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144 Viking River Moscow Cruise Reviews

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
My Husbands wish was to go to Russia. He loved every minute of the cruise, I was not as thrilled. Service was wonderful, our room was fine and the balcony was excellent. The food was very good. The amenities on the ship were fine. ... Read More
My Husbands wish was to go to Russia. He loved every minute of the cruise, I was not as thrilled. Service was wonderful, our room was fine and the balcony was excellent. The food was very good. The amenities on the ship were fine. The last two days on the ship we were in St. Petersburg, and the disappointing aspect was that I could no longer enjoy the views from my balcony because a ship had docked next to us! This was for TWO days!!!!!! Very disappointing. Tours were fine, people were fantastic. Our trip was not discounted in any way (check what we paid), but the flights over and back were horrible. My husband and I travel often to Europe and the Islands, and would never take another cruise if I could not upgrade my air travel. It was deplorable. We always travel Business Class on vacation, and were told it was not an OPTION!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
the cruise was excellent . one of our friends went on a viking cruise and raved about so much we had to try one ourselves. it was so relaxing . we traveled on rivers. and the locks were amazing how they operated. we wer abo to go to many ... Read More
the cruise was excellent . one of our friends went on a viking cruise and raved about so much we had to try one ourselves. it was so relaxing . we traveled on rivers. and the locks were amazing how they operated. we wer abo to go to many places that we would not ordinarily see. Uglich, Kizhi Onega Lake, Mandrogy, And Moscow and St. Petersburg were fantastic. . Experiencing local culture , visiting local familes and toasting with vodka. about 8 times. Visiting a banya, Palaces, . My wife an I even visited the Mikhailovsky Ballet. The food was excellent, the service stupendous, and the guides are second to none. All of the tours were famtastic. , and we had plenty of time to traavel to all the places suggested by the guides. Alot of walking involved. But man was that great to walk in the city of Moscow and St. Petersburg.. so much fun and so much history. G R E A T> Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We are seasoned travelers and have been all over the world on land, sea and river tours. Without a doubt, the Russian River Tour was at the top of our experiences. The activities, tours, guides and lectures were excellent. The guides and ... Read More
We are seasoned travelers and have been all over the world on land, sea and river tours. Without a doubt, the Russian River Tour was at the top of our experiences. The activities, tours, guides and lectures were excellent. The guides and lecturers were very well informed and answered all our questions, openly. Everything was very organized from airport greeting to airport farewell. Our suite on the Truvor was roomy and well appointed. We loved the towel elephant our room attendant made. We especially loved the twin sinks in the bathroom. Unfortunately, we felt that the food was not excellent. We were served lamb and poultry that was severely under cooked. For the most part the food was good. We enjoyed the Swan Lake ballet, folk dancing and folk instrument concert. Our flights to and from our destination were very good. We highly recommend this tour. The service on board was excellent. Our room was quickly made up each morning and the evening "turn down" was great. The ship had an elevator but it was at the back of the ship near the dining room. Anyone with a mobility problem would have difficulty with the steep stairs. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our second Viking river cruise. We did the Danube river a year ago. The Moscow to St. Petersburg was absolutely wonderful. The country was beautiful, the Russian people were wonderful, and the excursions well done. The ... Read More
This was our second Viking river cruise. We did the Danube river a year ago. The Moscow to St. Petersburg was absolutely wonderful. The country was beautiful, the Russian people were wonderful, and the excursions well done. The service crew was fantastic and the service was exceptional, mostly Russian and Filipino and very friendly. The food was truly outstanding in every respect. There were two other couples with us and they agreed too that the cruise was exceptional. One of the men is a frequent world traveler and he said that it was the best trip of all that he has made over the years. Evelyn the hotel director was exceptional and truly went out of her way to make sure that all of the guests were satisfied. My wife and I truly had no complaints about the trip. Russia was the last place that my wife wanted to go in the world but she turned around 180 degrees very quickly. Our perception of Russia really has changed a lot. We found the people to be delightful, friendly, and they love Americans. They are very proud of their country and its culture and history. You should not miss the Russia river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Great trip - great crew but staying so far out of Moscow and St. Petersburg made for a six nights of 'parking' out of town. Did not get a chance to experience two fabulous cities outside of guided tours. No information was ... Read More
