It was an unforgettable trip - the most beautiful we have ever taken, although we have been to China, Singapore, the Far East and of course numerous trips to Europe, including cruises on the Rhine etc.
However, the visit to beautiful Russia excels them all. Moscow is such a lovely city and St. Petersburg is captivating. The Russian people are fantastic and deserve the respect of all nations.
On the boat, the crew were most obliging, efficient and simply adorable. The captain took time to come around twice on the trip to toast personally every person on board. In short, all the service on board was so impeccable.
We have enjoyed every minute of the visit and were delighted to have wonderful and knowledgeable guides who explained to us the history of each city and town we visited. Even before we started the trip, Christina Khudyakova was so helpful and accommodating. This young lady handled all the facets of our trip in such a fantastic and organized way. She would answer every phone call personally (unlike the majority of North Americans who would not deign to lift the phone and abandon you to an answering machine).
Of course, the highlight of the visit was the wonderful city of St. Petersburg with its marvelous museums and Palaces. These surpass in beauty anything we have seen in the past, although we have visited the Louvre in Paris, Versailles and almost all the Chateaux of the Loire Valley in France. The illustrious Hermitage, Peterhof, Catherine's palace etc. tops them all - BY FAR.
In all the Museums and Palaces, the gift shops were the best organized in the world and the prices very reasonable. We bought lots of souvenirs and especially DVD's of the history of each place we visited so that we can watch them at home with friends and relatives. Everything was priced very reasonably and no one tried to take advantage of tourists like in other countries.
We sincerely hope that Russia will one day become the top leading nation in the world as it was during Peter the Great.