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143 Viking River Moscow Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because of the price and our interest. It was our first river cruise, and I can't say enough about Viking and how we were treated! From our pick up at the airport to our return to the airport was top notch. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the price and our interest. It was our first river cruise, and I can't say enough about Viking and how we were treated! From our pick up at the airport to our return to the airport was top notch. We have mostly traveled on our own because we thought we wanted the independence. No more. We enjoyed being pampered and scheduled. My husband likened it to being at an adult summer camp!! We loved having our daily schedule delivered to our room along with the informative sessions about what we were to see the following day. We also enjoyed all the educational activities on board along with the interesting people we met-staff and other guests. My husband is a picky eater but thoroughly enjoyed the meals. On other vacations we get tired of deciding where to eat for all our meals and whether we needed reservations. It was a joy to get back to the ship after a full day of sightseeing with a little time to refresh and maybe take a quick nap before being waited on hand and foot at dinner. We are already planning our next Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We had taken 4 Viking River cruises previously, but we had never been to Russia. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting Russia, and learning about the history of that country. We especially enjoyed the concerts and dance performances, and the ... Read More
We had taken 4 Viking River cruises previously, but we had never been to Russia. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting Russia, and learning about the history of that country. We especially enjoyed the concerts and dance performances, and the on-board seminars about the history of the country and the present life in Russia. We also enjoyed the on-board entertainment very much, especially the opera singers from the Marinsky Theater. As always, the food selection at the buffets was very extensive, and complemented the menu listings. The food was well prepared and we were happy to see some Russian foods listed on the menu, and also available on the breakfast and lunch buffets. We enjoyed all of the included and optional excursions that we took. We were really enthralled with the performance of "Swan Lake" at the Hermitage. That is a show that is not to be missed. We were happy to see that in addition to the walking tours of cities, a "Panoramic" bus tour was also available, for those of us who need a more leisurely sightseeing adventure. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Amazing sights and crew. Learned so much about Russian life and history. All the tours were fun and informative. As usual, the food and drink were excellent. The captain and crew were knowledgeable, efficient and very friendly. The ... Read More
Amazing sights and crew. Learned so much about Russian life and history. All the tours were fun and informative. As usual, the food and drink were excellent. The captain and crew were knowledgeable, efficient and very friendly. The tours of Moscow and St. Petersburg were excellent. I was a little disappointed at the tour of the Hermitage because they stuffed people through very narrow corridors. The Moscow by Night tour was amazing....touring Red Square at night and seeing the Kremlin and St.Basil's lit up was breathtaking. The home visit in Uglich was fun and very welcoming. The visit to the school was vey informative...the kids were such a pleasure to meet. St. Petersburg was very full of history and great architecture. We added Helsinki, Finland at the end of the trip and it was such a beautiful city to visit. We really appreciated all the effort by Viking and the crew of the Truvor to make our trip easy and memorable. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Truvor Waterway of the Czars-Fantastic cruise, boat and staff. Several tips and tricks you need to know before booking and while on board. These were learned from experience! Given a choice, Moscow to St. Petersburg direction is ... Read More
Truvor Waterway of the Czars-Fantastic cruise, boat and staff. Several tips and tricks you need to know before booking and while on board. These were learned from experience! Given a choice, Moscow to St. Petersburg direction is better. • Reservations and getting ready 1. Often they offer two for one sales on these cruises in January of each year and they include airfare on some packages. We had Delta over and Lufthansa back. 2. You have to have a visa for Russia and to get one you need a letter of invitation from the tour operator (Viking). The Viking literature says that once you have filled out the paperwork they will furnish you with the letter of invitation to fit your schedule (a necessity since you have to send your passports and the letter into the agency you have chosen to apply for your visa and your passports are unavailable for international travel while they are in the hands of the visa agency). In my experience, they would not deviate from their schedule to fit mine. I had 4 international trips scheduled and only a small window to give them my passports. The invitation letter division of Viking would not send me the letter prior to their 90 day schedule. Luckily I found that the Caring-Hands-services (caring-hands-services.com) could get the visa done with short turnaround and no additional charge. I would highly recommend them. Faster turnaround is available for extra but not needed as their standard service is fast and excellent. Beware, when you get your visa back, check it carefully for accuracy. One lady had two numbers transposed on the visa and it took her hours at the airport to get it corrected. 