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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I chose this cruise because I wanted to see Moscow and other cities in Russia that were visited on this cruise. I had already been to St. Petersburg but I new that it, too, must be different than when I visited in 2004. I didn't ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to see Moscow and other cities in Russia that were visited on this cruise. I had already been to St. Petersburg but I new that it, too, must be different than when I visited in 2004. I didn't know what to expect. I never expected some of the things I saw. Red Square at night was like a light show. The building were outlined with white lights, St. Basil's Cathedral was just magnificent with the spotlights on it. It is also beautiful in the daytime. I was surprised at the number of churches that I saw. I know that for many years that people could not worship openly. I never expected to see churches that were breathtakingly beautiful inside. Every inch was covered with gold, paintings. mosaics and more. Spectacular. This was the third Viking River cruise for me. I really didn't know what to expect on the first one but I learned quickly that the staff on Viking ships are friendly and helpful. They are respectful to the guests. The cabin was always made up when I returned from an excursion. Housekeeping was quick to send anything that I needed. The menu was varied each night. I especially liked the dishes that were native to the region where we were. The Russian menus were great. There were selections with which I was familiar because they were made in my family. It was fun to eat them on the ship. The service was excellent. I looked forward to the excursions every day because I didn't know what to expect. One excursion was to Khizi island where 60 people live. It was educational. We saw an church that was being restored. Everything was done with wood. The guides in Russia were well informed and answered any questions. I recommend the Russia cruise. You will know a lot more than before you visited. I am already scheduled for cruises 4 and 5 this year - Viking Ocean Cruise - Venice to Athens and Viking River Cruise - Portugal-The River of Gold. Can't wait. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We loved both Moscow and St. Petersburg and all the little stops along the cruise. Food was very good. We enjoyed the regional choices available. Waitstaff was top notch. Tour director did a great job. We enjoyed the Russian ... Read More
We loved both Moscow and St. Petersburg and all the little stops along the cruise. Food was very good. We enjoyed the regional choices available. Waitstaff was top notch. Tour director did a great job. We enjoyed the Russian language lessons and the games. We liked the history lectures. We enjoyed all of the tours. But it is tough when you have to choose between 2 at the same time. All of the tour guides did a great job. I did do one comment card about the Moscow subway for I felt that the directions should have been given above ground where you could hear. You could not hear on the whisperers down in the station and I felt that some of our group were very uncomfortable. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to go on the Moscow subway so please keep that in. We enjoyed the ballet in St. Petersburg but would have also liked to see the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. Loved the Cossack show. Enjoyed the vodka tasting. Thought that the meet your neighbor was a great idea--did not have that on a previous Viking Cruise. Loved the balloons when we left Moscow. It was a really great cruise and I have told many people about it. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We took this cruise as an anniversary present and it was the best thing we could have done. The entire cruise throughout Russia was beautiful and always exciting. The museums and the palaces were truly awe inspiring. The professionalism ... Read More
We took this cruise as an anniversary present and it was the best thing we could have done. The entire cruise throughout Russia was beautiful and always exciting. The museums and the palaces were truly awe inspiring. The professionalism of the Viking crew and guide specialists was without equal. All of the towns and cities we visited on shore excursions had their particular charm and interesting history. The Swan Lake opera, my first ever, was simply awesome. The Russian symphony was unbelievable. Don't miss it. As for the ship Helgi, it was a total positive experience. The cabin was comfortable ands provided all of the room we needed. The dining experience was exceptional each and every day. Wonderful, perfectly prepared food was served at each meal. Our servers, Nastia, Chazie, and Jill made certain we were happy. Visiting Moscow and St.Petersburg for 3 days each taught us much about the citizenry. Take the trip, you'll not regret it. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We have travelled to 40 countries on our own - walking, renting vehicles, taking trains, using local airlines - visiting the major sites as well as exploring places tourists normally choose not to see. But, felt a river cruise from Moscow ... Read More
