Day 1: Moscow
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: Moscow
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 return on board. As we begin our cruise, join us for a welcome cocktail. We'll have dinner and spend the night on board.
Day 3: Uglich
We'll spend the morning cruising on the Volga. During the trip from Moscow to Uglich, our ship will cross through the impressive networks of locks on the Moscow Canal. Built under Stalin, the canal transformed the city into a large river port connected to the White, Baltic, Caspian, Azov and Black Seas. Join us for a Russian class and a presentation of Russian crafts. After lunch, we'll visit Uglich which 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 visit the Uglich Kremlin, the Church of Saint Dmitry on the Blood, and the Cathedral of the Transfiguration. Dinner tonight will be followed by a traditional concert. We'll spend the night on board.
Day 4: Goritsy
We'll spend the morning cruising on the Sheksna River and Lake Beloye. Join us for a Russian nesting dolls painting class and singing Russian songs. After lunch, we'll visit theKirillo-Belozersky Monastery, founded in the 14th century. When we return on board, take part in a traditional "Russian tea ceremony". Then, come and learn to cut up the floor like a true Russian! We'll enjoy a Russian dinner followed by a classical music concert. We'll spend the night on board.
Day 5: Kizhi
We'll spend the morning cruising on Lake Onega. Join us for a Russian class and a presentation of Russian folk wear. After lunch, we'll reach Kizhi, one of Russia's must-see attractions. We'll visit this 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. Tonight's dinner will be followed by a concert and dancing. We'll spend the night on board.
Day 6: Mandrogi
This morning, learn how to cook authentic Russian food! We'll stop in Mandrogi, and 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. We'll have lunch in the open while listening to traditional music. Tonight is the Captain's Dinner. We'll also enjoy our gala evening with musicians and dancers. We'll spend the night on board.
Day 7: Saint Petersburg
Join us for 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 also 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 Saint Petersburg. OPTIONAL: Saint Petersburg at night and the "Raised Bridges" (reservations on board only). We'll have dinner and spend the night on board.
Day 8: Saint Petersburg
Enjoy one last breakfast on board before disembarking. End of our services.