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13 Days - Cruising in luxury along the Russian Volga river.
When it comes to river cruises in Russia, the Volga Dream offers an unprecedented level of luxury, as well as the finest accommodation, delicious food, best service and care in the industry. The advent of the boutique Volga Dream reveals the tsarist-era luxury and provides superior service, installing the ship as the class of the waterway. These voyages have half the amount of guests that are on other Russian River cruises and offer small group tours. These voyages also offer premium hotels in the centre of town during your sightseeing stays in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The Volga Dream with 60 crew members and a capacity for just over 100 passengers, has the lowest passenger-to-crew ratio among Russian river cruise ships. With so few guests amid the ship’s spacious arrangement, it feels like sailing aboard a private yacht. You’ll find no hassle disembarking at the various ports of call, no delays at mealtime.
This cruise can be from St. Petersburg to Moscow or in reverse. It stops at quaint villages, such as the tiny, picturesque island of Kizhy, along the way and gives you plenty of time to explore Russia in detail.
The Volga Dream voyages are a wonderful way to see a beautiful country so rich in history and the culture.
- Day 1
- Arrival in Moscow
- Day 2
- Exploring Moscow - city tour & Novodevichi Cemetery
- Day 3
- Visit the Kremlin and the Armoury Museum
- Day 4
- Tretyakov Gallery & Metro Ride then embarkation on the Volga Dream
- Day 5
- Cruise to Uglich, a Golden Ring city dating back to the 10th century
- Day 6
- Stroll in the oldest city on the Volga River, Yaroslavl, a World Heritage site.
- Day 7
- Visit the village of Goritsy to tour the fortress-like Kirillov-Belozersky Monastery.
- Day 8
- Explore a tiny, picturesque island of Kizhy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Lake Onega.
- Day 9
- Navigate the Svir River toward Lake Ladoga, Europe's largest freshwater lake.
- Day 10
- Arrive into St. Petersburg
- Day 11
- St. Petersburg's Peterhof - often cited as the "Versailles of Russia".
- Day 12
- Catherine’s Palace, Amber Room & the Faberge Museum
- Day 13
- Tour ends in St.Petersburg
- Start Place
- Moscow, Russian tours
- End Place
- St Petersburg, Russian tours
- Country Visited
- Russian tours
- 13 Days
- Group Size
MS Volga Dream carries 109 passengers, with a crew of 60. The ship has 56 comfortable cabins and all feature either a window or a porthole and a bathroom with separate glass shower. Each cabin is equipped with air conditioning, mini-bar, safety deposit box, telephone, and flat screen television featuring international satellite programming and films as well as various radio and music channel options.
The highlight of this cruise for many travellers spending time on the Volga Dream was getting to meet the crew. They are gracious and talented hosts who really go out of their way to make sure everyone has a wonderful journey.
- Accommodation in comfortable centrally located hotels in Moscow and St. Petersburg
- Daily sightseeing in small groups of never more than 20-25 guests
- Visits to the Kremlin & Armory Chamber, City tour & Metro ride, Red Square & GUM Department store, Armory and Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow
- Visits to the magnificent Hermitage, Catherines Palace in Pushkin, Faberge Museum, Peter & Paul's Fortress, City tour and Peterhof (Lower Park & Bath Cottage) in St. Petersburg
- 4 breakfasts in the hotels
- 6 breakfasts / 6 lunches / 6 dinners aboard MS Volga Dream with unlimited house, including a BBQ on deck
- House wines, beer and soft drinks included with all lunches and dinners
- Free time to explore in St. Petersburg and Moscow
- 24 hour coffee station
- Welcome & farewell cocktails
- 4 fascinating lectures by Russian professors about Russian history and politics
- Diverse range of cultural activities aboard MS Volga Dream including Russian Dinner & Vodka testing, Russian classical music concert, cooking lessons, tea ceremony and more.
- Russian visa invitation letter
- Arrival & departure transfers
- Welcome meeting with the guide
- Daily supply of bottled water
- Port charges
- International flights
- Visa to Russia
- All services not mentioned in the program
- Tips and Gratuities
Day 1 - Arrival in Moscow
Upon arrival in Moscow, transfer to the deluxe Marriott Aurora located in the historic city centre near the Bolshoi Theatre and Moscow Kremlin. In the evening gather for the warm-up meeting with your guide (available at the hotel lobby from 6pm to 9pm) or spend the rest of the day exploring central Moscow on your own.
