3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We selected this cruise because we wanted to see the south of France and this seemed like a nice way to accomplish that. Prior to this, we had not taken a river cruise and thought that this would be a memorable experience. It was! It ... Read More
We selected this cruise because we wanted to see the south of France and this seemed like a nice way to accomplish that. Prior to this, we had not taken a river cruise and thought that this would be a memorable experience. It was! It was great to have Viking take care of the travel arrangements and transfers, making that part of our trip worry free. After arriving in Marseille, we were promptly met and delivered to the Buri in Avignon. In a very short time we were able to access our cabin. We selected a standard cabin and while it was small, it was nicely appointed with enough space to store our belongings. Having the in-room safe was a great feature and something that we used each day. The bathroom was adequate also and featured nice toiletries that were replenished as needed. Housekeeping did a very good job in the cabin each day. The cruise director on the Buri was quite personable and informative. She was able to answer any questions and always made herself available to help. She set an upbeat tone to the cruise and made the experience fun. In the ports of call, we found the tour guides to be excellent. They were most informative and entertaining. There was always plenty to eat onboard the vessel and the food was tasty. It was nice to have the option to order from the menu for lunch or to access the buffet. The wait staff was attentive and helpful if we had questions about the entrees etc. It is nice to be able to enjoy complimentary wine or soft drinks at lunch or dinner while onboard the Viking vessels. The included wi-fi service on-board was also a welcome addition to have. Overall, the cruise was memorable for all of the right reasons! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2016
First time expererince. Small number of passengers. Places to visit. Personnel atention was exceltional. Our bags did not arrive in time but the persistence and professionalism of the staff made a diffrence and they finally made it. They ... Read More
First time expererince. Small number of passengers. Places to visit. Personnel atention was exceltional. Our bags did not arrive in time but the persistence and professionalism of the staff made a diffrence and they finally made it. They acted as if the problem was personally theirs. Quite an experience. The tours were very well organized, the food superb the music exceptionalyy good anfd friendy. I will do it again with Viking river cruises. Tp visist France in this way was a different view. We enjoyed visint lyon museums in a free day and do some shopping on our own . This was nos not programmed but they had some problem and gave us the option to stay in the city which wsas excellent. The room was small but livable and we had the cheapest room on board. The service was outstanding and the manners of the personnel exceptional. a worthwile trip. A success story. HLA Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Though we have lived and traveled in Europe many times, we had not been to Southern France and wanted to explore that part of Europe. The trip up the Rhone from Avignon to Lyon was just the right choice. Lots of good stops, tours, and ... Read More
Though we have lived and traveled in Europe many times, we had not been to Southern France and wanted to explore that part of Europe. The trip up the Rhone from Avignon to Lyon was just the right choice. Lots of good stops, tours, and travels, and in the meantime living on a really nifty ship with many amenities. While the trip to the ship is not all that much fun, once you get on board for your week of exploration, one's experience is definitely improved. The cabins are well-laid out and meet one's needs beautifully. The wall-to-wall and ceiling to floor sliding doors give one incredible views of the scenery outside. The food on board is excellent and the supply of complimentary wine and beer at lunch and dinner is something one cannot resist. The morning tours are always instructive, thanks to very good guides. Since the number of folks on board is relatively small (165 in our case), one never feels like one is in a herd of cattle. The experience is small scale, something we really enjoy. The population of the ship was evenly split between Brits and Americans. We took the occasion to converse with many Brits, who were great conversationalists. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Friends had recommended Viking River Cruises. Everything exceeded expectations. Food, cabin, tours were uniformly excellent. All crew members were attentive. Whenever the slightest inconvenience arose our crew chief, Susie, ... Read More
Friends had recommended Viking River Cruises. Everything exceeded expectations. Food, cabin, tours were uniformly excellent. All crew members were attentive. Whenever the slightest inconvenience arose our crew chief, Susie, miraculously appeared on the scene to fix things. On our final departure we had a problem with the airline, but Viking representatives never left our side until everything was resolved. Could never have handled it ourselves, as all negotiations were in French. We took the three day extension in Nice and Viking people were excellent. Nice is a wonderful place. So sad to hear of their recent tragedy. Highly recommend the evening tour to Monaco. We took the optional tour of the abbey at Cluny and, once again, our guide was terrific. The most surprising place was Lyon. Never dreamed it was such a wonderful place. We hope to return some day when we can spend more time there. Viking is a little pricey, but I believe the money was well spent! 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
