We are cruising across Russia on the good ship Rossia. It is not a flashy cruise ship with casinos, spas and pools but is perfect for a river cruise. Built in East Germany in the 1970's it was completely overhauled in 2006. The number of guest rooms was reduced by one third allowing for more space per room. Everything about the ship is clean, well maintained and modern.
The shape and size (425' X 54') of the ship is dictated by the height of bridges and size of locks that we pass through on our journey. So, the outside shape matches that of other similar river boats. Our normal speed of 8 knots allows plenty of time for enjoying the passing scene.
The three guest decks contain 110 cabins, all with outside views. The dining room is large enough to serve all guests at once and two bars, one big and one little, provide inside lounge space for those who chose to avoid the sun deck in foul weather or just need a vodka tasting. Add a small library, gift shop and wifi access and you have all the ingredients for happy guests (at least most of them, most of the time!)
The Russian crew is well trained, gracious and all speak some English (which is, any case, better than my Russian.) All in all, the good ship Rossia is a wonderful way to get around the waterways of Russia.