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
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
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
My husband and I are in our mid-fifties and wanted to see a lot of Russia but not be packing and unpacking so we thought a river cruise would be ideal. I went on a Viking cruise a few years ago with my Mom and told my husband that it would ... Read More
My husband and I are in our mid-fifties and wanted to see a lot of Russia but not be packing and unpacking so we thought a river cruise would be ideal. I went on a Viking cruise a few years ago with my Mom and told my husband that it would be a good choice. I booked directly with Viking - not my best move. Once I got on the boat I found that those who booked with a travel agent got some great pointers about rooms (for example if there was a post in the middle or not - we got a post). Even though we were one of the first bookings -- the Viking representative recommended the room - which turned out to be right behind the reception desk and across from the computers - perhaps not the best room as he had promised but on the other hand - although it was the lowest category room - it was very comfortable. The washroom was soundproof and cozy and the room had a very large window that opened which was very pleasant. You could however, hear the goings on in the cabin next door and the one above. We spent so little time in the room that it really was not an issue. The food on the cruise was up to Viking standards and was excellent. We quickly learned to get a seat on one side of the boat in the dining lounge. On the side we declined was a very loud server who huffed about in a show of great speed and importance but it was a show. He had very docile women working with him who consistently got the orders wrong, would not give you a menu in the morning, would not offer juice just coffee and would leave you sitting. We changed over to Bim's side and it was a whole new experience. Prompt, efficient, friendly service. Artemis and Yaroslav were especially dedicated. We attended all but the Russian language lectures (we missed the first one as we were too busy talking on the sundeck - so to go to the rest seemed useless). The lectures were great with a lot of insight. We also learned about making pelmani (or something like that) and it was interesting. We attended the wine tasting and the vodka tasting which were at an extra cost. They were will worth it! We had a riot and really loved the group of British ladies we joined. All of the drinks were paired with food. Damien was very good at the wine tasting (who knew Russia had some very good wines) and Julia and Damien were amazing at the vodka tasting - teaching us the proper Russian way to drink. I was somewhat saddened by the excursions in that they were not all included as was the case when I went on the Danube cruise. I particularly dislike big cruise lines and their propensity to nickel and dime their customers to death and found the extra charges for various excursions to be a sign of Viking going in that direction which is too bad. Overall the excursions though were excellent but Viking needs to take into consideration their passengers level of fitness. They appeared to do this on the Danube cruise but it was not done on the Russia cruise. Multiple times my husband and I were in groups wherein one or more people had a very hard time keeping up. Three times my husband and I either stayed back trying to help an individual catch up or help them carry things (portable chair etc) and missed part of the tours. I understand that the tour guide wants to go fast but to leave behind people is not really acceptable. Only a couple excursions had a gentle group. A few of the people we helped had stated that if they knew there were cobblestones they would have avoided the tour - maybe this should be added to the descriptors. Below I will describe the excursions: Moscow - the traffic, as is stated in multiple posts, is a disaster. Get ready to spend a lot of time trapped on a bus although Viking does use government buses which get a special lane - so they have tried to alleviate it but if your fitness level allows it - try to do the walking tours. Perhaps Viking can make smaller groups and utilize the amazing metro system to move people in and out of Red Square on the other tours. We went on the walking tour of Moscow- it was amazing - the metro is not to be missed - GUM is amazing as is Red Square. it is a great tour. One late afternoon, early evening Viking took us to a surprise folk show - we so enjoyed it- way to go Viking. We also did the Moscow by Night shore excursion (extra cost) - it was breath taking and very good. You do visit Red Square (yes once again) so there is some walking and with a tight time line - this is one where we had to help someone who was having a very hard time keeping up - I would highly recommend it. We also did Sergiev Posad (Monestary) at an extra cost - although relatively close to Moscow we had to go by bus - it took over 3 hours to get there (should have taken about 40 minutes). It was so crowded it was insane and we hardly had any time there - it was pouring rain so everyone was crowding into the buildings - it may have been better if it was a sunny day as more people may have been outside. Our tour guide had to go to battle for us when some other tour groups tried to squish in front of us. it was quite the showdown. We then went to eat from the same kitchen as the Monks. It was fish soup followed by fish stew (we all swore that they just poured out some of the broth and gave us a new bowl - it was pretty funny). We then went to a lookout and had some free time to explore. It was fun - don't buy souvenirs in the tunnel - they just buy them from the souvenir