Volga River Cruise – Russian Odyssey

Duration19days

Price fromUSD $6,395 ?Currency ConversionConverted from USD based on the latest exchange rate. Final amount and payment will be in USD. Final conversion rate is determined by your bank.

Trip StyleRiver Cruise

Time of yearMay-Jun

Explore rich culture, history and architecture as you experience this luxurious Volga River cruise from Astrakhan to St.Petersburg

This Volga River Cruise will introduce you to the rich cultural side of Russia, its architecture and history on a luxurious odyssey from  Astrakhan to St Petersburg. Navigating the longest river in Europe, you'll experience local traditions, get the vibe of the historic townships, and enjoy the great views of Russia's rural countryside.

Be ready to re-evaluate your knowledge of Russia, its culture and history, as you will meet local people and see their habitual lifestyle, explore traditional crafts and try the most delicious dishes of Russian cuisine, listen to the best pieces of Russian classical music, attend interesting lectures by experienced professors and learn some useful phrases in Russian - we guarantee you will find amusement to your liking!

Russian Odyssey - Volga River Cruise Highlights:

  • Tick everyone's bucket list while visiting Moscow's main attractions: Red square, St.Basil's Cathedral and the mighty Kremlin.
  • Be enchanted by the ancient towns of the Golden Ring of Russia and watch the slow transition of churches into mosques as you move into the Tatarstan Republic.
  • Sail breathtaking views of the Karelian landscape as you make your way to Lake Onega - home to the island of Kizhi UNESCO site. 

  • Visit the Battle of Stalingrad Panorama Museum and memorial while learning about the heroic and relentless defence of the city of Volgograd, which changed the course of history.

For most, the word "Volga" is as synonymous with the geography of Russia as the words Siberia or St. Petersburg. Its banks are scattered with ancient towns, fortresses, monasteries and villages and unique wildlife, while its waters have been fished by generations of fishermen and sailed by countless leaders. The great ‘Mother Volga’ holds a unique place in Russia’s past, present and future. Through a system of canals, reservoirs and waterways, the Volga is linked to Russia’s largest cities Moscow and St. Petersburg and no less than four seas, in an engineering feat that still remains one of the most ambitious in history. The construction of this grand Soviet scheme to control nature came at the cost of many lives, whilst hundreds of old towns were flooded to make way for shipping channels. Today many old bell towers and church domes can still be seen rising eerily from the free-flowing waters, whilst huge locks topped with Soviet memorials remain a testament to Russia’s more recent history.

Arrival

Astrakhan

Departure

St Petersburg

Accomodation

MS Volga Dream

Trip style

River Cruise

Duration

19 days / 18 nights

Action rating?

     

Group size

up to 100 passengers

Type of tour

Guaranteed Departures

Itinerary

Day 1 Astrakhan

Upon arrival in Astrakhan, you will transfer to the docked deluxe MS Volga Dream. After settling into your cabin, spend the rest of the day relaxing after your flight or exploring Astrakhan on your own.
 
A traditional Russian welcome aboard ceremony with Bread, Salt and Vodka, will officially welcome you to the start of your journey. This will be followed by a welcome cocktail with the captain, a great opportunity to meet the crew and fellow travellers.
 

Day 2 Astrakhan

The morning begins with a tour of a local fortress built during the reign of Ivan the Terrible. After lunch, an optional and fascinating lecture on the famed and much-coveted black caviar, followed by a private tasting of this most precious delicacy. In the evening enjoy a concert in a local Conservator.

Day 3 Sailing day

Take in the majesty of the Volga River as you spend today gently cruising the waterway on this Volga River cruise.

Luxuriate on the Sun Deck with an ever-changing vista of quaint villages, towns and churches. As you leisurely observe the region which thrived for centuries due to the success of trade along the Volga, listen to a guest speaker narrate the history and tradition of each magical site.

Day 4 Volgograd

Volgograd has a rich historical past - from its beginnings as Tsaritsyn and a site of the Russian revolution, through to World War II where it became famously known as Stalingrad.

It is the site of arguably the most decisive military victory for the Russians on the eastern front, where they changed the course of history through their relentless, painstaking and courageous defence of the city.

Some of the fiercest fights took place on Mamayev Hill, and today we will visit a memorial on this site before making our way to the Battle of Stalingrad Panorama Museum.

Day 5 Saratov

Saratov was once a bustling German community but is now famed for its connection to Yuri Gagarin who lived in the city and became the first man to enter space. On this city tour, you will delight in the treasures of the Radishev State Art Museum which was the primary portrait gallery outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

In the evening, enjoy a piano Concert – pieces by Tchaikovsky and Rakhmaninov.

