2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise for the two end destinations - St. Petersburg which we had seen briefly in the past, and Moscow which we had no special knowledge about. The ports in between were not "must see" destinations but were very ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the two end destinations - St. Petersburg which we had seen briefly in the past, and Moscow which we had no special knowledge about. The ports in between were not "must see" destinations but were very pleasant places to spend a short amount of time. There is very little jaw-dropping scenery as there are in fjords, but the birch forests are calming and beautiful. The Viking ship was quite nice, with good room amenities, and staterooms seemed slightly larger than comparable ocean cruise staterooms. The food was good, but not varied, due to the small size of the ship and kitchen. The local specialties were well done and tempered to western expectations. The ship had a stellar housekeeping crew, both charming and efficient. The land tours, most which were part of the basic cost, were excellent, and the tour guides were also responsible for the learning and orientation sessions on the ship, which gave good continurity throughout the cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Our 3rd Viking River Cruise was in Russia. On the Viking Truvor. The ship is nice, the rooms are nice.. It was exactly what we have experienced in the past. But food!!!! was a very different experience.. One we will try to forget very ... Read More
Our 3rd Viking River Cruise was in Russia. On the Viking Truvor. The ship is nice, the rooms are nice.. It was exactly what we have experienced in the past. But food!!!! was a very different experience.. One we will try to forget very soon!!!.. The offerings were just plain cheap.. Canned tuna, TILAPIA!!! (Possibly the dirtiest and worst fish you can ever eat) Roast Turkey?? etc... If this is because of the tariffs imposed on western goods in Russia, they should have offer boil potatoes and soup.. In general the food was a disaster to say the least.. Talking with the crew, I found out that the menus are designed in their corporate offices, so I will say the Chef had nothing to do with it.. Even if he did poorly a couple of times.. The service was great but missed orders several times.. The entertainment was talented,,, but not for this venue.. Eventually people started calling the bar "The Nap Room".. Their repertoire was extremely elevator music.. Terrible.. Our room was always impecable thanks to the cleaning staff. Our excursions and enrichment were absolutely Fantastic.. We are now booked on Viking for Vietnam and Cambodia for December 2019. We are seriously considering canceling.. It is sad to see Viking slowly going down on the quality of the menus.. I would highly recommend visiting Russia, but not on Viking until they fix their food offerings.. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Few people travel to Russia so it gets peoples' attention when you tell them where you have been for the past couple weeks. They sincerely want to see photos and hear about the trip and it is more than just a nice gesture on their ... Read More
Few people travel to Russia so it gets peoples' attention when you tell them where you have been for the past couple weeks. They sincerely want to see photos and hear about the trip and it is more than just a nice gesture on their part. We had to have 5 "gatherings" here at the house to show off the photo album and explain all the educational values from the trip. Things like the population of the cities, where do people live, work and play, the traffic, the airport, cleanliness of the parks, streets and rivers are what I want to learn while there. Those are things I want to learn and the reason for my taking the trip. Then you have the luxury of having many guided tours and events, all of which are very well planned and executed and if you don't learn from them, you aren't listening to your earphones or reading provided material ahead of time. And at the end of the day, you have the pampering from the crew on the ship. All the crew members on this cruise were outstanding from the wait staff to the housekeeping. The food was GREAT, well presented and ample in quantity. Thank you for a great cruise, Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our 2nd cruise with Viking. Our 1st trip was great, however the Waterways of the Tsars was a trip we want soon forget. From the time we landing in St Petersburg Russia everything was planned to the nth degree. One of the tour ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise with Viking. Our 1st trip was great, however the Waterways of the Tsars was a trip we want soon forget. From the time we landing in St Petersburg Russia everything was planned to the nth degree. One of the tour guides was there to greet and get us to the ship. Alone the way he kept us entertained with humor and some history of St Petersburg. Once on board the Viking Truvor we settled in to beautiful stateroom with a balcony which we always request. Dinning was always a special treat with excellent selections, presentation and favor that always met with high praises. Know with all those kudos I cannot say enough about service. This is why Viking is rated so high in personal service. The hotel manger and dinning manger were always available to provide whatever service was needed. Our servers Armando, Bim, Aubray and Yana without a doubthave went over board to please us throughout the entire trip. Lastly without the tour guides this trip would not have been as enjoyable due to the very professional tour guides at all the many stop. My wife and I have traveled all over the world and Viking has always provided us with excellence. We have booked our next trip with Viking leaving Oct 24th 2018 can't wait. BH Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We selected this particular cruise because we always wanted to see Russia! The timing was good for us and of course . . . it's Viking! This is our second experience and we will definitely return again. The ship was lovely and our ... Read More