3. The package we purchased included airfare and airport transfers. Unfortunately, Viking did not notify me of the reserved air tickets until it was too late for me to upgrade. Since Viking gets low fares as a tour operator or consolidator, the fares they supply are the lowest and cannot be upgraded once they are issued, therefore it is important to address upgrading your tickets as soon as you can. The buses and people used for transport are great and efficient. Best way to go if you can. 4. Once you have booked, Viking will send you a marketing pep talk email every day telling you all sorts of information about the trip. Unfortunately, the essential stuff is included in these pep talks and if you opt out of them you could miss information or deadlines. 5. Note that your passport has to be valid long past the end of your trip and have two blank pages for the visa. 6. Once you obtain your ticket data you need to contact the airlines to reserve a seat. 7. There are several River Cruise schedules to choose from and the one starting in Moscow and ending in St. Petersburg gives you time to recover from jet lag in Moscow (where there are fewer treasurers to explore) and more time at the end of the trip in beautiful St. Petersburg where you need it. The Truvor was the ship we were on and I believe it is the best choice (based only on conversations with other passengers). Viking runs 5 ships on this route (perhaps more) and each sailing has different options. • On Board: 1. The food is excellent! Breakfast and lunch both have buffets and a fixed choice menu is also available. Chefs on the buffet prepared dishes to order. Breakfast is probably the best meal (which we routinely slept through), offering standard fare too plentiful to list here. Lunch was varied and similar to breakfast choices but often with themes such as Russian fare, etc. Dinner was from a menu that changed daily and you could substitute if the offering didn’t conform to your taste exactly. Several items were always available such as filet with mashed potatoes, salmon, etc. Be prepared to put a new hole in your belt when you return! 2. While there are coffee machines available full time, there is little provision for taking coffee and cookies to your cabin in the morning (obviously I missed breakfast!). I learned to hide a dinner plate in the room refrigerator and use it as a tray to carry several cups of coffee and goodies back to the cabin. 3. The staff is unbelievable in their desire to help and fulfill your every need. Don’t even think hard about something you want while on board, because if you do, one of the crew will get it for you! The crew is attractive, well dressed, motivated, competent, extremely well trained, honest, and just plain nice. American HR could take a lesson from Viking. 4. Our cabin was located near the stern of the ship and, as such, we could feel the vibrations caused by the shafts when operated at high speed (12-15 MPH for Truvor). From my experience, this is usually caused by one of the shafts being bent or out of balance, and/or improper synchronization of the engines. Since the vibration came and went with a cycle of about 5-7 seconds, I believe is it more of a synchronization problem they could correct without great effort. When the vibration was present, it would rattle the mirrors, doors and ceiling panels. I overheard an interview with one of the ship’s officers and when asked about the problem he was unaware of the vibration. 5. The staterooms are laid out very well and are roomy. Soundproofing between cabins is almost non-existent and if you have noisy neighbors you get to know their business in great detail. Soundproofing in the bathroom is almost complete (so why couldn’t they have done the same with the cabin?). Be sure to let them know the desired bed configuration before the trip (the beds are very comfortable). 6. If you need Rubles once you are there for souvenirs or tips, a debit card used at a bank ATM will give you a good rate of exchange and the fees are often reimbursed by the larger banks if your account warrants it. 7. Charges on the ship can be paid in Rubles or Dollars. If you pay with a credit card they first convert the dollar cost to Rubles (at a rate advantage), then make the charge to your card in Rubles which your card company then converts back to Dollars (at their rate advantage) plus charges a foreign transaction fee for most cards. We purchased the Silver Spirit Beverage plan (highly recommended if you plan to drink even moderately) and it was $550 for two. I calculated a savings of almost $100 by paying in cash dollars rather than putting it on my American Express. Bring some cash to settle on board charges. 8. A number of people appeared surprised and irritated when they got their final bill from the ship as they hadn’t understood that the ship supplies beverages only at mealtime (except for coffee or tea). They found that they were paying for cola, drinks, and house wine when ordered outside of dining hours. Again, the Silver Spirit package covers all beverages, all of the time with the exception of vintage wines. This means you can drink single malt scotch, Limoncello, or rotgut of your choice all day without incurring additional charges. On the other hand, a Coke in the afternoon costs dearly if you are not on the plan. 9. The internet access is terrible but I hear this is universal with all of the ships on river cruises in Russia. I had an access point with me (T-Mobile) and often had good service with that when the ship’s system was down. • Tours and shore: 1. Being in crowds is not my forte, and thus, going on the shore excursions in a group was painful, especially when they moved like a sloth. The guides are good but in my personal opinion they continue to patter on even when stuck in traffic or waiting for the next phase of the tour. A little silence would be golden. 2. The Hermitage was far too crowded to appreciate the offerings. The Catherine Palace was fantastic. Not too crowded and well maintained. Get Helen as a guide if possible (based in St. Petersburg). She speaks English without a heavy accent, is funny, knowledgeable, and irreverent. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I had been to St. Petersburg before and consider it the most beautiful city I've visited. I wanted to see more, though, so I chose a Viking River Cruise and traveled from Moscow to St. Petersburg and everywhere in-between. This was ... Read More
