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143 Viking River Moscow Cruise Reviews

We arrived in Moscow early, so we did have time to explore the city before the official cruise began. The early Moscow metro tour really helped acclamate us to the city. Once on the boat, the crew and staff were wonderful. They gave ... Read More
We arrived in Moscow early, so we did have time to explore the city before the official cruise began. The early Moscow metro tour really helped acclamate us to the city. Once on the boat, the crew and staff were wonderful. They gave exceptional personal service. Tour guides were outstanding. It is obvious that every employee enjoyed what they were doing. I will definitely take another Viking Cruise. I cannot wait to do another cruise very soon! This trip had a great balance between sight seeing and relaxation time. I enjoyed the shopping on the boat. The quality and cost of the items was very good. I would have liked having some exercise facility on the boat, but other than that I have nothing but good things to say about the cruise. I liked having the option to choose an more physically demanding tour. I also was surprised that the ship had an on board physician. Once again, an outstanding trip!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We always wanted to see more of Russia than the usual port-call at St. Petersburg on a typical Baltic cruise (did that years ago). So we did the 12-night Viking river cruise on the Truvor from Moscow to St. Petersburg. Our family and ... Read More
We always wanted to see more of Russia than the usual port-call at St. Petersburg on a typical Baltic cruise (did that years ago). So we did the 12-night Viking river cruise on the Truvor from Moscow to St. Petersburg. Our family and friends were concerned about our extended stay in Russia. Other passengers reported the same concerns from their friends and families. Forget about it -- this trip is fantastic! Exceeded our already high expectations. Everyone had a marvelous time on the Truvor cruise. The ship was comfortable and clean. Every amenity is included. The staff knows your name and preferences by the 2nd day. If you enjoy cocktails, buy the beverage package even though beer and wine is included at meals. With the package you get a much wider choice of beverages. We met typical Russians on the street, in stores and in their homes. They could not have been friendlier or more hospitable. The ship's staff was outstanding: Hotel Manager Frank was extraordinary -- taking care of any issues that came up immediately and professionally. Tour Director Kathrine took pains to explain every detail of the activity-planned experience. The chef Jurgen took care to make sure our meals were prepared to order. NOTE: This is a very active itinerary. If you participate in the offered excursions and activities, you will reap many new experiences and benefits --seeing and doing things you never dreamed of (vodka tasting, Russian cooking classes, meeting Russians in their homes, sightseeing throughout the traveled areas, Cossack dancing shows, etc). Highly recommended for people seeking a new cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was an absolutely first rate experience. The crew were excellent - ranging from the chambermaid who left our cabin looking spotless to the serving staff - an excellent mix of Russian and Philippino staff. Cruise Director was very ... Read More
This was an absolutely first rate experience. The crew were excellent - ranging from the chambermaid who left our cabin looking spotless to the serving staff - an excellent mix of Russian and Philippino staff. Cruise Director was very good. The ship is very comfortable with lots of places to sit (Viking Truvor) and they made a real effort to make the trip special - an impromptu BBQ at lunch time on the Sun Deck and two cocktail parties with limitless Russian 'champage'. As much wine or beer as you could drink at meal times. Bar prices, in Units=US $,were high (for a post Brexit Brit) with a tonic costing nearly £4 - and unless you say just a little ice you have a glass full of ice and very little tonic. If you are a light sleeper avoid Cabin 417 on the Upper Deck as it is just below the piano in the bar! 413 has a pillar in it - as do other cabins - so worth checking for one withou when booking. The shore excursions were generally excellent although the Ballet in St Petersburg was danced by a stand-in troupe while the real professionals spent the Summer touring. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Arrived in Moscow to be picked up by Viking. Headed out to the boat to eat and sleep. Moscow is a traffic nightmare. The activities were great once you got there. We saw the changing of the guard in Red Square and sampled caviar in GUM ... Read More
Arrived in Moscow to be picked up by Viking. Headed out to the boat to eat and sleep. Moscow is a traffic nightmare. The activities were great once you got there. We saw the changing of the guard in Red Square and sampled caviar in GUM Department Store, the Kremlin, and walking tour. Those were the highlights of Moscow. Cruising down the river, we had plenty to do with touring and classes in Russian and their history. Highlights were Kizhi Island (wooden church) and Mandrogy (vodka tasting and the best shopping on the cruise). Next, we went to St. Petersburg. Pay extra and do the behind the scenes Hermtage. Trust me, it is pricey but so amazing. Also we loved Catherine the Great's Palace (bought some beautiful Champaigne glasses there with her seal, The Fortress, Peterhof, and the Church of the Spilled Blood. The train to Helsinki was only $42, so we added 4 days there, not through Viking, but on our own. The cruise itself was nice, but not the best we have been on. The maid refused to change our sheets as we had moved our bed apart, and she would not do it. The bed was a small queen. My husband and I are king bed people. She did not speak English, and I finally had to go to the head of housekeeping. The food was OK-good, the wine not so great, but the beer was better. My husband got the drink package, and the premier wines were fine. The guides were fun, and the night of the vodka tasting, we were laughing so hard we were crying. I would really give this a 3 1/2 star review, but that was not a choice. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We have sailed with Viking River Cruises four times previously and every trip has been excellent. Their service, food, educational experiences, personnel, ships, etc. are all first class. We have never had a complaint with them. This ... Read More
