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Information for travelers

It is good to travel in Russia in the summer. And it is better to plan in winter. Firstly, it is good to have a goal that you need to strive for, and secondly, not in the season, tour operators are more accurate, arrange discounts and all kinds of shares. But what about the crisis? It would be nice to overcome it in yourself – to stop portraying a stock broker and, turning to the millennial experience of the Chinese sages, look for new ideas hidden in things that we are used to not noticing. Today, in search of a hidden in the obvious, we turn to river cruises.

The stereotype about river travels firmly settled in consciousness – it is slowly, dull and amenities on the floor. In general, the lesson for grannies surrounded by grandchildren. The blame for the train of soviet romance, which is still hovering over the decks of river motor ships.

After the universal devastation and malnutrition of the 1990s, the period of accumulation of capital and subcutaneous fat of the 2000s came, and the elated middle class rushed to master the countries of Europe, Asia and, scary to recall, North America. The owners of the courts have not yet accumulated modernization, the Volga cities have not yet thought about internal tourism. And river cruises, not in demand by youth, went to pensioners, unpretentious to the service, comfort and long -tired of new impressions.

But a lot of water has flowed since then. In society, interest in its own culture woke up, the city authorities were concerned about the development of tourism, and tour operators hastened to offer new recreation formats instead of inaccessible trips abroad. A romantic journey, a fun adventure for a large company, a creative trip, a vacation with children – this is about river cruises.

On what

From the Varangians to the Greeks now go on the motor ship, which sometimes call boarding houses to emphasize the level of comfort that is available to their passengers. And this is perhaps the main advantage of the river cruise is the combination of the hotel and the vehicle. In this case, it is not necessary to constantly unpack and collect suitcases.

For example, the three-false ship-pan-pantry “Valery Chkalov”, built under the Soviets at the friendly Slovak Shipyard, was completely modernized in 2007. Two restaurants, two rams, a concert hall, a billiard room, a solarium and even a souvenir kiosk. All 80 cabins have shower, toilet, outlet and the Internet – you can not go ashore.

We will not forget about the public spaces of the ship – decks on which you can do anything – walk with a glass in your hand, sunbathe in a sun lounger, contemplate landscapes, meditate or make a look, retire in a secluded place (do not forget about the hygienic lipstick – the Volga wind dries lips). In the evening, a movie in the open air is shown here, and at night – stars.

Demanding persons are accommodated in double suites with an area of ​​​​a one-room apartment, seekers of romantic adventures – in single cabins, those who have already found everything – in doubles. Couples with children and grandchildren are placed in the hold. Joke. The triple rooms are very superior, with air conditioning, refrigerator and TV. The last one is important. All parents, even the most ardent opponents of the “zomboyashchik”, do this – they turn on cartoons for their children in order to carve out a few minutes of rest. The main thing is to find the right channel.

Three meals a day on board – breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is the next advantage of traveling by boat – your restaurant is always within walking distance. The menu changes daily, each passenger is given a choice of several dishes. Do not forget about vegetarians and those who follow a different diet. This is worth mentioning when buying a ticket, the price of which includes meals.

Where

A cruise from Samara to Kazan and back will take three days – this is the solution for a weekend getaway, an alternative to resting at a camp site or working in exile in a country house. The ship usually leaves for the weekend tour on Friday at six in the evening. The next day – a long stop in Kazan, during which you can walk around the city or go on an excursion. Return is Sunday afternoon. Sometimes the boat leaves on a tour on Saturday and returns on Monday. If you are tired of Kazan, you can go in the opposite direction to Saratov – the city is small, but that's what makes it good: it is not devoid of provincial charm.

Having gone on a cruise lasting up to 10 days, you can visit Kostroma, Nizhny, Perm, Moscow. Make a stop in Mariinsky Posad, walk around the ethnographic museum in Kozmodemyansk or around the Bulgar settlement. To the south, the landscape is more boring and the offer is not so rich – Saratov, Volgograd, Astrakhan, sometimes the ship goes along the Volga-Don Canal to Rostov-on-Don. But navigation in these parts ends later, and on the twentieth of September on Akhtuba you can enjoy the velvet season, while in Samara it will already be cold in autumn.

