Viking Cruises was born in Russia and is the only western-owned fleet in the land. Viking Akun is one of five Viking vessels currently operating in the country.
Viking Akun sails the Volga, Svir and Neva Rivers from Moscow to St Petersburg and vice versa on the Waterways of the Tsars itinerary, enabling passengers to experience the real Russia in contemporary comfort.
The 204-guest ship is modern and homely, having been refurbished in 2014 to echo the signature Scandi-chic style of the company’s European vessels. There’s a promenade deck, lots of seating around the ship and panoramic windows that make the most of the views.
A real feeling of spaciousness is apparent throughout. This is something that Viking seems to nail on all its ships -- on Akun this is clearly thanks to a clever redesign and tasteful color scheme. This continues in the staterooms, which are well planned out, giving a functional yet welcoming and cozy feel. Verandas are generously sized -- bigger than on some ocean ships -- and there’s plenty of seating on the top deck for taking in the views.
We feel the stairs between decks are a little steep, but there’s an elevator for passengers with mobility issues.
Two dining areas give the option for an a la carte or more casual breakfast or lunch, depending on what you feel like at the time. In-between mealtimes, it’s great to be able to help yourself to tea, coffee, hot chocolate and cookies whenever you want, from the tea and coffee station located on the middle deck.
From reception to the bars, service is smiley and friendly, and waiting staff soon get to know your name and drinks preferences, with your drink often topped up or replaced at the dining table without you asking. After breakfast on the last day, our regular waiter told us, "We don’t say goodbye, we say see you soon!"
Onboard, passengers make the most of the comfy seating in the public areas to read, socialize and browse the internet. When it comes to enrichment, there’s a small but inviting library with a curated book choice, and plenty of interesting talks to attend during the day. Overall, it’s a really relaxed atmosphere, especially when sailing.
However, if you’re looking for a river cruise with wellness on the menu, this may not be the ship for you. There are no spa or gym facilities, bikes, hot tubs or massages, so exercise will come from the walking element of tours and excursions, and there are plenty of those to get involved in, including the free excursion every passenger receives in almost every port.
Interestingly for a river cruise, the passenger demographic is quite varied which makes for a fun, friendly and sometimes lively atmosphere; older passengers mingle happily with younger couples and groups. Nationalities are again mixed, with Americans, Australians, Brits and the odd European. All onboard announcements and programs are delivered in English only.
Daytime: No hard and fast rules: Viking suggests casual dress including shorts, slacks or jeans and comfortable shoes for walking.
Evening: There are no formal nights in the evening; recommended dress is "elegant casual". For ladies, this may include a dress, skirt or slacks with a sweater or blouse; for gentlemen, trousers and a collared shirt. A tie and jacket are optional.
Not permitted: Bare feet in The Restaurant during the day or evening.
Viking promises that all you need is included, with no surprises or hidden fees.
Included with your cruise fare:
Not included with your cruise fare:
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