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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
My Wife and me really enjoyed the cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow. As we have never stayed in Russia before, this cruise gave us the unique possibility to see a lot of really nice places, sights, villages and two very interesting and ... Read More
My Wife and me really enjoyed the cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow. As we have never stayed in Russia before, this cruise gave us the unique possibility to see a lot of really nice places, sights, villages and two very interesting and important cities in Russia. Further on, we learned more about the daily life of the inhabitants and had the possibilities to make only best experiences, which we never will forget. It was one of our best cruises (from severals we have already done on rivers and on sea). The excellent service on the Wolga Dream was just great, the staff was extremely friendly and kind and the interesting excursions were perfectly organised. Moreover, I only can gratulate the Volga Dream for the super kitchencrew and the frist class, varied and nicely presented *****-meals, the personnel offered every day to the passengers. The entertainment and activities on board were very varied with a fantastic piano player, very interesting lectures about Russia from a excellent expert (British professor) and even lessons in Russian Language. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Saint Petersburg to Moscow - 6 night cruise then 3 nights in outstanding hotels in each of the two big cities. We travelled GOLD class and were delighted with the mix between organized and free time. This was a marvelous experience - ... Read More
Saint Petersburg to Moscow - 6 night cruise then 3 nights in outstanding hotels in each of the two big cities. We travelled GOLD class and were delighted with the mix between organized and free time. This was a marvelous experience - lovely boat with a hard working and cheerful crew. All logistics worked perfectly and our expectations were met throughout. Excellent speakers providing historic, artistic and political background to the voyage. Excellent hotels in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Staying in hotels is a big plus as the river ports are not particularly well located and a heavy traffic can make commuting tiresome and less than interesting. Meals onboard the Volga Dream were first class - the morning made-to-order omelettes were excellent as were the wines that were served with the meals. Crew were enthusiastic and cheerful throughout. Shore excursions were very good and all guides were of a very high standard. We booked direct with Volga Dream on-line and had splendid service throughout. Getting a visa is a little tiresome but far from impossible - just follow the on-line prompts. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My husband and I took the Volga Dream cruise with an several nights in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and the Helsinki extension. Everything was perfect - we could not think of anything we would have done differently. A major advantage of the ... Read More
My husband and I took the Volga Dream cruise with an several nights in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and the Helsinki extension. Everything was perfect - we could not think of anything we would have done differently. A major advantage of the Volga Dream is that on either end of the cruise you are in hotels in the center of Moscow and St. Petersburg, rather than staying on the ship as is true for most Volga cruises. This means you have much easier access to the city and have a better feeling for what the city is like, as well as being able to see much more, spend the evenings doing whatever you want (going to the Bolshoi, for instance, or having a leisurely dinner) without worrying about getting back to the ship. The Volga Dream itself is a 5 star experience. The accommodations, the food, and the staff are all excellent. The on-board Russian history lectures were a high point, delivered by a professor of history who was not afraid to share her opinions of Russia today. And of course, there is the beauty of the cruise itself, as well as the various small towns at which the ship docked. The guides were all excellent, extremely knowledgeable, and spoke impeccable English. We had opted for the platinum level, which meant that our group was very small. In addition to having a better tour experience, we were able to spend time with the guides having extensive conversations about their own lives and experiences. All of the logistical arrangements made by Firebird/Travel All Russia worked perfectly, and made the entire trip seamless and easy. We would recommend them to anyone. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Wanted to visit Moscow & St Petersburg so went on line and found this ship. Booked direct Russian visa no problem (but cost AUD130 pp). Met at Moscow airport, taken to hotel (Regis, excellent) for two nights. The two days were ... Read More
