Day 1 - Moscow : Arrival and embarkation. This city has been the capital of Russia since the late 15th century. There will be an opportunity to see city's world renowned attractions that include the UNESCO World Heritage sites'Kremlin, for example.
Day 2 - Moscow : City-tour includes Tverskaya Street, Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral, Bolshoi Theater and Moscow State University for panoramic view. Great variety of VIP and affordable optional tours is offered.
Optional for today: 'Metro & Moscow by Nightâ?. The highlight of this tour is to visit several the most beautifully decorated stations of Moscow Underground that has been launched in 1935. Also there will be a few photo stops to enjoy fantastic views of the nightly Moscow.
Day 3 - Moscow : Morning tour of the Kremlin. The Moscow Kremlin is former residence of Russian czars, an architectural ensemble of unique beauty, which took shape between the 15th and 20th centuries. The center of the Kremlin is the Cathedral Square that is a unique complex of masterpieces of medieval architecture. The architectural ensemble of the Cathedral Square consists of several cathedrals and palaces; one of them is the Assumption Cathedral ' the oldest Moscow Kremlin church, and one of the most important ones in Russia. On Kremlin grounds there also are the famous Czar Cannon of the 16-th century and Czar Bell of the 18-th century.
Optional for today: The Armory Chamber is a treasury of Russian Tsars and is one of the oldest museums in Russia. It has a unique collection of precious items dated to 12-19 centuries. Thrones, carriages, coronation dresses, crowns, bladed weapons, state regalia, ambassadorial gifts and many more are among its exhibits.
Day 4 - Moscow : Today it might be a full day on your own: the ship is docked within 10-minute walk from metro station; metro ride to the city center takes some 25 minutes; and Moscow is yet to reveal its numerous secrets - so enjoy your personal discoveries!
Optional for today:
Tour to the city of Sergiev Posad that is famous for its picturesque Lavra. Word 'lavra' is used to define the largest male monasteries in Russia. Lavra of Sergiev Posad has been established by one of the most significant Russian Saints - St. Sergius of Radonezh. So get ready to sheer beauty of the place and get ready to listen to many legends.
Kolomenskoye is a former summer residence of Russian Tsars. Nowadays it is a beautiful park and wonderful architectural ensemble that is incredibly harmonized with the surrounding nature. There are wooden buildings, stone walls, arches and grand gates, several churches - one of them is the famous Church of the Ascension of 16th century built in the old Russian 'tentâ? style. The summer palace of Russian Tsar Alexey Romanov is, probably, one of the most remarkable wooden constructions in modern world - the building is large and vast, but at the same time it looks light and beautiful. Kolomenskoye is a museum that has great collections of unique icons, metalwork and so on.
Day 5 - Uglich : Uglitch is one of the oldest, and probably one of the most beloved Russian towns, and a place of pilgrimage of Russian Czars. According to a local legend its origin goes back to 937. Do not miss its fantastic view while your ship is approaching the pier! The ancient Church of St. Dmitri on the Blood is one of great sites visited on our guided walking tour. Uglitch has a fabulous flea market.
Day 6 - Yaroslavl : Yaroslavl today is an important Volga River port with a population of 600,000 that stretches for 18 miles on both its banks. The city was founded in the 11th century by legendary Prince Yaroslav the Wise. The magnificent 13th century Spassky Monastery Ensemble and the Church of Elijah the Prophet are of special interest there. The frescoes on the walls inside the church make it a museum of old Russian painting. There will be a city-tour.
Optional for today: tour to city of Rostov Velikiy that once was one of spiritual and cultural centers of ancient Russia. Do not miss the fabulous view of the city from one of the banks of picturesque Nero Lake.
Day 7 - Kostroma : Kostroma is one of the loveliest cities of the Golden Ring. The pride of Kostroma is Ipatyevsky Monastery founded in the 14th century. The crypt of the Monastery became the Godunovs' Dynasty burial vault. Kostroma is one of the few Russian cities retaining the classical layout of the 18th/19th centuries, with streets and boulevards fanning out like the spokes of a wheel from a central square. During a city tour today there will be a visit to Ipatyevsky Monastery; other wonders of this lovely place are seen as well.
Optional for today: visit to Museum of Wooden Architecture. This is an open air museum with wooden churches, mills, huts and other ancient wooden constructions - all of them are real, and some date back to 1552. Museum was launched in 1958: historic buildings were carefully brought here from villages of Kostroma region.
Day 8 - Plyos : It seems that time has no power over this small chamber town. The layout of the place did not have major changes since 18th century. The place is cozy and quiet, and people here lead calm and steady life of Russian province, just like century ago. The town is located on higher hills; views are just fascinating - famous artists of the past often found inspiration here that further led to masterpieces. Quite a lot of time is spent on your own today. Take a walk along the cobbled streets of this hospitable place; go up the Cathedral Hill, breathe the fresh air and take a look aroundâ?¦ Maybe you'll create great painting of your own afterwards? Who knowsâ?¦
Optional for today: tour to Suzdal that is one of the oldest Russian towns; many of its landmarks are included into the World Heritage List of UNESCO. Great chance to enjoy the sights of ancient Russia!
