MS Volga Dream Review and Specifications
Specifications of MS Volga Dream
|Year built||1959 / Age : 60|
|Builder||SLKB Komarno (Komarno, Slovakia)|
|Class||USSR Russian cruise ship (Project 26-37)|
|Ferry route / homeports||St Petersburg-Moscow|
|Owner||Volga Dream Cruise Line|
|Operator||Volga Dream Cruises, Thurgau Travel|
|Speed||13 kn / 24 kph / 15 mph|
|Length (LOA)||96 m / 315 ft|
|Beam (width)||15 m / 49 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||1500 gt|
|Decks with cabins||4|
|Sister-ships||Oktyabrskaya Revolyutsiya class|
|Former names||MS Komarno|
Review of MS Volga Dream
MS Volga Dream cruise ship ("теплоход Волга Дрим" круизный корабль) entered service in 2007, being completely rebuilt and with decreased capacity (from 200 to just 109 passengers). Originally built in 1959, the reconstructed vessel (2-year drydock refurbishment) now provides some of the best cruising vacations along with Russia's inland waterways network. The riverboat is often chartered by Thurgau Travel (Switzerland-based cruise tour company/travel agency).
Volga Dream cruises on Volga River with one-way 7-day itineraries leaving from Moscow (northbound itinerary) and St Petersburg (southbound itinerary). The southbound (St Petersburg-Moscow) itinerary visits Mandrogi, Kizhi Island (Lake Onega), Goritsy, Yaroslav, Uglich, Moscow. The southbound (roundtrip Moscow) itinerary visit Uglich, Yaroslav, Kazan, Samara, Saratov, Volgograd, Astrakhan (Caspian Sea).
Volga Dream cruise deals are available for booking only to foreign tourists. Cruisetour prices start from around EUR 3000 per person. Cruise-only deals cost between EUR 1300-1800 pp (depending on the season). "Grand Russian Cruise" (20-day itinerary St Petersburg-Moscow-Astrakhan) prices vary between EUR 3800-11000 pp (depending on cabin category).
From the same series (Project 26-37) are a total of 14 boats manufactured in the period 1957-1962. All these ships are in the Oktyabrskaya Revolyutsiya-class and originally designed with a capacity of 312 passengers and 70 crew.
As MS Komarno, the boat operated the routes Nizhny Novgorod-Astrakhan (1959-1964) and Moscow-Astrakhan-Moscow (1965-2004). Volga Dream Cruise Line was established in 2004 after purchasing a former USSR ship Komarno. The ship was refitted for use as a river cruise passenger vessel. In June 2007, following an extensive, 2-year refurbishment, the cruise ship was launched under the name "Volga Dream". The cruise line aims to make up for size by entering the higher-end niche in river cruising of Russia.
The ship has a total of 56 staterooms in categories ranging from Standard (with porthole windows) to Owner Suite. All cabins are outside and with large opening windows (excepting Standard cabins on Cabin Deck which are with non-opening portholes). Owner’s Suite (forward on Promenade Deck) has large windows and a private terrace (wraparound balcony). All staterooms offer as standard amenities opening window, individually controlled air-conditioning, direct dial phone, minibar, flat HDTV (satellite reception), bedside cabinets, 220 V power outlets, wardrobe, safe (in the closet), en-suite bathroom (WC, glass shower, washbasin, hairdryer, bathrobes, slippers, bath products, accessories kit), welcome fruit basket, bottled water (replenished daily).
Shipboard dining and entertainment options
Ship's facilities include:
- Dining room restaurant (single-seating capacity) serves European and Russian traditional dishes. Wine by the glass and soft drinks are complimentary with lunch and dinner.
- Neva Lounge is the ship's main lounge with comfortable seating (leather sofas and armchairs), bar area, live music, floor-ceiling windows.
- Ladoga Bar serves aft-located on Sun Deck open-air area furnished with teak deck furniture (tables and chairs).
- The Library (aft on Promenade Deck) has comfortable seating, popular board games, books, Wi-Fi internet access (shipwide coverage). From the Library can be accessed an outdoor deck area with tables and chairs.
- The ship also has Boutique Shop, Fitness Center (Gym Room), Spa (Sauna, Massage Room), Infirmary (Doctor's Office).
- Satellite Internet and phone, as well as laundry services, cost extra.
