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Visions of Russia by Small Ship

14 days with Alexander+Roberts  Rating: Deluxe

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River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Welcome to Moscow
You’ll be warmly greeted at the airport and chauffeured to the St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya, our luxury hotel in the heart of the city. Settle in to your spacious Deluxe Room and take the rest of this afternoon to relax or explore at your own pace. This evening, gather with your fellow travelers and our engaging Russian Trip Leader for a welcome dinner with wine. (D)
 
Day 2 Discover Moscow
A full day of sightseeing begins this morning in Red Square. This vast cobblestone plaza is one of the grandest public spaces in the world – flanked by historic landmarks like the GUM Department Store with its ornate façade and the imposing red-brick Historical Museum. Enjoy a guided tour of St. Basil’s Cathedral, easily recognized by its brilliantly colored domes. Then admire the opulent Moscow Baroque style of Novodevichy Convent c and ascend the Sparrow Hills for panoramic views over the city. Then join residents aboard the Metro, exploring the grandeur of its most impressive stations – filled with chandeliers, art and architectural details. After lunch, you’ll tour the Tretyakov Gallery, regarded for its superb collection of Russian art. End your day with a private choral concert at the lovely St. Nicholas Church. (B+L)
 
Day 3 From the Kremlin + The Amory Museum to the Cold War
This morning, we’ll take you inside the imposing fortress walls of the Kremlin c for a fascinating tour - enlivened by colorful recounting of Russia’s rich history. Among the beautiful Orthodox churches you’ll see on the Kremlin grounds is the 15th-century Assumption Cathedral, built during the reign of Grand Prince Ivan II. Your visit also includes the Armory Museum, famed for its priceless collection of Tsarist treasures - from Catherine the Great’s coronation gown and Ivan the Terrible’s carved ivory throne to lavishly gilded Imperial carriages. We’ll even take you inside the Diamond Fund to see its glittering collection of Russian state jewels.
 
After lunch, experience a bit of Cold War history when we take you 200 feet under the streets of Moscow to explore a formerly top-secret Soviet installation. In the event of a nuclear war, this sprawling 75,000-square-foot facility would have served as the command post for military and government operations. (B+L)
 
Day 4 Morning at Leisure + Embarkation
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and a free morning. Red Square and some of the city’s liveliest streets and most popular shopping areas are just a 5-minute walk away, making it easy to explore and shop at your own pace. Later this afternoon, we’ll take you to the cruise port to embark your Volga River cruise. Accompanied by our attentive Trip Leader for the entire voyage, your experiences onboard and ashore will be particularly rewarding and carefree. Settle in to your outside stateroom aboard the Volga Dream and then gather with your fellow passengers for the Captain’s Welcome Reception. An elegant dinner in the dining room is accompanied by complimentary house wines, beer and soft drinks. (B+D)
 
Day 5 Ashore in Uglich
Delight in the pastoral landscapes of the Russian countryside as we journey north along the Volga River. In the afternoon, you’ll step off to explore Uglich, one of the historic towns that comprise the Golden Ring. Founded by merchants nearly 1,000 years ago, Uglich is home to some of Russia’s most beautiful churches and cathedrals. A highlight of your walking tour will be the magnificent five-domed Church of Dmitri on the Blood, built within the Uglich Kremlin on the site where Ivan the Terrible’s young son was assassinated in 1591. Before returning to ship, you’ll enjoy a choral concert in the Church of St. John the Baptist, where fine acoustics and lovely 18th-century frescoes enhance this special experience.
 
