Every year, our favorite family water trip is the Russia river cruise. If you ask us “why”, we would only say that it is splendid. The Volga Dream is a marvelous ship with the best crew on board that makes you forget everything bad; all your sorrows and anxieties disappear immediately. This trip comprises many aspects: if you need entertaining, you have it; if you are eager to broaden your horizon – many chances to fill in the gaps. Every year brings something new and fresh into our life. We keep all the moments and emotions with warmth and tenderness.

Jeff Masmanitis
Australia

Special offer

$500 per person off for double occupancy 14 days / 13 nights St. Petersburg – Moscow - St. Petersburg
rates from
$ 3,995
Dates 2018

St. Petersburg – Moscow - St. Petersburg

2018 Volga Dream GOLD Program

Day 1. ST. PETERSBURG 27 May 2018, Sunday - Arrival in St. Petersburg / transfer to MS Volga Dream

Upon your arrival in St. Petersburg transfer to the awaiting MS Volga Dream. Evening at leisure.

Meals: D

Day 2. ST. PETERSBURG 28 May 2018, Monday - Half Day Peterhof: Park and Bath Cottage / Transfer to the Volga Dream / Departure at 7:30 pm

Begin today at the meticulously restored Peterhof, St. Petersburg’s most famous and spectacular Imperial estate, often cited as the Versailles of Russia. Visit the authentic Bath Cottage and stroll in the vast Lower Park with 176 fountains of various forms and styles and four cascades, majestic palaces and numerous gilded statues of ancient gods and heroes. Following lunch at a local restaurant, transfer to the awaiting MS Volga Dream and begin sailing along the Russian waterways. Gather for the Captain's welcome reception and dinner as we begin our cruise.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 3. SVIRSTROY 29 May 2018, Tuesday

Svirstroy is a small and charming village on the River Svir, with a population of about 1000. The river connects two of Europe’s largest lakes, Ladoga and Onega. For that reason, the morning begins with a tour by bus, to see the beauty of Russian nature. An informative guide will explain the history of Lodeynoye Pole town, Svirstroy village and you will see the statue of Peter I on the River bank. The region enjoys a special spiritual heritage, which explains why three monasteries were built here.

The highlight of your day in Svirstroy is being invited into a local resident’s home. Warm and welcoming Svirstroy villagers will offer tea with jam and “pirozhkie” (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.

Volga Dream Experience: Barbeque on the Open Deck

Meals: B, L, D

Day 4. KIZHI 30 May 2018, Wednesday

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 home to 1,369 islands, including our stop Kizhi with its quaint collection of ancient wooden houses and windmills, and the famous 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

Day 5. GORITSY 31 May 2018, Thursday

We sail across Lake Beloye, or the White Lake, once the “tsar’s fishing grounds”. After lunch we arrive in the idyllic village of Goritsy for a guided tour of the fortress-like KirillovBelozersky Monastery with its magnificent frescoes by one of Russia's most renowned icon painters.

Volga Dream Experience: Russian Dinner with Vodka Tasting

Meals: B, L, D

Day 6. YAROSLAVL 1 June 2018, Friday

Founded in 1010, Yaroslavl is one of the oldest cities in central Russia and the Volga’s first port. Highlights include the Spassky Monastery, which contains the Transfiguration of the Savior and the Church of Elijah the Prophet with its enviable collection of mosaics at. You will also have the chance to take part in a costumed reception at the governor’s house before re-boarding the MS Volga Dream (I) for dinner.

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

Meals: B, L, D

Day 7. UGLICH 2 June 2018, Saturday

In the morning, we dock in the ancient trading town of Uglich, one of the spokes of Russia’s famous Golden Ring. Explore the impressive Church of St. Dmitri-on-the-Blood, erected on the site where Dmitri, Ivan-the-Terrible’s son, was murdered in 1591. That’s followed by an enchanting concert of choral music in St. John’s Church.

Volga Dream Experience: Documentary Film “Construction of the Moscow Canal”

Meals: B, L, D

Day 8. MOSCOW 3 June 2018, Sunday - Arrival in Moscow at 12:00pm / Half Day Moscow: City tour / Novodevichi Cemetery / Metro Ride

12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

The afternoon sees our arrival in Moscow where you bid farewell to the MS Volga Dream and set out on an orientation tour of Moscow before visiting the famous Novodevichi Cemetery which holds the tombs of Russian authors, musicians, playwrights, and poets, as well as famous actors, political leaders, and scientists. Explore Moscow’s Metro, known for its architectural splendour, then check-in to the five-star Marriott Aurora in Moscow.

City tour includes: Red Square walking tour, St. Basil's Cathedral (photo stop w/o entrance), GUM Department Store (entrance), Cathedral of Christ the Savior (entrance if time and availability allows), Novodevichy Cemetery (entrance).

