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Viking Rurik Review

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Viking Rurik
4.0 / 5.0
22 reviews

Pros
Cons
Bottom Line

About

Passengers
196

Crew
105

Passenger to Crew
1.87:1

Launched
2012

Shore Excursions
0
Sails To
Sails From
Moscow, St. Petersburg
Viking River Cruise Deals
Chris Gray Faust
Cruise Critic Managing Editor

Viking Rurik Overview

There's something about Russia that stumps even the most intrepid traveler. The language is daunting, the Cyrillic alphabet is difficult, and its 20th-century incarnation as the Soviet Union, aka the "Evil Empire" to Westerners, still lingers in the minds of many.

Viking strives to make this complex country approachable for its North American, British, Australian and New Zealand audience. With five of its own ships on the Russian rivers -- most of the competitors charter their boats -- the company has made a commitment to this region that's evident in its programming and excursion choices.

Viking Rurik, refurbished in 2012, maintains Viking's signature Scandinavian style with blonde wood, muted colors and simple, attractive design. Because it sails on some of Europe's largest lakes, Rurik is constructed to handle waves so it doesn't appear as "flat" as Viking's European longships. Still, those with sensitive stomachs should bring seasick medication, as waters on Lake Ladoga, the largest freshwater body of water in Europe, can get rough. One aspect of the decades-old ship that couldn't be redone: the stairs, which are among the steepest we've ever seen. (Step angles were 68 degrees, as measured by an iPhone app.) Many people opted for the elevator, which runs to all four public decks.

Another feature that required some adjustment is the ship's main lounge, the Sky Bar. Unlike those on most other European river ships, this lounge is on the Sun Deck level and therefore isn't big enough to handle all 210 passengers at once. Passengers learned to come early for port talks, lectures and enrichment programs, which were often staggered and telecast into the cabins so everyone could hear.

Despite the cramped lounge, Rurik's staff did an admirable job of managing passenger flow, and the ship itself rarely felt crowded. Passengers disembarked in groups, usually without too many complaints or backups. Russian-language posters, evocative photos and artwork throughout the public areas imbued a sense of place, while Russian movies -- both contemporary and classic -- played every day on the in-room TV's. Standout optional excursions, such as a traditional Russian banya (bath), a behind-the-scenes look at the Hermitage vaults and tickets to the Bolshoi Ballet, kept even the most veteran travelers excited and engaged.

All in all, a Russian river cruise on Rurik gives passengers plenty of opportunities to explore the country's elaborate palaces, breathtaking art collections and onion-domed churches. While getting a handle on all things Russian could take a lifetime, 12 days spent onboard provide the perfect beginning.

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Top Viking Rurik Itineraries

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Fellow Passengers

The average age of Viking Rurik's passengers has been decreasing every year, according to the ship's hotel manager. While the trip used to draw mostly those in their 70's, passengers are now typically in their late 50's and 60's, with a smattering of younger (for a river cruise) passengers in their 40's. The ship is also drawing more people outside North America, with British, Australian and New Zealand passengers onboard. Most people have taken at least one other river cruise before tackling Russia, and you'll hear stories of China, the Danube and the Rhine at dinner.


Viking Rurik Dress Code

As with most river cruises, the ship eschews formal nights, and onboard dress is casual. Shorts and jeans are not permitted at dinner, however. Russia's weather can be iffy, even during the summer, so layers are a must. While dress at the Captain's Welcome and Farewell dinners seemed no different than it is on other nights, men and women who want to explore the theater scene in St. Petersburg and Moscow might want to throw in a sports coat, a dress or a nicer top and pants. You'll also want comfortable walking shoes for touring, as many towns have cobblestone streets. Women won't need heels.


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Viking Rurik Ratings

CategoryEditorMember
Cabins4.04.3
Dining3.04.4
Entertainment4.03.9
Public Rooms4.04.7
Fitness Recreation2.8
FamilyN/A
Enrichment4.04.7
Service4.04.8
Value For Money5.04.6

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More about Viking Rurik

Where does Viking Rurik sail from?

Viking Rurik departs from Moscow and St. Petersburg

Where does Viking Rurik sail to?

Viking Rurik cruises to Moscow and St. Petersburg

How much does it cost to go on Viking Rurik?

Cruises on Viking Rurik start from null per person.

