1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Viking River Cruises
  4. Viking River Cruises Cruise Reviews
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
I wanted to see Russia and this cruise offered a 2 week onboard stay that covered a lot of area. The ship, service and food were all excellent, typically Viking. Excursions and guides were also excellent. And Russia exceeded our ... Read More
I wanted to see Russia and this cruise offered a 2 week onboard stay that covered a lot of area. The ship, service and food were all excellent, typically Viking. Excursions and guides were also excellent. And Russia exceeded our expectations. If you like history, arts and music this is a great cruise. The last couple of days in St Petersburg included a fantastic ballet and onboard opera experience. My criticisms are: - we booked thru Viking, which was a MISTAKE, always use a trusted knowledgeable travel agent. Our cruise was during World Cup and the cities were unusually crowded with many of the prime sites closed:( An experienced agent would have warned us and we would have changed our dates. - Viking has Dock locations a long way out of the main cities, so we were riding buses a lot. This was a bit disappointing for a river cruise where you expected to be closer to town. - the majority of the time our nice balcony stateroom was facing another boat at dock, so we would have to close the curtains during the day, forget having a nice view or using your balcony much. - I think it’s great that older less mobile seniors can enjoy cruising, but Viking could do a better job of organizing excursions by mobility, we ended up in some really slow groups for included tours. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We wanted to do something different. All of our friends are going to Europe ie Italy, Greece Germany. We wanted to learn more about how the average Russian people live, eat & work. The guides were Russian and their English was ... Read More
We wanted to do something different. All of our friends are going to Europe ie Italy, Greece Germany. We wanted to learn more about how the average Russian people live, eat & work. The guides were Russian and their English was excellent. One of them described her family life as a child growing up in Russia. The meals were excellent and we got to taste many Russian meals. One day they set up stations which had various Russian dishes. The names of each dish was typed and labeled beside each dish. Our room was always clean and refreshed every day. We were celebrating our 50th Wedding Anniversary. Viking left us a bottle of champagne and a box of chocolates in our room wishing us a Happy Anniversary. We asked if it was possible to visit one of the oldest synagogues in Europe which was in St Petersburg. They happily set us up with a very knowledgeable guide and private tour of the synagogue to include transportation to and from the synagogue. All of the Viking personnel on board the ship treated us as though we were special guests. This made our trip special. Read Less
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Viking River price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
Sail Date: June 2018
I can't imagine a better way to experience Russia than on a Viking River Cruise. We visited the big cities as well as the smaller towns along the river, we welcomed into private homes, saw some of the most amazing architecture and ... Read More
I can't imagine a better way to experience Russia than on a Viking River Cruise. We visited the big cities as well as the smaller towns along the river, we welcomed into private homes, saw some of the most amazing architecture and learned so much from the knowledgeable tour guides. We are able to learn about the history, customs and culture of Russia every day, both on and off the ship. One of the best aspects of the river cruise is that you never have to change hotels. Once you unpack on day one you don't have to touch your suitcases again until it's time to go home. The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful, and loved the fact that they took the time to learn our names and understand our individual needs and preferences. The food is superb and the ship is extremely comfortable. We can't wait to take our next river cruise with Viking! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Enjoyed the experience of having gone to Russia but would not cruise Viking ever again. Viking does have the best itinerary as far as river cruising to Russia is concerned and that was our reason for selecting them. Unfortunately the ... Read More
Enjoyed the experience of having gone to Russia but would not cruise Viking ever again. Viking does have the best itinerary as far as river cruising to Russia is concerned and that was our reason for selecting them. Unfortunately the shipboard experience fell far short of what was advertised and what we expected. Don’t believe the ads you see on tv. Food, mediocre at best. Service, the worst we experienced in our 50+ cruise experiences. Had very minor inconvenience on first day in dining room recognized by Assistant dining room staff and was blatantly ignored for the remaining 13 days of the cruise by Dining room manager and assistant. Management does not care about the customer experience, they chose to handle it by not addressing it. Ignore it and in 13 days it will go away. I expected a first class experience for the price we paid. We were totally underwhelmed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We have always wanted to visit Russia and took the plunge. The food was very good with plenty of choice and a chance to taste Russian cuisine as well as fairly standard fare. The 24hr coffee/tea/chocolate station was excellent. I am a ... Read More
