We surveyed a number of possibilities before settling on the Volga Dream for our trip from Moscow to St Petersburg on the Volga River. We wanted a small ship--the Volga Dream accommodates 100 passengers although we had fewer on our voyage. We were intrigued by the fact that the ship is owned by a Russian family and has a Russian crew. We also noted that many Volga cruises sleep on the ship while visiting Moscow and St. Petersburg and we preferred to stay in centrally located hotels instead so that we could more easily have some time and access to independent exploration.
After reading about the Volga Dream our only concern was that it was an older ship and we wondered if it would be in good condition. No worry! It was evident that the ship has received consistent TLC! All facilities were in excellent condition. Our cabin was comfortable, housekeeping was efficient, and we had two nice large windows through which to admire the views!
The meals aboard were excellent and provided plenty of options including vegetarian ones. Breakfast and lunch were served buffet style while dinners were served from a menu. Wine and beer were complimentary (and generous) for lunch and dinner.
In addition to the interesting shore excursions there were a variety of cultural activities to participate in...or not Just relaxing and enjoying the view was quite acceptable! All shore excursions were included as well as city touring, There were some optional evening excursions in Moscow and St. Petersburg at an additional cost. I did not participate in any of them (and there was no pressure to do so) so I'm unable to evaluate them
Overall, service was excellent! Embarkation and disembarkation were handled smoothly and efficiently at ports and for shore excursions.