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66 St. Petersburg to Europe - River Cruise Reviews

Intrigue and fascinate about the country of Russia. The country is beautiful and magnificent. The people are very serious but loveable and funny. The scenery is wonderful. About the ship, the cabin where we staying clean and spacious. ... Read More
Intrigue and fascinate about the country of Russia. The country is beautiful and magnificent. The people are very serious but loveable and funny. The scenery is wonderful. About the ship, the cabin where we staying clean and spacious. The crews are helpful and courteous. The food is ok but not wonderful. We had a goodtime with the entertainment on the ship. The excursions are relaxing, awesome and fascinating. The tour guides are very knowledgeable, knew the country of Russia in and out. I can't complain about the service, everything is in order and well plan. We have a wonderful time during the River cruise. This is our 3rd time on Viking River cruise and we will do it again. I hope someday they will allow children, so we can bring the whole family. I know they will enjoy it too. Advise to other people, if you have not done the river cruise, please do it in the near future and do it with Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This is not a first cruise for anyone. It's a cruise for people who've seen a lot, and want more. The "river" between St. Petersburg and Moscow is a combination of lakes, rivers, and canals. Near St. P, it's ... Read More
This is not a first cruise for anyone. It's a cruise for people who've seen a lot, and want more. The "river" between St. Petersburg and Moscow is a combination of lakes, rivers, and canals. Near St. P, it's mostly uninhabited area. Near Moscow, it's more inhabited. Of the 5 stops on the "river," only two (Yaroslavl and Uglich) are real towns. Kizhi is fabulous, as a recreated ancient community. Mandrogy is an artisan village, and fun (and expensive if you shop), but for tourists. The monastery stop was interesting, but due to fog, we were shepherded past any vendors and didn't see a real town. St. Petersburg and Moscow were fabulous - and exhausting! You walk your feet off. It's worth it, but just be warned. The worst crush was The Hermitage in St. Petersburg - and I was there in a shoulder season! But the fabulous art is incredible and not to be missed. As are any of the St. Petersburg tours, and definitely Moscow by Night. The Kremlin (included) tour was very good, but I wish I'd done the optional tour that included the carriages, jewels, dresses, etc. We saw St. Basil's in the afternoon, which will NOT get you good pictures. You need to be there in the morning. Best souvenirs: Uglich. We skipped the tour and just shopped for 3 1/2 hours. Do not try to buy souvenirs in Moscow; for some reason, they are scarce and expensive. At the St. Petersburg port, there is a souvenir shop, which is better than nothing. Do not bring rubles; banks charge too much. I got rubles 4 times at ATM's, with a charge of $1 each withdrawal, and the best rates. Dollars are almost universally accepted, too. Though outside of vendors, very few people speak English. On the ship, we were coddled by the staff. In the dining room, Jeremiah, Mikey and Dino took fabulous care of us, including telling us to wait til Uglich to shop. In the bar, Dasha and Egor were attentive and helpful. Sasha (from Russia) was a terrific tour director. Andrey was a terrific tour guide. Daniel was the M'd with a sense of humor! Don't miss the pelmini cooking demo, or the vodka tasting! Russia has changed incredibly in the past couple of decades. Not a complete capitalist country, but growing so! The people were warm and friendly (they want our dollars). If you go, you'll love it. I wish you good cheer! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Cabin was fine, the same size as other cabins but this ship is not a spaceship and has been renovated and converted so the cabin is nowhere near as good as the other scenic ships. The staff on board are great, very helpful and ... Read More
Cabin was fine, the same size as other cabins but this ship is not a spaceship and has been renovated and converted so the cabin is nowhere near as good as the other scenic ships. The staff on board are great, very helpful and accommodating the best staff we have ever had on a cruise, they were wonderful. The food was fair only, drinks were only offered free with meals and often hard to get. The scenic Booking office here in Australia is woeful,they were of little help if you ask a question, I received a response to my question three days after I had boarded the cruise and this morning Scenic rang me to advise my wait list for the same cruise was now available,I explained I finished this cruise 10 days ago! Scenic booked our flights, we were taken from the ship way to early for our 1.5 hr flight resulting in a wait of 4.5 hrs wait at the airport. We then waited another 6.5 hrs in Frankfurt for our Singapore connection. If I had booked myself I would have selected connecting flights which were available. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
My husband has been wanting to see Russia for years....I always hedged......but finally agreed to go this summer. Wow! What an eye opener. What was I thinking? Russia is just beautiful! We started our cruise in St. Petersburg where we ... Read More
My husband has been wanting to see Russia for years....I always hedged......but finally agreed to go this summer. Wow! What an eye opener. What was I thinking? Russia is just beautiful! We started our cruise in St. Petersburg where we visited the famous Hermitage, Catherine's Palace, the Marlinsky Ballet (stunning performance of Swan Lake) etc., and made our way to Moscow visiting quaint towns, UNESCO villages, gorgeous churches, monasteries, home visits, and then Moscow. Moscow with its beautiful subway, GUM department store, Kremlin, St. Basil's cathedral and endless other sites. The small boat ride at night was serene and gorgeous. The Viking Ingvar crew was incredible. All of them from Captain Igor, Sasha (our program director) who was organized, always pleasant, with a great sense of humor, Joachim (our executive chef), Daniel (maitre d), witty and talented both, to the crew behind the scenes were without equal. Our sweet waitress Helga and her assistant Yaro made mealtime happy. Valaria, Andrei and Dimitri were our wonderful, knowledgeable escorts. They did a terrific job. I truly believe this has to be the ship with the best crew.... Go to Russia! Go on the Ingvar!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I chose thiis cruise because I have always wanted to see St. Petersburg because of the history of the Romanov dynasty. I was not disappointed. Embarking and disembarking was smooth and efficiently handled. We were greeted promptly at ... Read More
