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Home Holiday Planner Russian River Cruises How to Choose a River Cruise

Help Me Choose a Russian River Cruise

Go Russia offers a variety of cruises and sometimes it may be difficult to choose the right one. We have prepared this user-friendly guide to help you find the tour most suited to your needs.


First, have a think about which cities you wish to visit.  You can choose between:


Our cruises range from shorter 8 day trips to 20 day river voyages.

Moscow and St. Petersburg cruises are available as 8, 10, 11 and 12 day options. Our 8 day cruises are advisable for those customers who wish to pack a lot into a short space of time. Based on our experience a 10 day cruise gives you plenty of time to explore, though to see the most, we’d recommend extending your holiday to take in one of our 11 or 12 day trips.

If you are planning to cruise down to Astrakhan or Rostov along the Volga please allow more time.  We’d suggest allowing at least 13 days, though if you can, take our longest cruise from St. Petersburg to Rostov which is 20 days to enable maximum sightseeing.


In Russia cruise ships start operating in May and navigation ends late October. Within this period we have several departure dates every month, enabling you to choose the one that suits your plans. May, September and October cruises are normally less expensive than those in the height of summer and as a bonus, attractions are often less crowded.  If you’re flexible, we’d advise checking flight prices first to time your cruise to take advantage of the best air fares.


Once you know your route and departure date you can choose your boat. All vessels can be compared by a hotel rating although be aware that there is no an official rating of ships on Russian waterways. Choice is really only available on the Moscow to St. Petersburg route; on the Volga cruises availability is pretty much limited as the route is operated by a small number of vessels.

3* standard ships. Most of these are built in Germany with some from Austria.  All boats are of a similar type, recently refurbished featuring outside staterooms. All are air-conditioned. The cabins are equipped with a wardrobe, radio and refrigerator. There is a large window in each cabin. All cabins have private shower and toilet facilities. The dining rooms offer both continental and Russian cuisine, as well as the specialities of the surrounding regions, all served in a friendly shipboard atmosphere. There are bars, a small souvenir shop, music room and dance hall; some ships have sauna and solarium. Laundry service is also available.

4* ships. Most of the 4* ships have been recently refurbished. They can be compared to a 4* hotel in terms of facilities and service quality. They have higher cabin class categories, elegant public areas and fewer passenger capacity. MS Tolstoy also features a swimming pool with sliding sunroof.

5* luxury vessel - MS RostropovichThis one of the most luxurious ships on the Russian waterways and it can be compared to a 5* hotel. It is a top of the range four deck vessel built in 1980 in Czechoslovakia, completely redesigned and renovated in 2009. It offers a variety of accommodation options from standard twin cabins to opulent luxury suites with panoramic balconies.
You can view detailed boat plans for your selected cruise or alternatively visit our cruise media page where you’ll find plenty of photos and videos.


Finally, you’ll need to come to a decision on which deck to opt for.  We offer accommodation on three decks on the ship: the main, the middle and the boat deck. The major difference here is the location on the ship with the boat deck situated at the top where you’ll have slightly better views from the window.

The ship’s entrance and reception are located on the main deck, so you might encounter more movement when staying on the main deck. As a result, this is the part of the ship offering the best value for money as prices reflect that it may be a little noisier.

Please note the standard cabins are the same regardless of the deck. All cabins are twin rooms, equipped with private facilities and a shower, wardrobe, radio, refrigerator and air conditioning. There is a large picture window in each cabin.

If you prefer more comfort and space during your journey please choose from our Junior Suite Twin Bed and Junior Suite Double Bed packages.  There are also luxury two-roomed suites with hotel-style double beds and large living area for those who prefer travelling in style.

For more information please read FAQ on cruises.

We wish you a pleasant journey!

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