Highlighting your shipboard experience today will be a traditional Russian Tea Service and a culinary class where you’ll learn to make traditional Russian favorites. (B+L+D)
 
Day 6 Ancient Yaroslavl
Founded in 1010 by Prince Yaroslav the Wise, this Golden Ring town is one of Russia’s oldest cities and rich with important landmarks. Delve into the rich history of Yaroslavl c as you visit these sites including the Transfiguration Monastery, austere yet elegant in style, and the Church of Elijah the Prophet, renowned for its graceful proportions and magnificent interior mosaics. A reception at the Yaroslavl Art Museum, set in the handsome 19th-century Governor’s House, highlights our time ashore. Back onboard, an al fresco dinner on the Sun Deck is accompanied by free-flowing house wine and enchanting views of the passing scenery. (B+L+D)
 
Day 7 Across White Lake to Goritsy
The tranquil waters of White Lake were once the exclusive fishing grounds of Russian Tsars. Here in the pastoral countryside that surrounds these storied lake shores, A+R guests will enjoy a special guided excursion to the Ferapontov Monastery c. Founded in 1398 as a single small monastery, it grew into a remarkable ensemble - now regarded as the most complete example of a medieval Russian Orthodox monastic complex. There are six surviving buildings and inside the Cathedral of the Nativity, erected in 1490, you’ll behold the magnificent frescoes of Dionisy the Wise; these are the only paintings of this great Russian master which have been entirely preserved to this day in their original form. Back onboard, your voyage continues toward the majestic Lake Onega. (B+L+D)
 
Day 8 The Open Air Museum of Architecture
Fed by 58 rivers and home to more than 1,000 islands, Lake Onega is Europe’s second largest lake – surrounded by the forested wilderness of Karelia, a region that covers much of northwest Russia all the way to the Arctic Circle. Here in this vast tranquil lake, you’ll go ashore on Kizhi Island c to explore its Open Air Museum. Bearing witness to the highly-developed skills of Russian carpenters over the centuries, you’ll discover a fine ensemble of wooden buildings. Chief among these is the 300-year-old Church of the Transfiguration, an onion-domed fantasy hand-built with chisels and axes – and not a single nail. Built in 1764 with towering walls and 22 domes, the wooden Church of the Intercession is equally impressive! Back onboard, delight in a piano concert featuring the music of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. (B+L+D)
 
Day 9 Svirstroy
Just a hundred miles from St. Petersburg, the small riverside village of Svirstroy is home to just 1,000 residents. Stepping ashore here today, we’ve arranged for you to spend time with its residents – visiting their homes, sitting down to tea with fresh-baked pastries, and learning about their daily lives and traditions. Meeting local school children and visiting a World War II monument complete this enriching day of cultural and historical immersion.  Back onboard, the Volga Dream will chart a course along the Neva River toward St. Petersburg. (B+L+D)
 
Day 10 We Arrive in St. Petersburg
After a final breakfast onboard, step off with our A+R Trip Leader for an in-depth introductory tour of St. Petersburg c. Begin at St. Isaac’s Cathedral where you’ll be awed by its massive granite columns, monumental gold dome and opulent interior. Then tour the Peter and Paul Fortress, commissioned by Peter the Great in 1703 to defend his new city. At the Yusupov Palace, you’ll hear about one of Russia’s most notorious historic events – the murder of Gregory Rasputin that took place here on December 16, 1916. Then continue along the Nevsky Prospekt, the city’s most elegant boulevard, and check in to the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe where Deluxe Rooms have been reserved for A+R guests. (B)
 
Day 11 Hermitage + Canal Cruise
With our privileged early-opening access, you’ll enter the lavish halls of the Winter Palace before other visitors for an expertly-guided tour of the Hermitage’s greatest masterpieces. See works by Titian, da Vinci and Rembrandt, and admire the museum’s exceptional collection of Impressionist art on display in the beautifully restored General Staff Building. By special advance arrangement, you’ll also visit the Gold Room, a gallery filled with treasures and antiquities including a priceless collection of Scythian gold. After lunch, step aboard our privately chartered sightseeing boat for a guided canal cruise – a fun and enriching way to see and learn more about the city’s grand architecture. This evening, our in-the-know Trip Leader can offer personalized dining recommendations and assistance with transportation and reservations. (B+L)
 
