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My wife and I and four friends wanted to do a boat trip between Moscow and St Petersburg and didn’t want one of the fleets of ships with 200 passengers. And in addition to size we found a number of negative TripAdvisor reviews on many of those larger ships. We found the Volga Dream which takes only 100 passengers and which is privately owned by a Russian family. It could not have been better. The crew was exceptional in their friendliness and professionalism, and the boat itself was in wonderful shape and exceptionally well maintained. Despite having 100 passengers, we never found any place too crowded to do exactly as we wanted. The shore excursions were very well planned and executed. And the food was excellent. We would warmly recommend the Volga Dream to anyone wanting to do either Moscow to St Petersburg or the opposite direction.
Volga Dream River Cruises: An Intimate Glimpse
This time I continue my Russia cruising story with telling about the trip itself. When selecting the trip program among those three ones available on the Volga Dream site, I opted for the happy medium – the Volga Dream Gold Program that offers a 12-day river cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg. To start with I must say that Russia with its rich history and culture had always been a country I wanted to visit and explore. So, last summer my dream came true. I arrived with huge expectations and now I’m very pleased to say that my Russian experiences far exceeded these expectations. Everything was a pure pleasure!
First, the Volga Dream staff was delightful- they instinctively knew how to pamper their passengers. All those crew members in contact with the passengers could speak English while being very attentive and responsive. Everyone onboard was treated to the highest possible levels of service thus earning the ship an undoubted 5-star rating.
On the food side, the onboard cuisine and dining opportunities were amazing with food options suiting various tastes and the drinks at meals flowing well beyond generosity to the guests’ delight. There was also a nice lounge area with a bar inviting to enjoy a glass of wine in the evening or have a cup of invigorating tea or coffee in the morning.
When it comes to the interior, I believe Volga Dream is a very refined way to make such a serene trip. Very well-maintained and cared for, the ship excels with wood paneling and carpeting throughout which gives it a quality and up-market feel.
My cabin proved very comfortable to stay in including all the in-built advantages that make you feel unique and very important. Furthermore, since Volga Dream is capable of accommodating a maximum of 109 guests only (it was full for my trip), it never felt over-crowded at any stage.
To keep everyone occupied and interested, Volga Dream offered the array of onboard activities so that its guests could get more acquainted with Russia and its traditions: exciting and hugely informative lectures by highly trained English-speaking guides, various classes including cooking demonstrations and Russian language lessons, documentaries, concerts and performances.
My Volga Dream experience continued with several shore excursions in Moscow and St. Petersburg which were very well coordinated and organized and made me enjoy the whole cruise immensely. Let me share a couple of my Moscow impressions with you.
So, while in Moscow, be sure to visit the Kremlin with the Armoury – this is a definite must-do. In my opinion it is the highlight of any trip to Russia (based on a river cruise or any other one). Its giant walls and several huge breath-taking churches richly decorated with icons in gold can leave no one untouched. I walked away with amazing photos and a lasting impression.
Another Moscow’s attraction we were all lucky to visit during our on shore stay was the Tretyakov Gallery. Packed with great works of the world from many eras, it was an eye-opening experience for me. I would recommend spending at least half a day there to avoid being too rushed.
Apart from all, I can’t help but mention that while on shore the Volga Dream team offers its guests 5-star premium rated accommodations located in city centers which allows for an extremely comfortable staying experience.
For my part, I am pleased that I chose the Volga Dream – everything including the food, the assorted extras, delightful crew etc. was superb! Don’t miss this river cruising opportunity – this is the best and most luxurious way to explore Russia.