shops above - you will get better prices above. I would re-think this excursion. Word to the wise - use the bathrooms near the restaurant as the ones just outside the gates of the Monestary are squat toilets (I lost my earpiece in the hole!). I really wanted to see the Armoury but it was an additional cost at the same time as an included shore excursion. I wish this outing was available on our free day wherein I did Sergiev Posad. Uglich - Loved it - the home hosted visit was a big hit with us - we thought it was great. Purchased a hand painted box from the Church - it is so beautiful and a beautiful wool and silk shawl for my daughter. Yaroslav - take the walking tour if you are up to it. It is a beautiful walk and it is so pretty. You will not see the inside of the governor's house but you do visit the grounds and it didn't look like you were missing much but not visiting the interior. There is free time at the food market. There is an ATM close by that is in English. At the food market is Red October chocolate that we purchased to take home - good prices. Kirillo Monastery - This was interesting but was too taxing for some people it was one where my husband stayed back with someone while I continued with the tour and then I had to run back and find them and get them to rejoin - the ship's tour guide came upon me waiting for my husband and waited with me. Beautiful icons are for sale in the Monestary itself at this location. There are some cute handmade crafts outside the Monestary where the buses are - many people purchased items from here. Kizhi Island - I was really looking forward to this one and it was interesting but it was really rushed - a couple more hours on the island would have been really appreciated. Some of the people from the boat purchased furs from this location - I think I would be axe murdered if I wore one in Toronto! Mandrology - the boat docks right at this place and you can go out into the area - its like our pioneer villages but more liberty taken on the history aspect - artisans all over doing their crafts in beautiful re-created buildings. Its actually a big resort. Although we did not go to the vodka museum (it was extra) we heard that it was fun. We did however buy some of the glass from the glassblower and some christmas decorations from the birch bark maker. This stop was a lot of fun but I could see it becoming really busy in the summer months. St. Petersburg The Hermitage - absolutely beautiful with an amazing collection of art. It was here that I purchased an amber necklace (with certificates for the amber and the designer - one of the individuals who worked on the amber room). It was really, really busy with crazy crowds. My husband and I opted not to go back to the boat for dinner but to stay and then meet the group at the ballet. We had such a good time. Julia (an amazing program director) showed us a restaurant on the map Katyuska (or something like that) - the food was out of this world. We then decided to walk to the Summer gardens and they were having a classical car show (for Russian cars) - it was great and then we found the classical bus show! it was too funny. We meet everyone at the Pushkin Theatre for the ballet and went home with them. The Ballet was good - although not being a real fan of the ballet I am sure I missed some of the story! Petersburg up close - wow talk about walk! My husband and I loved it but we are walkers. By the end of the 7 miles - yes 7 miles - some people were done. Although it was long it was really really good and gave a good overview of St. Petersburg. Catherine Palace - take your breath away - amazing. Peterhof Palace & Park - Extra cost - this was one of two peterhof exercusions - the other one was behind the scenes and was significantly more expensive - this one was excellent and fully informative - I am really happy I chose this one as it gave me time to do St. Petersburg by Water. St. Peterburg by the Water - Extra cost - I read about this one and someone said don't do it but it was after I booked. I did not have their experience. It was a great tour but the tour guide did mention that it was dependent on the river levels - so maybe the other person had bad levels. Anyway it was really good and my husband and I really enjoyed ourselves. Most of our excursions were done by our shipboard tour guides and we mainly had Misha -- who was very professional and very nice. We did have a retired Viking tour person in St. Petersburg who was excellent although there were some very rude Viking customers who were fairly insulting to her. It was shameful and I was ashamed of their behaviour but it was the end of the cruise and I think some people just wanted to go home. All and all I would recommend Viking - Waterways of the Tsars but I am unsure if I will continue with Viking or try to find a river cruise company more for people our age. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
A fascinating trip taken in mid September and we also enjoyed the pre and post stays in Moscow and Helsinki. Julia the Viking tour manager was a delight and the team of tour guides were very engaging and interesting too. The on-board ... Read More