We selected this particular cruise because we always wanted to see Russia! The timing was good for us and of course . . . it's Viking! This is our second experience and we will definitely return again. The ship was lovely and our accommodations spectacular! We particularly enjoyed sunsets at 10:30 pm and met some great people at dinner each evening. Service everywhere was fantastic, the ship was always clean and we enjoyed the food, wine and kind smiles and faces of every staff member. Our director was awesome and so accommodating with each event, activity. We always felt like we were treated to royalty. We really enjoyed the on board studies of Russia, past and present, and tried to learn the language in the classes offered. Fun! Loved the Russian lunch and dancing. Every shore excursion was excellent; guides always knowledgeable and patient. We learned so much! Yes, we will return again! Thank you Viking! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
A comfortable leisurely way to an introduction to Russia, from large cities (beginning & end) to the countryside. We recommend ending in Moscow, making the whole trip a build-up. The ship was very comfortable, the food good, the ... Read More
A comfortable leisurely way to an introduction to Russia, from large cities (beginning & end) to the countryside. We recommend ending in Moscow, making the whole trip a build-up. The ship was very comfortable, the food good, the service impeccable; it was the right size of ship. The excursions were varied, interesting, even intimate, without being overwhelming in number and size; scheduling was excellent. The guides were very professional, informative and friendly, and always available. We picked a time period which was cool / cold (could not really use the outer deck effectively), but this ensured that the places visited on excursions were not over-crowded. Some of the events -- ballet, concerts -- were particularly enjoyable, as was the banya (Finnish sauna & plunge). The embarkation and disembarkation experiences were extremely smooth and easy; Viking was very well organized for a glitch-free entry / exit. We would gladly book with Viking again on another such trip elsewhere; we tend not to repeat trips. Timing is critical on any trip because associated popular excursions can easily be over-crowded, detracting from the enjoyment. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Rural look at Russian interior. Paid for transfer package - Our flight was late so we were left our own to get to the ship from St Petersburg. We gave advance notice of the delay. Some of the bus versus walking excursions were more ... Read More
Rural look at Russian interior. Paid for transfer package - Our flight was late so we were left our own to get to the ship from St Petersburg. We gave advance notice of the delay. Some of the bus versus walking excursions were more walking than desired or anticipated. Talks on board should be recorded and streamed so passengers can watch in their cabin at a better time. Sometimes there were not enough seats. Sophia, our stewardess, was particularly good. We have traveled with Viking 5 times and she is the best so far. The Truvor is tasteful considering its age but the public seating area is not at all cozy. All the couch/seating areas feel like you are sitting in the hallway. On the whole, the trip was very good and all bu one of the local guides were excellent. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We were invited to join friends on this cruise and are so glad we did. Our cabin was on the lower deck (230) and was very comfortable. It was above the water level and had a full picture window, unlike the standard cabins on the Rhine and ... Read More
We were invited to join friends on this cruise and are so glad we did. Our cabin was on the lower deck (230) and was very comfortable. It was above the water level and had a full picture window, unlike the standard cabins on the Rhine and Danube. No complaints at all. The food was excellent as was some of the local Russian wine. Our somewhat complex travel arrangements were expertly handled by the Viking travel desk. The only negative was that two of my flights in Europe were booked in basic economy class so I got hit with two unexpected baggage charges, but when I complained to Viking they refunded the amount of the charges. You can see photos and some background on our cruise at tsarwaterways.shutterfly.com but here are some additional comments. Our cruise began in St. Petersburg and ended in Moscow - I think that's probably the best direction to do it. We had spent two days in St. Petersburg in 2009 and were happy to repeat some experiences and add new ones. Repeat visits to Catherine Palace and Peterhof were excellent and I would highly recommend visiting these places. The canal cruise was most enjoyable and really showed how St. Petersburg was designed and built around the canals - an appreciation one doesn't get from driving around. An evening at the ballet was most enjoyable even though the performance wasn't by the Mariinsky as they were on tour for the summer. The folkloric show was totally geared to tourists but good fun and well done. The middle section of the cruise on the waterways took us through remote countryside. Because of this, most of the excursions required a bus ride to get to the site of interest and in some cases the amount of time to explore was less than one wanted. However, the quality of the guides was very good. Three (Russian) Viking guides accompanied the cruise from beginning to end and they were excellent in explaining the historical and cultural background to what we were seeing as well as