Day 6 Samara

This morning is a fantastic opportunity to view the Zhigulevskie mountains from the Sun Deck as we advance towards the city of Samara. Beginning with a city tour, we will explore the space museum before taking a leisurely walk on the Volga esplanade as we head towards the Samara State Art Museum.

Day 7 Kazan

As you observe the banks of the Volga today, you will begin to notice that elaborate Russian Orthodox Churches are replaced by intricate Muslim mosques - highlighting our advance into the Republic of Tatarstan.

We depart the Volga dream to explore the capital of the region and the epicentre of Tatar culture and tradition, Kazan. Marvel at the white walls of the Kazan Citadel where the Kul-Sherif mosque is juxtaposed against the old Peter and Paul Cathedral.

In the afternoon you will be treated to a local ensemble who will perform traditional Tatar music for you.

Day 8 Nizhny Novgorod

Nizhny Novgorod was once the epicentre of commercial activity, thanks to its influential position on the eastern trade route.

However, today you’ll learn how during the Soviet era it was closed for military exercise and to house political prisoners. You’ll also visit the XVIth- century Kremlin with its ornate churches and breathtaking views.

Tonight, a local children’s group will be delighted to present a traditional folk concert for you.

Day 9 Sailing day

A relaxing day of leisure as Volga Dream continues its gentle voyage along the picturesque Volga river. The Sun Deck provides a glorious and ever-changing view as we pass small villages, provincial towns, churches, and monasteries. This is an area that flourished for centuries thanks to the large volume of trade along the Volga.

Our guest speaker presents an entertaining and informative lecture on the history and traditions of the places we pass.

Day 10 Yaroslavl

Yaroslavl is a jewel in the crown of central Russia not only because of its rich historical significance as one of the oldest cities in the region (founded 1010) but because it is an outstanding seat of Russian Architecture.

Some of the highlights you will see today include the Spassky Monastery which encapsulates the Transfiguration of the Saviour and the Church of Elijah the Prophet.

This is a particularly rich example of late Muscovite period architecture and hosts extraordinary displays of intricate mosaics.

This morning you will also be treated to a costumed reception at governor’s house prior to returning to the MS Volga Dream for lunch, as part of your Volga River cruise.

Day 11 Uglich

After continuing to cruise through the idyllic forested countryside, we will anchor at Uglich, which once formed part of an ancient trading route, and is now at the heart of Russia’s famous Golden Ring circuit.

Today you will continue to delight in the history and architecture of the region where you will have the opportunity to visit the Church of St. Dimitri-on-the-Blood.

This church is famous for its connection to the son of Ivan the Terrible, Dmitri, who was murdered on this site in 1591. Once you have marvelled at this impressive church, you will be invited to an enchanting choral performance at St. John’s Church.

Day 12 Moscow

Today marks your chance to become acquainted with the specular sites of Moscow on an orientation tour of the city. You’ll get up close and personal with some of the most spectacular attractions in the city like Red Square, St.Basil’s Cathedral and Lenin’s Tomb.

We will also pass the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour as we drive towards Novodevichi Cemetery - the final resting place of several famous Russian creatives, actors, politicians and scientists.

The tour continues in the spectacular Moscow Metro, famed for its architectural splendour. One of the USSR’s most pioneering projects – the Metro houses designs, statues and elements from Soviet Russia, and is truly akin to stepping back in time. A must-see during your visit to Moscow, and a tourist attraction in itself. Late afternoon check-in at the five-star hotel for two nights.

Day 13 Moscow

Today you will visit the famed Kremlin! During this tour you will experience the Armoury Museum, which houses a varied collection of royal artefacts such as thrones, crowns and coaches. Here you will also be escorted through the 15th century Assumption and Archangel Cathedrals which boast splendid frescoes.

After a delicious lunch in one of our personal favourite restaurants, you will visit the Tretyakov Art Gallery — an extensive museum complex that houses the largest collection of Russian fine art – with examples from medieval icons to 19th Century “Golden Age” masterpieces. The gallery was established in 1856 and is now frequented by over a million visitors per year.

The rest of the day is left open for independent city touring. We recommend that you take a stroll to the new Zaryadye Park - walking distance from the Red Square.

Day 14 Sergiev Posad

After breakfast at the hotel, have your luggage packed for a comfortable and scenic bus transfer to Uglich city, to board MS Volga Dream and continue the cruise.

