Vodohod (Russian River Cruises)
MS Lev Tolstoy Review and Specifications
Specifications of MS Lev Tolstoy
|Year built||1979 / Age : 39|
|Builder||Osterreichische Schiffswerften AG (Korneuburg, Austria)|
|Class||USSR Russian cruise ship (Project Q-056)|
|Ferry route / homeports||St Petersburg-Moscow-Astrakhan|
|Owner||Volga Shipping Company (Russia)|
|Speed||14 kn / 26 kph / 16 mph|
|Length (LOA)||116 m / 381 ft|
|Beam (width)||17 m / 56 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||5400 gt|
|Decks with cabins||3|
Review of MS Lev Tolstoy
MS Lev Tolstoy cruise ship ("Лев Толстой" круизный корабль) is a traditional Russian river passenger ship built for the USSR (Soviet Union) in Austria. The vessel is currently owned and operated by the Russian shipping company VODOHOD ("Водоход"). MS Tolstoy cruises on Volga River, between St Petersburg and Moscow, as well as on the route Moscow-Astrakhan.
The shipowner Vodohod is Russia's largest river cruise shipping operator. The company was established in 2004 as Volga Shipping Company. After the merger with Volga Flot Tour, Vodohod now operates over 50 cruise ships along the rivers Don, Volga, Kama, Moscow, Volga–Don Canal, Volga-Baltic Waterway and the lakes Ladoga and Onega.
VODOHOD's predecessor - Volga Shipping Company (translated Volzhskoye parokhodstvo / Волжское пароходство) was founded as a Volga steamship transportation company in 1843. In 2011, the company had in operation over 300 passenger and cargo river vessels and carried over 6,7 billion tons of cargoes and over 368,000 passengers on Russia's biggest inland waterways.
MS Tolstoy was named after the Russian writer Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828-1910), best known for his novels "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina". The motorship was last refurbished in 2012.
Accommodations include 6 suites, 7 junior suites, 94 twins, 6 singles and 14 triples. All staterooms are outside (no interior cabins) and with large opening picture windows. Each cabin as amenities offer central air-conditioning (individually controlled heating and ventilation system), private en-suite bathrooms (WC, shower, wash basin), radio, refrigerator, wardrobe, safe (in the closet), 220 V power sockets, hair-dryer.
- Suites (location Boat Deck) are 2-room cabins with separate living room-bedroom and large windows (opening). Suites feature sofa, 2 armchairs, low table, bedroom with King-size double bed, 2 wardrobes. Suites can accommodate up to 3 passengers via folding bed.
- Junior Suites (location Boat Deck) are large twin-double cabins with opening windows, 2 armchairs, low table, 2 twin beds (convertible to double).
- Single Cabins (location Middle Deck / Boat Deck) are 1-bed rooms with 1 fixed bed and an opening window.
- Twin / Double Cabins (location Main Deck / Middle Deck / Boat Deck) are 2-bed rooms with 2 fixed beds (non-convertible to double) and an opening window.
- Triple Cabins (location Main Deck) are 3-bed rooms with 2 fixed beds (lower, non-convertible to double), 1 bunk bed (upper) and 1 opening window. Triple cabins can be booked as doubles.
Dining - Entertainment
Dining onboard MS Lev Tolstoy features European cuisine sp[ecialties with elements of Russian traditional cooking. Breakfasts are buffet-style. Lunches include 1 meal (Russian soup). Dinner is waiter-served and with traditional Russian food menu. Waiters are dressed in traditional costumes.
Onboard entertainment is focused on pre-scheduled activities and live performances (classical and Russian folk music). Onboard lectures are themed on the country's history and culture. Port talks (by a professional tour guide) provide information on visited river ports, nearby towns, shore excursions and tours available for booking. Passengers also enjoy traditional Russian tea ceremonies, Russian language lessons, dancing and singing classes, vodka tasting, nesting doll (matryoshka) painting classes.
Among the boat's most prominent features is its indoor swimming pool with glass roof cover.
MS Lev Tolstoy ship facilities include:
- (Main Deck) Medical Room (Infirmary), Sauna, Beauty Salon (hairdresser and barber services, massages), Ironing Room (laundry service), Lobby (Reception Desk, spiral staircase), Coffee-Tea Station
- (Upper Deck) Dining Room Restaurant "Katrina"
- (Upper Deck) Library / Reading Hall (books, travel guides, cards and board games)
- (Boat Deck aft) Indoor swimming pool with Coffee Bar "Neva", comfortable seating area, outdoor open-air terrace
- (Boat Deck forward) Music Hall (Lounge and Panorama Bar, dance floor, grand piano for live performances), Boutique (Souvenir Shop)
- (Sun Deck) Conference Hall and Bar (Dance Hall / Cinema / Meeting Room)
- (Sun Deck) Solarium, Fitness (outdoor covered area with Gym equipment), sundeck area with outdoor seating (deckchairs and 4-seat tables)
VODOHOD cruise deals
- Departure port (dock / berth), check-in, boarding and landing times are indicated on company's website (vodohod.com) and on passenger boarding passes. Ship's exact departure time is clarified on the website the day prior departure.
- Kids discount ticket prices are for children up to 14 years of age (14-yo including), the age being fixed on departure day.