We have travelled to 40 countries on our own - walking, renting vehicles, taking trains, using local airlines - visiting the major sites as well as exploring places tourists normally choose not to see. But, felt a river cruise from Moscow to Saint Petersburg best met our needs at this time. Partly because of the language barrier, partly because of the current world tensions, and partly because of security concerns. We learned the Russian alphabet and mastered a few key phrases (but English was spoken almost everywhere), international tensions were not an issue as the Russian Federation appears to use tourism as a major source of income, and Viking or local representatives were with us every day should some unforseen event occur (very helpful and conscientious) - no issues whatsoever. Representatives from Viking met us after we exited Moscow immigration and customs. They had lists of who was arriving on what airline, by time, and flight number. Our baggage was placed on carts and we did not see them until we entered our room on the ship. A bus was waiting for us a took us directly to the boat. During that transition time, the Viking representative explained the arrival process at the ship as well as pointed out several local sites. Checking into our room on the Akun was easy and uncomplicated. Very smooth and organized process from airport to room. Viking offered multiple included tours and additional paid tours options. Our days were full - often starting first thing and ending late at night. Consequently, we had not fully recovered from jet lag before beginning our scheduled tours. We highly recommend arriving one full day before your cruise to get acclimated. Several of our fellow trip goers, who have taken many river cruises, stated they always arrive a day or two early. Viking put them up at very nice hotels - even if they do not sign up for the extended before and after tour options (which we did not). The Viking Akun was ship worthy and functioned very well. We hardly knew we were on the water. No smell of exhaust fumes. The boat's floorplan was well designed and posted at several locations for ease of finding restaurants, bars, meeting places, library, business center, entertainment, gift shop, stairs, elevator, and front desk. Exits were marked and getting on and off the boat was easy. Our cabin was light, airy, and well maintained. The bed was comfortable and we slept well. More comments are in the Cabin Remarks section of this survey. Meals were excellent with samples of Russian cuisine as well as American favorites. Breakfast offered typical American buffet with eggs, bacon, sausage, cereal, rolls, juice, coffee, etc. as well as the more European Continental meal. Lunch and Supper were menu offerings. We ate our breakfast and lunch meals in the forward panoramic bar since we prefer Continental bills of fare. Breakfast in the restaurant was too plentiful and the bar at lunch offered at least two of the main menu lunch items. Evening meals were always in the restaurant and we tried all the Russian food offerings. As with any food in any country, much of it was very tasty and a couple items less palatable. One note, if you enjoy alcohol libations we highly recommend the "Silver Drinks Package". Our participation in on-board activities were limited as we signed up for multiple off-ship tours. We were too tired to partake in the evening games, dances, musicians, and singers events. Although we did hear from many guests who stated they had a great time at those activities. That being said, we participated in a few events: the Russian wine tasting, Vodka tasting, and lectures on Russian history, the Czars, the Soviet era, Perestroika and Glasnost, and the Russia government today. Those lectures opened the door to discuss, in more detail, Russia today with some of the local guides. As we learned Russian before our trip, we did not participate in the Russian language classes on the boat. Overall service was wonderful. The staff was friendly and were gracious hosts. Many were open to discussing where they were from, how they became Viking employees, what they did outside of tourism (expecially when the river froze and during off-season), and what was their original field of endeavor. Prices in the gift shop were modest, competitive, and not overly expensive as with most places of similar nature. We were not "gouged" because of our captive audience status. At only one restaurant meal was the service "off" as we seemed to have been ignored. We think that was because we may have inadvertantly offended or embarassed the server by pointing out to the Maître d' her excellent performance the previous night. There was no issue with ports of call. All, except one, were located in or within walking distance of the local community. Shore excursions were well orchestrated and informative. Local guides offered insights not provided by "company" tour guides. Often, we were allowed entry into the venue an hour before the general public. The only disappointing aspect were the hour-long bus rides, from the boat to the event, through city traffic in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. However, those were offset by the knowledgeable guides who passed the time pointing out additional key sites, talking Russian history, or answering tourists' questions. For specific events, we recommend the Russian Ballet and Cossac Dancers. Sites worth your time are: Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral, and the Kremlin in Moscow (and again at night); the Hermitage extended tour, the Winter