I had been to St. Petersburg before and consider it the most beautiful city I've visited. I wanted to see more, though, so I chose a Viking River Cruise and traveled from Moscow to St. Petersburg and everywhere in-between. This was a truly fantastic trip -- very educational, informative, and beautiful in every way. The food onboard was terrific, and the whole experience gave me a lasting memory of this beautiful country. The room was comfortable, the beds small but comfortable, and plenty of storage. What I liked the best were the excursions. The ones provided as part of the cruise were top rate and provided much more education and information than I expected, with a nice mix of music, dance, art, and history. The extra excursions I added were exceptional as well. A hightlight of the trip was the Faberge museum, with the thousands of exquisite gems and, of course, the faberge eggs. If you're thinking about taking this cruise, by all means TAKE IT! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I thoroughly enjoyed this cruise, finding Russia fascinating. The ship and cabins were, as usual, excellent, and the on-board Vodka tasting is definitely not to be missed. You learn more than you ever knew there was to know about vodka, ... Read More
I thoroughly enjoyed this cruise, finding Russia fascinating. The ship and cabins were, as usual, excellent, and the on-board Vodka tasting is definitely not to be missed. You learn more than you ever knew there was to know about vodka, and you don't get drunk. (They show you how to avoid it. :-) ) (Really!) The excursions included all the big sights - giant palaces and museums - but I really enjoyed that several excursions got you out more into the country, meeting people who live there, in their schools and their homes. It would be for that very reason, meeting some of the people, that I wouldn't do this specific cruise again, myself. Once, yes, wonderful. Other Viking cruises - I'm planning on it. Here, you do see Catherine the Great's palace, the Hermitage, Red square, the Kremlin, ancient churches - those are all magnificent things with no equal elsewhere. (I would call the Hermitage **too** big, myself, but that's me.) (And Catherine's Palace really demonstrates why there was a revolution.) Similarly grand places elsewhere - Rome, Paris, Venice, Austria, China, etc.) I would revisit and have revisited, but a return to Russia is, for me, unlikely. The issue for me is that the Russian people are clearly so very unhappy. They hope to get out of their situation - impoverished, fearful - or at least have their children get out, but that hope is so slim that they are deeply depressed. You can tell that the ones who don't show this overtly are not showing it out of dire fear of the authorities. I thank Viking very, very much for being willing to show us that side of the country. It was a unique experience that was absolutely worth the trip. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Viking's "Waterways of the Tsars" cruise is a good way to see Moscow, St. Petersburg and some of the countryside in between. The Viking Ingvar is clean and attractive; service and food are excellent. The crew was highly ... Read More
Viking's "Waterways of the Tsars" cruise is a good way to see Moscow, St. Petersburg and some of the countryside in between. The Viking Ingvar is clean and attractive; service and food are excellent. The crew was highly attentive and accommodating. Our Veranda cabin was spotless and comfortable, but due to the ship's design had a support pole in the middle of the room. Except for the chef's hilarious cooking demonstration the activities consisted mostly of lectures on Russian history by the on board tour guides. Musical entertainment was disappointing at best. The tours Viking includes in Moscow and SPB are a convenient way to see the major sights but lack any depth (ship docks are quite a ways from the city centers and a lot of time is spent busing to and from the docks). Viking tours at stops while cruising between the cities are really the only option and were well done. However, for any in-depth touring in either Moscow or SPB I would recommend hiring a local guide for one or more of the days the ship is in those ports. The cost will be less than any of the Viking "Optional" tours and you will see much more. We arrived in Moscow two days before embarking with Viking and stayed an additional four days in SPB after the cruise. We toured on our own in Moscow but hired a local guide in SPB. Highly recommend Irina with Muse Tours in SPB; excellent English, knowledgeable, very accommodating and includes transportation which is a plus due to location of Viking's dock outside the main city area. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Read biographies of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great and became very interested in Tsars and the history of Russia. Had no idea what to expect from the cruise, since it was our first. It far exceeded anything we had hoped for. ... Read More
Read biographies of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great and became very interested in Tsars and the history of Russia. Had no idea what to expect from the cruise, since it was our first. It far exceeded anything we had hoped for. Wonderful staff. Very friendly and well trained. Service was excellent. Delicious food. Many choices and staff were very helpful in explaining what all the dishes were. Excellent shore tours. Far more options than you can fit in. Days were filled with interesting and educational experiences. Plus a number of evening experiences such as ballet in Catherine's theater, traditional Russian instrument concert, male choruses, etc. Viking was exceedingly well organized, from meeting our flight into Moscow, to getting people on and off the boat and onto the correct buses for the various tours. Everything went very smoothly. I would highly recommend both Viking in general and the Waterways of the Tzars cruise. Planning on taking more Viking cruises as soon as we can get the time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
My wife and I both thoroughly enjoyed this cruise, this vessel, and Russia. We made changes to our Viking-supplied air and had no trouble. (Another review takes great pains to spell out their horrible upgrade process but that's on ... Read More
