Moscow - Rostov-on-Don (15 Days and 14 Nights)
This Volga river cruise will take you from Moscow, the capital of Russia, all the way to Rostov-on Don, “The Port of Five Seas”. You will have a unique chance to sail though the docks of Volga-Don Canal, an amazing man-made waterway from Soviet times. You will sail through the Volga River, the longest river in European Russia, often called Mother Volga. On this most comprehensive of Russian cruises, you will see many of Russia's different regions and get a feeling for South-Eastern Russia with its link to Asia and the Orient and European, Imperial Russia.
One of the highlights of your time in Moscow is a visit to Red Square and the Kremlin. You will also visit one of the Kremlin’s famous cathedrals. The Kremlin as we know it today was rebuilt as a stone structure during the beginning of the 14th century but the actual site had been inhabited and used as a fortified city wall for centuries before this period. The Kremlin is truly a fascinating structure - at the same time it is an ancient tower, the city´s former military fortification, a palace and the workplace of the Russian President. The Kremlin is the center of Russia´s political life and State power and has been home to Tsars, General Secretaries of the Soviet Union and Russian Presidents. Red Square is within the Kremlin´s walls.
Moscow is Russia’s political and financial capital as well as a major world class cultural center. The city includes many must see attractions from the Kremlin and Red Square to the Assumption Cathedral. Moscow is the largest city in Europe. It is unique in that it blends the ancient with the modern. See medieval structures among modern office buildings, walk down crooked old city streets opening up to wide busy boulevards. It is a fantastic city and truly a site that shouldn´t be missed.
Uglich: Founded in 1148 as a small princedom bordering on Muscovy, Uglich is one of the most beloved towns in Old Russia. The view of the town as you approach it from the Volga River is breathtaking with the Cathedral of the Resurrection and St. John´s Church rising up on the horizon. The history of the town is fascinating; At the end of the 16th century, Maria Nagaya, seventh wife of Ivan the Terrible, lived in honorary exile at the Kremlin in Uglich. It was here in her garden that the 10 year old Prince Dmitry of the Rurik Dynasty, heir to the Russian throne was murdered by Boris Godunov who wanted to seize power for himself. On the spot of his death, the Church of St. Demitrius of the Blood was built and still stands today. The death of Prince Dmitri brought on the start of the Time of Troubles, a dynastic and political crises and one of the most tumultuous periods in Russian history which ended 15 years later after the election of a new Tsar Mikhail Romanov (the first Tsar of the Romanov Dynasty). Inside the Kremlin the oldest building in Uglich, the Palace of Tsarevich Dmitry also stands. During your time in Uglich you will learn more about the town’s past and walk along the paths of Russian history.
Optional excursion: Museum of Wooden Architecture
Kostroma is a part of the Golden Ring, a group of ancient Russian towns located at the confluence of the Volga and Kostroma Rivers. It was founded in the 13th century and has played a major role in Russian history. After being destroyed by the Mongols in 1238 it became a small principality under the leadership of Prince Vasily the Drunkard the brother of the Russian hero Alexander Nevsky. In the early 17th century, the young Mikhail Romanov who was living at the time at the Ipatiev Monastery was offered the Russian throne – thus beginning the Romanov Dynasty and ending the Time of Troubles. From that time on, the Romanov’s always had a special connection to the city and played an important role in its development. The city’s most prominent landmarks are the Ipatiev Monastery, the Trinity Cathedral, the local market and a museum of wooden architecture and monuments.
Nizhny Novgorod is one of Russia’s major cities, the dominating feature of the city skyline is the grand Kremlin (1500-1511), with its red-brick towers. After Bolshevik devastation, the only ancient edifice left within the Kremlin walls is the tent-like Archangel Cathedral (1624-31), first built in stone in the 13th century. The city has a fascinating history that you will learn more about during your tour. The city was founded in the 13th century and became one of the Russian Empire’s most important outposts by the 16th century. The city played a pivotal role in ending the Time of Troubles by forming an army that would expel the Poles from Moscow. Much of the city downtown is built in the Russian Revival and Stalin Empire styles. There are more than six hundred unique historic, architectural, and cultural monuments in the city leading the way for UNESCO to include Nizhny Novgorod in the list of 100 cities of the world which are of great historical and cultural value.
Kozmodemyansk is a town in the Mari El Republic of Russia, located on the high upper bank of the Volga River. Founded in 1583 by Ivan the Terrible, Kozmodemyansk was likely preceded by a Mari wooden fortress which controlled the confluence of the Volga and the Vetluga Rivers. Due to its location, it was an important trading centre. The region has always been largely populated by Mari people, a close relative to the Finns. In 1983, Ehnographical Museum was opened here. It contains over sixty houses typical of Mari and Russian culture. The museum numbers over 2,000 examples of local handicrafts and tools.
Cheboksary: In the afternoon you will arrive in Cheboksary and you’ll be taken on a panoramic city tour.
Cheboksary is the capital of the Chuvash Republic, home to the Finno-Ugric Chuvash people. The city possesses excellent cultural opportunities. There is an Opera-Ballet Theatre, a Philharmonic Orchestra, and numerous other theaters (showing productions in both Russian and Chuvash languages). A very popular gathering place for the locals is the recently completed zaliv (bay), beautifully situated in the middle of the city and adorned with the Monument of Mother. People gather there to stroll, visit cafes, and socialize. Cheboksary also has beautiful boardwalks and beaches along the Volga River.
