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195 Viking River Russia River Cruise Reviews

It was the best experience I’ve ever had. The staff was so wonderful and I loved our enrichment classes. Sasha and Alexie gave us incredible history lessons. I loved Russia, I think about my trip and Russia daily. I dream of returning to ... Read More
It was the best experience I’ve ever had. The staff was so wonderful and I loved our enrichment classes. Sasha and Alexie gave us incredible history lessons. I loved Russia, I think about my trip and Russia daily. I dream of returning to this beautiful country and hope I get to meet up again with the people I met through Viking. This was my first Viking cruise but won’t be my last Our accommodations were very nice, the staff was friendly and the food was very good. The outings were well organized and delightful. The only thing I didn’t enjoy were the long rides getting anywhere but I don’t see any way around it because of the size of the cities and the number of cars on the road. For instance, I signed up for art galleries and the itinerary would state maybe 4 hours but actually I maybe had an hour or so there because of lengthily travel time. It would have been nice to make them day trips of 6-8 hours to fully appreciate the galleries and museums. I truly loved my trip and I want to thank Viking and the staff for the best vacation of my life. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Our ship was berthed in Moscow for 3 nights the last cruise of this season. We had a portside cabin. We were in front of the main terminal building which was in process of being refurbished. Next year it will be beautiful, unfortunately ... Read More
Our ship was berthed in Moscow for 3 nights the last cruise of this season. We had a portside cabin. We were in front of the main terminal building which was in process of being refurbished. Next year it will be beautiful, unfortunately for us we were looking at an ugly construction site with piles of trash & garbage. If we where one berth over on either side we could have been looking at green park & trees. I'm not sure why Viking planners weren't sensitive to that, when you spend the kinda $$ for a Viking cruise. The reason we enjoy river cruising is cuz of the views whether docked or not. Unfortunately not this cruise! On the 3 nights in St. Petersburg we were sandwiched between two other Viking ships, so you open your shades you're staring in another ships stateroom. It seems that this becoming common practice on busy ports middle of high season but this wasn't the case on this cruise! They were just getting ready to mothball their boats for next year! Once you've been on the beautiful Viking ships in Europe these Russian clunkers (even refurbished) don't compare. The stairs steps are short & at a steep angle posing difficulty for older passengers. They do have a small but slow elevator. But with roughly 200 passengers not very efficient, so the stairwells is what most people used, & from what we heard someone did hurt themselves. There are no comfy lounge spaces or little sofas to unwind, to read or have a drink, even in the Panorama Bar or Sky Bar. Stiff chairs the norm throughout, where you eat or drink & move on! Ship creaking, rattling & vibration noises was also an issue especially in cabin (more on that below). Room key cards didn't work from the very beginning upon check in & for the next 4 nights or so, had to run down to service desk to activate which eventually became a hassle. The dining room temperatures were unbearably hot & eventually many of us wore t-shirts! Even after consistently complaining to no avail. Dining menu was inconsistent, lunches were better than dinners. The ship cooks don't know the meaning of medium rare! So overall the Ingvar ship was a bust! A few other nagging issues: Moscow terminal had a security kiosk like the airports & in cold & rainy Moscow the line when multiple buses unloaded got crazy! That issue fortunately didn't replicate itself in St Pete's but it was a constant issue in Moscow!! Scheduling on many of the tours we felt like we were in a herd. They could have been spaced 10-15 minutes apart for a smoother more pleasant experience coming & going. On the positive side the included excursions & local guides were excellent. The extra fee excursions were very pricey side so we skipped many of them. The one "Moscow at night" included the Red Square & a boat ride. Well the Square was closed off for a Harvest Festival we just walked around it, so the boat ride for $129 each felt very steep! The other one we paid for was visiting the Faberge museum which initially I was skeptical but with a spouse from the museum world I went along & certainly didn't disappoint! The 3 Viking onboard guides (Alexey, Slava & Philip) which also did the excursions besides the supplemental local guides all were excellent! They love their country, love their jobs, were very knowledgeable, did it w/ passion & it showed. If you get a chance pay the final bill in local currency or US$! I paid by credit card & when I got home the bill was off by $20 (their exchange rate isn't the going rate:( The $30 p/p per day in gratuities on the final bill also was excessive. Throwing it in there on your final bill is becoming the cruise ship industry standard & you can only dispute it while on board! So if you're on a longer trip you will get a shock at the end. Gratuities is not a fee & should not be mandatory! But its another fee the travel industry is trying to tack on to the ever growing list of taxes, levies & hidden fees:( Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We got a great deal to go on the last cruise of the season. Free airfare and a reduced price. The weather was not good, it rained or was cloudy nearly every day which was not the fault of Viking. The food was excellent and the waitstaff ... Read More
