Viking Homelands tour 14 nights
Viking Star Cruise Review to Europe - Northern Europe
Viking Homelands - Bergen to Stockholm
Sail date: June 26, 2016
Ship: Viking Star
Cabin type: Balcony
Cabin number: 3050
Traveled as: Couple
Reviewed: 5 years ago
All in all we were very pleased with the tour. So we gave it 4 1/2 stars.
The ship was very nice and comfortable. The food was good but not of the quality of our City of Lights River Cruise of a couple years back. (which was the reason we booked this tour)
We loved all of the ports we visited except St Petersburg, which we were a day late getting to port due to bad weather and high winds. The schedules for tours were completely disrupted. The Russian people for the most part saw us as a burden and the only friendly people were the guides.
Most of the tours were good with knowledgeable guides with some exceptions. Flaam was great, Stavanger was great, Aalborg was great, Copenhagen was great, Berlin was great because we hired our own private guide. Gdynia and Gdansk were great, Tallinn was great except the guide's audiovox didn't work so we couldn't hear her, We lost the first day in St Petersburg so the rest of the tours were jammed. For instance the ballet was overcrowded and had standing room only and awful seating. The Catherine's Palace was ok and the guide was ok but the Russian Museum was a bust due to losing an hour waiting for other busses to show up from other tours so after taking an hour to get there we had just over 45 minutes to tour one floor before the hour ride back to the ship. Helsinki was great and the best guide of all. She was very knowledgeable and spoke in a clear strong voice. The Stockholm by boat tour could have been good but for some reason the afternoon tour was canceled and they packed everyone on one bat so there was no opportunity for pictures or to see anything clearly unless you got on first and acquired a window seat in the front section as the windows opened. The rear did not and two of them were so clouded up you couldn't see out of them. Total waste of money. It was so bad we canceled our scheduled afternoon bus tour and went to Old Town on our own.
I realize this is a fairly new cruise but they need to get the whole tour thing straightened out especially the one's we pay extra for. I have to note that with the exception of Russia, the busses and drivers were all top notch. The Russian busses were old ratty and noisy so it was hard to hear the guides with their monotone voices.
We would recommend this tour to others because I'm sure Viking will have all these kinks worked out by then.
The service and staff were all very good especially our maid and the waiters in the Living Room and the Explorers lounge.
The time in port was a bit short, we would have liked an extra day in most ports especially Stockholm.
As far as I'm concerned they could cut Russia out of the tour and add the days to a couple other ports.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
We started in Berge so we went to Iceland first for three day. I would recommend adding a couple days in Stockholm on the back end. Also hire your personal guide for Berlin or you will waste your time.