Cruise was nearly perfect. Food was generally good and crew was wonderful. Our tour guide Sasha was very entertaining. The 3 days in Moscow were eye opening. City is NOT dark and Stalinistic. Red Square and Krelim were interesting. GUM dept store, really a Mall, great to walk around...all up scale Western European/American Stores. Beautiful parks. Recommend the Moscow by night river tour.
Only issue with Moscow, is that the boat docks about 1 hour from Moscow sites (heavy traffic). Stops between Moscow and St. Pete were Ok...nothing too exciting but fills the days...pleasant scenery from the veranda. Visit to a Russian family in Uglich was fun.
3 days in Saint Petersburg were as expected with visit to Hermitage, Peterof and Catherines Palace...all very beautiful. Recommend that you do NOT visit during the summer...crowded and NO air conditioning in the Hermitage.
We opted for optional "Jewish" tour which featured a visit to the beautiful Saint Petersburg Synagogue which was refurbished in 2002..worth the visit.
Only major criticism is that the back of the Viking Rurik is noisy with engine noise and vibration. If you book, stay away from the back of the boat. We lucked out and were moved to a different cabin and Viking did give us a 'credit' to compensate for our 1 day of discomfort and the annoyance of moving to another cabin