We have sailed with Viking River Cruises four times previously and every trip has been excellent. Their service, food, educational experiences, personnel, ships, etc. are all first class. We have never had a complaint with them. This cruise went from Moscow to St. Petersburg. The Moscow excursions were very good. Visiting Red Square, St. Basil's, and Lenin's Tomb are all remarkable. The river tour of Moscow at night was beautiful. St. Petersburg was our favorite part of the trip. It is a gorgeous, historic city built on (if I recall correctly) 42 islands. The river trip along the Neva River and the canals was memorable. The Hermitage, Catherine's Palace, so much to see. The week of sailing on rivers and canals between the two cities was not quite the same, but no fault of Viking. The tourist infrastructure in the rural areas between the two major cities is simply not well developed. On previous Viking cruises, we had sailed on the Rhine and the Seine from one charming town to the next. Each one was a new adventure. In several of the Russian towns on this cruise, the only thing to see in the town was their Russian Orthodox church. After five or six of these, after viewing hundreds of icons, even the guides were joking that we were probably "churched out." Some of the stops, however, were interesting. The wooden church, farmhouse, and other buildings in Kizhi were beautiful. Mandgrogy was a fun place to do a lot of easy souvenir and gift shopping. It took a while for us to recognize that sailing through Russia is not the same as cruising in France or Germany. Only 27 years after the end of the Soviet Union, this is what life in Russia looks like. For those of us who grew up during the cold war, it was fascinating to see our old "enemy" up close: the Soviet era apartment buildings, the hammer and sickle and statues of Lenin still on display. A highlight was our visit with a retired Russian couple. They told us, through their translator daughter, about the very difficult transition from the rigid society of the Soviet days to their new life in a market economy. We came to appreciate why so many Russians long for the good old days when they were assured of a job and a place to live. The Russian guides on board were excellent. They did lectures on the Czars; Russian food, art and language; the Soviet years; and modern Russian politics. Their English was excellent and they were always available to answer our questions. The Russian Cossack show was lively and well done, except that it was poorly lit. In summary, this is a fascinating look at modern and historic Russia, just don't expect it all to be as charming and picture-book perfect as Western Europe. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We've never been to Russia. This was the perfect way to get introduced to Russian culture and people. Our trip started at Moscow and ended at St. Petersburg. That was a lucky choice since that is probably better than starting ... Read More
We've never been to Russia. This was the perfect way to get introduced to Russian culture and people. Our trip started at Moscow and ended at St. Petersburg. That was a lucky choice since that is probably better than starting going the reverse direction. For us, the airport at Moscow was 2 hours from where the ship is docked. Whereas the St. Petersburg airport is only about 1/2 hour away from the ship. I would rather deal with that long trip to the airport at the start of the trip than on the last day. We did get to ship late and the dining room was held open for us that needed a meal prior to turning in. Very considerate. Everything about this trip was first class - the accomodations, food, service, tours, entertainment, etc. Love the lectures about Russian history and language. Extremely helpful and friendly crew and staff. Really can't say enough about the staff and crew we had on our trip. Very friendly, considerate, and helpful, but not annoylingly so. They really did bend over backwards to accomodate our requests. The excursions were awesome. Don't miss the traditional Russian music concert. We did study guidebooks about Russian culture and language beforehand. That made the tours that much more interesting. Since this was our first ever trip to Russia just about everything we saw blew our minds away. Minor point - I wish there was a fitness facility with maybe just a few treadmills, some light weights. You do walk during the tours, but not enough to really get any exercise. This review is from a couple who do more adventure type trips. By cruising standards the Viking trips are small but for us having 150+ other folks on board seemed very large. However, everybody we met on board were wonderful. And we just soaked up the Russian scenery and culture. We had a wonderful time !! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Our lovely fourth Viking voyage was on the Truvor, which sailed July 5, 2016 from Moscow to St. Petersburg. We also did the pre-extension in Moscow and the post-extension in St. Petersburg. We love Viking. This fall we are heading to ... Read More
Our lovely fourth Viking voyage was on the Truvor, which sailed July 5, 2016 from Moscow to St. Petersburg. We also did the pre-extension in Moscow and the post-extension in St. Petersburg. We love Viking. This fall we are heading to Portugal with them, and we are starting to think about which trips of theirs to pick for 2017 and beyond. We are in 60s, which was a typical age for our fellow travelers. We had friends who went a month earlier on the same trip when it was still cold in Russia. July is the perfect month. Except for some sporadic heavy rain, the Russian weather was ideal with highs mainly in the 70s. We had a wonderful time, but there were some things that we wished had been better. I'll break this review into Pros, Cons, and Mixed. PRO One of my hobbies is photography, so one of the most important trip enjoyment metrics is my count of outstanding photo ops. Russia is a cornucopia of colorful images from the many onion-domed churches to the elaborate Moscow subway stations to the people in costumes at the festivals we lucked into seeing. I was like a kid in a candy shop. I got some amazing pictures. Of these, two of my favorites are a glassy blue river picture captured in the early