Astrakhan - Moscow cruise by Vodohod

This Volga River cruise gives you a unique chance to see many of Russia's different regions and to get a feeling for both the south-eastern Russia with its link to the Asia and the Orient and the European, imperial Russia.

You will admire the vibrancy of Moscow, enjoy the quiet atmosphere of ancient Vladimir. You will visit Nizhny Novgorod, the picturesque old center of the Volga region as well as Kazan and Astrakhan which occupy the former territory of the Golden Horde - all stops are full of history and beauty. While cruising you will sail practically the whole length of the Volga River from the edge of the Caspian Sea to Moscow.

ITINERARY & MAP

Day 1-2

Astrakhan: You will be met at the airport by one of our drivers and taken by a comfortable car to the river port where you will board your cruise ship (Transfer is optional). Our company can easily arrange inexpensive airfare from Moscow or St. Petersburg to Astrakhan, just ask one of our customer service representatives about this.

Your journey begins as soon as you arrive in Astrakhan and board the ship. Sightseeing in this city includes a panoramic city tour and a visit to the Kremlin.

Day 3

Day on board. You will spend this day on board your cruise ship enjoying an entertainment program.

Day 4

Volgograd: We will begin with a Panoramic city tour and visit the memorial complex on Mamayev Kurgan, a hill that saw some of the most intense fighting during the Stalingrad battle. You will see the famous Russian monument Rodina Mat’ (Mother Motherland) and learn about the city’s brave defense against the Nazi invaders during the battle of Stalingrad.

Day 5

Saratov: During a panoramic city tour you will become acquainted with this southern city's most prominent landmarks.

Day 6

Samara: Take a panoramic city tour with a visit to the Art Gallery.

Day 7

Kazan: Take a city tour with a visit to the Kremlin grounds and get a feel for this most eastern of cities full of history, the capital of Tatarstan.

Day 8

Cheboksary: Take a panoramic city tour.

Day 9

Nizhny Novgorod: During a city tour you will become acquainted with the city’s most prominent landmarks and you will also see the Kremlin grounds.

Day 10

Kostroma: You will be taken on a panoramic city tour with visits to the Ipatiev Monastery and the Trinity Cathedral.

Kostroma is a part of the Golden Ring, a group of ancient Russian towns located at the confluence of the Volga and Kostroma Rivers. It was founded in the 13th century and has played a major role in Russian history. After being destroyed by the Mongols in 1238 it became a small principality under the leadership of Prince Vasily the Drunkard the brother of the Russian hero Alexander Nevsky. In the early 17th century, the young Mikhail Romanov who was living at the time at the Ipatiev Monastery was offered the Russian throne – thus beginning the Romanov Dynasty and ending the Time of Troubles. From that time on, the Romanov’s always had a special connection to the city and played an important role in its development. The city’s most prominent landmarks are the Ipatiev Monastery, the Trinity Cathedral, the local market and a museum of wooden architecture and monuments.

Yaroslavl: You will be taken to the panoramic city tour with a visit to a local market (free time). You will also see the Church of Elijah the Prophet (exterior), Church of St Nicholas (interior) and enjoy an interactive tour of former Governor´s House (and visit to an Art Gallery).

Day 11

Uglich: You will be taken to the walking city tour with visit to Kremlin, the Church of St. Demitrius on the Blood and the Transfiguration cathedral.

Day 12-14

Moscow: Over the next few days you will have a chance to explore Moscow and learn about its riveting history. You will be taken on a city tour where you will see Moscow’s most interesting sights and learn about this amazing city’s past and present. You will also have a chance to do some light shopping and there will be time to relax aboard the ship in the evenings.

One of the highlights of your time in Moscow is a visit to Red Square and the Kremlin. You will also visit one of the Kremlin’s famous cathedrals. The Kremlin as we know it today was rebuilt as a stone structure during the beginning of the 14th century but the actual site had been inhabited and used as a fortified city wall for centuries before this period. The Kremlin is truly a fascinating structure - at the same time it is an ancient tower, the city´s former military fortification, a palace and the workplace of the Russian President. The Kremlin is the center of Russia´s political life and State power and has been home to Tsars, General Secretaries of the Soviet Union and Russian Presidents. Red Square is within the Kremlin´s walls.

Tour of the Tretyakovsky State Gallery. The world famous gallery contains works of Russian art from the 10th century up until present day. You will view exquisite Russian icons and paintings from the 18th and 19th century including works by Rublyov, Karavak, Vishnyakov, Nikitin, Antropov, Levitsky, Kiprensky, Tropinin, Fedotov, Repin and many others.

On the last day of your cruise you will say goodbye to Russia, your ship’s crew and the many new friends we are sure you will have met during your time with us. We are sure that your memories of the trip will last a lifetime and we look forward to welcoming you to Russia sometime in the future. Our driver will meet you at the ship and take you to the airport to see you off (Transfer is optional).

