We have travelled the world extensively but never been to Scandinavia or Russia so this looked like a good way to do a first experience in that part of the world. When we looked at the various options it seemed like Viking was the best for many reasons. First among those reasons was that it was a smaller ship which meant that everything was not so crowded with only 930 guests. All cabins were outside with balconies and from the internet pictures looked very comfortable and well appointed which they were. One of the features that particularly attracted us was the list of what they did not do or have since we were more interested in an expedition type cruise rather than a floating party. For example, they have no casinos and big entertainment. No passengers under 18. No umbrella drinks. No photographers. No nickel and dime treatment. No extra charge for different dining venues. No charge for wifi and the list goes on. The shore excursions were interesting and varied as well as being included for at least one in every port with other options which cost extra. They were all very well organized with smaller groups. Prior to any shore excursion there was a comprehensive briefing to supplement the hand-out information in their booklets.
The crew were very accommodating, the entertainment good without being too elaborate and every aspect of the service was first class.