pre-sunrise at 2:25am from our veranda (in early July, it's the time called the "white nights" since it starts lighting up way before the sun rises) and another was a great sunset picture. But my absolute favorite was a picture I took of a young girl in costume at a festival on the island of Kizhi. The best day we had on the trip was our full day in Moscow during our pre-extension. We had a guided tour of about eight or so subway stations, each with unique features (stained glass in one, heroic statues in the second, mosaics in the third, etc.). During our visit to St. Basil's in Red Square, we came upon a men's a Capella singing group in a small alcove. Their deep voices reverberated around the room and gave me goose bumps since their singing was so moving. (We got to hear several more such groups during our trip.) Our Moscow pre-extension hotel was a palatial palace known as the Radisson Royal (which used to be called the Hotel Ukraine). Our room had a great view of the river, which is all lit up at night. But the best part of the hotel was the Italian restaurant on the top. The food was fantastic, and the views in and from the restaurant were gorgeous. All of the lunches and dinners we had on the trip -- on the boat and on the shore -- were great. Usually we find the Viking dinners hit and miss, but our chef on the ship never missed a beat. Almost every course was extremely good. Between lunch and dinner, I liked the lunches a little bit more because of the custom made pastas I got prepared each day by Alexander at the pasta station. Still, our favorite meal of all was the dinner atop the Radisson Royal. The service we got on the boat was absolutely perfect. The waiters and waitresses quickly learned our names and exactly what we liked, in our case -- two diet cokes, refilled frequently and promptly. Half of the wait staff were Filipino and half were Russian. They were all excellent. Our favorite was Elaine, who called me Sir Steve and my wife Ma'am Sally. Personable and hardworking, she could not have been a better waitress. We tipped according and individually to those who really deserved it in addition to the overall recommended gratuity. We really enjoyed the new friends we met, especially Carol and her grown daughter Erica, as well one couple we already knew, Frank and Kay, a couple from our Viking China trip who joined us on this Russia cruise. The musical group we all went to one night in Moscow (balalaikas, singing, humor, etc.) was great. What fun and what lovely music! Our home hosted visit in Uglich was good, as was the fascinating, albeit a bit too long, visit in St. Petersburg to a Kommunalka, a Soviet-era communal style of living that still exists today in ten percent of St. Petersburg. Four to six apartments share a single toilet and a single sink. Yikes! Kizhi Island with its amazing wooden churches and buildings was certainly a trip highlight. Our tour just happened to be at the right place at the right time. On Kizhi and in Uglich, we were there when once-a-year festivals were in progress. The locals were dressed up in traditional Russian garb and were happy to have their pictures taken. There was lots of energetic singing, dancing and performing going on too. My only regret was that we didn't have an extra hour or two in both places to see more of the festivals. Our Veranda B class room was comfortable and well laid out. Rarely felt did we feel we needed more space. Although we used the veranda to stand on to enjoy the views, we never sat outside on it for very long. And, unlike some river "cruises" where you cruise mainly while you sleep, this one did a lot of cruising during the day. But I don't want to oversell this part. It's not the Rhine with stunning mountains. The Volga and lakes are all surrounded by flat land with lots of trees. Still we found the scenery very peaceful and relaxing. Overall, I think I liked Moscow best, but Kizhi was really lovely as were Yaroslavl, Uglich and St. Petersburg. CON My wife has mobility issues. Russia is easily the least handicap friendly country we've ever been to. In some places there were no lifts; in others, like the Faberge museum, you were actually supposed to book the lift a day in advance; and, in some places, like the Impressionist wing of The Hermitage, you have to climb up 30 stairs with no handrail to get to the second floor, since the lifts started at the second floor, which makes no sense whatsoever. The staff and guides were not helpful in letting us know what to expect on the outings. While the bedrooms on the Russian ships are similar to the longships, the public areas have several problems. On the longships, it is easy to meet people because the lounge is large, centrally located, and has lots of comfortable seating areas. On the Russian ship the lounge is too small for talks and daily briefings, so they have reconfigured it into rows of chairs auditorium style in order to pack more people in. This makes it an uninviting and uncomfortable place to hang out. The net result of this is that it makes meeting new people less likely, which is the single best part of Viking cruises. The layout of the restaurant has problems too. Rather than the large, open and airy space of the longships with lots of large tables, the dining room on the Russian ships is broken into three continuous parts because of a room in the middle used by the kitchen staff. The first part is dark and depressing with small windows only on two sides, the second part is the corridor on each side of kitchen room, and the third and only good part is the back which has windows on three sides. The tables, even those for six, are much smaller than normal. If four of you sit at a table for four, you will feel really crowded. There are also many tables for two and four, which discourages people meeting other people. In China, the tables were all round ones for eight. We met many lovely people because of this arrangement. The Hermitage and Tretyakov art museums suffered the fatal flaws of such awful lighting designs that you could see almost none of the paintings because of the horrible glare and the Russian proclivity to put most of the paintings under glass. (The Pushkin Museum was a delightful exception to the lighting problem above, but it had a total lack of lifts, so my wife wasn't able to tour it.) The lack of toilet availability was a needless problem. All of the buses -- which you spend way too much time on, especially in