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River Cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg

River Cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg

Nov 20th, 2013, 09:02 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2012
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River Cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg

We have never been to Russia. We are hearing pro and con about the trip between Moscow and St. Petersburg along the river, visiting little towns. Some say Russia is overrated and boring? Always hear beautiful things about St. Petersburg. Suggestions?
wordsmith1 is offline  
Nov 20th, 2013, 09:37 PM
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I did not not think either Moscow or St. Petersburg overrated or boring. Instead, I found them unique and awesome and fascinating.
kja is offline  
Nov 21st, 2013, 03:37 AM
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Good Heavens. Russia is one of the most interesting and historic and exotic places on earth. St. Petersburg is magical. Moscow is fascinating. "Some say" is incorrect!! LOL
Gretchen is offline  
Nov 21st, 2013, 06:01 AM
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Moscow - St. Petersburg is one of the most popular river cruises in Europe. There are tons of cruise companies. All depends on the boat.

Places like Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kishi, Uglitch, Kirillow are real gems.
neckervd is online now  
Nov 21st, 2013, 06:16 AM
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"Overrated and boring" - not in your life! I've only been to St. Petersburg but as Gretchen says it was magical and magnificent. We hope to go back again and do this very same river cruise, maybe 2015...?
geetika is online now  
Nov 21st, 2013, 06:53 AM
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It's been several years but we took this cruise and found both the cities and the small villages along the way fascinating. Whether you enjoy this cruise will depend somewhat on your own expectations. IMO this isn't about night life and non-stop entertainment. It's about seeing and learning about another country, its people, its history, its beauty.
crckwc1 is offline  
Nov 21st, 2013, 06:56 AM
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Well, Moscow and St. Petersburg are certainly fascinating. (My vote goes to Moscow, but I am not a big fan of baroque). I also enjoyed Novgorod.

However, I connected the three cities by train, not boat. It could well be that the "anti" voices you are hearing are from people who didn't like the cruise, rather than people who didn't like the country. I have read that the boats in Russia are not as comfortable as those on the Rhine and Danube. Personally, I much prefer to travel on land.
thursdaysd is offline  
Nov 21st, 2013, 06:58 AM
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If you are concerned about the towns in Russia but really want to see St Petersburg, which is a really incredible city, there is another option - a Baltic cruise. They do go to St Petersburg and depending on the line will be there 2 or 3 days to give you time to see it, without having to get the visa if you take a programed shore tour. You also get to see such other ports as Tallinn Estonia, Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen and more. Just a thought.
ReillyQ is offline  
Nov 21st, 2013, 07:43 AM
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We did what ReillyQ suggests, a Baltic cruise with 3 days in St. Petersburg, enough to whet my appetite to return on a longer trip
geetika is online now  
Dec 12th, 2013, 05:01 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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We are going in July of 2014. We originally had booked a river cruise but, after doing a lot of research, cancelled the cruise and are going with a private tour of Moscow and St. Petersburg. The downsides of the cruise are boats that are not up to the standards of other European cruise vessels, having to dock outside the cities which means starting and ending each day with a one to two hour bus commute in some of the world's worst rush hour traffic and seeing things in "small" groups of 16 or 18 people following a guide and listening by headphone. Visits to the towns in the 'Golden Ring" were described as sometimes long and difficult walks over uneven ground from which the cruise line has the right to exclude you if you are unable to keep up.

After some more research, we opted for a private tour of Moscow and St. Petersburg traveling between the two by Sapsan high-speed train. We will stay in high end hotels and be esported by a private guide and driver who will design each day's tour to include what we want to see. The deciding factor was the cost was not substantially different from the cruise. If you want to see some of the Golden Ring towns, some appear to be reachable by car. As is typical with most cruises, the boat moves slowly and sometimes indirectly so as to take all night to get from port to port when non-cruise travelers can make it in a few hours.
hvsteve1 is offline  
Dec 12th, 2013, 06:49 PM
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I understand that some people have a preference for tours, but I trust that the OP, hvsteve1, and others know that St. Petersburg and Moscow can be visited on one's own -- many of us have done so!
kja is offline  
Dec 13th, 2013, 03:09 AM
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We haven't been to Russia in a while, but I would agree going with a tour--and that one sounds nice.
Gretchen is offline  
Dec 13th, 2013, 08:07 AM
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We dound this trip very intersting , not boring at all. In comparison, we found the Danube river cruise boring.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Dec 13th, 2013, 08:55 AM
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Hvsteve1, who are you using for your private tour in St. Petersburg and Moscow? Is sounds interesting.
jrjcolllins is offline  
Dec 13th, 2013, 09:12 AM
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hvsteve1...we took the Russian River cruise last summer and it isn't anything like you described. In Moscow and St. Petersburg, we were docked about 30 minutes from the town center. The bus would take us for a scheduled tour...which was usually 2-3 hours, then leave us on our own if we wanted to stay. In the smaller towns, the boat docked right in the center of town. Traffic wasn't much of an issue.

That said, your private tour looks better. The towns the river boat visits between Moscow & St. Pete are nice, but seem manufactured for the tourists.

We traveled through Gate One which uses Russian vessels which are not as nice as other lines. They are clean & well-run, but not much else.

If you do choose a River Cruise, the Viking ships are much nicer.

But you have to consider the costs of a nicer vessel...they are close to twice the price for the same itinerary.

St. Petersburg is a beautiful city and so is Moscow in a different way. I'd have no problem going again.
Jim_Tardio is offline  
Oct 31st, 2014, 02:54 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Steve, do you have a report on your trip? Tour operator, hotels, guide reviews? Thanks.
writegirl18 is offline  
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