My wife and I both thoroughly enjoyed this cruise, this vessel, and Russia. We made changes to our Viking-supplied air and had no trouble. (Another review takes great pains to spell out their horrible upgrade process but that's on Aeroflot, not Viking.) We arrived Moscow a couple days early in order to explore on our own. All went well. The cab ride to the port was without drama except for not understanding the driver when he was asking for the name of our ship. The port was LOADED with river cruise ships. I gave him the name when it seemed appropriate and he got happy. Embarkation could not have been easier or quicker: a trailer contained a scanner for our luggage and a security person gave us a look. Done. I think we booked the least expensive cabin class. It wasn't "short" in any way, just typical compared to other cabins we've had on other ships. Bed was comfortable. Electric outlets were plentiful enough. The shower was always hot. The toilet always worked. Your cabin may be more important on this kind of vessel than on ocean cruise ships as the vessel is small. This was our first river cruise. Public areas are limited and do duty for different purposes. You may hole up in your cabin more than on a larger vessel. We always found a good spot out and about. Dining was beyond excellent. Seriously. Food and service were exceptional. Simple lunches could be had in a limited buffet line including salad or sandwich or fruit. Restaurant fare was wonderful every time. On board entertainment and activities were limited as the vessel is small. There was no music review or magic show but that was just fine. Lectures by tour guides on Russian history were interesting. Language lessons by hotel manager were informative. A vodka tasting was entertaining. At ports of call, including Moscow and Saint Petersburg, there were concerts, a folk music and dance review, and a ballet. Viking's excursion descriptions are accurate. Our cabin maid was sweet, discrete, and perfect. She gave US a parting gift. Ports were good and "built-in" tour guides were nice to have all the way on the trip. Besides the obvious allure of Moscow and Saint Petersburg, we thought Kizhi was particularly special. As for our arrival, we stayed a couple days in Saint Petersburg after the cruise to continue some personal exploration. The hotel, restaurants, subway, sites, and cab ride to the airport all worked out fine. Viking and Russia gave us a trip of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date May 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
We cruised from Moscow to St Petersburg on Viking Truvor. We had a Verandah A stateroom. Room was very nice, although quite small....which is to be expected on a river cruise. There was adequate storage for all our clothes and other ... Read More
We cruised from Moscow to St Petersburg on Viking Truvor. We had a Verandah A stateroom. Room was very nice, although quite small....which is to be expected on a river cruise. There was adequate storage for all our clothes and other belongings and the room was always spic and span clean. Service onboard was superb....from our stewardess to the waiters in the dining room to the staff in the lounge to the tour escorts to management....all were totally competent, knowledgeable, and attentive. If you're considering a Russia river cruise you need to understand that between Moscow and St Petersburg there's a lot of distance and a lot of nothing! You will be cruising for many hours and spending a short time (usually 2-3 hours) in several different ports....that's just the nature of the geography. This didn't really concern us, though, for two reasons: 1) our main goal was to see Moscow and St Petersburg; 2) the ship is comfortable and the crew was great so cruising time was very pleasant. We took several optional tours and enjoyed them all....especially enjoyed seeing the Faberge Museum and "behind the scenes" at the Hermitage in St Petersburg and the Kremlin Armory in Moscow. The folk music concert in Moscow was great. The young couple who sang and played piano in the bar were excellent. Food onboard was above average....the chef tried to cater to as many different tastes as possible...some hits, some misses, but overall very good. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We took this cruise to see Russia and meet some of the locals. Moscow and St. Peterburgs tours were more then we expected. We had plenty of time to explore the Red Square and the Kremlin tour was excellent. Our contact with the locals ... Read More
We took this cruise to see Russia and meet some of the locals. Moscow and St. Peterburgs tours were more then we expected. We had plenty of time to explore the Red Square and the Kremlin tour was excellent. Our contact with the locals was always positive and we received several helpful hints which made it easy to get around on our own. The cruise from Moscow to St Petersburg took us to very interesting small cities and towns. The sites were amazing and so is the history of Russia. The food on the trip was excellent and we had a chance every night to try a local entree. Service was very good and the Crew was very friendly. Finally, we had a chance to learn how to taste and rate Volka....great night and no hangover. We will travel with Viking again and recommend this cruise. This was our third Viking cruise and all have been great. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
we are always surprised when we travel to find the people and places so different from what we had read, or heard. The people are always gracious, the Viking tours are wonderful, tour guides very knowledgeable, and the dining staff a ... Read More