A fascinating trip taken in mid September and we also enjoyed the pre and post stays in Moscow and Helsinki. Julia the Viking tour manager was a delight and the team of tour guides were very engaging and interesting too. The on-board lectures were well delivered and full of detail. The Russian lessons were fab! We enjoyed the ports of call which were explained in detail on board beforehand and well organised. Traffic was an issue in Moscow. We enjoyed the company of the other guests with whom we shared our travel experiences as they were all English speaking and of a broadly similar age to us. The free dining and quality of meals were excellent. The cabin was of a good size, well appointed and beautifully clean. However, the issue for us was the speed with which a viral illness fell amongst us all. It began when a couple boarded with what was probably flu and this spread through the passengers like wildfire. My partner succumbed on the fourth day but worse than that, by the end of the trip almost every cabin had someone with it - the coughs resounded wherever we all went. We tried on more than one occasion to have in-cabin dining as eating with others when obviously so ill is a 'no no' to all concerned. However this was not possible despite numerous requests to the passenger services manager whose name I have forgotten. Nor was dining later than the majority of others as the kitchens closed. There was nowhere we could eat in relative isolation from everyone else apart from upstairs in the bar area for continental breakfast or a light lunch but no dinner provision. This caused us a lot of distress and embarrassment plus obviously enabled the virus to spread. Sadly the illness which meant many missed excursions and emotional discomfort which greatly detracted from the overall enjoyment. Read Less
54 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Truvor Waterway of the Czars-Fantastic cruise, boat and staff. Several tips and tricks you need to know before booking and while on board. These were learned from experience! Given a choice, Moscow to St. Petersburg direction is ... Read More
Truvor Waterway of the Czars-Fantastic cruise, boat and staff. Several tips and tricks you need to know before booking and while on board. These were learned from experience! Given a choice, Moscow to St. Petersburg direction is better. • Reservations and getting ready 1. Often they offer two for one sales on these cruises in January of each year and they include airfare on some packages. We had Delta over and Lufthansa back. 2. You have to have a visa for Russia and to get one you need a letter of invitation from the tour operator (Viking). The Viking literature says that once you have filled out the paperwork they will furnish you with the letter of invitation to fit your schedule (a necessity since you have to send your passports and the letter into the agency you have chosen to apply for your visa and your passports are unavailable for international travel while they are in the hands of the visa agency). In my experience, they would not deviate from their schedule to fit mine. I had 4 international trips scheduled and only a small window to give them my passports. The invitation letter division of Viking would not send me the letter prior to their 90 day schedule. Luckily I found that the Caring-Hands-services (caring-hands-services.com) could get the visa done with short turnaround and no additional charge. I would highly recommend them. Faster turnaround is available for extra but not needed as their standard service is fast and excellent. Beware, when you get your visa back, check it carefully for accuracy. One lady had two numbers transposed on the visa and it took her hours at the airport to get it corrected. 3. The package we purchased included airfare and airport transfers. Unfortunately, Viking did not notify me of the reserved air tickets until it was too late for me to upgrade. Since Viking gets low fares as a tour operator or consolidator, the fares they supply are the lowest and cannot be upgraded once they are issued, therefore it is important to address upgrading your tickets as soon as you can. The buses and people used for transport are great and efficient. Best way to go if you can. 4. Once you have booked, Viking will send you a marketing pep talk email every day telling you all sorts of information about the trip. Unfortunately, the essential stuff is included in these pep talks and if you opt out of them you could miss information or deadlines. 5. Note that your passport has to be valid long past the end of your trip and have two blank pages for the visa. 6. Once you obtain your ticket data you need to contact the airlines to reserve a seat. 7. There are several River Cruise schedules to choose from and the one starting in Moscow and ending in St. Petersburg gives you time to recover from jet lag in Moscow (where there are fewer treasurers to explore) and more time at the end of the trip in beautiful St. Petersburg where you need it. The Truvor was the ship we were on and I believe it is the best choice (based only on conversations with other passengers). Viking runs 5 ships on this route (perhaps more) and each sailing has different options. • On Board: 1. The food is excellent! Breakfast and lunch both have buffets and a fixed choice menu is also available. Chefs on the buffet prepared dishes to order. Breakfast is probably the best meal (which we routinely slept through), offering standard fare too plentiful to list here. Lunch was varied and similar to breakfast choices but often with themes such as Russian fare, etc. Dinner was from a menu that changed daily and you could substitute if the offering didn’t conform to your taste exactly. Several items were always available such as filet with mashed potatoes, salmon, etc. Be prepared to put a new hole in your belt when you return! 2. While there are coffee machines available full time, there is little provision for taking coffee and cookies to your cabin in the morning (obviously I missed breakfast!). I learned to hide a dinner plate in the room refrigerator and use it as a tray to carry several cups of coffee and goodies back to the cabin. 3. The staff is unbelievable in their desire to help and fulfill your every need. Don’t even think hard about something you want while on board, because if you do, one of the crew will get it for you! The crew is attractive, well dressed, motivated, competent, extremely well trained, honest, and just plain nice. American HR could take a lesson from Viking. 