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14 Russia River Entertainment Cruise Reviews

We have wanted to visit Russia for a long time, but were a bit concerned about going independently due to potential language barrier, safety, etc. Viking took care of all of the details and we were able to just enjoy the experience. ... Read More
We have wanted to visit Russia for a long time, but were a bit concerned about going independently due to potential language barrier, safety, etc. Viking took care of all of the details and we were able to just enjoy the experience. There was a nice mix of planned excursions and free time. We enjoy some exploring on our own and the staff was so helpful in providing maps, directions, and helpful tips. The crew on the ship were delightful and we felt we got to know many of them. They remembered our preferences and were always welcoming and friendly. Our room was nice, although there was a slight musty odor at times. The bathroom was very adequate and we loved having the private balcony, which we used often. The excursions were extremely well organized and led by wonderful Viking tour guides or local guides. We enjoyed all of the excursions, although the Hermitage museum was so crowded (not Viking's fault) it was difficult to get to see everything we would have like to see. Our Viking guide at the Hermitage guided us expertly to all of the "must-see" masterpieces and we made the best of a packed museum. We found the Russian people friendly and hospitable and interested in talking with us. The post trip to Helsinki was wonderful and we highly recommend a visit to beautiful Helsinki. Viking thinks of everything and leaves no detail unattended. This was our 2nd Viking river cruise and won't be our last! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
There aren't a whole lot of ways to "go see" Russia. Viking River Cruises seemed like an ideal way to see some of this big country. We flew into St. Petersburg a few days early through Viking & were met at the airport ... Read More
There aren't a whole lot of ways to "go see" Russia. Viking River Cruises seemed like an ideal way to see some of this big country. We flew into St. Petersburg a few days early through Viking & were met at the airport and whisked away to our very nice hotel right downtown across the street from St. Isaac's Cathedral. We spent some time exploring the city on our own, then went on a Viking sponsored walking tour as well. Finally we checked out of our hotel and Viking collected our luggage and bussed us (and other Viking Passengers) out to where the Ship was moored. We spent a couple more days in St. Petersburg exploring more of the city and surrounding countryside. We did Viking Bus tours, Walking Tours, and even a boat tour seeing all of the major sites in and around the city. Our Guides were all very knowledgeable and professional and had unique access to a number of the sites. The ship has appx. 200 passengers on board. Our cabin was spacious enough so we could easily unpack all of our clothes and not worry about re-packing and moving as if staying in a hotel. Our room had all the amenities of a modern hotel. The ship was very clean and the staff super friendly. Most all meals were on board the Ship and were bountiful and tasty with a wide variety of food choices, including Russian and regional dishes. Both Ala Carte and Buffet dining options are available. The cost of all your meals and drinks with dinner are included in the cruise price. There is no assigned seating for meals, so we dined with many different interesting people. Other activities while on board include informational lectures about Russia, both historically & current times, and Russian Language lessons. Viking offers several onboard fun activities like Vodka Tasting too. There is plenty to do while on board: there is a small gift shop, a small library, of course a bar/lounge with musical entertainment, an open air deck topside with a covered area, and a second lounge area at the stern. The crew and staff work hard so you feel like a pampered guest, and they succeed. The ship stops every day to visit interesting places along the way with shore excursions. We stopped at two open air museums (Kizhi & Mandrogy) with buildings that had been brought in from various parts of Russia, these were often staffed with period correct craftspeople who could answer questions, as well as sell hand crafted items. We also stopped at a small city (Uglich) where we went on a walking tour and visited a local Russian couple in their home to talk of their life in Russia. And we visited a larger city (Yaroslavl) for a walking tour, a visit to the food & craft market and visits to other sites. We visited many religious sites (Russian Orthodox), Churches, Cathedrals and Monastaries. I was surprised by the amount of religious art, treasure and influence that has survived in Russia. There are also ample shopping opportunities along the way & your guides will let you know where you can get the bes deals. Finally it was on to Moscow for the finish of our trip. We spent several days in Moscow, again seeing all of the major sites through walking tours, bus tours, and a boat tour. The only downside in both St. Petersberg & Moscow is the ship docks are outside the cities a ways, so you will be in for daily bus rides of an hour to an hour and a half to get from the ship to the city centers. Overall on this trip I feel like we saw the best parts (and a wide variety) of Russia. Both St. Petersburg and Moscow are large cosmopolitian cities with lots of attractions to visit. The Russian people were friendly and open and honest with us. The open air museums give a sense of what life in the countryside was like, and it helped to visit smaller towns and cities to see what daily life in Russia is like. We went to many museums and palaces and religious sites. The guides of Viking are terrific and knowledgeable as are the site specific guides they use. This was a very enjoyable and easy trip and I would do it again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I always wanted to see russia....but the overseas issues made me a little queezy ....viking cruise people walked me through the entire process....no question was to silly. ...i received my visa and set my date! Our ship was the ... Read More