Onboard dining offers both international and traditional Russian cuisine specialities. Breakfast is buffet style, with cooked and continental meals. Lunch is also buffet-style, with a la carte menu service for the main course. Weather permitting, passengers can enjoy al-fresco dining aft on Sun Deck. Dinner is 4-course, with themed food evenings featuring national and local cuisine specialities. A coffee and tea station is complimentary and 24-hour. Afternoon Tea service (with a traditional samovar) is provided daily at Neva Lounge. Laundry service (no dry-cleaning) is also available.
There are several big reasons to book Volga Dream cruises:
- Ship's small passenger capacity (only 109 guests) guarantees premium vacation travel experiences.
- Shore excursions are led by professional tour guides and tour groups sized 25 (Gold program) and 15 (Platinum program) passengers.
- The boat is family-owned and operated, and offers a truly authentic Russian travel experience. All its crew are Russians and fluent in English.
- Professional lecturers (professors) provide highest-quality information on Russia's history, culture, current politics, lifestyle, education. Other onboard entertainment options include traditional Russian tea ceremonies, Russian cooking classes, Russian language lessons, vodka tasting party, Russian classical music (live piano concert performances), Matreshka (Russian nesting doll) painting class.
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.
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Built as Komarno, MS Volga Dream is one of Russia's "Project 26-37" river cruise ships.
Oktyabrskaya Revolyutsiya-class Russian river ships
"Oktyabrskaya Revolyutsiya" (aka "Project 26-37") is a series of Russian river cruise ships built in Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia) for USSR (Soviet Union) in the period 1957-1962. The vessel class name honours Russia's October Revolution (aka Red October, and Socialist Revolution) of 1917.
A total of 14 units (max output 4 per year) these Russian river ships were all produced by "Narodny Podnik Skoda Komarno" - now SLKB Komarno Shipyard in Komarno (Slovakia). They were used for cargo-passenger (cruise) shipping on Volga River, serving the routes Nizhny Novgorod-Astrakhan and Moscow-Astrakhan. All boats were operated by "Volga Shipping Company" (Волжское пароходство). Following the USSR's collapse (1991), all riverboats were acquired by private Russian companies.
"Project 26-37" ship technology
"Project 26-37" ships have the following details:
- LOA length 96 m (316 ft)
- width 15 m (49 ft)
- draft 2,4 m (8 ft)
- DWT tonnage 1473 tons
- V-shaped hull, 4 decks (3 passengers)
- Originally, each boat had capacity 312 passengers and 70 crew (now between 110 and 250 pax), all-outside cabins (1-2-4-bed), 2 restaurants (63-seat and 50-seat), 2 salon bars / lounges (18-seat Music Salon and 30-seat Cafe), Reading Room (25 seats), Hospital (first-aid room), wrap-around Promenade decks.
- All staterooms were with wash basins. Only Suites had full bathrooms.
- Powerplant includes three marine diesel engines (model 6L275B) with combined output 1,2 MW.
- Propulsion consists of 3 pitch propellers (4-blade) with diameter 1,7 m (5,5 ft).
- All these traditional Russian ships were modernized, completely refurbished and rebuilt for both domestic and foreign river cruise companies. During their multi-million dollar drydock reconstructions and refits were introduced larger cabins, thus reducing the vessel's passenger capacity to improve travel comfort and safety.
Project 26-37 ships
From Project 26-37 series are the boats
- Oktyabrskaya Revolyutsiya (1957, Октябрьская Революция)
- Komarno (February 1959, now Volga Dream)
- Mir (July 1959, now Afanasiy Nikitin)
- Druzhba (April 1960, later Kapitan Rachkov, and Sergey Abramov) - scrapped in 2012
- XXI S'ezd KPSS (July 1960, now Kapitan Pushkarev)
- Yakov Sverdlov (September 1960, now Aleksandr Benua)
- Andrey Zhdanov (November 1960, now Ivan Kulibin)
- Sergo Ordzhonikidze (March 1961, now Nikolay Nekrasov)
- Klement Gotvald (March 1961, later Professor Lukachev, and Yekaterina Velikaya, now Rodnaya Rus)
- Klara Tsetkin (August 1961, Клара Цеткин) - scrapped in 1998
- Vatslav Vorovskiy (September 1961, Вацлав Воровский)
- Valeriy Chkalov )October 1961, Валерий Чкалов)
- Sergey Lazo (November 1961, now President)
- Nikolay Shchors (July 1962, now Mikhail Tanich)
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