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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
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
5 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 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
4 Helpful Votes
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: June 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 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
2 Helpful Votes
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
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 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
2 Helpful Votes
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
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