DAY 1: St. Petersburg (Embark)
Arrive at Pulkovo International Airport. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.
DAY 2: St. Petersburg
With its grand Italian architectures and austere Nordic setting, St. Petersburg is a city of canals, palaces and cathedrals that presents a glorious juxtaposition of East and West. See the sights by land as well as water, then experience an art form that is quintessentially Russian—an evening at the ballet. The brainchild of Peter the Great, St. Petersburg was built on 42 islands on the Neva delta, in what was essentially a swamp. The tsar lavished on it all the might, ambition and money at his disposal, importing the finest architects from Italy, the greatest decorative artists and the most celebrated painters: The result is an extraordinarily beautiful city.
St. Petersburg city tour with canal cruise and Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood visit
Russian theatre ballet performance
DAY 3: St. Petersburg
Spend your day in St. Petersburg at what many experts consider the finest art museum in the world, the legendary Hermitage, a former residence of the tsars that’s now home to a massive and mind-boggling collection of priceless works of art. Your day in St. Petersburg finds you with an appropriately imperial excursion: a guided tour through the world-famous Hermitage Museum. It is the crown jewel of the city and is located in the former home of the tsars, the Winter Palace.
DAY 4: St. Petersburg
Cross the threshold of the summer residence of the tsars—the lavishly decorated Catherine Palace—where you’ll see opulent staterooms and the near mythic Amber Room, meticulously restored to its former glory. Dine on traditional Russian fare at a local restaurant, then spend the rest of the day exploring on your own. On your final day in St. Petersburg, you’ll enjoy a guided tour through splendid Catherine Palace and Park. Once the summer residence of the tsars, it is a masterwork of rococo architecture. Then, spend the rest of your day on your own exploring more of this beautiful city or join a tour to Peterhof Gardens—a treat for anyone interested in landscape design.
Catherine Palace and Park in Pushkin
DAY 5: Cruising Lake Ladoga, Mandrogi, Cruising the Svir River
Travel back in time to the 19th century at a reconstructed Russian village populated by talented artisans who make handmade items using old-world materials and techniques. A reconstructed village on the shore of the Svir River, Mandrogi illustrates the traditions and lifestyles of Russia’s past. Other highlights today include a rustic shashlik picnic lunch onshore and a cruise on a pristine freshwater lake. Your ship cruises along the southern shores of Lake Ladoga, a vast freshwater inland sea that was once connected to the Baltic Sea. Islands dot the water while forested nature preserves and beaches line the shores. Relax and enjoy the scenery.
Mandrogi “Village Day” walking tour with shashlik picnic lunch ashore
DAY 6: Kizhi Island, Cruising Lake Onega
To approach the wooden Church of Transfiguration from the water, with its multitude of shingled onion domes and unmistakable silhouette, can be, well, a transformative experience. Step ashore for an up-close view of this incredible church—built without a single nail—and explore the island’s famous open-air museum and its 89 traditional wooden structures. Kizhi Island, which seemingly floats between sky and water in the midst of Lake Onega, is home to one of Russia’s iconic sights, the all-wood Church of Transfiguration.
Open-air Museum of Wooden Architecture
DAY 7: Goritsy (Kirillov)
Beyond Russia’s major cities lies a completely different world—the fabled land of Mother Russia, celebrated for centuries in art, songs and great works of literature. Explore two rural villages today for an authentic and unforgettable glimpse of everyday life in a Russian provence. Two tiny villages are your destination today. Goritsy, a farming settlement on the Sheksna River, and Kirillov, which may be small but has extraordinary churches linked to the tsars.
Intimate look at daily life in a Russian province
DAY 8: Cruising Lake Rybinsk, Yaroslavl
Relax onboard the ship as you travel across Lake Rybinsk, formed in 1941 between the upper Volga River and its tributaries. At the time of its construction, it was the largest man-made body of water on earth. Arrive in Yaroslavl. Often called the “Russian Florence” and considered one of Russia’s most beautiful cities of the Golden Ring, Yaroslavl stretches for miles along the confluence of the Volga and Kotorosi rivers. Credit for Yaroslavl’s well-designed, UNESCO-protected city center goes to none other than Catherine the Great, who was even more than a mighty Russian ruler—she was a forward-thinking urban planner as well. Visit an Orthodox church and a lively market.
Yaroslavl city tour
DAY 9: Uglich
Heading south on the Volga, you’ll come to one of the loveliest cities of the Golden Ring, as the group of towns that played significant roles in Russian history are known. As you approach the delightful and picturesque town of Uglich in the afternoon, be prepared for a panorama of magnificent architectural monuments.
Uglich walking discovery tour with Church of St. Dmitry on the Blood
DAY 10: Moscow
If Russia is “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma” as Churchill famously said, then Moscow presents an intriguing starting point for cultural discovery. See the city’s most iconic sights (as well as some under-the-radar secrets) with a savvy local expert, both above ground and below. Glamorous, grand, gorgeous and sometimes maddening, Moscow is Russia’s principal city. Founded in 1156, it was the capital of the medieval nation. Moscow lost its status as capital to St. Petersburg under Peter the Great, but it never lost its significance to Russia, and it has reestablished its dominance over the nation’s culture, politics and economy during the past century.
Moscow city tour
Tour of the metro and Arbat Street
DAY 11: Moscow
Adventures await with a whole day in Moscow to explore on your own. Spend the day in Moscow exploring on your own. Return to yesterday’s favorite sites or discover new treasures in this world-class city. You could visit the Pushkin Literary Museum to learn more about Russia’s most famous poet or tour one of the houses in which Leo Tolstoy lived. Perhaps you’d like to take a stroll along Kuznetsky Most, which for centuries has hosted Moscow’s most fashionable shops. Shuttles will run from the ship to the city center for your convenience.
A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
DAY 12: Moscow (Disembark)
You have sampled culinary delights, explored history and experienced the best of life along the Volga River. Now the journey comes to a close and it’s time to disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport for your flight home. Your Uniworld adventure may be over, but we know you’ll enjoy the memories you’ve made for years to come.
Discover the passion and grandeur of Russian history, art and culture
The imperial cities, grand artistic treasures and spectacular architecture of Russia await your arrival. From the glittering metropolises of St. Petersburg and Moscow to the timeless towns along the Golden Ring, you’ll experience Russia in all its glory and splendor.
Explore the dichotomy of Moscow—rich with monuments to both 15th-century tsars and 20th-century communist leaders. Stand in awe of the massive Kremlin complex, oniondomed St. Basil’s Cathedral and the extravagant Moscow metro system. See some of Russia’s vast and beautiful countryside as well as its delightful small towns, where locals still engage in traditional crafts. Cruise along the Golden Ring to some of Russia’s most beautiful cities, including Uglich and Yaroslavl, which are known for their white-stone churches and gorgeous monasteries. Be amazed by Kizhi Island’s UNESCO-designated Transfiguration Church, a wooden structure built entirely without the use of nails. And uncover regal St. Petersburg, which boasts art-laden galleries and museums, fabled canals and elegant architecture from a wide variety of eras.
Who will enjoy this cruise
Adventurous travelers who wish to sail Russia’s great rivers and lakes, seeing world-class cities and timeless towns, UNESCO World Heritage sites, stunning architecture and legendary art as they go.
12-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the lovely River Victoria
All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
12 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 12 dinners
Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
Complimentary red and white house wine, beer and soft drinks will be included at dinner onboard the River Victoria. Onboard lunches include complimentary soft drinks, coffee and tea
Guided shore excursions
Captivating onboard local entertainment
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.