Awards and Recognition

Viking Rurik Member Reviews

Viking Rurik
Edaskland
Sail Date: Aug 2019
We were so impressed with Viking - their planned tours were fantastic. The ship was exceptionally well maintained.... Read More
Viking Rurik
TJB71
Sail Date: Jun 2013
Will we go on Viking again ? Yes, Yes, Yes.... Read More
Viking Rurik
rosevbonnar@hotmail.com
Sail Date: Oct 2014
Loved the smaller amount of people that the Rurik ship could accommodate. I really do not think any other Viking cruise could top this one. Hopefully, I am wrong about this. Room was perfect.... Read More
Viking Rurik
gord.haddock@sasktel.net
Sail Date: Jun 2014
It's Viking........that's all we need to know.... Read More

Viking River Cruises Fleet

Viking Truvor
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

92 reviews

Despite one of the chilliest travel climates in Russia since the Cold War, Viking Truvor gives passengers a comfortable in-depth introduction to the world's largest country.

View All Viking Truvor Cruises
Viking Ingvar

Viking Ingvar sails 13-night themed trips between St. Petersburg and Moscow, with calls at culture-filled villages and unique towns.

Viking Helgi

Like its fleetmates, Viking Ingvar and Viking Truvor, Viking Helgi offers "Waterways of the Czars" themed trips between St. Petersburg and Moscow. 

Viking Legend
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Smaller than Viking's newer Longships, Viking Legend carries 188 passengers on a ship where most cabins boast French balconies.

Viking Legend Cruises to Europe View All Viking Legend Cruises
Viking Prestige
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Prestige, which debuted in 2011, was Viking River Cruises' last new-build before it introduced its revolutionary Longship series in 2012. It has a lounge, dining room, library, a sun deck and cabins on three decks.

Viking Emerald
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Launched in 2011, Viking Emerald is Viking River Cruises' sole ship operating on China's Yangtze River. A chartered vessel, it has all the feel of a Viking-owned ship.

Viking Odin
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Despite its sleek modern stylings, there's something quite homey about Viking Odin, which offers a high level of service onboard a ship with a decidedly Scandinavian feel.

Viking Idun
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Idun was one of the original sextuplets -- branded "Longships" named for Norse gods -- to hit the water in 2012. German-built Viking Idun offers a sleek, Scandinavian ambience and a laid-back vibe.

Viking Njord
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

As soon as you approach Viking Njord, crew members greet you and offer assistance. This welcoming atmosphere continues when you walk into the two-story atrium, which has understated elegance.

Viking Aegir
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

One of the original "Longships," Viking Aegir and its sister ships represent a new take on river hospitality, one in which a sleek, Scandinavian ambience is the antithesis of river's traditionally fusty vessels.

Viking Embla
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

The modern, yet contemporary design found throughout Viking Embla is both welcoming and bright, with its floor-to-ceiling windows allowing bursts of natural sunlight, its outdoor dining deck.

Viking Rurik
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Rurik, refurbished in 2012, maintains Viking's signature Scandinavian style with blonde wood, muted colors and simple, attractive design on a Russian itinerary.

Viking Skadi
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Skadi is characterized by its understated Scandinavian decor and friendly service; onboard highlights are the outdoor Aquavit Terrace and wine and beer served at meals.

Viking Atla
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Atla is characterized by its understated Scandinavian decor and friendly service; onboard highlights are the outdoor Aquavit Terrace and wine and beer served at meals.

Viking Baldur
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Baldur is characterized by its understated Scandinavian decor and friendly service; onboard highlights are the outdoor Aquavit Terrace and wine and beer served at meals.

Viking Bragi
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Bragi is characterized by its understated Scandinavian decor and friendly service; onboard highlights are the outdoor Aquavit Terrace and wine and beer served at meals.

Viking Forseti
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Forseti is characterized by its understated Scandinavian decor and friendly service; onboard highlights are the outdoor Aquavit Terrace and wine and beer served at meals.

Viking Jarl
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Jarl is characterized by its understated Scandinavian decor and friendly service; onboard highlights are the outdoor Aquavit Terrace and wine and beer served at meals.

Viking Magni
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Magni is characterized by its understated Scandinavian decor and friendly service; onboard highlights are the outdoor Aquavit Terrace and wine and beer served at meals.

Viking Rinda
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Rinda is characterized by its understated Scandinavian decor and friendly service; onboard highlights are the outdoor Aquavit Terrace and wine and beer served at meals.

