Moscow - St. Petersburg Cruise 5-star cruise by Vodohod (long)

Travel along the beautiful Volga River as you make your way between Russia's largest and most fascinating cities: Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Both these cities are rich in history, art, architecture and the food is pretty good too! By taking a river voyage, a ship can easily link these two great imperial cities of the czars. Moscow has a wonderful heritage of historic buildings and is known as the medieval and 20th century capital of Russia, while St. Petersburg is a dreamland of 18th century architecture and craftsmanship. Besides offering visits to sites of unique historical and architectural interest, these cruises afford a relaxing alternative to traveling by taking you along the Neva River, Lake Ladoga, the Svir River, Lake Onega, the Baltic canal, White Lake and the Volga River.

ITINERARY & MAP

Day 1 - 3

Moscow: You will be met at the airport or train station 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). Spend the evening getting to know your fellow travelers at the welcome cocktail party with sparkling wine and Russian delicacy – red caviar. Exquisite dinner is served for you in the restaurant on the main deck.

On the second day, you will explore Moscow and get inside the renowned Kremlin to see the famous Tsar Canon and Tsar Bell, visit one of the Cathedrals which played the major role in all of Russian tsars’ lives. Red Square will amaze you with the grandness and unique architecture.  Recently opened Zaryadie park which is also called park of the future will introduce you to the diversity of nature in Russia with landscapes from different climatic zones. Visit the best photo point – floating bridge to take excellent picture of the Kremlin and Red Square. Your lunch on this day will be combined with picturesque cruise around the city centre. After the lunch enjoy a walk along legendary pedestrian Arbat Street with its free-spirited artists and musicians. Experience the most beautiful metro in the world and visit some of the stunning metro stations. Dinner in the city restaurant will give you another chance to enjoy the scenery of Moscow. In the evening, you will see a Folk Show and visit the backstage.

Your third day in Moscow will give you opportunity to see the city from its highest point and go underground to the deepest place. Start your day with exclusive visit to the observation deck in newly built skyscraper, enjoy bird’s-eye view of the whole Moscow crowd free as the observation deck exclusively closed for Vodohod guests. Try ice cream and chocolate produced there, don’t limit yourself and get as much as you want. Having been at the top of the world, descend into the deepest bunker in Moscow. The bunker was built in 1951 in connection with the imminent threat of a nuclear war with the United States, it is a unique, one of a kind attraction, unparalleled in the world. In the 1960s, Bunker-42 was fully equipped with everything necessary in case of a nuclear strike. Stocks of products, fuel, systems of regeneration and purification of air, supply of drinking water could provide combat alert personnel for several months.

Day 4

Uglich: After spending the morning enjoying the scenery from the ship’s board, arrive to the gem of Russia’s Golden Ring – little ancient town Uglich. Visit Kremlin of Uglich and beautiful church with dark name Church of St. Dmitry on the Spilled Blood, which was built on the place where son of Iva the Terrible died under mysterious circumstances. Exclusively for the guests of Mustai Karim concert of choir Kovcheg will be arranged.  Spend the  rest of the afternoon being hosted in a home of a local family, special treats and engaging conversations are waiting for you.

Day 5

Today you visit picturesque provincial town of Plyos which inspired painters and artists for years. During the city tour you’ll visit the museum of legendary Russian landscape painter Isaak Levitan and learn more not only about Russian art, but about everyday life of provincial aristocracy.

Enjoy “country house evening in Plyos” with dinner in national restaurant “Chugunok” with caviar degustation and interesting conversation about Russian cuisine. Musical evening "Unexpected encounters with Russian music stars“ is to follow. The descendant of Mustai Karim himself is running the town and some special surprises are prepared here for you. 

Day 6

Yaroslavl: Explore the capital of Russia’s Golden Ring, which marked its 1000 year anniversary in 2010. Historical center of the city is included n the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. After getting to know the city during sightseeing tour, visit mansion of the ex-governor, where the guides portraying his daughters will show you around the house and invite you for a cocktail in the ballroom to the accompaniment of live music. 

'Golden Ring of Russia in miniature' exhibition will amaze you with unique night projections, lighting effects on buildings, sounds of cities and other surprises. After that see the only enamel art museum in Russia with a rich collection of works created by leading enamel artists in Russia and abroad. Try your hand in creating enamel art yourself during the master class.

Day 7

Goritsy: Start your way to the ancient Feropontov Monastery from a peaceful village of Goritsy. The monastery which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site is unique in its beauty, authenticity and consistency of architectural details of different centuries. The object of special interest is the Cathedral of Nativity of the Virgin, which walls are covered with invaluable frescoes by the great medieval painter Dionisius.