Palace, and Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg. We took both local river cruises. Moscow at night was disppointing, but necessary to see Red Square lite up at night. For the adventurous, one could go there on their own. The daytime river cruise in St. Petersburg was shotened because of heavy rains which flooded the river and prevented the boat from passing under multiple bridges. So, we cannot offer a full opinion. The communities and sites along the rivers and lakes between Moscow and St. Petersburg are worth the trip, as well. Checking out of the Akun, paying our bill, and leaving Russia was as coordinated, orgainized and easy as arriving. Our luggage was handled by Viking until we got to the airport. The Viking representative expedited our processing through security and baggage screening. Having been through similar scrrenings in other countries, we are sure having a Viking person at security afforded less scrutiny that usual. We are definitely considering additional Viking River Cruises as well as Ocean Cruises which we have never before taken. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We've always wanted the adventure of traveling to Russia so when we saw this opportunity with Viking, we took it and we are so glad we did. Our experience from the first phone call to Viking to the end of the trip were outstanding. ... Read More
We've always wanted the adventure of traveling to Russia so when we saw this opportunity with Viking, we took it and we are so glad we did. Our experience from the first phone call to Viking to the end of the trip were outstanding. We have been on several River Cruises but this was our first Viking experience. Viking's staff and service beat our other experiences hands down. Every member of the Viking Team went over and above to delight us.First Jason, who we booked the tour with was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. The Air Plus team did a great job. There was a hurricane looming on the East Coast and the Air Plus team worked diligently to try to help us avoid any issues. THEN, we arrived in Russia and were welcomed right away by the Viking Team. They made us feel so welcome and comfortable. The service on board was amazing. The chef was outstanding, overseeing the preparation of delightful dishes from morning to night. They were able to accommodate special dietary needs with no problem. And RUSSIA! We were in awe of the beauty at every turn. There were so many wonderful sights. The ports and shore excursions were outstanding. Our experience with the people of Russia was so positive. We felt comfortable and welcome everywhere. The itinerary enabled us to start in Moscow and remain there for 3 days and end in St. Petersburg and remain there for several days. It was so nice to be able to stay in one place for the duration of our trip. We were so pleased with our Veranda cabin and the private balcony. We also were delighted that we could watch the port talks and history discussions from the comfort of our cabin. The entertainment and activities were fun and informative. Viking held a "meet and greet" hallway cocktail party to enable us to meet all the folks in the nearby cabins. That was FUN. This is a great trip and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants the adventure of a lifetime! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I wanted to see Russia and thought this would be a good way. I would definitely recommend the Viking cruise. The dock in St Petersburg is out in an industrial area so if you want to explore on your own you will need a taxi. I ... Read More
I wanted to see Russia and thought this would be a good way. I would definitely recommend the Viking cruise. The dock in St Petersburg is out in an industrial area so if you want to explore on your own you will need a taxi. I believe it is possible to take a city bus to the Metro station on the other side of the river. There is an ATM in a souvenir shop on the dock if you need Rubles. In Moscow the Metro station is closer to the dock if you want more free time in town. We were able to see a lot in St Petersburg and Moscow, but the river trip between them really gave me a change to see more of Russia. Unlike the western Europe trip there was more time spent on Russian History, the Russian language and showing us a Russian home, which I found interesting. I was surprised at how open and honest our guides were. They did a great job showing us their country. I returned with a better understanding of Russia and its people than I had before. I felt safe everywhere we went, and really enjoyed the trip. The ship and cabin were very nice but the ships on the Rhine had a better layout. The food was very well prepared and I really liked that a lot of the staff were Russian. On our Rhine cruise there was one management level person who was Austrian, the rest were from the Philippines. They were all competent on both trips, but it was great to interact with the people from the country you are visiting. One mistake we made was not taking the optional tour of the Hermitage. The museum was extremely crowded and difficult to see much. Skip one of the other optional tours in St Petersburg but take the optional Hermitage tour and also Peterhof Palace and garden. We had a great time in Russia. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Love river cruises. This was our 6th criuise and Russia was one of the top cruises we did. The visa application was a pain to apply for and get, but well worth the agrivation. The tours were great, the food, the staff, the room, the ... Read More
