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To celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, my husband and I researched many options. We had done ocean cruises, but had never been on a river cruise. After consideration, we decided to take the Viking River Cruise on the Rhone and Saone Rivers in France. Along with our son, his wife, our daughter and her husband, we sailed on the Viking Buri for seven days from Avignon to Chalon-sur-Saone. The Buri was put into service in 2013. The ship is beautiful and for a long, narrow ship, quite spacious. There are numerous seating areas, both inside and outside. The ship provides a variety of games and books--particularly books on the region being visited. Breakfast and lunch are served in the main dining room as well as the lounge and the Aquavit Terrace which is an inside/outside area at the bow of the ship. Dinner is served in the dining room and there is one seating with no reserved tables. The lounge has a lovely bar area and very comfortable sofas and chairs. Most activities onboard the ship are centered around the land excursions with talks, question/answer sessions, and information about the passing scenery and towns. The Program Director was terrific and very, very knowledgeable. Each evening he would discuss the next day's shore or on board activities and accompanied the groups on the shore excursions. Although my husband and I did not participate in the later evening activities, there was a pianist who our children said was very good and enjoyable. From fore and aft, from top to bottom, from port to starboard, the service was impeccable. Our cabin was always immaculate; the Concierge and Reception were welcoming, efficient, and helpful; and the dining room and additional dining area staff were gracious, good humored, and delightful. We could not have asked for better treatment. The shore and port excursions were well planned and executed. Guides were informative, friendly, and with good humor which made the trips more enjoyable. The antiquities visited were surprising and beautiful. Much more interesting than we might have imagined. Our cabin, while small by hotel standards, was well laid out with plenty of storage and closet space. The bathroom was particularly well thought out. We certainly did not feel cramped or confined. The bed and bedding were high quality and very comfortable. Our daughter and her husband had the French Balcony and were quite pleased with that accommodation. The additions of a Veranda Suite, Explorer Suite or Standard Stateroom made for appropriate options although we were in our cabin so little, we were glad we had decided on the Veranda Stateroom. All meals were available on board, although in Lyon some passengers opted for dinner ashore. The meals were excellent with a variety of menu items as well as buffet selections. At dinner a meat, vegetarian, or fish selection was always available in addition to complementary starches, vegetables, fruits and cheeses. The food was well prepared and presented with top tier service. While beer, wine, and soft drinks were available at no extra charge at lunch and dinner, our family selected an upgraded beverage package which allowed us to sample some very good wines and beer on the trip which we might otherwise not have had. Our son and daughter are in their 40's, and although most reviews will say these cruises are for the over 50 crowd, our children and their spouses had a wonderful time as well and I think would consider another cruise of this type again. Obviously, any trip is 90% what you make of it. Viking makes embarkation and disembarkation simple and hassle free. If you arrive at the ship prior to the availability of your stateroom, they have a buffet luncheon set up which makes the time go rather quickly. On disembarkation, luggage is appropriately marked and set out at specific times so the passageways are not crowded and passengers can collect their items quickly and easily once on shore. There is no question that my husband and I, as well as our children, would take another Viking River Cruise. Our hope for the next one would be the Rhine River. One caveat: Through no fault of the cruise line, the water level on rivers may be too high or too low for the ships to travel beyond a certain point; and in some cases, passengers are moved to another ship to continue the journey. We were fortunate on our trip that the rivers were at just the right height and we were able to traverse both with no difficulty. The Viking River Cruise Line does its utmost to provide the adventure each passenger envisioned with the least amount of effort on the part of the passenger. For us, they accomplished that with flying colors.

Fantastic Trip!

Viking Buri Cruise Review by Keukamimi

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2014
  • Destination: France
To celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, my husband and I researched many options. We had done ocean cruises, but had never been on a river cruise. After consideration, we decided to take the Viking River Cruise on the Rhone and Saone Rivers in France. Along with our son, his wife, our daughter and her husband, we sailed on the Viking Buri for seven days from Avignon to Chalon-sur-Saone. The Buri was put into service in 2013. The ship is beautiful and for a long, narrow ship, quite spacious. There are numerous seating areas, both inside and outside. The ship provides a variety of games and books--particularly books on the region being visited. Breakfast and lunch are served in the main dining room as well as the lounge and the Aquavit Terrace which is an inside/outside area at the bow of the ship. Dinner is served in the dining room and there is one seating with no reserved tables. The lounge has a lovely bar area and very comfortable sofas and chairs.
Most activities onboard the ship are centered around the land excursions with talks, question/answer sessions, and information about the passing scenery and towns. The Program Director was terrific and very, very knowledgeable. Each evening he would discuss the next day's shore or on board activities and accompanied the groups on the shore excursions. Although my husband and I did not participate in the later evening activities, there was a pianist who our children said was very good and enjoyable.
From fore and aft, from top to bottom, from port to starboard, the service was impeccable. Our cabin was always immaculate; the Concierge and Reception were welcoming, efficient, and helpful; and the dining room and additional dining area staff were gracious, good humored, and delightful. We could not have asked for better treatment.
The shore and port excursions were well planned and executed. Guides were informative, friendly, and with good humor which made the trips more enjoyable. The antiquities visited were surprising and beautiful. Much more interesting than we might have imagined.
Our cabin, while small by hotel standards, was well laid out with plenty of storage and closet space. The bathroom was particularly well thought out. We certainly did not feel cramped or confined. The bed and bedding were high quality and very comfortable. Our daughter and her husband had the French Balcony and were quite pleased with that accommodation. The additions of a Veranda Suite, Explorer Suite or Standard Stateroom made for appropriate options although we were in our cabin so little, we were glad we had decided on the Veranda Stateroom.
All meals were available on board, although in Lyon some passengers opted for dinner ashore. The meals were excellent with a variety of menu items as well as buffet selections. At dinner a meat, vegetarian, or fish selection was always available in addition to complementary starches, vegetables, fruits and cheeses. The food was well prepared and presented with top tier service. While beer, wine, and soft drinks were available at no extra charge at lunch and dinner, our family selected an upgraded beverage package which allowed us to sample some very good wines and beer on the trip which we might otherwise not have had.
Our son and daughter are in their 40's, and although most reviews will say these cruises are for the over 50 crowd, our children and their spouses had a wonderful time as well and I think would consider another cruise of this type again. Obviously, any trip is 90% what you make of it.
Viking makes embarkation and disembarkation simple and hassle free. If you arrive at the ship prior to the availability of your stateroom, they have a buffet luncheon set up which makes the time go rather quickly. On disembarkation, luggage is appropriately marked and set out at specific times so the passageways are not crowded and passengers can collect their items quickly and easily once on shore.
There is no question that my husband and I, as well as our children, would take another Viking River Cruise. Our hope for the next one would be the Rhine River.
One caveat: Through no fault of the cruise line, the water level on rivers may be too high or too low for the ships to travel beyond a certain point; and in some cases, passengers are moved to another ship to continue the journey. We were fortunate on our trip that the rivers were at just the right height and we were able to traverse both with no difficulty. The Viking River Cruise Line does its utmost to provide the adventure each passenger envisioned with the least amount of effort on the part of the passenger. For us, they accomplished that with flying colors.
Keukamimi’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin 319
Our stateroom was small, but efficiently laid out with plenty of drawer and closet space. The bathroom was particularly well designed. The bed and bedding were of high quality and very comfortable. We had floor to ceiling doors which opened onto the veranda so we could watch the scenery while sitting or lying in bed. With the door open, one could hear the water lapping on the side of the ship. Very peaceful.
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