Cruise Comments from Passengers

The cruise on your appointed ship was excellent. We very much appreciate your having arranged it, particularly since other agents, who claim to specialise in travel to Russia, wouldn’t make an effort beyond flogging what’s in their brochures. You must also convey our appreciation to your man in Moscow. These class 300 and class 301 ships are quite adequately appointed. The itinerary was much as the cruises on the MV Bauman and MV Kraisin, on which Passport Travel had allocations in 2005, but included Vallaam Island in Lake Ladoga, which was a highlight – the cathedral there had been re-opened only 3 weeks before our visit, after restoration, and is awe-inspiring.

The Crokes and ourselves, and an American threesome were the only Anglo passengers. For the daily excursions ashore, we 7 and our English-speaking Russian guide were a small group, always the first away, and able to pursue a flexible agenda. For example, whilst the other passengers, in groups of 40 or so, languished in the long queue to get into The Hermitage, St Petersberg, our local guide organised that her small group enter straight away.

Most of the other passengers were German, though many spoke English. There were a few Russian passengers – these ships had been commissioned to take Russians on holiday during the Soviet era, but in the capitalist era, foreigners have squeezed most Russians out of affording such pleasures. The crew was Russian. The ethnic mix made the travel enjoyably different to being on a ship full of Anglos.

John and Heather Boulton