Great trip - great crew but staying so far out of Moscow and St. Petersburg made for a six nights of 'parking' out of town. Did not get a chance to experience two fabulous cities outside of guided tours. No information was volunteered about the subway. Would have taken it the first day, if we knew we were across the park from it. Tried the bus - too long - two hours each way - same for cabs. Going to dinner required a 6 hour trip with 80% of it in a vehicle. No maps of the area where the boat was moored to run/jog - nothing on board to use to exercise. An expensive trip $20,000 to sit on a boat with a few great tours. Money would have been better spent on hotels and a boat trip in the middle. Should be patterned after Viking's China cruise. Stay downtown Moscow for three days - then board the boat. Do the Volga River and upon arriving in St. Petersberg - debark for three or four nights in hotels in St. Petersberg and Peterof. Would not recommend for folks with a high activity level, best for those more sedentary. Food was excellent with Russian food choices at every meal. Advice - prepare a separate brochure for those wishing to walk alone, that is to say - avoid the "walking" tours where you take 100 steps and have to wait for half the folks to catch up. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Everything about our Russian River Cruise was beyond enjoyable. The ship, Viking Truvor, was lovely and immaculate, the staff friendly, accommodating, personable, and so efficient. Our cabin was designed well and we had room to spare when ... Read More
Everything about our Russian River Cruise was beyond enjoyable. The ship, Viking Truvor, was lovely and immaculate, the staff friendly, accommodating, personable, and so efficient. Our cabin was designed well and we had room to spare when all our things were put away. The bed and pillows were so, so comfortable that we slept like babies every night. We've traveled a lot internationally and thought we couldn't be "surprised" by things we'd see in Russia. We knew things would be impressive, but there are no words to explain the degree of beauty in the palaces, churches, and museums. It just took our breath away. Viking arranged wonderful tours and provided very interesting on-boat presentations. We came home with our heads spinning from how lovely are Moscow and St. Petersburg. And I can't forget to praise the leisurely cruise between the two cities on the Volga and the interesting stops along the way. All in all, we would rate this river cruise as one of our most wonderful vacations, and we will certainly be traveling again with Viking! We have NO complaints. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We had previously taken a Viking cruise on the Danube from Budapest to Passua. It was such an enjoyable experience we decided to again take a trip to another part of the world that we would not comfortably travel to . We wished to see ... Read More
We had previously taken a Viking cruise on the Danube from Budapest to Passua. It was such an enjoyable experience we decided to again take a trip to another part of the world that we would not comfortably travel to . We wished to see Russian art museums, ballet, palaces, and churches. Highlights of the trip were the Hermitage Museum and attending ballet performances in St. Petersburg . Viking staff gave us presentations on the political history of the country to help us understand the current day Russia. I would not have traveled there on my own as it would have difficult to navigate the city and get around. We spent extra time in St. Petersburg with other couples and were able to walk everywhere on foot from our hotel as it was centrally located. It was such a privilege to see the Russian icon art work and the orthodox churches all of which are breathtaking. It was a once in a lifetime experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The Viking Ingvar has simple modern design, ample public spaces, excellent food, and a caring, competent staff. Cabins were, as expected, small but very well designed and the veranda cabin is worth the added cost. The ports were all ... Read More
The Viking Ingvar has simple modern design, ample public spaces, excellent food, and a caring, competent staff. Cabins were, as expected, small but very well designed and the veranda cabin is worth the added cost. The ports were all interesting, and the onboard guides were knowledgable and personable. The tours in the two large cities (Moscow and St Petersburg), however, tended to involve long bus rides from the ship to the tour sites, followed by fast-paced walking, sometimes over uneven ground. In two river locations, a "leisure" option was offered and much enjoyed by those who chose it. Too bad there were no leisure options in the cities. Also, the scheduling of tours was very tight, with barely time for lunch or dinner between tours. On one occasion, the evening tour (a ballet) returned to the ship after 11:00 pm and the tour the next morning departed at 7:45 am. I found the pace in the cities to be extremely tiring. The three full days on our own in St. Petersburg after the cruise (not a Viking extension) were so much more pleasant. We made all of our own flight arrangements and were very glad we had, especially after listening to other passengers whose Viking flight schedules were highly inconvenient (for example, arriving after dinner the first night or having to leave the ship at 2:00 am for return flights). Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
From the moment we stepped aboard the Viking Ingvar we felt at home. We were made to feel a welcome friend and nothing was too much trouble for the crew at whatever level from tour director to waiting or cabin staff. The food and service ... Read More