Meals: B, L, D

Day 9. MOSCOW 4 June 2018, Monday - Half Day Moscow: Kremlin / Armory Museum

9:30 am – 2:30 pm

After breakfast, your chance to enter the Kremlin to visit the Armoury Museum and its spectacular collection of opulent coronation finery, hand-forged armour and weapons, royal carriages and sleighs, and dazzling Faberge eggs. Finally, we head for the beautifully frescoed 15th-century Assumption and Archangel cathedrals.

The rest of the day is free for independent exploration or tour choice of optional excursions.

Meals: B

Day 10. MOSCOW 5 June 2018, Tuesday - Half Day Moscow: Tretyakov Gallery / Continuation of the City Tour: Cathedral of Christ the Savior

10:00 am – 3:00 pm

The day begins at the famous Tretyakov Gallery, the first museum dedicated exclusively to Russian fine art, then a Moscow city tour and a visit to the Cathedral of Christ.

The evening free for independent exploration of Moscow, or perhaps seek out a cultural performance at one of the city’s many world class venues. Your guide will be happy to help you.

Meals: B

Day 11. MOSCOW – ST. PETERSBURG 6 June 2018, Wednesday - Train ride from Moscow to St. Petersburg

Today check out from your hotel and transfer to the railway station for a 4 hour comfortable ride to St. Petersburg in business class coach.

Upon arrival in St. Petersburg you will be transferred to the deluxe hotel Kempinski, Moika 22 ***** located in the historic city centre near the Winter Palace and legendary Hermitage. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Meals: B, L

Day 12. ST. PETERSBURG 7 June 2018, Thursday - Full Day: City Tour / Peter and Paul Fortress / Hermitage Museum

9:30am – 5:30pm

The day begins with an orientation tour of St. Petersburg that takes you inside the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Romanov family shrine. After lunch, we go to the famed Hermitage Museum, with 400 rooms containing spectacular examples of nearly every school of Western art, including one of the finest collections of French impressionist works.

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

Meals: B, L

Day 13. ST. PETERSBURG 8 June 2018, Friday – Full Day: Catherine’s Palace / Amber Room / Faberge museum

09:30am – 5:30pm

Check out from your hotel and head for Catherine the Great’s Palace, which houses the extraordinary Amber Room; six tons of solid amber deftly carved and framed in gold leaf. Once dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world,” the room was stripped by the Nazis in 1941, but majestically reconstructed in honour of St. Petersburg’s 300th birthday.

After lunch return to St. Petersburg and visit Faberge museum that contains world’s largest collection of works by Carl Faberge, including 9 Easter eggs commissioned by the Russian royal family.

Meals: B, L

Day 14. DEPART ST. PETERSBURG 9 June 2018, Saturday

This morning check out from your hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight.

Meals: B

Please note that due to the complex opening schedules in Russia it may be necessary to rearrange or substitute the sightseeing program on this itinerary. Scheduled sightseeing may have to be altered to accommodate changes in accessibility. We ask for your patience should such a situation occur.

2018 Volga Dream PLATINUM

Day 1. ST. PETERSBURG 27 May 2018, Sunday

When you arrive in St. Petersburg, you will be greeted by an English-speaking assistant who will escort you privately to the awaiting luxurious MS Volga Dream.

Meals: D

Day 2. ST. PETERSBURG 28 May 2018, Monday - Full Day: City Tour / Faberge museum / Transfer to the Volga Dream / Departure at 7:30 pm

9:30am – 5:30pm

In the morning we start with the city tour, including Peter and Paul Fortress, the Royal Romanov burial site and Nevsky Prospect with its rich selection of fine shops, cafes, and museums

Lunch is followed by 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 Faberge 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.

End your day with the transfer to the awaiting MS Volga Dream and begin sailing along the Russian waterways. Gather for the Captain's welcome reception and dinner as we begin our cruise.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 3. SVIRSTROY 29 May 2018, Tuesday

The highlight of your day in Svirstroy is being invited into a local resident‟s home. Warm and welcoming Svirstroy 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 for a tour of the nearby town to see the monument of the WWII and visit a local primary school.

Volga Dream Experience: Farewell Dinner

Meals: B, L, D

Day 4. KIZHI 30 May 2018, Wednesday

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

Day 5. GORITSY 31 May 2018, Thursday

This morning takes us on an early crossing of Lake Beloye, or the White Lake, formerly 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

Day 6. YAROSLAVL 1 June 2018, Friday

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, 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: Barbeque on the Sun Deck

Meals: B, L, D

Day 7. UGLICH 2 June 2018, Saturday

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

Day 8. MOSCOW 3 June 2018, Sunday - Moscow Architecture tour / New Tretyakov Gallery

12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

The MS Volga Dream ties up with Moscow where we disembark for our “Moscow Architecture” tour. 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 XXth century. The architecture of the capital, though seemingly contradictory and contrasting, makes for a dazzling combination in a quite unique city.

