My first river cruise easily won me over to this type of travel. As a former independent, backpacking traveler, I was skeptical taking a "tour package". Viking River Cruise offered me beautiful accommodations, dining options throughout the day, scheduled tours throughout Russia with plenty of flexibility to explore on our own. Viking provided seamless travel arrangements from takeoff to boarding and disembarking to takeoff afterward. As we toured Moscow worry free, Viking rebooked our flight home when Air France cancelled our original flights due to the pilot's strike. We enjoyed the open seating concept that allowed us to dine alone or freely make new friends by joining a table with open seats. As a life long learner I found the shore excursions informative and enjoyed the local guides at each port. Pre-port lectures on the ship prepared us in an entraining and informative way regarding history, ports, and current events in Russia.
Entire crew gets an "A+". Friendly, professional, attentive, and accommodating.