13 Moscow Romantic Cruise Reviews

My wife and I have recently returned from our Russia river cruise via Viking. We actually sailed on a combination of canals, rivers, and lakes from Moscow to St Petersburg on the Viking Helgi. The Helgi is larger than the ... Read More
My wife and I have recently returned from our Russia river cruise via Viking. We actually sailed on a combination of canals, rivers, and lakes from Moscow to St Petersburg on the Viking Helgi. The Helgi is larger than the “longboats” we’ve sailed in previously on the Danube. Though longer, they have two decks, while the Russian river boats have four. The Russian boats are certified to sail in the ocean—but not too far from land. This was good, because some of the lakes we crossed were enormous. There are quite a few of these boats, all based on the same design. The Helgi was built in 1984. Viking acquired five of the boats in 2008 and completely stripped the interiors and rebuilt them to reflect the standards that Viking passengers are familiar with. The difference between the Viking ships and the other Russian boats is very apparent. The boats frequently dock side by side—you often have to walk through one or even two boats to get to yours, especially in the larger cities. There’s a dramatic difference when first walking through a Russian boat then onto ours. The Russian boats are quite drab. All in all she’s a beautiful and comfortable ship. One thing Viking didn’t do when they redid the interiors was improve the sound baffling between the cabins. There doesn’t seem to be much. We could clearly hear conversations and other sounds (use your imagination) from the cabins next to us. The first night aboard, exhausted from long flights, I had to politely ask our neighbor if he’d please turn down his TV, which he quickly did. Otherwise our veranda cabin was great with a very comfortable bed, pillows, linens, etc. The bath was small, but worked well and had a surprising amount of storage. The food was wonderful—every meal was great. Dinner each night featured a menu of different Russian specialities: appetizer, entree, and dessert. There are more “continental” offerings on each menu as well. The chef onboard the Helgi is German—Herr Benjamin. Though not identified as such, many meals have featured German specialties (krautwirkel—cabbage rolls; pflaumen kuchen—plum cake). They and the Russian offerings have been delicious. We looked forward to every meal. Viking offers wine or beer with lunch and dinner with no charge. I was a bit skeptical when it was clear that the only wine and beer was going to be Russian. The beer is actually excellent. Wine (red and white) is surprisingly good too, although not as good as Washington state, Oregon, or California wines typically are. Servers aboard don’t like to see empty glasses; they keep refilling your glass until you ask them to stop. Service aboard was absolutely amazing. Our cabin was kept spotless. But most impressive was the service in the bars and dining room. Servers are a combination of Russian and Filipino. They were all very friendly and extremely attentive. By the third day aboard every server was calling us by name. We’re not special, they seemed to know every passenger’s name. It was pretty amazing. Our fellow passengers were all very much like us—all older, and frequent travelers. We started with three days in Moscow. We were surprised at how much we liked the city. It was safe, extremely clean, with parks and extensive gardens everywhere. We had a pretty hectic schedule for the three days we were there, but were grateful we saw as much as we did. The next five days we cruised making stops at various cities, towns, and UNESCO heritage sites. The Russian countryside we cruised by was beautiful. We selected this cruise because of the number of days it offered in St Petersburg—three with the boat as our hotel. We opted to add the extra two days in a hotel offered through a Viking post cruise extension. Even five days wasn’t enough for this beautiful city. We’d highly recommend this cruise. All in all Viking did everything extremely well. The only thing that could have been better was the transfer from our post cruise extension hotel to the airport. Ours from the hotel was a little... um ... undersupported. We were told to be in the lobby at 2:45 am where a Viking rep would meet us. We’re there on time (5 couples) and waited. There was a Viking shuttle out front but no one in it. When someone checked again after 10 minutes the driver was sitting in it and indicated he was waiting for us. So we all boarded and he drove us to the airport and dropped us with our luggage in front of a terminal. We stood and looked at each other wondering where to go. Someone asked the driver; he pointed in a direction, shut the door and drove off. We all struggled a bit to figure out where exactly we should go to check bags etc., but eventually figured it out and helped each other out each step as we learned something useful. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
On July 7th my husband and my self we star our 5th river cruise in Moscow Russia.We had four amazing cruise and are looking forward for this one to learn about the culture of Russia.Since we are Orthodox Christians we are looking forward ... Read More
