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159 Viking River Moscow Cruise Reviews

Absolutely everything about this cruise, the personnel, the food, the accommodations, the excursions, embarkation and disembarkation were spectacular. We chose to go to Russia because having been to Eastern Europe we were very ... Read More
Absolutely everything about this cruise, the personnel, the food, the accommodations, the excursions, embarkation and disembarkation were spectacular. We chose to go to Russia because having been to Eastern Europe we were very interested in seeing this country. The stops along the way were so different and incredible to experience. The people could not have been nicer. We had fabulous guides who were extremely knowledgeable and very interesting personalities. We learned so much and very different from what we had learned in school. We would repeat this itinerary if given the opportunity. We enjoyed the food very much, especially the local/regional dishes. The wait staff was helpful in explaining the dishes and we loved meeting the head chef and having a galley tour. He was very personable and went out of his way to walk through the dining room and chat with the guests. Our cabin staff was fantastic. She knew our preferences and made sure that each day, the items we requested were in our cabin. It was extremely clean and always completed when we returned. The layout of this ship was different than the other Viking ships were had been on, but it was explained to us when we did the tour of the bridge. Sailing along the rivers, but also two very large lakes, was a slightly different experience, one I would highly recommend. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The way Viking does everything well. It does Russia GREAT! We celebrated my birthday there with travel complains we met 10 years ago on a Viking cruise. The things we saw there were amazing. We felt very very safe and well ... Read More
The way Viking does everything well. It does Russia GREAT! We celebrated my birthday there with travel complains we met 10 years ago on a Viking cruise. The things we saw there were amazing. We felt very very safe and well protected. We stayed at the Ritz Carlton Cairo a few nights and had an amazing room overlooking the Nile River, We saw and did more things than I would ever do in my lifetime. The food was fresh and delicious. It varies everyday and was always beautiful and beautiful. The staff is well trained and very attentive and friendly. There was a doctor on board and he took wonderful care of the few guests that got a cold at a very reasonable cost. There was a sitting area and small clean pool on the upper deck. It was a fun place to watch the beautiful country side go by. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It’s the first time I cruise with Viking. I’m very impressed with how thorough and smooth the trip was. The staffs were helpful at all times and very organized. I like the fact that I have time to relaxed and not being rushed to do ... Read More
It’s the first time I cruise with Viking. I’m very impressed with how thorough and smooth the trip was. The staffs were helpful at all times and very organized. I like the fact that I have time to relaxed and not being rushed to do everything. I also like the lectures on Russia history. The lecturer were all so knowledgeable, The sessions were very informative and interesting. The food was very good. Lots of choices to please everyone on board. The dining room staffs were all very pleasant and helpful, even remembered my names. I’m very impressed with all the land tours as well. It’s an eye opener to see what Russia is like first hand. The sights, the people were not at all what I imagined in my mind. The country is so rich in history, my only disappointment was the visit to the House of Faberge. The collection was smaller then expected. Still fun nevertheless. I’m looking forward to my next trip. Thank you Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It was the best experience I’ve ever had. The staff was so wonderful and I loved our enrichment classes. Sasha and Alexie gave us incredible history lessons. I loved Russia, I think about my trip and Russia daily. I dream of returning to ... Read More
It was the best experience I’ve ever had. The staff was so wonderful and I loved our enrichment classes. Sasha and Alexie gave us incredible history lessons. I loved Russia, I think about my trip and Russia daily. I dream of returning to this beautiful country and hope I get to meet up again with the people I met through Viking. This was my first Viking cruise but won’t be my last Our accommodations were very nice, the staff was friendly and the food was very good. The outings were well organized and delightful. The only thing I didn’t enjoy were the long rides getting anywhere but I don’t see any way around it because of the size of the cities and the number of cars on the road. For instance, I signed up for art galleries and the itinerary would state maybe 4 hours but actually I maybe had an hour or so there because of lengthily travel time. It would have been nice to make them day trips of 6-8 hours to fully appreciate the galleries and museums. I truly loved my trip and I want to thank Viking and the staff for the best vacation of my life. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were offered a very good deal by Viking. We assumed the deal was special because ours was the next to last cruise of the season and they wanted to ensure a full ship.Several years ago we were scheduled for another cruise with Viking ... Read More