On the journey, we will take a stop at the charming ancient town of Sergiev Posad to go on a special guided city tour. The excursion is provided by one of the local monks who serve in the famous city monastery. On the tour you will visit the spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church - the Holy Trinity Lavra of St.Sergius and its many architectural wonders, including the majestic Trinity Cathedral and unique Dukhovskaya church. Being protected by UNESCO, the Holy Trinity Lavra of St.Sergius and its cathedrals will impress with their immaculate and carefully preserved decorations and fascinating history.
After completing the tour of Sergiev Posad, we will continue our bus journey to Uglich to board MS Volga Dream. Once onboard, enjoy a delicious dinner as we continue onward to our next destination

Day 15 Yaroslavl

Alternative sightseeing for repeated visitors.

Day 16 Goritsy

Today we will visit the curious settlement of Gortisky, home to the beautiful Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery (1397).

Here you will venture through the monastery on a guided tour, marvelling at one of the most magnificent collections of Russian icons in the world. Once you have savoured the ethereal repertoire of artwork, we will advance towards the brilliant Lake Onega.

Day 17 Kizhi

Karelia is a breathtaking expanse of wilderness that extends from St.Petersburg to the Arctic Circle.

Its unique landscape is characterised by vast forests and beautiful bodies of water, such as Lake Onega, which collects 58 rivers and contains 1369 islands.

The most exciting of all these islands is Kizhi, which is famous for its unique display of handmade, ancient, wooden churches, windmills and houses.

Today, on this Volga River cruise you will visit the masterpiece of this quaint collection - the Transfiguration church, which was constructed without the use of a single nail in 1714.

Day 18 Svirstroy

Dive into traditional Russian culture today when you’re invited into the home of a local villager who will be waiting to greet you with jam tea and pirozhki (traditional pies).

The locals have a rich oral tradition which they are enthusiastic to share with you through stories about their culture and lifestyle. As they open their home and kitchen garden to you, they will entice you with tales about the local attractions of Svirstroy Village.

Once you’ve enjoyed your jam & tea its time to take a bus to tour the village and local primary school and pay our respects at a monumental WWII memorial.

Day 19 St Petersburg

To conclude your memorable Russian experience - after an inclusive breakfast, you will check-out from your cabin, and we will transfer you to the airport - ready for your flight to your next chosen destination.

Ask a question

Have a question about this tour? Our experts will be happy to help

Inclusions

Arrival and departure group airport transfers

MS Volga Dream accommodation

5* hotel accommodation in St Petersburg (2 nights)

Full board (three meals per day)

All excursions according to the itinerary with professional English-speaking guides

Onboard entertainment including Russian language course, live music concerts, etc

Lectures by a guest speaker

Russian visa support documents

Exclusions

Flights

Travel insurance

Russian visa and visa fees.*Russian visa can be arranged by 56th Parallel for an additional cost (for Australian citizens only). Apply for a concierge visa service here.

Individual transfers

Dates & Prices

Dates Availability Price Single sup.  
May 14 - Jun 1, 2022
Guaranteed Departures
Available US $6,395 US $2,200 Reserve

Volga River Cruise – Russian Odyssey

19 days / 18 nights

From
$6,395
USD

*Price is per person, based on twin occupancy in the Standard Twin Cabin. For all other rates download the detailed itinerary.

Make an enquiry Detailed Itinerary
Click here to subscribe

Volga River Cruise – Russian Odyssey

19 days / 18 nights

From
$6,395
USD

*Price is per person, based on twin occupancy in the Standard Twin Cabin. For all other rates download the detailed itinerary.

Make an enquiry

Dowlnload comprehansive info-kit for this tour, FAQ’s and extras

Detailed Itinerary
Click here to subscribe

Why travel to Russia with 56th Parallel?

Destination Specialists

Our team offers over 18 years of experience travelling and planning travel in Russia. Delivering outstanding travel experiences in Russia’s capitals and in some of the most stunning & remote locations takes experience, special access and the right connections. We make sure that all the fine details are handled perfectly so you can enjoy your Russia travel experience.

Group & Private Tours

The choice to join a small group on a guaranteed departure or chose to travel on your own dates with your own mates. Each destination we travel to in Russia offers an option between private tours and small group tours. Please note: on our adventure tours in remote destinations, we mostly run group tours to keep the cost down.

Bonded & Licensed

56th Parallel is a fully licensed, insured and accredited travel provider.

More benefits
+61 412 587 785[email protected]

Volga River Cruise – Russian Odyssey

Days 19

From USD $6,395

Trip Style River Cruise

Time of year May-Jun

Day 1: Astrakhan

Upon arrival in Astrakhan, you will transfer to the docked deluxe MS Volga Dream. After settling into your cabin, spend the rest of the day relaxing after your flight or exploring Astrakhan on your own.
 
