$ 5,650.00 (double occupancy)
$ 6,360.00 (single occupancy)
Moscow: Azimut Smolenskaya 4* or similar
Crowne Plaza Ligovsky 4* or similar
M/S Volga Dream: standard double cabin
2 nights accomodations in Moscow hotel
4 nights accomodations in St. Petersburg Hotel
6 nights onboard M/S "Volga Dream" in standard cabin
Daily breakfast at the hotels
Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard
Complementary house wine and soft drinks onboard
4 lectures by a Russian Professor onboard
24 hour coffee station with complementary tea, coffee and snacks
Welcome fruit basket onboard
Bottled water supply replenished daily
Private Sightseeing in Moscow and St. Petersburg per program
Sightseeing in small groups (up to 25 people) in the Golden Ring
RUSSIAN VISAS INCLUDED!
This tour is offered exclusively by East West Tours. We have taken the most luxurious ship on the Volga River - M/S "Volga Dream" and combined it with our best private guides in Moscow and St. Petersburg to deliver the most comprehensive tour of Moscow, St. Petersburg and the Golden Ring. You will stay 6 nights in a 4* centrally located hotels in Moscow and St. Petersburg (2 in Moscow and 4 in St. Petersburg) and 6 nights onboard the ship in a standard cabin. You can also upgrade this package to 5* hotels and deluxe cabin onboard.
Upon arrival, we will pick you up at the airport and transfer to your hotel in Moscow. A private guide will show you the best of Moscow during a two full-day sightseeing program with breaks for lunch. On the 3rd day, our driver will transfer you to the ship where you will spend the next 7 days cruising thru the hear of medieval Russia from Moscow to St. Petersburg and visiting old Russian towns and villages every day. We will pick you up from the ship on the last day of the cruise and transfer to your centrally located hotel in St. Petersburg. You will explore the best of St. Petersburg for the next 4 days with a local private guide. The guide will stay with you 4 full days, and you will see as much as possible during your tour.
In both, Moscow and St. Petersburg you will have your guide's undivided attention aand private transportation where necessary. You will benefit from a flexible itinerary allowing for breaks for lunch and rest, and plenty of opportunities to ask questions.
Touring during the cruise will be conducted in small groups of 20-25 people by local tour guides. While onboard you will enjoy a diverse cultural program offered by the ship staff. The program will include Russian Classical Music Concert, Russian Cooking Classes, Onboard Entertainment Program, 4 Lectures by a Guest Speaker.
ARRIVAL & TRANSFER
Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. Hotel check-in and free time to get some rest before your Russian tour begins.
Overnight in Moscow hotel.
MOSCOW CITY TOUR * RED SQUARE * KREMLIN GROUNDS * ARMORY
Morning city tour of Moscow is a general overview of the city and its main areas within the boundaries of the Garden Ring and the Boulevard Ring: Red Square, Kremlin, Kitay Gorod, Tverskaya, Arbat and Zamoskvorechje. The overview will include famous landmarks: Red Square and Kremlin, St. Basil's Church, Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Novodevichiy Convent, Luzhniki, the White House, Moskva River and others. You will drive to the Sparrow Hills, 6 km south-west of the Kremlin, topped by the Moscow University skyscraper, for the best panoramic view of the city. During the tour you will visit Novodevichiy Convent founded in 1524 and proclaimed UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004. The convent has sheltered many famous Russian ladies such as Irina Godunova (the sister of Boris Godunov), Sophia Alekseyevna (sister of Peter the Great), Eudoxia Lopukhina (first wife of Peter the Great) and others.
In the afternoon you will get acquainted with the Red Square and Kremlin areas. This is where you will see the famous St. Basil's Cathedral, Mausoleum, Historical Museum and GUM store. Inside Kremlin the main landmarks are three Cathedrals - Assumption, Annunciation and Archangel - dated back to the 15-16th centuries, Ivan the Great Bell Tower, Tsar Bell, Tsar Cannon, Hall of Facets and Terem Place. Your tour will include a visit to the Armory - a stunning collection of wealth and treasures accumulated by Russian state and church over the centuries. The collection includes royal regalia, Faberge Eggs of precious metals and jewels, the 800-diamond throne of Tsar Alexey, the jewel-studded and sable-trimmed gold Cap of Monomakh worn for coronations for two centuries, the coronation dress of Catherine the Great, the sleigh in which Elizabeth rode from St. Petersburg to Moscow for her coronation pulled by 23 horses at a time. Between the Armory and the Annunciation Cathedral is the Great Kremlin Palace the official residence of Russian president.
