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River Cruise St. Petersburg to Moscow

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Perth, Australia
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River Cruise St. Petersburg to Moscow

Planning to do this trip in September 2012. Would like any up-to-date reviews on this. Are the waterways really busy as there seem to be lots of tour operators and is very popular. Which is one of the better cruise operators? Do they allow you enough time for Hermitage Museum etc. All advice welcome.

Dresden, Germany
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1. Re: River Cruise St. Petersburg to Moscow

Yes, there are lots of cruise ships during the summer. A boat trip in September may not be very enjoyable because of the cold and rainy weather. Unless you are lucky to catch the Indian Summer (typically, last week of September), it could be better to do the boat trip in August.

Adelaide, Australia
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2. Re: River Cruise St. Petersburg to Moscow

Cruise critic has a long thread on the AMA Katarina. It was featured in the Sunday travel last year. Article had hubby enthused (the point of the article really) but the reality seems more underwhelming.

boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php…

Quite a few Aussies have booked their tours through Aussie agents for Russia with good results. Not sure if you need to join Cruisecritic to read the boards but there`s certainly heaps of information there.

The cruises seem a lower standard than other European rivers which is fine if the price is reasonable and that`s what you`re expecting.

Uniworld seems to have the best reports.

St.Petersburg...
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3. Re: River Cruise St. Petersburg to Moscow

Regarding time at the Hermitage - definitely not enough (like any organized tour). The river port in St.Petersburg is quite a distance from the city centre with the effect multiplied by traffic jams increasing in September (after the holiday period), so going from the ship and back twice a day (to catch meals on board) makes a passenger a victim of logistics. To get into details - it is better to leave the group and to stay at the Hermitage on your own returning with a taxi if it fits the schedule which is subject to specification (exact time of the visit might be specified on a very short notice)

Perth, Australia
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4. Re: River Cruise St. Petersburg to Moscow

Thanks everyone. Keep them coming. Has anyone used Russian Gateway UK Ltd ? They are only a small operator. As we will be organising this through from UK, does anyone have a company they can recommend.? Good point about the Hermitage- will take your advice on that one. Also now looking at changing time of visit.

Adelaide, Australia
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5. Re: River Cruise St. Petersburg to Moscow

DougoOz post number 4 lists most of the companies that cruise the volga. From looking at their timetables you can see that they more or less cruise in convoy. Guess it suits the stops to have everyone arrive then get a couple of down days.

tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g1-i10703-k5041…

Many of the passengers have booked with different companies but all finish up on the same ship, pretty well having the same experience at vastly differing prices.

The tour we booked with Gate 1 was $1,650 each including tours, thanks to a Travelzoo offer earlier and we`ll find our own way to Moscow from Paris. We don`t have huge expectations of the ship (It`s not a luxury cruise ) but we get a few tours and fed and bedded. With the savings are having 3 nights at the Savoy in Moscow and a couple of nights in St Petersburg at the end.

Just wandering round the cities at your own pace is appealing.

I hate guided tours and figure the ship is a good compromise.

Vantage seems to stay in hotels in Moscow and St Petersburg which would certainly be better for sightseeing. I don`t think they use travel agents.

Edited: 07 January 2012, 03:38
Oldham, United...
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6. Re: River Cruise St. Petersburg to Moscow

Just read your question.

Took a 7 day city tour with this company last year which was a disaster. Would not recommend Russiangateway. co.uk to anyone.

Gloucester, United...
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7. Re: River Cruise St. Petersburg to Moscow

11 of us booked a cruise from St Petersburg to Moscow with this company departing September 2011- do not use them!!. 9 days before our departure had email saying he was having difficulties in Russia & would we like to go next year!! He promised refunds for all by end of year but only refunded 2 of us ( & that was only after local radio & press involvement) Since then he has continued to make empty promises and no more cash has been forthcoming. When we booked we were under the impression that his company was the best. When we could not see an ABTA number on his brochure we emailed and asked if he was a member. He gave us one that we later found out, belonged to someone else! He was not registered with ATOL despite displaying their logo on his brochure. We have since heard from several other people who have had similar experiences.

Burton upon Trent...
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8. Re: River Cruise St. Petersburg to Moscow

We strongly advise everyone not to book with Russian Gateway UK Ltd under any circumstances. We booked with them last year and they cancelled our trip a week before we were due to go. We are currently aware of approx 18 people that this applies to. It is the most expensive holiday we have ever booked and, to date, we have not had a penny refund despite pursuing this company through the small claims court. They claimed to have ATOL and ABTA cover, but this turned out to be false, and they have no insurance either. Also, due to a glitch with their credit card system, we found ourselves with no card cover. If you want to save yourself a great deal of money, stress, disappointment and frustration DO NOT BOOK with this company.

Perth, Australia
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9. Re: River Cruise St. Petersburg to Moscow

Thanks everyone. We are now booked with Saga departing London August 28th. Lets hope all goes well. Will keep you posted after the event.

Cincinnati, Ohio...
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10. Re: River Cruise St. Petersburg to Moscow

Just returned from 15 day river cruise with Grand Circle Travel...they were great. A small river ship is the only way to get enough time in the cities. We did 4 days I'm Moscow and same in St Petersburg. You will not get out of the car traffic, but again your guide uses this time to educate you. If you haver had catrasophic delays ( volcano and riots in Athens, river barge hits your ship, totally lost luggage, in hospital in Russia for 5 days -yes different trips ) you will appreciate having GCT handling it! Buy insurance, use GCT and sleep well each night.