Russian Cruise, some good, some bad

Viking Rurik Cruise Review to Europe

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 47

Overall rating:

3.6 out of 5
Viking Rurik

12 Night Waterways Of The Tsars (Moscow To St. Petersburg)

Sail date: October 10, 2019

Ship: Viking Rurik

Cabin type: Balcony

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

We enjoyed the experience as far as on-shore excursions were concerned. On board, the room stewards were exceptional. The nightly music was great fun. The staff was polite and helpful. But the ship was no comparison to the 4 others we've been on. The Program Director in our opinion did not handle the illness on board properly. It seemed he just ignored it. Not our best trip by far.


4 out of 5
Lost luggage. Viking people were very good at tracking it down and getting it on board the next day.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

2 out of 5
The food was not exceptional. Breakfast was good, buffet was good. Dining room was nice. Service was lacking. But I learned when I became ill on the fifth day, and later asked around, that there was a stomach virus running rampant on board which was not addressed. Some thought it was the food, but I don't think so, it seemed like a "stomach bug" to me.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
The musicians who played nightly were excellent. The staff gave daily presentations on the Russian rulers from the 13th century to present day. Very well done and extremely interesting. Viking does not have a lot of on board activities, nor is it expected on the river cruises.


5 out of 5
As stated above, the musicians were the best we've seen on any of our five Viking cruises. Musicians brought in on the last night were very good too. We were treated to a wonderful Moscow Classical Folklore concert on shore.

Children's Programs

No children on board on Viking ships.

Service and Staff

2 out of 5
The room stewards were excellent. Above and beyond, I would say, based on the fact that so many people were sick during the cruise. This was Viking Rurik's last trip of the season. I heard many express that the waiters might have been distracted by that - they were polite and seemed anxious to serve, but the service was actually not good. Often had to flag them down for service, ask for something and they never came back - that sort of thing. Very unusual for Viking.

Ship Quality

1 out of 5
The ship was old. No comparison to Long Ships. We especially missed the nice lounge with wall-to-ceiling glass, comfortable couches. The stairs (I guess Russian design - I understand these ships were built in Russia) were very steep and the treads were very narrow. Everyone was holding on for dear life and stepping down sideways to keep from falling. Many of us simply used the elevator. Ship seemed clean and maintained. But I have a major complaint which I guess I should mention here. I became very ill, (projectile vomiting, diarrhea) on the fifth day of the cruise. A huge plus - never seen on other Viking river cruises - is that we had a doctor on board. I assumed that I had eaten something that didn't agree. I asked dr. if anyone else was ill. She said "It happens. Not the first, won't be the last". The next day, my husband got sick. Later, we asked around and found that many people were suffering with the same illness. All of them thought they were the only ones on board who were sick. We noticed that the staff had started wiping down the walls and bannisters. But nothing was ever mentioned about sickness on board. I can understand that they wouldn't want to cause a panic, but it seems that they could have acknowledged there was a problem and suggested that anyone not feeling well should see the doctor. I talked to people who thought they had food poisoning or something and had just stayed in their cabins. This was not food poisoning. (been there, done that). I believe it was a nasty 24-hr stomach virus that just swept through. And left us feeling like something washed up on the beach for the rest of the cruise. The Program Director should have done a better job of handling this situation.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
The cabin was much like the other Viking cruises. Comfortable, well-maintained, no complaints there.

Ship tip

If you've been on other Viking cruises, lower your expectations for this one. Having said this, I might add that Russia is a wonderful country and the history is very interesting. Our experience was not all bad.

Ports of call

Moscow, Russian Federation

5 out of 5
Yes, it was very interesting. Beautiful onion domes, churches. Interesting ride on the Russian Metro! Amazing look at a Russian mall in Red Square.

Cruise Moscow Canal

3 out of 5

Uglich, Russian Federation

5 out of 5
Walking tour and home visit. Very interesting.

Yaroslavl, Russian Federation

5 out of 5
Governor's House visit. Very interesting.

Kuzino, Russian Federation Did not visit port

Sick. No excursion.

Cruise Volga-Baltic Waterway

4 out of 5
Enjoyed looking at Russian houses along the shore.

Kizhi Island, Russian Federation Did not visit port

bad weather, not able to stop

Cruise Svir River

3 out of 5
Interesting view from ship.

Mandrogi, Russian Federation Did not visit port

No optional excursions available, and did not feel well.

St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

5 out of 5
In port three days. Did excursions, beautiful palace, beautiful city, great Cosack dancers show, saw St. Petersburg from the water excursion, Swan Lake Ballet.


5 out of 5
Good. No problems, except having to get up at 1:30am!
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