5 Viking River Viking Akun Cruise Reviews for River Cruises to Russia River

Have just returned from the most amazing trip just wish I had read more history books before I left!. Our first, and most certainly, not the last trip with Viking River. Russia has always had a mystery about it and the treasures of ... Read More
Have just returned from the most amazing trip just wish I had read more history books before I left!. Our first, and most certainly, not the last trip with Viking River. Russia has always had a mystery about it and the treasures of the Hermitage and The Armory in the Kremlin certainly highlighted those mysteries. From our two pre-cruise days in St Petersburg to the ride to the airport in Moscow, it was gold service all the way. They say a ship is " only as good as its captain" an in the case of Akun I firmly believe that. What an amazing young man is Captain Vladamir and Karolina, the hotel manager, waiting on the chilly deck for our safe return from shore excursions with hot towels at the ready, became Mother Hen. The ship is kept extraordinarily clean by a team of housekeepers, the cabin was bright and airy although the very cold days didn't allow time on the verandahs. The option to do as little or as much as you wanted was there for the taking, the lectures on Russia and its history by the 3 tour directors was fantastic. Travelling through 17 locks was a wonderfully new experience and to think they were all done before google and computers!!! Could go on forever but congratulations to the fantastic Akun staff, nothing ever a trouble, and I do miss my hot green tea, followed by a double shot coffee at 6 am in the Panorama Lounge and the warm smiles and hugs from Jefferina, Dasha and Gabriel. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My room was beautiful as was the ship's decor. On a river cruise your stateroom is smaller than on an ocean cruise because the ship has to fit in the locks. But they built amazing functionality into the room. It was also nice that ... Read More
My room was beautiful as was the ship's decor. On a river cruise your stateroom is smaller than on an ocean cruise because the ship has to fit in the locks. But they built amazing functionality into the room. It was also nice that they supply robe, slippers, and hair dryer - a few less things to pack. I had plenty of room to unpack and be comfortable. Each room has its own climate control to keep the temperature to your liking. The shower was big enough to bath comfortably. For women there is a lighted makeup mirror. The selection of TV channels was interesting. CNN International or BBC kept me updated on what was going on in the world. The bed was very comfortable and they will give you the kind of pillow you favor. Towels were always clean and refreshed. Stateroom was always cleaned by the time I returned from the morning excursion. I often took a nap in the afternoon and my bed was remade when I returned from dinner. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We had a very positive experience on the Waterways of the Tsars river cruise, which is consistent with our prior cruises with Viking. First of all the level of service from the front desk to the restaurant workers to the shore excursion ... Read More
We had a very positive experience on the Waterways of the Tsars river cruise, which is consistent with our prior cruises with Viking. First of all the level of service from the front desk to the restaurant workers to the shore excursion staff and the cabin stewards were all top notch. These people could not do enough to make our trip comfortable and enjoyable. For example, during one shore excursion, front desk staff accompanied us to a small shopping area and brought our purchases back to our rooms for us so that we did not have to make a trip back to the ship before boarding our buses for the tour! The food at all 3 meals was excellent and very nicely presented, a nice blend of familiar favorites along with Russian regional specialties. Please try one (or all) of the homemade soups offered at lunch/dinner. These were especially delicious! The shore excursions were nicely paced and very interesting. To see examples of Russia's glorious architecture was spectacular. We had the good fortune of having 3 of the tour guides on board with us for the entire cruise; during "down" times, they gave Russian history presentations starting from the era of the tsars all the way to the present leader, Vladimir Putin. All well done. We do want to give a heads up to expect a lot of vehicular traffic in St. Petersburg and Moscow, especially at commuting times. It could take 45 minutes to an hour to reach the city centers. Also expect crowds at the most popular sites. For example, the included tour for the Hermitage required us to wait in line to enter (about 20 minutes) and once inside, it was so crowded we could not get close enough to any of the artifacts to see or take pictures. (Hint: If you purchase the optional tour to the Hermitage, you get to enter a couple of hours earlier thus beating the crowds). Also be aware that if you sign up for any of the optional boat tours, they operate rain or shine. We had signed up for the Moscow By Night excursion and was disappointed that the evening was cold and rainy. Not good conditions for sitting outside and seeing anything. All in all, it was a great trip and we are glad we went. Looking forward to our next adventure! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
All we can say after experiencing our first river cruise with Viking is WOW! The ship had about 200 passengers, which made the sailing more comfortable and relaxed. Our cabin with balcony was enjoyed, especially while sailing on the ... Read More
All we can say after experiencing our first river cruise with Viking is WOW! The ship had about 200 passengers, which made the sailing more comfortable and relaxed. Our cabin with balcony was enjoyed, especially while sailing on the river with the beautiful scenery. There were several included tours in St. Petersburg, along the river and Moscow. We found all of them interesting and enjoyed a few optional tours as well. The ship's tour guides spoke English and were able to fully explain what we were seeing and answer questions. The service on board was very good, and we found the food to be of excellent quality. Must tell you Jan, the restaurant manager, and Chef Danilo, along with their staff, run the best restaurant of any cruise we've been on. Our cabin steward kept everything ship-shape, and the bartenders were very capable of making us whatever drinks we wanted. Service with a genuine smile and friendliness by every staff member was awesome. Small issues, like a too hot cabin, were addressed immediately, and laundry was returned folded and hung up within 3-4 hours of dropping it off. We met many nice, interesting fellow travelers and other ship staff, along with experiencing the beauty of the country, which made this vacation one of our best ever! We will travel with Viking again and can heartily recommend them to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our fifth cruise with Viking. We love them and, as usual, they did a great job. The trip began with several days in Moscow at the beginning and several in St. Petersburg at the end. In between, we sailed on rivers and canals ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise with Viking. We love them and, as usual, they did a great job. The trip began with several days in Moscow at the beginning and several in St. Petersburg at the end. In between, we sailed on rivers and canals through rural Russia. Moscow was neat. Seeing places like the Kremlin, St. Basil's, and Lenin's tomb was memorable. The night cruise on the Moscow River with the city all illuminated was a highlight. St. Petersburg is spectacular. It is dominated by the wide Neva River with palaces and government buildings on both sides. Catherine's Palace outside the city is a mini-Versailles and it is incredible to believe it was built twice: The original was destroyed in WWII and completely rebuilt. In between these two cities the sights were, generally, not as interesting. It took a while for us to accommodate to the fact that tourist infrastructure in Russia is simply not nearly as developed as in Western Europe. Whereas in France we sailed from one charming village to another, in Russia we stopped at ports which showed us what they had. And, in many cases that was another Russian Orthodox church. While many of these were really beautiful, after a while we were tired of learning the differences between 16th and 17th century Russian icons. But, it is what it is. This country is still emerging from decades of Soviet rule. Still, in the rural portion of the trip, there were some fascinating things to see, including the island of Kizhi (I recommend readers Google it.) Good souvenir shopping in Mandrogy. We, also, visited a Russian family and, through their translator daughter, heard first hand about life in the USSR and the difficult transition after 1989. They showed great resilience and have done fine. The Viking guides were great and we learned much about Russian history, cuisine, dance, etc., etc. They did extended lectures on the Soviet period, the fall of the USSR, and the last 25 years, including the current regime of Putin. I would have given this an Excellent rating if not for the middle portion of the trip which was not what we have enjoyed on other Viking cruises. But, that is not the fault of Viking, it is simply the current state of this formerly Communist nation. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Viking Akun Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 5.0 4.7
Entertainment N/A 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation N/A 3.3
Family N/A 3.3
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.7
Enrichment 5.0 4.7
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 5.0 4.7

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