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12 nights
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A Russian Odyssey

A cultural journey through the heartland of Russia, from Moscow to St Petersburg with Professor Ludmilla Selezneva aboard the Volga Dream

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  • History and Culture
  • Moscow

Join us aboard the MS Volga Dream as we travel in comfort and style from the imposing city of Moscow to magnificent St Petersburg. Russia’s two most famous cities are also the greatest repositories of Russian art and architecture, Moscow, the Medieval and 20th century capital, has a wonderful heritage of early buildings while St. Petersburg, the creation of Peter the Great, benefited from the inspiration of Europe’s greatest 18th century architects and craftsmen. We have allowed ample time in both cities to explore their riches and have arranged special early entrances to the Hermitage in St Petersburg and the Armoury in Moscow.

Our cruise in between the great cities of the Tsars includes rural interludes through the delightful Russian countryside to the magical Golden Ring cities of Holy Russia which still preserve their Medieval Kremlins, fortified monasteries and beautiful cathedrals and churches. In between the towns and villages we will sail past a rolling landscape of farms and silver birch woods dotted with villages and hamlets. The combination of history and art, together with the insight into modern Russia of today, makes for an in-depth and all-encompassing trip.

Useful Links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  


Volga Dream

Volga Dream

The vast network of Russian waterways is served by numerous standard class vessels, however for our journeys along the Volga we are fortunate to be using the deluxe MS Volga Dream for our journeys along the mighty river. The elegant MS Volga Dream entered service during the spring of 2007 and was rebuilt from a 200 passenger vessel to accommodate just 100 passengers in an intimate setting. The result is a splendid and spacious vessel which offers the most superior accommodation and services on the route.

View vessel details

Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Moscow, Russia.

Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival, transfer to the MS Volga Dream and embark.

Day 2 - Moscow.

Begin your day with a tour of the Old Tretyakov gallery to view its extraordinary collection of Russian art, ranging from 12th century icons to 20th century paintings. Lunch will be in a local restaurant followed by an afternoon at leisure. Alternatively you may wish to join the optional tour to visit the fascinating Tolstoy House Museum, an authentic and atmospheric recreation, laden with original belongings and details that bring to life the long winters which Tolstoy and his family spent here from 1881 to 1901. Return to the ship and tonight enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail & Dinner on board.

Day 3 - Moscow.

Today we take a trip to see the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and the beautiful Novodevichy Cemetery. The cemetery holds the tombs of notable Russian authors, musicians, playwrights, and poets, as well as political leaders and scientists. Lunch will be in a local restaurant followed by an afternoon at leisure. Alternatively you may wish to join the optional tour of the Moscow Metro, where you can experience some of the most beautiful metro stations in the world. This evening for those who have pre-booked there will be an optional evening of music ashore at Bolshoi Theatre or similar (subject to schedules and ticket availability).

Day 4 - Moscow.

This morning we plan an early visit to the Kremlin to see the Armoury Museum, with its collection of Tsarist thrones, ceremonial crowns, coaches and gifts of state. View the ornate gems of the Diamond Fund, including Catherine the Great’s diamond-encrusted coronation crown and the 190 carat Orlov diamond. Also visit the Square of Three Cathedrals (including entrance to one Cathedral). After lunch in a local restaurant we continue our tour to see Red Square and the GUM department store. Return to the ship and sail in the early evening.

Day 5 - Uglich.

We arrive this afternoon in Uglich which dates back to the 10th century. A walking tour of this Golden Ring city includes the Chapel of Dimitry, a 17th century treasure built on the site where Ivan the Terrible’s 10 year old son met his death. Visit the Church of the Transfiguration, noted for its beautiful iconostasis, and attend a concert of choral music.

Day 6 - Yaroslavl.

This morning we visit the oldest city on the Volga River, Yaroslavl, a World Heritage Site. Visit the Church of St. Elijah the Prophet, featuring detailed frescoes and icons. Here, you will be treated to a stirring a cappella choir performance. Afterwards there will be time to experience the lively farm market before returning to the MS Volga Dream. Alternatively, join an excursion to the Governor’s Palace, a living museum of Russian art, history and culture.

Day 7 - Goritsy.

Early this morning we cross Lake Beloye, or the White Lake, formerly known as the “Tsar’s fishing grounds”. Arrive in the peaceful village of Goritsy to tour the fortress-like Kirillov-Belozersky Monastery with magnificent frescoes by one of the Russia’s most renowned icon painters. Return to the ship for a late lunch and sail.

Day 8 - Kizhi.

