Waterways of the Czars

Visit Russia’s star attractions, Moscow and St Petersburg, and take a unique cruise between the two aboard MS Volga Dream, a delightful way to explore the lakes, rivers and canals that connect the two cities.

Journey Overview

Visit Russia’s star attractions, Moscow and St. Petersburg, and take a unique cruise on MS Volga Dream, a delightful way to explore the lakes, rivers and canals that connect the two cities. Elegant, with only 50 comfortable and well-equipped cabins, MS Volga Dream is the most intimate cruise ship in Russia with outstanding personalised service.

Journey Highlights

  • Explore the Kremlin and be dazzled by the ornate gems in the Diamond Fund
  • Ride like a local on the famous Moscow metro
  • See the world greatest collection of Russian art at the Tretyakov Gallery
  • Cruise Europe's longest river, the mighty Volga
  • Fall under the spell of the magnificent Catherine's Palace in Pushkin
Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Moscow.

Welcome to the Russian capital where you are met and transferred to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax or head out to explore this magnificent city on your own.
Ararat Park Hyatt (Park Deluxe Room)   

Day 2: Moscow.

Get under the skin of Europe’s largest city on a guided exploration of the Kremlin’s famous Armoury collection of Imperial Era regalia and the ornate gems in the Diamond Fund, including Catherine the Great’s diamond-encrusted coronation crown and the 190-carat Orlov diamond. Visit the Square of Four Cathedrals to see two of the Kremlin cathedrals. After lunch ride like a local on the famous Moscow metro, renowned for the ornate splendour of its stations. At historic Red Square, gaze up at the colourful onion-shaped domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral.
Ararat Park Hyatt (Park Deluxe Room) | Meals: B

Day 3: Moscow.

Marvel at the world’s greatest collection of Russian art when you visit the Tretyakov Gallery with an expert. See delicate icons and an outstanding collection of pre-Revolutionary Russian pieces before the afternoon visit to the Novodevichy convent complex which you’ll admire from outside. The complex was founded in 1584 and became home to many noble women, such as Peter the Great’s wife, who took vows to see out their lives in the convent. Explore the cemetery where Nikita Khrushchev, Raisa Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin and many others are buried. At the end of the day transfer to your luxurious riverboat for the captain’s welcome reception and dinner.
MS Volga Dream (Deluxe Stateroom Promenade Deck) | Meals: BD

Day 4: Uglich.

Cruise through the idyllic forested countryside north of Moscow stopping in the ancient trading town of Uglich, one of the key towns in 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. Then an enchanting concert of choral music is performed for you in St. John’s Church. Onboard enjoy a screening of the fascinating documentary about the construction of the Moscow Canal.
MS Volga Dream (Deluxe Stateroom Promenade Deck) | Meals: BLD

Day 5: Yaroslavl.

Today you stop at Yaroslavl. Founded in 1010, it is one of central Russia’s oldest cities and site of the Volga’s first port. Visit the Spassky Monastery which houses the Transfiguration of the Saviour then marvel at the impressive collection of mosaics at the Church of Elijah the Prophet. Take part in a costumed reception at the governor’s house, before re-boarding your riverboat in time for lunch. This afternoon experience a Russian tea ceremony and take part in a cooking class.
MS Volga Dream (Deluxe Stateroom Promenade Deck) | Meals: BLD

Day 6: Goritsy.

Pause in the tiny settlement of Goritsy to visit the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, founded in 1397, which is now home to one of the world’s finest collections of Russian icons. After a guided tour, continue cruising toward majestic Lake Onega. A special Russian dinner is organized tonight with vodka tasting.
MS Volga Dream (Deluxe Stateroom Promenade Deck) | Meals: BLD

Day 7: Kizhi.

Approaching the Arctic Circle, stop on the north shore of Lake Onega at Kizhi with its quant collection of ancient wooden houses and windmills, including the famous and remarkable Transfiguration church, built in 1714 without a single nail being used.  A piano recital is scheduled later today with performances of pieces by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov.
MS Volga Dream (Deluxe Stateroom Promenade Deck) | Meals: BLD

Day 8: Svir River and Svirstroy.

