The Hidden Gems of Russia
|Resort:||MS Mstislav Rostropovich|
Explore impressive St Petersburg during a two-night hotel stay then cruise to historic Moscow. Discover a wealth of historic treasures from the picturesque wooden buildings of Kizhi Island to the splendours of the Hermitage collections on this leisurely voyage.
Day 1 UK to St Petersburg
Fly to St Petersburg 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.
Day 2 St Petersburg
Enjoy a day at leisure in this stately city.
Day 3 St Petersburg
Check out after breakfast and after some more time at leisure, transfer to the port where you will embark your ship, the 4-anchorMS 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.
Day 4 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.
Enjoy a welcome cocktail party and live music on board as you sail overnight bound for Mandrogi.
Day 5 Mandrogi
Onboard this morning you can enjoy a programme of varied entertainment including yoga, exercise, a lecture on Russian history and a visit to the captains bridge as you cruise towards Mandrogi, 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 this afternoon. Perhaps watch artisans and craftsmen creating mastryoshkas Russian dolls, of course! and 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 again later this afternoon and this evening you can immerse yourself in the culture of the country with a themed Russian dinner and a folk music concert onboard.
Day 6 Kizhi Island
You can enjoy more onboard entertainment this morning, including a yoga and exercise session, another lecture and a screening of a documentary on Russian history and a visit to the captains bridge.
Todays 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 highlights are 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.
Day 7 Goritsy
As you sail on towards Goritsy this morning you can enjoy a relaxed brunch onboard and perhaps take the opportunity to brush up on your verbal skills with a Russian language lesson or join a lecture on the history of Russian fairy tales.
Disembark in the small village of Goritsy 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 song and dance.
Day 8 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.
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.
Day 9 Moscow
Sail through the morning and this afternoon 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.
Dinner is in a restaurant in the city tonight.
Day 10 Moscow to UK
Disembark your ship after breakfast and travel to the airport for your return flight to the UK.