On July 7th my husband and my self we star our 5th river cruise in Moscow Russia.We had four amazing cruise and are looking forward for this one to learn about the culture of Russia.Since we are Orthodox Christians we are looking forward to visit all the churches that are the gem of this country.First day one the ship with a warm welcome and all the information for the following day and shore excursions.Everyone who was working was very polite and very professional.Everything was very well organized from the tours the shows on the ship and of course the amazing night at the ballet theatre at Saint Petersburg.How can you say thank you to the best cruise director who was from earlier time in the morning until late at night around the ship.But the most important role of course was played the master of cooking in the ship mr Leonidas Kritharas.He was excellent in preparation and presentation of all kind of food.The soups was the best and of course the lamb dish my husbands favorite and all the Russian food he made was the best.We visit the small kitchen the place with the final preparations.The most cleaning place you ever seen.We hope to meet him at another cruise soon.Viking river cruise are our favorites.We are thinking for Vietnam for next year. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I recognize that on any cruise there is a risk that bad weather can interfere with the experience. However, when problems occur, a reasonable cruise company is honest about the problems, mitigates the problems to the best of their ... Read More
I recognize that on any cruise there is a risk that bad weather can interfere with the experience. However, when problems occur, a reasonable cruise company is honest about the problems, mitigates the problems to the best of their ability, and takes reasonable action to remediate. On our cruise, high waves prevented our ship from reaching St. Petersburg. This had a major impact on the last two days of our trip. Vodohod chose the handle the problem in the following manner: After a very late dinner, the cruise line announced that all passengers need to be up by 6am so they could be on buses by 7am. We then rode a very cramped bus for 4 1/2 hours to get to St. Petersburg. At 6pm we were told that we needed to get back on that very cramped bus, and ride 5 hours back to the ship. Dinner has not offered until 11:30pm. When we arrived back at the ship at 11:15pm, we were told that we needed to pack, and make sure we were up at 4:45 am, and be completely off the ship by 6am. We were then put on a 4 1/2 hour bus back to St. Petersburg. All communication was delivered by our interpreter who was powerless to do anything other than graciously endure the anger of the passengers. We tried to talk to the cruise director, and she gave us a quick there was nothing she could do, and fled the area. The cruise line did nothing to compensate us, or make the slightest effort to improve our experience. Nor did they give us the opportunity to leave the cruise early, so we could get a good night sleep and avoid two of those miserable bus rides. We later learned that one of the travel agents, who had a representative aboard and has able to learn the truth, got all of their customers off the ship early, and made sure that they spend their last night at a hotel in St. Petersburg. The result of the three long rides on a cold bus, combined with two nights of inadequate sleep, was that my wife became very sick for the 10 days following the cruise. Her sickness would have been avoided if Vodohod, acted like a "five-star" cruise, they claim to be, by being honest about the situation, and having us spend our last night in a hotel in St. Petersburg. A month ago, I filed a formal complaint to Vodohod, though my travel agent, and Vodohod has not even had the courtesy to respond. The positive was that the food was excellent. The dining hall staff went well beyond accommodating allergies; they did their best to accommodate every dining preference. My wife is on a glutton free diet. They custom baked for her real delicious rolls, that were so good that I started asking for them. They also provided very helpful translators that were available the entire day and evening. The tour guides ranged from ok to excellent. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We've always wanted the adventure of traveling to Russia so when we saw this opportunity with Viking, we took it and we are so glad we did. Our experience from the first phone call to Viking to the end of the trip were outstanding. ... Read More
We've always wanted the adventure of traveling to Russia so when we saw this opportunity with Viking, we took it and we are so glad we did. Our experience from the first phone call to Viking to the end of the trip were outstanding. We have been on several River Cruises but this was our first Viking experience. Viking's staff and service beat our other experiences hands down. Every member of the Viking Team went over and above to delight us.First Jason, who we booked the tour with was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. The Air Plus team did a great job. There was a hurricane looming on the East Coast and the Air Plus team worked diligently to try to help us avoid any issues. THEN, we arrived in Russia and were welcomed right away by the Viking Team. They made us feel so welcome and comfortable. The service on board was amazing. The chef was outstanding, overseeing the preparation of delightful dishes from morning to night. They were able to accommodate special dietary needs with no problem. And RUSSIA! We were in awe of the beauty at every turn. There were so many wonderful sights. The ports and shore excursions were outstanding. Our experience with the people of Russia