1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Scenic
  4. Scenic Tsar Review
  5. Scenic Tsar Cruise Reviews

28 Scenic Tsar Cruise Reviews

A lot of friends asked us why we chose a Russian cruise as a destination, as if saying Why go there? I was apprehensive given all the stereotypical images portrayed in all the media and films over the years while my husband was more ... Read More
A lot of friends asked us why we chose a Russian cruise as a destination, as if saying Why go there? I was apprehensive given all the stereotypical images portrayed in all the media and films over the years while my husband was more familiar with Russian history and had no such concerns. This was also our first cruise so we were prepared to allow the tour to unfold and didn't have a long list of must see destinations. The Tours selected for us were exceptional. There was a lot to see. On some tours there was a lot of walking which really helped with controlling the extra weight that the copious amounts of delicious food served at every meal might cause. The tour was so well managed from the beginning to the end, with great care and precision. The Cruise Director and his team were exceptionally professional as well as entertaining and happy to engage with everyone on the cruise. They said the ship would be our home and we would all be treated as family and they truly delivered. All of the ship staff were accessible, friendly, and very professional. The rooms were kept spotlessly clean and were very comfortable. The bed and pillows were excellent and the room had thoughtful details like rugs to use if you wanted to sit out on the balcony and watch the forest and sights unfold as we sailed by. The ship was big enough and well thought out in layout to give everyone enough space to not feel crowded, there were over one hundred guests on our cruise and 65 staff and it was surprising how uncrowded and quiet the ship felt. The food was varied and excellent throughout the trip. The only issue we had was the tables at the rear of the dining room were quite noisy whenever the ship was underway. The lounge and bar areas were comfortable and well stocked. We were consulted and included in briefings that were informative and funny. On board activities were varied and engaging when under way. This was our first cruise and it wont be our last. Russia is an amazing place, it is so diverse and this cruise gave us an opportunity to see the beauty, the culture and the community while still providing an opportunity to relax and meet interesting people from diverse backgrounds. I cant say which bit was best because it was all great. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have always wanted to visit Russia but wanted to travel without the hassles of trying to do my own thing. So I chose to do a river cruise. Scenic had the itinerary and dates that suited me as well as an excellent reputation for ... Read More
I have always wanted to visit Russia but wanted to travel without the hassles of trying to do my own thing. So I chose to do a river cruise. Scenic had the itinerary and dates that suited me as well as an excellent reputation for offering a top notch experience. They did not disappoint. The service was first class and the shore excursions were well planned and included all the highlights I wanted to see. The Enrich Experiences were incredible and offered an unexpected element to our experience. I liked that the cruise was all inclusive and that there were only 110 passengers on board. The food was excellent and well varied. The staff were all very attentive and the service was excellent. They offered great options on their menus. Their Cruise Director, Arty was exce,lent. He was very knowledgeable, funny and attentive. The Tour Directors Anna and Elena were also very good. The extracurricular activities on board were fun and unexpected, including vodka tasting, Russian lessons and painting Matryshka dolls. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were very impressed reading the itinerary and all the trip offered. It was our first river cruise with scenic. The daily programs are explained every evening, before dinner. Svetlana armstrong, our cruise director was wonderful! Her eye ... Read More
We were very impressed reading the itinerary and all the trip offered. It was our first river cruise with scenic. The daily programs are explained every evening, before dinner. Svetlana armstrong, our cruise director was wonderful! Her eye for detail is exceptional, there was never a time she wasn't there for the guests: ensuring all understood the guidelines of what to do, where to meet, along with all the historical places we would be visiting. Every day was a wow! vadim palchun, our historian, program director, and guide was beyond an a++. Vadim"s intellect surpasses any historian we have ever met. Vadim greeted us every day with humor, patience, knowledge and passion for russia as he guided us thru his homeland. The palaces, the cathedrals, the museums, (don't miss the world war 11 museum) the ballet, the rivertours, the folklore show, & the phenominal old moscow circus!!! Was outstanding!!! Truly, surpassed our expectations! the only significant problem involved the limo service from home: to and from the airport, would not want to deal with this limo company again.. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Russia was a total unknown to us - an eye opener of its people and lifestyle in Moscow and St Petersburg. The three Russian Tour Leaders employed by Scenic were superb - their command of the English language was superb and their ... Read More
Russia was a total unknown to us - an eye opener of its people and lifestyle in Moscow and St Petersburg. The three Russian Tour Leaders employed by Scenic were superb - their command of the English language was superb and their presentations were with a great sense of humour. The ship staff were friendly and helpful making the trip a very positive experience. The day excursions were of great interest and the fact that Scenic managed to get early access to the various musea, churches, castles etc before the crowds was greatly appreciated. The tour buses were modern and comfortable with good PA systems and efficient drivers. A good effort was made to drop us off and collect us later at the various point of interest without nearby parking facilities. The staff on-board were friendly and efficient and their English was remarkably good as they were all young Russians. The food was varied, well presented and very good with good wines to choose from. Breakfast and lunch were good occasions to move around the buffet and dinner was sit down a la carte with personalised service at the table. The pianist was very good and played the entertainment, mostly provided by the 3 Tour Leaders were great. The talks about the Russian political history was frank, honest and very detailed and gave me a better understanding of how Russia arrived where it is now. Because of the unseasonable cold weather, we did not make much use of the balcony or the outside areas. We were efficiently collected from the airport in Moscow at the start of the cruise and delivered to the airport in St Petersburg at the conclusion of the trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We elected to go to Russia more through curiosity. A river cruise seemed the best option and after reviewing the different companies and taking feedback we selected Scenic. We were not disappointed. We arrived a day early and spent the ... Read More