We got a great deal to go on the last cruise of the season. Free airfare and a reduced price. The weather was not good, it rained or was cloudy nearly every day which was not the fault of Viking. The food was excellent and the waitstaff could not be more friendly and accommodating. they had things to do while sailing such as lessons in basic Russian and Russian history which helped when visiting sites. The original flight scheduled was not good with multiple stops, but for an additional $50 we were able to upgrade to a one stop flight each way on British Air and Lufthansa. It was well worth it since the original airline was substandard American Airlines. We had flown international with them in the spring and it was terrible. Our biggest complaint was the excursion to Peterhof in St Petersburg. It was billed at a 5 hour tour of “The Russian Versailles,”. The cost was about $150 each. The fountains were closed because of the time of the year, which we understood. However, they did not allow enough time to visit the gardens which we understood to be fantastic. We left the ship at 9AM and arrived at 10:10. We were told we had 20 minutes to see the gardens which meant we could run out for 10 minutes and run back for the palace tour. While the palace was nice it was similar to the included incursion of the Palace of Catherine the Great only smaller. Even though it was the end of the season the crowds were huge and going through the place was slow. When the tour was over we were told we had another 20 minutes to get on the bus at 12 PM that meant we had to skip the gardens again. I can't imagine what would happen in the summer. My suggestion would be to skip Peterhof save the $150 each and go the the included Palace of Catherine the Great; Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had travelled this cruise a few years ago and wished to revisit the sights because there is so much to take in. Our friends joined us on this cruise as they had heard so much about it from us over the years that they wanted to see the ... Read More
We had travelled this cruise a few years ago and wished to revisit the sights because there is so much to take in. Our friends joined us on this cruise as they had heard so much about it from us over the years that they wanted to see the sights of Russia themselves. As we have all travelled with Viking before we are familiar the standard of service, food and entertainment, hence our reason for travelling with them. The ship although not built to the same standard as the river cruises of Europe and ocean cruises, was exceptionally well maintained and catered for all our needs. The ship being slightly smaller means that you got to know your fellow travellers quite easily together with the staff. The cabin met all our needs and was easily accessible. Our only preference would have been to have a slightly more modern shower facilities, perhaps matching those of the other boats and ships. Dining was up to the excellent standard that we expect and receive of Viking. However, we would not travel on the last trip of any cruise again. The reason being that on the last but one day and the last day a number of items were not available, e.g. white toast for breakfast and the wine that we had enjoyed throughout the cruise had run out. Entertainment was very good and the different talks given about the places we visited were extremely interesting and informative. The excursions were excellent and the information and knowledge that the individual guides had was amazing they included very detailed information along with their views. The service we received from staff throughout was as always excellent. When we arrived at Moscow we waited for our luggage which did not arrive. Also my husbands wheelchair was badly damaged. The reception staff on the ship did everything they could to help and support us in trying to get our luggage back and complete claim forms. Our only disappointment was that of travelling with the airline Aeroflot, the service was not as good as other airlines and they damaged beyond repair my husband's wheelchair and to date have still not settled, some 2.1/2 months later. Would not recommend flying with them, we will not. Unfortunately, travelling on the last trip of the season, some of the items on the menu were not available for the last but one and last day of the holiday. The staff were extremely apologetic but there was nothing they could do. A great pity. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have done many river cruises and loved them all. But this one was unique and special. We would have been nervous to travel to Russia alone due to the language and logistics issues. Viking made this experience a breeze. They had done ... Read More
We have done many river cruises and loved them all. But this one was unique and special. We would have been nervous to travel to Russia alone due to the language and logistics issues. Viking made this experience a breeze. They had done the research regarding interesting locations, timing, informative speakers, cultural sites, excellent tour guides, and regional foods. All we had to do was sit back and enjoy the view. Each day was a new location and a new adventure. We saw modest towns, historical sites, exquisite museums, a concert with Russian instruments and musicians, a ballet, churches and the beautiful Russian countryside. Our ship was beautiful, immaculately clean, and well-appointed. We so enjoyed sitting in the Panorama Bar and watching the world go by. The ship was the perfect size. We were able to meet new friends from around the world. The food was sensational and we enjoyed the regional soups and dishes. The chef gave us a fun cooking class. There was always something to do and places to go. We were never bored. We felt like we learned so much about Russia and its people. The shore excursions were a true highlight. Experiencing a banya ! - Who'd have thought it possible? Making your own Matroyshka doll ? wow! Seeing actual craftspeople creating their authentic works. Traveling on the Moscow subways! The Hermitage Museum in all its splendor... It was the experience of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