This by far the best cruise we have been on. When it came time to review the experience not one of us could come up with anything that could have been better. The staff were outstanding, welcoming, helpful and always there with a smile ... Read More
This by far the best cruise we have been on. When it came time to review the experience not one of us could come up with anything that could have been better. The staff were outstanding, welcoming, helpful and always there with a smile - all credit to David, the Hotel Manager. The food was awesome, varied and full of flavour - not one average meal for the whole trip, they were all 5 star! The boat was always pristine and extremely well presented at all times. Anyone thinking of a river cruise would be well advised to put this cruise line on the top of their list. WELL DONE VIKING! and thank you. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
A week before we left, we got an email saying that we would be aboard the Buri, with no further details. It turns out that the Viking Hermod, our chosen ship, was trapped at the northern end of the route behind a bridge due to high water, ... Read More
A week before we left, we got an email saying that we would be aboard the Buri, with no further details. It turns out that the Viking Hermod, our chosen ship, was trapped at the northern end of the route behind a bridge due to high water, and we would be switching ships. That’s a lot better than the Buri passengers, who remained on the Hermod for the entire week, being bussed to various villages and cities – they probably have a few things to say about that! (and a pretty good compensation in the form of a future cruise discount in addition). The Buri was trapped at the south end for the previous week and docked at Avignon, but the water had gone down somewhat, so we could do MOST of our trip. I agree with Viking that switching ships had to be done, due to flight arrangements. As it was, Lisette on the reception staff had to change a batch of rail connections from Chalon to Lyon, including us. Day 1: We flew to London for a couple of days before to see the sights, then off to Marseilles on Sunday, Nov 9 to board the ship in Avignon. Met at baggage claim by the Viking representative, who called up our taxi – we figured we’d have to wait for a bus, but that was over an hour later. Danielle pulled up, and off we went to Avignon for an hour. Booked transfer through Viking, and the taxi pulled up to the Buri with 240 euros showing on the clock – Danielle had taken a load to the airport before us, then waited. Promptly signed in, after the crew had carried our luggage and assisted us in crossing a ditch next to the dumpsters where we were moored (poor location a result of the floods the previous week). Found out that we had been upgraded from the bilge deck to a balcony, an appreciated luxury – opened the door to the balcony exactly once the whole week…. Rumor was that there had been some cancellations due to the itinerary change. The welcoming champagne tasted good. Unpacked a bit, then went up to the lounge for some meat and cheese to recover from the journey, snatching another champagne on the way. Viking had a bonus walking tour in the afternoon, and all 8 of us enjoyed the cold driving rain and got soaked. Most utilized the Viking umbrellas, but I thought my Tilley hat and GoreTex could handle it (I was wrong….). Dinner was a good clam chowder, salad Nicoise, choice of sea bass or lamb chops, and we got acquainted with the Elegant white and red wines. The amuse bouche was a interesting pesto something. The white was pretty good, and we had it for the rest of the week – the red varied. Presentation on the schedule, introducing the program director Nicholas, the dining manager Nuno, the chef Lars, etc. No mention of changing ships or any changes to the itinerary for the week. Day 2: Arles Day Up for my first batch of smoked salmon, and today we had baked beans to put on the scrambled eggs (soon to run out). Pastry chef knows how to make croissants. Bus to Arles (40 minutes) park a few blocks out from the old city, then tour. Talky, knowledgeable gal and a good visit to the amphitheatre still in use for non-lethal bull fights. Back at noon for carrot soup (exc) and frutti di Mare (not too good). Choice in the afternoon is the optional tour (my wife) or back to Arles(me). Walk around the left side of the amphitheatre to the small chapel of Notre Dame (interesting, good view of city, some old Roman walls), then down to the park, back through the Roman Theatre (used, but not restored – a lot of carved pieces laying around like a jigsaw puzzle). Look for the walkway on the side – totally free! Back to the Plaza of the Republic and St Tropheim church – which is interesting with carved altars and the side chapel of the Saint’s relics, nicely exhibited in gold chests, etc. Then down for a lookover of