We were offered a very good deal by Viking. We assumed the deal was special because ours was the next to last cruise of the season and they wanted to ensure a full ship.Several years ago we were scheduled for another cruise with Viking which was cancelled due to a flood in Europe. Our expectations were high based on testimonies from people we know who have taken Viking cruises. Our expectations were met and exceeded. From the moment we landed in Moscow, Vikings expert staff met us and took care of our every need. They were professional, personable, and knowledgeable. The aboard ship cultural lessons were valuable, interesting, and entertaining. Our local tour guides were excellent and passionate about their locations and topics. One of our concerns having never been on a cruise before was whether or not we would get a real feel for the Russian people and their lives. We needn’t have worried. The people we met were very candid about their lives, their culture, their politics, and their history. The excursions were spectacular from Red Square, the Kremlin, Moscow by night, a delightful evening of Russian folk music, Sergiev Posad (Russia’s greatest monastery), the Uglich walking tour and visiting the Church of St. Dmitry on the Blood, touring Yaroslavl (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, Kishi Island at the north end of Lake Onega (second largest lake in Europe) with the largest wooden church in the world and an outdoor museum of peasant life, Mandrogy which is an outdoor museum of a Russian village with artisans and craftsmen. And then there was St. Petersburg! Moscow is this incredible, modern mega-metropolis, the largest city in Europe. St. Petersburg is like an extreme northern Venice. It is a beautiful city and we saw it by boat, by bus, and on foot. Amazing architecture and cultural sites awaited us, The Hermitage, one of the greatest, if not the greatest museum in the world, is an amazing experience and our tour guide had it down cold. The same was true of the Peterhof Palace and fountains. The Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the most amazing works of art inside and out. Magnificent mosaic icons grace every surface in the sanctuary. Being in Peter and Paul Cathedral surrounded by the tombs of the Romanov Dynasty gave me chills. Along with all of this there were concerts, a performance of Swan Lake, and on and on, including shopping opportunities. With all this, you might think we were rushed or exhausted. Not the case! If anything it seemed leisurely. On the ship, there was beautiful scenery, music and dancing, opportunities to visit with the other passengers, and cultural and historical lessons. There were roughly a 2-to-1 ratio of passengers to crew. The ship itself was immaculate. The food service was excellent. There was always a traditional Russian entree on the menu, if one so wished. The dining room staff was warm, engaging and very professional. We would recommend Viking to anyone and this particular cruise to all with a desire for the ultimate Russian experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Our ship was berthed in Moscow for 3 nights the last cruise of this season. We had a portside cabin. We were in front of the main terminal building which was in process of being refurbished. Next year it will be beautiful, unfortunately ... Read More
Our ship was berthed in Moscow for 3 nights the last cruise of this season. We had a portside cabin. We were in front of the main terminal building which was in process of being refurbished. Next year it will be beautiful, unfortunately for us we were looking at an ugly construction site with piles of trash & garbage. If we where one berth over on either side we could have been looking at green park & trees. I'm not sure why Viking planners weren't sensitive to that, when you spend the kinda $$ for a Viking cruise. The reason we enjoy river cruising is cuz of the views whether docked or not. Unfortunately not this cruise! On the 3 nights in St. Petersburg we were sandwiched between two other Viking ships, so you open your shades you're staring in another ships stateroom. It seems that this becoming common practice on busy ports middle of high season but this wasn't the case on this cruise! They were just getting ready to mothball their boats for next year! Once you've been on the beautiful Viking ships in Europe these Russian clunkers (even refurbished) don't compare. The stairs steps are short & at a steep angle posing difficulty for older passengers. They do have a small but slow elevator. But with roughly 200 passengers not very efficient, so the stairwells is what most people used, & from what we heard someone did hurt themselves. There are no comfy lounge spaces or little sofas to unwind, to read or have a drink, even in the Panorama Bar or Sky Bar. Stiff chairs the norm throughout, where you eat or drink & move on! Ship creaking, rattling & vibration noises was also an issue especially in cabin (more on that below). Room key cards didn't work from the very beginning upon check in & for the next 4 nights or so, had to run down to service desk to activate which eventually became a hassle. The dining room temperatures were unbearably hot & eventually many of us wore t-shirts! Even after consistently complaining to no avail. Dining menu was inconsistent, lunches were better than dinners. The ship cooks don't know the meaning of medium rare! So overall the Ingvar ship was a bust! A few other nagging issues: Moscow terminal had a security kiosk like the airports & in cold & rainy Moscow the line when multiple buses unloaded got