DAY 1: MOSCOW
Transfer from Moscow airport to the deluxe 5* St. Regis Moscow Hotel Nikolskaya, located in the historic centre. In the evening gather for the warm-up meeting with your guide (available at the hotel lobby from 6pm to 9pm) or spend the rest of the day exploring central Moscow on your own. Overnight stay at 5 St. Regis Moscow Hotel Nikolskaya.
DAY 2: MOSCOW
After breakfast, begin the day with an orientation tour of Moscow. After lunch in a local restaurant, proceed to famous Novodevichy Cemetery which holds the tombs of Russian authors, musicians, playwrights, and poets, as well as famous actors, political leaders, and scientists. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to explore Moscow on your own, or seek out a cultural performance at one of the city’s renowned venues. Enjoy dinner at your leisure. Overnight stay at 5* St. Regis Moscow Hotel Nikolskaya.
DAY 3: MOSCOW
After breakfast, enter the Kremlin for a visit to the Armoury Museum to view its collection of opulent coronation finery, hand-forged armour and weapons, royal carriages and sleighs, and dazzling Faberge eggs. Continue to the beautifully frescoed 15th-century Assumption and Archangel cathedrals. After lunch at local restaurant, the balance of the day is at leisure for independent exploration or optional tours at your choice: discover Moscow by night, the shining stars of the Kremlin towers, the illuminations of St. Basil Cathedral, the lighted walls of the New Maiden’s Monastery and the sparkling streets of the Russian capital. Or, be dazzled by the Russian National Dance Show « Kostroma » (1), revealing the history of the country and the life of its people. Enjoy dinner at your leisure. Overnight stay at 5* hotel St. Regis Moscow Hotel Nikolskaya.
DAY 4: MOSCOW
After breakfast, check out from your hotel and proceed to the Old Tretyakov Gallery, the first museum dedicated exclusively to Russian fine art. After lunch, explore Moscow’s Metro, known for its architectural splendor. Transfer to the awaiting luxurious MS Volga Dream and begin sailing along the Russian waterways. Gather for the “Bread, Salt & Vodka Welcome aboard Ceremony” and the Captain's welcome reception. We will enjoy dinner and evening on board as we begin our cruise.
DAY 5: UGLICH
Full board on board. This morning dock in the ancient trading town of Uglich, one of the spokes of Russia’s renowned Golden Ring. Explore the impressive Church of St. Dmitri-on-the-Blood, erected on the site where Dmitri, son of Ivan the Terrible, was murdered in 1591, and attend an enchanting concert of choral music at St. John’s Church. Broadcast of a documentary film about the construction of the Moscow canal. Re-board the MS Volga Dream for dinner. Overnight.
DAY 6: YAROSLAVL
Full board on board. Founded in 1010, Yaroslavl is one of the oldest cities in central Russia and the Volga’s first port. In the Spassky Monastery see the Transfiguration of the Savior and admire the mosaics at the Church of Elijah the Prophet. Take part in a costumed reception, tea Ceremony & Russian cooking class at the governor’s house, and then re-board the MS Volga Dream for dinner. Overnight.
DAY 7: GORITSY
Full board on board. Today we cross Lake Beloye, or the White Lake, formerly known as the “tsar’s fishing grounds”. After lunch we arrive in the peaceful village of Goritsy to tour the fortress-like Kirillov-Belozersky Monastery with magnificent frescoes by one of Russia's most renowned icon painters. Return to the ship after guided tour for a Russian dinner with Vodka tasting on board. Overnight.
DAY 8: KIZHI
Full board on board. The Kareliya region, which spans the area from St. Petersburg to the Arctic Circle, is a vast wilderness of forest and water. Discover Lake Onega, fed by 58 rivers and home to 1,369 islands, including Kizhi. See a collection of ancient Russian wooden houses and windmills, and the famous Transfiguration church, built in 1714 without a single nail. Re-board the MS Volga Dream for dinner. Enjoy a piano Concert with pieces by Tchaikovsky and Rakhmaninov. Overnight.
DAY 9: MANDROGUI
Full board on board. Be on deck as we navigate the Svir River toward Lake Ladoga, Europe's largest freshwater lake, past a shoreline dotted with graceful willows, alder trees and stately pines. Step ashore for a brief visit to the vacation village of Mandrogi to experience daily life in a quaint wooden village. Return to the ship to enjoy a barbeque on the Open Deck for dinner. Overnight.
DAY 10: SAINT-PETERSBURG
Breakfast on board. Arrival in St Petersburg via the Neva River and disembark the MS Volga Dream II. Enjoy a city tour of St. Petersburg. Enter the Peter and Paul Fortress, this family shrine of the Romanovs, and Nevsky Prospect, where fine shops, cafes and museums are found. Following lunch, enter the renowned Hermitage Museum, whose 400 rooms contain spectacular examples of nearly all of the schools of Western art, including one of the greatest collections of French impressionist works. Enjoy dinner at your leisure. Check in at 5* hotel Kempinski Moika 22 and overnight.
DAY 11: SAINT-PETERSBURG
After breakfast, begin today at the meticulously restored Peterhof, St. Petersburg’s most famous and spectacular Imperial estate, often cited as the Versailles of Russia. Visit the authentic Bath Cottage and stroll in the vast Lower Park with 176 fountains of various forms and styles and four cascades, majestic palaces and numerous gilded statues of ancient gods and heroes. After lunch at a countryside restaurant, the balance of the day is at leisure for independent exploration. Enjoy dinner at your leisure. Overnight stay at 5* hotel Kempinski Moika 22.
DAY 12: SAINT-PETERSBURG
After breakfast, travel to Catherine the Great’s Palace, which houses the extraordinary Amber Room, its six tons of solid amber deftly carved and framed in gold leaf. Once deemed the “eighth wonder of the world,” the room was stripped by the Nazis in 1941, but majestically reconstructed in honour of St. Petersburg’s 300th birthday. After lunch at a countryside restaurant, spend the rest of your afternoon at leisure. Enjoy dinner at your leisure. Overnight stay at 5* hotel Kempinski Moika 22.
DAY 13: SAINT-PETERSBURG
Check out from your hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight. End of our services.