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Sail Date: August 2018
I had always wanted to take a Viking Cruise and see Moscow and St. Petersburg. It met every expectation! Viking has a great itinerary - I signed up for just about everything!! Moscow and St. Petersburg are absolutely beautiful cities! ... Read More
I had always wanted to take a Viking Cruise and see Moscow and St. Petersburg. It met every expectation! Viking has a great itinerary - I signed up for just about everything!! Moscow and St. Petersburg are absolutely beautiful cities! All the palaces are beyond belief. The days that weren't so packed were a welcome relief to just relax on our veranda and enjoy the scenery and go through the locks. The Russian people were so friendly - don't be afraid to go - and don't stereotype them. The Visa application is worth it. The Viking staff were wonderful - the room was great - and the food was good. All of our transportation vehicles were clean and comfortable. Our most fun excursions were the home visits and the school visit that Viking arranges. My husband did the "banya" experience and had some great stories to tell when we got back. Kizhi Island is also very beautiful. Remember to do the vodka tasting on the ship :) Had the best time. Don't hesitate to go or let your friends try and talk you out of it. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We throughly enjoyed the cruise. It really showed us Russia. The excursions presented by Viking gave us a true feeling of the culture and people. It provided us with a new appreciation of Russia, her people and history. The food ... Read More
We throughly enjoyed the cruise. It really showed us Russia. The excursions presented by Viking gave us a true feeling of the culture and people. It provided us with a new appreciation of Russia, her people and history. The food was excellent. There was a great variety and the Russian cusine was very good. The soup with each dinner was the best. The ship and common areas were nicely decorated and kept clean and inviting.The cabin was a little small but about the same as on other ships. It was nicely decorated and the balcony was great. Everything was kept clean and neat. All of the crew were friendly and did their job well. I would definetly reccomend this cruise to anyone. However, I am not sure young children would enjoy it. Embarkation and Disembarkation were smooth. We took the 3 day extention to Helsinki and loved it. We can hardly wait to go on our next Viking Cruise! Read Less
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Sail Date: July 2018
This seemed like a great opportunity to get to know the Russian people and tour Western Russia. Previous experience with Viking indicated we would be well cared for and have great tours aside from the cruise itself. The major drawback for ... Read More
This seemed like a great opportunity to get to know the Russian people and tour Western Russia. Previous experience with Viking indicated we would be well cared for and have great tours aside from the cruise itself. The major drawback for us was that the ship used on this tour was older than those of our previous tour and the cabins were smaller. We were not as comfortable and we spent more time on our veranda...roomier than the main cabin. The crew was wonderful and we continue our contact with some. Some off-ship tours were better than others, but all offered opportunities to experience Western Russia. One problem was that many stops along the way were "tourist" destinations and lacked actual Russian social contact. The highlights were in Moscow and St. Petersburg. In-between, experiences were highly variable between great and subpar. My husband has limited mobility, and most tours required walking distances beyond his ability. We did not participate in some tours because of this and since we had scheduled them, we were still charged even though we could not participate. Viking's rating of tour levels of difficulty did not adequately allow us to make choices appropriate to our abilities. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
My wife Vika is Russian. She has wanted me to see St Petersburg for our whole marriage. Finally we decided because Viking offered a river cruise that would let us see so many places including St Petersburg. We loved everything about ... Read More
My wife Vika is Russian. She has wanted me to see St Petersburg for our whole marriage. Finally we decided because Viking offered a river cruise that would let us see so many places including St Petersburg. We loved everything about our cruise! While Viking Helgi isn’t a new ship, they did a great job making everything nice. The crew was incredibly friendly and helpful. And our cabin was always very clean and fresh. The food was also very good. I especially liked that everything was included. From the wine at dinner to the excursions. One thing we especially liked was how being in a group we weren’t stuck in hour long lines to get entrance to our venues. We were really treated like VIP guests. Everywhere we went, Viking had things covered. We especially loved the balet and the music show with traditional Russian instruments. One highlight in both Moscow and St Petersburg were the boat rides by night through the canals and rivers of both cities. We would recommend the 2 day extension in St Petersburg to have time to explore and take in everything. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We wanted to see St. Petersburg, and this trip was over our anniversary. (July 6 - 18), The whole experience was amazing. Boat is small, but you can always find a nook to be alone or join a group. Food was excellent and NEVER ... Read More
We wanted to see St. Petersburg, and this trip was over our anniversary. (July 6 - 18), The whole experience was amazing. Boat is small, but you can always find a nook to be alone or join a group. Food was excellent and NEVER SUPERSIZED. Not much time for entertainment, but they make the most of it. The Vodka tasting is so much fun! Be ready to walk miles every day on all the tours, hosted by fantastic experts. Moscow and St. Petersburg are not the Russia we grew up hearing about. The countryside is beautiful, and the pace on the boat is just right. Not much internet or cell service, so it was pleasant not seeing everyone with a phone in their face. We met 2 wonderful couples and hung out together, as well as other couples at dinner (open seating, just join in). The crew was fabulous, the boat immaculate. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This river cruise in July 2018 from Moscow to Saint Petersburg was both our first river cruise and our first holiday with Viking Cruises. We took advantage of Viking’s flexible flight arrangements to fly from our local airport ... Read More
