Europe & Baltic
Enjoy a spectacular voyage through the heart of Russia along its colorful and historic waterways. Explore bustling and excitement-packed Moscow, then cruise north and visit the enchanting Golden Ring cities of Uglich and Yaroslavl. Continue along the Volga-Baltic Waterways and through Europe’s two largest lakes, Onega and Ladoga, to St. Petersburg, one of the world’s most beautiful cities, spread over 101 islands and 66 canals. Explore Moscow and St. Petersburg with a small group tour. OPTION: Upgrade the itinerary to include private shore excursions with expert guide in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Cruise Departure Dates (2015):
Moscow-St. Petersburg: May 10, Jun 1,23, Jul 15, Aug 6,28, Sep 19
St. Petersburg-Moscow: May 21, Jun 12, Jul 4,26, Aug 17, Sep 8,30
A transfer between the airport and the city or your hotel with a private vehicle, driver, and assistant is provided.
All port charges are included in your trip price.
After embarking the ship, relax in your stateroom and settle into your new surroundings.
Meet your crew and fellow travelers at the welcome cocktail reception onboard this evening.
Today, enjoy a group city tour that includes the Red Square and many other well-known sights. You will have some free time to shop for souvenirs or wander on your own, perhaps to visit St. Basil’s Cathedral or GUM, the vast Soviet-Era department store. Enjoy lunch on a day boat as you cruise the Moscow River past the imposing façade of the Kremlin. Late this afternoon, you will visit Poklonnaya (Bow) Hill and its monument to WWII, and tour the city’s amazing Metro, quite possibly the world’s most extravagant subway system – many of the stations are adorned with chandeliers, sculptures and elaborate frescoes. The ship moors overnight in Moscow.
This morning, venture beyond the walls of the Kremlin for a fascinating guided group tour of the former residence of the Czars and center of the Russian Orthodox faith. Your tour includes a visit to the Kremlin Armory, one of Moscow’s oldest museums, with a vast collection of weaponry, jewelry, and historical artifacts. The ship departs this evening for Uglich.
Located on the banks of the Volga, Uglich was founded by merchants in 1148 and is now home to some of Russia’s most beautiful churches and cathedrals. After arriving this evening, you will have a guided group tour of the city and visit the Chambers of Prince Dimitry and the magnificent Church of Dimitry on the Blood, dedicated to the tragic death of Ivan the Terrible’s young son. The ship departs later tonight for Yaroslavl.
Explore Yaroslavl's rich history through its architecture, including the fortified 12th-century Transfiguration Monastery and the Yaroslavl Museum of Russian Art, the former residence of the Governor of Yaroslavl on this shared shore excursion. The ship departs early this afternoon and cruises overnight.
Goritsy is a peaceful farming town and a typical Russian village. The shared shore excursion today includes a visit to the Monastery of St. Cyril on the White Lake and the Museum of Icons. Upon your return to the ship, you'll continue downstream towards Kizhi.
Home to some of the most amazing wooden architecture in Russia, Kizhi is forever linked to Novgorod the Great, and the style of architecture reflects its early introduction to Christianity. In 1764 locals built the Church of Intercession, its towering walls and 22 domes, without the use of a single nail. Your shared walking tour includes the Museum of Wooden Architecture.
At noon today the ship arrives in Svirstroy, a town 100 miles from St. Petersburg with a population of only a thousand people. During your visit, you will have an opportunity to sample grilled shashlyk, Russia’s very popular (and delicious) version of shish kebab. You’ll also be treated to a private visit to the home of a local Russian family, where you will gain new insights into everyday life in Svirstroy and experience warm Russian hospitality first-hand. You depart mid-afternoon and cruise overnight to St. Petersburg.
One of Russia’s former capitals, dating from the early 18th-century, St. Petersburg was built to Peter the Great’s exact specifications. After breakfast, you will disembark the ship and travel as a group by hydrofoil to the Hermitage, one of the oldest, largest, and most awe-inspiring museums in the world. Founded by Catherine the Great, the museum is a complex of six buildings, including the former Winter Palace, and houses nearly three million works of art
This afternoon, your sightseeing tour of this splendid city will include the Peter & Paul Fortress, Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, and St. Isaacs Cathedral. The ship moors overnight in St. Petersburg.
Today visit the nearby town of Pushkin, where Catherine’s Palace was the summer residence of the Russian Czars. This excursion includes a tour of the Cameron Gallery, which features formal state rooms and dining rooms embellished with baroque and neoclassical furnishings and décor. You will also visit the reconstructed Amber Room, considered by many to be the Eighth Wonder of the World, with its dazzling amber-covered walls. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Tonight, consider joining your fellow passengers for an optional folkloric show.
To participate in an optional activity, please contact your travel consultant.
This morning, depart by hydrofoil for Peterhof, St. Petersburg’s most spectacular Imperial Estate. Also known as the “Russian Versailles,” the palace was built on the shore of the Gulf of Finland by Peter the Great, initially as a resting place en route to the Imperial Naval base. Your tour includes the Lower Gardens, the Grand Cascade and Samson Fountain, commemorating Russia’s victory over Sweden during the Great Northern War.
After bidding the crew and your fellow passengers farewell, disembark your river cruise for your onward journey.
Cruise between Moscow and St. Petersburg on the 212-passenger MS AmaKatarina (aka MS Mstislav Rostropovich), the most spacious vessel on Russia’s famed Volga-Baltic Waterway. Built in 1981 and completely redesigned and rebuilt by AmaWaterways in 2010-2011, the MS AmaKatarina features outside balconies in more than 70 percent of her staterooms; two dining venues, and ten stateroom and suite categories offering accommodations up to 432 square feet in size. Enticing public areas include a panorama lounge; conference hall for onboard lectures; and gift shop. The ship also features a fitness room on the sun deck; a hair dresser and masseuse; infirmary staffed by an onboard physician plus an elevator.
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