The Best Guided Viking Tours in the Scandinavian Region

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If you're a fan of history and want to visit the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Norway, or Iceland, you can learn about the first seafarers of this northern European region and  experience Viking history on a guided Viking Tour.

During the late 8th through 11th centuries, these seafaring conquerors raided and traded with countries across Europe and into the Mediterranean Sea, North Africa, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Bolstered by advanced navigational and sailing skills aboard long ships, the Vikings were able to travel the globe well before Christopher Columbus "discovered" America; in fact, Vikings were the first non-native people to step foot on the United States' east coast.

If you are planning a trip to Scandinavia and want to get a taste of what life was like for these sailing adventurers during the height of the Viking Age, there's no better way to do it than take a guided tour to some of the area's most historically significant sites.

Stockholm, Sweden: The Viking History Day Tour

This full-day guided tour is an interesting, authentic Viking tour and very popular with visitors. If you want to learn about the Vikings, their Scandinavian home, and their way of life, this guided tour will introduce you to the basics of Viking culture, both past and present.

The tour takes you to Stockholm's best spots for Viking history, like the ruins of the 400 A.D. Viking settlement at Granby, the old Viking Parliament, Vira Bruk, and Sigtuna, which is home to two large ruins and a huge grave field dating back to the Germanic Era.

This fully guided eight-hour tour departs daily year-round with free pickup from your hotel in  Stockholm , making it an easy addition to your vacation itinerary.

Oslo, Norway: The Oslo Experience Cruise & Tour

If you're in Norway and have an afternoon to spare, learn about the Vikings' historical spots in Oslo , the capital of Norway, on the Oslo Experience Cruise Tour.

This five-hour guided tour focuses on the Vikings' influence on the city and is part bus tour, part boat tour. Among other stops, it leads you to exhibited Viking ships in Oslo and the Kon-Tiki Raft. Also, on the program is the memorable Norwegian Folk Museum and Vigeland Park...the world's largest sculpture park made by a single artist.

This guided tour is seasonal and departs from Oslo City Hall at 1 p.m. daily between late May and late August.

Reykjavik, Iceland: The Viking Horse & Gullfoss

The Icelandic horse is a breed the Vikings brought to Iceland, and these unique animals haven't changed much over the centuries since being introduced to the region. This year-round guided tour is great fun for big and small Vikings among us and a perfect day-tour for families visiting Iceland.

First, the tour takes guests riding on these Viking horses, and after a nice lunch break, the nine-hour tour heads to the Gullfoss waterfall, the National Park of Iceland, the unique Geysir hot springs, the village of Hveragerdi, and Pingvellir, the oldest functioning parliament in the world.

It departs daily from Reykjavik  at 10 a.m. with free hotel pickup.

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9 of the best Viking tours in Scandinavia

The Vikings came from Norway, Denmark and Sweden more than thousand years ago and left a rich cultural heritage across Scandinavia.

You can visit a Viking longhouse on a tour in Scandivania

The era of the Vikings lasted from around 800–1050, during which time these sea-faring people travelled widely throughout northern Europe, trading, fighting, plundering and colonising as far afield as France, Ireland, Iceland and even Greenland . 

But it is in their home nations that the historical legacy is so strong, with Norway, Sweden and Denmark having loads of Viking remains that you can still see today.

What kinds of things can you see?

Throughout Scandinavia, you can visit museums displaying beautifully preserved Viking long boats, explore ancient Viking settlements and burial grounds, and marvel at Viking standing stones, runes and archeological finds.

The largest Viking longhouse ever discovered is at Borg on Vestvågøy in Norway’s Lofoten islands; the world’s best-known rune stones are at Jelling in Denmark; and the world’s largest haul of Viking silver has been recently excavated at Täby in Sweden.

And honestly, these treasures are just the tip of the iceberg!

Visiting Viking sites for yourself

Some of Scandinavia’s Viking sites are easy to access, while others are more remote and harder to get to.

You can visit museum sites that are highly organised with plenty of information and guides dressed in Viking gear – and maybe even Viking reenactments! 

These places really let you learn all the history and really get to grips with the Viking culture and lifestyle.  

Other sites are quiet, remote places where you can wander around on your own and drink in the atmosphere of a wild Viking camp.

Either way, taking a tour of Viking sites with an expert guide can really enhance your knowledge and experience of Viking culture.

For more on the Viking way of life and culture, see our guides on the Viking diet and Viking games .

Guided tours you can join

So, if you fancy seeing some of Scandinavian’s famous sites on a guided tour, there are plenty of different options available.

You can go on museum tours, archeological site visits , reenactment experiences, Viking feasts, boat tours, short day trips and multi-day tours with a guide, coach and accommodation included.

And the tours cover a wide geographical range from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and even Iceland.

So, whether you’re up for a fun interactive Viking feast experience or want to learn all about the culture, history lifestyle of the Vikings from an expert guide, there’s a tour for you.

Short tours and day trips

Here are some of some of our favourite Viking tours in Scandinavia. These are all relatively short tours that last anywhere from a couple of hours to a full day (we’ve listed multi-day tours below ).

Visit Viking sites from Stockholm

We love this tour from Stockholm that packs in a whole raft of impressive Viking sites in just one day.

Visits a Viking rune near Stockholm

Amongst other sites, you’ll visit a burial mound of Viking kings at Gamma Uppsala, the ruins of a church dedicated to Viking warrior Saint Olaf in Sigtuna, one of Sweden’s oldest towns, and explore Viking rune stones at Arkils Tingstad.

It’s led by an experienced guide with expert Viking knowledge and we think it’s a great introduction to Viking sites and culture.

Snowshoe in the fjords with a Viking dinner

Combine fantastic views of Norway’s fjords with a snowshoe hike, followed by a fun Viking dinner in front of the fire in a cosy Viking-style pub.  

Enjoy a feast in a Viking brewhouse in Norway

We think this a unique opportunity to combine snowshoeing in the fjords with sampling a Viking-style feast of smoked reindeer and fish soup, accompanied by different Ægir beers.

Explore the Viking ship Museum in Roskilde

Combine history and culture on this day-trip from Copenhagen , which takes in the Roskilde Viking Ship Museum. Here you can admire renovated 11th-century Viking ships and learn all about Viking boat-building and sea-faring traditions.

See renovated Viking longships in a museum in Roskilde, Denamrk

Not only that, but the tour includes a visit to Roskilde Cathedral, burial site of 39 Danish kings and queens, plus Kronborg castle, the original Elsinore in Shakespeare’s Hamlet .

Visit the Viking islands from Alesund

This guided tour from Alesund in Norway’s fjordland takes in three islands which were settled by Vikings and explains all about the Viking heritage and history here.

Visit three islands on a Viking tour from Alesund, Norway.

You’ll visit three islands, including Giske, birthplace of the Viking Rollon (a descendent of the British royal family) and Godoy, home of a legendary Viking lighthouse.

Take a boat trip to the Birka Viking Village

Visit the Unesco-listed Birka Viking village on an island in Sweden’s Lake Mälaren. This huge archaeological site was once a thriving Viking settlement that dated from the 8th century and remains are still being excavated here today. 

Visit Birka Viking village near Stockholm

The former settlement has been recreated so that visitors can experience Viking life – and there are regular talks, themed guided tours, and reconstructions of Viking feasts and ceremonies. 