we are always surprised when we travel to find the people and places so different from what we had read, or heard. The people are always gracious, the Viking tours are wonderful, tour guides very knowledgeable, and the dining staff a delight. This was our third Viking adventure, and we are never disappointed, the lunches with the locals are what we enjoy the most. The care from the time you arrive at the airport to the time you are brought back are orchestrated and flawless, programs on the ships, extra activities we planned and executed, and the food is quite good. the excursion staff did everything to accommodate the guests, and well versed in what we saw and experienced. We rode the subway, mingled on Red Square, visited a huge indoor shopping complex, toured palaces, the Kremlin, Chinese have a proverb: "Better to see something once, than hear it 1000 times", I could not say it better! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We had wanted to do a Viking river cruise and also Russia was definitely somewhere we wanted to see. So when the offer came through the post for a significant discount we jumped at it. We hadn't travelled with Viking before but ... Read More
We had wanted to do a Viking river cruise and also Russia was definitely somewhere we wanted to see. So when the offer came through the post for a significant discount we jumped at it. We hadn't travelled with Viking before but everything we read about them beforehand was good and that certainly proved to be the case. We can't fault the organisation of Viking - everything ran like clockwork and we were always well informed. The staff onboard were wonderful - very attentive and friendly. Nothing felt like too much trouble. The food was excellent and a very high standard. The only problem was not eating too much! You could have a cooked meal for breakfast lunch and dinner, or a continental breakfast and cold lunch if you preferred. There were always several choices and often a local option. The portions don't seem very generous at first glance but in fact with the number of courses and because you eat three times a day, it is more than enough. The times of the meals were always adjusted if necessary to accommodate the excursions. The Akun was a lovely boat. It was spotlessly clean and well maintained. We were told by the staff that it is their best boat but that might just be banter! There were two bar/lounge areas but one closed at 7 which only left one with music. It would have been nice to have a choice in the evening. The Viking tour guides were outstanding. Their knowledge seemed never ending and their English was excellent. They made sure the tours ran without any problems which is an achievement when taking into account the number of people they had to keep track of and the number of other tourists at each destination. Most of the places visited were quite overwhelming and it was thanks to the guides pointing out selected items and giving information about them that kept you engaged. Viking obviously has very good arrangements with all the tourist attractions and you often go in before its open to the public. Despite the crowds, our groups gained entrance easily with the coaches managing to park in the best spots and tickets having been bought in advance. Some of the excursions used local guides who weren't part of the boat crew. They were also very good. Some of the smaller places visited when sailing between Moscow and St Petersburg did not have a big range of interesting things to see and there was an overload of churches and icons! Some of the guests found it difficult with the amount of walking and steps involved, but if you were reasonably mobile it wasn't too strenuous. Some specific details which we would have found it useful to know in advance are: CURRENCY- it is useful to have rubles for making purchases at markets or from small shops for tipping local guides/drivers. We got through £250-300 worth but you can get currency out from ATMs in the bigger places. (There is one in the gift shop at the pier in St Petersburg which we weren't told about). I believe that it might have been possible to pay in dollars in some places. You can use your ruble notes up by using them as part payment of your final ship's bill. CLOTHES-apart from the captains dinner and the trip to the ballet, no-one was very dressed up. Everyone was casual during the day as comfort is very important- take comfy walking shoes and the weather is unpredictable so warm layers and a rainproof coat are essential. When excursions kept you out late people didn't tend to change for dinner but when sailing most did with smart casual for men and trousers and more dressy tops for ladies. Lots of the attractions didn't allow rucksacks in and they (and often coats) had to be checked in. That was a good thing though as it was usually hot inside. EXCURSIONS-we prebooked optional tours and also where there was a choice of included tours before we left, but you can easily do it onboard. The bus and walking city tours both include a fair amount of walking. The insides of the attractions are visited at great speed and it can feel rushed but you learn a lot and with so many things to fit in it would be hard to take it any slower..In the 2 cities there are bus transfers for every trip as you moor about 45 mins outside the historical area, but the traffic is heavy and it can take longer. There is a day in each place with nothing included although there are optional tours. Some people hired their own private guide on those days to give them a tailored tour. In Moscow there are very luxurious river boats which we didn't get to go on but you can make arrangements with reception for a booking and taxi. On those days it might be worth asking reception and doing something independent. TIPS-we found it a bit confusing despite the info in the Viking book which arrives with your paperwork. Basically local guides (as opposed to those on the boat) and the bus drivers can be tipped in rubles at the end of each trip. They suggest 100 for the driver and 500 for the guide per couple. But it is discretionary and varied quite a bit. The Viking guides however are tipped at the end of the cruise in cash and you are given an envelope for this which is anonymous. They suggest $10 per person per day but again we heard a lot of variations of this being given! The remainder of the crew on board they recommend $15 per person per day but this can be added to your invoice and paid by card. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Chose this cruise to enjoy the wonderful history, architecture, culture and entertainment of Russia. It was so much more than we anticipated. All the shore excursions, those included and those we chose to add on enriched our lives and ... Read More