An interesting cruise with a two-day stay in St. Petersburg, landing on the island of Valaam in Lake Ladoga and stops in the cities of the Golden Ring. But this 19-day river trip, passing along the Volga trade route of the Early Middle Ages, looks like a serious test of endurance and endurance and is designed for experienced travelers.

Where

Samara is located in the middle of the Volga river routes, and this is our advantage – the cruise does not require time to move to another city, and the vacation begins at the moment of departure from the river station. But if you wish, you can start your journey from the same St. Petersburg, Perm, Kazan or Volgograd.

Another stereotype inherited from the old regime: there is nothing to do in the Volga cities outside the Golden Ring.Tell Ville Haapasalo about it. The actor made a trip around the Volga region last year and filmed a documentary series “Volga in 30 days” about his journey. Judging by his emotional stories, Ville did not get bored and in each of the cities where he went ashore, he found entertainment for himself – riding camels, talking with shamans, collecting hops, flying in a wind tunnel, participating in the battle of reenactors, sailing, swimming in salt lakes, communicated with people, finally.

His approach will be of interest to those who prefer to discover new spaces and get acquainted with the culture of their inhabitants on their own. Fortunately, after spending a couple of evenings on the Web, you can dig up high-quality and useful information about any point on the map. If you don’t want to puzzle over compiling your program, you can buy excursions along with a ticket to the ship or choose from a great variety of excursion programs on the same Web.

Prices

Three factors affect the price – the duration of the cruise, the category of the cabin and the number of intermediaries between the tour organizer and the ticket seller. The ideal option is to buy tickets from a tour operator who organizes cruises on their own ships. The largest fleet of passenger ships in Samara is owned by Sputnik-Germes. She owns the motor ship-boarding house Valery Chkalov, in the operational management of the four-deck Fyodor Dostoevsky, F.I. Panferov.

Three-day trips from Samara to Kazan start from 6600 rubles per person in a triple cabin on the main deck. With weekend bus tours that are gaining popularity, this offer is better not to compare. For comparable money, the client gets an early rise and six hours of shaking on the bus, an overnight stay at the a-la Fatima hotel with amenities on the floor and breakfast in bed, an excursion program that has no alternative.

A week trip to Nizhny Novgorod can cost 17,200 rubles, and an 8-day trip to Kostroma can cost around 23,900 rubles. An alternative trip to these cities by train with hotel accommodation with a price within 2500 rubles per day will cost the same money. If you throw at least a thousand rubles a day on food, you get a significant difference. But what about the opportunity to visit Kazan, Cheboksary, Mariinsky Posad and other cities along the route?

Vouchers for a 19-day cruise to St. Petersburg with stops in Yaroslavl, Kizhi, Sortaval, Gorodets and other cities of the Volga and Ladoga start from 62,300 rubles. For this money, the passenger receives accommodation in a three-bed tiered cabin with all amenities, a refrigerator and air conditioning, three meals a day in a restaurant, the opportunity to visit 17 cities, choose excursions and routes. If you take into account the smooth change of climatic zones and the unique Volga landscapes, you get a comfortable stay for a reasonable price.

How to save

The fleet operated by Sputnik-Germes and long-term partnerships with other operators allow the company to be flexible in pricing, set preferential rates and organize promotions. For example, students, children under 14 and law enforcement officers are given a 10% discount. And a family of four can save, under certain conditions, 25% for the first child, and 50% for the second – 50% of the cost of the tour. By the way, children under three years old can travel with their parents for free (without food and bedding). Children under 7 years of age, if they are not provided with a bed, can only pay for meals.

If you liked the cruise, for example, Samara – Astrakhan – Samara, but the client is limited in time or money, the operator can meet halfway and sell half of the tour.

The company adheres to an open door strategy, is ready to accept and take into account the wishes of regular and potential passengers on the program, including excursions, meals and other issues. Proposals can be reported by phone 270-40-40 or sent to [email protected]. Sputnik Hermes lives in networks – the group Vkontakte.