Astrakhan, Russia Volga Dream - Russia Kazan, Russia Russian Traditional Dress

Volga Dream – The Lower Volga

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

The Volga Dream Lower Volga Cruise

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 Volgograd. 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

Download Northbound PDF itinerary here.

Download Southbound PDF itinerary here.

Day 1
Arrival | Moscow, Russia St. Basil's Cathedral - Moscow, Russia

Upon arrival in Moscow, transfer to the deluxe MS Volga Dream. Spend the rest of the day relaxing after your flight.

Day 2
Moscow | Moscow, Russia Moscow Kremlin, Russia

Today step inside the Kremlin and visit the Armory Museum, with its collection of tsarist thrones, ceremonial crowns, coaches and the extravagant gifts of state, the excursion also takes you to the beautifully frescoed 15th-century Assumption and Archangel Cathedrals.

Day 3
Moscow | Moscow, Russia Kremlin - Moscow, Russia

This morning enjoy riding the city’s spectacular metro. After lunch in a local restaurant, we move on to the Old Tretyakoc gallery and its extraordinary collection of Russian art, ranging from 12th-century icons to 20th-century paintings.

Then, back aboard the MS Volga Dream for a delicious buffet lunch as you breath-taking cruise along the Russia’s waterways begins. The evening provides a chance to meet your crew and fellow travellers at the Captain’s welcome reception and dinner.

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

Day 4
Uglich | Uglich, Russia Volga Dream - Russia

After 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, enjoy an enchanting concert of choral music performed in St. John’s Church.

Volga Dream Experience: Russian Cooking Class

Day 5
Yaroslavl | Yaroslavl, Russia Spassky Monastery - Volga Dream, Russia

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 Spaaky Monastery houses the Transfiguration of the Savior and the Church of Elijah the Prophet, 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: Costumed Russian Tea Ceremony

Day 6
Sailing Day | Sailing Day

A relaxing day of leisure as the Volga Dream continues its gentle voyage along the picturesque Volga. The Sun Deck provides a glorious and ever-changing view as we pass small villages, provincial towns, churches, and monasteries. This is an area that flourished for centuries thanks to the volume of trade along the Volga.

The guest speaker today presents an entertaining and informative lecture on the history and traditions of the places you will pass.

Day 7
Nizhniy Novgorod | Nizhniy Novgorod Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Nizhniy Novgorod (formerly Gorkiy), once a wealthy commercial centre poised on the trade routes to the East, became a closed city due to military activity during the Soviet era. You will hear more 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. The evening’s highlight is a folk concert presented by a local children’s group.

Volga Dream Experience: Russian Dinner with Vodka Tasting

Day 8
Kazan | Kazan Kazan, Russia

Today, you will notice that the now familiar Russian Orthodox Churches no longer dominate on the Banks of the River Volga. Instead, beautiful Muslim mosques begin to appear as you cruise across the border into the Republic of Tatarstan.

We will leave the Volga Dream for a while to explore Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan and very centre of Russia’s Tatar culture. The white-walled Kazan Kremlin or Citadel is where the famous Kul-Sherif mosque stands side by side with the old Peter and Paul Cathedral. Later in the day, a local ensemble will delight us with a concert by a local Tatar folk group.

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

Day 9
Samara | Samara Volga Dream - Russia

A great opportunity to relax on the Sun Deck as we sail past the Zhigulevskie mountains towards the city of Samara

We begin with a city tour, which includes a visit to the space museum, then stroll along the Volga esplanade to the Samara State Art Museum.

Volga Dream Experience: Barbeque on the open deck

Day 10
Saratov | Saratov Volga Dream - Russia

Once home to a large German community, today Saratov is known for its connection to the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin who lived and studied here. Our city tour, takes us to the Radishev State Art Museum, the first Russian picture gallery outside of St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Day 11
Volgograd | Volgograd Russian Traditional Dress

Originally named 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 defence by the Russian people during World War II became the decisive battle of the eastern front.

We will then visit the imposing memorial on Mamayev Hill, which saw the bloodiest fight of the war, and see the Battle of Stalingrad Panorama Museum.

Volga Dream Experience: Farewell Dinner

Day 12
Departure | Volgograd Volgograd, Russia

Today, receive transfer to the airport for your return flight.

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