1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We selected Russia because I always wanted to see St. Petersburg. We enjoyed the opulence of St Pete then the quaint stops along the river on our way to Moscow. To our surprise, Moscow was our highlight. Beautiful city. Do take advantage ... Read More
We selected Russia because I always wanted to see St. Petersburg. We enjoyed the opulence of St Pete then the quaint stops along the river on our way to Moscow. To our surprise, Moscow was our highlight. Beautiful city. Do take advantage of the Moscow by night excursion. Seeing GUM all lit up and being in Red Square at night was breathtaking. We thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the trip except the unseasonably cold and rainy start. We expected 60s and temps were in 40-50 range for a few days. We just layered up and kept going. There is not much sunshine in Russia but the people were friendly. The home tour was another one of our favorites as we visited a school and home. Wonderful! The Akun was a delightful boat. Soups were excellent as was all food on board. Staff was attentive and personable. Highly recommended - especially for history buffs. The onboard talks on Russian politics was fascinating. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Crew staff was fantastic and hard working. . .very personable! Cabin cleaner, servers, gift shop manager, guides, and front desk were all the best! Tours were well done and very interesting. Russia was a great country to visit. Always ... Read More
Crew staff was fantastic and hard working. . .very personable! Cabin cleaner, servers, gift shop manager, guides, and front desk were all the best! Tours were well done and very interesting. Russia was a great country to visit. Always felt well taken care of by Viking. Enjoyed every land tour. The guides were excellent and very well informed, The buses were clean, and audio the ear plugs worked and were reasonably comfortable. The life on ship was relaxed. No one pushed us to finish meals before we were ready to move on to some other activity. Nothing was rushed. Be prepared for exceedingly heavy traffic in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Neither port is close to the center of the city. The journey to the tours was very slow! The bus drivers were excellent. We were very happy we extended our cruise/tour in St. Petersburg. It gave us extra time to enjoy a fantastic city and attend a ballet and organ festival. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Having cruised with Viking before, we expected the best for our Russian experience, and we were not disappointed, with one notable exception. The Akun is smaller than the Viking Long-ship that we had sailed on before, but accommodations ... Read More
Having cruised with Viking before, we expected the best for our Russian experience, and we were not disappointed, with one notable exception. The Akun is smaller than the Viking Long-ship that we had sailed on before, but accommodations were excellent. The food was well above average when compared to other river and ocean cruises. Our chef stated at the start of the cruise that his objective was to make every passenger gain 5 pounds, and in my case, he succeeded! Dining room servers are in a class of their own. We especially appreciated Alamar, Natalie and Vitalii in the main dining room, as well as Alysa and Jefferina in the Skybar. Housekeeping was absolutely outstanding, and other shipboard personnel were consistently friendly and helpful. Personnel at the desk were also outstanding and eager to help. Local excursion tour guides were generally excellent, with only one exception. That brings me to the one significant problem (for me) on this cruise. There were three Viking tour guides. Two of them were excellent, but my experience with one of them gives me cause to question whether or not I want to cruise with Viking again. Mr. Vadim was our Viking guide for our tour of a Kommunalka communal home. This was an optional excursion that we paid extra for. We were keenly interested in this tour, because promised to offer a glimpse into life during the Soviet era. Seated around a long table in the owner's tiny main living room, Mr. Vadim opened the floor to questions for our host, with Mr. Vadim as the translator. People asked questions for 20 minutes or so without incident. One asked about ghosts in Russia, a question that was dealt with in all seriousness. I had been quiet throughout the session, but I eventually asked a question about income taxes in Russia. When I did so, Vadim threw his hands up in the air, laughed, and loudly stated that he had never heard such a question toward the end of a cruise. Other passengers laughed. He went on to say that he was going back to the ship to tell the other guides that they had failed miserably in their efforts to educate the passengers. He went on and on making fun of my "stupid" question, with other passengers laughing uproariously. So, ghost questions are fine, but tax questions are ridiculed at length. I did not pay $15,000 to be humiliated in front of my wife and other passengers. If you take this tour, I suggest that you avoid any excursions lead by Mr. Vadim, but if you end up on one, keep quiet, and don't ask any questions. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
The time of year was an important consideration, because we didn't want to go during the height of the summer heat or as weather was turning cold. We have spent a lot of time in Western Europe and thought it was time to go to Russia. ... Read More
The time of year was an important consideration, because we didn't want to go during the height of the summer heat or as weather was turning cold. We have spent a lot of time in Western Europe and thought it was time to go to Russia. First, the food was fantastic, as Viking always serves great food. The cabins and the longboat were immaculate. The daily tours were worth every moment as history unfolded in front of you. We enjoyed the guides giving optional free lectures on the history of Russia for during the days we were traveling between towns. The variety of tours covered all aspects of Russian culture and the Russian peoples lives from ancient days through current today. The variety of activities included night tours, city tours, tours by water in Moscow and St. Petersburg, museums, summer and winter palaces and plenty of churches with fascinating histories. We didn't really know what to expect and are so glad for the Russian experience with Viking Tours. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
This was my first trip to Russia. I had been on a Viking River cruise before and was impressed with their service. We spent a number of days in Moscow to start and ended with a number of days in St. Petersburg at the end. We saw all of the ... Read More
This was my first trip to Russia. I had been on a Viking River cruise before and was impressed with their service. We spent a number of days in Moscow to start and ended with a number of days in St. Petersburg at the end. We saw all of the typical tourist sites - Kremlin, Red Square, St. Basil’s, Hermitage, Catherine Palace, etc. The city tours were great, but be warned there were miles and miles of walking on some of them. The river cruising was beautiful and we stopped in a number of unique ports and interesting cities. We always had a local guide with us who was very informative. Some were delightful. There was lots of “wodka” available on the ship - at tastings, lunches, and events. The three Viking guides were very knowledgeable and we had classes on history and language. The cabins were very nice. A pleasant surprise was the very large veranda on our cabin. The ship used to be an ocean going vessel - the verandas were large and square, not like the small, narrow veranda I had in France. The food was excellent. The service was wonderful in the dining room. The reception staff were very helpful in recovering a tablet computer that had been left on a bus. The Viking flights were uneventful, but due to limited flights to/from Russia, we had to leave at 3:00 am on out disembarkation day. That made for a very long day. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