The boat trip from Stockholm and entrance to the Viking village is included in the Stockholm Pass (May to October only).

Multi-day tours and vacations

If a short tour is not enough, why not base your holiday around visiting Viking sites, and even cover more than one Scandinavian country on your tour? Here are some of our favourite multi-day Viking-themed tours.

Visit Viking sites in four countries

This 15-day trip takes in significant Viking sites in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and even Germany, including Denmark’s Jelling stones, Norway’s stave churches and rock art at Tanum in Sweden.

Visit a beautiful Norwegian stave church on a Viking tour of Scandinavia

What we really like about this tour is that it’s led by a senior lecturer in medieval archeology from the University of York and it includes private tours of some of the sights including the Hedared Stave Church and the Tanum rock art.

Cruise round the Viking sites

Combine Viking exploration with a cruise on this 12-day trip from Edinburgh, UK round some of Scandinavia’s most fascinating Viking sites, including the beautiful Unesco World Heritage city of Visby, whose well-preserved buildings date from Viking times. 

Visit Visby in Denmark on a cruise round Viking sites in Scandinavia.

We like that this cruise also stops in at the Scotland’s remote Orkney islands, where Vikings from Norway settled in the 8th century.

Explore Norway’s Viking history

And if you just want to stay in Norway, we love this week-long jaunt around some of the country’s top Viking sites.

Urmes stave church is a highlight on a tour of Viking sites in Norway.

It includes a guided walking tour of the former Viking city of Bjørgvin, a trip to Gulating, home of a Viking court of law and parliament, and a walking tour on the island of Svanøy, birthplace of Viking, Erik Blodøks. 

But what we like best is the trip to the UNESCO-listed Urnes Stave Church, beautifully crafted in wood by the Vikings in the 12th-century.

Have a Viking adventure in Iceland

Iceland too was settled by the Vikings and there are plenty of Viking sites that you see on this three-day guided tour that also includes a trip into an ice cave and a hike along a glacial canyon.

Þingvellir church was built by the Vikings who set up the world's oldest parliament.

Our favourite part of the tour is the cultural site Þingvellir, where the Eurasian and American tectonic plates meet and where the Vikings set up the Althing, the world’s first parliament.

You can walk along the walk through the gorge where the contintents collide and look inside Þingvellir Viking church.

See also :  Were there ever black Vikings? The ultimate guide to Viking swords Famous Vikings you should know about DId Vikings have dreadlocks?

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Russian River Cruise Moscow rainbow

Viking Russian River Cruise: The Ultimate 13 Day Guide

September 24, 2019 //  by  Linda Malys Yore //   12 Comments

Does the idea of a Russian river cruise intrigue you? Are you thinking of taking a Russia river cruise and looking for first-hand information from someone who already has? Well, look no further because I sailed Viking River Cruise’s impressive 13-day Waterways of the Tsars river cruise and I readily admit it was the ultimate trip of a lifetime. 

From the moment we began working with the Viking liaison in the comfort of our home until boarding our international flight home in Moscow, Viking made every step of the way, every decision as easy as possible for us. Here I will share with you just how simple and effortless it was to book and plan for a Viking river cruise,  and how unbelievably extraordinary the cruise was.

Viking Russian River Cruise: The Planning Stage

My daughter Victoria from Follow Me Away accompanied me on the Waterways of the Tsars Russia river cruise. As soon as we selected our cruise we were assigned a Viking consultant who handled everything. She was our “go to” person when we had questions or concerns.

We created a personalized online account at . There we could see the specific tours, excursions, and decisions we had to make for our trip. Thirteen days was a long trip and there were many options to consider. At everything was accessible online at one convenient location. There was a question and answer section that had tons of information right at our fingertips that saved us a lot of time and angst. We were sailing on the Viking Ingvar.

After we decided on our specific Russian river cruise and dates, we needed flights to Russia . Be sure to check with your travel agent or Viking directly about packages which include airfare, or discounted airfare. Amenities like this may change frequently. Our Viking rep, Cathy, took care of booking our flights and they were very reasonably priced.

Traveling to Russia involved obtaining a Russian visa . It was a very easy process and Viking River Cruises has specific detailed information on how to fill out the paperwork correctly and where to send everything. Our passports and documents were sent to Generations Visa in Washington DC, the company Viking works directly with. (Russia does not do online visa applications yet.)

Next decisions were about selecting excursions while on our Russia river cruise. At every city along the Waterways of the Tsars, there were included tours offered free of charge. Optional tours are also offered, and there is an additional fee for them.  I signed us up for all the included tours and several optional ones. 

On Viking Cruise’s website, most day’s explanations included videos of the areas we were scheduled to visit. They really helped a lot in the planning process and to heighten the anticipation.

We decided to purchase the Silver Spirits Package for our Russian river cruise with Viking. Victoria loved mocktails, and I could not resist the Russian vodka! However, Viking Cruises is generous with house wine, beer, and soda, which are all complimentary during lunch and dinner, beginning at the daily cocktail hour.

At long last, the day had arrived for us to begin our travels to Russia!

Days 1-4: Waterways of the Tsars, St Petersburg

After passing through customs and immigration at the St Petersburg airport, and retrieving our bags, we were warmly greeted by Viking staff members. Once we exited the secure area of baggage claim, Slava and Philip in their bright red Viking shirts were there to meet us. 

We were taken by Viking coach to our home away from home for the next 13 days, the Viking Ingvar docked on the River Neva. Named after Grand Prince Ingvar, born in 875AD, the Ingvar has 5 decks. There is one main restaurant, two bars, a library, and a sun deck. You will also find an onboard boutique selling all things Russian, along with Viking merchandise. With a crew of about 114, our sailing was at full capacity with 200 passengers. 

Russia River Cruise Ingvar ship

The Viking Ingvar docked in St Petersburg waiting to welcome us aboard.

Once we arrived we were warmly greeted b Viking Ingvar staff and the program director Sasha Danilov.  After settling into our verandah room with a balcony, we headed down to the main dining room for dinner. 

Dining as a vegetarian and vegan duo can be challenging sometimes. But not with Viking. Immediately head chef Joachim Moeller came to meet us and discuss our dietary restrictions. From that moment on, Victoria and I knew we would not have to worry about our meals! If you have dietary restrictions, they are carefully addressed on Viking cruises with the culinary staff. 

Russian River Cruise with the chef

We met with Chef Joachim on our first evening on board the Ingvar to discuss our dietary restrictions: one vegetarian and one vegan.

St. Petersburg Russia is an ornate and lavish city built on the Gulf of Finland by Peter the Great. He toured Europe extensively for architectural insight and the Russian Baroque influences are evident to this day. The city is opulent and elegant. St Petersburg is often called “The Venice of the North” due to the abundance of canals that connect the many islands that are the city.

During our four days in St Petersburg, we learned about the history and soul of the city. Strolling through the Hermitage , (second largest art museum in the world, surpassed only by the Louvre), witnessing an authentic Russian ballet and taking a walking tour of St Petersburg , our days and nights were as busy or as relaxed as we desired. 