I chose thiis cruise because I have always wanted to see St. Petersburg because of the history of the Romanov dynasty. I was not disappointed. Embarking and disembarking was smooth and efficiently handled. We were greeted promptly at the airport and traveled by bus to the ship where we were greeted with a typical Russian beverage and shown promptly to our cabin, The Helgi,a large but homey ship, had several cozy areas where one could sit by a window on the landings of each staircase. In addition, there were 2 gathering areas (each with a bar and tables): a nice cozy cafe where one could grab a quick continental breakfast in the fore of the ship and a larger area in the aft where the talks and nightly entertainment were held. The duo piano player and female singer were a highlight of the evening and played a variety of music that we could dance to. The staff were exceptionally attentive to our needs for the entire cruise.The restaurant staff were friendly and catered to our needs.One of the nice surprises was a luncheon party on the large outdoor deck where the crew served typical Russian food and drinks including beer and vodka. The Hermitage Museum, the winter palace of the Romanovs, was an included tour not to be missed as was the Peterhof Palace, Moscow also exceeded my expectations. Don't miss the night tour of the city. It was amazing. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We sailed on the Viking Ingvar from June 24 to July 6, 2017 from St. Petersburg to Moscow and really enjoyed the trip. Cabin We had a balcony cabin on the 3rd floor, which was fine. While the cabin was under the Panorama Bar, the ... Read More
We sailed on the Viking Ingvar from June 24 to July 6, 2017 from St. Petersburg to Moscow and really enjoyed the trip. Cabin We had a balcony cabin on the 3rd floor, which was fine. While the cabin was under the Panorama Bar, the location did not bother us, as that bar closed by 7:00P. We could occasionally hear some noise, but never enough to be bothersome. However, we heard from people who had cabins on the 4th floor underneath the Sky Bar that it could be loud late at night. The cabin itself was fine, and the heat worked perfectly, which we needed, as this summer has been particularly cold and damp even by Russian standards. There was ample room under the bed for luggage storage. There were hooks on the back of the cabin door, bathroom door and in the bathroom itself, which was great for hanging coats, hats, nightgowns, etc. There was one closet with plenty of hangers and two deep shelves. In addition, there were two cupboards with three shelves each, two bedside tables with an extra shelf underneath, a desk area with a big drawer, and open shelves for our books. The bathroom also had very large mirror-covered vanity with three shelves. We had plenty of storage space. Our only complaint was the door to the balcony. You could open it from the inside, but not from the outside. We accidentally locked ourselves out on the balcony once (having closed the door to prevent mosquitos from entering the cabin) and had to call down to someone in port to ask one of the ship’s crew members to come into our cabin and open the balcony door. Thank God we were in port! The cleaning staff came in twice a day and kept the room very clean. They also replenished bottled water twice a day. Food The food was wonderful. We ate everything, including uncooked fruits and vegetables. We even drank the ships’ water that was poured into glasses. We did not get sick. Our only complaint was the coffee, which was just plain bad. In order to have our caffeine fix, we would have a latte in the Panorama Bar before heading down to the restaurant for breakfast. Beverages My husband bought the beverage package, as the non-ship included wines by the glass or bottle were very expensive. I stayed with the ships’ wine offerings, which were okay. As we were up early every morning, I did not drink that much. I actually liked the Russian sparkling wine, and had a glass every evening before dinner. Excursions Most of the excursions were very good. Several things to note: • The optional excursions tended to be smaller. Groups under 15 are ideal. • The included excursions had a lot more people. Over 15 people is unwieldy and hard to manage, as different people want to do different things. Also, not everyone was able to move at the same pace. It would be nice if they had smaller groups. In some locations they offered a separate group for people who wanted a more “leisurely” pace; they should have done more of this. • It rained a lot. Many of the excursions had 45 minutes to an hour of free walking time after the guided tour. That would have been great in good weather, but was not great during downpours. There should be a “Plan B” for those days with heavy rain and no-where else to go but outside. • The traffic in Moscow is bad. Although the boat was docked near the Metro, we only took it downtown one day. That, in our opinion, was a mistake. It could take two hours each way to get in and out of Moscow by bus. As there was always more than one bus going to the same excursion, we would recommend that Viking offer a “Metro accessible” version of each excursion, for those who would prefer to walk and get downtown in an hour. Staff The staff was friendly, helpful and outgoing. They were thrilled that we came to Russia from the USA and were open to free and frank discussions. They helped make the trip outstanding. At mealtimes, we sat in the same area each day so that we could have the same wait staff. Our waiters were warm, friendly and efficient, at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Tipping Tipping was confusing. Although we pre-paid the tips, we were advised to tip the drivers, local guides and tour escorts. However, some of those guides were Viking employees, so we were told we did not have to tip them. Ugh. We ended up tipping each driver $2 per person per trip, and each person who led the tour either $5 per person for a half-day tour or $10 per person for a whole day tour. Bring ones, fives and tens, as there was no way to get change for larger bills, like twenties. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I've always wanted to go to St. Petersburg. The rest of the itinerary just made the whole experience better. The ports of call were all interesting and fascinating. The staff and service were all just excellent as was our stateroom ... Read More
