Having visited Europe more than 30 times, I am familiar with Europe and love it dearly. My desire to visit Russia was based on my study of history (I am a retired University VP, amongst other executive career positions in government and industry). My expectations of Russia were mixed, with an expectation of many Stalinist buildings and drab city facilities.
My experience was exactly the opposite and the cruise exceeded every expectation. Russia is fantastic. St. Petersburg was a surprise and a delight. The visits to Peterhof, Catherine's Palace, the Hermitage, the Swan Lake Ballet, and the city in general were breathtaking. The quality of life was much better than expected and the Russian people were polite and helpful. Our cruise to Russia and the stops along the way have become life-time memories. Moscow was everything you could hope for and much more. The tours to the Kremlin, Red Square, the Metro, and the folk concert were simply beyond description.
Our experience on board the Kirov, our cruise ship was exceptional in every respect. The food was 10 star, the staff were exceptional, the tour guides were first class, and the entire experience was amazing. We have made a movie of our cruise and have now convinced several other couples to go to Russian on Viking River Cruises.
My sincere thanks to everyone associated with Viking River Cruises. I could write a book on this trip. Thanks again.