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Sail Date: July 2018
Pre & post embarkation tours of Moscow & St. Petersburg busy & somewhat tiring but good. In our case due to length of flights, visits to both cities a bit short with so much to see & do and so many fellow tourists doing ... Read More
Pre & post embarkation tours of Moscow & St. Petersburg busy & somewhat tiring but good. In our case due to length of flights, visits to both cities a bit short with so much to see & do and so many fellow tourists doing the same. Mini tour buses had small windows & did not allow for easy viewing of the city sites. All guides in cities & on shore excursions very knowledgeable with excellent English skills. Embarkation & disembarkation went well. Ship a bit dated but comfortable, clean & well maintained. Cabin & bathroom both a reasonable size Good on board entertainment & activities. Daily information sheet provided good information on activities & future sites. Speaker who lectured on history, politics, arts, social issues very interesting & knowledgeable. Food & beverages excellent! A wide, tasty variety of food. We still don't know how they managed to produce such good, fresh food on such a small ship. All staff very friendly & helpful. Nice mix of people cruising, mainly seniors. Good value for the money. An excellent introduction to Russia & the Russian people. Would go again with longer visits in Moscow & St. Petersburg. Read Less
Volga Dream, VP Sales & Marketing has responded
Dear Georgina, Thank you so much for your comments. It’s true that there is a lot of Moscow and St. Petersburg to see but we are glad you enjoyed it after your long flight. Yes our chef is a bit of a miracle worker and we’re very glad to have her on the team. That’s a helpful observation about the tour bus; we will certainly give that some thought in the future. Yours, Volga Dream
Sail Date: July 2018
This cruise stood out from the rest because we could stay in hotels while touring Moscow and St Petersburg rather than needing to return to the ship each day. This was such a plus in terms of not wasting time in traffic, being a few ... Read More
This cruise stood out from the rest because we could stay in hotels while touring Moscow and St Petersburg rather than needing to return to the ship each day. This was such a plus in terms of not wasting time in traffic, being a few minutes away from attractions when exploring in free time and enjoying comfort and space in really lovely hotels. The city tours hit all the main spots with great guides and a reasonable amount of time at sites but I would recommend extra days in Moscow and St Petersburg because there is so much to see and do. Embarkation and disembarkation were pain free and reasonably swift, given the boat was fairly small. The ship was very nice and comfortable, with lots of quiet spaces to sit and watch the scenery. The cabin was standard ie average size - not large but sufficient to needs. It was light and airy and not claustrophobic The bathroom was small but roomier than any I have seen on other ships of the same or larger size. The servicing of the room was excellent and typical of the service on the boat. Everyone was helpful, friendly and efficient and went above and beyond what could reasonably been expected. The food was fantastic, plentiful and great quality and variety table service at dinner was wonderful. The activities are plentiful and fun. The on board lectures on history and culture were a highlight and should not be missed. Fun to go through the locks and interesting scenery. Though someone said it was monotonous, this could be said of cruising Alaska (snow and trees) or the Nile (desert). I didn't think so as the scenery changed from dachas and occasional monasteries to pristine forests or the lakes. The ports and shore excursions were well chosen, with very good local guides and I learned a lot (and they are all free except for tips to guides which are optional.) The tour groups were small and helped with getting to know fellow passengers. Most were manageable for people with difficulties walking. The majority of passengers were over 50. I would definitely recommend the Volga Dream for these reasons. It's a fun cruise! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise because there are three nights in a Moscow hotel at the beginning and three nights in a hotel in St Petersburg at the end. This saved a lot of travel time in busy traffic from city to port. A really good advantage over ... Read More
We chose this cruise because there are three nights in a Moscow hotel at the beginning and three nights in a hotel in St Petersburg at the end. This saved a lot of travel time in busy traffic from city to port. A really good advantage over other cruises. We looked at. The hotels were excellent. The St Regis in Moscow my favourite offering little extras like free coffee and tea to the room, as well as an espresso machine in the room and a free pressing service. Staff were friendly and very efficient. The Volga Dream boat was beyond our expectations . The route along the waterways is fascinating and well planned stops in small villages and shore excursions. Wonderful choral performances were a bonus and beautiful local voices. The staff on the boat provided first class service ! Faultless . Food was superb with a lot of variety but also table service at dinner. The extra activities on board ranged from an excellent history lecturer, to Russian language lessons, to Russian singing classes. The excursions in both cities were very planned to avoid crowds and see the highlights of the palaces and art museums. We would rate this trip very highly and have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone. I have rated fitness and recreation down as there is only a very small gym on board (3 machines) in a tiny cabin Read Less
Volga Dream, VP Sales & Marketing has responded
Dear Joan, It’s always lovely to read such enthusiastic comments from our guests, it’s true that our gym is not the biggest but we think that’s a small sacrifice to maintain the friendly atmosphere aboard such an intimate and sociable vessel. We’re also very proud of our dedicated staff on board and we’ll be sure to pass on your comments to them. Thank you once again and we hope to welcome you aboard again some time. Yours, Volga Dream
5 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
Volga Dream, VP Sales & Marketing has responded
Dear Constance, We always enjoy reading feedback from our guests and we are so grateful that you’ve taken the time to share your impressions of our lovely ship and the service we provide. Most important of all, we are delighted to read your kind remarks about our staff and we’ll be sure to let them know about your high opinion of them and the service you received. You’ve encapsulated everything we try to let people know about our Volga Dream - we couldn’t have put it better ourselves! Thank you once again. Yours, Volga Dream
6 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
Volga Dream, VP Sales & Marketing has responded
Dear expeditor, How lovely to read such a vivid, detailed and sincere description of what we do. On behalf of all our dedicated staff, we are very grateful for the time you’ve taken to share your experience, and the impressions it left on you. It sounds as though you have some wonderful memories of your time in Russia. We’re delighted to read that you enjoyed the concert in St Petersburg, we always try to incorporate something that’s unique to each cruise. Thank you once again for your very kind comments. Yours, Volga Dream
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
Volga Dream, VP Sales & Marketing has responded
Dear Jakers, We don’t see many younger travelers on the Volga Dream so it’s wonderful to hear that your granddaughter enjoyed her time with us and of course, our team is always happy to do whatever it takes to ensure that all our guests enjoy their meals. At least your credit card might be grateful for not having as much time to shop! It sounds as though the rest of the tour made up for it. We look forward to welcoming you back aboard with your daughter next time. Thank you again. Yours, Volga Dream
8 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, VP Sales & Marketing has responded
Many thanks to all of the Spenceleys Most of all for your very kind words about our staff, we will be sure to pass your remarks on to Olga and Maria. It always means a lot to them when individuals are singled out for praise. What can we say? We’re almost tempted to ask you to write our brochures for us! You’ve identified pretty much all of the features that we’ve worked hard to perfect and hearing how much our guests enjoyed their time aboard the Volga Dream makes it all worthwhile. We can honestly say that it’s so much more than a business for us and it’s always wonderful to read comments when people have experienced it for themselves. Thanks for taking the time to share your reflections, perhaps one day we’ll be able to welcome you aboard again. Yours, Volga Dream
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