Day 9 - Nizhni Novgorod : Some call it a 'third Russian capital'; but Kazan that is also in our itinerary claims this title as well. The city has great picturesque location at the confluence of Volga and Oka rivers. Kremlin of Nizhny Novgorod is among its most famous sites. This impregnable fortress has turned into historical monument over time, but one of the surrounding streets still strongly resembles fortification moat. Visit to beautiful local Kremlin is a part of a city-tour.
Day 10 - Cheboksary : Cheboksary was first mentioned in written sources in 1469, when Russian soldiers passed the place on the way to the Khanate of Kazan. In 1555 Russians built a fortress and established a settlement there. At the end of the 17th century it became major commercial city of the Volga region. Cheboksary also was noted for its 25 churches and four monasteries, and Cheboksary bells were known in London and Paris. We'll have sightseeing and maybe some free time on our own. Enjoy this great place!
Day 11 - Kazan : 'This city, no doubt, is the first in Russia after Moscow'wrote Catherine the Great in 1763'clearly, Kazan is the capital of a big kingdomâ?. Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan Republic; it is very diverse, modern and ancient at the same time. It is among the seven largest cities of Russia. Famous for its Kremlin and the mosque Kul-Sharif Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers. Kazan Kremlin is also visited on city-tour. Optional for today: tour to Raifa Monastery, one of the best sites in Tatarstan Republic. Miracle-working icon of 17 century is among the shines here - lots of pilgrims come to see the Virgin of Georgia from all over Russia and abroad.
Day 12 - Ulyanovsk (Simbirsk) : Lenin was born here. The city was a Soviet shrine for almost 70 years. The Lenin Memorial Complex includes the house in which he was born and other buildings associated with his life. The city of Ulyanovsk is also home to SUV maker UAZ and aircraft producer Aviastar, however, is one of a handful of cities that has managed to preserve the atmosphere of an old Russian province. The city-tour is going to be quite extraordinary.
Day 13 - Samara : Samara is a large and important historical port. Just as many well-developed cities of the past, Samara was built where two rivers merge, in order to protect inhabitants and to ensure successful trade. Modern Samara is a fusion of old trade town with well-preserved houses, the features of Soviet period and modern times featuring the Old-Russian teremok-buildings, art nouveau and gothic temples. The city-tour offers more great sights.
Day 14 - Saratov : Saratov was founded in the 16th century as a fortress to protect southern districts of Russian Empire. Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, began his career here and did his first air-flight. Visit the museum dedicated to Gagarin and his life. Don't miss the Conservatoire designed in a Neo-Gothic style, historical Drama Theatre, and Radischev Art Museum with more than 20,000 exhibits. In Saratov there will be a city tour.
Day 15 - Volgograd : Former Stalingrad, is the site of one of the toughest battles of the WWII. Certainly, main monuments here are related to the war and soldiers' glory: the giant 'Motherland' sculpture; panoramic museum of the Battle of Stalingrad; Pavlov's house - legendary Soviet bastion, marked as fortress on personal map of German general Paulus; Mamaev Kurgan (hill) that saw particularly fierce fighting. Certainly, Mamaev Kurgan is visited during city tour.
Day 16 - Volga-Don Canal. : Today we are passing though the tremendous artificial waterways named the Volga-Don Canal. It is a part of the United Deep-Water System of Waterways. This canal connects the Volga and the Don rivers.
Day 17 - Rostov-on-Don : Rostov-on-Don is: one of the largest cities of Russia with a population of over a million people; industrial hub of Southern Russia; cultural center with a large number of universities, colleges, architectural monuments and museums; agricultural center; important river port and 'Gateway to the Caucasus.' It was a Cossack outpost in the 18th century, and is famous for its magnificent parks and beaches. The distance from Moscow is 1226 kilometers or a bit over 760 miles.
The place has a very nice city center. It will be visited during the city-tour today during first half of the day. Places of interest in Rostov-on-Don include Bolshaya Sadovaya Street the focal point of administrative, business and cultural life of the city; the beautiful park named after Maksim Gorky; very old site where fortress of St. Dimitry Rostovsky was situated in the 2nd half of the 18th century. Also one of the sights is the city's picturesque quay of the River Don.
Day 18 - Rostov-on-Don : It might be a day on one's own - still there is a lot to do and see in the city.
Optional for today: city of Azov is the oldest settlement in the area - its history dates back more than 2000 years. It was a Genoese colony and one of the Silk Road milestones; a Cossack fortification and Turkish fortress that was taken and given back several times by Russian Empire troops. In 1769 Azov was taken by Russians and remains Russian since then. Old part of the city is of interest.
Day 19 - Rostov-on-Don : Time to bid farewell to your new friends and the city of Rostov-on-Don. Disembarkation.