St. Petersburg - Moscow 3-star cruise by Vodohod

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 Russian river cruise, a ship can link these two great imperial cities of the czars easily for tourists. Moscow has a wonderful heritage of historic buildings and is known as the medieval and 20th century capital, 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

Your cruise begins in the imperial capital of Russia - St. Petersburg. 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). Your time in St. Petersburg will begin with a Panoramic City Tour. This tour is the best way to get acquainted with all of the city's major highlights. Our professional guide will take you down Nevsky Prospect, St. Petersburg's most famous and vibrant thoroughfare. There you will see some of the city's most interesting architectural monuments including the Kazan Cathedral and the Winter Palace. You will see the Peter and Paul Fortress (interior) - a symbol of St. Petersburg and also the oldest building in the city.

One of the highlights of your time in the city will be a visit to the Hermitage, Russia's premier museum containing one of the largest art collections in the world. The museum consists of five historical buildings including the Winter Palace - the residence of the Russian Tsars. The museum contains over 3 million pieces of art with dates ranging from high antiquity to the present day. Among the Hermitage's treasures are artworks by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens and many others.

St. Petersburg is Russia's second largest and second most important city - the Northern capital of the country, Russia's cultural center, and considered the world's 'Northern Venice' due to its extensive system of canals and islands. Walk along Nevsky Prospect and experience the grandeur of pre-revolutionary imperial Russia. Pass palaces from the past and gaze at the famous embankment of the Neva River with its numerous bridges and striking architecture. St. Petersburg is also home to Russia's largest and busiest port and with its many world class theaters and museums has a very high level of cultural life.

Day 4

A stop in the village of Mandrogui. Enjoy walking around this traditional Russian village in its beautiful setting and spending a day of rest, relaxation and fun. We will have a fantastic barbeque picnic on the banks of the river featuring one of Russia's favorite specialties - shashlik (meat shish kebab prepared on an outdoor fire). You will love it!

Mandrogui is really more of a living museum than a live-in village. It features a collection of old wooden houses and is geared towards showing visitors what a traditional Russian village resembled in the past. One of the features here is the Vodka Museum, which contains thousands of different brands and types of Russia's favorite pastime.

Day 5

Cruise along Europe's second largest lake, Lake Onega and arrive on the island of Kizhi. Here you will visit a fascinating open air museum containing numerous examples of elaborate Russian, wooden architecture.

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 6

Arrival in the ancient village of Goritsy. Tour of the St. Cyril on the White Lake Monastery and Museum of Icons.

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 lunch you will return to your ship and set sail in the direction of Moscow 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 7

Arrival in medieval city of 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).

Yaroslavl: Stretching for 18 miles on both banks of the Volga, Yaroslavl is an important Volga port with a population of 600,000. It was founded in the 1010 by Prince Yaroslav the Wise and is one of the ancient Russian cities making up the Golden Ring. It was destroyed by the Tatars in the 13th and 14th centuries but then restored and rebuilt and by the 17th century it had become Russia's second largest city after Moscow and an important cultural and political center. Today, Yaroslavl retains many noteworthy monuments of its colorful past. Of special interest is the magnificent 13th century Spassky Monastery ensemble, a group of majestic 17th century cathedrals, an elegant rotunda and remnants of an ancient trading center. The churches of St. Nicholas and Elijah the Prophet have some of the Golden Ring´s most impressive frescoes.

Day 8

Arrival in 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.

Uglich was founded in 1148 as a small princedom bordering on Muscovy, Uglich is one of the most beloved towns in Old Russia. The view of the town as you approach it from the Volga River is breathtaking with the Cathedral of the Resurrection and St. John's Church rising up on the horizon. The history of the town is fascinating; At the end of the 16th century, Maria Nagaya, seventh wife of Ivan the Terrible, lived in honorary exile at the Kremlin in Uglich. It was here in her garden that the 10 year old Prince Dmitry of the Rurik Dynasty, heir to the Russian throne was murdered by Boris Godunov who wanted to seize power for himself. On the spot of his death, the Church of St. Demitrius of the Blood was built and still stands today. The death of Prince Dmitri brought on the start of the Time of Troubles, a dynastic and political crises and one of the most tumultuous periods in Russian history which ended 15 years later after the election of a new Tsar Mikhail Romanov (the first Tsar of the Romanov Dynasty). Inside the Kremlin the oldest building in Uglich, the Palace of Tsarevich Dmitry also stands. During your time in Uglich you will learn more about the town's past and walk along the paths of Russian history.

Day 9 - 11

Arrival in Moscow, your final destination. 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.

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).

Moscow is Russia's political and financial capital as well as a major world class cultural center. The city includes many must see attractions from the Kremlin and Red Square to the Assumption Cathedral. Moscow is the largest city in Europe. It is unique in that it blends the ancient with the modern. See medieval structures among modern office buildings, walk down crooked old city streets opening up to wide busy boulevards. It is a fantastic city and truly a site that shouldn't be missed.

PRICES & DATES

Prices are per person.

The surcharge for single occupancy in a double cabin is 75% of the total amount for the cruise. Surcharge for single occupancy in Junior Suites and 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; 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

Zosima Shashkov 3*

"Zosima Shashkov" is a 4-deck ship built in Germany in 1986 and fully refurbished in 2013. The motorship is equipped with modern navigational facilities and exceeds the speed of 25,5 km per hour (around 17 MpH). The ship features 3 bars, 2 restaurants, a small souvenir store, sauna, solarium, and a medical room. Passengers can also use ironing room.  


SUITE
2 room cabin with separate bedroom, lounge area and kitchinette, 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, console-mirror, cushioned furniture, TV/video, refrigerator. Bedroom is furnished with a king-size bed and a wardrobe. Suite can accommodate up to 3 people.

SINGLE
One-bed outside cabin with a large opening scenic window, around 7 square meters in size, equipped with private facilities, heating and ventilation system, refrigerator, wardrobe, 220 volt socket, radio. Cabin is furnished in a practical style.

TWIN
Two-bed outside single-staged cabin with a large opening scenic window, equipped with private facilities, heating and ventilation system, refrigerator, wardrobe, 220 volt socket, radio. Cabin is furnished in a practical style. Can be used for single accommodation as one of the beds is a foldaway bed.

QUAD
Four-bed two-staged cabin with two non-opening portholes, around 13 square meters in size, equipped with private facilities, heating and ventilation system, refrigerator, wardrobe, console-mirror, 220 volt socket, radio. It contains two lower twin beds and two upper foldaway beds, so that it can accommodate either 2, 3 or 4 guests.

TESTIMONIALS

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)
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)
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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