Russia’s Royal Riverways
|Resort:||Russia’s Royal Riverways|
For centuries, the rivers, canals and lakes of northwest Russia provided the tsars with a serene and luxurious means of travel between the imperial powerhouses of Moscow and St Petersburg. It is still the most relaxing way to experience two of the worlds greatest cities – Moscow, with imposing icons and colourful cathedrals, and St Petersburg, with palaces and museums brimming with priceless treasures. This superb value cruise includes extended stays in both, and a glimpse into Russias rural life.
9 excursions and visits
Day 1 UK – Moscow
Titans VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Moscow. On arrival, we transfer to MS Rublev (2-star), with time to settle in before dinner on board.
Day 2 Moscow
Moscow, the capital of Russia, was founded in 1147 by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky as a fortress on the banks of the Moskva River. During its 850-year history, it has witnessed times of glory and darkness, growing into the centre of Russian political, cultural and economic life. An orientation tour includes the famous historical centre of Moscow, Red Square; see the fairytale St Basils Cathedral in its colourful Byzantine splendour; and shop in GUM, the largest department store in Moscow. We will also take a tour to the Kremlin, the oldest, most characteristic part of the Russian capital, and the symbol of Russian and Soviet power. Free time allows for further exploration. A visit to the Armoury Museum is included. Located inside the Kremlin, it was built in 1851 as a factory for making weapons and armour and today it houses a museum in which an enormous collection of Soviet national treasures are displayed, including the famous Fabergé Eggs, as well as spectacular jewels. Or perhaps visit the stations of Moscows Metro, that have often been called the peoples palaces, for their incredible, elegant designs and lavish use of natural stone materials, mosaics and chandeliers. In the evening of day 3 we set sail.
Day 3 Uglich
The approach to Uglich is one of the most memorable sights of your cruise along the Volga. From the river, the view of the town with the Cathedral of the Resurrection and St Johns Church looms on the horizon. Despite Uglichs incredible beauty, it has had a disturbing history including the murder of Ivan the Terribles son, Tsarevich Dmitry, in 1591. On our walking tour, we will explore the Church of St Dmitry on the Blood, built on the spot where his body was found.
Day 4 Yaroslavl
After sailing Lake Rybinsk, we arrive in Yaroslavl known as the Russian Florence, founded nearly half a century before Moscow in 1010. On our city tour, we visit the Church of Elijah the Prophet, an incredible structure filled with 17th century frescoes, and the 12th century Transfiguration Monastery, with murals depicting St Johns apocalyptic visions.
Day 5 Goritsy
An afternoon arrival in Goritsy, a peaceful farming community, where your cruise stops for a few hours. Whilst here, we will visit the vast Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, built in 1397 on the banks of the Sheksna River and once the largest monastery in Northern Russia.
Day 6 Kizhi Island
The Kizhi Open Air Museum of Architecture is located on ancient land, where heathen rites were held. Here, we explore 18th century wooden churches, built without a single nail, and a wooden octagonal clock tower. This afternoon, we cruise Lake Onega, the second largest lake in Europe and one of the worlds purest.
Day 7 Mandrogi
Today, we visit Mandrogi, a reconstructed village, built on the shore of the Svir River to illustrate the traditions and lifestyle of Russias past. Inside the wooden houses are many craftsmen working to make matrushkas, lace, ceramics, and other souvenirs.
Day 8 St Petersburg
St Petersburg is a city of haunting magnificence; an imperial capital that seems to have been built as a monument to its own passing. The city has witnessed so many dramatic events that one may find it hard to believe that St Petersburg is a mere 300 years old. Founded in 1703 to be the most European city of Russia, it remains Russias Window to the West – just as Peter the Great envisioned it to be. Whilst here, we will visit the extraordinary Hermitage Museum, one of the largest and most respected art museums in the world, containing works by Da Vinci, Rembrandt and Michelangelo. There will also be an orientation tour of the famous sites, including Palace Square. The opportunity to visit Peterhof Gardens, built by Peter the Great to impress European royalty, will also be available. Here, over 175 fountains dominate the gardens, including the Great Cascade, in front of the palace that commemorates the Russian victory over the Swedes in 1709.