Walking through the Church of Our Savior on Spilt Blood and learning of its history and its multicolored brilliant mosaics covering the entire inside was definitely a highlight of St Petersburg. The tour of the Faberge Museum was unbelievable and we ended our time in the city by touring St Petersburg from the Water . We rode along the canals and under iconic bridges in a comfortable barge-like boat. Sailing past ornate palaces and historical Peter and Paul Fortress and Cathedral was amazing and a unique way to explore.

Our time in St. Petersburg was at an end and the Viking Ingvar set sail. 

Russian River Cruise St Petersburg Savior church

The Church of the Savior on Spilt Blood in St Petersburg. As sumptuous on the outside as it was on the inside.

Life Onboard The Viking Ingvar During Our Russia River Cruise

What I especially enjoyed about this specific Viking Russian river cruise itinerary was there was a nice mix of shore excursions and sailing days. When sailing, there was always a full schedule we could participate in. Or not if we so chose. 

There was a cocktail party every evening before dinner in the Sky Bar that included live music. Sasha, the program director, hosted a daily port talk about the next day’s excursions and events. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were scheduled according to the itinerary. After dinner, there was live music and dancing in the Sky Bar.

Russian River cruise cocktails

We are ending an evening onboard the Ingvar with cocktails and friends in the Sky Bar. Sasha joined us as well.

The onboard guides hosted a series of Russian history lessons which were extremely enlightening and informative. At the end of the trip, they hosted a question and answer session about Russia where no question was off-limits. 

These lectures and talks were streamed live into our staterooms rooms, which was very convenient so we did not have to miss out on any activity.

Day 5: Waterways of the Tsars, Mandrogy

Viking Ingvar arrived in Mandrogy after lunch. This charming Russian village is more of an open-air living history museum that visually keeps the traditions of the Russian inhabitants of the area alive.

We meandered around at our leisure and saw brightly colored houses. My favorite, of course, was the Vodka Museum . There is a literal wall of vodka. Here one learns of the history of Russian vodka and is fortunate to sample a few of the 2,800 bottles in stock.

The lovely 18th century recreated village is dotted with craftsmen/women crafting their wares, and selling them as well. Lovely authentic Russian souvenirs were for sale. 

We were able to paint our own Matryoshka (nesting) dolls and learned the history of them. Others indulged in the banya ritual, the traditional Russian sauna. There were several of us who decided at the last minute we wanted to try the Russian banya, but we were too late as this optional excursion had sold out. Be forewarned: if you do not sign up for your excursions early enough, you run the risk of being disappointed as we were when they sell out. 

Russia River Cruise Mandrogy village

Mandrogy, a lovely open-air historical and crafts village on the Svir River

Russia River Cruise Mandrogy souvenirs

Mandrogy was a great place to purchase authentic Russian souvenirs directly from the artisan!

The Food And Where To Find It On The Viking Ingvar

Breakfast:  Breakfast could be found in three locations during my Russian river cruise aboard the Viking Ingvar. The coffee stations , located outside the main dining room, had coffee and pastries every morning. Self-serve coffee of every variety was available 24/7, as well as my favorite, hot chocolate. Some sort of pastry, or regional cookie (with an explanation of its history) was also always accessible there.

There was a continental breakfast every morning at the Panorama Bar with beverages and breakfast items. And a full breakfast buffet was served every morning in the Restaurant . Hot dishes cooked to order were available as well.

Lunch:  A lighter buffet lunch was served in the Panorama Bar and the main Restaurant served a generous buffet and dishes to order every afternoon. We had lunch in the Restaurant every afternoon. Chef Joaquim was around serving at the buffet and explaining the regional dishes to all passengers. 

Dinner : Dinner began every evening at 7:00 PM most every evening in the elegant Restaurant . There were always several dishes that were available every night of our Russia river cruise. However, the culinary staff made a great effort to serve historical and regional dishes every evening that originated in the area we visited that day.

Russia River Cruise Panorama Bar linch

Continental breakfast was available every morning in the Panorama Bar.

Day 6: Viking Russian River Cruise, Kizhi Island

The Ingvar docked at Kizhi Island on the shores of Lake Onega. I was very excited to begin the Kizi Island Walking Tour because I wanted to see the huge wooden church that was built in 1714 without a single nail.  

Kizi Island is famous because it is an open-air Museum of Architecture . Wooden barns, farmhouses, bell towers, and banyas and even windmills were relocated there to preserve them and their history. The island is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

We toured a period farmhouse and the inside of the Russian Orthodox Chruch of Intercession . The scenic beauty of Kizhi Island was absolutely stunning and a perfect backdrop for the Russian architectural lesson it provided!

Russian River Cruise Kizhi wooden churches

Wooden Transfiguration Church alongside The Church of the Intersession on Kizhi Island located on Lake Onega

Entertainment Onboard The Viking Ingvar

There was always something to do or nothing at all to do. The choice was absolutely up to each passenger during our Viking Russia river cruise how busy they wanted to be. 

Each evening during turndown service, our cabin steward left us a copy of the Viking Daily . It was the ship’s daily newsletter that contained everything we needed to know to be in the know and organized for the next day’s events. 

On sailing days, there were Russian language lessons, Russian history lessons, and cooking/baking demonstrations. There was a sommelier led wine tasting, and a vodka tasting event led by our cruise director, Sasha that led to much hilarity. One of my favorite onboard events was the galley tour!

Every evening after dinner there was live music and dancing in the Sky Bar with Eduardo and Sonia. Several evening, Sasha led games which were a great way for us to get to know our staff and fellow passengers.

Russia River Cruise Victoria at vodka tasting

Victoria with Sasha, the Viking Ingvar Program Director, at the vodka tasting event. There is a secret, you know, how to down vodka shots and not get drunk!

Russian River Cruise game night

Victoria, along with other passengers,  is dancing while Sasha leads us during a music trivia game.

Day 7: Viking Russia River Cruise, Kuzino

The tiny port town of Kuzino holds the entrance to the amazing Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery , one one of the largest Orthodox monasteries in northern Russia. From the ship, we boarded a comfortable coach and headed to the monastery.

As we walked to our busses though, we passed through a mini-market of sorts. Many locals had set up and were selling their wares. It was a great place to barter as it seemed everyone had the same kind of Russian souvenirs for sale.

Founded in 1397 by two monks, the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery is located on the picturesque shores of Lake Silverskoye. The entire monastery complex is surrounded by white walls and towers for protection.

From the outside, it is rather deceiving, because inside the monastery is quite large. There are at least eleven preserved churches, with impressive exterior frescoes. The icons were remarkable as well. Today the monastery is a museum, but there are a few Russian Orthodox monks who live there. 

After some free time to meander around, we boarded our Viking coaches and headed to visit a school in Kuzio.  It was enlightening, revealing and thought-provoking. We toured a school, interacted with students and were entertained. We learned about the Russian education system. It was certainly NOT what I expected. It was much more!

Russia River Cruise Kirillo monastery

Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery on the shores of Lake Siverskoye.

Scenic Cruising Onboard The Viking Ingvar

Our cruising days were far from the hustle and bustle of the larger towns.  But they were filled with as much history as the open-air museums and small villages we visited along our way. Each waterway, lake, river or reservoir had a history that helped shaped the Russia of today.

Just over 40 miles, we departed St Petersburg on the Neva River, one of the deepest and shortest in Europe. Once out of town we passed sumptuous summertime villas used by the wealthy,  along with wildlife and calm waters. Soon we entered Lake Ladoga , the largest lake in Europe at a whopping 7,000 square miles. It is not very deep and it freezes during the cold Russian winters.