We elected to go to Russia more through curiosity. A river cruise seemed the best option and after reviewing the different companies and taking feedback we selected Scenic. We were not disappointed. We arrived a day early and spent the afternoon at our own pace wandering around downtown Moscow but trying to avoid sights we would visit as part of the tour. The ship was much smaller than the competition offerings however this is to your advantage. We had a comfortable 99 passengers on board rather than the 200 plus offered by others. The smaller number gave you a greater advantage to meet most of your fellow travelers and with fewer passengers there is less chance of illnesses being spread. Unlike other Scenic cruises the complimentary mini bar and unlimited alcohol was prohibited under Russian law. As such, the mini bar was empty and complimentary alcohol was only served at lunch and dinner. To me, the mini bar could have been stocked with some soft drinks but this wasn't the case. The dining experience was excellent. If you are considering a river cruise I suggest dieting for several weeks before commencing. The dining room staff were fabulous. Two criticisms here. The first is the lack of a decent coffee. Yes, they had a machine but the coffee was only warm, not hot. For the price of the cruise one would think Scenic would have a barrister on board to make a real coffee for the guests. Most people complained about the coffee. The second is the lack of cakes/slices for morning/afteroon tea. The Europeans make some fabulous slices however our daily servings in this regard were just small shortbread biscuits. I should add though, for Aussies, they do have vegemite on board but no weetbix. The Russian cornflakes are actually very nice - Kelloggs haven't yet arrived. The entertainment was excellent with impromtu guest concerts, vodka tasting, cooking classes, doll painting and ice cream parties. The port calls and shore excursions were well thought out. Service overall was excellent. The Senior Cruise Director was a lovely Russian lady named Svetlana and we were lucky enough to be part of her team on shore excursions. She was fantastic and an absolute asset to Scenic. She had two assistants, Lena and Elena. Lena was also excellent and has the ability to be a Svetlana. Elena not so and lacked communication skills. The main cities visited were Moscow and St. Petersburg. There is lots to do in both cities. If you are considering such a cruise, firstly I recommend starting in Moscow. Secondly, book and extra day in both cities to give yourself some "me" time to wander round at your own leisure, look in the shops and visit other attractions not included in the overall trip. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Scenic Tsar – Imperial Russia Moscow to Volgagrad 30th Sept – 14th Oct 18 Deluxe Balcony Suite #305 Expectations Checking the previous reviews for the Scenic Tsar, we were somewhat worried. We had been prewarned that the ... Read More
Scenic Tsar – Imperial Russia Moscow to Volgagrad 30th Sept – 14th Oct 18 Deluxe Balcony Suite #305 Expectations Checking the previous reviews for the Scenic Tsar, we were somewhat worried. We had been prewarned that the Tsar was NOT a Scenic SpaceShip. Indeed it is not even owned by Scenic and only has 3 Scenic staff members on board. We knew when we booked about the ‘buy your drinks outside of mealtimes’ policy, the size of the cabins etc. The ‘actuality’ far exceeded our expectations. I should mention that there were only 85 guests aboard compared to the 115 capacity. Good mix of nationalities although obviously a significant number of Australians (Scenic is an Australian Tour Company) Ages were pretty much exclusively 60s or 70s. This is NOT a trip for those with walking difficulties. It is not only the walking but the many, many steps and uneven surfaces encountered. Food The food was excellent. Eggman at breakfast. Buffet lunch but with a la carte choices too. I had a wonderful fresh trout one day. Dinner had at least three choices for each course. All very well presented. Service was very efficient – no waiting. There was a good variety of wines served, including, some from Eastern European countries. Staff The non-Scenic staff were excellent – well up to Scenic standards. Service in restaurant was extremely efficient and fast. Scenic’s own staff – the 3 Cruise Directors – were not only very good but extremely knowledgeable. Special namecheck to Svetlana Armstrong - the Cruise Director - who really made the holiday. A real gem/star. Suite The main/bedroom part of our suite was perfectly satisfactory. Long worksurface to accommodate our laptop and other devices etc. Comfortable beds and all the furnishings were to a good standard – indeed looked pretty new. Very quiet. Loved having a kettle. Air Con could be switched off which is a rare boom for people like us who hate sleeping with the aircon on. Minor complaints would be no drawers – just shelves – and a wardrobe where the hangers were parallel to the doors rather than perpendicular – which made selecting your clothes a bit difficult. Main issue was the bathroom. DO NOT BRING YOUR CAT – because you certainly would NOT be able to swing it here! The space between the shower, wash basin and WC was so limited that you had to move about sideways. Having said that everything was clean and maintained that way throughout the trip. The shower itself was both powerful and hot. Itinerary We came not for the ship but to visit Russia. It did not disappoint. I understand that this was the first time that Scenic had done Moscow to Volgograd. All their other trips are between St Petersberg (which we had visited before) and Moscow. In many places you got the impression that the locals saw very few visitors from ‘the west’. Everyone seemed friendly and the locations felt safe. The day in Moscow was exhausting but we ‘hit all the high spots’. Traffic was horrendous but Scenic’s organisation and local guides were excellent. Could have spent much longer there. Although I enjoyed the second day trip to the SpacePark, my wife took the metro to visit the art galleries in Central Moscow instead. Several other guests, like us, would have preferred a second trip into Moscow. BTW – The Scenic Tsar was moored in the river beside a very quiet park about 1km (c 20 minute) walk from the nearest metro station with a direct journey into central Moscow. Costs 55 roubles a trip. BTW – Moscow dispelled my preconceptions. It is probably the cleanest city I have visited. No litter. No beggars either. Indeed it all oozed prosperity. Also seemed v safe. The stops along the Volga were all good with excellent guides. Lots of locks to navigate which added to the interest of the trip. The high spots were: - Yaroslavl where the recreation of a ball at the Governor’s House is not to be missed. - The visits to the Russian Dance School and Military Band Concert in Kostroma. Indeed I reckon there were more performers that day than Scenic Tsar guests! But almost every stop had some kind of entertainment – be it choirs in the churches or folk singing/dancing. - Lovely walk on our own in Pylos looking at the multimillion dollar dachas and the views as the trees put on their autumn colours. - Day in Volgograd/Stalingrad and the visit to the Memorial Park was extremely moving. A definite ‘must do’/high spot. The excursions (all included in the cost) were run extremely efficiently. We love the audio kits. Only criticism was that a few of the guides could not speak English well and had to have translators. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The Good: The destinations were what decided us to do this trip and they certainly did not disappoint. We were blown away by most of the venues we visited in Russia, before continuing on a land tour of the Baltic States, ending in ... Read More
The Good: The destinations were what decided us to do this trip and they certainly did not disappoint. We were blown away by most of the venues we visited in Russia, before continuing on a land tour of the Baltic States, ending in Berlin. The staff and guides were mostly all excellent, their English and local knowledge remarkable. The Bad: We were not at all happy where the boat had to dock in both Moscow and St Petersburg, in the middle of nowhere, hours by bus to and from all the venues visited in the respective cities, and nowhere to wander in the surrounding port areas in our free time.The trip would have been greatly enhanced if we could have stayed in inner city hotels in each place. Food was plentiful during the fixed meal times, although not much choice or local flavour. The wine provided (meal times only) was of a very poor quality. I was surprised there was no food provided - like a 'cafe' eg - as is normal on other Scenic ships, outside of the regular meal times. Majority of guests caught a debilitating stomach bug which continued on into the following land tour. I have enlarged on the cabin in a separate area below. The Sun Deck has no shade, just bare, uncushioned chairs, and is not at all welcoming. We never saw any one up there the few times we ventured up. With a bit of extra money spent on shade and other decorations, this would be a popular area. Entertainment was virtually non-existent - just the crew and passengers making their own. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The crew on board Scenic Tsar were fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble for them. Arty our tour director was funny, informative and a joy to be around. His knowledge of Russia and willingness to share his country and life with us in ... Read More