Overnight in Moscow hotel (B)
MOSCOW METRO * TRETYAKOV GALLERY
Moscow Metro is one of the most beautiful and efficient subway systems in the world carrying over 10 million passengers daily (more than the New York and London systems combined). It was designed by prominent Russian architects and artists whose goal was not to create just a transportation system but a showcase to glorify the socialism and its achievements. You will visit the most amazing stations decorated with granite, marble, bronze, statues and other pieces of art - making it look more like a museum than a subway.
Your next tour is to the Tretyakov Gallery located in one of the oldest parts of Moscow Zamoskvorechje, not far from the Red Square. The Tretyakov Gallery is a national treasury which houses the largest and most distinguished collection of Russian art in the world. The gallery was named after Russian entrepreneur Pavel Tretyakov, who donated his house, where the Gallery is still located, surrounding buildings and almost 2000 works of Russian art from his own private collection to the city of Moscow at the end of the 19th century. The collection grew overtime and now features over 100,000 Russian works from medieval icons, including the ones by famous Andrey Rublev, to early 20th century.
In the evening transfer and check-in to M/S Volga Dream. Gather for the Captain's welcome reception and dinner as we begin our cruise.
Volga Dream Experience: Bread, Salt & Vodka Welcome Aboard Ceremony. Overnight onboard (B, D)
UGLICH TOUR * CHURCH OF ST. DMITRI-ON-THE-BLOOD
After a full day of cruising through forested countryside, dock in the ancient trading town of Uglich, one of the spokes of 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, and attend an enchanting concert of choral music at St. John’s Church.
Volga Dream Experience: Documentary Film “Construction of the Moscow Canal” Overnight onboard(B, L, D)
YAROSLAVL TOUR * PASSKY MONASTERY * RECEPTION AT THE GOVERNOR'S HOUSE
Founded in 1010, Yaroslavl is one of the oldest cities in central Russia and the Volga’s first port. In the Spassky Monastery see the Transfiguration of the Savior and admire the mosaics at the Church of Elijah the Prophet. Take part in a costumed reception at the governor’s house, and then re-board the MS Volga Dream in time for lunch.
Volga Dream Experience: Costumed Russian Tea Ceremony & Russian Cooking Class. Overnight onboard (B, L, D)
GORITSY * KIROVO-BELOZERSKY MONASTERY
In the tiny settlement of Goritsy, visit the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, founded in 1397, and now home to one of the best collections of Russian icons in the world. After a guided tour, continue cruising toward majestic Lake Onega.
Volga Dream Experience: Russian Dinner with Vodka Tasting. Overnight onboard (B, L, D)
KIZHI TOUR * LAKE ONEGA * RUSSIAN WOODEN HOUSES AND WINDMILLS * TRANSFIGURATION CHURCH
The Kareliya region, which spans the area from St. Petersburg to the Arctic Circle, is a vast wilderness of forest and water. Discover Lake Onega, fed by 58 rivers and home to 1,369 islands, including Kizhi. See a collection of ancient Russian wooden houses and windmills, and the famous Transfiguration church, built in 1714 without a single nail.
Volga Dream Experience: Piano Concert – pieces by Tchaikovsky and Rakhmaninov. Overnight onboard (B, L, D)
LAKE LADOGA * WOODEN VILLAGE MANDROGUI
While cruising along the 139-mile-long Svir River, appreciate the quiet understated beauty of a region that has long inspired artists and poets. The ship passes quaint riverside hamlets before reaching Lake Ladoga. Step ashore for a brief visit to the vacation village of Mandrogi to experience daily life in a quaint wooden village on your own.
Volga Dream Experience: Barbeque on the Open Deck. Overnight onboard (B, L, D)
CITY TOUR * YUSUPOV PALACE * SPILLED BLOOD CHURCH
Buffet onboard. Disembark after breakfast.
After breakfast, we will start the day with a sightseeing tour of St. Petersburg. We will drive by the elegant buildings on the Nevsky Prospect, Kazan Cathedral, Admiralty, Strelka, Rosstral Columns, Fontanka, Canal Griboyedova, the Palace Square, Winter Palace, Summer Gardens, and other remarkable landmarks. The tour includes inside visit to Yusupov Palace with Grigory Rasputin Chambers.