was so positive. We felt comfortable and welcome everywhere. The itinerary enabled us to start in Moscow and remain there for 3 days and end in St. Petersburg and remain there for several days. It was so nice to be able to stay in one place for the duration of our trip. We were so pleased with our Veranda cabin and the private balcony. We also were delighted that we could watch the port talks and history discussions from the comfort of our cabin. The entertainment and activities were fun and informative. Viking held a "meet and greet" hallway cocktail party to enable us to meet all the folks in the nearby cabins. That was FUN. This is a great trip and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants the adventure of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our 50th Anniversary trip (of a lifetime) and our 2nd Scenic River Cruise. I was somewhat disappointed with the young lady who greeted us at the airport... no 'welcome to Scenic'.. no conversation on the bus... but ... Read More
This was our 50th Anniversary trip (of a lifetime) and our 2nd Scenic River Cruise. I was somewhat disappointed with the young lady who greeted us at the airport... no 'welcome to Scenic'.. no conversation on the bus... but found out she worked for the ground operator not Scenic. The 'official welcome' started right away as soon as we departed the bus at the ship. The greeting was so warm and welcoming.... dispelled any misgivings on the bus. The front desk crew, under the direction of Anna were excellent. Within a day they knew our cabin number and simply handed us the key without asking. Always a welcoming smile and greeting! I cannot speak high enough about the Cruise Director and staff. Their knowledge, their openness, their story telling ability and their care about quality was outstanding. The food, produced under a young but very talented Chef was outstanding. We both enjoyed a massage ..and would recommend it as a perfect way to really get into the vacation mode. The Dining Room staff were amazing. Scenic trained (although not actual Scenic employees) they seemed to love their job. So personal. Greetings with such warm smiles. They bent over backwards to ensure your dining experience was a total pleasure. Our cabin was excellent. A workspace with ample plugs (bring adaptors) for my computer etc. The bed was too comfortable (didn't want to get up some mornings).... the bathrooms equipped with excellent bath and hand towels, good shampoo and conditioner and a hook for my shaving kit. I should add, a GREAT shower! The blackout curtains were so appreciated, since the sun doesn't really set until about 2am and stays dark for all of 90 minutes. The beauty of Scenic, there are not really any decisions to make. ALL of the tours are included. All of the tips are included. The wine etc at meals (this is the only difference we experienced from our previous Scenic cruise where the bar seemed to be free 24/7). My personal gripe was that my wife could drink all the wine she wanted at dinner but I had to pay for my non-alcoholic beer). A small gripe but we were warned that th Russia Cruise was a little different from the regular Scenic offerings. I can't say enough about the included tours.... everything from the Moscow Circus to a private reception with a 4-piece orchestra and amazing Champagne / vodka buffet of canapés and caviar. We adjourned to a theatre that sat our 90 fellow Scenic travellers very comfortably... a FULL orchestra and a 60 minute presentation of various famous ballets. An evening never to be forgotten. When asked about our impression of Russia... all we can say is how open and honest the people are about the changes that they are experiencing under the Federation. All preconceptions about Russia were dis-spelled. An awesome trip that I cannot recommend highly enough. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Crew staff was fantastic and hard working. . .very personable! Cabin cleaner, servers, gift shop manager, guides, and front desk were all the best! Tours were well done and very interesting. Russia was a great country to visit. Always ... Read More
Crew staff was fantastic and hard working. . .very personable! Cabin cleaner, servers, gift shop manager, guides, and front desk were all the best! Tours were well done and very interesting. Russia was a great country to visit. Always felt well taken care of by Viking. Enjoyed every land tour. The guides were excellent and very well informed, The buses were clean, and audio the ear plugs worked and were reasonably comfortable. The life on ship was relaxed. No one pushed us to finish meals before we were ready to move on to some other activity. Nothing was rushed. Be prepared for exceedingly heavy traffic in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Neither port is close to the center of the city. The journey to the tours was very slow! The bus drivers were excellent. We were very happy we extended our cruise/tour in St. Petersburg. It gave us extra time to enjoy a fantastic city and attend a ballet and organ festival. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My husband and I felt that we knew so little about Russia, and we were, therefore, anxious to take a Viking cruise to learn more. We had been on a previous Viking cruise down the Rhone, but this cruise offered so much more, including ... Read More