4. Our cabin was located near the stern of the ship and, as such, we could feel the vibrations caused by the shafts when operated at high speed (12-15 MPH for Truvor). From my experience, this is usually caused by one of the shafts being bent or out of balance, and/or improper synchronization of the engines. Since the vibration came and went with a cycle of about 5-7 seconds, I believe is it more of a synchronization problem they could correct without great effort. When the vibration was present, it would rattle the mirrors, doors and ceiling panels. I overheard an interview with one of the ship’s officers and when asked about the problem he was unaware of the vibration. 5. The staterooms are laid out very well and are roomy. Soundproofing between cabins is almost non-existent and if you have noisy neighbors you get to know their business in great detail. Soundproofing in the bathroom is almost complete (so why couldn’t they have done the same with the cabin?). Be sure to let them know the desired bed configuration before the trip (the beds are very comfortable). 6. If you need Rubles once you are there for souvenirs or tips, a debit card used at a bank ATM will give you a good rate of exchange and the fees are often reimbursed by the larger banks if your account warrants it. 7. Charges on the ship can be paid in Rubles or Dollars. If you pay with a credit card they first convert the dollar cost to Rubles (at a rate advantage), then make the charge to your card in Rubles which your card company then converts back to Dollars (at their rate advantage) plus charges a foreign transaction fee for most cards. We purchased the Silver Spirit Beverage plan (highly recommended if you plan to drink even moderately) and it was $550 for two. I calculated a savings of almost $100 by paying in cash dollars rather than putting it on my American Express. Bring some cash to settle on board charges. 8. A number of people appeared surprised and irritated when they got their final bill from the ship as they hadn’t understood that the ship supplies beverages only at mealtime (except for coffee or tea). They found that they were paying for cola, drinks, and house wine when ordered outside of dining hours. Again, the Silver Spirit package covers all beverages, all of the time with the exception of vintage wines. This means you can drink single malt scotch, Limoncello, or rotgut of your choice all day without incurring additional charges. On the other hand, a Coke in the afternoon costs dearly if you are not on the plan. 9. The internet access is terrible but I hear this is universal with all of the ships on river cruises in Russia. I had an access point with me (T-Mobile) and often had good service with that when the ship’s system was down. • Tours and shore: 1. Being in crowds is not my forte, and thus, going on the shore excursions in a group was painful, especially when they moved like a sloth. The guides are good but in my personal opinion they continue to patter on even when stuck in traffic or waiting for the next phase of the tour. A little silence would be golden. 2. The Hermitage was far too crowded to appreciate the offerings. The Catherine Palace was fantastic. Not too crowded and well maintained. Get Helen as a guide if possible (based in St. Petersburg). She speaks English without a heavy accent, is funny, knowledgeable, and irreverent. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Amazing sights and crew. Learned so much about Russian life and history. All the tours were fun and informative. As usual, the food and drink were excellent. The captain and crew were knowledgeable, efficient and very friendly. The ... Read More
Amazing sights and crew. Learned so much about Russian life and history. All the tours were fun and informative. As usual, the food and drink were excellent. The captain and crew were knowledgeable, efficient and very friendly. The tours of Moscow and St. Petersburg were excellent. I was a little disappointed at the tour of the Hermitage because they stuffed people through very narrow corridors. The Moscow by Night tour was amazing....touring Red Square at night and seeing the Kremlin and St.Basil's lit up was breathtaking. The home visit in Uglich was fun and very welcoming. The visit to the school was vey informative...the kids were such a pleasure to meet. St. Petersburg was very full of history and great architecture. We added Helsinki, Finland at the end of the trip and it was such a beautiful city to visit. We really appreciated all the effort by Viking and the crew of the Truvor to make our trip easy and memorable. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
My wife and I both thoroughly enjoyed this cruise, this vessel, and Russia. We made changes to our Viking-supplied air and had no trouble. (Another review takes great pains to spell out their horrible upgrade process but that's on ... Read More
