Astrakhan - Moscow (13 Days 12 Nights)
This Volga River cruise gives you a unique chance to see many of Russia`s different regions and to get a feeling for both the south-eastern Russia with its link to the Asia and the Orient and the European, imperial Russia. You will admire the vibrancy of Moscow, enjoy the quiet atmosphere of ancient Vladimir. You will visit Nizhny Novgorod, the picturesque old center of the Volga region as well as Kazan and Astrakhan which occupy the former territory of the Golden Horde - all stops are full of history and beauty. While cruising you will sail practically the whole length of the Volga River from the edge of the Caspian Sea to Moscow.
Astrakhan: You will be met at the airport by one of our drivers and taken by a comfortable car to the river port where you will board your cruise ship (OPTIONAL).
Your journey begins as soon as you arrive in Astrakhan and board the ship. Sightseeing in this city includes a panoramic city tour and a visit to the Kremlin.
Astrakhan is an old southern Russian city situated on the banks of the Volga River not far from the point where it empties into the Caspian Sea. Older parts of Astrakhan are filled with wonderful examples of Russian architecture, the most notable of which are the Kremlin and the two impressive cathedrals. Before being conquered by Ivan and Terrible and thereby becoming part of the Russian Empire, Astrakhan was the capital of Khazaria and was a stronghold of the Golden Horde. In the 17th century Astrakhan was developed as Russia's Gate to the Orient and became a truly International city with its population composed of many different nationalities including Indian, Persian, Armenian, Russian, Khivian, Turkish and others. Astrakhan is truly a place where East meets West and a unique Russian and Eastern city all at the same time.
Day on board. You will spend this day on board your cruise ship enjoying an entertainment program.
Volgograd: We will begin with a Panoramic city tour and visit the memorial complex on Mamayev Kurgan, a hill that saw some of the most intense fighting during the Stalingrad battle. You will see the famous Russian monument The Motherland Calls and learn about the city's brave defense against the Nazi invaders during the battle of Stalingrad.
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.
Saratov: During a panoramic city tour you will become acquainted with this southern city's most prominent landmarks.
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.
Samara: You'll take a panoramic city tour with a visit to the Art Gallery.
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.
Kazan: You'll take a city tour with a visit to the Kremlin grounds and get a feel for this most eastern of cities full of history, the capital of Tatarstan.
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.
Cheboksary: You'll take 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.
Nizhny Novgorod: During a city tour you will become acquainted with the city's most prominent landmarks and you will also see the Kremlin grounds.
OPTIONAL: Art Museum
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.
Nizhny Novgorod: On this day tou will be taken to the town of Gorodets for a city tour and a visit to Museum of Samovar.
OPTIONAL: Museum of Christmas Tree Decorations
Gorodets was founded in 1152. It was twice destroyed by Golden Hord khans and restored afterwards. In the 18th century Gorodets became the center of the grain trade and wooden crafts and it was famous for bread fairs. The 20th brought many hardships, but Gorodets retained its authenticity and personality, being very popular with tourists today. There are numerous historical and architectural monuments: stone mansions that belonged to rich merchants stand side-by-side with wooden houses decorated with Gorodets carving.
Nizhny Novgorod - Moscow: On this day you will leave the ship and take a bus to Moscow. On the way to Moscow you will make a stop in Vladimir for a city tour and lunch. In the evening you wil arrive in Moscow and check into a 4-star hotel.
IMPORTANT! In 2017 itineraries, Vladimir will be replaced with Suzdal.
Vladimir: There is a dispute about the founding date of the city, either 990 or 1108 but regardless, the city`s most significant events occurred during the 12 century. Under Yuri Dolgoruky's son, Andrei Bogolyubsky (1157-1175), Vladimir prospered becoming the center of the Vladimir-Suzdal Principality. The city`s Golden Age is considered to be from the early 12th century until the Mongol invasion in 1237 during which the Golden Gates and the Cathedral of the Assumption were constructed. The architecture of Vladimir`s white stone cathedrals, towers, and palaces is unique and unlike other buildings in Russia, their exterior was elaborately carved with high relief stone sculptures. The decline of Vladimir began when it was attacked and overrun by the Mongol-Tatars in 1238. A great fire destroyed 32 limestone buildings on the first day alone, while the grand prince and all his family perished in a church where they sought refuge from the fire. The bishop of Vladimir managed to escape. Vladimir never fully recovered but from 1299 to 1325, the city was seat of the metropolitans of Kiev and All Rus until the see was moved to Moscow.
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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The surcharge for single occupancy in a double cabin is 75% of the total amount for the cruise.
- Accommodations in all cabins, each with a private bathroom, individual temperature controls, and windows
- Three meals daily including dinner upon arrival and breakfast on the departure day
- Captain’s welcome cocktail reception
- Traditional bread and salt welcome ceremony
- Full sightseeing programs in each port
- On board entertainment including Russian language course, Russian song lessons, live music concerts, dancing music in bars nightly, Captain’s bridge tour, etc.
- English-speaking guides onboard; services of guides speaking other languages are available upon request
- Souvenir shop onboard
- Medical center onboard
- Discos and bars onboard
- Special holiday meals and celebrations
- Captain’s Farewell Dinner (special menu)
- Russian visa invitation - the document necessary for obtaining a Russian visa when applying for one at the local Russian Consulate in your country.
- Russian Visas. 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.
- Arrival and departure transfers. To see transfer prices please click here. You can order transfers by clicking “Add transfer” while submitting the order.
- Additional drinks and water in ship restaurant and drinks from the onboard bars
- Option tours
- Tips for the crew and ship staff
- Forwarding of baggage/souvenirs
- Accident, baggage and trip cancellation insurance (we recommend you purchase insurance).
- Items of a personal nature (laundry services, bar charges, beauty salon services, telephone and cable charges and medical services).
- Room service offered at an additional price.
- Water; you can order packages of water as extra for the following prices. Please contact your order manager for more information.
Please be informed that all pre/post cruise services (additional arr/dep transfers, hotel accommodations, additional excursions, etc.) can also arranged by us.
Conditions of payment: To book your cruise a 25% deposit is required in advance. The trip must be fully paid 41 days before departure.
Cancellation terms for river cruises:
41 or more days before departure – a fee equal to 10% of the entire package will be charged.
40-20 days before departure – a fee equal to 55% of the entire package will be charged.
19 days or less before departure or in the event of a no-show - a fee equal to 100% of the package will be charged.