Viking Tor
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Tor is characterized by its understated Scandinavian decor and friendly service; onboard highlights are the outdoor Aquavit Terrace and wine and beer served at meals.

Viking Var
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Var is characterized by its understated Scandinavian decor and friendly service; onboard highlights are the outdoor Aquavit Terrace and wine and beer served at meals.

Viking Alsvin
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

One of Viking's many longships, Viking Alsvin boasts a two-story glass atrium, the al fresco Aquavit Terrace, and a clear sense of minimalism.

Viking Buri
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Life onboard Viking Buri is simple, friendly and worry-free. Passengers schmooze over local wines at night and tour France's Provence and Burgundy regions by day.

Viking Delling
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Delling draws its name from Norse god Delling, "father of the day." Step onboard and you're bathed in daylight, thanks to the two-story glassed reception area.

Viking Gullveig
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Gullveig is named after a mythological Norse goddess, who survived trial by fire three times and gained powers to enchant.

Viking Heimdal
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Heimdal, one of Viking's Longship series, is airy and elegant, a showcase of streamlined Scandinavian design with fine wood accents and soothing earth-tone decor.

Viking Hemming
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Hemming, which sails Portugal's Douro region, is a "baby" Longship because it's smaller, both in length and in passenger capacity, than regular Longships.

Viking Hermod
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

What first strikes you as you step onboard Viking Hermod, one of Viking's numerous Longship-class sisters? Sunlight streaming in through the glass-enclosed atrium.

Viking Hlin
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

What first strikes you as you step onboard Viking Hlin, one of Viking's numerous Longship-class sisters? Sunlight streaming in through the glass-enclosed atrium.

Viking Idi
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

What first strikes you as you step onboard Viking Idi, one of Viking's numerous Longship-class sisters? Sunlight streaming in through the glass-enclosed atrium.

Viking Ingvi
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

What first strikes you as you step onboard Viking Ingvi, one of Viking's numerous Longship-class sisters? Sunlight streaming in through the glass-enclosed atrium.

Viking Kara
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

What first strikes you as you step onboard Viking Kara, one of Viking's numerous Longship-class sisters? Sunlight streaming in through the glass-enclosed atrium.

Viking Kvasir
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

What first strikes you as you step onboard Viking Kvasir, one of Viking's numerous Longship-class sisters? Sunlight streaming in through the glass-enclosed atrium.

Viking Lif
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Longship Viking Lif is staffed by a welcoming and professional crew; its minimalist decor mirrors Viking's Scandinavian roots, creating a calming atmosphere.

Viking Torgil
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Torgil, which sails Portugal's Douro region, is a "baby" Longship because it's smaller, both in length and in passenger capacity, than regular Longships.

Viking Mekong
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Mekong is styled like a traditional French Colonial riverboat, and it feels more like an oversized yacht than a cruise ship, thanks to mahogany and brass accents.

Viking Vili
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Vili is one of Viking Cruises' identical Longships that ply the rivers of Europe; it sports the characteristic Scandinavian style that reflects the line's Norwegian heritage.

Viking Vidar
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Vidar is a member of Viking's award-winning Longship series, and is a good example of Viking's advanced engineering, efficient design and minimalist sophistication.

Viking Ve
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Ve is one of Viking's fleet of German-built "Longships," which have brought class, style and comfort to the stodgy old European riverboat scene.

Viking Modi

Longship Viking Modi carries 190 passengers and has a contemporary, Scandinavian-design feel, with lots of natural light, stripped wood and neutral but sophisticated interiors.

Viking Mimir
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Mimir reflects the modern and contemporary designs and plethora of open-air spaces found in Viking River Cruises' Longship fleet.

Viking Mani
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

The 190-passenger Viking Mani, one of Viking Cruises' notable Longships, exudes a comfortably casual ambience, with plenty of natural light and simple decor.

Viking Lofn

As a Viking Longship, 190-passenger Viking Lofn has a contemporary, Scandinavian-design feel, with lots of natural light, stripped wood and neutral but sophisticated interiors.

Viking Gefjon

As a Viking Longship, 190-passenger Viking Gefjon has a contemporary, Scandinavian-design feel, with lots of natural light, stripped wood and neutral but sophisticated interiors.

Viking Eir

As a Viking Longship, 190-passenger Viking Eir has a contemporary, Scandinavian-design feel, with lots of natural light, stripped wood and neutral but sophisticated interiors.