We had heard from neighbors and friends that the cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg was excellent. With the Hermitage Museum as one of the highlights of this cruise, we signed up! Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The ... Read More
We had heard from neighbors and friends that the cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg was excellent. With the Hermitage Museum as one of the highlights of this cruise, we signed up! Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The Viking Akun was a lovely ship, and our veranda cabin was perfect. The dining was outstanding. Chef Leonides and his crew served wonderful food with great presentations. Cruise Director Margo had wonderful games in the lounge in the evening and encouraged all of us to dance. The Russian history and language lessons were wonderful. The crew were impeccable in their service. We enjoyed all of the ports and shore excursions. My husband and I traveled alone - no children. Yes - I would go again and highly recommend this cruise. Highlights of the trip include Moscow and its Red Square, the Kremlin, the Astronaut Museum; Yaroslavl, and of course St. Petersburg - the Venice of the North - with delights such as the Hermitage Museum and Catherine's Palace. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
We joined two other couples on this cruise. I was not in our plans, but we decided to join them, and we're glad we did. This was our 2nd Viking cruise, and we high expectations, based on our previous Viking cruise "The Grand ... Read More
We joined two other couples on this cruise. I was not in our plans, but we decided to join them, and we're glad we did. This was our 2nd Viking cruise, and we high expectations, based on our previous Viking cruise "The Grand European Tour" The staff and service were excellent. The dining was outstanding. Chef and his crew served wonderful food with great presentations. A diet post cruise is almost mandatory. The wait staff in all of the dining venues were excellent. Dining room servers Jay-An and Sasha are in a class of their own, along with Alysa and Jefferina in the Skybar. We really enjoyed the Vodka tasting event and learned much more about this culture. The food was exceptional, the wine selection, was just OK, and limited since this was all Russian wine. The excursions, and the guides were excellent especially in Moscow, and St Petersburg. The Folk music concert was exceptional, and extremely enjoyable The Metro tour in Moscow was amazing Kizhi the buildings in were beautiful. Mandrogy, The Russian Banya was an unexpected treat. Also enjoyed cruising along the Volga and other rivers, seeing the surrounding countryside We added a 3 night extension in Helsinki and we really enjoyed Helsinki very much, easy to get around. We did not enjoy our Viking Air connections to Moscow 3 flight and Paris to Moscow was booked as Business class but all it relay was was Coach with no one in the middle seat.Our return fro Helsinki was better, but still 3 flights via Paris & Minneapolis Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this cruise because of the price and our interest. It was our first river cruise, and I can't say enough about Viking and how we were treated! From our pick up at the airport to our return to the airport was top notch. We have ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the price and our interest. It was our first river cruise, and I can't say enough about Viking and how we were treated! From our pick up at the airport to our return to the airport was top notch. We have mostly traveled on our own because we thought we wanted the independence. No more. We enjoyed being pampered and scheduled. My husband likened it to being at an adult summer camp!! We loved having our daily schedule delivered to our room along with the informative sessions about what we were to see the following day. We also enjoyed all the educational activities on board along with the interesting people we met-staff and other guests. My husband is a picky eater but thoroughly enjoyed the meals. On other vacations we get tired of deciding where to eat for all our meals and whether we needed reservations. It was a joy to get back to the ship after a full day of sightseeing with a little time to refresh and maybe take a quick nap before being waited on hand and foot at dinner. We are already planning our next Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
The cruise was chosen for its itinerary, and for the Viking good reputation. We were on a river cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg, with stops at small towns along the way. Both embarkation and disembarkation were organized and went ... Read More
The cruise was chosen for its itinerary, and for the Viking good reputation. We were on a river cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg, with stops at small towns along the way. Both embarkation and disembarkation were organized and went very smoothly. Their organization and staff are excellent. The ship was a Russian ship, but had been redone recently by Viking. It was much nicer than the other river boats we crossed at a few ports. Our cabin had a balcony and patio door, and had great storage facilities and clean bathroom. The bed was very comfortable. All the meals on the ship were well prepared, excellent quality, and delicious. The dinner menu had a good variety of choices to please any taste. The Breakfast bar was great with a huge selection of foods for any taste. They offered a number of classes on the Russian language and on Russian history, which were very well presented by the knowledgeable guide staff. We also had an onboard musical presentation, were taken to a concert of Russian instruments, and to another Cossack musical review. We also were taken to a beautiful theater in St. Petersburg for a performance of Swan Lake. The service they provided was top grade. Our room was faultlessly maintained, the onboard staff were all charming and helpful, and their tour guides were excellent. The local guides they used were also wonderful. I felt that their choice of ports and shore excursions along the long waterway between Moscow and St. Pete were excellent. We had a home hosted visit and sampled local fare, visited a school and were entertained by students in costume who sang a folk song, visited an artists colony that had many interesting things, and an island with a fantastic wooden church that was build with no nails. The timing of our visits to popular destinations such at the Peterhof was perfect - we beat the crowds, and were given expert advice on how to avoid pickpockets. We did not travel with children. We would go on another cruise with Viking in an instant. To another destination - not that we didn't totally enjoy the Russian cruise, but because we want to experience other parts of the world. Read Less
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