St. Petersburg takes a bare minimum of three days. It far surpasses Buckingham Palace, the Vatican, or the Luorve. It was absolutely jaw dropping. If you are on this website, it is a must do, and soon. Akun was very clean and well ... Read More
St. Petersburg takes a bare minimum of three days. It far surpasses Buckingham Palace, the Vatican, or the Luorve. It was absolutely jaw dropping. If you are on this website, it is a must do, and soon. Akun was very clean and well designed. Russia limits the ships, so it is not as fancy as Europe. Room was good, bath was small but well laid out. Food far exceeded what I expected. Russian specials so good I never ordered the always available items. It was a real treat. Bars and snacks were ok. Entertainment was in short supply. But we did not miss it. No casino or sales. Service was better than several ocean cruises we have taken. The boat only holds about 200 people, so everything is fast. The whole trip is as well done as you would expect from a Scananvian company. Easy to disembark, board busses, and see the sights. Well thought out and presented. Felt very safe everywhere. Strongly recommend home tours, school tour, and especially the night cruise in Moscow. St. Basils, at night, in the rain, is one of my all time favorite photos. River stops were better than I expected. A little "canned" but still entertaining. I was expecting to be bored by a series of small towns. Moscow is ok. Night cruise really made it shine. We use primarily Smithsonian, Tauck, Regent, and Viking. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Everything about the cruise was great. The places visited, particularly St Petersburg and Moscow, were interesting. The guides who traveled all the way with us were knowledgeable and their talks on board were well worth attending as they ... Read More
Everything about the cruise was great. The places visited, particularly St Petersburg and Moscow, were interesting. The guides who traveled all the way with us were knowledgeable and their talks on board were well worth attending as they gave a history of Russia. The stops along the way were generally very interesting, and the 'local guides' were also generally of a high standard. The food was wonderful throughout. The choice of ballet performance and venue in St Petersburg was most impressive. The organisation on the ship, and various transfers in St Petersburg and Moscow were extremely slick and trouble free. One unique event was the 'meet the neighbours' which was a drinks and canapes meeting in the corridors of the ship, and allowed us to meet and get to know our immediate neighbours on the ship. Wonderful idea!! We cannot fault this particular cruise, and as a result have booked twice again with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We wanted to see more of Russia than just Moscow and St. Petersburg, so we looked at the inland waterway between those cities. Most river cruise companies on this route stop at the same places but we chose Viking as it was the first ... Read More
We wanted to see more of Russia than just Moscow and St. Petersburg, so we looked at the inland waterway between those cities. Most river cruise companies on this route stop at the same places but we chose Viking as it was the first foreign company to develop the route and operates its own boats, giving it greater control. The cruise includes three days in both Moscow and St Petersburg. In both cities Viking docks some way (around 20 km - 12 miles) from the city centre, so if you want to explore those cities on your own be prepared to use the Metro. In Moscow this is easy as the dock is a 10 minute walk from the Metro Station but in St Petersburg you need to take a public bus to the Metro station. This is easier than it sounds as route 119 (every 5 minutes) starts close to the dock and terminates at the Metro station. Details (including map) available at Helgi reception. Tip – buy stored value cards (Troika and Podorozhnik) to save messing with small change Viking offer a number of included and additional shore excursions. We took the Catherine Palace tour in St Petersburg (as this is difficult by public transport), the Moscow up close walking tour (as this starts with a good introduction to the Metro), the Kizhi walking tour and the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery bus tour (as the dock is some way from the monastery.) Viking gave us our tickets for the St.Petersburg Ballet performance in advance and we met the group at the theatre. If you are interested in the visual arts buy tickets on line and visit The Hermitage, General Staff Building and the Pushkin on your own. The Hermitage is worth a day and the other two half a day each. The include tours spend less than four hours at the Hermitage and do not cover the other two (although the extra paid excursions do.) The ports in between provide just the experience we were looking for. The visit to the Kirillov monastery was a high point of the trip and included a school visit hosted