Moscow -- have restrooms, but they keep them locked, which makes no sense whatsoever! You must make a special request to get them temporarily unlocked, but, when I asked, I was told they would unlock it for me but then they didn't. Another time we weren't allowed to use the restroom outside the Kremlin because the bus was coming right away, which it wasn't, as it turned out, as we waited and waited. On our other Viking trips, the toilets on the bus were always unlocked -- why the heck wouldn't they be? -- and the guides went out of their way to make sure we always had restrooms when we needed them. The Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery monetary had a few good views, but mainly it was just a long visit to a boring museum of icons under glass. The day at the touristy Mandrogy was a waste other than a short carriage ride, which was fun. Our Tour director was energetic and easy to understand, but she wasn't very warm and certainly didn't know how to entertain, which is one of the most important parts of her job. While lunches and dinners were uniformly very tasty, every single breakfast on and off the boat was disappointing. Mediocre food with no good bread (or cheese) choices. Eggs usually weren't worth eating. And so on for the rest of the breakfast choices. MIXED While we had one extremely fun game on ship ("Liar" -- where three people explain the meaning of an obscure word but two are lying), there should have been one or two more such games. On our other Viking trips, they have had more than one, and they have turned out to be tremendously fun for all the participants. The staff dressed up somewhat one night in traditional Russian outfits, but only a few really dressed up much. Most had fairly small changes in their outfits. On other Viking cruises, they put a lot more effort into this, making for a colorful and fun time. The school visit was sort of interesting but felt pretty contrived since school wasn't in session and since we weren't given much time to ask our one 10th grader many questions. OVERALL Had a great time, have wonderful memories and got some fantastic photos. I would definitely recommend the trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was the first time that my husband and I went on a cruise. The cruise itself was wonderful. I can't think of anything that could have made it better. We had a wonderful room which was much more spacious than I had imagined. ... Read More
This was the first time that my husband and I went on a cruise. The cruise itself was wonderful. I can't think of anything that could have made it better. We had a wonderful room which was much more spacious than I had imagined. And the twice daily housekeeping by Anna was excellent. My husband had a birthday while we were on the tour and Happy Birthday was spelled out in candies on the bed and a bottle of champaign left in the room. The food was excellent at very meal with enough options to keep anyone happy. The whole cruise runs like a well oil machine. Although the tours went at a faster pace than my husband and I usually travel, they were well organized and all of the local guides were well informed and kept things interesting. There were lots of fun activities and informative lectures onboard the boat. The crew was wonderful. I would not be able to think of one negative thing to say about any one of them. And of course meeting all your fellow passengers from around the world is certainly the highlight of any tour you take. The only negative comment I will make about this trip had to do with our flights and not with the cruise itself. We did not get final flight details until very late so were unable to make any changes to them. We did not arrive at the boat until 1:00am on July 6th, missing the first day of the tour. And we had to leave the boat at 3:15am on the last day of the tour. For the amount of money we paid I truly believe that Viking ciould have arranged more convenient times for us to travel. One helpful comment I can make is in regards to the optional tours. Unless it is something that you really have your heart set on doing, I would not sign up and pay for any of the optional tours. All of the tours that are included plus the activities onboard will keep you very busy. What free time you have left might be better spent enjoying a drink in the bar with all the new friends you will make. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Excellent cruise! We were attracted to the small ship experience after hearing horror stories about the small cabins others told us about. The small ship Viking river cruises had great reviews and their attention to detail made the cruise ... Read More
Excellent cruise! We were attracted to the small ship experience after hearing horror stories about the small cabins others told us about. The small ship Viking river cruises had great reviews and their attention to detail made the cruise a great value. The room, the food and the staff all surpassed our expectations. The excursions were a delight and the optional ones (even though they were pricey) really added a lot to the total experience. We would have liked to spend more time in the "Red Square Department Stor" When we arrived We were greeted by a Viking host that really eliminated the travel stress. Moscow is an exciting and vibrant city; the Moscow shopping was an amazing surprise. We wish we had booked several more days there. Most of the shore excisions were fun and informative but we would recommend that you diplomatically insist more individual photos of you and your party if you plan on purchasing the photo thumb drive at $45. Our next trip will be booked with Viking because they are a great company! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our fifth cruise with Viking. We love them and, as usual, they did a great job. The trip began with several days in Moscow at the beginning and several in St. Petersburg at the end. In between, we sailed on rivers and canals ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise with Viking. We love them and, as usual, they did a great job. The trip began with several days in Moscow at the beginning and several in St. Petersburg at the end. In between, we sailed on rivers and canals through rural Russia. Moscow was neat. Seeing places like the Kremlin, St. Basil's, and Lenin's tomb was memorable. The night cruise on the Moscow River with the city all illuminated was a highlight. St. Petersburg is spectacular. It is dominated by the wide Neva River with palaces and government buildings on both sides. Catherine's Palace outside the city is a mini-Versailles and it is incredible to believe it was built twice: The original was destroyed in WWII and completely rebuilt. In between these two cities the sights were, generally, not as interesting. It took a while for us to accommodate to the fact that tourist infrastructure in Russia is simply not nearly as developed as in Western Europe. Whereas in France we sailed from one charming village to another, in Russia we stopped at ports which showed us what they had. And, in many cases that was another Russian Orthodox church. While many of these were really beautiful, after a while we were tired of learning the differences between 16th and 17th century Russian icons. But, it is what it is. This country is still emerging from decades of Soviet rule. Still, in the rural portion of the trip, there were some fascinating things to see, including the island of Kizhi (I recommend readers Google it.) Good souvenir shopping in Mandrogy. We, also, visited a Russian family and, through their translator daughter, heard first hand about life in the USSR and the difficult transition after 1989. They showed great resilience and have done fine. The Viking guides were great and we learned much about Russian history, cuisine, dance, etc., etc. They did extended lectures on the Soviet period, the fall of the USSR, and the last 25 years, including the current regime of Putin. I would have given this an Excellent rating if not for the middle portion of the trip which was not what we have enjoyed on other Viking cruises. But, that is not the fault of Viking, it is simply the current state of this formerly Communist nation. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
My wife and I have sailed with Viking before (on the Danube) and so thought this would be more of the same, just with different ports. Also, our whole lives we have considered Russia to be a dark country, filled with communists and run by ... Read More
My wife and I have sailed with Viking before (on the Danube) and so thought this would be more of the same, just with different ports. Also, our whole lives we have considered Russia to be a dark country, filled with communists and run by dictators, Well, apparently we have always been wrong, it was a most welcoming country (even though we had to pay $500 for visas to get in--this is one of the sanctions that Obama has put into place to punish Russia...) Moscow was a VERY European city and not at all what we anticipated. Lots of fine and expensive cars, well dresses young people--the men and women appear to be in good physical shape, not like the fat-sos we see when we walk the sidewalks of NY. The guides knew the answers to all our questions, and they could name all the leaders starting with the Tsars of the fourteenth century and running right though Puton. Our final stop was St Petersburg and the traffic there is dreadful. Our dock was only about 15 miles from center city, but it was 1.5 hours by bus in the traffic. So on a day when we had a long tour, then back to the ship for a snack, and back on the bus to go to the ballet--that day was 6 hours in a bus. If we had known, we'd have stayed in town and had dinner at a local restaurant before the ballet. We were told that the dock we stayed at was as close as we could get due to the bridges being closed during the day--but really, the capt could have navigated through the bridges when they were open (from 2 AM until 6 AM), and then--like the ocean cruise ships, we'd have been in the downtown, and no need for all the busses. Who makes these plans? Well if it is the Cruise Director, I would say she was not at the top of her game (or if she was, she needs a new assignment). If someone else--they should be told. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We wanted to do a safe mother daughter trip in Russia. We started In Moscow and ended in St. Petersburg. We loved the trip. The included tours and lectures were great. The local guides were wonderful. Our ship guides, Alexei, Vadim, and ... Read More
We wanted to do a safe mother daughter trip in Russia. We started In Moscow and ended in St. Petersburg. We loved the trip. The included tours and lectures were great. The local guides were wonderful. Our ship guides, Alexei, Vadim, and Sasha were wonderful, knowledgeable, and open to any questions. They made the trip. We paid extra for a behind the scenes trip to The Hermitage that was well worth the money. All the workers on board were helpful and friendly. Constantine, the videographer, did a super job. We enjoyed all the stops along the river, especially Uglich and Kizhi. We were glad to be on the right side of the ship as we were able to see many of the stops as we approached them. Viking took care of us when our luggage was two days late. The Viking Doctor took good care of my daughter when she was ill. Be sure to go the ballet. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was our first time with Viking River Cruise. It was disappointing. My husband and I always want to visit Russia and Viking was the only river cruise line that went there in 2016. There is a pole in the center of the cabin and you ... Read More
This was our first time with Viking River Cruise. It was disappointing. My husband and I always want to visit Russia and Viking was the only river cruise line that went there in 2016. There is a pole in the center of the cabin and you have to be careful not to trip over it.. The flights Viking booked us was really bad with 3 connections. They could have get us there with only 1 or 2 connections. We spent long hours in the airport with cancelling flight and changing airline before even leaving the US. You paid what you got with Vikings. The food choices on board was limited, food tasted horrible and the presentation not appealing at all (always with two green onions on top, but they were not green onions) - didn't know what they were. We have been river cruising many times with other cruise lines and definitely this was the worst. Prawns were just small shrimps and there were no seconds. One of our table mate asked for more and was told initially "No", then later came up with a few. It seemed they did her a big favor. Tours were equally disappointing. Tour guide in Moscow did not tell you exactly where were the rest rooms in the G.U.M. store. It