Discover the passion and grandeur of Russian history, art and culture.
The imperial cities, grand artistic treasures and spectacular architecture of Russia await your arrival. From the glittering metropolises of St. Petersburg and Moscow to the timeless towns along the Golden Ring, you’ll experience Russia in all its glory and splendour.
Explore the dichotomy of Moscow—rich with monuments to both 15th-century tsars and 20th-century communist leaders. Stand in awe of the massive Kremlin complex, onion-domed St. Basil’s Cathedral and the extravagant Moscow metro system. See some of Russia’s vast and beautiful countryside as well as its delightful small towns, where locals still engage in traditional crafts. Cruise along the Golden Ring to some of Russia’s most beautiful cities, including Uglich and Yaroslavl, which are known for their white-stone churches and gorgeous monasteries. Be amazed by Kizhi Island’s UNESCO-designated Transfiguration Church, a wooden structure built entirely without the use of nails. And uncover regal St. Petersburg, which boasts art-laden galleries and museums, fabled canals and elegant architecture from a wide variety of eras.
Who will enjoy this cruise
Adventurous travellers who wish to sail Russia’s great rivers and lakes, seeing world-class cities and timeless towns, UNESCO World Heritage sites, stunning architecture and legendary art as they go.
DAY 1: Moscow (Embark)
Arrive in Moscow and transferred to the ship.
DAY 2: Moscow
If Russia is “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma” as Winston Churchill famously said, then Moscow presents an intriguing starting point for an amazing cultural discovery.
A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
DAY 3: Moscow
This morning, you’ll have the chance to explore the Kremlin and adjacent Armory Museum. Plenty of adventures await this afternoon with free time in Moscow to explore on your own.
DAY 4: Uglich
While cruising through the Moscow Canal, you’ll get your first glimpse of rural Russia on your way to the quiet and historic town of Uglich. Be prepared for a panorama of magnificent architectural monuments.
DAY 5: Yaroslavl, Cruising Lake Rybinsk
Credit for Yaroslavl’s well-designed, UNESCO-protected city centre goes to none other than Catherine the Great, who was even more than a mighty Russian ruler—she was a forward-thinking urban planner as well. Visit an Orthodox church and a lively market.
Later, relax onboard the ship as you travel across Lake Rybinsk, formed in 1941 between the upper Volga River and its tributaries. At the time of its construction, it was the largest man-made body of water on earth.
DAY 6: Goritsy
Beyond Russia’s major cities lies a completely different world—the fabled land of Mother Russia. Explore a rural village today for an authentic and unforgettable glimpse of everyday life in a Russian province.
Later, relax onboard as your ship cruises through the second-largest lake in Europe. Fed by 58 rivers, Lake Onega has 1,369 islands and is bordered by the Republic of Karelia on the west, north and east, and by Leningrad Oblast and Vologda Oblast on the south.
DAY 7: Kizhi Island
To approach the towering wooden Church of Transfiguration from the water can be a transformative experience. Step ashore for an up-close view of this incredible church.
DAY 8: Mandrogi
Travel back in time to the 19th century at a reconstructed Russian village populated by talented artisans who make handmade items using traditional materials and techniques. Other highlights today include a rustic shashlik lunch.
Later, your ship cruises along the southern shores of Lake Ladoga, a vast freshwater inland sea that was once connected to the Baltic Sea. Islands dot the water while forested nature preserves and beaches line the shores. Relax and enjoy the scenery.
DAY 9: St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is a city of canals, palaces and cathedrals that presents a glorious juxtaposition of East and West. See the sights by land as well as water. Later, spend an evening watching a ballet at the Alexandrinsky Theater, home of the oldest theatre company in Russia. Considered one of the architectural jewels of the city, you can see first-hand one of the finest works of the great neoclassical architect Carlo Rossi.
DAY 10: St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg finds you with an appropriately imperial excursion: a guided tour through the world-famous Hermitage Museum. It is the crown jewel of the city and is located in the former home of the tsars, the Winter Palace.
DAY 11: St. Petersburg
Cross the threshold of the summer residence of the tsars—the lavishly decorated Catherine Palace—where you’ll see opulent staterooms and the near mythic Amber Room, meticulously restored to its former glory. Marvel at the palace’s immaculate grounds, dubbed Pushkin Park, then spend the rest of the day exploring on your own.
A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.
DAY 12: St. Petersburg (Disembark)
You have sampled culinary delights, explored history and experienced the best of life along the Volga River. Now the journey comes to a close and it’s time to disembark the ship. Your Uniworld adventure may be over, but we know you’ll enjoy the memories you’ve made for years to come.
Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.
Images courtesy of Uniworld