We took the Homelands cruise in August and just got back from the West Indies Explorer yesterday. My advice is going to go against everything you will read on these boards, but if you are truly independent travelers then you should skip most of the Viking paid excursions and all of the included ones. We had excursions booked in every port ahead of time and ended up cancelling six of them. We much prefer doing our own thing at our own pace.
We started in Bergen and did the Funicular on our own before boarding. We took the included Bergen tour the next day which was terrible. A bus drive to a few scenic spots for photo stops. This is what prompted us to cancel the included tours.
Stavanger - We walked around town on our own. Easy to navigate.
Eidfjord - Got a map from the visitor center at the pier and took a beautiful walk through the woods to a lake and then up a hill past some farms. Very peaceful and we had the path to ourselves.
Aalborg - Took a paid excursion to Voergaard Manor House. This was very good.
Copenhagen - Had the included walking tour booked, but the port talk convinced us to cancel it after they said there would be a brief 15 minute photo stop at the Little Mermaid statue. Really, 15 minutes to take a picture of a statue? We ended up walking around on our own and visited an art museum.
Berlin - Skipped the long train ride and walked around the lovely local town on our own.
Gdansk - Took the paid tour to the concentration camp which was excellent. However, the tour of Gdansk and included dinner were bad.
Tallin - Took the paid chocolate tour which was OK, but the group we were with ruined it. They had a bowl of chocolate on the table with enough candy for everyone to get a least 10 pieces each, however the feeding frenzy that ensued left my wife and I with two pieces each. It was embarrassing to see grown adults attack candy like little kids at Halloween.
St Petersburg - Took a 2 day tour with TJ Travel that was the highlight of the trip. Just 8 of us in the van and we saw twice as much as the Viking tour for half the price.
Helsinki and Stockholm - walked around on our own. Viking provides a free shuttle to town.