the Roman Baths and a walk along the river back to the bus to finish off the 3 hours. Dinner was Scallops/Avocado, then a Chateaubriand (exc) with an amuse bouche of a bacon wrapped date/almond/blue cheese that was very tasty. Day 3: Avignon City Tour in tolerable weather, nice walk through the Papal Palace (they took all the furniture when they left), and a visit to Les Halles market. Buy olives, cheese, wine, and a baguette for afternoon snack. Lunch of Garlic Soup(exc) and a French Dip (poor). Optional tour to Chateauneaf du Pape – fine, take the walk down from the tower if you’re able (somewhat slick but downhill) and stop in the chapel for a quick visit. Tasting at Maison Bouchard went well, and we ordered a half case @ $50/bottle to be delivered. Back to the ship for snack – olives and Roquefort, bottle of wine in the lounge with some ship supplied glasses under the amused glances of our fellow passengers who didn’t think of that themselves. (We did it a couple more times). Dinner was squash soup(good), turkey(f) ceviche(g, got another). If Viking wants to cook turkey, have some of the Americans on board help out in the kitchen so it doesn’t get dried out. Amuse was a smoked salmon tortilla with orange sauce, better without the tortilla, and the red wine was a Bourgogne(g). Late night talk on the history of Provence. Day 4: Cruising up the Rhone, through locks in the rain and drizzle, doing about 10 Km/hour by my stopwatch. Lunch of Roast Beef/remoulade (ex, had 5) and Potato-leek soup (ex, had 2). Docked in Tain L’Hermitage/Tournon, and skipped Viviers on the itinerary due to high water, which no one on the ship mentioned. 1:30 “Stay in your cabin, the buses are delayed”. At 2:00, my wife went down to reception to find the buses gone! Nicholas made up for this, and that’s all I’m going to say about it. Dinner was and amuse of a shrimp ball (g), curry carrot soup (EX+) pepper salmon/coq a vin, choc tart (ex) and the red wine is switched to a good Macon. Day 5: Vienne in the morning. Tour good, cathedral and top of mountain, Roman temple and forum, amphitheatre in good shape, although the first groups found the top of the mountain in the fog and an invisible town. Limited free time. Lunch was lamb soup (g) smoked fish with horseradish sauce (ex), as we leave the dock for the cruise to Lyon in the rain again. OK – here’s your hint. The meeting in the lounge tonight signs you up for the chef’s tour in Lyon. Ask for the signup sheet on your way passing reception – it’s in high demand! Shuttle to Place Bellacour with shopping surrounding. We’re docked a block from Confluence Mall and about 40 years too old for the shops it contains, but the market has Kinder Eggs to smuggle into the USA for the grandkids. (Hint: list them as “chocolate” on your customs form). Dinner was the walk-around in the kitchen, and we get to personally thank Gary the soup guy and the gal who was the pastry chef for doing outstanding jobs. Excellent Lamb with au jus, ham en crute, salads, desserts, Brussels sprout soup, and the red is Ogier Cotes du Rhone (g). We are moored on the outside of another ship, and leaving involves going up to the top deck, crossing over the other ship, and going down a steep staircase, than a slippery ramp to the dock. If you’re somewhat handicapped (more than cane level), you’re trapped aboard. Day 6: Lyon. Since the bridge still blocks us, the trip to Cluny or Beaune now involves a bus trip of two hours each way, so we skip out on the bus ride. My wife has been asking for green onions in her omelet, and Paul the chef in the morning finally got restocked and proudly presented her with her very own bowlful, which he had hidden under the counter for the occasion. Lunch was a chilled cucumber soup, beef burgundy (ex), rice pudding. Pass on the cold soup on this chilly day Actually nap in the afternoon, although there’s a tram stop a couple blocks away to access the city in the rain. Dinner was the Captain’s farewell dinner, and the best meal I’ve had in four Viking trips, which is really saying something. Mushroom soup, a deconstructed Wellington, and some Crème Brulee – all top notch. Day 7: Lyon Tour of the Basilica overlooking the old town and the chapel beneath, then the old town itself. Free time to check out the cathedral, and you can use the free toilets in the information booth next to it. Lunch of lamb shank(ex) and some kind of subway sandwich (f). . Chef’s tour is great, and we buy some truffle oil for our gourmet daughter, and some snacks and wine for this afternoon back on the ship. Dinner was Escargot (lousy, in a cream sauce), what passes for French Onion Soup but is broth, good fish and a good apple crumble, and plentiful wine. Overall: the heated bathroom floors are a genius idea on Viking ships in the fall, but the placement of the light switches next to the headboards not so genius (only turned it on twice this trip). Ivana and Eva treated us like family in the dining room, Nicholas was an excellent Program Director in difficult high-water circumstances, listening patiently to passengers carping about minor annoyances. Nuno did his job well as Dining Manager, and Lars the head chef had the kitchen running like a top. The reception staff got everyone rebooked for leaving from Lyon as far as I know. We will never go on a fall cruise again due to the crummy weather, but that and the high water are not the fault of Viking. The cabins are small but well organized – and only one person can walk around at a time. Bring an old card of some kind (I use a casino card) to plug into the European style light switch, then just lift it when you leave to turn off all the lights. Otherwise, you’re forever switching cards – one has to be in the light switch. The 24/7 coffee machine on the 3rd deck is a beauty, and I always get my coffee from there rather than the dining room. Beside it are muffins in the morning and cookies in the afternoon. After the cruise: we took the TGV from Lyon to Paris, and spent a couple of days seeing the sights and enjoying the excellent meals before returning home to Colorado. The weather remained lousy, and we both got colds.   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