Love river cruises. This was our 6th criuise and Russia was one of the top cruises we did. The visa application was a pain to apply for and get, but well worth the agrivation. The tours were great, the food, the staff, the room, the entire boat. The entrainment on the boat was very poor. We were not into playing quizzes and the panic player and singer were so, so. We love the shore excursions but some of the guides were not capable of walking and talking at the same time. Some times looking at one thing for 15 minutes got a bit boring. The extra tours were a bit pricey, so we chose not to do any extras. The staff on the boat were extremely friendly and went out of their way to accommodate us. Would I highly recommend this cruise very much so, in fact I already have to several friends. Would I love to go back. Yes in a few years I would like to do it again. This should go on everyone’s bucket list. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
I always wanted to see russia....but the overseas issues made me a little queezy ....viking cruise people walked me through the entire process....no question was to silly. ...i received my visa and set my date! Our ship was the ... Read More
I always wanted to see russia....but the overseas issues made me a little queezy ....viking cruise people walked me through the entire process....no question was to silly. ...i received my visa and set my date! Our ship was the akun!...fabulous, clean cabin. large window for a wonderful view of the countryside and made our cabin so bright! the dining was 5 star every day. how they could make that many fabulous meals and get it perfect every day is beyond me! the activities and entertainment was first class. no request was too much for the crew to deal with. i was treated like a superstar! the itinerary was perfect! we saw all the sights, met the people, sampled the cuisine and absorbed every minute on and off the ship! russia is the most fascinating country. the people are so friendly and love sharing their culture. i'd go back in a heartbeat....but i want to see all the other spots viking has to offer. they take all the worry and 'fret' out of traveling. viking wrapes me in the finest silk and guides me through the joys of seeing new adventures. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My husband and I were interested in visiting Russia but were hesitant to do so without professional guidance. A friend, Jeanne Newman Glock, is very familiar with Viking and convinced us that we would not be disappointed in a Viking river ... Read More
My husband and I were interested in visiting Russia but were hesitant to do so without professional guidance. A friend, Jeanne Newman Glock, is very familiar with Viking and convinced us that we would not be disappointed in a Viking river cruise in Russia. She was absolutely correct! At her suggestion we read Catherine the Great and Nicholas and Alexandra by Massie before our departure so that St. Petersburg would be more meaningful. The tours that Viking arranged in St. Petersburg were excellent and the guides were very knowledgeable. Visiting the Hermitage, touring St. Petersburg's canals by boat, the Catherine Palace, and Peterhof Palace were highlights of our stay. There were other activities we elected not to do but the very fact that they were available speaks to the commitment Viking has to offer a variety of local things of interest. Once on the waterways there were opportunities to visit villages and world heritage sights as well as to relax in the comfort of our room or the public areas of the ship. Going through the first lock was a novel experience for many of the passengers and exclamations led to introductions and new acquaintances. Viking provided at no additional costs many other opportunities to "meet the neighbors", from a champagne get together outside of our cabins, to a toast from the captain to the guests, to a Taste of Russia lunch on the sun deck. Our last three days were in Moscow and the tours there were exceptional. Our favorited was Moscow by Night. I am sure that very few travelers have been fortunate enough to experience that incredible show of light on buildings, statues and water! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
I had always wanted to take a Viking Cruise and see Moscow and St. Petersburg. It met every expectation! Viking has a great itinerary - I signed up for just about everything!! Moscow and St. Petersburg are absolutely beautiful cities! ... Read More
I had always wanted to take a Viking Cruise and see Moscow and St. Petersburg. It met every expectation! Viking has a great itinerary - I signed up for just about everything!! Moscow and St. Petersburg are absolutely beautiful cities! All the palaces are beyond belief. The days that weren't so packed were a welcome relief to just relax on our veranda and enjoy the scenery and go through the locks. The Russian people were so friendly - don't be afraid to go - and don't stereotype them. The Visa application is worth it. The Viking staff were wonderful - the room was great - and the food was good. All of our transportation vehicles were clean and comfortable. Our most fun excursions were the home visits and the school visit that Viking arranges. My husband did the "banya" experience and had some great stories to tell when we got back. Kizhi Island is also very beautiful. Remember to do the vodka tasting on the ship :) Had the best time. Don't hesitate to go or let your friends try and talk you out of it. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We throughly enjoyed the cruise. It really showed us Russia. The excursions presented by Viking gave us a true feeling of the culture and people. It provided us with a new appreciation of Russia, her people and history. The food ... Read More
