As the first newly built ship on Russia’s waterways in 25 years at the time of her launch in 2013, Scenic Tsar represents the ultimate in luxury and comfort in this far-flung part of the world. Owned by the upmarket, all-inclusive Australian travel company Scenic, Tsar, with her capacity for just 112 passengers, provides an intimate, five-star experience on her Russian adventures.
Thanks to her Aussie origins, Tsar is popular with discerning Australian and New Zealander passengers who demand nothing less than Scenic’s luxury touches like a butler service, a great standard of fine-dining and a crew to passenger ratio of two to one. She also attracts well-heeled passengers from Britain who are keen to immerse themselves in the culture and history of the itinerary.
All meals onboard Tsar are taken in her spacious, elegant dining room, Crystal Dining Restaurant. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style, with the added option to order freshly prepared dishes a la carte. Dinner is a lavish four-course affair.
Crystal Dining has a laid-back, open-seating policy, but its stylish décor and smart casual dress code in the evening creates an exclusive atmosphere. Menus feature familiar favourites and seasonal influences from Russian cuisine.
Scenic’s all-inclusive ethos means that all drinks, including alcohol (with the exception of a few high end tipples), are included in the price passengers pay.
Tsar has a fabulous choice of public areas to enjoy a drink and watch the stunning scenery slip by. The Sun Deck is the place to be on a fine evening. Alternatively, the Neva Lounge & Bar at the rear of the Neva Deck and the Panorama Lounge & Bar on the lower Moskva Deck are both lovely locations to meet and mingle with fellow passengers. Every cruise starts with a Welcome Reception where passengers can get to know each other.
The highlights of Tsar’s evening entertainment are to be found off the ship. The optional Scenic Enrich programme offers a private Russian ballet performance at the opulent Palace of Prince Vladimir in St Petersburg and a popular Sundowners event involves enjoying a drink as you cruise through the Moskva River, taking in all Moscow’s most iconic sights. In Moscow there’s also the chance to enjoy performances from a National Russian Show featuring 50 folk dancers and a renowned Russian Circus.
Life onboard is devoted to relaxing and enjoying the scenery and luxury of Tsar. This relaxed pace provides a welcome antidote to the rich and varied programme of offshore excursions.
Tsar’s sightseeing programme is designed to cater for every taste and energy level. In St Petersburg there’s the chance to admire imperial landmarks like the Hermitage (formerly the Winter Palace), the Yusupov Palace, Catherine’s Palace and Peterhof’s Grand Palace, as well as exploring further afield and trying local restaurants. There’s also the chance to see many other sides of Russia en route to Moscow where passengers can choose from activities including a visit to the Kremlin, a tour of the Museum of the Armed Forces and a chance to sample the city’s restaurants and metro system.
All costs associated with sightseeing, including the services of an English-speaking guide are included.
All Tsar’s 56 suites and staterooms are comfortable and stylish with a real feeling of luxury. Satellite TV, safes and complimentary Wi-Fi are provided as standard. The mini-bar is replenished daily and nearly all cabins feature private, full-length balconies.
The front of the upper Neva Deck is home to four 300 sq. ft. Royal Suites with spacious balcony and indoor living area. This deck also houses twelve 250 sq. ft. Deluxe Balcony Suites.
With 36 cabins, most of Tsar’s accommodation is housed on the Volga Deck. At the front are the two 334 sq. ft. Royal Panorama Suites that offer the ultimate in onboard views and spaciousness. The rest of the deck is devoted to 215 sq. ft. Balcony Suites across three categories.
The lower Moskva Deck is home to Tsar’s four 160 sq. ft. Standard Staterooms that offer views from picture windows rather than balconies.
Tsar’s Beauty Salon and Wellness Centre are located next to each other at the front of the Moskva Deck. The ship has an elevator to aid movement between decks.
Tsar sails the 15 day Jewels of Russia Itinerary that starts with a five day exploration of St Petersburg and ends with four days in Moscow. As well as discovering the many attractions of these two iconic cities, there are many opportunities to experience the many sides of this vast, beautiful country. The cruise visits the museum village of Mandrogi which was rebuilt after the Second World War and the open air museum of Kizhi Island with its wooden churches and chapels. Next on the itinerary is a visit to a 1397-built monastery in Goritsy, an excursion to the ancient city of Yaroslavl on the banks of the Volga River and a tour of the city of Uglich near Moscow.