Sail Date: August 2014
We truly enjoyed our visits to the cities of Arles, Vienne, Perouges, Nice and Monte Carlo, not necessarily in that order! We were unable to reach our final destination of Chalon sur Saone due to high water levels so our visit to Lyon was ... Read More
We truly enjoyed our visits to the cities of Arles, Vienne, Perouges, Nice and Monte Carlo, not necessarily in that order! We were unable to reach our final destination of Chalon sur Saone due to high water levels so our visit to Lyon was extended. We however did partake in a tour to Perouges which was not on the schedule...... but turned out to be an amazing town! The tour guide even sang Ave Maria for us in the church, which gave us chills! A beautiful end to our day along with the flat bread in the square. Prior to boarding in Avignon, we spent a few days in Nice, a pre-extension, and enjoyed the restaurants, the scenery's and the shopping. Arles (with Van Gogh) had so much to offer, as did Vienne (with numerous Roman ruins), Nice (Garibaldi's birth place) and Monte Carlo - a pocket of beauty and sunshine! Food and service on board was awesome as we experienced during a past Viking Cruise and the wine, need I say more. Quality dry reds! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
This was our third Viking River cruise, although the first one during the summer months. Everything went smoothly. Food and service were great, as was the Viking Longboat. Scenery is not as "rich" as on the Rhine, but the ports ... Read More
This was our third Viking River cruise, although the first one during the summer months. Everything went smoothly. Food and service were great, as was the Viking Longboat. Scenery is not as "rich" as on the Rhine, but the ports were very nice and the winery tours were terrific. Weather was in the lower 80s, and had one day with light rain - although the region had more rain than normal, so when we got to Lyon, we could not go up river to our last stop because of the bridges. This actually worked out fine since Viking had their first class buses take us to Beaune - our last tour stop, and then we were able to go back and stay in Lyon on our last night - which was where we flew out of the next day - so got to sleep in a little longer. Highly recommend the five minute walk to the castle in Tarascon in the afternoon instead of going back into Arles for shopping, Get a card for the Viking reception for a discount on the castle tour. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
Well, this was our first River Cruise and we were excited. However we were a little put back when 2 days before we left we were told the first part of the trip was out due to high river levels. So we stayed moored at Lyon for 3 days. We ... Read More
Well, this was our first River Cruise and we were excited. However we were a little put back when 2 days before we left we were told the first part of the trip was out due to high river levels. So we stayed moored at Lyon for 3 days. We had just 2 days cruising and another 2 moored in Avignon. The sun deck was closed the entire time we cruised and the bar was very limited in wine choice until they re-stocked after 3 days. No complaints about the crew. They tried hard and the food was ok as were the tours, although they involved much longer bus drives than planned due to the changed locations. We wanted a cruise , we could have stayed in hotels anywhere with bigger rooms and more amenities at a much lower cost. Beware the Portraits of Southern France because the boats are really too big for these rivers and this will continue to occur regularly in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2014
Although all details of our outward and homeward journeys from and to Bristol went according to plan, felt that as we lived in Bristol and had an airport that flew direct to Marseille, the fact that we had to go via Amsterdam which ... Read More