in general organization (including locating one traveler who got lost in Moscow!). Yes, one sees a lot of churches but their beauty is outstanding. Despite the distance from towns of any size, the ship was adequately provisioned with fresh and plentiful food and even fresh flowers every day. We opted for the extension in Moscow and easily filled the extra days: there is so much to see. After being shown the ropes we became quite adept at traveling on the metro. It's really not that difficult, though it helps if you have learned the Russian alphabet (there are a few lessons on that on board the ship). While we didn't speak any Russian, I was glad I had taught myself the alphabet and a few words in advance. Most of the museums we visited had some English language displays and audio guides in English. The hotel in Moscow, the old Soviet Ukraina, was great: luxurious and centrally located. One thing that was different from our previous Viking river cruises was that we had to select most excursions before departure and many of them involved an additional charge. I imagine this is because the logistics of running such excursions is so much more complex in Russia. The main negative on this cruise, which is out of Viking's control, is that the ships have to dock far out of the center of St. Petersburg and Moscow so getting into the city involved a bus or metro ride. All in all, the few negatives were minor while the positives were huge and I have no hesitation in recommending this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
We had never been on a river cruise or travel in Russia and thought it would be an interesting way to visit Russia. We enjoyed the tours and the tour guides did a very good job explaining the sites we visited. The tour guide were very ... Read More
We had never been on a river cruise or travel in Russia and thought it would be an interesting way to visit Russia. We enjoyed the tours and the tour guides did a very good job explaining the sites we visited. The tour guide were very well educated on all the sites we visited and able to explain the history of all the sites. Overall it was a very good trip. We were not sure what to expect but were very pleased with the overall trip. The travel in the river boat was very relaxing and the food was outstanding. Very glad we took the trip. I would recommend both Viking River Cruise and Russia tour. Visiting both Cities and Rural Islands was very unique. Also visiting local residences was very unique. I had very little knowledge of Russian Orthodox Churches and found them very different from other cathedrals in other European cities or US cities. Very glad we were able to visit so many. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We took this cruise to see places we never thought we would see. The excursions were very good, but the excursion to the northern island, while interesting, was a long way there and back. My major complaint was the lack of shipboard ... Read More
We took this cruise to see places we never thought we would see. The excursions were very good, but the excursion to the northern island, while interesting, was a long way there and back. My major complaint was the lack of shipboard entertainment. The piano player and singer were okay. The trivia contests were okay. All together, there was very little evening entertainment. The daytime education sessions on Russian history periods were okay, but were the only entertainment outside of the excursions. There should be a fitness room. While the age of the passengers seemed to be older than my wife and I, I think a lot of people would have used a fitness center to some extent if available. The number of TV channels needs to be expanded. The choice of movies definitely needs to be expanded. The food and food service were excellent, although Western name brands of sugar and artificial sweeteners should be available. The cabin service was fine. I think the excursion to the ballet should have been optional. Our primary tour guide was excellent; because he spent 10 years in the USA, he spoke with very little accent, understood USA customs and expressions, and was very entertaining. Read Less
48 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
I took this cruise with my sister and six other family members including my 80 and 82 year old parents. We flew KLM to St. Petersburg Russia. The flight was excellent, we were in the lap of luxury being fed every two hours and enjoying ... Read More
I took this cruise with my sister and six other family members including my 80 and 82 year old parents. We flew KLM to St. Petersburg Russia. The flight was excellent, we were in the lap of luxury being fed every two hours and enjoying our own personal entertainment systems with free headphones. The plane was not full and there was room to stretch out and lay down on vacant rows. On arrival, we were met by the red jacketed Viking tour guides who quickly organized our luggage and escorted us onto nice buses for the ride to our ship. Embarkation went smoothly and we were escorted to our cabin by a cheerful Russian girl. All tips were handled at the end of the cruise so we were spared the hassle of tipping on board. Cabins Our cabin was very nice with adequate room for our belongings. We were situated on the lowest deck right outside the library. The ship is much smaller than a normal cruise ship. It is long and narrow and easy to remember where everything is on board. Our room had two twin beds, a desk with drawers and cupboard, bathroom and a tall closet to hang clothes in. Suitcases were stored under each bed. Storage was not a problem as the room had plenty of cupboards to put our belongings away. We decided to store our dirty laundry in our empty suitcases under our beds and that worked out well. There were not enough outlets for all the things I wanted to plug in and I was glad I brought a small outlet adapter to expand the