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Taking a River Cruise in Russia

As New Year is around the corner a group of 5 friends from the USA are looking for a great trip to spend the whole new year holiday and meet 2020. We have been tired a bit of some classic travel tours and this year we are flying to Russia to take a river cruise somewhere not far away from St. Petersburg to visit this city later. Has anybody ever taken these cruises, what was your impression? What company is better to choose to get a high-quality service and travel at an affordable price? [We have already had our Visas].

Posted by
567 posts

Admittedly I don't know much about river cruising in Russia, but if you haven't booked something by now, it's probably too late. I was curious, so I checked the Viking River Cruise site and they don't even offer a river cruise in Russia until May 2020. Discovery Russia cruises also aren't offered in the winter.

Posted by
455 posts

Well, the vast majority of Russian waterways are frozen solid between November and April, so your options seem to be severely limited.

Posted by
4 posts

Taking a trip to Russia in winter? Such an interesting idea or a bit crazy)
So, I've been living in St. Petersburg for 15 years and I've never experienced taking a river cruise in this period at least because almost all the rivers are getting frozen and It's impossible to glide the water. I used to take a cruise in St. Petersburg in September a year ago and I want to say it does wors it to try. Even living in this city for years it's been opening a new landscape from the river and impress so much. I'm afraid your fantastic idea to celebrate New Year taking a river cruise doesn't seem realistic enough but to make sure that there are no way to do that you may just follow to check. Either way, It will great to make your dream come true in April or May. Also, I'd recommend to read some stories of people who had already taken this cruise as it may be useful and interesting to learn some details for planning our future trips to Russia on TripAdvisor
Here is a link to this topic
Feel free to comment here or write me in private message as I can tell you a lot about St. Petersburg.

Posted by
8173 posts

We did such a trip in fall -- and wouldn't recommend it. The trip from St. Petersburg to Moscow is on a canal and reservoir system not a river really and so very unpicturesque. The stops are hopeless tourist traps for the most part. HUGE waste of time that could be spent visiting interesting towns and villages or spending more time in the two big cities each of which repays a week stop.

In winter I cannot imagine it possible as the 'river' freezes. Loved Moscow and Petersburg and have spent a total now of two weeks in Petersburg and 4 days in Moscow and wish we had spent more time in Moscow which turned out to be surprisingly interesting.

Posted by
99 posts

I also doubt this will be doable since the rivers are frozen in winter. Although spending New Year's Eve in St.Petersburg may seem like a good idea, it's also crazy. I would choose somewhere much warmer.

Posted by
7833 posts

We did our Russian River Cruise with Vantage World Travel in 2011. It was wonderful.

Vantage, at that time, was the only firm offering five star hotels in Moscow and St. Pete will touring those cities. The other lines, including Viking all had to deal with getting into the city from where the river boats were moored, which is not near the city center.

Some haven't been impressed with the river cruise itself. We loved it. We visited out of the way places, some are special, like way up north (Kitzi Island). We also did the pre and post optionional tours of Kiev, Ukraine and the three Baltic Countries. It was special.
Here is my review of our entire tour and cruise.
Russia, Kiev and Baltics