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Cruise Ratings
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My husband and I took the Volga Dream cruise with an several nights in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and the Helsinki extension. Everything was perfect - we could not think of anything we would have done differently. A major advantage of the ... Read More
My husband and I took the Volga Dream cruise with an several nights in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and the Helsinki extension. Everything was perfect - we could not think of anything we would have done differently. A major advantage of the Volga Dream is that on either end of the cruise you are in hotels in the center of Moscow and St. Petersburg, rather than staying on the ship as is true for most Volga cruises. This means you have much easier access to the city and have a better feeling for what the city is like, as well as being able to see much more, spend the evenings doing whatever you want (going to the Bolshoi, for instance, or having a leisurely dinner) without worrying about getting back to the ship. The Volga Dream itself is a 5 star experience. The accommodations, the food, and the staff are all excellent. The on-board Russian history lectures were a high point, delivered by a professor of history who was not afraid to share her opinions of Russia today. And of course, there is the beauty of the cruise itself, as well as the various small towns at which the ship docked. The guides were all excellent, extremely knowledgeable, and spoke impeccable English. We had opted for the platinum level, which meant that our group was very small. In addition to having a better tour experience, we were able to spend time with the guides having extensive conversations about their own lives and experiences. All of the logistical arrangements made by Firebird/Travel All Russia worked perfectly, and made the entire trip seamless and easy. We would recommend them to anyone. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Wanted to visit Moscow & St Petersburg so went on line and found this ship. Booked direct Russian visa no problem (but cost AUD130 pp). Met at Moscow airport, taken to hotel (Regis, excellent) for two nights. The two days were ... Read More
Wanted to visit Moscow & St Petersburg so went on line and found this ship. Booked direct Russian visa no problem (but cost AUD130 pp). Met at Moscow airport, taken to hotel (Regis, excellent) for two nights. The two days were sightseeing Moscow - all the usual places, Kremlin, Palaces, St Basil's, etc. Guide very good. Then taken to ship - only about 100pax, of several nationalities (important to us that they were not all Australian). Ship very comfortable; cabins quite adequate; food excellent (5* equivalent). Not drinkers so booze not important but reasonably priced, we understand. Crew was to a person, polite and helpful. The waitstaff English was as good as mine. Cruise down the Volga was truly fascinating - something very different, eg, passing thick forest which had, we were told bears and wolves! Plus crossing the biggest lakes - shoreline well out of sight.Lots of locks for pix and visits to tiny villages (wooden houses, etc) to keep up interest. Excellent lecture program from Professor Ludmilla on Russian history. She pulled no punches! Other, more domestic, entertainment was on offer. Interesting visit to the bridge, where the captain (Putin lookalike) gave us a run-down on how the ship worked - all in Russian, with the cruise director translating, though we all suspected his English would have been good, too. Crew was to a person, polite and helpful. The waitstaff's English was as good as mine. Good hotel in St Petersburg and a guide who was determined to tell us everything about the Romanovs and l'Heritage - and got us into that palace/museum ahead of a swarm of Chinese tourists. Very well done. A highlight was a chamber music concert in a St Petersburg palace. It came with a surprise - three pro opera singers giving us bits of the operas we all know. Great sense of humour, too. Thoroughly enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
My 13 year old granddaughter wanted to go to Russia so I booked us a year in advance for the Platinum level. We had high end hotels, all transfers were seamless, and we felt safe. We spent 3 days in Moscow then boarded the ship, which ... Read More
My 13 year old granddaughter wanted to go to Russia so I booked us a year in advance for the Platinum level. We had high end hotels, all transfers were seamless, and we felt safe. We spent 3 days in Moscow then boarded the ship, which was clean, updated, and comfortable. During the meals, if there was something my granddaughter did not like, the staff went out of their way to make sure she had a great meal. When in Moscow, we did venture out two nights for dinner on our own, with no problems. We saw some other ships when in ports on the river and decided we had the best kept one ever! The ship was also soundproofed so you did not hear the persons next door. The only downside was not enough time to shop in some of the stops on the river and some of the lunches were 4 courses - far too much food! And we saw a lot of icons. The guides were well informed and answered questions fully; the whisper system worked well. I was surprised to see so many subway stations in Moscow, we saw around 6 of them, maybe more. Now that I have been there, my daughter wants to go, maybe in a year or two! The people on the trip were great - we were the only Americans on the entire ship, but never felt like we did not belong. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Having spent 3 days in a Moscow hotel, we travelled to St Petersburg on the Volga Dream, and the voyage was simply superb. We were in cabin 302, which was extremely quiet, apart from when the vessel was moving in to docks or ports. The ... Read More
Having spent 3 days in a Moscow hotel, we travelled to St Petersburg on the Volga Dream, and the voyage was simply superb. We were in cabin 302, which was extremely quiet, apart from when the vessel was moving in to docks or ports. The cabin was great, considering how little time is spent in it, and was kept spotlessly clean - as was the whole of Russia, it seems. There was an excellent choice of food for breakfast, including eggs cooked to order. Lunch was a buffet, but with a very good choice, with meat, fish, veggie, and other options, soup, salads, choice of puds. Evening meals were not only beautifully cooked, they were extremely well presented, always with at least 4 courses. None of the food would have been out of place in a top hotel, and always arrived hot, and served extremely efficiently - usually by the charming Maria. There were a very good range of on-board activities, with the guest speaker - a Russian historian, being particularly interesting, but there were also chances to cook Russian food, learn about, or practice Russian art and crafts, as well as quiz nights, and outstanding piano recitals from the resident pianist. Shore excursions all had excellent guides, all of whom spoke English extremely well, and were genuinely interested in their villages, etc. Timings of excursions were very good, and there was never a problem disembarking or boarding. Few excursions needed minibus transport, but when they did, these were always on time, and in very good condition, fully equipped with seat belts, etc. On board, there were opportunities to view the bridge, kitchens, and engine rooms, all of which were extremely interesting. Olga, the Hotel manager, was an absolute star, always cheerful, friendly and helpful, and involved directly with passengers on a daily basis. Indeed, it made me realise how much most hotel managers have to learn from her. Our only previous experience of cruising, had been on a small boat with only 6 cabins, on the river Nile, which had been amazing. I am glad to say that the Volga Dream was also a fabulous experience. Indeed, all the staff were extremely pleasant, polite, cheerful and helpful. Just one small niggle. The Volga Dream is not cheap, and while it is definitely worth the money, and I would recommend it without question, on board wifi was an additional cost, and was very expensive - over £10 a day. We opted to avoid this, but I would have prefer to see the cost of wifi, and staff tips, included in the price. That said, if I had known in advance what I know now about the Volga Dream, I would definitely have booked the holiday. If you are planning on cruising between Moscow and St Petersburg - in either direction, you simply do not need to look elsewhere. The Volga Dream can not be topped. Read Less
Volga Dream Ratings
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