8 Viking River Viking Buri Luxury Cruise Reviews

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 was our second river cruise, and about our 30th cruise overall. The longship is new, well thought out overall, and the food excellent. The experience was much better than I expected and for our cabin (lowest price), pricing was much ... Read More
This was our second river cruise, and about our 30th cruise overall. The longship is new, well thought out overall, and the food excellent. The experience was much better than I expected and for our cabin (lowest price), pricing was much less than what we received. There are daily shore excursions included and with 1 exception the guides were excellent. The crew is exceptional, looking to make things better, not just waiting at the counter receiving requests: For example, we had a long trip from home to the ship, my wife was exhausted, and laid out on a sofa, head on my lap,until our room was ready. One of the crew saw this, and went and expedited the room availability. 10 minutes after she talked to us, she came back, insisted on carrying our carry-on bags, escorted us to the room with keys in hand. The only crew member who was not exceptional is the concierge. She was unreliable in following through when she said she would be available. She could offer only online web site information, and tickets she got for us in Paris required us to pick then up at a site 10 miles away from the museum, and at a different location. The Viking representative at the hotel, when shown our voucher tells us on arrival: "Why did she do that? The hotel concierge can sell tickets right here, at a lower price than that." When a discounted trip from Budapest becomes available, we will definitely use Viking. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Viking Longboats are very convenient and feature floor to ceiling windows everywhere. We took all the included (morning) tours and added the optional afternoon tours every day but one. Food was excellent. We ate the buffet lunch on the ... Read More
Viking Longboats are very convenient and feature floor to ceiling windows everywhere. We took all the included (morning) tours and added the optional afternoon tours every day but one. Food was excellent. We ate the buffet lunch on the open air Aquavit terrace rather than seating in the restaurant. Found a nice shaded area on the couches with plenty of room. Viking cruises feature delicious local cuisine yet they outdid themselves with their Provencal lunch, decor, presentation and most important, the food itself. Outstanding! Tours were up to their excellent standards. The optional tour to the Pont du Garde aqueduct was a favorite. The informative museum and the magnificent aqueduct with walkways made a great afternoon. The post dinner evening tour through the cobblestone streets of Viviers was an adventure, not for the waling impaired. The ancient Roman port town Vienne was another favorite plus we added a museum tour which was wonderful. Took the post cruise extension to Nice which despite my initial reluctance I enjoyed thoroughly. Le Meridien hotel had a very convenient location to the old town. Viking's escort to airpot departure did an excellent job browbeating officials to get us through when the new passport scanners failed to work with our passports. Tour director did a good job. My only complaint is their last evening haranguing guests for tips and not including staff tips in Viking's high prices. Port of embarkation was CHALON-SUR-SAÔNE, FRANCE. Read Less
Sail Date April 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
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
Boat and crew were fabulous but the river was not. We were not allowed to go on top of the boat during cruising due to low bridges. We have been on three other river cruises and that is one of our favorite parts. I would recommend Viking ... Read More
Boat and crew were fabulous but the river was not. We were not allowed to go on top of the boat during cruising due to low bridges. We have been on three other river cruises and that is one of our favorite parts. I would recommend Viking but I would not recommend the Rhone River. Shore excursions were crowded and not real interesting most of the time. Exploring on our own where possible was much more enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date May 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
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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