My wife and I both thoroughly enjoyed this cruise, this vessel, and Russia. We made changes to our Viking-supplied air and had no trouble. (Another review takes great pains to spell out their horrible upgrade process but that's on Aeroflot, not Viking.)
We arrived Moscow a couple days early in order to explore on our own. All went well. The cab ride to the port was without drama except for not understanding the driver when he was asking for the name of our ship. The port was LOADED with river cruise ships. I gave him the name when it seemed appropriate and he got happy.
Embarkation could not have been easier or quicker: a trailer contained a scanner for our luggage and a security person gave us a look. Done.
I think we booked the least expensive cabin class. It wasn't "short" in any way, just typical compared to other cabins we've had on other ships. Bed was comfortable. Electric outlets were plentiful enough. The shower was always hot. The toilet always worked. Your cabin may be more important on this kind of vessel than on ocean cruise ships as the vessel is small. This was our first river cruise. Public areas are limited and do duty for different purposes. You may hole up in your cabin more than on a larger vessel. We always found a good spot out and about.
Dining was beyond excellent. Seriously. Food and service were exceptional. Simple lunches could be had in a limited buffet line including salad or sandwich or fruit. Restaurant fare was wonderful every time.
On board entertainment and activities were limited as the vessel is small. There was no music review or magic show but that was just fine. Lectures by tour guides on Russian history were interesting. Language lessons by hotel manager were informative. A vodka tasting was entertaining. At ports of call, including Moscow and Saint Petersburg, there were concerts, a folk music and dance review, and a ballet. Viking's excursion descriptions are accurate.
Our cabin maid was sweet, discrete, and perfect. She gave US a parting gift.
Ports were good and "built-in" tour guides were nice to have all the way on the trip. Besides the obvious allure of Moscow and Saint Petersburg, we thought Kizhi was particularly special.
As for our arrival, we stayed a couple days in Saint Petersburg after the cruise to continue some personal exploration. The hotel, restaurants, subway, sites, and cab ride to the airport all worked out fine.
Viking and Russia gave us a trip of a lifetime.
Saw it on our own and as cruise excursion; had no idea it included so many churchesView All 39 Kremlin Reviews
Saw it on our own and as cruise excursion; great to visit an historic place; Saint Basil's is awesome; GUM is impressive; Lenin's tomb is surprisingly suppressed.
As we had seen Red Square and the Kremlin on our own a couple days earlier, we used some of the cruise excursion time to tour the State Historical Museum. It includes artifacts from dinosaur bones to carriages of the czars. All placards are in Russian so unless you know the language, it's hard to get a full appreciation. Still a good visit. We also visited the War Museum which is now showing an exhibit of the Great Patriotic War, what Russians call the War of 1812: the attack by Napoleon. It was splendidly done!