RUSSIA -THE VOLGA RIVER CRUISE 2018
Land Tours Included In Your All-Inclusive River Cruise Holiday!
RUSSIA CRUISE SAMPLE ITINERARY & TOUR PROGRAM
Embark on an unforgettable 13-day experience as we explore the genuine Russian cities set on the banks of mighty Volga River. Enjoy exciting on board activities, lectures, entertainment and our signature land tours, all included, as we experience the highlights of both capitals and everything in-between during this enchanting cruise from Moscow to Saint Petersburg.
Day 1 Tuesday June 12: Arrival in Moscow Welcome to Moscow
The fabulous capital of Russia! Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to our floating 5-star hotel. The rest of the day is free so you can explore central Moscow on your own or take some rest in your cabin.
In the evening you are invited to our welcome orientation followed by dinner.
Day 2 Wednesday June 13: Moscow City Tour & Nododevichy
Begin the day with an orientation city tour of Moscow. Your first stop is the incredible Red Square where with a photo stop by the St. Basil’s Cathedral and tour of the GUM Department Store. Next proceed to the famous Novodevichi Cemetery which holds the tombs of Russian authors, musicians, playwrights, and poets, as well as famous actors, political leaders, and scientists.
We continue exploring Moscow with a tour of the Kremlin. Next we visit to the Armoury Museum to view its collection of opulent coronation finery, hand-forged armor and weapons, royal carriages and sleighs. We end our day with a guided tour of the Tretyakov Gallery, the first museum dedicated exclusively to Russian fine art. Returning to your ship for dinner and evening entertainment.
Day 3 Thursday June 14 Jewish Moscow Moscow Jewish Tour
- Zaryadie – former “Jewish Ghetto”
- Choral Synagogue
- Jewish Museum & Tolerance Center
With a population of over 10 million, this city has been at the center of world events for centuries. Everything here is on a grand scale including a pre-war Jewish community of approximately 400,000 people. The Jewish community flourished and faltered depending on the Czars or political party in power. Many Russian Jews fought the Nazis courageously and their story is also told in Moscow.
Twenty-five years ago, most aspects of Jewish life, including the speaking and teaching of Hebrew, were banned and had to be conducted underground. The most vocal of these Jews against this policy were the Refuseniks after they were refused the right to immigrate to Israel. These days, Russian-Jewish culture has flourished once again, and Moscow has become one of the most tolerant places in all of Europe for Jews. The Moscow State University now has a Jewish Studies department, while the Lipman School is one of four Jewish day schools. The Choral Synagogue, built in 1893, once full of spies and intrigue, is now one of several in the capital with a vibrant community and many worshippers. A Jewish cultural center, a Holocaust Center, a large Chabad center, and several kosher restaurants and other Jewish organizations serve the 100,000 strong Jewish population in Moscow, making this city a thriving focal point of Jewish life in the 21st century!
Late afternoon we return to our ship and to begin sailing the Volga to St. Petersburg. Experience a Bread, Salt & Vodka Welcome Aboard Ceremony followed by the Captain’s welcome reception and dinner as we begin our cruise.
Day 4 Friday June 15: Uglich – Docked for Shabbat
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 this ancient town including the 15th century Palace of Tsarevich Dmitri and Yevreinov mansion.
Shabbat onboard docked in Uglich
Day 5 Shabbat June 16: Uglich – Docked For Shabbat
Enjoy a relaxing Shabbat, afternoon walking tours of Uglich. Evening departure
Day 6 Sunday June 17: Yaroslavl
Founded in 1010, Yaroslavl is one of the oldest cities in central Russia and the Volga’s first port and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Situated at the confluence of the Volga and Kotorosl Rivers some 250 km north-east of Moscow, the historic city of Yaroslavl developed into a major commercial center from the 11th century. It is renowned for its numerous 17th-century churches and is an outstanding example of the urban planning reform Empress Catherine the Great ordered for the whole of Russia in 1763. While keeping some of its significant historic structures, the town was renovated in the neoclassical style on a radial urban master plan. It has also kept elements from the 16th century in the Spassky Monastery, one of the oldest in the Upper Volga region, built on the site of a pagan temple in the late 12th century but reconstructed over time.
After a tour of the town we participate in an exciting costumed reception at the governor’s house. Afterwards re-board our ship and continue our journey. On board partake in a Costumed Russian Tea Ceremony & Russian Cooking Class
Day 7 Monday June 18: Goritsy
Following breakfast you arrive in the tiny settlement of Goritsy, where during your sightseeing tour you visit the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery. Founded in 1397, it is now home to one of the best collections of Russian icons in the world. After a guided tour, continue cruising toward majestic Lake Onega.
Evening: Russian Dinner with Vodka Tasting
Day 8 Tuesday June 19: Kizhi
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. On Kizhi Island see a collection of ancient Russian wooden houses and windmills.
Evening: Piano Concert – pieces by Tchaikovsky and Rakhmaninov
Day 9 Wednesday June 20: St. Svir River and the Village of Mandrogi
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.
Evening: Barbecue dinner on the open deck as we experience Russia’s White Nights
Day 10 Thursday June 21 Arrival in St. Petersburg, City Tour and Visit to the Hermitage Museum
Arrive in St. Petersburg via the Neva River and disembark for your day of touring. Enjoy a city tour of St. Petersburg, including an entrance to the Peter and Paul Fortress, burial place of the Romanov monarchs. Then continue exploring the Split of Basil Island then explore along the Nevsky Prospect, where fine shops, cafes, and museums are found. Following lunch we tour the renowned Hermitage Museum, home to one of the most important collections of European art in the world. Evening return to our ship for dinner then free time to explore the city’s night life on your own.
Day 11 Friday June 22: Trip to Peterhof & Jewish St. Petersburg
Begin the day with a trip to the meticulously restored Peterhof Palace Complex, which is St. Petersburg’s most famous and spectacular Imperial estate, often cited as the Versailles of Russia. Visit the authentic Bath Cottage and stroll in the vast Lower Park with 176 fountains of various forms and styles and four cascades, majestic palaces and numerous gilded statues of ancient gods and heroes.
Jewish St. Petersburg: Explore St. Petersburg long Jewish heritage and contemporary Jewish revival, to learn how life in Jewish Russia extended well beyond the shtetl. The Grand Choral Synagogue is one of the largest and most splendid prayer houses in Russia where one can explore the main hall, chuppah hall, women’s gallery and genizah. Next we tour The Jewish Community Center YESOD and Jewish Heritage exhibition in the Museum of Ethnography. Evening: Dinner and classical concert on-board
Day 12 Shabbat June 23: St. Petersburg – Shabbat on-board
Spend a relaxing Shabbat on-board. Afternoon walking tour St. Petersburg
Evening: Farewell dinner
Day 13 Sunday June 24: Morning Departure
Morning disembarkation and airport transfer for your flight home
Day 13: Departure Morning disembarkation and airport transfer for your flight.
*Tour will be a combination of both Jewish and secular sites.
* Please note mooring and casting off times are only guidelines. We reserve the right to make changes to the itineraries and excursion programs. Due to unforeseen circumstances such as low or high water or a defective ship sections of the river can be closed to traffic. In such cases the ship-owner reserves the right to transport guests along that section by bus, accommodate them in hotels and /or change the course of that part of the journey. In some circumstances it may be necessary to transfer to another ship. These situations are rare but do happen from time to time and are all part of riverboat vacations. There’s nothing anyone can do to control Mother Nature.
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