crazy! That issue fortunately didn't replicate itself in St Pete's but it was a constant issue in Moscow!! Scheduling on many of the tours we felt like we were in a herd. They could have been spaced 10-15 minutes apart for a smoother more pleasant experience coming & going. On the positive side the included excursions & local guides were excellent. The extra fee excursions were very pricey side so we skipped many of them. The one "Moscow at night" included the Red Square & a boat ride. Well the Square was closed off for a Harvest Festival we just walked around it, so the boat ride for $129 each felt very steep! The other one we paid for was visiting the Faberge museum which initially I was skeptical but with a spouse from the museum world I went along & certainly didn't disappoint! The 3 Viking onboard guides (Alexey, Slava & Philip) which also did the excursions besides the supplemental local guides all were excellent! They love their country, love their jobs, were very knowledgeable, did it w/ passion & it showed. If you get a chance pay the final bill in local currency or US$! I paid by credit card & when I got home the bill was off by $20 (their exchange rate isn't the going rate:( The $30 p/p per day in gratuities on the final bill also was excessive. Throwing it in there on your final bill is becoming the cruise ship industry standard & you can only dispute it while on board! So if you're on a longer trip you will get a shock at the end. Gratuities is not a fee & should not be mandatory! But its another fee the travel industry is trying to tack on to the ever growing list of taxes, levies & hidden fees:( Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We got a great deal to go on the last cruise of the season. Free airfare and a reduced price. The weather was not good, it rained or was cloudy nearly every day which was not the fault of Viking. The food was excellent and the waitstaff ... Read More
We got a great deal to go on the last cruise of the season. Free airfare and a reduced price. The weather was not good, it rained or was cloudy nearly every day which was not the fault of Viking. The food was excellent and the waitstaff could not be more friendly and accommodating. they had things to do while sailing such as lessons in basic Russian and Russian history which helped when visiting sites. The original flight scheduled was not good with multiple stops, but for an additional $50 we were able to upgrade to a one stop flight each way on British Air and Lufthansa. It was well worth it since the original airline was substandard American Airlines. We had flown international with them in the spring and it was terrible. Our biggest complaint was the excursion to Peterhof in St Petersburg. It was billed at a 5 hour tour of “The Russian Versailles,”. The cost was about $150 each. The fountains were closed because of the time of the year, which we understood. However, they did not allow enough time to visit the gardens which we understood to be fantastic. We left the ship at 9AM and arrived at 10:10. We were told we had 20 minutes to see the gardens which meant we could run out for 10 minutes and run back for the palace tour. While the palace was nice it was similar to the included incursion of the Palace of Catherine the Great only smaller. Even though it was the end of the season the crowds were huge and going through the place was slow. When the tour was over we were told we had another 20 minutes to get on the bus at 12 PM that meant we had to skip the gardens again. I can't imagine what would happen in the summer. My suggestion would be to skip Peterhof save the $150 each and go the the included Palace of Catherine the Great; Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had travelled this cruise a few years ago and wished to revisit the sights because there is so much to take in. Our friends joined us on this cruise as they had heard so much about it from us over the years that they wanted to see the ... Read More
We had travelled this cruise a few years ago and wished to revisit the sights because there is so much to take in. Our friends joined us on this cruise as they had heard so much about it from us over the years that they wanted to see the sights of Russia themselves. As we have all travelled with Viking before we are familiar the standard of service, food and entertainment, hence our reason for travelling with them. The ship although not built to the same standard as the river cruises of Europe and ocean cruises, was exceptionally well maintained and catered for all our needs. The ship being slightly smaller means that you got to know your fellow travellers quite easily together with the staff. The cabin met all our needs and was easily accessible. Our only preference would have been to have a slightly more modern shower facilities, perhaps matching those of the other boats and ships. Dining was up to the excellent standard that we expect and receive of Viking. However, we would not travel on the last trip of any cruise again. The reason being that on the last but one day and the last day a number of items were not available, e.g. white toast for breakfast and the wine that we had enjoyed throughout the cruise had run out. Entertainment was very good and the different talks given about the places we visited were extremely interesting and informative. The excursions were excellent and the information and knowledge that the individual guides had was amazing they included very detailed information along with their views. The service we received from staff throughout was as always excellent. When we arrived at Moscow we waited for our luggage which did not arrive. Also my husbands wheelchair was badly damaged. The reception staff on the ship did everything they could to help and support us in trying to get our luggage back and complete claim forms. Our only disappointment was that of travelling with the airline Aeroflot, the service was not as good as other airlines and they damaged beyond repair my husband's wheelchair and to date have still not settled, some 2.1/2 months later. Would not recommend flying with them, we will not. Unfortunately, travelling on the last trip of the season, some of the items on the menu were not available for the last but one and last day of the holiday. The staff were extremely apologetic but there was nothing they could do. A great pity. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have done many river cruises and loved them all. But this one was unique and special. We would have been nervous to travel to Russia alone due to the language and logistics issues. Viking made this experience a breeze. They had done ... Read More
We have done many river cruises and loved them all. But this one was unique and special. We would have been nervous to travel to Russia alone due to the language and logistics issues. Viking made this experience a breeze. They had done the research regarding interesting locations, timing, informative speakers, cultural sites, excellent tour guides, and regional foods. All we had to do was sit back and enjoy the view. Each day was a new location and a new adventure. We saw modest towns, historical sites, exquisite museums, a concert with Russian instruments and musicians, a ballet, churches and the beautiful Russian countryside. Our ship was beautiful, immaculately clean, and well-appointed. We so enjoyed sitting in the Panorama Bar and watching the world go by. The ship was the perfect size. We were able to meet new friends from around the world. The food was sensational and we enjoyed the regional soups and dishes. The chef gave us a fun cooking class. There was always something to do and places to go. We were never bored. We felt like we learned so much about Russia and its people. The shore excursions were a true highlight. Experiencing a banya ! - Who'd have thought it possible? Making your own Matroyshka doll ? wow! Seeing actual craftspeople creating their authentic works. Traveling on the Moscow subways! The Hermitage Museum in all its splendor... It was the experience of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Always wanted to visit Saint Petersburg and Moscow. From the moment Slava met us at the Moscow airport we knew we were in good hands. The transfer from the airport to the boat went smoothly. Our cabin was very comfortable and always clean ... Read More
Always wanted to visit Saint Petersburg and Moscow. From the moment Slava met us at the Moscow airport we knew we were in good hands. The transfer from the airport to the boat went smoothly. Our cabin was very comfortable and always clean and tidy. The food was wonderful and every meal we had the opportunity to try Russian regional specialties. The service in the main dining room was always great, our favorite waiter was Mark :) Our tour guides in Moscow really made the visits to the Kremlin informative and interesting. I also enjoyed visit to Ulgich and other small towns on our cruise to St. Petersburg. Our first tour was of The Hermitage and my husband and I broke off from our group to explore other areas of the museum on our own. We visited the Catherine Palace in Pushkin and our tour guide was excellent. We took the optional tour to Peterhof and our guide was Phillip. He was very informative and we were able to tour both the palace and the gardens. I highly recommend taking a tour of Peterhof. Finally, we visited the Faberge Museum with Slava as our tour guide. He knows the history of the museum and the Imperial Eggs in-depth. I was very glade he lead our tour. Sasha from Russia who is the Cruise Coordinator is enthusiastic and kept my husband and I laughing most of the cruise. This cruise met all our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have traveled with Viking before and always had pleasant experiences. We have never been to Russia and this looked like a nice cruise. It was our first time on their older ships. When we got to our stateroom we couldn't believe ... Read More
We have traveled with Viking before and always had pleasant experiences. We have never been to Russia and this looked like a nice cruise. It was our first time on their older ships. When we got to our stateroom we couldn't believe how noisy it was. It turns out we were located right below the major air handler for the entire ship. Besides the loud air noise there was a throbbing pulsing noise that made it impossible to sleep. We complained and were told that there was nothing they could do to silence the noise. They had an empty suite but they would not let us use it unless we paid the upgrade fee. Their solution was to let us use a stateroom that was empty on the second floor to sleep in. This room was quiet but didn't have the veranda that we paid extra for so we didn't want to move to that room permanently. So every night for the entire cruise we would go down to the second floor to sleep and then back to 422 during the day. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose this cruise for the opportunity to visit St. Petersburg and Moscow, and points in between. The excursions to visit all the cities and sites were wonderful. Everything was fascinating, and pleasantly surprising. Much better than ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the opportunity to visit St. Petersburg and Moscow, and points in between. The excursions to visit all the cities and sites were wonderful. Everything was fascinating, and pleasantly surprising. Much better than expected. The ship was great. Our cabin was more than adequate and comfortable. The dining areas were very pleasant and well organized. The food was very satisfactory. Those crew members with whom we interfaced directly were very professional. The cruise director presented professional port briefings. The cabin steward did a great job. The staff in the dining room and lounge were courteous and professional. The transportation to and from the excursions was very satisfactory. The excursions were very educational, and both the Viking and destination guides were knowledgeable and professional. The 3 ladies serving as guides and providing educational presentations were absolutely outstanding. The on-shore entertainment was great - Cossack dance, ballet and orchestra - was entertaining and professional. All-in-all, it was a great cruise and well worth the time and expense. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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
Always my dream to visit Russia and go to Catherine’s palace And to see the “amber room “ I have read about the amber room extensively and it’s history It was so exciting for me to view the real thing The visit to ... Read More
Always my dream to visit Russia and go to Catherine’s palace And to see the “amber room “ I have read about the amber room extensively and it’s history It was so exciting for me to view the real thing The visit to Peterof Palace and tour of countryside was incredible made more so by the exceptional guides on our tours The highlight was Mandroy viewing the craftsmanship in each building was pure joy We could’ve spent more time browsing the village Each stop on our itinerary was packed with cultural and historical knowledge our guides were informative and and brought the history to life. Life on the ship was enhanced by our tour guides lectures as we cruised along The food and service were excellent I tried some of the local Russian food and enjoyed it very much. Our market visit, school visit added depth and appreciation of Russian culture The home visit luncheon was fun touring our hostesses garden and sharing lunch with vodka toasts plus the bus tour in local neighborhood was great Moscow subway trip was a pleasure like touring a beautiful museum fine art, beautiful chandeliers and incredibly polite passengers Another Viking trip of a lifetime Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
For my first Viking and river cruise, Waterway of the Czars was an awesome choice. Excursions were very informative, with great tour guides at every destination. I only chose one optional excursion to the Peterhof Palace & Park, ... Read More
For my first Viking and river cruise, Waterway of the Czars was an awesome choice. Excursions were very informative, with great tour guides at every destination. I only chose one optional excursion to the Peterhof Palace & Park, and it was one of the best by far. It was great to have some free time in most destinations to roam around and explore. Dining was a pleasure at every meal. I tried and thoroughly enjoyed most of the Russian selections available at each meal. Daily selections were varied and the food was excellent. All of the cruise staff (cabin, entertainment, bar, enrichment, kitchen, dining room, etc.) were extremely welcoming, helpful and available whenever needed. The ship docked and departed from each destination very timely and efficiently. The boarding process was very easy and quick. The entire Russian experience was so much more than I ever expected and each of the stops between Moscow and St. Petersburg was quite unique so much more interesting than I expected. The entire experience far exceeded my expectations. Soon after returning I booked my second Viking River Cruise to Paris and Normandy for May of 2020. Can’t wait to set sail! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Have wanted to visit Russia and in particular St Petersburg for a long time. The Waterways of the Tzars cruise was a superb way to do so. From the moment we landed in Russia until the time we left we were looked after. The Viking Akun ... Read More
Have wanted to visit Russia and in particular St Petersburg for a long time. The Waterways of the Tzars cruise was a superb way to do so. From the moment we landed in Russia until the time we left we were looked after. The Viking Akun more than met expectations. The cabin was fine with good amenities, everything was spotless, the food was very good and all staff were helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. I particularly liked the dining menu with the variety of dishes including a selection of local dishes. The guides were very good and while having to keep to a timetable they managed to avoid making the trips seem rushed in any way. I thoroughly enjoyed the onboard pre excursion talks which allowed everyone to get more out of the excursions. The talks about Russian political and economic history were also very interesting. The evening entertainment gave a lighter end to the evening. I would certainly use Viking again either with a group of friends or just with my husband. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our first cruise. We had a fabulous time due to the well thought out excursions, the incredible crew and the comfort of the ship. The menus at meals offered healthy options and a vast selection of items from which to use. The crew ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We had a fabulous time due to the well thought out excursions, the incredible crew and the comfort of the ship. The menus at meals offered healthy options and a vast selection of items from which to use. The crew was so much fun! I don't believe I've laughed that hard in years because of the great evening programs. I appreciated the casual atmosphere where there were no requirements for formal wear. The cabin was small but immaculate, adequate with all the comforts anyone would need. Our luggage did not arrive with us in Moscow. Two days later it appeared but the staff did everything to help us and offer laundry service and bathroom accessories until our luggage was found and delivered. What could have been a horrible experience turned into a somewhat humorous approach. In general, this trip was not only fascinating because of a diverse culture but it was extremely fun! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We have wanted to visit Russia for a long time, but were a bit concerned about going independently due to potential language barrier, safety, etc. Viking took care of all of the details and we were able to just enjoy the experience. ... Read More
We have wanted to visit Russia for a long time, but were a bit concerned about going independently due to potential language barrier, safety, etc. Viking took care of all of the details and we were able to just enjoy the experience. There was a nice mix of planned excursions and free time. We enjoy some exploring on our own and the staff was so helpful in providing maps, directions, and helpful tips. The crew on the ship were delightful and we felt we got to know many of them. They remembered our preferences and were always welcoming and friendly. Our room was nice, although there was a slight musty odor at times. The bathroom was very adequate and we loved having the private balcony, which we used often. The excursions were extremely well organized and led by wonderful Viking tour guides or local guides. We enjoyed all of the excursions, although the Hermitage museum was so crowded (not Viking's fault) it was difficult to get to see everything we would have like to see. Our Viking guide at the Hermitage guided us expertly to all of the "must-see" masterpieces and we made the best of a packed museum. We found the Russian people friendly and hospitable and interested in talking with us. The post trip to Helsinki was wonderful and we highly recommend a visit to beautiful Helsinki. Viking thinks of everything and leaves no detail unattended. This was our 2nd Viking river cruise and won't be our last! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Was looking to visit/travel Eastern Europe as we’ve traveled in every country of Western Europe, but never anywhere in Eastern Europe. This trip dovetailed perfectly into a transatlantic cruise we wanted to be on. As it turned-out ... Read More
Was looking to visit/travel Eastern Europe as we’ve traveled in every country of Western Europe, but never anywhere in Eastern Europe. This trip dovetailed perfectly into a transatlantic cruise we wanted to be on. As it turned-out Viking is heads-above ocean cruises we’ve taken (primarily on Celebrity). Typically we’d be referring to food and service staff, but Viking really understands what we as travelers are looking for. Their tours (all included) and related education gave us a rich cultural experience; education onboard about the country and its history and the local tour guides giving us their life’s personal experiences as well as information about the sites we visited. We gained a great appreciation for Russia; the country’s evolution, the people and their history, and their quality of life. On top of that, yes Viking’s food and service staff were superlative. The service staff was constantly going our of their way to make sure we were taken care of; on and off the ship. Regarding the dining experience, we enjoyed each days offering of dishes typical of the areas we were in Russia; always an extremely gourmet presentation and rich in flavors. One of the best experiences regarding the food was the demonstration of preparing Pelmeni; a traditional Russian staple. The wait staff always wanted to be sure we were enjoying the food and brought alternative choices if we weren’t overjoyed with our initial selections. In addition, and this really impressed us, was the assistant mater deli was constantly caring for my wife’s food allergies/sensitivities. She was like a little mother. Finally, we also very much enjoyed two other events in which we participated; a wine tasting and a vodka tasting. The ship’s hotel manager was previously a sommelier on other cruise ships and he was a vodka officionado. He gave the greatest and extremely knowledgeable presentations. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I chose this cruise because I wanted to see Moscow and other cities in Russia that were visited on this cruise. I had already been to St. Petersburg but I new that it, too, must be different than when I visited in 2004. I didn't ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to see Moscow and other cities in Russia that were visited on this cruise. I had already been to St. Petersburg but I new that it, too, must be different than when I visited in 2004. I didn't know what to expect. I never expected some of the things I saw. Red Square at night was like a light show. The building were outlined with white lights, St. Basil's Cathedral was just magnificent with the spotlights on it. It is also beautiful in the daytime. I was surprised at the number of churches that I saw. I know that for many years that people could not worship openly. I never expected to see churches that were breathtakingly beautiful inside. Every inch was covered with gold, paintings. mosaics and more. Spectacular. This was the third Viking River cruise for me. I really didn't know what to expect on the first one but I learned quickly that the staff on Viking ships are friendly and helpful. They are respectful to the guests. The cabin was always made up when I returned from an excursion. Housekeeping was quick to send anything that I needed. The menu was varied each night. I especially liked the dishes that were native to the region where we were. The Russian menus were great. There were selections with which I was familiar because they were made in my family. It was fun to eat them on the ship. The service was excellent. I looked forward to the excursions every day because I didn't know what to expect. One excursion was to Khizi island where 60 people live. It was educational. We saw an church that was being restored. Everything was done with wood. The guides in Russia were well informed and answered any questions. I recommend the Russia cruise. You will know a lot more than before you visited. I am already scheduled for cruises 4 and 5 this year - Viking Ocean Cruise - Venice to Athens and Viking River Cruise - Portugal-The River of Gold. Can't wait. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We loved both Moscow and St. Petersburg and all the little stops along the cruise. Food was very good. We enjoyed the regional choices available. Waitstaff was top notch. Tour director did a great job. We enjoyed the Russian ... Read More
We loved both Moscow and St. Petersburg and all the little stops along the cruise. Food was very good. We enjoyed the regional choices available. Waitstaff was top notch. Tour director did a great job. We enjoyed the Russian language lessons and the games. We liked the history lectures. We enjoyed all of the tours. But it is tough when you have to choose between 2 at the same time. All of the tour guides did a great job. I did do one comment card about the Moscow subway for I felt that the directions should have been given above ground where you could hear. You could not hear on the whisperers down in the station and I felt that some of our group were very uncomfortable. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to go on the Moscow subway so please keep that in. We enjoyed the ballet in St. Petersburg but would have also liked to see the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. Loved the Cossack show. Enjoyed the vodka tasting. Thought that the meet your neighbor was a great idea--did not have that on a previous Viking Cruise. Loved the balloons when we left Moscow. It was a really great cruise and I have told many people about it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We took this cruise as an anniversary present and it was the best thing we could have done. The entire cruise throughout Russia was beautiful and always exciting. The museums and the palaces were truly awe inspiring. The professionalism ... Read More
We took this cruise as an anniversary present and it was the best thing we could have done. The entire cruise throughout Russia was beautiful and always exciting. The museums and the palaces were truly awe inspiring. The professionalism of the Viking crew and guide specialists was without equal. All of the towns and cities we visited on shore excursions had their particular charm and interesting history. The Swan Lake opera, my first ever, was simply awesome. The Russian symphony was unbelievable. Don't miss it. As for the ship Helgi, it was a total positive experience. The cabin was comfortable ands provided all of the room we needed. The dining experience was exceptional each and every day. Wonderful, perfectly prepared food was served at each meal. Our servers, Nastia, Chazie, and Jill made certain we were happy. Visiting Moscow and St.Petersburg for 3 days each taught us much about the citizenry. Take the trip, you'll not regret it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We have travelled to 40 countries on our own - walking, renting vehicles, taking trains, using local airlines - visiting the major sites as well as exploring places tourists normally choose not to see. But, felt a river cruise from Moscow ... Read More
We have travelled to 40 countries on our own - walking, renting vehicles, taking trains, using local airlines - visiting the major sites as well as exploring places tourists normally choose not to see. But, felt a river cruise from Moscow to Saint Petersburg best met our needs at this time. Partly because of the language barrier, partly because of the current world tensions, and partly because of security concerns. We learned the Russian alphabet and mastered a few key phrases (but English was spoken almost everywhere), international tensions were not an issue as the Russian Federation appears to use tourism as a major source of income, and Viking or local representatives were with us every day should some unforseen event occur (very helpful and conscientious) - no issues whatsoever. Representatives from Viking met us after we exited Moscow immigration and customs. They had lists of who was arriving on what airline, by time, and flight number. Our baggage was placed on carts and we did not see them until we entered our room on the ship. A bus was waiting for us a took us directly to the boat. During that transition time, the Viking