Although all details of our outward and homeward journeys from and to Bristol went according to plan, felt that as we lived in Bristol and had an airport that flew direct to Marseille, the fact that we had to go via Amsterdam which incorporated 2 flights each way was definitely not in our best interest. The 'Buri' was indeed all that we had hoped for and more in that it was kept immaculately clean and well maintained and the staff were all very friendly and willing to help in any way they could. The food was definitely all that we had anticipated with wine flowing freely during lunch and dinner periods. We had previously spent a river cruise on the Rhine not with Viking, and were disappointed that when we docked we then had to be coached to places of interest, whereas on the Rhine we actually docked at the places of interest and were able to wander at will and not constantly being put onto coaches. The guides that were provided for these on shore excursions were excellent and very knowledgeable, and although my husband is hard of hearing, with the 'walkie talkie' devices we were given, he was able to heard all the relevant information, which certainly helped with his enjoyment of this holiday. However, we were not impressed that the sun deck was not accessible for quite a large amount of the time we were on board,and also that the latter part of our 'cruise' we were berthed in Lyon and had to be coached to the latter destination as the ship couldn't navigate under the bridges owing to the swollen river! We felt that the Viking ships were too large for this particular river and would have been better being one deck less, thus allowing people to enjoy the advertised river cruise and not glorified coach trip. Perhaps a suggestion to remedy this complaint might be to make use of local day excursion boats instead of coaches, thus still having a river view of the surrounding countryside. Our friends had paid £800 more than us for a balcony and spent 3 days not being able to pull their curtains back as we were moored alongside another Viking ship until such time as the river allowed the inside ship to sail. and their cabin looked directly into the other ship, which reading other reviews appears to be a common complaint. All in all we did enjoy the trip - staff and ship first class, but feel that the above issues do need to be resolved before we will be taking a cruise with Viking again, or in fact any river cruise line if this is common practice. 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: July 2014
Having traveled with Viking before, our expectations were high. Unfortunately, we were disappointed. Part of the problem was that we did not do enough homework ahead of time. We chose the worst time of year ( due to work schedules) and did ... Read More
Having traveled with Viking before, our expectations were high. Unfortunately, we were disappointed. Part of the problem was that we did not do enough homework ahead of time. We chose the worst time of year ( due to work schedules) and did not realize how much of the cruise would be spent on a bus. Viking hides the fact that for many of the excursions you will have to ride a crowded, uncomfortable bus. There was no scenic views along the highways. We also spent much of the time waiting for the very slow walkers to catch up to the group. Viking does offer a "leisure" group for those passengers but most insisted on signing up for the regular groups ensuring that all of us would forgo the opportunity for free time. Toward the end of the trip, we gave up and just went on our own. This meant we missed out on a few attractions that we could only get into as part of the group tour. Another problem was the weather. We had several days of rain. The boat could not make it under some bridges, therefore we boarded in Lyon and sat docked in the industrial part of tow by an "American style mall" for 3 days. We were told this is a frequent problem. There was no suitable plan B. We were loaded on to busses every day and rode for hours to the town's we were scheduled to visit. There were some good things_ staff was friendly and pleasant, food was good, rooms were small but nice. Our previous trip with Viking was much better. 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
Sail Date: June 2014
From beginning to end we had a wonderful cruise. Friends have gone on river cruises and raved about them and we were anxious to try one. We chose southern France and it was beyond what we had expected. The Rhone is very beautiful to cruise ... Read More
From beginning to end we had a wonderful cruise. Friends have gone on river cruises and raved about them and we were anxious to try one. We chose southern France and it was beyond what we had expected. The Rhone is very beautiful to cruise and the ports of call are very interesting and we enjoyed the wine tastings. We met the nicest people and yet enjoyed solitude as well. Shared a drink with new friends, read a book or had lunch on the terrace at the front of the boat or took a nap on the upper deck. The staff was nothing short of the best we've ever met--the program director was very, very personable, knowledgeable and did all he could to accommodate our needs. From front desk to housekeepers--everyone was friendly and professional. Nothing lacking here. There was a pianist every day/evening. He was a personable young man with great talent. We have ONE big issue with how docking is managed. When we pulled in to Avignon, another Viking ship was already docked and we pulled up next to it. Soooooooooo for the duration we had to keep our drapes drawn because our view was into the cabin of the ship next to us. We felt claustrophobic and couldn't use the veranda for which we paid extra. It wasn't a big deal to us that we had to cross over through the other ship to disembark when "double docked". We, as others on starboard, shared this major complaint with the captain, front desk personnel, program director and we hope they will report the concern with management. Viking has called us to say this is port authority decision-making, etc. This is the biggest issue we have with river cruising. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
