This seemed like a great opportunity to get to know the Russian people and tour Western Russia. Previous experience with Viking indicated we would be well cared for and have great tours aside from the cruise itself. The major drawback for us was that the ship used on this tour was older than those of our previous tour and the cabins were smaller. We were not as comfortable and we spent more time on our veranda...roomier than the main cabin. The crew was wonderful and we continue our contact with some.
Some off-ship tours were better than others, but all offered opportunities to experience Western Russia.
One problem was that many stops along the way were "tourist" destinations and lacked actual Russian social contact.
The highlights were in Moscow and St. Petersburg. In-between, experiences were highly variable between great and subpar.
My husband has limited mobility, and most tours required walking distances beyond his ability. We did not participate in some tours because of this and since we had scheduled them, we were still charged even though we could not participate. Viking's rating of tour levels of difficulty did not adequately allow us to make choices appropriate to our abilities.
Reviewed earlier...Older ship, smaller cabin than we were used to.