PRICES & DATES

Prices are per person.

The surcharge for single occupancy in a double cabin is 75% of the total amount for the cruise. 

Included:

  • Accommodation in a cabin of a chosen category
  • Sightseeing programs in each port as per itinerary (optional tours are available on board)
  • Daily international on-board entertainment including concerts, lessons, master classes, movies, welcome bread and salt ceremony, Captain’s cocktail and dinner.
  • English-speaking guides onboard; services of guides speaking other languages are available upon request
  • Use of a cabin safe
  • Luggage handling onboard the ship
  • Russian visa invitation - the document necessary for obtaining a Russian visa when applying for one at the local Russian Consulate in your country.

Included meals on MS Lev Tolstoy:

  • Full board, three meals per day (from dinner on the arrival day to breakfast on the departure day): breakfast and lunch are buffet style, dinner is with fixed menu and preliminary order
  • Water in carafs for breakfast, tea/coffee for all meals
  • For each lunch and dinner: 1 glass of wine OR 1 glass of beer OR 1 bottle of mineral water (0.5l) OR 1 bottle of soda (0.5l) per person
  • Welcome bread and salt ceremony on arrival day
  • Welcome cocktail
  • Captain’s farewell dinner with a special menu
  • Russian tea ceremony
  • Mulled wine/hot tea (during cold weather), ice-tea (during hot weather) upon returning to ship after shore excursions
  • Coffee station (coffee/tea/cookies): 06:00 – breakfast, 10:00-12:00, 16:00-18:00, 21:00-23:00

Not included:

  • Russian Visas. For US, UK and Canadian citizens, our company offers Full Visa Support. This is where you send us your passport and other documentation and we obtain the Russian visa for you. 
  • International airfare. 
  • Arrival and departure transfers. We can arrange those for an extra fee.
  • Additional drinks and water in ship restaurant and drinks from the onboard bars
  • Option tours
  • Tips for the crew and ship staff
  • Forwarding of baggage/souvenirs
  • Accident, baggage and trip cancellation insurance (we recommend you purchase insurance).
  • Items of a personal nature (laundry services, bar charges, beauty salon services, telephone and cable charges and medical services).
  • Room service offered at an additional price.
  • Water; you can order packages of water as extra for the following prices. Please contact your order manager for more information.

Please be informed that all pre/post cruise services (additional arr/dep transfers, hotel accommodations, additional excursions, etc.) can also arranged by us.

Conditions of payment: To book your cruise a 20% deposit is required in advance. The trip must be fully paid 41 days before departure.

Cancellation terms for river cruises: 
41 or more days before departure – a fee equal to 20% of the entire package will be charged.
40-20 days before departure – a fee equal to 60% of the entire package will be charged.
19 days or less before departure or in the event of a no-show - a fee equal to 100% of the package will be charged.

Ship

Ships

Nizhny Novgorod 4*

This vessel is going to be refurbished for season 2019. All the following information regarding the ship's features is relevant only for 2019 cruises

Motorship “Nizhny Novgorod” is a comfortable four-deck vessel (type 301) built in Germany in 1977 and refurbished in 2019. The motorship features 2 restaurants, 3 bars, a conference hall, and a souvenir store. There is also a sauna, solarium and a medical room on board. 


SUITE
2 room cabin with separate bedroom and lounge area, around 30 square meters, equipped with private facilities, heating and ventilation system, 220 volt sockets, radio, 4 large opening scenic windows. Lounge area is furnished in a stylish way with a roomy wardrobe, occasional table, cushioned furniture, TV/video, refrigerator. Bedroom is furnished with a king-size bed, wardrobe and console-mirror. Suite can accommodate up to 3 people. Extra bed type - folding-bed.

DELUXE MAIN DECK
Spacious twin cabin with a large opening scenic window, heating and ventilation system, wardrobe, 220 volt socket, radio. Cabin is equipped with new furniture and lighting; decorated in modern style.

DELUXE MIDDLE/BOAT DECK
Spacious twin/double cabin with a large opening scenic window, heating and ventilation system, wardrobe, 220 volt socket, radio. Cabin is equipped with new furniture and lighting; decorated in modern style.

SINGLE
One-bed outside cabin with a large opening scenic window, private facilities, heating and ventilation system, wardrobe, 220 volt socket, radio. Equipped wit new furniture and lighting; decorated in modern style.

TWIN
Two-bed outside single-staged cabin with a large opening scenic window, heating and ventilation system, wardrobe, 220 volt socket, radio. Cabin is equipped with new furniture and lighting; decorated in modern style.

TRIPLE
Three-bed two-tiered cabin with two non-opening portholes, equipped with private facilities, heating and ventilation system, refrigerator, wardrobe, 220 volt socket, radio. Cabin is equipped with new furniture and lighting; decorated in modern style. Can be used for double accommodation

TESTIMONIALS

Barbara and Louis, USA

Louis and I want you to know that our vacation was just great. The Rostropovich was very nice boat. All the crew were pleasant and helpful, including our guide Antonne. The food was very good. All the transfers worked out perfectly. We certainly would recommend your company.

Barbara and Louis, USA (August, 2018)
Stephen, UK

We have just returned home to the UK after our visit to Russia and the cruise on the MS Rostropovich. We had a superb time. The quality of the ship was superb and the service provided by all the staff was very friendly and professional. A very good introduction to Russia on our first visit to your country. I am emailing to thank you personally for the very efficient service provided by Express to Russia. From the initial enquiry, through the provision of additional information, to the conclusion of the booking you have always responded very promptly to my emails. This made the whole process much easier than it might otherwise have been and I would most certainly recommend your services to others. Thank-you and best wishes for the future.

Stephen, UK (August, 2018)
Hugo , Ilona , Marie-Pierre and Jean-Marie, South Africa

We had the most wonderful cruise and really enjoyed Russia. The crew on board were fantastic, food was great and we had a professor on board discussing current affairs, amazing. Tours were amazing and informative. Transfers were on time, so all in all, thank you for arranging such an experience, much appreciated.

Hugo , Ilona , Marie-Pierre and Jean-Marie, South Africa (July, 2018)
Gordana, Serbia

Two days ago we have returned from our journey in Russia. It was absolutely a wonderful experience! We had enjoyed every minute of our trip. Beautiful country with so much to offer! Many thanks for the great assistance that you have provided to us with the booking of the cruise!

Gordana, Serbia (July, 2018)
Mike & Irma, South Africa

I want to provide to you some feedback about the boat trip which we undertook from 12 till 19 May 2018. 1. The transfers from the airport to the boat was fantastic. Your driver went out of his way to assist us till into the reception area of the correct boat. He was on time at the airport also. He was very friendly also. 2. The cruise: this was a memorable experience for us. We got much more than we expected. The Russian history lessons; the Russian language lessons; the Vodka tasting lecture – these were very informative 3. The crew on the ship went out of their way to make us comfortable and relaxed. They were always available and very friendly 4. The local tours and the guides were very well planned and executed. The Guides are so passionate about their tasks and made one feel ashamed of the way we were told by our government in the communism era how bad Russia was. 5. The transfer from the ship to the airport in Moscow was great. The driver was there on time and drove safely to the airport with us. Very friendly also. I will definitely recommend the tour and your company to all who ask me about the visit to Russia. Perhaps I will come visit Russia again in the future and spend more time in Moscow also. Thank you once again for assisting with arranging a most memorable vacation!

Mike & Irma, South Africa (May, 2018)
Olive, Australia

I enjoyed my holiday in Russia very much and I found your company to be extremely helpful and courteous, it was a joy to correspond with you, thank you for making my holiday plans easier.

Olive, Australia (September, 2017)
Svetislav, Slovenia

Staff of Express to Russia and especially ms, Galina are exceptional competent ladies: very communicative and prompt with answers; booking, invitation letters, transfer from the airport to pear and in Saint Petersburg to hotel (we extended staying there for five days on our own) etc. went smooth. Pleasure to do business with ms. Galina and Express to Russia!

Svetislav, Slovenia (August, 2017)
Helga and Al, USA

We are back from our beautiful, Russian Cruise Excursion. My wife Helga and I want to thank you for helping me/us to arrange this wonderful trip. The specific reason for this trip was to take once more an adventure trip of this kind as a gift to our self on our 50th wedding anniversary. The anniversary was on the 10th while we were in St. Petersburg were we celebrated at the Astoria hotel with a ballet in the evening at the Mariinsky Theater in Tsar Nicolas Box. Upon our arrival on ship, and thanks to you I felt like a Russian finding the bottle champagne in our cabin and enjoying it. I made a toast to you and want to express my sincere thanks. My wife and I would have liked to have met you while in St. Petersburg. I now would like to say, that we experienced some of the Russian Soul and would wish that the rest of the world would have such love for their country.

Helga and Al, USA (June, 2017)
Jennifer, Australia

It was a long held dream of mine to visit your beautiful country. Cruising between St Petersburg and Moscow was beyond my expectations , so far my best travel experience Thanks to Express to Russia for all their assistance in organising my trip

Jennifer, Australia (May, 2017)
Brian Asmus, USA

I LOVED THE CRUISE!!!!! It was amazing and I had the best time. The food/service/cabin were all great and the price was FANTASTIC!!!!! I have mentioned this to my sister and her husband and they are considering going next year. LOVED it. I don't have ONE complaint :). THANKS for an amazing experience.

Brian Asmus, USA (October, 2016)

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