9 Viking River Viking Buri First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

Boarded Viking Buri in Chalon sur Saône 11/8/15 for the Portraits of Southern France for 8 day cruise and optional 3 day extension in Nice. We were first time cruisers. Met at airport in Lyon by staff and transferred to Chalon. ... Read More
Boarded Viking Buri in Chalon sur Saône 11/8/15 for the Portraits of Southern France for 8 day cruise and optional 3 day extension in Nice. We were first time cruisers. Met at airport in Lyon by staff and transferred to Chalon. Found the Buri to be very comfortable and the staff to be very professional. The service was a highlight for us. We wanted to arrange a special anniversary meal in Lyon and the Concierge was especially helpful in looking over information we had gathered, doing her own research and making arrangements. It was a fantastic meal. Found the shore excursions to be well organized by local guides and liked the headsets used by the guides were a real plus as we walked. Meals were outstanding on-board and we appreciated the change in cuisine from central France to Provencal as we sailed south. We found the wine list good and also appreciated being able to choose from local wines. The serving staff was outstanding at meals. Activities offered after dinner were not our "cup of tea" but others seemed to enjoy them. Our only complaint was that we did a lot of travel by night, and that cut down on being able to sit on-deck and enjoy the scenery. I would have opted for less time on excursions and more time cruising - perhaps a different itinerary would better provide for this. Disembarkation at Avignon and transfer to Nice was smooth. Le Meridien Hotel in Nice was ideally situated, but the rooms were a little dated and disappointing. Excursions were we'll done. Weather was fantastic during our stay in France - could not have asked for better. Our air travel was arranged by Viking and we enjoyed our flights on Lufthansa. We opted for premium economy for the trans-atlantic legs of the journey and would recommend this upgrade. Our flight from Nice to Frankfurt was on-time but the transfer time to our connecting flight was under an hour and that is a mistake at Frankfurt, especially with Passport Control. We had to literally run to make the connection - travel agents should know better than to schedule things this tight. We very much enjoyed our trip and look to book another river cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Our trip started in Lyon and ended in Nice. (We did the extension.) The Staff and Crew of the Buri paid attention to virtually every detail with warmth and friendliness. The accommodations were lovely. The bed was very comfortable and ... Read More
Our trip started in Lyon and ended in Nice. (We did the extension.) The Staff and Crew of the Buri paid attention to virtually every detail with warmth and friendliness. The accommodations were lovely. The bed was very comfortable and details such as 110-120v outlets in key places in the state room were so helpful. The food was outstanding as was the service in both the dining room and the lounge. The daily excursions were so well organized with top notch guides and "quiet boxes" so you didn't miss anything. We were delighted with visits to several wineries, beautiful towns, the many opportunities to meet local residents, visit historic sites, and just take in the Burgundy and Provençal regions. The extension to Nice was enjoyable. Accommodations were satisfactory (although we were spoiled by the level of luxury on the Buri). Nice is beautiful, but we truly enjoyed the day trips to the surrounding medieval towns. We love visiting France anyway, but the river cruise was uniquely special. I cannot overstate what a wonderful time we had. I strongly recommend Viking and this specific trip. Read Less
Sail Date November 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
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 September 2015
This was our first river cruise although we have traveled in Europe several times. We had absolutely no complaints with this ship or crew. Everyone was wonderful and so energetic from Alex the activities director, Doris the hotel manager, ... Read More
This was our first river cruise although we have traveled in Europe several times. We had absolutely no complaints with this ship or crew. Everyone was wonderful and so energetic from Alex the activities director, Doris the hotel manager, Jana food and beverage and the chef who was so friendly and fun whenever we encountered her. The variety of dinner options was very adequate and all the additional little surprises were fun! We certainly enjoyed the experience from the very nice staterooms, comfortable lounge and bar area with great views, nightly entertainment if you wished to participate, plentiful breakfasts and lunches and the amazing organization of getting everyone on the tours like clockwork. We hope to do another river cruise in the future and will definitely chose Viking. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Absolutely amazing week in the South of France from Avignon to Lyon. The staff is unbelievably attentive to your every need and will do the utmost to offer something incredible that you didn't know existed. The executive chef ... Read More
