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28 attraction reviews
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Went on this trip with GO RUSSIA who are based in London. The ship was one operated by a Russian company VODOHOD who have many ships travelling the waterways. I was on the MS Nicolay Chernishevsky. It is a basic ship with very small cabins. As one contributor has mentioned I am not sure how tall people cope as the beds do not seem very long. It is very clean and the staff are wonderful. The bathroom is a surprise but it works very well. There is a toilet and a sink, to the side of the sink on the wall is a shower rail, you have a shower curtain you pull round that closes off the toilet and you shower in the area left, there is a rubber mat on the floor which resembles webbing and the water goes through this to the hole in the floor. Just remember to take the toilet paper out of the bathroom before you shower, or it can get a little damp! I took flip-flops with me and wore these in the shower.
The food was a surprise, I was all ready to be able to lose weight here but the food was good and plentiful. For breakfast there was everything you could ever want. Cooked food, cold food with ham and cheese etc. Croissants, toast, rolls, cakes and jam, yoghurts, fresh fruit. Just so much! Lunches and dinners were four courses with a salad starter then soup then the main course and then dessert, which at lunch was often just a piece of fruit, but that was all you needed. I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived home to find I had not put on any weight, but I think that all the walking I did everywhere took off the extra pounds. This is such a tiring trip if you want to get the best out of it. There is so much to see everywhere. I went from Moscow to St Petersburg, stopping along the way. It is unbelievable how many locks you have to go through to get along the river. We travelled with another ship all the way as the locks are built for two ships and it is not economic to have just one ship going through the locks. Otherwise on the whole the countryside along the river is not very interesting.

There is not much entertainment on board and most people spent their evenings in the bars. During the day there are Russian lessons, learning Russian songs, Painting the Russian dolls - but you do have to buy these and then paint them - Vodka tasting, again you will have to pay for this.

In both Moscow and St Petersburg there are optional tours available and I went on most of them as I travelled alone on this trip as no-one wanted to go to Russia! The one I would recommend is Moscow by Night. It is a wonderful trip and you go on the metro and visit about 4 of the lovely stations and then walk around Red Square and see St Basil's at night and the Gum store opposite which are lit up so wonderfully. I cannot recommend this trip more highly.
In St Petersburg I did 4 optional trips and they were all good. I went to the folk show and that was lively and colourful, good value and I would not have missed it, but if you are too tired probably best to save your energy for the day time trips. The Hermitage is an included trip and is a great building and contains wonderful exhibits. I did the St Catherine's and Pavlov trip and this is very, very expensive but is not to be missed, but by the time you have finished you are really all 'palaced' out! The night trip here is different and starts at 11.30 p.m. and returns about 02.30 a.m.! this is to enable you to see the bridges open at night, so be aware that you do not get much sleep before you are off the next day on another trip! I also did the optional tour of a ride on the canals and rivers, yes this was interesting, and I am glad I did but was not enthralled by it!
Our last included trip was to the GARDENS of the Peterhof where the G20 meeting has just been held in the Palace. It is absolutely wonderful. Do not think to yourself 'I am too tired to go here,' The gardens and fountains are really lovely and we were lucky to have wonderful weather which just made it all the more perfect.
The other people on board were mostly from Australia, New Zealand, France and Belgium. There are not many English people on board, but I thoroughly enjoyed mixing with all these nationalities and had a great time and my French improved over the 12 days!
Many shipping companies ply these waters and the prices obviously vary considerably. For three times the price you can go on other river cruises here perhaps in a nicer setting with larger cabins etc, but it all depends what you want. Value for money our ship was fine, and we went to the same places and saw the same things, but if you want luxury and you can afford to pay for it then you would not perhaps travel on this boat. As a solo traveller on this trip it was very good as the single person supplement was only about £200.00 when other companies can charge over 50% more for solo travellers.
So was it worth it? Overall yes, and I would recommend it, but I have been there, done it and would not want to do it again.

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