I thoroughly enjoyed this cruise, finding Russia fascinating. The ship and cabins were, as usual, excellent, and the on-board Vodka tasting is definitely not to be missed. You learn more than you ever knew there was to know about vodka, and you don't get drunk. (They show you how to avoid it. :-) ) (Really!)
The excursions included all the big sights - giant palaces and museums - but I really enjoyed that several excursions got you out more into the country, meeting people who live there, in their schools and their homes.
It would be for that very reason, meeting some of the people, that I wouldn't do this specific cruise again, myself. Once, yes, wonderful. Other Viking cruises - I'm planning on it.
Here, you do see Catherine the Great's palace, the Hermitage, Red square, the Kremlin, ancient churches - those are all magnificent things with no equal elsewhere. (I would call the Hermitage **too** big, myself, but that's me.) (And Catherine's Palace really demonstrates why there was a revolution.)
Similarly grand places elsewhere - Rome, Paris, Venice, Austria, China, etc.) I would revisit and have revisited, but a return to Russia is, for me, unlikely.
The issue for me is that the Russian people are clearly so very unhappy. They hope to get out of their situation - impoverished, fearful - or at least have their children get out, but that hope is so slim that they are deeply depressed. You can tell that the ones who don't show this overtly are not showing it out of dire fear of the authorities.
I thank Viking very, very much for being willing to show us that side of the country. It was a unique experience that was absolutely worth the trip.
I did not know it was a huge walled area with churches and monuments in addition to the government buildings.View All 39 Kremlin Reviews
Interesting, but full of setup for "Russia day".View All 35 Red Square Reviews
I really didn't expect high-level orchestral music played with traditional Russian folk instruments (domer, goosling, bala contrabasso). Fantastic!View All undefined undefined Reviews
Over the top. You can tell why there was a revolution - floor to ceiling gold.View All 226 Catherine Palace Reviews
Fantastic collection, but extremely crowded.View All 377 Hermitage Museum Reviews
Wonderful.View All 99 Russian Ballet Show Reviews