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Has anyone traveled on the MS Nizhny Novgorod— St. Pertersburg, Moscow through Gate 1. Could use honest review. Thanks

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13 hours ago, PR lady said:

Has anyone traveled on the MS Nizhny Novgorod— St. Pertersburg, Moscow through Gate 1. Could use honest review. Thanks

Welcome to Cruise Critic!

We have not cruised on this particular ship with Gate 1 - we have taken only Danube and Rhine river cruises with Gate 1 and they were wonderful.

However, a friend did book the Russia cruise with Gate 1 and was not pleased with the quality of the food, amenities on the ship, or the fact that very little English was spoken aboard the ship. She told us that the ship was nowhere near the quality of Gate 1 ships that sail on the other European rivers - she said that the ship was a very old Russian ship in a rather sad state of repair. If we were contemplating a Russian river cruise, after hearing the feedback from our friend and reading the description of the ship in the Gate 1 brochure that we recently received, this would probably be the only river cruise that we would not book with Gate 1.

Russia is fascinating (we have visited multiple times) and for most, it is probably a once in a lifetime trip. When you factor in the cost of obtaining your Russian visa as well as the cost of the cruise and air,  it might make more sense to book with a company that gets good reviews for their Moscow - Saint Petersburg itinerary. It is not an itinerary on which we would skimp - Saint Petersburg is simply gorgeous and Moscow is fascinating with tons to see and do.

Edited by dogs4fun

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I did a different line to Russia (higher line but no longer sailing there) and while I was fine with the older ships (they are all old), the food was mediocre and I was pretty disappointed in the cruise.  I would not downgrade a line based solely on food but I was disappointed in the entire trip. Multiple reasons why. I wish the trip had more time in Moscow and St. Petersburg and less time in the ports between. Often, we would get off the ship for 3 hours and then back on (this happened several times in the ports between Moscow and St. Petersburg). It was quite boring with all that sea time. Maybe since I am part of the working group right now and value my vacation time. We were so rushed in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Plus, the ships dock far out (which can't be controlled) but we spent so much time sitting in traffic commuting. Staying in hotels is the way to go here. In Moscow we docked close to a subway line which helped (when we were on our own) - on tour, we were in traffic in a bus. Did I mention traffic?

 

I must say I really like Russia and had done a land trip there previously (Soviet Union time frame). I absolutely love Moscow and St. Petersburg. I would probably look into a land trip that visits these 2 cities (stays in a hotel downtown) and spends quite a few days there and skip the ports between. Some were (maybe) interesting but not enough to sacrifice time in 2 great cities.

 

My friends who have done both a land trip and a river cruise, seem to agree with me. 

 

Several lines have pulled out of Russia. The only line I would maybe consider would be Uniworld but I still think a land trip visiting Moscow and St. Petersburg is the better way to go.

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Another option might be an Baltic ocean cruise to Saint Petersburg. You would not require a visa on these cruises because the ocean cruise ships dock in Saint Petersburg for a max of 3 days (more often only 2 days). The Russian Federation offers visa free visits for cruise ships (provided your stay does not exceed 72 hours, you overnight aboard the ship, and are with a licensed tour guide when off the ship). You would also visit some truly fascinating ports on a Baltic cruise (examples: Stockholm, Copenhagen, Tallinn, etc.).

We have booked Baltic cruises to Saint Petersburg but have never booked a river cruise. I agree that Russia is best seen via a land visit. We much prefer to fly into LED and spend several weeks visiting Russia - there is SO much to see and do. But for a first time visit, a Baltic cruise might be a viable option for you (this is how my extended family members usually choose to visit due to the visa requirement).

As noted in the previous post - time will be lost in traffic.Traffic conditions in both Saint Petersburg and Moscow are absolutely chaotic.   

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We thoroughly enjoyed this itinerary with Uniworld in 2012, so this may be old news. It would have been better if we had stayed in hotels in Moscow and St. Petersburg, allowing for easier access to the cities when we had free time. We also docked near a St. Petersburg Metro station and did use it during a free afternoon. We actually rather liked the long sailing times, finding it relaxing to sit outside or on our balcony and watch the world go by. There were also lectures and other activities during sailing.Of course, because of the long sailing route, time in port was much shorter than on European  river cruises., but we usually had at least an hour to explore on our own. All in all, it was one of the best cruises we have done.

 

So PR lady, I hope you find a Cruise company that will work for you and that you make this trip.

 

 

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My Russian river cruise was my least favorite river cruise and it has nothing to do with Russia. Find a land trip and go to St. Petersburg and Moscow. Stay downtown in hotels. Spend more than 3 days in each of these great cities.

 

 

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