We throughly enjoyed the cruise. It really showed us Russia. The excursions presented by Viking gave us a true feeling of the culture and people. It provided us with a new appreciation of Russia, her people and history. The food was excellent. There was a great variety and the Russian cusine was very good. The soup with each dinner was the best. The ship and common areas were nicely decorated and kept clean and inviting.The cabin was a little small but about the same as on other ships. It was nicely decorated and the balcony was great. Everything was kept clean and neat. All of the crew were friendly and did their job well. I would definetly reccomend this cruise to anyone. However, I am not sure young children would enjoy it. Embarkation and Disembarkation were smooth. We took the 3 day extention to Helsinki and loved it. We can hardly wait to go on our next Viking Cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
My wife Vika is Russian. She has wanted me to see St Petersburg for our whole marriage. Finally we decided because Viking offered a river cruise that would let us see so many places including St Petersburg. We loved everything about ... Read More
My wife Vika is Russian. She has wanted me to see St Petersburg for our whole marriage. Finally we decided because Viking offered a river cruise that would let us see so many places including St Petersburg. We loved everything about our cruise! While Viking Helgi isn’t a new ship, they did a great job making everything nice. The crew was incredibly friendly and helpful. And our cabin was always very clean and fresh. The food was also very good. I especially liked that everything was included. From the wine at dinner to the excursions. One thing we especially liked was how being in a group we weren’t stuck in hour long lines to get entrance to our venues. We were really treated like VIP guests. Everywhere we went, Viking had things covered. We especially loved the balet and the music show with traditional Russian instruments. One highlight in both Moscow and St Petersburg were the boat rides by night through the canals and rivers of both cities. We would recommend the 2 day extension in St Petersburg to have time to explore and take in everything. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We wanted to see St. Petersburg, and this trip was over our anniversary. (July 6 - 18), The whole experience was amazing. Boat is small, but you can always find a nook to be alone or join a group. Food was excellent and NEVER ... Read More
We wanted to see St. Petersburg, and this trip was over our anniversary. (July 6 - 18), The whole experience was amazing. Boat is small, but you can always find a nook to be alone or join a group. Food was excellent and NEVER SUPERSIZED. Not much time for entertainment, but they make the most of it. The Vodka tasting is so much fun! Be ready to walk miles every day on all the tours, hosted by fantastic experts. Moscow and St. Petersburg are not the Russia we grew up hearing about. The countryside is beautiful, and the pace on the boat is just right. Not much internet or cell service, so it was pleasant not seeing everyone with a phone in their face. We met 2 wonderful couples and hung out together, as well as other couples at dinner (open seating, just join in). The crew was fabulous, the boat immaculate. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
With a career in retail management, I traveled all over the world: Europe, Asia, India, but I never experienced Russia. As Viking Cruise HQ is two blocks from my home, I wanted to experience a Viking River Cruise. So #1 on my bucket list ... Read More
With a career in retail management, I traveled all over the world: Europe, Asia, India, but I never experienced Russia. As Viking Cruise HQ is two blocks from my home, I wanted to experience a Viking River Cruise. So #1 on my bucket list was a Viking River Cruise of Russia. It did not disappoint. The trip was outstanding in all areas. The ship was beautiful. The rooms were so well designed that they comfortably held two weeks of clothing, accessories and toiletries. The time in port was ideal with three days in Moscow and St Petersburg at the beginning and end of the cruise. The days in between were spent sailing into small Russian Hamlets that were primarily a source of cruise souvenirs. My only recommendation is that Viking describes that day tours as strenuous; my husband and I needed to improve our physical stamina to better enjoy the daily outings. (The excursions in Moscow were too hard for us physically.) The special sights of Moscow's Red Square and the Kremlin were breathtaking, as was the Hermitage in St Petersburg, The evening entertainment of the Ballet and the Cossack Dancing were very enjoyable. The food service under Manager Damien was a delight. The special service by the two waiters Bim and Armando treated us like royalty. The meals were delicious and the menu varied enough for all tastes. Cruise Manager Daniel made sure every aspect of the trip was superior. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