This river cruise in July 2018 from Moscow to Saint Petersburg was both our first river cruise and our first holiday with Viking Cruises. We took advantage of Viking’s flexible flight arrangements to fly from our local airport (Birmingham) to Moscow via Amsterdam. The Viking staff then met us at Moscow airport, where we discovered that over 40 passengers on our flight were on the same cruise. Two coaches then transported us to the ‘Viking Ingvar’. We were very impressed with the quality of the boat and of our cabin (317). Our Travel Agents had forewarned us that many of the cabins on the ‘Viking Ingvar’ had poles in the cabins that supported the upper decks, so we were able to avoid this restricting inconvenience. We found that many of the other cabins had these poles – some even had two – and that they were located near the bed. The cabin was fairly spacious, well designed and equipped, and had a large balcony. Cabin 317 was on the middle deck and very conveniently located for the Neva Restaurant, the Panorama Bar, the Sky Bar, and the hot drinks station where tea and coffee were always available, there being no kettle in the cabin. For those (like us) who prefer a special blend of tea (such as Roobois) it was ideal to take our own tea, obtain hot water at the station, and enjoy it on the cabin’s balcony. The cabin had fairly adequate storage space, and our luggage was easily stored under the bed. The bathroom was well designed, but the small shower area had a weak output. The stairs between decks were extremely steep, but a lift was available. Despite the reliance on a satellite system, the Wi-Fi connection was adequate, and was included in the basic price. The Neva Restaurant was the main eating area, and we used this for our evening meals. We generally preferred the Panorama Bar (located at the bow) for Continental breakfasts and light lunches; this area was generally quiet and had a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere for these meals. The evening meals were often disappointing with a not very exciting menu, and there was little choice. The chicken and steak on the ‘always available’ section of the menu were often the best choices. We discovered in the course of a number of chats with the Austrian maitre d' that the main menu is dictated by Viking's Head Office, and is the same for each cruise and for each of the several boats that are continually spending the summer travelling between Moscow and Saint Petersburg. The majority of passengers were Americans, and the boat’s protocols etc seemed to be generally geared to American/Canadian preferences. Sittings in the Neva Restaurant were on a first-come, first-served basis, but many passengers attempted to sit at the same table each evening – this being the only way to establish a rapport with the dining staff. Although most people dressed smartly for dinner, there were quite a number who did not bother. The ‘complimentary’ wine served with meals was very pleasant. The staff were generally very pleasant, enthusiastic, and spoke a good level of English. In addition to the crew, there were a number of tour guides who doubled up on other duties such as giving very interesting lectures on Russian history. There was little forewarning over the boat’s public address system of features that the boat was about to pass – a description of the locks etc that we were about to pass through would have been appreciated, plus some information on how far we had travelled overnight, etc. Surprisingly, the on board doctor had a poor grasp of English. The excursions from the ‘Viking Ingvar’ were very efficiently handled and communication between the tour guide and tourists was enhanced by the efficient Quietvox headsets. Local guides were used extensively and most of these were very good. One coach trip was somewhat spoiled by two Viking staff talking constantly and thus distracting the local guide’s narrative. In Moscow and Saint Petersburg, the quality of coaches used was very good, but the ‘best available’ coaches in the rural areas were often old and not well maintained (eg dirty windows). On all the excursions there was a generous handout of bottled water. We enjoyed all the excursions, some of which were included in the trip’s basic price, and some of which were optional at additional cost. Our three favourite excursions were ‘Moscow by Night’; the trip to Peterhof; and a visit to the Faberge Museum in Saint Petersburg – all of these were hosted by Slava, the best of the Viking guides. We chose the following optional tours: Sergiev Posad (very good – would have been excellent if the guide’s English had been a little better, and two Viking staff had not talked constantly on the coach); Moscow by Night (excellent); The Hermitage Behind Closed Doors (excellent, although tiring and expensive); Peterhof Palace & Park (excellent); Feberge Museum (excellent and amazing). On a previous trip to Saint Petersburg in 2008, we had not felt entirely safe and were not prepared to explore the city on our own. Nowhere on this trip did we feel the same apprehension, even in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. On the whole, the Russians we met were pleasant and friendly, although due to the ongoing Football World Cup there was often a large police/security presence. Tipping on the ‘Viking Ingvar’ was discretionary with a suggestion of $15 per guest per day, but no formal system was offered to do this. Most guests seemed to prefer to tip individual members of staff that they had had personal contact with. Overall, we had a very enjoyable cruise on the ‘Viking Ingvar’ being particularly impressed with the quality of the boat, the range of excursions, the organisation of the excursions, and the evident lack of ‘penny-pinching’ that tends to prevail with some cruise companies, although Viking’s prices are at the top of the range. The most negative aspect was the provision of some distinctly unexciting menus. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
With a career in retail management, I traveled all over the world: Europe, Asia, India, but I never experienced Russia. As Viking Cruise HQ is two blocks from my home, I wanted to experience a Viking River Cruise. So #1 on my bucket list ... Read More
