Viking River Cruise "Footsteps of the Cossacks"

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Has anyone taken the Viking River cruise called "Footsteps of the Cossacks" on their ship Lomonosov? We'd like comments on both the itinerary and the ship.

This Viking River cruise and the ship itself was reviewed in the May 2011 issue of ITN Magazine under the title "Cruising Ukraine's Dnieper River"(pp. 48-53), which I recommend that you read. The article's author took the cruise in October 2010, which is 15 months after I did. We each separately reached the same conclusion -- that the few hours alloted in Kiev, the final stop of the cruise, was the biggest disappointment of the trip. At the time that I took the cruise, Viking's brochure said we would have a whole day in Kiev, but in actuality we arrived after lunch and had less than half a day to see that very important and historic city, which did not at all do it justice. The exact same thing happened with the author of the aforementioned ITN article. River traffic in Ukraine and Russia is as tightly controlled as air traffic is everywhere and commercial ships are given priority. The pecking order of cruise ships in Ukraine is "low man on the totem pole."

The Ukraine river cruise also stops in towns along the Dnieper that are less than interesting, such as Kherson and Kremenchuk. While Odessa and the Crimea at the beginning of the cruise were well worth it, after we left Yalta the entire duration of the cruise until we reached Kiev was a waste of time unless you enjoy cruising just for the sake of cruising and don't really care about seeing anything. I was also not happy that Viking gave little or no commentary as we were going along the Dnieper River, as opposed to the Uniworld River cruise that I had previously taken on the Don and Volga Rivers in Russia.

In short, don't do it. If you are interested in Ukraine, you would be better served taking a land tour instead. I recently spent 6 days in Kiev from Sept. 11-16, 2012 and finally saw that wonderful city in the proper depth that should be devoted to it (including museums), thus righting the wrong from the Viking River cruise. If you insist on going with a cruise, my personal opinion (along with some other passengers that I spoke to on my Viking River cruise in Ukraine) is that Uniworld is a better cruise ship company than Viking.

Thanks. That was very helpful. We have not taken any cruises except as part of a larger tour (Nile River, Yangtse River, Norwegian Coast), so this would be a new way of traveling for us. We will look at land tours of the same region.