Viking Truvor Cruise Review by Brian Hutchinson
- Sail Date: June 2011
- Destination: Europe River
We were on Viking Kirov, a modern, clean, well appointed and very well run ship. Organisation is first rate and the food is very good and plentiful. The tours, included and optional, gave a good introduction to the sights of St.Petersburg and Moscow, including poor driving habits (not the coach drivers!) and mammoth traffic jams, and the stops during the cruise provided enjoyable, interesting and occasionally quirky contrasts.
The history lectures given by the guides during the cruise were very good and together with the almost impossible language lessons considerably enhanced the Russian experience.
The audio system used by the guides was a constant problem. The ear-buds supplied were not as easy to use as the Quietvox earpiece on our Seine cruise in June, and the guides microphones were highly directional and some of the local guides did not understand that if they turned their heads to point out something to either side then the microphone was no longer in front of their mouth and their words were inaudible to many.
Other criticisms are minor and refer to the boat. We would have liked an organised option to the 4 course lunch, it was just too much with a 4 course dinner every evening. We did, in fact, emulate the example of another couple and simply make up plates from the buffet starters and take them to the Panorama bar and have them there. As a beer drinker I would have liked a draft beer available rather than just two types of bottled beers. Finally the layout of the lounges and dining room was not as good as our Seine Cruise on the Viking Spirit. The Panorama Bar was very nice, but quite small, while the Sky Bar, which was used for all the lectures was large but had no forward view and this, for me, limited its appeal. The dining room, which was used for all meals, was effectively split in two by the central kitchen and services station and this detracted from the atmosphere and versatility of the space.
Do not, however, let these minor criticisms put you off a terrific cruise full of memorable experiences. Viking are a very professional company and the fact that this was our second cruise says it all.