My husband and I felt that we knew so little about Russia, and we were, therefore, anxious to take a Viking cruise to learn more. We had been on a previous Viking cruise down the Rhone, but this cruise offered so much more, including spending more time in Russia and learning more about a country we weren't familiar with. The ship, although older than the one we had taken on the Rhone River, still offered plenty of room, and we were looked after, not only on the ship but also on the shore. Viking paid our air fare from Seattle to Moscow and from St.Petersburg back home, and they met us on our arrival and helped us get to the airport on our return. Our cabin was well situated and comfortable, and we enjoyed sitting on the veranda occasionally. The food was plentiful and delicious for every meal, and we had choices that assured we would never go hungry. The dining area was attractive with seating for two people or up to eight per table.The food also included some Russian dishes. And breakfast or lunch were provided buffet style in a smaller lounge or in a smaller area of the dining hall. I was so impressed with the pleasant wait staff, who were efficient and friendly. Our entertainment onboard was most often lectures on various aspects of Russia, and we both learned so much before and after our on-land excursions. We had time to shop a bit at street stands, art or history museums, or even on the ship. Among the activities that most impressed us were visiting a home in Uglich for refreshments including homemade vodka, visiting a local school in the same town, attending a ballet in St. Petersburg,riding on the subway in Moscow, cruising along the Volga and other rivers, seeing the surrounding countryside, and touring significant churches and museums. Our tour guides were so knowlegable and answered our questions easily and with complete candor, and our tour bus drivers were polite and offered us such smooth travel. I would definitely go on this cruise again and would be assured I would learn something new, despite the past lectures and tours. This cruise was so different and so significant that my husband and I probably bore our friends by talking about it often and showing photos! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We choose this river cruise as a 40th wedding present for ourselves, and anticipated it with excitement for months. We did not know what to expect, coming from the Midwest USA, and traveling to Russia, but it would be impossible for us to ... Read More
We choose this river cruise as a 40th wedding present for ourselves, and anticipated it with excitement for months. We did not know what to expect, coming from the Midwest USA, and traveling to Russia, but it would be impossible for us to leave the experience more pleased! Travel from Chicago to Moscow was grueling, but we expected that. What we did not expect, to this level, was the exceptional attention to detail when we arrived at Moscow airport, and for the next 13 days. EVERYTHING, (yes, everything) was designed to give the traveler every opportunity for the best experience ever. From the handling of our luggage, our boarding experience, the large and wonderfully appointed cabin, the excellent food (every meal!!!), to attentive housekeeping, and wait staff, both kitchen and the lounges, were magnificent. A sidebar about our luggage: one piece was lost by British Airlines, arriving to our room 48 hours later. The Helgi front desk pestered the airport/airlines several times each day, nagging, I think, like a grandmother whose child lost her doll, to make sure that it was found and delivered before we left Moscow. In the meantime, we received toiletries, robes and clothes, and free 3 hour laundry service. I believe that it is through adversity that the excellent prevail, and the Helgi crew did just that. Everyone had a smattering of the English language, with most speaking better than me. Absolutely no communication issues. The extra, unexpected events, like champagne in the hall to meet the captain and our new, temporary neighbors, to the daily briefings, cocktail hours was amazing. The exceptional service of Frank, the hotel/ship manager, Roland, the maître d'hôtel, Natred, our exceptional waitress whom we would have adopted in a heartbeat, to my new Siberian best friend Demetri, to Alvin, Jay, Tin, the excellent musicians, and others of whom I have forgotten their names but not their service, I tip my fedora. The vetting process of the Viking HR to find and retain such incredible staff (read: Family) must be outstanding, as they have employed the best of the best. While accommodations are important, it is the people who make the trip, and these folk certainly did this for us. We have traveled rather extensively over our many years, but this trip and experience climbs to the top of the list. Thank you, thank you!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
My wife and I wanted to visit Russia and we thought this would be a good way to see the country. We had no idea what a great decision we had made. From the time we landed in Moscow to the time we left to the extended trip to Helsinki, we ... Read More