by a final year student (doing it as a summer vacation job). Having had school visits on tours to China in the early 1980s I was slightly cynical beforehand but this visit seemed genuine and was interesting. Other points: If arriving by train from Helsinki, the fare we paid from the station to the Viking wharf was RUB 2,500 A two day combined ticket for the Hermitage and General Staff building costs $24 on line; A one day Pushkin ticket including special exhibitions was RUB 1000 Viking offer a one day excursion to Sergiev Posad near Moscow. We did this ourselves by suburban train from the Yaroslav Station (the ticket machines speak English and tell you the time of the next train. On the platform indicator look for trains to Сергиев Посад or Александровка Try and learn the Cyrillic alphabet before you go. Viking provides excellent beginners classes on the boat - worth attending. Food on board was pretty good. German chef. Menu had local as well as international dishes. Bread could have been better Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have traveled with Viking before and always had pleasant experiences. We have never been to Russia and this looked like a nice cruise. It was our first time on their older ships. When we got to our stateroom we couldn't believe ... Read More
We have traveled with Viking before and always had pleasant experiences. We have never been to Russia and this looked like a nice cruise. It was our first time on their older ships. When we got to our stateroom we couldn't believe how noisy it was. It turns out we were located right below the major air handler for the entire ship. Besides the loud air noise there was a throbbing pulsing noise that made it impossible to sleep. We complained and were told that there was nothing they could do to silence the noise. They had an empty suite but they would not let us use it unless we paid the upgrade fee. Their solution was to let us use a stateroom that was empty on the second floor to sleep in. This room was quiet but didn't have the veranda that we paid extra for so we didn't want to move to that room permanently. So every night for the entire cruise we would go down to the second floor to sleep and then back to 422 during the day. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose this cruise for the opportunity to visit St. Petersburg and Moscow, and points in between. The excursions to visit all the cities and sites were wonderful. Everything was fascinating, and pleasantly surprising. Much better than ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the opportunity to visit St. Petersburg and Moscow, and points in between. The excursions to visit all the cities and sites were wonderful. Everything was fascinating, and pleasantly surprising. Much better than expected. The ship was great. Our cabin was more than adequate and comfortable. The dining areas were very pleasant and well organized. The food was very satisfactory. Those crew members with whom we interfaced directly were very professional. The cruise director presented professional port briefings. The cabin steward did a great job. The staff in the dining room and lounge were courteous and professional. The transportation to and from the excursions was very satisfactory. The excursions were very educational, and both the Viking and destination guides were knowledgeable and professional. The 3 ladies serving as guides and providing educational presentations were absolutely outstanding. The on-shore entertainment was great - Cossack dance, ballet and orchestra - was entertaining and professional. All-in-all, it was a great cruise and well worth the time and expense. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had been wanting to go on a river cruise. This was our first one and we chose this itinerary because the timing fit with other plans made. We enjoyed the small passenger feel. The staff worked hard to see that you were comfortable ... Read More
We had been wanting to go on a river cruise. This was our first one and we chose this itinerary because the timing fit with other plans made. We enjoyed the small passenger feel. The staff worked hard to see that you were comfortable and had everything you needed. Some of the special things we enjoyed was the “Meet your Neighbors” event, where all your cabin neighbors met in the hall, drank champagne and had chocolates, and visited. Often we were greeted at the door after an excursion by staff with something to drink or warm washcloths. It was a very nice touch. We also enjoyed the Liars Club, which was hilarious! The cooking class was not at all what was expected. It was more of a comedy show and everyone had a great time. The Russian history lessons were very interesting and we were so impressed with the knowledge of our three guides. Our excursions were all well planned, informative and enjoyable. We would definitely travel with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
On July 7th my husband and my self we star our 5th river cruise in Moscow Russia.We had four amazing cruise and are looking forward for this one to learn about the culture of Russia.Since we are Orthodox Christians we are looking forward ... Read More