- Kids from 2 to 5 years of age (5-yo including) travel free of charge, but without providing additional bed (if there are no free beds in the cabin). Shore excursion are also free of charge.
- Toddlers (kids under 2) travel free of charge, but bed, food and tour services are not provided. Extra beds in staterooms (baby cribs, cots) are not available on the ship.
- TWIN (double cabin) single suppliment rate is 75%.
- Cabin number is provided 7 days prior departure. Reservation of a specific room number costs EUR 50 pp per cruise.
- Ticket prices are inclusive of 3 meals a day. Onboard dining includes Breakfast (buffet style, water in pitchers, tea/ coffee served, drinks - cocoa, milk, juices, hot and cold dishes), Lunch (buffet style, water in pitchers, tea/coffee served) and Dinner (waiter-served) with 1 Starter, 1 Main course (choice of 3 available / meat-fish-vegetarian), 1 Dessert (choice of 2 or fruits).
- On embarkation day and disembarkation day (voyage's end) meal times depend on landing times. If a land tour coincides with a meal time (lunch), passengers are provided with complimentary food at local restaurant (cafe) or given "dry rations".
- Ticket price inclusive onboard events are Welcome Aboard ("bread and salt" ceremony), Welcome Cocktail (complimentary 1 glass of champagne or juice per person), "Tea Ceremony" (tea and traditional pies), "Vodka Show" (blini and vodka tasting), Cocktail Party (once per cruise, complimentary 1 cocktail / out of 3 choices per person), Captain's Dinner (gourmet menu, once per cruise), mulled wine or ice tea (weather-depending / upon returning from excursions), complimentary Coffee Station (coffee, hot water, packed tea, milk, cocoa, cookies, opening times 6am-breakfast, 10-12am, 4-6pm, 9-11pm), 1 bottled water (0.33l pp per day in cabins). Tickets are also inclusive of foreign language speaking guide services, onboard entertainment (language class, singing lessons, live music, nightly dancing music, Wheelhouse tour).
- Complimentary excursions are detailed in the ship's cruise itinerary program. Optional tours are available for shipboard booking. For excursion services, VODOHOD charges foreigners with additional fee per person per day, including children 6-14 yo. This fee is not charged to tourists from Russian Commonwealth, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The surcharge varies by cruisetour itinerary length (1-2-days, 3-4-days, 5-days, 6-days, 7-days).
- VODOHOD cruise tickets don't include any land transfers, beverages and snacks (in onboard bars and lounges), phone conversations, sauna visits, optional excursions, travel insurance, gratuities, personal spendings. Ticket prices include 18% VAT.
- Non-cash onboard payments are made via company's debit card "Vodohod"(received upon registration), which is without any interest or commissions. The card is accepted in all the ship's venues (bars, restaurant, shop, administration). Cash payments for onboard sales are not accepted. International bank cards are accepted for final payments.
- Gift Certificate "Vodohod" (vouchers) can be pre-purchased for any amount. The recipient can choose itinerary, cruise departure date and cabin category. The amount specified is not fixed and is set by the buyer. If the cruisetour costs less than certificate's amount, the difference is not refundable.
- Smoking on the ship is allowed only in designated areas (marked with "Place for smoking" signs), located aft on decks Middle and/or Boat (depending on ship). Smoking is prohibited in all interior spaces and on open decks (except at designated areas).
- On all VODOHOD ships are available health gymnastics and morning exercises (led by a certified physician / ship's doctor), oxygen cocktail, dietary food.
- On all VODOHOD ships are provided (free of charge) the following medical services - emergency medical care (assistance required for sudden acute illnesses, conditions, exacerbation of chronic diseases), measurement of blood pressure and body temperature, primary treatment of wounds.
- VODOHOD reccomends passengers to arrive in departure port cities at least 6 hours prior ship departure. Boarding starts 2 hours prior departure. All passengers must be boarded at least 1 hour prior departure. Late passengers missing their cruisetour are not refunded.
- VODOHOD's departure ports are Moscow, St Petersburg, Astrakhan, Nizhny Novgorod, Perm, Samara, Kazan, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Saratov.
Note: You can see the CruiseMapper's list of all river cruise ships and riverboats in the "itinerary" section of our River Cruises hub. All companies and their fleets are listed there.
MS Lev Tolstoy wiki
MS Tolstoy (launched in May 1979) is the second (last) boat in the Chekhov-class (project Q-056) Russian river ships - with sistership MS Chekhov (launched in June 1978). "Project Q-056" vessels have the following details:
- LOA length 116 m (379 ft),
- width 17 m (54 ft)
- DWT tonnage 2920 tons
- V-shaped hull (sea navigation capabilities)
- 5 decks (4 for passengers)
- Originally, each boat had capacity 250 passengers and 75 crew, all outside cabins with large windows, 1 restaurant, 2 bars, Sauna Room, Souvenir Shop, Lobby (Reception Desk with safe), 360-degree Promenade Deck (with outdoor seating).
- Powerplant includes three marine diesel engines (model "6ChRN 36/45 EG-60") with total power output 2 MW.
- Staterooms are single-double-triple (1-2-3-bed cabins), all fitted with private bathrooms.
- After reconstruction, to the ships were introduced larger cabins (including suites) and their capacity was reduced to improve travel comfort and safety.