#1 on my bucket list was visiting Russia. On July 3rd we embarked on the Viking Truvor from Moscow to St Petersburg. We spent three days in Moscow touring Red Square, the Kremlin, three ornate Russian Orthodox Cathedrals, and other ... Read More
#1 on my bucket list was visiting Russia. On July 3rd we embarked on the Viking Truvor from Moscow to St Petersburg. We spent three days in Moscow touring Red Square, the Kremlin, three ornate Russian Orthodox Cathedrals, and other sites. We then sailed for five days through hamlets in the Russian Countryside to reach St Petersburg. We spent four days in St Petersburg, a rich cosmopolitan city. St Petersburg was amazing with tours of the Pushkin Museum of Art, the Hermitage Museum, two famous Russian Orthodox Churches, the Ballet, Cossack Dancing and more. The trip was marvelous. The rooms were very comfortable, laid out to easily accommodate clothing and furnishings for 13 days. The food was excellent and the restaurant staff service was exceptionable. The tour guides were very knowledgeable. We will certainly take another Viking River Cruise!!! One word of advice: get in shape. The tours are physically demanding both in length, terrain and duration. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This cruise could not be better. We were impressed with the ads on PBS and YouTube videos and then we saw that they offered a Russian cruise which is one of my desired destinations. We expected a good cruise but this exceeded our ... Read More
This cruise could not be better. We were impressed with the ads on PBS and YouTube videos and then we saw that they offered a Russian cruise which is one of my desired destinations. We expected a good cruise but this exceeded our expectations in all ways. Everything was excellent: the service, the food, the tours, the accommodations, the on-board entertainment and lectures, the staff, and the cruise itself. Everything was perfectly organized from the time they met us at the airport to the time they assisted us at disembarkation. I can not praise the trip highly enough. The cruse was called "The Waterways of the Tzars" and the whole time we saw the beauty of the cities, villages and the magnificent waters and landscapes of Russia. Be prepared - you may have to change your view of Russia if you take this trip. I have to mention that the Russian people on and off the boat were wonderful to us. At my age, I am a little awkward going up and down stairs and the Russian citizens were always offering me help. My wife I boarded a conveyance and two young people immediately got up and gave us their seats. I found the Russian people sweet, kind, welcoming and very helpful. There is strong evidence of the artist and the craftsmen every where you look in the cities and the villages. I was completely surprised by Moscow that I expected to look stark but it was beautiful and very clean. I addition, Viking selected Lufthansa airline for our connections and I have never experienced a more comfortable flight. We were in coach but the flight had a first class feeling to us from the entertainment and excellent service complete with hot towels Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We wanted to do something different. All of our friends are going to Europe ie Italy, Greece Germany. We wanted to learn more about how the average Russian people live, eat & work. The guides were Russian and their English was ... Read More
We wanted to do something different. All of our friends are going to Europe ie Italy, Greece Germany. We wanted to learn more about how the average Russian people live, eat & work. The guides were Russian and their English was excellent. One of them described her family life as a child growing up in Russia. The meals were excellent and we got to taste many Russian meals. One day they set up stations which had various Russian dishes. The names of each dish was typed and labeled beside each dish. Our room was always clean and refreshed every day. We were celebrating our 50th Wedding Anniversary. Viking left us a bottle of champagne and a box of chocolates in our room wishing us a Happy Anniversary. We asked if it was possible to visit one of the oldest synagogues in Europe which was in St Petersburg. They happily set us up with a very knowledgeable guide and private tour of the synagogue to include transportation to and from the synagogue. All of the Viking personnel on board the ship treated us as though we were special guests. This made our trip special. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
I can't imagine a better way to experience Russia than on a Viking River Cruise. We visited the big cities as well as the smaller towns along the river, we welcomed into private homes, saw some of the most amazing architecture and ... Read More
