DAY 1, Friday - Depart for Russia Depart for St. Petersburg, Russia.
DAY 2, Saturday - Arrive in St. Petersburg Arrive in astonishingly beautiful St. Petersburg, nestled on the Neva River. After arrival formalities, time to rest, relax and enjoy your new surroundings. Tonight’s dinner welcomes you to Russia and your cruise on the legendary Volga River. (Dinner)
DAY 3, Sunday - Hermitage Museum & St. Petersburg City Tour This morning visit the world-famous Hermitage Museum, housing the largest collection of priceless masterpieces by Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Rembrandt and many others. This afternoon, your tour of enchanting St. Petersburg begins on the stunning Nevsky Prospekt, the main avenue of the city, planned by Peter the Great. Continue to view the Palace Square, Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Isaac's Cathedral with its huge golden dome and the magnificent Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, a superb example of Russian architecture. Tonight, after dinner, attend an optional performance of a traditional Russian ballet or opt to take a scenic cruise along St. Petersburg's legendary canals. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional:Ballet Performance*. Optional:Rivers & Canals of St. Petersburg*
DAY 4, Monday - Full Day in St. Petersburg Today is free to explore all of the delights of this magical city on your own. Or, join the optional excursion to Pushkin Palace and Peterhof Park*. Travel to nearby Pushkin to visit the lavish 18th century Catherine's Palace, the summer residence of the Russian Tsars, named for Catherine, widow of Peter the Great. Explore the luxurious palace, an architectural masterpiece, and the surrounding gardens. Visit the reconstructed Amber Room, with its walls covered with dazzling panels of amber, gold leaf, and mirrors. Then, continue to Peterhof Palace with its gorgeous landscaped gardens and fountains overlooking the Gulf of Finland. This configuration of palaces and gardens was masterminded by Peter the Great, and is often called the "Russian Versailles." Return to the ship in the late afternoon and set sail from St. Petersburg. This evening, enjoy dinner onboard and get to know your fellow traveling companions. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
*Advance purchase is highly recommended for this tour. Tickets are limited and may not be available for purchase locally.
Optional:Pushkin Palace & Peterhof Park
DAY 5, Tuesday - Village of Mandrogi Sail to Mandrogi, part of the Valaam Archipelago, a reconstructed 18th century traditional Russian village set amongst a picturesque landscape. Walk through the town with its traditional Russian houses (izba) and browse the shops for handmade Russian crafts, paintings or traditional clothes. Stop at the popular Museum of Russian Vodka, with a collection of over 2500 varieties of vodka from across Russia. Explore the craft workshops where painting, wood carving, weaving lacework and pottery are demonstrated, and then cap off the afternoon with a traditional "shashlik" lunch, served in an open-air pavillion on the shore (weather permitting). In the late afternoon, sail for the island of Kizhi. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 6, Wednesday - Kizhi Church of Transfiguration This morning arrive at the island of Kizhi.* Here, you will stand in awe at the Church of Transfiguration, one of the most impressive wooden structures ever erected. This fairy tale architectural landmark is largely responsible for creating one of the most frequented tourist attractions in Russia. The church features 22 cupolas of striking intricacy, built without using a single nail. Wander through the open-air wooden Architecture Museum with its collection of wooden houses, windmills, and churches representing ancient Russian architecture. This entire area has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Return to the ship in time for lunch. This afternoon, attend a Russian tea ceremony on board, or a Russian song class as the ship sails towards Goritsy. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
*The operation of the Kizhi Church of Transfiguration is dependent on weather and sea conditions. If canceled, the visit to Kizhi will be replaced with alternate sightseeing.
DAY 7, Thursday - Monastery of St. Cyril, Goritsy Morning is at leisure on board. Afternoon arrival in Goritsy, an old Russian town with a rich historical and cultural heritage. Stroll the grounds of the 14th century Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, also known as the Monastery of St. Cyril of the White Lake, one of the largest and best preserved medieval Abbeys in Russia. The wooden churches and walls built at the original location were replaced over succeeding centuries by impressive stone and masonry structures. The monastery's fortifying walls, which measure 2400-feet-long and 22 feet thick, are truly a very impressive sight. In the late afternoon, reboard your ship and join a festive Russian vodka tasting while sailing for Yaroslavl. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 8, Friday - Yaroslavl City Tour Arrive this afternoon in the quaint Golden Ring city of Yaroslavl. This beautiful city, one of Russia’s oldest, traces its roots back to the days of the Vikings. Stop at the fortified Transfiguration of the Savior Monastery and its Cathedral, the oldest building in Yaroslavl, dating back 800 years. Continue to the Yaroslavl Museum of Russian Art housed in the 18th-century Governor’s mansion, with its impressive collection of Russian paintings spread out across many palatial rooms. View the exquisite Church of Elijah the Prophet with its detailed frescoes and icons, a real masterpiece of ancient Russian art and the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonder-worker. Time to browse the local markets for handicrafts and treasures before returning to the ship for dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 9, Saturday - Walking Tour of Uglich Arrive in historic Uglich on the banks of the Volga River. Uglich played an important role in Russian history when Prince Dmitry used it as a hiding place from the bloody reign of his father Ivan the Terrible. His death made the town famous and led to an increasingly turbulent period in Russia’s history. This morning's walking tour will visit the Church of St. Dimitry-on-Blood built in honor of the Prince on the exact spot where he was killed by his father’s forces, and the Transfiguration Cathedral marvelously decorated with painted icons and frescoes. The ship will set sail for Moscow at noon. This evening join the Captain's dinner on board and a delightful talent show. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 10, Sunday - Moscow City Tour This morning relax on board as you prepare for an exciting afternoon in Moscow, the fabled capital of Russia. After lunch on board, begin your panoramic city tour at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and the former headquarters of the KGB. Explore storied Red Square with St. Basil's cathedral and the famous red brick walls of the Kremlin before returning to the ship for dinner on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 11, Monday - Kremlin Grounds Tour Visit the Kremlin, one of the best-known monuments in Russia - and in the world. The guided walking tour takes you inside the former residence of the Russian Czars. See the famous Czar Cannon, the 16th century Czar Bell, and Cathedral Square, home to three of Moscow's most elaborate cathedrals: the Cathedral of Assumption, the Cathedral of Annunciation, and the Cathedral of the Archangel. This afternoon return to the ship to rest, explore Moscow on your own, or take the optional Kremlin Armory. Here, you will find the largest collection of the world-famous Fabergé eggs. Marvel at Grand Siberian Railway egg, with its gold train, platinum locomotive and ruby headlamp, crafted to commemorate the Moscow–Vladivostok line. View Russian arms and armor, the state regalia, thrones, carriages, and ornate coronation dressers. Tonight, bid a fond farewell to your newfound friends on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional:Armory Museum . Optional:Moscow Novodevichy Convent*
DAY 12, Tuesday - Depart Russia Morning disembarkation in Moscow. The airport is approximately a two hour drive from the port.Transfer to the airport for your departure flight. (Breakfast)
River Cruise Highlights
Tour of enchanting St. Petersburg with its beautiful Russian architecture
Visit the world-famous Hermitage Museum, housing the largest collection of priceless masterpieces
Sail to Mandrogi, a reconstructed 18th century traditional Russian village
Stand in awe at the fairy tale Church of Transfiguration in Kizhi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Walk the lanes of the quaint "Golden Ring" city of Yaroslavl, dating back to the Viking era
Guided walking tour of the Kremlin, a fortified complex at the heart of Moscow
Choice of a glass of wine, beer or soft drink with dinner
†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates
All This Included
10 nights Superior Tourist Class river cruise on MS Nizhny Novgorod
29 meals: 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 10 dinners
English speaking cruise director throughout
Shore excursions per itinerary
Entrance fees per itinerary
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard MS Nizhny Novgorod
Cruise only price does not include arrival/departure transfers. After reserving your trip, an email will be sent to explain the process to apply for a Russian visa. Name(s) and passport numbers on your reservation must be an EXACT match to your passport to avoid delays and significant fees for last minute visa services. Visa processing can take up to 6 weeks during which time your passport will be unavailable for other international trips.. Passengers returning from Moscow on Day 12 should select flights that depart no earlier than 8:00 am. MS Nizhny Novgorod cannot accommodate triples unless booking a suite. As Russian river cruise and tourism industries are relatively young, you will certainly find the physical conditions there are lesser when compared to those of Western Europe. Ships are recently renovated 20-30 year-old vessels. You will find that cleanliness and onboard services are up-to-date. While sailing with LLC Vodohod d/b/a Vodohod Russian River Cruises, passengers are subject to the cruise line’s Terms & Conditions.
Know Before You Book - Weather Conditions on the Russian Waterways Please be aware of potential conditions which may impact your cruise. While most of the time this Russian river cruise operates exactly as planned, weather conditions such as heavy fog or ice may affect the ship's itinerary. These events typically occur with little or no notice. In the event that a cruise is impacted, the itinerary will include as many of the originally scheduled sightseeing features as possible, considering the travel time and distances required.
This program offers an authentic Russian experience. Travelers should be prepared for the differences between the simple 3+ -star MS Nizhny Novgorod and the standard level of service experienced on western-style Danube river ships. The ship is an older vessel with renovated furnishings. The staff are a friendly Russian speaking crew, but you will have the assistance of your local tour manager throughout. The menu reflects basic Russian cuisine and portion size is moderate. Sailing time between ports can be long, so there will be ample time to relax on board or participate in a limited entertainment program. While in port, this is a moderately active trip that covers a fair amount of ground each day. Expect from three to four hours walking during included sightseeing and some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. Shore excursions are available to purchase locally on board the cruise.
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.