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13 Days | Waterways of the Tzars


Day 1 | Moscow, Russia. Arrive in Moscow and transfer to your ship. After boarding, you have free time to relax before dinner. (D)

Day 2 | Moscow. Relax this morning and enjoy an early lunch before your half-day tour of Moscow. See the famed Bolshoi Theater and stop at Red Square for a view of the colorful onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral and a visit to the famous GUM Department Store. You will also get the chance to experience the city’s Metro. Stay in the city center for an evening performance of traditional Russian folkloric music. (B, L, D)

Day 3 | Moscow. Today you have a full day to further explore Moscow’s many buildings, parks and monuments. Or you may choose from several optional experiences—a full-day excursion to Sergiev Posad, a Golden Ring city named for the greatly venerated St. Sergius of Radonezh, to see one of the four most important Russian Orthodox monasteries in Russia; a half-day morning tour of Novodevichy Convent, Moscow’s best-known cloister and a UNESCO World Heritage Site; or an afternoon tour to Tretyakov Gallery, the world’s foremost museum of Russian fine art. Or, take our engaging optional tour to the Military Museum where you visit with Red Army veterans as you explore Russia’s military history. Lunch is served aboard, or included in your full-day excursion. Dine aboard, then relax—or take an optional Moscow by Night tour. (B, L, D)

Day 4 | Moscow. Moscow Canal. After breakfast, travel to the city’s famous red brick enclosure known as the Kremlin. See its many tall towers and elegant palaces, and tour inside one of the brightly colored cathedrals. Enjoy a scenic cruise along the Moscow Canal after lunch as we depart the city. (B, L, D)

Day 5 | Uglich. Cruise through the morning and, after lunch, disembark for your walking tour through the provincial village of Uglich, one of the Golden Ring cities—ancient towns that preserve the memory of Russia’s historical events. See the former Kremlin of Uglich and visit the Church of St. Dmitry on the Blood, built on the site where Ivan the Terrible’s son Dmitry was mysteriously killed. Then a local family invites you into their home for tea and friendly conversation. Depart before dinner; cruise through the night. (B, L, D)

Day 6 | Yaroslavl. Arrive this morning in Yaroslavl, another Golden Ring city. Visit the Church of St. Elijah the Prophet, featuring detailed frescoes and icons. Here, you are treated to a stirring à capella choir performance. Then, take a guided stroll through the covered food market. Or, join an excursion to the Governor’s Palace, a living museum of Russian art, history and culture. Shop for handcrafted souvenirs before returning to your ship for lunch and departure. (B, L, D)

Day 7 | Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery. Dock this morning in Kuzino, a typical Russian village; from here, you visit the renowned Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, founded by Saint Cyril in 1397. Take a guided walk through the Monastery’s historic grounds, seeing several small wooden chapels, the Assumption Cathedral and a museum. Or, see the Monastery and then visit a children’s art school and restoration workshop. Return to your ship for lunch and an afternoon departure. Spend the remainder of the day cruising along the Volga-Baltic Waterway. This system of rivers and canals, spanning 229 miles and seven locks, links the Volga River with the Baltic Sea. (B, L, D)

Day 8 | Kizhi. Cruise through the morning, admiring the tranquil waters of Lake Onega, Europe’s second-largest lake. Arrive this afternoon at the island village of Kizhi. Set out on a walking tour through the Open Air Museum of Architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, see a collection of wooden houses, windmills and churches representing ancient Russian architecture, highlighted by the famous three-tiered Preobranzhenskaya (Transfiguration) Church—a fairytale-like structure built in 1714 without a single nail. Depart in the evening and cruise through the night. (B, L, D)

Day 9 | Scenic Waterways. Mandrogy. Spend a relaxing day cruising across Russia’s intricate waterways. Sail along the scenic Svir River, traveling the 139-mile “Blue Route” as it takes you southwest from Lake Onega. Stop in Mandrogy and take some time to explore this museum village. Visit the vodka museum or shop for handmade Russian craft items. For a truly immersive experience, try an optional visit to a banya (traditional Russian bath house). Continue along the Svir, then cross Lake Ladoga, Europe’s largest lake, on your way to the Neva River. All meals served aboard. (B, L, D)

Day 10 | St. Petersburg. Sail on the Neva River into St. Petersburg early this morning and embark on a city tour after breakfast; see noted sights including St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Peter & Paul Fortress and Nevsky Prospekt. After a picnic lunch, visit the Winter Palace to tour the legendary Hermitage Museum, where you marvel at the vast collection of art, antiquities, jewelry and sculptures. Dine aboard, then relax or attend an optional evening folkloric performance. (B, L, D)

Day 11 | St. Petersburg. Today’s excursion goes to the Pushkin area where you visit Catherine’s Palace, the elegant rococo 18th-century summer residence of the Russian Czars named for Catherine I (widow of Peter the Great). Tour its various halls, including the storied Amber and Agate Rooms, and see the ornate décor throughout. Return to your ship for lunch. The rest of the day is at leisure to further explore St. Petersburg, “The City of 300 Bridges.” This evening, attend a ballet performance, followed by a late supper aboard. (B, L, D)

Day 12 | St. Petersburg. You have the day free to see the sights that interest you. Visit one of the many palaces, churches or museums, OR take an optional morning tour to Peterhof Palace, with its landscaped gardens, beautiful fountains and French Gothic interiors. In the afternoon, explore more of the city or take an optional tour of Yusupov Palace (where Grigori Rasputin met his dramatic end) and a relaxing canal cruise, or a canal cruise followed by a home-hosted visit to a traditional Kommunalka (communal apartment). Lunch and dinner are served aboard. (B, L, D)

Day 13 | St. Petersburg. After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight. Or, extend your journey into another country with 3 nights in Helsinki, Finland, the “White City of the North.” (B)

NOTE: Itinerary is subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the itinerary schedule you receive with your final documents.

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