This is a cruise along several rivers system that have been united through flooding of vast areas of land to make it possible. It covers some sections where you could easily swim from bank to bank through to others, that for all intents and purposes, you are in vast lakes that the shores are not visible.As a means of exploring the two principle cities of Moscow and St Petersburg and the huge land mass and towns in between this trip is ideal. Certainly St Petesburg with its Hermitage museum and the various ornate churches and palaces is a highlight but to stand in Red Square and visit the Kremlin in Moscow with all its history and current political situation is something well worth experiencing.
The cruise itself was well organised with a very attentive and caring crew. The ship is Russian owned and managed, as are the ships run by other river cruise companies (e.g. Scenic, Viking) and all appear to be of similar design and follow each other on roughly the same itinerary. The stair ways on the ship were very steep and, in my view, pretty risky given the age profile of most Uniworld travelers. There was a lift available for those that did not want to navigate the stairs.
The food on board was pretty good but not at the standard that you would get on a Uniworld European cruise. The only included beer/wine drinks were with dinner, which was a bit of a surprise when we had to sign for a coffee we asked for on our arrival. Again this is a different from every other Uniworld trip we have been on. Also there was a lot of non included side trips which were not cheap.
One of the bigger issues was that the ship was moored well outside central Moscow and St Petersburg. The traffic conditions into both cities was very heavy with Moscow's being horrific. The bus rides into town was easily over an hour each way which made it very inconvenient and encouraged staying in the centre rather than returning to the ship for lunch. However due to the very wet and cold weather conditions this was not a very comfortable option. The metro was located close to the ship mooring and presented a better option to getting around for those that felt confident using it. However despite the slight negatives, this is a trip well worth undertaking. I am not too sure how you could experience a country like Russia without the comfort and guidance given by the cruise managers. However be wary of the weather, mid summer was freezing. Everyone said this was unusual but be prepared for the worst.