I always wanted to see russia....but the overseas issues made me a little queezy ....viking cruise people walked me through the entire process....no question was to silly. ...i received my visa and set my date! Our ship was the akun!...fabulous, clean cabin. large window for a wonderful view of the countryside and made our cabin so bright! the dining was 5 star every day. how they could make that many fabulous meals and get it perfect every day is beyond me! the activities and entertainment was first class. no request was too much for the crew to deal with. i was treated like a superstar! the itinerary was perfect! we saw all the sights, met the people, sampled the cuisine and absorbed every minute on and off the ship! russia is the most fascinating country. the people are so friendly and love sharing their culture. i'd go back in a heartbeat....but i want to see all the other spots viking has to offer. they take all the worry and 'fret' out of traveling. viking wrapes me in the finest silk and guides me through the joys of seeing new adventures. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This cruise stood out from the rest because we could stay in hotels while touring Moscow and St Petersburg rather than needing to return to the ship each day. This was such a plus in terms of not wasting time in traffic, being a few ... Read More
This cruise stood out from the rest because we could stay in hotels while touring Moscow and St Petersburg rather than needing to return to the ship each day. This was such a plus in terms of not wasting time in traffic, being a few minutes away from attractions when exploring in free time and enjoying comfort and space in really lovely hotels. The city tours hit all the main spots with great guides and a reasonable amount of time at sites but I would recommend extra days in Moscow and St Petersburg because there is so much to see and do. Embarkation and disembarkation were pain free and reasonably swift, given the boat was fairly small. The ship was very nice and comfortable, with lots of quiet spaces to sit and watch the scenery. The cabin was standard ie average size - not large but sufficient to needs. It was light and airy and not claustrophobic The bathroom was small but roomier than any I have seen on other ships of the same or larger size. The servicing of the room was excellent and typical of the service on the boat. Everyone was helpful, friendly and efficient and went above and beyond what could reasonably been expected. The food was fantastic, plentiful and great quality and variety table service at dinner was wonderful. The activities are plentiful and fun. The on board lectures on history and culture were a highlight and should not be missed. Fun to go through the locks and interesting scenery. Though someone said it was monotonous, this could be said of cruising Alaska (snow and trees) or the Nile (desert). I didn't think so as the scenery changed from dachas and occasional monasteries to pristine forests or the lakes. The ports and shore excursions were well chosen, with very good local guides and I learned a lot (and they are all free except for tips to guides which are optional.) The tour groups were small and helped with getting to know fellow passengers. Most were manageable for people with difficulties walking. The majority of passengers were over 50. I would definitely recommend the Volga Dream for these reasons. It's a fun cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was a very stress free tour. We were in good hands from the time we were met at the airport to the time we were accompanied back to the airport after the cruise was over. The tours were very organized and they kept the group small. ... Read More
This was a very stress free tour. We were in good hands from the time we were met at the airport to the time we were accompanied back to the airport after the cruise was over. The tours were very organized and they kept the group small. There was always a local guide and someone from the ship to make sure no one got separated from the group. The wait staff were warm and they always had a smile. They knew our names and how we liked our coffee and what juice we liked starting from the second day. The games were hilarious and the historical presentation were Educational .We especially like the fact that the senior crew members mingled with the passengers . We also liked the meeting your neighbor activity. There was variety of meals to choose from and they were prepared well. We are sold on viking River Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We travelled as a group from Hawaii. There were 24 people in our group. A few were not from Hawaii, but they all had Hawaii '"connections". Our group leader was Deanne Horie. The staff of the Ingvar was outstanding. ... Read More
We travelled as a group from Hawaii. There were 24 people in our group. A few were not from Hawaii, but they all had Hawaii '"connections". Our group leader was Deanne Horie. The staff of the Ingvar was outstanding. "Sasha from Russia" was so informative but also very entertaining. Also, the dining room crew took care of our group like family. They saved off a couple of tables for us so that we could enjoy our meals together. This made the trip more enjoyable for us. I enjoyed rehashing the day's activities with friends over a nice dinner. This was my first experience in going through locks. I had read about locks and how they work, but had never actually gone through one. It was quite an experience for me. Glad I was able to experience it while I'm still able to travel. I was surprised to learn that most of the Russian people actually hate communism more than Americans do. We know about communism intellectually, but they had to actually live through it. Our visit to a Russian family in their own home was an unforgettable experience for me. That visit to the local school was also quite impressive. Our guide was an eighth grade student. I was blown away with how smart and confident she was. Their school system allows students to decide on how they want to spend their remaining three school years. They can prepare for university, or they can start learning a trade. Most kids in the US wouldn't have a clue after the eighth grade on what they want to do with the rest of their lives. I wonder how this is working out for the Russian kids? Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