Please note that the itinerary from St. Petersburg to Moscow mirrors itinerary from Moscow to St. Petersburg. You can choose which way you wish to travel by the dates of the departures.
Gold program: Hotel in Moscow is Ararat Park Hyatt or Marriott Aurora.
Platinum program: Hotel in Moscow is Marriott Aurora or St. Regis.
Optional Add Ons
Day 2 - Exploring Moscow - city tour & Novodevichi Cemetery
Begin the day with an orientation city tour of Moscow and then proceed to the famous Novodevichi Cemetery which holds the tombs of Russian authors, musicians, playwrights, and poets, as well as famous actors, political leaders, and scientists.
The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to explore Moscow on your own or seek out a cultural performance at one of the city’s renowned venues.
This evening you can enjoy an optional opera or ballet performance at the famed Bolshoi Theatre (subject to the schedule of performances). Ask us before departure to secure your seat.
City tour includes: Red Square walking tour, St. Basil's Cathedral (photo stop w/o entrance), GUM Department Store (entrance), Cathedral of Christ the Savior (entrance if time and availability allows), Novodevichy Cemetery (entrance).
2020 City tour includes: Red Square walking tour, St. Basil's Cathedral (photo stop w/o entrance), GUM Department Store (entrance), Cathedral of Christ the Savior (entrance if time and availability allows), Novodevichy Cemetery (entrance).
2021 City tour includes: Tverskaya Street, Lubyanka Square, Kremlin embankment, Cathedral of Christ the Savior (entrance if time and availability allows), Novodevichy Cemetery (entrance), Novodevichy convent (photo stop).
Day 3 - Visit the Kremlin and the Armoury Museum
This morning enter the Kremlin for a visit to the Armory Museum, with its collection of tsarist thrones, ceremonial crowns, coaches and gifts of state. Continue to the beautifully frescoed 15th-century Assumption and Archangel Cathedrals.
The balance of the day is at leisure for independent exploration or optional tours at your choice.
2021 program: In addition to Kremlin, visit the magnificent Red Square and its famous landmarks - Lenin's Tomb and St. Basil's cathedral (outside), a colorful multi-domed complex whose architects were supposedly blinded by Ivan the Terrible so that they would never again be able to recreate such splendor.
Day 4 - Tretyakov Gallery & Metro Ride then embarkation on the Volga Dream
This morning is free for an independent walk or lunch in hotel near-by area. At noon, check-out from your hotel and proceed to Tretyakov Gallery, the first museum dedicated exclusively to Russian fine art. Explore Moscow’s Metro, known for its architectural splendour and transfer to the awaiting luxurious MS Volga Dream to begin sailing along the Russian waterways. Gather for the Captain's welcome reception and dinner as we begin our cruise.
Volga Dream Experience: Bread, Salt & Vodka Welcome Aboard Ceremony
Day 5 - Cruise to Uglich, a Golden Ring city dating back to the 10th century
After a full day of cruising through forested countryside, dock in the ancient trading town of Uglich, one of the spokes of Russia’s renowned Golden Ring. Explore the impressive Church of St. Dmitri-on-the-Blood, erected on the site where Dmitri, son of Ivan the Terrible, was murdered in 1591, and attend an enchanting concert of choral music at St. John’s Church.
During the cruise, you will have opportunities to partake in activities, some cultural, informative and others, relaxing. There are guest speakers on board certain voyages and there are movies shown on Russian Culture and History. There are chances to learn the Russian Cyrillic alphabet and learn traditional crafts. You can get into the the kitchen and learn some Russian cooking secrets or get 'behind the scenes' in the heart of the ship - the engine rooms.
Volga Dream Experience: Documentary Film “Construction of the Moscow Canal”
AccommodationOn board the Volga Dream
Day 6 - Stroll in the oldest city on the Volga River, Yaroslavl, a World Heritage site.
Founded in 1010, Yaroslavl is one of the oldest cities in central Russia and the Volga’s first port. In the Spassky Monastery see the Transfiguration of the Savior and admire the mosaics at the Church of Elijah the Prophet. Take part in a costumed reception at the governor’s house, and then re-board the MS Volga Dream in time for lunch.
