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St. Petersburg and Moscow - would a cruise give us enough time?

St. Petersburg and Moscow - would a cruise give us enough time?

Jan 27th, 2016, 01:57 PM
  #1  
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St. Petersburg and Moscow - would a cruise give us enough time?

We are not generally cruise people though we just did an amazing cruise in Burma/Myanmar far off the tourist track that we loved. But I've found a couple of cruises that look interesting that would take us to St Petersburg, a place I've wanted to see. One would give us three full days in St. Petersburg and another 3 in Moscow:
.
uniworld.com/cruises/russia/imperial-waterways-of-russia/2016/day-to-day

The other is a Baltic cruise, but would give us three full days in St. Petersburg:

http://www.seabourn.com/find-luxury-...oyageCode=6625

Has anyone here done such a cruise? Or, for those of you who have visited St. Petersburg, do you think the cruise would give us enough time there?
Kathie is offline  
Jan 27th, 2016, 02:16 PM
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Hi Kathie. I have just started cruising once in a while and love it. I have been to Russia, on our own by land 4 years ago, and a friend did a cruise similar if not the Uniworld one last year.
I think that the Uniworld looks great and enough time IMO. We spent four days in St. Petersburg and then 3 in Moscow and we found that that was enough time. One thing we did find however is that in Russia places close down on a whim it seems. Check opening and closing times and days for things that are important. Hermitage for sure.
We also went to a couple of ballets that were superb. One at the Marinsky and the other at the Mikhailosvky Theatre . Not only were the ballets amazing the theatres were incredible. I bought tickets in advance on line. It was a challenge in russian but i did it.
We also went to the Bolshoi in Moscow.
We loved Russia. It looks like an amazing cruise, nice and slow to spend time in each place.
live42day is online now  
Jan 27th, 2016, 02:20 PM
  #3  
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Thanks for your input, Debbe. I'd love to see a ballet while we are there!
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Jan 27th, 2016, 02:25 PM
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We did the Viking Rivers choosing to start in Moscow and end in St. Petersburg. We felt the time was adequate as well. For the 1/2 and full day free time, we engaged a private (licensed) tour guide (rather that bother with the "optionals") and we were so glad to have done that. The guide was outstanding, we got to see everything on our list without returning to the ship and heading out again, and by the time we got to St. Petersburg we were beyond weary of touring with a herd on a tour bus.
djkbooks is offline  
Jan 27th, 2016, 02:39 PM
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we did the Uniworld trip back in '05. We are not cruisers so TG there was none of the usual cruise garbage on this trip. we only took the tours which came with the trip. otherwise we sightsaw on our own. It will give you a good introduction to Russia and may make you want to return.
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Jan 27th, 2016, 02:47 PM
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By three full days do you mean four nights? I would say that was the minimum, and you want to see both St. Petersburg and Moscow, they are quite different. I traveled on land and was glad to stop off in Novgorod between the two.
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Jan 27th, 2016, 03:17 PM
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Thursdays, it appears we would have three full days in each on the Uniworld cruise and three full days in St. Petersburg on the Seabourn. I'm sure we wouldn't be happy with less than three days, but the detailed itineraries show three full days. I'm also aware that we have less control over our time on a cruise than we would have traveling in our usual independent way. We would plan to do sightseeing on our own, and the Uniworld has a full "free" day in each place.
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Jan 27th, 2016, 06:35 PM
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If I were going to cruise, I would take the Uniworld. The Seabourn gives you so little time in Helsinki and Tallinn, and no time in Moscow unless you take a very tiring day tour from St. Petersburg. I would have suggested going on to Moscow after St. Petersburg, but it's in the middle of the cruise.

