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!