On July 7th my husband and my self we star our 5th river cruise in Moscow Russia.We had four amazing cruise and are looking forward for this one to learn about the culture of Russia.Since we are Orthodox Christians we are looking forward to visit all the churches that are the gem of this country.First day one the ship with a warm welcome and all the information for the following day and shore excursions.Everyone who was working was very polite and very professional.Everything was very well organized from the tours the shows on the ship and of course the amazing night at the ballet theatre at Saint Petersburg.How can you say thank you to the best cruise director who was from earlier time in the morning until late at night around the ship.But the most important role of course was played the master of cooking in the ship mr Leonidas Kritharas.He was excellent in preparation and presentation of all kind of food.The soups was the best and of course the lamb dish my husbands favorite and all the Russian food he made was the best.We visit the small kitchen the place with the final preparations.The most cleaning place you ever seen.We hope to meet him at another cruise soon.Viking river cruise are our favorites.We are thinking for Vietnam for next year. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We took our very enjoyable 1st ever river cruise - Viking’s River of the Tsars. The quality of accommodation, services, food, and tours was in all cases very good. Our chief disappointment was their disregard for a very simple way ... Read More
We took our very enjoyable 1st ever river cruise - Viking’s River of the Tsars. The quality of accommodation, services, food, and tours was in all cases very good. Our chief disappointment was their disregard for a very simple way to operate in a more environmentally sustainable way by reducing their use of single use water bottles which they pass out by the hundreds daily. Despite repeated efforts after our return to learn why they choose not to provide reusable water bottles and water, we have been unable to get an explanation, in part perhaps because they seem to have no department to which environmental performance/sustainability is assigned. If attention to environmental protection/sustainability is important to you, please bring a reusable water bottle. The water on board is perfectly safe to drink, and is served at meals and in the bars. Also please REPLY TO THIS POSTING indicating if you too would be happier as a Viking customer if they provided a reusable water bottle and water refilling stations, so that their corporate decision makers can see that this is something that their customers value and want. Food service was very attentive and meals were tasty and well presented. The wine and beer served with lunch and dinner were of good quality. The tour guides provided from the ship were very well versed in information of interest, and their English was easy to understand. Some of the optional tours especially in Moscow could easily be done at substantially lower cost on one’s own using the very efficient and low cost subway system. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Have wanted to visit Russia and in particular St Petersburg for a long time. The Waterways of the Tzars cruise was a superb way to do so. From the moment we landed in Russia until the time we left we were looked after. The Viking Akun ... Read More
Have wanted to visit Russia and in particular St Petersburg for a long time. The Waterways of the Tzars cruise was a superb way to do so. From the moment we landed in Russia until the time we left we were looked after. The Viking Akun more than met expectations. The cabin was fine with good amenities, everything was spotless, the food was very good and all staff were helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. I particularly liked the dining menu with the variety of dishes including a selection of local dishes. The guides were very good and while having to keep to a timetable they managed to avoid making the trips seem rushed in any way. I thoroughly enjoyed the onboard pre excursion talks which allowed everyone to get more out of the excursions. The talks about Russian political and economic history were also very interesting. The evening entertainment gave a lighter end to the evening. I would certainly use Viking again either with a group of friends or just with my husband. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our first cruise. We had a fabulous time due to the well thought out excursions, the incredible crew and the comfort of the ship. The menus at meals offered healthy options and a vast selection of items from which to use. The crew ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We had a fabulous time due to the well thought out excursions, the incredible crew and the comfort of the ship. The menus at meals offered healthy options and a vast selection of items from which to use. The crew was so much fun! I don't believe I've laughed that hard in years because of the great evening programs. I appreciated the casual atmosphere where there were no requirements for formal wear. The cabin was small but immaculate, adequate with all the comforts anyone would need. Our luggage did not arrive with us in Moscow. Two days later it appeared but the staff did everything to help us and offer laundry service and bathroom accessories until our luggage was found and delivered. What could have been a horrible experience turned into a somewhat humorous approach. In general, this trip was not only fascinating because of a diverse culture but it was extremely fun! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We enjoyed the cruise, despite the flights arranged by Viking. The flights home were particularly difficult - two layovers, not sitting together on 2 flights, chosen seats not provided - despite having paid for Premium Economy and Viking ... Read More
