Thank you for your wonderful Russian hospitality and your generosity of spirit. We love you all.

Michael & Alexandra Naisbitt
Australia

GRAND VOLGA

11-day Cruise from Moscow to Volgograd
rates from $3,745
Standart Cabin (more)

2019 GRAND VOLGA PROGRAM

TRIP DESCRIPTION & HIGHLIGHTS

From the Golden Horde to the Soviet era, the scenic cities along Russia’s grand Volga River have witnessed some of the most significant events in Russian history. On a journey aboard the deluxe M.S. Volga Dream, cruise from Moscow to the legendary 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.

  • Cross Moscow’s famous Red Square to the iconic Kremlin and take a close look at the magnificent collection of world-class exhibits in the Kremlin’s State Armory museum
  • Experience Russia’s diverse musical traditions at a series of lively performances of traditional folk
  • Explore Volgograd, the site of the decisive battle of World War II’s eastern front

Day 1. MOSCOW

May 3 cruise

When you arrive in Moscow, transfer to the deluxe Marriott Aurora***** in the historic city centre. In the evening gather for a welcome reception with your guide and fellow travellers or spend the rest of the day exploring central Moscow on your own.

Meals: -

September 26 cruise

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

Meals: D

Day 2. MOSCOW

The day begins with an orientation tour of Moscow taking in a riding the city’s spectacular metro. After lunch in a local restaurant, we move on to the Old Tretyakov gallery and its extraordinary collection of Russian art, ranging from XII-century icons to XX-century paintings

Meals: B, L (Dinner included for September 26 cruise)

Day 3. MOSCOW

This morning you will step inside the Kremlin and visit the Armory Museum, with its collection of tsarist thrones, ceremonial crowns, coaches and extravagant gifts of state, the excursion also takes you to the beautifully frescoed 15th-century Assumption and Archangel Cathedrals. Then, back aboard the MS Volga Dream for a delicious buffet lunch as your breathtaking cruise along the Russia’s Waterways begins. The evening provides a chance to meet your crew and fellow travellers at Captain's welcome reception and dinner.

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

Meals: B, L, D

Day 4. 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: Russian Cooking Class

Meals: B, L, D

Day 5. 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.

Additional Sailing between Yaroslavl and Nizhniy Novgorod day for September 26 cruise Volga Dream Experience: Costumed Russian Tea Ceremony

Meals: B, L, D

Day 6. NIZHNIY NOVGOROD

Nizhniy Novgorod (formerly Gorkiy), once a wealthy commercial center poised on the important 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 XVIth-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

Meals: B, L, D

Day 7. KAZAN

Today, you will notice that the now familiar Russian Orthodox Churches no longer dominate 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 center 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 of traditional Tatar music.

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

Meals: B, L, D

Day 8 . SAMARA

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

Meals: B, L, D

Day 9. SARATOV

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

Meals: B, L, D

Day 10. VOLGOGRAD (ex. Stalingrad)

Originally named Tsaritsyn, this remarkable city has had three name changes in its tumultuous history. The site of epic battles during the Russian, Revolution – between 1925 and 1961 it was known as Stalingrad. The people’s heroic defence of the city during World War II was destined to become the decisive battle of the conflict on the eastern front.

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

Volga Dream Experience: Farewell dinner

Meals: B, L, D

Day 11. VOLGOGRAD

Transfer to the airport for your return flight.

Meals: B

All arrangements are subject to availability and modification if necessary. Weather, heavy traffic and heavy crowds may affect the order of your sightseeing program.

Accommodations

MAY 3-13, 2019 CRUISE

MOSCOW – Marriott Aurora Royal Hotel*****

Built in 1999 The Marriott Aurora Royal Hotel is one of the most luxurious in town: Red Square, the Kremlin and the famous Bolshoi Theatre are all within easy walking distance. This hotel, quite literally, has the capital’s commercial, political and cultural heart on its doorstep. With its classical arches and spires, the hotel gloriously blends traditional Moscow with modern convenience.

Check-in to the hotels starts at 15:00, check-out ends before 12:00.

MAY 13-24, 2019 CRUISE

MOSCOW – The Ritz Carlton*****

Moments from Red Square and the Kremlin, The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow celebrates Russian culture and decadence at every opportunity. A gilded interior, reflecting the beauty of 19th-century classicism, houses 5-star hotel amenities including a spa inspired by European and Eastern traditions, a rooftop O2 Lounge terrace overlooking the Kremlin and spacious accommodations in the city center.

Check-in to the hotel starts at 15:00, check-out ends before 12:00.