This afternoon we will explore the tiny, picturesque island of Kizhi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on Lake Onega. The open-air Museum of Architecture includes the Church of the Transfiguration, a unique onion-domed masterpiece built without a single metal nail and resembling something from a Russian fairy tale.

Day 9 - Svir River & the Island of Svirstroy.

Be on the deck as we navigate the Svir River toward Lake Ladoga, Europe’s largest freshwater lake, past a shoreline dotted with graceful willows, alder trees and stately pines. Step ashore for a visit to the village of Svirstroy to experience daily life in this peaceful rural hamlet.

Day 10 - St Petersburg.

We will begin today at the meticulously restored Peterhof, St. Petersburg’s most famous and spectacular Imperial estate, often cited as the “Versailles of Russia”. Visit Bath Cottage and stroll in the vast Lower Park with its 176 fountains of various forms and styles, four cascades, and numerous gilded statues of ancient gods and heroes. After lunch in a local restaurant we will return to St. Petersburg by hydrofoil and visit the State Russian Museum which contains unique collections of the Russian art, from icon-painting to avant-garde and socialist realism.

Day 11 - St Petersburg.

This morning we have arranged an early entrance to visit the famed Hermitage Museum thus avoiding the crowds. This former residence of the Russian Tsars has 400 rooms and contains spectacular examples of nearly all schools of Western art. Proceed to the Gold rooms of the Hermitage which are closed to the general public and see the amazing collection of Scythian gold and Tsarist jewellery. After lunch in a local restaurant, you can choose to remain in the city and sightsee at leisure or return to the MS Volga Dream and relax on board. For those who have pre-booked, there will be an optional music evening ashore at Mariinsky Theatre or similar (subject to schedules and availability).

Day 12 - St Petersburg.

This morning we drive to Tsar’s Village for a specially arranged visit to Catherine Palace. See the exquisitely restored Amber Room and stroll in the formal gardens. Lunch will be in a local restaurant followed by an afternoon at leisure. Alternatively you may wish to join the optional tour to see the magnificent Yusupov Palace, once the residence of the wealthiest and most respected family in Imperial Russia, which saw one of the most dramatic episodes in Russia’s history – the murder of Grigory Rasputin. This evening enjoy your Farewell Dinner on board.

Day 13 - St Petersburg to London.

Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your return scheduled flight to London.

Dates and Prices

SPECIAL OFFER - SAVE UP TO £400 PER PERSON FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
Prices per person based on double occupancy
22 May 2019 to 3 June 2019
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
Standard twin - Cabin Deck £4495 £4295
Superior twin - Main Deck £4995 £4795
Deluxe double - Promenade Deck £5295 £4995
Junior Suite double - Promenade/Sun Deck £5595 £5295
Superior stateroom twin - Sun Deck £6095 £5695
Deluxe Junior Suite Double £6395 £5995
Owner's Stateroom double - Promenade Deck £7195 £6795
Standard Single - Promenade Deck £4595 £4395
Deluxe single - Sun Deck £4895 £4695
Standard twin for sole occupancy - Cabin Deck £7995 £7795
Deluxe double for sole occupancy - Promenade Deck £9195 £8995

Tour Reference Code: RCVD220519

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel, 12 nights aboard the MS Volga Dream on full board basis, complimentary house wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, shore excursions as described, gratuities, Tour Manager, Guest Speaker, transfers, welcome bottle of champagne (deluxe cabins and suites only), port taxes, UK airport taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance, Russian visa, optional tours as described.

NB. Excursions, music events and performance days are subject to change depending on availability, schedules and entrance time to venues. Details of music programmes and prices will be available approximately two months prior to departure, full information will be sent as soon as received by our Russian agents. Ports and itinerary are subject to change.

  • All Decks

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Volga Dream

The vast network of Russian waterways is served by numerous standard class vessels, however for our journeys along the Volga we are fortunate to be using the deluxe MS Volga Dream for our journeys along the mighty river. The elegant MS Volga Dream entered service during the spring of 2007 and was rebuilt from a 200 passenger vessel to accommodate just 100 passengers in an intimate setting. The result is a splendid and spacious vessel which offers the most superior accommodation and services on the route.

 
  • MS Volga Dream
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Superior Junior Suite
  • Library/Games Room
  • Owners Stateroom
  • Appetizer
  • Lounge
  • Your Cabin/Suite

    Cabins are located over four decks and categories range from standard cabins on the Cabin deck to staterooms on the Sun Deck.

