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Explore the real Russia

moscow red square
church with painted ceiling

Discover Russia from Moscow to St. Petersburg in this 13-day river cruise voyage and experience the real Russia in a style as never before. From the swirling onion domes and stout towers of Moscow’s Red Square through to the massive Peterhof Palace of St. Petersberg with its beautiful fountains and landscaped gardens. Share stories with an Uglich family; taste authentic Russian caviar with your blini pancakes; enjoy the steam room in a traditional banya in riverside Mandrogy village. 

Throughout the 13-day cruise there are a number of optional experiences available to suit your personal taste and enjoyment. Please browse the day-to-day itinerary below to see what is available. 

Highlights of a river cruise in Russia:

  • Photographing the colourful onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral
  • Experience Moscow’s artful subway stations
  • Explore the Golden Ring city of Uglich
  • Meet and dine with a local Russian family
  • Shop in Yaroslavl’s colourful food market
  • Learn of Russian art and culture of Yaroslavl’s Governor’s Palace
  • Wander around Kizhi Island’s magnificent wooden Transfiguration Church
  • Be in awe at the vast collections of the Hermitage Museum
  • Wonder at the beauty of a St. Petersburg ballet performance

 

‘At-a-Glance’ Illustrative Itinerary

DAY 1: 

Arrive into Moscow and be transferred through to your ship. After boarding, you will have some free time to relax before dinner. 

 

DAY 2: 

This morning you have some free time for your own relaxation followed by an early lunch. After lunch your half-day tour of Moscow will commence with visit highlights including the famous Bolshoi Theatre, Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral and a visit to the famous GUM Department Store. You will also get the chance to experience the city’s Metro as you travel around the city. You will stay in the city centre for an evening performance of traditional Russian folklore music.

saint basils cathedral

DAY 3 

On your second full day in Moscow you have the time to further explore Moscow’s many monuments, parks and buildings. The optional experience available today is a morning tour to Tretyakov Gallery, the world’s foremost museum of Russian fine art. In the afternoon you may visit the Cosmonaut Museum that traces the history of space exploration with displays or take a Jewish Moscow tour, illustrating the history and spirit of the Jewish people who settled in the city.

Dinner will be on board the boat, thereafter you can take an optional tour of Moscow by night.

DAY 4: 

After breakfast, your travels will take you to the city’s famous red brick enclosure, called the Kremlin. Go behind its walls to see it's historic gems like Tsar’s Canon and Tsar’s Bell, and then tour further into two cathedrals. After lunch on board the boat you will then enjoy a scenic cruise along the Moscow Canal as we depart the city. 

kremlin

DAY 5: 

You will cruise through the morning enjoying the scenic countryside and you glide by. After lunch, disembark for your walking tour through the provincial village of Uglich, an ancient town (155 miles north of Moscow) founded in the 10th century. The town has a beautiful location on the Volga River, a most important tourist destination that preserve the memory of Russia’s historical events. These cities are known as the Golden Ring cities

After a visit to the city a local family invites you into their home for tea and friendly conversation before you depart for dinner on-board the boat.

uglich

DAY 6:  

Cruising overnight by the morning you will arrive in Yaroslavl, another Golden Ring city. This ancient town is rich in history, monuments and visit the covered food market, cannot go unmissed. Here you will be able to shop for handcrafted souvenirs. A visit the Church of St. Elijah the Prophet, featuring detailed frescoes and icons is highly recommended during your free time before returning to your ship for lunch and an afternoon departure.

DAY 7:  

Today you will visit a typical Russian village called Kuzino, famous for the renowned Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, founded by Saint Cyril in 1397. The monastery’s historic grounds, are worth taking a guided walk through to both see and enjoy several small wooden chapels, the Assumption Cathedral and a museum. There are further optional experiences to visit a children’s school in Kuzino or the local Merchant House before returning to your boat for lunch and an afternoon departure.

The remainder of the day will be spent cruising along the Volga–Baltic Waterway, a complex and fascinating system of rivers and canals, spanning 229 miles and seven locks, that in turn link the Volga River with the Baltic Sea. 

russia kuzino

DAY 8:  

This morning cruise through, and admire, the tranquil waters of Lake Onega, Europe’s second largest lake. Your destination is the island village of Kizhi where on arrival you can depart on a walking tour through the Open Air Museum of Architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The museum is a collection of wooden houses, churches and windmills representing ancient Russian architecture, notably highlighted by the famous 3-tiered Preobranzhenskaya (Transfiguration) Church, a fairy-tale-like structure built in 1714 without a single nail.

You will return to the boat at the end of the day and cruise through the night. 

russia kizhi

DAY 9:  

The beauty of this river cruise is have the time to spend a relaxing day cruising Russia’s intricate waterways. The scenic Svir River, takes you southwest from Lake Onega, traversing the 139-mile “Blue Route”. The stop in Mandrogy gives you some time to explore the museum village; visit the Vodka Museum or shop for handmade Russian craft items.

For a truly immersive experience, try an optional excursion to a banya, a traditional Russian bath house. Alternatively participate in the art of matryoshka doll making on-board the ship.

The days cruising will continue along the Svir, across Lake Ladoga, Europe’s largest lake, and onto the Neva River. 

DAY 10:  

Early this morning the cruise will enter into St. Petersburg along the Neva River.

After a leisurely breakfast, visit the Winter Palace to tour the legendary Hermitage Museum, and marvel at the vast collection of art, antiquities, sculpture and jewellery.

Dinner this evening will be early as you are treated to an evening performance of traditional Russian ballet. 

neva river

DAY 11:  

For all the cruising through the waterways of Russia today is all about touring!.

You will visit Catherine Palace, tour its various halls, including the storied Amber and Agate Rooms, and see the ornate decor throughout. This elegant rococo 18th-century summer residence of the Russian tsars, was named for Catherine I, widow of Peter the Great. 

After lunch (served on the boat) you will return to the city for a tour that include the notable sights St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Peter & Paul Fortress and Nevsky Prospekt.

catherine palace

DAY 12:  

Your final day is to see the sights that interest you. St Petersburg is full of palaces, churches or museums, or but there is an optional morning excursion to Peterhof Palace, which is highly recommended. With its landscaped gardens and beautiful fountains just wander and take in the peaceful ambience.

Further optional excursions include a kommunalka visit, to see examples of local communal living spaces or take an optional excursion of St. Petersburg from the water.

peterhof st petersburg

DAY 13:  

After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight.

Alternatively you may choose to extend your voyage with some additional nights in St. Petersburg or journey into another country with further nights in Helsinki, Finland, known as the “White City of the North.” 

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