Wanted to visit Moscow & St Petersburg so went on line and found this ship. Booked direct Russian visa no problem (but cost AUD130 pp). Met at Moscow airport, taken to hotel (Regis, excellent) for two nights. The two days were sightseeing Moscow - all the usual places, Kremlin, Palaces, St Basil's, etc. Guide very good. Then taken to ship - only about 100pax, of several nationalities (important to us that they were not all Australian). Ship very comfortable; cabins quite adequate; food excellent (5* equivalent). Not drinkers so booze not important but reasonably priced, we understand. Crew was to a person, polite and helpful. The waitstaff English was as good as mine. Cruise down the Volga was truly fascinating - something very different, eg, passing thick forest which had, we were told bears and wolves! Plus crossing the biggest lakes - shoreline well out of sight.Lots of locks for pix and visits to tiny villages (wooden houses, etc) to keep up interest. Excellent lecture program from Professor Ludmilla on Russian history. She pulled no punches! Other, more domestic, entertainment was on offer. Interesting visit to the bridge, where the captain (Putin lookalike) gave us a run-down on how the ship worked - all in Russian, with the cruise director translating, though we all suspected his English would have been good, too. Crew was to a person, polite and helpful. The waitstaff's English was as good as mine. Good hotel in St Petersburg and a guide who was determined to tell us everything about the Romanovs and l'Heritage - and got us into that palace/museum ahead of a swarm of Chinese tourists. Very well done. A highlight was a chamber music concert in a St Petersburg palace. It came with a surprise - three pro opera singers giving us bits of the operas we all know. Great sense of humour, too. Thoroughly enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
My 13 year old granddaughter wanted to go to Russia so I booked us a year in advance for the Platinum level. We had high end hotels, all transfers were seamless, and we felt safe. We spent 3 days in Moscow then boarded the ship, which ... Read More
My 13 year old granddaughter wanted to go to Russia so I booked us a year in advance for the Platinum level. We had high end hotels, all transfers were seamless, and we felt safe. We spent 3 days in Moscow then boarded the ship, which was clean, updated, and comfortable. During the meals, if there was something my granddaughter did not like, the staff went out of their way to make sure she had a great meal. When in Moscow, we did venture out two nights for dinner on our own, with no problems. We saw some other ships when in ports on the river and decided we had the best kept one ever! The ship was also soundproofed so you did not hear the persons next door. The only downside was not enough time to shop in some of the stops on the river and some of the lunches were 4 courses - far too much food! And we saw a lot of icons. The guides were well informed and answered questions fully; the whisper system worked well. I was surprised to see so many subway stations in Moscow, we saw around 6 of them, maybe more. Now that I have been there, my daughter wants to go, maybe in a year or two! The people on the trip were great - we were the only Americans on the entire ship, but never felt like we did not belong. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
On board now and loving it. When researching I did not find too much informaion. The Volga dream is the name of the company and it has been wonderful. Quiet unknown in Australia. Rooms are basic but comfortable. Food more than ... Read More
On board now and loving it. When researching I did not find too much informaion. The Volga dream is the name of the company and it has been wonderful. Quiet unknown in Australia. Rooms are basic but comfortable. Food more than adequate, wine flows freely for lunch and dinner. Awesome staff and the organisation was first rate. Could not fault them or the trip in any way. I would not take the bottom cabins though. only have a small porthole. Some rooms have had an issue with smells coming up through the pipes , but not in our room. Would love to come back and do another cruise with the company again for sure. The fitness room is not that fantastic however. I would have liked to have had a bit longer in each of our ports of call even for just one more hour, they felt a bit rushed. The excursions were at a gentle pace. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Having spent 3 days in a Moscow hotel, we travelled to St Petersburg on the Volga Dream, and the voyage was simply superb. We were in cabin 302, which was extremely quiet, apart from when the vessel was moving in to docks or ports. The ... Read More
Having spent 3 days in a Moscow hotel, we travelled to St Petersburg on the Volga Dream, and the voyage was simply superb. We were in cabin 302, which was extremely quiet, apart from when the vessel was moving in to docks or ports. The cabin was great, considering how little time is spent in it, and was kept spotlessly clean - as was the whole of Russia, it seems. There was an excellent choice of food for breakfast, including eggs cooked to order. Lunch was a buffet, but with a very good choice, with meat, fish, veggie, and other options, soup, salads, choice of puds. Evening meals were not only beautifully cooked, they were extremely well presented, always with at least 4 courses. None of the food would have been out of place in a top hotel, and always arrived hot, and served extremely efficiently - usually by the charming Maria. There were a very good range of on-board activities, with the guest speaker - a Russian historian, being particularly interesting, but there were also chances to cook Russian food, learn about, or practice Russian art and crafts, as well as quiz nights, and outstanding piano recitals from the resident pianist. Shore excursions all had excellent guides, all of whom spoke English extremely well, and were genuinely interested in their villages, etc. Timings of excursions were very good, and there was never a problem disembarking or boarding. Few excursions needed minibus transport, but when they did, these were always on time, and in very good condition, fully equipped with seat