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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: the Touch of Luxury
I was once lucky to go on a river cruise and, frankly speaking, I could never imagine a more fascinating trip. My water travelling experience began in Moscow where I stepped aboard a luxury Volga Dream ship to enjoy a truly Russian trip full of exclusive impressions and “wow” moments. So, let me share some of the amazing details about this ship with you so there can be no doubt on which ship to opt for in the river cruise industry.
First of all, Volga Dream is pretty small and is capable of accommodating only 109 guests which makes for an intimate, club-like atmosphere and personalized and extremely friendly service thanks to which Volga Dream has immediately won my heart. So, if you are travelling alone or seek to enjoy a romantic trip with your better half, this will be an ideal solution that offers all the built-in advantages of luxury and comfort.
All elegantly designed accommodations onboard are upscale and reflect highest standards of quality. Particularly mine boasted a fabulous bathroom with separate shower along with the whole bunch of facilities including air conditioning, mini-bar, safe, satellite TV, Wi-Fi access, telephone etc. By the way, all the cabins face outside, so everyone has an amazing opportunity to enjoy breathtaking scenery.
The ship’s crew deserves a separate mention. Since this is a Russia-based river cruise, the majority of the Volga Dream’s crew members are Russian natives, all highly trained to provide the first-class exceptional service. However, they speak English fluently so there is never any understanding problem, which is highly appreciated by foreign tourists including me.
The onboard speakers and guides that accompany you on shore excursions including acknowledged professors, writers and historians are especially noteworthy: living in Russia and being surrounded by the pure Russian environment, they deliver exciting lectures on a wide selection of Russia-related topics. What I liked most about the crew was their incredible attentiveness – they thrived on making each voyage special and tried to accommodate every request -- big or small.
One of the great joys of travel is tasting the other countries’ cuisine. I was pleasantly surprised with enjoyable and relaxing dining onboard the Volga Dream which offers the delights of Europe’s and Russia’s authentic cuisine. Moreover, all the dishes are accompanied by complementary beverages from fine wines and beers to pure bottled water and soft drinks.
When it comes to onboard activities, they are in their own league. I really enjoyed cooking demonstrations which promoted a closer acquaintance with the Russian cuisine embracing a melting pot of cultural, ethnic and geographic influences and offering a rich diversity.
I also took a chance to try to speak Russian during the Russian language lessons and attended matrioshka painting classes which all were a real fun! Apart from that Volga Dream offers Russian composers piano concerts, Russian costumed dinner with vodka testing, watching documentary films and many other activities.
All in all, Volga Dream made my voyage a wonderful experience. Indeed, if you are planning your Russian vacation and want to spend unforgettable time on a river cruise, this luxury ship will be your best option. Strongly recommend!
To be continued…