Absolutely amazing week in the South of France from Avignon to Lyon. The staff is unbelievably attentive to your every need and will do the utmost to offer something incredible that you didn't know existed. The executive chef (female) and the sous chef (male) just grabbed us and waltzed around the dining room with my husband and I, what a treat. Their food was a "party-in-your-mouth" each meal was more and more delicious. The service by the entire staff was always friendly and like family (only nicer.) We had beautiful weather, light rain only one morning, sunny the rest of the week 75 to 85 degrees and dry. Our cabin Veranda A #333 with a balcony was ideal, it was on the starboard side of the ship that was never tethered to another ship, so we always had a water view. Our favorite tour was of a French woman's home in Chatenauf-du-Pape. We learned about her father's love of art and his display of his paintings were terrific, he also had a scarf on display that was signed by Picasso! Our second favorite was the French culinary school where we learned how to make cream puffs with caramelized peaches (YUM!) The wine in this region is incredible from Burgundy to Chatenauf-du-Pape it was all exquisite. No complaints whatsoever, we shall return to Europe via Viking! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Boy did we have a great time! The food was unbelievable. The chef made a real effort to ensure we were experiencing the fruits, cheeses and wines of the season and area we were travelling through. No request was too small and nothing was ... Read More
Boy did we have a great time! The food was unbelievable. The chef made a real effort to ensure we were experiencing the fruits, cheeses and wines of the season and area we were travelling through. No request was too small and nothing was overlooked. We had a silver package which meant we could imbibe with the appropriate wines and before dinner cocktails without worry of an enormous bar tab at the end. The entertainment was all good; a nice variety of music and musical programs to listen to, sing along with and dance to if the mood took. A nice size boat; so we got to know quite a few fellow travellers and were on nodding terms with the rest. Our state room was well maintained through-out the cruise and I enjoyed coming back to the room at the end of the evening to discover new towel sculptures, flowers and fresh fruit! We really enjoyed the shore excursions; just the right combination of walking, sightseeing and commentary. Once again, there was variety, steam train, vineyards, art galleries etc - a good mix - something for everyone Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This Viking River Cruise way exceeded our expectations. The scenery, the ship, the staff, and the meals were outstanding. Tour guides were great and knowledgeable. Very satisfied with our economy cabin. I highly recommended this event to ... Read More
This Viking River Cruise way exceeded our expectations. The scenery, the ship, the staff, and the meals were outstanding. Tour guides were great and knowledgeable. Very satisfied with our economy cabin. I highly recommended this event to all our friends and family. What we liked was the limited number of guests on board. You got to make friends with many. Unlike a cruise ship that might have thousands on board. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
There were four of us in our small group of older women and I can honestly say we had the best time. From the moment you are welcomed on board until the time you leave you are made to feel very special. We loved every minute, the staff ... Read More
There were four of us in our small group of older women and I can honestly say we had the best time. From the moment you are welcomed on board until the time you leave you are made to feel very special. We loved every minute, the staff are great, the activities are well thought out and the guides on the tours are mines of local information. The cabins are well laid out, there is no wasted space and it has everything needed, the toiletries provided are quite luxurious and the housekeeping staff do an amazing job, we especially loved the laundry service on our cruise! Possibly the best value for a cruise from what we heard from other passengers (this being my first time cruise), we also really enjoyed the silver spirits package we received free because we paid early, so can thoroughly recommend doing that. In fact I enjoyed it so much I have booked another cruise with this company (and this time with the husband), really looking forward to 2016 to do an ocean cruise on one of the new ocean cruise ships around Italy. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
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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