Russian River Cruise Linda looking at sunset

Imagine ending your Russian river cruise evenings with a sunset like this!

The Svir River connects Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega. Here we passed small villages with cute houses. There are many sawmills and stacks of logs from the Karelian forests. Once sailing on Lake Onega , we learned it is the second-largest European river, covering an area of 4,000 square miles. Over 50 Russian rivers empty into Lake Onega making their way into the Svir River.

The Volga River , “Mother Volga,” is the national river of Russia. At a commanding 2,300 miles long, she is the longest river in Europe and the main waterway in western Russia. There is a lot of boat traffic on the Volga because it carries two-thirds of Russia river freight. On our journey, the Viking Ingvar passed through sixteen Volga River  “locks” leveling out the river’s height permitting us to progress. 

Finally, as we approached Moscow, we sailed the seventy-nine-mile man-made waterway called the Moscow Canal . Where the Moscow Canal meets the Volga River there is an eighty-foot statue of Vladimir Lenin.

Much commerce takes place along all of Russia’s waterways. We viewed wildlife, quaint villages, locks, dams and reservoirs. We were blessed with absolutely perfect weather and the ability to meander outside on the decks to gaze as the small towns passed by and learn first hand some of the histories of Russia’s scenic waterways.

Russia River Cruise Viking sunset

Viking Rusia River Cruise sunset!

Day 8: Viking Russian River Cruise, Yaroslavl

We arrived at Yaroslavl after lunch, around 3 PM. Over 600,000 people call Yaroslavl home and we headed out on our walking tour: Yaroslavl Up Close .  

One of the eight Golden Ring cities, Yaroslavl is a very significant and beautiful city along the Volga River. Yaroslavl is an extremely important shipping port along the river.

We stopped into the iconic and stunning Church of St Elija and strolled the city. There are over 70 churches in Yaroslavl, with almost half of them in use today. Another stunning church we visited was the Assumption Russian Orthodox Church. The gleaming gold onion domes on the outside and the amazing frescoes inside were all magnificent.

Russian River Cruise Assumption Church Yaroslavl

Stunning Russian Orthodox Church of the Assumption in Yaroslavl , Russia, on the River Volga

Tech Amenities Onboard The Viking Ingvar

Yes, there is FREE wifi during the Russian river cruise aboard the Ingvar. You will receive the login information once you board. Most of us want to post pictures on social media or be in some kind of contact with our family and friends back home. 

Now the bandwidth varied, and sometimes the connectivity and speed were less than what we were used to at home. No big problem though, because we stopped at so many villages and towns along the way that had stronger wifi reception. With a little planning, much of our online work was done when we were docked in port. That’s when the balcony came in very handy!

If you wanted to check your email but did not bring along a laptop, or did not wish to use your phone, there was a computer station onboard. There were two computers with printers we were able to use at any time.

There were both American and European outlets in the Ingvar’s staterooms. Victoria and I brought along some European converters because we had a lot of devices to charge and did not wish to ‘take turns.’ If you don’t plan to bring along lots of electronic devices, you will be fine with the outlets.

Russia River Cruise computer room

There is a computer station onboard for passengers.

Day 9: Viking Russia River Cruise, Uglich, Russia

A dreary rainy day did not sabotage our morning in Uglich. The second of Russia’s Golden Ring cities we explored on our Waterways of the Tsars  Russian River Cruise, Uglich was such a quaint town along the water.

We began with a walking tour and headed to the Kremlin of Uglich. It was merely a ten-minute stroll from the Ingvar. We began by visiting the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Our Saviour’s Transfiguration. 

Every small village or town, and every large city had the loveliest and most ornate Russian Orthodox churches and cathedrals. All have interesting histories and tragedies. Uglich holds the end of a dynasty as one of its tragedies. 

Young Dimitri was only 8 years old when he died. Murdered or accidental we will not know. We do know that his death, this son of Ivan the Terrible, ended a dynasty, sparked civil unrest, and gave rise to the Romanov dynasty. 

Next, we toured the beautiful Church of St Dimitry on the Blood . It was built in the 1690s on the spot where young Dimitry’s body was found. Through frescoes inside the church, the story of Dimitry along with Bible stories are seen. Dimitry’s grave is also inside, and it is very small (because he was a child when he died.)

A visit to a local family followed where we were transported by Viking coaches. There we shared a light meal, a cup of tea and toasted with vodka shots! We had free time to shop for souvenirs along the way back to our ship if we so desired. 

Russian River Cruise Uglich

Beautiful Uglich, Russia looking towards the Russian Orthodox Saint Dimitry on the Blood Cathedral.

Viking Russia River Cruise: Staterooms 

102 outside staterooms make up the Viking Ingvar. Sizes range from the two 400 square foot Suites to the 160 square feet Deluxe staterooms. Most staterooms feature floor to ceiling sliding glass doors that lead out onto a large verandah. Some categories have a large picture window (4 feet X 3 feet) that opens instead.

There is a twenty-six inch flat screened TV in each room that offers live news shows, along with a variety of ship information, like positioning and live streaming of any lectures and demonstrations happening in the Sky bar. 

All rooms are furnished with both 110/220 volt outlets, a telephone, safe, hairdryer, and air conditioning. We used our safe every day. I kept my passport and credit cards in there whenever I was not using them. 

Russia River Cruise stateroom

Our verandah stateroom onboard the Viking Ingvar during our Russia river cruise.

Cushy fluffy white spa-like robes and slippers are available upon request. All rooms receive servicing twice daily, when bottled water is replenished and the Viking Daily newsletter is delivered. 

Victoria and I thought there was plenty of storage space for all of our belongings for the two of us on a 13-day cruise. With our luggage easily stored under our beds, there was ample space to walk around. 

Russian River Cruise stateroom desk area

We used our desk to house our laptops and camera equipment.

Russia River Cruise verandah

Our spacious verandah. We spent many a morning or afternoon, depending on our itinerary, outside relaxing and watching the countryside sail by.

We leisurely sailed and enjoyed the stunning views from the ship all morning. At 1:30 PM we arrived in Moscow, one of the world’s most iconic and fascinating cities. Over twelve million people live in Moscow. It is Russia’s political and cultural epicenter.

Three days was a great amount of time to explore Russia, yet not enough time at all! There were unbelievable included tours to participate in, and exquisite optional tours that offered privileged access to some of Russia’s most beloved locations.

Moscow is famous for its legendary ornate underground subway stations . Victoria and I elected to take an included walking tour of Moscow , where we visited several of the iconic and elaborate stations. 

Russia River Cruise Moscow Subway station

One of the elegant subway stations we visited in Moscow on our Viking walking tour.

We also attended a special concert of Russian music and dance that was extraordinary. Tours of the Cosmonaut Museum, the Jewish Museum, and the sumptuous Treasures of the Kremlin Armoury were offered. 

I was most interested in touring Red Square and the Kremlin. Household words to me growing up during the rise and fall of Russian communism, I was very excited to experience them. And of course, seeing the world-famous and iconic St Basil’s Cathedral.  

