My river cruise in Russia

Jul 30th, 2002, 07:36 PM
  #61  
Gary
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The M/V Leonid Sobolev is another of the ship of the Orthodox Cruise Company. Not luxurious however very comfortable and casual.

The Orthodox Cruise Company was established in Rostov-on-Don in 1988. In 1998 C.C. Orthodox provided cruise services to more than 27000 tourists for one navigation, using up to 10 motor ships. 3 of them belong to C.C. Orthodox.

The largest and most permanent foreign partners of C.C. Orthodox are: Uniworld, Intrav (USA), Hapag-Lloyd, Phoenix Reisen, DER, Olympia-Reisen, Hansa Touristik, Lernidee Reisen (Germany), Saga, Harding Bros, Voyages Jules Verne, Noble Caledonia (Great Britain) and Politours (Spain).

 
Jul 30th, 2002, 08:57 PM
  #62  
rudy
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Terri, I booked directly through Viking, which I discovered on the internet (www.vikingrivercruises.com). I called their number listed on the brochure (it's in California) and arranged everything with one of their consultants, Olga, who was wonderful. I called her several times prior to our departure, and she always gave me complete and important information. I, too, charged everything to my credit card, which helped ratchet up the free miles!
 
Jul 30th, 2002, 09:03 PM
  #63  
rudy
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Terri, I just checked my "Travel Tips", sent to me by Viking prior to our departure. Under the heading "Medical Services", the following is written:

"Staff are trained to care for passengers in need of medical assistance. While there is no doctor onboard the European ships, due to the ships' constant proximity to land, medical services can be called from shore rapidly. All Russian ships have a doctor on board." (By the way, the listed rate for the doctor's services is $5. It cost more to have a shirt laundered!)
 
Aug 3rd, 2002, 07:30 PM
  #64  
Linda
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Gary, Thanks for the information on the Leonid Sobolov. I went to the Orthodox website and found it to be very helpful. I had done an 'internet search' for that ship, and although I did find a bit of information, I was never steered to the Orthodox site.

Thanks again! Linda
 
Aug 7th, 2002, 10:27 AM
  #65  
Terri R.
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Rudy or anyone.... help, please. The visas arrived today from Russian National Group - but they talk about having to register at a hotel in St. Petersburg within 3 days. Viking Office had never heard of this. What happened with your visas? I've rather expected that the ship would register them - much as hotels do with passports.... Thanks a lot. Have a call into the visa service too. Terri
 
Aug 7th, 2002, 10:48 AM
  #66  
Marc David Miller
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You can probably register the visa on the ship since it is in effect your hotel--the RNG just used vague wording. Call the cruise company to verify this.
 
Aug 7th, 2002, 05:46 PM
  #67  
rudy
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Terri,

I'm sure that Mark is correct. Our visas were collected at the beginning of the cruise and held in the ship's vault. We were told that Viking would take care of everything, and return them to us upon departure. I'm surprised that whomever you spoke with at Viking didn't tell you that you would be registered with Viking (i.e., your "hotel" while in Russia).
 
Aug 7th, 2002, 05:53 PM
  #68  
Terri R
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Thanks, folks... two weeks tomorrow and off we go. Must say not looking forward to the long flights - DC to Frankfurt then couple of hours layover and then on to St. P. Ah well, adrenalin usually gets me through the jetlag on the trip over -- it's the coming home that catches up! Terri
 
Aug 9th, 2002, 12:28 PM
  #69  
Oldtimer
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My wife and I returned to our home today after a cruise with Uniworld from St. Petersburg to Moscow aboard the "Leo Tolstoy." All went smooth as silk. On an impossible 10-point scale, we gave Uniworld and the Leo Tolstoy staff a 9.75 score. Seamless, high-quality, relaxing, and full of pleasant surprises. I hope to post a full rundown when I come out of jet lag.
 
Aug 9th, 2002, 12:41 PM
  #70  
Moreu
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Dear 'Oldtimer',

We EAGERLY await your full report as you are the ONLY person we have found that is taking this trip in the same direction that we are!!!!

If you have a chance - even before your full posting - would you please send us at [email protected] com the listing of Uniworld's St. Pete and Moscow daily schedules! We called Uniworld and they can not (???) offer us any information concerning the included tours and the optional tours (as to morning, afternoon, whether you have to choose between 2 tours, whether there is time when no tours - either included or optional - are scheduled in these 2 cities). We would like to possibly arrange for a private guide; but, are stymied because of not knowing what is happening on what day at what time!!! Thank you for your assistance.
 
Aug 10th, 2002, 10:16 AM
  #71  
Mary Ann
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Mary Ann and Mimi had a fabulous time on the river cruise! It was everything Rudy said and more! We were actually next door neighbors, and everyone loved the story of how we met on the internet.