number of devices I could plug in. The beds were very comfortable with the best comforter ever. Linens were plush and comfy. Towels also great. Our cabin had glasses and an ice bucket for bringing ice from the hallway ice machine. The bathroom is well stocked with shower cap ,shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, lotion, q tips and cotton squares.The shower has a clothes line you can pull out to hang anything wet. My sister washed some undies and hung them up to dry and that worked out fine. For our wet coats, scarves etc...we hung them in the closet and they were dry the next day. We also sent clothes out to the laundry and they were returned the same day. The cost was about $20 for two pairs of pants and three shirts-well worth the money. One of the best features of the cabin was that the window opens! We enjoyed opening the window to get the fresh breeze as we watched the beautiful scenery slip by. The window opens onto a passageway on the outside of the ship and sailors do walk by often so we learned early on to keep our curtain closed when dressing! Our next door neighbors watched TV constantly at a loud volume (remember the passengers were almost all the 70 and older set). I can't imaging what they were watching as the TV choices were terrible. There was nothing worth watching other than the dancers up in the lounge. If you plan to entertain yourself in your cabin, bring your own device and watch Netflix. Dining Room The dining room is at the end of the ship and it was up one floor from our cabin. An elevator is conveniently located right next to the dining room and my parents used it daily. Tables are not assigned and seating is first come, first served. There were only two tables large enough to seat all eight of us, and we found out that we had to get to the dining room early to get one of the large tables or we had to break up into small groups. One of my family members volunteered to go to meals early to reserve our table. It was irritating that we had to plan how to get our table for every meal. The atmosphere in the dining room was wonderful. The waiters were friendly and attentive. The room is spacious but intimate with comfortable lighting and real linens. Mealtime was so much fun for us as we could plan our day, rehash what we saw that day, joke around and just enjoy being together. Library/Computers/Wifi The library is small with a couch, small table and a couple of chairs. Most of the books are coffee table type books on Russia. The ship could provide a leave and take shelf for passengers to donate a book or take one. The computers were in the hall by the library. Two computers with a printer and chairs were available with wifi. I am a college professor and I was teaching my online classes while on the cruise so the computers and wifi were very important to me. The computers were rarely being used and the internet service was very good. Paper and printing were free as well as the internet access. I took my laptop just in case but I didn't need it. I tended to wake up early and go online to do my work before the start of the day. I was worried that I would not get good internet but it turned out fine. I did struggle with the wifi while we traveled through the many locks we encountered on the river. The locks have tall cement walls and as the ship moves into a lock, the wifi is interrupted until the ship rises and moves out of the lock. It was difficult to get any work done at certain places as we encountered lock after lock along some stretches. Lounge/Entertainment On top of the ship above the dining room is a lounge with drinks and snacks. This is where the entertainment takes place along with lectures and games. The passengers were almost exclusively senior citizens so not too many late night activities were going on up here. All of the lectures were broadcast on board into our cabins so we could watch in bed if we wanted to. The couple who provided music every night in the lounge were good. My sister and I enjoyed watching the feed from the lounge at night when passengers danced, not knowing they were on camera. It was strange that we could see them dancing but we could not hear any music (it was still fun to watch them dancing even without music!). The lectures held here were very good. A lot of history and culture discussions. The last lecture was on Russia today and the tour guides answered questions at the end. I was surprised at their candid answers to some hard questions about Russian culture. They were very open and honest about life in Russia under communism and the way Russians live today. The lectures were definitely worth attending or watching in your cabin. There were also games and karaoke in the lounge and we attended some. It is available if you get tired of being in your cabin and decide to mingle a bit. Gift Shop The ship has a small gift shop on board selling Russian items like amber jewelry, stacking dolls, hats, Christmas ornaments, chocolate and other trinkets. The gal who runs the shop was very friendly and helpful. We stopped at her shop almost every day and she was always happy to pull items out of their cases so we could look. My Dad bought me an amber ring at the shop to remember our trip. It is silver with a large amber stone. I love it very much but, alas, it has begun to turn pink as the very thin layer of silver is wearing off. It was not expensive, $30, so I didn't expect it to be the best quality but have only had it two months and it is already failing. It is disappointing that Viking is selling such cheap jewelry on board. You might want to ask the tour guides where to get good silver jewelry rather than purchase it on board. Food Breakfast was a buffet or we could order off a menu. The buffet did not change from day to day. It offered sliced cold cuts of unknown meats (nothing was labeled), breads, eggs, potatoes, meats such as sausage/bacon, omelet station, oatmeal, cold