Discover the passion and grandeur of Russian history, art, and culture.

The imperial cities, grand artistic treasures and spectacular architecture of Russia await your arrival. From the glittering metropolises of St. Petersburg and Moscow to the timeless towns along the Golden Ring, you’ll experience Russia in all its glory and splendor.

Explore the dichotomy of Moscow—rich with monuments to both 15th-century tsars and 20th-century communist leaders. Stand in awe of the massive Kremlin complex, onion-domed St. Basil’s Cathedral and the extravagant Moscow metro system. See some of Russia’s vast and beautiful countryside as well as its delightful small towns, where locals still engage in traditional crafts. Cruise along the Golden Ring to some of Russia’s most beautiful cities, including Uglich and Yaroslavl, which are known for their white-stone churches and gorgeous monasteries. Be amazed by Kizhi Island’s UNESCO-designated Transfiguration Church, a wooden structure built entirely without the use of nails. And uncover regal St. Petersburg, which boasts art-laden galleries and museums, fabled canals and elegant architecture from a wide variety of eras.

Imperial Waterways of Russia

12 Day River Cruise, June 10, 2020

MOSCOW TO SAINT PETERSBURG

 

Day 1: Moscow (Embark)

Arrive at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport, Vnukovo International Airport or Domodedovo Airport. You will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.

 

Day 2: Moscow

If Russia is "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma" as Winston Churchill famously said, then Moscow presents an intriguing starting point for an amazing cultural discovery.

 

Featured Excursions:

Moscow Panoramic city tour with Red Square visit

See the Red Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Get up-close views of the colourful peaks and domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral. In the square, you travel past such iconic sights as the Lenin’s Mausoleum, the Kremlin and the Bolshoi Theatre – home to world-class opera and ballet performances. This tour offers a great overview of the city’s incredible history and important sites.

 

Tour of metro and Arbat street

Arbat Street once served as a main Moscow artery and is one of the oldest original streets in the Russian capital. The Arbat District, through which Arbat Street runs, was once a location where craftsmen set up shop, and the Arbat’s side streets show evidence of their past with names that describe various trades or products, like Carpenters, Bread, or Silver.

 

A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening. Note: Throughout your visit to Moscow, the order of sightseeing is subject to change. Venues may be closed unexpectedly for unannounced government functions, holidays or religious observances, necessitating changes in our program.

 

Day 3: Moscow

This morning, you’ll have the chance to explore the Kremlin and adjacent Armory Museum. The Kremlin, a fortified complex in the heart of Moscow and the government’s headquarters, offers an intriguing look at Russia’s political and cultural heritage. Take a look at a collection of Russian regalia at the Armory Museum and wander through the exquisite Cathedral Square. Plenty of adventures await this afternoon with free time in Moscow to explore on your own.

 

Featured Excursion:

Kremlin and Armory Museum visit

Inextricably linked to all the most important historical and political events in Russia since the 13th century, the Kremlin (built between the 14th and 17th centuries by outstanding Russian and foreign architects) was the residence of the Great Prince and also a religious centre. At the foot of its ramparts, on Red Square, St Basil’s Basilica is one of the most beautiful Russian Orthodox monuments.

 

Day 4: Uglich

While cruising through the Moscow Canal, you’ll get your first glimpse of rural Russia on your way to the quiet and historic town of Uglich. Be prepared for a panorama of magnificent architectural monuments.

 

Choice of Uglich walking tour with Church of St. Dmitry on the Blood

Prince Dmitry, the last son of Ivan the Terrible, heir to the throne was killed in Uglich. That caused the Time of Troubles for Russia. Walk along former Kremlin territory, visit to the Dmitry on the Blood Church and Transfiguration Cathedral. The name of the town most likely derives from the Russian word "ugol" which means "corner" – the Volga River makes a sharp turn nearby.

or Hydropower GULAG tour

Learn about hydroelectricity and the construction of a major dam by Gulag prisoners at Uglich Hydropower Engineering Museum. The museum outlines the hydropower plant and provides information about the history of the local dam, along with an exhibit devoted to the prisoners who built it.

 

Day 5: Yaroslavl, Cruising Lake Rybinsk

Credit for Yaroslavl’s well-designed, UNESCO-protected city center goes to none other than Catherine the Great, who was even more than a mighty Russian ruler—she was a forward-thinking urban planner as well. Visit an Orthodox church and a lively market.

 

Featured Excursion:

Yaroslavl City Tour

Situated at the confluence of the Volga and Kotorosl Rivers some 250 km north-east of Moscow, the historic city of Yaroslavl developed into a major commercial centre from the 11th century. It is renowned for its numerous 17th-century churches and is an outstanding example of the urban planning reform Empress Catherine the Great ordered for the whole of Russia in 1763.

 

Later, relax onboard the ship as you travel across Lake Rybinsk, formed in 1941 between the upper Volga River and its tributaries. At the time of its construction, it was the largest man-made body of water on earth.