The crew on board Scenic Tsar were fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble for them. Arty our tour director was funny, informative and a joy to be around. His knowledge of Russia and willingness to share his country and life with us in such an entertaining manner was awesome. Vadim and Lena were equally as informative and fun. All staff on board were Russian and most spoke adequate English (we were in their country after all). The dining experiences included lots of Russian specialty meals which were delicious. The vodka tasting was not only very funny but tasted surprisingly good. The day trips with local guides into the beautiful cities and country side will stay with us forever. Lufthansa managed to lose our luggage on the way but to be greeted by the hotel manager Anna with toiletries and the offer to get clothes to the laundry as a priority made this so much easier to deal with. A great trip that we highly recommend. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We were interested in seeing Russia and mixing either people, learning there culture, and to see the famous landmarks that we see on the TV and in brochures. To visit Moscow and St Petersburg plus a few rural villages/communities along The ... Read More
We were interested in seeing Russia and mixing either people, learning there culture, and to see the famous landmarks that we see on the TV and in brochures. To visit Moscow and St Petersburg plus a few rural villages/communities along The Volga too intrigued us. The ship is not Scenic owned and we knew that from the beginning, but we have done several Scenic trips and were disappointed that the service was not the same. I don’t believe that the service model could not be replicated on the Scenic Tsar. The atmosphere in the lounge is really non existent as people hear back to there cabins rather than stay for a night cap and mingle not sure if people don’t like to pay for their drinks after dinner. The entertainment was also not inviting as it was mostly piano and lots of classical. Also there was a bug on board which would have affected at least 80% of the boat at some stage. All in all destination was great but experience was average. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This is the best way to see the two major cities of Russia, Moscow and St.Petersburg and enjoy the ability to unpack, cruising through the countryside and lake/river/canal systems seeing some unique places and have specialist tour guides ... Read More
This is the best way to see the two major cities of Russia, Moscow and St.Petersburg and enjoy the ability to unpack, cruising through the countryside and lake/river/canal systems seeing some unique places and have specialist tour guides explaining it all. Four full days in the major cities gave time to see all the special places, plus the lunches provided downtown avoided wasted travel time back and forth from the vessel. Several evening entertainment programs were included like the Ballet and Moscow Circus. Comfortable coach transfers to all venues and guides who added to the valuable information The variety of food on offer at all meals, including late suppers was amazing and always fresh fruit to take anytime and a coffee/tea station on two levels. I suggest this cruise had more to offer than most other river options and being fully inclusive of everything except gift shop purchases meant very good value Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We originally selected this cruise because it offered more time in the large cities (Moscow & St. Petersburg) than did several other cruise lines, and my husband needed a slightly larger bathroom because of a disability. Boy, were we ... Read More
We originally selected this cruise because it offered more time in the large cities (Moscow & St. Petersburg) than did several other cruise lines, and my husband needed a slightly larger bathroom because of a disability. Boy, were we glad that we went with Scenic! It was outstanding!! The itinerary was full of just the things that you want to see and experience in Russia--with lots of extras along the way. First, let us tell all potential Russian cruisers that you will not be staying in the city center on any of the Russian cruises (as you may be used to on most European river cruises). There is a Russian law that the riverboats must stay in port areas that are outside the downtown areas. This can result in up to an hour bus ride when getting into the downtown areas. It is a toss up as to just being in a downtown location, not having to pack and unpack so much, and seeing all the wonderful things along the river. Although Russia is obviously SO much bigger than this cruise, you will feel like you have seen a good deal of it by the time you finish this trip. The river sites and packing and unpacking (and all things arranged) won for us. The buses were comfortable and the cruise folks used the time wisely to let us know so very much about their country. Also, you may want to come a few days earlier and leave a few days later to "see it all" (like the Bolshoi), as even with the extra days, it may not be enough. The boat itself was really nice. Our cabin on the second level was roomy and always spotless, the food was really good to fantastic, the tour guides (both local and from the cruise line) were extremely knowledgable and honest with responses to questions, and the activities were very special along the way (both in port and along the river). Due to the distance from the boat during some tours, the lunch restaurants were upscale and provided a good experience. Service in the ship's restaurant and other areas was always with grace and a smile (which smiling to strangers, by the way, is not always cultural for Russians...and not smiling was seen as unwelcoming on other cruise lines by some Western colleagues who reported this on other cruise lines in the past). We thought that all service in all areas was superb on this ship. We would definitely go again with this cruise line. In fact, Scenic is offering another cruise south from Moscow that will extend their season into October (when the northern route begins to freeze over) which we will take at some point. Let me say some things about the tours and activities. Some are just what you want and expect (city tours, etc.), but DO NOT go to Moscow without seeing the circus and the folk show in Moscow--both are fantastic, especially the circus!! We can't say enough about both of them. If you can't see the Bolshoi in Moscow (which we do recommend as the finest on earth and as a "whole story"), Scenic's offering of ballet "highlights" in St. Petersburg with a reception in an old palace was also very great in terms of the artistic expertise. Simple but fun things along the way on the river really made this cruise unique...Russian language lessons, learning Russian songs and "a concert" to fellow travelers, vodka tasting, painting dolls, a participatory Russian play, etc., etc., made for a good time. Scenic is an Aussie company, and you can count on the Aussies (who made up the majority of the guests) to be lots of fun! Finally, this cruise ran like a fine-turned machine. Every single thing fell into place perfectly. If they said that someone would be at your hotel to transfer you, they were there on the dot! They provided us with everything we could have wanted. It was not an all together cheap date, but we had an excellent cabin and felt that we got the cream of Russia. Finally, the cruise director and other two cruise guides were professional to the highest degree. They made a fantastic team (Svetlana in organization, Arty in keeping us laughing, and Valdim in knowledge). Scenic's extra care and attentiveness allowed my husband (who has a slight disability) to see and do every single thing. We truly felt like we left family when we left this ship at then end of our time. Book without hesitation!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our 50th Anniversary trip (of a lifetime) and our 2nd Scenic River Cruise. I was somewhat disappointed with the young lady who greeted us at the airport... no 'welcome to Scenic'.. no conversation on the bus... but ... Read More