My wife and I both thoroughly enjoyed this cruise, this vessel, and Russia. We made changes to our Viking-supplied air and had no trouble. (Another review takes great pains to spell out their horrible upgrade process but that's on Aeroflot, not Viking.) We arrived Moscow a couple days early in order to explore on our own. All went well. The cab ride to the port was without drama except for not understanding the driver when he was asking for the name of our ship. The port was LOADED with river cruise ships. I gave him the name when it seemed appropriate and he got happy. Embarkation could not have been easier or quicker: a trailer contained a scanner for our luggage and a security person gave us a look. Done. I think we booked the least expensive cabin class. It wasn't "short" in any way, just typical compared to other cabins we've had on other ships. Bed was comfortable. Electric outlets were plentiful enough. The shower was always hot. The toilet always worked. Your cabin may be more important on this kind of vessel than on ocean cruise ships as the vessel is small. This was our first river cruise. Public areas are limited and do duty for different purposes. You may hole up in your cabin more than on a larger vessel. We always found a good spot out and about. Dining was beyond excellent. Seriously. Food and service were exceptional. Simple lunches could be had in a limited buffet line including salad or sandwich or fruit. Restaurant fare was wonderful every time. On board entertainment and activities were limited as the vessel is small. There was no music review or magic show but that was just fine. Lectures by tour guides on Russian history were interesting. Language lessons by hotel manager were informative. A vodka tasting was entertaining. At ports of call, including Moscow and Saint Petersburg, there were concerts, a folk music and dance review, and a ballet. Viking's excursion descriptions are accurate. Our cabin maid was sweet, discrete, and perfect. She gave US a parting gift. Ports were good and "built-in" tour guides were nice to have all the way on the trip. Besides the obvious allure of Moscow and Saint Petersburg, we thought Kizhi was particularly special. As for our arrival, we stayed a couple days in Saint Petersburg after the cruise to continue some personal exploration. The hotel, restaurants, subway, sites, and cab ride to the airport all worked out fine. Viking and Russia gave us a trip of a lifetime. Read Less
30 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We cruised from Moscow to St Petersburg on Viking Truvor. We had a Verandah A stateroom. Room was very nice, although quite small....which is to be expected on a river cruise. There was adequate storage for all our clothes and other ... Read More
We cruised from Moscow to St Petersburg on Viking Truvor. We had a Verandah A stateroom. Room was very nice, although quite small....which is to be expected on a river cruise. There was adequate storage for all our clothes and other belongings and the room was always spic and span clean. Service onboard was superb....from our stewardess to the waiters in the dining room to the staff in the lounge to the tour escorts to management....all were totally competent, knowledgeable, and attentive. If you're considering a Russia river cruise you need to understand that between Moscow and St Petersburg there's a lot of distance and a lot of nothing! You will be cruising for many hours and spending a short time (usually 2-3 hours) in several different ports....that's just the nature of the geography. This didn't really concern us, though, for two reasons: 1) our main goal was to see Moscow and St Petersburg; 2) the ship is comfortable and the crew was great so cruising time was very pleasant. We took several optional tours and enjoyed them all....especially enjoyed seeing the Faberge Museum and "behind the scenes" at the Hermitage in St Petersburg and the Kremlin Armory in Moscow. The folk music concert in Moscow was great. The young couple who sang and played piano in the bar were excellent. Food onboard was above average....the chef tried to cater to as many different tastes as possible...some hits, some misses, but overall very good. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We took this cruise to see Russia and meet some of the locals. Moscow and St. Peterburgs tours were more then we expected. We had plenty of time to explore the Red Square and the Kremlin tour was excellent. Our contact with the locals ... Read More
We took this cruise to see Russia and meet some of the locals. Moscow and St. Peterburgs tours were more then we expected. We had plenty of time to explore the Red Square and the Kremlin tour was excellent. Our contact with the locals was always positive and we received several helpful hints which made it easy to get around on our own. The cruise from Moscow to St Petersburg took us to very interesting small cities and towns. The sites were amazing and so is the history of Russia. The food on the trip was excellent and we had a chance every night to try a local entree. Service was very good and the Crew was very friendly. Finally, we had a chance to learn how to taste and rate Volka....great night and no hangover. We will travel with Viking again and recommend this cruise. This was our third Viking cruise and all have been great. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Chose this cruise since I've never been to Russia and Viking had the most recently refurbished ship. Furthermore, they seem to be dominating in the river and cruise liners with new ships added every year. Boy was I disappointed ... Read More
Chose this cruise since I've never been to Russia and Viking had the most recently refurbished ship. Furthermore, they seem to be dominating in the river and cruise liners with new ships added every year. Boy was I disappointed with the entire cruise. Our program director, Irina, was too young and inexperienced for the post. As per usual, during your briefing on the upcoming day they gloss over the attractions you will see on land and whilst sailing. This was a round trip type of cruise so the entire staff would work the route continuously for six months. I would expect they have the estimate as to when we will see certain sights down pat. Like the sinking belfry tower and the lady Volga statue. She was off the mark by over an hour for the former and 2 hours+ for the latter. Organization for the shore excursions were poorly executed. We were told to sit on any bus then try and stick to the same bus for the remaining tour. However when we reached ashore, the buses went to different