A comfortable leisurely way to an introduction to Russia, from large cities (beginning & end) to the countryside. We recommend ending in Moscow, making the whole trip a build-up. The ship was very comfortable, the food good, the ... Read More
A comfortable leisurely way to an introduction to Russia, from large cities (beginning & end) to the countryside. We recommend ending in Moscow, making the whole trip a build-up. The ship was very comfortable, the food good, the service impeccable; it was the right size of ship. The excursions were varied, interesting, even intimate, without being overwhelming in number and size; scheduling was excellent. The guides were very professional, informative and friendly, and always available. We picked a time period which was cool / cold (could not really use the outer deck effectively), but this ensured that the places visited on excursions were not over-crowded. Some of the events -- ballet, concerts -- were particularly enjoyable, as was the banya (Finnish sauna & plunge). The embarkation and disembarkation experiences were extremely smooth and easy; Viking was very well organized for a glitch-free entry / exit. We would gladly book with Viking again on another such trip elsewhere; we tend not to repeat trips. Timing is critical on any trip because associated popular excursions can easily be over-crowded, detracting from the enjoyment. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise because we had always wanted to see Russia and the cruise had the added bonus of Andrew Davis and John Simpson to talk to us. The whole event more than exceeded our expectations. The accommodation was great, the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had always wanted to see Russia and the cruise had the added bonus of Andrew Davis and John Simpson to talk to us. The whole event more than exceeded our expectations. The accommodation was great, the food ample and delicious and the service on board was exceptionally attentive and kind. Our tour directors worked tirelessly during the excursions to ensure that we had all the information we needed to get the most out of the places we were seeing. The program of events and excursions was extensive. A real highlight was attending the performance of Swan Lake in the Kremlin which was quite wonderful. We also enjoyed seeing so much of St Petersburg and Moscow with several points in between. The barbeque on Mandrogi was great fun - the entertainment in particular. We can certainly recommend this trip to anyone who would like to explore Russia. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My husband and I felt that we knew so little about Russia, and we were, therefore, anxious to take a Viking cruise to learn more. We had been on a previous Viking cruise down the Rhone, but this cruise offered so much more, including ... Read More
My husband and I felt that we knew so little about Russia, and we were, therefore, anxious to take a Viking cruise to learn more. We had been on a previous Viking cruise down the Rhone, but this cruise offered so much more, including spending more time in Russia and learning more about a country we weren't familiar with. The ship, although older than the one we had taken on the Rhone River, still offered plenty of room, and we were looked after, not only on the ship but also on the shore. Viking paid our air fare from Seattle to Moscow and from St.Petersburg back home, and they met us on our arrival and helped us get to the airport on our return. Our cabin was well situated and comfortable, and we enjoyed sitting on the veranda occasionally. The food was plentiful and delicious for every meal, and we had choices that assured we would never go hungry. The dining area was attractive with seating for two people or up to eight per table.The food also included some Russian dishes. And breakfast or lunch were provided buffet style in a smaller lounge or in a smaller area of the dining hall. I was so impressed with the pleasant wait staff, who were efficient and friendly. Our entertainment onboard was most often lectures on various aspects of Russia, and we both learned so much before and after our on-land excursions. We had time to shop a bit at street stands, art or history museums, or even on the ship. Among the activities that most impressed us were visiting a home in Uglich for refreshments including homemade vodka, visiting a local school in the same town, attending a ballet in St. Petersburg,riding on the subway in Moscow, cruising along the Volga and other rivers, seeing the surrounding countryside, and touring significant churches and museums. Our tour guides were so knowlegable and answered our questions easily and with complete candor, and our tour bus drivers were polite and offered us such smooth travel. I would definitely go on this cruise again and would be assured I would learn something new, despite the past lectures and tours. This cruise was so different and so significant that my husband and I probably bore our friends by talking about it often and showing photos! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We had never been on a river cruise or travel in Russia and thought it would be an interesting way to visit Russia. We enjoyed the tours and the tour guides did a very good job explaining the sites we visited. The tour guide were very ... Read More
We had never been on a river cruise or travel in Russia and thought it would be an interesting way to visit Russia. We enjoyed the tours and the tour guides did a very good job explaining the sites we visited. The tour guide were very well educated on all the sites we visited and able to explain the history of all the sites. Overall it was a very good trip. We were not sure what to expect but were very pleased with the overall trip. The travel in the river boat was very relaxing and the food was outstanding. Very glad we took the trip. I would recommend both Viking River Cruise and Russia tour. Visiting both Cities and Rural Islands was very unique. Also visiting local residences was very unique. I had very little knowledge of Russian Orthodox Churches and found them very different from other cathedrals in other European cities or US cities. Very glad we were able to visit so many. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We took this cruise to see places we never thought we would see. The excursions were very good, but the excursion to the northern island, while interesting, was a long way there and back. My major complaint was the lack of shipboard ... Read More
