Day 1: Saint Petersburg
Passengers are welcome to begin boarding our ship at 2:00 p.m. We'll have dinner and spend the night on board.
Day 2: Saint Petersburg
We'll leave on a panoramic tour of Saint Petersburg,Russia's second largest city and a world-class destination. Formerly known as Petrograd, and subsequently Leningrad, this is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places on earth and virtually any building in its large historic center, threaded with canals and dotted with baroque bridges, can be considered an attraction. The Neva River flows through this marvelous city which has inspired and nurtured some of the modern world's greatest literature, music, and visual art. We'll see the Nevsky Prospect, the imposing St. Isaac Cathedral, and the two Rostral columns. Afterwards, we'll visit the Peter and Paul Fortress and its cathedral, which contains the tombs of former Russian tsars. We'll have lunch in town. In the afternoon, we'll visit the most famous museum in Russia: The State Hermitage Museum. Sprawling across three massive buildings, this vast, chaotic, and incredibly rich collection is unquestionably the biggest draw for visitors to St. Petersburg. After our tour, we'll return on board and begin our cruise. Tonight's dinner will be followed by dancing.
Day 3: Mandrogi
We'll spend the morning cruising the river. Join us for a presentation of Russian crafts before our arrival in Mandrogi. Enjoy lunch in the open while listening to traditional music. Afterwards, you'll have some free time to enjoy a stroll through the village, founded over 16 years ago as an eco-stop. Artisans and craftsmen from all over Russia were invited to live and work here, creating the village's unique style. After our tour, we'll return on board. Tonight, join us for some lessons on speaking Russian before dinner.We'll finish up the evening with some traditional musical entertainment and dancing.
Day 4: Kizhi
Located at the heart of Lake Onega in the Republic of Karelia, Kizhi is one of Russia's must-see attractions. We'll visit the open-air museum that houses the collection of wooden structures from the past, including the 22-domed Church of the Transfiguration of Our Savior, covered with golden leaves and religious portraits, and the Church of the Intercession. We'll have lunch on board and continue our cruise. Join us for a Russian nesting dolls painting class. There will also be a concert of classical music. We'll enjoy dinner on board. Tonight's Russian language lesson will be on songs. Finish off the day on the dance floor.
Day 5: Goritsy
We'll spend the morning cruising the river. Join us for another Russian language lesson. Afterwards, we'll visit the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, founded in the 14th century. Once the largest monastery in Northern Russia, the museum houses many fabulous icons to feast your eyes upon. After our tour, we'll return on board and enjoy a Russian tea drinking ceremony. After a Russian dinner this evening, join us for some traditional musical entertainment and dancing. We'll spend the night on board.
Day 6: Uglich
Uglich was first settled along the banks of the Volga River in 937. After Ivan the Terrible's death, the city was the stage for the banishment and subsequent death of Ivan's youngest son, Tsarevich Dmitry, which precipitated the era known as the Time of Troubles in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. We'll walk around the Kremlin and visit the Church of Saint Dmitry on the Blood and the Cathedral of the Transfiguration. Afterwards, we'll continue our cruise. Join us once again for Russian language, songs and dance lessons. Tonight will be our farewell dinner and gala concert, followed by an evening of dancing.
Day 7: Moscow
We'll spend the morning cruising the river, arriving in Moscow in the early afternoon. First, we'll visit the Moscow Kremlin. Inextricably linked to the most important historical and political events in Russia since the 13th century, the Kremlin was a royal residence and religious center. We'll stroll by St. Basil's Cathedral and through the Red Square, the historic heart of Russia. Enjoy a bit of shopping at the mall in the once-famous GUM State Department Store. After lunch in town, we'll set out to visit Donskoy Monastery. Originally built out of wood in 1592, its purpose was to shield Moscow from possible mongol invasions. It was rebuilt in the 17th century with castellated ramparts as well as eight square and four circular towers with red-blood crowns. In the monastery's necropolis lies the tomb of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. We'll have dinner in the city. We'll spend an evening of dancing and the night on board.
Day 8: Moscow
Enjoy one last breakfast before disembarking in Moscow. End of our services.