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We enjoyed the cruise, despite the flights arranged by Viking. The flights home were particularly difficult - two layovers, not sitting together on 2 flights, chosen seats not provided - despite having paid for Premium Economy and Viking Air Plus. The ship's crew were wonderful, helpful, friendly and extremely attentive. The food was good and the service on board was excellent. The best aspects of the trip were Moscow and St Petersburg - they are fascinating cities and well worth visiting. However, the traffic in both cities was horrific. In both cities the ship docked far outside of the city centres, and too much time was wasted stuck on the bus in terrible traffic. We often spent as much time on the bus travelling to and from destinations as we did at the destinations themselves. The Hermitage in St Petersburg was a wonderful excursion, but marred by the time getting there and getting back, and by the lineups and crowds at the site. All in all, despite the glitches, it was a memorable trip.

Pleasantly surprised by Russia

Viking Helgi Cruise Review by RHandGL

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Russia River
  • Cabin Type: Veranda Stateroom
We enjoyed the cruise, despite the flights arranged by Viking. The flights home were particularly difficult - two layovers, not sitting together on 2 flights, chosen seats not provided - despite having paid for Premium Economy and Viking Air Plus. The ship's crew were wonderful, helpful, friendly and extremely attentive. The food was good and the service on board was excellent. The best aspects of the trip were Moscow and St Petersburg - they are fascinating cities and well worth visiting. However, the traffic in both cities was horrific. In both cities the ship docked far outside of the city centres, and too much time was wasted stuck on the bus in terrible traffic. We often spent as much time on the bus travelling to and from destinations as we did at the destinations themselves. The Hermitage in St Petersburg was a wonderful excursion, but marred by the time getting there and getting back, and by the lineups and crowds at the site. All in all, despite the glitches, it was a memorable trip.
RHandGL’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Veranda Stateroom
Cabin AX 406
Good cabin. Good layout. Efficient use of space. Didn't use the balcony very much. Location of cabin was very convenient for morning coffee and the dining room.
Upper Deck Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • City Tour
    Interesting tour, interesting sights, terrible traffic. Too much time was spent on the bus travelling into and out of the city.
    View All 32 City Tour Reviews
  • Kremlin
    The Kremlin tour was fascinating.
    View All 31 Kremlin Reviews
  • Red Square
    Unfortunately Red Square was being set up with stages and fences for Russia Day when we visited, detracting somewhat from it's magnificence. Lenin's Tomb was also closed for several days.
    View All 29 Red Square Reviews
  • Catherine Palace
    Lovely palace, such grand opulence! However, we spent as much time on the bus, stuck in traffic, as we did at the palace. The grounds were beautiful and would have been lovely to stroll and relax in had we more time.
    View All 210 Catherine Palace Reviews
  • Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
    This was part of the city tour, and was just one of many churches we visited. It was very crowded and tourists should heed the warning about pick pockets - one person on our tour had his wallet stolen.
    View All 192 Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood Reviews
  • City Tour
    Great tour, great sights, terrible traffic. We spent hours on the bus getting into and out of the city.
    View All 345 City Tour Reviews
  • Hermitage Museum
    Fascinating. Really too much to see on such a short visit. The traffic getting there and getting back to the ship, and the lineup to get in, was horrendous. We spent more time waiting than viewing. Nevertheless, a memorable experience.
    View All 342 Hermitage Museum Reviews
  • Neva River Cruise
    The river cruise was a wonderful opportunity to see the city from the water and without the traffic congestion.
    View All 142 Neva River Cruise Reviews
  • Russian Ballet Show
    Lovely evening but the beautiful theatre was packed to capacity and we were squished together on the bench seats. Our bus arrived a bit late so we had very little choice of where to sit - some seats are much better than others.
    View All 86 Russian Ballet Show Reviews
  • St. Isaac's Cathedral
    We didn't get inside the cathedral, but it made for wonderful photos of Red Square, both in the day and at night.
    View All 106 St. Isaac's Cathedral Reviews