I've always wanted to go to St. Petersburg. The rest of the itinerary just made the whole experience better. The ports of call were all interesting and fascinating. The staff and service were all just excellent as was our stateroom and the meals on board. A very important aspect of this trip, is that my husband and I are gay. I approached the trip with a little apprehension. Small boat, we might stand out, how would crew and other guests feel about our presence. There was never a problem. The crew treated us as well as any other guest. The other passengers were terrific and could have actually cared less, once they figured us out. In fact, we have made many good friends on the trip and whole heartedly recommend your cruise company to all our friends. We can't wait until we can go on another one of your cruises. Thank you for making this a memorable and satisfying memory for us. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We took the optional Helsinki stays and enjoyed our exploration of the city and its sights. I especially wanted to do this add on, as we then traveled by train from Helsinki to St. Petersburg. Enjoyed seeing the countryside of Finland and ... Read More
We took the optional Helsinki stays and enjoyed our exploration of the city and its sights. I especially wanted to do this add on, as we then traveled by train from Helsinki to St. Petersburg. Enjoyed seeing the countryside of Finland and our crossover into Russia. We had no Viking Rep with us on the train, but we told what to expect and our border crossing went smoothly. No problem with embarkation or disembarkation, it went smoothly. Our cabin was very nice, staff we great, food was very good. Our port and shore excursions were numerous and wish we a few more days in port to take advantage of all the excursions offer! As it was, we saw as much of both St Petersburg and Moscow as possible in the time we had! The tours were well organized and our guides were all very knowledgeable and receptive to questions. We enjoyed the lectures aboard, of Russian history and the question and answer of the present day Russia. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
After watching the Viking Waterways of the Tsars video, I saw how beautiful Russia was & we decided that trip would have to be our second Viking River Cruise. We were not disappointed. Russia is as beautiful & friendly as Viking ... Read More
After watching the Viking Waterways of the Tsars video, I saw how beautiful Russia was & we decided that trip would have to be our second Viking River Cruise. We were not disappointed. Russia is as beautiful & friendly as Viking makes it look. We booked our flights through Viking & they were acceptable. Learning from our first cruise, we opted to pay extra to change our return flights so we didn't have to leave at 2 in the morning. We had a 1:30 pm departure so had a relaxing morning. We arrived in St Petersburg & were met by the staff who gathered our luggage & transported us to the Akun. Our cabin was ready for us when we arrived. We opted to do as many of the optional tours as time would allow. The included tours, & the optionals were very well put together. The on-board guides, Vadim, Sascha & Alexy, were very informative, organized, patient & funny. Most of the local guides were just as wonderful. In St Petersburg, we saw The Hermitage, a performance of Swan Lake by the St Petersburg Ballet, Cossack Folk Songs & Dance, Peter & Paul Fortress, the Faberge Museum, which were all wonderful, but the tour of Catherine's Palace at Pushkin & Peterhof Palace & Park were amazing. The gardens were lovely as the tulips were just blooming, the Palaces, mind-blowing. St Isaac's Cathedral is a must see. Once on the water, the towns of Mandrogy & Kizhi showed us life of long ago Russia & Russian tradition. In Mandrogy, Ken enjoyed the Russian Banyan experience immensely! The school visit in Kuzino was informative & interesting, as it was from the perspective of a 12 year old student, who spoke English very well, telling us about her studies, home life & her asperations. In Yaroslavl, the Church of Elijah the Prophet took our breath away. Don't miss the Yaroslavl bear, if you can find him! In Uglich, the Church of Dimitry on the Blood was just as amazing as the story of it's bell. Our home visit with Vadimir gave us a look into everyday Russia. He & his son were well-spoken, & very funny. His wife's pickles were the best I have ever tasted! We spent most of our time on the water, up on deck. The churches along the river were beautiful & there was one every few yards! The forest seemed unending, the logging yards, freighters carrying logs - all things you don't see everyday! Once in Moscow, our city tour, especially the Moscow subways, was amazing. The Kremlin tour, Cosmonaut Museum, the Moscow Military Museum, Red Square were very interesting. Moscow At Night was truly lovely. The sculpture of Peter the Great is monumental, & pretty spectacular at night. The modern Moscow is certainly not what I expected. Unbelievable skyscrapers, but most interesting the older buildings & how they are wired on the outside, strung together, & air-conditioners just slapped everywhere on the outsides of the buildings as if there is no electrical code in Russia! The staff of the Akun was attentive, helpful, & knowledgeable. The meals did leave a bit to be desired. The chef on the Akun did do fish & soups very well. Breakfasts were good, too. It was truly a trip of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We have always wanted to travel to Russia and see the sites, meet the people and learn about this incredible country. We started n St. Petersberg and loved that we didn't have to stay in a hotel, but went straight to the ship and ... Read More
We have always wanted to travel to Russia and see the sites, meet the people and learn about this incredible country. We started n St. Petersberg and loved that we didn't have to stay in a hotel, but went straight to the ship and just had to unpack once. Our tour guides were fabulous and also provided lectures about Russia history on the ship. Each small town we sailed to had its own personality and wonderful souvenirs. There was free time and good free Wi-Fi. The cabins were perfect with comfortable beds and nice size bathrooms. The verandas had comfortable chairs. Food was good and a good variety. The ship staff was remarkable and work so hard. The wait staff knew your name the first day and called you by name immediately, They remembered what you prefer to drink whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic. It was amazing! Moscow was wonderful and we signed up for Moscow at night which was incredible. Red Square and the Kremlin during the day and then at night walking and by boat. This cruise was amazing, informational, and we met great people from around the world. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This cruise provided an excellent opportunity to see and experience new and different places from our previous adventures and being our 7th Viking cruise (river and ocean combined), we were confident that it would be done well. Our ... Read More