This was our 50th Anniversary trip (of a lifetime) and our 2nd Scenic River Cruise. I was somewhat disappointed with the young lady who greeted us at the airport... no 'welcome to Scenic'.. no conversation on the bus... but found out she worked for the ground operator not Scenic. The 'official welcome' started right away as soon as we departed the bus at the ship. The greeting was so warm and welcoming.... dispelled any misgivings on the bus. The front desk crew, under the direction of Anna were excellent. Within a day they knew our cabin number and simply handed us the key without asking. Always a welcoming smile and greeting! I cannot speak high enough about the Cruise Director and staff. Their knowledge, their openness, their story telling ability and their care about quality was outstanding. The food, produced under a young but very talented Chef was outstanding. We both enjoyed a massage ..and would recommend it as a perfect way to really get into the vacation mode. The Dining Room staff were amazing. Scenic trained (although not actual Scenic employees) they seemed to love their job. So personal. Greetings with such warm smiles. They bent over backwards to ensure your dining experience was a total pleasure. Our cabin was excellent. A workspace with ample plugs (bring adaptors) for my computer etc. The bed was too comfortable (didn't want to get up some mornings).... the bathrooms equipped with excellent bath and hand towels, good shampoo and conditioner and a hook for my shaving kit. I should add, a GREAT shower! The blackout curtains were so appreciated, since the sun doesn't really set until about 2am and stays dark for all of 90 minutes. The beauty of Scenic, there are not really any decisions to make. ALL of the tours are included. All of the tips are included. The wine etc at meals (this is the only difference we experienced from our previous Scenic cruise where the bar seemed to be free 24/7). My personal gripe was that my wife could drink all the wine she wanted at dinner but I had to pay for my non-alcoholic beer). A small gripe but we were warned that th Russia Cruise was a little different from the regular Scenic offerings. I can't say enough about the included tours.... everything from the Moscow Circus to a private reception with a 4-piece orchestra and amazing Champagne / vodka buffet of canapés and caviar. We adjourned to a theatre that sat our 90 fellow Scenic travellers very comfortably... a FULL orchestra and a 60 minute presentation of various famous ballets. An evening never to be forgotten. When asked about our impression of Russia... all we can say is how open and honest the people are about the changes that they are experiencing under the Federation. All preconceptions about Russia were dis-spelled. An awesome trip that I cannot recommend highly enough. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise because It covered our required itinerary at that time of the year and followed on to an extension in Scandinavia. We liked the idea of being settled on the ship in Moscow and St. Petersburg for four days each with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because It covered our required itinerary at that time of the year and followed on to an extension in Scandinavia. We liked the idea of being settled on the ship in Moscow and St. Petersburg for four days each with a nice river cruise in between. The shore tours in both Moscow and St. Petersburg were excellent (although a little tiring in the unusually hot weather) and covered just about all the sites we wanted to see. The Volga cruise also had excellent shore excursions with local guides who provided all the information you could want. The organisation of the shore excursions from the ship of the 97 passengers was outstanding and the tour director/guides were very professional and entertaining. The ship staff were fantastic: friendly, competent and very attentive to all our needs. The food onboard was plentiful and good (not fantastic), the wine at meals was good and plentiful. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because we had always wanted to see Russia and the cruise had the added bonus of Andrew Davis and John Simpson to talk to us. The whole event more than exceeded our expectations. The accommodation was great, the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had always wanted to see Russia and the cruise had the added bonus of Andrew Davis and John Simpson to talk to us. The whole event more than exceeded our expectations. The accommodation was great, the food ample and delicious and the service on board was exceptionally attentive and kind. Our tour directors worked tirelessly during the excursions to ensure that we had all the information we needed to get the most out of the places we were seeing. The program of events and excursions was extensive. A real highlight was attending the performance of Swan Lake in the Kremlin which was quite wonderful. We also enjoyed seeing so much of St Petersburg and Moscow with several points in between. The barbeque on Mandrogi was great fun - the entertainment in particular. We can certainly recommend this trip to anyone who would like to explore Russia. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Cabin was fine, the same size as other cabins but this ship is not a spaceship and has been renovated and converted so the cabin is nowhere near as good as the other scenic ships. The staff on board are great, very helpful and ... Read More
Cabin was fine, the same size as other cabins but this ship is not a spaceship and has been renovated and converted so the cabin is nowhere near as good as the other scenic ships. The staff on board are great, very helpful and accommodating the best staff we have ever had on a cruise, they were wonderful. The food was fair only, drinks were only offered free with meals and often hard to get. The scenic Booking office here in Australia is woeful,they were of little help if you ask a question, I received a response to my question three days after I had boarded the cruise and this morning Scenic rang me to advise my wait list for the same cruise was now available,I explained I finished this cruise 10 days ago! Scenic booked our flights, we were taken from the ship way to early for our 1.5 hr flight resulting in a wait of 4.5 hrs wait at the airport. We then waited another 6.5 hrs in Frankfurt for our Singapore connection. If I had booked myself I would have selected connecting flights which were available. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Enjoy cruising and wanted to see a bit more of Russia than just St. Petersburg, so this river cruise appealed on all levels. Apart from tedious procedure in obtaining the visa (you must visit in person), all other arrangements were ... Read More