 

Day 6: Goritsy

Beyond Russia’s major cities lies a completely different world—the fabled land of Mother Russia. Explore a rural village today for an authentic and unforgettable glimpse of everyday life in a Russian province.

 

Choice of Goritsy "Village Day" or "Let’s Go" village walk

Dive into the medieval atmosphere of this extraordinarily picturesque tiny river town of Goritsy, one of the most tranquil places in Russia. The famous Russian writer Andrey Muraviov called Goritsy the "Russian Northern Thebais," an analogy for the Egyptian desert where early Christian hermits made their cells. This poetic comparison reflects Goritsy’s numerous monasteries and the deep spiritual life of local monks even today.

 

Later, relax onboard as your ship cruises through the second-largest lake in Europe. Fed by 58 rivers, Lake Onega has 1,369 islands and is bordered by the Republic of Karelia on the west, north and east, and by Leningrad Oblast and Vologda Oblast on the south. A great inland sea that creates its own weather, just as the Great Lakes in the United States do, its shores are lined with birch forests. You may think this wild and beautiful country is uninhabitable—and indeed it has few inhabitants—but people have lived along these shores for thousands of years, as petroglyphs carved into the granite on the eastern shore attest.

 

Day 7: Kizhi Island

To approach the towering wooden Church of Transfiguration from the water can be a transformative experience. Step ashore for an up-close view of this incredible church.

 

Choice of Open-air Museum of Wooden Architecture or
"Let’s Go" village and island nature hike

Two 18th-century wooden churches, and an octagonal clock tower, also in wood and built in 1862, can be seen there. These unusual constructions, in which carpenters created a bold visionary architecture, perpetuate an ancient model of parish space and are in harmony with the surrounding landscape.

 

Day 8: Mandrogi

Travel back in time to the 19th century at a reconstructed Russian village populated by talented artisans who make handmade items using traditional materials and techniques. Other highlights today include a rustic shashlik lunch.

 

Choice of Mandrogi "Village Day" walking tour with Shashlik lunch or "Let’s Go" village hike

Mandrogi was bombed in World War II. More than half a century later it has been reconstructed, in dreamy, idealised, fairytale form, by Sergei Gutsait, a St Petersburg businessman and arts benefactor. First came a hotel, followed by hideaways for artists and, eventually, a village full of attractions.

 

Later, your ship cruises along the southern shores of Lake Ladoga, a vast freshwater inland sea that was once connected to the Baltic Sea. Islands dot the water while forested nature preserves and beaches line the shores. Relax and enjoy the scenery.

 

Day 9: St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is a city of canals, palaces and cathedrals that presents a glorious juxtaposition of East and West. See the sights by land as well as water. Later, spend an evening watching a ballet at the Alexandrinsky Theater, home of the oldest theater company in Russia. Considered one of the architectural jewels of the city, you can see first hand one of the finest works of the great neoclassical architect Carlo Rossi.

 

Featured Excursions:

St. Petersburg city tour with canal cruise

Russian ballet performance

 

Note: Throughout your visit to St. Petersburg, the order of sightseeing is subject to change. Venues may be closed unexpectedly for unannounced government functions, holidays or religious observances, necessitating changes in our program.

 

Day 10: St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg finds you with an appropriately imperial excursion: a guided tour through the world-famous Hermitage Museum. It is the crown jewel of the city and is located in the former home of the tsars, the Winter Palace.

 

Featured Excursion:

Hermitage Museum

One of the world’s largest and most prestigious museums, the Hermitage is a must-see for all first-time travellers to the city. With over 3 million items in its collection, it also definitely rewards repeat visits, and new-comers can only hope to get a brief taste of the riches on offer here, from Impressionist masterpieces to fascinating Oriental treasures.

 

Day 11: St. Petersburg

Cross the threshold of the summer residence of the tsars—the lavishly decorated Catherine Palace—where you’ll see opulent staterooms and the near mythic Amber Room, meticulously restored to its former glory. Marvel at the palace’s immaculate grounds, dubbed Pushkin Park, then spend the rest of the day exploring on your own.

 

Featured Excursion:

Catherine Palace and Park in Pushkin

Filled with 18th-century paintings and ornate rooms, this white and gold palace is surrounded by a 1400-acre park complete with fountains, bridges, the Agate Pavilion bathhouse and the Great Pond. The Palace also has a famous Amber Room, stolen by Nazi troops during WWII, but now recreated by Russian craftsmen.

A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

 

Day 12: St. Petersburg (Disembark)

You have sampled culinary delights, explored history and experienced the best of life along the Volga River. Now the journey comes to a close and it’s time to disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Pulkovo International Airport for your flight home. Your adventure may be over, but we know you’ll enjoy the memories you’ve made for years to come.

 

Our website does not display live availability. All prices and availability be will confirmed at time of enquiry. Please note – while we will do our best to adhere to this full itinerary, there may be changes at the discretion of the captain, due to weather advisories, port traffic and other circumstances. Shore excursions are subject to change. We reserve the right to alter, cancel or substitute an included excursion at any time. 

 

 

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