(For my visit see: http://wilhelmswords.com/rtw2004/index.html - Rainy Russia)
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Jan 27th, 2016, 07:06 PM
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Thanks for your thoughts on this, Thursdays. I agree that there are a number of ways to augment either one of these cruises. I will go back and read that section of your blog again.
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Jan 27th, 2016, 08:18 PM
  #10  
kja
 
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IMO, no. I had 5 full days (6 nights) in St. Petersburg, and wish I'd had more. I had 6 full days (7 nights) in Moscow, and still did not see everything I would have liked to have seen. YMMV.
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Jan 27th, 2016, 08:58 PM
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I've been to both cities (and my brother lives in St Petersburg) -- three full days would be OK -- any shorter would be inadequate IMO. Sure, longer is always better. But 3 days won't be too awfully rushed.
janisj is online now  
Jan 27th, 2016, 10:47 PM
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As always, depends what you wish to see, how much time you intend to spend in
places like Hermitage .Kremlin, various churches , museums....
Three days will give you a general overview of each city with a few (selected ) highlights.
I also recommend seeing a performance of some kind in beautiful theatres
in both cities. Easy to purchase tickets on line .
danon is online now  
Jan 28th, 2016, 01:43 AM
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I've been to both cities numerous times (and my cousin studied medicine in St Petersburg). I lived in Moscow for a year and have been over 20 times and still don't feel I have had enough time there. 3 days is enough to give you a flavour of the cities. Seeing Russia from the inside of a tour bus is not the same as seeing Russia on your own.
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Jan 28th, 2016, 08:59 AM
  #14  
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I appreciate all of the feedback.

My natural inclination is to see either of these cruises as not offering enough time to see what I want of St. Petersburg. Unusually, if I want to visit a city, I schedule at least a week there. So this would be a very different kind of trip for us. If we do it, I would expect it to be an introduction, and we might well return for a longer stay. Also, we would plan to sightsee on our own rather than taking a bus tour from the cruise.

Still thinking about this, so any additional comments will be appreciated.
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Jan 28th, 2016, 09:07 AM
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Be aware of jet lag too, more than for most of Europe if coming from USA.
After a day for jet lag, then at least three days in each city.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jan 28th, 2016, 01:14 PM
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If you are wondering on your own, try to learn the Russian alphabet
....
danon is online now  
Jan 28th, 2016, 01:16 PM
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before you go. sorry.
danon is online now  
Jan 28th, 2016, 01:19 PM
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Kathie - any special reason you're looking at a cruise? Really not the best way to see the area unless you're died-in-the-wool cruise fans.
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Jan 28th, 2016, 01:25 PM
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Kathie we did Russia on our own for two weeks and it was the most difficult country we had ever been to. We hired guides here and there, which was invaluable. When we arrived in Moscow we hired a guide to meet us at our hotel and take us on the subway to the Kremlin so we could figure out how to use the subway as well.

I found St. Petersburg much more interesting than Moscow, but so glad we spent time in each. Don't get me wrong, I loved Moscow, but I am more into the arts and St. Petersburg is more about the arts and Moscow about the government IMO. We also did some smaller towns too, but it looks like you will do that on your cruise as well.

If it were me, I would be tempted to stay a night or more in St. Petersburg at the end before flying home. At that point you can hire a guide for a walking tour or something, or do the things you figured you missed and wanted to do. We did the free walking tour which was great.

And the ballet as I said was amazing. The russian ballet at the Marinsky. It was a dream come true. I don't know if I will ever go see the Nutcracker again after seeing it in Russia. Flawless.
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Jan 28th, 2016, 01:36 PM
  #20  
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Thursdays, excellent question.

While I have long wanted to visit St. Petersburg, Moscow has never really appealed to me. When I saw the Uniworld cruise (I was doing research for a friend who doesn't want to travel independently) it struck me that the cruise might be a fine way to get an introduction to this part of the world. If we love it, we can go back, traveling independently as we normally do. I hadn't considered a cruise (really to anywhere!) until we took the Pandaw Chindwin cruise. Since then, I find myself looking at cruise options, though I expect we have been spoiled by taking a ship that has only 5 staterooms!
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