This cruise provided an excellent opportunity to see and experience new and different places from our previous adventures and being our 7th Viking cruise (river and ocean combined), we were confident that it would be done well. Our expectations were met and exceeded in many ways. We have cruised with others on the oceans and Viking continues to provide an outstanding experience. This is not to say that everything was perfect but Viking clearly strives to meet an "outstanding" standard throughout. We began the adventure with the pre-cruise extension in Helsinki, primarily to take the opportunity to ride the train from Helsinki to St Petersburg. We did a similar train trip from Oslo to Bergen on another Viking cruise and I would have to say that the trip to St Petersburg was not nearly as picturesque as the one in Norway. Having said that, the stay in Helsinki was well worth the time and money. Helsinki is a beautiful city with lots to do and something for everyone. We used the Hop on-Hop off bus to gain an appreciation for the city and then returned to several places to spend additional time. Places not to be missed are the Helsinki Cathedral, the Uspenski Cathedral, the University Library (next to the Helsinki Cathedral), and the Temppeliaukio Church (more commonly known as the Church of the Rock). A boat ride in the harbor and on the canals is also a great way to see the city (note: we bought tickets for the bus and boat at the same time for a small savings in the total cost). Each of the places provides a unique look into something different and elements of history. Like so many cities, a few days were not enough to really get to see even all the highlights but we really enjoyed the time before we began the trip in Russia. One evening, we ate at the Vltava Restaurant (Czech cuisine) and found it to be quite good. It is located across the street from the train station and since our hotel was close by, it was also very convenient. The bottom floor was a bar and we went to the third floor for our meal. The train trip was fast and efficient (if somewhat devoid of beautiful scenery) and we were check by both Finnish and Russian security personnel. No issues and all the process took place while riding the train. Once in St Petersburg, we boarded the Viking Helgi but stayed docked for several days before actually getting underway on the rivers. All of that was expected as the Helgi provided our "hotel" in St Petersburg while we had the opportunity to visit the city's attractions, which are many. We did the tours at Catherine's Palace, the Hermitage, St Petersburg from the Water, and the St Petersburg Ballet, which was performed at the theater in the Hermitage where Catherine would intertain guests. The performance, Swan Lake, was beautifully done and made even more special because of the venue where it was performed. Not a criticism but just a comment to be prepared for crowds at the Hermitage. We were able to get inside quickly but found it quite crowded going through the exhibitions. Our guide kept us moving so we could make the best use of the time we had available. They did provide some "free time" at the end of the tour to enable people to visit the numerous gift shops available in the building. Note that you will not be able to take backpacks or jackets while on the tour in the museum. They do provide coat rooms where you can check your coat and backpack but if you don't need them at that moment, best to leave them on the bus or on the ship. This happens several times during the different tours and you just have to just to the circumstances at each location. I would like to mention that throughout our cruise, Viking had three Russian guides that stayed with us the entire trip. Not only did they lead some of the tours, they provided ship-board lectures on the history of Russia. When they needed additional guides, they used local personnel to meet the requirements. The three guides we had were outstanding. We were fortunate to have Julia as our guide on several occasions and she was always very knowledgable and open about the information. She answered all questions with candor and was very willing to "tell it like it is." I attended the lectures by the other two guides and they were equally as knowledgable and open in their discussions. As we cruised the rivers, canals, reservoirs and lakes, we took advantage of the included tours and found them to be very interesting. Of special note was the visit to the Governor's House in Yaroslavl where the local guides were in period costume and spoke as if they were describing the house as their own. Very well done. Our time in Moscow was filled with very interesting tours including the optional tour of the Sergiev Posad, Russia's Greatest Monastery. The only caution I would provide for Moscow is that the traffic is horrible and that adds to the time required to get from the ship to any other place of interest. You can, of course, go out on your own and use the subway but we stayed with the tours as we thought it would be the best way to see as much as possible. Clearly the highlights from Moscow were visiting Red Square, the Kremlin, the optional tour of Moscow by Night, and the optional tour of the monastery already mentioned. The Viking ships in Russia are not the same as the longships used in Europe. They are older but have been redone by Viking. Understandably, I prefer the longships but they are not available in Russia. The rooms are adequate (we had a veranda) but the drawer space is quite limited. Certainly not a "deal breaker" but just anticipate less storage space than what you would see on the longships. The crew was outstanding. There was a medical emergency one night and that caused a slight delay in our transit but we were informed of the situation and kept informed. The restaurant was good but a bit limited in choices. Food was also available in the Panorama Bar and provided an alternative when you we're looking for just a light meal. Oveall, Viking continues to provide good value in their cruises. The tours are outstanding and the optional ones very worthy of your consideration. The included Moscow City Tour ends with a concert of traditional Russian music and certainly provides one of the real highlights of the cruise. This cruise provides a real opportunity to see some of the reality of Russia from the large cities to small villages and it will most likely change at least some of your opinions of what Russia is today. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I wanted to see Russia while I still can. It was amazing, a lot different than we thought it would be. Everything was very clean and safe. Except for a weather problem due to the date that we cruised(ice on the lake), everything proceeded ... Read More