Chose this cruise to enjoy the wonderful history, architecture, culture and entertainment of Russia. It was so much more than we anticipated. All the shore excursions, those included and those we chose to add on enriched our lives and view of Russia. We couldn't believe the beauty of the churches we visited - even a monastery from the 700s!! Our main reason for booking this trip was to see St. Petersburg with its rich cultural history and palaces. I wondered why we were spending 3 days in Moscow - thought it would be boring. Wow, was I mistaken! Loved Moscow, specially our tour of Moscow at Night and river cruise at night! Dining was fabulous, with Russian specialties offered almost every meal. Entertainment was enjoyable, and we couldn't believe we saw the ballet Swan Lake in St. Petersburg, Russia! We enjoyed the diversity between the large cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg with all the small towns we visited inbetween. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Chose this cruise since I've never been to Russia and Viking had the most recently refurbished ship. Furthermore, they seem to be dominating in the river and cruise liners with new ships added every year. Boy was I disappointed ... Read More
Chose this cruise since I've never been to Russia and Viking had the most recently refurbished ship. Furthermore, they seem to be dominating in the river and cruise liners with new ships added every year. Boy was I disappointed with the entire cruise. Our program director, Irina, was too young and inexperienced for the post. As per usual, during your briefing on the upcoming day they gloss over the attractions you will see on land and whilst sailing. This was a round trip type of cruise so the entire staff would work the route continuously for six months. I would expect they have the estimate as to when we will see certain sights down pat. Like the sinking belfry tower and the lady Volga statue. She was off the mark by over an hour for the former and 2 hours+ for the latter. Organization for the shore excursions were poorly executed. We were told to sit on any bus then try and stick to the same bus for the remaining tour. However when we reached ashore, the buses went to different locations so you couldn't pick "any" bus and again time wasted on trying to find another bus to get on. This was not a single incident. Previous experience on river cruises would segregate the shore excursions into different walking intensities to cater to the less mobile travelers. There was no such thing on Vikng except for the city tour in Moscow and St Petersburg. I felt sorry for the couple in our group who was on crutches and almost tripped several times during the Red Square/Kremlin tour. This lack of consideration was further reinforced during the ballet performance. The theatre was booked exclusively for Viking. We were each given a ticket, however, they know the layout of the theatre and should not make one of the passengers who clearly has impaired eyesight to climb to the top of the theatre and walk another unnecessary flight of stairs. When it came to the end of the performance, the poor passenger was in grave danger of being trampled on whilst everyone was trying to exit. Our stop to Kizhi was cancelled due to inclement weather but the program director failed to provide other activities on that day so we were cooped up with nothing to do. Food was also very ordinary and considering the passenger to staff ratio you would expect everything would be that little bit more attentive. The farewell dinner was the worst! Prawn was not fresh, beef was overcooked and dinner took longer than usual. On the exterior, they used top brands cutlery like villeroy & boch and Jura coffee machines. However, if you use inferior quality coffee beans the coffee would still taste like dishwater. There was one more annoying experience where my card to my cabin kept failing to work. This happened like 5 times! I've been on cruises and river cruises before and yes, it could happen like once during the entire trip not on a daily basis. It got so frustrating and the receptionist was argumentative and made these reissuing cards even more unpleasant! Apart from the nice l'occitane amenity, I do not have anything good to say about Viking. It was an expensive trip and money aside, the company lacked professionalism, ethics and organization skills that I would NEVER recommend them to even my worst enemy. Initially I was interested in trying the Viking cruise liner, however, I have abandoned that idea completely and going with scenic on my next 3 trips. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
The cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg gave us the best chance to experience the most of Russia and the two most impressive cities. Everything went smoothly from flights to airport pickup and return, and the excursions were well planned ... Read More
The cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg gave us the best chance to experience the most of Russia and the two most impressive cities. Everything went smoothly from flights to airport pickup and return, and the excursions were well planned and timed for maximum experience and exposure. We especially enjoyed the walking tours through the cities, and Moscow by night. The concerts and ballet that were included for all travelers provided a variety of cultural experiences that made this trip special. The ship was comfortable, and the experience of going through all the locks on the waterway, and being able to disembark at each location right at the city allowed for easy access on each stop. The ships crew were accommodating and attentive, and the dining was enjoyable allowing for us to dine alone or with other travelers as we desired. This was our first experience on a river cruise and with Viking, and we certainly plan to take other Viking river cruises in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We had been looking at Viking Cruises for a year before we went on this cruise and selected Russia because it is a unique destination. It was just my wife and I with no children. The crew was fantastic and we really felt cared for. I ... Read More
