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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.

Viking Produces Another Excellent River Cruise

Viking Buri Cruise Review by Conestoga Charlie

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2016
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Stateroom
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.
Conestoga Charlie’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Stateroom
Cabin E 103
Nicely arranged and provisioned with adequate space. Cabin steward was efficient and attentive.
Main Deck Outside Cabins