From the moment we stepped aboard the Viking Ingvar we felt at home. We were made to feel a welcome friend and nothing was too much trouble for the crew at whatever level from tour director to waiting or cabin staff. The food and service was excellent. Our stateroom was clean and comfortable, smallish but perfectly formed as a base. You do not spend much time there except to sleep! The talks were very informative and formed a crucial background to our excursions. The entertainment on board was good. The excursions, included and optional suited all needs. They were made even better by the guides who travelled with us and by the knowledgeable local guides. The visits to a Russian home was a very different experience to the normal coach tour around the sights! Between my husband and I we took well over 1 000 photos of wonderful buildings - palaces, churches, etc, both interior and exterior. This trip will stay with us for many, many years as a truly wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This review is about our river cruise in Russia aboard the Viking Akun. If you've ever thought about going to Russia--or even if like us, you hadn't, we want to encourage you to go now. Russia proved to be so much more and so ... Read More
This review is about our river cruise in Russia aboard the Viking Akun. If you've ever thought about going to Russia--or even if like us, you hadn't, we want to encourage you to go now. Russia proved to be so much more and so different from what we thought, and the cruise was an ideal way to see and learn about Russia. We cruised on the Viking Akun (which isn't listed as a choice here), and everything about the trip was way beyond our expectations. We decided to go when one of those Viking brochures arrived, offering us too good a deal to pass up. Knowing what we know now, we'd go even without a good deal. We spent three days in Moscow, two seeing the city by foot or bus with Viking tours and one with a private tour we had arranged with TJ Tours (more about that great company below). Moscow was an eye opener. It was beautiful, clean, safe, and so much different from what we had expected. We thought it surpassed St. Petersburg. The Russians have done a remarkable job since the fall of Communism. Everyone on the cruise was amazed by what we saw and learned and kept saying, "This is so different from what I expected!" In Moscow we attended a concert of traditional Russian folk instruments that just blew us away. The next 5 days, we cruised and visited places we’d never heard of. First, in a village called Uglich, we had a brief vocal concert (excellent voices) and visited in the homes of locals. We were divided into groups of about 14-16 to visit a local home. There the host or hostess served us typical Russian moonshine with pickles and rye bread and later served tea and cake. Each one described his/her life and showed off the garden. Wow! We had felt uncomfortable about visiting in a home, but it proved to be one the trip's highlights. Next, a small city, Yaroslavl, where we saw an example of a formal ball and heard another brief vocal concert in the formal governor’s mansion. We also visited a school and learned lots about the Russian system, part from a ninth-grader (who had been studying English since the fifth grade and had just picked up her 14 textbooks for the coming school year). Some of the students did a traditional performance and showed off their crafts. The next day, we toured the Kirillo-Bolozersky Monastery, founded in 1397 and still functioning. It happened to be a special feast day, so we got to see the priests and congregates leaving the church service in a formal procession. Another day we visited a UNESCO heritage site, Kizhi, with a collection of Russian wooden buildings. These gave us a sense of how Russians lived and what they produced centuries ago. The enormous wooden cathedral (still under reconstruction) was especially impressive. The final stop before St. Petersburg was Mandrogy, a recently developed site for Russian artisans and the best place to buy real Russian crafts and watch the craftsmen make them. (Souvenirs in the cities are much more expensive and often are made in China.) St. Petersburg was our last stop. There we also had three days, with excellent walking and bus tours. Like friends who had visited from sea-going cruise ships, we thought it was beautiful, safe, and fascinating. We spent one day by ourselves, just sightseeing and shopping. But we were even more impressed with Moscow. Viking arranged our air transportation (with Delta partners KLM, Aeroflot, Rossiya, and Air France). The flights with KLM and, especially Air France, were more pleasant than can be expected these days. The food on Air France was especially good and very plentiful. Flying Aeroflot and Rossiya was typical of flying feeder airlines. Our layovers were just long enough. The Viking representative was waiting for us when we got through baggage claim and took us directly to the Akun. The ship is sparkling clean and very attractive. It was renovated in in 2013. Our room was small but plenty roomy for the two of us. Suitcases fit under the beds, the closets held what we'd brought, etc. And there was an American style plug at the vanity so we could charge all our devices easily. The staff and tour guides were excellent. They made us feel that they cared about us and about our seeing Russia. On board were three tour guides who led a number of the tours and provided daily lectures. They were great. In most ports, there were also good local tour guides. The food was good and plentiful. Of course, there weren't as many offerings on each menu as on a ship with 3,000 passengers, but there was always enough to choose from. We enjoyed the open seating which gave us a chance to meet and eat with a variety of different passengers. One day lunch was a buffet of traditional Russian dishes, served on the open-air upper deck. At some other meals, we had Russian dishes, but never too much that was unfamiliar. Breakfast was served in the dining room, and continental breakfast was also available in the bar upstairs, which offered a wonderful view of the river. Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate were available all day, with cookies and pastries available for snacks. White and red wines flowed freely at meals along with tea, coffee, and soft drinks. (I'm almost certain the coffee is instant, so serious coffee drinkers may want to bring their own coffee and French press coffee maker. Decaf. coffee was available only at meal times or in the bar. I bought a jar of instant in Moscow and was perfectly happy making it with the hot water provided for tea.) There were plenty on-board activities during the sailing times—Russian teas three afternoons, sailaways when we left several ports, evening dancing and a singing duo, a cooking demonstration, and two Russian language lessons, for example. The best part for us was the daily presentations about Russian history. Each presentation was clear and thorough. We liked them so much that we watched each one twice. (All presentations were given in the lounge area and were also carried live on in-room tv) Lots of our fellow passengers really enjoyed the optional vodka tasting event, featuring at least seven different types of vodka. Everyone seemed to enjoy sitting on their private balconies. We aren’t exaggerating when we say that the only negative about the whole trip was one optional event, a Cossack Folk Songs and Dances show. Don’t waste your time or money on it. Now about TJ Travel. We chose them for a tour of Moscow based on the positive reviews we’d seen. And like almost everything on this trip, they surpassed our expectations. They tailored our tour to our interests and even took us to a supermarket because we needed a couple items. Tatiana, the owner, was our driver and amazed us with her skill in some very confusing and congested traffic. Irene, our guide, was also superb. The first thing she showed us was worth the price of the whole day, a temporary collection of jeweled Russian icons. (BTW, we took a private tour because that’s what we’ve always done when cruising on ocean cruises; the ships’ tours always seem over priced and too crowded. The Viking tours were so good that we didn’t really need a private tour to learn about Moscow, but we are glad we chose the tour and TJ Travel.) We hope this review will encourage people to visit Russia. There are Viking tours available Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We had a WONDERFUL time on Viking. We had gone on Viking 10 years ago from Amsterdam to Budapest and we thought it was good, but this time it was terrific. Our room was perfect, the food was quite good and the staff were so helpful and ... Read More
We had a WONDERFUL time on Viking. We had gone on Viking 10 years ago from Amsterdam to Budapest and we thought it was good, but this time it was terrific. Our room was perfect, the food was quite good and the staff were so helpful and professional. The itinerary was interesting and I was quite pleased to see Moscow for the first time. It was much prettier than I expected and the people were very friendly. Luckily our weather was great and the interpreters were amazing and knowledgeable. The tours were very good but the traffic in the regions was quite bad. It took a long time to get back to the ship. The busses were comfortable. The ship was very clean. I did find the crew was not as friendly as the rest of the staff. The service was great. The American program director (OMG I forgot his name) was a nice touch and very helpful. So, go Viking! You did a great job and we enjoyed it very much!! We celebrated our 58th wedding anniversary aboard. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This is my 5th Viking cruise and I must say that it was the best in every aspect. the service was unbelievable with a marvelous group of very friendly and helpful employees. Wilhem, the hotel manager, was a marvelous host at all times. ... Read More
This is my 5th Viking cruise and I must say that it was the best in every aspect. the service was unbelievable with a marvelous group of very friendly and helpful employees. Wilhem, the hotel manager, was a marvelous host at all times. He gave each and everyone of us personal service and attention throughout the journey. The tours were all very good with excellent guides everywhere we went. The food was outstanding also. The entertainment was quite good in the sky lounge. I consider the best of all of the shows was the folklore show in Moscow. Fantastic. The worst was the Cosaks dancers and singers in St. Petersburg. The set up of the stage and seating was terrible. The color, décor and sound was dreadful. I hate to say this, but I don't think that this event room was not a good idea. My suggestion to Viking is that the ship should be docked closer to town. It was a long trip everytime we went to town on tour because of the heavy traffic and we were advised by the locals not to go out at night in that area of town. There is no where to walk around or eat nearby. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our 3rd Viking cruise and proved to be even better than we expected. The vessel was not quite up to the "Longships" standards, but was quite good. There is only so much you can do with old KGB boats and Viking has done ... Read More
