Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Waterways of the Tsars: Arrival (8/7-8/2019)

Monday, October 7, 2019
A ride from a generous neighbor (Thank you, Ted R!) brought us to the Philadelphia International Airport to start our Viking River Cruises Waterways of the Tsars itinerary. We boarded the 18:40 flight to London Heathrow Airport...

Tuesday, October 8, 2019
...arriving at 6:20 in the morning. Time for "lunch" before a 10:55 flight to Moscow. Although we arrived about 16:00 local time, we spent a couple hours in the Moscow airport. One officer was working the border control lane for all foreigners. When another lane opened, we switched to it. The second officer took forever with one passenger. Another lane opened, and everyone switched to it except us, now being first in our line. However, the light never turned green for another person to pass in our lane. Eventually, our lane closed! We switched to the third lane. When another lane opened, no one wanted to go through despite the green light. The group in line ahead of us allowed me to go to that lane, and it was the particularly slow border officer! Kent did not follow me, and was done at the same time I was! We later learned that at some point they opened the six "Russian citizens" lanes to everyone.
Due to traffic, it took another two hours to transfer by motor coach to the Viking Truvor ship docked at the Northern River Station.
In 1997, Viking River Cruises first began in Russia with the purchase of five river ships. In 2000 they expanded into Europe with the purchase of KD River Cruises. Growth continues today, even after Viking launched its ocean cruise fleet in 2015.
The Viking Truvor was built in 1987 (in East Germany) as the Sergei Kirov, and was refurbished in 2013.
The main deck has the reception desk, a gift shop, this library, and ...
... the computer desk
The Middle Deck:
The floorplan of the Neva Restaurant is unusual with a narrow
U-shape that wraps around the kitchen in the rear of the ship
One of two beverage stations
Two sets of stairs connect four decks accessible to passengers
There is also an elevator
The Upper Deck has a Panorama Bar in front of the ship and the Sky Deck has the Sky Bar/Lounge.
The Viking logo on the funnel as seen from the Sky Deck
Souvenir Fabergé-like eggs
Story-telling Matryoshka doll
Bulging round Matryoshka dolls
Carved painted wooden Santa
Putin Matryoshka dolls
Tsar Matryoshka dolls (all of them?)
After a late dinner, we were ready for bed.
Next: Moscow Metro.

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