belts, etc. On board, there were opportunities to view the bridge, kitchens, and engine rooms, all of which were extremely interesting. Olga, the Hotel manager, was an absolute star, always cheerful, friendly and helpful, and involved directly with passengers on a daily basis. Indeed, it made me realise how much most hotel managers have to learn from her. Our only previous experience of cruising, had been on a small boat with only 6 cabins, on the river Nile, which had been amazing. I am glad to say that the Volga Dream was also a fabulous experience. Indeed, all the staff were extremely pleasant, polite, cheerful and helpful. Just one small niggle. The Volga Dream is not cheap, and while it is definitely worth the money, and I would recommend it without question, on board wifi was an additional cost, and was very expensive - over £10 a day. We opted to avoid this, but I would have prefer to see the cost of wifi, and staff tips, included in the price. That said, if I had known in advance what I know now about the Volga Dream, I would definitely have booked the holiday. If you are planning on cruising between Moscow and St Petersburg - in either direction, you simply do not need to look elsewhere. The Volga Dream can not be topped. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We, a mature, well travel-versed, globe-trotting couple, took the Russia, August 26 – September 5 (St.Peterburg to Moscow) “Volga Dream” tour/cruise. The cruise itself (Aug.28-Sept.3) was most definitely a ... Read More
We, a mature, well travel-versed, globe-trotting couple, took the Russia, August 26 – September 5 (St.Peterburg to Moscow) “Volga Dream” tour/cruise. The cruise itself (Aug.28-Sept.3) was most definitely a sub-standard tourist experience, at wide variance from the Volga Dream published itinerary. The ship’s 1959 (yes, you read it right!) vintage and size are sadly inadequate: the vessel did not dock in 3 (St.Petrsburg, Mandrogi and Kizhy Island) out of the 6 ports listed on the company’s site. The two most important ones (St.Petersburg and Kizhy Island) were cancelled due to “inclement weather”, i.e. the ship’s limited capability to navigate the meteorlogic conditions of lakes Ladoga and Onega. The “alternate” destinations (Svirstroy/Lodeinoye Pole instead of Mandrogi, and Kostroma instead of Kizhy Island) were of no turistic/scenic interest whatsoever, in fact (mildly put) rather neglected, totally unintresting localities. But our great dismay was caused by the omission of the world famous Kizhy Island wooden churches, the much praised highlight of the Volga cruise, but also the main reason we booked it in the first place. The other aspects of the tour (St.Petersburg and Moscow hotels, guided tours, transfers, on board meals, service and accomodation on the ship) were satisfactory to excellent, very much in line with the company’s site and documentation. While the “inclement weather” disclaimer may be buried somewhere in the proverbial small print, it was evident that the ship’s vintage and small size severely limited it’s navigation capabilities, and definitely devalued our Volga Dream time and dollar investment (one should also add the Russia return flights cost). Russia travelers interested in the same itinerary (in either direction) will be well advised to investigate the competitors’ offerings, especially the size and navigation capabilities of their larger, more modern vessels! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We went on this trip just to see what Russia was like. Overall, you spend 2 nights in St Petersburg in a 5 star hotel, 6 nights on a 5 star boat, and end in a super super 5 star hotel (we were in St Regis) in Moscow. Wow, what a trip! ... Read More
We went on this trip just to see what Russia was like. Overall, you spend 2 nights in St Petersburg in a 5 star hotel, 6 nights on a 5 star boat, and end in a super super 5 star hotel (we were in St Regis) in Moscow. Wow, what a trip! Nice, relaxing cruise. Not a lot to see on the cruise cause this part of Russia is very rural and not many people. Would I recommend this trip to other people? Definitely, you got to see Russia, and this is a great way to do it. Monika at Travel All Russia (TAR) was great in getting it set up for us. I would recommend going from St. Petersburg to Moscow vs the reverse direction. Primarily cause things get better as you head to Moscow and you end on a really high note in a super 5 star hotel in Moscow. We used the airline rebate and made our own plane reservations since we could get a non stop flight on Singapore Air from Houston to Moscow. We flew into Moscow, then to St Petersburg on Siberian Air (counter #106 at the Moscow airport counter). There must 150 counters so make sure you know what counter number your return airline is to make life better when you show up. Even though we made our own air reservations, TAR still met us and shuttled us to the hotel. After a 16 hr flight, that was so great and what a relief! We arrived a day early just to hit some sites, hang out on our own and shop. You start out the tour by spending two nights in a 5 star hotel in St. Petersburg. Cool. You tour the local city sites. The palaces are so beautiful. You have to hit them all. On the second day, you tour the city and a palace and end up at the Volga Dream river boat for dinner. Now this is a really 5 star river boat. It is just so nice. The crew were super service oriented. Ready to help out with anything. Now the food was something else, it was excellent and tasted great (that make sense?). Breakfast was buffet style with the chief cook making country theme omelets to order. A very wide selection of items from pastries to