Days 1 – 4: Moscow▼
The capital of Russia since the late 15th century, Moscow has always been a popular destination. During your stay, you will have an opportunity to see city's world renowned attractions that include the UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as the Kremlin or St. Basil’s Cathedral.
During your stay in Moscow you are also free to purchase optional tours that include the following: Red Square; the Tretyakov Gallery; the National Museum of Russian Fine Art; the Moscow Metro; and a tour of the Armory with its spectacular and priceless collection of royal jewels, crowns, thrones, and armor of the czars. For groups additional optional evening entertainment and tours are available, and you are welcome to take a Moscow by Night city tour, or attend a circus or theatre performance.
|1||Arrival in Moscow, embarkation.|
|2||Sightseeing motor coach tour of this ancient Russian capital, including Tverskaya Street, Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral, Bolshoi Theater and Moscow State University for a panoramic view. Lunch and dinner.|
|3||Morning tour of the Kremlin. The Moscow Kremlin is former residence of Russian czars, an architectural ensemble of unique beauty, which took shape between the 15th and 20th centuries. The center of the Kremlin is the Cathedral Square that is a unique complex of masterpieces of medieval architecture. The architectural ensemble of the Cathedral Square consists of several cathedrals and palaces; one of them is the Assumption Cathedral – the oldest Moscow Kremlin church, and one of the most important ones in Russia. On Kremlin grounds there also are the famous Czar Cannon of the 16-th century and Czar Bell of the 18-th century.|
|4||Day at leisure. You will have time on your own in this great city. Optional tours are offered aboard.|
Day 5: Uglitch▼
Uglitch is one of the oldest, and, probably, one of the most beloved Russian towns, and a place of a pilgrimage of Russian Czars. According to a local legend its origin goes back to back to 937. The view of the town as it is approached from the Volga River is especially lovely with the Cathedral of the Resurrection and St. John’s Church looming on the horizon.
|5||During the guided walking tour there will be a visit to magnificent five domed Transfiguration Cathedral and Church of Tsarevich Dmitry on the Blood. This church was built to commemorate the most famous event in the town's history – a mysterious death of the 7-year old Tsarevich Dmitry, the last scion of Dimitri Rurik dynasty. Uglitch Kremlin is also on the list. Those who wish will have the opportunity to explore the Flea Market.|
Day 6: Yaroslavl▼
Stretching for 18 miles on both banks of the Volga River, Yaroslavl is an important Volga port with a population of 600,000. It was founded in the 11th century by Prince Yaroslav the Wise and today retains many noteworthy monuments of its colorful past.
|6||Of special interest is the magnificent 13th-century Spassky Monastery ensemble, a group of majestic 17th century cathedrals, an elegant rotunda and remnants of an ancient trading center. Loveliest of all is the Church of Elijah the Prophet, situated in the town’s central square. The frescoes on the walls and vaulting inside the church make it really a museum of old Russian painting. |
Day 7: Kostroma▼
One of the loveliest cities of the Golden Ring, Kostroma is certainly a highlight of the cruise. The pride of Kostroma is the museum at the former Ipatyevsky Monastery founded in the 14th century by the Zernov family, the fore-bearers of the Godunovs. The crypt of the Monastery became the Godunov burial vault. Kostroma is the only Russian city retaining the classical layout of the 18th/19th centuries, with streets and boulevards fanning out like the spokes of a wheel from a central square.
|7||During a city tour today we’ll visit Ipatyevsky Monastery; and other wonders of the city as well. Optional tour to Museum of Wooden Architecture is offered. And there also is an optional tour to another great historical city: Rostov Veliky.|
Day 8: Plyos▼
It seems that time has no power over this small chamber town, because the layout of the place did not have major changes since 18th century. The place is cozy and quiet, and people here lead calm and steady life of Russian province – just like a century ago. The town is located on higher hills and therefore has a very unusual topography, but this allows enjoying great views and peace while walking its streets and surroundings.
|8||You have the time on your own. Take a walk along the cobbled streets of this hospitable place; go up the Cathedral Hill, breathe the fresh air and take a look around… You will understand why famous artists have been coming here in search of inspiration that further led to masterpieces. Today it is also possible to take optional tour to Suzdal – beautiful and ancient city with reach history.|
Day 9: Nizhny Novgorod▼
Founded in 1221, this city was a famous meeting place where people from the Orient, Siberia and Turkestan came to barter and trade. Formerly named Gorky, it was later home of political exiles and therefore closed to outsiders for many years. Nizhny Novgorod has only recently opened its doors for visitors, where many well preserved memorials from the 13th and 14th centuries are found. Of special interest is the ancient Kremlin cathedrals, convents and the palace of the early ruling family.
Some call Nizhny Novgorod a ‘third capital of Russia’; but Kazan claims this title as well. Nizhny is less cosmopolitan than Moscow and St.Petersburg, and it is obviously smaller. The city has great location in the picturesque place, and lies at the confluence of Volga and Oka rivers.
|9||Today there will be a tour to the Kremlin of Nizhny Novgorod. Time has been passing by, and this impregnable fortress has turned into historical monument, but one of the surrounding streets still strongly resembles fortification moat.|
Day 10: Cheboksary▼
The city is the capital of the Chuvash Republic of the Russian Federation. Opera-ballet Theater and Chuvash State Puppet Theater are among the variety of cultural opportunities of the city. Chuvash National Museum and Russia's only Beer Museum in Cheboksary are also among the places of interest.
|10||City tour is on the list today. In the middle of the city there is a very popular gathering place for locals – these are the shores of recently constructed Cheboksary Bay that also has beautiful fountain complexes. Because of the status of the city a lot of construction work has been going on recently: many of the city districts have modern appearance but cultural buildings are very well preserved.|
Day 11: Kazan▼
“This city, no doubt, is the first in Russia after Moscow, - wrote Catherine the Great in 1763, - clearly, Kazan is the capital of a big kingdom”. Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan Republic, it is very diverse, modern and ancient at the same time. It is among the seven largest cities of Russia. Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in European Russia. In 2009 it was chosen as the "sports capital of Russia".
|11||During the city panoramic tour along the historical parts and places of interest in Kazan the main sights are visited: Kazan Kremlin that is the heart of the city, and mosque Kul-Sharif.|
Day 12: Ulyanovsk (Simbirsk)▼
Ask any Russian what Ulyanovsk’s claim to fame is, and the most likely reply will be: “Lenin was born there.” The city was a Soviet shrine for almost 70 years. The Lenin Memorial Complex includes the house in which he was born and other buildings associated with his life. The city of Ulyanovsk is also home to SUV maker UAZ and aircraft producer Aviastar.
|12||The city-tour is going to be quite extraordinary. In fact, Ulyanovsk is one of a handful of cities that has managed to preserve the atmosphere of an old Russian province. That is why the city’s wooden architecture is the first thing that catches a visitor’s eye. Visiting the Lenin Museum is on the list.|
Day 13: Samara▼
Founded in the 16th century Samara is today an important industrial and cultural center of the region. Formerly known as Kuibyshev, the city played a big role in the Peasant Uprising of 1670 under Styepan Razin and again in 1773 under Yemelin Pugachev. Recently Stalin’s bunker was discovered here and opened to the public. The city is large and very important port with deep historical background. Samara is located at the confluence of two rivers: here the Samara River flows into the Volga River. Well-developed cities of the past were often build where rivers merge, because it was easier to protect them and to trade successfully.
|13||Samara is a fusion of old trade town with well-preserved buildings, the features of Soviet period and the ones of present time. Historical center of Samara has remarkable architecture: Samara's Gorky Drama Theater is a unique teremok-building in Russian style; the House of merchant Kurlina is an example of Samara’s art nouveau; Lutheran Church of St. George and Roman Catholic Church are of gothic style. The city-tour will offer to you more great sights.|
Day 14: Saratov▼
The city was initially founded in the 16th century as a fortress to protect the southern districts of the Russian Empire. Saratov is the place where Yuri Gagarin the first man in space, has started his career, and has done his first air-flight.
|14||In Saratov there will be a city tour. There is a museum dedicated to Gagarin and his life. Saratov has a rich cultural life. Among its most famous sites are: the Conservatoire designed in a Neo-Gothic style; the Drama Theatre that is one of the oldest theatres in Russia; the Radischev Art Museum with more than 20,000 exhibits. |
Day 15: Volgograd▼
Volgograd, formerly named Stalingrad, is the site of one of the most important battles of the WWII. Certainly, the two main monuments of the city are related to the war: the giant “Motherland” sculpture and the panoramic museum dedicated to the famous Battle of Stalingrad. There are other monuments in the city as well, including the Kazan Cathedral, the “Old Sarepta” – the museum of former religious colony.
|15||We are having city-tour today. A lot of time will be spent on enormous memorial complex Mamaev Kurgan. The word ‘kurgan’ means ‘hill’. During the Battle of Stalingrad Mamaev Kurgan saw saw particularly fierce fighting, because the control over this hill became vitally important.|
- This day also offers optional tours to Panorama Museum or military cemetery Rossoshka.
Day 16: Cruising
|16||The journey to our next stop provides you with opportunities to enjoy the fresh air on outer decks and the passing by sceneries. It will be a nice day to recall what had already been seen, to have a bit of relaxation, to socialize with other travelers and to take part in activities of the daily cruise program.|
Days 17 – 19: Rostov-on-Don▼
The southernmost part of Russia’s Steppes was an 18th century Cossack outpost and trading center. Today this “Gateway to the Caucasus” leads to the Ukraine and is an industrial and agricultural center. Its magnificent parks and beaches, theaters and museums, and unusual botanical gardens with vast collections of rare and beautiful plants make Rostov a most attractive city on the Don River.
Rostov-on-Don is one of the largest cities of Russian Federation with population over one million people. Area of the city is 354 sq. km., the distance from Moscow — 1226 km. It is the most heavily industrialized city of South Russia, cultural center with large number of universities, colleges and architectural monuments, and is an important river port in both passenger-oriented and industrial shipping.
|17||The plan of today is to visit Starocherkassk, the capital of Don Cossacks. Once a fortified town of 20 000, it’s now a small village, with streets restored to their late 19th century appearance and still keeping the atmosphere of the past. On the schedule there is a walking tour over this remarkable place with visits to Cossacks’ Museum and the Cathedral. |
|18||Rostov-on-Don has a very nice city center. It will be visited during the city-tour today. Then there will be a visit to Starocherkassk, the capital of Don Cossacks. Once a fortified town of 20 000, it’s now a small village, with streets restored to their late 19th century appearance and still keeping the atmosphere of the past. On the schedule there is a walking tour over this remarkable place with visits to Cossacks’ Museum and the Cathedral.|
|19||Time to bid farewell to your new friends and the city of Rostov-on-Don. Disembarkation.|