|From St. Petersburg to Moscow
River cruises of 11 and 12 days onboard the motorship "Narkom Pakhomov", enjoing a cultural and scenic journey in the old Russia
By Giorgio Albera and Paolo Maccione
A rivership for 250 passengers
A length of 423 feet, a beam of 56 feet, a cruise speed of 14 knots, 4 decks, a sun deck with 150 chairs, 114 double cabins, 7 single, 4 four bed and, a suite, two restaurants, the "Neva" and the "Svir", that can guest respectively 160 and 90 passengers: these are the features of the "Narkom Pakhomov".
She was built in Germany in the 1989 and completely renovated in the 1993 according to European quality standards. Other facilities on board are a 60 seat bar, a disco for 90 passengers, a gift shop, a reading room, laundry, coiffeur, healty room and free medical assistance. The "Narkom Pakhomov" doesn't offer a TV room and this causes a lack of information throughout the eleven cruising days. On board the U.S. Dollar is the preferred currency but also credit cards and Travel Cheques are accepted. It is possible to telephone from the ship but it is expensive (13 USD/minute).
There are no elevators on board and this is a problem for handicapped passengers.
The swiss operator
It is a swiss company, the I.C.H. (International Cruise and Hotelmanagement of Rapperswill) with its exclusive agent for Switzerland, Mittelthurgau Travel Agency, that manages the logistic organization and everything on board the "Narkom Pakhomov" and for the other ships they have in Russia. The hotel and the restaurant managers, the Chef and his deputy, and the Passenger Service Manager are European, meanwhile other personnel and the crew are from Russia and the Ukraine (most of them don't speak English). Food and equipment are imported from Europe.
One thousand miles on rivers
Passing through 16 locks, waking up in the morning listening to the balalaika's sound, enjoying the russian folklore at every port of call, dreaming in the midnight sun, the hull of the ship breaking the remaining winter pieces of ice (in the north of S. Petersburg), sightseeing the pine forest along the river, meeting freighter ships laden with wood, and testing the temperature difference between St. Petersburg (zero celsius degree) and Moscow (27 celsius degree) are what you can expect from a river cruise in Russia at the begining of summer.
Sail, calmly and slowly, in the nature and culture. The journey begins in St. Petersburg, the old capital of Russia (from 1712 till 1918) that the Czar Peter the Great built in 1703. Before leaving the "Venice" of the north a one day trip in the city is obviously planned by ICH. It is possible to visit the St. Isaac's Cathedral, the St. Peter and St. Paul Fortress (where the Romanov are buried), the royal palace of Pushkin, that has been the summer house of Katarina, and the famous Hermitage Museum with its picture collection. Following a night sail near the Ladoga Lake the ship enters the Onega Lake. Here the environment is pre-arctic and in May there are still many pieces of ice in the water.
The "Narkom Pakhomov" call at Petrzavodsk (the capital of the Republic of Karelia) and at the isle of Kizhi where it is possible to admire the Transfiguration Cathedral, a masterpiece in wood of the 18th century. The inhabitants of Kizhi are 40 people that share the place with seals and beavers !! Leaving the Onega Lake the ship heads south to Moscow calling, after 6 locks, at Gorizy and Uglich that is reached after sailing across artificial lake that was made by Stalin.
In this area the temperature is becoming less cold and the shores are more populated. Then the "Narkom Pakhomov" leaves the Volga River and enter the Moscow Canal, to reach the port of Moscow. The cruise end in the capital where a city tour, a visit to the Red Square (with the Kremlin) and a performance by the famous Moscow Circus are programmed. .
For further information contact:
ICH Switzerland, fax ++41 - 55228484
Vela Tour Operator, fax ++ 39-141-353830