We have always wanted to visit Russia and took the plunge. The food was very good with plenty of choice and a chance to taste Russian cuisine as well as fairly standard fare. The 24hr coffee/tea/chocolate station was excellent. I am a discerning coffee drinker and it was of very good quality, better than the coffee served in the restaurant! The staff were all very friendly and the couriers, especially the local ones, were full of interesting information. There were a few concerns though mainly to do with sustainability/environmental policies. We did not require wash cloths to be changed twice daily - we used them and hung them on the pull out line provided but as the room was serviced twice daily, these and the shower mat were changed when not required to be. Also the use of plastic containers for the plentiful toiletries - this approach needs to be reconsidered to cut down on plastic. Also the disposable plastic water bottles handed out before excursions need to be abolished. We had brought our own containers and filled them from the glass water bottles replenished at least once daily. Perhaps Viking could provide reusable bottles and passengers could be encouraged to refill these. The excursions we participated in were all, bar one, excellent and of a very high quality. The one that was disappointing was the Folk Music evening whilst in St Petersburg - not worth the money we paid even if it did include some vodka. The music was OK, it was just the surroundings and the way it was presented after other excursions such as the ballet and music evening in Moscow. Not having been on anything like this before, I did struggle with not having anywhere really to walk so had to make do with going along each deck inside and up/down the stairs. Most days to be fair we had excursions so I tried to walk quickly but sometimes this was not possible as we were ambling in order to view and take photos. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We were considering a Baltic Cruise, but decided we didn't want to miss out on seeing Moscow. We decided on Viking's Waterway of the Tsar's and were so glad we did. The entire trip was fabulous, from our first encounter at ... Read More
We were considering a Baltic Cruise, but decided we didn't want to miss out on seeing Moscow. We decided on Viking's Waterway of the Tsar's and were so glad we did. The entire trip was fabulous, from our first encounter at the airport to our flight home. Due to airline problems, we arrived in Moscow a day and a half late, but Viking was there, in the middle of the night to take us to the hotel. We enjoyed all of our tours tremendously. They were interesting, informative and the guides made everything entertaining. They truly make the trip exciting and fun. I had done some reading on Russian history before we left and it was nice to see so many important historical sites. We really enjoyed the Kremlin Armory tour and the Moscow By Night tour, although they were long exhausting days. The river towns were beautiful and interesting and of course, St. Petersburg was spectacular....in spite of the crowds!! I feel like we touched on the highlights, but we definitely would like to go back for a more in depth look. The food was very good and we enjoyed trying the Russian specialties. The Chef and Maitre d Daniel made sure that I was gluten free the entire trip. The service was always with a smile and everyone went out of their way to accommodate the passengers. We were so impressed with the guides knowledge, patience, and humor. I'm sure there are times when they want to pull their hair out, but they never let us feel that way. It will always be a favorite trip for us. Our room did not have a balcony and it would have been nice, but we were very happy with our room. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
My husband and I are in our mid-fifties and wanted to see a lot of Russia but not be packing and unpacking so we thought a river cruise would be ideal. I went on a Viking cruise a few years ago with my Mom and told my husband that it would ... Read More
My husband and I are in our mid-fifties and wanted to see a lot of Russia but not be packing and unpacking so we thought a river cruise would be ideal. I went on a Viking cruise a few years ago with my Mom and told my husband that it would be a good choice. I booked directly with Viking - not my best move. Once I got on the boat I found that those who booked with a travel agent got some great pointers about rooms (for example if there was a post in the middle or not - we got a post). Even though we were one of the first bookings -- the Viking representative recommended the room - which turned out to be right behind the reception desk and across from the computers - perhaps not the best room as he had promised but on the other hand - although it was the lowest category room - it was very comfortable. The washroom was soundproof and cozy and the room had a very large window that opened which was very pleasant. You could however, hear the goings on in the cabin next door and the one above. We spent so little time in the room that it really was not an issue. The food on the cruise was up to Viking standards and was excellent. We quickly learned to get a seat on one side of the boat in the dining lounge. On the side we declined was a very loud server who huffed about in a show of great speed and importance but it was a show. He had very docile women working with him who consistently got the orders wrong, would not give you a menu in the morning, would not offer juice just coffee and would leave you sitting. We changed over to Bim's side and it was a whole new experience. Prompt, efficient, friendly service. Artemis and Yaroslav were especially dedicated. We attended all but the Russian language lectures (we missed the first one as we were too busy talking on the sundeck - so to go to the rest seemed useless). The lectures were great with a lot of insight. We also learned about making pelmani (or something like that) and it was interesting. We attended the wine tasting and the vodka tasting which were at an extra cost. They were will worth it! We had a riot and really loved the group of British ladies we joined. All of the drinks were paired with food. Damien was very good at the wine tasting (who knew Russia had some very good wines) and Julia and Damien were amazing at the vodka tasting - teaching us the proper Russian way to drink. I was somewhat saddened by the excursions in that they were not all included as was the case when I went on the Danube cruise. I particularly dislike big cruise lines and their propensity to nickel and dime their customers to death and found the extra charges for various