Saint Basil's Cathedral - Moscow, Russia Hermitage - St. Petersburg, Russia

Volga Dream 2019 Imperial

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

The Volga River is the linchpin of a single water system linking Moscow and St. Petersburg to five separate seas. For the traveller, the Volga is a key to grasping Russia’s insistent mystery - a cruise on the river revealing the jewels and the scars of centuries past. In partially visible towns flooded by the Soviets, cathedrals rise from the water eerily intact. Medieval Orthodox monasteries are still in use on the riverbanks. Otters, herons, and bald eagle give life and motion to the passing scene.

For many, this is a trip of a lifetime, and choosing the right Russian River Cruise can be confusing. If you are looking for a smaller boat, with friendly service, great food and the option to stay in hotels, rather than in port, in Moscow & St. Petersburg our recommendation is the Volga Dream.

Included:

Volga Dream IMPERIAL caters to discerning travelers who prefer to travel privately or in an intimate group. This journey includes accommodation in the finest 5-star hotels in Moscow and St. Petersburg and extensive touring of the most breathtaking sites in a group of 10 guests.

  • Visit to the Kremlin and Novodevichy Convent in Moscow
  • Special early entrance to the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg
  • Visit to magnificent Faberge Museum and Catherine’s Palace in St. Petersburg
  • Private Airport Transfers
  • 6 breakfasts in the hotels / 6 lunches in gourmet Moscow and St. Petersburg restaurants
  • 6 breakfasts / 6 lunches / 6 dinners aboard MS Volga Dream with unlimited house wine, beer and soft drinks included without limit with all lunches and dinners
  • 4 fascinating lectures by Russian professors about Russian history and politics
  • Diverse range of cultural activities aboard MS Volga Dream

Download PDF Itinerary here.

ITINERARY

PRICING FROM

$6,845 per person, based on two guests traveling together.  Please contact Exeter International for specific pricing and availability. 

Day 1
Arrival | Moscow

When you arrive in Moscow, transfer privately to the luxurious Four Seasons Moscow only a minute away from Kremlin and Red Square. In the evening gather for a welcome reception with your guide and fellow travelers or spend the rest of the day exploring central Moscow on your own.

Meals: None

Accommodation: Four Seasons Moscow

Day 2
Moscow | Moscow

Begin the day with an orientation tour of Moscow. The city boasts unique diversity and variety in terms of building styles: classic, modern, empire and eclecticism amazingly sit alongside more monumental designs, such as Stalin‟s towering skyscrapers from the mid 20th century. The architecture of the capital, though seemingly contradictory and contrasting, makes for a dazzling combination in a quite unique city.

Lunch is served in a restaurant on the top-floor of one of Moscow‟s skyscrapers offering spectacular city views. After lunch, visit the famous Novodevichi Cemetery, where well- known Russian authors, musicians, playwrights, and poets, are buried along with famous actors, political leaders, and scientists.

City tour highlights: Tverskaya Street, Lubyanka Square, Kremlin embankment. Novodevichiy Convent (photo stop), and if time permits, a stop at the Christ the Savior Cathedral, Sparrow Hills.

Meals: B, L

Accommodation: Four Seasons Moscow

Day 3
Moscow | Moscow

The morning consists of a stroll through the famous Moscow Kremlin with its beautiful cathedrals and unique museums. The Armory hosts an impressive collection of opulent coronation finery, hand-forged armor and ancient weapons, royal carriages and sleighs.

After lunch, cross Red Square to visit GUM, Moscow‟s largest department store, and enter a masterpiece of

medieval Moscow – St. Basil‟s Cathedral. Then proceed with a leisurely walk through the newly designed park Zaryadye, a stone‟s throw from the Kremlin and Red Square.

Meals: B, L

Accommodation: Four Seasons Moscow

Day 4
Embarkation | Moscow

The first stop after checking-out of your hotel is a small and cozy former home-estate once owned by one of Russia‟s literary greats, Leo Tolstoy. He lived with his wife and thirteen children in this two-storey wooden Moscow house from 1882 to 1901; it is now a carefully preserved memorial.

The sightseeing continues after lunch at the State Tretyakov Gallery with its extraordinary collection of Russian art, ranging from Rublev's 12th century icons to 19th century masterpieces. Explore Moscow‟s Metro, famed for its architectural splendour.

Meanwhile, the luxurious MS Volga Dream awaits and your voyage along Russia‟s extensive waterways is about to begin. The Captain's welcome reception and dinner mark the start of our unforgettable cruise.

Volga Dream Experience: Bread, Salt & Vodka ‘Welcome Aboard’ Ceremony

 

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: Volga Dream

Day 5
Uglich | Uglich

After a full day of cruising through idyllic forested countryside, we tie up in the ancient trading town of Uglich, a key point in Russia‟s renowned „Golden Ring‟. Explore the impressive Church of St. Dmitri-on-the-Blood, erected on the site where Dmitri, son of Ivan the Terrible, was murdered in 1591. Then an enchanting concert of choral music performed in St. John‟s Church.

Volga Dream Experience: Costumed Russian Tea Ceremony & Russian Cooking Class

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: Volga Dream

Day 6
Yaroslavl | Yaroslavl

Founded in 1010, Yaroslavl is one of central Russia‟s oldest cities and boasts the Volga‟s first port. There is much to see: the Spassky Monastery houses the Transfiguration of the Savior and the Church of Elijah the Prophet and an impressive collection of mosaics. Take part in a costumed reception at the governor‟s house before re-boarding the MS Volga Dream in time for lunch.

Volga Dream Experience: Barbecue on the Sun Deck

 

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: Volga Dream

Day 7
Goritsy | Goritsy

This morning takes us on an early crossing of Lake Beloye, or the White Lake, once known as the “tsar‟s fishing grounds”, before arriving in the peaceful village of Goritsy where we tour the Ferapontov Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with magnificent frescoes by Dionysius, one of Russia‟s most renowned icon painters. He painted the temple ceiling about 10 years before Michelangelo even started on the Sistine Chapel! Return to the ship for a late lunch and afternoon cruising.

Volga Dream Experience: Russian Dinner with Vodka Tasting

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: Volga Dream

Day 8
Kizhi | Kizhi

Kareliya is a region that must be seen to be believed, it spans all the way from St. Petersburg to the Arctic Circle, a vast wilderness of forest and water. Lake Onega is fed by 58 rivers and is home to 1,369 islands, including our stop, Kizhi with its quaint collection of ancient wooden houses and windmills including the famous and remarkable Transfiguration church, built in 1714 without a single nail being used.

Volga Dream Experience: Piano Concert – pieces by Tchaikovsky and Rakhmaninov

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: Volga Dream

Day 9
Svirstroy | Svirstroy

The highlight of your day in Svirstroy is being invited into a local resident‟s home. Warm and welcoming villagers will offer tea with jam and “pirozhki” (local pies). They will enthusiastically tell you all about Russian tradition, lifestyle and the attractions of Svirstroy village while proudly showing off their homes and kitchen gardens. After tea, hop on a bus to tour the nearby town, see a spectacular WWII memorial and visit a local primary school.

Volga Dream Experience: Farewell Dinner

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: Volga Dream

Day 10
Disembarkation | St. Petersburg

The MS Volga Dream ties up in St. Petersburg on the Neva River where we disembark for a city tour, including Peter and Paul Fortress (outside), the Royal Romanov burial site and Nevsky Prospect with its rich selection of fine shops, cafes, and museums. Then we proceed to St. Isaac's Cathedral, whose gilded dome dominates the city skyline. Sculptures and massive red granite columns decorate the façade, while the interior is even more lavishly appointed with mosaics, icons and columns of malachite and lapis lazuli.

After a relaxed lunch we embark on a canal cruise sailing under the city‟s many historic bridges and past its magnificent pastel. The day ends with a tour of Yusupov‟s Palace, former home to one of St. Petersburg‟s wealthiest aristocrats. The enigmatic story of Grigory Rasputin, the monk assassinated here by Prince Felix Yusupov, is told in this very basement.

In the evening check-in at the luxurious Four Seasons Lion Palace

City tour includes: Split of Basil Island (walking tour), Spilled Blood Church (photo stop), Peter and Paul Fortress (photo stop), St. Isaac Cathedral (entrance), Nevskiy Prospect drive.

Meals: B, L

AccommodationFour Seasons Lion Palace

Day 11
St. Petersburg | St. Petersburg

The morning takes you to one of the most famous museums in the world, the awe-inspiring Hermitage in the lavishly decorated Winter Palace. (To avoid the crowds, we‟ve arranged special Early Entrance for you, before official opening hours.) The Hermitage occupies six magnificent buildings and houses 3 million artworks ranging from Stone Age to modern times. The collection includes Leonardo Da Vinci, Rafael and Titian. After exploring the main galleries,

proceed to the Gold Room, usually closed to general public, with a collection of gold Scythian artwork and elaborate imperial gifts.

Lunch is followed by a tour to one of the most spectacular Imperial estate of Peterhof, often dubbed the Russian Versailles. The vast Lower Park, with its 176 fountains and four cascades, is a glorious place to walk, taking in majestic palaces and numerous gilded statues of ancient gods and heroes. A truly spectacular day before we return to St. Petersburg.

Meals: B, L

AccommodationFour Seasons Lion Palace

Day 12
St. Petersburg | St. Petersburg

Enjoy a full sightseeing day with a visit to the Fabergé Museum, founded by entrepreneur, Viktor Vekselberg. The museum was opened in December 2013 to display a glittering collection of Faberge eggs and objects d‟art created by Peter Carl Fabergé and his staff. Vekselberg's collection is rated as one of the world's most valuable and includes items he bought from the Forbes family in 2004 for $100 million.

After lunch we travel to the Tsar‟s Village to visit the famous Catherine‟s Palace and the exquisitely recreated Amber Room. A stroll through the formal gardens is highly recommended. We enter the Pushkin grounds through the Golden Gate and ascend the staircase to the Grand Hall. The Golden Enfilade offers a glorious view of the Amber Room.

Meals: B, L

AccommodationFour Seasons Lion Palace

Day 13
Departure | Departure

Private transfer to airport for your outbound flight.

Meals: B

Meet a ballerina in St Petersburg
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