A traditional Russian welcome aboard ceremony with Bread, Salt and Vodka, will officially welcome you to the start of your journey. This will be followed by a welcome cocktail with the captain, a great opportunity to meet the crew and fellow travellers.
 

Day 2: Astrakhan

The morning begins with a tour of a local fortress built during the reign of Ivan the Terrible. After lunch, an optional and fascinating lecture on the famed and much-coveted black caviar, followed by a private tasting of this most precious delicacy. In the evening enjoy a concert in a local Conservator.

Day 3: Sailing day

Take in the majesty of the Volga River as you spend today gently cruising the waterway on this Volga River cruise.

Luxuriate on the Sun Deck with an ever-changing vista of quaint villages, towns and churches. As you leisurely observe the region which thrived for centuries due to the success of trade along the Volga, listen to a guest speaker narrate the history and tradition of each magical site.

Day 4: Volgograd

Volgograd has a rich historical past - from its beginnings as Tsaritsyn and a site of the Russian revolution, through to World War II where it became famously known as Stalingrad.

It is the site of arguably the most decisive military victory for the Russians on the eastern front, where they changed the course of history through their relentless, painstaking and courageous defence of the city.

Some of the fiercest fights took place on Mamayev Hill, and today we will visit a memorial on this site before making our way to the Battle of Stalingrad Panorama Museum.

Day 5: Saratov

Saratov was once a bustling German community but is now famed for its connection to Yuri Gagarin who lived in the city and became the first man to enter space. On this city tour, you will delight in the treasures of the Radishev State Art Museum which was the primary portrait gallery outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

In the evening, enjoy a piano Concert – pieces by Tchaikovsky and Rakhmaninov.

Day 6: Samara

This morning is a fantastic opportunity to view the Zhigulevskie mountains from the Sun Deck as we advance towards the city of Samara. Beginning with a city tour, we will explore the space museum before taking a leisurely walk on the Volga esplanade as we head towards the Samara State Art Museum.

Day 7: Kazan

As you observe the banks of the Volga today, you will begin to notice that elaborate Russian Orthodox Churches are replaced by intricate Muslim mosques - highlighting our advance into the Republic of Tatarstan.

We depart the Volga dream to explore the capital of the region and the epicentre of Tatar culture and tradition, Kazan. Marvel at the white walls of the Kazan Citadel where the Kul-Sherif mosque is juxtaposed against the old Peter and Paul Cathedral.

In the afternoon you will be treated to a local ensemble who will perform traditional Tatar music for you.

Day 8: Nizhny Novgorod

Nizhny Novgorod was once the epicentre of commercial activity, thanks to its influential position on the eastern trade route.

However, today you’ll learn how during the Soviet era it was closed for military exercise and to house political prisoners. You’ll also visit the XVIth- century Kremlin with its ornate churches and breathtaking views.

Tonight, a local children’s group will be delighted to present a traditional folk concert for you.

Day 9: Sailing day

A relaxing day of leisure as Volga Dream continues its gentle voyage along the picturesque Volga river. The Sun Deck provides a glorious and ever-changing view as we pass small villages, provincial towns, churches, and monasteries. This is an area that flourished for centuries thanks to the large volume of trade along the Volga.

Our guest speaker presents an entertaining and informative lecture on the history and traditions of the places we pass.

Day 10: Yaroslavl

Yaroslavl is a jewel in the crown of central Russia not only because of its rich historical significance as one of the oldest cities in the region (founded 1010) but because it is an outstanding seat of Russian Architecture.

Some of the highlights you will see today include the Spassky Monastery which encapsulates the Transfiguration of the Saviour and the Church of Elijah the Prophet.

This is a particularly rich example of late Muscovite period architecture and hosts extraordinary displays of intricate mosaics.

This morning you will also be treated to a costumed reception at governor’s house prior to returning to the MS Volga Dream for lunch, as part of your Volga River cruise.

Day 11: Uglich

After continuing to cruise through the idyllic forested countryside, we will anchor at Uglich, which once formed part of an ancient trading route, and is now at the heart of Russia’s famous Golden Ring circuit.

Today you will continue to delight in the history and architecture of the region where you will have the opportunity to visit the Church of St. Dimitri-on-the-Blood.

This church is famous for its connection to the son of Ivan the Terrible, Dmitri, who was murdered on this site in 1591. Once you have marvelled at this impressive church, you will be invited to an enchanting choral performance at St. John’s Church.

Day 12: Moscow

Today marks your chance to become acquainted with the specular sites of Moscow on an orientation tour of the city. You’ll get up close and personal with some of the most spectacular attractions in the city like Red Square, St.Basil’s Cathedral and Lenin’s Tomb.