Day 12 The Catherine Palace
This morning, you’ll travel to Tsarskoye Selo for a guided tour through the resplendent Catherine Palace where Empress Catherine the Great lived and died. Designed by the celebrated Italian architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli, who also designed the Winter Palace, this Baroque gem was nearly destroyed during World War II. Bu it has since been meticulously restored to its original grandeur and today its spectacular interior spaces - like the Grand Ballroom and fabled Amber Room - offer a wondrous look into the opulent life of the Russian Imperial family. We’ve also made special arrangements for you to visit the amber studio where skilled artisans turn this 40-million-year-old stone into stunning works of art. For lunch, you’ll enjoy the fine Russian cuisine of Admiralteystvo (The Admiralty), a charming cozy restaurant in a park near the Catherine Palace. Back in St. Petersburg, the evening is free to dine and enjoy as you wish. Our Trip Leader can assist if you wish to attend a cultural performance. (B+L)
 
Day 13 The Peterhof
Our special early-opening entry at The Peterhof promises an enthralling uncrowded tour of Peter the Great’s summer retreat. Built in 1710 along the Gulf of Finland, this magnificent estate includes several palaces, lavishly landscaped grounds and gilded statuary. The Grand Palace itself is surrounded by beautiful formal gardens that overlook the Grand Cascades, a dazzling cascade of fountains and statuary.
 
Back in the city, you’ll tour the acclaimed Fabergé Museum. Here in the Shuvalov Palace, you’ll be captivated by the celebrated collection of Russian entrepreneur Viktor Vekselberg. This is the world’s largest collection of works by the master Russian jeweler and craftsmen and includes the priceless Imperial Easter eggs that Fabergé created for the Russian Imperial family between 1885 and 1916. Tonight, raise a toast to your fellow travelers as you enjoy the fine-dining Russian cuisine of the elegant Tsar Restaurant. (B+D)
 
Day 14 Depart St. Petersburg
You’ll be escorted to the airport today for your onward journey. Or, we can take you to the rail station to board the high-speed Allegro Train to Helsinki where we include transfers, deluxe hotel accommodations and privately guided sightseeing. (B)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • You’ll love the attentive, personalized touch of traveling with our engaging Russian Trip Leader who is with you from start to finish.
  • Special A+R experiences include a concert in Moscow and exclusive early entries for uncrowded tours of the Hermitage and Peterhof.
  • Our in-depth exploration of Moscow includes the Armory and Diamond Fund within the Kremlin and an underground Cold War bunker.
  • With local insight and knowledge, our Trip Leader is there to enhance your cruise shore excursions, including Russia’s ancient Golden Ring towns.
  • Our 5-day St. Petersburg sojourn reveals more Tsarist treasures – from the Catherine Palace and The Peterhof to the priceless artifacts of the Hermitage’s Gold Room.
  • Visit 7 UNESCO World Heritage sites.
All This Included
Enjoy a spectacular voyage through the Russian heartland! Explore exciting Moscow and then cruise north to visit the enchanting Golden Ring towns of Uglich and Yaroslavl. Continue along the Volga-Baltic Waterways to St. Petersburg, the enchanting city founded more than 300 years ago by Peter the Great.
 
  • Fully escorted on land and river by our experienced Russian Trip Leader
  • Comprehensive sightseeing and all shore excursions including entry fees
  • 30 meals: 13 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 8 dinners with wine at lunch and dinner
  • 7 nights in our luxury city-center hotels
  • 6 nights in an outside stateroom aboard the Volga Dream
  • All on-tour transportation and transfers
  • All luggage handling, hotel taxes, port charges and fees
  • All gratuities are included, except for your Trip Leader
Accommodations on this Tour
Moscow: St. Regis Nikolskaya
Cruising: Cabin onboard MS Volga Dream
St. Petersburg: Belmond Grand Hotel
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* 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.



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