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: May 2014
Really enjoyed the cruise. Viking had someone there at the airport to pick us up. The ship was lovely. The crew was wonderful. This was my first river cruise with Viking. I especially enjoyed the emphasis on the culture of the parts of ... Read More
Really enjoyed the cruise. Viking had someone there at the airport to pick us up. The ship was lovely. The crew was wonderful. This was my first river cruise with Viking. I especially enjoyed the emphasis on the culture of the parts of France that we visited. The local guides were great and presentations on ship were also good. Food goes without saying wonderful. The standard cabins were a bit tight but you are only there to sleep and shower. Only one incident that I found concerning was an alarm early one morning that had went off and everyone responded with life jackets. What concerned me is the lower staterooms emergency doors closed and everyone on the two lower decks were locked in without an explanation. We were lucky that everyone remained cool headed. The doors were eventually opened, but we never got an explanation of what happened. A bit disappointing was we were unable finish the trip as planned at Chalon-sur-Saone due to the river being to high for us to get under the bridges. We did get to see Beaune and our trip to Paris we had a lovely lunch and walking excursion which broke up the trip. We spend three days in Paris which was lovely. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
This was our fourth Viking Cruise and we have enjoyed every one, matter of fact we have our fifth cruise already booked. We sailed north on the Rhone River leaving from Avignon after enjoying the pre tour in Nice where we visited Monaco. ... Read More
This was our fourth Viking Cruise and we have enjoyed every one, matter of fact we have our fifth cruise already booked. We sailed north on the Rhone River leaving from Avignon after enjoying the pre tour in Nice where we visited Monaco. Viking has really been good to us, for some reason unknown to us we were upgraded in to the Explore Suite. This is a fantastic accommodation with two river views off the stern of the ship. This is a new Long Ship having made its first cruise only four weeks before our trip. Mark our program director was always there to make sure everyone on the ship was taken care of. The itinerary laid out for the trip was perfect, we never felt rushed and enjoyed all of well spoken local guides. Life on the ship was enhanced with great food, free wine for lunch and dinner and friendly staff. The Portraits of Southern France cruise is very relaxing as well as educational if interested in wine. We also extended the trip with the Paris extension where we found the hotel very nice but it would have nicer if it was closer to the inner city, but the Metro station was just out side the hotel. David Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
This was our first Viking cruise, but our fourth river cruise. Our comments: 1. Loved the ship--it is gorgeous.The central atrium was awesome 2. We had a French balcony, and the room was the smallest we have ever had. Ditto for the ... Read More
This was our first Viking cruise, but our fourth river cruise. Our comments: 1. Loved the ship--it is gorgeous.The central atrium was awesome 2. We had a French balcony, and the room was the smallest we have ever had. Ditto for the bathroom. BUT--it really wasn't a problem as they have put so much thought in to the design. There is lots of storage, and the shower configuration really helps create space in the bathroom. Kudos' to the designers. 3. Staff was outstanding. We actually enjoyed the personalities of the staff --young, enthusiastic, and a whole lot of fun with extremely attentive service. 4. Two big negatives however: first, the sun-deck is not available for a good part of this cruise as the bridges are so low. So the only outdoor space available is the small Atrium area at the bow of the ship--which, while it is lovely, is simply not big enough for all the passengers who want to be outside. Second, the docking locations in most of the cities was awful. One of the big advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock in the center of town and walk on and off the boat at will. In both Chalon-sur-Saone and Lyon the docking space was difficult for even the local taxi drivers to find--and you HAD to taxi to and from the ship. 5. We would definitely cruise with Viking again, but would ask more detailed questions about dockages and the suns-deck availability. We've never been on a river cruise where the sundeck was so unavailable..... Lyon we had previously been to so we went to the Paul Bocuse Culinary School restaurant and it was awesome.Beaune had a great included walking tour.Cluny, an optional additional expense tour was outstanding.Viviers night walk, included tour, was also spectacular.Arles--it was very festive for Easter, so we skipped the Viking tour and went to the bullfight. They DO kill the bulls, so some of us left almost immediately.Avignon--outstanding, included walking tour.In general the ports are low key, best for experienced travelers ...... 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

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