cereal, fruit and drinks. I tired of the choices after a few days and got creative with the offerings, a BLT worked well. Berry smoothies and baked goods were passed at our tables by a charming Russian girl carrying a large basket of baked goods. The pastries looked great but were more bread like than pastry. As in many countries, the pastries were not very sweet which was fine with me. I was on Weight Watchers the entire cruise and I was able to make healthy choices and stay on my meal plan mostly. I only gained three pounds in the two weeks so I was very happy. At lunch we were given 3-4 choices usually a soup, sandwich and a hot meal with of course, dessert! Dinner was the highlight of the day. Appetizers, entrees, fruit and cheese plates and dessert. There were always available chicken breast and a steak if you didn't like the entrees offered. One of my family members ordered two entrees for every dinner meal and that was no problem at all. Our waiters were happy to oblige any request. One night my mother asked for a fruit plate and our waiter brought a lovely plate with the fruit artfully arranged and carved. My sister is a vegetarian and there were always choices for her. After meal times snacks were available upstairs in the lounge with coffee, tea and water always provided in the hall outside the dining room. If we got a very late night craving, there was no food to be found. We were glad we brought some granola bars and nuts with us. Staff I can't say enough about the staff on board. They were patient, friendly, accommodating, funny, charming and entertaining. They were the best part of our on board experience. The tour guides were with us most days and they got us where we needed to be and answered endless questions with enthusiasm. It can't be easy to guide a large group of older people but they know what they are doing. Excursions were just the right length and speed for this crowd. Except for my parents, our group was probably the youngest on board (50-60), It did get frustrating at times to be with such an older group. When we would arrive at a destination, there would be time set aside for the bathroom, leaving coats at the coat room and then the tour would begin half an hour later. It was perfect for my parents but some of my family members got antsy waiting. For them, the tour guides were always happy to help them work out a plan to take the subway on their own and explore the city at their own pace. Excursions On this cruise you will see a lot of palace museums and churches. Take every opportunity to go on excursions and see everything but build some down time into your schedule too. Here is my take on the excursions: Hermitage: talk about drinking from a fire hose! So much beauty in one place! So much art work and the building itself is a work of art. The Russians loved to decorate with gold. The museum was busy but we were able to see everything. There is a lot of walking with no benches to sit until the very end. I think my parents would have liked a small folding stool so they could sit down once in a while. We did not buy the early access and I am glad we didn't, the included tour was plenty. Catherine's Palace: Really beautiful. Take time to go outside and explore the gardens and fountains which were running even in October. The amber room is amazing. So many beautiful photo opportunities. Bring a selfie stick, you will tire of asking people to take your picture. Peteroff Palace Probably my favorite of all the palaces. Peteroff is a beautiful town about a half hour outside St. Petersburg. The bus ride was interesting and the town is so pretty and normal. We saw kids playing in the school yard, people walking to the shops and to work. It was nice to get out of the big city. Faberge Museum We had a private tour of this museum, there were about 30 of us and we were in the museum all alone. That was great. We were able to view everything easily. Our guide was very knowledgeable in fact, she gave too much information for me. I found a bench and sat for a bit after looking. I was overloaded with information. The museum is in a beautiful building which was a home. It was well done and modern. Khizi Walking tour Definitely a highlight of the trip. This is fascinating. Loved the old home tour, the church and the bell ringing. The scenery is so beautiful and it was good to get outside and walk around even though it was cold. We dressed for the cold and it was fine. The old church sells icons and it was fun to buy from them. There was some shopping by the dock but not much-save that for Uglich. Yurislaval It rained very hard this day so it was difficult to walk around but we did go to a market where the chef from our ship offered samples of Russian produce, nuts, meats etc... There was a sort of outdoor market there with goods and local people were shopping there. My sister bought a lovely coat for a good price. We also saw a church (of course) and a highlight for me-a group of teenagers in military uniform marching and singing in the park. It seemed to be a youth military group and they were cute. We visited a bank to get money out of an ATM then exchange it for rubles. That was an experience as they did not speak English. Uglich This is the place to shop! The souvenirs are plentiful and the prices are the best. Take a large shopping bag to put it all in or you will have to carry multiple bags. There is a watch shop on the pier with reasonable prices and nice choices. I bought army watches with a Russian tank and red star-great gift for a man, for about $30. Uglich has the best variety of Russian hats in all colors but check the sizes, some are smaller than others. Great Wooden Christmas ornaments, nativities, Santa etc... But buy them on the way back to the ship as they are heavy to carry around. It was raining again so we didn't see much of the town other than the shops close to the pier. Moscow I can only say: Amazing! Red Square is the best. The Kremlin is a lot of walking but so much to see. On our second day in Moscow, some of our group took the subway into town early to see Lenin's Tomb. All of the guidebooks say to skip it but, it was one of my favorite things, so bizarre, so quirky and hey, you just have to see it. I don't understand the desire to keep a man who died 70 years ago on permanent display. Riding the subway was great too. Easy to navigate, safe and clean. The Jewish Museum was the best. New, modern and interesting. Loved being there. Take a minute to order a pastry from the cafe and sit down at a table. Lovely quiet moments there. Leaving Russia was difficult. The entire ship full of passengers arrived at the airport at once and the lines were so long and unorganized with piles of luggage everywhere. Our Viking Guides stepped in and after a couple of shouting matches with the airline reps, we all got where we needed to be. Advice Here is my random advice for anyone on this trip. 1, Take Medication. We got sick with cold/flu. I mean the entire ship got sick, even some of the staff. Take meds like Nyquil, antihistamine, nasal spray, Tylenol whatever you need to feel as good as you can if you get sick. We had to see the on board doctor and pay $50 for what would cost less then $5 at home. If anyone is sick on board, it quickly spreads like wildfire. 2. Take a selfie stick for great pictures with people in them. Much better than just pictures of things. Keep the daily newsletters placed in your cabins, they are a great summary of what you did every day. 3. Try to go out on your own in Moscow if you are up to it. Its fun to mingle with the locals. 4. Try the horse meat. One dinner is Russian food and horse meat is offered. Hey, where else are you going to get a chance to do that? 5. Tip your staff well. Most of them are away from their families trying to earn enough money to get ahead in their home country. Our waiters were both married with children from the Philippines. They were so cute and helpful. One was trying to earn money to buy a mini bus so he could run a business at home. We have so much and they have so little, plan to tip them well but put it into an envelope and give it to them-do not drop it into the Viking tip box at the front desk if you want to be sure they get it. 6. Ask a lot of questions. The tour guides are very helpful and willing to answer anything. 7. Buy Red October Chocolate. It is in a yellow wrapper with a baby on the front wearing a scarf. Delicious and a really great cheap gift for those at home. 8. Don't worry about what you wear. Be super casual and comfortable. No one cares about your wardrobe. 9. Be patient in traffic. St. Petersburg and Moscow have the worst traffic I have ever seen. You will spend a lot of time on the bus stuck in traffic. Take an audio book and headphones on your ipod or phone or some music to pass the time. I enjoyed sitting up front and watching our bus driver navigate around the road rage but you might want something less stressful. Many of our older passengers slept. I hope this is helpful. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
Our main goal was to have time to spend in St. Petersburg to have plenty of time to visit the Hermitage and the Czars Palaces. We added 2 hotel days so we could hire a private guide and her car for 3 days to take us to the country side, ... Read More
Our main goal was to have time to spend in St. Petersburg to have plenty of time to visit the Hermitage and the Czars Palaces. We added 2 hotel days so we could hire a private guide and her car for 3 days to take us to the country side, Kronstadt and her favorite places in the city. We are 2 couples and we think we see more in small group of four which costs little more but adds a lot. Our hotel was central city, 3 blocks from the Hermitage. We spent 12 days on the Truvor boat. No complaints at all. Excellent service, great food, rooms as nice as we've had on a cruise. The small towns we visited along the way to Moscow were interesting, but not spectacular. they provided a look at central rural Russia. Moscow is a typical big city of Europe. Four to 5 story buildings centrally surrounded by the high rises apartment houses holding the population since communist times. Russia is surprisingly modern with excellent roads, all the fast food places and high end shops of other big cities. The history of Russia dominates the included tours, monuments, parks and seemingly every part of Russian life. You continually hear about wars, the military, great generals, czars both men and women, the differences between communist Russian from 1917 to 1991, and modern Russian since 1991. We always felt safe. Saw no evidence of KGB type stuff. Viking's part was to make us have a floating home to return to each evening and to meet our every need. They were totally successful. Our cruise were 95% appreciate Americans, who enjoyed this chance to finally see and better understand Russia for ourselves with no propaganda on either side. Had we just got to see the Hermitage the trip would have been worth it, but we got so much with Viking handling the details of the trip so well. Thank you Viking. Ross and Shirley, Bill and Janis Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2016
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Wanted to see Russia! The cruise offered what I was interested. The excursions were very interesting and exceeded my expectations. The dining experience was great. The food was excellent, but our servers were extraordinary...very ... Read More