excursions to be a sign of Viking going in that direction which is too bad. Overall the excursions though were excellent but Viking needs to take into consideration their passengers level of fitness. They appeared to do this on the Danube cruise but it was not done on the Russia cruise. Multiple times my husband and I were in groups wherein one or more people had a very hard time keeping up. Three times my husband and I either stayed back trying to help an individual catch up or help them carry things (portable chair etc) and missed part of the tours. I understand that the tour guide wants to go fast but to leave behind people is not really acceptable. Only a couple excursions had a gentle group. A few of the people we helped had stated that if they knew there were cobblestones they would have avoided the tour - maybe this should be added to the descriptors. Below I will describe the excursions: Moscow - the traffic, as is stated in multiple posts, is a disaster. Get ready to spend a lot of time trapped on a bus although Viking does use government buses which get a special lane - so they have tried to alleviate it but if your fitness level allows it - try to do the walking tours. Perhaps Viking can make smaller groups and utilize the amazing metro system to move people in and out of Red Square on the other tours. We went on the walking tour of Moscow- it was amazing - the metro is not to be missed - GUM is amazing as is Red Square. it is a great tour. One late afternoon, early evening Viking took us to a surprise folk show - we so enjoyed it- way to go Viking. We also did the Moscow by Night shore excursion (extra cost) - it was breath taking and very good. You do visit Red Square (yes once again) so there is some walking and with a tight time line - this is one where we had to help someone who was having a very hard time keeping up - I would highly recommend it. We also did Sergiev Posad (Monestary) at an extra cost - although relatively close to Moscow we had to go by bus - it took over 3 hours to get there (should have taken about 40 minutes). It was so crowded it was insane and we hardly had any time there - it was pouring rain so everyone was crowding into the buildings - it may have been better if it was a sunny day as more people may have been outside. Our tour guide had to go to battle for us when some other tour groups tried to squish in front of us. it was quite the showdown. We then went to eat from the same kitchen as the Monks. It was fish soup followed by fish stew (we all swore that they just poured out some of the broth and gave us a new bowl - it was pretty funny). We then went to a lookout and had some free time to explore. It was fun - don't buy souvenirs in the tunnel - they just buy them from the souvenir shops above - you will get better prices above. I would re-think this excursion. Word to the wise - use the bathrooms near the restaurant as the ones just outside the gates of the Monestary are squat toilets (I lost my earpiece in the hole!). I really wanted to see the Armoury but it was an additional cost at the same time as an included shore excursion. I wish this outing was available on our free day wherein I did Sergiev Posad. Uglich - Loved it - the home hosted visit was a big hit with us - we thought it was great. Purchased a hand painted box from the Church - it is so beautiful and a beautiful wool and silk shawl for my daughter. Yaroslav - take the walking tour if you are up to it. It is a beautiful walk and it is so pretty. You will not see the inside of the governor's house but you do visit the grounds and it didn't look like you were missing much but not visiting the interior. There is free time at the food market. There is an ATM close by that is in English. At the food market is Red October chocolate that we purchased to take home - good prices. Kirillo Monastery - This was interesting but was too taxing for some people it was one where my husband stayed back with someone while I continued with the tour and then I had to run back and find them and get them to rejoin - the ship's tour guide came upon me waiting for my husband and waited with me. Beautiful icons are for sale in the Monestary itself at this location. There are some cute handmade crafts outside the Monestary where the buses are - many people purchased items from here. Kizhi Island - I was really looking forward to this one and it was interesting but it was really rushed - a couple more hours on the island would have been really appreciated. Some of the people from the boat purchased furs from this location - I think I would be axe murdered if I wore one in Toronto! Mandrology - the boat docks right at this place and you can go out into the area - its like our pioneer villages but more liberty taken on the history aspect - artisans all over doing their crafts in beautiful re-created buildings. Its actually a big resort. Although we did not go to the vodka museum (it was extra) we heard that it was fun. We did however buy some of the glass from the glassblower and some christmas decorations from the birch bark maker. This stop was a lot of fun but I could see it becoming really busy in the summer months. St. Petersburg The Hermitage - absolutely beautiful with an amazing collection of art. It was here that I purchased an amber necklace (with certificates for the amber and the designer - one of the individuals who worked on the amber room). It was really, really busy with crazy crowds. My husband and I opted not to go back to the boat for dinner but to stay and then meet the group at the ballet. We had such a good time. Julia (an amazing program director) showed us a restaurant on the map Katyuska (or something like that) - the food was out of this world. We then decided to walk to the Summer gardens and they were having a classical car show (for Russian cars) - it was great and then we found the classical bus show! it was too funny. We meet everyone at the Pushkin Theatre for the ballet and went home with them. The Ballet was good - although not being a real fan of the ballet I am sure I missed some of the story! Petersburg up close - wow talk about walk! My husband and I loved it but we are walkers. By the end of the 7 miles - yes 7 miles - some people were