Today the ship cruises the Svir River which is part of the Volga–Baltic Waterway connecting the Volga and Neva rivers. In Svirstroy, you are invited into a local home for tea and “pirozhkie” (Russian pastries). Hear about local traditions and the way of life in Svirstroy village. Admire local homes and kitchen gardens and then tour the town to see the WWII monument and visit a local primary school. Celebrate your final night on board with a barbecue on-deck.
MS Volga Dream (Deluxe Stateroom Promenade Deck) | Meals: BLD

Day 9: St Petersburg – Peterhof – St. Petersburg.

Arrival in style in St. Petersburg and disembark the ship. Farewell new friends and set out to explore Petrodvorets (Peterhof), the summer palace of Peter the Great. Inspired by Versailles, the lavish décor of the buildings is rivalled only by its famous Grand Cascade of fountains and gilded figures. You also visit the Peter and Paul Fortress whose cathedral contains the tombs of the Romanov dynasty.
Belmond Grand Hotel Europe (Deluxe Arts Square View Room) | Meals: B

Day 10: St. Petersburg.

Prepare to be amazed this morning when you set foot in the Hermitage Museum, one of the world’s most famous. Originally commissioned by Catherine the Great as a winter palace, the museum now houses over two million exhibits and is the largest collection of paintings in the world. Your guide will navigate you through the highlights including the Ambassador’s Staircase, the Throne Room and the Ballroom. 

Another treat in store this afternoon when you visit the newly opened Fabergé Museum and see the stunning collection of eggs and glittering objets d’art created by Peter Carl Fabergé and his contemporaries. The collection is rated as one of the world's most valuable and includes items bought from the Forbes family for $100 million in 2004. One of the most famous pieces on display here is the Imperial Coronation Egg, made in 1897.
Belmond Grand Hotel Europe (Deluxe Arts Square View Room) | Meals: B

Day 11: St. Petersburg – Pushkin – St. Petersburg.

Head out of the city today to Tsarskoe Selo (‘the Tsar’s village’), more commonly known as Pushkin. You’ll be dazzled by the beautiful Catherine Palace, a splendid example of the Russian Baroque. The sumptuous décor of the Great Hall and the world-famous Amber Room will take your breath away. Surrounding the palace is some 300 hectares of parkland with formal gardens and an assortment of grand pavilions, bridges and marble monuments. 

Afterwards, return to St. Petersburg and visit the opulent Church on Spilled Blood, a superb example of Russian architecture and decorative art from the end of the 19th century. The church was built on the spot where Alexander II was fatally wounded in 1881. Marvel at its spectacular interior and

exterior, both richly adorned with stunning mosaics, precious stones, enamel and coloured tiles – true to the style of the Muscovite Tsars of the 17th century. The icon-cases and canopy are not to be missed as they are rare examples of jewellery work and masonry. with its interior filled with marble and precious stones.
Belmond Grand Hotel Europe (Deluxe Arts Square View Room) | Meals: B

Day 12: Depart St. Petersburg.

Transfer to the airport where your journey ends.
Meals: B

Show Full Itinerary
Accommodation/Partners

Accommodation/Partners

Ararat Park Hyatt, Moscow

Waterways of the Czars

Imposing on the outside and lavish on the inside, the Ararat Park Hyatt is a timeless, world-class hotel located in the very heart of Mo ... Read more

MS Volga Dream

Waterways of the Czars

This elegant vessel combines classic decor with subtle Russian influences and accommodates just 100 passengers. She is the only family ow ... Read more

Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg

Waterways of the Czars

Belmond Grand Hotel Europe dates back to the 1875 and has played a central role in the life of St Petersburg for over 140 years. A truly ... Read more

Journey Dates & Prices

As this Private Journey can be personalised to your specific requirements, it is not available for online booking.

Depending on your preferred dates and arrangements, final pricing will vary from low season to peak season travel.

Please call A&K on 1300 851 800 or send us a booking enquiry to book this journey

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