Enjoy cruising and wanted to see a bit more of Russia than just St. Petersburg, so this river cruise appealed on all levels. Apart from tedious procedure in obtaining the visa (you must visit in person), all other arrangements were hassle free. The boat was lovely, although we were told by regular Scenic cruisers not as luxurious as other European boats. However, it was obvious to us that it was probably the best on the river. It was a charter from a Russian company. Our only criticism might be the acoustics in the main dining area could be improved. The food, service, staff and indeed everything on board was good. The Scenic staff were fantastic and we were taken care of better than any other company we have cruised with. The itinerary was fascinating and varied and not one, single day was felt to have been wasted. It was a full on itinerary, but there was always the option not to participate and if you chose not to, you were taken care of on board. Our entire perspective on Russia and her people was changed by this trip and we were so glad we went. There were downsides - Russian traffic in cities is horrendous and the weather is very unpredictable but accepting one as a way of life and going prepared for the other is all that's needed. Would not personally consider this to be a suitable trip for children or teenagers, unless they were interested in Russian history. The majority of the 98 passengers were 50+ Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We travelled in Russia along the Volga River with Scenic in mid-to late June 2017. Be prepared for weather that's on the cool side - mid-teens - and expect some rain. My puffy jacket, boots, umbrella, heavy weight cotton pants, long ... Read More
We travelled in Russia along the Volga River with Scenic in mid-to late June 2017. Be prepared for weather that's on the cool side - mid-teens - and expect some rain. My puffy jacket, boots, umbrella, heavy weight cotton pants, long sleeve tops, and sweater that I had packed got good use on those cool days we were out sightseeing. All of the museums have free coat/umbrella checks so it was comfortable viewing displays indoors. For me, being dressed comfortably for the weather helps me to enjoy the trip. The most important thing that I look for when I book a cruise is the itinerary. This cruise was well named for the 2 jewels on this cruise were Moscow and St. Petersburg for me. In each city our itinerary allowed 4 days. These 2 days were very busy with early starts and late nights while the other 4 days, cruising on the Volga to visit 1 small rural town each day for 2 hours, were very relaxing. We booked Scenic's Volga cruise because of their sight filled itinerary and discounts offered to previous customers. The itinerary included attending evening performances to cultural events in both cities. For example, in Moscow we saw the Moscow Circus which included some amusing animal acts (seals and monkeys), acrobats, clowns, and even some magic. Another night we heard folk singers dressed in a variety of Russian ethnic costumes while they did ethnic dances. Beautiful pictures of an ethnic region were shown as a background behind them. One morning we listened to a most engaging retired Russian cosmonaut speak about his astronaut experiences after we visited the displays in the Cosmonautic Museum which he now was the director of. We had a guided tour of the Armory, located in Red Square, to see some of the Tsars' treasures, followed by a walking tour within the Kremlin walls and a visit to one of its 3 churches - Cathedral of the Archangel - as well as to St. Basils's Cathedral. We had a guided tour of 4 Metro stations each well known for their artistry. We rode on different lines to view these stations for either one or three stops. Although I enjoyed that experience, I wondered if I could find the right hall, the right platform, the right train direction without a guide as all signage was in Russian. I found that when the Metro didn't have several lines using the same station, it was simple finding the right platform and train direction. The Metro token is easily bought at the Metro cashier inside the station (no need to use the ticket machines) and is good of all transfers as long as you don't exit the station. The last day in Moscow I selected to see the Tretyakov Art Gallery to see the paintings of Russian artists while my hubby chose to visit the Museum of Armed Forces. The local guide told the story behind many of the paintings or painters and that commentary made the visit so much more enjoyable. The bus ride into Moscow from the ship's dock will take about 1 1/2 hours due to road construction limiting the number of lanes on the highways/city streets, and the number of cars on the road. It seemed like rush hour traffic that we experience in my city for a few hours lasts all day in Moscow. On a holiday, the traffic is much less, decreasing the ride from dock to city center to 1/2 hour. Our visits to Moscow's sights, passengers were loaded onto 3 buses. Each bus had Scenic's tour guide as well as a local guide who provided the commentary. There were just over 100 guests on this cruise so 3 buses made for comfortable travelling between sights and ship and small group visits to the sights. These Russian guides spoke remarkably understandable English - American accents - and were so informative about local historical events, the buildings and many military monuments we passed by. We heard their commentary with individual receivers. These receivers were unlike Scenic's handheld receivers used in European trips - these were just transmitters - no screen for additional info on city sights, route information. Each day we returned these receivers and picked up another one the following day. In St. Petersburg, the special evening cultural sight included vignettes of well-known ballet pieces performed by dancers from the Mariinsky Theater in Prince Vladimir's palace on the Neva River embankment . The one hour show was preceded with champagne and caviar/smoked salmon snacks. The afternoon visit to the Hermitage was very uncomfortable due to the crowds. With 6 cruise ships in the docks, Scenic wasn't lucky to get an early morning booking which really makes a difference in enjoying the visit to the Hermitage. The visits to Peterhof Palace and gardens and Catherine's Palace and gardens were the highlight trips in St. Petersburg for me. We arrived early to be one of the first groups in each palace so I felt we had a relaxed tour of the beautifully decorated rococo rooms. The ballrooms with marble floors, gilt trim on the ceiling/doors/walls, mirrors, crystal chandeliers and sconces were my favorite rooms. The rooms in these 2 palaces did not smell stuffy or feel cramped/cluttered/outdated as those in the Yusupov Palace - the real attraction in that palace is the story about Rasputin's last hours. The fountains in Peterhof turned on at 11 am so we could enjoy that sight in our garden tour. We left Peterhof with a 1/2 hour ride on the hydrofoil boat. The other garden I enjoyed on our free time was the Summer Garden. The special interest fountains, statues, and walkways along pleached sheared treed paths were more in evidence close to the Neva River embankment. We also visited the interior of the Church of Spilled Blood on our own as well as the Museum of Political History. We ended our cruise in St. Petersburg with a one hour canal cruise along the Moyka River circling the central city. Free time in St. Petersburg allowed us to see the sights not included in the itinerary, but always Scenic provided transportation from city center, where free time started, back to the ship. This trip requires a Russian visa. For us, our application to the Russian embassy in Ottawa took about 3 weeks to process. Filling out the form was time consuming but it could be done online, printed out, then couriered to their embassy. We had purchased our Volga Cruise about 9 months prior to departure time so we were pleased with our cabin selection - 225 - almost mid ship for a quiet sojourn. This cabin had floor to ceiling sliding glass doors that opened out to a balcony like those on cruise ships. This balcony had 2 wooden slat chairs. The room was spacious with comfortable beds where suitcases slid under the bed. There was a TV, but we never had time to switch it on. There were enough outlets for re-charging things. The safe was small (not deep) and easy to re-programme. The room looked modern with white walls, cabinets, and duvet bedding. The draperies shut out the light from early sun rises (3 am). The room was quiet with little noise from adjoining rooms. The bathroom was very small. The shower stall would be tight for heavy/large people. There was no shelf around the small