Along the Russian waterways

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SAINT-PETERSBURG - MANDROGI - KIZHI - GORITSY - YAROSLAVL - UGLICH - MOSCOW

DAY 1: SAINT-PETERSBURG

Transfer from Saint-Petersburg airport to the deluxe 5* hotel Kempinski Moika 22 located in the historic city centre near the Winter Palace and legendary Hermitage. In the evening gather for the warm-up meeting with your guide and spend the rest of the day exploring central St Petersburg on your own. Overnight stay at 5* hotel Kempinski Moika 22.

DAY 2: SAINT-PETERSBURG

After breakfast, start your day with an orientation tour of St. Petersburg. Enter the Peter and Paul Fortress, this family shrine of the Romanovs. Following lunch, enter the famed 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. Overnight stay at 5* hotel Kempinski Moika 22.

DAY 3: 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 4: SAINT-PETERSBURG

After breakfast, check out from your hotel and 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, 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: 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 6: 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 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: 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 9: 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 10: MOSCOW

Breakfast on board. Arrival in Moscow and disembark the MS Volga Dream II. After lunch in a local restaurant, proceed with orientation city tour of Moscow and enter the Old Tretyakov Gallery, the first museum dedicated exclusively to Russian fine art. Check-in at the 5* St. Regis Moscow Hotel Nikolskaya. Enjoy dinner at your leisure. Overnight stay.

DAY 11: 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 », 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 12: MOSCOW

After breakfast, begin the day with a visit to the famous Novodevichy Cemetery which holds the tombs of Russian authors, musicians, playwrights, and poets, as well as famous actors, political leaders, and scientists. Then proceed with the city tour of Moscowand Cathedral of Christ the Savior and after lunch in a local restaurant explore Moscow’s Metro, known for its architectural splendor. The evening 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* hotel St. Regis Moscow Hotel Nikolskaya.

DAY 13: MOSCOW

Check out from your hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight. End of our services.

 

Alcohol abuse can damage your health. Drink in moderation.
More info

• Russian boats that are not part of the Croisieurope Fleet.
• For essential navigational reasons: weather, passing through locks, etc the itinerary may be subject to change. In addition, for security reasons, some points of call may be cancelled. Such instances are extremely rare.
• The order of the itinerary may be altered in order to accommodate the closure days of museums and other places of interest
• The Russian authorities may decide to close certain places, museums or shows unexpectedly. Naturally, CroisiEurope will always provide alternative visits in such cases.

CURRENCY AND MEANS OF PAYMENT

Euros and Dollars are only accepted in souvenirs shops (preferably in small denominations). Elsewhere, payment can be made in cash in Rubles or Credit card (Visa or Mastercard). Rubles must be changed on site. Please avoid “Traveller checks”. On board, excursions, drinks or personal expenses can only be paid in Russian Rubles (cash) or Credit card (Visa or Mastercard).

WHAT TO PACK

We recommend bringing clothing appropriate for the season and comfortable walking shoes for the excursions. Many of the visits will be on foot and the streets are often cobbled. It is also highly recommended that you pack woollens and a waterproof coat as well as more dressy attire to wear at dinner, particularly the Captain's Dinner.

CLIMATE

The whole of the country has a very distinct continental climate which is particularly cold in winter and hot in summer, with very short intermediate seasons. Spring arrives late, usually around the end of April in Moscow. It then becomes very sunny, temperatures rise very rapidly but it is still cold at night. By very early June, it is already summer; hot during the day and often stormy in Moscow but more temperate on the shores of the Baltic and in Saint Petersburg, where the “White Nights” can be quite cool. Autumn arrives early. In September, both in Moscow and in Saint Petersburg, pleasant warm days alternate with days that are already quite cold.

JET LAG

Russia: + 2 hours (France time)

ELECTRICITY

220 volts – adapters are not required (UK visitors will require a standard European adapter)