With a career in retail management, I traveled all over the world: Europe, Asia, India, but I never experienced Russia. As Viking Cruise HQ is two blocks from my home, I wanted to experience a Viking River Cruise. So #1 on my bucket list was a Viking River Cruise of Russia. It did not disappoint. The trip was outstanding in all areas. The ship was beautiful. The rooms were so well designed that they comfortably held two weeks of clothing, accessories and toiletries. The time in port was ideal with three days in Moscow and St Petersburg at the beginning and end of the cruise. The days in between were spent sailing into small Russian Hamlets that were primarily a source of cruise souvenirs. My only recommendation is that Viking describes that day tours as strenuous; my husband and I needed to improve our physical stamina to better enjoy the daily outings. (The excursions in Moscow were too hard for us physically.) The special sights of Moscow's Red Square and the Kremlin were breathtaking, as was the Hermitage in St Petersburg, The evening entertainment of the Ballet and the Cossack Dancing were very enjoyable. The food service under Manager Damien was a delight. The special service by the two waiters Bim and Armando treated us like royalty. The meals were delicious and the menu varied enough for all tastes. Cruise Manager Daniel made sure every aspect of the trip was superior. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
#1 on my bucket list was visiting Russia. On July 3rd we embarked on the Viking Truvor from Moscow to St Petersburg. We spent three days in Moscow touring Red Square, the Kremlin, three ornate Russian Orthodox Cathedrals, and other ... Read More
#1 on my bucket list was visiting Russia. On July 3rd we embarked on the Viking Truvor from Moscow to St Petersburg. We spent three days in Moscow touring Red Square, the Kremlin, three ornate Russian Orthodox Cathedrals, and other sites. We then sailed for five days through hamlets in the Russian Countryside to reach St Petersburg. We spent four days in St Petersburg, a rich cosmopolitan city. St Petersburg was amazing with tours of the Pushkin Museum of Art, the Hermitage Museum, two famous Russian Orthodox Churches, the Ballet, Cossack Dancing and more. The trip was marvelous. The rooms were very comfortable, laid out to easily accommodate clothing and furnishings for 13 days. The food was excellent and the restaurant staff service was exceptionable. The tour guides were very knowledgeable. We will certainly take another Viking River Cruise!!! One word of advice: get in shape. The tours are physically demanding both in length, terrain and duration. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We wanted to visit Russia and thought that this would be a good way to see our primary interests. The Viking Cruise had an appealing itinerary at a reasonable cost. The staff was lovely....all of them and everyone. Each day the ... Read More
We wanted to visit Russia and thought that this would be a good way to see our primary interests. The Viking Cruise had an appealing itinerary at a reasonable cost. The staff was lovely....all of them and everyone. Each day the activities were interesting, though we did do quite a few optional tours at an added expense. They were worth the money, and we particularly enjoyed Moscow by night. There were a couple of wrinkles in the trip. First, we went when the World Cup was in Russia. It wasn't Viking's fault, but the Red Square was closed to tours, so we never got to see it. A number of us thought that Viking should have provided shuttle service in so that we could at least walk around the perimeter of the Square, after the group tours were turned away. There was time the next morning to do so, but Viking elected not to. We were in cabin 301 which I would not recommend. Though it was large and well appointed, we were woken most mornings when the staff was refilling the beverage station outside the restaurant doors and/or by patrons gathering in front of the doors before the restaurant opened. (In other words, it was a noisy neighborhood due to being the room next to the elevator where the trays of glassware were transported and being next to the restaurant.) It was a big enough inconvenience that I would not accept either that room or the one across the hall on another trip. The duration was appropriate, the evening activities were fun. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This cruise could not be better. We were impressed with the ads on PBS and YouTube videos and then we saw that they offered a Russian cruise which is one of my desired destinations. We expected a good cruise but this exceeded our ... Read More
This cruise could not be better. We were impressed with the ads on PBS and YouTube videos and then we saw that they offered a Russian cruise which is one of my desired destinations. We expected a good cruise but this exceeded our expectations in all ways. Everything was excellent: the service, the food, the tours, the accommodations, the on-board entertainment and lectures, the staff, and the cruise itself. Everything was perfectly organized from the time they met us at the airport to the time they assisted us at disembarkation. I can not praise the trip highly enough. The cruse was called "The Waterways of the Tzars" and the whole time we saw the beauty of the cities, villages and the magnificent waters and landscapes of Russia. Be prepared - you may have to change your view of Russia if you take this trip. I have to mention that the Russian people on and off the boat were wonderful to us. At my age, I am a little awkward going up and down stairs and the Russian citizens were always offering me help. My wife I boarded a conveyance and two young people immediately got up and gave us their seats. I found the Russian people sweet, kind, welcoming and very helpful. There is strong evidence of the artist and the craftsmen every where you look in the cities and the villages. I was completely surprised by Moscow that I expected to look stark but it was beautiful and very clean. I addition, Viking selected Lufthansa airline for our connections and I have never experienced a more comfortable flight. We were in coach but the flight had a first class feeling to us from the entertainment and excellent service complete with hot towels Read Less
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