is a big store and if you don't speak Russian, then good luck. Tour guide walked in front of the group and not ensuring all her group were together. Most of the included shore excursions were poor. The head tour guide on the ship seemed very unfriendly. Fortunately the ship's other tour guides were much better. For the Helsinki extension - Save your money. It was not worthy at all. Helsinki Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, though centrally located, is old and outdated. Only one walking tour was included (not good) and the other tours, you had to pay for it. The only good things came out from this trip were our cabin steward, front office staff, and the dining room waitresses. They were helpful and friendly, providing good services. All in all, this was a bad experience with Viking River Cruise and most likely it would be our last river cruise with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We had taken two previous Viking cruises and knew the quality would be wonderful. Also loved the opportunity to meet other guests which is impossible on the ocean cruises. It is a joy to be part of a ship's cruise that you are able to ... Read More
We had taken two previous Viking cruises and knew the quality would be wonderful. Also loved the opportunity to meet other guests which is impossible on the ocean cruises. It is a joy to be part of a ship's cruise that you are able to meet, tour and have meals with folks that you get to know. We loved Russia. We loved the tours, the tour guides were wonderful. The Russian food on the menu was wonderful, the staff is fabulous. All the food was terrific. The only down side for us was a guest (80 yr old man and his wife) who could not stop talking, loudly during the bus rides while the tour guide was speaking. Several folks asked him to stop, but he just did it anyway. Extremely rude. And interfered with the atmosphere aboard the buses. Unfortunately we were assigned a bus for all the tours and he was with us always. And I'm 75. By this age one should know better how to behave. If I start doing this at 80, please stop me!! But Viking is extraordinary. We loved it. Thank you!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We wanted to see as much of Russia as possible in the 2 weeks time we had to spend. It looked on line like this cruise would offer us a lot to see. The flight started off great but after arriving at the airport in Russia it all went down ... Read More
We wanted to see as much of Russia as possible in the 2 weeks time we had to spend. It looked on line like this cruise would offer us a lot to see. The flight started off great but after arriving at the airport in Russia it all went down hill. We had to wait a long at the airport before being taken to the ship. Our cabin was not ready we we arrived at the ship. The food offered in the dining room was not what we had expected and not as good as other cruise lines we have been on. The entrainment on board was not very good. Every time you went on a shore excursion you were encouraged to tip everyone from the bus driver to the guides. It seemed you were encouraged to tip everyone on the ship at the end, I felt like I was paying part of there salary. Next time we take a cruise we will look for another cruise line besides Viking. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We were eager to visit Russia and the river cruise seemed to be the simplest method of doing so. We had to request the Letter of Invitation from Viking, because they did not send it automatically. About 10 days after the emailed ... Read More
We were eager to visit Russia and the river cruise seemed to be the simplest method of doing so. We had to request the Letter of Invitation from Viking, because they did not send it automatically. About 10 days after the emailed request, we received the documents by email, written entirely in Russian and immediately applied for the Visas. We paid ILS an additional fee to transfer the information from the letter to the application. I hand delivered my Visa application, while my companion sent hers by express mail, which was returned to her the day prior to her departure. The Viking ships are docked about an hour's drive from Moscow center and traffic is very heavy. We spent much time on the bus, trapped in gridlock. Visits to attractions were shortened or skipped entirely, due to the time required to travel to them. Information about the following day's tours was provided in the evening, so it was difficult to make alternative arrangements at the last minute if we were not interested in those available. On one day, there were morning, afternoon, and evening tours, which meant a minimum of 6 hours on the bus, travelling between the boat and the city. Another day, we were provided with a snack when we left in early morning and returned to the boat at 9 pm for dinner; there was not sufficient time in one place during the day to enable us to eat in a restaurant. Food on the boat was extremely salty. I eat a low salt, low fat diet and apart from fresh fruit and salad without dressing, there was nothing that fit within my diet restrictions. Lunch always included a salad bar and pasta. A few sandwiches, etc. were available from a menu. Appetizers and salads could be ordered at dinner. The items on the menu which were said to be available at every dinner were not. The main course included a piece of meat, chicken or fish and mashed potatoes, or sometimes rice, always loaded with salt. For example, a piece of chicken Florentine proved to be chicken stuffed with more salt than spinach, butter and garlic, breaded and deep-fried, with mashed potatoes. A fast food restaurant would offer healthier selections. Room Service was not available. Between about 12 pm and 6 am, there was no food available to passengers. Mosquitoes were very prevalent during the cruise to St. Petersburg. We could not use our balcony, or even open the window because there were no screens. The boat vibrated considerably while underway, preventing sleep. Unfortunately, there is not much space to sit outside of the room. A few chairs are located at the top of the stairs on each floor. A small library with 2 computers and a printer contains a few chairs. The café at the bow of the ship has tables set with dishes for breakfast or lunch, which means that people who sit in this room place books, purses, laptops, etc. on top of the place settings which other people will later use when dining. While docked, the Viking ships are rafted, side by side. We didn't use our balcony at these times, because the railing on the next ship's balcony was touching ours. We kept our draperies closed, for privacy and because there was nothing to see but the interior of our neighbor's cabin. Daily briefings, entertainment, etc. were held in the bar on the sun deck, which only accommodated about half of the passengers on board. For the last few days, the briefings were repeated twice, to provide the opportunity for more guests to attend. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