Kazan is the capital city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, and one of Russia´s largest cities. It is a major industrial, commercial and cultural center, and remains the most important center of Tatar culture. Historically Kazan was the capital of the Tatars and was conquered and by force and brought into the Russian Empire in the mid 16th century by Ivan the Terrible. During the siege of Kazan and in the years that followed almost the entire population was massacred. Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka rivers in central European Russia. The famous Kazan Kremlin is a World Heritage Site. City tour, Kremlin, visit to the Mosque
Ulyanovsk: This ancient Russian town was founded in 1648 as a fortress built on top of the Venetz Mountain, 120 meters above the Volga River. Before 1924, it was called Simbirsk and was later named Ulyanovsk in honor of Vladimir Ulyanov (known to the world as Lenin), as his family lived here from 1869 till 1887. The Lenin Museum occupies the house where Lenin was born and it recreates the atmosphere of the family spirit of one of the history’s most famous leaders. Ulyanovsk is also the birth place of world famous “UAZ” cars.
Samara is located on the east bank of the Volga river, which acts as its western boundary. Its northern boundary is formed by the Sokolyi Hills and by the Steppes in the south and east. Legend has it that Alexius, Metroplitan of Moscow and later Patron Saint of Samara visited the site of the city in 1357 and predicted that a great town would be erected there and that the town would never be ravaged. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that during WWII Samara was chosen to be the capital of the Soviet Union if Moscow should fall. Many government ministries and government workers were evacuated to the city at the beginning of the war. The life of Samara´s citizens has always been intrinsically linked to the Volga river, which has not only served as the main commercial thoroughfare of Russia throughout several centuries, but also has great visual appeal. Samara´s river-front is one of the favorite recreation places for local citizens and visitors.
Saratov is a major city in southern Russia with a population of 873,055. The city was initially founded in the 16th century as a fortress to protect the southern districts of the Russian Empire. Situated on the Volga River, Saratov was a major military aircraft manufacturing site, the home of the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, and a vital part of the Soviet space program. It has a rich cultural life, as well - among the most famous sites is the Conservatoire designed in a Neo-Gothic style as well as the Drama Theatre named after Ivan Slonov, one of the oldest theatres in Russia. Of other interest, the community of Volga Germans was centered in the Saratov region. In the early 20th century over 800,000 ethnic Germans made their home in this area preserving many of their German customs.
Optional excursion: Visit to Panorama Museum
Volgograd is an important industrial city with a population of 1.011 millon people. The city was founded as the fortress of Tsaritsyn in 1589 to defend the southern flank of the Russian Empire and played a major role in Russian Civil War and the development of the Soviet Union. However, the city is most famous for its heroic resistance and extensive damage during the Battle of Stalingrad during World War II. The battle is seen by most scholars as the pivotal battle of WWII - the battle in which the tide was turned against Hitler’s fascist invaders. Over 2 million Soviet and fascist troops died in the battle which lasted over 6 months.
The Volga-Don Canal opened in 1952. The canal helped to unite the five seas of Russia’s European territory into one water system. The total length of the canal is 101 km and comprises 13 locks, 3 water reservoirs, 2 hydroelectric complexes, 13 dams as well as other constructions. Every lock of the canal is richly decorated with sculptural compositions dedicated to certain periods of the canal construction and the country’s history.
Rostov-on-Don, often called “The Port of Five Seas,” is the capital of the Rostov Region and the Southern Federal Region of Russia and has a population of over 1 million people. The city was founded in 1749 as a State Customs point. Shortly after, in 1761, Rostov became a port and a fortress named after St. Dimitriy of Rostov. The city grew rapidly due to its favorable geographical location and eventually became an important merchant center. The city was occupied twice during WWII and suffered great damage and a huge loss life. Today, Rostov is one of the largest cities in Russia and plays an important role in the political, economic, cultural and scientific life of Southern Russia
Prices, per person
Rostropovich 5* vessel has more cabin categories than those listed on site. In the price table, you see the least expensive cabin for each deck.
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* Accommodations in all outside cabins, each with private bathroom facilities, individual temperature control and large picture window
* Three meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) per day in the shipґs restaurant with the same menu for all passengers irrespective of cabin category; meal service begins with dinner on day of embarkation and ends with breakfast on day of disembarkation
* Captain’s welcome Cocktail Reception
* Gala farewell Dinner aboard
* Full sightseeing programs in each of the ports of call
* Luggage handling to/from the ship
* Lectures, provided by our guides
* Russian language and song lectures
* Nightly entertainment and dancing
* Daily aerobics
* Tour of the ship’s bridge
* Arrival and departure private transfers
* Visa invitation letters
* Port taxes
* Russian visa invitation - the document necessary for obtaining a Russian visa when applying for one at the local Russian Consulate in your country.
* Full visa support. For US, UK and Canadian citizens, our company offers Full Visa Support. This is where you send us your passport and other documentation and we obtain the Russian visa for you. To learn more about this option, please visit the Full Visa Support page
* International airfare. However, we can offer you extremely inexpensive flights to Russia through our discount airfare booking engine. Please click here to learn more
* Baggage: excess baggage, forwarding of baggage/ souvenirs
* Luggage handling in the airport
* Gratuities: gratuities for Cruise director, ship’s crew members, guides and drivers are not included and are at passenger’s discretion
* Miscellaneous: Items of a personnel nature such as laundry, bar charges, beauty salon, telephone cable charges and medical services are not included
CONDITIONS OF PAYMENT:
25% – at booking (10% is irrevocable deposit)
75% – 65 days prior the sailing date
CONDITIONS OF CANCELLATION:
94-65 days before embarkation – 25% of the tour price
64-35 days before embarkation – 50% of the tour price
34-12 days before embarkation – 75% of the tour price
11 days or less before embarkation- 100% of the tour price
No-show – 100% of the tour price