We enjoyed the cruise, despite the flights arranged by Viking. The flights home were particularly difficult - two layovers, not sitting together on 2 flights, chosen seats not provided - despite having paid for Premium Economy and Viking Air Plus. The ship's crew were wonderful, helpful, friendly and extremely attentive. The food was good and the service on board was excellent. The best aspects of the trip were Moscow and St Petersburg - they are fascinating cities and well worth visiting. However, the traffic in both cities was horrific. In both cities the ship docked far outside of the city centres, and too much time was wasted stuck on the bus in terrible traffic. We often spent as much time on the bus travelling to and from destinations as we did at the destinations themselves. The Hermitage in St Petersburg was a wonderful excursion, but marred by the time getting there and getting back, and by the lineups and crowds at the site. All in all, despite the glitches, it was a memorable trip. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The Waterways of the Tsars is definitely the best way to see Russia. Viking knows how to pay attention to every detail! The service on the ship was excellent! Luigi and Rey in the dining room were perfection; they knew our names by the ... Read More
The Waterways of the Tsars is definitely the best way to see Russia. Viking knows how to pay attention to every detail! The service on the ship was excellent! Luigi and Rey in the dining room were perfection; they knew our names by the second day and had our drinks ready when we sat down. Valeriya kept our stateroom so neat and tidy - it made us feel comfortable after our busy days in the different ports. We like to stay active and were happy with the number of shore excursions. It was unusually hot when we visited; Viking had water bottles for us every time we left the ship and another beverage available when we returned. It was nice while in port in both Moscow and St. Petersburg to be able to walk off the ship and experience everyday Russian life. tWe loved the experience so much we booked another Viking cruise a week after returning from Russia! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This trip gave my husband and me an opportunity to explore St Petersburg and Moscow with the added bonus of seeing some pretty villages and scenery along the way. It was an added bonus that we could unpack our belongings and have a ... Read More
This trip gave my husband and me an opportunity to explore St Petersburg and Moscow with the added bonus of seeing some pretty villages and scenery along the way. It was an added bonus that we could unpack our belongings and have a familiar comfortable room to sleep in each night. We were very lucky with sunny weather, and found the use of our own balcony a great treat so we were able to have a quiet chill out and watch stunning sunsets as we sailed past sunken churches and incredible locks. The ship was kept immaculately clean, the day to day running of trips and activities was very well organised and the staff were helpful, friendly and courteous. There was a varied food menu and a good choice of table arrangements to cater for different sized groups. After our evening meal we had the choice of cultural enrichment lectures, trips to the theatre ( the ballet in St Petersburg was well worth a visit), social quiz evenings, films screened in our room or quiet drinks with new friends in the bar. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My wife is a college history professor and this is one of the "bucket list" trips for her as we approach retirement. We had done the Danube river cruise on Viking several years ago with my sister and her husband but this trip we ... Read More
My wife is a college history professor and this is one of the "bucket list" trips for her as we approach retirement. We had done the Danube river cruise on Viking several years ago with my sister and her husband but this trip we did alone which turned out wonderfully as we interacted more with others on the boat and met a lot of great people. We did the Helsinki addition at the front end which was perfect. A few days in a great city and it allowed us to decompress and adjust to the time change before boarding the ship in St. Petersberg. The ship was older but had been recently completely remodeled by Viking and appeared brand new. The Captain and crew on the ship, especially Margot the tour director were outstanding. Food and accommodations were exvellent. As always, Viking puts together terrific tour guides and first rate tours. Perhaps some of the highlights for us were attending the ballet in St. Petersberg and the Opera at the Bolshoi in Moscow. The river cruise took us to a number of locations that most travelors to Russia probably don't get to see and we had a chance to learn about the country outside of the big cities. Would highly recommend the cruise. Next up: Egypt and the Nile. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We have wanted to visit Russia for a long time, but were a bit concerned about going independently due to potential language barrier, safety, etc. Viking took care of all of the details and we were able to just enjoy the experience. ... Read More