We had been looking at Viking Cruises for a year before we went on this cruise and selected Russia because it is a unique destination. It was just my wife and I with no children. The crew was fantastic and we really felt cared for. I particularly enjoyed the various lessons that we had each day on history and the language. That was a great aspect for a country like Russia where we didn't feel we knew a lot about it before going. Now we really would feel a lot more comfortable there if we went back. Food was excellent, in fact better than any ocean cruise we had ever been on. Excursions were very enjoyable and interesting. The Moscow and St. Petersburg excursions are longer and the days more packed with things to do, which was great, but we also very much enjoyed the small town/city visits where we had more relaxation time overall. We would have enjoyed more time to browse the crafts and local items available on many of the excursions but we also felt that if we hadn't been interested, the tour guides were helpful to some degree in keeping us unmolested. The shipboard tour guides were excellent and good people. We had a cabin with a balcony which was a reasonable size. The balcony was very usable for us on this trip because the weather cooperated so well, the temperature was crisp and cool most days and dry. Internet connection was adequate throughout the trip. Overall, we loved the trip. The cruise exceeded our expectations particularly in terms of the service and the food. We will do another Viking Cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This cruise enabled us to spend 3 days in Moscow and 3 in St. Petersburg and visit several remote locales otherwise difficult to get to. Crew were attentive and helpful. Menu selections were somewhat limited, but food quality was good. ... Read More
This cruise enabled us to spend 3 days in Moscow and 3 in St. Petersburg and visit several remote locales otherwise difficult to get to. Crew were attentive and helpful. Menu selections were somewhat limited, but food quality was good. Cabin was small, but comfortable enough for our short stay. We were happy we made this trip, but unlike several cruises we've done, we will not repeat it. The deck plan shows a 360 degree promenade deck, but it was a working deck and not available to passengers.The cruise would have been better had we had an extra day in both Moscow and St. Petersburg (although we had been to both once before). Apparently Viking counts to and from travel days in the cruise total , even though our arrival was after 9 pm and departure 3 a.m. One surprising thing was that even though all passengers were English speakers, the captain apparently was not. I know this was Russia, but it still seemed odd. It was educational and interesting. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We wanted to experience Russia. Upon arrival in Moscow, it was raining. The agent from the ship, who met us, said normally it might take 45 minutes to get to the ship but this is rush hour and it is raining. What a surprise! The Moscow ... Read More
We wanted to experience Russia. Upon arrival in Moscow, it was raining. The agent from the ship, who met us, said normally it might take 45 minutes to get to the ship but this is rush hour and it is raining. What a surprise! The Moscow traffic was as bad as any I have seen in L.A. Bumper to bumper all the way for an hour and a half. This was the only time it rained on the whole trip. The number of cars was a huge surprise and they were all very nice cars from every manufacturer. We were so pleased with our cabin. It was plenty spacious. The bed was very comfortable and firm. The shower was very nice and there was plenty of room to store the suit cases under the bed. Every aspect of this trip was excellent. The service was efficient and friendly. The restaurant was extremely nice with an excellent menu. We appreciated the broad selection and the excellent, friendly and helpful service. We wanted to learn Russian and Nadia, Dasha and Kirill became our good friends and eagerly helped with this. We had such a nice time with them. It was a highlight of the trip. They were such good Ambassadors for the Viking Akun. The shore excursions were very interesting well guided and organized. We were kept so busy there really was not much time to be spent in our cabin. We particularly liked the trip to central Moscow on the Subway, The Red Square, Gum Department store, the Kremlin, The family visit in Uglich. The ship was very comfortable and the lectures were interesting and informative. The vodka tasting was much fun and this trips to the Kizhi State Open-Air Museum a high light. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We wanted to see the inland area of Russia as well as the bigs of Moscow and St P. To that goal- Mission accomplished. You should already know what you are getting when you book a river boat cruise, so if you miss the gym, casino and ... Read More
We wanted to see the inland area of Russia as well as the bigs of Moscow and St P. To that goal- Mission accomplished. You should already know what you are getting when you book a river boat cruise, so if you miss the gym, casino and choice of clubs shame on you. But the whole level of service is just a notch or two below what was expected also. After 12 days I still could not tell you my cabin stewards name although the cabin was cleaned to a satisfactory level. We had a lower level double cabin and except for the toe stubbing pole that ran up the middle of the room it was large enough for the two of us and all our luggage. Bathroom was small, shower was smaller but I am a person of size and again it was to be expected. Hot water never ran out. We were near the main desk and had excellent wi-fi connection most of the trip. A few folks further away from central complained about connection and the connection process was a bit challenging; but once connected I was thrilled that I never had to go to my back-up air card connection. Food is another story. Good points. Chef was a joy to have on the ship for his personality, always around and involved in ships happenings. We found several waiters who were spot on among the very best and we camped at their tables the rest of the cruise. No assigned seating although