St. Petersburg, Mandrogy, Kizhi, Kuzino, Yaroslavl, Uglich, Moscow
Having sailed with Viking River Cruises many times previously, we had pre-conceived thoughts of things to anticipate our 13-afternoon Waterways of the Czars cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow. We did some pre-cruise study on the internet by reading reviews on different sites from other people who’d been on this same cruise and boat. The reviews were mixed, therefore we were questioning our expectations that were based on our past experience with Viking River Cruises.
When we approached Viking Ingvar docked in St. Petersburg, the very first thing struck us was how much bigger it was compared to other river ships where we’ve sailed. Unlike Viking River Cruises’ European boats, which generally carry 150 guests (fresh “longships” carry 190), Viking Ingvar conveys around 206 guests. The boat was remodeled in 2011 and they aren’t kidding when they say “completely”. The status of the boat was among those concerns after reading a few of the reviews. But when we flew aboard Ingvar it seemed like a brand-new ship! You’d never know this boat was launched in 1989. The Scandinavian, modern interior with light coloured forests may seem sterile to a, but it warms contemporary and newness.
Ships that sail in Russia must be constructed in Russia, therefore Viking River Cruises is somewhat confined to the Russian-built boat’s unique layout and floorplan. But when this boat was initially built during the Soviet Union era, it was designed to take over 424 guests!) Obviously, the Soviets weren’t large on creature comforts. Here’s What you’ll find on every deck Cruise Travel Message Boards:
Main Deck: 200-string staterooms, Reception Desk, Library, little Internet Cafe with two printer and laptops, plus a wonderful gift shop.
Middle Deck: 300-string staterooms, Neva Restaurant, Coffee channel, public restrooms
Upper Deck: 400-string staterooms, Panorama Bar
Sun Deck: Sky Bar, Sun Deck
All public spaces, halls and staterooms were contained in the boat’s recent refurb, so everything seems fresh and new. Stephan Busch, Hotel Manager, sees that the boat is kept spotlessly clean. There’s 1 elevator onboard.
Internet access is free and accessible 24 hours each day through both notebooks from the Internet Cafe on the Main Deck, or, using the boat’s Wi-Fi along with your laptop or Wi-Fi competent device. Without doubt, the online service on Viking Ingvar was the best I’ve experienced on any lake cruise. What a nice surprise! I managed to post my everyday blog every day and maintain email, no problem. Obviously, like every river cruise, there were instances once the ceremony was dropped. Every time a boat goes through a lock, for instance; this is but a technical fact of river cruising. Additionally, when we had been much north on Lake Onega, support was inaccessible for a very long duration. Aside from that, I don’t have any complaints. Not just was Internet available during the boat, even in our stateroom, link rates were adequate. Fantastic job!
Smoking isn’t allowed anywhere within the ship. Smoking is allowed in specified areas on the exterior decks.
With the prevalence of river cruising, it isn’t uncommon to get a lot of ships dock in precisely the exact same pier side-by-side, linking up to every other, which makes it necessary to walk through the reception of one or other boats to get into the coast. Thus, before you start your drapes, bear in mind that you may be eye-to-eye together with the occupants around the boat that’s tied up to a boat! Viking Helgi was sailing the identical itinerary we had been so it wasn’t unusual to need to walk through her reception. Since she appears almost like Viking Ingvar, you needed to listen to be certain you’re on the appropriate ship. At one location on the itinerary, I believe we needed to walk at least four boats to get into the coast and there were boats on the opposite side people whose passengers had to walk over five boats!
Our group AX Deluxe stateroom #415 is situated on the Upper Deck of Viking Ingvar. As stated by the Silicon Valley Cruises literature, the stateroom has 160 sq. ft. I forgot to pack my own tape measure, therefore I’ll take their word for this. The stateroom does feel bigger than preceding Viking River Cruises cabins. Like the remainder of Viking Ingvar, the staterooms underwent total recovery in 2011, and it’s obvious. The cottage seems brand new. In reality, the photographs on their site don’t demonstrate the new bed linens including comfortable European-style duvets.
Due to the boat’s structure, there’s a place in the center of the area. It was strange to see it initially, but after a day, you do not even detect it. There’s a huge picture window on the rear wall which overlooks a promenade deck. You are able to really open this window by simply twisting the handle on top and sliding down the window. This is a fantastic feature for shooting photos in the stateroom. Just keep in mind your window opens onto a public promenade! Additionally, there’s absolutely no display on the window, so take care to not allow any flying bugs in. In 2013, the boat will be experiencing additional renovations to convert that promenade into individual verandas for the staterooms.
Both twin bedrooms (combined to make a queen-sized mattress in our case) are on a single wall using end tables that are mounted into the wall. Each finish table is essentially a little table top and one shelf for storage. You will find light switches beside every bed to restrain the person reading lighting and other cottage lighting. There’s also a 220 socket above every night stand. The beds are firm, but comfortable and also the brand new linens, duvets and pillows are extremely comfortable. There’s loads of space beneath the beds to keep empty bag.
On the wall facing the beds is a very long desk/entertainment/bar console. There’s a good deal of tabletop room for your notebook, cameras, or other personal products. A bowl of fruit and free bottled water are available here too. You’ll also find a phone and also the Quiet Vox charging channel located here. A huge mirror over the desk enables this region to be utilized as a dressing table. There’s a little stool beneath where you are able to sit and wear makeup, or function on your own notebook. Ingvar’s designers did an superb job of adding lots of electric outlets. There are just two 220 Euro-style outlets in the desk and one 110 US-style socket) Provided that you package a couple of Euro-to-US prong adapters, then you ought to be all set! 1 matter Rickee would have liked to have had was a magnifying makeup mirror onto the desk. There was lots of space for it and also outlets to the plug if it had been a lighted magnifying mirror. That is a fantastic addition!
In terms of storage, there’s a decent-sized cupboard to maintain your hanging things and sufficient space beneath for sneakers. A massive shelf over the hangers is just another area for storage of things. The sole drawer from the stateroom is that the little drawer under the desk. Designers chosen for shelves rather than drawers. There are 3 open shelves beside the mini-fridge. On each side of the desk, there’s a three-shelf unit behind hinged doors. The usage of shelves rather than drawers is probably to maintain cabin noise to a minimal. In case you’ve ever been awakened by the noise of slamming drawers, then you may love the usage of shelves. Additionally, there are four hooks on the rear of the cottage door, ideal for hanging coats, caps, backpacks, etc.. Due to the place in our area, there isn’t any other table, however there’s a seat.
The toilet is really typical. There’s a nice-sized shower stall with drape. A little vanity top and a three-shelf mirrored medicine cabinet features lots of room for many personal products. There’s also a shelf beneath the sink/vanity. The sink is big and includes a fresh, contemporary faucet. All toilet fittings seem brand new and everything worked perfectly. And, Ingvar’s engineers have figured out how to generate a boat’s toilet flush minus the noise of a jet engine at full speed! The vacuum is whisper quiet. Robes and slippers are available upon request. Wonderful L’Occitane conveniences are offered in the restroom and replenished as necessary.