The Russian River Cruise was on sale and was a good value so we booked the cruise. The only thing we were truly upset about was giving a $500.00 tip that was recommended and finding out from some of the wait staff that they have never ... Read More
The Russian River Cruise was on sale and was a good value so we booked the cruise. The only thing we were truly upset about was giving a $500.00 tip that was recommended and finding out from some of the wait staff that they have never gotten a share of the tips that are given to Viking for them. Our personal wait staff weren't the ones who told us that but I asked and was told by four other servers. We would have given our tips directly to the people who helped make our trip more pleasant rather than having Viking decide who received it. That seemed less than honest to us since we were told it would be split among the people who served us. Those monies may have gone to Viking instead of the people who should have received tips. We will allocate tips to whomever we choose and as we see fit from this point on... A few of the tours were extremely rushed and there was too little free time to personally check things out on excursions. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
The trip covered the areas that I wished to see and was recommended by friends .previous experience with Viking had bee very positive. The cruise combined culture of the people, amazing architecture and knowledgeable guides who added to ... Read More
The trip covered the areas that I wished to see and was recommended by friends .previous experience with Viking had bee very positive. The cruise combined culture of the people, amazing architecture and knowledgeable guides who added to the enjoyment of the trip. I enjoyed the musical and cultural events in particular the Ballet. In future I would explore the embarkation city , One of the draw backs was the traffic in Moscow which added many unproductive hours to the day which would have been better served by visiting the sites , is there not a way to moor closer to the center of town? I particularly enjoyed the time in Saint Petersburg ; the the extended tour of The Hermitage should be the included tourThe least enjoyable part was the time spent in Mandrogy. The service onboard was exceptional in all ways and i definitely would book to do another tour with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
While we have done several ocean cruises this was our first river cruise and our first experience with Viking. We were on board the Viking Truvor. Viking downplays the ships they use in Russia in comparison to their European cruises. ... Read More
While we have done several ocean cruises this was our first river cruise and our first experience with Viking. We were on board the Viking Truvor. Viking downplays the ships they use in Russia in comparison to their European cruises. After spending 14 days on the ship we do not understand why they do this. While maybe not as modern as some more recent additions to the fleet, Truvor was immaculate, superbly maintained, very comfortable and had an outstanding crew. We had a veranda cabin on deck 4. Cabin was well laid out and very usable. Everything worked the way it is supposed to. Our cabin attendant kept the cabin immaculate. Food is of course subjective. We mostly did the continental breakfast in the Panorama Lounge looking out over the bow of the ship. Good light breakfast selection which was what we were looking for. Two very nice Russian young ladies took good care of us. We also did lunch here most days. Dinners in the main dining room, which is large enough to seat all passengers were mostly very good, a few were excellent and a couple were just OK. Overall the food was better than what we had on our last ocean cruise with Celebrity. Many Russian specialties were offered, including a theme dinner and a buffet on the sun deck one afternoon while we were on the waterways. These were all really good and well worth trying. The chef was very visible and friendly. The maître d – Roland was far and away the best maître d we have every encountered. He actually worked the dining room helping the staff and chatting with guests. Overall we would rate the food as very good and have no complaints. A general note on the staff. Everyone on the ship from the folks maintaining our rooms, the 3 on board Tour Directors, the Hotel Manager, and the Filipino and Russian staff in the dining room and lounges was superb. Friendly, knowledgeable, and a pleasure to travel with. The presentations from the on board Tour Directors covering Russian history up to today were very well done and informative even for someone who is a Russian history buff. Tours from the ship were all very interesting and worthwhile. Local guides spoke excellent English and were very knowledgeable. Viking offers a number of optional for a fee tours on this voyage and we took advantage of many since this was a one time trip for us. Moscow was fascinating particularly traveling on their subway and we especially enjoyed the evening folk instrument concert. The stops at the smaller towns on the way to St Petersburg were all very different and informative. We found the home visit and the wood stave churches on Kizhi Island to be the outstanding highlights – but all stops were very good. St Petersburg is totally different from Moscow. Seeing the Peterhof, the Peter and Paul Fortress and Catherine’s Palace and attending a ballet performance were highlights. Overall this trip rates way up there with our favorites and we would highly recommend for anyone interested in the history, culture and sights of Russia. Traveling with Viking on this trip was a real pleasure. A few things to be aware of: The Moscow airport (DME) is at least a two and a half hour and up to a four hour drive from the ship. Moscow traffic is incredible (fifth worst in the world) so it takes up to 1.5 hours to go from the ship to the center of Moscow and back. Some days we made this trip 3 times which is a lot of wasted time. Viking should consider options for folks to stay in Moscow for lunch rather than always going back to the ship. While we expected it in St Petersburg, the large amount of tourist activity in Moscow was a surprise to us. The Peterhof and Catherine’s Palace in St Petersburg are must do activities. We were disappointed by the tour of the Hermitage, very crowded and very rushed. Do not assume that in Moscow and St Petersburg that the “in depth” walking tours cover the same highlights as the bus based tours. In St Petersburg we had signed up for the walking tour not realizing that it did not go to the Peter and Paul Fortress which we wanted to see. Easy enough to swap but we would not have known this if we had not asked one of the local guides. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
As children, we hid under our desks at school because "the Russians were coming." We saw Khrushchev bang his shoe at the UN. We felt the chill of the Cold War. Viking guided us to a new reality. Friendship instead of ... Read More
As children, we hid under our desks at school because "the Russians were coming." We saw Khrushchev bang his shoe at the UN. We felt the chill of the Cold War. Viking guided us to a new reality. Friendship instead of enemies. Trust instead of fear. Beauty instead of ugliness. Viking's well planned submersion into everyday Russian life made our world a lot smaller. We loved every moment. Seeing the beauty of architecture and landscape. Exploring museums, churches and government buildings. Eating a home prepared meal with a salt-of-the-earth Russian couple who toured us around their backyard garden and proudly showed us chickens, rabbits and bee house. Ingvar sparkled with amenities, cleanliness and doting staff. Cuisine was a bountiful treat served with flair. Educational and entertainment programs maxed out shipboard enjoyment. Daily itinerary info sheets whetted our excitement for shore tours. Wonderful memories will last a lifetime. Thank you, Viking! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was my first Viking river cruise and it did not disappoint in any way. Russia was nothing like we expected. It was warm and friendly, with culture coming from all sides. The architecture and places we were escorted to. The food ... Read More
This was my first Viking river cruise and it did not disappoint in any way. Russia was nothing like we expected. It was warm and friendly, with culture coming from all sides. The architecture and places we were escorted to. The food on the ship along with the whole layout of the dining arrangements. The knowledgable guides who not only escorted us and had an incredible knowledge of all aspects of Russia but gave lectures (talks) on the history of Russia. The entertainment delivered on the ship by the most experienced and caring hotel staff. The cleanliness and the care of the cabin by the cleaning staff was brilliant. All of the above plus more made this holiday one of the best we have taken. I could not recommend it highly enough. Although this holiday was not cheap, it was worth every penny we spent. Saw some amazing places and met some lovely people from all over the world. Will definitely be going on another Viking cruise soon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We chose Viking to be sure the ship would be nice. The ship was in good condition and met and exceeded our expectations. Going to Russia can be daunting. Once we got past the hassle and expense of the Visa, everything was fine. Customs ... Read More
We chose Viking to be sure the ship would be nice. The ship was in good condition and met and exceeded our expectations. Going to Russia can be daunting. Once we got past the hassle and expense of the Visa, everything was fine. Customs was very easing coming and going. Viking sends one of their excellent shipboard guides to meet the group and that went very well. We were greeted with champagne and a great buffet dinner. This cruise was well planned. The shipboard guides and local guides were informative, likeable, and very well educated about Russia and life in general. They gave afternoon cultural talks which were like the lectures from your best and most interesting college professors. We went into Moscow on our own one day and did the Kremlin Armory and Diamond Fund. Good choice and easy to do on the Metro. This was the only thing we did on our own. We do not take canned tours but all of these were excellent and even better than going on our own. We paid dearly for the Private/Early tour of the Hermitage. Money well spent. We were the first in every room thanks to our wonderful Viking guide, Natasha...magical. Snow our first day but just enough to be fun. So much happened. To mention a few highlights: Waltzing in the Governor's Palace, Ballet in the Imperial Hermitage Theater, Sunset at the Catherine Palace, Strolling village streets. Great food and fun fellow passengers. And meeting so many friendly, hardworking Russians. One of our best trips. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was the absolute best way to get a taste of Russian metropolitan and village life! Viking's shore excursions were perfectly tailored to provide that broad overview of life in Russia. This was our third Viking River Cruise. We ... Read More
This was the absolute best way to get a taste of Russian metropolitan and village life! Viking's shore excursions were perfectly tailored to provide that broad overview of life in Russia. This was our third Viking River Cruise. We love the way Viking provides such a worry-free venue. You know you will be well cared for from the time they pick you up at the airport to the last drop off for your trip back home. The crew, the boat, the food, the activities were all exemplary. I think the activity passengers really appreciated most was the open and honest way the Russian staff addresses modern life in Russia. Those talks were well attended and refreshingly open. We specifically chose to cruise in October because we were hoping to catch the fall colors along the Volga River. We were not disappointed! The river was lined with a wall of gold Birch trees along the length of the cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
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