MS Leo Tolstoy river Cruise, Russia – July 2014
After 5 days we boarded our ship, the Leo Tolstoy! This Riverboat was originally designed for the Soviet Leadership, but after the fall of communism, was privatized and owned as part of a fleet by Vodohad Company, although this particular boat was recently retrofitted and modernized and was being leased to Vantage. The ship was very comfortable with reasonable cabins and plenty of common space, including the Restaurant, a Library, Theater/Meeting Room, Lounge with Bar, and even an indoor Swimming Pool with Bar. Meals were excellent and the ship was clean and friendly.
We began our 7-day trip up a series of rivers, canals and lakes, including the River Svyr, Lake Ladoga and to the craft village of Mandrogi. We then proceeded through Lake Onega to Kizhi Island which has preserved the historic wooden structures from the area that were constructed 100-200 years ago. We eventually entered the Volga River to finish our journey to Moscow, but not before visiting the towns of Goritsy, Yaroslavl, Roston and Uglich. These towns allowed to to see Russian life outside of the city, and gave us a chance to visit some historic sites, (Church of Elijah the Prophet, Church of St. Nicholas the Miracle-Worker, Yaraslovl Governor’s Mansion, St. Jacob Monasery), as well as visit local school children, local families, and even have tea with a local school teacher.
The ship’s cruise ended when we arrived at the port terminal outside of Moscow. There, we transferred to the Grand Marriott Hotel on Tverskaya street.