Viking Longship Buri
Launched in 2014, in Avignon, alongside two of its Longship sisters – Hermod and Heimdal – at the same time as four more were christened in Rostock, Germany, the Viking Longship Buri is one of the more recent additions to the Longships fleet that made its debut in 2012. From the two-storey glass-panelled atrium that impresses as soon as you walk on deck, to the staterooms and public areas that are contemporary, elegant and comfortable, the Viking Longship Buri ticks all the boxes. ‘Green’ advances, including solar panels, an organic herb garden and hybrid diesel-electric engines make Longships like the Buri more energy efficient, quieter and cleaner, so guests can enjoy a relaxing cruise without worrying about what it may be doing to the environment.
PassengersGuests onboard tend to be well-travelled, with an interest in local customs, heritage, history and culture. Most travellers are from the USA and UK, but other nationalities are also found onboard, although they are usually English speaking. While river cruises appeal to the more mature traveller, the contemporary design of vessels like the Longship Buri does attract a slightly younger crowd too. The ship can hold 190 passengers, and every guest can enjoy attentive, professional service, including the assistance of an onboard Cruise Director who can help all passengers to plan their time onboard and onshore, to maximise their experience. A Viking Daily newsletter is delivered to every stateroom, every evening, so that each guest is kept informed of the following day’s activities.
Dining The main restaurant onboard can be found on the Middle Deck, and serves up a variety of mouth-watering dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner services. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow guests to soak up the beautiful scenery as they dine on professionally prepared local and traditional dishes, with something to suit every palate. Breakfast includes cereals, fruit, continental meats, eggs and hot food, while for lunch guests can tuck into a selection of soups, salads, entrees and desserts. Dinner is a sit-down five-course meal, with waiter-service. Alternatively, passengers on the Buri can head to the Aquavit Terrace at the front of the Observation Lounge, where casual al-fresco dining, including dishes cooked on the outdoor grills, and early riser breakfasts are popular options. The dress code at both of these venues is country club casual, but dressy casual is popular for evenings, especially more formal events including the welcome and farewell dinners. Wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner, and hot drinks are available from a complimentary beverage station. Upgraded drinks packages are also available to purchase.
Entertainment As with other river cruises, entertainment on the Buri is low-key and relaxed. It’s not uncommon for local acts to pop onboard to give performances, but other nights tend to be spent listening to the resident pianist playing in the Observation Lounge.
Activities Viking excels when it comes to shore excursions, with a variety of itinerary fillers available on every voyage. From guided sightseeing tours of charming towns to culinary experiences that showcase the regional fare, there’s plenty to see and do. Onboard, demonstrations, workshops, lectures and presentations are offered to help enhance a guest’s experience. There is also a library corner, stocked with books, games and jigsaw puzzles, an onboard boutique and Wi-Fi internet is accessible throughout the ship, at no extra cost.
Accommodation There are 95 staterooms and suites onboard, which vary in size between 135 sq. ft. and 445 sq. ft. Other than the standard staterooms that are situated on the Main Deck, all categories of staterooms and suites come with either a French balcony or veranda, or, in the case of the suites, both! Main Deck standard staterooms have half-height picture windows instead. Amenities across the various categories include hotel-style beds, en-suite bathroom with shower and premium bath products, refrigerator, hairdryer, in-room safe, under-bed and closet storage space, bathrobes and slippers (on request), climate control, flatscreen TV with infotainment system and entertainment package, and complimentary bottled water that is replenished daily. In addition, higher end suites include larger bathrooms, separate seating and sleeping areas, two flatscreen TVs and, in the case of the Explorer Suites, a wraparound veranda that allows phenomenal 270-degree views.
Spa/Wellbeing There is a walking track and putting green on the Sun Deck, where guests can enjoy fresh air while having a stroll or teeing off. If either of those don’t appeal, the sunloungers, chairs and tables, with shaded canopy areas, surely will.
ItinerariesThe Viking Longship Buri currently sails along the Saone and Rhone Rivers between Avignon and Lyon, for the Lyon and Provence itinerary. This eight day voyage includes some of France’s most beautiful countryside, and some fabulous excursions including sightseeing in Beaujolais, the colourful fields of Provence, the Papal Palace of Avignon and the incredible city of Lyon which is famous for being the culinary capital of France. Seven guided tours are included.