And Viking Russia River Cruises did not disappoint. I enjoyed the mixture of tour time and free time to explore Moscow on our own. The Ingvar was docked thirty minutes out of town next to a beautiful green lush city park. It was very conveniently located less than a ten minute walk from a subway station. And then it was a straight shot to the city center of Moscow. 

Moscow did not disappoint either. Not one bit. From walking around Red Square, which was barricaded when we visited due to state horse shows and concerts, to visiting St Basil’s Cathedral, it was so exciting.

Russia River Cruise St Basil Red Square

St. Basil Cathedral on Red Square in Moscow. YES, it is that brilliant and beautiful in real life!

We spent time in the GUM Department Store (much more like a mall) which was the most ornate and exquisite shopping center I have ever visited in the world, anywhere!  We chose NOT to visit Lenin’s Tomb (and see his corpse) in Red Square.

Our visit inside the Moscow Kremlin walls was unforgettable. Long considered the symbol of Russian power, most people, including me, think of the Kremlin as one building. Actually, it is a walled city. Inside are numerous government buildings and home of the Russian president. Also, we saw unbelievably beautiful palaces, cathedrals, and museums mostly congregated in Cathedral Square.

Russian River Cruise Moscow Kremlin

Kremlin (meaning ‘fortress’) walls adjacent to Red Square in Moscow. The Kremlin is the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation.

Probably one of the most popular optional excursions was Moscow By Night . It was amazing seeing Moscow all lit up and glittering while riding in our coach. Then we transferred to a boat and admired Moscow from the water!

 Viking River Cruise Staff: The Backbone of the trip.

The food could be the absolute best. The excursions could be the most captivating. The staterooms could be the loveliest ever. But none of the experiences we had on our Viking Russian River Cruise Ingvar would have been as special if it were not for the extraordinary staff.

The staff of the Viking Ingvar definitely exemplified what it means to offer unparalleled service. Every single staff member, from the captain himself to the kitchen staff working behind the scenes, put forth extreme effort to make the trip so very special. From the extraordinary cabin steward, the servers during our meals, to the bar staff, there was nothing that they could not do for us. The  

Finally, I must add that I spoke with several members of the staff and crew and one major theme emerged. And that was how much they enjoyed their jobs and were blessed to be working for Viking.  

Russian River Cruise Restaurant Staff

One of the onboard activities was a Galley tour where we met the unsung heroes of the kitchen!

Russian River Cruise Reymond cocktails

Reymond made the best cocktails! He instructed me on Russian vodkas.

Read These Next:

How To Pack Lightly For Your Viking Russian River Cruise

Here Are Tips If You Are A Senior And Traveling Solo

7 Tips For Surviving Your Long International Flight

How To Remain Healthy When Traveling

Packing Tips For Your Viking Russian River Cruise

I think that using these useful packing tips will enhance your trip to Russia:

A  concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring with you to Russia. This unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is  lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind. You can keep your most valuable documents safe and secure next to your body.

If you have a pouch already you may not want to or need to invest in a new one. If it does not come with the RFID protection,  these  RFID  sleeves  would be handy to prevent identity theft. This configuration comes with enough passport and credit card sleeves that the entire family would be protected. They are slim too, so they will easily fit into your current pouch or wallet. 

I was never a fan of  packing cubes  until I tried them out! Now  I am sold .  These Bagail packing cubes   are  the exact ones I use whenever I travel . I cannot believe how much more organized I am now.

Don’t forget to bring along a  universal power adapter to Russia.  This worldwide   power plug  is a great example and will charge your phone at the end of your busy days. And this  world traveler adapter kit   can charge several devices at the same time. This is what you will need when there are several people traveling in your group, or if you bring several electronic devices on your trip that require charging at the same time. 

If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an  external charging battery . This  Anker high-speed phone charging battery  is the exact  one I carry with me on all of my trips . It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone like I have. And wow is it fast! I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about. And if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.

My daughter gifted me this  FugeTek Selfie Stick and Tripod  for my birthday. It has Bloothtooth connectivity so it is very easy to use . It is made of durable aluminum and is very lightweight and easy to carry. I love mine and I think you will enjoy it too!

Hydration is so important. You want to remain hydrated to support your immune system which in turn will be stronger to fight off any germs you will encounter during your travels.  You will want to bring your own  refillable water bottle  with you.  I never leave home on a trip without my  Bobble  filtration bottle.  The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for travel and it will fit nicely in the pocket of a backpack or your purse. Also when filled with water, it is not too heavy to carry. And the Bobble carbon  filter  ensures fresh clean water whenever and wherever you fill the Bobble. You can find  filter replacements here. 

Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium. Then this  set of collapsible silicone foldable water bottles  would work well for you. Would not take up much space in your suitcase at all. And you will be receiving a set of two.

You will want to bring a  backpack or daypack  with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc.. This   foldable water-resistant backpack  would be great. It is very affordable and is available in many color options for you to choose from. The fact that it folds down into a zippered pouch will make it easy to pack.

Perhaps you need a more substantial  backpack  for your international travel. This  antitheft backpack   has a charging port, is water-resistant and can comfortably carry up to a 15.6″ laptop. It comes in a range of colors to choose from and it is inexpensive as well. 

You will be walking more than usual on your Viking Russian River Cruise. A sturdy and comfortable pair of walking shoes  is a must-have. These  waterproof all-season shoes  are extremely affordable and yet fashionable.  Mostly everyone is familiar with the Skechers brand, and these   Air Run high fashion sneakers  come in a lot of colors to match your outfits and are still affordable.

You may be visiting Russia in warmer weather, and you may want a pair of sandals  to wear exploring.  I highly recommend these  Vionics adjustable strap orthotic sandals.  I have several pairs of these  exact  Vionic sandals in several colors that I bring with me *everywhere* I travel. They are very comfortable. I also sometimes bring along my  Vionic Tides flip flops.  The toe post is so comfortable which makes wearing these super comfortable. 

Please be advised : on your Viking excursions, I advise you to wear comfortable closed-toe shoes. The excursions can cover a lot of distance. Also, cobblestoned streets can be difficult to negotiate in sandals or flip flops, even if the weather is warm.

Bring a lightweight scarf or shawl . Scarves and shawls are very popular in Europe, And Russia is no exception. Both men and women wear scarves, both decoratively and as a layering piece to keep warm. This cotton   unisex lightweight  scarf is versatile and can be worn in any season. And here’s another option to consider: this  lightweight sunscreen shawl scarf   would do double duty to protect you from the sun in the warmer seasons as well as being a fashion accessory layering piece.

Also, in most Russian churches, women’s heads and shoulders must be covered. So the scarf can be used for that purpose as well.

We all need to  protect our eyes  from the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB rays. These  unisex polarized sunglasses   come in a lot of lens colors and frame designs and are extremely affordable too.

If you are fond of the  aviator-style of sunglasses  these polarized aviators may interest you. I like polarized sunglasses because they remove the glare and help you to see things more clearly. This will be very helpful in Ireland.

If you are in need of  new luggage,  this  expandable soft side spinner luggage  is affordable and comes in lots of colors. If you like hard-sided better, then you may favor this  hard-sided luggage set better. Both sets come with TSA approved zippers locks and 8 wheels per piece. Either will be great for the plane or train or even your car depending on how you plan to travel to Russia. 