I wanted to see Russia while I still can. It was amazing, a lot different than we thought it would be. Everything was very clean and safe. Except for a weather problem due to the date that we cruised(ice on the lake), everything proceeded without a hitch. The tour guides that accompanied us the ship were very knowledgeable and as were the local guides. The disparity between urban and rural is amazing. The tour of a locals residence is a must. The ship's crew was excellent and very attentive to our requests. The food was great with a lot of regional choices. Our cabin had a veranda which was bigger than our European cruise. We did not sit outside because of the temperature. There was adequate space in our cabin for our belongings and the housekeeping staff kept it very clean. Our cruise actually started in St. Petersburg after a train ride from Helsinki. We would definitely recommend this cruise if you are interested in experiencing Russia. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The experience itself was very good but the trouble I have had dealing with Viking administration before the cruise and then afterwards because I had an injury onboard and having to file a claim has been incredibly difficult. Because of ... Read More
The experience itself was very good but the trouble I have had dealing with Viking administration before the cruise and then afterwards because I had an injury onboard and having to file a claim has been incredibly difficult. Because of their indifference to matters of this nature I would be very careful of dealing with Viking again! The ship was clean and housekeeping was excellent. The cabins are small but adequate and nicely designed. The food was abundant but not as tasty as I would have liked it to be. Everything was presented beautifully but when it came down to was it delicious - no. The excursions were very good but the bus trips to and from were tedious and could have been planned better to avoid so many bus trips in the same day. The entertainment was quite simple - just a piano and a singer, but they were lovely to listen to. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was my Mother's dream to go to Russia. So I went with her, she 80 and at times needs help getting around. She has taken four previous Viking River Cruises and loved them all. I have over 100 cruise days on ocean ships but never ... Read More
This was my Mother's dream to go to Russia. So I went with her, she 80 and at times needs help getting around. She has taken four previous Viking River Cruises and loved them all. I have over 100 cruise days on ocean ships but never a river cruise. My Mother, my girlfriend and four friends have all sailed with Viking in Europe but never Russia. They rave about how great Viking trip are.....I didn't see that in Russia. This may be my first and last river cruise. It started with Viking offering free air. 27 hours from Seattle to St Petersburg with lay-overs in both Washington DC (2.5 hrs) and Vienna (5.25 hrs). We arrived on the boat at 6:30 pm losing the whole first day. Our return air out of Moscow was a bit better only 19 hours, just one lay-over in Frankfort 91.5 hours). However.....our flight left Moscow at 6 am after we were taken off the boat at 2:30 am for the two hour drive to the airport. We tried to get the flights to Russia changes 6 weeks prior to the trip but Viking said nothing was available. Truvor is an outdate boat design that was refurbished a few years ago. The staterooms were small, Mom amd I worked a system when only one of us at a time would move around to get dressed to avoid constantly getting in eachother's way. No drawers except a shallow desk drawer, limited cabinets with selves and a small closest, challenged us to find room for our clothes to avoid living out of a suitcase. These was plenty of room to store our suitcases under the beds. The bathroom was cramped but we managed, one at a time. The common room on the boat were small and space was not available for all the passengers to attend briefing together. They performed two briefing to accommidate their lack of space. We had unseasonably cold weather (first snows in May in St Peterburg in 50 years). Due to the cold weather, it was difficult to use the decks and balconies for very long, forcing everyone to compete for the cramped interior spaces or stay in your rooms. The Russian boat crew was every professional and navigated the waterways and locks expertly. One very seldom noticed the operations crew as they went about their business. This was Vikings first trip of the 2017 season. Over half the bar staff and dining staff appeared overworked and undertrained. When the dining room got busy, passengers often waited for refills beverages and staff was inattentive to anything but getting meals out. Several of the staff were on their first cruise contracts, so the inexperience showed. I have dietary restrictions. Viking had me send a very detailed description of my needs and said the ship staff would be given the details. The ship staff had no idea of my needs, the information was never passed on to the ship, except to say "a diebetic diet". Close but not really. My "diabetic box lunch for an excursion had sugary juice, starchy potatoe chips and white bread comercially mad ham/cheese sandwich....nothing I could eat. Every dinner, I told the wait staff to replace the starches or white carbs with extra vegitables, but 'No carrots".....every meal I got extra vegitables with extra carrots.....10 straight days. Only two of the four or five bartenders knew how to make simple drinks and one of the more experienced bartenders was fired a few days into the trip for too much drinking. I saw one passenger order a "Dirty martini"...the bartender asked what that was and the passenger has to tell him how to make the drink. I've taken Mediterranean Sea cruises three times the length of this trip at half the cost. This was a very expensive trip for very overrated service and ammenities. The free on-board wifi was great in St Peterburg. I could send/recieve e-mails and post social media with or without attachments and photos.Once we left St Petersburg it was terrible. For days we could not send/recieve a thing. At the first stop on the river, Mandrogy, we were rafted against a Russian riverboat company ship. Viking wifi did not work. I could sit on my balcony or stand on the dock and get great wifi from the unsecure Russian ship wifi....for just that day. Once we got closer to Moscow the wifi was sketchy at best but I was never able to send an attachment or photos...just e-mail. The on-board and local tour guides were very knowledgable and entertaining. However, they could coordinate their speaking points a bit, because very day, every tour guild kept repeating the same Russian Royal family histories. Twice would have been ok, but after 5 or 6 times of the same information....I got it. Russia was very interesting and that saved the trip. More importantly, Mom got to go to Russia. St Petersburg was beautiful, by far my favorite city in Russia. Moscow was a modern metroploitan city. Both were very clean and we felt safe traveling about. The river portion was interesting and the small towns were a joy to visit. We missed out on Kizhi because the lake was iced over. Iced over should have been interesting to see. At the briefing, we were told the boat would stop at anchor as we were going to follow an icebreaker through the icefield and it was safer to do during the day. I awoke to find we transbersed the ice during the night, one passenger told me heard the ice hitting the hull and that woke him to go check it out. I'm a sound sleeper and missed the whole thing. The boat docks outside the interesting part of St Petersburg and Moscow. If you are comfortable taking subways, the ship staff has good information on getting to and from the subway and city centers. Traffic in Moscow is so terrible, that bus/taxi travel is time prohibitive. Had Russia not been so interesting. I would have given Viking a much lower overall rating on this trip. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We did hear so many good things about Viking that we simply had to book a cruise and Russia was our first choice of destination. Everything about the cruise was fantastic.We Spent 3 days in St. Petersbourg, and then sailed the waterways ... Read More
We did hear so many good things about Viking that we simply had to book a cruise and Russia was our first choice of destination. Everything about the cruise was fantastic.We Spent 3 days in St. Petersbourg, and then sailed the waterways of Russia to Moscow. One of the best onboard activates and experience was an outstanding Vodka tasting. We learnt so much about food and culture too. The Chef did an excellent job, he was always present and introduced us to the real Russian cuisine including a live cooking demonstration and a local market visit. Our onboard guides been fabulous . Moscow was brilliant the red square, and the Kremlin, been just some of the highlights. All aspects been far above our expirations. We had fantastic food, great service and everything else was very well organized. This was defiantly not our last cruise with Viking. We looking forward to explore more water ways in comfort.. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
It was a wonderful exposure to the county of Russia, the history, and the current climate. Having three tour people on the ship full time, really helped. And everything went off like clock work. We were fortunate enough to have one stop ... Read More
It was a wonderful exposure to the county of Russia, the history, and the current climate. Having three tour people on the ship full time, really helped. And everything went off like clock work. We were fortunate enough to have one stop canceled because the ice was too thick, so we followed an ice breaker through the ice. Never expected that and it was quite an experience. Once the Russia security made us line up and wait forever to get OFF the boat, even being there several days. Getting on the boat is one thing, but none of us could understand why we had to wait. And all they had was one "portal" for everyone get off and on to go through. A little thing, but having coffee always available, with cookies!, was really nice. I was very impressed with the way it was all organized. I didnt feel we would be left in Russia, except on the underground Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We had a wonderful experience on the Viking Helgi just recently from Sankt Petersburg to Moscow. It was was our 3rd Viking cruise and we have been spoiled so far in France and on the Danube, no sure what to expect we made our way to via ... Read More
We had a wonderful experience on the Viking Helgi just recently from Sankt Petersburg to Moscow. It was was our 3rd Viking cruise and we have been spoiled so far in France and on the Danube, no sure what to expect we made our way to via Helsinki. The Cities been stunning and the tours are really great, nevertheless what really made our trip was the crew onboard. Smiling, friendly and attentive and by far more authentic than any other Viking Cruise. Well it is not always perfect and one can see that they are not up to the standard of the European crew but they are honest and sincere. The weather was still cold and grey in Sankt Petersburg and so we could not make it to the famous Kizi Island but what we got instead was even better. The Captain had to order an ice breaker which we followed through the lakes. Amazing experience. The crew also made a ice breaker party on deck serving drinks with the ice of the lakes. Just funtastic. Well the ship itself is not compareable with any other Viking ship but we informed ourself before hand so there was no surprise. Those are real ships and once they move you feel and hear it. Like the good old days. Well it was for sure not our last Viking cruise and we would like to thank again the Team around Hotel Manager Frank who really made this trip special. Also a big thank you to the Chef and Captain. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Took cruise sincere a friend on the China tour / cruise told us how well the chef on that tour accomodated people with special diets. We contacted the Viking agent, discussed our problem in detail with her and sent her a copy of the ... Read More
Took cruise sincere a friend on the China tour / cruise told us how well the chef on that tour accomodated people with special diets. We contacted the Viking agent, discussed our problem in detail with her and sent her a copy of the dietary restrictions. We were told they wouldn't be a problem and that Viking was known for their ability to customize experiences for their passengers. Long story short, the chef refused to accomodate the diet (like how hard is it to make a plain piece of chicken?) and towards the end of the cruise, he wouldn't even make a steak without butter for another passenger who was lactose intolerant. It's hard to explain to other "guests" why you aren't eating the main dishes. It's also hard to tour if you aren't getting enough protein. Thank goodness we brought peanut butter along with us. My wife wrote Viking and we did get a call from a representative who didn't offer any credits or consideration. Other than that ruining the trip, the sights were great, the rooms were adequate and the tour guides were very good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Scenic Tours are to be thoroughly applauded for their excellent service, from our departure, throughout our tour, to our return home to Melbourne! On our arrival in St Petersburg, we were met by our Tour Guide and were escorted to our ... Read More