We took this cruise to see places we never thought we would see. The excursions were very good, but the excursion to the northern island, while interesting, was a long way there and back. My major complaint was the lack of shipboard entertainment. The piano player and singer were okay. The trivia contests were okay. All together, there was very little evening entertainment. The daytime education sessions on Russian history periods were okay, but were the only entertainment outside of the excursions. There should be a fitness room. While the age of the passengers seemed to be older than my wife and I, I think a lot of people would have used a fitness center to some extent if available. The number of TV channels needs to be expanded. The choice of movies definitely needs to be expanded. The food and food service were excellent, although Western name brands of sugar and artificial sweeteners should be available. The cabin service was fine. I think the excursion to the ballet should have been optional. Our primary tour guide was excellent; because he spent 10 years in the USA, he spoke with very little accent, understood USA customs and expressions, and was very entertaining. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We wanted to experience Russia. Upon arrival in Moscow, it was raining. The agent from the ship, who met us, said normally it might take 45 minutes to get to the ship but this is rush hour and it is raining. What a surprise! The Moscow ... Read More
We wanted to experience Russia. Upon arrival in Moscow, it was raining. The agent from the ship, who met us, said normally it might take 45 minutes to get to the ship but this is rush hour and it is raining. What a surprise! The Moscow traffic was as bad as any I have seen in L.A. Bumper to bumper all the way for an hour and a half. This was the only time it rained on the whole trip. The number of cars was a huge surprise and they were all very nice cars from every manufacturer. We were so pleased with our cabin. It was plenty spacious. The bed was very comfortable and firm. The shower was very nice and there was plenty of room to store the suit cases under the bed. Every aspect of this trip was excellent. The service was efficient and friendly. The restaurant was extremely nice with an excellent menu. We appreciated the broad selection and the excellent, friendly and helpful service. We wanted to learn Russian and Nadia, Dasha and Kirill became our good friends and eagerly helped with this. We had such a nice time with them. It was a highlight of the trip. They were such good Ambassadors for the Viking Akun. The shore excursions were very interesting well guided and organized. We were kept so busy there really was not much time to be spent in our cabin. We particularly liked the trip to central Moscow on the Subway, The Red Square, Gum Department store, the Kremlin, The family visit in Uglich. The ship was very comfortable and the lectures were interesting and informative. The vodka tasting was much fun and this trips to the Kizhi State Open-Air Museum a high light. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose this trip to see St Petersburg and Moscow. It was our first sailing with the Viking line and it was of interest to experience a river cruise with the company. The trip was well planned and the trip documentation (information) ... Read More
We chose this trip to see St Petersburg and Moscow. It was our first sailing with the Viking line and it was of interest to experience a river cruise with the company. The trip was well planned and the trip documentation (information) on the various stops was excellent. The river boats were well appointed and well maintained. Food was excellent with authentic dishes provided in a dining room setting. Free wine and beer at the meal times was a nice touch. The support staff was very cordial and eager to help with any assistance. Onboard managers were always visible and involved to welcome the travellers and ensure that the services were provided. The Russian guides were excellent by being well versed with the history their country and current events. They had a good command of the English language and easily understood. They were pleasurable and spoke openly. The excursions in the two large cities were not all included in the initial cost of the cruise. The excursions were very expensive. The Viking tipping recommendations of $25.00 per day per traveller were excessive considering that the average worker in Russia worked for a fraction of that amount. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
The trip covered the areas that I wished to see and was recommended by friends .previous experience with Viking had bee very positive. The cruise combined culture of the people, amazing architecture and knowledgeable guides who added to ... Read More
The trip covered the areas that I wished to see and was recommended by friends .previous experience with Viking had bee very positive. The cruise combined culture of the people, amazing architecture and knowledgeable guides who added to the enjoyment of the trip. I enjoyed the musical and cultural events in particular the Ballet. In future I would explore the embarkation city , One of the draw backs was the traffic in Moscow which added many unproductive hours to the day which would have been better served by visiting the sites , is there not a way to moor closer to the center of town? I particularly enjoyed the time in Saint Petersburg ; the the extended tour of The Hermitage should be the included tourThe least enjoyable part was the time spent in Mandrogy. The service onboard was exceptional in all ways and i definitely would book to do another tour with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016

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