This was our first time with Viking River Cruise. It was disappointing. My husband and I always want to visit Russia and Viking was the only river cruise line that went there in 2016. There is a pole in the center of the cabin and you have to be careful not to trip over it..
The flights Viking booked us was really bad with 3 connections. They could have get us there with only 1 or 2 connections. We spent long hours in the airport with cancelling flight and changing airline before even leaving the US. You paid what you got with Vikings.
The food choices on board was limited, food tasted horrible and the presentation not appealing at all (always with two green onions on top, but they were not green onions) - didn't know what they were. We have been river cruising many times with other cruise lines and definitely this was the worst. Prawns were just small shrimps and there were no seconds. One of our table mate asked for more and was told initially "No", then later came up with a few. It seemed they did her a big favor.
Tours were equally disappointing. Tour guide in Moscow did not tell you exactly where were the rest rooms in the G.U.M. store. It is a big store and if you don't speak Russian, then good luck. Tour guide walked in front of the group and not ensuring all her group were together. Most of the included shore excursions were poor. The head tour guide on the ship seemed very unfriendly. Fortunately the ship's other tour guides were much better.
For the Helsinki extension - Save your money. It was not worthy at all. Helsinki Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, though centrally located, is old and outdated. Only one walking tour was included (not good) and the other tours, you had to pay for it.
The only good things came out from this trip were our cabin steward, front office staff, and the dining room waitresses. They were helpful and friendly, providing good services.
All in all, this was a bad experience with Viking River Cruise and most likely it would be our last river cruise with Viking.