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“This trip through the waterways of northwestern Russia was a truly unique and wonderful learning experience, combining the pleasures of cruising on a small ship (without the typical excesses) with exposure to the rich cultural heritage of the Slavic people. The friendly, hard-working crew of our vessel and the tasty, authentic (if different) cuisine offered on board more than compensated for the slightly cramped conditions of our cabin. The architecture and ornamentation of the dozen or so Russian Orthodox churches and museums we visited in and between the great cities on each end of the tour was simply breathtaking. Our guide, Svetlana, could not have been more gracious, attentive, and personable. Russian language, singing, and dance lessons were yet another plus on this unforgettable journey to an often misunderstood yet most beautiful and welcoming place.”
My daughter and I traveled in May to Russia for the Cruise of the Czars in May of 2017, and it was fantastic. The ship was very modern and well maintained and the staff and meals were above average. Our group was always the FIRST to arrive at our scheduled stops and thus avoided the huge crowds that came after us. All of the places that we visited were very interesting and things that you should see in Russia. For me, having traveled in Russia since the 1990's ,it was a great way for my daughter to see the NEW RUSSIA and yet see the smaller towns along the River. I would recommend this trip to anyone that wants to see something different.
Went with a group of seven women on the river cruise Moscow to St. Petersburg and we were extremely well satisfied over all . Trip was handled efficient, our tour leader Svetlana was superb, the staff was generally helpful and spoke English well -- and the sights were spectacular. Bookending the city visits with stops at five different sites enroute was great -- the city visits were intensive and the three-to-four-hour day trips were more relaxing and very interesting as well. The boat was comfortable, and standard rooms, though small, had plenty of storage; public rooms were inviting; and I loved details like ice water at meals and ice and water for rooms. The only thing that wasn't great was the food: breakfast was good (a buffet) but pastries and breads were uninspired; meat was in short supply; produce and vegetables were short on variety and quality(perhaps due to the sanctions), and selections for vegetarians and even more so for "low carb"or other restricted diets were problematic. The optional tours were well designed and with a single exception the guides were knowledgeable and helpful. Overall, a great deal for the money and an excellent experience.
In celebrating 50 consecutive years of international travel this year, I turned to smarTours for the 16th time, and wasn't disappointed with the "Cruise of the Czars." As with all the previous tours, this cruise was a great bargain. I love the small ships, where you have an opportunity to meet many other people, and spend time getting to know them. The smaller ships are very convenient to everything, and the attention and service was great on this one. The various ports were all quite different, and interesting, and it was nice getting to interact with the Russian people. My first trip to Russia was 39 years ago, so the changes in Moscow and St. Petersburg (Leningrad, when I was there) were amazing -- I felt as though I was back in the USA. The beautiful pastel-colored buildings of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries dominated these cities. The giant gray buildings of the USSR are almost non-existent; and the red banners that hung from them with the hammer and sickle and profile of Lenin are now gone. Everything was so clean and tidy -- no trash around, or homeless people sleeping in the streets. I've never seen so many trees, and Moscow is buried in them -- along with 112 parks filled with flowers, fountains, and children's playgrounds. Politics aside, no one should deny his or herself this great opportunity to explore a country so rich in history. This tour ranks up there with all the other smarTours I've taken around the world -- keep up the great work!
This cruise was excellent. The crew, activities, food, entertainment,tours, services, room, etc. everything marvelous. The cruise directors, Galia Saufulina was the most sweet and knowledgeble person, I admire her, she took care of everything. Also the Cruise manager, Elena Ershova was friendly and nice and took care of all our needs. The views, places visited and tours of the cruise were outstanding. I recommend this tour with these people any time. You as a company should promote more this tour. The russian people are wonderful!!
This cruise was fantastic: the people from the ship, the food, the ports selected, the tours made and the extra tours.The ship is comfortable, lots of amenities and excellent service from the staff. We had the opportunity to know the people from Russia in an more intimate level because they were friendly and were looking that we enjoyed the cruise. I will recommended this tour.
I want to thank you for evrething I was very happy with your service this is my second time traveling with this company and I hope to continue in the future. But I have one comment why you guys are not providing transportation when we travel from another state. I am felling more comfortable and happy if you order the taxi for us, I am not asking for free but you can included in your trip, You have to understand that for us somethimes is bettes to travel from the state that we live. I have in mind another tour next year to Morroco but I want the land only because is closer from where I live and save several hours in flying (PLEASE) try to provide us the taxi service not for
free. Thank you
Incredible trip! Such professional tour guides, very attentive, perfect English. The cabins on the boat are small, but that is a cultural thing, so be prepared. The boat was clean, the food delicious, and the staff wonderful. The itinerary hit all the best of the parts of Russia visited. One of our best world travel experiances!