Scenic Tours are to be thoroughly applauded for their excellent service, from our departure, throughout our tour, to our return home to Melbourne! On our arrival in St Petersburg, we were met by our Tour Guide and were escorted to our cruiser, "The Scenic Tsar". For the next 4 days, we were expertly guided through the wonderful city of St. Petersburg, including; Peterhof's Grand Palace, Yusupov Palace (where Rasputin was murdered), The Hermitage Museum, St Catherine's Palace, and finally, an exclusive Ballet performance for all guests. For the next number of days, we sailed the canals, lakes and rivers on our way to Moscow. Many historic villages. churches and museum sites were visited during our voyage. Finally, in Moscow, Scenic took us around some amazing sights, including; Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral, the Museum of Astronautics and the famous Kremlin. A ride on the Moscow Metro was an eye-opener for fast, efficient, inexpensive and ultra-clean public transportation. Whilst in Moscow, we were treated to evening's entertainment at the world famous Moscow Circus, and the legendary Russian National Dance Show. During our two weeks with Scenic, our impressions of Russia exceed all of our expectations! The service provided by the staff and crew of the Scenic Tsar was exemplary, as were the meals. All meals included drinks. Our cabin was always kept impeccably clean Lastly, it was a relief that all tips, side trips, drinks during meals and special performances were all paid for in advance. This made life much simpler! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
My review tends to compare this trip with our previous Viking cruise on the Danube from Budapest to in November 2013. The high point of both was the Hotel Manager, Rebekka, who had the same role on both. Her brightness and that of her ... Read More
My review tends to compare this trip with our previous Viking cruise on the Danube from Budapest to in November 2013. The high point of both was the Hotel Manager, Rebekka, who had the same role on both. Her brightness and that of her three escorts, Tatana, Polina and Julia, overcame the dullness of the Russian captain and his people and made every day special, even in the rain. I sensed surveillance or direct monitoring only twice. The food on this trip did not match up to the food on the Danube cruise. At most meals, only one of the daily offerings was at all special, whereas on the Danube trip it was almost impossible to decide among the choices. Russian logistics, perhaps. The best entertainment on the Russia cruise was the night that three crew members performed, and at that the best of the three was allowed only one number. The trip quiz was another good touch, as were the Russian history lectures. All seemed designed to deflect from the truly boring piano/singer duo. None of this matched up to the Danube cruise, where there were different entertainers at every stop. I didn't feel like we saw much of Russia, but at the same time it was clear that Viking was doing the best it could under the Russian circumstances. It was a shame that the port facilities in St Petersburg and Moscow were so far from the tour sites. On the Danube we rarely needed buses. Overall, it was a great trip - one that highlighted how superior the Danube cruise was. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was my second Viking River Cruise and my Husband's first. We were greeted at the train from Helsinki and driven to our ship. We were welcomed on Viking Truvor with pleasure and directed to our cabin where everything was ... Read More
This was my second Viking River Cruise and my Husband's first. We were greeted at the train from Helsinki and driven to our ship. We were welcomed on Viking Truvor with pleasure and directed to our cabin where everything was "shipshape". Our luggage was delivered promptly. St. Petersburg was splendid and exceeded our expectations. Our Guide, Misha, was excellent throughout the entire cruise. The local guides were excellent as well and all spoke English very well. The service aboard the ship was excellent. Everyone of the staff went out of their way to introduce themselves and remember our names from then on through the remainder of the cruise. Not only did they remember our names but the type of tea I drank as an example. The cities/ towns and villages we visited on our way to Moscow were unique. Having tea in a private home and visiting a school were some of the unique experiences we enjoyed. Loved all the art museums,as well as the palaces which were lavish and the churches as well. The onboard lectures, tours of the ship were very informative and great fun, thoroughly enjoyable. Moscow was more beautiful than I expected. The Kremlin, in Moscow was amazing and St Basils was spectacular. The only disappointment in the entire cruise was the tour of the Jewish Museum which was scheduled on a Jewish Holiday and they were closing early. We were given a very superficial tour the staff there obviously finding us an inconvenience. Our local guide was embarrassed and very apologetic. Overall an excellent and comprehensive cruise. We would recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
AS this is my second Viking Cruise I had high expectations and once I got to St. Petersburg and on the boat everything was excellent. The Boat, the crew, the food, the drinks, the entertainment... it was all top notch. I'll get back ... Read More
AS this is my second Viking Cruise I had high expectations and once I got to St. Petersburg and on the boat everything was excellent. The Boat, the crew, the food, the drinks, the entertainment... it was all top notch. I'll get back to that later as I want to tell everyone about the hassles with booking flights. Viking offered 'free airfare' and I politely refused, but they insisted the free airfare was wonderful. I said I normally upgrade, and they told me that once an airline was assigned I would be able to upgrade with no problems. So 30 days before our sailing date I called Viking and was told that I was assigned to Aeroflot and I could call them to upgrade or use the Viking partner link to do the upgrade online. I went to the Viking link page and guess what. Aeroflot was not even listed as a partner of Viking on that page. So I called Aeroflot and they said it would cost $385.00 per segment to upgrade, but only my travel agent, in this case Viking, could do it. So I called Viking back and said that Aeroflot had it all wrong and that they could not upgrade me. I called Aeroflot again and they confirmed everything I had been told earlier and I called Viking and they insisted they could not upgrade me. Sooo.. I wrote a letter to Viking headquarters in Basel, Switzerland. They faxed my letter back to the California office of Viking and I received a call from the travel manager. She said in fact I could upgrade for $3800. So for a total of $7600 I could upgrade my flights. I politely said no and asked to cancel the trip. I was told there would be sever financial penalties and I pointed out that I was lied to when I booked. Guess I should have had Viking sign something. I grudgingly traveled with my nose up against the seat in front of me for 10 hours, cursing the trip, the cruise, the flight and