Hidden Gems of Russia

Resort: MS Mstislav Rostropovich
Operator: Saga
Destination: Europe
Price From: £2149.00

Overview

Explore historic Moscow and impressive St Petersburg. Discover a wealth of historic treasures from the picturesque wooden buildings of Kizhi Island to the splendours of the Hermitage collections on this river cruise which concludes with a two-night hotel stay in stately St Petersburg.

Itinerary

Day 1 UK to Moscow

Fly to Moscow and transfer to the port to embark your ship, the 4-anchor MS Mstislav Rostropovich, named after one of the great cellists of the 20th century.

The cabins on board are spacious and most come with balconies while there are two elegant restaurants on board, plus a gym, solarium, hair salon and a lift serving all four decks.

Moscow

Day 2 Moscow

Look forward to seeing some of the great landmarks of Russias cultured capital city today.

Hop aboard a bus to see Leningradskaya Street and pass by the KGB headquarters. Head to Red Square, home to many of the key attractions, such as the colourful St Basils Cathedral, Lenins Mausoleum and the Kremlin complex with its gold-domed churches and iconic bell tower. See the Palace of Congresses, Senate square, the Arsenal, the Tsar bell and cannon, among other attractions, and admire a vast collection of impressive Russian art, including ornate Faberg eggs and delicate tapestries before some free time in Red Square.

Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before returning to your ship and setting sail for Uglich.

Enjoy a welcome cocktail party and live music on board as you sail overnight.

Moscow, Russia

Day 3 Uglich

An included tour reveals the highlights of Uglich, including its own Kremlin and the Church of St Dmitry on the Blood a temple with red walls and blue domes built on the site of the death of Ivan the Terribles heir in the 16th century.

This evening you can immerse yourself further into the culture of the country with a themed Russian dinner and a folk music concert onboard.

Uglich

Day 4 Goritsy

As you sail on towards Goritsy this morning you can enjoy a relaxed brunch on board and perhaps take the opportunity to brush up on your skills by saying Da to a Russian language lesson.

Disembark in this small village in the north west of the country and board a coach for an included excursion to the Resurrection Convent, standing on the shores of a lake. The 14th-century monastery of St Cyril on the White Lake was one of the major Orthodox strongholds of Old Russia. See majestic churches enclosed within fortress walls and view ornate frescoes and ancient icons, among the oldest in Russia, at the monastery museum. This afternoons entertainment onboard includes a tea ceremony with a lesson in traditional Russian songs and dance.

Kirillo Belozersky monastery, Goritsy

Day 5 Kizhi Island

Onboard this morning you can enjoy a programme of varied entertainment including yoga, exercise, a lecture on Russian fairy tales, the screening of a Russian history documentary and a visit to the captains bridge.

This afternoons included excursion takes you to an island in the middle of Lake Onega.

Kizhi is home to an open-air museum of wooden architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A stroll around the island will reveal old wooden churches, chapels, bell towers, peasant houses, farm buildings and windmills which were built in the traditional northern Russian style. The highlight is sure to be the Transfiguration Cathedral, dating from 1714, which features 22 domes and is linked to the neighbouring Church of Intercession, built 60 years later, by a bell tower. The more modest Chapel of the Resurrection of Lazarus dates from 1391 and it is the oldest standing wooden church in Russia.

Kizhi Island, Onega Lake, Russia

Day 6 Mandrogi

Mandrogi is a reconstructed traditional Russian village built on the bank of the Svir River.

Experience provincial Russian life as you wander among charming old wooden houses and cobblestone walkways. Perhaps watch artisans and craftsmen creating mastryoshkas Russian dolls, of course! and perhaps buy some souvenirs in the workshop or sample the countrys favourite beverage in the Vodka Museum, which boasts 250 varieties of the national drink.

Enjoy a picnic lunch ashore.

Set sail for St Petersburg later this afternoon. If you have a hidden talent then why not showcase it at the guest and crew Talent Show, which will take place after your captains cocktail party and farewell dinner this evening.

Mandrogi

Day 7 St Petersburg

Founded by Tsar Peter the Great in 1703 as Russias Window on the West, this city was built as a showpiece, with impressive neo-Classical buildings and spacious avenues.

An included panoramic tour takes in the citys beautiful monuments and architecture, including Summer and Winter Palaces, the impressive Admiralty Building, the Victory Column and St Isaacs Cathedral. After an included lunch in the city enjoy a visit to the celebrated Hermitage State Museum. The museum is one of the greatest art galleries in the world and is set in a magnificent palace that contains enough treasures to keep you fascinated for days! Here is a cross section of the history of Western European art, ranging from Florentine and Venetian Renaissance art to Impressionism and post-Impressionism. In addition, theres an extensive collection of prehistoric, Egyptian and Oriental art plus temporary exhibitions. The museum covers a large area and the visit includes a considerable amount of walking, a few flights of stairs and standing for quite long periods.

Your ship remains moored in St Petersburg tonight and you might have the opportunity to visit the ballet (schedules permitting, bookable onboard only).

St Petersburg

Day 8 St Petersburg

Disembark your ship after breakfast and transfer to a locally rated 4-star hotel in the city for a two-night stay with breakfasts included and dinner on your first night. This afternoon is at leisure for you to explore further.

St Petersburg

Day 9 St Petersburg

Enjoy another day at leisure in the stately city, perhaps revisiting one of the highlights you may have seen on your included excursion.

St Isaacs Cathedral in St Petersburg

Day 10 St Petersburg to UK

Check out after breakfast and travel to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

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