The Viking Ingvar may be one of the older vessels in the Viking River Cruises (having been built in 1990) but its full refurbishment in 2013 means that it’s a proud owner of a facelift, including revamped suites and veranda staterooms that allow guests to fully appreciate their time cruising along some of Russia’s notable rivers. With impeccable service from the moment guests step onboard, and an exceptional ambience from the get-go, guests can be sure of a relaxing, comfortable and enlightening trip down the Russian rivers. Public spaces are bright and inviting, staterooms are beautifully-appointed and the Viking Culture Curriculum ensures that every guest can fill their days with enriching and enthralling activities that will help them to appreciate the country in all its glory.
Passengers There are 115 crew members onboard, who tend to 210 guests when the vessel runs at maximum capacity. The majority of guests are well-travelled Americans, but you will also find various other English-speaking nationalities onboard, including British, Canadian and Australian passengers. The Viking Daily newsletter allows all guests to prepare themselves for the following days activities, and is delivered to every stateroom, every evening.
The Neva restaurant on the Middle Deck benefits from panoramic windows which allow guests to soak up the scenery as they tuck into the delectable cuisine on offer. With a mix of authentic regional specialities and traditional fare that will suit any palate, breakfast, lunch and dinner in this dining venue are all professionally prepared and of a high standard. Breakfast and lunch service are in the form of an extensive buffet, including cereals, fruit, cheese and continental meats for breakfast, and soups, salads, entrees and desserts for lunch. Hot menu options, including made-to-order eggs, are also available. For dinner, guests can enjoy a refined sit-down a la carte five-course menu with waiter-service. The dress code is casual, but many guests choose to dress a little smarter during the evenings. Drinks including regional wines, beers, soft drinks and water are complimentary with lunch and dinner, with optional drinks upgrades available. Guests can also help themselves to hot drinks from the 24hour beverage bar.
Entertainment Relax in the Panorama Bar on the Upper Deck with a glass of wine and soak up the beautiful twilight views of the river, or get comfortable in one of the armchairs and enjoy a range of entertainment options which complement the Russian-based itinerary, such as classic operatic and ballet performances. Alternatively, guests can relax in the Sky Bar for a quiet drink as they watch the world go by.
Activities Guests can enjoy a well-planned activity programme, both onshore and onboard. Activities onboard are carefully selected to coincide with the itinerary, and can include culinary workshops and Bulgarian folklore presentations, as well as in-depth lectures and presentations on topics such as the Orthodox Church, Romanian history and Vikings in Europe. Guided excursions make use of individual headsets and include various visits to museums, palaces and famous landmarks, as well as walking tours and optional excursions. Independent exploration is also possible. There is a well-stocked library – including plenty of travel guides and books – and an onboard boutique available, where guests can treat themselves, or a loved one, to a gift or two. There is also a shipwide Wi-Fi connection that can be used free of charge.
Accommodation All 106 staterooms boast river views, including two Junior Suites and two Suites, and all feature either large, opening picture windows, or verandas, and vary in size between 140 sq. ft. (Deluxe Staterooms) to an impressive 400 sq. ft. (Suites)Amenities include hotel-style beds (including optional twin configuration), private bathroom with shower and premium bath products, bathrobes and slippers (on request), flatscreen TV with entertainment package, air conditioning, telephone, safe, hairdryer, fridge and bottled water that is replenished daily and is free of charge. Suites benefit from stunning panoramic windows as well as a full-size (or bigger) veranda.
Guests can walk around the open-air promenade on the Main Deck if they wish to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful views, or opt to take a seat in the shaded sitting area on the Sun Deck if the sun gets too much.
Itineraries The Viking Ingvar currently sails the 13-day Waterways of the Tsars itinerary between Moscow and St. Petersburg, which includes 11 superb guided tours. From sightseeing in Moscow and ticking off its major landmarks such as the Kremlin and the Red Square, to St. Petersburg’s Catherine Palace and the Hermitage, this itinerary is filled with culture and heritage that will give every guest the opportunity to truly appreciate Russia’s heartland. Sail along the Volga, Neva and Svir Rivers and stop by some of Russia’s lesser-known spots to take part in unforgettable experiences such as enjoying tea and conversation with a local family in Uglich, shopping for souvenirs in the markets of Yaroslavl and visiting a typical children’s school in Kuzino. Optional tours to a banya (traditional bath house) or matryoshka dollmakers workshop in Mandrogy, are also available.Pre- and post- extensions are available in Moscow and Helsinki, Finland.