For the 1 night prior and the 1 night following the cruise, instead of staying on the ship, which is docked one hour plus outside the city, you will stay at a hotel within Moscow and St. Petersburg. The hotels may not have the best or even in the best location, but it will be a lot closer than if you stayed at the dock.
The capacity of the ship is under 100 people, which was a positive for us
For the most part, the guides were very good, with one or 2 exceptions
Programs on the ship such as: speakers, cooking class, etc. were plentiful and excellent
The service in the dining room is excellent and the rest of the service is good
The ship is not luxurious in any way
The cabins are minuscule and poorly appointed. The furnishings are bare bones and right out of IKEA. The ship is much more 2 stars than 5
The cabins are dark, depressing and poorly lit. We had to use our own flashlight to even find our clothes in the wardrobe
The curtains are so thin that they offer no privacy or any means of blocking out the daylight
The shower is so tiny, you can barely wash yourself
There are a few meals which are very good, but for the most part, they are mediocre at best. They were more quantity than quality and certainly not fine dining in any way
Except for the “Russian Night,” there are no Russian specialties on the menu or at the buffets. It is over cooked and dried out paella, bbq ribs and lasagna. Since lunch is a buffet, why couldn’t one of the choices be Russian?
In the evening there is No local or folk entertainment, except for games played by the staff
The hotels the utilize in Moscow and St. Petersburg are far down on the scale of 5 star hotels and the one in Moscow is 2 miles from Red Square
Of course no one can control the weather, but the following issues must be considered prior to booking -
You may think that taking a river cruise, it would be smooth sailing all the way, which was not the case. When crossing one of the large lakes, we were caught in a terrible storm and the ship was rocking and rolling. In fact, the water poured out of our shower and drenched the carpeting in the bedroom. Because of this we had to be temporarily relocated to another cabin.
Also because of the weather, we had to totally skip one of our ports and on the final morning, the ship could not reach St. Petersburg. We had to dock 4 hours outside the city, get up at 4:30 in the morning, in order to board buses for the 4 hour bus ride into the city. This was certainly not what we expected
If we had been on a larger ship would the situation have been different, I don’t know.
Review by JongKim2 years ago
We had three days in Moscow, five days on the Volga River, and three days in St. Petersburg. I thought I'd be living on beets and vodka but the food on the boat was excellent (continental) and the service was first-rate. I loved all of our local guides (made me fall in love with the Russian people) and our on-boat lecturers. Both Ludmilla and Olga were extra special. Would unreservedly recommend this trip!
Review by Goofyrainbowdash2 years ago
We chose Platinum Class for our first experience of a river cruise, and it was well worth the extra.. We really felt treated like special people. Small group (6 of us!) for cultural visits in Moscow and St. Petersburg, with excellent very knowledgeable guides who steered us through the museums. Sadly in the Kremlin we had very little time to look at the beautiful historic churches and rather too long looking at royal wedding dresses and diamonds.
The on-board experience was wonderful, with tasty and varied food , lots of things to do, so no time to get bored, even in the rain! Prof.Ludmila Selezneva's talks on modern Russia and history of art were wonderful and so enthusiastic. We really learnt a lot. The crew were super-efficient and friendly too,
Just one point of criticism of what was otherwise a marvellous trip. The diningroom on "Volga Dream" with its low ceiling and small portholes felt a bit claustrophobic and the acoustics were so bad that everybody had to shout. Not so good for conversation with your neighbour at table. Perhaps that part of the vessel could be refurbished (?)
Review by Deisia3 years ago
I enjoyed every part of this tour - Saint Petersburg was lovely and our guide Daria delightful knowledgeable and helpful, the driver Sergei also; there was some queuing for Catherine's Palace but everything we visited was stunning - I particularly loved the Faberge Museum. Daria was maybe a little too keen on "comfort stops" we didn't really need and implied "shopping". The Kempinsky was excellent too, staff, food, location ...
The Volga Dream was great - I actually loved my tiny little cabin (326) as I could lie in bed and let the river flow by as I watched the forests and villages we passed - the locks were fascinating! The food was first rate every day and the service - both Restaurant and cabin staff excellent.
The little sorties onto land were good too - though Mandrogi artificial and over-priced - I especially liked Yaroslavl and Uglich.
Entertainments on board were great too - I enjoyed Olga's Russian language introduction and Ludmilla's lectures a Highlight of your tour - she opened our eyes to so much of what is Russia past and present both Political and Cultural - brilliant!
One small thing - you could have chosen better films for the evening - Doctor Zhivago / From Russia with Love / Leviathan?! War & Peace? Anna Karenina? you will have a better knowledge of great Russian filmmakers than I do ...
Moscow I loved - even better than Saint Petersburg - the guide (Milla) was ,,, interesting! and quite funny but she got us through the crowds and round the sights expertly. The Marriott was fine - great location though a bit soulless - I ended up round the corner at Petr 1 which was very good. I will definitely be back to Moscow ...