representative explained the arrival process at the ship as well as pointed out several local sites. Checking into our room on the Akun was easy and uncomplicated. Very smooth and organized process from airport to room. Viking offered multiple included tours and additional paid tours options. Our days were full - often starting first thing and ending late at night. Consequently, we had not fully recovered from jet lag before beginning our scheduled tours. We highly recommend arriving one full day before your cruise to get acclimated. Several of our fellow trip goers, who have taken many river cruises, stated they always arrive a day or two early. Viking put them up at very nice hotels - even if they do not sign up for the extended before and after tour options (which we did not). The Viking Akun was ship worthy and functioned very well. We hardly knew we were on the water. No smell of exhaust fumes. The boat's floorplan was well designed and posted at several locations for ease of finding restaurants, bars, meeting places, library, business center, entertainment, gift shop, stairs, elevator, and front desk. Exits were marked and getting on and off the boat was easy. Our cabin was light, airy, and well maintained. The bed was comfortable and we slept well. More comments are in the Cabin Remarks section of this survey. Meals were excellent with samples of Russian cuisine as well as American favorites. Breakfast offered typical American buffet with eggs, bacon, sausage, cereal, rolls, juice, coffee, etc. as well as the more European Continental meal. Lunch and Supper were menu offerings. We ate our breakfast and lunch meals in the forward panoramic bar since we prefer Continental bills of fare. Breakfast in the restaurant was too plentiful and the bar at lunch offered at least two of the main menu lunch items. Evening meals were always in the restaurant and we tried all the Russian food offerings. As with any food in any country, much of it was very tasty and a couple items less palatable. One note, if you enjoy alcohol libations we highly recommend the "Silver Drinks Package". Our participation in on-board activities were limited as we signed up for multiple off-ship tours. We were too tired to partake in the evening games, dances, musicians, and singers events. Although we did hear from many guests who stated they had a great time at those activities. That being said, we participated in a few events: the Russian wine tasting, Vodka tasting, and lectures on Russian history, the Czars, the Soviet era, Perestroika and Glasnost, and the Russia government today. Those lectures opened the door to discuss, in more detail, Russia today with some of the local guides. As we learned Russian before our trip, we did not participate in the Russian language classes on the boat. Overall service was wonderful. The staff was friendly and were gracious hosts. Many were open to discussing where they were from, how they became Viking employees, what they did outside of tourism (expecially when the river froze and during off-season), and what was their original field of endeavor. Prices in the gift shop were modest, competitive, and not overly expensive as with most places of similar nature. We were not "gouged" because of our captive audience status. At only one restaurant meal was the service "off" as we seemed to have been ignored. We think that was because we may have inadvertantly offended or embarassed the server by pointing out to the Maître d' her excellent performance the previous night. There was no issue with ports of call. All, except one, were located in or within walking distance of the local community. Shore excursions were well orchestrated and informative. Local guides offered insights not provided by "company" tour guides. Often, we were allowed entry into the venue an hour before the general public. The only disappointing aspect were the hour-long bus rides, from the boat to the event, through city traffic in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. However, those were offset by the knowledgeable guides who passed the time pointing out additional key sites, talking Russian history, or answering tourists' questions. For specific events, we recommend the Russian Ballet and Cossac Dancers. Sites worth your time are: Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral, and the Kremlin in Moscow (and again at night); the Hermitage extended tour, the Winter Palace, and Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg. We took both local river cruises. Moscow at night was disppointing, but necessary to see Red Square lite up at night. For the adventurous, one could go there on their own. The daytime river cruise in St. Petersburg was shotened because of heavy rains which flooded the river and prevented the boat from passing under multiple bridges. So, we cannot offer a full opinion. The communities and sites along the rivers and lakes between Moscow and St. Petersburg are worth the trip, as well. Checking out of the Akun, paying our bill, and leaving Russia was as coordinated, orgainized and easy as arriving. Our luggage was handled by Viking until we got to the airport. The Viking representative expedited our processing through security and baggage screening. Having been through similar scrrenings in other countries, we are sure having a Viking person at security afforded less scrutiny that usual. We are definitely considering additional Viking River Cruises as well as Ocean Cruises which we have never before taken. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
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