Viking Beyla
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Beyla is a baby Longship that accommodates 98 passengers, is sleek and stylish, sports the line's signature Aquavit Terrace and sails the shallow Elbe River.

Viking Astrild
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Purposely built to sail on the shallow Elbe River, Viking Astrild is dubbed a baby Longship because it's about half the size of the 190-passenger Viking Longships.

Viking Akun
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Viking Akun, one of five Viking River vessels in Russia, offers culture-rich itineraries that include regional dining and lectures on Russia's history, geography and politics.

Viking Skirnir

A Viking "Longship," the 190-passenger Viking Skirnir has a contemporary, Scandinavian-design feel, as well as energy-efficient hybrid engines for a quieter, smoother ride.

Viking Egil

Launched in 2016, the 190-passenger Viking Egil "Longship" features a high proportion of full balcony cabins and sails on the Rhine, Main, Danube and Seine rivers.

Viking Kadlin

Viking Kadlin, along with five identical vessels, launched in April 2016, offering a sleek and minimalist look, with tasteful decor throughout the public rooms and cabins.

Viking Rolf

Two-room suites and a high proportion of cabins with verandas are among the features on Viking Rolf, one of six new 190-passenger Longships launched in April 2016.

Viking Osfrid

Viking Cruises expanded its Portugal fleet with the debut of the 106-passenger Viking Osfrid on the Douro River.

Viking Alruna

The 443-foot, 190-passenger Alruna is the sister ship to Viking Egil, Kadlin, Rolf, Tialfi and Vilhjalm, which sail on the Rhine, Main, Danube and Seine Rivers.

Viking Tialfi

Shore excursions and wine with meals are among the inclusions on Viking Tialfi, one of the six new 190-passenger Longships launched by Viking Cruises in April 2016.

Viking Vilhjalm

The 190-passenger Viking Vilhjalm, which debuted in 2016, is one of the latest raft of Longships to reflect the line's elegant, understated Scandinavian style.

Viking Herja

Viking Herja, one of Viking's Longships, carries 190 passengers and sails Danube itineraries.

Viking Hild
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

As one of Viking's many Longships, Viking Hild features the signature attributes that have grown the company into the most recognizable on Europe's rivers.

Viking Vali

One of Viking's trademark river Longships with a sleek design, all outside cabins, a sun deck and alfresco dining.

Viking Ullur

Sleekly designed 190-passenger river ship, with wide range of cabins, choice of excursions and an indoor/outdoor dining venue.  

Viking Tir

One of Viking's Longships launching in 2019, the sleek, 190-passenger Tir runs on eco-friendly hybrid engines that produce less vibration.

Viking Sigrun

Viking Sigrun will be a new 190-passenger addition to the Longship family, featuring two dining venues, included port tours and local food and beverages.

Viking Sigyn

Sigyn will be a new addition to the Viking Longship fleet in 2019, carrying 190 guests on eight- or 11-day sailings on the Danube River.

Viking Helgrim
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

A "baby Longship" built to sail Portugal's Douro River, Viking Helgrim has 53 cabins and a top-deck swimming pool.

Viking Einar

A 2019 addition to Viking's 190-passenger Longship fleet, with modern Scandinavian decor; free Wi-Fi and indoor/outdoor dining.

Viking Osiris

Viking's second ship on Egypt's Nile and its first purpose-built river cruise ship in the region, Viking Osiris brings Longship-style cruising to one of the most exotic places on earth.

Viking Kari

Viking Kari is one of four ships purpose-built to cruise France's Seine River, yet still offer all the comforts of Viking's award-winning Longships.

Viking Fjorgyn

Designed to sail France's Seine River, Viking Fjorgyn is a modified Viking Longship that offers all the amenities and comfort cruisers have come to expect from the line.

Viking Radgrid

Inspired by Viking's trendsetting Longships, Viking Radgrid was specially designed to sail France's Seine River, with all of the line's trademark bells and whistles.

Viking Skaga

One of four new modified Viking Longships designed to sail France's Seine River, Viking Skaga offers all the amenities and features cruisers have come to expect from Viking.

Viking Hervor

The second of two new Viking Longships debuting in 2020, Viking Hervor continues the Viking Longship tradition with Scandinavian style and flair.

Viking Mississippi

Viking’s first-ever ship on U.S. waterways combines the best features of the company’s European river cruise ships and oceangoing vessels, tweaking them for a new experience on the Mississippi River.

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