Wanted to see Russia! The cruise offered what I was interested. The excursions were very interesting and exceeded my expectations. The dining experience was great. The food was excellent, but our servers were extraordinary...very accommodating, but lots of fun. The lady in the gift shop was extremely helpful...made very good suggestions. I really appreciated the postcards, availability to buy stamps and the opportunity to have someone mail them for me. Absolutely no complaints, only compliments! Highly recommend this cruise. I would definitely go again! I really like the variety of activities that the shore excursions allowed me to experience. The guides on the ship were very knowledgeable, but also spoke English very well. The local guides were knowledgeable and spoke English fluently. I really appreciated the excellent the communication system that our guide spoke into and that I could hear with no problems! Thank you for providing a most rewarding cruise for me. Highly recommend! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
I've wanted to visit St. Petersburg since having guests from there in 2000. We were never very interested in Ocean Crusing, but the idea of river cruising and traveling to many places without having pack and unpack and schlepp ... Read More
I've wanted to visit St. Petersburg since having guests from there in 2000. We were never very interested in Ocean Crusing, but the idea of river cruising and traveling to many places without having pack and unpack and schlepp luggase was very attractive. We were busy every day with shore tours, language, history and cultural classes and we loved meeting and dining with new friends, the excellent, friendly staff and the wonderful tour guides. Visiting Russia this way was truely an unforgetable experience and Viking made it easy from beginning to end. We did this cruise in celebration of our 35th wedding anniversary. As we both still work, it was wonderful to spend so much time together in such a relaxing environment. We will always recommend river cruising to our family and friends and that's probably the only way we will cruise in the future/ Many thanks to all the folks at Viking. Booking, activities, crew, service staff and guides...you did a great job of making our trip enjoyable and unforgetable. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Great opportunity to see Russia. It is unique in many ways. The cities are like other great European cities with history, architecture and art to explore. The countryside is beautiful and unspoiled. This river cruise was a wonderful ... Read More
Great opportunity to see Russia. It is unique in many ways. The cities are like other great European cities with history, architecture and art to explore. The countryside is beautiful and unspoiled. This river cruise was a wonderful way to see the countryside. Everything was handled so there was no stress to the travel. Representatives met us and handled everything to get us on board and in our cabins easily. The ship was a good size -- not too big and not too small. Our cabin provided plenty of storage so luggage could be stored away. Food/Dining was exceptional with a nice inclusion of local dishes. We even had a cooking class for a local favorite - pelmeni. Onboard, during the sail there were plenty of choices of lectures on Russian history, language lessons, visiting the Bridge and other entertainment. There were many shore excursions - most of them included in the price. The Viking staff made the trip fun and encouraged us to practice our Russian. The majority were Russians and they were happy to talk with us about their country. Would we go again? Yes, absolutely! Friends have raved about the Viking River Cruise experience. We now understand why. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2016
My favorite part of river cruising is viewing the life on the river, both human and nature. The cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow was interesting but the wildlife was nearly nonexistent, mostly supplanted by the human life that this ... Read More
My favorite part of river cruising is viewing the life on the river, both human and nature. The cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow was interesting but the wildlife was nearly nonexistent, mostly supplanted by the human life that this ancient waterway supported. It was great to see the small villages and dachas lining the banks with people enjoying the water, fishing, gardening and boating. Commerce on the water was mostly barges loaded with forest products, gravel and tugs. The stops were interesting, especially if you enjoy seeing old churches and tourist attractions. Some stops, where we had more time, were more interesting as we could explore on our own and visit shops and markets. St. Petersburg was fantastic as we visited great museums and saw a city that was brimming with life. The ship was docked too far from the city and there was no way to explore by foot, so that was a bummer. Moscow was a cosmopolitan city that was clean, friendly and bustling. The dock was near a subway stop so getting into the city on Moscow's great subway system was easy. We spent some free time meeting an old friend for lunch and it was easy to get around the center of Moscow, twice we hesitated as we struggled to decipher the street signs against our map, but both times Muscovites were quick to help with their great English. The Russian guides on the ship were great and the programs, meals and entertainment were good. My only comparison is a cruise we took on Oceania lines where I would have rated their onboard amenities as being better. The one standout for me was the warmth of the crew and the great attention we received for every request. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Actually the cruise was better than expected. First time with Viking, had three cruises with Uni-world, was better in some ways. Russia was very much like a German river cruise we had experienced. Just beautiful! The staff was what made it ... Read More