bathroom sink. Washing out clothes would be a problem in that sink and there was a lack of space to hang items to dry There was an odd configuration for hanging clothes in the closet so that space was limited. The room was clean, comfortable; the maid services were the usual. On the Scenic Tsar there were 2 floors of cabins with access to them either by using stairs or elevator. The dining room, lounge, gift shop, and bar were on the main floor. There was one computer terminal with good internet service throughout the trip which I made good use of. The small library beside the computer held a good selection of novels, poetry, and fairytales by Russia's famous writers if one wanted to sample their works. Travellers had also left free paper novels for others to read. The lounge was decorated in cheery red upholstered chairs and sofas - enough for 100+ passengers; the dining room always had white tablecloths and napkins on tables set for 2, 4 or 6. Scenic's 24/7 coffee machine was in the lounge area as well as on the third deck where a running machine and bike could be used, or aerobics could be followed with shakeology on the TV. Most people though used this glassed in third deck for viewing both sides of the Volga river. Early continental breakfast was served in the main lounge with croissants, fresh fruit, and yogurt - a pre-breakfast for early risers. The sundeck had loungers (no pads) and tables and chairs - no sun roof, no pool. We had little time to use the sun roof and the weather didn't encourage its use either. There was no self-serve laundry machine available, but laundry could be sent out. We were pleased with our surroundings on the boat. They were clean, inviting, and comfortable. While mobility challenged passengers had no difficulty on board the ship, they might have had issues during the visits to the attractions. Often the bus had to let off passengers not close to the sight so walking on uneven walkways/cobbles could present a problem. At most sights, there were many stairs to climb as well. Entertainment - a pianist/singer - on the ship was provided each evening after dinner, but we headed straight to bed to rest up for the next day's activities and, also we usually were early risers. In the mornings when cruising the northern sections of the Volga River, the Scenic crew provided Russian lessons, a Matryoshka doll painting session, a gift shop talk, a Q/A session about all things Russian. Many on board enjoyed these activities We enjoyed the meals on the ship. Breakfast and lunches were served buffet style and augmented by selections on the a la carte menu. Dinners were a la carte with 3 selections each for starters, soup, salad, mains, and desserts. There always was a vegetarian selection for the mains. Buffet breakfasts had an egg station, potatoes/sausages/bacon, waffles, crepes or pancakes, hot porridge, cold cereals, deli selections, delicious breads, fresh whole fruit trays as well as cut up oranges/grapefruit, fresh pressed fruit juices. Lunch buffets always had a variety of prepared salads as well as just greens and tomatoes and cukes to make your own salad; different hot soups every day, a carvery with hot vegetables, as well as sandwiches and a dessert table with cakes, pastries, ice cream selections. When we sat down at lunch with our filled plates, we realized that the a la carte menu also had dishes we may have preferred. Wine/beer was included in the meals. The white Russian wine was delicious, but they also offered selections from South Africa, and Spain. I preferred having drinks just with the meal. There were 2 special nights in the dining room featuring Russian and Ukrainian foods. The waitresses, who spoke limited converstaional English but enough to take meal orders, were dressed up in ethnic costumes and the tables had special ethnic decor. The captain also had 2 special dining room nights - a welcome and farewell dinner. I enjoyed the meals on board as well as the lunches we had in the local restaurants in Moscow and in St. Petersburg. These were set up for large groups so service was efficient, the meal was set (no choices, people with special diets showed a card to the waiters), the food varied from Russian foods to international foods, but always the lunches were 4 courses - salad (usually a mixture of cukes and tomatoes), hot soup, main dish, dessert. Lunches lasted about 1 hour and took at least 1/2 hour if not more to reach due to the traffic. Also, these restaurants which seemed to specialize in meals for tour groups usually were located outside of the the main tourist area, except for a Russian Restaurant close to Red Square. Their food was just so delicious from the clear beet broth to the beef stroganoff served in a bread bowl to the 2 delicious cherry filled blinis/crepes for dessert. It was best to have a light breakfast on those days when lunch was at a local restaurant! Another memorable lunch was the BBQ lunch in the picnic area at Mandrogi were the balalaika entertainer was fantastic and the BBQed skewers were delicious. This trip on the Volga was a once in a lifetime trip for us although we had been to St. Petersburg on an ocean cruise before. We had a most enjoyable time on Scenic's Volga cruise!! The sights were terrific, the tours were well planned, the tour guides were informative and understandable; the food was plentiful, varied and tasty; the ship was comfortable. Our time was well used. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The coaches were like new - clean, comfortable rides. After our trip, we had a changed view of Russia. What lovely memories we have of this trip - a highlight in the many years of travelling. Scenic should promote their Volga river cruise in their presentations. It's a gem of a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We went on this cruise at the instigation of long-distance friends who had been with Scenic before. This was a chance to meet up again and to visit a country and cities that we'd never seen but always had a fascination for! We were ... Read More
We went on this cruise at the instigation of long-distance friends who had been with Scenic before. This was a chance to meet up again and to visit a country and cities that we'd never seen but always had a fascination for! We were certainly not disappointed, either with the ship or the shore excursions. Both Moscow and St Petersburg more than met our expectations (in fact, Moscow was a real eye-opener) and the places visited en-route offered plenty of interest. The ship was comfortable, although we felt that the top deck could have made more welcoming. Our cabin was also very comfortable and beautifully clean every day. Our only (objective) criticism was that the balcony furniture was functional rather than comfortable. The high point of the cruise was the staff who, without exception, were all wonderful and made everyone feel special. We were particularly impressed with the cruise directors and local guides. The on-board singer and pianist were excellent-the pianist particularly so-and the 'home-made' entertainment led by the cruise directors made for great cameraderie amongst the guests. The service, food and drink were of a high standard throughout. All in all, a great success and a lovely holiday! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We wanted to go to St Petersburg and Moscow and we researched the variuos options. Scenic seemed to tick all the boxes since it was not to big a boat and seemed to have an excellent and comprensive itinerary. We also liked the look of the ... Read More