Goritsy is a tiny settlement 7 kilometers from the St. Cyril on the White Lake Monastery. The remains of the Nunnery of the Resurrection that sits on the banks of the Sheksna River can be visited and is within a quarter of a mile of where the ship stops. Goritsy is definitely a site to see for anyone with an interest in Russian history. St. Cyril on the White Lake was founded in 1397 by Kirill Belosersky on the shore of Lake Siverskoye. The monastery had wide trade in the 15th to 17th centuries and was used as a fortress to protect Russia's nobility during the Times of Troubles.

After the tour you will return to your ship and set sail in the direction of St. Petersburg along the Volga Baltic Canal. The Volga Baltic Canal is a series of canals and rivers that connect the Volga river to the Baltic Sea.

Day 8

After crossing the second largest lake in Europe – Onega, discover the island of Kizhi, home of another UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Explore the unique historical, cultural and natural complex, admire the beauty of Transfiguration Cathedral built without a single nail according o the legend, visit traditional wooden house and Russian banya (sauna). After the tour enjoy excusive concert “Music of Northern Village”.

Kizhi Island: Via the Volga Baltic Canal, our cruise takes us to the tiny island of Kizhi, located at the northern end of Lake Onega. The island is renowned for its open-air Museum of Architecture, which is assembled from over 80 monuments of wooden architecture from various areas of the country and restored to form a glimpse of the past. The most impressive site on the island is the Church of the Transfiguration or Preobrazhenskaya (the church of twenty-two wooden domes). This masterpiece of architecture, featuring five tiers of 22 domes, was built in 1714 without the use of a single nail, only an axe and pine trees. The church magically changes color as the day grows old, it is certainly one of the most interesting things you will see during your time in Russia.

Day 9

Enjoy the day at leisure on board, today you are passing through the Europe’s two largest lakes Onega and Ladoga.

Today you are invited to Russia’s food fest – learn more about cuisine of different nationalities in Russia

Day 10 - 12

St. Petersburg: After a relaxing day on board, start your day with an early passage under the world renowned draw bridges of St.Petersburg. Get to know the Northern capital of Russia during bus city tour and special tour of rivers and canals. After substantial lunch learn the mysteries of Yusupov palace, where one of the most controversial figures in Russian history – Grigory Rasputin was murdered. The evening is a special occasion as you are exclusively invited to the Catherine Palace for the emperor’s reception. Enter the palace through the Golden gate with orchestra accompaniment, visit celebrated Amber Room and enjoy yourself with champagne and music.

Start your second day in the city with exclusive crowd-free visit to Hermitage museum and enjoy rare opportunity to see famed golden peacock clock being wined up, this is the world’s only large machine of the XVIII century that has survived by this day unchanged. Spend the morning exploring one of the richest museums in the world with paintings of Da Vinhi, Rafael, Rembrandt, Rubens and many others. After lunch high speed hydrofoils will take you to Peterhof which was created to beat the fame of the Versailles, see exquisite fountains of the Lower Park and visit one of gorgeous palaces.

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 cruise price. Surcharge for single occupancy in Suites is 100% of the cruise price.

Included:

  • Accommodations in all cabins, each with a private bathroom, individual temperature controls, and windows
  • Three meals daily including dinner upon arrival and breakfast on the departure day
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail reception
  • Traditional bread and salt welcome ceremony
  • Full sightseeing programs in each port
  • On board entertainment including Russian language course, Russian song lessons, live music concerts, dancing music in bars nightly, Captain’s bridge tour, etc.
  • English-speaking guides onboard; services of guides speaking other languages are available upon request
  • Souvenir shop onboard
  • Medical center onboard
  • Discos and bars onboard
  • Special holiday meals and celebrations
  • Captain’s Farewell Dinner (special menu)
  • Russian visa invitation - the document necessary for obtaining a Russian visa when applying for one at the local Russian Consulate in your country.

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
  • In 2020 - drinks on board

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

BOOKING AND CANCELLATION POLICY

Conditions of payment: To book your cruise a 25% deposit is required in advance. The trip must be fully paid 65 days before departure.

Cancellation terms: 
65 or more days before departure – a fee equal to 25% of the entire package will be charged.
64-55 days before departure – a fee equal to 50% of the entire package will be charged.
54-36 days before departure – a fee equal to 75% of the entire package will be charged.
35 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

Mustai Karim 5*

This luxurious four-deck vessel was built in Russia in 2019. The ship features 2 bars, a restaurant, a reading lounge, conference hall/movie theater, a souvenir store and a medical room. The ship has an elevator which makes it stand out from many other Russian cruise ships. All cabins are outside with floor-to-ceiling windows, equipped with wardrobe, satellite-TV, safe, fridge, hairdryer, radio, telephone, private facilities (shower, bathtub in Suite), panoramic window or balcony, 220 volt sockets.


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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