Special Offer!SAVE $1,000 if you book by January 6, 2014!Overview
Join us for seven nights aboard the exclusively chartered, deluxe M.S. Volga Dream
, the premier ship cruising Russia’s waterways with a capacity of 109 passengers. This carefully crafted itinerary highlights Russia’s two great cultural capitals. Spend one night aboard ship in the fabled city of Moscow, the political and commercial capital of the world’s largest country, and see the world’s largest collection of Fabergé eggs. And, spend two nights in a deluxe hotel in St. Petersburg, czar Peter the Great’s “window on the West,” featuring a guided tour of the State Hermitage Museum. Cruise through the heartland of Mother Russia along scenic rivers, lakes and canals to 10th-century Uglich, medieval Yaroslavl, the 14th-century monastery of Goritsy and the legendary open-air museum of Kizhi Island, rustic remnants of Old Russia. This unique and always popular program appeals to the first-time visitor to Russia and the return visitor curious to see the astounding changes that have taken place in Russia’s two largest and most important cities. A two-night Moscow Pre-Program Option and two-night St. Petersburg Post-Program Option are offered.Check out our slide show for a photo journey of this tour!
View photos by clicking "Next Photo" at top of page!Itinerary
July 16-17: U.S., Moscow, Russia
Depart the U.S. for Moscow, Russia. Upon arrival, embark the eeluxe M.S. Volga Dream
. Aboard ship, enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Reception. The ship remains docked overnight on the Moscow River, which flows leisurely through the city that has embodied the heart and soul of Russia for over 850 years. (R,D)July 18: Moscow
Explore Moscow’s cultural and historical treasures beginning with a visit to the imposing halls of the Kremlin, the fabled “Citadel of the Czars” and a World Heritage site. Tour the Armory, the oldest museum in Russia, and see the authentic State treasures including the magnificently bejeweled Fabergé eggs commissioned by the Romanov czars. Walk around infamous Red Square, a World Heritage site where both Romanov czars and Soviet commissars have flexed their might and power. Admire the multicolored grandeur of the 16th-century St. Basil’s Cathedral, one of the country’s most beautiful Orthodox monuments. (B,L,D)July 19: Volga River, Uglich
Cruise the Moscow Canal, which gives Moscow access to five different seas, and into the Volga River, the main artery of the Russian heartland for over a millennium. Arrive in Uglich, one of the “Golden Ring” of fortified towns and villages built to surround Moscow between the 11th and 15th centuries. Walk to the small 17th-century Church of Prince Dimitri-on-the-Blood, built on the site where Ivan the Terrible’s young son met his demise. Admire its cluster of red turrets capped with shimmering blue onion domes, and the elegant frescoes that adorn the inside. Continue to the stately five-domed Cathedral of the Transfiguration, built along the Volga River in 1713. (B,L,D)July 20: Yaroslavl, Lake Rybinskoye
Visit Yaroslavl, the oldest town on the Volga River and a “Golden Ring” town. This World Heritage site is also known as the “Florence of Russia” and is famous for its authentic Russian churches with their painted onion domes and soaring turrets. Stroll along the river to the Church of Elijah the Prophet, a masterpiece of local architecture located in the heart of the Old Town and filled with well-preserved frescoes. Then, see the magnificent, fortified Monastery of the Transfiguration, founded in the 12th century. After lunch, cruise through the scenic wilderness of Lake Rybinskoye. (B,L,D)July 21: Sheksna River, Goritsy, Lake Beloye
Along the Sheksna River, catch glimpses of a bygone era as you pass rustic family farms and quaint dachas
, the seasonal cottages of Russia’s middle class. From the tranquil village of Goritsy, visit the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, founded in 1397. It is said that Vasily III came here to pray for an heir and, soon after, his wife Elena gave birth to the future Ivan the Terrible, the first Czar of Russia. Farther along the shores of Lake Beloye, see rural communities continuing the traditions of Old Russia. (B,L,D)July 22: Lake Onega, Kizhi Island
Enjoy a morning cruise on scenic Lake Onega, dotted with over 1600 small islands, within sight of the beautifully untouched, pastoral, Karelian countryside, home to many ethnic Finns. Be on deck for the unforgettable approach to picturesque Kizhi Island, a World Heritage site. This remarkable open-air museum is a treasure trove of 18th-century Karelian and north Russian wooden architecture. Admire the Church of the Transfiguration, an architectural masterpiece featuring 22 cupolas built completely of wood without a single nail! (B,L,D)July 23: Lake Onega, Svir River, Mandrogi, Lake Ladoga, Neva River
Cruise the sparkling Svir River between Lake Onega and Lake Ladoga, the largest freshwater reservoir in Europe. Admire the passing wilderness of serene meadows and virgin pine and birch forests. The ship calls at Mandrogi, a small riverside village. This evening, enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Reception and a dinner that will include traditional Russian specialties followed by a specially arranged sampling of Russian vodkas. (B,L,R,D)July 24: St. Petersburg
Arrive in St. Petersburg, known as the “Venice of the North,” along the Neva River, which flows majestically through the heart of the city. Disembark the ship and enjoy a specially reserved entrance and tour of the State Hermitage Museum, former palace of Catherine the Great and repository of one of the world’s oldest and greatest art collections. View the priceless collection of 19th- and 20th-century French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works as well as the controversial group of 74 masterpieces “lost” in a storeroom since World War II and found in 1995. Its spectacular collection is rivaled only by the museum’s ornate interiors.
Explore the city’s historic center, a World Heritage site whose legendary landmarks are scattered across more than 100 islands linked by more than three times as many bridges. St. Petersburg’s main thoroughfare, Nevsky Prospekt, showcases exquisite examples of Russian Baroque and neoclassical architecture. See the beautiful Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood (Church of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ), built on the site of Emperor Alexander II’s assassination; see the Admiralty tower; and visit the 19th-century St. Isaac’s Cathedral, with a striking golden dome that is one of the glories of the city’s skyline, to see its dazzling interior of malachite and lapis lazuli. Tour the city’s oldest edifice, the Peter and Paul Fortress, built in 1703 to guard the country’s only outlet to the Baltic Sea. The impressive Baroque Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul contains the tombs of czars from Peter the Great to Nicholas II, the last of the Romanovs.
Check into the deluxe Angleterre Hotel. This evening, attend an optional Russian ballet or music performance (performance schedule permitting). (B)July 25: St. Petersburg
Visit Catherine the Great’s imperial compound of Tsarskoye Selo
(“Czar’s Village”), a World Heritage site, in Pushkin. Tour the elaborate Baroque palace, built in 1741. See the extraordinary Amber Room: six tons of solid amber, deftly carved and framed in gold leaf, once deemed the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” Stripped and confiscated by the Nazis in 1941, the Amber Room was meticulously reconstructed in 2003 in honor of St. Petersburg’s 300th birthday. Skim over the Gulf of Finland by hydrofoil to Petrodvorets, the splendid summer palace and parklands commissioned by Peter the Great, now a World Heritage site. Join your traveling companions for a farewell reception in the hotel this evening. (B,R)July 26: St. Petersburg, U.S.
Continue on the optional St. Petersburg Post-Cruise Extension or transfer to the airport for your flight to the U.S. (B)
* Pre- and Post-Program Options and Optional Excursion are available at additional cost. Details will be included with your reservation confirmation.
All program features are contingent upon final brochure pricing.