did we get a break from this monotony. The complimentary wine was poor in quality and forced us to order from the partial wine list at our cost. We wrote a letter to complain about the quality and low price value. The only thing offered was a discount on our next cruise with Viking-the same discount offered to all other past guests. Why would we want to cruise again with Viking. They did not deliver and we will never use them again. Don't make the mistake of booking with Viking-AMA is a much better choice. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2014
We booked this cruise as at the last moment, the cruise we had planned on Danube from Budapest to Germany got canceled becuase the ship was damaged and had to go into dry dock for repairs. Our pick up at Marsailles airport was well done. ... Read More
We booked this cruise as at the last moment, the cruise we had planned on Danube from Budapest to Germany got canceled becuase the ship was damaged and had to go into dry dock for repairs. Our pick up at Marsailles airport was well done. So from June 22 through June 30 we were on the Viking Buri, a brand new ship for 2014. Upon arrival at the Buri, we were told we could not sail as scheduled the next day, Monday June 23, was Bastille Day, a French national holiday and the river locks would be closed! Question was immediate, why did not Viking know this in advance?? A preview of things to come! We remained tied up until Tuesday. As the river was up a bit (high water), the top (observation deck) was closed as the Buri was too high to pass under the bridges with the deck set up for use with chairs and awnings. We were told it took two hours to take down everything on the top deck and two hours to set it up so since the bridges were closer together than four hours, the deck would remain closed. So that meant 190 or so unhappy passengers would have to try to find room on the small bow observation deck where there was room for possibly 50+. Due to the river height the Buri was trapped at Lyon between low bridges. So we ended up in Lyon, where we stayed for four days. The Buri was tied up next to her sister ship which blocked any view of Lyon. The dock area was far from the city center dock so it meant getting a taxi or a long hoofing to get out of the industrial area into the city proper. We ended up getting bussed to the various sights but it was a long walk to get to the bus pickup area, a problem for those on board who could not walk long distances. The river at our docking area stank badly also making the observation bow deck unpleasant and generally prevented anyone from opening their cabin windows if they were on the left side of the Buri. Those on the right side looked directly into the sister ship, several feet away, not exactly pleasant. Our weather was hot (90+ F) but the Buir's cooling system kept the ship very comfortable. Naturally a fair number of passengers raised holy heck about the situation. Unfortunately there was nothing the staff, crew or ship's officers could do about the situation. Nothing was ever heard from Viking Corporate Management about the situation. Management did not handle the situation very well at all. Obviously some part of Management had put the new Bari and sister ship on this river without regard to the ships overall size and cruising conditions on the river. Essentially a very stupid Management decision. There was no mention at the time of any compensation or partial refund which would have gone a long way to calming some passengers (nor even a free open bar). Upon returning to the USA, I heard some had later received a letter about what happened, but I did not get one. Overall, very poorly handled by Viking!! The staff and crew were excellent under this trying situation. If you had to get trapped on the river, at least being in Lyon was better than being stuck in one of the other much smaller towns and villages. Many of us on board, did our best to make our extended Lyon stay as good as possible. Our shipmates overall were a good, friendly bunch of people from all over the world. Our dining was excellent with a variety of choices always available for each meal. Service by the wait staff was excellent. The lunch and dinner wine/beer or other selections were not top-shelf but still good. Our room was serviced very well each day. Several evenings there was entertainment in the lounge which most enjoyed. Some passengers who paid the somewhat expensive up-tic for drinks were disappointed at the lack of selection and variety. On a previous Alaska cruise in 2013, our small 50 passenger ship had a much better stocked bar and at lower prices. SUMMARY - I have been asked by friends if I would choose Viking again and, honestly, I have to say no, mostly due to the lack of response from their Top Managment. It is difficult to accept that Bastille Day popped up out of nowhere for them and that by late June, that no one was aware (concerned) that the ships could not always pass under the bridges on the sailing route. What really dismays me is that the Viking 2015 Cruise Brochure shows the Buir and her sister ship still scheduled to sail for this particular voyage. DON'T THEY LEARN ! ! ! ! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Do not take this tour if you have any mobility issues at all. When I booked this I was told that the tour buses let you on and off throughout the towns . "All you have to be able to do is get on and off of a bus". I was lied to. ... Read More
Do not take this tour if you have any mobility issues at all. When I booked this I was told that the tour buses let you on and off throughout the towns . "All you have to be able to do is get on and off of a bus". I was lied to. The walks are long and at times challenging to and from the ship and buses, as well as on the excursions. Even on the "easy" excursions. We paid cab drivers (50 Euros per hour is the current rate) to get us out so we could see something. The excursion towns all started to look the same and got quite boring. Food was of good quality but we started to see reruns at the end of the week. All in all I do not feel that this was worth the amount of money that I paid for this cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
Having enjoyed previous river cruises with Viking and having decided that 2 weeks was too long this seemed an excellent opportunity to be in France without the bother, but somehow it failed to press our buttons. We weren't helped by ... Read More
Having enjoyed previous river cruises with Viking and having decided that 2 weeks was too long this seemed an excellent opportunity to be in France without the bother, but somehow it failed to press our buttons. We weren't helped by the very high temperatures that made sitting on deck and watching the world go by an option and as most of the sailing was at night we were denied that pleasure. The morning expeditions were fine but going ashore in the afternoons was really demanding. The boat was frequently moored at inconvenient stations and we wondered if this too was to do with costs. We couldn't escape the feeling that Viking were cutting corners. The boat felt understaffed (there was never anyone a the Concierge desk) and the whole day excursions were hugely expensive at almost £200 per person per trip. The food seemed to be less exciting than we recall from last year although some of the staff, particularly the programme director and some of the waiters worked extremely hard to look after us. Given French patisserie the biscuits at the drinks station left much to be desired. So did it reach expectations? Compared to previous cruises, sadly no. We're fairly gregarious but this time often felt excluded by the many groups in the dining room. We love river cruising and have more to do but we will widen our search and perhaps look for better value for money. 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

Find a Viking Buri Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise