Volga Dream - Russia Kazan Panorama

Volga Dream – The Lower Volga

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.

TRIP DESCRIPTION & HIGHLIGHTS

From the Golden Horde to the Soviet era, the scenic cities of Russia’s grand Volga River have been witness to some of the most significant events in Russian history. On a journey aboard the deluxe M.S. Volga Dream, cruise from Moscow to the Volga River Delta on the Caspian Sea. Discover iconic onion-domed churches; stroll through gems such as medieval Nizhniy Novgorod; and explore the treasures of Yaroslavl, the Volga’s oldest city.

  • Visit magnificent Red Square and Kremlin and examine the collection at the Kremlin’s State Armory
  • Experience Russia’s diverse musical traditions at lively folk music performances
  • Explore Volgograd, the site of the decisive battle of World War II’s eastern front
  • Visit the world capital of caviar and taste this delicacy in the city of Astrakhan

2017 Departure: May 3-May 15 (Southbound) and May 18-May 28 (Northbound)

Download Northbound itinerary PDF Here

Download Southbound Itinerary PDF Here

Day 1
Arrival | Moscow, Russia

Upon arrival into Moscow, you will be met outside of baggage claim and transferred to the awaiting Volga Dream.

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

Meals: D

Accommodation: Volga Dream 

Day 2
Moscow | Moscow, Russia

 

Begin your day with orientation tour of Moscow followed by a ride in the ornate Moscow metro.

 

After lunch in a local restaurant proceed to the Old Tretyakov gallery to view its extraordinary collection of Russian art, ranging from 12th-century icons to 20th-century paintings.

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: Volga Dream 

Day 3
Moscow | Moscow, Russia

This morning enter the Kremlin for a visit to the Armory Museum, with its collection of tsarist thrones, ceremonial crowns, coaches and gifts of state. Continue to the beautifully frescoed 15th-century Assumption and Archangel Cathedrals.

Afterwards begin your breathtaking cruise along the Russian Waterways.

Later this evening gather for Captain's welcome reception and dinner. 

Meals: B, L, D            

Accommodation: Volga Dream 

Day 4
Uglich | Uglich, Russia

The Volga Dream arrives this afternoon in Uglich, dating back to the 10th century. A walking tour of this Golden Ring city includes the Chapel of Dmitry on a Spilled Blood, a 17th-century treasure built on the site where Ivan the Terrible’s 10-year old son met his death. Visit the Church of the Transfiguration, noted for its beautiful iconostasis, and attend a concert of choral music.

Volga Dream Experience: Documentary film “Constriction of the Moscow Canal

Meals: B, L, D        

Accommodation: Volga Dream 

Day 5
Yaroslavl | Yaroslavl, Russia

This morning visit the oldest city on the Volga River, Yaroslavl, a World Heritage site. In the Spassky Monastery see the Transfiguration of the Savior, adorned with murals depicting St. John's apocalyptic visions, and the richly frescoed Church of St. Elijah the Prophet.

 

Enjoy a costumed reception at the Governor’s House, and then reboard the Volga Dream in time for lunch.

Volga Dream Experience: Costumed Russian Tea Ceremony

Meals: B, L, D  

Accommodation: Volga Dream 

Day 6
Nizhniy Novgorod | Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia

Nizhniy Novgorod (formerly Gorkiy), once a wealthy commercial center poised on the trade routes to the East, became a closed city due to military activity during the Soviet era. Learn about the city’s history as a place of exile for political prisoners. Walk the ramparts of the 16th-century Kremlin with its spectacular views, and visit elaborately painted churches.

 

Tonight, attend a concert by a local children’s folk group.

Volga Dream Experience: Russian Dinner with Vodka Tasting

Meals: B, L, D        

Accommodation: Volga Dream      

Day 7
Kazan | Kazan, Russia

This morning notice that Russian Orthodox Churches no longer dominate on the Volga river banks. Beautiful Muslim mosques appear from time to time as you cruise down the Volga River and enter the Republic of Tatarstan.

 

In the afternoon disembark from the Volga Dream to explore Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan and center of Tatar culture of Russia. Visit the white-walled Kazan Kremlin (citadel) where the famous mosque Kul-Sherif neighbours the old Peter and Paul Cathedral. Later this day enjoy a concert by a local Tatar folk group.

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

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: Volga Dream 

Day 8
Samara | Samara, Russia

This morning rest on the Sun Deck as you sail by the Zhigulevskie mountains and approach the city of Samara.

Start with a city tour of Samara, visit the space museum, then stroll along the Volga esplanade and taste beer at the famous local brewery.

Volga Dream Experience: Barbeque on the open deck

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: Volga Dream 

Day 9
Saratov | Saratov, Russia

Once home to a large German community, today Saratov is known for its connection to Russia’s first cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, who lived and studied here. Take a city tour, and visit Radishev State Art Museum - the first Russian picture gallery outside of St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: Volga Dream 

Day 10
Volgograd | Volgograd, Russia

Originally called Tsaritsyn, this remarkable city has had three name changes in its tumultuous history. The site of epic battles during the Russian Revolution, it was known as Stalingrad from 1925 until 1961. The city’s heroic defense by the Russian people during World War II became the decisive battle of the eastern front.

Visit the memorial on Mamayev Hill, where the struggle saw its bloodiest fighting, and Stalingrad battle panorama museum.

 Volga Dream Experience: Russian Cooking Class

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: Volga Dream

Day 11
Astrakhan | Astrakhan, Russia

This evening the Volga Dream arrives in the city of Astrakhan – world’s caviar capital and fishing capital of the Western Russia - set at the mouth of the Volga, where it flows into the Caspian Sea.

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: Volga Dream

Day 12
Astrakhan | Astrakhan, Russia

In the morning proceed with a tour of a local fortress built in the reign of Ivan the Terrible and after lunch attend a lecture about famous black caviar followed by a private tasting of this precious delicacy (optional).

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: Volga Dream

Day 13
Departure | Astrakhan, Russia

This morning, you will be transferred to the airport for your departing flight.

Meals: B

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