This was our 3rd Viking cruise and proved to be even better than we expected. The vessel was not quite up to the "Longships" standards, but was quite good. There is only so much you can do with old KGB boats and Viking has done everything possible. The staff and service were both excellent; the dining experience quite good. Rommel Jamaquio, our waiter was extraordinary! The enrichment programs and shore excursions were excellent, using well qualified local guides, as has always been our experience with Viking. The Cossack dance program was incredible. The on-board entertainment was probably OK, but we were too busy to notice. The schedule was much busier than on our previous Viking cruises, simply because there is so much to see. Even the short visits to the smaller towns were well planned and very pleasant. We tried to do "everything" and would do everything again if we had the chance. As always, Viking was attentive to every detail. Wilhelm Steinbrunner, the Hotel Manager, could not have been more helpful. All in all, great cruise that gives one a very different view of Russia! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We were first-time river cruisers and had such a good time that we already have booked another one. We like the more intimate feeling of a longship, especially the open seating at meals. Informative lectures helped us understand more about ... Read More
We were first-time river cruisers and had such a good time that we already have booked another one. We like the more intimate feeling of a longship, especially the open seating at meals. Informative lectures helped us understand more about Russia, and the articles in the daily paper let us know more about the things we were seeing. The tour leaders are exceptionally trained and were able to answer any question from the group. Viking is well organized for on- and off-boat routines, tour bus numbers and groups, and keeping things moving. Do pay attention to the codes for levels of walking in the itinerary if you have any problems (knees, hips), and ask the tour director or guide before setting off about the distances and restroom availability (one on our bus was on water pills). Staff hands out bottles of water every time you leave the boat for a tour. Excellent! Do not miss the home visit in Uglich; it was the best stop on the trip. Wonderful homemade vodka, brown bread and dill pickles, followed by apple cake and tea, then a visit to their backyard to see a huge garden with nary a weed in it. The food was exceptional with many choices at every meal. Big buffet for breakfast with hot and cold choices. Buffet including salads, and a printed menu for lunch. Printed menu with many choices for dinner. Most nights there was a Russian specialty among the dinner choices. Also, we enjoyed the Russian dumpling class and the tea session with a samovar and platefuls of pastries. My husband liked the trip as the dress is casual. No suit, no tie. Yes, some people had a jacket for the welcome and farewell dinners, but most men were in khakis or slacks with a collared shirt or sweater. Women wore pantsuits, skirts, a few sparkly blouses, but no cocktail or formal dresses. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was our second experience on a Viking River Cruise and once again, I am happy to report, the experience exceeded our expectations. Our timing may have been a little late in that the weather was less than favorable, but we were ... Read More
This was our second experience on a Viking River Cruise and once again, I am happy to report, the experience exceeded our expectations. Our timing may have been a little late in that the weather was less than favorable, but we were prepared for that eventuality., Our first impression of our ship, The Ingvar, was it appeared a tad tired. We understood that this was its final cruise of the season and attributed those minor imperfections to the conclusion of a busy season. Our cabin was adequate, but if I were king I would make the balcony smaller or even eliminate it in favor of a more spacious cabin. The fact that the sliding glass door opens would be ample for me. That again is just a personal observation The food was excellent if anything there may have been too much of it. On some days we barely finished breakfast and lunch was about to be served. The lunches could be lighter, but no one was forces us to eat. I thought our cruse director, Alina, was an empty uniform. Perhaps I do not have a complete understanding of her duties, but compared with the cruise director we had on an Avalon Trip from Basel to Amsterdam (we could not get on Viking). there was no comparison. We had a man named Dragan who was omnipresent and far more involved with the passengers. He personally led many of the tours and was a veritable mountain of information. On the tour of the bridge the Captain was nowhere in sight, and delegated that duty to the first mate. There may have been a reason for this, but it was not explained to the guests.. Our cabin was always cleaned nicely and the wait staff was courteous, cooperative, cheerful and attentive. In particular Rica and Antonio stood out as superior employees. After experiencing the trip I understand why so much time is spent in Moscow and St. Petersburg. There is simply little of interest between the two cities. Viking did an excellent job in adjusting to the low water situation by arranging to bus us to Yaroslavl. I was unimpressed with Mandrogy which came off as little more than a tourist trap selling authentic Russian Rubbish. Kizhi as an opportunity to walk in the fresh air. The visits to the school and the home also seem contrived. Some folks seemed to enjoy them and I may be a bit cynical, but they did little for me. The piano player and the singer became a little tedious by the 5th day. It would seem to me that an organized sing along or even an impromptu amateur hour have added some variety or spontaneous guest involvement. In summary, while I have offered some critical observations, I remain very pleased with our experience and have become an unpaid sales person for Viking by encouraging others to enjoy river travel. The fact that you only unpack and repack once is marvelous. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being perfect, I would rate our trip a 9.5. . Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg provided the opportunity to see urban Russia in the post-Soviet era. It also allowed a glimpse of the lives of the residents of the rural areas along the waterways. The best part was a chance to ... Read More
This cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg provided the opportunity to see urban Russia in the post-Soviet era. It also allowed a glimpse of the lives of the residents of the rural areas along the waterways. The best part was a chance to peer into the past and imagine the lives of the czars - their palaces, their art collections and their obscene wealth. The ship is not up to the standards of the new longships now in use elsewhere in Europe. Cabins are tiny and difficult for two people to share. The bathroom is ridiculous! Food is adequate, but nothing special. Perhaps provisioning is Russia is difficult. Service in the diningrooms was spotty. Some servers seemed much better than others. Many on the buffet line spoke little English. The simple query, "what's in this salad?" is met with a blank stare. Was it tuna? Perhaps it was chicken? Then again, it could have been chopped apple. If you have food allergies, that could be an issue. On several occasions, we watched servers reset vacated dinner table for the next monrning's breakfast by simply covering the food stains on the tablecloths with the colored runners used at the morning meal. Would you like to dine at a table with the remnants of others' meals right in front of you? I wouldn't take this cruise again, but I'll remember it for a long time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We took the Waterway of the Tsars cruise on the Viking Ingvar in October of 2014. We were met at the airport by Viking staff and very efficiently whisked to a bus, but then it took 3 1/2 hours in horrible Moscow traffic to go the 15 miles ... Read More
We took the Waterway of the Tsars cruise on the Viking Ingvar in October of 2014. We were met at the airport by Viking staff and very efficiently whisked to a bus, but then it took 3 1/2 hours in horrible Moscow traffic to go the 15 miles to the boat. Once we got to the boat we found it immaculately clean and well-furnished. Both Moscow and St. Petersburg are beautiful cities. We enjoyed the tours of Red Square and the Kremlin. We took the Moscow by Night excursion, and the lights were lovely. However, when we returned to the boat, we had to descend two flights of unlighted steps to get down to the dock, which was very difficult for me as I was in a boot from a pre-cruise broken ankle. When I reported the problem to the front desk, I was met with complete disregard. The Hotel Manager and the Dining Room director were both very friendly and helpful. Our waiters were very good and the food was excellent. Our cabin was kept very clean as well. One negative was that nightly we had to complain that we could hear the music in the bar in our cabin, as could our co-travelers in the adjacent room. Strange, as we were 2 floors below the bar! Something needs to be done to correct this problem. We did not enjoy the small towns in between Moscow and St. Petersburg as much. In fact, one is just a cluster of wood buildings that were moved in as a shopping opportunity. As it was the last cruise of the season, some of them weren't even open. I would loved to have had more local talent onboard in the evenings, as we had on a previous Budapest to Bucharest cruise. We found the Russian people to be very unfriendly and solemn. Never once could I get a Russian to smile back at me. Sad... St. Petersburg was definitely the highlight. We talked our tour guide into letting us spend some time in the Church of the Spilled Blood, which was scheduled only as an outside visit. I would recommend that this be included as part of a standard tour, as it is the jewel of St. Petersburg. The day we visited the Catherine Palace it was cold and nasty, yet we were forced to walk around the grounds in 30 degree weather for 1 1/2 hours before we could get in for the tour. Maybe that's a good plan in August, but in late October, the plan should be changed in freezing weather. Finally, we were hit with a Lufthansa pilot's strike the day before we were to leave. Many passengers were told that morning that our tickets had been cancelled, and we would have to be rescheduled. That evening we were handed new tickets before bedtime. However. we were called at 3 a.m. and told that the second tickets had been cancelled! We were taken to the airport at 5 am. only to learn that they were not cancelled at all. We then had to wait at the very uncomfortable St. Petersburg for 9 1/2 hours until our flight departed. Obviously, there was some serious glitch in communication by Viking Travel that resulted in many people being quite inconvenienced. In all, this was our least favorite of the cruises we have taken with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
I was thoroughly impressed with Viking River Cruises, from the cleanliness and comfort of the stateroom (which we weren't in very often) to the on-board and local tour guides, to the food and service, and the overall value. I had a ... Read More
