It would be unthinkable to visit Russia without visiting the two major cites of St. Petersburg and Moscow. A fun and relaxing way to visit both cities, as well as the many fascinating locations between the two, is to take a river cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg.
River cruises are popular with tourists and provide a relaxing way to enjoy the scenery as well as numerous ports of call along the way. A typical Russian river cruise will last nearly two weeks with guided tours available at the various ports.
Your cruise will start in Moscow, but unlike most cruises, you will not depart immediately. After boarding the ship and settling into your cabin or suite, you will be offered guided tours of various historic sites including the Kremlin, Red Square and the infamous department store GUM. You will have the option of dining on shore or on board the ship. Depending on your chosen itinerary, you will be docked at the Moscow port up to three days.
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The first port after Moscow is located at the ancient town of Uglich. Visitors will be given a walking tour of this historic town that was founded as a princedom 1148 and was the home of the first Romanov Tsar. Uglich is a popular location for photographers due to the countryside and the buildings that showcase some of the earliest Russian architecture.
Frans Sellies – Getty Images
Continuing your trip up the Volga River you will come to the medieval town of Yaroslavl. Yaroslavl is a large city and is one of the ancient cities that make up the famous Golden Ring of cities. This particular port of call has both guided tours and free time available. Visitors are encouraged to visit the local markets, the Church of St. Nicholas and the former Governor’s House. Of particular note is the 13th century Spassky Monastery and the frescos of the Church of St. Nicholas.
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Your final stop on the Volga River is the tiny village of Goritsy. Anyone with an interest in Russian history will be intrigued with this ancient area as this is one of the areas that was created and used as a fortress by the nobility during the Time of Troubles. This area is also popular with photographers for the open expanse of countryside and historic monasteries.
Connie Coleman – Getty Images
After leaving Goritsy, visitors will cruise through the Baltic Canal that connects the Volga River to Lank Onega, the second largest lake in Europe. The island features a magnificent open air museum of Russian wooden architecture, as well as the Church of the Transfiguration noted for its 22 wooden domes built without a single nail.
Basykes – Flickr
This historic village is a living history site designed to show visitors what life in a traditional village was like in the past. Of particular note is the Vodka Museum that showcases thousands of brands of vodka.
Basykes – Flickr
After leaving Mandrogui your cruise will continue to the final port of call in St. Petersburg. Arrival at the port doesn’t signify the end of your adventure, though; there are still several days of guided tours, shopping and free time to visit such sites as the Hermitage Museum, Nevsky Prospect and the Winter Palace.