Europe Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

GCT Russia Revealed-My Take

Jump to last reply

1000 miles by ship - 18 locks - Cruised thru the two largest lakes in Europe. Fantastic trip! We had great weather during the whole trip. I will try and not repeat what others have posted and must emphasise that the following is my opinion - others may differ.
First a piece of factual info. Russia Waterways and Russia Revealed are the same in every respect except Waterways uses hotels in St. Petersburg and Moscow while Revealed has you on the ship every night. I think you may get a few more included meals on board with the Revealed trip. It also makes no difference whether you start your trip in Moscow or St. Pete, you sill see the same things and the ports of call are the same only in reverse. My wife and I preferred staying on the ship vice changing hotels and heard mixed opinions regarding this. Given the traffic in Moscow I don't think you save much if any time by being in a hotel, these are not exactly on Red Square or the heart of
St. Petersburg.
The Ship: Tiki Don for us but both ships are identical. Very clean, our cabin 301 was on the boat deck and a bit larger than most but the upper deck is nice since it is on the dining deck thus very convenient. Very good food and service. GCT folks go out of there way to make this an easy trip. WE did have quite a bit of sickness on our ship but heard this is very common - Use the hand sanatizer they offer and bring your own-use it all repeat all the time!!!
We usually travel on our own and were concerned about the slow pace of this tour. We din not feel the pace was slow but of course did end up waiting for Aunt Tilly a few times. Meals off the ship were in restaurants that could handle and were used to tour groups, that is the same places are used time after time. Food not bad and surroundings could have been worse but hey your on a tour - if you want a nice out of the way Bistro go on your own. In spite of the above, a tour and GCT seems to be the best at this one, is really the best way to see Russia, its a long way, impossible drive and long train ride from St. Pete to Moscow. Just getting into some of the optional tours offered is quite difficult on your own and lots of hassels along the way.

Metro: Both cities have great Metro Systems. Do not fail to stop off at some of the nicer ones in Moscow they are well worth the stop and trains run every few minutes. My advice: Read the map in the station, they are marked with a you are here type thing, count the stops to your destination and your off.
Picpockets: Six of our people had their pockets picked and two more had attempts made on them. Most of these folks kept their billfolds in their back pockets so Hey guess what, money gone. Use a money belt of some kind and keep some cash in a zipper front pocket, be alert and you will be fine. No more dangerous than NY, LA etc.

Optional Tours: Must see: Peterhof - Yusupov Palace - Catherine"s Palace.

Other tours:
Central Museum of Armed
Forces and meeting with Russian WW2 Vets only if you are somewhat of a military nut otherwise quite boring, I did enjoy seeing the Nazi banners that were captured and the Eagle which was on top of the Reichstag. Kizhi Island a wonderful experience seeing the church with sunlight playing over it. The Kremlin, the Armory and Red Square, all were outstanding.

Lacquer Boxes: We have a small collection of these. Price range fron $79 to well over $30,000. We bought a couple for around $250 and I bargained a deal for another off the street for $60 which was priced at $128 I did know what I was buying and had done a lot of research esp for the specific box I bought on the street. Beware, there are good copies and the vendors will, surprise, try to get all they can from you. The ship probably has the best overall prices if you can find a box you like. We bought our first one in Iceland in 1973 for $9 - Those days are gone.

Please contact me direct if you would like additional specific info. Again the above is only my opinion.
Cheers!
Terry

13 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcement: Writers Needed for Morocco Guidebook
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Apr 11, 14 at 05:51 PM
View all Europe activity »
  1. 1 Chip but no PIN
  2. 2 Planning first Solo Backpacking in Europe!
  3. 3 What still confounds you about travel?
  4. 4 Must see in Dubrovnik
  5. 5 Best route from Pamukkale to Fethiye by car
  6. 6 Planning 17 days Italy - Switzerland - Germany
  7. 7 Help with Itinerary please!!!!
  8. 8 Advance Tickets Segrada Familia - Barcelona
  9. 9 Two weeks in Paris ... how to fill?
  10. 10 Anyone been to Rhodes,Crete,etc. over Christmas?
  11. 11 Prague, Budapest & Croatia +Krakow?
  12. 12 Airport to Piraeus
  13. 13 Train to Airport in Venice
  14. 14 Puglia planning - where to base, how long to spend
  15. 15 Trip Report Paris Travelogue (One week in June with a toddler)
  16. 16 Trip Report Long Weekend in Lisbon - Loved it!
  17. 17 Honeymoon in Greece 10 days : Athen Santorini Crete
  18. 18 Questions for my German friends
  19. 19 Venice canal boats--best deals?
  20. 20 Itinerary: 13 day trip to Greece
  21. 21 Foie gras, redux
  22. 22 Pre-Purchasing Train Tickets
  23. 23 Dublin Tour Companies
  24. 24 Naxos Island: Best Way to Get Around?
  25. 25 Day trips from Seville
View next 25 » Back to the top