Truthfully, before I visited Russia, all I knew was what I learned as a child during the Cold War: communism, KGB, and that the Russian people do not smile much. Viking’s Russia River Cruise did an *exceptional* job of introducing me to Russia as she is today. After spending 13 days with Viking Cruises I feel we were expertly guided to every monument and museum and well-known church in each and every city or village we visited.

We were informed about every part of Russian life and its extraordinary history as a country and introduced to the dazzling opulence of her architecture. Not only DO Russian people smile, but they are also warm and friendly. A surprising number of them spoke English. Viking Cruises’ Waterways of the Tsars 13 day Russian River Cruise was an outstanding and unforgettable experience, one I think you would love as much as I did.

Have you ever traveled to Russia? Were you as surprised and impressed as I was? Please share your experiences in the comment section below!

Please note: I was provided with a complimentary Viking Russian River cruise for myself and a guest, and a stipend, by Viking Cruises in exchange for this honest review. All opinions are my own.

Linda On the Run  is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, designed to provide a means to earn fees by advertising and linking to

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Reader Interactions

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November 14, 2019 at 6:43 pm

Hi there, I enjoyed your review. It was very detailed and will help us on our cruise. My sister and I will be traveling to Russia in May 2020 with Viking. Just to give us idea, how much cash in Russian ruble did you spend while on your 13 day cruise? I know we can use our credit card in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but I’m guessing not in the small towns. Thank you!

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November 19, 2019 at 8:40 am

You are correct. The major metropolitan cities accept credit cards. The small rural villages do not. Plus you will want to have rubles on hand in case you wish tip the local tour guides. I can not recommend an exact amount of rubles. We used an ATM machine upon arrival at the airport. There are other ATMs along the route as well should you find you require more rubles. Please be advised, the ship you sail on will not not change currency into rubles for you. I am wishing you the absolute best experience ever with Viking as you explore and discover Russia!

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December 22, 2019 at 9:47 am

Going next September! Can you tip and purchase small items in more rural locations in USD?

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January 23, 2020 at 8:33 am

Great job telling your story & sharing pictures about your Viking Russian River Cruise, very helpful!! We are going in July, I read they frown on sandals being worn in churches, museums & other areas. Croc flip flops probably out the question? How strict? In St. Petersburg, how far are we from the City Centre? Viking proves transportation if you would like to walk around town on your own? Thank you.

January 23, 2020 at 11:24 am

Hi Phyllis. So excited for you? I would not suggest wearing flip flops when touring any European city. Crocs will be ok. Sturdy closed-toe shoes would be ideal. When entering a lot of the churches in Russia your shoulders/head must be covered. I always had a scarf tucked into my purse for such an occasion. In St Pete, the city center is a bit far from the ship. We secured an Uber and it was very reasonable! In Moscow, the Metro is within walking distance. My Viking Russian River Cruise was *extraordinary* and so far surpassed any expectations I had. I wish safe journeys and a spectacular cruise for you as well.

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January 10, 2021 at 3:04 pm

Thank you for providing such a detailed review. Can you please say what month you cruised? We are deciding now between May and July and are unsure of conditions. Thank you!

January 10, 2021 at 6:01 pm

Hello Kathleen. I sailed in mid-September.

January 10, 2021 at 6:32 pm

We actually had our Russian Cruise rebooked for July 2021. I called Viking today for updates due to Visas, hate to put money out for Visas if Cruise is canceled. We heard all positive reviews for the Russian River Cruise in July, weather is beautiful & temps in high 70s during the day, evening 60s. We start in St. Petersburg, so many say how much they like St. Petersburg, if you have extra time spend it there.

January 12, 2021 at 2:42 pm

We started our cruise from St. Petersburg as well. The optional excursions in that magnificent city were spectacular!

January 13, 2021 at 4:19 am

Hi Phyllis, what did Viking say about your July cruise and about obtaining a Visa. My sister and I are scheduled for September 2021 and have the same question. Our May 2020 Viking cruise was cancelled and we had already obtained our Visas, which are no longer good, so yes the additional cost to get new ones. Thank you!

January 15, 2021 at 10:14 am

Viking Rep., told me to contact GenVisa directly to answer my questions. On Monday I called, they told me to allow 8 weeks for processing, cost $632 per couple , for everything including 3 yr Visa. They advised me to get paperwork started, mail it to them, once borders open our applications can be processed quickly, basically we would be ahead. It was worth the call, found them resourceful.

January 10, 2021 at 6:53 pm

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Important Viking River Cruise Tips: Know Before You Go

R iver cruising has captured the hearts of travelers worldwide, offering a chance to explore exotic destinations while being pampered with top-notch accommodations, delectable cuisine, and unforgettable experiences. My husband Eddie and I checked off a bucket list item with a 12-day Viking River Cruise, combining a weeklong river journey with land-based adventures on either end. If this appeals to you, here are Viking River Cruise tips, know before you go, to help you plan and fully enjoy your vacation.

Luggage Handling Made Easy

From the moment you arrive at the airport, Viking River Cruises takes care of every detail , including your luggage. A friendly Viking representative will greet you at baggage claim or a designated area, guiding you to a private shuttle that whisks you off to your ship or hotel.

Your bags will magically appear in your room, where you can unpack and settle in for the journey ahead. On departure days, place your luggage outside your door at the designated time, and the attentive staff will ensure it travels safely with you to your next destination.

Personalized, Immersive Tours

One of the highlights of a Viking River Cruise is the guided tours led by knowledgeable local guides in each captivating city along your route. Follow your guide, easily spotted by their numbered “lollipop” sign, as they share fascinating insights and stories via the convenient QuietVox audio system.

As many stops feature charming cobblestone streets, comfortable walking shoes are a must.

Viking thoughtfully offers “gentle” walking groups with less strenuous routes for those desiring a more relaxed pace. Feel free to choose the tour style that suits you best each day, changing it as you see fit, as your comfort and enjoyment are Viking’s top priority.

Your Home Away from Home

Step into your well-appointed stateroom and feel instantly at ease. Our 205-square-foot Veranda Stateroom featured a cozy balcony perfect for soaking in the breathtaking river scenery through floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors. With a variety of accommodation options, from standard rooms to spacious suites, there’s something to suit every preference.

Plush twin beds (which can be joined together), ample storage, double nightstands, a mini fridge, a safe, and a bathroom with a glass-enclosed shower and premium toiletries ensure your every need is met. Adjust the temperature to your liking, and unwind with a selection of on-demand movies on the 40-inch flat-screen TV.

The attentive staff replenishes your bottled water daily so you can stay refreshed throughout your journey.

A Culinary Odyssey

One of the true joys of a Viking River Cruise is the  exceptional dining experience . From the moment you step aboard, you’ll be treated to a culinary adventure that leaves you eagerly anticipating each meal. Whether you choose elegantly plated dishes and action stations or dine on the ever-changing buffet options, the quality and variety are unsurpassed. 

Savor smoked trout, rich French onion soup, creamy buffalo mozzarella tomato salad, perfectly cooked Chateaubriand, and decadent desserts that will have you dreaming of seconds. Themed nights, like the popular German buffet (variety of sausages, warm potato dish, Bavarian pretzels, sauerkraut, pickled veggies), transport you to the heart of the region with authentic flavors and lively entertainment.

It even includes an Oompah band and flowing beer.