We will also pass the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour as we drive towards Novodevichi Cemetery - the final resting place of several famous Russian creatives, actors, politicians and scientists.

The tour continues in the spectacular Moscow Metro, famed for its architectural splendour. One of the USSR’s most pioneering projects – the Metro houses designs, statues and elements from Soviet Russia, and is truly akin to stepping back in time. A must-see during your visit to Moscow, and a tourist attraction in itself. Late afternoon check-in at the five-star hotel for two nights.

Day 13: Moscow

Today you will visit the famed Kremlin! During this tour you will experience the Armoury Museum, which houses a varied collection of royal artefacts such as thrones, crowns and coaches. Here you will also be escorted through the 15th century Assumption and Archangel Cathedrals which boast splendid frescoes.

After a delicious lunch in one of our personal favourite restaurants, you will visit the Tretyakov Art Gallery — an extensive museum complex that houses the largest collection of Russian fine art – with examples from medieval icons to 19th Century “Golden Age” masterpieces. The gallery was established in 1856 and is now frequented by over a million visitors per year.

The rest of the day is left open for independent city touring. We recommend that you take a stroll to the new Zaryadye Park - walking distance from the Red Square.

Day 14: Sergiev Posad

After breakfast at the hotel, have your luggage packed for a comfortable and scenic bus transfer to Uglich city, to board MS Volga Dream and continue the cruise.

On the journey, we will take a stop at the charming ancient town of Sergiev Posad to go on a special guided city tour. The excursion is provided by one of the local monks who serve in the famous city monastery. On the tour you will visit the spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church - the Holy Trinity Lavra of St.Sergius and its many architectural wonders, including the majestic Trinity Cathedral and unique Dukhovskaya church. Being protected by UNESCO, the Holy Trinity Lavra of St.Sergius and its cathedrals will impress with their immaculate and carefully preserved decorations and fascinating history.
After completing the tour of Sergiev Posad, we will continue our bus journey to Uglich to board MS Volga Dream. Once onboard, enjoy a delicious dinner as we continue onward to our next destination

Day 15: Yaroslavl

Alternative sightseeing for repeated visitors.

Day 16: Goritsy

Today we will visit the curious settlement of Gortisky, home to the beautiful Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery (1397).

Here you will venture through the monastery on a guided tour, marvelling at one of the most magnificent collections of Russian icons in the world. Once you have savoured the ethereal repertoire of artwork, we will advance towards the brilliant Lake Onega.

Day 17: Kizhi

Karelia is a breathtaking expanse of wilderness that extends from St.Petersburg to the Arctic Circle.

Its unique landscape is characterised by vast forests and beautiful bodies of water, such as Lake Onega, which collects 58 rivers and contains 1369 islands.

The most exciting of all these islands is Kizhi, which is famous for its unique display of handmade, ancient, wooden churches, windmills and houses.

Today, on this Volga River cruise you will visit the masterpiece of this quaint collection - the Transfiguration church, which was constructed without the use of a single nail in 1714.

Day 18: Svirstroy

Dive into traditional Russian culture today when you’re invited into the home of a local villager who will be waiting to greet you with jam tea and pirozhki (traditional pies).

The locals have a rich oral tradition which they are enthusiastic to share with you through stories about their culture and lifestyle. As they open their home and kitchen garden to you, they will entice you with tales about the local attractions of Svirstroy Village.

Once you’ve enjoyed your jam & tea its time to take a bus to tour the village and local primary school and pay our respects at a monumental WWII memorial.

Day 19: St Petersburg

To conclude your memorable Russian experience - after an inclusive breakfast, you will check-out from your cabin, and we will transfer you to the airport - ready for your flight to your next chosen destination.

Included

Arrival and departure group airport transfers

MS Volga Dream accommodation

5* hotel accommodation in St Petersburg (2 nights)

Full board (three meals per day)

All excursions according to the itinerary with professional English-speaking guides

Onboard entertainment including Russian language course, live music concerts, etc

Lectures by a guest speaker

Russian visa support documents

Not included

Flights

Travel insurance

Russian visa and visa fees.*Russian visa can be arranged by 56th Parallel for an additional cost (for Australian citizens only). Apply for a concierge visa service here.

Individual transfers

Dates & Prices

DatesAvailabilityPriceSingle sup.
May 14 - Jun 1, 2022
Guaranteed Departures
Available US $6,395 US $2,200

Start planning your tour

A destination specialist will follow up on you enquiry shortly.
Prefer to chat? Call us on +61 412 587 785 we will be delighted to be of service.

Volga River Cruise – Russian Odyssey

If you have any urgent questions or enquiries, please give us a call +61 412 587 785

USD