The Red Star Special is a long trip (37 days), but you will never want those 37 days to end. It is very fast paced and exhausting tour but really worth it. And you visit all of the places I only used to dream of visiting, ticking off many bucket list items.
This trip takes you up to the top of Europe, stopping at many small towns in Norway. Accommodation through Norway is very basic, but they all come with some amazing views (just make sure you bring a sleeping bag). There is a lot of driving, but the group had quite a strong camaraderie which makes the bus days still a lot of fun. To keep the cost down through Norway, a Topdeck Chef travels with you and cooks breakfast, lunch and dinner for you. They are generally basic bulk meals (i.e. lots of pasta, salads, toast/cereal), but still taste good.
There are a large number of people on this trip that only do the Scandinavian section of the trip (leaving before Russia) and a number of people joining for the Russia section. This makes the trip feel like a whole new tour and helps to combat any fatigue you many be feeling from the last 21 days. Russia is equally as amazing as Scandinavia. Don't let the issue of having to get a Russian visa put you off going to Russia. Topdeck use a local Russian guide to take you through St Peters, Novgorod and Moscow. The Russia days have a lot more jam-packed than most of the other days on the trip, with a lot less free time to wander and explore the place yourself. But Topdeck take you to a lot of the places that you would want to see on your own anyway.
If you are looking to see as much as you can in as little time as possible I would recommend this. Our trip leader was highly knowledgeable and always happy to help if you had a question about where to go or what to do. The other people on the trip were mostly from Aus/NZ and were mostly age 25+.
Booking through Global Journeys was easy and I would use them again. Overall this is an amazing trip and I couldn't recommend it enough!