My wife and I wanted to visit Russia and we thought this would be a good way to see the country. We had no idea what a great decision we had made. From the time we landed in Moscow to the time we left to the extended trip to Helsinki, we never touched our luggage. The service we received was exceptional. The food was fantastic. Our expectations were exceeded only by the restaurant service staff. Service to our cabin was absolutely perfect. The first day on board we found to large bottles of water in our cabin. We emptied the bottles before the evening. From that point forward on the second day we received two bottles in the morning and two in the evening without requesting anything from staff. Everyone paid attention to all our needs without being asked. Ports and shore excursions were unbelievable. We learned so much history from our leaders and they were exceptional in their knowledge of the country. We made a number of cruise friends that we plan to stay in touch with. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We arrived in Moscow early, so we did have time to explore the city before the official cruise began. The early Moscow metro tour really helped acclamate us to the city. Once on the boat, the crew and staff were wonderful. They gave ... Read More
We arrived in Moscow early, so we did have time to explore the city before the official cruise began. The early Moscow metro tour really helped acclamate us to the city. Once on the boat, the crew and staff were wonderful. They gave exceptional personal service. Tour guides were outstanding. It is obvious that every employee enjoyed what they were doing. I will definitely take another Viking Cruise. I cannot wait to do another cruise very soon! This trip had a great balance between sight seeing and relaxation time. I enjoyed the shopping on the boat. The quality and cost of the items was very good. I would have liked having some exercise facility on the boat, but other than that I have nothing but good things to say about the cruise. I liked having the option to choose an more physically demanding tour. I also was surprised that the ship had an on board physician. Once again, an outstanding trip!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We wanted to see as much of Russia as possible in the 2 weeks time we had to spend. It looked on line like this cruise would offer us a lot to see. The flight started off great but after arriving at the airport in Russia it all went down ... Read More
We wanted to see as much of Russia as possible in the 2 weeks time we had to spend. It looked on line like this cruise would offer us a lot to see. The flight started off great but after arriving at the airport in Russia it all went down hill. We had to wait a long at the airport before being taken to the ship. Our cabin was not ready we we arrived at the ship. The food offered in the dining room was not what we had expected and not as good as other cruise lines we have been on. The entrainment on board was not very good. Every time you went on a shore excursion you were encouraged to tip everyone from the bus driver to the guides. It seemed you were encouraged to tip everyone on the ship at the end, I felt like I was paying part of there salary. Next time we take a cruise we will look for another cruise line besides Viking. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
the cruise was excellent . one of our friends went on a viking cruise and raved about so much we had to try one ourselves. it was so relaxing . we traveled on rivers. and the locks were amazing how they operated. we wer abo to go to many ... Read More
the cruise was excellent . one of our friends went on a viking cruise and raved about so much we had to try one ourselves. it was so relaxing . we traveled on rivers. and the locks were amazing how they operated. we wer abo to go to many places that we would not ordinarily see. Uglich, Kizhi Onega Lake, Mandrogy, And Moscow and St. Petersburg were fantastic. . Experiencing local culture , visiting local familes and toasting with vodka. about 8 times. Visiting a banya, Palaces, . My wife an I even visited the Mikhailovsky Ballet. The food was excellent, the service stupendous, and the guides are second to none. All of the tours were famtastic. , and we had plenty of time to traavel to all the places suggested by the guides. Alot of walking involved. But man was that great to walk in the city of Moscow and St. Petersburg.. so much fun and so much history. G R E A T> Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
August last year, perhaps a little late in the season but our fault we chose it. The first couple of days are spent in Moscow, one of those places that not so many years ago was almost impossible to go to. We had a fantastic time, ably ... Read More
August last year, perhaps a little late in the season but our fault we chose it. The first couple of days are spent in Moscow, one of those places that not so many years ago was almost impossible to go to. We had a fantastic time, ably assisted by our very knowledgeable Russian Guide Victoria. She seemed to know everything and used her skills as a guide along with her amazing grasp of the English language and the English sense of humour. The cruise took in some wonderful palaces at which we stopped for a tour and some free time. Uglitch, Kizi Island and it amazing wooden church and several other places. Our destination was St Petersburg, without a doubt the Jewel in the Crown. So much to see and so little time as the saying goes. The Hermitage, Peterhoff Palace, the list could be endless but you must do your own homework. As I said at the beginning August is a little cold but snuggled under a warm (provided) blanket drinking coffee under the ever moving stars was just priceless, (oh and the Vodka Tasting evening is good fun as well). Go you will not regret it. The sail date may be slightly wrong, cant remember the exact date we sailed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014

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