The Grand Volga Dream from the Caspian Sea to Moscow
14 Day Tour, from £3330 per person
From the Golden Horde to the Soviet era, the scenic cities of Russia’s grand Volga River have been witness to some of the most significant events in Russian history. On a journey aboard the deluxe M/S Volga Dream, cruise from the Caspian Sea to Moscow. Discover iconic onion-domed churches; stroll through gems such as medieval Nizhny Novgorod; and explore the treasures of Yaroslavl, the Volga’s oldest city.
Visit magnificent Red Square and the Kremlin, and examine the collection at the Kremlin's State Armory. Enjoy lectures by an on board guest speaker about the history and culture of local communities and famous Russians who were born and lived on the banks of the Volga River. Experience Russia's diverse musical traditions at lively folk music performances, explore Volgograd - the site of the decisive battle of World War II's eastern front and visit the world capital of caviar and taste this delicacy in the city of Astrakhan.
This journey also operates from Moscow to Astrakhan. Please click here for an itinerary for this route or contact one of our Russia Travel Specialists for more information.
Arrive Astrakhan and transfer to the deluxe M/S Volga Dream. Spend the rest of the day at leisure relaxing or exploring Astrakhan. Experience the ‘Bread, Salt, & Vodka' welcome ceremony aboard and, in the evening, enjoy a concert of a local folk group. (D)
Awake in Astrakhan and start a morning tour of the city. Visit a local fortress built in the reign of Ivan the Terrible and after lunch attend a lecture about famous black caviar and take an optional private testing of this precious delicacy. (B, L, D)
Spend the whole day sailing and in the evening reach Volgograd. (B, L, D)
Awake in Volgograd and learn about its tumultuous history. Originally called Tsaritsyn it was renamed Stalingrad during the Soviet era and today dramatically known for the most triumphant and tragic event in Soviet history, the Battle of Stalingrad. Visit the memorial on Mamayev Hill and Stalingrad battle panorama museum, who displays a dozens of exhibits on the Battle of Stalingrad and the soldiers who fought in it. In the evening transfer back to the M/S Volga Dream and learn how to cook Russian food. (B, L, D)
Founded in 1590, Saratov was initially a fortress forming a line of defence for the trade route along the Volga. Today Saratov is known for its connection to Russia's first cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, who lived and studied here. Embark on a full day city tour and visit Radishev State Art Museum who displays a fine selection of art from the 18th to the 20th centuries. (B, L, D)
Continue sailing by the Zhigulevskie mountains and reach the city of Samara. Visit the space museum, Samara State art Museum and stroll along the Volga esplanade. In the afternoon, transfer back to your ship and enjoy a barbeque on the decks of the Volga Dream. (B, L, D)
This morning enter the Republic of Tatarstan and enjoy the view of charming mosques. In the afternoon, reach Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan and visit the ‘citadel’ - a white-walled Kremlin where the famous mosque Kul-Sherif neighbours the old Peter and Paul Cathedral. In the late afternoon, enjoy a concert by a local Tatar folk ensemble before returning to the M/S Volga Dream. (B, L, D)
Sail to Nizhny Novgorod (formerly Gorkiy), also known as the ’third capital’ of Russia. Founded in 1221, the city has long been an important trading centre until it became closed to foreigners due to military activity during the Soviet era. Learn about the city's history as a place of exile for political prisoners, enjoy a walk on the ramparts of the 16th-century Kremlin and visit elaborately painted churches. In the evening enjoy a concert by a local children folk group. (B, L, D)
Spend the whole day at leisure sailing along the picturesque Volga river and attend a lecture about the history and traditions of these places. (B, L, D)
Today uncover the city of Yaroslavl. Founded in the 11th century by Prince Yaroslav the Wise, Yaroslavl is the oldest city on the Volga. The city was undamaged during World War II and many of Yaroslavl's churches from the 13th-17th centuries are intact. Visit the Saviour Transfiguration Monastery, adorned with murals depicting Saint John's apocalyptic visions. Continue to the 17th-century Church of EIljah the Prophet with its most prized asset- frescoes painted by renowned artists of ancient Russia and experience a costumed Russian tea ceremony at the governor’s house. Re-board the M/S Volga Dream for lunch. (B, L, D)
Arrive in Uglich, one of Russia’s most picturesque towns, and enjoy the beautiful view of the Cathedral of the Resurrection and St. John's Church looming on the horizon. Start a walking tour of this Golden Ring city and visit the Chapel of St. Dmitry of the Blood, a 17th-century architectural treasure built on the site where Ivan the Terrible's young son met his death. Continue to the five-domed Church of the Transfiguration, noted for its beautiful iconostasis, and enjoy a concert of choral music. (B, L, D)
Arrive Moscow in the afternoon and embark on a half day tour of the Russian capital. Visit the Red Square, St. Basil Cathedral and see the Cathedral of Christ the Savoir. Continue to Novodevichi Cemetery and in the evening return aboard of the M/S Volga Dream. (B, L, D)
In the morning visit the Kremlin and Armoury Museum to view its collection of opulent coronation finery, hand-forged armour and weapons, royal carriages and sleighs, and dazzling Faberge eggs. After lunch visit the Old Tretyakov gallery, the first museum dedicated exclusively to Russian fine art and view its extraordinary collection ranging from 12th century icons to 20th century paintings, and explore the ornate Moscow's Metro. In the evening enjoy dinner onboard of the M/S Volga Dream. (B,L,D)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)
14 day tour, from £3330 per person
- Return flights in economy class with British Airways from London Heathrow
- One-way flight from Moscow to Astrakhan
- All airport taxes and security charges
- Twin air-conditioned cabins with private facilities
- Transfers on arrival/departure
- Meals as specified on itinerary (B= breakfast; L= lunch; D= dinner)
- Sightseeing tours with English speaking guide
- Russian visa support documents
- Russian visa
- Optional excursions
M/S Volga Dream
Newly rebuilt in 2007, M/S Volga Dream is the first luxury cruise ship of its kind on the Russian waterways. The ship carries 109 passengers and approximately 60 staff to cater to your needs.
Facilities on board include a dining room serving Continental and Russian cuisine, Neva Lounge and bar with live music, Ladoga Bar, souvenir boutique, library with internet access, 24 hour tea and coffee station, laundry service (no dry cleaning). There is also a sauna and fitness centre on board.
The ship has 56 comfortable cabins. Each stateroom has either a window (Sun Deck, Promenade Deck, Main Deck) or porthole (standard staterooms on Cabin Deck). Cabins are equipped with air conditioning, mini bar, safe, telephone and flat screen satellite television.
Click on images to enlarge
Tour Route Map
- Russia, Astrakhan
- Russia, Volgograd
- Russia, Saratov
- Russia, Samara
- Russia, Kazan
- Russia, Nizhny Novgorod
- Russia, Yaroslavl
- Russia, Uglich
- Russia, Moscow
Click on images to enlarge