After a relaxed lunch, we continue with the New Tretyakov Gallery to see its collection of early XXth century works by world famous Russian avant-garde masters and Social Realism Art work. The tour is led by the specially invited museum Curator.

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

Meals: B, L

Day 9. MOSCOW 4 June 2018, Monday - Backstage tour of Bolshoi theatre* / Metro / Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

10:30 am – 6:30 pm

Begin the day with a backstage tour of the historic and recently restored Bolshoi Theatre* (available in May, June and September only). Then explore the famous Moscow Metro, renowned for its architectural splendor. That‟s followed after lunch by a visit to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts to see its remarkable collection of French Impressionism, which includes works by Corot, Goya, Delacroix, as well as van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, Matisse, and Chagall.

Meals: B, L

* A tour to Bolshoi Theatre will be replaced by a tour to State Central Museum of Contemporary History of Russia in July and August (early September) due to the Bolshoi Theatre annual leave.

Day 10. MOSCOW 5 June 2018, Tuesday – Full Day: Kremlin / Armory Museum / Red Square Walk/ Tretyakov Gallery

9:30 am – 5:30 pm

In the morning you will walk through the famous Kremlin with its beautiful cathedrals and unique museums. The Armoury hosts an impressive collection of opulent coronation finery, hand-forged armour and ancient weapons, royal carriages and sleighs.

Then you will stroll across Red Square and visit GUM - Moscow‟s largest department store. 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.

The remainder of the day is free for you to explore Moscow independently or seek out a performance at any one of the city‟s world-class venues.

Meals: B, L

Day 11. MOSCOW – ST. PETERSBURG 6 June 2018, Wednesday - Train ride from Moscow to St. Petersburg

Today check out from your hotel and transfer to the railway station for a 4 hour comfortable ride to St. Petersburg in business class coach.

Upon arrival in St. Petersburg you will be transferred to the deluxe hotel Kempinski, Moika 22 ***** located in the historic city centre near the Winter Palace and legendary Hermitage. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Meals: B, L

Day 12. ST. PETERSBURG 7 June 2018, Thursday – Full Day: Catherine’s Palace (Early Entrance) / Amber Room / Peterhof: Park only / Musical Performances at the Yusupov Palace

8:00am – 6:00pm

We travel to the Tsar‟s Village to visit the famous Catherine‟s Palace and the exquisitely recreated Amber Room. (To avoid the crowds, we‟ve arranged special Early Entrance for you, before official opening hours.) A stroll through the formal gardens is highly recommended. We enter the Pushkin grounds through the Golden Gate, ascend the staircase to the Grand Hall. The Golden Enfilade offers a great view of the Amber Room.

Our next stop is the most famous and 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

Lunch is followed by a tour of Yusupov‟s Palace, home to St. Petersburg once most wealthy aristocrats. On your tour of the Palace, you will dive into a bygone world of luxury and splendor. The life and atmosphere of the house will be recreated in a series of short musical performances. In the basement of the house listen to the story about enigmatic monk Grigory Rasputin who was assassinated here by Prince Felix Yusupov.

Meals: B, L

Day 13. ST. PETERSBURG 8 June 2018, Friday – Full Day: The State Hermitage (Early Entrance) with Peacock Clock Demonstration / Canal boat / Russian Army Choral Performance / Family Visit / Embarkation aboard the MS Volga Dream

8:30am – 6:30pm

The morning takes you to one of the most famous museum 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 Vince, Rafael and Titian. The main building and largest part of the museum is the rococo-style Winter Palace, once the residence of the Czars. Your visit incorporates a unique opportunity: a private visit to see the stunning XVIII century mechanical masterpiece - Peacock Clock - in action.

Following the Hermitage we embark on a canal cruise sailing under the city‟s historic bridges and past its magnificent pastel palaces.

Before lunch you will be able to enjoy a Russian Choral performance and the day ends with a visit to an authentic Russian home. This offers a unique opportunity to visit a real Russian Professor and his family, taste traditional home cooked Russian food, prepared by the hostess and, of course, ask anything about Russian life that you've been wondering about! The meeting will either be in a country house (dacha) or a family apartment in one of the famed “Stalin” residential buildings of the early XX century.

Day 14. DEPART ST. PETERSBURG 9 June 2018, Saturday

This morning check out from your hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight.

Meals: B

Please note that due to the complex opening schedules in Russia it may be necessary to rearrange or substitute the sightseeing program on this itinerary. Scheduled sightseeing may have to be altered to accommodate changes in accessibility. We ask for your patience should such a situation occur.