Volga Dream Experience: Costumed Russian Tea Ceremony & Russian Cooking Class
AccommodationOn board the Volga Dream
Day 7 - Visit the village of Goritsy to tour the fortress-like Kirillov-Belozersky Monastery.
Early this morning we cross Lake Beloye, or the White Lake, formerly known as the “tsar’s fishing grounds”. Arrive in the peaceful village of Goritsy to tour the fortress-like Kirillov-Belozersky Monastery with magnificent frescoes by one of the Russia's most renowned icon painters. Return to the ship for a late lunch.
Volga Dream Experience: Russian Dinner with Vodka Tasting
AccommodationOn board the Volga Dream
Day 8 - Explore a tiny, picturesque island of Kizhy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Lake Onega.
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.
Volga Dream Experience: Piano Concert – pieces by Tchaikovsky and Rakhmaninov
AccommodationOn board the Volga Dream
Day 9 - Navigate the Svir River toward Lake Ladoga, Europe's largest freshwater lake.
Be on the deck as we navigate the Svir River toward Lake Ladoga, Europe's largest freshwater lake, past a shoreline dotted with graceful willows, alder trees and stately pines. Step ashore for a brief visit to either Mandrogi or Svirstroy - a small and charming village on the River Svir, with a population of about 1000. Warm and welcoming Svirstroy villagers will offer tea with jam and “pirozhki” (local pies). They will enthusiastically tell you all about Russian tradition, lifestyle and the attractions of Svirstroy village while proudly showing off their homes and kitchen gardens.
After tea hop on a bus for a tour of the nearby town to see the monument of the WWII and visit a local primary school.
Volga Dream Experience: Barbeque on the Open Deck
AccommodationOn board the Volga Dream
Day 10 - Arrive into St. Petersburg
Disembark this morning in St. Petersburg, which Peter the Great transformed from marshland into the vibrant city of islands, canals, bridges and pastel-colored palaces. Continue with an orientation tour of St. Petersburg and enter Peter and Paul Fortress, this family shrine of the Romanovs.
Following lunch enter the famed Hermitage Museum, whose four hundred rooms contain spectacular examples of nearly all schools of Western art, including one of the greatest collections of French impressionist works. This evening check-in at the five-star Kempinski Moika 22.
This evening enjoy an optional opera or ballet performance at the famed Mariinsky or Mikhailovskiy Theatre (subject to the schedule of performances).
City Tour includes: Peter & Paul Cathedral (entrance), Split of Basil Island (walking tour), St. Isaac Cathedral (photo stop), Spilled Blood Church (photo stop), Nevskiy Prospekt drive.
2021 Program: Hermitage visit on day 11
Day 11 - St. Petersburg's Peterhof - often cited as the "Versailles of Russia".
Begin today at the meticulously restored Peterhof, St. Petersburg most famous and spectacular Imperial estate, often cited as the "Versalles of Russia". Visit authentic Bath Cottage and stroll in the vast Lower Park with 176 fountains of various forms and styles and four cascades, majestic palaces, numerous gilded statues of ancient gods and heroes. Tour: 10am - 3pm
The balance of the day is at leisure for independent exploration.
2021 Program: The day begins at the world class Hermitage Museum, home to one of world’s most important collections of European art.
Day 12 - Catherine’s Palace, Amber Room & the Faberge Museum
This morning travel to Catherine the Great’s Palace, which houses the extraordinary Amber Room, its six tons of solid amber deftly carved and framed in gold leaf. Once deemed the “eighth wonder of the world,” the room was stripped by the Nazis in 1941, but majestically reconstructed in honour of St. Petersburg’s 300th birthday.
After lunch at Podvorie, a restaurant in a traditional Russian log house, return to St. Petersburg and visit Faberge museum, which contains world's largest collection of works by Carl Faberge, including 9 Easter eggs commissioned by the Russian royal family.
2021 program: This morning, join one of the optional tours or explore St. Petersburg at your own pace. In the afternoon, drive to Catherine the Great’s Palace. Visit to Faberge museum is not included in 2021 Gold program.