I can't imagine a better way to experience Russia than on a Viking River Cruise. We visited the big cities as well as the smaller towns along the river, we welcomed into private homes, saw some of the most amazing architecture and learned so much from the knowledgeable tour guides. We are able to learn about the history, customs and culture of Russia every day, both on and off the ship. One of the best aspects of the river cruise is that you never have to change hotels. Once you unpack on day one you don't have to touch your suitcases again until it's time to go home. The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful, and loved the fact that they took the time to learn our names and understand our individual needs and preferences. The food is superb and the ship is extremely comfortable. We can't wait to take our next river cruise with Viking! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We were considering a Baltic Cruise, but decided we didn't want to miss out on seeing Moscow. We decided on Viking's Waterway of the Tsar's and were so glad we did. The entire trip was fabulous, from our first encounter at ... Read More
We were considering a Baltic Cruise, but decided we didn't want to miss out on seeing Moscow. We decided on Viking's Waterway of the Tsar's and were so glad we did. The entire trip was fabulous, from our first encounter at the airport to our flight home. Due to airline problems, we arrived in Moscow a day and a half late, but Viking was there, in the middle of the night to take us to the hotel. We enjoyed all of our tours tremendously. They were interesting, informative and the guides made everything entertaining. They truly make the trip exciting and fun. I had done some reading on Russian history before we left and it was nice to see so many important historical sites. We really enjoyed the Kremlin Armory tour and the Moscow By Night tour, although they were long exhausting days. The river towns were beautiful and interesting and of course, St. Petersburg was spectacular....in spite of the crowds!! I feel like we touched on the highlights, but we definitely would like to go back for a more in depth look. The food was very good and we enjoyed trying the Russian specialties. The Chef and Maitre d Daniel made sure that I was gluten free the entire trip. The service was always with a smile and everyone went out of their way to accommodate the passengers. We were so impressed with the guides knowledge, patience, and humor. I'm sure there are times when they want to pull their hair out, but they never let us feel that way. It will always be a favorite trip for us. Our room did not have a balcony and it would have been nice, but we were very happy with our room. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We were invited to join friends on this cruise, it being our first with Viking. We enjoyed everything about it. Tours interesting and well organized. Rooms wonderful with nice sized bathrooms. The ship was clean and looked well maintained. ... Read More
We were invited to join friends on this cruise, it being our first with Viking. We enjoyed everything about it. Tours interesting and well organized. Rooms wonderful with nice sized bathrooms. The ship was clean and looked well maintained. Loved the food selections and were so happy that portion sizes were smaller than typical AMERICAN size. We could try everything and not feel stuffed. We made new friends in the dining room since we could sit wherever we pleased, either with a group or by ourselves as a couple. We particularly liked the lectures on Russian history on the days we were cruising the river. Moscow and St Petersburg were busy but clean cities. Have never sat in a port for three days like we did at the beginning and end of this particular cruise, but it worked well giving us plenty exposure to Russian culture. After three days in Moscow we were ready for the cruise down the river visiting smaller towns and seeing some of the countryside and especially enjoying the school visit and home visit for tea and cake. Then we were geared up again for city life at the end of the cruise in St Petersburg though passengers were obviously getting tired by the last day, just in time to return home. We probably shouldn’t have done the 5 hour walking tour the last day. We never felt ill at ease anywhere in Russia because of the staff. They met us at the airport, frequently counted the numbers in our entourage when off the ship and even took us thru security in the airport at our departure. We will definitely travel with Viking again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this at the last minute after having to cancel another trip the month before. We were so glad that we did. Everything Viking did was first class and the many little surprises they added made it extra special. The service and ... Read More
We chose this at the last minute after having to cancel another trip the month before. We were so glad that we did. Everything Viking did was first class and the many little surprises they added made it extra special. The service and food were outstanding and the staff was extremely courteous and helpful. The cabins were very clean. The excursions were designed to let you truly experience the culture of Russia. The Russian cities were more beautiful than we'd expected. The subways were far better than those we've experienced in the US and Europe. Our biggest surprise was how friendly and helpful the Russian people were. We had an unplanned stop due to bad weather in a city not usually visited by tourists. A lady who was working in her yard motioned for us to wait a minute while she went over to her garden and picked a bouquet of flowers to offer us. She didn't speak English and we didn't speak Russian, but we had the greatest conversation ever. The whole trip was well organized and we always felt safe. I've recommended this trip to many friends since our return (including our many friends who, when they heard we were going to Russia, commented, "I hope you come back." They could not have been more wrong and need to go and see for themselves.) We also made friends on the cruise that we continue to stay in touch with. It was just an awesome experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Actually, my travel partner chose this cruise in Russia, but I was happy to go along. The stateroom was nicely appointed, although the bathroom was a bit cramped. We went so late in the season that we didn't get to enjoy the ... Read More