Expertly paired wines and beers (included with your cruise fare) enhance each meal. The attentive dining staff quickly learns your preferences and anticipates your every need. Sodas are free of charge, too. 

Embark on a culinary adventure at the Aquavit Terrace & Lounge, a unique dining location where you can savor your meal al fresco, basking in the stunning views from the ship’s bow.

All-Inclusive Delights

One of the best things about Viking River Cruises is the array of inclusions that come with your trip. From complimentary Wi-Fi to captivating after-dinner programs, there’s never a dull moment on board. Immerse yourself in enrichment lectures, be serenaded by talented local musicians, marvel at impressive magic shows, test your knowledge with music trivia, and indulge in mouthwatering culinary demonstrations.

Each night, the cruise director will give you a sneak peek of what’s in store for the following day, and you’ll even receive a handy Viking Daily newspaper delivered right to your stateroom to help you plan your adventures. And did I mention you can watch non-stop Downton Abbey in your stateroom?

Onboard Wonders

The Viking Kvasir ship is a floating haven packed with delightful amenities. Bookworms will adore the well-stocked library, where you can borrow various titles to enjoy during your journey. 

Need to catch up on emails or stay connected? The ship offers two computers for your convenience and 24-hour coffee, tea, and hot chocolate service, complete with tasty cookies and pastries.

For those seeking breathtaking views and a little outdoor fun, head up to the dedicated Sun Deck. This top-level oasis provides 360-degree vistas, perfect for scenic cruising, playing shuffleboard, or practicing your putting skills on the greens. Viking even boasts an impressive organic herb garden on the Sun Deck!

With plenty of lounge chairs and seating groups, it’s the ideal spot to socialize with fellow travelers, sip on a refreshing cocktail, lose yourself in a good book, or take a relaxing nap. And if you’re feeling energetic, take a stroll along the walking track for some invigorating onboard exercise.

Forging Lifelong Friendships

One of our Viking River Cruise’s most unexpected and delightful aspects is the opportunity to connect with fellow travelers and forge lasting friendships. With fewer than 200 guests on board and even smaller groups on excursions and buses, you can meet and mingle with everyone on the boat. 

Throughout the cruise, we exchanged contact information and formed bonds that have endured long after our adventure ended. I’m still in touch with some wonderful people I met on my previous Viking River cruises!

Embark on Your Viking River Cruise Adventure

A Viking River Cruise is more than just a vacation; it’s an immersive journey that combines luxury, discovery, and unforgettable moments. With every detail thoughtfully attended to, from luggage handling to personalized tours and exquisite dining, you’re free to relax, explore, and create lasting memories.

Your voyage of discovery awaits, and with these insider tips, you’ll be ready to embark on the journey of a lifetime. Happy cruising!

Learn more about our cruise adventures: 

Remembering My Incredible Viking Rhine River Cruise

Viking River Cruises: Paris to Swiss Alps in 12 Glorious Days

Eouring Bratislava with Viking River Cruises: The Beautiful Gem of the Danube

Don't fret the details for your future river cruise; we've got you covered. Here are Viking River Cruise tips, know before you go for the best possible vacation.

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When Viking Kings and Queens Ruled Medieval Russia

By: Becky Little

Updated: July 27, 2023 | Original: December 4, 2019

An illustration of Prince Oleg.

The historical people known as Vikings , who hailed from Scandinavia in Northern Europe, are well-known today for their exploits in the West. But the merchant warriors also made their way into Eastern Europe, where they helped found a medieval federation in the territory now known as Belarus, Ukraine and part of Russia. Their loose federation of principalities called Kievan Rus survived for nearly 400 years, finally collapsing during the 13th-century Mongol invasion.

Early Scandinavian settlements in the East

Vikings founded Kievan Rus in the mid-9th century, but Scandanavian settlements in Eastern Europe actually date back to at least A.D. 750. This is when pre-Viking-Age Scandanavians likely settled the northwestern Russian town of Staraya Ladoga (or “Old Ladoga”), across Lake Ladoga from what is now Finland. One of the artifacts archaeologists have unearthed from the city is a talisman with the face of Odin, the Norse god of war.

“The early Scandinavians were particularly attracted to Ladoga by the appearance of Islamic silver coins or dirhams there,” writes scholar Thomas S. Noonan . “The regular flow of Islamic dirhams from Russia to Scandinavia via Ladoga began in the early ninth century and is further evidence of a Viking presence in Ladoga long before 840.”

Prince Oleg expands territory, moves the capital to Kiev

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It was after 840 that Scandanavian Vikings—who were known in Eastern Europe as “Varangians” or “Rus”—established Viking rule over Slavic tribes in what came to be called Kievan Rus. At first, the region was divided between three noble brothers.

“The oldest, Rurik, located himself at Novgorod; the second, Sineus, at Beloozero; and the third, Truvor, in Izborsk,” recounts the Russian Primary Chronicle , a history of the region completed in the 12th century by Kievan monks. “On account of these Varangians, the district of Novgorod became known as the land of Rus.” (“Rus,” which is where the name “Russia” comes from, purportedly derives from an old Nordic word for “men who row.”)

Rurik’s brothers died within two years, so he claimed their territory and established Novgorod as the capital of his domain. After Rurik died, his successor Prince Oleg of Novgorod (or Oleg the Prophet) captured the city of Kiev in 882 and moved the capital from Novgorod to Kiev. In addition to capturing new territories to increase the size of Kievan Rus, Oleg also increased its wealth by negotiating a favorable trade deal with Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire.

Royal pains after Oleg

Archaeological discoveries in the region support the Russian Primary Chronicle ’s historical account of Vikings in the region—at least, in part. However, historians caution readers to approach the Chronicle narrative with a grain of salt, since some of its stories have an exaggerated, mythical quality.

One such story: how Oleg allegedly died. According to the Chronicle , a prophecy during his lifetime foretold that one of his horses would cause his death. To avoid his fate, Oleg never rode that horse. But after he successfully expanded Kievan Rus territory and trade, he got a little cocky and began to wonder if he could ride the horse after all. By then the animal had died, so Oleg found its bones and mockingly stomped on its skull; but, the story goes, a serpent slithered from underneath and bit Oleg, killing him.

After Oleg came a period of royal distress. His successor was Rurik’s son, Igor of Kiev, who married a woman named Olga. Like Oleg, Igor collected tribute from the people he had conquered; but unlike Oleg, his prices were so high that they prompted a tribe to assassinate him. When he died, his wife Olga assumed power.

What reportedly happened next with Olga is one of those stories that likely lives more on the mythical end of the spectrum. Olga was (understandably) furious with the early Slavic tribe of Drevlians that had killed her husband. So when Drevlian emissaries went to see Olga to discuss whether she would marry one of their princes, she supposedly tricked them into being buried alive. The chronicle also says she invited a bunch of Drevlian wise men to visit her and then burned them alive inside a bathhouse.

End of the Kievan Rus era

Kievan Rus was largely pagan until the late 10th century, when Vladimir the Great took power and introduced Christianity. The conversion actually resulted from a deal between Vladimir and the Byzantine Emperor. Vladimir agreed to convert to Christianity and send the emperor 6,000 soldiers to defend his throne; in exchange, Vladimir would marry the emperor’s sister.

