13 days and 12 nights
Moscow: You will be met at the airport by one of our drivers and taken by a comfortable car to your 4-star hotel. (Transfer is OPTIONAL)
OPTIONAL: Dinner on the arrival day (only pre-order)
Over the next few days you will have a chance to explore Moscow and learn about its riveting history. You will be taken on a city tour where you will see Moscow's most interesting sights and learn about this amazing city's past and present. You will also have a chance to do some light shopping and there will be time to relax at the hotel in the evenings.
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.
Tour of the Tretyakovsky State Gallery. The world famous gallery contains works of Russian art from the 10th century up until present day. You will view exquisite Russian icons and paintings from the 18th and 19th century including works by Rublyov, Karavak, Vishnyakov, Nikitin, Antropov, Levitsky, Kiprensky, Tropinin, Fedotov, Repin and many others.
OPTIONAL: Moscow by night + metro
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.
Moscow - Nizhny Novgorod: In the morning you check out from your hotel and head towards Nizhny Novgorod by bus. On the way you will make a stop in the town of Vladimir for a city tour and lunch. You will arrive in Nizhny Novgorod in the evening, board the ship and have dinner.
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.
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.
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.
Cheboksary: 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.
Kazan: 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.
Samara: 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.
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.
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.
Day on board. You will spend this day on board your cruise ship enjoying an entertainment program.
Astrakhan: Sightseeing in this city includes a panoramic city tour and a visit to the Kremlin.
On the last day of your cruise you will say goodbye to Russia, your ship's crew and the many new friends we are sure you will have met during your time with us. We are sure that your memories of the trip will last a lifetime and we look forward to welcoming you to Russia sometime in the future. Our driver will meet you at the ship and take you to the airport to see you off. (Transfer is OPTIONAL)
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.
M/S Nizhny Novgorod was built in Germany in 1977 and fully refurbished in 2002. This Moscow cruise ship is one of our most comfortable. The ship can carry 247 passengers. The ship features outside staterooms affording majestic views of the passing countryside. Each cabin is air-conditioned and has private toilets and showers. The cabins are comfortably furnished and also feature refrigerators. The dining rooms offer both Continental and Russia cuisine, as well as specialties of the surrounding regions, served in a warm shipboard atmosphere. There are two restaurants, two bars, a sauna, a small souvenir shop, a medical center and fitness center. Laundry service is also available. From the spacious lounges to sweeping sundecks, our floating hotel offers unique way to see Russia. Relax as you cruise by the Russia countryside. Parties, games, dancing and shipboard entertainment all serve to ensure a memorable cruise holiday.
The surcharge for single occupancy in a double cabin is 75% of the total amount for the cruise.
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.
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