it did work out that way. We also had a couple of the worst waiters ever in our search for the right table. One while taking dessert orders was ask for coffee and replied "I can't handle that now." and when ask by guest for fresh fruit delivered a banana peeled and cut into slices. Only visit to his table. Certain spots in the dining room were very cool and the only possible adjustment was to close the air vents. Food itself was IMO poor. I knew I was going to be getting Russian fair and was ready for some new taste but very few meals had any entree that received rave reviews from anyone at the table. Exception soups in general and Chicken Cordon Blue which they ran out of. We had an American Hamburger one evening and it was so bad (Meat mixture) that I left it 75% uneaten. Even the server said "Next city has a Burger King - No problem." A few works on the tours. Love bus rides, this is the cruise for you. Love tour guides who are passionate about their country and/or cathedral, this is the cruise for you. Love tour guides who want to hear themselves talk for 3 hrs and 45 min of a 4 hour tour, this is the cruise for you. Most of the included tours were well done and gave you a full flavor of the Russian area we were in. The added (For Cost) tours had some duplication and made for extended days if you did not pass on the included tours to cut back. Tours did start on time but returns tended to be a bit late coming back unless there were more tours to follow. Some of this delay must be attributed to the Moscow traffic which is certainly not the fault of Viking. Unmentioned Viking policy - The ship will gladly arrange a taxi for you in Moscow. That taxi will take you wherever you want to go in the city for $40. There are no other taxis allowed in the port, you have a 10 min walk uphill to get out of the port. Taxi across town for 4 of us to a site not on Viking tour (60 min) was $40 shared fare. Subway most of the way back, $5 total. If we had called the ship for a taxi from the subway, Yup another $40. We negotiated one on our own for $10 with the tip. Did we get the tour we expected? Yes. Do we feel that we got our moneys worth? No Will we take Viking again? Very unlikely Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Attended Travel/Cruise Show Ex Cel London January 2016 was impressed by both the stand and the sales representative. 'Newbie' cruiser and lone traveller. Found the both the ship and the staff to be wonderful (note nothing to ... Read More
Attended Travel/Cruise Show Ex Cel London January 2016 was impressed by both the stand and the sales representative. 'Newbie' cruiser and lone traveller. Found the both the ship and the staff to be wonderful (note nothing to compare with being my first!) Cabin excellent and daily housekeeper wonderful everything replenished if when required The dining service was excellent at all meal times, mentioned what I believed to be a very average quality of orange juice at breakfast. Once mentioned freshly squeezed provided every day (well impressed) Evening entertainment good and ample additional activities i.e. Russian lessons, cookery class, vodka tasting. Service provided by Senior Crew i.e Hotel Manager, Tour Director, Maitre d' hotel all exemplary. Ports and shore excursions good if somewhat tiring at times particularly at the beginning (Moscow traffic not helping). Also at the end of the cruise very 'full on' to ensure excursions both included and additional had been covered. If you want a restful and relaxing cruise this is NOT it and I in no way convey that in a derogatory manner Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
My wife and I are in our late 70's and Russia was one of the few countries that we had not visited. The river cruise appealed to us and we were not disappointed. Every aspect of the trip was superior. On and off the ship was without a ... Read More
My wife and I are in our late 70's and Russia was one of the few countries that we had not visited. The river cruise appealed to us and we were not disappointed. Every aspect of the trip was superior. On and off the ship was without a hassle, front desk was always easy to access and every question got a quick answer. Especially enjoyed the food service from 2 wonderful young ladies from Serbia, Maria and Anastasia. The food was, without exception, excellent.The Viking Burger was the best ! Everything that was promised was delivered and even the weather was excellent. Our tour guides were exceptional and the on board presentations were especially enlightening and seemed to provide a honest discussion of Russian history and life. My wife was sick one day and the on board Doctor gave her excellent advise, medications and the tour she had signed up for was cancelled with no problem. Excellent in every way! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
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 chose this cruise for the Russia experience. We absolutely loved the small ship and the small number of passengers. Our cabin was perfect - clean and plenty of room. The food was fantastic and the dining staff met all of our needs and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Russia experience. We absolutely loved the small ship and the small number of passengers. Our cabin was perfect - clean and plenty of room. The food was fantastic and the dining staff met all of our needs and requests. I cannot say enough about the staff supporting the entire ship and cruise. Not only did they take excellent care of us, we had a great time getting to know them personally. The shore excursions were extremely well planned. The excursion leaders were well educated about Russia not only for current life styles but educating us about Russia from early history. This was a trip of a life time for my wife and myself. We thought that this would be a one time trip but we are now looking and planning for future river cruises with Viking. Meeting other people on the cruise was wonderful and finding out that most of them had taken more than one cruise with Viking and as many as seven cruises. We are looking forward to our next Viking River Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
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