I had wanted to go to Russia for 30 years and knew the Viking cruise would give me what I wanted, at least for a first trip.
We were able to see the primary points of interest plus some unknown to me. And, going to a country like Russia, I wanted a prominent tour company handling the entire trip. Viking did great! We were met upon arrival, taken to the ship, and settled in before having our first excellent meal in the dining room.
Our room, with veranda, became our comfortable home away from home for the next 13 days. Everything was delightful, though the shower/bath is very small. The ladies who took care of the room were delightful and helped with anything we needed.
Dining was an experience on its on. The wait staff couldn’t have been better, nicer, friendlier, and more fun. We really enjoyed the time spent with them each day. The ship crew, front desk, etc., were not as friendly. They did their jobs. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and easy to visit with. They were always willing to answer questions.
The tours were all very good, though very crowed. My biggest complaint was there being too many of us in a group. There were times when our guide would be two rooms ahead talking about something we weren’t seeing. This was especially true at Peterhof. The included tours were good for an introduction, but not for a detailed visit. Again, there were just too many tourist everywhere we went. Early fall would have been a better time to go.
We were very disappointed when we arrived at Red Square. We found huge tents placed right in front of St Basil’s, making any kind of nice photo of the church and the square impossible, though we did get some telephoto shots that were good. We were also disappointed in the Kremlin—again, tents, and huge crowds of people made some photography impossible.
Highlights were the river stops and the time sitting on the veranda and watching the scenery go by. It was very relaxing compared to the busyness of the city visits, though they were amazing.
I would take this trip again if I could afford it, but i’d take the more in-depth tours. I do hope to go on other Viking tours.
This was a perfect room location on this ship.