Visit the stunning Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood built on the spot where Emperor Alexander II was assassinated in March 1881. The construction of the church was almost entirely funded by the Imperial family and thousands of private donors. Both the interior and exterior of the church are decorated with incredibly detailed mosaics, designed and created by the most prominent Russian artists of the day
Yusupov Palace is located on a quiet stretch of the Moika River. One of two surviving St. Petersburg residences of the wealthy Yusupov family, it has retained many of its original interiors and is most famous as the scene of the murder of the notorious Grigory Rasputin, a peasant who had gained control over the tsar's family due to his alleged supernatural powers. (B)
Overnight in St. Petersburg (B)
HERMITAGE MAIN EXPOSITION * IMPRESSIONISTS PAVILION IN GENERAL STAFF BUILDING * ST. ISAAC CATHEDRAL
We begin our day with the morning tour one of the world’s largest and most splendid St. Isaac Cathedral. Beautifully decorated inside with marble of 13 colors, malachite, lapis-lazuli, paintings, mosaics, and stained glass made by the most famous Russian artists, it can accommodate about 10,000 people at a time. The Cathedral was designed by then unknown architect Auguste de Montferrand and opened in 1858.
Our next stop is the Hermitage Art Museum, one of Russia’s main treasures. Occupying six stunning buildings along the River Neva, the Hermitage is the second largest art museum in the world (Louve in Paris is the first) founded in 1764 . The museum has a wide range of art on display (over three million pieces!) - from prehistoric collections to modern art.
Today you will visit both Winter Palace and General Staff Buiilding expositions!
Overnight in St. Petersburg (B)
PETERGOF WITH GRAND PALACE AND PARK WITH FOUNTAINS * PETER-AND-PAUL FORTRESS
After breakfast you will visit Peterhof, located on the southern shores of the Finnish Gulf 14 miles away from St. Petersburg. Often referred to as "the Russian Versaille," it is one of St. Petersburg's most famous sightseeing attractions. Inspired by Versailles, Peter the Great wanted to build an imperial palace in the suburbs. As a result, the Monplaisir Palace and the Grand Palace were erected. The Grand Palace with its lavish interiors, gilded decorations, mirrors, and paintings dominate the estate. The Park outside the Grand Palace is a splendid kingdom of 144 unique fountains, all operating by a combination of naturally generated water pressure and magic. The outwardly-modest Monplaisir Palace which Peter I preferred to the Grand Palace has a nice sea view and several interesting rooms, such as the State Hall where Peter would force his guests to drink huge quantities of wine until they passed out. The nearby Hermitage Pavilion, which also has nice views and artwork, is a two-story dining room where guests sitting on the upper floor ate and drank in peace, occasionally lowering the table to the ground floor where servants refilled wine glasses and replaced dirty plates.
We return to St. Petersburg in the afternoon and visit Peter-and-Paul Fortress built in 1704 to defend the city from naval attacks but never served its primary purpose. Instead, its historical mission turned out to be rather gruesome: thousands of workers died while building the fortress, many political prisoners, including Peter's own son Alexi were kept and tortured in its cells. The tombs of the Romanov family are also in its Cathedral.
Overnight in St. Petersburg (B)
PUSHKIN WITH CATHERINE PALACE AND AMBER ROOM * WWII & ST. PETERSBURG SIEGE MUSEUM
After breakfast we will begin an all day tour to Pushkin located 18-20 miles from St. Petersburg. Pushkin's original name is Tsarskoye Selo (Tsar's Village). It was renamed in 1937 after Russia 's famous poet Alexander Pushkin who used to study here. Its palaces and parks were created under Empresses Elizabeth and Catherine the Great between 1744 and 1796. The main landmark is the Catherine Palace designed by Rastrelli and the famous Amber Room inside the Palace.
On our way back to St. Petersburg we will stop by an impressive memorial dedicated to the struggle and hardship of the residents living in the city during WWII. The Monument to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad and St. Petersburg Siege Memorial was built to be the main focal point of Ploshchad Pobedy (Victory Square) in the early 1970s. A special bank account was opened to take donations and many people took part in the construction including volunteers and famous artists of the Soviet Union such as Mikhail Anikushin, Sergey Speransky, and Valentin Kamensky, all of whom participated in the defense of Leningrad.
Overnight in St. Petersburg (B)
Today marks the end of your Russian tour. Transfer to the airport. (B)