locations so you couldn't pick "any" bus and again time wasted on trying to find another bus to get on. This was not a single incident. Previous experience on river cruises would segregate the shore excursions into different walking intensities to cater to the less mobile travelers. There was no such thing on Vikng except for the city tour in Moscow and St Petersburg. I felt sorry for the couple in our group who was on crutches and almost tripped several times during the Red Square/Kremlin tour. This lack of consideration was further reinforced during the ballet performance. The theatre was booked exclusively for Viking. We were each given a ticket, however, they know the layout of the theatre and should not make one of the passengers who clearly has impaired eyesight to climb to the top of the theatre and walk another unnecessary flight of stairs. When it came to the end of the performance, the poor passenger was in grave danger of being trampled on whilst everyone was trying to exit. Our stop to Kizhi was cancelled due to inclement weather but the program director failed to provide other activities on that day so we were cooped up with nothing to do. Food was also very ordinary and considering the passenger to staff ratio you would expect everything would be that little bit more attentive. The farewell dinner was the worst! Prawn was not fresh, beef was overcooked and dinner took longer than usual. On the exterior, they used top brands cutlery like villeroy & boch and Jura coffee machines. However, if you use inferior quality coffee beans the coffee would still taste like dishwater. There was one more annoying experience where my card to my cabin kept failing to work. This happened like 5 times! I've been on cruises and river cruises before and yes, it could happen like once during the entire trip not on a daily basis. It got so frustrating and the receptionist was argumentative and made these reissuing cards even more unpleasant! Apart from the nice l'occitane amenity, I do not have anything good to say about Viking. It was an expensive trip and money aside, the company lacked professionalism, ethics and organization skills that I would NEVER recommend them to even my worst enemy. Initially I was interested in trying the Viking cruise liner, however, I have abandoned that idea completely and going with scenic on my next 3 trips. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
My wife and I wanted to visit Russia and we thought this would be a good way to see the country. We had no idea what a great decision we had made. From the time we landed in Moscow to the time we left to the extended trip to Helsinki, we ... Read More
My wife and I wanted to visit Russia and we thought this would be a good way to see the country. We had no idea what a great decision we had made. From the time we landed in Moscow to the time we left to the extended trip to Helsinki, we never touched our luggage. The service we received was exceptional. The food was fantastic. Our expectations were exceeded only by the restaurant service staff. Service to our cabin was absolutely perfect. The first day on board we found to large bottles of water in our cabin. We emptied the bottles before the evening. From that point forward on the second day we received two bottles in the morning and two in the evening without requesting anything from staff. Everyone paid attention to all our needs without being asked. Ports and shore excursions were unbelievable. We learned so much history from our leaders and they were exceptional in their knowledge of the country. We made a number of cruise friends that we plan to stay in touch with. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise for the Russia experience. We absolutely loved the small ship and the small number of passengers. Our cabin was perfect - clean and plenty of room. The food was fantastic and the dining staff met all of our needs and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Russia experience. We absolutely loved the small ship and the small number of passengers. Our cabin was perfect - clean and plenty of room. The food was fantastic and the dining staff met all of our needs and requests. I cannot say enough about the staff supporting the entire ship and cruise. Not only did they take excellent care of us, we had a great time getting to know them personally. The shore excursions were extremely well planned. The excursion leaders were well educated about Russia not only for current life styles but educating us about Russia from early history. This was a trip of a life time for my wife and myself. We thought that this would be a one time trip but we are now looking and planning for future river cruises with Viking. Meeting other people on the cruise was wonderful and finding out that most of them had taken more than one cruise with Viking and as many as seven cruises. We are looking forward to our next Viking River Cruise. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 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
7 Helpful Votes
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
14 Helpful Votes
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
7 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 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
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
3 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
7 Helpful Votes
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
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
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
Viking Truvor Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 3.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 1.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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