I was thoroughly impressed with Viking River Cruises, from the cleanliness and comfort of the stateroom (which we weren't in very often) to the on-board and local tour guides, to the food and service, and the overall value. I had a wonderful vacation and learned a lot. The weather was gorgeous throughout the trip, although since we traveled in October, it got a bit chillier than expected as we neared St. Petersburg. Viking was very attentive and provided detailed daily itineraries explaining in advance which tours were included or optional. All of the tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and enjoyable. Our favorite part of the trip was the home visit in Uglich-- connecting one-on-one with ordinary people like us. The only thing I can complain about is that we didn't receive many communications in advance of the trip, which would have been nice for first-time travelers (and had been mentioned, so we were expecting that), but it is easy enough to read up on the places you'll visit and make your own plans, I guess. I traveled with my mother, who used a walker. She found most of the tours to be physically challenging, and the gangway(?) from the ship to the pier in St. Petersburg was very steep and slippery. Otherwise the ship was great. Viking staff were very helpful, but it was still not very comfortable for her, and she declined to take part in some tours. Russia is not set up to accommodate disabled people; we didn't see anyone else with a walker the entire time we were there. There aren't curb cutouts in big cities, for example. So beware this fact if it applies to you or your traveling companions. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
It was fantastic on so many levels. It was more than I ever expected. The crew was so professional and personable. Loved the meals and the wine to go with. Loved the tour guides on the ship. They were very well informed on the history of ... Read More
It was fantastic on so many levels. It was more than I ever expected. The crew was so professional and personable. Loved the meals and the wine to go with. Loved the tour guides on the ship. They were very well informed on the history of the country as well as being fun and personable. Same with the Russians hired to do the tours. Loved the smaller amount of people that the Rurik ship could accommodate. I really do not think any other Viking cruise could top this one. Hopefully, I am wrong about this. Room was perfect. Always kept very clean.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
I really enjoyed the cruise because; It was small The food , service and ambiance was great The meals were excellent and I appreciated the the many choices and the portions were just right for me. The lectures were informative The ... Read More
I really enjoyed the cruise because; It was small The food , service and ambiance was great The meals were excellent and I appreciated the the many choices and the portions were just right for me. The lectures were informative The tours were good, however, it depended on the expertise and interest of the guides leading the tour. I would have liked to have had some input in what I wanted to see especially in the Hermitage and Armory. The rooms were very comfortable and I appreciated being able to watch lecures on the room TV.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We have been on 5 Viking cruises and this was the best. Liked the fact that we lived on the ship the whole time including the 3 days in Moscow and 2 days in St. Petersburg. The crew was excellent as was the food. The ports of call were ... Read More
We have been on 5 Viking cruises and this was the best. Liked the fact that we lived on the ship the whole time including the 3 days in Moscow and 2 days in St. Petersburg. The crew was excellent as was the food. The ports of call were very interesting and the included tours were great. As usual Viking did a great job in making sure that we enjoyed ourselves. From the time we left San Francisco until the time we got home our experience was outstanding except of course for the long, uncomfortable flights. That is not the fault of Viking. No airline flights are comfortable these days due to the lack of space and the less than adequate quality of food service. The visit to Moscow was remarkable in many ways. Commute Traffic was horrendous. The abundance of churches was amazing. The rapid transit, a lot of it underground, was excellent in spite of not being able to read Cryllic. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Our first and last River Cruise with this company, who we have found aggressive in their various commercial dealings with customers. The boat/ship is obviously rather old but has been refurbed, although there is not great sound insulation ... Read More
Our first and last River Cruise with this company, who we have found aggressive in their various commercial dealings with customers. The boat/ship is obviously rather old but has been refurbed, although there is not great sound insulation between cabins. We could even hear a TV blaring from across a corridor. The restaurant service is a bit hit and miss, and there efforts to provide a table service is pretty uneven. Often you will be at a table where you may have to wait for your main course whilst others have finished theirs as the galley is unable to cope with the demands put upon it, so it can be awkward. My wife has a allergy but despite notifying the Maitre D, he just said we should always try to sit on the same table that a waiter would get to know our requirements, but of course this was not always possible. The staff themselves were always courteous and work hard, but the system seems a bit shambolick at busy times. The tours were fine and well run, but if you do this cruise be prepared for some waiting in a bus in traffic jams in the major cities. Not a big problem , but a sad fact of life. To sum up, a curates egg of a cruise with a company whom I doubt will see my custom again Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
August last year, perhaps a little late in the season but our fault we chose it. The first couple of days are spent in Moscow, one of those places that not so many years ago was almost impossible to go to. We had a fantastic time, ably ... Read More