We wanted to go to St Petersburg and Moscow and we researched the variuos options. Scenic seemed to tick all the boxes since it was not to big a boat and seemed to have an excellent and comprensive itinerary. We also liked the look of the cabins and other areas on the boat. Despite the efforts of BA we were only a few hours late getting on board and had our first experience of the superb tour guides, in this case Arty. It just went up hill from thenon. The food was good (especially the Russian and Georgian white wine!) both on board and on the various excursions. The cabin was all we could have asked for and was kept spotlessy clean just like the rest of the boat. The excursions were exhausting for a couple in their late seventies but back on board and after a quick rest we were ready to go! Russia itself with all the various sights was awe inspiring and always an excellent choice . The special tour guides for each visit were excellent. The evening entertainment off board was superb, the ballet, the circus and the Folk Evening.. As for the on board entertainment wow! I hope i get the chance to sing in Russian again!..and as for Arty's pantomine- we split our sides....the vodka tasting evening touched all the right places as well. And now the staff - From the Captain down they were without exception fantastic. ...above all the four tour guides literally made the trip, From the lovely Diana in charge, to Svetlana who taught me some Russian, then Vadim the historian who was so enthusiastic about his country (as they all were )and last but not least Arty, whose self deprecating humour kept us in stitches. Thank you Scenic Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Scenic Tours are to be thoroughly applauded for their excellent service, from our departure, throughout our tour, to our return home to Melbourne! On our arrival in St Petersburg, we were met by our Tour Guide and were escorted to our ... Read More
Scenic Tours are to be thoroughly applauded for their excellent service, from our departure, throughout our tour, to our return home to Melbourne! On our arrival in St Petersburg, we were met by our Tour Guide and were escorted to our cruiser, "The Scenic Tsar". For the next 4 days, we were expertly guided through the wonderful city of St. Petersburg, including; Peterhof's Grand Palace, Yusupov Palace (where Rasputin was murdered), The Hermitage Museum, St Catherine's Palace, and finally, an exclusive Ballet performance for all guests. For the next number of days, we sailed the canals, lakes and rivers on our way to Moscow. Many historic villages. churches and museum sites were visited during our voyage. Finally, in Moscow, Scenic took us around some amazing sights, including; Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral, the Museum of Astronautics and the famous Kremlin. A ride on the Moscow Metro was an eye-opener for fast, efficient, inexpensive and ultra-clean public transportation. Whilst in Moscow, we were treated to evening's entertainment at the world famous Moscow Circus, and the legendary Russian National Dance Show. During our two weeks with Scenic, our impressions of Russia exceed all of our expectations! The service provided by the staff and crew of the Scenic Tsar was exemplary, as were the meals. All meals included drinks. Our cabin was always kept impeccably clean Lastly, it was a relief that all tips, side trips, drinks during meals and special performances were all paid for in advance. This made life much simpler! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I would give it 10 stars if it was possible. Can't speak highly enough of all the staff on board the Scenic Tsar (Alexanderder Grin). We were well taken care of from the moment we stepped off the plane in Moscow to the time we ... Read More
I would give it 10 stars if it was possible. Can't speak highly enough of all the staff on board the Scenic Tsar (Alexanderder Grin). We were well taken care of from the moment we stepped off the plane in Moscow to the time we boarded our plane back home in St Petersburg. We felt very safe all throughout the cruise and would recommend anyone thinking of doing the cruise to do it with Scenic. The ship was kept extremely clean and the food was excellent. We had the Royal Suite which had plenty of cupboard space, a two seater lounge, two chairs, a balcony and enough power points for all our needs. Our laundry was taken care of daily as was the cleaning of the suite. The chocolates on the pillows at night were a nice touch. The organised tours were well supervised and we were able to see a lot of Russia which we would not have seen if we visited by ourselves. The onboard activities were well organised and the Russian lessons were lots of fun. Thank you Svetlana for being so patient. The Cruise Director, Diana, was an absolute gem. She was never too busy for a chat whatever the subject. The restaurant Manager, Olga, did a great job looking after everyone's needs and was always on hand if you needed to make special requests etc. The tour directors Svetlana, Elena and Vadim were a wealth of knowledge and ready and willing to answer any questions about Russia, even a few political jokes were made during the course of the tour. Last but not least a big thank you to Kapitan Vyacheslav Kochet Kov for keeping all of us safe on the waterways of Russia. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
So we are off to Russia. What are we meant to expect, is it going to be the cold concrete face that we so often see portrayed in our news reels, is it going to be safe, and will the people be welcoming, let's wait and see I suppose? ... Read More
So we are off to Russia. What are we meant to expect, is it going to be the cold concrete face that we so often see portrayed in our news reels, is it going to be safe, and will the people be welcoming, let's wait and see I suppose? The reviews we read sound promising however. So we arrive at the airport in Moscow and go through Customs and Immigration which is a breeze. Personnel are only too willing to offer assistance to us in entering into their country. Through the doors and into public area and we are immediately greeted by the Scenic hostess, who took care of everything from our arrival, to our luggage, to the taxi and being delivered to the boat it was an exceptional greeting, with everything in place, our luggage in our rooms and all we have to cart is ourselves. We have been to St Petersburg, Estonia, Sweden, Finland and through a couple of the Asian countries but we never had a preconceived idea of what we were about to be imported into. Russia is cosmopolitan, friendly, impeccably clean, safe, robust in its construction development, has traffic jams with mercs caused often by Ladas. The young people speak excellent English and bend over backwards to assist where they can. I have wonderful memories of the ambiance, culture and people of Russia and would recommend a visit to anyone contemplating such an adventure. Our tour was on board the Scenic Tsar (Alexander Grin). Never did we feel in jeopardy with anything we did, including our own free time in the City. Four of the crew were Scenic Group and the rest employed by the owners of the ship but you could not split them up for their service and consideration. Each had a role to play and each should have taken home an Oscar for the contribution they made to the tour. Our suite was excellent and accommodated all we wished for. I too liked the touch of the chocolates on the pillows at night but I have yet to find where mine disappeared every evening. Every organised tour was with a tour director who it is evident to see in the numerous photographs standing unobtrusively but with the focus of being our guardian angel. Overseeing the guardian angels was she who must be obeyed and whom made the tour a seamless flow of experiences, culture, integration and fun, the Cruise Director. I now pinch my wife's comments: The Cruise Director, Diana, was an absolute gem. She was never too busy for a chat whatever the subject and always the energetic pocket rocket for us all. Nothing was a problem, if there is a solution it will be solved, if there is not there will be an alternative and it will work. The onboard activities were well organised and the Russian lessons were lots of fun. Thank you Svetlana for being so patient. The choir should top the charts soon given the encores requested finally leading to a full instrumental reciptile. The Hotel Manager, Olga, did a great job looking after everyone's needs and was always on hand if you needed to make special requests etc. The spontaneous play will provide several Oscars this year. The tour directors Svetlana, Elena and Vadim were a wealth of knowledge and ready and willing to answer any questions about Russia, even a few political jokes were made during the course of the tour. I do hope Russia does not revert to one ply paper. The Directors kept their energy going at all times which regularly gave us all that extra lift we needed after a full day out. Last but not least a big thank you to Kapitan Vyacheslav Kochet Kov for keeping all of us safe on the waterways of Russia, and his wonderful welcome and departure dinners. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We wanted to see interior of Russia and Russia in its new economic age. Scenic offered the most opportunities to experience not just the country but the culture and the people. We were not disappointed. The ship and our accommodations ... Read More