I haven't said how wonderful the Olgas were! superb - classy, competent, charming ...
Thank you for everything!
Review by Aftin3 years ago
Food was fantanstick.
Review by Gayaz3 years ago
If coming from West Coast or further plan an extra day before tour starts to give yourself time to adjust. First day program in Moscow is very intense. Our guide in Moscow was knowledgeable but too strict, insisting we listen to her and stand right next to her at all times, giving almost no time for photos or questions. Staff on board were exceptional particularly our cruise director, Olga. I loved the boat, all wood paneling and old world. Food plentiful and delicious. Marvelous guide, Natasha, in St. Petersburg. Night tour of Moscow was not worth doing. However, performance in St. Petersburg was worth every penny, but be prepared to fight for your unassigned seats. Overall, a wonderful trip I would recommend to anyone.
Review by MaxGregor Jobson3 years ago
I took this cruise with my 82 year old mother. The experience was once in a lifetime! The guides were vey knowledgeable; the service on the boat was impeccable! The activity options on the boat were plentiful. The food was superb, like eating at a five-star restaurant every night. The tours in Moscow and St. Petersburg were slightly strenuous for my mom (it was hot in Moscow, over 85 degrees), but everyone in the group kind of "adopted" her and pointed out chairs for her to sit down in, etc. I would (and have!) recommend this cruise.
Review by Smassie Longieras3 years ago
I and my husband had visited some cities of Russia before this trip. We still knew little about Russia. But after this trip, we knew more about Russian and its history through their good guides. Especially Alex in Moscow. He is knowledgeable and good response to all of our questions. Sure, we will recommend our friends to join your wonderful Volga Dream program.
Review by Jerrytaff Resa3 years ago
Great staff, wonderful guides, outstanding lecturer, and delicious food. I would recommend Volga Dream to anyone who wants to see the real Russia.
Review by Bakeneko3 years ago
Perfect program, excellent team, excellent organization. Exceptionally good food - haute cuisine! Caring and friendly environment, possibilities for networking and making new friendships. Highly recommendable experience!
Review by MyRion3 years ago
We enjoyed the terrific international mix of individuals on the tour. Not only were the crew and local guides welcoming and informative, but the sites chosen were well-planned and interesting. Unlike other cruise lines, we appreciated the lack of bombardment of brochures, emails, and telephone calls. All in all, a wonderful experience.
Review by Sijun4 years ago
Volga Dream provides the most magnificent cruise imaginable! The cruise boat is beautiful, staff are very friendly and engaging, food is fantastic 5 star dining and the tours are all worthwhile and informative. Yulia as cruise director is professional, knowledgable, and understands everyone's needs easily. The cabins are comfortable, lounges and sitting areas well decked out. Everything about the cruise is exceptional
Review by Waller4 years ago
Review by Tanzia Fogie4 years ago
We enjoyed every single minute of the holiday the hotels were situated centrally we could walk around easily being able to walk into the square where the Hermitage was just around the corner from hotel was amazing the boat was a lovely experience the staff were very attentive food was excellent trips from the boat very interesting good guides The Kremlin was so interesting Thank you for a wonderfull experience
Review by Hounchez4 years ago
The trip to Russia with Volga Dream was a success across the board. Very good hotels, competent guides, nice rides The stay on the ship was extremely pleasant. The staff were very obliging and friendly. The meals on board were excellent. The lectures and other activities on board very pleasant and instructive. I would VOLGA DREAM recommend to anyone who wants to visit Russia,
Review by Anikan5 years ago
Never having been on a cruise, we were unsure of what we would experience. We were very pleasantly surprised, the staff were excellent, food was delicious, entertainment was enjoyable, lectures opened our eyes to the history of Russia and in general we had a wonderful time. Our fellow passengers also made our trip one with wonderful memories.
Review by Tyso Sarba5 years ago
My wife and I and four friends wanted to do a boat trip between Moscow and St Petersburg and didn’t want one of the fleets of ships with 200 passengers. And in addition to size we found a number of negative TripAdvisor reviews on many of those larger ships. We found the Volga Dream which takes only 100 passengers and which is privately owned by a Russian family. It could not have been better. The crew was exceptional in their friendliness and professionalism, and the boat itself was in wonderful shape and exceptionally well maintained. Despite having 100 passengers, we never found anyplace too crowded to do exactly as we wanted. The shore excursions were very well planned and executed. And the food was excellent. We would warmly recommend the Volga Dream to anyone wanting to do either Moscow to St Petersburg or the opposite direction. We made arrangements through Travel All Russia which included also some days in both Moscow and St Petersburg, and in every aspect those arrangements were superb. Rather than staying on the boat for those periods, we enjoyed wonderful center-city hotels and restaurants and superlative guides. That we would also warmly recommend.
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2300 N Perishing Dr. Suite 202