August last year, perhaps a little late in the season but our fault we chose it. The first couple of days are spent in Moscow, one of those places that not so many years ago was almost impossible to go to. We had a fantastic time, ably assisted by our very knowledgeable Russian Guide Victoria. She seemed to know everything and used her skills as a guide along with her amazing grasp of the English language and the English sense of humour. The cruise took in some wonderful palaces at which we stopped for a tour and some free time. Uglitch, Kizi Island and it amazing wooden church and several other places. Our destination was St Petersburg, without a doubt the Jewel in the Crown. So much to see and so little time as the saying goes. The Hermitage, Peterhoff Palace, the list could be endless but you must do your own homework. As I said at the beginning August is a little cold but snuggled under a warm (provided) blanket drinking coffee under the ever moving stars was just priceless, (oh and the Vodka Tasting evening is good fun as well). Go you will not regret it. The sail date may be slightly wrong, cant remember the exact date we sailed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Just returned from the trip that started in Moscow on August 24. About a week before leaving I finally read the reviews of this trip posted on this site and found them to be very mixed. Along with the political situation, some of the ... Read More
Just returned from the trip that started in Moscow on August 24. About a week before leaving I finally read the reviews of this trip posted on this site and found them to be very mixed. Along with the political situation, some of the reviews added to my doubts about whether this was the right trip to take. I have never posted a trip review before but wanted to address the concerns I read about, some of which I found to be accurate and others not of consequence. Some of them really depend on your expectations. Reading the reviews did help to properly set my expectations. Getting around Yes, the boat is docked quite a bit away from the center of both Moscow and St. Petersburg. In Moscow my husband studied the metro system (which is a sight in itself to tour!) and when we wanted to go somewhere during free time, we used the metro which was a 10-15 minute walk from the ship. It made me nervous at first but turned out to be quite safe and a pleasant way to get around. In St. Petersburg we never used the metro. Because of the timing of excursions and free time, on 2 out of the 3 days we chose to not return to the ship with the tour group but to stay in St. Petersburg after the Hermitage so we could visit the Faberge Museum and on the final day we took the hydrofoil from Peterhof back to St. Petersburg for more touring on our own. (Viking plans excursions so that you always return to the ship for lunch even if there are morning and afternoon tours. This does waste time.) The ship We have been on one other river cruise, not Viking, and that ship was newer and nicer. These ships were built in Russia and are rather old. Even with refurbishing they look a little run down in some of the common areas. But that was okay with me. Having read the reviews, my expectations were set. Our cabin was mid-ship, perfectly clean and beautiful, no special noise (yes you can hear some noise from adjacent cabins but the people travelling on this type of cruise are not really party people so no problem there). Twice a day the staff replaced towels, cleaned, everything sparkling. I cannot complain about the ship. Some said the bar areas were small and one was used for lectures and could not fit al the people. That is true, but they always gave 2 sets of the same lecture dividing the population so not a problem. Just once there was a welcome type of reception and the room was overflowing. The other river cruise I was on had a bigger bar/common area. But the Helgi had a number of smaller seating areas that were really a nice concept. You could go there and read, or sit with a small group of people. I liked these areas although they could use some sprucing up. Food Some people complained it was awful. I thought it was quite good. Someone complained that the wait staff were not properly trained. Maybe that was at the beginning of the season - don't remember the review. I found them to be quite good with a few exceptions here and there where it seemed my table was forgotten! Mostly though they were right there when you needed them, very pleasant and accommodating. Tours and tour guides Very good. The 3 tour guides were a wealth of information on all aspects of Russian life. They gave multiple lectures on Russian history. There was a final round table at which they answered questions. It was interesting to hear their opinions of Russian life. Some reviews said they could have done without the stops and tours between Moscow and St. Petersburg. This depends on what you are looking for. They do give a slightly different view of Russia but some were really just fill ins. There is a trade off between taking this river cruise and doing a land tour of Russia. On the river cruise you sacrifice more time touring areas that might be of more interest to you vs having some more relaxing time while the boat cruises (and this is the time when they had the lectures which I found very valuable). It really depends on what you are looking for. I looked at the itineraries for some land tours and other than St. Petersburg and Moscow which are always multiple day stops, they then visit other areas (Latvia, Estonia, etc) generally for one day at a time. So you are always packing up. Again, it is personal preference. Overall I am glad we did this trip. I learned a lot, saw some incredible sites, have lots of pictures, ate too much, enjoyed a mix of group and free time. This was my first Viking cruise and I think they did a very good job. Would I have preferred a land tour of this area? Will never know! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
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