Viking is very well organized from beginning to end. Airport pick up went smoothly. The Akun has been refurbished beautifully and the public spaces are well appointed. All of the staff were professional and friendly, always ready to go that extra mile for guest comfort and satisfaction. Meals were superb, well plated and varied, with many choices and very fresh ingredients.
Our cabin was comfortable but a bit noisy because of vibration in the shallower canals and rivers but quiet in the open waters of the lakes.
On board entertainment and lectures were enjoyable and informative about the culture, history and politics of Russia.
Ports were very easy to negotiate particularly in Moscow as we were close to the Metro allowing us to explore on our own. St Petersburg's port does not have the same advantage however. It would be nice if Viking might arrange a shuttle to a nearby metro allowing guests to get back into the city center on their free time.
Excursions were well organized and the local and ship guides were excellent and informative about history, politics and culture. Viking should consider guests abilities and disabilities when setting tours. As an able bodied guest, I was frustrated with the pace of those guests unable to navigate with out a wheel chair or walker. I would have preferred that those guests were able to choose a leasure tour with someone from the staff to handle wheelchairs so that other guests would not be put upon to help getting chairs up stairs etc.
All in all Viking more than met my expectations in every way. The boat was beautiful and the staff excelled in service and professionalism making my first river cruise an unforgettable experience.
The cabin was very comfortable and we loved the veranda. Sadly we experienced a great deal of vibration and noise as we traveled in shallower water. For a light sleeper this was difficult. There is probably nothing that can be done about that so I would definitely choose a different cabin.
Our maid was exceptional and our room was always beautifully clean.