The exchange of soldiers led to the establishment of the Varangian Guard , an elite unit of imperial bodyguards. In addition, the deal led to the spread of Byzantine culture within Kievan Rus. Vladimir built churches to spread Christianity and schools to spread literacy (and also probably Christianity). The economy flourished, and Kievan Rus continued to expand. This cultural and economic growth likely peaked under the rule of Vladimir’s son Yaroslav I (or Yaroslav the Wise), who began the construction of St. Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod.

After this, the Kievan Rus federation was beset by royal fights for power. The Crusades brought further instability, so that by the time the Mongols invaded in the 13th century, Kievan Rus was weak and divided, and easily fell.

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Subscriber only, minnesota vikings | here’s a look at the vikings schedule with a breakdown of each game, the season opener will come on sept. 8 when the vikings travel to play the giants..

Justin Jefferson cheers

Naturally, the Vikings followed suit with that trend on Wednesday, posting a 1-minute, 40-second video on social media, which creatively detailed the slate of games for 2024.

Here’s a look at the Vikings schedule with a breakdown for each game:

Week 1 at Giants

Sept. 8 at noon … The season opener will come on the road as the Vikings travel to play the Giants. Who will start for the Vikings under center? Will it be journeyman quarterback Sam Darnold or rookie quarterback J.J. McCarthy? That will be the biggest question throughout training camp.

Week 2 vs 49ers

Sept. 15 at noon … If he wins the starting job for the Vikings out of training camp, Darnold will get an opportunity to play against the team that helped revitalize his career. If that doesn’t happen, McCarthy will face 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, the player many people compared him to coming out of the 2024 draft.

Week 3 vs. Texans

Sept. 22 at noon … The return of Stefon Diggs and Danielle Hunter will certainly be a story line in the Twin Cities. That said, the Vikings need to keep their focus singularly on the Texans, an emerging Super Bowl contender led by star quarterback C.J. Stroud.

Week 4 at Packers

Sept. 29 at noon … The scene of the crime last season. Who knows where the Vikings would be right now if former franchise quarterback Kirk Cousins didn’t rupture his Achilles’ tendon at Lambeau Field? Maybe the Vikings would’ve gone on a deep playoff run and Cousins would still be playing in the Twin Cities. This game itself should be cathartic for a lot of Vikings fans as they turn the page to the next chapter.

Week 5 vs. Jets

Oct. 6 at 8:30 a.m. … The conclusion of a brutal stretch to the first month will happen at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London when the Vikings host the Jets. Not exactly the easiest task. This will be the first time the Vikings get to play star quarterback Aaron Rodgers since he moved on from the Packers. No word yet on how the Vikings plan to deal with their circadian rhythms.

Week 7 vs. Lions

Oct. 20 at noon  … After losing to the Lions on Christmas Eve, the Vikings will look to exact some revenge. Will tight end T.J. Hockenson be back on the field for the Vikings? He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament against the Lions last season after absorbing a low hit from safety Kerby Joseph.

Week 8 at Rams

Oct. 24 at 7:15 p.m. … This will be a homecoming for head coach Kevin O’Connell. He won a Super Bowl as a member of the Rams before being hired by the Vikings. This will be played in primetime on a Thursday night, so it’ll be a quick turnaround for both teams.

Week 9 vs. Colts

Nov. 3 at noon … The last time the Colts came to town, the Vikings secured the win by pulling off the largest comeback the NFL has ever seen. Now, if the Vikings fall behind by 33 points once again this season, they probably won’t be as fortunate.

Week 10 at Jaguars

Nov. 10 at noon … This will be a good test for the Vikings. No longer the doormat of the NFL, the Jaguars have lots of talent on offense and defense. Will the Vikings be able to compete?

Week 11 at Titans

Nov. 17 at noon … This is a very winnable game for the Vikings on paper, and they must take advantage of it. These teams have some familiarity with each other after the Vikings hosted the Titans for joint practices ahead of last season.

Week 12  at Bears

A player holds a ball

Nov. 24 at noon … This will be the first time the Vikings get an up-close look at No. 1 pick Caleb Williams. He has the potential to wreak havoc on the NFC North for the next decade. It’ll be interesting to see what defensive coordinator Brian Flores has up his sleeve.

Week 13 vs. Cardinals

Dec. 1 at noon … The best receiver in the NFL is Justin Jefferson. The best rookie receiver in the NFL is Marvin Harrison Jr. It will be fun to see both players ball out in front of each other.

Week 14 vs. Falcons

Kirk Cousins wearing Atlanta gear

Dec. 8 at noon … There might not be a more highly anticipated game on the slate this season. The divorce between the Vikings and former franchise quarterback Cousins played out publicly for everybody to see. Which side is better off? That remains to be seen.

Week 15 vs. Bears

Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. … A few weeks after playing them on the road, the Vikings will get to host the Bears in primetime on a Monday night. There’s a good chance McCarthy could be the starter for the Vikings by then. That would pave the way for a battle of the rookie quarterbacks.

Week 16 at Seahawks

Dec. 22 at 3:05 p.m. … This rivalry used to have a lot of teeth.  Now the animosity seems to have dissipated with both teams in transition. Maybe this is a chance for the Vikings and the Seahawks to rekindle a flame.

Week 17 vs. Packers

Dec. 29 at Noon … This matchup could end up determining playoff positioning for the Packers. They have lofty goals this season following the emergence of quarterback Jordan Love. Will the Vikings be vying for playoff positioning themselves or simply hoping to play spoiler?

Week 18 at Lions

TBD … Will this matchup mean anything to either team? Perhaps. Regardless, the Vikings are now chasing the Lions in the NFC North, so anytime they play each other it will be appointment television.

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NFL London games announcement completely ignores fact Vikings are playing

By lior lampert | may 16, 2024.

New York Jets v New England Patriots

Imagine being a fan of the Minnesota Vikings and noticing the NFL schedule released on Wednesday with a promo highlighting their Week 5 meeting across the pond versus the New York Jets , only to see the league either utterly forgot to or blatantly ignored the fact that their favorite team is playing in the game too.

ESPN's senior NFL insider Adam Schefter took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to break the news that the Jets and Vikings will travel to London to play on Sunday, Oct. 6, accompanied by a visual graphic that is fairly Jets-centric... to say the least:

Jets and Vikings will play in London on Sunday, Oct. 6. — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 15, 2024

NFL London game announcement completely ignores the fact Vikings are playing

Were it not for the Vikings logo on the bottom right corner of the image, it would be impossible to tell who the Jets are facing -- there is nothing that indicates the Vikings will be their opponent.

Considering this matchup features a big-market franchise like the Jets flying overseas to play and are a team with Super Bowl aspirations and a four-time MVP-winning quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, who makes new headlines virtually every day, it makes sense they would take up most of the marketing/advertisement strategy. But to disregard the Vikings is a cold-blooded move.

All jokes aside, there is plenty of intrigue surrounding the Week 5 clash at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, like Sam Darnold's "revenge game" narrative (assuming rookie J.J. McCarthy is not under center by then) and the battle between Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner and Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson as two All-Pros who are arguably the top players at their respective positions.

The Jets are considered 3.5-point favorites over the Vikings, per ESPN Bet. However, that could change between now and then for a myriad of reasons, especially if Darnold cedes the starting quarterback job to McCarthy. Regardless, Minnesota is a more compelling competitor than led to believe by the announcement.

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