We’re presently about ten weeks back from a wonderful Baltic cruise on the Crown Princess cruise ship (posts to come… eventually). We’d wanted to visit Russia for some time and that cruise included a weekend in St Petersburg which allowed us to check that item off our bucket list (as well as complete our Nordic and Scandinavian countries too). However, taking the cruise through the Baltics hadn’t actually been our first choice; we’d originally looked at visiting Russia on a river cruise instead. We’d never done one before (and still haven’t) and the itineraries we could see would mean we’d be able to visit not only St Petersburg but also Moscow. In the end a number of factors came to bear and we plumped for sticking with Princess Cruises but as it turned out some online friends had booked a Russian river cruise for not long after our trip. As a result of that and the pictures and blog posts they’ve put up it’s been interesting to see what we missed and also compare the similar trips and experiences we both had while in St Petersburg.
The Russian river cruise blog posts can be found here: Random Thoughts On An Imperfect World: Russia.
To compare the photos from Russia that we’ve all taken you can check the following links:
- My photos from St Petersburg
- Gordon’s photos from the Russian river cruise
- Eithne’s photos from the river cruise
Our friends cruised with Viking River Cruises because they’re a bit fancypants. Had we gone ahead with our river cruise from Moscow we’d already rejected Viking and were instead looking at one of the significantly older boats: MS Nikolai Chernyshevsky. Here’s just one example of the so-Russian-it-hurts 1980s decor we fell in love with:
Sadly, it looks like the ship will be undergoing refurbishment soon and we may have missed out on our chance to experience something wholly different from usual. From reading our friends’ posts about their Russian river cruise I think for us at this time we made the right decision in sticking to the ship we knew. We’re both pretty introverted so larger (but not massive) ships suit us fine; they provide plenty of places to get away from people and it’s easier to avoid those you learn to avoid. Smaller vessels feel like they might not be right for us just yet in life. The elements of the river cruise that did appeal were the intimate excursions, particularly those meeting local people, and the fact that excursions are mostly included in the price of river cruises does go some way to offsetting what otherwise seems a trip that’s less value for money than conventional cruising. Time will tell and we shall just have to see if a river cruise makes an appearance in the future for us, Russian or otherwise.