The experience couldn’t have been better! The crew was excellent and the food very good. But the presentation of churches, galleries etc. should be shorter. The presentations were all extremely knowledgeable, but with information overload it is difficult to remember any of it.
Daphne & Rob Baker
VOLGA DREAM GOLD PROGRAM13 days / 12 nights from Moscow to St. Petersburg
Gold Program - Detailed Program
TRIP DESCRIPTION & HIGHLIGHTS
Volga Dream GOLD combines the best of Moscow and St. Petersburg with a deluxe cruise on the iconic Volga River. An ideal journey is ideal for individual travelers and small groups who want to explore both the Russian countryside and the treasures of Russia's grandest cities.
- Accommodation in exquisite 5-star hotels in Moscow and St. Petersburg
- Daily sightseeing in small groups, never more than 20-25 guests
- Moscow visit include: the Kremlin, Red Square, the Armory and the Tretyakov Gallery
- St. Petersburg highlights, the magnificent Hermitage, the Faberge Museum, Peterhof and Catherine’s palace
- All meals aboard the MS Volga Dream include house wines, beer and soft drinks
- Russian professors present 4 fascinating talks on the intricacies of Russian’s history
- Diverse range of cultural activities aboard MS Volga Dream
Day 1. MOSCOW
On arriving in Moscow, transfer to the deluxe Marriott Aurora ***** in the historic city centre near Bolshoi Theatre and Moscow Kremlin. Enjoy a warm-up meeting with your guide and fellow guests (in the hotel lobby from 6 to 9pm) or spend the rest of the day exploring central Moscow on your own.
Day 2. MOSCOW
City Tour / Red Square / GUM Department Store / Novodevichy Cemetery9:30 am – 2:30 pm
Begin the day with an orientation tour of Moscow city before proceeding to the famous Novodevichi Cemetery, where well-known Russian authors, musicians, playwrights, and poets, are buried along with famous actors, political leaders, and scientists.
Take the rest of the afternoon at your leisure, explore Moscow on your own or seek out a cultural performance at one of the city’s word-class venues.
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).
Day 3. MOSCOW
Kremlin / Armoury Museum9:30 am – 2:30 pm
The morning takes you into the Kremlin to visit the Armoury Museum and its renewed collection of opulent coronation finery, hand-forged armour and weapons, royal carriages and sleighs. Continue to the beautifully frescoed 15th-century Assumption and Archangel Cathedrals.
The rest of the day is left open for independent exploration or you may choose from several optional tours.
Day 4. MOSCOW
Tretyakov Gallery / Metro Ride / Embarkation on the Volga Dream12:00 pm – 5:30 pm
The morning is free for you to walk at leisure before enjoying lunch in the hotel or near-by.
Hotel check-out is at noon followed by a trip to the Tretyakov Gallery, the first museum dedicated exclusively to Russian fine art. Explore Moscow’s Metro, famed for its architectural splendour. Later, transfer to the awaiting luxury MS Volga Dream before sailing Russia’s extensive waterways. 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, D
Day 5. 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: Documentary Film “Construction of the Moscow Canal”
Meals: B, L, D
Day 6. 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, 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 & Russian Cooking Class
Meals: B, L, D
Day 7. GORITSY
In the tiny settlement of Goritsy, we visit the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, founded in 1397, now home to one of the world’s finest collections of Russian icons. After a guided tour, we continue cruising toward the majestic Lake Onega.
Volga Dream Experience: Russian Dinner with Vodka Tasting
Meals: B, L, D
Day 8. 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
Day 9. SVIRSTROY
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. 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: Deck Barbeque
Meals: B, L, D
Day 10. ST. PETERSBURG
City Tour / Peter and Paul Fortress / The Hermitage Museum9:30am – 5:30pm
Arrive in St. Petersburg via the Neva River and disembark the MS Volga Dream. Enjoy a city tour of St. Petersburg, including Peter and Paul Fortress, the burial place of the Romanov monarchs, and Nevsky Prospect, with its rich selection of fine shops, cafes, and museums. Lunch is followed by a tour of the world class the Hermitage Museum, home to one of world’s most important collections of European art.
Evening check-in at the five-star Kempinski Moika 22.
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 11. ST. PETERSBURG
Peterhof: Park and Small Cottage10:00am – 3:00pm
The day begins at the meticulously restored Peterhof, St. Petersburg’s most famous and spectacular Imperial estate, often cited as the Versailles of Russia. Visit one of the authentic Small Cottages and stroll in the vast Lower Park with its 176 different fountains and four cascades. There are majestic palaces and numerous gilded statues of ancient gods and heroes.
The rest of the day left open for independent exploration.
Day 12. ST. PETERSBURG
Catherine’s Palace / Amber Room / Faberge Museum9:30am – 5:30pm
Drive to Catherine the Great’s Palace, which houses the extraordinary Amber Room. Its six tons of solid amber are deftly carved and framed in a gold leaf. Once dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world,” the room was stripped by the Nazis in 1941, but majestically rebuilt in honour of St. Petersburg’s 300th birthday.
After lunch at a local restaurant, we visit the Faberge museum, containing the world's largest collection of works by Carl Faberge, including 9 Easter eggs commissioned by the Russian royal family.
Meals: B, L
Day 13. ST. PETERSBURG
Check out of your hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight home.
MOSCOW – Marriott Aurora Royal Hotel
Built in 1999 The Marriott Aurora Royal Hotel is one of the most luxurious in town: with the Red Square and the Kremlin as well as the famous Bolshoi Theatre in walking distance, the hotel has the capital’s commercial, political and cultural heart literally on the doorstep. With its arches and spires, the hotel gloriously blends traditional Moscow with modern conveniences.
ST. PETERSBURG – Kempinski Moika 22
The Kempinski Hotel Moika 22 is located in a charming and historical area, in the very heart of St Petersburg, on the Moika River, opposite the renowned Hermitage Museum and Palace Square. The Hotel is just two minutes walk from the Nevsky Prospect and close to all major sights and shopping.
Check-in to the hotels starts at 15:00, check-out ends before 12:00.
All arrangements are subject to availability and modification if necessary. Weather, heavy traffic and heavy crowds may affect the order of your sightseeing program.