Viking does a super job. The guides are fluent in English and make the trip run smoothly. Our fellow passengers were interesting, intelligent, experienced travellers who were delightful travelling companions. The food was delicious - creative and beautifully presented. It was a fabulous vacation!
 
Aug 10th, 2002, 12:22 PM
  #72  
terri r.
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We leave on 23rd -- question for those just returned.....were the mosquitoes a problem? Mind you, they're a problem here at home too! Am taking deet stuff. Am really looking forward to the trip - have heard very nice things about Viking. The joy of travel is keeping an open mind, being flexible and seeing/meeting new people and things. terri
 
Aug 10th, 2002, 01:56 PM
  #73  
Oldtimer
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Mosquitoes posed few problems. We used lotion containing deet -- worked fine. Kizhi Island mosquitoes were few. Deck was splattered with bugs one morning; they looked like May flies. What bothered us were the bees that wanted to share our beer.
 
Aug 11th, 2002, 08:50 AM
  #74  
rudy
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Mary Ann and Mimi,

So glad to hear that you loved the cruise as much as I did! What a great story to tell of meeting on the Fodor's site and then winding up rooming next door to one another.

I was thinking about you both a lot, especially when I read that there were huge brush fires in and around Moscow, hampering vision and causing respiratory problems. Did you escape all of that, or did you have any problems?

Thanks for letting us all know that you had a wonderful time. Are you considering taking any other Viking cruises? We're looking forward to the new catalog arriving for '03, so that we can plan a Danube cruise with Viking.

Welcome back!
 
Aug 11th, 2002, 06:24 PM
  #75  
Oldtimer
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Rudy: the "brush fires" were burning in the Moscow/Yaroslavl area this past week. Only the smoke came from fires burning in the peet bogs. Very dense and smelly smoke. Seems they are having a drought, and the peet caught fire until cooler weather came along.
 
Aug 12th, 2002, 07:50 AM
  #76  
Mimi
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Hello all: Thanks to Mary Ann for posting an immediate reply from both of us. Re: the questions about the Doctor -- I had occasion to visit him on the Pakhomov because I was one of the unlucky few who got stung by a bee and had a bad reaction to it. He was kind and attentive, supplying me with an alcohol wash and antihistimine tablets that cleared up the inflamation. The mosquitos were actually not much of a problem since I used a high DEET lotion on my arms, legs and neck once we approached St. Petersburg. Also, I can't speak for anyone else, but we drank the ship's water and had absolutely no ill effects. There is a dispenser on board for ice and ice water which we used to refill our empty water bottles. I can't say enough about Viking -- they treated us wonderfully, providing excellent tour guides and an incredibly intense itinerary. (We actually had to make time for shopping!) If my husband could have managed another two weeks off, I would have loved to stay on the ship for the return trip to Moscow since I began to suffer from cultural overload!!! Once again, thanks to Rudy for all his assistance and bon voyage to Terri.
 
Aug 12th, 2002, 10:32 AM
  #77  
CB
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This is one thread that I have enjoyed reading these past 2 months, thanks to Rudy!!
 
Aug 14th, 2002, 10:51 AM
  #78  
sheba
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I'm taking the same trip leaving next week. We have truely enjoyed reading your notes and are now even more excited about the trip. I do have a couple of questions for you.

Do I need an alarm clock to make sure I get up early enough not to miss any of the sites? I'm an early riser but there is an 8 hour time change for me as well. How much money to you change to roubles?

Thnak you so much for all the information
S
 
Aug 14th, 2002, 11:59 AM
  #79  
Gary
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Our cabin had a speaker system which gave you music and notices as well as a various wakeups in the morning, from barnyard noised to music, the usual time was a 7am, I guess if you wanted up earlier you could take an alarm clock. I found it usefull to take a small portable radio with shortwave band as you will not have any english news.

I only used roubles while I was in Russia, in fact it is the only legal currency, however US$ can be used but you do not get a better rate by using them. I got my roubles at Moscow airport from the atm, there is an atm located in the baggage pickup area, used it while waiting for my baggage. I guess the amount you need will depend on yourself. it is no ploblem exchangeing back to US$ when you depart, but do it before security as no exchange inside.

I hope you enjoy your cruise. In 6 weeks we are back for another cruise, St Petersburg to Moscow and Moscow to Rostov on Don.
 
Aug 14th, 2002, 01:08 PM
  #80  
Terri R.
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Sheba - are you on the Viking Kirov on August 23 St. P to Moscow??? Time is getting close now and am getting excited. I'm a bit concerned too about the jetlag but there's no way 'round it... will just have to pace m'self - mind you, adrenalin usually gets me through...... They are having dreadful dreadful flooding on the Danube and through Germany and the Czech Republic. The flooding in Russia is near the Black Sea and well south of our trip. Am wondering what the cruise lines are doing with all the travelers and boats who must be stuck in Germany and Austria - logistical nightmare for tour agencies!
Let me know which trip you're on. Bon Voyage. Terri
 

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