Volga Dream cruise line was founded in 2004 when it purchased a former Soviet vessel, Komarno, and overhauled it for use as a commercial river cruise passenger ship. In 2007, following an extensive, two-year refurbishment, the renamed ship was launched as Volga Dream. The line's second ship, Volga Dream II, is scheduled to launch in 2016 (pushed back from 2015) and will be the only brand-new vessel introduced to Russian waterways in almost 15 years.
Top Volga Dream Ships
Volga Dream cruise line, which appeared on the scene in 2004, is aimed at the higher-end of Russian river cruising. The line's two ships -- Volga Dream and its soon-to-be-launched counterpart, Volga Dream II -- are smaller ships that offer amenities similar to those found on European river cruise lines. The onboard experience includes low passenger-to-crew ratios, personalized service and all outside-facing cabins (some with private terraces), flat screen TVs, a fitness center and saunas and inclusive dining.
Volga Dream's onboard dining offers menus that showcase Russian and European cuisines, including options for vegetarians, all served in a smart-casual atmosphere. There are buffet spreads at breakfast and lunch -- with a choice of a set menu also provided at lunchtime. Dinners are grander occasions -- four- to five-course meals, accompanied by complimentary wine and soft drinks -- that often feature fare from different parts of the world. One of the experiential dining highlights is the Russian-themed dinner where the servers dress in local costume.
Entertainment onboard Volga Dream's ships has a distinctive Russian flair and focus, with activities onboard geared toward introducing passengers to all things Russian. Opportunities to learn about Russian customs and culture are plentiful. There are classes teaching nesting doll painting and Russian language, as well as Russian cooking demonstrations and professional lectures on Russian history, education and politics. Passengers can immerse themselves in Russian music with classical piano concerts, performed by the onboard pianist, featuring music by famous composers like Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky. And, for authentic tastes of Russia, passengers can take part in the bread and salt ceremony, caviar sampling, costumed Russian tea ceremony and vodka tasting party.
Many of the passengers who sail onboard a Volga Dream river voyage are experienced cruisers, primarily over the age of 50. Passengers tend to come from countries, such as the US, Canada, Australia, the UK and Germany (for German-speaking groups, there will be a dedicated German interpreter onboard). The line is geared toward English-speaking travelers, although passengers are encouraged to learn a little Russian as they sail along the Volga, between two of Russia's most famous cities.
Volga Dream Fleet
With two ships -- Volga Dream and the soon-to-be-launched Volga Dream II -- Volga Dream's fleet is relatively small. The line is focused on providing high-end river cruises. Both of the vessels in the Volga Dream fleet are purpose-built for river cruising and are capable of navigating the shallower waters and canals they might encounter as they sail along Russia's waterways.
Volga Dream was launched in 2007, after an extensive, two-year refurbishment. Volga Dream II is scheduled to launch in 2016. Both of the line's river cruise ships feature all-outside, climate-controlled cabins with en suite bathrooms, flat screen TVs and minibars. In addition, the Owner‘s Suite onboard Volga Dream, as well as some of the premium cabins on Volga Dream II, offer private verandas.
The vessels accommodate 100 and 160 passengers, respectively, and Volga Dream's ships both offer a restaurant, lounge bar, library, coffee bar, hairdresser, gym, sauna with massage room and sundeck solarium.
The Volga Dream ships cruise along Russia's Volga River between St. Petersburg and Moscow. The line provides hotel accommodations in both St. Petersburg and Moscow, so that passengers can spend as much time as possible exploring these cities' historic landmarks and sights.