Viking goes wi-free
More than the service, more than the destinations we visited, more than the food, the big topic of conversation on my cruise from Moscow to St Petersburg was the internet. Or rather lack of it.
"If you come in a month it will be working," Viking River Cruises chairman Torstein Hagen told me. Not really a lot of good to those of us spending a swingeing 10 euros (£8.30) for an hour online, during which time we were lucky to open one email.
I do admire his confidence, especially as the problems have nothing to do with techie stuff, but rather the fact that right piece of paper hasn't been signed by the Russian authorities. That's the bit he expects to be completed in the next few weeks.
But if he can cut through the red tape that has wound its way around so much of Russian life since the ending of the Soviet regime, and it really does happen, it's great news for all Viking's Russian river cruisers to come.
Even better, Hagen tells me that from the start of 2009, all Viking ships except those sailing the Yangtze in China, will have free wi-fi and laptops to hire for those who don't want to drag their own on holiday.