We have wanted to visit Russia for a long time, but were a bit concerned about going independently due to potential language barrier, safety, etc. Viking took care of all of the details and we were able to just enjoy the experience. There was a nice mix of planned excursions and free time. We enjoy some exploring on our own and the staff was so helpful in providing maps, directions, and helpful tips. The crew on the ship were delightful and we felt we got to know many of them. They remembered our preferences and were always welcoming and friendly. Our room was nice, although there was a slight musty odor at times. The bathroom was very adequate and we loved having the private balcony, which we used often. The excursions were extremely well organized and led by wonderful Viking tour guides or local guides. We enjoyed all of the excursions, although the Hermitage museum was so crowded (not Viking's fault) it was difficult to get to see everything we would have like to see. Our Viking guide at the Hermitage guided us expertly to all of the "must-see" masterpieces and we made the best of a packed museum. We found the Russian people friendly and hospitable and interested in talking with us. The post trip to Helsinki was wonderful and we highly recommend a visit to beautiful Helsinki. Viking thinks of everything and leaves no detail unattended. This was our 2nd Viking river cruise and won't be our last! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Was looking to visit/travel Eastern Europe as we’ve traveled in every country of Western Europe, but never anywhere in Eastern Europe. This trip dovetailed perfectly into a transatlantic cruise we wanted to be on. As it turned-out ... Read More
Was looking to visit/travel Eastern Europe as we’ve traveled in every country of Western Europe, but never anywhere in Eastern Europe. This trip dovetailed perfectly into a transatlantic cruise we wanted to be on. As it turned-out Viking is heads-above ocean cruises we’ve taken (primarily on Celebrity). Typically we’d be referring to food and service staff, but Viking really understands what we as travelers are looking for. Their tours (all included) and related education gave us a rich cultural experience; education onboard about the country and its history and the local tour guides giving us their life’s personal experiences as well as information about the sites we visited. We gained a great appreciation for Russia; the country’s evolution, the people and their history, and their quality of life. On top of that, yes Viking’s food and service staff were superlative. The service staff was constantly going our of their way to make sure we were taken care of; on and off the ship. Regarding the dining experience, we enjoyed each days offering of dishes typical of the areas we were in Russia; always an extremely gourmet presentation and rich in flavors. One of the best experiences regarding the food was the demonstration of preparing Pelmeni; a traditional Russian staple. The wait staff always wanted to be sure we were enjoying the food and brought alternative choices if we weren’t overjoyed with our initial selections. In addition, and this really impressed us, was the assistant mater deli was constantly caring for my wife’s food allergies/sensitivities. She was like a little mother. Finally, we also very much enjoyed two other events in which we participated; a wine tasting and a vodka tasting. The ship’s hotel manager was previously a sommelier on other cruise ships and he was a vodka officionado. He gave the greatest and extremely knowledgeable presentations. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Provided everything I wanted from the tour. Places and excursions were all the things I wanted to see and do at a pace I was happy with and not too rushed. All trips really well organised with knowledgable guides. Everything ran to time ... Read More
Provided everything I wanted from the tour. Places and excursions were all the things I wanted to see and do at a pace I was happy with and not too rushed. All trips really well organised with knowledgable guides. Everything ran to time and appeared smooth and effortless. Ship provided everything required. The attention to detail and service was far better than I anticipated as this was my first time with Viking. Cabin was lovely, balcony was great as allowed private relaxation when cruising. Cabin staff discreetly attentive. Food was wonderful. Different menu every night with lovely regional dish options. For me the entertainment was more than sufficient as had not gone on this trip for lively evening entertainment. Gentle live lounge music and some quizzes which were fun. Can not fault this trip or the ship at all. Would definitely use again and recommend Viking to others. Testament is that most passengers had previously sailed with Viking, many more than once. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We loved both Moscow and St. Petersburg and all the little stops along the cruise. Food was very good. We enjoyed the regional choices available. Waitstaff was top notch. Tour director did a great job. We enjoyed the Russian ... Read More
We loved both Moscow and St. Petersburg and all the little stops along the cruise. Food was very good. We enjoyed the regional choices available. Waitstaff was top notch. Tour director did a great job. We enjoyed the Russian language lessons and the games. We liked the history lectures. We enjoyed all of the tours. But it is tough when you have to choose between 2 at the same time. All of the tour guides did a great job. I did do one comment card about the Moscow subway for I felt that the directions should have been given above ground where you could hear. You could not hear on the whisperers down in the station and I felt that some of our group were very uncomfortable. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to go on the Moscow subway so please keep that in. We enjoyed the ballet in St. Petersburg but would have also liked to see the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. Loved the Cossack show. Enjoyed the vodka tasting. Thought that the meet your neighbor was a great idea--did not have that on a previous Viking Cruise. Loved the balloons when we left Moscow. It was a really great cruise and I have told many people about it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
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