    All cabins are outside facing with Standard staterooms featuring porthole windows, Main and Promenade deck cabins feature large picture windows, except for the Owner’s suite located on the Promenade deck which has both large picture windows and a private wrap around terrace. All cabins and suites on the Sun deck feature picture windows. On the upper two decks, Promenade and Sun, you will find deluxe cabins and suites.

    All cabins offer individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, direct dial telephone, satellite flat screen television and minibar. Additional comforts provided include bathrobes, slippers, hairdryer, bathroom accessories kit, bottled water (replenished daily).

  • Your Space

    Spread over four decks, the onboard facilities include a delightful restaurant which accommodates all guests in one sitting. The lounge is a pleasant space for relaxation with large panoramic windows and bar area. On the large, spacious Sun Deck you will find comfortable deck furniture. There is also a library which features board games and internet access (charges apply), an outside bar with comfortable deck furniture, fitness centre, sauna, and boutique.

  • Your Dining

    The stylish restaurant is located on the Main deck and sits all passengers at once in tables of four, six and eight. In keeping with the superior quality of the vessel, the cuisine aboard the MS Volga Dream is what you would expect aboard a luxurious river vessel and both Russian and international cuisine is served. Breakfast is served buffet style with both continental and cooked meal options, and lunch is served buffet-style, with an a la carte option for your main course.  When weather permits guests are welcome to enjoy their meals on the Sun deck. Dinner is usually a four course affair, including some specialist themed evenings which will feature national delicacies. Afternoon tea is served daily in the lounge and there is a coffee and tea station operating 24hours a day.

  • Life Onboard

    With just 100 fellow passengers and 60 crew members, the MS Volga Dream prides itself in its personal and friendly ambiance. Although the atmosphere aboard is informal, the comfort and service is akin to a five star hotel, otherwise not available in remote rural areas of Russia. 

    Your daily programme will be busy ashore, but your time on board will be relaxed and convivial. In addition to shore excursions there will be daily activities aboard the vessel for your enjoyment, such as Russian language classes, a traditional tea party, Russian cooking classes and if the weather permits a barbecue on the Sun deck.

    To further enhance your enjoyment Guest Speakers will join you on your cruises as well as carefully selected guides.

  • For your comfort

    The MS Volga Dream’s dedicated crew of 60 is there to ensure that your journey along Russia’s iconic river is comfortable, informative and above all safe. The ship is not designed for those with severe mobility restrictions or wheelchair dependent passengers as there are no elevator facilities onboard. There is a full time doctor on board in the unlikely case of an emergency or a passenger seeking medical attention.

    Smoking on board is restricted to a specially designed area on the Sun deck.

    On board we use a boarding card system to ensure all passengers are accounted for. The reception is manned 24 hours day.

  • Ship Directory
    The booklet below contains some further details pertaining to the vessel.
    Please click on the booklet to view. 

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  • Deck plans
    • All Decks

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River Guides

  • To see our current selection of tours for the river Yangtze click here.
     
    • Yangtze river flow, Shangri-la
      Yangtze

    The Yangtze – or Chang Jiang – is the longest river in Asia, the third longest in the world at 3915 miles (6300km). Its source is in the glaciers of Tibet at an altitude of around 5000m (1600ft) whence it travels eastward across China to empty into the East China Sea. The river passes through a wide diversity of landscapes and ecosystems. There are spectacular gorges – the Yangtze Gorges and the magnificent Three Gorges. The Three Gorges Dam is the largest hydro-electric power station in the world built both for irrigation and to protect against flooding – though its opponents disagree with this view. There are thousands of lakes, the largest of which is Dongting on the border of Hunan and Hubei provinces. Lake Poyang, the biggest freshwater lake in the country merges into the Yangtze at Jiangxi. There are parts of its length that are UNESCO world heritage sites of spectacular beauty and others that are great industrial areas. It is a vital commercial waterway and has been for millennia. It reaches the East China Sea at Shanghai.

    The Yangtze is navigable by ocean-going vessels from the East China Sea for a thousand miles to Hankow. The most popular area for cruise ships, however, is the breathtaking region of the Three Gorges where river boats and traditional longboats are often used, tiny against the mountainous cliffs. There are more than 350 species of fish in the Yangtze such as the yellow head catfish, copper fish and eel. This is the only place to find the Chinese alligator though with just 200 thought to be left in the wild, it is a critically endangered species. The Yangtze River Dolphin is also in danger of extinction as is the Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtle. On land, it is possible to see the Red-and-White Flying Squirrel, Golden Monkeys, Golden Eagles, Siberian Cranes, gazelles, antelopes, wolf, snow leopard and, of course the Giant Panda.

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