fresh fruit to hot items were available, as you would expect at the 5 star level. Lunch was again had an excellent selection of items with the main course meal choices changing every day and such a selection of deserts to chose from. But, Dinner now that was special. Each entrée was an art presentation. Did I say the food tasted great, well, I will say it again, and the food service was outstanding. Tables were listed by language, English, Australian, German, etc. Dinner always turned out to be such a fun time that it ran exceedingly long as we enjoyed the conversations of people from different countries. Overall, the food had numerous Russian food themes for those who want to eat the local type menus. The days cruising were filled with activities and lectures since Russia is very rural around the river route, not a lot to see. Really enjoyed the Russian history lectures from Professor Ludmilla Selezneva, a very good and energetic speaker. She took each time period starting way back and going all the way to President Putin, explained how it effected the Russian development. Since we were seeing monasteries and churches built by various Kings and Princes, it was nice to know how they fit into the Russian puzzle to enjoy what we were seeing. We also had classes on the Russian Language. I was not a very good student, only learning two words, toilet and thank you, but did learn to sing a song, well sorta. I found our stop at KirilloBelozersky Monastery was interesting in that we got to see the “lake of youth”. Washed my face in the lake but it did not help, still look old and it sure didn’t help the ducks in the lake either. They looked pretty old. My favorite city tour on the cruise was Yaroslavi City. Just a lot there to see. The guided tour of the Governor’s house was very enjoyable. Don’t want to miss that. I was not too interested in the other stops Our last night on the cruise, we entertained the rest of the passengers with our song, sure not going to win any awards. At Dinner, we danced around the tables after a vodka tasting session. Did we ever have a good time! We departed the ship on the last cruise morning for a tour of Moscow, the Kremlin and Red Square….. ending at a super 5 star hotel. We were in the St Regis. Wow. Now that is a real uptown hotel. Well naturally, it was at the Red Square! The next day consisted of continue touring the highlights of Moscow. The following morning ended a very enjoyable 5 star Russian adventure. The first night in Moscow, we were given the opportunity to see a great Russian dance show “Kostroma” listed as the Folk Show. It was a “Vegas” quality show in their main musical auditorium. That alone is something to experience. I highly recommend attending whatever Folk show is on when you are in Moscow. Notes. I would advise bringing medicine for a head cold and cough. There are no ATM machines between St Petersburg and Yaroslavl. You may not have time to utilize it. There is one computer on board with WiFi capability for free. There was free WiFi at Yaroslavl square that I logged in to send some emails. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
The staff on the boat was excellent and very courteous. Olga, the hotel manager was very helpful and attentive. The course director Olga was nice and tried hard to accommodate everybody. The maître d’ was especially nice and ... Read More
The staff on the boat was excellent and very courteous. Olga, the hotel manager was very helpful and attentive. The course director Olga was nice and tried hard to accommodate everybody. The maître d’ was especially nice and came to me for every meal pointing out what food I should not touch because of garlic. I really appreciated this. The food without exception was outstanding and the accommodations very comfortable, given the limited space on a boat. Unfortunately I have to go on a diet now because all this great food settled around my waist! The programs also were interesting and Ludmilla was a highlight for us. Her lectures were excellent (we are aware that the Russians did not care for her Gorbachev talk!). We learned a lot more about Russia, its people and politics, which was very helpful. We had no idea that Stalin destroyed so many churches during his time in power. Also her lectures on realistic Russian art were excellent. She is very enthusiastic and also very good at mixing with guests. We had her on our table several times and enjoyed her company. I am certain other English-speaking people on the tour enjoyed her as well. We loved to sit on the deck and watch the scenery. Some of the locks were very impressive and we were astonished how overall smooth the ride on the boat was. All the excursions to shore were interesting and instructive. We enjoyed going on our own through the village of Mandrogi and buying a few souvenirs for our friends. We loved Kizhi with its old wooden houses and the wonderful Transfiguration church. I was expecting to see snakes but luckily none showed up. The small village of Goritsy was not really worth visiting but the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery was. On this warm day, a lot of Russian people were enjoying themselves bathing in the lake next to the monastery. The church treasures impressed us. We enjoyed visiting Yaroslavil with its various churches and the visit to the governor’s house. We found the visit to a private home informative. We assumed this was staged for us but interesting nevertheless. We always like to see how people live in other countries and this was such an opportunity for us. All in all it was a great experience and I would come back any time. Read Less
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