Aeroflot. I was glad to arrive in Moscow to get the short hop to St. Petersburg. I met other people on board, and they had no problems upgrading with American airlines companies, the problem was just Aeroflot. OK, now to the actual cruise. It was wonderful, much more than my wife and I expected. The Hotel Manager, Wilheim was great, entertaining, and quick to react to anyone's problems. Jeffrey and Elvira were great in the restaurant. As I said the food was great, and on my wife's birthday I spoke to the chef about a surprise cake and said it was all taken care of. I guess they looked at the passports to get her birthdate. The most tasty cake was prepared, and the 6 people at our table each got a piece. My wife and I learned more about Russia, it's history and it's language in those 12 days then we ever could have imagined. We also visited a Russian commune and we surprised at how they lived. We were glad to hear that they were being phased out. We also visited a Russian home in Yaroslavl and it was very much like an American home. Conversations with the Russian people shower we had the same interests, a happy life, good and smart children who are successful, and a long life. Saint Petersburg was beautiful and the museums, cathedrals, and canals were all noteworthy. Moscow was also wonderful. It was clean, seemed safe, and Red Square (Red means beautiful by the way), was very impressive. I would definitely go back to Russia to learn more.... But I would NOT book or accept free airfare from Viking. They treat you like cattle to get to the ship and to get home. That kind of degrades from the rest of the trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
A tour of St. Petersburg, RU was the only item on my bucket list and I was delighted to have accomplished my longtime goal. It was an excellent cruise including the accommodations on board the ship, the food, the chef, the servers and the ... Read More
A tour of St. Petersburg, RU was the only item on my bucket list and I was delighted to have accomplished my longtime goal. It was an excellent cruise including the accommodations on board the ship, the food, the chef, the servers and the tour guides. All were very friendly and knowledgeable. Some didn't hesitate to go out of his/her way to provide service beyond the expected or to share information that made the trip so interesting. The ports of call were very interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed learning the history of the region and hearing first hand descriptions of life during the Soviet era. The on-board lectures were well organized and informative. My greatest reward was touring the many churches and palaces and viewing the art and architecture. My only disappointment was the modern/interpretive dance ballet on the first night. I was expecting to see a traditional, classical ballet. But I will not judge my entire experience on that one night. Overall, Viking more that met my expectations and would would not hesitate to book with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was a trip of a lifetime! All we had to do was to get ourselves to St. Petersburg. The flight there on Russian Airlines was an unexpected treat! At the airport, Viking Cruise personnel with warm greetings, took charge of our luggage ... Read More
This was a trip of a lifetime! All we had to do was to get ourselves to St. Petersburg. The flight there on Russian Airlines was an unexpected treat! At the airport, Viking Cruise personnel with warm greetings, took charge of our luggage and travel-tired bodies. Goodbye travel anxiety! We were shuttled to our ship and graciously ushered to our lovely, comfortable cabin. The cruise had begun! Dinner that night confirmed our expectations of a fabulous cruise. Our friendly, conversational fellow passengers, from all parts of the world, were great fun and the dinner and the service first class! The tours of St. Petersburg before we set sail were well-organized and informative, providing us with a well-informed introduction to Russian culture and history. Along the cruise, each port excursion was a new experience. The tours were well-coordinated and conducted by an expert guide who spoke excellent English and to our delight, exhibited that excellent Russian sense of humor. As a result, we returned with lots of Russian jokes and stories that entertained our friends and also sparked their interest in visiting Russia. A treasured souvenir of our travel was the very professional, surprise video provided at our journey's end. We were unaware of the recording of the highlights of the cruise and memorable moments of our fellow passengers having fun. This we have also shared with friends at home. The cabin crew all bear special mention. Without exception, every member of the friendly, well-trained crew went out of their way to ensure that our cruise experience was first class! In retrospect, it all seems like a wonderful dream that all too soon has come to an end. It was an incredible introduction to Russia and her friendly, kindly people - it's the new Russia about which most Americans are sadly uninformed. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was one of the best cruises we have ever experienced!!! The staff were fabulous!!! Our tour guide, for the whole cruise (Victoria) was extremely experienced and just a wonderful representative of her country!!! Our dining area staff ... Read More
This was one of the best cruises we have ever experienced!!! The staff were fabulous!!! Our tour guide, for the whole cruise (Victoria) was extremely experienced and just a wonderful representative of her country!!! Our dining area staff were wonderful!! We had Vera and Natashya and they would help us with any questions on selections, which were all excellent!!! We always did the quiet upper deck small breakfast which had fruit, yogurt, rolls, muesli, juices, coffee/tea, etc. Dinners usually started at 7pm unless tours arrived late back at the ship. All menu items were delicious! We had a balcony room which was really great for cruising the Volga, etc!!! It may have been slightly smaller than we are used to on Celebrity, but they had so many amenities to compensate that we did not feel the difference!!! The bed was great and the features in the bathroom were excellent. All lectures were on the TV so you would not miss any information. We were taken care of from arrival to departure!!! All tours were very informative and professional!!!! I cannot say enough on this subject!!!! This cruise seems expensive, but it is worth every dollar/euro!!!! It is very inclusive and you just feel you are taken "care of" for the entire experience!!! All ship staff members were friendly and talked with you every day!!! Cruise life does not get any better than this for Russia!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2014

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