First let me tell you this was Passage to Eastern Europe. Our ship was supposed to be the Aegir, but was switched to the Embla at the last minute.
This was our third Viking River Cruise having done the Rhine Getaway and the Romantic Danube. While on the Danube cruise, I asked our program director, George, which was his favorite cruise. He said Passage to Eastern Europe. Consequently, we booked it as soon as we got home. Caveat: while this was a fantastic cruise, I would not recommend it for a first Viking cruise. As usual, the Viking staff and crew were exceptional. Service, dining, accommodations, etc. all the very best. However, the itinerary is specifically geared from an historical and cultural viewpoint. The five countries we visited were all recently freed from communist rule. Their reactions and development to this new way of life are very eye opening, yet inspiring. In all cases, the people of these countries worked very hard to maintain their individual cultures--no matter who was oppressing them. Important to note; due to rules in place in the various cities and countries, Viking is not able to offer the "special" excursions for those with mobility issues--I am one of those people. Bear in mind, there is a lot of walking, some of it difficult, on this cruise.
As I mentioned, the crew and were absolutely wonderful. Unfortunately, I developed a serious upper respiratory infection. It caused me to miss several excursions. I was getting concerned that it might turn into something serious. Viking managed to locate a doctor in Bulgaria who came on board, examined both me and my wife and prescribed medications. A woman who was on board with a children's choir for that night's entertainment, volunteered to go to a local pharmacy to get the meds for us. How wonderful was that!!! I missed several dinners (didn't want to be hacking and coughing on everyone) and Alexander, our waiter, brought soup to my stateroom each of those nights.