Actually the cruise was better than expected. First time with Viking, had three cruises with Uni-world, was better in some ways. Russia was very much like a German river cruise we had experienced. Just beautiful! The staff was what made it .Russian history and culture was a real experience. The shore excursions especially the Ballet, Russian dancing and the "vodka" were something I like to do again. If you like the experience of sailing down a river with the wind in your hair and a glass of wine in your hand, this for you. The Russian staff were super nice.Russia turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Going to a Russian market and trying all the different food items was a real treat. Later the Ship's crew surprised us with a lunch using the fresh food from that market. I bought the video of the trip, its worth the price. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Outstanding crew and service - our cruise was simply magical! The guides were exceptional - highly knowledgable and always went out of their way to accomodate special needs. Great variety of shore excursions or delightful to simply stay ... Read More
Outstanding crew and service - our cruise was simply magical! The guides were exceptional - highly knowledgable and always went out of their way to accomodate special needs. Great variety of shore excursions or delightful to simply stay aboard ship and relax. Of course the dining experiences were extraordinary, food always exceptional and waiter staff superior. We would definitely go again and recommend highly to our friends. Viking gave us great value and we look forward to many more cruises with them. A highlight of our cruise was meeting new friends that share our interests and love of traveling. We've already planned to cruise again with delightful couple from British Columbia we met on board this cruise. Again I can't say enough about the "above and beyond" level of service, friendliness and professionalism of the entire crew - Viking indeed absolutely spoiled us and set the bar higher other cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
We knew we wouldn't go to Russia on our own, our usual travel plan. This cruise was ideal, we saw two major Russian cities and a few little villages. We were on board for every night, so no daily packing challenges. AND the Viking ... Read More
We knew we wouldn't go to Russia on our own, our usual travel plan. This cruise was ideal, we saw two major Russian cities and a few little villages. We were on board for every night, so no daily packing challenges. AND the Viking folks really know how to spoil you for any other travel. The meals were delightful with new companions several days. The entertainment was special. Our cabin was always sparkling clean and neat. Excursions were well planned and organized so that 145+ people enjoyed each port and shore visit and didn't have the sense that there were "crowds" - not even once! I can't say enough good about the crew and staffing. Our guides were well-informed and genuine. The crew was friendly and never overbearing. Yes, we would definitely love to do another cruise similar to this one. It was so relaxing and informative. Such a pleasure to travel with Viking. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
I went w/my aunt on this trip last May. We'd been to Russia before, and I speak Russian decently. If you don't speak Russian, you need to stick w/your guides, who were very good. Most people you will encounter while touring ... Read More
I went w/my aunt on this trip last May. We'd been to Russia before, and I speak Russian decently. If you don't speak Russian, you need to stick w/your guides, who were very good. Most people you will encounter while touring do not speak English, and most signs are in Cyrillic. The staff is terrific, supportive and helpful. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly, food was excellent (eat as much Russian ice cream as you can; it's the best!!!) and well-prepared, but don't accept the "Russian" food as authentic; it isn't. The cabin was comfortable enough, but the air conditioning didn't always work well in the room, even when it was cool in the hallways. Be ware: boats stop very far away from the center of town, where things to see are usually situated. This is probably not an issue for most people, but if you want to go into St. Petersburg or Moscow not w/the tour, you need to take a taxi. Since I speak Russian, we could do that. The staff informed me that it would cost $40. one-way into town, which isn't terribly expensive. The taxi driver gave me his cell phone # should we need him again. When we wanted to return to the boat, I texted him, and he was unavailable, so he called his dispatcher, who called me for our location. She quoted me $7. to return to the ship! I don't know who's getting what kickback, but as I said, this is probably not an issue for most travelers. The presentations about Russian history were very interesting. What I would suggest is Viking having, where their able, shuttle buses for people who want to go into town to explore on their own; it could be at an extra charge. The biggest gripe I have with this trip is that there wasn't enough time for self-exploration or shopping! There was a folk dance performance held outside the ship in St. Petersburg one evening, but it was an extra $75. apiece; that's expensive for a boat performance. The only other things I would like to mention is that when we left the ship one day to explore Moscow, the gangplank was set at a very dangerous steep angle, when we left our ship to go to the airport in Moscow, everyone had to walk down a long pier in the rain to be able to access our bus, and since the trip from the boat to the airport is over 2 hours (Moscow traffic is HORRIBLE), it would have been nice of Viking to provide a snack/lunch for everyone, because a lot of time passes between leaving the boat and going through security in the airport. BTW: the ship does NOT take Amex; it would have been nice if they had. 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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