Day 13 - Tour ends in St.Petersburg
Transfer to the airport this morning for your flight.
This voyage can be upgraded to the Imperial, which includes Four Seasons hotels, cabins, smaller groups on excursions and included activities such as early entrance to the Hermitage and local lunches.
Gold Program Room categories on Volga Dream:
- Standard - cabins are all twins (101-118).
- Superior - Stateroom on the main deck all twin (201 - 210).
- Deluxe - Stateroom on Promenade deck (double; 301-315, 317-324) or Sun deck (twin; 406-409, 411 & 412)
- Junior Suite - double on Promenade & Sun deck (316 & 406).
- Deluxe Junior Suite - double on Sun deck (402-404).
- Owners Suite - double on Promenade deck (300).
- Single - Standard Single on the Promenade deck (325 & 326) .
- Single - Deluxe on Sun deck (410).
Special Guest Lecturers on each journey are a wonderful addition - if designing your trip around these lecturers interests you, please let us know.
- There is only a photo stop by the Church of Spilled Blood in St.Petersburg. If you wish to go inside you will be able to do it in your free time (it is centrally located).
TRAVEL WITH CONFIDENCE:
• Passenger health and safety is Volga Dream’s highest priority.
• Volga Dream is a small ship with only 100 passengers, which means social distancing is easily achieved. All staterooms and suites have independent ventilation, air-flow systems and individual air conditioning units.
• Passengers with flu-like symptoms will not be allowed to board.
• All public areas will be disinfected and sanitized frequently and daily. Handsanitizing facilities will be provided on board.
• Guests and staff will be subject to regular temperature monitoring.
• The ship has well-equipped medical facilities and there is always a doctor on board.
Interactive Tour Map
If you want to commit to a booking please use the Book Tour form below.
Please note for China, Mongolia and Russia, you will need to arrange your visa before you go. We have supplied links to these visa applications within our Visa section. It is your responsibility to do this before your trip but please don't hesitate to speak to us if you need any assistance. It isn't unusual for our guests to have questions particularly about the Russian visa so please call us if you are in any doubt.
Volga Dream Russian River Cruises
Practical information for your Volga Dream Russian River Cruises
You can access Internet through Wi-Fi in the Lounge on your personal computer or use public computers connected to the Internet in the Library. Internet connection is available 90% time during the cruise.
Guests are asked to refrain from smoking in all inside areas at all the time. Smoking is only allowed in a specially designated outside area on the Sun Deck.
Unfortunately, technical layout of the ship does not allow to build an elevator. Main stairs however, have been reconstructed in a way to make them less steep and more comfortable for walking.
Special Dietary Requirements
Along with the regular dishes, our standard daily menu also features a vegetarian option. If you have special dietary requirements (vegan, low salt, no pork, etc.) please make sure to send them to us. Our Chef and Maitre D will follow your personal diet and will serve the food you are used to.
The ship features small but modern basic medical facilities, staffed by a doctor who accompanies the ship at all the times. These facilities are equipped to provide medical care for illness or accidents that may arise during the cruise. They are not intended to provide ongoing medical treatment for pre-existing conditions. We suggest you bring adequate supplies of prescription medications and other health related items.
You can make local or long distance international calls directly from your room. If you would like to send a mail or a post card, our staff will be pleased to supply a stamp and assist in sending mail at the nearest port of call.
During the cruise all extra expenses will be charged to your personal on board account which shall be cleared on the last day of the cruise.
Forms of payment on board
We do accept all types of credit cards, including Visa, Master Card, Circus, and American Express. Unfortunately we do not accept travel checks and other forms of non-cash payment.
Special Dress Code
We advise that our guests are dressed elegantly and comfortable during the cruise, but do not apply any special dressing requirements. For the Captain's Welcome and Farewell Cocktails and also evening concerts cocktail dressing and jackets has been frequently chosen to wear by our guests.
The main language spoken on the cruise is English.
Travel Insurance and Safety
Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours with 50 Degrees North. The safety of our travellers, staff and operators is a major priority of 50 Degrees North. With an operational office in Norway, 50 Degrees North has access to an up-to-the-minute flow of information regarding the countries we work in. We are also in regular contact with the various operators we use. Their in-depth knowledge and understanding of their various areas is vital.