Actually, my travel partner chose this cruise in Russia, but I was happy to go along. The stateroom was nicely appointed, although the bathroom was a bit cramped. We went so late in the season that we didn't get to enjoy the verandah much due to the cold and sometimes rainy weather. The excursions were well planned with a variety of activities. Tour guides -- both from the ship and local -- were extremely knowledgeable and proficient in English (big PLUS). The food was varied, plentiful, and very delicious. The meals were timed to accommodate our tours, so we never had to worry about getting to the dining room at a particular time. Crew members were always friendly and helpful. We especially enjoyed the native dancers in St. Petersburg, the concert in Moscow, and the Swan Lake Ballet at the Hermitage Theater. As I am an inexperienced traveler, I appreciated the all-inclusive aspect of this trip -- housing, transportation, tickets, special events, tours, etc. Highly recommend this cruise and this company. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Crew staff was fantastic and hard working. . .very personable! Cabin cleaner, servers, gift shop manager, guides, and front desk were all the best! Tours were well done and very interesting. Russia was a great country to visit. Always ... Read More
Crew staff was fantastic and hard working. . .very personable! Cabin cleaner, servers, gift shop manager, guides, and front desk were all the best! Tours were well done and very interesting. Russia was a great country to visit. Always felt well taken care of by Viking. Enjoyed every land tour. The guides were excellent and very well informed, The buses were clean, and audio the ear plugs worked and were reasonably comfortable. The life on ship was relaxed. No one pushed us to finish meals before we were ready to move on to some other activity. Nothing was rushed. Be prepared for exceedingly heavy traffic in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Neither port is close to the center of the city. The journey to the tours was very slow! The bus drivers were excellent. We were very happy we extended our cruise/tour in St. Petersburg. It gave us extra time to enjoy a fantastic city and attend a ballet and organ festival. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Four years ago I had spent 1 1/2 days in St. Petersburg on another cruise. It was not enough time and this opportunity came and we (3 other retired school teachers) planned the trip six months before our departure. I have previously been ... Read More
Four years ago I had spent 1 1/2 days in St. Petersburg on another cruise. It was not enough time and this opportunity came and we (3 other retired school teachers) planned the trip six months before our departure. I have previously been on Viking River Cruises and appreciate the educational forums and the included tours in each city. The home visits are always attractive to me and I appreciate the opportunity to meet others in the small group settings. The dining room staff was courteous, efficient, and always made us feel special. The food was excellent and I especially enjoyed the root vegetables prepared in numerous ways. I do have a "sweet tooth" and found some of the pastries to be a little bland. My traveling companions had not been on a Viking River Cruise previously and they were positively impressed, also. My next cruise may be to Iceland! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Although my husband and I are not cruisers, we thought it was the best way to see Russia and we were right. The itinerary and the excursions offered were outstanding. We had opportunities to see other places that were not included by ... Read More
Although my husband and I are not cruisers, we thought it was the best way to see Russia and we were right. The itinerary and the excursions offered were outstanding. We had opportunities to see other places that were not included by taking the subway in St. Petersburg and in Moscow. The crew was superb and the guides Viking selected were very knowledgeable and helpful. We loved the trip and even if we still don't like to cruise, we recommend this cruise to see Russia. Chef Marcel was amazing and the food was incredible. Andre and Micha were fantastic waiters. Paulina, our guide for most of the excursions, was incredibly knowledgeable and generous with her answers. The local guides were equally knowledgeable. The tour director, Douglas, did everything to make our cruise fun and the excursions worth our while. We also appreciated the history lectures on board, as well as the language lessons. The itinerary was perfect because the villages we visited were all unique and different from one another which provided us with a remarkable experience.. Read Less
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