River Cruise | August 2017 | 14 Days. 13 Nights
- St Petersburg
- Kizhi Island
DAY 1 – Fri 4 August | Arrive St Petersburg
DAY 2 – Sat 5 August | St Petersburg. This morning you are taken on a visit to the sumptuous Yusupov Palace also known as Moika Palace. This long yellow building was once the residence of the wealthy and respected Yusupov family, and saw one of the most dramatic episodes in Russia’s history – the murder of Grigory Rasputin the “mad monk”, advisor to the last Romanov Tsar and Tsarina. Visit the basement room where Rasputin drank poisoned wine while Yusupov and his conspirators sat upstairs plotting his demise. His story is a gruesome yet fascinating one.
Return to the hotel; lunch and afternoon at leisure. In the evening walk to the restaurant Tsar. The new “Tsar” restaurant’s creation and old traditions revival have been for two years implemented by famous designers and decorators. Historical interiors of the building were remained untouched and restored in detail. Grand Hotel Europe (B,D)
DAY 3 – Sun 6 August | St Petersburg. Today you will enjoy a full day’s sightseeing with your English speaking guide and private vehicle. Start with a visit to one of the most famous museums in the world, the awe-inspiring Hermitage in the lavishly decorated Winter Palace. The Hermitage occupies six magnificent buildings and houses 3 million pieces of artwork from the Stone Age to modern times. The main building and largest part of the museum is the rococo-style Winter Palace, residence of the Czars from 1762 to 1917. The museum was commissioned by Catherine the Great and she and her successors built the Hermitage collection in large part with purchases of the private collections of the Western European aristocracy and monarchy. By the time Nicholas II ascended the throne in 1894, he was heir to the greatest collection of art in Europe.
During your visit to the Hermitage, take the unique opportunity to be astounded with a private visit to see the stunning collections of either gold or diamonds safely secreted in the museum treasuries. On display in the Gold Rooms are works by Ancient Greek masters, Scythian gold articles and Oriental jewellery from India, Iran and China, as well as superb examples of ceremonial Oriental weapons. This visit it subject of reconfirmation three days prior the visit.
Enjoy lunch at Mansarda Restaurant. The restaurant boasts a breath-taking view of the nearby golden dome of St. Isaac’s Cathedral. The interior is understated and the glass walls ensure that the view is the main focus. Afterwards walk St. Isaac’s Cathedral, whose gilded dome dominates the skyline of St. Petersburg. The cathedral’s construction began in 1818 and was not completed until 1858. Sculptures and massive red granite columns ornament the façade, while the interior is even more lavishly decorated with mosaics, icons and columns of malachite and lapis lazuli.
Later in the afternoon experience a unique perspective of St. Petersburg with a one-hour private journey on a canal boat, which allows you to see unusual parts of the city not seen when driving along the city streets. The city is built on 42 islands, being washed by more than 90 rivers: Neva’s arms and channels. The granite embankments with slopes and piers have become peculiar pedestals for the magnificent palaces. Dinner at Sadko Restaurant. Grand Hotel Europe (B,L,D)
DAY 4 – Mon 7 August | St Petersburg. Today’s sightseeing with your private vehicle and English speaking guide will take you out of the city to Tsarskoe Selo (‘the Tsar’s village’), more commonly known as Pushkin. Here you will see the beautiful and opulent Catherine Palace complex whose formal parks stretch to Rastrelli’s blue and white Hermitage building. Inside is the-world famous Amber Room which has been meticulously restored to its former glory.
Enjoy a traditional hearty Russian style lunch at Podvorie Dacha restaurant and continue to Pavlovsk Palace, a royal residence until 1917. Although not boasting the dazzling splendour of the estates at Tsarskoe Selo and Peterhof, Pavlovsk is well worth visiting both for the treasures in the elegant palace and for its charming, rambling parkland, which is one of the largest and finest English-style landscape gardens outside the UK. Grande Hotel Europe (B,L)
DAY 5 – Tue 8 August | Depart St Petersburg. Depart St. Petersburg will be by hydrofoil. Peterhof, the great summer estate and artistic gem of Peter the Great, nestled on the shore of the Gulf of Finland (part of the Baltic Sea). To avoid the crowds, the Grand Palace will be opened for you before official opening hours. After his victory over the Swedes at Poltava in 1709, Peter decided to build a palace “befitting to the very highest of monarchs” and a visit to Versailles in 1717 furthered these ambitions. Over 5000 labourers, serfs and soldiers were employed in the creation of this magnificent estate that was officially opened in 1723. Embark MS Volga Dream
DAY 6 – Wed 9 August | Mandrogi. Be on the deck as we navigate the Svir River, connecting Lake Onega and Lake Ladoga, Europe largest freshwater lake, past a shoreline dotted with graceful willows, alder trees and stately pines. Step ashore for a brief visit to the vacation village of Mandrogi to experience daily life in a quaint wooden village. Volga Dream experience: barbeque on the open deck. MS Volga Dream (B,L,D)
DAY 7 – Thu 10 August | Kizhi Island. 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. See a collection of ancient Russian wooden houses and windmills, and the famous Transfiguration church, built in 1714 without a single nail. MS Volga Dream (B,L,D)
DAY 8 – Fri 11 August | Goritsy. Early this morning we cross the White Lake, once known as the “Tzar’s fishing grounds.” Arrive in Goritsy to tour the Kirillov Belozersky Monastery, founded by the hermit Saint Cyril. The monastery contains the 15th-century Cathedral of the Assumption, with superb frescoes. Return to the ship for a late lunch. Volga Dream experience: Russian dinner with vodka tasting. MS Volga Dream. (B,L,D)
DAY 9 – Sat 12 August | Yaroslavl. This morning visit the oldest city on the Volga River, Yaroslavl, a World Heritage site. See the Saviour Transfiguration Monastery, adorned with murals depicting Saint John’s apocalyptic visions. Visit the 17th century Church of Elijah the Prophet with its frescoes painted by renowned artists of ancient Russia. Participate in a costumed reception at the governor’s house and then re-board the Volga Dream in time for lunch.Volga Dream experience: costumed Russian tea ceremony & Russian cooking class. MS Volga Dream (B,L,D)
DAY 10 – Sun 13 August | Uglich. In the afternoon arrive in Uglich, dating from the 10th century. A walking tour of this Golden Ring city includes the Chapel of Dimitry, a 17th-century architectural treasure built on the site where Ivan the Terrible’s young son met his death. Visit the five-domed Church of the Transfiguration, noted for its beautiful iconostasis, and attend a concert of choral music. Volga Dream experience: Documentary film “Construction of the Moscow Canal” MS Volga Dream (B,L,D)
DAY 11 – Mon 14 August | Moscow. Today disembark the Volga dream. Enjoy lunch at GlavPivTorg Restaurant before exploring the Kremlin Territory. Your half-day tour begins with the extraordinary State Armoury; the oldest museum in Russia and home to a vast collection of precious stones, 18th and 19th century jewellery and other priceless artefacts dating as far back as the 14th century. It is also home to an impressive selection of carriages from the best Russian and European masters, precious fabrics, royal gala clothes and a fine collection of Faberge eggs. For centuries, the Kremlin has been witness to many well-known and tragic events in Russia’s past and so it is a treasure trove of Russian history. Your tour also includes two of the Kremlin’s cathedrals: Assumption, the cathedral of coronations and the burial place of religious leaders, and Archangel, the royal burial church. You will also see dazzling collection of Royal jewellery at the State Diamond Fund.
DAY 12 – Tue 15 August | Moscow. This morning’s inspirational half-day tour takes in the highlights of the world’s best collection of Russian icons and pre-Revolutionary Russian art. Your private guide will accompany you to the eye-catching Tretyakov Gallery, whose collection today consists of over 100,000 outstanding works of art. Originally the private collection of a wealthy Russian merchant, Pavel Tretyakov, this vast art collection was given to the Russian nation as a gift in 1892 and is one of Moscow’s greatest treasures.
Land of the Tzars in colour: fascinating photographs show the people and places of pre-revolutionary Russia.
Afternoon at leisure before dinner at Café Pushkin Noble Russian cuisine, a recreated historic atmosphere of a noble mansion history of the house goes to the XVIII century, when a Petersburg nobleman, who served at the court of Catherine II, retired and moved to Moscow
DAY 13 – Wed 16 August | Moscow. Today you will enjoy a full day’s sightseeing in Moscow with your English-speaking guide. Your tour will begin with a visit to the Novodevichy convent and cemetery. Founded in 1584 the convent became home to many noble women such as the wife of Peter the Great, who took vows in order to see out their lives at the convent. Explore the cemetery where Nikita Khrushchev, Raisa Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin are but a few of the famous Russians buried here. Continue with a visit to the Cathedral of Christ the Savoir, one of Russia’s most important cathedrals, completely destroyed in Stalin’s times and restored in 1990.
After the tour enjoy lunch at The Artist Gallery Restaurant is situated in the building of the Tsereteli Art Gallery, a beautiful mansion of late 18 century close to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. In the afternoon travel to the north-east neighborhoods of Moscow that is home to the fascinating museums that explore very different facets of the history of Soviet Russia. The Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics was opened in 1981 to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s groundbreaking orbit of Earth and focused on the USSR’s endeavors such as Sputnik and Soyuz. Renovated in 2009, the collection tripled in size and now encompasses international space exploration programs. Amongst the displays are rockets and capsules that bear the scars of re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere and personal belongings of the first cosmonauts. Meet in the Club Lounge for light dinner before departing to see National Dance Show Kostrama.
DAY 14 – Thu 17 August | Depart Moscow. Tour ends
$13,890 per person twin share
$15,890 solo traveller