We wanted to see interior of Russia and Russia in its new economic age. Scenic offered the most opportunities to experience not just the country but the culture and the people. We were not disappointed. The ship and our accommodations were good, fellow travelers, mostly Australians, were great, the staff was excellent, and Scenic takes care of you from landing to takeoff. We never once were concerned about our safety or unsure about logistics. But do not go to Russia to have an American or European experience. Russia is fabulous and huge and the people are kind and patient. But Russia is Russia. We loved it because we expected it to be different. Others may not. Our cabin, always clean, had a balcony, adequate storage, and a refrigerator. All our meals on board were well prepared, with wine and beer at lunch and dinner. There were not dozens of courses, nor exotic foods, but the chef offered variety with special nights for Ukranian and Russian specialties. There were always 3 entree choices, with one vegetarian. Entertainment varied from a concert by Dmitry, a professional pianist, to a "special concert" of singing and dancing provided by those of us from the Russian language class. Vodka presentations, doll making and painting and Russian dancing "lessons" were a few of the other opportunities available. But mostly we traveled. This trip is a challenge for the immobile, but worth the effort to see the glory of this lovely country. Get your legs in shape before you go. In St. Petersburg, we toured numerous Russian Orthodox churches and monasteries and palaces. The restaurants in both St. Petersburg and Moscow, where we ate lunches, were a once-in-a-lifetime experience. One night we went to a champagne reception and the ballet in a royal palace. In Moscow, we saw everything by boat and bus, attended the circus and an indescribable folk dance show. All included in the cost of the cruise. Scenic left nothing out and hid nothing from us. We still don't know how the company made a profit. The journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow will open your eyes to the immensity and the difficulty of ruling this country. History is before you at every turn of the rivers. The engineering wonder of the canals and the lakes is awe inspiring along with the sad knowledge of how they we're built. But Russia today hides nothing. We were given numerous opportunities to explore the cities on our own, with a bus that dropped us in the center of the commercial and cultural districts to shop or just people watch. I save the best for last. Our guides were all Russians, beautifully spoken with a sense of humor that can only come from living in a country that changes the names of its cities every century or so. Diana is honest and proud and leads a team of 3 other guides with superior knowledge and unsurpassed patience. No request was too insignificant or impossible ---well maybe the desire by one of the Aussies to take home a bear tooth as a souvenir. They fielded rude references about thIer government with professionalism but welcomed intensive questions about all aspects of Russia today. There are lessons to be learned from the Russians by those of us who today live with politically correct limits and the daily destruction of our historical "icons". I encourage everyone who longs to see the old and new Russia to remove blinders and travel with Scenic on this wonderful adventure. This is absolutely the best buy in travel. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We have recently returned from the Jewels of Russia River Cruise starting in Moscow and finishing in St Petersburg which has been great. We were met at the Airport and taken by Coach to the Ship Tsar where we were welcomed on board. The ... Read More
We have recently returned from the Jewels of Russia River Cruise starting in Moscow and finishing in St Petersburg which has been great. We were met at the Airport and taken by Coach to the Ship Tsar where we were welcomed on board. The ship itself is quite comfortable. (Not a space-ship), and, BALCONY CABIN adequate. Meals and service on board were of excellent standard, with drinks served for Lunch and Dinner. The staff were all very warming, friendly and dedicated, which helped create a relaxing atmosphere. Excursions, Concerts, Circus, Ballet, Cathedrals, Museums, Metro Subways etc. were all Highlights, and, very well organised throughout the cruise, with free time given. Once sailing, each village being Uglich, Yaroslavl, Goritsy, Kizhi Is, and Mandrogi all have their own stories which are all interesting. Back on board it was time to relax and reminisce with fellow passengers, and staff. There were many fun activities for all. Vodka Tasting Session, Traditional Russian Doll making, Russian Language and Songs, Martryoshka painting class, and, Ice-Cream Parties to name a few over the 14 days. Each evening there was Live Music and Dancing with Surprise Entertainment the last night before arriving in St Petersburg, which was exceptional. To say what has been most enjoyed, would be difficult as the whole cruise was of high standard. Thanks to all involved for such wonderful memories to treasure. We continued on with Scenic to do the Baltic States Land Tour which has also been enjoyed by John (my husband) and myself. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
In Australia, we were happy to pay the $11,000 per person (excluding airfares) based on the fact that everything you could possibly need or want on tour was included in the tour price - "a five star, once in a lifetime luxurious ... Read More
In Australia, we were happy to pay the $11,000 per person (excluding airfares) based on the fact that everything you could possibly need or want on tour was included in the tour price - "a five star, once in a lifetime luxurious experience!" is what we were sold. This was supported by advertising propaganda provided to our travel agent, inserts in their Scenic Russia brochure and on-line advertising which states "travel without your wallet"! and shows pictures of a butler cleaning shoes, etc. On boarding the ship the story is very different, with passengers being asked to sign paperwork for their "on-board account" as soon as they board the ship. Nothing is at request, with access to food and drink only at meal times unless you pay. The only exception being tea and coffee which can be obtained from a machine at any time. Dispite being asked to provide dietary requirements months in advance, these are only catered for as an after-thought by removing what can't be eaten (no special meals) and if it can't be removed, expect to be offered very little to eat. There is no butler, no assistance for elderly passengers, no laundry, a Dr is on board but all medical services must be paid for. Rooms are modest. The fitness centre is a walking machine and a bike in the upstairs bar. Live entertainment is rare, most evenings this will entail the sad sight of a member of crew DJing. In no way the five star, once in a lifetime luxurious experience it was billed as being. In the very least, knowing the truth would have allowed us to pack and budget differently. But in reality had we known the truth about what was on offer, we would not have taken this tour. To say we are dissappointed is an understatement. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Scenic Tsar Ratings
Category Editor Member

Find a Scenic Tsar Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click