done. Although it was long it was really really good and gave a good overview of St. Petersburg. Catherine Palace - take your breath away - amazing. Peterhof Palace & Park - Extra cost - this was one of two peterhof exercusions - the other one was behind the scenes and was significantly more expensive - this one was excellent and fully informative - I am really happy I chose this one as it gave me time to do St. Petersburg by Water. St. Peterburg by the Water - Extra cost - I read about this one and someone said don't do it but it was after I booked. I did not have their experience. It was a great tour but the tour guide did mention that it was dependent on the river levels - so maybe the other person had bad levels. Anyway it was really good and my husband and I really enjoyed ourselves. Most of our excursions were done by our shipboard tour guides and we mainly had Misha -- who was very professional and very nice. We did have a retired Viking tour person in St. Petersburg who was excellent although there were some very rude Viking customers who were fairly insulting to her. It was shameful and I was ashamed of their behaviour but it was the end of the cruise and I think some people just wanted to go home. All and all I would recommend Viking - Waterways of the Tsars but I am unsure if I will continue with Viking or try to find a river cruise company more for people our age. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We were invited to join friends on this cruise, it being our first with Viking. We enjoyed everything about it. Tours interesting and well organized. Rooms wonderful with nice sized bathrooms. The ship was clean and looked well maintained. ... Read More
We were invited to join friends on this cruise, it being our first with Viking. We enjoyed everything about it. Tours interesting and well organized. Rooms wonderful with nice sized bathrooms. The ship was clean and looked well maintained. Loved the food selections and were so happy that portion sizes were smaller than typical AMERICAN size. We could try everything and not feel stuffed. We made new friends in the dining room since we could sit wherever we pleased, either with a group or by ourselves as a couple. We particularly liked the lectures on Russian history on the days we were cruising the river. Moscow and St Petersburg were busy but clean cities. Have never sat in a port for three days like we did at the beginning and end of this particular cruise, but it worked well giving us plenty exposure to Russian culture. After three days in Moscow we were ready for the cruise down the river visiting smaller towns and seeing some of the countryside and especially enjoying the school visit and home visit for tea and cake. Then we were geared up again for city life at the end of the cruise in St Petersburg though passengers were obviously getting tired by the last day, just in time to return home. We probably shouldn’t have done the 5 hour walking tour the last day. We never felt ill at ease anywhere in Russia because of the staff. They met us at the airport, frequently counted the numbers in our entourage when off the ship and even took us thru security in the airport at our departure. We will definitely travel with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this at the last minute after having to cancel another trip the month before. We were so glad that we did. Everything Viking did was first class and the many little surprises they added made it extra special. The service and ... Read More
We chose this at the last minute after having to cancel another trip the month before. We were so glad that we did. Everything Viking did was first class and the many little surprises they added made it extra special. The service and food were outstanding and the staff was extremely courteous and helpful. The cabins were very clean. The excursions were designed to let you truly experience the culture of Russia. The Russian cities were more beautiful than we'd expected. The subways were far better than those we've experienced in the US and Europe. Our biggest surprise was how friendly and helpful the Russian people were. We had an unplanned stop due to bad weather in a city not usually visited by tourists. A lady who was working in her yard motioned for us to wait a minute while she went over to her garden and picked a bouquet of flowers to offer us. She didn't speak English and we didn't speak Russian, but we had the greatest conversation ever. The whole trip was well organized and we always felt safe. I've recommended this trip to many friends since our return (including our many friends who, when they heard we were going to Russia, commented, "I hope you come back." They could not have been more wrong and need to go and see for themselves.) We also made friends on the cruise that we continue to stay in touch with. It was just an awesome experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Actually, my travel partner chose this cruise in Russia, but I was happy to go along. The stateroom was nicely appointed, although the bathroom was a bit cramped. We went so late in the season that we didn't get to enjoy the ... Read More
Actually, my travel partner chose this cruise in Russia, but I was happy to go along. The stateroom was nicely appointed, although the bathroom was a bit cramped. We went so late in the season that we didn't get to enjoy the verandah much due to the cold and sometimes rainy weather. The excursions were well planned with a variety of activities. Tour guides -- both from the ship and local -- were extremely knowledgeable and proficient in English (big PLUS). The food was varied, plentiful, and very delicious. The meals were timed to accommodate our tours, so we never had to worry about getting to the dining room at a particular time. Crew members were always friendly and helpful. We especially enjoyed the native dancers in St. Petersburg, the concert in Moscow, and the Swan Lake Ballet at the Hermitage Theater. As I am an inexperienced traveler, I appreciated the all-inclusive aspect of this trip -- housing, transportation, tickets, special events, tours, etc. Highly recommend this cruise and this company. Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise