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13 Days | Waterways of the Tzars


Day 1 | St. Petersburg, Russia. Embark Ship. Arrive in St. Petersburg, “The City of 300 Bridges,” then transfer to your ship. After boarding, you have free time to relax before dinner. (D)

Day 2 | St. Petersburg. This morning, proceed to the Winter Palace to visit the legendary Hermitage Museum, where you marvel at the vast collection of art, antiquities, jewelry and sculptures. After a picnic lunch, the rest of the day is at leisure to further explore St. Petersburg. Enjoy an early dinner, followed by an evening performance of traditional Russian ballet or opera. For a unique, privileged access experience, consider booking the Behind the Scenes at the Ballet excursion. For a video preview, click here. Or, spend additional time at the Hermitage, visit the vaults and learn from a Hermitage art expert on the Hermitage Behind Closed Doors excursion. Catch a glimpse here. (These excursions are optional and can be booked in advance, no later than 30 days prior to sailing. Limited space may be available for onboard booking, but cannot be guaranteed. Since these excursions run at the same time, it is not possible to book both.) (B, L, D)

Day 3 | 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. After lunch, embark on a city tour; see noted sights including St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Peter & Paul Fortress and Nevsky Prospekt. Dine aboard and enjoy an optional Russian folkloric performance this evening. (B, L, D)

Day 4 | St. Petersburg. Most of the day is 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 including Yusupov Palace (where Grigori Rasputin met his dramatic end) and a relaxing canal cruise. Lunch and dinner served aboard; ship departs early evening. (B, L, D)

Day 5 | Scenic Waterways. Mandrogy. Spend a relaxing day cruising along Russia’s intricate waterways. Sail on the Neva River, then cross Lake Ladoga, Europe’s largest lake. Cruise the Svir River to Mandrogy where you have 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’s 139-mile “Blue Route” toward Lake Onega. (B, L, D)

Day 6 | Kizhi. Cruise through the early morning, admiring the tranquil waters of Lake Onega, Europe’s second largest lake. Arrive during breakfast 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 late morning and cruise through the night. (B, L, D)

Day 7 | Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery. Continue 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. Arrive in Kuzino, a typical Russian village. Take a guided walk through the historic Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, founded by Saint Cyril in 1397; see 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 aboard for an afternoon departure. (B, L, D)

Day 8 | Yaroslavl. Arrive mid-afternoon in Yaroslavl, one of the Golden Ring cities—ancient towns that preserve the memory of Russia’s historical events. 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 aboard for dinner and evening departure. (B, L, D)

Day 9 | Uglich. After breakfast, disembark for a walking tour through the provincial village of Uglich, another Golden Ring city. 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. Lunch served aboard; cruise through the night. (B, L, D)

Day 10 | Moscow Canal. Moscow. This morning, cruise along the Moscow Canal, approaching Moscow during lunch. Disembark for a half-day city tour. See the famed Bolshoi Theater and stop at Red Square for a view of the colorful onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral. You will also get the chance to explore the famous GUM Department Store and experience the city’s Metro. Enjoy an evening performance of traditional Russian folkloric music followed by a late dinner on board. (B, L, D)

Day 11 | Moscow. Today you have a full day to further explore Moscow’s many buildings, parks and monuments. Or you may choose from two 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; or an engaging optional morning 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 12 | Moscow. 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. The afternoon is free to relax and explore—you may wish to spend some time people-watching in Red Square or visit Lenin’s Tomb. Or, you may take an optional afternoon tour to Tretyakov Gallery, the world’s foremost museum of Russian fine art. Return aboard for a farewell dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 13 | Moscow. Disembark Ship. After breakfast, disembark and proceed to the airport for your return flight. Or take some extra time in Russia with a 2-night Moscow extension. (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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